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Strauss-Kahn charges may be dropped

French prosecutors are planning to drop prostitution charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, according to a lawyer for the former IMF head.

Henri Leclerc said the announcement showed the case's weakness. A judge will make the final decision on whether charges are laid.

One-time French presidential hopeful, Strauss-Kahn has had his sexual behaviour scrutinized since a New York hotel maid accused him of trying to rape her. Those charges were later dropped.

The case in the French city of Lille hinged on whether he knew he was partying with prostitutes and whose money was used to pay them. His lawyers have said he had attended "libertine" gatherings but did not know that some women there were paid.

The decision by the prosecutor's office followed a "deep and meticulous analysis" of the 33 files that form the case.

Prosecutors are asking that a dozen other people go to trial in the case centred on an alleged prostitution ring working out of a luxury hotel in Lille. However, they are asking that charges that the group acted as part of an "organized band" in a criminal association also be dropped.

Strauss-Kahn, 64, must wait to see if the prosecutors' request is accepted. However, it is already good news for the one-time French presidential hopeful whose lifestyle came under scrutiny by France and the world and left his career as a high-profile economist in ruins.

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