Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief tipped to become French president before he was accused of sexual assault in 2011, goes on trial in a separate case for ''pimping'' charges. Mana Rabiee reports.
Lawyers in the sex trial of former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrive at a courthouse in Lille, France. The trial of the man once tapped to become French president began on Monday -- for charges of "aggravated pimping". Prosecutors say Strauss-Kahn organized sex parties with prostitutes at his rental apartment. His lawyers argue their client never denied his penchant for sex parties -- but didn't play a pivotal role in organizing them and didn't realize the women were prostitutes. Strauss-Kahn says he's being hounded unfairly over his lifestyle -- in a country where prostitution is legal -- even if the activities around it, like procurement of prostitutes, are not. David Lepidi is a lawyer for a civil plaintiff in the case, a non governmental organization that fights procurement of prostitutes. He says the trial against Strauss-Kahn isn't personal. (SOUNDBITE) (French) LAWYER FOR THE EACP, A NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION WHICH FIGHTS PROCUREMENT OF PROSTITUTES, DAVID LEPIDI, SAYING: "We are not an association fighting Dominique Strauss-Kahn. We fight all forms of procurement of prostitution. If by the end of the debates, elements show there are reasons for a conviction, then we will support it. If on the other hand we see there is no substance, we won't insist." As head of the International Monetary Fund, Strauss-Kahn was once one of the most influential decision makers in the world. He enjoyed a runaway lead in opinion polls while preparing to run for French president in 2011. But a sexual assault accusation from a New York hotel chambermaid dashed any presidential hopes. The 65-year-old faces as a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to 1.5 million euros if found guilty.