Strauss-Kahn sex charges ruling delayed

Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Kiev, 4 April 2012 Dominique Strauss-Kahn has accused authorities of trying to criminalise lust

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A French court has delayed a ruling on whether former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn will stand trial on pimping charges.

Prosecutors said the appeals court in French town of Douai said the decision would be made on 19 December.

The charges relate to sex parties held in a luxury hotel in the northern city of Lille.

Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyer wants the case dropped, saying his client did not know some of the women were prostitutes.

It is the only outstanding case the former IMF head faces in France.

Mr Strauss-Kahn, 63, was widely expected to become the Socialist presidential candidate before he was arrested in May 2011 in New York, accused of trying to rape a hotel maid.

US prosecutors later dropped criminal charges, though the alleged victim, Nafissatou Diallo, is pursuing a civil lawsuit alleging sexual assault.

'Insufficient grounds'

The Lille case has become know as the Carlton affair, after the name of the hotel in which the alleged orgies took place.

Sex cases against Strauss-Kahn

  • Criminal case on sexual assault charge in New York - dropped August 2011
  • Criminal investigation on attempted rape claims in Paris - dropped October 2011
  • Investigation on "gang rape" claims in Washington - dropped October 2012
  • Civil case on sexual assault charge in New York - ongoing

Consorting with prostitutes is not against the law in France, and Mr Strauss-Kahn has acknowledged that he was at some of the parties with the women.

But Mr Strauss-Kahn's legal team says he had no idea they were prostitutes, and that there is no evidence to support a formal charge of pimping.

"We are requesting that this investigation be annulled on account of the fact that there are insufficient grounds to support it," said defence lawyer Richard Malka.

Mr Strauss-Kahn, who is reportedly taking steps to reinvent himself as a highly paid consultant and conference speaker, says the authorities are trying to "criminalise lust".

Other cases against him have already been dropped.

Last month, French prosecutors ended an investigation into allegations of "gang rape" at a hotel in Washington after the woman who made the claim retracted her evidence.

Magistrates also dropped a sexual assault case brought by French author Tristane Banon on the grounds that the alleged 2003 incident had taken place too long ago.

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