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Strauss-Kahn freed after police questioning
Former IMF chief to be summoned to appear before magistrates on charges linked to prostitution and corruption.
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2012 21:23
Strauss-Kahn would be summoned to appear before investigating magistrates on March 28 [Reuters]

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former chief of the International Monetary Fund, has been freed by French police after two days of questioning about an alleged prostitution ring.

A judicial source said Strauss-Kahn, once considered a front-runner to become the next president of France, would be summoned to appear before investigating magistrates on March 28 on charges linked to prostitution and corruption.

Strauss-Kahn was released on Wednesday after being detained for about 32 hours for questioning on the charges of "abetting aggravated pimping by an organised gang" and "misuse of company funds".

Investigators are seeking to discover if prostitutes were paid using corporate funds from a large French construction company.

Police 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.

Prostitutes in sex parties

Two men with ties to Strauss-Kahn have been put under preliminary investigation in France on charges including organising a prostitution ring and misuse of corporate funds.

Strauss-Kahn's name surfaced in the investigation last fall and his lawyer has asked that Strauss-Kahn be allowed to tell his side of the story.

One of Strauss-Kahn's lawyers has said that the former French presidential hopeful did not know that the women at parties he attended were prostitutes.

"He could easily not have known, because as you can imagine, at these kinds of parties you're not always dressed, and I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman," Henri Leclerc told French radio Europe 1 in December.

French newspapers have dubbed the investigation "The Carlton Affair" after the name of the expensive Lille hotel where some of the meetings took place.

Previous accusations

This is Strauss-Kahn's latest run-in with police over alleged sexual misconduct.

He resigned from the IMF in May 2011 when he was charged with raping a New York hotel maid.

New York prosecutors dropped the case against him in August because the woman had undercut her credibility by lying about her background and changing her account of her actions right after the alleged attack.

She says she was truthful about the encounter and is pursuing her claims in a lawsuit.

The scandal effectively ended his hopes for the French presidency.

In a separate case in October 2011, 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 writer 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.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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