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'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP

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'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP
Edathy preparing to face questions in Berlin Photo: DPA
17:16 CET+01:00
A former rising star of German politics who resigned after pictures of naked children were allegedly found on his official laptop said Thursday what he did was "wrong, but legal."

Sebastian Edathy quit his post with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in February when news of the scandal broke, but returned to Berlin Thursday to face questioning from a parliamentary inquiry.

Facing a criminal trial on the possession of child pornography in February, he told lawmakers : "It was certainly wrong to order these films, I admit that. But it was legal."

"Morally, it was out of order," he added.

Looking nervous, and blinking repeatedly, he admitted his political career was over, whatever the result of the trial. "As a politician, Edathy no longer exists," he said. "I know I've let many people down."

Edathy also said he had received death threats, and being living abroad since the allegations surfaced.  "Maybe it will be possible to once again live safely in Germany", he added.

Before his resignation he was tipped for a possible post in Chancellor Angela Merkel's "grand coalition" with the SPD. The 45-year old had previously headed up a parliamentary inquiry looking into failures by police and intelligence services into stop a near-decade long killing spree by a group of neo-Nazis.

The affair had further repercussions, with the then CSU agriculture minister Hans-Peter Friedrich resigning over rumours he had tipped off Edathy's bosses in the SPD that the politician was under investigation, in order to stop him being offered a place in Merkel's government.

The trial against Edathy is due to begin on February 23rd in the northern town of Verden.

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

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.

SEE ALSO: Edathy to stand trial on child porn charges

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