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Russian embassy in Berlin calls mysterious death of diplomat a ‘tragic accident’

Embassy denies speculation in German media that man, found dead after falling from upper floor of building, was a Russian intelligence agent

People walk past an entrance of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
People walk past an entrance of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN  — A Russian diplomat has died in Berlin in what the Russian Embassy on Friday called a “tragic accident.”

It said the incident involving the embassy employee occurred on Oct. 19, but gave no details of what happened.

The Russian Embassy issued its statement after German news magazine Der Spiegel, which didn’t name sources, reported that the 35-year-old man had apparently fallen from an upper floor of the embassy building in central Berlin. It said police found his body outside the embassy and were unable to revive him.

Germany’s foreign ministry said Friday it was aware of the case but could not comment, citing privacy reasons. Berlin police and the public prosecutor’s office also declined to comment.

The Russian Embassy said that “all the procedures related to repatriating the diplomat’s body … were promptly settled with responsible German law enforcement and medical authorities in accordance with current practices.”

Der Spiegel reported that the man had been listed as a second secretary at the Russian Embassy since 2019 but was allegedly thought by German security authorities to work for Russia’s FSB intelligence agency.

The embassy statement said that “we consider speculations which have appeared in a number of Western media in the light of this tragic event to be absolutely incorrect.”

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