German foreign minister: remarks Moscow asked Berlin to extradite Khangoshvili are "odd"

Dec 15, 2019

Berlin (Germany) Dec 15: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has claimed that Moscow had never submitted a request to extradite Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, who was killed in Berlin in August, Maas said on ZDF television on Thursday.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow had repeatedly called on Germany to extradite the Georgian national as he was one of the masterminds behind Moscow metro bombings. However, Moscow and Berlin failed to reach an understanding on the issue at that time.
"We were not asked to extradite whoever, nor were we informed what he was suspected of. It is being done post-factum. It sounds as justification [of the crime], it sounds odd," the minister said.
According to Maas, "the federal government has never been told" about a potential menace from Khangoshvili and that he should be expelled.
Georgian citizen Zelimkhan Khangoshvili (or else Tornike Kavtarashvili), 40, was gunned down in Berlin on August 23. The office of Berlin's prosecutor later in the day declared detention of a suspect identified as 49-year-old resident of Russia.
On December 4, the German Foreign Ministry declared the expulsion of two Russian embassy staffers from Germany due to what was described as insufficient cooperation by the Russian authorities in investigating the killing of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili. Moscow responded in kind.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman's statement
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on December 12 that the Georgian national killed in the German capital of Berlin in August was on a wanted list.
"I asked the law enforcement agencies about this issue. The man indeed was on a wanted list," she told reporters, adding that all questions about "issuing a warrant and adding information to a database" should be forwarded to law enforcement agencies.
Zakharova pointed out that the relevant Russian and German bodies should not interact publicly "but maintain working ties." "There are all the necessary mechanisms and opportunities to do it," she added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference following the Normandy Quartet summit in Paris on December 9 that the killed man was one of the organizers of explosions in Moscow's metro and that his name was on a wanted list.
Russia denies any involvement in the Berlin incident.
Source: TASS

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