PARIS (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will have to defend himself in a French court on charges of aggravated pimping despite recommendations by prosecutors that the charges be dropped.
Judges investigating the case in the northern city of Lille decided on Friday to go ahead with charges of aggravated pimping in a group.
Frederique Baulieu, one of Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, said her client committed no infraction.
“He did not commit the offense of prostitution. He neither aided nor assisted prostitution,” Baulieu said by telephone. She claimed the judges based their decision on “morals” not on law.
The case revolves around an alleged hotel prostitution ring and hinges on whether Strauss-Kahn knew he was partying with prostitutes and whose money was used to pay them. His lawyers have said Strauss-Kahn had attended “libertine”
gatherings but did not know that some women there were paid.
A total of 14 people, including Strauss-Kahn, are to be tried on aggravated pimping in a group. A more serious charge of organized pimping was dropped.
In France, it is not against the law to pay for sex, but is against the law to solicit or to run a prostitution business.
Prostitutes questioned in the case said they had sex with Strauss-Kahn during 2010 and 2011 at a luxury hotel in Paris, at a restaurant in the French capital and also in Washington, where he lived while working for the Washington-based IMF, judicial officials have said.
No trial date was set.
Prosecutors in June had asked for the case against Strauss-Kahn to be dropped on the grounds of lack of evidence, though they agreed charges against the others should be maintained.
In June, the Lille prosecutor’s office said it had followed a “deep and meticulous analysis” of the 33 files that form the case before concluding there was insufficient evidence against Strauss-Kahn.
Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York City in 2011 and charged with attempted rape and other crimes after hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo claimed Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her when she arrived to clean his room at the Sofitel Hotel.
The charges were later dropped after prosecutors lost faith in Diallo‘s credibility. She then filed a civil lawsuit accusing him of assault. The two reached a settlement in the lawsuit last year.
Strauss-Kahn resigned as IMF chief and returned to France after the charges against him in New York City were dropped.
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