DSK Charged with Complicity and Misuse of Funds In Prostitution Case
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund and favorite to the presidency of France, was released on Tuesday on a 100,000 euros bail, after being charged with “complicity in aggravated and organized prostitution” as part of an “organized gang” and “misuse of company assets.” According to the bail terms, he is to contact no one of the people who may be related in any way to the investigation.
Strauss-Kahn was called on Monday to the city of Lille, where he was charged on Monday night, two days earlier than expected. The Guardian reports that he was “mis en examen,” which is the equivalent of being charged. If found guilty, he could stay behind bars for 20 years.
DSK was firstly called to the Lille police on February 21, in connection to accusation related to a prostitution ring operating in Belgium and France. He was kept in custody for two days then, and submitted to various questions related to a high-class prostitution ring in Lille. Prostitutes interrogated by the police have said that in 2010 and 2011 that they had had sexual relations with him in a hotel in Paris, and Washington.
The lawyers defending DSK said that he wanted to tell his part of the story, and said he had never known that the women he met at parties were prostitutes. DSK is said to have participated in swing parties, which would have mislead him to think that the women were not prostitutes.
According to BBC, the case in February, which was called the “Carlton affair” after the name of the hotel in Lille where the events occurred, was linked to the fact that it was supposed that the prostitutes that DSK met at those parties were being paid with the money of corporate funds, which is illegal in France, where the officials are not allowed to receive any gifts from companies.
Eight people, including a police commissioner and two Lille businessmen, were placed under investigation, while construction firm Eiffage has fired an executive accused of having paid for escorts.
DSK admitted to have participated in orgies arranged by friends, as part of a “uninhibited sex life,” but that he never paid a centime for the prostitutes and never asked his friends if they did. He was quoted to say that he had a “horror of prostitutes and pimping.”
On Wednesday, DSK must appear before judges in New York City, in a civil case brought against him by Nafissatou Diallo, the Sofitel maid who accused him last year of sexual assault.
The criminal case was dismissed last year, as the prosecution realized that Diallo was not going to be considered a reliable source of truth, given her history of lies and prostitution activities.
A civil case has however been instrumented against the former head of IMF, whose lawyers are expected to demand that the case be dismissed on the grounds that at the time the alleged facts occurred their client was having immunity.
If the judge admits to dismiss the case, DSK’s troubles in the United States will be over. If not, the civil trial will proceed within a few weeks. DSK was cleared last October of another accusation of rape in France, made by the daughter of a former Socialist colleague, Tristane Banon, who said that he had attempted to rape her during an interview when he was a member of the National Assembly of France.
Since then DSK made attempts to get his career back on track, but he was met with refusal. On Tuesday he was supposed to speak at a European Parliament debate, but had to cancel after members of the parliament said it was “indecent” of him to appear on the floor of the institution.
As he attempted to speak at Cambridge Union Society, he sparked a demonstration against him. He was able though to speak before the members of a private club and students members of the society.
The stream of sexual scandals brought his political career at an end, given that he was considered the favorite to win the presidential elections in April. The Socialist party had to nominate Francois Hollande, who is still leading in polls, especially after the shooting in Toulouse, in spite of the promises made by incumbent Sarkozy to crack down on any form of Islamic militant attitude.
On Tuesday, the Socialist colleagues of DSK reminded that the page was turned on the former IMF leader, and that the party no longer associates its image with him. Francois Hollande himself considered the new charge against DSK a painful personal problem he had nothing to comment on.11