German MP facing child-porn charges

22nd July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Joerg Tauss resigned from the Social Democratic Party in the wake of the allegations against him but has resisted calls to step down from parliament, instead becoming the first deputy from Germany's Pirate Party.

Berlin -- Prosecutors are poised to file charges against Joerg Tauss, a German member of parliament under investigation for alleged possession of child pornography, they said on Tuesday.

Chief prosecutor Ruediger Rehring told AFP that the investigation into the 56-year-old Tauss was complete and that the charges had been lodged with the defence.

The MP's lawyer, Jan Moenikes, accused the prosecutor of being prejudicial against his defendant, who denies any wrongdoing.

"Clearly in Rehring's eyes, Joerg Tauss was guilty from the first moment of the investigation and he doesn't need a court for his judgement," Moenikes said in a statement on Tauss' website. "It is intolerable that a prosecutor can behave in this way in our country and that no one in authority stands in his way."

Tauss has said any pornographic material found at his home and his office was work-related. He has acknowledged that he requested porn to be sent to his mobile phone but said he was examining how such material is distributed.

"I assure you that I am no paedophile," he said in March when the scandal first broke.

A committee of lawmakers within the German parliament must now assess whether to lift his immunity.

Tauss resigned from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in the wake of the allegations against him but has resisted calls to step down from parliament, instead becoming the first deputy from Germany's Pirate Party.

The Pirate Party in Germany campaigns for Internet file-sharing and the reform of laws regarding copyright and patents.

AFP/Expatica

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