German authorities on Monday identified 64 suspects linked to online messages inciting hate against murdered politician Walter Luebcke.
“Nine of the accused are being investigated in Hesse by the Frankfurt public prosecutor’s centre for combating internet crime (ZIT),’’ the state justice ministry told dpa.
Investigations into the remaining 55 suspects have been handed over to local public prosecutors in 14 German states.
The suspects are accused of making statements about the politician on social media which could lead to charges of public incitement to commit crimes, sedition, rewarding and approving of crimes, and denigration of the memory of the deceased.
“What happened on social media after Walter Luebcke’s death was terrible and unacceptable for a democratic constitutional state.
“We must not offer a platform for hate and agitation, either online or offline,’’ state justice minister Eva Kuehne-Hoermann told dpa.
Luebcke’s suspected killer, Stephan Ernst, allegedly shot him dead in June 2019, while the politician was standing on his front porch.
Ernst is said to have been angered by the politician’s support for refugees.
Luebcke was a district leader for the city of Kassel, in central Germany, and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).
His murder sparked a huge outcry in Germany, where right-wing extremist crimes are becoming more common. (dpa/NAN)