Thursday 14 December 2017

Prosecutor asks for Strauss-Kahn acquittal in French sex trial

Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Pierre Savary

Prosecutors in the "pimping" case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn have said the former IMF chief should be cleared.

State prosecutor Frédéric Fèvre has recommended that the charge of “aggravated pimping” against Mr Strauss-Kahn should be dropped because neither the investigation nor the evidence heard in court had established his guilt.

"The last two weeks has failed to produce any evidence that the former French politician “instigated” and organised a series of sex parties with prostitutes," the prosecutor said.

“Did he organise these parties? The answer is no. Did he pay for these parties? The answer is no? Did he search out these prostitutes? The answer is no.”

His recommendations for acquittal were not a surprise. During the questioning of Mr Strauss-Kahn last week, prosecutor Fèvre scarcely asked him a question. Most of the interrogation was left to the judges.

The prosecutor came close to criticising the approach of the investigating magistrates who insisted on sending him for trial.

He said that he was “troubled” that, of all those involved, the investigation had dwelt on the “detail of the sexual practises of only one man.”

"The celebrity or “notoriety” of the former IMF chief cannot justify a 'severe' approach by the French justice system," Mr Fèvre said.

Read More: Five plaintiffs in Dominique Strauss-Kahn pimping trial drop accusations against former IMF chief

The high-profile case against the disgraced former International Monetary Fund boss was severely weaken on Tuesday when five of the six plaintiffs in the trial dropped their accusations against him.

The final decision on Mr Strauss-Kahn innocence or guilt rests with the panel of four judges.

It now seems likely, however, that Mr Strauss-Khan will be acquitted of the only charge to reach trial after four years of accusations of sexual misconduct in France and the United States.

Speaking before the prosecution announced its recommendations, Mr Strauss-Kahn said told journalists: “There is nothing against me in this case. I have known that for three and a half years.”

Read More: 'My sex life should not be on trial' - Dominique Strauss-Kahn tells courtroom

Asked whether two ex-prostitutes who told the court last week about “brutal” experiences with him were lying, he replied: “No, I don’t say they were lying but they have perhaps revisited their memories.”

Mr Strauss-Kahn said that the real damage to the two women had been caused by media publicity, not his own actions.

“These girls, what most destroyed them, was not what happened but the press circus over the last three years,” he said.

Reuters

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