Former IMF chief embroiled in prostitute party claim
Posted on: Wed February 22, 2012
ASHLEY HALL: Dominique Strauss-Kahn\'s career was left in tatters when he was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York.
He was once a front runner for the French presidency, now the 62-year-old\'s reputation is again being questioned as police investigate a prostitution ring.
There are suggestions he could face charges relating to pimping and embezzlement.
Lisa Millar reports from London.
LISA MILLAR: The former IMF head arrived at the police station in northern France to answer questions about the possible involvement of two business contacts in a suspected hotel prostitution ring, but the focus turned sharply onto the man himself who could now end up facing charges.
Police have already questioned a number of prostitutes who say they had sex with Mr Strauss-Kahn at parties in 2010 and last year in hotels, a restaurant and in Washington.
The Independent newspaper\'s Paris correspondent John Lichfield explains why the 62-year-old could face charges of pimping.
JOHN LICHFIELD: It\'s not illegal to visit prostitutes in France, not that alone, but because these young women were moving from city to city and even from country to country, moving to Washington to parties organised for Dominique Strauss-Kahn\'s benefit, it\'s suggested he is therefore complicit in pimping, in organising prostitution, which is against the law in France.
LISA MILLAR: John Litchfield says Mr Strauss-Kahn could also face charges over misusing company funds. The parties were paid for by a construction company and a medical appliance company. Both have said they weren\'t aware of what was going on.
JOHN LICHFIELD: The companies themselves insist that they were not aware that the money was being used to fund these parties, therefore the money was being embezzled and since Strauss-Kahn was benefiting from the parties, if he was aware of that then he is potentially guilty of having received embezzled funds.
LISA MILLAR: Mr Strauss-Kahn isn\'t denying having sex with any of the women, although his lawyer Henri Leclerc raised eyebrows with this defence.
HENRI LECLERC (translation): It was perfectly possible for him not to know because as you can imagine, people at these parties are not necessarily wearing any clothes and I challenge you to tell the difference between a naked prostitute and any other naked woman.
LISA MILLAR: Mr Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund in May last year after being charged with the attempted rape of a hotel maid. The case was later dropped, but his reputation and sexual appetite became fodder for the newspapers.
Paris writer Anne-Elisabeth Moutet.
ANNE-ELISABETH MOUTET: It\'s very obvious that in a country where a little adultery is never a problem for a political career, he\'s pushed it way beyond that and he\'s seen to have an unexhaustible taste for sexual adventures.
LISA MILLAR: And it\'s caused more embarrassment for the Socialist Party whose candidate Francois Hollande is tipped to win the presidential race.
Before Mr Strauss-Kahn\'s arrest last May he was seen as the party\'s best chance and critics have suggested it would be astonishing if the Socialist Party had been unaware of his sexual practices. This is Lisa Millar in London for The World Today
Courtesy: ABC News