France Probes Ex-IMF DSK Chief for Sex-Ring Link
Investigative magistrates have put former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn under investigation for his alleged involvement in a French prostitution ring, putting the onetime presidential hopeful back into a harsh spotlight.
The magistrates on Monday ordered Mr. Strauss-Kahn to refrain from communicating with plaintiffs as well as with anyone else being prosecuted in the case, said prosecutors from the northern French city of Lille, in a statement. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was also asked to pay a €100,000 bail ($133,500).
A lawyer for Mr. Strauss-Kahn said Monday that his client “strongly and firmly” rejected the preliminary charges of “aggravated pimping.”
Prostitution is legal in France, but pimping isn’t. To convict him, prosecutors would have to prove that he played an organizational role in the alleged prostitution ring.
The decision was a stunning setback for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, whose sexual behavior has been in the international spotlight over the past year. The French ruling come two days before a New York court takes up a civil case in which a hotel maid accuses Mr. Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her.
The decisions were announced after Mr. Strauss-Kahn was questioned for eight hours on Monday by the Lille magistrates, who are conducting an investigation into an alleged prostitution ring. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was detained and questioned by police for a day-and-a-half in the same case last month.
Investigators allege that Mr. Strauss-Kahn, while he was head of the IMF, took part in parties organized by an alleged prostitution ring, people familiar with the matter said. Through lawyers, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has acknowledged to participating in parties, notably in Washington and in Paris, but has said he didn’t know that woman present may have been prostitutes.
“He never had the slightest knowledge that the women he met could be prostitutes,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer Richard Malka told French radio on Monday.