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  • Dominique Strauss-Kahn charged in connection with allegations of sexual assault


    May 14, 2011 -- The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was taken off an Air France plane at Kennedy International Airport minutes before it was to take off for Paris on Saturday and arrested in connection with the sexual attack of a maid at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, the authorities said. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was widely expected to become the Socialist candidate for the French presidency, was apprehended by detectives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the first-class section of the jetliner, and immediately turned over to detectives from the Midtown South Precinct, officials said.

    The New York Police Department took Mr. Strauss-Kahn into custody, where he was “being questioned in connection with the sexual assault of a hotel chambermaid earlier this afternoon,” Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman, said Saturday night. “He is being arrested for a criminal sex act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.” A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office said prosecutors were investigating the matter and expected to bring formal criminal charges against Mr. Strauss-Kahn by early Sunday morning.

    Reached by telephone, Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer, said he would be representing Mr. Strauss-Kahn with William Taylor, a lawyer in Washington. “We have not yet been able to meet with our client and we may have more to say tomorrow,” said Mr. Brafman, who said he had been contacted late Saturday night. He said Mr. Strauss-Kahn was being housed at the police department’s Special Victims Unit. Early Sunday morning, Reuters reported that Mr. Brafman said in an e-mail that his client “will plead not guilty.” Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, had been expected to declare his candidacy soon, after three and a half years as the leader of the fund, which is based in Washington. He was considered by many to have done a good job in a period of intense global economic strain, when the bank itself had become vital to the smooth running of the world and the European economy.

    His apprehension came at about 4:40 p.m., when two detectives of the Port Authority suddenly boarded Air France Flight 23, as the plane idled at the departure gate, said John P. L. Kelly, a spokesman for the agency. “It was 10 minutes before its scheduled departure,” Mr. Kelly said. “They were just about to close the doors.” Mr. Kelly said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn was traveling alone and that he was not handcuffed during the apprehension. “He complied with the detectives’ directions,” Mr. Kelly said. The Port Authority officers were acting on information from the Police Department, whose detectives had been investigating the assault of a female employee of Sofitel New York, at 45 West 44th Street, near Times Square. Working quickly, the city detectives learned he had boarded a flight at Kennedy Airport to leave the country.

    Though Mr. Strauss-Kahn received generally high marks for his stewardship of the bank, his reputation was tarnished in 2008 by an affair with a Hungarian economist who was a subordinate there. The fund decided to stand by him despite concluding that he had shown poor judgment in the affair. Mr. Strauss-Kahn issued an apology to employees at the bank and his wife, Anne Sinclair, an American-born French journalist. In his statement then, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said, “I am grateful that the board has confirmed that there was no abuse of authority on my part, but I accept that this incident represents a serious error of judgment.” The economist, Piroska Nagy, left the fund as part of a buyout of nearly 600 employees instituted by Mr. Strauss-Kahn to cut costs.

    In the New York case, Mr. Browne said that it was about 1 p.m. on Saturday when the maid, a 32-year-old woman, entered Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s suite — Room 2806 — believing it was unoccupied. Mr. Browne said that the suite, which cost $3,000 a night, had a foyer, a conference room, a living room and a bedroom, and that Mr. Strauss-Khan had checked in on Friday. As she was in the foyer, “he came out of the bathroom, fully naked, and attempted to sexually assault her,” Mr. Browne said, adding, “He grabs her, according to her account, and pulls her into the bedroom and onto the bed.” He locked the door to the suite, Mr. Browne said. “She fights him off, and he then drags her down the hallway to the bathroom, where he sexually assaults her a second time,” Mr. Browne added.

    At some point during the assault, the woman broke free, Mr. Browne said, and “she fled, reported it to other hotel personnel, who called 911.” He added, “When the police arrived, he was not there.” Mr. Browne said Mr. Strauss-Kahn appeared to have left in a hurry. In the room, investigators found his cellphone, which he had left behind, and one law enforcement official said that the investigation uncovered forensic evidence that would contain DNA. Mr. Browne added, “We learned that he was on an Air France plane,” and the plane was held at the gate, where Mr. Strauss-Kahn was taken into custody. Later Saturday night, Mr. Browne said Mr. Strauss-Kahn was in a police holding cell. Mr. Browne said the city’s Emergency Medical Service took the maid to Roosevelt Hospital for what Mr. Browne described as treatment for “minor injuries.”

    No matter the outcome of Saturday’s episode, it will most likely throw the French political world into turmoil and the Socialist Party into an embarrassed confusion. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a leading member of the party, has been considered the front-runner for the next presidential election in France in May 2012. Opinion polls have shown him to be the Socialists’ most popular candidate and running well ahead of the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, who leads the center-right party. France has been waiting for Mr. Strauss-Kahn to decide whether to run for his party’s nomination in a series of primaries, which would mean giving up his post at the fund. The view in France was that if Mr. Strauss-Kahn wanted to run, he would have to make his intentions clear early this summer, and most politicians and analysts have been predicting that he would not be able to resist the chance to run the country.

    Mr. Strauss-Kahn contested for the nomination five years ago, losing to Ségolène Royal, who ultimately lost a second-round runoff to Mr. Sarkozy. Mr. Sarkozy then arranged for Mr. Strauss-Kahn to get the I.M.F. job, partly to remove a popular rival from France’s political landscape. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was the French minister of economy under the Socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin, from 1997 to 1999, and he has also been a professor of economics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies. In 1995, he was elected mayor of Sarcelles, a poor suburb of Paris, and married Ms. Sinclair. The couple are known to enjoy the finer things in life, and Mr. Strauss-Kahn has sometimes been attacked for being a “caviar leftist.” Recently Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his wife were photographed entering an expensive Porsche in Paris belonging to one of their friends. The image of a Socialist with Porsche tastes was quickly picked up by the news media, especially the newspapers that generally support Mr. Sarkozy.

  • #2

    Dimanche 15 Mai 2011 -- Le directeur général du Fonds monétaire international (FMI), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a été arrêté samedi à l'aéroport John Fitzgerald Kennedy de New York alors qu’il se trouvait déjà à bord d’un avion d’Air France qui s’apprêtait à décoller pour Paris. Il a été placé en garde à vue pour une affaire d‘agression sexuelle présumée dans un hôtel de New York. En fin de soirée samedi, l’homme politique français se trouvait dans un poste de police New Yorkais. Il devrait être inculpé dans l'attente d'une inculpation pour "agression sexuelle, de séquestration de personne et de tentative de viol". C’est le New York Times qui a annoncé en premier l‘arrestation du probable candidat socialiste à la prochaine présidentielle française. Il devait normalement participer lundi à une réunion des ministres des finances de la zone euro à Bruxelles. Il devait également prononcer un discours mercredi au 12e Forum économique de Bruxelles, organisé par la Commission Européenne.

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    • #3

      WASHINGTON, May 15, 2011 — The arrest of International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault accusations throws into disarray not only the IMF's leadership, but its central role in the financial rescue of several struggling European nations. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was arrested Saturday in New York for an alleged sexual assault of a maid in a Manhattan hotel, authorities said. According to a law enforcement official, Mr. Strauss-Kahn allegedly forced a cleaning woman onto his bed and sexually assaulted her at around 1 p.m. Saturday inside his room at the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, was headed to Europe to discuss the worsening European debt crisis with top leaders there. He was scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday and financial ministers in the Euro Group on Monday and Tuesday. Besides putting the finishing touches on the €78 billion Portugal bailout package, the main focus of the meetings was how to resolve Greece's deteriorating sovereign debt crisis.

      The arrest of the head of one of the world's most important financial institutions comes at a time when the global economy is still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, and when Europe is still reeling from a still-unfolding series of government debt crises. The charges, if true, would strike a blow to France's current politics. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister who ran unsuccessfully for the Socialist nomination for French president in 2006, had been widely expected to resign from the IMF in coming months to run for the presidency of France as a Socialist Party candidate. The incident Saturday will undoubtedly cast a cloud over the IMF's role in addressing the rescues. Mr. Strauss-Kahn had been seen as a forceful leader in responding to the European debt crisis. He has strongly supported the Greek rescue, even in the face of growing doubts about the Greek government's ability and resolve to meet the commitments of the international aid package. His latest trip was likely to focus on whether to adjust the terms of Greece's loans in order to keep the country — and the rest of the euro zone — from falling into a deeper crisis.

      Germany's finance ministry said the government is waiting to finalize its conclusions on Greece once the troika of the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission have published the findings of their current ongoing review of the Greek rescue program. Ms. Merkel wanted Mr. Strauss-Kahn's opinion on Greece, Portugal and Ireland before finalizing her own view. An IMF mission is in Greece now reviewing the state of the country's finances, chiefly trying to determine whether the fund's board can approve another tranche of the joint EU/IMF €110 billion emergency rescue loan. Emerging-market nations had questioned aspects of the IMF's response, with some members suggesting "if one of their countries were in trouble the IMF would never give them so much rope," said Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University economist and former IMF official. Having Mr. Strauss-Kahn sidelined could give them more power to push back against deeper involvement in some European nations. "The level of support from the IMF for Europe is going to come into question to some degree, both in terms of the amount of resources and the conditions imposed," Mr. Prasad said.

      The arrest throws into question whether Mr. Strauss-Kahn will be forced to resign his slot. In 2008, early in his IMF term, he was investigated by the IMF's staff for whether he abused his power by having an affair with a female staffer. Although he was cleared of abuse of power charges, several directors said they warned Mr. Strauss-Kahn that such conduct wouldn't be allowed in the future and that he had brought the IMF into disrepute. At the time, the IMF chief acknowledged the lapse in judgment and apologized to the board and staff. "I am committed, going forward, to uphold the high standards" expected of an IMF managing director, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said then. An IMF executive board member said the board members were shocked to hear the news from the media, but had seen nothing official from the IMF about the incident. IMF spokesman Bill Murray declined to comment when reached Saturday evening.

      With or without a quick resignation from Mr. Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's daily leadership is likely to fall to John Lipsky, the No. 2 official at the fund, under the IMF procedures. But Mr. Lipsky is also on his way out. Mr. Lipsky, a U.S. national and former J.P. Morgan Chase executive, announced Thursday that he would step down when his five-year term ends in August. Mr. Lipsky, the fund's first deputy managing director, had agreed to serve as a special advisor to Mr. Strauss-Kahn through November's meeting of heads of state from the Group of 20 leading economies. Current and former IMF board members said that if the investigation proceeds, the IMF's 24-member executive board based in Washington would likely be called in for an emergency meeting to discuss the allegations and how to proceed with the fund's top leadership. By tradition, the fund's managing director is a European and the No. 2 official is an American.

      European finance ministers have been preparing for Mr. Strauss-Kahn's possible resignation, given widespread speculation about his pursuit of the French presidency. Mr. Strauss-Kahn is a leading member of France's opposition Socialist Party and has been considered as a potential front-runner for the next presidential election in May 2012. The Socialist Party is holding primaries this Fall but candidates have been requested to apply to run between June 28 and July 13. Mr. Strauss-Kahn's decision regarding his candidacy has been much awaited as polls have consistently shown over the past few months that he would beat France's current president Nicolas Sarkozy as soon as in the first round. His decision was expected as soon as end of May, a person close to him told Dow Jones Newswires. European finance ministers "were already factoring in that Strauss-Kahn could be leaving very soon," said Domenico Lombardi, Brookings Institution economist and former IMF official. "They would have talked about the succession anyway, of course under different circumstances....I would expect that the position could be filled in a relatively short length of time."

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      • #4

        May 15, 2011 -- IMF chief and possible French presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn is to be charged with sexual assault and attempted rape following accusations by a New York hotel maid, police say. The head of the International Monetary Fund was pulled from an aircraft in New York moments before he was to fly to Paris and was taken in for questioning in connection with the violent sexual assault of a hotel maid, police said. Mr Strauss-Kahn was taken off the Air France flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport by officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and turned over to police, said Paul J. Browne, a New York Police Department spokesman. Questioned by the NYPD special victims office, Mr Strauss-Kahn retained an attorney and was not making statements to police, Mr Browne said earlier. A police official quoted by AFP said later he would be charged with a “criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment and attempted rape”. He was expected to be arraigned overnight before a Manhattan judge.

        The 32-year-old woman alleged to authorities that she entered Mr Strauss-Kahn's suite at the luxury Sofitel hotel not far from Manhattan's Times Square at about 1 pm local time yesterday and that he attacked her. She said she had been told to clean the spacious $3000-a-night-suite suite, which she had been told was empty. According to an account the woman provided to police, Mr Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway and pulled her into a bedroom, where he began to sexually assault her. She alleged she fought him off, then he dragged her into the bathroom, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear. The woman was able to break free again and escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened, authorities said. They called police. When New York City police detectives arrived moments later, Mr Strauss-Kahn had already left the hotel, leaving behind his mobile phone.”It looked like he got out of there in a hurry,” Mr Browne said.

        The NYPD discovered that he was at the airport and contacted Port Authority officials, who plucked Mr Strauss-Kahn from first class on the Air France flight that was scheduled to depart at 4.40pm local time and was just about to leave the gate. The maid was taken by police to a hospital and being treated for minor injuries. John Sheehan, a spokesman for the hotel, said its staff was cooperating in the investigation. Mr Strauss-Kahn was briefly investigated in 2008 over whether he had an improper relationship with a subordinate female employee. The IMF board found his actions “regrettable” and said they “reflected a serious error of judgment.” William Murray, a spokesman for the IMF in Washington, said the IMF had no immediate comment. Mr Strauss-Kahn's offices in Paris couldn't be reached when the news broke overnight in France, nor could French Socialist Party officials. He was supposed to be meeting in Berlin today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about aid to debt-laden Greece, and then join EU finance ministers in Brussels tomorrow and Tuesday. The IMF is responsible for one-third of Greece's existing loan package, and his expected presence at these meetings underlined the gravity of the Greek crisis.

        Mr Strauss-Kahn took over as head of the IMF in November 2007. The 187-nation lending agency is headquartered in Washington and provides help in the form of emergency loans for countries facing severe financial problems. He won praise for his leadership at the IMF during the financial crisis of 2008 and the severe global recession that followed. More recently, he has directed the IMF's participation in bailout efforts to keep a European debt crisis which began in Greece from destabilizing the global economy. In October 2008, Mr Strauss-Kahn issued an apology to the IMF staff after accusations that he had a sexual relationship with an IMF subordinate. “While this incident constituted an error in judgment on my part, for which I take full responsibility, I firmly believe that I have not abused my position,” Mr Strauss-Kahn wrote in an email to IMF staff. The board found that the relationship was consensual. The IMF employee left the fund and took a job with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

        Before taking the top post at the IMF, Mr Strauss-Kahn had been a member of the French National Assembly and had also served as France's minister of economy, finance and industry from June 1997 to November 1999. He had been viewed as a leading contender to run on the Socialist Party's ticket to challenge the re-election of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Mr Strauss-Kahn was seen as the strongest possible challenger to Mr Sarkozy in next year's presidential elections. Mr Strauss-Kahn has not declared his candidacy, staying vague in interviews while feeding speculation that he wants France's top job. The New York accusations come amid French media reports about Strauss-Kahn's lifestyle, including luxury cars and suits, that some have dubbed a smear campaign. The global financial crisis thrust Mr Strauss-Kahn into an unexpectedly prominent role and boosted his global standing in time to consider a 2012 French presidential bid. He is credited with preparing France for the adoption of the euro by taming its deficit and persuading then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin to sign up to an EU pact of fiscal prudence. Mr Strauss-Kahn is a married father of four. His third wife, Anne Sinclair, is a New York-born journalist who hosted a popular weekly news broadcast in France in the 1980s.

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        • #5

          May 15, 2011 -- The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has been charged by New York police over an alleged sex attack on a hotel maid. Mr Strauss-Kahn was taken off an Air France plane at John F Kennedy airport minutes before it left for Paris. Police told the BBC he faced three charges, including attempted rape. The married former French finance minister is also a leading Socialist Party politician and is considered a possible candidate for the presidency. He is due to attend a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Monday to discuss the bailouts of Portugal and Greece. A spokesman for New York's Port Authority said they detained Mr Strauss-Kahn at the request of the New York Police Department (NYPD). He was then taken for questioning by the NYPD, which said he was co-operating fully with their enquiries. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the BBC Mr Strauss-Kahn had been charged with a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment relating to an incident involving a 32-year-old woman. The Frenchman stands accused of a sexual attack on a maid at a Manhattan hotel. Mr Browne said the allegations had been made by a 32-year-old woman who worked at the hotel, which has been identified as the Sofitel near Times Square. The woman has been treated at hospital for minor injuries, said Mr Browne. He said Mr Strauss-Kahn appeared to have left the hotel "in a hurry", leaving his mobile phone and other personal belongings behind. The IMF had no immediate comment on the incident.

          'Error of judgement'

          Mr Strauss-Kahn ran for leadership of the French Socialist Party in 2006 but lost to Segolene Royale. He was appointed managing director of the IMF the following year. Mr Strauss-Kahn has won praise for his stewardship of the IMF, which he has guided through difficult times including the recent world financial crisis. But in 2008 he was investigated by the IMF board over his relationship with a female member of his staff. The board ruled his actions "reflected a serious error of judgment" but that the relationship had been consensual. He apologised to IMF staff and his wife, French TV personality Anne Sinclair. The BBC's Michelle Fleury in New York says the incident comes at a crucial time for Mr Strauss-Kahn, and could derail any ambitions he might have for France's top job. Mr Strauss-Kahn has not yet announced whether he intends to run in the 2012 French presidential elections, but had widely been expected to do so.

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          • #6
            Hakim Arous :


            Dimanche 15 Mai 2011 -- À moins d'un an de la présidentielle française, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, candidat socialiste non déclaré mais préféré de la majorité des sympathisants de gauche, est dans la tourmente. Il a été inculpé samedi soir à New-York pour «agression sexuelle, tentative de viol et séquestration». Le directeur du FMI a été interpellé alors qu'il allait décoller à bord d'un vol New York-Paris hier à 16h45 heure locale. La police le soupçonne d'avoir agressé sexuellement une femme de ménage de 32 ans de l'hôtel Sofitel de Manhattan dans lequel il séjournait. Selon les enquêteurs américains, DSK serait sorti nu de la salle de bain de sa chambre d'hôtel alors que la femme de ménage s'y trouvait. Il aurait tenté de l'agresser sexuellement en la poussant sur le lit. Alors que la jeune femme tentait de s'enfuir il aurait réessayé de l'agresser une deuxième fois et l'aurait empêchée de s'enfuir en fermant la porte de la chambre à clé. Finalement, la jeune femme aurait réussi à s'échapper. La police a retrouvé dans la chambre le téléphone mobile et d'autres affaires appartenant à Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Ce matin, l'avocat du directeur du FMI, affirme que son client va plaider non-coupable.

            Cette affaire tombe au plus mauvais moment pour l'homme politique français. Le parti socialiste est dans la dernière ligne droite des déclarations de candidatures pour la primaire qui doit avoir lieu à l'automne afin de désigner le candidat à l'élection présidentielle de 2012. DSK faisait figure jusqu'ici de favori, en tête des sondages et considéré comme le plus à même de rivaliser avec l'actuel président Nicolas Sarkozy. Ces dernières semaines, le socialiste avait effectué plusieurs sorties dans les médias français. Mais il faisait également face à de nombreuses critiques sur son train de vie – on l'a vu sortir en plein Paris d'une voiture de sport appartenant à un ami – et son patrimoine familial. Cette affaire n'est pas la première à toucher le directeur du FMI. En 2008, il avait fait l'objet d'une enquête au sein de l'organisation internationale après avoir eu une relation extraconjugale avec une autre employée du Fonds. Il avait été blanchi mais le FMI lui avait reproché une «grave erreur de jugement».

            Ce dimanche matin, la classe politique française a vivement réagi à ce qui est considéré comme un «séisme politique». À droite, l'occasion est trop belle de tirer à boulets rouges sur le directeur du FMI. Marine Le Pen, la présidente du Front national (extrême-droite) a été la plus virulente, affirmant que DSK était «définitivement discrédité comme candidat» pour la présidentielle. Le député UMP de Paris Bernard Debré a qualifié DSK d'«homme peu recommandable». «C'est humilier la France que d'avoir un homme qui soit comme lui, qui se vautre dans le sexe, et ça se sait depuis fort longtemps. Je trouve cela misérable et humiliant pour notre pays», a-t-il dit. La présidente du Parti chrétien-démocrate, Christine Boutin, a parlé d'une «affaire très grave» qui entache l'image de la France. Les responsables socialistes sont restés prudents et évasifs sur l’affaire.

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            • #7

              May 15, 2011 -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, is preparing to be hauled in front of a New York judge to be formally charged with sexually attacking a hotel maid. Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, was charged by police in the early hours of Sunday morning with a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has said that he "will plead not guilty" when he appears in front of a judge at Manhattan's central criminal court later on Sunday. The prominent French Socialist, who was expected to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for France's presidency next year, allegedly assaulted a 32-year-old chambermaid in his suite at the Sofitel on Saturday afternoon. He was arrested after being dramatically removed from an Air France flight to Paris that was 10 minutes from take-off at New York's John F. Kennedy airport. It is alleged that Mr Strauss-Kahn attacked the maid after she arrived to clean his $3,000 (£1,855)-a-night suite at the luxury hotel, which is near Times Square, at about 1pm.

              "She told detectives he came out of the bathroom naked, ran down a hallway to the [suite's] foyer, where she was, pulled her into a bedroom and began to sexually assault her," said Paul Browne, the deputy chief spokesman for the New York Police Department. "She pulled away from him and he dragged her down a hallway into the bathroom where he engaged in a criminal sexual act, according to her account to detectives. He tried to lock her into the hotel room." Mr Strauss-Kahn then departed for JFK airport, which is 17 miles across New York, leaving his mobile phone and other belongings behind him. "It looked like he got out of there in a hurry," said Mr Browne.

              Mr Browne said officers were sent to the hotel in response to an emergency call from a colleague of the maid, who was taken by ambulance to Roosevelt Hospital for treatment of "minor injuries." "We learned relatively quickly that he had boarded a flight for Paris," said Mr Browne. "We asked authorities at the airport to detain that flight until we arrived and took him into custody". Plainclothes detectives from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the city's airports, boarded Air France flight 23 at about 4.40pm and apprehended Mr Strauss-Kahn in the First Class cabin. He reportedly asked: "What is this about?" before complying with the officers, and was not handcuffed. He was then handed over to detectives from the NYPD. "If we had been 10 minutes later he would have been in the air on his way to Paris," said Mr Browne.

              Mr Strauss-Kahn was taken to the headquarters of the NYPD Special Victims Unit in Harlem, upper Manhattan, and was held and questioned for several hours before being formally arrested and charged. He is to be represented by Mr Brafman, a high-profile criminal defence attorney who has represented celebrities including Jay-Z and P Diddy, and William Taylor, a lawyer from Washington. John Sheehan, the director of safety and security at the Sofitel, told The Daily Telegraph: "The safety and security of our team and our clients is our utmost priority. We are working very closely with the NYPD on their investigation." In a short statement referring enquiries to "his personal lawyer and to the local authorities", a spokesman for the IMF said the organisation "remains fully functioning and operational."

              Mr Strauss-Kahn, a former economics professor, lawyer and French finance minister, has since 2007 been the managing director of the Washington-based IMF, which loans large sums of money to countries in economic crisis. He ran for the Socialist party's presidential candidacy in 2006, but was defeated by Segolene Royal, who went on to lose the general election to Mr Sarkozy the following year. Martine Aubry, the leader of France's Socialist Party, described the news of his criminal charges as a "thunderbolt" that had left her "astounded". In 2008 Mr Strauss-Kahn, who is married to Anne Sinclair, an American-French television journalist, admitted that he had an affair with a senior IMF official. He said he had made an "error of judgment". He was expected to seek his party's nomination for the 2012 presidential election. Last week he complained that Mr Sarkozy had mounted a "smear campaign" against him and his lifestyle.

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              • #8

                Dimanche 15 Mai 2011 -- Après le coup de tonnerre, les interrogations. Quelques heures après l'arrestation de Dominique Strauss-Kahn à New York et son inculpation pour agression sexuelle, tentative de viol et de séquestration, plusieurs responsables politiques se sont interrogés sur la crédibilité d'une affaire qui signerait la mort politique de DSK, au moins dans la course pour 2012. "Je n'arrive pas à croire à cette affaire-là !" s'est exclamé Dominique Paillé, vice-président du Parti radical et ancien porte-parole de l'UMP. "Dominique Strauss-Kahn est un de mes adversaires, mais il est tout à fait envisageable qu'il puisse être tombé sur une peau de banane qu'on lui aurait mise sous la chaussure", a-t-il estimé, nuançant toutefois : "S'il est tombé sur cette peau de banane, c'est qu'on savait qu'il avait une vulnérabilité. Et quand on s'apprête à être candidat à la candidature à la présidence de la République française, on se met à l'abri de telles vulnérabilités."

                "Tout est possible" (Royal)

                Christine Boutin, ancienne ministre du Logement, a elle été encore plus explicite. "Je pense que vraisemblablement on a tendu un piège à Dominique Strauss-Kahn et qu'il y est tombé." Pour la présidente du Parti chrétien-démocrate, "le piège était tendu mais il ne fallait pas tomber dedans". Interrogée sur l'origine d'une telle manipulation, Christine Boutin estime que "ça peut venir du FMI, ça peut venir de la droite française, ça peut venir de la gauche française... "Ça me semble tellement énorme cette affaire ! On sait qu'il est assez vigoureux, si je puis m'exprimer ainsi, mais qu'il se fasse prendre comme ça me semble ahurissant donc je pense qu'il est tombé dans un piège." Côté socialiste, "tout est possible" a estimé Ségolène Royal, candidate déclarée à la primaire socialiste, avant d'appeler au calme : "Attendez que la justice se prononce", a-t-elle demandé à plusieurs reprises. "Personne ne peut profiter de ses difficultés", a-t-elle estimé. Dominique Strauss-Kahn et Ségolène Royal devaient se rencontrer "mardi prochain", a-t-elle révélé.

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                • #9

                  May 16, 2011 -- The arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel cleaning woman in New York City is a personal humiliation for the French politician, but it is also a black mark on the International Monetary Fund that chose to overlook his previous sexual behavior. It will be fascinating to see how the grandees of French and international financial politics handle this one. Mr. Strauss-Kahn is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and his attorney says he will plead not guilty. Some in the French press and even a French government minister are suggesting that the 62-year-old Socialist Party panjandrum may have been set up by his rivals. The charges are stunning enough — and French politics is strange enough — that we suppose anything is possible, but such a conspiracy would have to include a large number of players.

                  The facts of the case as reported by New York police so far do not look promising for the IMF managing director. The woman who entered to clean the Frenchman's $3,000-a-night Sofitel suite at midday on Saturday reported the incident immediately. She told police that Mr. Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from the bathroom, pursued her down a hallway and pulled her into the bedroom. She escaped and he then chased her again and dragged her into a bathroom. In other words, this is not a case in which misunderstandings about mutual consent are at issue. The charge is the unlawful imprisonment and attempted rape of a vulnerable hotel employee trying to do her job. Police also say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn fled the hotel in a rush, leaving behind his cellphone and other personal items. Police were impressed enough with the facts to take Mr. Strauss-Kahn from the first-class section of an Air France aircraft lest he leave U.S. jurisdiction.

                  The IMF declined to comment yesterday, but its board should do some soul-searching about the pass it previously gave Mr. Strauss-Kahn. The married Frenchman pursued and had an affair with a senior fund economist not long after taking the top job in 2007. After her husband blew the whistle, the fund board let Mr. Strauss-Kahn off with a wrist slap that he had committed a "serious error of judgment." The IMF board's forbearance contrasts with the way the World Bank pushed out American Paul Wolfowitz as bank president on the pretext that he had secured a raise for his girl friend, though Mr. Wolfowitz had kept bank officials informed from start to finish and had not violated bank policy. The boards of both institutions are dominated by Europeans, who deployed a double standard for Mr. Strauss-Kahn as one of their own.

                  Especially pungent in retrospect is the report by a consultant to the board at the time that "going forward" the IMF should consider whether its managing director should be held to a "higher standard of conduct" than the staff. A. Shakour Shaalan, the longest-serving member of the board, announced at the time that he had personally told Mr. Strauss-Kahn that "this should not happen again." We'll see if those tolerant IMF officials consider the New York charges to be consistent with their admonitions. Yesterday the fund named its number two official, the capable U.S. economist John Lipsky, as acting managing director. Under Mr. Strauss-Kahn, the IMF promoted multiple European bailouts and we doubt that will change.

                  The charges are roiling France, where Mr. Strauss-Kahn was the favorite to be the Socialist nominee for President next year and was even leading in the polls against Nicolas Sarkozy. The French are legendary for nonchalance toward the sexual appetites of their politicians, and they sniffed at Americans who disapproved of Bill Clinton when he lied under oath about sex. But we doubt even the French will be blasé about assaulting a hotel chamber maid. Mr. Strauss-Kahn's humiliation would leave the Socialists without a presidential front-runner. It could help Martine Aubry, the party chief and godmother of the 35-hour work week, who remains as hardcore a Socialist as there is these days. That is not a winning platform. Mr. Sarkozy, who supported Mr. Strauss-Kahn's candidacy for the top IMF job in part to get him out of the country, would appear again to be the favorite.

                  As we neared our deadline Sunday, we heard different views on whether Mr. Strauss-Kahn has diplomatic immunity because he works for an international organization headquartered in Washington. The New York police say he does not. If Mr. Strauss-Kahn is innocent, we assume he'd rather clear his name in court than escape accountability by returning to France. For his sake, for the sake of his accuser, and for the integrity of American justice, the world needs to see that this case is prosecuted transparently and well.

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                      اعتقلت، أول أمس، شرطة مدينة نيويورك مدير صندوق النقد الدولي دومينيك ستروس كان، بتهمة التحرش الجنسي بإحدى الخادمات في فندق يقع بساحة تايمز سكوير وسط مدينة منهاتن.

                      ذكر متحدث باسم هيئة إدارة موانئ نيويورك ونيوجرسي أن دومينيك ستروس كان اعتقل قبل دقائق من مغادرته مطار جون أف كنيدي الدولي بنيويورك عائدا إلى باريس.

                      وقد جاء هذا التوقيف يومين قبل الاجتماع الذي كان من المقرر أن يشارك فيه ستروس والخاص بوزراء مالية منطقة اليورو في بروكسل، وهو الاجتماع الذي كان مقررا أن يلقي فيه دومينيك ستروس كلمة باعتباره مديرا لأكبر هيئة مالية في العالم، حيث تولى هذا المنصب في شهر أكتوبر .2007 ومن المتوقع أن توجه لستروس تهمة التحرش الجنسي ومحاولة الاغتصاب، بعد أن أكدت الخادمة للشرطة تفاصيل حول عملية الاعتداء.

                      ويعد دومينيك ستروس كان من أبرز المرشحين عن الحزب الاشتراكي الفرنسي لخلافة نيكولا ساركوزي في الانتخابات الرئاسية السنة المقبلة، خصوصا بعد التراجع الكبير لشعبية الرئيس الفرنسي على خلفية سياسته في التعامل مع الأحداث التي تعرفها المنطقة العربية.

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                        Lundi 16 Mai 2011 -- En postant un billet sur son blog dimanche, où il qualifie Dominique Strauss-Kahn de "délinquant sexuel " qui doit se faire "soigner", le député de Paris a déclenché la colère de nombreux hommes politiques de gauche, dont Pierre Moscovici, et d'internautes, qui lui reprochent une violence démesurée dans les mots. Contacté par L'Express ce lundi matin, Bernard Debré maintient ses propos et accuse désormais Dominique Strauss-Kahn de s'être déjà livré à des agressions sexuelles, dans ce même hôtel de New York. Elles auraient, selon lui, été passées sous silence par la direction, contre l'avis des employés. "Il faut sortir de l'hypocrisie. Ce n'est pas la première fois que DSK se livrait à ce genre d'agissements au Sofitel. C'est là qu'il descendait toujours. Ça s'est produit plusieurs fois et depuis plusieurs années. Tout le monde le savait dans l'hôtel", déclare Bernard Debré, actuellement en déplacement en Chine. "Les employés étaient sur le point de se révolter, ajoute-t-il. La direction était au courant mais jusque-là n'osait rien dire. Elle a étouffé toutes les autres affaires. D'autres femmes de chambre avant Ophelia - une femme charmante de 32 ans qui travaillait très bien - avaient été agressées. Il faut arrêter de jouer les vierges effarouchées. Vous croyez que les flics de New York l'auraient interpellé dans l'avion s'ils n'avaient pas d'informations précises?" "C'est humiliant pour notre pays. C'est une très grande honte. Là, je suis à Shanghai. Les Chinois me regardent et se marrent. Ils se disent que tous les Français sont des obsédés sexuels. Si on continue à ne rien dire, ça va aider le Front national", poursuit Bernard Debré. "J'ai eu beaucoup d'appels de parlementaires et de militants qui me soutiennent", assure le député. Des ministres aussi? "Je ne peux rien dire."

                        Le démenti de Sofitel

                        La direction d'Accor s'incrit en faux contre les accusations répétées du député UMP de Paris, Bernard Debré, qui évoquait des précédents. Si, en 2010, le patron du FMI est descendu à cinq reprises au Sofitel de New York, dont une fois en septembre, une en octobre et une en novembre, aucun incident n'a été signalé.

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                          May 16, 2011 (Reuters) -- Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn have proof the IMF chief was at a restaurant having lunch with his daughter at the time he was alleged to be sexually assaulting a hotel maid, France's RMC radio reported on Monday. RMC said the lawyers had pieced together Strauss-Kahn's movements and found that he left the hotel at midday, after paying his bill and handing in his key, then went to eat with his daughter and took a taxi to the airport. The schedule meant he had already left the hotel at the time the maid alleged he chased her down a corridor, forced her into a room and assaulted her, RMC reported on its website, adding that the lawyers had material evidence and witnesses. Strauss-Kahn, a center-left former finance minister whom polls had tipped as the likely frontrunner to win France's 2012 presidential election, will appear in court on Monday. The case has sent shockwaves around the world. His lawyers have said he will plead not guilty to charges of a criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment and attempted rape, which threaten to bring a humiliating end to his career as International Monetary Fund managing director. The radio did not cite its sources.

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