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Khangoshvili Murder: Germany ‘Reserves Right to Further Action’ vis-à-vis Russia

In an interview with Russian Interfax news agency on August 11, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas spoke, among others, on the murder of Georgian national Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin’s Kleiner Tiergarten Park in 2019, which as German prosecution alleged was committed on behalf of Russian state authorities.

Minister Maas – who paid an official visit to Russia on August 11 – told Interfax that the German Federal Prosecutor General’s allegation that an individual charged with murder acted on behalf of Russian state authorities is “a highly significant allegation.”

“It, therefore, goes without saying that we are following the trial before the ordinary courts very closely,” FM Maas added.

“We have repeatedly emphasized that we reserve the right to take further measures,” top German diplomat went on, “the measures we take will also depend on what the trial brings to light.”

He then stated in an interview that during the probing into the case “Russia has not shown any credible willingness to cooperate in the investigation, even though the competent authorities had made inquiries and requests for judicial assistance.”

“The murder in the Tiergarten has strained our relationship. I made it clear that we will protect the German population – online and offline – without any compromise,” said German Foreign Minister after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.  

Khangoshvili (also known as Tornike Kavtarashvili), 40, was gunned down in broad daylight in the German capital on August 23. A Georgian of Chechen descent, he fled to Germany after surviving an assassination attempt in Tbilisi in 2015.

On June 18, German Chief Prosecutor indicted Russian citizen Vadim Krasikov on charges of murdering Khangoshvili on “Russian central authorities’ orders.”

In December, following the killing, Germany expelled two employees of the Russian Embassy in Berlin, blaming them for failure to cooperate with the inquiry.

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