Prosecutors sum up in Strauss-Kahn pimping trial

2015-02-17 13:48
Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves his hotel on his way to the Lille courthouse, northern France, to attend a trial where he is charged alongside 13 others for "aggravated pimping" on February 12, 2015. (Philippe Huguen, AFP)

Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves his hotel on his way to the Lille courthouse, northern France, to attend a trial where he is charged alongside 13 others for "aggravated pimping" on February 12, 2015. (Philippe Huguen, AFP)

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Lille – French prosecutors will on Tuesday make their final arguments in Dominique Strauss-Kahn's pimping trial, after two ex-prostitutes dropped a civil suit against the former IMF chief.

The 65-year-old's taste for rough sex and wild orgies has been laid bare over two weeks of court hearings in the northern city of Lille, where he is accused along with 13 others of encouraging prostitution.

The charge of pimping is punishable by up to ten years in prison.

However, prosecutors may call for Strauss-Kahn to be found not guilty and set free when they give their recommendations on Tuesday.

They were not convinced ahead of the trial that a strong case existed against the former political heavyweight, asking for charges to be dropped, but were over-ruled by investigative judges who sent the case to trial.

There was further relief for Strauss-Kahn on Monday when two ex-prostitutes dropped a civil suit against him, with lawyers saying they lacked enough proof to win the case.

Among the others on trial are a colourful cast of characters including a senior police officer, local businessmen and a brothel owner known as "Dodo the Pimp".

'Busy saving the world' and sodomy

Strauss-Kahn – once considered a likely presidential candidate in France – has steadfastly denied knowing that any of the women involved in the sex parties were paid.

And two friends who organised the parties, and are also standing trial, have testified they kept the fact a secret from him.

The ex-prostitutes gave evidence against him, including one woman known as Jade who told the court she was taken by Strauss-Kahn to visit the IMF headquarters in Washington in January 2010.

He argued in court last week that the visit proves he did not think she was a prostitute, and that he was too busy "saving the world from an unprecedented" financial crisis to risk taking a call-girl to his workplace.

But Jade also said DSK, as he is widely known in France, subjected her to a level of sexual degradation that he would only expect from a prostitute.

In an emotional account, she told the court Strauss-Kahn sodomised her without permission.

"I experienced a penetration without my permission. If I was a libertine, I would at least have been asked if I wanted to do that," she said.

Strauss-Kahn said he did not realise she objected and was "sorry" she experienced it that way.

'Getting fed up'

The silver-haired economist lost his patience when a lawyer for the prostitutes interrogated him on the act.

"I am starting to get fed up," he said, adding people were free to disagree with his proclivities, but that he was not on trial for "deviant sexual practices".

The prosecutors pulled up intercepted text messages in a bid to show he played a role in organising for prostitutes to attend.

"Who do you have in your baggage?" Strauss-Kahn asked his friend and co-accused Fabrice Paszkowski in one message, while in others he referred to a woman as "equipment" or "gifts".

But Strauss-Kahn said this was just "barracks talk."

The trial comes four years after Strauss-Kahn's high-flying career and presidential prospects were torpedoed by accusations of sexual assault by a New York hotel maid in May 2011, a case later settled in a civil suit.

The pimping charges against Strauss-Kahn stretch from 2008 to 2011, and lawyers highlighted the fact that after his arrest in New York, there were no more sex parties organised – which would show he was the pivot around which the orgies took place.

Read more on:    imf  |  dominique strauss-kahn  |  france

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