BERLIN (AP) — A Russian man went on trial Wednesday in Germany on charges that he planned to kill a Chechen dissident.
Valid D., whose last name wasn’t released for privacy reasons, is alleged to have accepted an order from a cousin of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov to kill an opposition member who was living in exile in Germany, German news agency dpa reported.
The defendant, who is accused of preparing a serious act of violence endangering the state and violations of the weapons act, refused to testify before the Munich Higher Regional Court, the news agency reported.
D. is said to have been tasked with murdering the brother of a well-known opponent of Kadyrov who was also living in exile. He is also alleged to have obtained a semi-automatic firearm with a silencer for the crime planned in Schwabmuenchen near the Bavarian city of Augsburg.
Prosecutors said the designated victim and his brother are critics of Kadyrov who spoke out for an independent Chechnya on social media.
The actual killing was to be carried out by another man, who pretended to accept the hit job for fear of repression, prosecutors said earlier this year when they charged D.
The defendant allegedly traveled to Germany in the second half of 2020 to receive and assist the other man in preparing the killing, but was arrested on Jan. 1, 2021, before the killing could take place. He has been detained since.
Last year, a Berlin court sentenced a Russian man to life in prison for killing a Chechen man in the German capital in 2019 at the behest of the Russian government.