Court upholds Strauss-Kahn sex inquiry in France

Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:54am EST
 
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By Brian Love and Pierre Savary

PARIS/DOUAI, France (Reuters) - A French court on Wednesday rejected a request by former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn to drop a sex offence inquiry in which he risks standing trial on pimping charges, his lawyers said.

The ruling was given just over a week after Strauss-Kahn settled a separate civil case in New York with a hotel maid who accused him of attempted rape in May 2011, ending his French presidential hopes and career at the International Monetary Fund.

While the New York settlement brought his U.S. legal woes to an end, the latest decision by the court in Douai in northern France means he remains under the legal spotlight at home.

"Dominique Strauss-Kahn's defense team is certain that he will ultimately be cleared of these absurd accusations of pimping," lawyer Henri Leclerc said in a statement, adding that he planned to appeal to France's supreme court.

Strauss-Kahn denies wrongdoing in all the charges against him.

He is under fire about sex parties with prostitutes in the so-called Carlton Affair, named after a hotel in northern France at the centre of the inquiry.

His lawyers argue that consorting with prostitutes is not illegal and that investigators have no grounds for pursuing him on the basis that his behavior could be construed as pimping, which is illegal.

They denounced "serious violations" of their defendant's rights, alleging that investigators held back information which should have been shared with lawyers.   Continued...

 
Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn gestures as he leaves his apartment in Paris December 10, 2012. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes