Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn lashes out at court for focus on sexual preferences

February 12, 2015 4:32 am

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Wednesday lashed out at
the focus on his sexual behaviour in a French court where he is charged
with pimping, saying he was not on trial for “deviant” acts.
The
65-year-old, once seen as a frontrunner for the French presidency, said
the idea that his preference for certain practices highlighted in court,
such as sodomy, would spur him to seek out prostitutes was “absurd.”

 Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Photo / AP

For
a second day, the court in the northern city of Lille picked apart sex
parties attended by Strauss-Kahn in Paris, Brussels and Washington in a
bid to uncover whether he arranged for prostitutes to attend.
While
in itself is legal, encouraging and organising its
practice is considered to be procuring and is punishable by up to 10
years in prison.
Strauss-Kahn denies knowing that the women with
whom he engaged in “free and friendly” sex parties were prostitutes,
saying paying for sex would be too great a risk for a man at the head of
the IMF, which was busy “saving the world from an unprecedented”
financial crisis.

Wednesday’s proceedings began with an emotional account from
Jade, an ex-prostitute, about a night in a Brussels hotel where she said
Strauss-Kahn sodomised her without permission, in what she said was a
clear sign he knew she was paid to be there.
“I experienced a
penetration without my permission. If I was a libertine, I would at
least have been asked if I wanted to do that,” she said, adding she had
not had time to protest.
Strauss-Kahn said he did not realise she objected and was “sorry” she experienced it that way.
The silver-haired economist lost his patience when a lawyer for the prostitutes interrogated him on the act.
“I
am starting to get fed up,” he said, adding people were free to
disagree with his proclivities, but that he was not on trial for
“deviant sexual practices.”

Trip to Washington

Much
of proceedings were taken up with accounts of a trip by Jade and
friends of Strauss-Kahn to visit him in Washington, and whether the
then-IMF chief asked for a prostitute to be brought along.
It
emerged Strauss-Kahn had taken Jade on a visit to the IMF, and judge
Bernard Lemaire passed around a picture of her smiling alongside him in
his office. However Strauss-Kahn said if he had known she was a
prostitute it was “inconceivable” that he would have risked taking her
to his place of work.
Lemaire asked Jade why she had agreed to the trip which took place in January 2010.
“For 2,000 euros! I am not going to say no. I love travelling. I had never seen Washington,” she said.
Jade
said that while Strauss-Kahn’s entourage had asked her to be “discreet”
and pretend she was a secretary on the trip to Washington, she had
previously had a conversation with him in which she mentioned she worked
at a swingers club.
“There is naive and then there is naive. We
are not stupid. It is easy” to say Strauss-Kahn did not know they were
prostitutes, she said.
Strauss-Kahn hit back saying: “I am not naive.”
The
court also spent a lot of time cross-examining Fabrice Paszkowski and
David Roquet – who have admitted to organising and paying for the sex
parties – and former police commissioner Jean-Christophe Lagarde, on
their role in the alleged prostitution ring.
Paszkowski said he never told Strauss-Kahn he had paid the women to attend, as he would have been ashamed to do so.

Prostitution vs pimping

Paszkowski’s
lawyer Karl Vandamme attacked the court for putting prostitution on
trial. “We must stop this hypocrisy because there are clashing systems,
one like ours which legalises prostitution … and one which forbids
pimping. The two laws are getting mixed up and creating confusion.”
Laws aside, Strauss-Kahn, an unabashed libertine, has said he is “horrified at the practice of using prostitutes.”
He
also objected to the impression given by the prosecution of a
“frenetic” schedule of sex parties, saying he only took part in such
“recreational outlets” four times a year between 2008 and 2011.
Known
in as DSK, Strauss-Kahn finds himself back in the dock four
years after his high-flying career and presidential prospects were
torpedoed when he was accused of sexual assault by a New York hotel
maid, a case later settled in a civil suit.
He is the most
high-profile of the accused who include a colourful cast of characters,
including police, a prostitute, a lawyer and a notorious brothel owner
known as “Dodo the Pimp.”

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