German court jails Khangoshvili's killer for life
Khangoshvili’s murderer receives life sentence
The Berlin Supreme Court sentenced Vadim Krasikov (Sokolov), a Russian citizen, accused of the murder of a former Chechen field commander, Georgian citizen Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in the summer of 2019, to life in prison with no possibility of parol. The investigation believes that the order for the murder was given by the Russian authorities.
This is reported by the Russian “Novaya Gazeta” with reference to the publication Spiegel. “The matter is greatly complicated by Russian-German relations”, the German newspaper said.
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The trial of the Khangoshvili murder has been going on since October 2020 in a specially guarded courtroom. The prosecutor’s office questioned about 50 witnesses during the investigation. The German authorities accused Russia of insufficient cooperation and subsequently expelled two Russian diplomats.
Khangoshvili, 40, a participant in the second Chechen war and a field commander in 2001-2005, was shot dead in Berlin’s Moabit district on August 23, 2019. According to the investigation, 56-year-old Krasikov arrived in Germany from Poland.
On the day of the murder, Krasikov fired three shots from his bicycle, two of them in the back of the head of Khangoshvili, then threw the Glock pistol and bicycle into the river, got on a moped and tried to escape, but was captured by the police.
The detainee was found to have a Russian passport in the name of Vadim Sokolov. Eyewitnesses described what they saw as “execution”.
The prosecution believed that the murder was carried out on Russia’s orders. Prosecutor Nikolaus Forschner stated that the motive for the contract murder was “the hostility [of the victim] to the Russian state”, and the prosecution also believes that Krasikov acted on instructions from the “government structures” of the Russian Federation.
According to T-online, the prosecutor’s office considers Krasikov to be a colonel of the FSB special forces “Vympel”. Spiegel, The Insider and Bellingcat investigators have found that Krasikov may have been trained at the FSB Special Forces Center in Balashikha. Russia denies any involvement of its special services in the murder.
Khangoshvili has lived in Germany since 2016 as a refugee under the name Tornike Khavtarashvili, since the Russian authorities recognized him as a terrorist.
According to Novaya Gazeta, Khangoshvili, an ethnic Kist and citizen of Georgia, took part in the Russian-Georgian war in the ranks of the Georgian armed forces in the August of 2008. The investigation believes that Khangoshvili was under surveillance.