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Strauss-Kahn bids to clear name

Former IMF boss wants to end "malicious insinuations" over claims of a high-class callgirl ring in Lille


FORMER International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has demanded to speak to detectives investigating an alleged vice ring in the northern city of Lille to put an end to "malicious insinuations".

Police have closed down three city hotels - including the four-star Carlton - which were said to be linked to a high-class European prostitution network using underage girls.

Strauss-Kahn's name has been given in several newspapers and media sites as an alleged client but he said he wanted to speak to judges "as quickly as possible" to clear his name.

The Carlton's owner, managing director and public relations chief have been arrested and charged with providing prostitutes. Although prostitution is not illegal in France, sex workers must be over 18.

Strauss-Kahn last week saw prosecutors deciding not to proceed with an investigation into claims by writer Tristane Banon that he tried to rape her. That decision comes after he walked free from a New York court when charges of the attempted rape of a chambermaid were dropped due to doubts over the woman's credibility.

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