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

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  • #46

    May 20, 2011 -- An internal investigation by the International Monetary Fund into allegations that its managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, abused his position of power failed because the alleged victim refused to cooperate. Piroska Nagy, an IMF economist who had a brief romantic relationship with Strauss-Kahn in January 2008 didn’t participate in the bank’s internal probe in the summer of 2008, she said in a letter three years ago. She wrote to Robert Smith, the outside lawyer who was brought in to investigate Strauss- Kahn’s behavior after the internal probe stalled. She cooperated in Smith's investigation. “Because I did not fully trust the internal processes at the fund, I declined to cooperate with the fund’s initial investigation,” Nagy wrote on October 20, 2008, just days before Smith concluded his investigation. The IMF referred questions about the internal probe to Smith, the Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP attorney who led the investigation. Smith declined to comment. Nagy, who joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in mid-2008, didn’t reply to an e-mail message seeking comment. Nagy’s letter, which didn’t become public until after Smith’s investigation cleared Strauss-Kahn of charges of sexual harassment, favoritism and abuse of office, has generated renewed interest in it following the IMF chief’s arrest last week on charges of the attempted rape and sexual assault of a chambermaid at a Manhattan hotel. Strauss-Kahn, who has denied the charges against him, resigned from the IMF May 18. He was granted bail yesterday and is in the process of satisfying its conditions so he can be freed from jail in New York as early as today. “I believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn abused his position in the manner in which he got to me,” Ms. Nagy wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Bloomberg News. “I provided you the details of how he summoned me on several occasions and came to make inappropriate suggestions to. . .I did not know how to handle this; as I told you I felt that I was ‘damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.’” Nagy praised her former boss as a “brilliant leader with a vision for addressing the ongoing global financial crisis. He is also an aggressive if charming man..... But I fear that he is a man with a problem that may make him ill-equipped to lead an institution where women work under his command.” Smith’s investigation, which unearthed a chain of e-mail and text messages between Nagy and Strauss-Kahn, concluded that the relationship was “consensual.” Nagy wrote her letter, she said, because the existence of the investigation had been leaked to two newspapers, and the publication of her involvement with Strauss-Kahn had resulted in “public humiliation” for her and her husband.


    • #47

      May 20, 2011 -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn may be out of jail as early as this evening after a New York judge ordered his release to temporary housing in downtown Manhattan, where he will be under 24-hour armed guard. New York state Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus signed the bail order today. Strauss-Kahn, who remains in custody, could be let out of the Rikers Island jail complex between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., said Shawn Naunton, a lawyer for the former International Monetary Fund chief. Strauss-Kahn, accused of sexual assault and attempted rape of a hotel housekeeper, must be processed by prison authorities before he is released.

      Strauss-Kahn will be housed for a few days in accommodations near the former site of the World Trade Center after an earlier plan for an Upper East Side apartment fell through, prosecutors said today at a state court hearing. The first apartment didn’t work out because of the overwhelming media presence at the Upper East Side building, said defense attorney William Taylor, who likened the situation to the throng of reporters who surrounded Bernard Madoff after he was arrested in a Ponzi scheme. “It was a Madoff kind of circus,” Taylor said in an interview after the hearing. “The building made it known they didn’t want them.”

      Assistant District Attorney John “Artie” McConnell told the judge at the hearing that prosecutors still believe Strauss- Kahn should remain in jail pending trial. McConnell also said he was concerned about using a temporary residence, which he said the security company told him could only be for three or four days. Strauss-Kahn earlier today paid $1 million to the court as part of his bail agreement. Obus today also signed the $5 million bond Strauss-Kahn also agreed to post as a guarantee that he will appear for trial. The bond is secured by cash from the defendant’s wife, Anne Sinclair, said Ira Judelson, the bail bondsman. Strauss-Kahn, 62, was granted bail yesterday on condition that he pay the cash, post the bond and agree to 24-hour home detention under armed guard and electronic monitoring. Prosecutors have called the French national a flight risk. He was taken into custody May 14 on an Air France flight minutes before departure and has been confined to Rikers Island since May 16, except for court appearances.

      In an indictment filed yesterday, Strauss-Kahn is charged with criminal sex acts, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. While he has denied the accusations, he hasn’t entered a formal plea to any of the charges. He’s scheduled to be arraigned June 6. Strauss-Kahn is accused of attacking a housekeeper at the Sofitel hotel in Midtown Manhattan on May 14. He allegedly closed the door of the room to keep the woman from leaving, grabbed her breasts and tried to pull down her pantyhose, according to court papers. He also forced her to perform oral sex, prosecutors said. The maid escaped and later picked Strauss-Kahn out of a lineup, police said.

      McConnell said the new temporary apartment was located in downtown Manhattan, within what the police department refers to as the “ring of steel.” He said there’s construction nearby and at most one or two lanes of traffic. “To throw what has become a very large media presence into the mix is really potentially crippling,” McConnell said. “They haven’t really thought about anything beyond Mr. Strauss- Kahn’s immediate needs.” Obus said that the initial housing arrangements didn’t work out “perhaps in part as a result of all the media attention.” He said the security company believes that a temporary location is the best location. “In the meantime, efforts will be made for another suitable residence,” Obus said. The judge said that while Strauss-Kahn is in his temporary housing, he isn’t permitted to leave except for a medical emergency. The case is People v. Strauss-Kahn, 2526/11, Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County (Manhattan).


      • #48


        • #49

          Samedi 21 Mai 2011 -- Si le procès de Dominique Strauss-Kahn a lieu, elle en sera la «star witness», le «témoin clé». Pour l’heure, Nafissatou Diallo, victime présumée d’une tentative de viol de la part de l’ex-patron du FMI, est le secret le mieux gardé de toute l’affaire. Embauchée comme femme de chambre il y a trois ans, cette femme de 32 ans habitait un immeuble social du Bronx avec sa fille. Depuis le début de l’affaire, elle est sous protection de l’Etat, gardée par des agents du FBI dans un endroit tenu secret. La seule photo qu’on connaît la montre cachée sous un drap blanc. Celui sous lequel des policiers du NYPD ont dissimulé la jeune femme à sa sortie du commissariat. Son employeur décrit une employée sans histoires. L’un après l’autre, tous ses voisins ont fait son éloge. Ils évoquent une mère modèle, travailleuse, discrète. Les responsables de la communauté guinéenne du Bronx croient savoir qu’elle est une musulmane pratiquante. Harcelé par la presse, Blake, ce restaurateur du Bronx qui se présentait comme son frère, a raconté de long en large le coup de téléphone poignant que lui aurait passé la jeune femme après son agression. «Elle n’arrêtait pas de pleurer», assure-t-il. Vérification faite, Blake n’aurait aucun lien de parenté avec Nafissatou. Au mieux, il serait un ami. Le doute, d’un seul coup, devient soupçon.

          Pourra-t-elle supporter l’épreuve d’un procès public ?

          Certains sites Internet prétendent désormais que Nafissatou n’est pas guinéenne mais sénégalaise. La rumeur dit qu’elle aurait menti aux autorités américaines pour obtenir une carte de résidence permanente aux Etats-Unis. Défendue par le spécialiste des victimes Jeffrey Shapiro, protégée par l’Etat de New York, surveillée par le procureur Cyrus Vance Jr., le témoin clé Nafissatou Diallo pourra-t-elle supporter l’épreuve d’un procès public? Restera-t-elle crédible après la «cross-examination», cet interrogatoire poussé à l’extrême que ne manqueront pas de lui infliger les avocats de Dominique Strauss-Kahn? Une seule chose paraît certaine : «Son avenir financier est assuré», estime un avocat américain. Si DSK est condamné, Nafissatou Diallo est en droit de lui réclamer des dommages et intérêts colossaux. S’il est acquitté, un jury civil pourra tout autant décider d’accorder des indemnités conséquentes à la jeune femme.


          • #50

            May 21, 2011 (Reuters) -- The legal team defending former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn against sexual assault charges has informally sought public relations advice from a Washington consulting firm run by former CIA officers and U.S. diplomats, Reuters has learned. TD International is the same company Strauss-Kahn, then a private citizen, hired in 2007 to advise him on how to navigate international and Washington politics in his bid to become managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Documents filed in 2008 with the Foreign Agents Registration section of the U.S. Justice Department show that Strauss-Kahn, who is French, retained TD International as his "U.S.-based communications resource."

            Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was seen as a front-runner for the French presidency until his arrest, has been charged with trying to rape a hotel housekeeper in New York. He has denied the charges and his lawyer has said he will plead not guilty. A person familiar with the work TD International did for Strauss-Kahn in 2007 said his representatives consulted the firm informally after his arrest last Saturday and asked for advice related to his predicament. If the firm at some point becomes formally involved in his defense, the source said, its role will be in helping other Strauss-Kahn advisors, including Paris-based public relations experts, engage in "crisis management." But the source, who asked for anonymity, said the firm had not been formally engaged. A lawyer for Strauss-Kahn did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for TD International told Reuters on Friday: "We don't comment on client relationships and activities. However, our past work with Dominique Strauss-Kahn is accurately reflected in (Justice Department) filings."

            A contract between TD International and Strauss-Kahn, dated July 18, 2007, shows he hired the firm to "conduct a specific public relations campaign" and "work is to begin immediately and continue until ascendancy of client to head of IMF." The contract says Strauss-Kahn was to pay the firm 20,000 euros, then equivalent to about $27,600. According to the source, TD International helped advise Strauss-Kahn on U.S. and international political maneuvering related to the choice of a new IMF chief. The global lender has always been headed by a western European but the former French finance minister's bid for the post was being challenged by Russia and a group of developing nations, who were strongly pushing their own candidates.

            In addition to advising Strauss-Kahn on political matters, TD International introduced him to journalists from media such as the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. The 2007 contract was signed on TD International's behalf by Ronald Slimp, who the firm's website says was a former U.S. diplomat and trade negotiator. The website describes the firm's founder, William Green, as a former diplomat who is fluent in French and "participated in the management of the Anglo-American and U.S.-Canadian intelligence relationships when posted to Washington." The website identifies two other partners in the firm as former CIA officers.Justice Department filings show TD International was also registered as the U.S. representative of Yulia Tymoshenko, a leader of the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine and a one-time prime minister. A 2007 press release posted on the firm's website says it was the "registered representative of Ms. Tymoshenko's political party."


            • #51

              May 21, 2011 (Reuters) -- Angry French feminists say local media have been awash with male chauvinist comments since the arrest of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges he attempted to rape a New York hotel maid. Feminist organizations published a petition saying they were "stunned by the daily flood of misogynist comments by public figures" since the French former finance minister was detained. He denies the charges and is currently on bail. In their statement, the feminists said friends and allies of Strauss-Kahn had downplayed the plight of the alleged victim in their rush to defend the Socialist, who until his fall was well placed to beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012 elections. The lawyer for the maid said his client was a 32-year-old widow from the West African nation of Guinea, who has a daughter aged 15. "We do not know what happened in New York Saturday May 14, but we know what has been happening in France in the past week. We are witnessing a sudden rise of sexist and reactionary reflexes, so quick to surface among part of the French elite," the groups said in a statement on the website of Le Monde.

              Organised by groups including "Osez le feminisme" and "La Barbe," the petition was signed by more than a 1,000 women, including TV journalist Audrey Pulvar, whose partner Arnaud Montebourg is bidding to be the Socialist candidate next year. "There is a certain impunity in France when it comes to this kind of uninhibited sexism," the groups said. The groups said that 75,000 women were raped in France every year and that sexist language in public tended to minimise the gravity of crime, turning it into a vague and more or less acceptable act. The groups referred to specific statements, including one by former culture minister and Strauss-Kahn ally Jack Lang, who said Strauss-Kahn should have been released on bail earlier, considering that "nobody has died." Journalist Jean-Franois Kahn, no relation, denied rape had taken place and dismissed the affair as "troussage de domestique," a phrase that evokes a master having non-consensual sex with a servant. A friend of Strauss-Kahn and his journalist wife Anne Sinclair, Kahn later apologised for the remark. "This kind of language generates an intolerable confusion between sexual freedom and violence toward women. Violent acts, rape, attempted rape and harassment are all the mark of men's desire to dominate women's bodies," the feminist groups said.


              • #52

                May 22, 2011 -- Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who eight days ago was one of the most powerful men on the planet, spent his first full day as an electronically tagged, armed guarded, rape suspect yesterday at a temporary address in Manhattan – a flat equipped (at his expense) with sensitive alarms and 24-hour CCTV to deter him from fleeing. Not that he is likely to do so. Any false move, and his wife would forfeit the $6 million (£3.7 million) surety she has put up. And, to make sure he can't so much as slip out for a sandwich, he is forbidden to leave the premises except for legal, medical or religious appointments, and only then if he gives the prosecutor's office six hours notice. All this for a man who, just over a week ago, was sitting in a business class seat of an Air France flight to Paris, whiling away the time before take-off, according to one report, by making a loud remark about the shape of one of the female cabin crew. Then, 10 minutes before scheduled departure, police entered and hauled him off for questioning about the alleged attempted rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment of a maid at New York's Sofitel hotel. He has since been charged with attempted rape and assault, the most serious count of which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. He denies all charges, but resigned from the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday. Officials from that office, according to the New York Times, said on Friday that at least two other Sofitel employees have claimed that Strauss-Kahn "made advances toward them during his stay".

                Whatever evidence is finally accumulated, neither he nor his accuser could escape the continued build-up of hearsay and online speculation about their pasts. New claims about Strauss-Kahn's behaviour towards women are contained in a 5,000-word Reuters special report which was released late Friday. While containing much praise for his achievements at the IMF (former German official Stefan Collignon said he was "a genius in getting economics and policy together"), there was much about his incorrigible pursuit of women, regardless, sometimes, of whether they wanted his attentions or not. There was his affair with Hungarian economist and IMF staffer Piroska Nagy, which, says Reuters, was a brief, and – by her – bitterly regretted fling in Davos. "Margaux", a former student at the prestigious Sciences Po university in Paris, where Strauss-Kahn taught for two years, said: "It was known he was a ladies' man, but I never heard anything concrete." Still, she recalled being made to feel ill at ease by a "diabolic and severe" look Strauss-Kahn gave female students sitting in the front row. "It wasn't at all pleasant, and not like a professor," she said. And a former IMF official told Reuters that when Strauss-Kahn arrived at the IMF, "women were deliberately careful not to be alone around him". There was an understanding in the IMF press department never to leave a female reporter alone with DSK, just in case something inappropriate happened. Gilles Savary, a councillor from Strauss-Kahn's own party, said of the man who was, until last week, an almost certain candidate for the presidency of France: "DSK often turned up at Socialist gatherings with a woman on his arm who was not his wife, for example at the La Rochelle summer meeting of the Socialist Party. I saw him myself." But Savary says there was never any suggestion of crime or violence with Strauss-Kahn's relationships. "I think that it's impossible that Strauss-Kahn could have gone that way, precisely because he had little problem [finding takers]."

                The one relief for the former IMF chief and his legal team came from France, where the lawyer for a French writer who alleged Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted her eight years ago has said she won't file a criminal complaint against him, for now. David Koubbi, who represents Tristane Banon, 31, said: "Our decision has been reserved for later for a simple reason: neither Tristane Banon nor I want to be manipulated by the American justice system, or help out in any way so that these two cases might be linked." Mr Koubbi made headlines on Monday by saying on French radio that he and Banon were "seriously considering" a criminal complaint following news that Strauss-Kahn had been arrested. On French TV in 2007, Banon said that during an interview with him years earlier she had wrestled with Strauss-Kahn after he tried to forcibly strip her, and "it ended badly" (his name was bleeped out during transmission). She was the one who accused him of being like a "rutting chimpanzee". Banon didn't file suit at the time because she felt "pressures" and her own mother – a regional official from Strauss-Kahn's Socialist Party – had dissuaded her. There will be some in France who think the decision to not pursue a criminal complaint now is also the result of pressure.

                Meanwhile, the alleged victim in New York is herself the subject of much speculation, mostly online. She is known to be a 32-year-old West African-born single mother with a daughter of 15, who has been in the U.S. for a number of years. Just how many differs according to the accounts, as does her status (immigrant or asylum seeker), marital past (widow or divorcee), and even her health. Some reports say she has lived in apartments in buildings reserved for those who are HIV-positive, something strenuously denied. More disturbingly, her identity is widely asserted online, often accompanied by photographs purporting to be of her. She is staying with her daughter at a secret location and, says her lawyer, vigorously contests Strauss-Kahn's claims that what passed between them in Suite 2806 at the Sofitel was in any way consensual. She is adamant that he emerged naked from the bathroom, chased her down, assaulted her and forced her to perform oral sex. The prosecutor, John McConnell, says the maid tells "a compelling and unwavering story".

                Such was the seriousness of the charges, and the fact Strauss-Kahn had been apprehended sitting on a plane just about to taxi on to a runway, that it took all week for his lawyers to successfully argue that he could be granted bail. He spent most of the time in a cell on Rikers Island, and when he was released, it was into a farcical toing and froing over his and his wife's first choice accommodation. The plan was for Strauss-Kahn to move into a luxury residential hotel under armed guard on Manhattan's well-to-do Upper East Side. Even though the address was never officially released, police and media converged on the building, the Bristol Plaza at 210 East 65th Street, and that, in effect, scuppered any chance of him enjoying the rooftop health club, Italian marble bathrooms, flat-screen televisions, king-size beds with goose-down pillows, which are a feature of the place. His lawyer, William Taylor, said: "There was an effort by the media to invade the building. That is why the tenants in the building will not accept his living there." While Strauss-Kahn's family had a lease and could have stayed, he decided to leave "out of respect for the residents". Instead, he moved to comparatively ordinary rooms in a 21-storey granite skyscraper, the Empire Building at 71 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. Here, kept confined by the high security and risk of imperilling the $1m in bail and a $5m insurance bond posted by his wife, Anne Sinclair, he will stay until more permanent accommodation can be found. His next court appearance, at which he will formally answer the charges against him, is set to be on 6 June.


                • #53
                  Marie-Christine Tabet, Dimanche 22 Mai 2011 :

                  Le port de tête est altier. Les cheveux bruns élégamment coiffés ont été lissés et légèrement crantés sur les côtés. Le portrait évoque un cliché des années 1950 aux couleurs retouchées. Cette jolie Africaine aux allures de princesse est la femme la plus recherchée de la planète. C’est elle, l’accusatrice de Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Vendredi, peu après 16 heures, une journaliste du Daily Mail, un tabloïd britannique, débarque dans le bureau de Maladho Diallo, l’un des porte-parole de la communauté guinéenne de New York. Tout le monde sait qu’il connaît Nafissatou Diallo, la femme de chambre sans visage qui affirme avoir été violée par le patron du FMI. La journaliste lui présente cinq photographies qu’il balaye d’un revers de la main. "Non, ce n’est pas elle". Puis son regard se fige devant le dernier visage. "Elle lui ressemble beaucoup", répond Maladho sans lever les yeux. "Il faut être sûr, supplie la visiteuse, un de nos correspondants l’a récupérée en Guinée chez un homme qui prétend être son frère". Sans quitter des yeux la photocopie, il refuse de confirmer avec certitude. Maladho a reconnu "Nafi". Ils ont grandi dans le même village des hauts plateaux du nord de la Guinée. La photographie est ancienne. Elle date d’il y a une dizaine d’années. Les traces d’acné qui marquent sont visage ont été effacées. "Je viens de trahir un secret, se lamente-t-il, j’aurais dû mentir. Je n’ai pas pu. J’ai trahi sa famille". Depuis le début de l’affaire, la consigne avait été passée dans toute la communauté. Ne pas révéler l’identité de la jeune femme. Le nom a d’abord "fuité" depuis la Guinée… Malgré ses 35 ans et son look d’étudiant, Maladho Diallo, avec Souleymane et l’imam Bah, est un des piliers de l’association du Pottal Fii Banthal, les chefs de la "tribu" peule de New York. Ils sont entre 3.000 et 5.000 venus pour la plupart du Fouta-Djalon, en Guinée, à vivre regroupés entre trois blocks au nord du Bronx. Un îlot africain en terre latino. Le destin et la vie de la communauté se décident à l’angle de la Third Avenue et de la 166th Street. Entre la mosquée, un grand bâtiment de brique rouge, ancien entrepôt aménagé en lieu de culte, les hommes à l’étage, les femmes au rez-de-chaussée, et le bureau de l’association, au pied de l’immeuble voisin.

                  Arrivée aux Etats-Unis il y a sept ans

                  Depuis une semaine, la communauté attend l’arrivée de Mamadou, le frère aîné de Nafissatou, pour prendre les décisions juridiques qui s’imposent. Ce chauffeur routier a quitté New York depuis plusieurs années pour s’établir dans l’Indiana, un État du Middle West. En l’absence du père de Nafi, mort au pays, il est le chef de famille. C’est lui qui décide, Hassanatou, la grande sœur de Nafi, qui vit dans le Bronx, est pour l’instant son seul soutien. Mais elle n’a aucune autorité. C’est une femme peule et musulmane. Les chefs de la communauté n’ont même pas le droit de s’adresser à elle directement. C’est son mari qui sert d’intermédiaire. "Le frère a tardé à venir, regrette Maladho, nous l’attendions déjà jeudi. Je ne pense pas que la famille ait mesuré l’ampleur du drame". Pour comprendre le mystère qui entoure la personnalité de la femme de chambre du Sofitel, il faut faire le voyage inverse à celui de ces immigrés africains et retourner sur les hauts plateaux de Guinée. Aujourd’hui âgée de 32 ans, Nafissatou est née à Thiakoullé, non loin de Labé, dans une famille d’agriculteurs, des gens pieux et austères. Encore aujourd’hui, la route s’arrête bien avant les premières maisons du hameau qu’il faut rejoindre à pied. Mariée à 17 ans, Nafi n’a pas été à l’école et ne parle correctement que le peul. "Elle a pris quelques cours en arrivant ici, explique Souleymane, le président de l’association du Pottal Fii Banthal, pour pouvoir écrire son nom. C’est tout". Avec son mari, elle aurait rejoint la capitale, Conakry, où le couple aurait vécu quelques années. Mais elle s’est rapidement retrouvée veuve avec une petite fille à élever. Son époux décédé de maladie, Nafissatou a alors décidé de rejoindre à New York, sa sœur d’une dizaine d’années plus âgée. Il y a sept ans, la jeune Guinéenne a d’abord fait le voyage seule. Elle a obtenu le statut de réfugiée politique. Ce qui signifie qu’elle a déclaré en arrivant aux États-Unis avoir été victime de persécutions dans son pays. Ses papiers en règle, elle a immédiatement fait venir sa fille dans le cadre du regroupement familial. L’administration américaine est traditionnellement généreuse envers les Peuls en matière d’asile. L’ethnie a été victime de nombreuses campagnes de violences ouvertes, prenant parfois la forme de viols collectifs des femmes par les différents régimes au pouvoir. La mère et la fille avaient finalement trouvé refuge dans un immeuble social du Bronx, dans une chambre qu’elle sous-louait à une Africaine. Pour les responsables de l’association, la réputation de Nafissatou est sans tâche. "Comme toutes les Africaines elle est un peu orgueilleuse", sourit Maladho.

                  Condamnée à jamais à l’obscurité

                  "Elle fréquentait peu les gens de la communauté, confie un de ses voisins, elle travaillait tout le temps. Sa fille, âgée de 16, est une élève brillante dans une high school du quartier". Pour joindre les deux bouts, Nafissatou Diallo travaillait au Sofitel de Manhattan, à deux pas de la Fifth Avenue, à trente-cinq minutes de son domicile par la ligne express du métro qui relie le Bronx à Wall Street, et occasionnellement dans un take away africain du Bronx, tenu par un couple de Gambiens, l’African American Restaurant. "Elle est très sérieuse et très discrète, raconte le propriétaire, Barole Jabi, elle aidait ma femme de temps en temps le soir à partir de 17 h 30 quand elle rentrait de son travail. Elle ne m’a jamais volé. Elle ne cuisinait pas mais servait les clients et tenait la caisse". L’homme ne lui connaît ni copine ni petit copain. "Elle était toujours seule", poursuit-il. Le voile blanc protecteur dont les policiers de Harlem l’ont recouverte au lendemain du viol dont elle prétend être victime tombe peu à peu. On devine son destin, la fatalité d’une vie d’exil sans homme, dans une communauté où la femme seule n’est qu’une ombre. Le viol qu’elle prétend avoir subi la condamne à jamais à l’obscurité. "Nous sommes persuadés qu’elle n’a rien fait de mal, raconte Maladho, mais plus personne ne voudra d’elle aujourd’hui. Elle est salie et ne trouvera jamais plus de mari. Certaines femmes la jugent déjà sévèrement. Elles considèrent qu’elle n’aurait jamais dû aller travailler dans un hôtel. Ce n’est pas bien vu chez nous". À quelques rues de là, une Guinéenne malinké, l’ethnie guinéenne rivale, couverte d’un niqab noir qui ne laisse voir que ses yeux, ne cache pas son mépris : "Il faut se méfier de ces Africaines qui disent avoir été violées pour récupérer de l’argent". Depuis une semaine, Nafissatou Diallo vit sous protection policière, dans le cadre d’un programme d’aide aux victimes. Mais cette protection n’aura qu’un temps. Bientôt, elle devra affronter celui qu’elle accuse et qui nie l’agression, ses avocats prêts à tout pour affaiblir son témoignage, les médias du monde entier, avides de découvrir la femme de chambre par qui le scandale est arrivé. Et surtout le regard implacable de sa communauté.


                  • #54
                    John Solomon:

                    May 22, 2011 -- The hotel maid who alleged she was sexually assaulted by the former head of the International Monetary Fund was found by a supervisor in a hallway after she escaped from his luxury suite, according to two people familiar with the investigation. Three members of the Sofitel hotel staff heard her story and then took her to the hotel’s security office. They described her as traumatized, having difficulty speaking and concerned about losing her job if she pressed charges. The hotel security chief found her story credible and called police. The maid also repeatedly spit on the walls and floor — witnessed by hotel colleagues — as she described being forced to commit oral sexual acts on Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Her saliva is being tested for DNA and could become crucial evidence in the case, the sources said. These sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, provided the first detailed account of the hour-long window between the alleged attack and when police were summoned. What transpired in that hour is certain to be questioned by Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers as criminal charges move forward. The sources asserted that the steps taken during that hour helped make the criminal case and apprehend the suspect before he fled the country. In that hour, Sofitel hotel staff calmed the maid, got her to overcome her difficulty describing what happened, did a thorough interview, and got police on the scene for forensic testing.

                    The sources said the maid, described as a West African immigrant in her 30s, had normally been assigned to clean a different floor in the hotel but recently volunteered to take the floor of Strauss-Kahn's luxury suite after a colleague went on leave. The maid reported she entered Strauss-Kahn's room shortly before noon on May 14 after a room-service employee assured her the suite was empty. She left the door open as she began cleaning. She said she was startled when Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from a bathroom. She said she apologized to him and turned away from him, but the ex-IMF chief grabbed her from behind and touched her breasts, remarking she was beautiful. The woman alleged Strauss-Kahn slammed the door shut to the suite and engaged the indoor latch to lock it, trapping her inside. She alleged that he dragged her deeper inside the suite, and when she slipped trying to get away, he forced her head down to perform oral sex acts.

                    The woman eventually escaped the room and hid in a hallway just outside his $3,000-a-night VIP suite, as Strauss-Kahn hurriedly left the suite and went downstairs to check out. A cleaning supervisor for the floor found the traumatized maid shortly before 12:30 p.m. as she stood near a closet outside the suite. The maid said she hid in a hallway until Strauss-Kahn left, and the supervisor emerged from a service elevator a few moments later for a normal floor check. The supervisor tried to calm the maid and ascertain what happened, taking her back to Strauss-Kahn's suite where she became visibly upset. The maid expressed concern during at least one of the conversations with her supervisors that she'd lose her job because she had walked in on a hotel guest, the sources said. The floor supervisor reported the maid had nausea and was trembling. As soon as the supervisor ascertained an attack had occurred, she called one of her bosses in housecleaning, who responded to an in-house call and came to the floor, the sources said. When the more senior housekeeping supervisor got enough details from the maid to believe a crime had been committed, she called a hotel security officer to the room.

                    The security officer interrogated the maid, getting extensive details of what had happened in the suite. Throughout the questioning, the maid appeared traumatized and several times spit on the floor and walls. At one point she went to a bathroom to try to vomit. Her saliva was later removed from carpet and walls as evidence. The hotel security officer then alerted the chief of hotel security, a former law enforcement officer, who conducted another interview that was halting at times because the woman had become increasingly traumatized and sick, the sources said. The maid repeated her concerns about being fired and inquired whether she should even press charges. The security chief made the decision to call New York police and an ambulance once he had ascertained there was enough evidence of a crime and that the maid's story had been consistent during all four conversations she had with hotel employees, the sources said. The four interviews and repeated efforts to calm the woman took about an hour. Police were summoned around 1:30 p.m.

                    Shortly after police arrived, Strauss-Kahn called the hotel to report he had left his cell phone behind and his call was immediately routed to the Sofitel security chief, the sources said. Working with detectives who were in the room, the hotel security chief falsely told Strauss-Kahn the cell phone had been located and he would drive it to the IMF chief. The security chief got Strauss-Kahn to tell him that he was already at the Air France lounge at New York's John F. Kennedy airport and planning to fly to Paris, the sources said. Using the information from the security chief's call, police detectives called Port Authority police and apprehended Strauss-Kahn on the jetliner about 10 minutes before the flight was to depart. The Sofitel has fully cooperated with law enforcement, making employees available for voluntary interviews, reviewing security tapes, and turning over records of phone calls, check-ins and check-outs, and door card readers. Some of these employees were also brought before a grand jury before Strauss-Kahn was formally indicted and released on $1 million bail this week.


                    • #55
                      'Nice a**e':
                      Strauss-Kahn's 'comment to air hostess' just moments before he was arrested for sexual assault

                      "...Strauss-Kahn's alleged victim, a 32-year-old West African immigrant who cannot be named for legal reasons,
                      has gone into hiding after investigators for Strauss-Kahn’s legal team allegedly approved a ‘smear’ campaign..."

                      May 22, 2011 -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s last words before being pulled off a plane and arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid were to compliment an air stewardess on her ‘nice a***’, it has been claimed. His remark – ‘Quel beau cul!’ - was made ‘loudly and openly’ and overheard by other passengers in first class, according to the French magazine Le Point. Moments later, New York Port Authority detectives boarded the Air France flight to Paris last Saturday and removed the former finance chief from the plane. Le Point continued: ‘The comment was clearly inappropriate, but all the more so bearing in mind what happened to Mr Strauss-Kahn just a few moments afterwards.' The magazine added that Strauss-Kahn called out 'What a nice a**e!' to the attendant, using the lewd French expression 'Quel beau cul!' as she prepared the business-class cabin for take-off last Saturday.

                      The allegation comes amid a growing deluge of claims about the former International Monetary Fund boss. The new allegations emerged this morning as his wife, heiress Anne Sinclair, was spotted leaving the New York apartment building where he is under house arrest today. She left the luxury high-rise in lower Manhattan near Wall Street this morning and got into an SUV. It's not clear where she was going. Investigators have reportedly been told that, as the 62-year-old was being shown to his suite last Friday night, he asked the VIP receptionist escorting him to join him for a drink. The next day he is said to have asked another receptionist, who had originally checked him in, to share a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne with him. Strauss-Kahn, who resigned from his position last week, is currently out on $6 million bail after he was charged with sexually assaulting a chambermaid. He is now under 'house arrest' in a $4,400-a-month apartment after being let out of New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison.
                      In reporting the latest wave of claims, The New York Post said investigators had interviewed all Sofitel employees and looked at more than 48 hours of video footage. This included recordings of Strauss-Kahn leaving the Times Square hotel on Saturday afternoon without officially checking out, it added. Sources told the newspaper that 'although he did not explicitly ask either woman for sex, both described his advances as blatantly inappropriate'.

                      Strauss-Kahn's wife is understood to be paying the rent for his ‘golden cage’ on the fourth floor of an exclusive block of flats near the site of the former World Trade Center. She is said to have put up her exclusive Washington D.C. town house as collateral to help raise $6million for his bail - $1 million in cash and a $5 million insurance bond. If her husband absconds, she will forfeit the money and the house in the exclusive Georgetown district of Washington, which she bought in 2007 for $4 million. Miss Sinclair is also paying $243,000 for armed guards, who have been posted outside the apartment’s gold-and-marble portico, to ensure the 62-year-old politician does not try to flee to France.

                      Assistant District Attorney Artie McConnell, the prosecutor who brought the charges, strongly objected to the house arrest, saying the area close to Ground Zero was ‘problematic for the police to control’. And the prosecutor claimed residents of the building were enraged when they were told Strauss-Kahn had moved into the sprawling two-bedroom apartment. However, they had been assured that he would not be allowed to use the building’s gym or billiards room. He could leave the building only to attend religious services or seek essential medical treatment. According to the Wall Street Journal, the general manager of the building - which is known as The Empire - sent a note to tenants saying: 'We were not consulted before the leaseholder invited him in, but we have been assured that he will only be staying here until early next week.' Strauss-Kahn now has until Tuesday to move out of the building and, according to the New York Post, he and his wife are said to be 'scrambling' to find more permanent housing during his expected long house arrest. He is said to be focusing his hunt on private homes and forgoing luxury high-rises 'so he doesn't have to deal with a lot of close-by neighbours'. His initial choice of a flat was the Bristol Plaza in mid-town Manhattan, which advertises apartments that are ‘better than a hotel’ – and has a daily maid service. But he later withdrew his application ‘out of respect’ for other tenants, one of his lawyers said. ‘The tenants in the building will not accept his living there,’ the lawyer elaborated.

                      Strauss-Kahn has, however, won the approval of at least one of his neighbours. An infamous computer hacker who lives in The Empire claimed last night that he has met the former IMF chief and bonded with him. Andrew Auernheimer, 26, said: 'He's an OK guy. There are eight or nine other guys are all in the same situation. We're all like one big Breakfast Club in there' - referring to the 1985 classic film about five high school students trapped in Saturday detention 'I saw the guy coming in...with guards...and roaming the hallway and I invited the guy in and introduced him to a few people.'

                      Strauss-Kahn's alleged victim, a 32-year-old West African immigrant who cannot be named for legal reasons, has gone into hiding after investigators for Strauss-Kahn’s legal team allegedly approved a ‘smear’ campaign. The investigators are attempting to prove that the financier was trapped into ‘consensual’ sex with the woman in a conspiracy designed to derail his campaign to unseat French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Strauss-Kahn will appear in court next month to be arraigned. The seven count indictment states that he committed two counts of a criminal sexual act, one count of attempted rape, two counts of sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.


                      • #56

                        New York, May 22, 2011 (CNN) -- Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn sought the company of two female hotel staffers after he checked into Manhattan's Sofitel Hotel one day before his alleged sexual assault on a maid May 14, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation. As a receptionist was personally escorting Strauss-Khan to his suite following check-in, he asked her to stay for some champagne, according to the source, but the receptionist told investigators she turned him down. Later, according to the source, Strauss-Kahn called a different receptionist from his suite to ask if she would join him for a drink in his room after she got off duty. Like the first receptionist, she also declined the former IMF chief's invitation. "She described it as flirtatious," the source, who asked for anonymity, told CNN Sunday.

                        The additional details are emerging from police interviews with hotel staff about contacts employees may have had with their prestigious guest prior to and following the alleged attack. Strauss-Kahn has been indicted on seven charges including forcing the maid to perform oral sex on him, and attempted rape. If he is convicted, Strauss-Kahn faces up to 25 years in prison. In his written resignation to the International Monetary Fund last week, Strauss-Kahn said, "I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me."

                        Reporters remained camped Sunday outside the apartment building in Manhattan's financial district where he is under court-ordered watch, part of the terms of his $6 million bail agreement. Strauss-Kahn must pay for the 24-hour armed guard posted at his door and other electronic surveillance. The security company, Stroz Friedberg, has the contract to keep track of Strauss-Kahn, estimated by Manhattan Assistant District Attorney John McConnell to cost at least $200,000 per month. The same firm handled security for convicted swindler Bernard Madoff. Strauss-Kahn's current living arrangements are temporary. His lawyers say Strauss-Kahn and his wife are expected to move this week to another apartment building. Once there, he can leave the building only for court appearances. If he wants to leave for any other reason, including religious services, he must provide six hours notice to prosecutors.

                        Meanwhile, another law enforcement source offered more details about events when police stepped on to a Paris-bound Air France jet at JFK airport to take custody of Strauss-Kahn. The source, who requested anonymity, said Strauss-Kahn had at least one question for officers who told him they were escorting him off the plane. He asked the officers what was going on, according to the source. New York Port Authority officers removed Strauss-Kahn from the jet and turned him over to the New York City police. As CNN has previously reported, another law enforcement source, who also asked to be unnamed, told CNN the former IMF chief was silent when he was transferred to New York detectives and when questioned by investigators with the special victims unit.


                        • #57

                          May 23, 2011 -- Fresh allegations of sexual misconduct have been made against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund who resigned last week after being charged with sexually assaulting a New York maid. As Strauss-Kahn spent his first full day on $US1 million ($0.94 million) bail at a rented apartment on Broadway, he faced new claims that:

                          He put pressure on a married Asian administrative worker to have sex with him, according to a former IMF official. The claim was brought to the attention of a serving IMF official by her distraught husband after the woman confided details. The woman declined to make a complaint because she feared losing her job.

                          Two other employees of the Sofitel Hotel in New York told investigators that Strauss-Kahn made advances during his stay last weekend. Soon after he checked into his suite, he allegedly called the front desk and asked the receptionist to join him for a drink, according to a U.S. news website.

                          While Strauss-Kahn was head of the IMF, an official paid ''hush money'' to a woman working at another Washington-based global institution to secure her silence over an affair.

                          A former IMF official challenged the result of an internal IMF investigation that cleared Strauss-Kahn of sexual harassment and abuse of office over his affair with Piroska Nagy, a married Hungarian economist, in January 2008. Ms Nagy eventually left the IMF for a new post in London.

                          Lawyers for the former IMF chief, who denies sexually assaulting the hotel worker, did not respond to a request for comment about the new allegations. There is no suggestion of any new criminal sexual offence. Robert Smith, the Washington lawyer who led the IMF's internal inquiry, said it had been properly conducted.

                          French women's groups outraged by the political and media reaction to the sexual assault allegations were to assemble for a protest at the Pompidou Centre in Paris last night. Feminist campaigners have objected to what they say have been remarks playing down the seriousness of rape, or blurring the boundaries of what is or is not acceptable sexual behaviour.


                          • #58

                            Lundi 23 Mai 2011 -- "Il plaidera non coupable. Et s’il a droit à un procès équitable, à la fin des audiences, il sera acquitté." Et Benjamin Brafman, l’avocat de DSK d’ajouter : "Sur la foi des enquêtes que nous avons menées nous-mêmes, nous pensons que les accusations vont se révéler fausses." Pour la première fois, le défenseur de Strauss-Kahn s’exprimait hier dans une interview réalisée en Israël et diffusée par TF1. L’ex-avocat de Mickael Jackson est confiant : "Les gens doivent savoir en France que mon client a bon moral. Il va se défendre vigoureusement, ses avocats sont déterminés à l’innocenter et à restaurer son honneur."

                            Accusé d’avoir agressé sexuellement le 14 mai une femme de chambre d’origine africaine à l’hôtel Sofitel de Manhattan, DSK reste assigné à résidence dans un logement temporaire au 71 Broadway. Il est surveillé par un garde armé et ne peut quitter l’immeuble, sauf cas de force majeure. En revanche, son épouse Anne Sinclair est libre d’aller et venir comme elle l’entend. Si jamais l’ancien patron du FMI devait finalement être condamné, Paris appuierait une demande de transfèrement en France pour purger sa peine. C’est ce qu’a annoncé hier le ministre de l’Intérieur Claude Guéant.

                            Aux Etats-Unis, le Centre pour l’intégrité publique, organisme destiné au journalisme d’enquête, a jeté hier un nouvel éclairage sur la période cruciale entre la fin de l’agression présumée peu avant 12 h 30 et l’appel à la police une heure plus tard, le 14 mai. La femme est sortie "traumatisée" de la chambre d’hôtel avant d’avertir son superviseur, qui en a référé à un supérieur. Ce dernier aurait demandé à un officier de sécurité de se rendre à la chambre. Il a alors alerté le chef de la sécurité de l’hôtel qui a appelé la police de New York et DSK a été interpellé dans l’avion, à l’aéroport...

                            La prochaine audience est prévue le 6 juin au tribunal. En attendant, les réactions se multiplient. "Il y a en France une tolérance de bon aloi directement issue de la tradition féodale", déplore la socialiste Anne Mansouret. Et la mère de Tristane Banon, qui affirme avoir été agressée sexuellement par DSK en 2002, ajoute : "On n’a pas le même rapport, le même respect des femmes que dans d’autres pays." Hier à Paris, environ 500 féministes ont défilé "contre le déferlement de sexisme" généré par cette affaire.


                            • #59

                              Lundi 23 Mai 2011 -- Décidément, chaque jour apporte son lot de nouvelles surprises dans l'affaire Dominique Strauss-Kahn. D'un côté, Closer publie l'interview d'une journaliste qui affirme avoir été agressée par l'ancien directeur général du FMI et de l'autre, Tristane Banon, l'écrivaine qui affirmait au Parisien avoir été victime d'une tentative de viol en 2002, annonce qu'elle ne portera finalement pas plainte... Dans son édition de ce week end, Closer publie une interview exclusive d'une journaliste qui raconte avoir été "agressée" par Dominique Strauss-Kahn. En 2004, elle couvrait la campagne des élections régionales en région parisienne. Les électeurs devaient départager le représentant UMP Jean-François Copé et le socialiste Jean-Paul Huchon, soutenu par DSK. Elle raconte : "Soudain, c'est la cohue, la journaliste sent [...] une main "très intrusive": "Je m'en souviens comme si c'était hier, raconte un témoin de la scène. Elle s'est retournée, se préparant à mettre une claque à celui qui l'avait ainsi collée. Devant le visage qui lui faisait face, elle s'est arrêtée net, c'était Dominique Strauss-Kahn !". Il a alors lancé : "Je vous ai offensé ?" La journaliste s'est alors indignée : "Ne recommencez jamais ça !". "Pardonnez-moi" s'est alors excusé DSK.

                              Machine arrière pour Tristane Banon

                              Tristane Banon, la jeune femme qui accuse Dominique Strauss Kahn d'avoir tenté de la violer en 2002 vient d'annoncer, par le biais de son avocat, qu'elle ne porterait pas plainte contre DSK tant que le procès ne sera pas terminé et que de plus, elle refusera de témoigner à New York au procès de DSK. Un revirement qui est une véritable aubaine pour l'accusé. En effet, le procureur du tribunal de New York avait évoqué le cas de Tristane Banon pour montrer qu'il existait un précédent dans le comportement de violeur de DSK, et l'on sait à quel point ce genre d'antécédents pèsent lourds dans un procès pour viol.


                              • #60
                                James Pender , May 23, 2011:

                                Voila, a selection of comments in the French media regarding the sexual assault charges brought against former IMF President Dominique Strauss-Kahn:

                                "I feel nothing but loathing for the judge who delivered him to that pack of newshounds in front of the police station, on the pretence that he was a citizen like any other." ~ French intellectual Bernard-Henry Levy
                                "[DSK's media exposure] creates feelings and reactions which go far beyond what is, essentially, after all just another minor alleged crime." ~ French commentator Sophie De Menthon
                                "[It was] more likely an act of imprudence, a bit of domestic tupping." ~ Left-wing journalist Jean-Francois Kahn
                                "His treatment by the New York judge, police and press has reawakened the anti-Americanism that is latent in many French souls." ~ Hugh Schofield - BBC, Paris
                                "Unheard-of brutality, cruelty and violence." ~ Former Minister Elisabeth Guigou’s description of images of her friend DSK being led from the police station in New York
                                First of all : Ummmm... sorry guys, I didn't realise we were still referring to sexual assault as "an act of imprudence" in 2011. But then again, maybe I need to reread my copy of Tess of the d'Urbervilles. As for "domestic tupping" - a poor choice of words? Are humans still tupping domestically? Husband : "I say dear, why don't you put the kids to bed, I sort of feel like tupping... domestically." Wife : "Will that be consensual or non-consensual tonight darling?"

                                All linguistic fun aside, there is a darker, more disturbing side to the above comments. Many French journalists and politicians have aggressively defended DSK's "présomption d'innocence". It's important to say at the very start that they are right to do so. As a lawyer, I am fully aware that one of the very cornerstones of criminal justice is that an accused person should be considered innocent until it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are guilty. However, regardless of DSK's alleged guilt, the above comments, [and perhaps more worryingly, the general sentiment that they seem to represent] are further evidence of the pervasive attitude of permissiveness in France when it comes to the affairs [sexual or otherwise] of French politicians. Such affairs are both widely known and well documented. In fact, when it comes to being elected as the President of France, licentious virility appears to be a pre-requisite, rather than an impediment to power. See for example: the cover-up of President Mitterand's illegitimate daughter during his Presidency; or Le Super Menteur himself, Jacques Chirac's trial for embezzlement of public funds in the Clearstream affair; or more recently, the Elysée's crackdown on media coverage of Sarkozy's rumoured extramarital affairs.

                                If the French are not especially proud of this fact, they are, at the very least, proud of the domestic laws that enable such behaviour, that is, France's strict privacy laws and the general acceptance of the need for a clear separation between the public and private lives of politicians. This attitude is, in many ways, admirable. Monogamy has absolutely nothing, or at least very little, to do with inspired political leadership. [Just ask Bill Clinton.] However, when it comes to DSK's situation, the facts are very different. Here, DSK is not merely accused of having a wandering eye, or of possessing a weakness for les femmes fatales. Here, the charges are criminal. And yet, collective French outrage seems not to derive from the fact that a man widely tipped as being the next French President might have committed sexual assault. Instead, outrage focuses on "the judge who delivered him to that pack of newshounds" and on the fact that such a man should be publicly humiliated to the point of being treated as if he were "a citizen like any other".

                                And therein lies the heart of the fallacy of extending the general permissive French attitude with regard to political scandal to DSK's current situation. For DSK is a citizen like any other, just as his French political colleagues are eux aussi, citoyens de la France. His behaviour, if proven, will not be able to be explained away as a manifestation of some quaint Gallic cultural trait. DSK will not be able to claim he is the victim of an overly-developed but entirely excusable pre-pubescent desire for the female form. His behaviour must meet a much stricter and less sympathetic test - a criminal one. And yet, the myth of the French political man, a man seemingly at the mercy of his sexual desire for the fairer race, continues to be both understood and excused by politicians and commentators alike in France. As DSK said himself, "I love women, et alors?" Well DSK, it seems that this time you may have been a very naughty boy indeed. But I guess, in your defence, they are very pretty, and you are very important. Now come here so I can rustle your hair... Right. There you go. Now run along. You lovable rogue.


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