Police detain Strauss-Kahn over sex ring

2012-02-21 13:16

Lille - French police detained former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn for questioning on Tuesday over allegations he took part in orgies in Paris and Washington paid for by a pair of businessmen.

The 62-year-old former Socialist minister, who until last year was seen as the frontrunner to replace Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France, had been due to be interrogated as a witness but prosecutors said he was now a suspect.

He arrived voluntarily at a police station in the northern city of Lille just before his Tuesday morning appointment for questioning about his role in the latest sex scandal to beset his ruined career.

Shortly after his arrival, prosecutors said he would instead be detained on suspicion of "complicity in pimping" and "misuse of company funds" and could thus face charges and see his detention stretch to 96 hours.

Afterwards, if a judge agrees, he could be remanded in custody pending an eventual trial, or released on bail.

Investigating magistrates want to know whether he was aware that the women who entertained him at parties in restaurants, hotels and swingers' clubs in Paris, Washington and several European capitals were paid prostitutes.

Adventurous sex life

They will also seek to determine whether Strauss-Kahn knew that the escorts were paid for by funds fraudulently obtained by his hosts from a French public works company for which one of them worked as a senior executive.

Paying a prostitute is not in itself illegal in France, but profiting from vice or embezzling company funds to pay for sex can lead to charges.

The former director of the IMF admits that he has led an adventurous sex life, but denies that he was implicated in pimping or corruption and has indicated he will deny any criminal wrongdoing.

Two northern businessmen, Fabrice Paszkowski, a medical equipment tycoon with ties to Strauss-Kahn's Socialist Party, and David Roquet, former director of a local subsidiary of building giant BTP Eiffage, have been charged.

Strauss-Kahn is said to have met Paszkowski through a Socialist Party contact who was involved in organising his return to French politics to contest this year's presidential election, which he was favourite to win.

The pair has alleged links to a network of French and Belgian prostitutes centred on the Carlton Hotel in Lille, a well-known meeting place of the local business and political elite in a city run by the Socialist Party.

Presidential bid

In all, eight people have already been charged in connection with the "Carlton affair" - including three executives from the luxury hotel itself, a leading local lawyer and the local deputy police chief, Jean-Christophe Lagarde.

The last of the sex parties is said to have taken place during a trip to Washington and the IMF headquarters between May 11 and 13 last year by Paszkowski and Roquet, in part to discuss Strauss-Kahn's presidential bid.

One day later, on May 14, Strauss-Kahn's career fell apart when he was arrested in New York following allegations that he had subjected chambermaid Nafissatou Diallo to a brutal sexual assault in his hotel suite.

The case against him eventually collapsed when prosecutors began to doubt Diallo's credibility as a witness, and Strauss-Kahn returned home to France to face further investigations and scandal.

First, 32-year-old French writer Tristane Banon accused him of attempting to rape her in 2003. Prosecutors decided that there was prima facie evidence of a sexual assault, but ruled that the statute of limitations had passed.

Then, Strauss-Kahn's name was linked to the entirely separate Carlton case after police probing a ring linked to notorious Belgian pimp "Dodo la Saumure" - Dominique Alderweireld - were given his name by suspected escorts.

The involvement of businessmen and a police officer raised suspicions that they intended to curry favour with a presidential contender by procuring women for him, but they are reported to have denied this during questioning.

  • Godfrey - 2012-02-21 14:04

    The dirty bugger got away with it once but maybe not twice.

  • J-Man - 2012-02-21 14:13

    The things people do for a good romp... ;)

  • joneethling - 2012-02-21 14:40

    What a classy guy.

      E=MC2 - 2012-02-21 15:57

      he's a real keeper hey

      Helmut - 2012-02-21 16:27

      He is the king of the pimps

  • Sean - 2012-02-21 14:44

    Presidential candidate? typical....!

  • thulani.ncube1 - 2012-02-21 14:51

    l love it when white people fight each other.its in their nature to put people down,especially those that are better than them. its their strength.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-21 15:08

      All D$ckheads over the world, irrelevant of flavor, dressing or pigment will fight each other for power. Some are just showing weaknesses through their hormones, etc, and than it get used to be illuminated them from there own rat-race.

      Chrono - 2012-02-21 15:11

      Partially correct @thulani. It is called critical thinking and stems from a strive towards improvement. It is not aimed at people better than others though. Strauss-Kahn for instance is no better than anyone, in fact he is not someone to emulate.

      David - 2012-02-21 16:22

      Wow... amazing comment. Look at all the Dictators and war lords in Africa dude along with genocide and then we can talk about the white mans nature.

      Sean - 2012-02-21 17:20

      Ignorance is our biggest enemy.

  • Jerzy - 2012-02-21 15:04

    Face of the devil

  • PreciouskaNcube - 2012-02-21 15:31

    Does anyone really believe he would have asked the hosts were the money for the 'party' was coming from b4 jumping right in.I think not!!These guys are just looking for any excuse to drag his name further down.

  • E=MC2 - 2012-02-21 15:56

    naughty naughty

  • David - 2012-02-21 16:25

    Quite amazing how many men throw away careers for sex...the type of woman who will sleep with them are always going to be the type of woman who will sell the stand no chance if someone wants to topple you from a position of power once you start treading this road. Surely the lesson has been learnt by now.

  • Anthony - 2012-02-21 19:00

    This guy escaped jail when he raped a hotel maid in New York, hopefully justice will still be served !!!!!

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