Police once stopped DSK in notorious Paris park: report
Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was reportedly stopped by police five years ago in a Paris park notorious as a night-time haunt for prostitutes, France's interior minister said in a newspaper interview to be published Sunday.
But Claude Gueant dismissed as nonsense suggestions that Strauss-Kahn was the victim of a conspiracy and told the Journal Du Dimanche that it was "scandalous" to claim he had been spied on by French police.
Asked about reports that police stopped Strauss-Kahn in Paris's Bois de Boulogne in December 2006, Gueant said: "Yes, I've heard of this story in which Mr Strauss-Kahn was stopped in the Bois de Boulogne by the officers in charge of the area's surveillance during a routine check.
"But there was no action taken over this matter. He wasn't framed by the police. He was not being followed. After all, it's not the police's fault if he was there that night," he said.
Paying for sexual relations is not illegal in France and prostitutes' clients are not prosecuted.
A lawyer for the Socialist politician widely known as DSK condemned what he charged was a politically-motivated allegation.
Strauss-Kahn was forced to resign as International Monetary Fund chief after he was arrested in New York in May over accusations he raped a hotel maid, charges that have since been dropped.
He does does not deny a sexual act took place in the Sofitel suite but insists it was consensual.
He had been expected to beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in France's 2012 presidential election but the New York case and subsequent claims of sexual misconduct in France were enough to end his political ambitions.
"I am shocked when I read that entire conspiracy theories are being concocted just because Mr Strauss-Kahn lost his phone," Gueant said, referring to an article that suggested the former IMF chief had been set up.
"Mr Strauss-Kahn was not being spied on by the French police, it is scandalous to suggest that today," he told the paper.
The maid, Nafissatou Diallo, has been accused of being part of a conspiracy to smear the French politician and a book by a French journalist insinuates that she may have stolen an IMF-issued Blackberry mobile phone.
In France, Strauss-Kahn's name has been linked to a judicial investigation into a prostitution ring operating out of luxury hotels in the northern French city of Lille and a string of Belgian brothels.
© 2011 AFP