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France

Strauss-Kahn slams 'malicious' prostitution ring allegations

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-17

Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn vehemently denies French media reports that he hired prostitutes at an upscale hotel in the northern French city of Lille, his lawyer said Sunday.

REUTERS - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn wants to speak to investigators looking into an alleged prostitution ring in a northern French city in response to media reports he was involved, his lawyer said on Sunday.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyer Henri Leclerc told Reuters his client sought the meeting to "end dangerous and malicious insinuations and extrapolations".

Sources close to the investigation, reported by some French media, have cited the testimony of a prostitute in the case as saying Strauss-Khan was a client. Visiting a prostitute is not a crime in France.

Three managers of the Carlton luxury hotel in the city of Lille have been detained in the past week and three hotels in the city, including the Carlton, have been closed by
investigating judges. The lawyer for one of the managers has said the investigation needs to go wider.

Strauss-Kahn has just emerged from a tumultuous few months of legal proceedings in the United States and France, where he was accused of attempted rape in two separate cases before prosecutors dropped proceedings in both countries.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

The accusations made by hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo in a high-profile court case in New York cost Strauss-Kahn, 62, his jobs at the IMF and ended his hopes of running in next year's French presidential election after being the clear favourite in opinion polls.

He also faced claims of attempted rape by French journalist Tristane Banon in an incident dating back to 2003, but public prosecutors in Paris dropped the investigation on Thursday due to a lack of evidence.

Strauss-Kahn still has the prospect of more legal proceedings in the New York case after Diallo filed a civil suit.

The prostitution investigation in Lille, which was triggered by evidence gathered in a similar inquiry in nearby Belgium, has also attracted media attention because of allegations of police involvement.

Investigators are due to interview police officers this week in relation to the case.

Date created : 2011-10-17

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