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Key suspect in child pornography ring goes on trial in Germany

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A man said to be a central figure in a major child pornography network that shocked Germany went on trial in the city of Cologne on Monday.

The 43-year-old German national is accused of repeatedly sexually abusing his daughter, born in 2017.

Prosecutors say he committed the crimes while his wife was not at home and documented them on his smartphone. The footage was then shared online via various channels.

A search at the man’s home in Bergisch Gladbach near Cologne in October 2019 turned out to be the tip of the iceberg in the child abuse scandal, which has prompted calls in Germany for tougher punishment of predatory paedophiles.

Officials have spoken of more than 30,000 potential suspects in the sprawling investigations, with allegations ranging from child sex abuse to ownership of child pornography.

The 43-year-old defendant, who is expected to testify during the trial, is said to have already helped to identify his chat partners.

The trial will take place in Cologne’s district court and is currently scheduled to last until Sept. 30.(dpa/NAN)

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