Attackers still on run after near-fatal acid attack on German business exec

Two unidentified men who threw acid over the CFO of an energy concern on Sunday, almost killing him, were still on the loose on Monday morning.

Attackers still on run after near-fatal acid attack on German business exec
Bernhard Günther. Photo: DPA

The attack occurred on Sunday morning as, Bernhard Günther, chief financial officer with Essen-based company Innogy, was on his way to a bakery.

As he was a walking through a park in the town of Haan at around 9am, two men approached him and threw a liquid at him. The substance immediately reacted with his skin and caused serious injury.

Günther was able to run back to his home, from where he was taken to hospital for treatment. Initially the injuries were so severe that doctors described his situation as critical. But by the afternoon he was no longer considered to be in a life threatening situation.

An investigation into attempted murder has been opened. The attackers were not masked at the time of the incident and police say they possibly said something to their victim as they attacked him.

While police have not confirmed what the liquid was, they say they are working on the assumption that it was an acid.

“We are deeply shocked. News of the attack has affected us all,” Innogy CEO Uwe Tigges said. Innogy is a subsidiary of energy giant RWE.

“We are thinking of Bernhard and his family and hope that he recovers quickly,” he added.

Police have said that they cannot yet say anything about a possible motive and are “investigating in every direction.”

The Bild daily reported that the domestic security service, which is responsible for politically motivated crime, was investigating.

RWE has long been engaged in a battle with environmental protesters over its open-pit coal mining operations, including at the flashpoint forest site Hambacher Forst where activists have lived in a protest camp for years.


Man sentenced to five years for deadly attack at German pride parade

A German court handed a man a five-year juvenile detention sentence Wednesday over the death of a trans man he attacked at a pride march, in a case that caused a national outcry.

Man sentenced to five years for deadly attack at German pride parade

The tribunal in the western city of Münster convicted the defendant, whose name was not released due to his age, of “assault resulting in the death” of the 25-year-old victim identified as Malte C., court spokesman Henning Barton told AFP.

As well as the five-year sentence, the judges ordered “his placement in a drug rehabilitation centre”, Barton said.

The 20-year-old had shouted homophobic insults and threats at several people attending an LGBTQ pride march in Münster in August 2022.

Malte C. had placed himself between the assailant and the group with the aim of protecting them, at which point the attacker became more aggressive.

He punched Malte C. in the face, causing him to fall to the ground and hit the back of his head on the ground. He underwent emergency surgery that night for a traumatic brain injury and was placed in an induced coma.

The 25-year-old died in hospital a few days later.

The case sparked anger across Germany, with LGBTQ groups calling for more decisive action against homophobic and anti-trans violence.

Rights organisations and religious leaders organised a public funeral for Malte C. in October which was attended by several local officials including police chief Alexandra Dorndorf, who posted a photograph on Twitter of herself
at the ceremony holding a rainbow flag in solidarity with the queer community.