Who’s who in the Carlton Hotel prostitutes scandal
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A prostitute ring, luxury hotels in Paris and Lille and business trips to New York in the company of “secretaries” to visit former IMF boss Dominique Strauss Kahn. France 24 looks at the main characters in the Carlton Hotel prostitutes scandal.
Police are investigating a prostitute ring that involves high-flying businessmen, a senior policeman and, allegedly, former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
The allegations centre around the Carlton Hotel in Lille, where prostitutes were allegedly supplied for customers and a group of local officials, who are accused of using corporate funds to travel to Paris and New York for “soirées privées”.
According to reports in the French media, some of the group even visited Strauss-Kahn - in the company of prostitutes - in the days before his arrest for alleged attempted rape in May 2011.
Strauss-Kahn, who has not been arrested, asked to be interviewed as part of the investigation “to put an end to the insinuations”.
FRANCE 24 looks at the main characters involved in this scandal.
- Businessman #1 – David Roquet
David Roquet is the head of “Matériaux Enrobés du Nord”, a subsidiary of French construction giant Eiffage.
Roquet allegedly used his corporate expense account to cover part of the bill for evenings with prostitutes in Paris at the Aventure nightclub and the luxury Murano Hotel in 2009 and 2010.
According to investigators, Roquet filed expense claims for the evening marked with Strauss-Kahn’s initials “DSK”.
According to reports, Roquet told the police he had visited Strauss-Kahn in New York in February 2011, accompanied by prostitutes “presented as Eiffage secretaries.” A second visit took place in May 2011.
Roquet was arrested on October 14 and charged with pimping. He has been suspended by Eiffage, pending the outcome of the investigation.
- Businessman #2 - Fabrice Paszkowski
Fabrice Paszkowski was also arrested on allegations of “aggravated pimping” (supplying women for sex). He is suspected of accompanying Roquet on trips to New York with prostitutes.
The owner of a specialist store selling medical equipment, Paszkowski is accused of footing part of the bill for sex soirées in Paris, in which Strauss-Kahn is supposed to have taken part.
Paszkowski is also being investigated for filing fraudulent expense claims. His former girlfriend Virginie Dufour is being investigated for the same charges.
- The police commissioner - Jean-Christophe Lagarde
Jean-Christophe Lagarde was, until his suspension last week, head of urban security for the Nord administrative region that includes the city of Lille.
An ambitious senior civil servant, Lagarde believed that “by cultivating a close relationship with DSK he would have an important role in a future Socialist administration,” according to one unnamed source quoted in the French daily newspaper Libération.
Lagarde is accused of having booked rooms at the Carlton Hotel in Lille with “extras” (prostitutes) thrown in, according to the newspaper.
He is also accused of attending a night out in Paris in the spring of 2010, with a prostitute, in the company of Strauss-Kahn. Lagarde also accompanied Roquet and Paszkowski on trips to New York in the company of the “secretaries”.
Lagarde, who was detained by police last Thursday for questioning, denies any wrongdoing.
- The Hotel PR manager - Rene Kojfer
Head of public relations at the Carlton Hotel in Lille, 69-year-old Rene Kojfer is also under investigation for "aggravated pimping".
Investigators believe that Kojfer supplied the prostitutes through a Belgian contact, Dominique Alderweireld, the owner of massage parlours and hostess bars.
Kojfer was arrested on the basis of hours of tapped telephone calls with Alderweireld.
- The pimp - Dominique Alderweireld
Alderweireld owns massage parlours in Belgium, near the French border and the city of Lille.
He was arrested in early October in Belgium for prostitution offences.
French Prosecutors are investigating whether Alderweireld supplied the prostitutes that attended the "special evenings" in Paris, and even in Washington.
- The Hotel proprietors
Herve Franchois, owner of the Carlton Hotel, as well as Francis Henrion, who runs the Carlton and also owns the luxury Hotel des Tours and the Alize Opera hotel in Lille, are being investigated for “aggravated pimping”.