Germany expels 2 Russian diplomats
German federal prosecutors announced that they are taking over investigation cases of the murder of a Georgian asylum-seeker in Berlin, confirming earlier reports. (Pictured: Zelimkhan Khangoshvili).
While Berlin’s attorney general saying evidence points to Russian state involvement, pressure is reflecting upon Chancellor Angela Merkel government demanding to send a strong signal to Moscow.
Prosecutors made clear that there is “sufficient evidence” to indicate that the man’s murder was carried out on the behalf of the Russian state or by Chechnya. The German Foreign Ministry also announced that two employees at Russia’s embassy in Berlin had been designated personae non grate and were expelled.
The names and positions of the diplomats were not revealed, although the Ministry said it took the move after Russian authorities failed to “cooperate sufficiently” in the murder investigation.
Russia’s foreign ministry called the move to expel the diplomats an “unfriendly, groundless step” and vowed to retaliate.
“Germany provided asylum and a passport to a terrorists? Do German taxpayers know that their Government protects terrorists under fake identity in Germany?” asks a rhetoric question Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, a Bulgarian journalist who was sacked from her Bulgarian newspaper after writing a story alleging that CIA flights were used to ship arms to “terrorists”.
German media reported that the killed in the park man was Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian national of Chechen origin, who may have been involved with the Chechen insurgency in the 2000s. He was allegedly a supporter of terrorist leader Shamil Basaev. In September 2004 Basayev claimed responsibility for the Beslan school hostage situation in which over 350 people, most of them children, were killed and hundreds more injured.
Image above: Zelimkhan Khangoshvili was killed in Berlin park Kleiner Tiergarten on 23 August 2019, at around midday when he was walking through a wooded path on his way back from the mosque service he attended. Hee was shot twice in the head by his assassin.