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Trial date set for Metzelder on child pornography charges

February 22, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Saturday, April 27, 2019 file photo, Christoph Metzelder watches under an umbrella prior the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 in Dortmund, Germany. Former Germany defender Christoph Metzelder will stand trial on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography on April 29, 2021. He faces 29 charges of attempted distribution of child pornography to another person, and one charge of the possession of child and youth pornography. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, file)
FILE - In this Saturday, April 27, 2019 file photo, Christoph Metzelder watches under an umbrella prior the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 in Dortmund, Germany. Former Germany defender Christoph Metzelder will stand trial on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography on April 29, 2021. He faces 29 charges of attempted distribution of child pornography to another person, and one charge of the possession of child and youth pornography. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, file)

DÜSSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Former Germany defender Christoph Metzelder will stand trial on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography on April 29.

Düsseldorf District Court said Monday it was proceeding with a case brought by the public prosecutor against the 40-year-old Metzelder, who faces 29 charges of attempted distribution of child pornography to another person, and one charge of the possession of child and youth pornography.

The court said Metzelder “contests the allegations. The main trial is to clarify whether or not the allegations made in the indictment are true. The defendant is considered innocent until the proceedings are finally concluded.”

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The main hearing will begin on April 29 at the Düsseldorf District and Regional Court, with follow-up dates set for May 4 and May 10.

The trial will take place amid strict hygiene measures against the coronavirus.

Metzelder enjoyed a successful playing career with Preußen Münster, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Schalke. He made 47 appearances for Germany, helping it to second place finishes at the 2002 World Cup and 2008 European Championship. After retirement, Metzelder worked briefly as a pundit for broadcaster ARD.

Metzelder stepped down as president of hometown club TuS Haltern in September 2019 when the allegations against him were first made public. He denies the charges.

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