Prosecutors planning child porn charges against Tauss

Prosecutors planning child porn charges against Tauss
Photo: dpa
State prosecutors in Karlsruhe said they have finished their investigation and plan to file charges against former Social Democratic MP Jörg Tauss for alleged possession of child pornography, daily Bild reported on Tuesday.

“Before that the parliamentary immunity committee will have access to the folders because they will have to annul his immunity for charges against Mr. Tauss to be filed,” head prosecutor Rüdiger Rehring told the paper.

Tauss‘ lawyer Jan Mönikes criticised the state prosecutor’s office for revealing their plans to mass-circulation Bild, telling news magaszine Der Spiegel it was a “social execution” and a “public prejudgement.”

Authorities began their investigation against Tauss in March, and he has since admitted to downloading child pornography, saying it was part of his work against the trade in such images.

Bild reported Tuesday that state prosecutors do not accept this explanation because he had “no official assignment” to fight child pornography. Authorities found mobile phone images and three DVDs with illegal content during searches of Tauss’ home and office.

In response to the investigation, Tauss left the Social Democratic Party (SPD), for which he has been an MP since 1994, and is now the first member of the Pirate Party in the Bundestag, ignoring calls that he step down from parliament.

The Pirate Party in Germany sees itself as representing those in the information technology community, campaigning for privacy protection as well as the loosening of copyright laws.

He said he left the SPD in protest at its decision to support a bill giving the government the power to censor websites containing child porn.

Although Tauss is known for his experience in information technology matters and he has a track record in investigating child porn websites, he said the decision to give the government powers to close such sites down is a mistake.

The Pirate Party welcomed Tauss into its ranks, saying that as long as the investigation into his possession of child porn images did not result in a conviction, there was, “no reason to doubt his innocence and moral integrity.”

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