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French prosecutors on Tuesday recommended the dismissal of pimping charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, signalling a possible end to the former IMF chief's legal battle over sex scandals that destroyed his career.
Strauss-Kahn was charged last year with helping to procure prostitutes for sex parties in one of a string of cases that came to light after he was forced to resign from his IMF job over a sex attack on a New York hotel maid.
But the prosecutor's office in Lille, where some of the parties took place, announced Tuesday that it considered the evidence against Strauss-Kahn and one other man, Jean-Luc Vergin, as insufficient for them to be sent to trial.
The prosecutor recommended that 12 other men be tried but said the gravity of their alleged pimping should be downgraded by dropping a charge that they had operated as part of an organised gang.
The judge in charge of the case now has a month to decide whether to follow the prosecutor's advice or to insist on Strauss-Kahn standing trial. In France it is not unusual for judges to ignore prosecutors' recommendations.
A Belgian pimp who is one of the men facing charges in the so-called Carlton affair said earlier this year that Strauss-Kahn could not have been involved in organising the call girls because he was too busy with his work at the IMF.
Strauss-Kahn admits attending sex parties in France and the United States but insists he did not know some of the women were being paid.
His lawyers have argued that he could not have known they were prostitutes because he had only ever seen them naked.