Edathy: no expulsion in child porn case

Former German parliamentarian Sebastian Edathy, who was accused of owning child pornography, will be suspended from the SPD for five years. The decision ends a long saga that led to tougher laws and dragged down the SPD.

Sebastian Edathy, February 2015. (Photo: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

Sebastian Edathy used to be a well-respected politician. From January 2012 til August 2013, the Social Democrat was the head of the parliamentary inquiry investigating the right-wing terrorist National Socialist Underground (NSU). Journalists and politicians praised his work there and in June 2013 he was awarded the Genc Award for Peaceful Togetherness.

Leading the inquiry with “cold brilliance and sustained passion” was his political “masterpiece,” journalist Mariam Lau wrote about Edathy in the weekly “Die Zeit.”

But that was before the bombshell was dropped. The well-respected politician Edathy ceased to exist when it was revealed in February 2014 that he had child pornography on his work computer.

On Friday, Edathy returned to Berlin for a hearing in front of an arbitration commission that would decide his future in the SPD. In June 2015, his regional SPD branch in Hanover suspended him from the party for three years. Now, Edathy and his party have reached a different compromise. He will be suspended for five years instead of three and in return, the SPD leadership won’t go on with their attempt to expel the disgraced politicians for criminal actions.

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