A French prosecutor has called for Dominique Strauss-Kahn to be acquitted of aggravated pimping charges.
Prosecutor Frederic Fevre said “neither the judicial enquiry nor the hearing” had proved that the former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief had provided prostitutes to sex parties.
Fevre’s request came the day after two former prostitutes dropped a civil case against Strauss-Kahn at the trial in Lille. Their lawyer argued that the women felt unable to prove the 65-year-old had been aware of their status as prostitutes.
Strauss-Kahn, whose political status once led him to be considered a potential candidate for the French presidency after Nicolas Sarkozy, has admitted to attending sex parties over the course of the trial but has downplayed the extent of his involvement. If found guilty he could face up to 10 years in prison.
He told the court last week:
When you read the criminal complaint you get the impression it was this frenetic activity. But it was four times a year, not more than that. It wasn’t this out-of-control activity.
Prosecutors had always expected difficulty in getting a conviction against Strauss-Kahn for pimping and had originally asked for the charges to be dropped ahead of the trial, before being overruled by the judges who sent the case to trial.
Strauss-Kahn has repeatedly denied both knowing that the participating women were prostitutes and arranging the events himself - two facts which would have to be proved by the prosecution in order to reach a conviction.
The former IMF chief's political career came crashing down when he was accused of sexual assault by a New York hotel maid in 2011. He has had two further cases of rape and sexual assault brought against him, but all have either been dropped or settled out of court.
The trial is expected to finish this week, although a verdict is not expected immediately.