A French prosecutor recommended on Tuesday that an investigation into allegations former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was involved in a prostitution ring in the northern city of Lille be dropped.
A French public prosecutor recommended on Tuesday dropping charges against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the so-called “Carlton Affair,” an investigation into allegations he was knowingly involved in a prostitution ring.
The case centres around accusations that business leaders and police officials in the northern city of Lille operated a vice ring supplying girls for sex parties, some of which are said to have taken place at the local Carlton Hotel.
It is now up to judges investigating the case to decide whether or not to drop the prosecution, the last legal proceedings the former Socialist presidential hopeful faces over his sexual behaviour.
Strauss-Kahn, 64, was placed under formal investigation in March 2012 in the case on charges of “aggravated pimping”.
A charge of gang rape was dropped after a prostitute withdrew her accusation but the probe continued on the grounds that Strauss-Kahn’s involvement in sex parties attended by prostitutes could be construed as pimping - an argument defence lawyers said was invalid.
Frequenting a prostitute is not illegal in France. Strauss-Kahn acknowledged having taken part in swingers’ parties, but said he had no idea the women were prostitutes.
The public prosecutor recommended that 12 other suspects in the Carlton case be tried on charges including conspiracy to procure prostitutes, fraud and abuse of corporate funds. However, he called for charges to be dropped against a former regional director of construction group Eiffage, who was suspected of having paid prostitutes to attend the parties.
Strauss-Kahn was on the brink of entering the 2012 French presidential race when he was arrested in New York in May 2011 and charged with sexually assaulting hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo at a Times Square hotel. He denied the charge.
US prosecutors dropped criminal charges months later, prompting Diallo to start a civil lawsuit which ended with an out-of-court settlement last December.
DSK's legal woes
The former finance minister’s legal problems continued on his return to France, with prosecutors investigating his alleged use of hired prostitutes at sex parties in Lille, Paris and Washington.
Since he resigned from the IMF and quit politics, Strauss-Kahn has given occasional lectures and acted as a consultant, but his public appearances have been dogged by feminist demonstrators.
He and his third wife, journalist Anne Sinclair, divorced in March this year.
(FRANCE24 with wires)
Date created : 2013-06-11