German Court Says Russia Conducts State Terrorism
Russia ordered the killing in broad daylight in a Berlin park of a former Chechen militant, a German court found on Wednesday, sentencing the agent who carried out the 2019 act of “state terrorism” to life imprisonment.
The fatal shots at a Georgian of Chechen descent in Berlin more than two years ago, the Berlin Supreme Court stated, were carried out on behalf of Russian government agencies.
Georgian citizen Mr. Tornike Khangoshvili was killed with three shots from a Glock pistol on a sunny August day in 2019 in retaliation for his role fighting alongside Chechen separatists fighting Moscow in the 2000s, judge Mr. Olaf Arnoldi said, sentencing Mr. Vadim Krasikov for the “especially serious” crime.
The finding could pile pressure on a German government barely a week in office to take a firmer stance towards Moscow amid warnings that Russia could be contemplating military action against Ukraine.
In June 2019 at the latest, state organs of the government of the Russian Federation took the decision to liquidate Mr. Tornike Khangoshvili in Berlin, Mr. Arnoldi said, adding that Russia had issued Mr. Krasikov with false papers with which to travel for the killing.
Mr. Khangashvili had given up the fight against the Russian Federation years before. He had not held a weapon in his hands since 2008, Mr. Arnoldi emphasised. This was not an act of self-defence by Russia. This was and is nothing other than state terrorism, he added.
Kremlin-dispatched killer shot Mr. Khangoshvili as he cycled through the park, before hiding in a bush to remove his dark clothes and baseball cap, trim his beard and don the clothes of a tourist strolling through Germany’s capital.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin in 2019 described Khangashvili as a “bloody terrorist”, charging him with crimes including a 2004 bombing of the Moscow metro in which 10 people died.