• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Umbrella stab victim dies of mercury poisoning

The Local · 11 May 2012, 17:03

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.

Story continues below…

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
Czech police detain driver for harassing Merkel's motorcade
Angela Merkel. File photo: DPA

Czech police arrested a man on Thursday for attempting to drive into the motorcade of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Prague, they said.

Teacher convicted for holding kids back after class
Photo: DPA

A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of "holding people against their will" after he made some naughty stay kids back after class.

Germany-denying beauty king fights cops with guns, teeth
Left: Adrian Ursache in his glam days as the 1998 Mr. Germany. Right: Police trying to evict him from his own 'country'. Photos: DPA.

Former Mr. Germany winner and founder of a group that denies the existence of Germany refused to be evicted, provoking a shootout - and bite-out - with police.

Politicians renew call to bring Snowden to Germany
Photo: GUARDIAN / GLENN GREENWALD / LAURA POITRAS.

Green and Die Linke (Left Party) politicians are asking that NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden be allowed into Germany for an ongoing investigation.

Merkel urged to address Turkmenistan rights record
Angela Merkel with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. Photo: DPA

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to bring up major rights violations, including a "policy of disappearances", when Germany hosts the president of Turkmenistan next week.

Epic father-daughter comedy picked for Oscars success
A scene from film Toni Erdmann. Photo: DPA

German Films has chosen Toni Erdmann, a beefy comedy about a father's struggle to save his daughter from her isolating career, as its 2017 Oscars choice.

Germany mulls pullout from Turkish airbase: report
A German Tornado jet at the Incirlik base in Turkey. Photo: Bundeswehr/DPA.

Germany's military is preparing to pull out from a Turkish airbase as a row between the two NATO partners escalates, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.

German man arrested over Bali meth lab
Bali. Photo: DPA

A German man has been arrested on Indonesia's Bali island for allegedly making crystal methamphetamine in a secret lab, officials said Thursday, with authorities seizing bags of powders and bottles used to produce the drug.

Giant 2-metre catfish attacks woman in Bavarian lake
A wels catfish. Photo: DPA

When a young woman went for a swim in an idyllic south Bavarian region, she got more than she bargained for.

Mayor fires refugee project intern for wearing headscarf
File photo: DPA.

A Palestinian who was hired to work as an intern on a refugee project was fired by a town hall this week because she wouldn't take off her headscarf.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,546
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd