A pimp accused with Dominique Strauss-Kahn of supplying prostitutes for sex parties has claimed he believes the former IMF boss is innocent.
Belgian national Dominique Alderweireld, who has previous convictions for pimping, told Canal Plus television that it was likely Mr Strauss-Kahn was too busy to have arranged the parties.
"I think that with his work at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) he had other things to do than organise orgies," he said.
Alderweireld was speaking as Strauss-Kahn came face-to-face with a prostitute in a courtroom in Lille during his trial for "aggravated pimping as part of an organised gang".
The Socialist politician has admitted attending sex parties in France and the US but he has always claimed he did not know the women had been paid for their services.
Strauss Kahn's lawyers have argued that he could not have known as the female participants were naked during the events.
"He could easily not have known, because as you can imagine, at these kind of parties you're not always dressed.
"I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman," Henri Leclerc told Radio Europe 1 in December.
Strauss-Kahn recently reached a financial settlement with a New York hotel maid whose 2011 allegation of sexual assault forced him to resign from his IMF job and ruined his chances of becoming French president.
He admitted a sexual encounter took place but insisted it was consensual. A criminal investigation into the incident collapsed after the maid changed her version of events.
French prosecutors, however, are convinced they have a case against Strauss-Kahn, in what has become known as the 'Carlton affair'.
It centres on allegations that business leaders and police officials in Lille supplied women for sex parties, some of which are said to have taken place at the city's Carlton Hotel.
Alderweireld is the 10th person to be charged with aggravated pimping in the case.
His nickname is Dodo la Saumure, a reference to the curing liquid used for mackerel, which is French slang for 'pimp'.