FORMER IMF chief
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is being questioned by French police investigating
a suspected hotel prostitution ring. He had been due to be interrogated as
a witness but prosecutors said he was now a suspect.
to a report which appeared in Sky News, shortly after his arrival
for questioning, prosecutors said he would instead be detained on
suspicion of "complicity in pimping" and "misuse of company funds" and
could thus face charges and see his detention stretch to 96 hours.
Police in the northern city of Lille are probing a suspected prostitution
ring in France and Belgium that has implicated police and other officials.
Officers have questioned prostitutes who said they had sex with
Strauss-Kahn during 2010 and 2011 at a luxury hotel in Paris, a restaurant
in the French capital and also in Washington DC.
Strauss-Kahn lived in the US capital while he was head of the
International Monetary Fund before resigning from his IMF position in May.
Two men with ties to Strauss-Kahn have been put under preliminary
investigation in France on charges including organizing a prostitution
ring and misuse of corporate funds.
The former IMF chief's name surfaced in the investigation last year and
his lawyer has asked that he be allowed to tell his side of the story.
Investigators are seeking to discover if prostitutes were paid using
corporate funds from a large French construction company.
It is Strauss-Kahn's latest run-in with police over alleged sexual
misconduct. He was charged by New York police in May with making a hotel
maid perform oral sex. The one-time French presidential hopeful has said
the sexual encounter was "inappropriate" but not violent. New York
prosecutors dropped the case against him in August because of doubts about
the credibility of his accuser, Nafissatou Diallo.
She says she was truthful about the encounter and is pursuing her claims
in a lawsuit. In a separate case last October, French prosecutors refused
to pursue an allegation by a young French writer of attempted rape by
Strauss-Kahn. The Paris prosecutor's office dropped the investigation into
Tristane Banon's claim that Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during a 2003
interview for a book the then-23-year-old was writing, saying they could
not send him to trial because it happened too long ago.
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