Defendant in Berlin shooting trial had possible double identity

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Court

dpa/GNA – A person accused of shooting a man in a Berlin park on alleged orders of the Russian state could have operated under a false identity, according to information heard in a German court on Tuesday.

The suspect in the so-called Tiergarten case, named after the park where the shooting happened, is a Russian man who had been living in Germany seeking asylum since 2016.

An investigative journalist from the outlet Bellingcat said on Tuesday he had seen documents indicating the accused had a fake identity, which could not have been created without the help of the Russian state.

The defendant only received a tax identification number in 2019 and had a visa application without a signature, according to the journalist. One document also listed an employer in Saint Petersburg, who however did not know the accused, the journalist said.

The defendant is suspected of shooting a 40-year-old Georgian man of Chechen descent in the park in Berlin’s Moabit district during the day, using a gun with a silencer and from up close.
He was arrested shortly after the incident and is currently on remand.

At the beginning of the trial in October his lawyer said that his name is Vadim S, he is 50 years old and a construction engineer. The federal prosecution however believes that he is older and has a different name.
The defendant has not testified during the trial so far.

The victim is said to have fought against Russia on the side of Muslim Chechens in the early 2000s.

The federal prosecution believes the murder was ordered by Russian state authorities and the case has been weighing on German-Russian relations.

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