Trial behind security gates. Image: J. Tauss
Since the 7. October Vadim Krasikov or Vadim Sokolov stands before the Berlin "Criminal Court". Because of the suspected involvement of Russia, the 2. Criminal division of the Court of Appeal
It is a trial under rough security precautions. Identity cards and press cards are checked several times on the way to the scene of the crime. The hearing room is located behind further security gates. Because of the great media interest, the sound will be transmitted without pictures to a specially equipped media room.
The effort is crude in other ways, too. The chamber is composed of five judges and two substitute judges. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office from Karlsruhe is represented by three prosecutors. Three defense attorneys are standing by the defendant, who was sentenced on 23. August 2019 around noon the "and defenseless victim" murdered Zelimkhan Changoshwili (40) with three shots, one in the upper body and two in the head.
The immediate death of the Georgian had been caused by the "the destruction of the brain caused by it" been brought about. The public prosecutor’s office ames "special gravity of guilt" out, which means more than 15 years in prison if convicted. Seven relatives of the shot victim, including two wives, children and siblings, are represented by three additional lawyers.
So much for the known formal facts. But who is the alleged culprit? The accused is Vadim Nicolaevich Krasikov, born in 1965 in Khimetsky / Kazakhstan. But the defendant does not want to be identical or known with this one. He does not know any K. and be rather Vadim Sokolov, born in 1970 in Irkutsk, Siberia. The presiding and experienced judge Olaf Arnoldi, who has so far been conspicuous for his very relaxed and calm conduct of the trial, wants to address the defendant in one way or another and otherwise as Mr. Defendant.
Sokolov, who has so far only talked about his lawyers and has hardly made a face, does not speak a word of German. Every sentence is therefore translated for him and the Russian-speaking participants in the trial by two sworn interpreters. Is he entitled to translations of an extensive list of evidence, which is stored in a thick folder?? This includes expert opinions on facial comparisons, technical weapons notes, DNA comparisons and other documents.
The defense argues that in view of the seriousness of the accusations and in view of the penalty in the event of a conviction, he should be allowed to read them out in RUSSIAN. The Nebenklage agrees in the interest of a "constitutional procedure" to. The prosecution from the Baden residence of the law sees it differently. A translation is not necessary. Solokov could have the contents read out to him by his lawyers if necessary. The chairman now wants to discuss the arguments presented, first of all "think" and then decide on the application.
What happened in the run-up to the crime?
According to the 67-page indictment, from which only four pages were read out, the defendant is accused of the following, "killed a human being secretly and out of greed or other low motives". For this he had illegally "carried a semi-automatic weapon for moving cartridge ammunition" ("zoo murder"Putin’s "Killer" was. He was?).
The state authorities of the central government of the Russian Federation had "Liquidation" the Georgian citizen was instructed to. No details were presented. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office did not answer questions about this. However, the background to this was the Georgian’s opposition "to the Russian central state and to governments of the Caucasian republics Chechnya and Ingushetia". This is probably the reason why he was the leader of a Chechen militia during the war from 2000-2004.
With a forged Russian passport without biometric features, the accused had traveled to Berlin via Paris and Warsaw the day before the murder. Before that, he had spent several days there for sightseeing. The Schengen visa had been ied by the French consulate in Moscow. Insiders, however, say that this type of passport has not been ied since 2009. Nevertheless, the passport shows the date 18. July 2019 from.
Crime scene at the banks. Image: J. Tauss
This could lead to the question of why "central offices of the Russian government" the "Putin’s hitman" (picture) through the country, which must fall back on outdated forms? Surprisingly, this did not stand in the way of the French visa. The indictment is completely non-transparent in this respect. At least it was leaked to some editorial offices, which are considered to be critical of Russia. The court and the Federal Prosecutor’s Office deny that it was him.
Only 24 hours after arriving in Berlin, Vadim Krasikov is supposed to have committed the murder in the Tiergarten. With the bicycle he drove from behind to the victim, who was probably on the way to the mosque, and shot. In the process, the protector himself fell off his bike, which he then used to get away again after the crime. Without helpers, however, this would certainly not be possible. How could even a professional killer find out within a few hours that the victim was walking through the Tiergarten just at noon of the next day and according to his other habits?? It is not yet clear whether the Federal Prosecutor’s Office will make a statement on this matter. More it does not want to and must not say at present.
The testimonies of guests of a nearby restaurant about the crime seem rather confused and unhelpful in court. One witness, for example, remembered the "striking weapon", one year before at the first police interrogation still not. Sometimes one saw striking blond hair of the perpetrator, sometimes a headgear, a backpack, but no backpack and so on. However, this was not allowed to be substantial purely prozeal.
This is because there is a well-known witness on whom the entire prosecution relies: The investigative and intelligence portal Bellingcat, already well known from the Skripal case in England as an accuser against Russia. Bellingcat claimed to have discovered that Russian intelligence was responsible for the poisoning of the ex-spy and his daughter in Salisbury, UK.
The "research platform" had illegally purchased a thousand databases in Russia containing civil registers. She carried out photo comparisons and, according to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, provided proof that Solokov was not Solokov, but Krasikov. The latter had also had contacts with the Russian secret service FSB and had been involved in its activities "Training camps" been seen.
In the meantime, however, Bellingcat itself is said to have abandoned its prominent role for the prosecution as a "embarrassing for German security authorities" and as "Risk for the trial" have called. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office obviously does not trust its own investigations and those of the BND and the Federal Criminal Police Office. One was therefore grateful that Bellingcat had taken over the work, rumors say in their circles.
The role of the Tagesschau
Not only since the beginning of the trial, the ARD Tagesschau journalist Silvia Stober in particular has been conspicuous for her attempts to zealously clear the victim of the accusation of terrorism. For them there is obviously always terror only on the opposite side.
Even the dubious ex-president of Georgia, with whom the murdered man was in close contact not only in his home country but also in Ukraine, is cited as proof of this. Saakashvili and his wife are also said to have made efforts for the Chechen diaspora in Berlin. Putin, regrets the present Ukrainian "Presidential Advisor", Have to do with the murder in the zoo of the "Chechen diaspora from the hope of a peaceful life in Europe". May be, may not be.
It was Saakashvili, by the way, who in 2008, in the vain hope of American military support in the country, sparked a 5-day war and in Sudossietia, he loved to describe the capital Tskhinvali.
Like the lamentably failed warlord driven out of the country, the aforementioned one is considered to be the most peaceful "Diaspora" in Berlin however also not as really peaceful. The up to now penultimate Tiergarten murder took place already in 2018, when a Chechen murdered an elderly art historian from Berlin in a very brutal way in order to rob her.
Also otherwise this peacefulness of gentlemen from the Caucasus strikes at best an ARD editorial staff, as soon as it goes against Russia. The Berlin security authorities are less enthusiastic. 80-100 Chechens are the center of the criminal milieu in Berlin. Chechen gangs fall according to a Senate report "through arms trafficking, drugs, violence, money laundering and protection rackets" and operate in a very isolated. Particularly among Chechens operating in Berlin, there are overlaps with Islamism.
Investigators exhibit a "unusual cohesion", a "rigorous sanctioning system" and "a remarkably formal and informal transregional network" firmly. And finally "a pronounced sense of honor and a low acceptance of state authority".
All this does not justify murder, of course. But it leaves further questions about the victim. For example, how he had been living under the false name of Tornike K. financed his stay in Germany? Also through a trade in honey and kase? The rejected asylum seeker is said to have been living with his family in a hotel. However, it is very unlikely that the ex-militia leader in Berlin did not maintain contact with the described scene of former militant and Islamist friends.
And it raises the question whether there could not be other motives for the murder than those of the Russian president, who otherwise is supposed to be personally responsible for everything and anything in this event. Russia itself, conversely, does not leave a good hair on the dead and lists via "Sputnik" the offenses he is alleged to have committed. Essentially, this concerns the suspected involvement in terrorist attacks, for example on the Moscow Metro in 2010.
Conversely, if one asks Mrs. Stober for knowledge about the amed "Russian state terror in the Tiergarten" you need a basic knowledge of the French language to answer them: "..foutez-moi paix" ( …let" me in peace).
However, one should not do this favor to her and the Tagesschau. Because the vague and not very justiciable term "State terror" is often defined as the immediate threshold below a war. At no point, therefore, did the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe speak of "State Terror". Shouldn’t therefore the Russophobic public broadcaster ARD hang certain representations and terms on the subject of Tiergarten propagandistically a little lower??
The trial will be held on 27. The trial will continue on October with further witness hearings.