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

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post


    Lundi 16 Mai 2011 -- Parmi les nombreuses réactions politiques sur l'arrestation de Dominique Strauss-Kahn pour agression sexuelle, l'une dénote. Alors que ses collègues de droite comme de gauche appellent à la prudence, Bernard Debré, député UMP de Paris,multiplie les attaques virulentes contre le patron du FMI. Tout débute par une interview dimanche matin sur Europe 1. Le député affirme qu'il est «humiliant pour la France d'avoir un homme comme lui qui se vautre dans le sexe». Interrogé sur la présemption d'innocence, il rebondit : «Vous croyez que la police américaine serait venue le chercher dans l'avion, un homme comme lui [si elle n'avait pas de preuves] ? Je trouve ça misérable.»

    La charge la plus violente, et qui fera grand bruit sur les réseaux sociaux, a lieu environ deux heures plus tard sur le blog de Bernard Debré. «Il était connu de beaucoup que vous aviez des attitudes sexuelles débridées, en France, en Belgique. Les choses étant connues, les participants à ces parties fines s'en vantaient, mais la France est tolérante, trop tolérante», écrit-il. «Mais trop c'est trop, vous avez humilié la France! Vous l'avez ridiculisée.» «Vous avez été une fausse valeur, un obsédé sexuel, un escroc intellectuel. Vous avez sali votre pays.», poursuit-il, avant d'assener : «Ce que je vous souhaite c'est maintenant de vous soigner, il existe des médicaments pour les délinquants sexuels.»

    «L'hôtel a étouffé d'autres affaires»

    Interrogé par l'Express.fr lundi matin, Bernard Debré maintient ses propos sur Dominique Strauss-Khan. Pis, il l'accuse de s'être livré à de nombreuses reprises «à ce genre d'agissements» dans l'hôtel Sofitel de New York où «il descendait toujours.» «Ça s'est produit plusieurs fois et depuis plusieurs années. Tout le monde le savait dans l'hôtel», affirme le député de Paris sans avancer de preuves. Selon lui, la direction de l'hôtel aurait étouffé les 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.» Le député affirme également être soutenu par des parlementaires et laisse entendre que des ministres seraient de son côté. Sans toutefois livrer de noms.

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    • #17

      May 16, 2011 (Reuters) -- IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn appeared in court on Monday for the first time since he was accused of trying to rape a hotel maid in a case that sent shockwaves through French politics and left the IMF in turmoil. A handcuffed and drained Strauss-Kahn, whose hopes of becoming France's next president appear to have been wrecked, faced a barrage of cameras when he was escorted to the booking station at Manhattan Criminal Court on Sunday night. His lawyers said he would plead not guilty to charges of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment that could bring a humiliating end to his public career and political ambitions. "Our client willingly consented to a scientific and forensic examination ...," said William Taylor, the IMF chief's Washington-based lawyer. "He's tired but he's fine."

      Any restriction the judge places on Strauss-Kahn's freedom of movement after Monday's arraignment hearing may determine whether he is able to continue in his globe-trotting role as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. His arrest on Saturday plunged the Washington-based global lender into disarray in the midst of the euro zone's debt crisis and threw France's presidential race wide open. The IMF board postponed an informal meeting pending further information from New York. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Strauss-Kahn had been due to meet on Sunday, said that finding a successor for the Frenchman was "not a question for today", but there were good grounds to have a European candidate ready. European sources said French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde had been picking up support before the Strauss-Kahn news broke. Former Turkish Economy Minister Kemal Dervis is considered a favorite among the non-European possibilities. More allegations involving Strauss-Kahn surfaced in Paris, where a lawyer said a woman writer was considering filing a legal complaint against the IMF chief over an alleged sexual incident dating back to 2002.

      Strauss-Kahn, the Socialist early favorite in the 2012 presidential race, had his hands manacled behind his back and looked strained on Sunday as detectives led him to a waiting police sedan in front of a battery of television cameras. A police spokesman said the 32-year-old chambermaid at the Times Square Sofitel had identified Strauss-Kahn on Sunday from a police lineup that included five other men. The IMF chief, who has retained Michael Jackson's former star defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman to lead his legal team, submitted to the forensic examination with police looking for scratches or evidence of his alleged assault.

      A charismatic figure, Strauss-Kahn led the IMF through the 2007-09 global financial meltdown, pressing for stimulus measures and interest rate cuts to avoid a depression, and has been central in galvanizing Europe to tackle its debt woes. The IMF, which said Strauss-Kahn had been in New York on private business, moved to fill a leadership vacuum by naming No. 2 official, John Lipsky, as acting managing director.

      Strauss-Kahn wore a black overcoat, blue dress shirt and black dress slacks on Sunday, his hair neatly parted, as he was escorted to a police car in front of the assembled media. He kept his eyes straight ahead, avoiding looking at the cameras. French Socialist party leader Martine Aubry called the pictures, which dominated all news bulletins, "profoundly humiliating" and told reporters: "Fortunately in France we have a law on the presumption of innocence which means that at this stage of proceedings, people cannot be shown like this."

      Police said the maid had described how the IMF chief, naked, sprang on her from the bathroom of his hotel suite, chased her down a hall, pulled her into a bedroom and assaulted her. She told police she broke free but that he dragged her into the bathroom where he forced himself on her again. The woman, who has not been named, was treated in hospital for minor injuries. She has worked at the hotel for three years and the property's manager said she has been a "completely satisfactory" employee in her work and her behavior. Strauss-Kahn's wife, French television personality Anne Sinclair, jumped to her husband's defense, saying she did not believe the accusations "for a single second," and other supporters in France cautioned against a rush to judgment.

      Police say Strauss-Kahn left his $3,000-a-day suite in such a rush that he left his mobile phone behind but a French tourist who said she saw him check out told France 2 television he had appeared calm and in no hurry. After he called the hotel from John F. Kennedy airport asking about his phone, police located him in the first-class section of an Air France flight bound for Paris. He was pulled from the flight minutes before takeoff. Police say the IMF chief does not have diplomatic immunity from the charges, which if proven could carry a prison sentence of 15 to 20 years. Defense attorney Brafman is a high-profile criminal lawyer who was part of the team that successfully defended pop singer Michael Jackson against child molestation charges in 2005. Brafman also won an acquittal on weapons and bribery charges for rap mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs.

      In France, Strauss-Kahn had not yet declared his candidacy but was widely expected to seek the Socialist Party nomination. Early opinion polls gave him a big lead over conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, who is likely to seek a second term at the election next April. France's government as well as Strauss-Kahn's allies and rivals called for caution and respect for the presumption of innocence. But unless the case against him collapses rapidly, it is hard to see how he could enter the Socialist primary, for which the deadline for candidates to declare is July 13. That leaves former party leader Francois Hollande and 2007 presidential candidate Segolene Royal as the only declared Socialist contenders, but Aubry or former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius might join the race if Strauss-Kahn is out. French voters are famously tolerant of political leaders' extramarital affairs, but the allegations against Strauss-Kahn are entirely different, and much more serious.

      The charges were a huge embarrassment for an institution that oversees the world economy and has authorized hundreds of billions of dollars of loans to troubled countries. The IMF faces questions of its own, because Strauss-Kahn's character had been questioned before. In 2008, he apologized for "an error of judgment" after an affair with a female IMF economist who was his subordinate. The Fund's board warned him against improper conduct, but cleared him of harassment and abuse of power and kept him in his job. It will now face new scrutiny over whether that response was too weak, especially as there have been persistent rumors about Strauss-Kahn making sexual advances to women. The left-leaning French daily Liberation published comments it said he had made at a private lunch with reporters last month in which he said the three most difficult hurdles for his presidential bid would be "money, women and my Jewishness".

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      • #18
        Rafik Tadjer :


        Mardi 17 Mai 2011 -- Alors que des sources proches de la défense de Dominique Strauss-Kahn, citées par des journaux américains, évoquent un «rapport sexuel consenti», la presse américaine publie ce mardi 17 mai des informations sur la jeune employée de chambre. Elle est décrite comme «une musulmane dévouée», selon des témoignages de membres de sa famille et de proches publiés par les médias locaux. Elle serait une immigrée originaire de Guinée mais une autre version évoque des origines sénégalaises. La jeune femme se trouve actuellement sous protection policière dans un lieu secret. La presse américaine refuse de révéler son identité. Elle s’appellerait Nafissatou Diallo, selon les médias français.

        «Elle a passé deux jours entiers à pleurer», selon le témoignage d’un de ses proches. «Elle est très en colère car elle aime son travail», a pour sa part déclaré son frère au journal New York Daily News. Elle a également reçu le soutien de son employeur, l’hôtel Sofitel. «Elle travaille au Sofitel New York depuis trois ans», a fait savoir le directeur général de l'hôtel Sofitel Jorge Tito, qui s’est dit «entièrement satisfait de son travail et de son comportement». Le groupe Accor, propriétaire de Sofitel, aurait indiqué que l’employée modèle était «notée 4,5 sur 5» par la direction de l’hôtel. Elle fait partie des rares employés autorisés à travailleur au 8e étage de l’hôtel où se trouvent les suites présidentielles.

        D’autres témoins décrivent une femme discrète et timide. «Elle est toujours très calme. Je ne l’ai jamais vue s’énerver», déclare un voisin à la radio. «Je la croise quand elle part travailler ou parfois quand elle rentre. Mais je vois surtout sa fille, une fille très sympa. Et sa mère est vraiment gentille. Ça a été un sacré choc», poursuit‑il. Même réaction d’une autre voisine : «Je pense qu’elle ne méritait vraiment pas ça». «Voyez ce que cet homme lui a fait. Il ne mérite pas d’être un jour président. Je l’ai vu dans le journal. C’est comme s’il n’avait aucune compassion pour elle. Rien du tout», estime‑t‑elle. «Ce sont de bonnes personnes, a déclaré un voisin. Elle n'a jamais créé de problème. Elle est très discrète», ont déclaré d’autres voisins cités par la chaîne française I‑Télé. Ces éléments sur la personnalité de l’employée de l’hôtel rendent peu crédible la thèse d’un rapport sexuel consenti, estimaient ce mardi plusieurs commentateurs américains.

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        • #19

          May 17, 2011 -- Pressure is mounting on Dominique Strauss-Kahn to resign after being remanded in custody for alleged sexual assault of a New York hotel maid, with some European finance ministers distancing themselves from the head of the International Monetary Fund. Maria Fekter, Austria’s finance minister suggested on Tuesday that Mr Strauss-Kahn, who was a leading contender to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency next year, consider stepping down to avoid damaging the IMF.

          The fund provides emergency loans to countries in severe distress and tries to maintain global financial stability. “Considering the situation, that bail was denied, he has to figure out for himself that he is hurting the institution,” Ms Fekter said as she arrived at a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels. Elena Salgado, Ms Fekter’s Spanish counterpart, was less-than-fulsome in her backing for Mr Strauss-Kahn. Ms Salgado said the IMF managing director had to decide for himself whether he wanted to step down, considering the “extraordinarily serious” nature of the charges. “If I had to show my solidarity and support for someone, it would be toward the woman who has been assaulted, if that is really the case that she has been,” she said. At the European finance ministers meeting the corridors were buzzing with speculation about Mr Strauss-Kahn’s replacement, with diplomats and officials talking as if the IMF head had already tendered his resignation.

          The IMF has appointed Mr Strauss-Kahn’s deputy, John Lipsky, acting managing director but has said nothing on the case other than that the board “will continue to monitor developments”. “It is a premature question, but if and when we have to take such a decision our most important task will be to identify the best man or woman for the job, and it is no surprise that our strong preference is for a European to lead the IMF,” said Jan Kees de Jager, the Dutch finance minister. Without commenting on Mr Strauss-Kahn’s case, a senior Brazilian official told Reuters that “India and Brazil would be good options” for the nationality of the next IMF chief. “But we also believe that Europe is likely to keep its deep stranglehold on the position, and so we’re not planning to push very hard on this issue for now,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.

          One notable exception to those discussing Mr Strauss-Kahn’s replacement was Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister and president of the eurozone finance ministers. He called Mr Strauss-Kahn a good friend, and said it was “indecent” for European governments to talk about his replacement. “He has not resigned and I do not know if he is guilty, so why have European governments asked who is going to replace him?” Mr Juncker said this morning.

          Mr Strauss-Kahn is being detained in the New York state Rikers Island prison. He is facing seven charges, including attempting to rape and sexually assault the hotel maid, which carry a maximum 25-year prison sentence. Meanwhile French lawyers for Mr Strauss-Kahn are weighing whether to sue French media over images showing the IMF boss being led away in handcuffs. Dominique de Leusse de Syon said a decision would be taken in the next day or two over whether to launch legal action after several newspapers, magazines and television stations used photos and clips of Mr Strauss-Kahn being taken by police to court, and sitting with his laywers at the hearing in a New York courtroom. Such images are illegal in France, where they are considered to be harmful to the presumption of innocence. Mr de Leusse told the Financial Times that several websites had withdrawn the offending photos after news first emerged of the possible legal action. However those that continued to publish or broadcast such images risked facing a legal challenge. “They were not justifiable on the first day,” Mr de Leusse said. “but the more time passes there is even less justification.”

          Martine Aubry, Socialist party leader and a close political ally of Mr Strauss-Kahn, said after a midday gathering of senior party members to discuss the crisis: “American justice has its own rules. We have only heard the accusation, we are waiting for the other voice, that of Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his lawyers.” Francois Fillon, France’s prime minister, warned members of the ruling UMP party in a private meeting against seeking political advantage from the affair. However he insisted that “if the accusations against Dominique Strauss-Kahn are proven, we will be facing a very serious act that can rely on no excuse. “(Mr Strauss-Kahn) has the right to presumption of innocence and the alleged victim has the right to respect and compassion.”

          Ms Aubry also sought to reassure members that recent events would not distract the Socialist party from its goal of winning power in next year’s presidential election. “Of course there is emotion, the upset that everyone feels, but there is also a responsibility: to be up to the challenge,” she said after a one-hour meeting of senior members to discuss the consequences of the crisis. The party would not change its planned calendar for primaries this summer to choose its candidate for the presidential election she said. Candidates would have to declare their bid by July 13, with the first round of voting due in October. Ms Aubry said the left had to remain united during “a painful moment”. She called on members to respect the principle of presumption of innocence.

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          • #20

            May 17, 2011 -- Defence lawyers representing Dominique Strauss-Khan have indicated the hotel maid at the centre of the sex allegations consented to the IMF boss's advances. During a bail hearing yesterday Strauss-Khan's lawyer Benjamin Brafman told Manhattan Criminal Court: 'The evidence, we believe, will not be consistent with a forcible encounter' suggesting this could be Strauss-Khan's main line of defence if the case goes to trial. A source close to the defence later said: 'There may well have been consent,' according to the New York Post. Strauss-Kahn, 62, was spending his first night in an isolation cell at New York's notorious Rikers Island jail yesterday after a female judge denied $1 million bail on charges that he raped the maid who works for the Sofitel Hotel in New York.

            The alleged rape victim told a relative in her first phone call after the attack: 'Somebody did something really bad to me', her brother revealed last night. The woman phoned her older brother an hour after the alleged assault took place and gave him a horrifying account what the head of the IMF allegedly did to her. Crying uncontrollably, she said that she had been trapped inside the hotel bedroom while the Frenchman twice tried to force himself on her. She told him he was the first member of family to whom she had revealed the alleged attack He said he told her not to talk to anybody and immediately contacted a lawyer to represent her. Speaking exclusively to Mail Online, the alleged victim's brother said: 'No family should have to go through this. 'She is a hard-working woman who is just a victim. She is a wonderful west African immigrant who just wants to work hard. I love her, she is my little sister and she is doing better now she has had a chance to talk to a lawyer. She is somewhere very, very safe and will stay that way'. The brother, 43, a restaurant manager from Harlem in New York, said his sister, 32, called him on Saturday in the afternoon, a mere hour or so after she claimed the attack took place. He recalled: 'She rang me and she said: "Somebody has done something really bad to me. I've been attacked". 'She was crying all the time.' The brother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that he wanted to see Strauss-Kahn face a trial if he pleaded not guilty. 'I trust the American justice system and will let it do what it has to do,' he said. 'I want him to see justice. Justice will be served'.

            Yesterday prosecutors revealed graphic details of Strauss-Kahn’s alleged brutal sex attack on the maid. Police also reportedly found blood on bed sheets in the hotel suite where the assault allegedly took place and DNA samples on carpet and fabric that they removed for testing. A rape kit is also said to have found DNA on the victim after she reported the attack.

            Looking haggard and wearing the previous day's clothes, Strauss-Kahn, who should have been meeting European finance ministers in Brussels, stood at the bench next to his lawyer Benjamin Brafman as prosecutors outlined the severity of the charges against him. These include two counts of a first degree criminal sexual act, two counts of sexual abuse, attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. A one-page indictment provided further lurid claims, accusing Strauss-Kahn of forcing the maid to take part in both oral and anal sex. The court papers claim he forcibly touched the woman’s breasts, twice 'forcibly made contact with his penis and the informant’s mouth' and 'engaged in oral sexual conduct and anal sexual conduct with another person by forcible compulsion'. It took 20 minutes for Judge Melissa Jackson to refuse Strauss-Kahn's bail offer of $1 million at the hearing. He had also offered to stay with his 26-year-old daughter Camille, a married political science student at Columbia University who lives in New York and have all his travel documents confiscated, his lawyer Mr Brafman said. Camille and her husband arrived halfway through the hearing and stood at the back of the court alongside a sea of reporters.

            Judge Jackson said she was a 'fair judge' but added: 'When I hear your client was at JFK airport about to board a flight that raises concern.' Strauss-Kahn was on an Air France flight minutes from take-off when he was arrested. Assistant District Attorney John A McConnell had earlier called Strauss-Kahn an 'incurable flight risk' and voiced concerns that if he managed to flee to France the U.S. would not be able to extradite him. 'It's just like Roman Polanski - it's the same, exact situation,' he said referring to the film director who was charged with a sex act involving a child in 1977 before fleeing to France where he stayed for more than 30 years. He called the charges severe and said that 'the victim provided a very powerful and detailed account' of the alleged attack and had had a full sexual assault examination in hospital.

            The maid, a Guinean immigrant, told authorities that when she entered Strauss-Kahn's suite to clean it on Saturday afternoon, he emerged naked from the bathroom and chased her down a hallway before pulling her back inside. The maid claims she then briefly fought him off before he dragged her into the bathroom and forced her to perform oral sex on him. The woman said she was able to break free again as he tried to remove her underwear and she ran downstairs to tell hotel staff what had happened. After Strauss-Kahn rang to recover his mobile phone, which he had left in his room, detectives were able to find him at John F Kennedy airport. Indicating that there 'may be' forensic evidence in the suite supporting the maid’s claims, Mr McConnell added that he had seen CCTV video footage of Strauss-Kahn leaving the hotel. He appeared to be 'a man who was in a hurry', he said.

            Mr Brafman, who defended Michael Jackson from child molestation charges, and has also defended Sean 'P Diddy' Combs, argued that it was ‘simply wrong’ to disallow his client bail. He has no previous criminal record and has a daughter in New York who he was prepared to stay with, he said. He is not planning to leave New York city and was ‘probably the most easily identifiable person in the world today,' he added. Mr Brafman also argued that if Strauss-Kahn had appeared in a hurry it was because he had a prior lunch engagement with his daughter Camille before his flight to Germany, which he added had been booked before the alleged incident. However Straus-Khan apparently met his daughter at 12.45pm making it too late for her to act as an alibi, a source told the New York Post. Strauss-Kahn had co-operated ‘completely’ with police requests, Mr Brafman said, before adding that all of these aspects were not ‘consistent with someone who has something to hide'. On top of offering to post a $1million bail, Mr Brafman argued that his client would give up all his travel documents and said he would be able to stay with his daughter in New York. He added that Strauss-Kahn's wife, the French journalist and millionaire heiress Anne Sinclair, was due to arrive in New York and had wired the bail funds through to a U.S. bank account. Outside court, Mr Brafman said they were 'disappointed' by the court’s decision. ‘Mr Strauss-Kahn is innocent of these charges,' he said. 'It is a very defensible case. It is his intention to try and clear his name. This case has just begun.'

            Strauss-Kahn, dubbed the 'Great Seducer' by the French media, will now be housed in 'protective custody' at the West Facility on Rikers Island in a cell on his own, a spokesman for the prison told MailOnline. He will eat eat his meals alone and spend his recreation time alone, he added. The disgraced banker was supposed to appear in court yesterday but the hearing was postponed until today after Strauss-Kahn's lawyers said their client had agreed to undergo some 'scientific tests'. He was reportedly being searched for scratches and traces of his accuser's DNA at the unit, where prisoners are served meals costing $1.80.

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            • #21
              continued.....

              French author Tristane Banon, now 31, also spoke out today to claim that Strauss-Kahn forcefully tried to seduce her ten years ago in Paris, allegedly leaving her having to fight him off. At the time, her mother, Anne Mansouret, a regional Socialist official in Normandy, said she advised her daughter against pursuing a claim at the time. A French lawmaker from a rival political party also alleged, without offering evidence, that Strauss-Kahn had victimised several maids during past stays at the Sofitel near Times Square. The hotel issued a statement calling conservative lawmaker Michel Debre's claims 'baseless and defamatory'. Sofitel management 'has had no knowledge of any previous attempted aggressions', the hotel said, adding that it had set up a hotline for workers to report incidents more than a year ago. Assistant District Attorney Mr McConnell said in court that New York authorities are working to verify at least one other case of 'conduct similar to the conduct alleged'. When the judge asked whether the potential other incident occurred in the United States, McConnell said he 'believed that was abroad'. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers said they had no immediate response to the allegations emerging from overseas.

              The scandal involving the IMF boss has torn France's presidential race asunder and savaged the reputation of the suave and self-assured Strauss-Kahn.' He had been considered a leading contender to run on the Socialist Party ticket against President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s French elections. He has topped opinion polls for months as the man most likely to become the nation's next president. In France, for some, the arrest spells the end of his presidential ambitions and even his political career; others warned that it was too early to judge a man who denies wrongdoing; and still others suspect a plot to blacken his name just as the campaign heats up for the April 2012 first-round vote. French voters are famously tolerant of political leaders' extramarital affairs. The allegations against Strauss-Kahn are entirely different, and much more serious. Many politicians have fallen after being caught in extramarital affairs and others have survived them, including former U.S. presidents John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton as well as former French President Francois Mitterrand. Rarely have senior figures faced brutal assault charges like those filed against Strauss-Kahn.

              Police made the revelations as Strauss-Kahn's wife said she ‘does not believe for a second’ the allegations made against her husband. Miss Sinclair, 63, made it clear she would be sticking by him. Calling for ‘decency and restraint’ in the coverage of the scandal, she said: ‘I don't believe for one second the accusations made against my husband. I have no doubt that his innocence will be established.’ It was not clear why Strauss-Kahn was in New York. The IMF is based in Washington DC and he was due in Germany yesterday. The IMF said Strauss-Kahn had been in New York on private business.

              Christine Boutin, president of the Christian Democrat Party, suggested Strauss-Kahn may have been set up. 'I think it's very likely a trap was set for Dominique Strauss-Kahn and he fell into it,' she told France's BFM television. 'It's a political bomb for domestic politics.' On Saturday far-right presidential contender Marine Le Pen said that Strauss-Kahn's bid for the top job was now 'doomed'. A French government spokesman said it was important to remain cautious and reserve judgment. 'We have to be extremely prudent in analysis, comments and consequences,' he told France 2 television. The spokesman added that the government's position was to respect the presumption of innocence.

              Strauss-Kahn has been dogged by scandal. In 2008 he was embroiled in controversy over accusations that he had had a sexual relationship with one of his subordinates, Piroska Nagy, senior official in the IMF’s Africa Department. The IMF hired a law firm to launch an investigation. Ms Nagy left the fund and joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He was cleared of harassment, favouritism and abuse of power following an inquiry - and kept his job, though he later apologised for an ‘error of judgment’.

              Strauss-Kahn, who was rejected by the French Socialists as their presidential candidate in 2006, gained international recognition as France’s finance minister from 1997-99. He is credited with preparing France for the adoption of the euro by reducing its deficit and persuading then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin to sign up to an EU pact of fiscal prudence. A former economics professor, Strauss-Kahn joined the Socialist party in 1976 and was elected to parliament in 1986 from the Val-d’Oise district, north of Paris. He went on to become mayor of Sarcelles, a working-class immigrant suburb of Paris. Hours before Strauss-Kahn was pulled from the flight, a close Socialist Party ally claimed he was the target of a smear campaign by French President Sarkozy. 'There is now a totally structured and orchestrated campaign, which has already been announced by Mr Sarkozy and his closest allies, to attack the character of Strauss-Kahn,' Socialist politician Jean-Marie Le Guen told Europe 1 radio. Formed at the end of World War II, the IMF provides low-cost loans to countries in financial crisis. After 2008, it became increasingly significant after brokering rescue packages for countries like Greece, Pakistan, Iceland, Hungary and Ukraine.

              France could face a 'political earthquake' after the arrest of presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The brilliant economist was seen as the strongest potential challenger to the conservative President Sarkozy in next year's presidential elections, despite not announcing his candidacy. Unless the charges are quickly dropped, they could destroy his chances in a presidential race that is just starting to heat up. The allegations over his arrest in New York dominated special editions of Paris newspapers and there was also blanket coverage on TV and radio. It is unclear how damaging the allegations could be. A poll for Le Parisien gave him 41 per cent of the votes among supporters of the Socialist Party. 'At the top of the polls,' Strauss-Kahn tweeted proudly in French last December, linking an article that showed him ahead in opinion polls when French voters were asked whom they would choose in a primary. At a soccer game in a Washington suburb last September, he, his wife and others were seen wearing T-shirts that read, 'Yes we Kahn'. Strauss-Kahn also noted that he trailed only Warren Buffett and Bill Gates on a list of 100 'global thinkers' compiled last November by Foreign Policy magazine. He was cited for his 'steely vision at a moment of crisis' - for convincing Germany to help bail out Greece's debt-laden government, and for helping to put the brakes on defaults in Hungary, Pakistan and Ukraine.

              The arrest could throw the long-divided Socialists back into disarray about who they could present as Sarkozy's opponent. Even some of his adversaries were stunned. 'It's totally hallucinating. If it is true, this would be a historic moment, but in the negative sense, for French political life,' said Dominique Paille, a political rival to Strauss-Kahn on the centre right, on BFM television. Still, he urged, 'I hope that everyone respects the presumption of innocence. I cannot manage to believe this affair.' Candidates need to announce their intentions this summer to run in fall primary elections. 'If he's cleared, he could return - but if he is let off only after four or five months, he won't be able to run' because the campaign will be too far along, said Jerome Fourquet of the IFOP polling agency. 'I think his political career is over,' Philippe Martinat, who wrote a book called DSK-Sarkozy: The Duel, said.. 'Behind him he has other affairs ... I don't see very well how he can pick himself back up.'

              An economics professor and former French finance minister, Strauss-Kahn took over the IMF in November 2007 for a five-year term, and won praise for helping to galvanise leaders to inject billions of dollars into the world economy during the global financial crisis. He introduced sweeping changes to ensure vulnerable countries swamped by the crisis had access to emergency loans, and others to give major emerging market countries such as China, India and Brazil greater voting powers in the IMF. Witty, multi-lingual, a skilled public speaker and sharp back-room negotiator, Strauss-Kahn also weighed into thornier issues by urging China to let its currency rise in a dispute with the United States. A crisis of leadership at the fund now will especially worry European nations given Strauss-Kahn's pivotal role in brokering bail-outs for Iceland, Hungary, Greece, Ireland and Portugal. 'The chances are the successor won't be a European, and will want to rebalance the IMF's priorities away from its massive commitment in Europe,' said Jean Pisani-Ferry, director of the Bruegel economic think-tank. Strauss-Kahn had been due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday and join euro zone finance ministers on Monday to discuss the bloc's debt crisis and how to handle Greece, which is struggling to meet the terms of a 110 billion euro European Union/IMF bailout last year. 'This might definitely cause some delays in the short term,' a Greek official said on condition of anonymity.

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              • #22

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                • #23

                  May 17, 2011 -- The brother of the maid who former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn allegedly tried to rape has been speaking out to the press last night and today, and as reports go live, a portrait is emerging of his sister as a hard-working, religious mother from West Africa, living legally in the United States, who was distraught after what she described as an "attack." The brother, a 43-year-old restaurant manager from Harlem who papers won't name to protect his and his sister's identity, spoke with at least two New York news outlets and the UK Daily Mail. He told the New York Daily News that his sister is "a wonderful, hardworking woman," originally from Senegal, who has a 9-year-old daughter. She is "very upset because she loves her job." The Daily Mail, on the other hand, reported that the victim was from neighboring Guinea. She was "crying all the time" while she told her brother of the alleged assault, the paper reported in the earliest story to cite him. She reportedly said: "Somebody has done something really bad to me. I've been attacked." Manhattan news site DNAinfo refrained from identifying the victim's native land, but did talk to her neighbors in the Bronx, who said she was a devout Muslim who was "very shy" and "very quiet." She practiced Islam and attended a nearby mosque, they said. The site also sought out co-workers at the hotel, one of whom said the atmosphere there was tense. "They're scared. You never know what's going on, who's going to be the next crazy person that comes here," said one. The cleaning staff at the hotel consists primarily of immigrants from West Africa and China, the site reported.

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                  • #24
                    Diana Johnstone, May 17, 2011:


                    In a flood of carefully designed public opinion polls, editorials, and books bordering on idolatry, the French communications industry had already settled next year’s presidential election. The loser would be Nicolas Sarkozy, sagging in the polls. The winner would be Dominique Strauss-Kahn, ever on the rise. True, the French Socialist Party had not yet chosen its candidate, and Strauss-Kahn had not yet announced his candidacy, but the party nomination and the election itself were little more than formalities. Known by his initials, like the International Monetary Fund he currently heads, DSK was the clear choice of the economic powers behind the throne, and was being vigorously sold to the public as “the most competent” candidate.

                    Since DSK has the luck to face a New York jury, and not the judges at the International Criminal Court, commentators are all stressing that he is, of course, innocent until proven guilty. Well, yes. But the scandal has already blown the upcoming presidential election campaign out of the water. The French Socialist Party has been largely speechless at seeing its supposedly unbeatable candidate shoot himself in the foot before the race even starts. Conspiracy theories proliferate. Was this all a plot by Sarkozy? But Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, a minor candidate who is trying to resuscitate the tradition of social Gaullism, says that, contrary to many observers, he thinks the elimination of DSK is a stroke of luck for the left: “Dominique Strauss-Kahn was a false good candidate for the left and I think that the right would be mistaken to rejoice. I’ve always thought that there was a sort of phony Strauss-Kahn fad and that he was perhaps the best adversary Nicolas Sarkozy could have…”

                    Indeed, only a few days before the hotel room scandal broke, DSK was under fire for being photographed getting into a luxurious Porsche – not his own, as it happens, but ironically belonging to his public relations (“communication” these days) advisor. But this was only a reminder that the potential Socialist candidate is anything but a man of the people. Strauss-Kahn’s luxurious life style is no secret, his hunger for wealth and power every bit equal to that of Sarkozy, and his womanizing reputation has spiced up Paris dinner party conversation for years. Moreover, he has been credited with a style of womanizing that is not so much the Latin lover stereotype as “a chimpanzee in heat”, according to a young journalist who has publicly recounted how she had to fight him off tooth and nail.

                    But the real scandal for the Socialist Party is the one it does not even begin to recognize: that it was pinning its electoral hopes on a leading champion of global capitalism, the president of the IMF. Whatever the outcome of the New York proceedings, the bursting DSK bubble marks the total degeneration of the Socialist Party in France, for reasons that have nothing to do with his sex life. Thirty years ago, the wily François Mitterrand led Socialist Party politicians to an election victory they are still celebrating. Initially allied with the French Communist Party, the better to subjugate and destroy it, Mitterrand’s Socialists started out in a blaze of reforms, ending the death penalty, nationalizing enterprises and lowering the retirement age, only to turn around a couple of years later and abandon socialist economic policies as impossible to pursue in the free market context of the European Community (now the European Union). The Mitterrand era in reality buried socialism, or even social democracy, but the Socialist Party went on calling itself “the left”. This no longer referred to economic policies favoring the working class but above all to moral issues such as anti-racism and all sorts of vague good intentions. The Socialists were no longer socialist, without being anything else.

                    With Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the mere absence of socialism evolved into something much more vigorous: unabashed promotion of global capitalism. After becoming Minister of the Economy, Finances and Industry in 1997, he totally reversed the early Mitterrand direction, carrying out a wave of major privatizations, turning over French telecommunications, steel, aerospace and other key industries to the whims of international finance capital. This was to be expected from the vice president of the high level "Cercle de l'Industrie", which he joined in 1994 at the invitation of Raymond Lévy, then head of the Renault auto manufacturer. In this charmed circle, dedicated to promoting the interests of industry in the European institutions, DSK hung out with the same crowd of top French capitalists whose company so delights Nicolas Sarkozy. Indeed, it is only fair to suggest that Sarkozy chose DSK to head the IMF not only, as is constantly repeated, to keep his rival out of France, but also because the two see precisely eye to eye when it comes to international financial policy.

                    Consistently, DSK opposed the last Socialist Party reform intended to favor the workers, namely the reduction of the work week to 36 hours adopted in 2002. Having written his doctoral thesis in economics on “human resources”, he has argued in favor of both a longer work week and raising the age of retirement, “now that we live a hundred years”. In the wake of the Porsche flap, it is a sign of the degeneration of political life that commentators were writing that DSK needed to change. The fact that he was clearly an eager champion of multinational financial capital posing as a socialist was not the problem; the problem was that it showed. He needed to do something to make himself seem more concerned with ordinary people. Well, nobody imagined how rapidly that could be done.

                    There is another way in which DSK would have been a vulnerable candidate for the Socialists. The PS has often been the party of choice for voters from immigrant communities, but this has been complicated by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All mainstream French politicians are pro-Israel, but DSK went farther than most, writing: “I consider that every Jew in the diaspora, wherever he is, and thus this holds true for France, should contribute to helping Israel. Moreover that is why it is important for Jews to assume political responsibilities. Not everyone in the Jewish community thinks so, but I believe it is necessary. […] To sum it up, in my functions and in my daily life, through all my actions, I do what I can to contribute my modest stone to the construction of the land of Israel” (from the review Passages, number 35, 2007.) This sort of stuff no doubt aroused the enthusiasm of the large Jewish community in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles that elected him mayor. But it is strange for a presidential candidate to declare that concern for a foreign country is the primary motivation of his political career.

                    In his comments, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan was the first public person in France to express concern for the victim. “If the facts are proven, it is very grave, all the more in that nobody speaks of the victim. If it had happened in France, I am not sure that the police would have dared to arrest DSK.” Dupont-Aignan deplored the fact that France “will go on having that image of a culture of impunity for important personalities. … The United States”, he concluded, “has a lot of faults but in such sex cases they have much less of the culture of impunity which prevails in our country.” Many French will see the prosecution of DSK as symptomatic of American puritanism. Certainly, this scandal will draw attention to the cultural differences between the two countries, including what it is that causes a major scandal. Back in the summer of 2004, a huge uproar occurred in France when a young woman claimed to be the victim of a group of young blacks who attacked her on a suburban commuter train because they thought she was Jewish. Even the President of the Republic joined the chorus of protests against the “anti-Semitic attack”. It turned out that the young woman had invented the whole story to attract the sympathy of her family. As the truth came out, Dominique Strauss-Kahn commented that if the incident “turns out later not to have happened as alleged, in any case there have been 20 others that did take place before.” This was symptomatic of a “left” that abandoned the working class, while marketing itself as uniquely concerned with moral issues such as promoting feminism and combating racism and anti-Semitism. It would be fittingly ironic for this pretense to be exploded by the revolt of an abused African housekeeper.

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                    • #25

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                      • #26

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                        • #27

                          May 18, 2011 -- The lawyer for a hotel maid who accused IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual abuse says she feels "alone in the world" and is telling the truth. Jeffrey Shapiro says his client is from the west African nation of Guinea. He says the woman, who has a 15-year-old daughter, has "no agenda" and did not know even know who Strauss-Kahn was until a day or two after she was allegedly attacked on Saturday. Her story of being attacked by Strauss-Kahn in the Sofitel hotel suite near Times Square is "consistent" because she is telling the truth, he said. "There is no way in which there is any aspect of this event which could be construed consensual in any manner," Shapiro said. "This is nothing other than a physical, sexual assault by this man on this young woman." He continued: "It's not just my opinion that this woman is honest. The New York City police department reached the same conclusion." He added: "This is a woman with no agenda."

                          Strauss-Kahn, 62, who denies all the charges, has reportedly been put on suicide watch at the infamous Rikers Island prison in New York, after being denied bail on Monday. According to the Associated Press the IMF chief has a whole jail wing to himself, a medical device to make sure he doesn't stop breathing during the night and guards checking him 24 hours a day to make sure he does not attempt to take his own life. Defence lawyer Benjamin Brafman has said defence lawyers believe the forensic evidence "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter". He said "there are significant issues that were already found" that make it "quite likely that he will be ultimately be exonerated".

                          Shapiro said his client arrived in the U.S. seven years ago from Guinea under "very difficult circumstances,", and lives in the city with her daughter. The 32-year-old maid told authorities that she thought the suite was empty but that Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway, pulled her into a bedroom and dragged her into a bathroom, police said. He allegedly forced her to perform oral sex, according to a court complaint. She broke free, escaped the room and told hotel staffers what had happened, authorities said. She was treated at a hospital for minor injuries. Shapiro, who was introduced to the woman by a friend on Sunday, said that since the incident, she had not returned to her home and saw her daughter for the first time only on Tuesday. "She's been the victim of a rape and physical assault, she hasn't had a chance to deal with that personally," he said, adding that he was organising for her to see a counsellor. Shapiro described his role as trying to help her sort out her life and to explain the legal proceedings to her. "She wants to remain anonymous because she's very much afraid that something could happen to her physically, she feels very threatened by this," he said of all the global attention on the case.

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                          • #28

                            Mercredi 18 Mai 2011 -- Dimanche après-midi, cinq individus lui ont été présentés lors de la parade d'identification au commissariat de Harlem. Elle a désigné le N° 3, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. «Elle», c'est la fameuse femme de chambre qui accuse le patron du FMI d'agression sexuelle. D'après le témoignage de cette employée du Sofitel de New York, elle serait entrée samedi dans la suite 2806, croyant qu'elle était vide, pendant que DSK prenait une douche. Le favori des sondages pour la prochaine présidentielle se serait alors jeté sur elle et l'aurait forcée à accomplir un acte sexuel. Depuis, les proches de l'ancien ministre ne cessent de remettre en cause la parole de celle par qui le scandale est arrivé. Mardi, le patron des députés PS, Jean-Marc Ayrault a même déclaré : «Dans cette affaire, nous savons qu'il y a une victime, mais nous ne savons pas encore si cette victime est la plaignante ou l'accusé.» Et les médias français d'embrayer, à juste titre mais avec une grande insistance, sur la présomption d'innocence. Tant et si bien que des associations féministes ont déploré dans la foulée le peu de place faite à la victime présumée dans les réactions à l'inculpation de Dominique Strauss-Kahn. «Jeter le soupçon sur les propos de la plaignante est grave», souligne l'association Osez le féminisme, «on évoque trop peu la victime», déplore Mix-Cité.

                            Il est vrai que l'on sait peu de chose sur cette inconnue dont l'identité et le visage demeurent farouchement cachés par les autorités américaines. Dans un premier temps, on la prénommait «Ophelia», peut-être un pseudo utilisé pour son travail au Sofitel. Sa véritable identité, d'après différents médias, serait Nafissatou Diallo. Seule certitude : «Nafi» est une femme noire de 32 ans. D'après différents témoignages, elle serait d'origine sénégalaise ou guinéenne, en tout cas elle viendrait de l'ouest de l'Afrique. Elle parlerait français, serait «musulmane pratiquante», selon un de ses voisins, et porterait le voile. À quoi ressemble-t-elle ? Personne n'a encore vu son visage. Il se raconte d'ailleurs que les policiers américains auraient négocié avec les journalistes des clichés de DSK menotté contre l'assurance qu'ils laisseraient sa victime présumée tranquille. De leur côté, les avocats du Français ont laissé entendre, de manière inélégante, avoir été surpris de voir une femme «très peu séduisante» lors de la parade d'identification. Une version démentie dans notre édition de lundi par un chauffeur de taxi rapportant les propos d'un voiturier de l'hôtel : «C'est une trentenaire très jolie, avec de gros seins et de belles fesses»... Rosie, une amie citée par RTL, décrit «une femme très belle» et généreuse, «elle donne tout son cœur aux autres».

                            Selon le New York Daily News, «Nafi» mesurerait 1,80 m. Mère célibataire, elle habite depuis quelques mois dans le Bronx (nord de New York) avec sa fille âgée d'une dizaine d'années. Toujours dans le tabloïd, un de ses proches la décrit comme quelqu'un de «très secret» et souligne que c'est «une femme bien». Cité par le New York Times, le concierge de l'immeuble en briques rouges où elle réside a raconté que Nafi avait emménagé récemment son appartement. «Chaque fois que je la vois je me réjouis», complète une voisine. «Elle n'a jamais posé de problème. Pas de bruit. Tout va bien». Même son de cloche sur son lieu de travail, au Sofitel. «C'est une femme bien, très agréable, très amicale. Elle est en état de choc», confirme une de ses collègues au New York Post. Difficile d'en savoir plus. «La direction de l'établissement nous a demandé de ne pas lui poser trop de questions parce qu'elle est très affectée. Ils nous ont dit : "Prenez-la juste dans vos bras à son retour !"» Ladite direction de l'hôtel a, quant à elle, indiqué dans un communiqué que la conduite de la victime présumée était exemplaire. «Notre employée travaille au Sofitel New York depuis trois ans et nous sommes entièrement satisfaits de son travail et de son comportement», avait assuré à l'AFP le directeur général de l'hôtel Jorge Tito.

                            La femme de ménage, qui n'a pas d'antécédent judiciaire, n'avait jamais croisé DSK auparavant, selon la presse américaine. À l'heure actuelle, «Nafi» se cache. Les policiers l'ont placée sous protection dans un lieu tenu secret. «Elle est très fatiguée et a besoin de se reposer», raconte son frère au New York Post. Ce manager d'un café d'Harlem confie le trouble qui l'étreint quand il regarde les médias français évoquer un possible complot pour faire chuter le favori des sondages. «Ce n'est pas juste. Ma sœur est une femme bien, elle n'est pas capable de ça». Dans l'immeuble où Nafi habitait jusqu'à ce week-end, des Post-it recouvrent l'interphone. Des messages adressés aux journalistes. Dessus, on peut y lire : «Foutez-nous la paix !»

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                            • #29

                              New York, May 18, 2011 -- International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's alleged sex-assault victim reportedly lives in a New York apartment rented exclusively for adults with HIV or AIDS. According to The New York Post, the Sofitel Hotel maid, an African immigrant, has occupied the apartment with her 15-year-old daughter since January. Before that, the 32-year-old lived in another apartment set aside by Harlem Community AIDS United strictly for adults with the virus and their families. The newspaper, however, has not been able to ascertain whether the maid has HIV/AIDS because of U.S. medical confidentiality laws. A Harlem Community AIDS United worker confirmed that at least one adult in the household has to be HIV-positive or have AIDS to qualify for one of their units. A healthy adult with a child with HIV or AIDS is not eligible, the worker said. "The [current] apartment isn't rented under her name. Harlem [Community AIDS] United places their tenants in our building," said an employee of the apartment building's property manager.

                              Strauss-Kahn, who is an economist and lawyer, has been charged with a criminal sex act and attempted rape over the alleged sexual assault. He faces a possible 25-year jail sentence. He remains in jail at New York's Rikers Island as a grand jury considers whether there is sufficient evidence to indict him. His next court appearance is scheduled for Friday. The 62-year-old has risen to prominence while captaining the IMF through one of the world's worst financial crises, and has led the IMF since 2007. He is also widely believed to challenge French president Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential election, and polls show he would have a good chance of removing the sitting president out of his office.

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                              • #30

                                May 18, 2011 -- The maid who has accused International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault is "scared" but will testify against him, her lawyer says. Jeffrey Shapiro says when the 32-year-old woman discovered Mr Strauss-Kahn's identity a day after the incident she feared for herself and her daughter. He said there was "nothing consensual about what took place in that hotel room" in New York on 14 May. Mr Strauss-Kahn denies all the charges. The woman told New York police Mr Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her and picked him out at an identity parade. He is charged with a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, is currently on suicide watch at New York's infamous Rikers Island prison. He will be back in court on Friday. His wife, former French television interviewer Anne Sinclair, is thought to be visiting him on Wednesday. Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said Mr Strauss-Kahn is not in a position to run the IMF and an interim replacement should be named.

                                Mr Shapiro told NBC television that his client was expected to testify before a grand jury later on Wednesday. He said she had only become aware of Mr Strauss-Kahn's identity "a day later when a friend called her to tell her, 'do you have any idea who this man is who did this to you?'". Mr Shapiro said his client was "scared and incredulous". "When she found out this encounter was with a man of great power and wealth she feared not only for herself but more importantly for her daughter." The woman had now been reunited with her 15-year-old daughter in a "safe place", he added. Mr Shapiro said she had tried to return to her home - a sub-let flat in the Bronx - but had found about 30 people waiting outside. He said: "She has been in a whirlwind since this has taken place... She has not had a moment of peace, has not been able to return home or seek help. She doesn't know what her future will bring." The woman came originally from the West African state of Guinea. She arrived in the U.S. seven years ago with her daughter and had been in her job at the Sofitel hotel for three years. Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said on Monday that the defence believe the forensic evidence "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter". But Mr Shapiro said that "when a jury hears her testimony and sees her in person" it would become clear that "there is nothing consensual about what took place in that hotel room". He said that his client had "no agenda" and believed it was her responsibility to follow the judicial process "and she will do that".

                                Public opinion in France appears to be largely on the side of Mr Strauss-Kahn, who until his arrest was considered one of the leading candidates for the French presidential election next year. An opinion poll for RMC radio, BDM television and the 20Minutes website found 57% of those who replied believed Mr Strauss-Kahn was the victim of a conspiracy. That number rose to 70% among those who identified themselves as favouring Mr Strauss-Kahn's centre-left Socialist Party. The philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, a friend of Mr Strauss-Kahn for 25 years, has spoken out in his defence. "Nothing in the world can authorise the way this man has been thrown to the dogs," he wrote on his blog. "I do not know... how a chambermaid could enter on her own the room of one of the most watched people on the planet, against the normal practice in most big New York hotels, which provide for 'cleaning brigades' of at least two people." But Mr Shapiro said: "The idea that someone would suggest she was involved in some form of conspiracy is ridiculous."

                                The U.S. treasury secretary said the most important thing for the IMF was that it found a leader to fill Mr Strauss-Kahn's shoes. "He is obviously not in a position to run the IMF," Mr Geithner said. "It is important that the board of the IMF formally put in place for an interim period someone to act as managing director." It is the first time that a top official from President Barack Obama's administration has publicly spoken about the impact of Mr Strauss-Kahn's alleged sexual assault. However, Mr Geithner refused to comment on the case or the details of the charges against Mr Strauss-Kahn. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Mr Strauss-Kahn was in a "very difficult position" and it was "important that the IMF... is able to run effectively". The BBC's Steve Kingstone in Washington says that with the Americans seemingly distancing themselves from Mr Strauss-Kahn and some European figures saying similar things, there appears to be a groundswell of opinion that he should go. Since Mr Strauss-Kahn's arrest last Saturday, his deputy John Lipsky has been serving as acting managing director.

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