IIn the scandal surrounding right-wing extremist police chats, Duisburg prosecutors have applied for punishment of six suspects. Prosecutors announced on Tuesday that due to the statute of limitations or lack of sufficient suspicion, investigations into the other seven members of the chat have been suspended. The investigation of the other 13 cases is still ongoing.
The five penalty orders applied for in the Mülheim/Ruhr District Court involved the spread of symbols of unconstitutional organizations and sedition. It said that the content has provided a request to forward them. The newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger had previously reported.
Official ammunition found in a private apartment
The sixth penalty order was directed against a police officer at the Essen Police Headquarters, who was a partner of one of the defendants. Official ammunition was found during a search of her home. She was accused of theft and violating gun laws.
As a female spokesperson said, in the penalty order, the prosecutor requested a fine of 30 to 150 US dollars per day, but not sentenced to imprisonment. If the defendant accepts the penalty order, the main hearing will not be held.
A total of 25 police officers from the Essen Police Headquarters are under investigation. They are said to have posted pictures, videos and audio files in WhatsApp groups, which contain characteristics of unconstitutional organizations and, in some cases, inflammatory content.
The names of WhatsApp groups are similar to “Alphateam” and “Kunta Kinte”-this is the name of the main actors in the American TV series “Roots”, which tells the fate of a boy kidnapped by a slave trader. According to the prosecutor’s office, the Bochum Police Headquarters evaluated 45 terabytes of data-the equivalent of approximately 292 million pages of documents.
Continue to suspect serious misconduct
As announced by the North Rhine-Westphalia Police Training Office, although prosecutors have concluded seven lawsuits so far, the disciplinary proceedings against these officials are still ongoing. Suspicions of serious misconduct remain unchanged. The goal remains to remove the 25 involved from the service.
After the scandal was exposed, six committee candidates were removed from office this spring. Last year, several WhatsApp groups were exposed by the police in Mülheim/Ruhr, sharing photos of Hitler or inflammatory content. Mülheim is within the responsibilities of the Essen Police Headquarters.