Bellingcat, The Insider, Dossier Center and Spiegel conducted a joint investigation after receiving “compelling evidence” that a suspect in the murder of Zelimkhan khangoshvili, known as “Vadim Sokolov”, went to Berlin under an assumed name “with the active support of the Russian state”. About it reports DW.
The authors of the investigation say that the identity of the alleged offender remains to be seen. Thus in Spiegel is a photocopy of the questionnaire “Vadim Sokolov”, which, as the 49-year-old man received a Russian taxpayer identification number in July 2019. And address that supposedly is home to the “falcons”, a man with a name no one knows. In addition, the authors of the report claim that the phone jobs “Sokolov” – CJSC “rust” mentioned in the package of documents for obtaining a Schengen visa, coincides with the number of the company, which belongs to the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation.
The report rejected the hypothesis that the Falcon and former major of police Vladimir Stepanov, who is serving a 24-year sentence in Russia, is one and the same person: sources report that as of mid-September, 2019 Stepanov is still serving time. It is reported that the suspect in the crime went from Moscow to Paris and then to Warsaw, where for five days, rented a room in the hotel. During this time he traveled to Berlin, indicating his intention to return to Warsaw after the Berlin operation.
Zelimkhan khangoshvili was shot in a Small Park Tiergarten in the center of Berlin on August 23. The Russian authorities had declared him wanted on charges of terrorism. In Germany, the Chechens sought refuge after several previous attempts.
The alleged killer managed to catch the same day’s testimony. According to media reports, he was the owner of the existing Russian passport. The journalists managed to learn more about it through the petition for obtaining a Schengen visa, a copy of which was given to them by an unnamed source. In the application for the visa is likely the culprit called himself Vadim Andreyevich Sokolov, born in Irkutsk in August 1970.
The passport, which showed “Sokolov”, he was given just 11 days before the application for a visa. Such a person is not in the list of registered inhabitants in the Alpine alley. The person whose name, place and date of birth would correspond to the data specified in the passport and the visa application “Vadim Sokolov”, none of the available databases of Russian citizens at the disposal of the investigators. However, the applicant received at the Consulate of France in Moscow a multiple Schengen visa the very next day after application.