Russian women arrested in vice case file complaint

25th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 24, 2007 (AFP) - Two Russian women arrested in France in January along with one of Russia's wealthiest men as part of a prostitution probe are pressing charges for "arbitrary detention", their lawyer said Thursday.

PARIS, May 24, 2007 (AFP) - Two Russian women arrested in France in January along with one of Russia's wealthiest men as part of a prostitution probe are pressing charges for "arbitrary detention", their lawyer said Thursday.

Christian Charriere-Bournazel said the complaint against the police had been filed in the eastern ski resort town of Chambery on Wednesday.

In all 26 people including Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the 41-year-old chief executive of mining giant Norilsk Nickel, were arrested on January 11 in a raid on a suspected prostitution ring during Russian New Year celebrations in the elite French ski resort of Courchevel.

Some 50 police officers swooped on the hotel after an investigation suggested prostitutes had been procured for guests there.

Pimping is an illegal activity in France even though discreet prostitution itself is legal.

Following the sweep, Prokhorov, the two Russian women and one other person were placed in preventive custody but were quickly released. No charges were filed against them.

The two women, who according to their lawyer are an ecology student and a secretary, filed the complaint because they felt police had treated them in a "humiliating and degrading manner".

"They were treated like good-for-nothings, as if they were guilty of something," Charriere-Bournazel told AFP, adding that he had spoken with his clients in Russia.

"They were treated as prostitutes, something they have formally denied. But even supposing they were, this is not a crime and they could not be accused of soliciting while they were peacefully sleeping in their room," he added.

Prokhorov is popularly seen as Russia's most eligible bachelor and is estimated to be worth 7.6 billion dollars (5.9 billion euros), making him the 89th richest person in the world, according to Forbes magazine.


Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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