December 7, 2021
Europe

Russian diplomat found dead outside Berlin embassy

bbc– A Russian diplomat was found dead last month outside the country’s embassy in the German capital, it has emerged.

The man’s body was discovered on the pavement on 19 October by police guarding the Berlin compound, Der Spiegel website reported.

He had apparently fallen from an upper floor, but it was unclear how, it added.

Russia’s embassy called the death of the diplomat – who has not been officially named – a “tragic accident”.

Germany’s foreign ministry confirmed the man’s death but would not give further details. Police in Berlin have not publicly commented on the death, which was reported for the first time on Friday.

Reports say the man was 35 years old and was listed as a second secretary of the Russian embassy.

Investigative website Bellingcat said it had used open source data to establish the man was the son of the deputy director of the Second Service of Russia’s FSB intelligence agency.

It has previously linked the Second Service to the murder of Georgian national and former Chechen rebel commander Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, who was shot in the head in a Berlin park in August 2019.

Germany has accused Russia of ordering the murder.

Second Service officials have also been linked to the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny in 2020.

According to Der Spiegel, the Russian embassy did not agree to a post-mortem examination following the diplomat’s death last month.

In a statement, the embassy said “procedures related to repatriating the diplomat’s body… were promptly settled with responsible German law-enforcement and medical authorities in accordance with current practices”.

It said it considered “speculations which have appeared in a number of Western media” over the diplomat’s death “to be absolutely incorrect”.

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