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Embassy worker died in Berlin last month in 'tragic accident', says Russia

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By Euronews  with DPA
The man's body was found in the grounds of the Russian embassy in Berlin.
The man's body was found in the grounds of the Russian embassy in Berlin.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File

The Russian embassy in Berlin has said that an employee died there last month in a "tragic accident".

A man's lifeless body was found on October 19 on the grounds of the embassy in central Berlin in suspicious circumstances.

The German daily magazine Der Spiegel has reported that the 35-year-old victim was a Russian diplomat who fell from the building.

Germany's foreign ministry has confirmed they were aware of the case, without giving further details.

The circumstances around the incident remain unclear.

Security guards of the Berlin police are said to have found the man at the back of the embassy complex in the early morning on October 19.

Der Spiegel has reported that the man fell from an upper floor of the embassy building and attempts to revive him had failed. The man's body has since been transferred to Russia.

As he had diplomatic status, the German prosecutor's office was unable to open an investigation into the man's death.

In a post on Facebook, the Russian embassy stated that an "accident" had occurred on October 19.

"We confirm that a tragic accident involving an employee of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Germany happened on October 19, 2021.

"All the procedures related to repatriating the diplomat’s body back to the homeland were promptly settled with responsible German law-enforcement and medical authorities in accordance with current practices."

"We consider speculations which have appeared in a number of Western media in the light of this tragic event to be absolutely incorrect."

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File
The Russian flag is flown above their embassy in Berlin.AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File

According to an official diplomatic list, the man has been accredited as a second embassy secretary in Berlin since summer 2019.

"The case is known to the foreign ministry," a German diplomatic spokesman told a regular news conference on Friday.

Der Spiegel also reported that the German intelligence service believed the man was a secret member of the Russian domestic intelligence service (FSB), responsible for fighting terrorism.

According to the investigative website Bellingcat, the victim was the son of the deputy director of the FSB Second Service.

This same unit has been linked with the death of an exiled Georgian national in the German capital city.

Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a former Chechen rebel commander, was shot twice in the head at close range in a Berlin park in August 2019.

A Russian suspect, Vadim Krasikov -- also known as Vadim Sokolov -- has been on trial since October 2020 for the murder, which German prosecutors say was ordered by Moscow.