Feb 22 - French police interrogate former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn as part of an investigation into an alleged prostitution ring in northern France. Katharine Jackson reports.
Cameras converge on Dominique Strauss-Kahn as his car pulls into at police station in Lille, France. Police are questioning the former IMF chief about an alleged prostitution ring thought to have organized sex parties in Paris, Brussels and Washington and supplied clients of Lille's luxury Carlton hotel. Police want to know whether Strauss-Kahn knew the women at the parties were prostitutes...an allegation his lawyer addressed in an interview in December. (SOUNDBITE) (French) DOMINIQUE STRAUSS KAHN LAWYER HENRI LECLERC SAYING: "He could have perfectly been unaware. Let me tell you that people are not always clothed at these parties. I challenge you to tell the difference between a nude prostitute and a classy lady in the nude." Once a contender for the French presidency, Strauss-Kahn's political ambitions came to a halt in May when he was accused of attempting to rape a maid in a Manhattan hotel. A New York court later dropped the charges. Prostitution is not illegal in France. But Strauss-Kahn risks being charged if police decide he knowingly had sex with prostitutes paid for out of company funds. Strauss-Kahn can be held for up to 48 hours, after which police could place him under formal investigation. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.