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Russian diplomat found dead outside Berlin embassy

The body of a 35-year-old man was found early on Oct. 19 by Berlin police officers guarding the building.
Image: The Russian embassy after Germany expelled two Russian diplomats in Berlin, German
An exterior view of the Russian embassy in Berlin, on Dec. 4, 2019.Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters file

The body of a Russian diplomat was found in the streets of Berlin after apparently falling from an upper floor of the Russian Embassy.

The discovery was made early on Oct. 19 by Berlin police officers guarding the building, German magazine Der Spiegel reported. Citing security sources, the magazine said the man had fallen from the embassy building.

The officers called an ambulance, but medics were unable to resuscitate him, it added.

"We are aware of the death of a Russian diplomat. We ask for your understanding that we cannot provide any further details with regard to the personal rights of the deceased and his relatives," a spokesperson for Germany's Federal Foreign Office told NBC News.

Berlin police declined to comment and directed all questions to public prosecutors, who said they could neither confirm nor deny the Der Spiegel report. The discovery of a body outside the Russian diplomatic mission had not previously been reported.

Security sources told the magazine it was unclear how the diplomat had fallen and what had caused his death. The Russian Embassy had not agreed to an autopsy, Der Spiegel said.

"All formalities linked to repatriating the body of the diplomat were promptly settled with the responsible law enforcement and medical authorities of Germany in accordance with the practices in place," the embassy said in its statement to Interfax.

The 35-year-old man, who has not been named, was officially listed as a second secretary at the embassy, the magazine said. He was also a relative of a Russia-based senior officer of the FSB's second directorate, which deals with anti-terrorism.

The embassy did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the Spiegel report.

A German Foreign Ministry spokesman told a regular news briefing on Friday that the German government was aware of the death of a Russian diplomat in Berlin but could not give any details.