LILLE, France — Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will face trial on pimping charges along with 12 others in connection with an alleged prostitution ring in the French city of Lille, prosecutors said Friday.
Strauss-Kahn was charged last year with “aggravated pimping as part of an organised gang”, in one of a string of cases that came to light after he was forced to resign from his IMF job over an alleged sexual assault on a New York hotel maid.
Prosecutors had in June called for the charges against Strauss-Kahn, 64, to be dropped, saying there was insufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
But in a statement the Lille prosecutors’ office said investigating magistrates had ordered Strauss-Kahn and the other defendants to face trial, though on a lesser charge of “aggravated pimping as part of a group”.
It was unclear whether prosecutors would appeal the decision to proceed to trial. In the French legal system, investigating judges can overrule recommendations from prosecutors and force them to take suspects to trial.
One of Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, Richard Malka, denounced the decision to go to trial as part of a “relentless” judicial campaign against his client.
He said Strauss-Kahn would appear at the trial “to denounce the absurdity and abnormality of this aggravated pimping complaint”.
The case, known in France as the “Carlton affair”, centres on allegations that business leaders and police officials in Lille operated a vice ring supplying girls for sex parties, some of which are said to have taken place at the city’s Carlton Hotel.
Strauss-Kahn, who before the scandals was considered a top candidate for the French presidency, had admitted to attending sex parties in France and the United States but insisted he did not know some of the women were being paid. — Rappler.com
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