"What does this have to do with the Russian authorities?"
Commenting about the case on the sidelines of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Britain, Merkel criticized Russian Federation for giving insufficient assistance to German investigators.
Tornike K., who has been widely identified in reports on the killing by his alias Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, was a Georgian citizen of Chechen ethnicity who fought against Russian troops in Chechnya. Khangoshvili participated in Second Chechen War as well as in 2008 August War between Georgia and Russia, fighting against the Russian forces.
Tsatieva said Khangoshvili escaped to Germany in 2016 after multiple attempts against his life in Georgia, but was denied asylum here. "There is no evidence of a link to organized crime or to Islamist terrorism", they said.
The case threatens to inflame tensions between Russian Federation and Germany, and prosecutors' spokesman Markus Schmitt told the Associated Press his office made a decision to take over the investigation from Berlin state prosecutors after the political nature of the case came to light.
In a case likened to the attempted murder of former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal, a former Chechen rebel commander was shot from behind in the head at a Berlin park in August and died.
Get The Brief. Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now..
"With this step, the German government is reacting to (the fact that) Russian authorities have not cooperated sufficiently in the investigations surrounding the murder of Tornike K.in a park in Berlin", said the German foreign ministry. It did not identify the two diplomats being expelled.
Wintry weather wreaks holiday weekend havoc across much of the U.S.
Another storm system developed in the mid-Atlantic Sunday and forecasters said it would move into a nor'easter through Monday. Blizzard conditions are already impacting the High Plains and around Duluth, Minnesota, on the shores of Lake Superior.
Russia's foreign ministry responded angrily on Wednesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the allegations of Russian involvement "absolutely groundless".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on December 3, 2019 at the Chancellery in Berlin.
"In bilateral relations, it is of course notable that we unfortunately received no active help in clarifying this incident", Merkel said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the "politicized approach to the investigation is inappropriate" and promised to take "reciprocal measures".
The Russian national, identified as only Vadim K., has been in custody since the slaying.
"What do Russian authorities have to do with it?" he said to reporters, according to the Associated Press.
Vadim S is an alias, prosecutors say. However, the company is apparently under "reorganisation" and the fax number listed for it is also assigned to companies belonging to the Russian defence ministry.