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Police in North Rhine-Westphalia (symbolic image)

Photo: Markus Gayk / dpa

The public prosecutor's office in Essen is investigating in connection with right-wing extremist posts in chat groups against eight police officers. The investigations are directed against defendants "who are police officers or candidates or were at the time of the crime," said a spokesman for the authorities on Thursday on request. Further details on the subject of the investigation will still not be given. The »Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger« had previously reported on an expansion of the investigation into right-wing extremist police chats to eight officers of the police authorities of Recklinghausen, Kleve and Borken.

At the beginning of August, five young police officers in North Rhine-Westphalia were investigated. They had come under suspicion of having exchanged Nazi symbols in chats during their training. According to the Essen public prosecutor's office at the time, the five officers were also suspected of possessing a video that fell into the field of child pornography. Private rooms and workplaces of the accused had been searched.

Similar case in Saxony-Anhalt

According to the earlier information, the allegations relate to a period of time when the men were still in training. Three worked at the police headquarters in Recklinghausen and one each at the police department in Kleve and Borken. According to the Recklinghausen police headquarters, discriminatory and inhuman content had also been disseminated in the chats. The three officials from Recklinghausen had been prohibited from conducting official business. This is also said to have been the case with the policeman from Borken.

The spokesman for the public prosecutor's office did not comment on the three additional accused on Thursday.

It was only in the spring that chats of police trainees became known in Saxony-Anhalt, which are said to have contained extremist and violence-glorifying messages. As a result, dismissal proceedings were initiated against several former students. In addition, criminal investigations have been initiated.