Prosecutors in northern Italy have charged seven people with racial discrimination and defamation against Pope Francis and other public figures, according to the Italian news service ANSA.

The suspects, several of whom came from Bolzano, published edited images on an anti-Semitic website called Holywar, depicting the pontiff dressed as a bearded Orthodox Jew waving the Israeli flag with a swastika at the center of the Star of David.

Other figures targeted on the site included three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi, current Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi and Oscar-winning performer Roberto Benigni.

Prosecutors said the suspects came from throughout Italy.