German minister offers to resign in scandal over SPD lawmaker

BERLIN Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:03am EST

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BERLIN Feb 14 (Reuters) - Germany's agriculture minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has offered to resign if prosecutors determine he acted inappropriately when he warned Social Democrat (SPD) leaders last October about a probe into an SPD lawmaker, his spokesman said on Friday.

Friedrich, who is from Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, was interior minister at the time and is under fire for informing centre-left SPD leaders late last year that prosecutors were investigating their colleague Sebastian Edathy.

Edathy resigned last week, citing health reasons. On his Facebook page, the 44-year-old centre-left politician has denied having any child pornography in his possession.

Friedrich's spokesman Jens Teschke told a news conference that Friedrich believes he acted in accordance with the law by informing the SPD, which was in coalition talks with Merkel at the time. But if prosecutors take a different view, the minister is ready to resign, Teschke said.

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