Germany names new agriculture minister amid child porn scandal

Berlin, Feb 18: Christian Schmidt will be Germany’s new agriculture minister, the government said Monday.

He succeeds Hans-Peter Friedrich, who resigned last week after allegedly leaking confidential information about a child porn investigation involving a fellow politician.

Schmidt, Parliamentary State Secretary for the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development since 2013, will take over for Friedrich, Xinhua quoted German government in an official statement.

Schmidt and Friedrich are both members of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

Friedrich has been Agriculture Minister since December 2013 after holding the post of Interior Minister for more than two years.

The CSU politician resigned last Friday amid accusations that he passed on confidential police data about a child pornography investigation in October to Sigmar Gabriel, the head of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).

Authorities reportedly found the name of SPD ex-lawmaker Sebastian Edathy on a customer list for child porn. Edathy resigned from his role in the German parliament for “health reasons” earlier this month.

IANS