BERLIN Feb 14 Germany's Agriculture Minister
Hans-Peter Friedrich will announce his resignation on Friday
over allegations he acted inappropriately in the case of a
lawmaker who is under investigation for possessing child
pornography, government sources told Reuters.
The Social Democrat (SPD) lawmaker, Sebastian Edathy, has
denied having any child pornography in his possession. The
44-year-old Edathy resigned from parliament last week, citing
health reasons. Friedrich is expected to give a statement at 5
p.m. (1600 GMT).
What started as a small domestic scandal about an MP erupted
into a major political scandal on Thursday when it emerged that
Friedrich, who was interior minister until December, had
informed SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel in October that Edathy
could become the target of an investigation.
Friedrich, a member of the conservative Christian Social
Union (CSU), has said he believes he acted in accordance with
the law by informing the SPD, which was in coalition talks with
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives at the time.
But public prosecutors in Berlin are examining whether to
start a full investigation into Friedrich for possible breach of
confidentiality relating to the Edathy case.
(Reporting Thorsten Severin and Gernot Heller; writing by
Michelle Martin and Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Noah Barkin)