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Politician charged

September 9, 2009

A German politician is facing child pornography charges after parliament lifted his immunity. Joerg Tauss maintains his innocence, saying he was conducting research.

Former SPD politician Joerg Tauss denies any wrongdoingImage: picture-alliance / dpa

State prosecutors in the southern city of Karlsruhe accuse Tauss of having acquired, distributed, and possessed child pornography 102 times between May 2007 and January 2009.

An investigation was carried out earlier this year after evidence was found in Tauss' office, including mobile phone pictures and DVDs of underage sex. But prosecutors could not press charges until parliament voted to repeal his immunity status, which happened on Tuesday.

Fifty-six-year-old Tauss is also accused of having shared child pornography with others via email in six cases, according to prosecutors.

The former SPD politician has repeatedly denied the charges, insisting that he was merely conducting research as part of his efforts to break up a child pornography ring. In response, prosecutors said investigators had found "no evidence of this claim."

Tauss resigned his position after the scandal broke and later joined the Pirate Party, a Swedish-based group that advocates for more freedom on the internet. He has resisted calls to step down from parliament. Tauss is expected to lose his seat in Germany's parliamentary elections on September 27.

Editor: Trinity Hartman