Updated: 03/10/12 : 07:21:13Printable Version
French prosecutors have shelved an investigation into whether former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn took part in a gang rape in the United States, but kept open another one into alleged pimping.
Mr Strauss-Kahn denied the rape claims which related to evenings with escorts at a Washington DC hotel in late 2010 while he was still at the head of the International Monetary Fund.
The Belgian woman, who was supposed to have been the victim of the alleged rape, wrote to French police in August to say she had consented to sex acts and was not pressing charges, according to the prosecutor's office in Lille, northern France.
However Mr Strauss-Kahn, two businessmen and a police chief still face separate allegations of "aggravated pimping in an organised gang" linked to a prostitution ring run out of the luxury Carlton hotel in Lille.
Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyer Henri Leclerc said his client would be cleared in that investigation as well, saying: "There is no hint he was involved in pimping. You will see that emerge although right now this is fuelling scandal."
The French Socialist politician's career collapsed spectacularly after his arrest last year on accusations he sexually assaulted a hotel maid at the upmarket Sofitel hotel in New York City.
The charges were eventually dropped but Mr Strauss-Kahn, who was once considered a favourite for the French presidency, has since faced a series of criminal and civil actions in connection with alleged past sex crimes.
The hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, has launched a civil suit against him in New York seeking unspecified damages, while he has in turn filed a countersuit for malicious prosecution and defamation.