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Strauss-Kahn wants pimp charge dropped

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Strauss-Kahn wants pimp charge dropped
Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen
14:15 CEST+02:00
Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Wednesday asked a French appeal court to dismiss charges that the disgraced former IMF chief helped procure prostitutes for sex parties.

The court in the northern town of Douai deferred a ruling until November 28th after a closed-door hearing, lawyers said.

Strauss-Kahn admits attending orgies in France and the United States but claims he did not know the women involved were being paid to take part.

He was not present at Wednesday's closed-door hearing and his lawyers did not speak to reporters before entering the court in the northern town of Douai.

The case, known as the "Carlton affair" in France, centres around allegations that business leaders and police officials in Lille operated a vice ring supplying girls for sex parties, some of which are said to have taken place at the Carlton Hotel in the northern city.

Lawyers for Jean-Christophe Lagarde, a police commissioner who faces the same charges as Strauss-Kahn, have also asked for the case against their client to be dismissed.

René Kojfer, the former public relations officer at the hotel who has been accused of pimping in the affair, said Wednesday that if Strauss-Kahn's name was not involved there "would be no case."

"I never took money. I am not a pimp," Kojfer told Le Parisien newspaper. 

"What has happened to me and my superiors in the Carlton is unjust. What a great hullabaloo and so little to show for it in the end.

"In my opinion, if there was no DSK, there would be no case," he said using the acronym widely used in France for Strauss-Kahn, who was about to enter the French presidential race when he was arrested in May 2011 in New York after a hotel worker alleged he had carried out a brutal sexual assault on her.

The criminal case collapsed because of doubts about the alleged victim's testimony but Strauss-Kahn was unable to salvage his presidential ambitions as details of another alleged attack and the Carlton case surfaced on his return to France.

Kojfer said his lawyer would be challenging "the manner in which this case was handled" and the "quality of the proceedings."

Strauss-Kahn's wife of some two decades, Anne Sinclair, loyally stood by him when the New York scandal erupted but the couple have since split.

A former television journalist and the heiress to a large fortune, Sinclair now runs the French edition of the Huffington Post.

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