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German court: no appeal has been received against the Russian’s conviction

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German court: no appeal has been received against the Russian’s conviction

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A Berlin court said neither party had appealed the verdict in the diplomatically sensitive trial of a Russian man who was convicted earlier this month of what judges found to be the murder ordered by the state of a Chechen man

BERLIN – A court in Berlin said on Monday that neither party has appealed the verdict in the diplomatically sensitive trial of a Russian man who was convicted earlier this month of what judges found to be the state-ordered murder of a Chechen man.

The verdict of December 15 prompted the German foreign minister to expel two Russian diplomats. A few days later, Russia in turn ordered two German diplomats to leave.

The brazen murder in Berlin of Zelimkhan “Tornike” Khangoshvili, a 40-year-old Georgian citizen of Chechen descent, sparked outrage in Germany and prompted the German government to expel two other Russian diplomats at the time – a move that Russia quickly surrendered.

Judges at the Berlin Regional Court have found 56-year-old Vadim Krasikov guilty of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Defense lawyers had asked the court to acquit their client, who had alleged a mistaken identity. The judges said Krasikov bore “particularly serious responsibility” for the murder, which means he will not be entitled to automatic parole after 15 years, which is customary in Germany.

Witnesses saw the suspect throw a bicycle, a gun and a long black wig into the River Spree near the scene and alerted police, who quickly arrested him before he could set off on an electric scooter.

Judges said, however, that Krasikov acted on orders from Russian federal authorities, who provided him with a false identity, a false passport and the resources to carry out the coup near Berlin’s Kleiner Tiergarten on August 23, 2019.

Presiding Judge Olaf Arnoldi said in his verdict that “the central government of the Russian Federation was the perpetrator of this crime”. He called the murder “state terrorism”.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called the murder “a serious violation of German law and the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Germany”.

German law allows all parties to a lawsuit to appeal within a week of the verdict, but the court said no one has.

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