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Arrested Deutsche Bank employees face judge on Thursday

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Five Deutsche Bank employees arrested for money laundering or obstruction of justice will appear before a judge in Frankfurt on Thursday, the prosecutor's office said.

A judge at the Frankfurt court will decide whether the employees, who were arrested during raids on Germany's flagship lender on Wednesday, are taken into custody or allowed to post bail, prosecutor Guenter Wittig said.

It is too early to conclude whether the raids, by 500 tax inspectors, police and prosecutors, would yield any new evidence, Wittig said.

"This will take months. I cannot comment about an ongoing investigation."

The prosecutor's probe is focussed on tax evasion linked to a scheme involving the trading of carbon permits.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

On Wednesday prosecutors said they were investigating 25 bank staff on suspicion of severe tax evasion, money laundering and obstruction of justice, and searched the headquarters and private residences in Berlin, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt.

The investigations included probing the role of Deutsche Bank co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen and Chief Financial Officer Stefan Krause.

(Reporting By Edward Taylor; Additional reporting by Philipp Halstrick; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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