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Edathy to appeal against suspension from SPD

Sebastian Edathy, a former German MP at the center of a scandal involving child pornography, plans to appeal against the Social Democratic Party's decision to suspend his membership for three years.

Sebastian Edathy announced on Monday evening on his Facebook page that he planned to appeal against the three-year suspension meted out by the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Edathy agreed in March to pay a fine of 5,000 euros (about $5,500) to settle court proceedings for pictures and videos featuring naked children that were found on his work laptop in 2013. The politician

admitted to the charges

and expressed his regret through a statement read out by his lawyer.

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.

The former lawmaker said that 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."

Political turbulence

The case sparked political turbulence at the start of Chancellor Angela Merkel's third term and lead to the resignation of former Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich. He was found to have provided Edathy with an early warning about the probe against him while serving as interior minister, leaking confidential information. Merkel's conservative Christian-Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats are in a coalition government.

Edathy resigned from the Bundestag in February 2014, stating health reasons - only a few days before it became known that his home and offices had been searched.

Following the scandal, the Bundestag tightened legislation on pictures of naked children and minors.

das/msh (AFP, dpa)

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