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Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces pimping charges

PARIS -- Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will have to defend himself in a French court on charges of aggravated pimping despite recommendations by prosecutors that the charges be dropped.

Judges investigating the case in the northern city of Lille decided on Friday to go ahead with charges of aggravated pimping in a group.

The case revolves around an alleged hotel prostitution ring and hinges on whether Strauss-Kahn, 64, knew he was partying with prostitutes and whose money was used to pay them. His lawyers have said Strauss-Kahn had attended "libertine" gatherings but did not know that some women there were paid.

A total of 14 people, including Strauss-Kahn, are to be tried on aggravated pimping in a group. A more serious charge of organized pimping was dropped.

In France, it is not against the law to pay for sex, but it is against the law to solicit or to run a prostitution business.

Prostitutes questioned in the case said they had sex with Strauss-Kahn during 2010 and 2011 at a luxury hotel in Paris, at a restaurant in the French capital and also in Washington, where he lived while working for the Washington-based IMF, judicial officials have said. No trial date was set.-- AP

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