Former Germany defender Metzelder found guilty of sharing child pornography pictures


Former soccer player Christoph Metzelder leaves the regional court, following his trial for possession and distribution of child pornography, in Duesseldorf, Germany, April 29, 2021. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Former Germany defender Christoph Metzelder was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence on Thursday after being found guilty of sharing pictures of child pornography with acquaintances through a message service, a court in Duesseldorf said.

The court found Metzelder guilty of the offence after an investigation that started in 2019, and the former player admitting earlier on Thursday to sharing files on WhatsApp.

"I sent these pictures even though I know what unspeakable suffering towards kids in each of these files there is," he told the court.

"I leave a wound that will never heal. I have to live with that for the rest of my life," he said. "I accept the sentence."

Metzelder, a Bundesliga champion with Borussia Dortmund, also played for Schalke 04 and Real Madrid.

He was a World Cup runner-up in 2002 and won 47 caps for his country. He also played in the 2006 World Cup.

Metzelder was president of his boyhood club TuS Haltern until stepping down in 2019 due to the case. He worked on many social projects with children through his now defunct foundation.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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