Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

World Cup humiliation for host nation

Read more

DEBATE

Israel and the Palestinians: How to Break the Cycle of Violence?

Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Brazil players should never wear 'sacred uniform' again, press says

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

  • Ukraine imposes new conditions on peace talks with pro-Russia rebels

    Read more

  • Sarkozy's UMP party 'almost €80 million in debt'

    Read more

France

Strauss-Kahn questioned in prostitution inquiry

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-26

Judges are questioning Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF and a prominent French Socialist, in connection with an investigation into his alleged involvement in procuring prostitutes, a judicial source told AFP on Monday.

REUTERS - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was questioned by three judges on Monday over his role in a prostitution case in the northern French city of Lille that could see him placed under formal investigation.

The Socialist ex-finance minister, a strong contender to be France's next president until he was hit with sex assault charges in New York last May, appeared at the Lille court two days earlier than scheduled, although no official reason was given for the date change.

The Lille prosecutor's office said the closed hearing began on Monday afternoon and would likely run late into the evening.

Despite the change in date, a group of about 30 reporters and photographers waited outside the court, while scantily-clad women who appeared to be sex workers tried to drum up business nearby.

Using prostitutes is not illegal in France, but Strauss-Kahn risks a legal probe if investigators decide he knowingly had sex with prostitutes paid for out of company funds.

Strauss-Kahn went from being a highly respected politician to being hounded in the world's media after a New York hotel maid accused him of trying to rape her. The charges were dropped after prosecutors decided the maid's testimony was unreliable.

But Strauss-Kahn, 62, was hit with a separate sexual assault accusation in France and on Wednesday his lawyers will be in a Bronx courtroom fighting a civil lawsuit brought against him by the hotel maid.

The Lille case centres on allegations that a prostitution ring organized by Strauss-Kahn's business associates supplied clients at the city's Carlton Hotel.

Strauss-Kahn -- who is now jobless and lives a life behind closed doors in Paris, mainly out of the public eye -- has denied the allegations, arguing that he was unaware women he met at parties organised by business associates in Lille, Paris and Washington were prostitutes.

Protests undermine comeback

Strauss-Kahn has been seeking to restore his reputation as a top global economist by speaking at conferences, but cancelled an appearance at an event in Brussels on Tuesday following protests from European members of parliament (MEPs).

He was due to speak at a debate of young MEPs alongside Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, and former European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet. But the plan upset female MEPs, prompting European Parliament President Martin Schulz to pressure organisers to drop him.

French MEP Sandrine Belier said that given the circumstances it would have been "uncomfortable" to have Strauss-Kahn appear.

Earlier in March he had to be bundled into the back of a police car after addressing an event at Britain's Cambridge University to escape a protest by women's' rights activists.

Investigators could drop all pursuit of Strauss-Kahn or place him under formal investigation on suspicion of complicity in a pimping operation, or having benefited from misappropriated company funds, if he knowingly attended prostitute sessions paid for by his executive friends using expense accounts.

In February, Strauss-Kahn was held in police custody in Lille for two days for initial questioning, but he is unlikely to be detained in prison if placed under investigation due to the non-dangerous nature of the allegations.

His lawyer has said he had no reason to think women at the parties in question were prostitutes, noting it was not always easy to spot one when they are undressed.

On Wednesday, lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and the hotel maid accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, will wrangle over whether his former IMF position grants him diplomatic immunity from the civil suit.

Neither Strauss-Kahn nor Diallo are due to appear in court.
 

Date created : 2012-03-26

  • France - United States

    Hearing to test Strauss-Kahn's claims of 'diplomatic immunity'

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Strauss-Kahn faces more questions over prostitution ring

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Strauss-Kahn quizzed on prostitution ring

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)