Fri, May 25, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Strauss-Kahn seeks right to discuss vice case with reporters


Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn sought on Wednesday to lift legal restrictions placed on him after he was charged in a vice case in Lille, France.

Strauss-Kahn arrived at the appeals court in Douai, near Lille, in a car with black-tinted windows and left about three hours later.

“We contested the legal restrictions, notably this very strange ban on speaking to the press about a matter that the media discusses a lot,” one of Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, Henri Leclerc, said after the hearing.

The appeals court’s verdict was expected on Wednesday next week, Leclerc said.

Strauss-Kahn, two businessmen and a police chief were in March charged with “aggravated pimping in an organized gang” in Lille for allegedly organizing a prostitution ring for orgies in France, the US and elsewhere.

Legal restrictions slapped on Strauss-Kahn after he was charged include a ban on speaking to others who have been charged in the case, witnesses and media concerning the case.

Leclerc said after his client was charged that the ban on talking to the media was “persecutory and pointless.”

The pimping case in Lille centers on accusations that prostitutes were procured for sex parties attended by Strauss-Kahn and paid for by executives who corruptly charged the parties to company expenses.

Strauss-Kahn admits he attended a string of orgies in various cities, but insists he had no idea that many of the female guests were paid to attend, telling police in a reported interview that he may have been “naive.”

Meanwhile, the New York hotel maid whose accusations of sexual assault disgraced Strauss-Kahn expanded her civil suit against him to include gender-motivated violence, according to a copy of the complaint obtained on Wednesday.

Strauss-Kahn, who resigned from the IMF following the scandal, suffered a stunning fall from grace after his arrest in May last year on accusations he assaulted Nafissatou Diallo at the upscale Sofitel hotel.

The charges were eventually dropped, but Strauss-Kahn has since faced a series of criminal and civil actions in connection with alleged sex crimes.

Among them is a civil suit filed by Diallo, who claims she was ambushed by a nude Strauss-Kahn.

The “defendant committed a crime of violence against [the] plaintiff because she is a woman and at least in part, because he has an animus towards women,” Diallo’s lawyers wrote in the revised complaint.

Strauss-Kahn has in turn filed a US$1 million countersuit for malicious prosecution and defamation.

Adding to Strauss-Kahn’s legal woes, French prosecutors on Monday opened a preliminary investigation into accusations he took part in a gang rape in the US, according to testimony from a prostitute heard as part of the pimping probe.

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