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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 23:35 GMT 00:35 UK
'DC Madam' vows to name clients
Deborah Palfrey
Deborah Palfrey has been dubbed the "DC Madam"

A woman accused of running a high-class prostitution ring in Washington DC has said she plans to call her prominent customers to testify at her trial.

Deborah Palfrey says among them will be Randall Tobias, who resigned as deputy secretary of state on Friday, shortly after confirming he had been a client.

Ms Palfrey faces charges of running a multi-million dollar prostitution service for more than 13 years.

She says she provided an entirely legal sexual fantasy and escort service.

Ms Palfrey, dubbed the "DC Madam", plans to call, and if necessary, subpoena clients such as Mr Tobias, to testify in her defence that they did not have sex when they hired her escorts.

Speculation

Mr Tobias resigned last week shortly after US media told him Ms Palfrey had revealed he had made calls to her business.

He told ABC News that he "had some gals come over to the condo for a massage", but denied having sex with any of them.

Before he stepped down, Mr Tobias ran the Bush administration's programme to crack down on prostitution worldwide.

He was also criticised in his role as US Global Aids co-ordinator when he advocated partner fidelity and abstinence, instead of condoms, to help limit the spread of the HIV virus.

Another man alleged by Ms Palfrey to be a "regular customer" is the military strategist, Harlan Ullman, who helped develop the doctrine of "Shock and Awe".

Mr Ullman, a senior associate at the Washington-based think-tank, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said the claim was "beneath the dignity of comment".

The BBC's Vanessa Heaney in Washington says Washington is gripped with Ms Palfrey's story.

So far Mr Tobias is the highest-profile name to come out, our correspondent says, but speculation is mounting about who else could be on the list of clients, which Ms Palfrey has threatened to sell to pay for her legal defence.


SEE ALSO
US woman 'to share escort files'
13 Mar 07 |  Americas



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