We’ve been following the story of the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport—Berlin’s semi-finished (and perhaps un-finishable) white elephant of a public works project—with a mixture of mirth and horror here, but now it appears someone has taken it to the next level. The Times of London reports:
A whistleblower who highlighted corruption at Berlin’s much-delayed new airport is believed to have been poisoned by a substance that was put into his coffee.
The engineer, aged about 50, survived the alleged attack but was off sick from work for several months, prosecutors said yesterday.[..]
The whistleblower was understood to have raised concerns about alleged bribery involving the construction company Imtech, which was contracted to install the airport’s electrical system and help to supply heating, plumbing and ventilation systems.
“We are investigating suspicions of grievous bodily harm,” Horst Nothbaum, spokesman for the Brandenburg prosecutor in Cottbus, near Berlin, said.
He refused to comment on reports that the unnamed engineer was poisoned during an incident in May last year. The man collapsed at the airport’s construction site, next to the existing Schönefeld terminal to the south of Berlin. Lab tests were said to have detected the presence of a harmful substance in the man’s blood. He is now back at work.
Say what you will about Sgt. Schultz, but we’re fairly certain he never tried to poison Col. Klink. It appears this is not the first time the law has become involved in the airport fiasco:
Four people were charged last year as part of the investigation into Imtech Deutschland — three people from the company and a manager from the airport. The manager was accused of taking a bribe of €150,000 from Imtech in return for accepting invoices for €33 million, even though internal documents put the value of the work at €18 million. A large quantity of cash was found in the manager’s safe. Imtech filed for bankruptcy last August.
We wonder what the Greeks and other Club Med types will say when they read this, if they have time in between lectures on fiscal probity and Teutonic self-control.