Right chat group: Charges against cops disallowed – politics
The Frankfurt regional court has not admitted the indictment in the proceedings about right-wing extremist chat groups against police officers in a Frankfurt police station. The reason: the chat group was closed, parts of the content were covered by artistic freedom.
Specifically, it is about five police officers from the 1st police station in Frankfurt – including a service group leader – and the partner of one of the officers. In the “Itiotentreff” chat group, they are said to have exchanged right-wing extremist, racist and anti-Semitic content between 2014 and 2018, including swastikas, pictures of Hitler and insults against Jews, Muslims and homosexuals.
One picture shows two huge black bloodhounds with drool dripping from their lips. Below it is written: “We only eat mett! Achmett, Mohamett, Mehmett.” Prosecutors had counted more than 100 such pieces of content and filed charges in April 2022.
The public prosecutor’s office has lodged an appeal against the decision
The court now writes in its decision from mid-February that the content is not punishable because it was sent in a closed group – and was therefore not distributed. It is only disseminated in the criminal sense if the content “is made accessible to a larger group of people” so large “that the perpetrator can no longer control it”. In the case of the chat group, this was not the case, as it had fewer than ten members.
It is not obvious that they would have wanted to share the content outside of the group. However, the court also argued with the Basic Law and the right to freedom of expression. Parts of the content fell under satire. About this first had the FAZ reported.
The public prosecutor’s office has lodged an appeal against the court’s decision with the Higher Regional Court. The Higher Regional Court can either confirm the decision or still allow the indictment and open the main proceedings.
The first reactions came quickly from the Hessian state parliament. Die Linke called the reasoning of the court “strange”, the justification by artistic freedom “completely unacceptable”https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/.”The rule of law must leave no doubt that there is no discretion when the social cohesion is under attack.”
The chat group only attracted attention in the summer of 2018, after police officers from the 1st police station in Frankfurt illegally retrieved private data from the lawyer Seda Başay-Yıldız on her work computer. A few hours later, Başay-Yıldız and her daughter received a fax with death threats under the code “NSU 2.0”. In the period that followed, the lawyer’s data was repeatedly called up on police computers, and further threatening letters were sent.
As part of the investigation, the “Itiotentreff” chat group and other right-wing chat groups in the Hessian police were also exposed.