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Court rules against child porn suspect Edathy

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Court rules against child porn suspect Edathy
Former SPD MP Sebastian Edathy photographed at a press conference in February. Photo: DPA
16:25 CEST+02:00
The Constitutional Court on Friday rejected an attempt by former Social Democratic (SPD) MP Sebastian Edathy to have evidence against him thrown out in his trial for possession of child pornography.

Judges found that there were reasonable grounds for suspicion prior to the search of Edathy's home and offices, but that the search did run counter to his parliamentary immunity as a member of the Bundestag.

His lawyer had argued that the investigators had made an “illegal assumption of initial suspicion”, presuming the existence of a crime on the basis of legal images Edathy had ordered from Canada years before.

However, since Edathy had not raised a complaint with the relevant parliamentary authorities following the search, his case for the evidence police found to be removed from the trial was “inadmissible”, the court said.

Edathy, a former rising star of the centre-left, gave up his elected office in February, citing health grounds, shortly before his home and offices were first searched.

State prosecutors brought the Edathy case before a Hanover court in mid-July, accusing him of having used his parliamentary laptop to download child pornography images and videos on seven separate occasions between November first and 10th, 2013.

He is also accused of owning slides and a CD containing what prosecutors say is underaged pornography.

The Edathy case has led to scandal at the highest levels of government.

It led to the resignation of Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich after it emerged that he informed Vice-Chancellor and SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel of the investigation in October 2013, while in his previous post as interior minister.

A letter sent by the prosecutors to Bundestag President Norbert Lammert informing him of the investigation also arrived late and unsealed, prompting further inquiries by the Hanover prosecutors.

A parliamentary inquiry initiated by opposition parties in the Bundestag is currently preparing a report on the case.

SEE ALSO: Politician charged over child porn images

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