A central mail traffic in the affair about NRW Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU), which has been smoldering for months, and the blocked Rahmedetalbrücke on the A45 has been deleted. This is reported by the news portal t-online. The correspondence could therefore have contained references to the role of Wüst and his then office manager Thomas Dautzenberg. The State Chancellery and the State Ministry of Transport acknowledged the process in statements. The whereabouts of the e-mails “can no longer be traced,” said a spokeswoman for the State Chancellery. They were not included in the files, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport.

Excerpts of the correspondence available to t-online stem from Wüst’s term as Minister of Transport in North Rhine-Westphalia. Around a year and a half before the bridge is closed due to severe damage, the Landesbetrieb Straßen.NRW informs the Ministry of Transport that the planned new construction of the bridge will be postponed to 2026 at the earliest, “since a planning approval is required”. However, the e-mails break off at a sensitive point, so that it is no longer possible to determine whether Wüst’s office manager received the information.

The Autobahn 45 is one of the most important traffic arteries in NRW, which is why the complete closure of the Rahmedetal Bridge is paralyzing the country. Although damage to the bridge was known, the new construction was postponed. Wüst, who was state transport minister at the time, had previously denied responsibility for this. But research by t-online indicates that he was involved in the traffic debacle with wrong decisions and omissions.

The defense ministers of 50 countries met at the US air force base in Ramstein on Friday to discuss aid for Ukraine. Germany wants to check the availability of Leopard 2 tanks. The USA does not yet want to deliver Abrams main battle tanks. All developments in the news ticker.

The Greens are getting more and more in need of explanation. The reasons: the climate protests in Lützerath and the new RWE deal. On Wednesday evening, the new Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) first ordered an examination of the stocks of Leopard tanks for a possible delivery to Ukraine on Friday. A report now reveals that his predecessor Christine Lambrecht is said to have banned this within the ministry shortly before.