March 28 - Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces allegations of pimping in northern France as Diallo civil case for attempted rape gets underway in New York. Nick Rowlands reports.
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is back in the limelight. Although U.S. prosecutors dropped the criminal charges against him, a civil case brought by Nafissatou Diallo - who accuses Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in a New York hotel last May - is due to begin on Wednesday. And on Monday he was formally put under investigation for suspected involvement in a prostitution scandal in the northern French city of Lille. A specialist in French and American law says Strauss-Kahn's lawyers will try to prevent the Lille matter from being admitted into court in the Diallo case. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPECIALIST IN FRENCH AND AMERICAN LAW AT FIELD FICHER WATERHOUSE CHRISTOPHER MESNOOH, SAYING: "Well the lawyers for Madame Diallo are certainly going to attempt to bring the Lille matter back to New York and use it as proof that Mr. Strauss-Kahn has a difficult and problematic physical and sexual relationship with women in general and they are going to try and use that to show that the case brought by Madame Diallo is solid." One Parisian says the affair does not warrant such intense media scrutiny. (SOUNDBITE) (French) PARISIAN SERGE KARASEC SAYING: "I think this is ridiculous, it blown out of proportion, it's a private affair and his dalliances don't interest me." The New York accusations came just days before Strauss-Kahn was expected to announce he would run for the French presidency. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.