German Lawmaker Calls Expulsion Of Two Russian Diplomats By Berlin 'Farce'

BERLIN (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 04th December, 2019) Robby Schlund, the chairman of the German-Russian Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag, told Sputnik that he considers the recent expulsion of two Russian diplomatic employees from Germany as a "farce."

Earlier in the day, the German Foreign Ministry declared the two staffers of the Russian embassy personae non grata over their suspected involvement in the August murder of 40-year-old Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian national of Chechen descent, also known as Tornike K., in a Berlin park.

"In fact, the note verbale to the Russian Ambassador [to Germany Sergey Nechaev] and the expulsion of the diplomats are themselves a farce, as there is no reliable evidence that certain Russian citizens were involved in the Moabit murder," Schlund noted.

Schlund pointed out that the incident had not done the German foreign policy any favors, adding that there should always be a presumption of innocence until an investigation is complete.

According to the German prosecution, Tornike K. was a member of the Caucasus Emirate terror group, outlawed in Russia. He is said to have fought against Russian government troops during the conflict in the Chechen Republic from 2000-2004. In August of 2008, Tornike K. led a unit of 200 people to fight in South Ossetia by order of the Georgian government. An unsuccessful attempt to murder him occurred in Tbilisi on May 28, 2015.

A 49-year-old Russian citizen was arrested on suspicions of killing the Chechen fighter.

The Russian government has refuted all allegations of involvement.