Case shows vulnerability at the top of world’s financial institutions

Immediately after the Vanni War, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) committed the worst financial misdeed of coming to the rescue of genocidal Sri Lanka in July 2009, by passing a whooping US$ 2600 million loan. Colombo’s Central Bank chairman AN Cabraal described the IMF decision as a “big victory” and a “huge boost in confidence” for Sri Lanka, adding, “The IMF has accepted the Mahinda Chintanaya policy.” The USA, UK, France and Germany having around 30 per cent of the IMF votes, only chose to abstain but didn’t block the loan. French national Mr Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the Managing Director of the IMF during that time. Recent revelations of the life style at the highest echelons of world’s financial control show how vulnerable they are to petty influences.

Former IMF chief Strauss-Kahn was charged in a French court for involvement in an organized vice ring that procured prostitutes for top class clients, AFP reported Tuesday, citing lawyers.

Strauss-Kahn’s name came up as police were investigating a pimping operation that saw sex workers from brothels over the Belgian border being brought to France for orgies in high-class hotels in Lille and Paris.

Strauss-Kahn admits that he took part in some of these parties, one of which was said to involve women being flown to Washington to entertain him while he was still managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

According to his lawyer, he is not guilty, as he never had the least inkling that the women he met could have been prostitutes. Law has no provision to punish clients of prostitution, his counsel said.

The former IMF chief told police that he did not suspect the women were prostitutes because he was introduced to them by senior police officers.

Using prostitutes is not illegal in France, but prosecutors are seeking proof that Strauss-Kahn was aware the parties were arranged by an organized pimping ring and paid for by other guests misusing company funds. Several Lille businessmen and policemen have been accused of taking part in the ring, AFP reported.

Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers seek dismissal of a civil case on sexual assault of a hotel maid pending in the US courts, on grounds of his “diplomatic immunity” at that time.

He admits having a “sexual encounter” with the hotel maid during the nine months she spent in his US hotel suite and also admits of his sexual advancement in another case in France, but denies use of violence in both the cases.

SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sri Lanka’s UN deputy representative Shavendra Silva, accused of war crimes in civil cases in the US, have found the cases dismissed on grounds of ‘diplomatic immunity’.

[Full Coverage]

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