A French court has acquitted former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of procuring prostitutes for sex parties in France, Belgium and the US.
Strauss-Kahn stood alongside 13 co-defendants, most of whom were also acquitted of “aggravated pimping”. He has always denied knowing that some of the women who took part in orgies he attended were prostitutes.
Lurid details of the former French presidential hopeful’s sex life emerged at hearings in Lille in February.
Although using prostitutes is not illegal in France, assisting in supplying them is illegal and regarded as procuring. Strauss-Kahn had been accused of playing a pivotal role in facilitating the orgies.
The verdict brings to a close four years of legal proceedings against Strauss-Kahn, including charges of attempted rape which were later dropped in 2012.
Strauss-Kahn gave little reaction while the verdict was being read out, but he was overheard saying to his daughter afterwards: “All that for this? What a waste”.
His lawyer, Henri Leclerc, told journalists: “Everyone can see there was no legal basis in the case and all the noise that has surrounded this story has given us all something to think about.”
The chief judge said Strauss-Kahn behaved as a client and had not paid the sex workers he met. He only benefitted from others paying them to be present for group parties, the judge added.
Among the others acquitted was Belgian brothel owner Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo la Saumure, who was accused of supplying prostitutes for the parties.