Verdict: Berlin park murder ordered by Moscow
More than two years after the so-called Berlin park murder, the man accused of the crime has been sentenced to life in prison. According to the verdict, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian citizen, was murdered on behalf of the Russian state, aided by "helpers stationed in Berlin". After the verdict was handed down, the German government expelled two Russian diplomats. What must happen now?
Trace the trail of blood across Europe
Convicting the criminal is not enough, the taz stresses:
“The Russian state as contracting authority must also be held accountable. The Putin regime has been accused of leaving a long trail of blood across Europe, from the Litvinenko murder in Britain to Malaysia Airlines flight 17 with almost 300 fatalities. Inevitably, Moscow holds its protective hand over the suspected perpetrators. ... The German judiciary is the first to officially condemn Russia for state murder abroad. Judicial proceedings that go this far must have political consequences. Germany's new government, however, doesn't seem to have fully grasped this yet.”
Appeasement no longer enough
The new coalition government should put Germany's entire Russia policy under review, Der Tagesspiegel also recommends:
“Not just in connection with the murder case in Berlin did the old German government opt for a course of appeasement towards Russia. In the Ukraine conflict, too, the Germans always called on both sides to de-escalate, without distinguishing between the aggressor and the aggressed. ... The new government must call a spade a spade and end the policy of appeasement.”