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Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 16:48 UK

German MP charged over child porn

Joerg Tauss
Joerg Tauss has left the Social Democrats and joined the Pirate Party

A German member of parliament has been charged with obtaining and distributing indecent images of children.

Joerg Tauss, who recently left the Social Democratic party, is accused of around 100 counts of saving images of children on his mobile phone.

Prosecutors say that in some cases he forwarded the images, and that more material was found at his home.

Mr Tauss admits possessing the images, but says he downloaded them during an investigation into child pornography.

Mr Tauss, 56, said he was examining how such material was distributed as part of his work for parliament.

"I assure you that I am no paedophile," he said when he first came under suspicion in March.

Prosecutors have rejected his argument.

"There was no objective evidence for the veracity of these claims," the prosecutors' office said.

"In addition, significant evidence contradicts the statement by the MP - it is, in the opinion of the state prosecutor's office, refuted."

The announcement of charges came a day after he was stripped of his parliamentary immunity.

Mr Tauss has left the Social Democrats, the junior party in government, but has refused to step down as an MP, and has instead joined Germany's Pirate Party, which campaigns against censorship and for freer internet file-sharing.



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