AFP
February 14, 2014

Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich
German Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich
A German cabinet minister was under intense pressure Friday over suspicions he may have breached official secrecy in a widening scandal sparked by an international child porn investigation.

Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, in his former post as interior minister, tipped off the party leader of a prominent lawmaker whose name had cropped up in an international probe, Friedrich’s spokesman said.

The move dates back to October, a month after German general elections when Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives were in the process of building a coalition government with the centre-left Social Democrats.

Friedrich, a conservative ally of Merkel in her left-right “grand coalition”, insisted Friday he did not believe he had done anything wrong politically or legally but said he would resign if a legal inquiry was launched.

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