DSK pimping trial to focus on Paris 'bachelor pad'
Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will Thursday have to explain the use of his chic Parisian "bachelor pad" for sex parties attended by prostitutes to a French court where is he standing trial for aggravated pimping.
The 65-year-old has steadfastly denied organising for prostitutes to attend sex parties with him in Paris, Brussels and Washington, saying he had no idea the women attending what he described as "classic" orgies were paid to be there.
The use of his apartment in a chic Parisian neighbourhood to host the parties is considered supporting prostitution in the eyes of the law, one of the key definitions of pimping.
While prostitution in itself is legal in France, encouraging and organising its practice is considered to be procuring and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The court has sifted through the details of the sex parties in a bid to determine who organised and paid for the prostitutes to attend, angering Strauss-Kahn as his often brutal bedroom behaviour was exposed.
At least three prostitutes have delivered jarring testimony accusing the former presidential frontrunner of sodomising them without their permission.
- 'Deviant practices' -
But Strauss-Kahn lashed out at the "absurd" need for these details in a case in which he is accused of aggravated pimping for allegedly aiding and abetting the prostitution of seven women.
"I must have a sexuality which, compared to average men, is more rough. Women have the right not to like that whether they are prostitutes or not," he said Wednesday.
However he said he was not on trial for "deviant practices."
He argues he is a libertine engaging in sex parties with a group of friends, including couples, arguing he often came with a female companion himself.
In this circle of friends, who made several trips to Washington where Strauss-Kahn was based as the head of the International Monetary Fund, businessmen Fabrice Paszkowski and David Roquet have admitted to organising and paying for the sex parties.
The two men have steadfastly denied that their friend Strauss-Kahn knew the women they brought to the parties were prostitutes.
The prosecution has come down hard on another member of his entourage, former police commissioner Jean-Christophe Lagarde, for his apparent inability to recognise a prostitute, as he continues to insist he did not know the women were paid.
- 'Inconceivable' risk -
Strauss-Kahn has said 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.
Former prostitute Jade, who attended several of the sex parties, said that on a trip to Washington Strauss-Kahn's friends told her to pretend she was a secretary, but maintains the economist would be "naive" not to have realised she was a prostitute.
While she attended several of the sex parties, often she had limited sexual relations with Strauss-Kahn, who said this sunk the argument that she was there specifically for him.
However she was one of the women who delivered an emotional account of Strauss-Kahn's sexual preferences on one occasion when she "turned her back to him."
"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, sobbing, adding she had not had time to protest.
Strauss-Kahn said he did not realise she objected to the act and was "sorry" she experienced it that way.
But Jade also admitted to a "certain friendship" with Strauss-Kahn, who took her to visit his office at the IMF, where they snapped a photo together.
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.
His appearance in the trial, alongside 13 other accused, comes 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.
© 2015 AFP