A French court acquitted Friday the owner of a string of Belgian bordellos nicknamed "Dodo the Pimp", who was accused of providing prostitutes at sex parties attended by ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
A judge ruled that the testimony against Dominique Alderweireld, nicknamed "Dodo la Saumure" -- which loosely translates as Dodo the Mackerel, the French slang for pimp -- was too vague.
Alderweireld was the only one of the 14 accused in the "aggravated pimping" trial in the northern French city of Lille for whom the prosecutor had requested a prison sentence.
One by one the accused were acquitted on Friday of charges they had trafficking prostitutes and pimped them out to a network of local businessmen and police officials in an upmarket Lille hotel called the Carlton.
Strauss-Kahn himself was acquitted of pimping.
Former French finance minister Strauss-Kahn was implicated in the prostitution ring when it emerged some of Alderweireld's prostitutes had been paid to attend orgies thrown for the economist in Paris, Brussels and Washington.
Alderweireld, 66, maintained throughout the three-week trial in February that the women working in his "hostess bars" in Belgium were freelance and that he did not make any money from their participation in the sex parties with Strauss-Kahn.
The Frenchman defended prostitution during his colourful testimony in which he notably said he had the right to take 50 percent of his prostitutes' earnings because "we pay the tax and electricity."