The Russian authorities considered that this verdict, which risks increasing diplomatic tensions with Germany, was
a political decision.
The Berlin Court recognized this man, known as Vadim Krasikov, guilty of having shot dead a Georgian from the Chechen minority in a park in Berlin on August 23, 2019. It directly implicated the authorities Russians who
ordered the accused to liquidate the victim, according to the President of the Court, Olaf Arnoldi.
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This murder committed on German soil is
a serious attack on the sovereignty of the State, she added while this affair has already led, in the past, to the expulsion of Russian and German diplomats.
Georgian Tornike Kavtarashvili, 40, was shot three times in the heart of the German capital, an affair that poisoned relations between the two countries.
Moscow, which has always denied any involvement, denounced a verdict
” We believe that this verdict is not objective, that it is a political decision which seriously aggravates Russian-German relations which were otherwise already difficult. “
A former Chechen separatist leader, the Georgian had fought Russian forces between 2000 and 2004 and since 2016 had lived with his family in Germany, where he had applied for asylum.
He was a victim of
a cold-blooded execution, said the President of the Court, who also deprived the convicted of the possibility of requesting parole after 15 years.
Her murderer, whom the prosecutor named as a
commander of a special unit of the Russian secret service FSB, had previously traveled from Moscow to Paris, then to Warsaw, and finally Berlin.
The facts took place at lunchtime: the murderer, riding a bicycle, approached his victim from behind and shot twice before killing him at point blank range in the head . He was arrested near the scene of the murder.
During his trial, the accused denied the identity attributed to him by German justice. Through the voice of his lawyer, Me Robert Unger, he claimed to be called Vadim Sokolov, 50 years old,
Russian, single and construction engineer.
While the Kremlin has always denied being behind the assassination, President Vladimir Putin called the victim
very cruel and bloodthirsty fighter. He claimed to have requested his extradition, which Berlin denied.
Evictions on both sides
At the end of 2019, Germany had already expelled two Russian diplomats to protest their lack of cooperation, a measure to which Moscow responded by sacking two German diplomats.
The poisoning of Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny before his imprisonment in Russia, as well as that of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom in 2018, raised serious suspicions about the role of the Russian security services in violent operations.
But Moscow’s involvement has so far never been proven, and the Kremlin has consistently denied any responsibility.
These cases added to a series of diplomatic tensions between Berlin and Moscow. Before the German general elections, justice opened an investigation for cyberespionage of deputies, behind which Berlin suspects the hand of the Kremlin.
There are also many geopolitical differences, such as the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.
New Chancellor Olaf Scholz once again warned on Wednesday that Moscow would pay a
high price in case of violation of Ukrainian borders.
Washington, the Europeans and Kiev have accused Moscow for a few weeks of preparations to invade Ukraine, which the Kremlin denies.