Strauss Kahn Pimping Trial Gets Underway in Lille

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Dominique Strauss Kahn enjoyed the services of up to eight call girls at a time, a prostitute has alleged.

The incident emerged during court today; Mr Strauss Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund stands accused of “aggravated pimping” in the northern French city of Lille. If found guilty he faces up to ten years in jail and a fine of €1.5million.

The allegation formed part of the testimony of Sandrine Vandenschrik, who told police that she witnessed the incident at the Murano, a four star hotel. “I was shocked – I didn’t want to get involved in this carnage,” she said.

Strauss Kahn, 65, is denying the allegations, claiming that he did not know the girls were prostitutes. “He really wants us to believe he’s naive and takes us for idiots,” said Miss Vandenschrik.

Another witness also described a scene of “carnage with a heap of mattresses on the floor”, with Strauss Kahn in the height of “pure sexual consummation” with naked girls writhing all over his body.

Strauss Kahn is standing trial alongside 13 other men and women, all of whom are alleged to have played part in the Carlton Affair, a prostitution ring named after the four star Carlton hotel where other such parties took place. He is also said to have entertained prostitutes in a flat in Paris, and in Washington DC, near the IMF offices, as well as enjoying orgies worldwide alongside police chiefs and captains of business.

Although prostitution and using the services of prostitutes is not illegal in France, procuring prostitutes for another person is. Strauss Kahn has been described by prosecutors as the “King of the Party” for his role in the prostitution ring.

He has admitted to a huge sexual appetite and enjoying “libertine” parties, but denies knowing that the girls were prostitutes, arguing that it was impossible to know what the girls did for a living because they were all naked.

A former French finance minister, Strauss Kahn had been tipped to succeed Nicholas Sarkozy as French President, until in 2011 his career came to an abrupt end when he was accused of attempted rape by a New York chambermaid. That case was eventually settled in a civil settlement after the criminal case was dropped. A subsequent attempted rape allegation case in Paris was also closed on the statute of limitations, but his political ambitions were brought to an end.

Last October, he stepped down from investment firm Leyne Strauss Kahn and Partners mere days before his business partner died in an apparent suicide. The firm declared bankruptcy just days later, and the collapse is now being investigated by Luxembourg.

In December, his legal team released a statement claiming that the charges “contradict all legal good sense”. Strauss Kahn also told Le Parisien that he was “serene” about the trial, and confident of being cleared by the court. If he is found guilty, he is more likely to be given a six-month suspended sentence, lawyer Stephane Bonnifassi, who is not connected to the case, has told Bloomberg. He added that Strauss Kahn would struggle to revive his career for a third time.

The trial will run to the 20th February, with a possible week long extension, a court spokesman has said. Strauss Kahn is expected to give evidence on the 10th February.