Connect to share and comment
IMF chief "DSK" has been pulled off an Air France plane in New York and held over claims he sexually assaulted a hotel maid.
International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been pulled off an Air France plane in New York and held over claims he sexually assaulted a hotel maid.
Police say the French national was pulled from his first-class seat Saturday evening just minutes before taking off for Paris and was being questioned. He had not been charged late Saturday.
According to Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne of the NYPD, a 32-year-old chambermaid at the Sofitel Hotel said she entered Strauss-Kahn's hotel room to clean it early on Saturday when he came out of the bathroom naked and tried to force her into performing sex acts.
She reportedly escaped the room, and hotel personnel alerted the police. The maid was later treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.
Police say when they arrived at the hotel, Strauss-Kahn had already left for the airport, leaving behind his mobile phone and other personal items.
“He came out of the bathroom, fully naked, and attempted to sexually assault her,” Browne said, The New York Times reported.
At some point during the assault, the woman broke free, Browne said, and “she fled, reported it to other hotel personnel who called 911. When the police arrived, he was not there.”
The group that owns the Sofiel said Sunday that the maid who alleges that Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her had worked at the hotel for three years and met its standards. "We would like to point out that our employee worked at the Sofitel New York for three years and was completely satisfactory in terms of her work and behavior," manager Jorge Tito said in a statement, Reuters reports.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, who took charge of the IMF in November 2007, was widely expected to become the Socialist candidate for the French presidency, running against President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012.
According to the New York Times, the incident has thrown the Socialists into confusion and "set the stage for a new political calculus that could allow the National Front, the far-right party led by its founder’s daughter, Marine Le Pen, to become a more dominant force during the election campaign."
The former French Finance Minister — known as "DSK" at the fund's headquarters on 19th Street in Washinton, D.C. — is married to a prominent French television reporter, American-born Anne Sinclair, and has weathered previous sex scandals.
In 2008, he apologized for what he termed "an error in judgment" for an affair with one of his subordinates, a Hungarian economist.
The IMF said Sunday it remained "fully functioning and operational," despite Strauss-Kahn's arrest.
However, the arrest may cause some delays to an EU/IMF bailout plan, a senior Greek government official told Reuters on Sunday.
He was due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and attend a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels on Monday to discuss the euro zone debt crisis and how to handle Greece's bailout.
"This might definitely cause some delays in the short term," the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "Strauss-Kahn had a very good knowledge of Greece's situation."
In its first statement since the arrest, the IMF said it had no comment and referred all inquiries to Strauss-Kahn's lawyer and to local authorities.
A French government spokesman, Francois Baroin, said Sunday that it was important to reserve judgment over the arrest. "We have to be extremely prudent in analysis, comments and consequences," Baroin told France 2 television, adding that the government's position was to respect the presumption of innocence.
The Guardian, meanwhile, is speculating on who could replace Strauss-Kahn as IMF managing director. According to the paper, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is the obvious choice, although he would need the backing of current British PM David Cameron, something his political opponent has said publicly he would not give.