RUSSIA ordered the broad daylight killing of a former Chechen militant in a Berlin park, a German court docket has discovered.
Tornike Khangoshvili, also referred to as Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, was gunned down will three pictures from a Glock pistol in August 2019 in retaliation for his function preventing alongside Chechen separatists towards Moscow within the 2000s, decide Olaf Arnoldi stated.
The agent who carried out the act of “state terrorism”, Vadim Krasikov, was sentenced to life imprisonment for what the decide described as an “particularly severe” crime.
Germany summoned the Russian ambassador after the ruling, telling him that two of his embassy’s 101 diplomatic employees could be expelled, Overseas Minister Annalena Baerbock stated.
The discovering might heighten stress on a German authorities barely per week in workplace to toughen its stance in the direction of Moscow amid warnings that Russia might be considering an invasion of Ukraine.
“State organs of the federal government of the Russian Federation took the choice to liquidate Tornike Khangoshvili in Berlin,” Arnoldi stated, including that Russia had issued Krasikov with false papers with which to journey for the killing.
“Khangashvili had given up the struggle towards the Russian Federation years earlier than. He had not held a weapon in his arms since 2008,” Arnoldi added.
“This was not an act of self-defence by Russia. This was and is nothing aside from state terrorism.”
The Russian Embassy in Berlin stated the decision was “not goal and politically motivated”, TASS information company reported.
“This homicide, ordered by a state, is a severe violation of German legislation and Germany’s sovereignty,” Baerbock stated.
“Acts just like the homicide in (Berlin’s) Tiergarten park significantly burden relations between our international locations.”
In 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Khangashvili as a “bloody terrorist”, accusing him of involvement in crimes together with the 2004 bombing of the Moscow metro during which 10 folks died.
A lawyer for the suspect, who maintains he isn’t Krasikov however Vadim Sokolov, a development engineer from St. Petersburg, promised a choice on whether or not to attraction inside per week, saying the case towards his consumer was constructed on conjecture, not proof.
Arnoldi acknowledged that Khangoshvili, who had lived in exile since an earlier try on his life in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2015, was himself a killer.
However the decide stated his homicide was a “skilled operation” that would not have been carried out with out native help in Berlin.
Arnoldi stated that Krasikov flew to Paris a number of days earlier than the hit, outfitted with a false passport and hundreds of euros in money for his deliberate getaway, and from there journeyed to Berlin.
He shot Khangoshvili as he cycled by means of the park, earlier than hiding in a bush to take away his darkish garments and baseball cap, trim his beard and don the garments of a vacationer strolling by means of Germany’s capital.
“Solely the presence of witnesses thwarted his plan”, Arnoldi stated.
Inside minutes, armed police surrounded Krasikov whereas others fished his garments, the homicide weapon and Khangoshvili’s bike out of the river the place the agent had thrown them.
Russia has maintained that the convicted assassin is just not Krasikov.
However Arnoldi stated that photos offered by Ukrainian authorities from his marriage ceremony to his Ukrainian spouse, along with a comparability of their tattoos, proved past all doubt that the bearer of the false papers was the person that they had recognized as an agent of Russia’s FSB safety service.
The truth that he had obtained false papers simply over a month earlier than the hit confirmed that he was backed by the Russian state, Arnoldi stated, noting that Russian legislation allowed its brokers to assassinate “terrorists”, even overseas, albeit solely with presidential approval.
“4 youngsters misplaced their father, two siblings their brother,” the decide stated.
“Some media instructed that Russia and even Vladimir Putin are on trial right here. That is deceptive: solely the convict is on the bench.”