DOMINIQUE Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former IMF chief, played an "actual and crucial" role in a multinational prostitution network, judges in France assert.
The one-time French presidential hopeful (pictured) was not only aware that women with whom he had sex at orgies were paid-for prostitutes but he was the "instigator" of the vice ring, the judges concluded.
Mr Strauss-Kahn (64) is facing up to 20 years in prison after a court in northern France last month ordered a formal investigation to proceed into his alleged role in a sprawling sex vice racket.
He has admitted attending "libertine soirees" in France and the US, but that he had no idea that some of the women present were being remunerated for their services. His lawyers contend he had no way of knowing as the female participants "were all naked at the time".
On December 19, a court in Douai rejected a request to drop the inquiry into the so-called Carlton affair – named after a Lille hotel where staff are accused of playing a role in the alleged vice ring.
In damning details of their ruling, revealed by 'Le Figaro' newspaper, the judges are cited as finding serious reason pointing to his "effective and crucial participation in acts of pimping". The evidence suggests he "could not have been unaware about these women's status".
The judges supported their conclusions by citing one of the shamed economist's "former mistress", who said the prostitutes "all knew each other, didn't take part in conversations or meals, got undressed right from the start of the soiree and started sexual relations without any foreplay".
The judges also accused Mr Strauss-Kahn of making a friend's garret flat in Paris available for "sex soirees in the presence of prostitutes paid between €500 to €1,000 each".
"He initiated and clearly and knowingly helped create a system based on the complicity of his immediate entourage with the goal of satisfying his sexual needs," they wrote.
Mr Strauss-Kahn is one of nine people facing charges over the alleged vice network. (© Daily Telegraph, London)