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French court maintains DSK pimping charges

Video by Laure MANENT , Luke BROWN

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-12-19

A French court rejected a request by former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Wednesday to drop a sex offence inquiry in which he risks standing trial on pimping charges. The case concerns a suspected prostitution ring in the city of Lille.

French judges decided on Wednesday not to drop aggravated pimping charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is under fire over sex parties with prostitutes in the so-called Carlton Affair, named after a hotel in northern France at the centre of the inquiry.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers have admitted that the former International Monetary Fund chief attended “libertine” gatherings, but insist that he did not know some of the women present were paid. They have also argued that the investigating judges are biased.

The case is one part of an international legal saga that exposed Strauss-Kahn’s sex life to the harsh media sportlight and buried his French presidential ambitions.

Just over a week ago Strauss-Kahn settled a separate civil case in New York with hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, who accused him of attempted rape in May 2011 and which brought his career at the IMF to an abrupt end.

No end to legal woes

While the New York settlement brought his US legal woes to an end, Wednesday’s decision by the court in Douai, in northern France, removed the prospect of a quick conclusion to the last sex offence inquiry he faces.

“Dominque Strauss-Kahn’s defence team is certain that he will ultimately be cleared of these absurd accusations of pimping,” his lawyer Henri Leclerc said in a statement, adding that he planned to take the matter to France’s supreme court.

His lawyers argue that consorting with prostitutes is not illegal and that investigators have no grounds for pursuing him on the grounds that his behaviour could be construed as pimping, which is illegal.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2012-12-19

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