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German Doctors: Pussy Riot Poisoning 'Highly Plausible'

Pyotr Verzilov is expected to recover
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 18, 2018 4:04 PM CDT
Pussy Riot member and the former wife of Pyotr Verzilov, Nadya Tolokonnikova, left, and Verzilov's girlfriend Veronica Nikulshina address the media during a press conference on the state of health of...   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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(Newser) – German doctors treating a member of Russian protest group Pussy Riot said Tuesday that claims he was poisoned are "highly plausible," but stressed they can't say how this might have occurred or who was responsible, the AP reports. Pyotr Verzilov has been receiving intensive care since arriving in Berlin from Moscow on Saturday, but his condition isn't life threatening, Dr. Kai-Uwe Eckardt of Berlin's Charite hospital told reporters. Verzilov's symptoms, together with information received from relatives and the Moscow hospital he was admitted to last week, "make it highly plausible that a poisoning took place," Eckardt said. He said Charite doctors have found "no evidence whatsoever that there would be another explanation for his condition."

Eckardt said Verzilov fell ill on Sept. 11 after attending a friend's court hearing in the Russian capital, and was admitted to a Moscow hospital that evening with symptoms that included disorientation and widened pupils. Russian doctors suspected possible poisoning and treated him accordingly, emptying his stomach and performing a dialysis, Eckardt said. He said the symptoms indicate Verzilov, who arrived in Germany by private medevac Saturday, is suffering from an anticholinergic syndrome that can result from the disruption of the nervous system that regulates the inner organs. While doctors in Berlin haven't yet determined what was responsible for the poisoning, they said it could have resulted from various substances including high doses of some pharmaceuticals and plants that contain particular toxins. Eckardt said he expects Verzilov to make a full recovery and hopefully suffer no permanent damage.

(Read more Pussy Riot stories.)

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