Edathy to stand trial on child porn charges

AFP
AFP - [email protected] • 18 Nov, 2014 Updated Tue 18 Nov 2014 15:31 CEST
image alt text

A German lawmaker who resigned early this year will stand trial for allegedly downloading child pornography onto his parliamentary work computer, a court said on Tuesday.

The trial against Sebastian Edathy, a former high-flying MP known for his fight against far-right extremists, is due to begin on February 23rd, the court in the northern town of Verden said.

He is accused of seven cases of downloading images and video files featuring child pornography on to his work laptop, it said.

He is also suspected of having been in possession of a picture book and a CD deemed by prosecutors to contain illicit material featuring minors.

Edathy, a member of the Social Democrats (SPD), partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel's left-right coalition government, was charged by prosecutors in July but the Verden court still had to decide if the case would go to trial.

Edathy resigned from his Bundestag seat citing health reasons in February, just days before it emerged that his home and offices had been searched.

The case triggered a major political scandal at the start of Merkel's third term, with the subsequent resignation of a cabinet minister under pressure over suspicions he had leaked confidential information about the probe.

Edathy has vehemently denied the child pornography charges, for which he could face two years in prison.

He gained prominence for heading a parliamentary panel into the shock 2011 discovery of the National Socialist Underground (NSU), a neo-Nazi killer cell.

Edathy's case also touched off a debate in Germany about child pornography laws.

Last week MPs in the Bundestag approved reforms to sexual crimes legislation, including the tightening of rules on pictures of naked children and minors.

More

Comments

AFP 2014/11/18 15:31

Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also