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France

Strauss-Kahn allegedly linked to Lille prostitution ring

media Strauss-Kahn wants to be heard by judges to clear his name Reuters/Charles Platiau

Former International Monetary Fund chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is once again facing a sex scandal after his name was linked to an investigation into an alleged call-girl network in the northern city of Lille.

 

On Sunday, Strauss-Kahn, who has already fought two unproven rape allegations this year, asked to be interviewed “as quickly as possible” to “end insinuations and extrapolations that are dangerous and once again malicious”.

Investigators in Lille believe they have uncovered a well-connected ring that brought women over the border from Belgium to have sex with wealthy clients in hotels in the city. Some of the women are believed to have been under-age.

Five men, including the director and public relations chief of one of the hotels, have already been arrested in France and charged with pimping. The case has caused a scandal in Lille where respected local figures and even senior police officers are reportedly involved.

The weekly newspaper, Journal du Dimanche, has cited sources close to the investigation saying Strauss-Kahn could be questioned.

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

According to the paper, investigators believe the ring may have dispatched call girls to the US to entertain him and he might have taken part in sex parties organised in Paris by one of the Lille suspects.

Until May this year, 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn was considered the favourite to defeat President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s presidential election. But his reputation was left in tatters after he was accused by a New York hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, of alleged sexual assault and attempted rape.

The charges were later dropped after doubts emerged over Diallo’s testimony.

Weeks later, French writer Tristane Banon claimed Strauss-Kahn had tried to rape her in a Parisian apartment in 2003.

Last week, French state prosecutors decided not to press charges. DSK, as he is known in France, admitted having grabbed and kissed Banon, but prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to charge him with attempted rape.

On Sunday Banon’s lawyer, David Koubbi, said he had advised his client to drop her case against Strauss-Kahn.
 

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