Lawyers for the former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn say there is no substance to accusations concerning his alleged involvement in a prostitution ring.
The legal move placing him under investigation in France could lead to formal charges. In Paris, Strauss-Kahn’s legal team described the case as “empty”, predicting that it would collapse under scrutiny.
“You have a case that mobilises three examining magistrates and whole police departments. Why? In five years there’ve been two to three sex parties a year, two to three sex parties a year in five years,” said lawyer Henri Leclerc.
Eight other people have been placed under formal investigation in what’s known as the “Carlton Affair”, including a senior police officer. Magistrates are also investigating a possible misuse of corporate funds.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn – once seen as a contender for the French presidency – has admitted he was at some of the parties but denies knowing the women were prostitutes, as the authorities believe.
On Wednesday a civil case begins in New York, based on a hotel maid’s accusations of attempted rape. Criminal charges were dropped last year. Strauss-Kahn denies any wrongdoing.