Nazi poison used in ex-lover's murder bid
Published: 10 Jul 2009 16:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Jul 2009 16:37 GMT+02:00
A 32-year-old man from northern Sweden charged with trying to kill his ex-girlfriend four times had enough Zyklon B pesticide, once used in Nazi gas chambers, to kill 42,000 people.
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"Zyklon B exists to extinguish life," prosecutor Ulla-Karin Lindström told the Norrländska Socialdemokraten newspaper.
On Thursday, the prosecution presented a comprehensive indictment against the man, who is accused of attempting to murder his 27-year-old former girlfriend with up to three kilogrammes of the poison Zyklon B, the notorious cyanide-based pesticide used in the Holocaust.
The case is unique, as it is the first time in Sweden that someone has been charged with attempted murder using Zyklon B.
Prosecutors allege that the man tried to murder his former partner on four separate occasions.
The first of these attempt took place on December 23rd of last year in a house they shared in a village outside Luleå.
On that occasion, the man allegedly placed a deadly dose of potassium cyanide in his former partner’s food while the two were having dinner together with their two children.
A second attempt occurred on January 3rd this year when man is alleged to have placed a flask containing a deadly dose of potassium cyanide under his ex-partner’s nose and mouth while she was sleeping.
The man's third attempt, carried out on February 3rd, involved him allegedly placing a deadly dose of Zyklon B in the woman’s car.
Several days after that, the man is alleged to have placed a deadly dose of the the cyanide-based pesticide in his former partner’s stairwell, and to have taken a quantity of the poison into the woman’s house.
Prosecutor Lindström considers that it is just a matter of chance that the woman is still alive.
The accused man has confessed to buying the Zyklon B and admits to having handled the deadly poison.
But he denies that he decided to use the poison with the purpose of murdering his former partner.
“My client has given an explanation of why he bought the poison,” the man’s lawyer, Jan Wennerbrandt, told the newspaper.
During earlier police questioning, the man stated that he was going to use the Zyklon B to kill rats.
Using the name of a close relative, he had ordered three kilogrammes of the deadly poison - which prosecutors claim is enough to kill 42,000 people - from a factory in the Czech Republic which markets the substance under the tradename 'Uragan D2'.
When the man’s relatives received a confirmation for the order, which cost €82.50 ($115), they became suspicious and contacted the police.
The couple have two young children, aged seven and four years, but have been separated for some time.
The separation has reportedly long been distressing for the man, leading him to prior acts of violence against his ex-lover.
Prosecutors also charge that back in December 2007, the man assaulted and drugged his former partner and then raped her.
The woman eventually sought help of a women’s emergency help service in April 2008 and later reported the man to police for the December 2007 rape.
The 32-year-old is facing a lengthly prison sentence should he be found guilty of all charges.
He has been remanded in custody since February.