Indian-origin ex-German MP suspended from party

Berlin (IANS): A former Indian-origin German parliamentarian caught with downloaded child porn has been suspended for three years by his Social Democrats Party (spd), media reported on Tuesday.

Sebastian Edathy quit the Bundestag (parliament) last year and agreed in March to pay a 5,000-euro ($5,500) fine to settle criminal court proceedings for images and videos found on his parliamentary laptop in 2013, Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

State prosecutors had alleged that his name was found on a list of around 300 German clients of a Canadian supplier of child pornography material which was obtained by Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND).

In its ruling on Monday, the SPD’s Hanover tribunal dismissed a federal party application to cancel Edathy’s membership completely, saying that he had not “severely damaged” the party.

SPD general secretary Yasmin Fahimi on Monday said the party’s federal executive would “carefully examine” the suspension ruling reached by an internal tribunal of the party.

However, Edathy has announced on his Facebook page that he planned to appeal against the suspension.

The former lawmaker said he had the impression the decision to suspend his membership for three years was only meant to “save the SPD’s federal executive from a complete failure”.

In Edathy’s opinion, this was understandable on the political level, “but I cannot accept it”.