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June 11, 2013 12:28 pm
A French prosecutor has recommended dismissing allegations of pimping against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, opening up the prospect of an end to a series of sex scandals that have crippled the career of the former head of the International Monetary Fund.
The prosecutor in Lille said there was insufficient evidence to charge Mr Strauss-Kahn in the case in which he was placed under formal investigation last year on suspicion of involvement in the organisation of a prostitution ring based in the northern French city.
A final decision on whether to bring him to trial will now be made within the next month by the judges overseeing the case.
“We hope that the judges will follow the recommendation of the prosecutor and will set aside moral and subjective judgments,” said Richard Malka, one of Mr Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers.
The Lille case, in which Mr Strauss-Kahn admitted he had participated in sex parties involving prostitutes, followed his arrest in New York in May 2011 on allegations, later dropped, of attempted rape of a hotel chamber maid. He subsequently faced accusations, dismissed by a French court, of attempted rape of a French writer.
The New York case forced Mr Strauss-Kahn to resign his post at the IMF and drop plans to run for the French presidency as the socialist candidate against the then incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. At the time, Mr Strauss-Kahn was the strong favourite to win the Elysée Palace.
He is currently free on €100,000 bail in the Lille case, in which he was formally suspected of involvement in “aggravated procurement by an organised gang”.
The Lille prosecutor recommended that 12 other people involved in the case be sent for trial, but that Mr Strauss-Kahn and one other man be let free.
Mr Strauss-Kahn has always strongly denied any involvement in procurement, saying only that he had taken part in what he called soirées libertines organised by friends, including in Washington when he was at the IMF. He insisted he did not know the women involved were prostitutes.
Since the incident in New York, Mr Strauss-Kahn has attended some international conferences but has mostly kept a low profile. A speech to the Cambridge Union Society at the British university last year attracted an angry demonstration by women students.
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