german police policija njemačka.jpg
Photograph: EPA/SVEN HOPPE

Rape allegations made by a 13-year-old Russian-German girl that sparked condemnation from Moscow over a purported cover-up were fabricated, a spokesman for the state prosecution service in Berlin said Friday.

The girl, who disappeared for 30 hours on January 11-12, claimed that she was abducted and raped by a group of Arab migrants, prompting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to demand further details from Germany amid widely spread allegations of police inaction.

Using reconstructed data from the girl's mobile phone, however, investigators were able to confirm that she spent the night in question at a friend's house.

The 19-year-old man admitted that the girl had been with him that night. Some of her belongings were found in his flat, but there was no evidence of foul play, the spokesman said.

No charges were lodged against the man, who is now acting as a witness in the ongoing investigation, the spokesman said.

The German government previously warned Moscow not to politicize the case, following a storm of allegations across social media, in Russian-language media and at public rallies organized by the Russian community in Berlin.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said Friday that confusion over the case at a national level could have been avoided if the Germany had promptly disclosed the case's details to Russian authorities.

"I would like to say that the situation has been very complicated since the very beginning," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

"However, it became confusing because neither we nor German citizens and family members heard clear comments from representatives of the relevant law enforcement agencies in Germany," Zakharova said.

"We learned about this situation not from our German colleagues, but thanks to the media," she said, adding that the Russian and German foreign ministers planned to discuss the matter by telephone on Friday.

Russian state television's most watched network, Channel One, broke the story of the alleged rape during prime time on January 16 with a report by Berlin correspondent Ivan Blagoy.

Days later a German lawyer, Martin Luithle, told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that the report might have been based on false information and, if so, was a violation of German law and a possible incitement of racial hatred.

Deutsche Welle quoted the lawyer as saying that the Russian correspondent could face up to five years in prison if he fabricated the story.

Related stories

Latest news

Merkel calls for fewer EU regulations as nationalist sentiments grow

As voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany show increasing support for nationalist, euro-sceptic political movements ahead of this year's elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for limits on EU regulations.

French prosecutors transfer Fillon case to investigative judge

The French judiciary has opened a formal investigation in connection with presidential candidate Francois Fillon to examine whether the employment of his wife as a parliamentary employee was a sham, the country's financial prosecutors' office said Friday.

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing

Major news organizations, which were Friday blocked by the White House from attending an informal press briefing, condemned the move just hours after President Donald Trump described parts of the media as "the enemy of the people."

Report: German intelligence spied on BBC, other foreign journalists

Germany's intelligence agency monitored foreign journalists at the BBC, the New York Times and other news organizations from 1999 onwards across several countries, according to a Friday report from Der Spiegel magazine.

Classroom for Islamic religious education opened in Split

A classroom for Islamic religious education, whose equipment was financially assisted by city and county authorities, was opened in the coastal city of Split on Friday.

Ministry say no licences for export of military goods to Saudi Arabia issued in 2016

The Economy, Enterprise and Crafts Ministry on Friday issued a statement regarding media reports about export licences for military goods, stressing that in 2016 it did not issue any licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia.

Croatia for preserving Bosnia's stability

Croatia on Friday supported the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), calling on its authorities to adopt decisions in institutions, after a request by BiH Presidency Bosniak member Bakir Izetbegovic to review a ruling which acquitted Serbia of genocide.

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.