Vadim K., also presented as Vadim S., was brought before the judges for fatally shooting Tornike Kavtaraşvili, a Chechen-Georgian refugee in Berlin.
He faces up to life in prison. The murder took place in broad daylight, on August 23, 2019, in Tiergarten Park.
According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, responsible for terrorism and espionage cases, the 55-year-old defendant was charged with “liquidating” the Chechen-Georgian dissident by “a body within the Central Government of the Russian Federation.”
Not surprisingly, Russia denies any involvement in the case, while the defendant remains silent.
This case has been straining German-Russian relations for more than a year. Frictions between the two sides have recently worsened through the case of Aleksa Navalny, the Russian opponent poisoned by Noviciok in Tomsk and treated in Berlin.
Vadim K.’s trial is taking place in a state security court. It is expected to last at least until the end of January 2021.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the killer fulfilled a “state mission” as “retaliation for the victim’s involvement” in a Russian conflict.
Before committing the crime, Vadim K. traveled as a tourist to Paris and Warsaw, from where he went to Berlin.
He was arrested near the site of the execution the same day while trying to throw the gun into the river.
According to the German publication Der Spiegel and the investigative journalism platform Bellingcat, the name of the perpetrator in Berlin is Vadim Krasikov. He was trained for a mission in a Russian Security Service (FSB, former KGB) camp.
A former combatant for Chechen separatist forces, Tornike Kavtaraşvili has been a refugee since 2016 in Germany. Russia considered him a terrorist.
Late last year, Germany detonated two Russian diplomats in the case. Slovakia, in turn, expelled three Russian diplomats for visa diversion.