NewsLife imprisonment in the zoo murder trial

Life imprisonment in the zoo murder trial

More than two years after the fatal shooting at a Georgian of Chechen descent in the middle of Berlin, a 56-year-old Russian has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Berlin – In the process of an alleged Russian contract killing in the Kleiner Tiergarten in Berlin, the defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday. The Berlin Higher Regional Court saw it as proven that the Russian citizen had shot a Georgian of Chechen origin in the park in the capital in August 2019. The case also weighs heavily on German-Russian relations.

The judges also recognized the particular gravity of the guilt, which practically rules out early release. The verdict corresponded to the demands of the federal prosecutor’s office, which had taken over the investigation and the indictment because of the special importance of the case. The authorities are convinced that it was an assassination attempt on behalf of Russian government agencies. The defendant’s defense demanded an acquittal.

Trial of the zoo murder: the case was heard before the State Security Senate

The victim is a Georgian of Chechen origin who, according to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, previously fought against Russia as a militia leader during the Second Chechen War in 2000 and 2004 and was viewed by Russian security forces as an enemy of the state. The accused is therefore a former colonel of the Russian secret service FSB, who traveled to Berlin via detours with an alias for the crime.

The accused was arrested by police near the scene of the crime on August 23, 2019, immediately after the crime and has been in custody ever since. The victim had been fired three shots from a pistol with a silencer, before the crime, according to the indictment, the defendant had approached the man killed in the park in the center of Berlin from behind on a bicycle.

The case was heard before a State Security Senate. The act and the investigation into it put a heavy burden on the relationship between Russia and Germany. After the fact, the German government expelled two Russian diplomats in response. The Russian side rejected the allegations of state contract killing as unfounded. (red / dpa / afp)

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