Strauss-Kahn denies any violent acts against women

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Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn denies committing any acts of violence against women, his lawyers said Friday, after French prosecutors said witness testimony suggested he took part in a rape.

Strauss-Kahn "absolutely contests having committed the slightest act of violence of any nature whatsoever," his lawyers Henri Leclerc, Frederique Baulieu and Richard Malka said in a statement.

The statement contested testimony from two escorts suggesting Strauss-Kahn took part in a gang rape at a sex party in Washington DC, saying: "The declarations made by these young women are contradictory."

"Distorted information, manipulation and a desire for a lynching cannot forever be a substitute for reality," it said.

The statement also said the news of the testimony, which dates from late March, was released at an "opportune time" ahead of Sunday's run-off in the French presidential election.

Strauss-Kahn had once been the frontrunner to lead the Socialist Party against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the vote. The Socialists instead chose Francois Hollande, who is tipped to win on Sunday.

Strauss-Kahn, two businessmen and a police chief have been charged with "aggravated pimping in an organised gang" for allegedly organising a prostitution ring for orgies in France, the United States and elsewhere.

On Friday, a spokesman for prosecutors in the French city of Lille said investigating magistrates had submitted new evidence, based on testimony from the two sex workers, that could also implicate the men in a gang rape.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyers noted that "no complaints have been made" based on the testimony.

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