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Intelligence

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Foreign Ministry Statement

16 December 2021 11:56
2605-16-12-2021

The Russian side strongly believes that the guilty verdict brought in by the German court against the citizen of the Russian Federation Vadim Sokolov on December 15 in the case of the murder of Georgian citizen Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, former terrorist gang leader in the North Caucasus, in Berlin on August 23, 2019, is extremely biased and is clearly a case of an explicit political put-up job. We insist that the Russian citizen is innocent. He has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Germany against the unjust verdict.

We strongly reject the unfounded and far-fetched accusations which were concocted with the assistance of foreign security services and affiliated agencies claiming that Russian government bodies were involved in the murder of terrorist Khangoshvili, who lived in Germany with the knowledge of the German authorities. The only theory that was planted in Germany's mainstream media shortly after the murder in August 2019 relied on falsified facts and unfounded speculations, posts from social media and online platforms that have lost credibility a long time ago as participants in almost all recent hybrid operations against Russia. They used testimony obtained under duress and fake evidence that was obtained, according to those who supplied it, with the use of illegal and even openly unlawful methods.

Interestingly, other legitimate theories related to the crime in Tiergarten Park in Berlin were neither considered nor explored by the investigators, prosecutors and the court.

We are deeply disappointed by the fact that the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany chose, under the guise of the above verdict, to perpetrate another unfriendly action against the Russian Federation and proclaim persona non grata two diplomatic employees of the Russian Embassy in Germany, who were not and could not have been involved in the Zelimkhan Khangoshvili case, which fact the German authorities are well aware of. Berlin should rest assured that Russia will respond proportionately.



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