• Germany's news in English
 

Umbrella stab victim dies of mercury poisoning

Published: 11 May 2012 17:03 GMT+02:00

Police have admitted they have been left at a loss by the attack, which took place nearly a year ago, when the 40-year-old man was attacked by the mysterious stranger in Hannover.

The case mirrors the murder of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov who was killed with a poisoned umbrella in London in 1978 at the height of the Cold War.

A post-mortem and toxicological examination being carried out on the German man are expected to point to mercury poisoning as the cause of death, Der Spiegel news magazine said on Friday.

The man was diagnosed with mercury poisoning a few weeks after the attack, and fell into a coma.

He had said he was attacked by a slim stranger who had a sticking plaster on his face.

After months in a coma, the victim had seemed to be improving, a spokeswoman for the state prosecutor said. He had been in a rehabilitation centre, but this Wednesday he suddenly died.

The prosecutor are now searching for the mysterious assailant, investigating a possible charge of grievous bodily harm resulting in death.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:22 May 11, 2012 by lucksi
They are only now searching for the assailant? Just stabbing and poisoning was in the "meh, who cares" range?
20:11 May 11, 2012 by AirForceGuy
Right out of the 'Cold War' Russian playbook...
21:40 May 11, 2012 by Frenemy
Not quite. Ricin is highly effective as a covert hypodermic "problem solver" , but mercury??!! That's just not professional...lol
22:36 May 11, 2012 by PandoraFiles
This scenario is not probable. We are injected with mercury included in vaccines, that doesn't kill us right away. It does it's work very slowly and methodically, working on the immune system.

The injection had to be thallium or ricin or a combination of one or more of the three elements.
07:14 May 12, 2012 by Frenemy
Thallium is an element, but ricin is a compound. But yeah, we ingest copious amounts of mercury with every salt-water fish we eat (our oceans are pretty much 100% contaminated).

Anyway, I agree with @PandoraFiles (something here doesn't track). Its completely ludicrous to compare the toxicity of mercury/"quick-silver" with that of ricin (apples and oranges)...
19:16 May 12, 2012 by karma1969
You medical geniuses do realize there's more than one kind of mercury, don't you? For example, the "mercury in vaccines" is a microscopic amount of inert mercury that has about as much effect on your body as inhaling a speck of couch dust, which is to say nothing at all. Something nasty like Dimethylmercury, on the other hand, can kill you from merely inhaling the fumes. Once. It's no stretch of the imagination that mercury poisoning killed this man.
18:51 May 13, 2012 by Foreignvader
"He had said he was attacked by a slim stranger who had a sticking plaster on his face." What the hell is sticking plaster and what was it doing on the guy's face?
21:13 May 13, 2012 by Simon_Kellett
> What the hell is sticking plaster and what was it doing on the guy's face?

It is a classic decoy: something incongruous, but everyday. In this case he remembers the plaster, and not more useful features like hair or eye colour or age...
22:40 May 13, 2012 by MaKo
No, seriously, *what is* a sticking plaster?
08:04 May 14, 2012 by Dave The Happy Singer
A sticking plaster, as a simple web search would tell you, is what we call a Band-Aid here in the country called Not America.
10:15 May 14, 2012 by Bill Simpson
What motive did the Russians have to kill this one? Or was it the Iranian pay back?
13:18 May 15, 2012 by wenddiver
Why not just shoot and rob him and mark it up to street crime??? Kind of scrams ex-Soviet block.
15:13 May 17, 2012 by johnny108
Without knowing which mercury compound it was- it's difficult to tell the level of sophistication of the attacker. Dimethyl mercury has killed those who were regarded as experts in it's handling. Obviously not an attack by football hooligans. And, at the time of his death- Georgi Markov had powerfull enemies. The question becomes- who WAS the victim?
23:07 May 18, 2012 by DepotCat
johnny108

"The question...who WAS the victim?"

Yes indeed...A very intriguing case.
Today's headlines
JobTalk Germany
Graduates desperate to work for car giants
BMW are the most attractive employer for business and engineering graduates. Photo: DPA

Graduates desperate to work for car giants

A survey published on Monday shows that the car industry is the most attractive place of work for German business graduates and engineers alike. READ  

Language fails
Minster wows crowds with Denglisch
Gerd Müller, left, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to his right. Photo: DPA

Minster wows crowds with Denglisch

Development Minister Gerd Müller recently captivated crowds at the Global Citizen Earth Day in Washington, D.C. with his enthusiastic - if erratic - English. The speech has since gone viral. READ  

Arms firms struggle to meet ethics mark
A Leopard 2 tank made by Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. Photo: DPA.

Arms firms struggle to meet ethics mark

A report released on Monday by Transparency International UK found that German arms companies had a spotty record in their ethics and anti-corruption programmes. READ  

Chancellor's office 'knew' of US economic spying
An 18-meter-across satellite dish at the BND's Bad Aibling listening post. Photo: DPA

Chancellor's office 'knew' of US economic spying

Chancellor Angela Merkel's office has known since 2008 of US economic espionage targeting European companies such as Airbus but did not react, Bild said Monday, citing intelligence agency documents. READ  

Munich toddler safe after late-night adventure
Munich streets in the dead of night. Photo: DPA

Munich toddler safe after late-night adventure

A two and a half year-old toddler was found wandering through the streets of Munich by police in the early hours of Monday morning. Luckily he was return unharmed to his relieved parents. READ  

Public pitch in to find refugee home arsonists
A set of keys found at the scene of the crime. Photo:DPA

Public pitch in to find refugee home arsonists

After police made a public appeal for information in the arson attack on a refugee home on a television programme on Sunday evening, more than 30 members of the public got in touch. READ  

Greece crisis
Merkel and Tsipras have 'positive' phone chat
Merkel and Tsipras meet in Brussels on 23 April. Photo: DPA

Merkel and Tsipras have 'positive' phone chat

Athens will resume talks with its creditors Monday, a Greek government source said, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke on the phone with Chancellor Angela Merkel. READ  

Bayern stroll to 25th Bundesliga title
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola on the sidelines against Hertha on Saturday. Photo: DPA

Bayern stroll to 25th Bundesliga title

FC Bayern Munich found out they had won the Bundesliga title with four games to spare when their only rivals Vfl Wolfsburg lost 1-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday. READ  

Government knew of threat to Ukraine flights
Investigators at the scene of the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine in mid-April 2015. Photo: DPA

Government knew of threat to Ukraine flights

Berlin knew the risks of flying over war-torn east Ukraine before Flight MH17 was shot out of the sky last year but did not inform German airlines, media reported on Sunday. READ  

Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride
Photo: DPA

Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride

Dozens of bikers from pro-Kremlin gang the Night Wolves on Saturday set off on a ride to Berlin ahead of the anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II, despite Poland and Germany barring the riders. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,182
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd
?>