19 Feb 2012

Former IMF boss faces 'prostition ring' questions

1:13 pm on 19 February 2012

The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is to be formally questioned next week by police investigating an alleged prostitution ring.

Mr Strauss-Kahn has been summoned for questioning about sex parties that allegedly took place in cities including Paris and Washington.

He resigned from the International Monetary Fund last May when charged with raping a New York hotel maid.

The case was later dropped and Mr Strauss-Kahn has always denied any wrongdoing.

The latest scandal involves an alleged prostitution ring and the organisation of sex parties at luxury hotels in the city of Lille.

Consorting with prostitutes is legal in France but supplying prostitutes to others is illegal, the BBC reports. It is also illegal for an official to accept gifts of any kind from a company.

Reports say Mr Strauss-Kahn could be charged if magistrates deem that he was aware the women who took part in sex parties he is alleged to have attended were prostitutes.

Mr Strauss Kahn's lawyer has previously said the former IMF chief thought he was participating in swingers' parties and had no reason to believe the women involved were prostitutes.

The affair has already led to the arrests of several leading figures in the city, including businessmen and police chiefs.

Mr Strauss Kahn has demanded to be questioned by the judges leading the investigation, in the hope it will bring a halt to such newspaper reports and clear his name.

The former IMF boss still faces a civil suit in the United States by his alleged victim in New York, Nafissatou Diallo.

A French inquiry into attempted rape claims brought by writer Tristane Banon against Mr Strauss-Kahn was also dropped.