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Identifying The Berlin Bicycle Assassin Part 1 – From Moscow to Berlin

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

  • In its previous joint investigations with Spiegel, The Insider and Dossier Center, Bellingcat has reported that the person held by German authorities over the murder of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin traveled from Moscow to Germany under a fake identity.
  • We established that the suspected assassin’s passport, issued under the name Vadim Sokolov, born 20 August 1970, was issued to a non-existing persona. We identified that the earliest reference to that identity in Russian registries was in September 2015 when this “person” received his first domestic passport, aged 45. “Vadim Sokolov” was assigned a tax identification number only in July 2019, days before applying for his Schengen visa on which he traveled to Paris, Warsaw, and then to Berlin.
  • We concluded that the issuance of valid domestic passport, tax ID and a international travel passport to a non-existing persona could not have happened without the direct involvement of the Russian state, and thus implicates Russian security services in the assassination in Berlin.
  • Spiegel reported on Tuesday that the Federal General Prosecutor Peter Frank has reached a conclusion that the Russian authorities likely ordered the Berlin murder. As a result, the Federal Prosecutor’s office is expected to take over the case from the Berlin investigative office in the next few days.
  • Spiegel also reports that the German authorities were able to identify the true identity of the killer through matching him to a Russian citizen previously wanted by the Russian state on an Interpol red notice, which however was later withdrawn. That person had been wanted over the murder of a Russian businessman in 2013.

Independently from the findings of the German authorities, our investigative team has independently verified that the real identity of the Berlin assassin who traveled under the fake identity of Vadim Sokolov is in fact Vadim Nikolaevich Krasikov. Vadim Krasikov …read more

From:: Bellingcat

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