IMF head Strauss-Kahn pulled from plane, questioned by NY police over sex assault
2011-05-16 0:00

By Christine Kearney and John Irish | Reuters.com


IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged on Sunday with trying to rape a New York hotel maid in a scandal that appeared to wreck his hopes of becoming Franceís next president.

The sexual assault charges throw the IMF into a leadership crisis just as it is trying to help ease an escalating euro zone debt crisis, and they turn Franceís presidential election campaign upside down when polls had made Strauss-Kahn a clear front runner.

The charismatic 62-year-old, who led the International Monetary Fund through the 2007-09 global financial meltdown and has been central in galvanizing Europe to tackle its debt woes, for long had the reputation of a womanizer. But the charges he faces are in another realm.


A maid, 32, said he emerged naked from the bathroom and sexually assaulted her inside his $3,000-a-night suite at the Sofitel hotel in New Yorkís Times Square on Saturday afternoon. He was there on private business, the IMF said.


Video from: YouTube.com


Strauss-Kahn was expected to go before a state court later on Sunday. His lawyer said he will plead not guilty.

Police say he fled the hotel after the alleged assault and a few hours later they pulled him out of his first-class seat on an Air France plane 10 minutes before it was to take off for Paris.

He was charged with a criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment and attempted rape, moving him from luxurious hotel suite and a glittering public career to scandal and a bare holding cell in New Yorkís tough Harlem neighborhood in the space of a few hours.

The contrast could barely have been more dramatic. At the Sofitel, Strauss-Kahnís suite had a conference room, living room, foyer, spacious marble bathroom and a bedroom with a sumptuous king-sized bed and feather and down duvet.

Police say Strauss-Kahn does not have diplomatic immunity from the charges, which if proven could carry a prison sentence of 15-20 years. They have collected DNA evidence from the hotel suite, The New York Times reported.


International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (2nd R) leaves New York Police Department Special Victims Unit headquarters in Harlem May 15, 2011. Strauss-Kahn was charged on Sunday with trying to rape a New York hotel maid in a scandal that appeared to wreck his hopes of becoming Franceís next president.Photo: REUTERS / Allison Joyce

Strauss-Kahn has hired New York lawyer Benjamin Brafman, a seasoned defense attorney famed for striking deals or winning not-guilty verdicts for pop stars and a football player.

The IMF chiefís wife, well-known French television personality Anne Sinclair, jumped to her husbandís defense.

"I do not believe for a single second the accusations leveled against my husband," she said in a statement..

IMF CRISIS, ELECTION íTHUNDERBOLTí

The IMF tried to fill its leadership vacuum by naming its No. 2 official, John Lipsky, as acting managing director. But the charges against Strauss-Kahn are a huge embarrassment for an institution that oversees the global economic system and has authorized hundreds of billions of dollars of lending to troubled countries as well as playing a major role in the euro-zone debt crisis.

The allegations immediately threw Franceís presidential race wide open.

He had not yet declared his candidacy but Strauss-Kahn was widely expected to run for the Socialist Party and early opinion polls showed him with a big lead over the conservative incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, who is seeking a second term at the election next April.

"The news we received from New York last night struck like a thunderbolt," said Socialist leader Martine Aubry, appealing for party unity.

Franceís government as well as Strauss-Kahnís political allies and rivals called for caution and respect for the presumption of innocence, but his presidential ambitions appeared to be dead in the water unless the case against him quickly unravels and he is shown to be innocent.

"All this is completely astounding, immensely troubling and distressing. If the facts prove true ... itís something degrading for all women. Itís terrible for the image of France," said Francois Bayrou, a centrist opponent.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said her rivalís presidential hopes had been crushed.

Christine Boutin, president of the Christian Democrat Party, suggested Strauss-Kahn may have been set up.

"I think itís very likely a trap was set for Dominique Strauss-Kahn and he fell into it," she told Franceís BFM television. "Itís a political bomb for domestic politics."

French voters are famously tolerant of political leadersí extra-marital affairs but the allegations against Strauss-Kahn are entirely different, and much more serious.

If they are proven, Strauss-Kahnís fall from power in a scandal would be one of the most dramatic of any high-profile international figure in decades.

[...]

Read the full article at: reuters.com




Related Articles
IMF Bombshell: Age of America Ends, China Take Over in 2016
IMF Bombshell: "Age of America Nears End"
Libya holding huge gold reserves IMF data shows
IMF warns over parallels to Great Depression
UN slams US Dollar, looks to replace it with IMF ívirtualí currency
Poland no longer needs IMF credit line (This was before the Polish plane crash - what will happen next?)
Immunity defense would be hard for Strauss-Kahn
Strauss-Kahn Alibi Revealed, Defense Team Prepares


Latest News from our Front Page

Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female
2015-04-25 4:52
Shieldmaidens are not a myth! A recent archaeological discovery has shattered the stereotype of exclusively male Viking warriors sailing out to war while their long-suffering wives wait at home with baby Vikings. (We knew it! We always knew it.) Plus, some other findings are challenging that whole ‚Äúrape and pillage‚ÄĚ thing, too. Researchers at the University of Western Australia decided ...
Off Your Knees, Germany! Ernst Zundel 1983 - 2003
2015-04-25 1:15
For more information on the holocaust, how the war was forced upon Germany, and the REAL victims of the second world war see: http://gblt.webs.com/Real_Holocaust.htm http://web.archive.org/web/20130806074314/http://www.666blacksun.org/ http://www.zundelsite.org/
IRS Drops Attack For Six Years ‚Äď No Evidence of Jurisdiction
2015-04-24 20:29
A big congrats to a friend I‚Äôve been working with for several years, he stood up to the predators commonly called the ‚ÄúIRS‚ÄĚ and they dropped their attack. Thanks also for providing me with the proof below. The criminals called the ‚ÄúIRS‚ÄĚ initiated an attack claiming my friend was required to file six tax returns, or explain how he made ...
Into Eternity - Finland's 100,000 Year Massive Underground Spent Nuclear Fuel Program
2015-04-24 20:49
Into Eternity is a documentary about a deep geological repository for nuclear waste. The concept of long-term underground storage for radioactive waste has been explored since the 1950s. The inner part of the Russian doll-like storage canisters is to be composed of copper. Hence in the case of Onkalo it is tightly linked to experiments on copper corrosion in running ...
SPLC Accuses Oath Keepers of Inciting ‚ÄúArmed Confrontation‚ÄĚ Over Sugar Pine Mine
2015-04-24 20:22
The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused Oath Keepers of inciting an armed confrontation with BLM authorities over the Sugar Pine Mine dispute in Oregon, despite the fact that the organization has explicitly stated that it is not promoting armed confrontation with the feds. In an article provocatively posted on the organization‚Äôs ‚ÄėHatewatch‚Äô section entitled Oath Keepers Descend Upon Oregon with ...
More News »