IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces sex charge

// News | Top Stories | IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces sex charge
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) smiles during a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event at the Newseum in Washington, December 16, 2010.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged on Sunday with sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid, in a scandal that appeared to wreck his hopes of running for president of France.

The charges threatened to create a leadership vacuum at the IMF, overseer of the global economic system, and threw wide open the French presidential election next April, for which opinion polls had made Strauss-Kahn the front-runner.

One of his lawyers, Benjamin Brafman, told Reuters that his client "will plead not guilty." The 62-year-old Socialist, a key player in the response to the 2007-9 global financial meltdown and in Europe's debt crisis, was taken off an Air France plane about to leave for Paris from John F Kennedy International Airport on Saturday.

New York police spokesman Paul Browne said he was charged with a criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment and attempted rape. He is expected to go before a state court later on Sunday.

The arrest caused shock and disbelief in France, where a government spokesman called for caution and respect for the presumption of innocence.

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

Francois Bayrou, a centrist opponent of Strauss-Kahn, said: "All this is completely astounding, immensely troubling and distressing. If the facts prove true ... it's something degrading for all women. It's terrible for the image of France."

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said her rival's presidential hopes had been crushed. Strauss-Kahn and Le Pen have led recent opinion polls ahead of conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, even though the chief of the IMF had yet to declare his candidacy.

In a statement on its website, the fund declined to comment on the case, saying only that it "remains fully functioning and operational." But a Greek official told Reuters the arrest could cause some delays to a European Union/IMF bailout for Athens, in which Strauss-Kahn was closely involved.

Maid's account

"We must wait until things settle and see if it's true or a provocation, one of Strauss-Kahn's French-based lawyers, Leon Lef Forster, said. "We must be especially careful not to get into a media circus and we must wait until things are clear."

A 32-year-old maid filed a sexual assault complaint after fleeing the $3,000-a-night hotel suite at the Sofitel in Times Square where the alleged incident occurred around 1 pm on Saturday, Browne said.

Strauss-Kahn appeared to have fled the hotel after the incident, the police spokesman said.

Browne told Reuters: "She told detectives he came out of the bathroom naked, ran down a hallway to the foyer where she was, pulled her into a bedroom and began to sexually assault her, according to her account.

"She pulled away from him and he dragged her down a hallway into the bathroom where he engaged in a criminal sexual act, according to her account to detectives. He tried to lock her into the hotel room." Strauss-Kahn does not have diplomatic immunity, Browne said.

According to New York state law, a criminal sexual act carries a potential sentence of 15-20 years, the same as attempted rape. Unlawful imprisonment carries a potential sentence of three to five years.

The allegation is a major embarrassment to the IMF, which has authorized billions of dollars of lending to troubled countries and played a major role in the euro zone debt crisis.

France in shock

Popularly known by his initials DSK, the IMF managing director had been expected to declare by late June if he would run for president of France. The latest opinion polls ranked him as a clear winner over conservative incumbent Sarkozy.

"The case and the charges ... mark the end of his campaign and pre-campaign for the presidency and will most likely prompt the IMF to ask him to leave his post," National Front leader Le Pen told i-Tele television.

Conservative Trade Minister Pierre Lellouche said: "I think we have to grant DSK the presumption of innocence. If all this were true it would be damning." Even Strauss-Kahn's political allies were pessimistic.

"The most likely outcome is that this case will stick and even if he pleads not guilty, which he may be, he won't be able to be candidate for the Socialist primary for the presidency and he won't be able to stay at the IMF," said prominent Socialist Jacques Attali.

Strauss-Kahn took over the IMF in November 2007 for a five-year term scheduled to end next year. Before that, he was a French finance minister, member of the French National Assembly and a professor of economics.

Tagged : Obinah John, Nigeria Power Sector, Lottery Winner Poisoned To Death, Majek Fashek, Monkey boy, Kudirat Abiola, Baby factory in Anambra

Headlines Newsview all

N4 Million, Human Parts & Ammunition Found With Ritual Killer In Benin

A man in Benin City, Edo State, who succeeded in fooling people into thinking he was mad, has turned out to be a ritual killer ... Full story

Popular Lagos Woman Stripped And Beaten For Stealing Brazilian Hair

Some ladies have dumped their boyfriend just because the guys couldn’t give them N50,000+ to buy the rave of the moment – Brazilian Hair. They ...

Boko Haram pays N500,000 to recruits!

Boko Haram recruits members, not just from Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad, it also gets recruits from Niger Republic who it pays N500, 000. However, their ...

Ogun State Politician Bashorun Bayo Awosanya Violently Assaults Wife

According to an NGO, the woman in this Picture is the wife of a strong Ogun-state APC chieftain named Bashorun Bayo Awosanya. He reportedly attacked ...

Barima Sydney Admits Ghanaian Artists Use Juju

Is the entertainment industry in Ghana this diabolic? Weeks ago, we were stunned when Pink FM presenter Eric Akoto raised alarm that some of his ... Full story

Banky W Plays Bestman Role In Tiwa Savage Wedding

It's no longer news that female Pop singer, Tiwa Savage and her husband/manager, Tunji Balogun, popularly called, Tee Billz are staging their fairytale white wedding ... Full story

Actor Joseph Benjamin Covers RB Magazine April/May Issue

Blazing the cover of RB Magazine’s April/May 2014 issue is the stunning look of multiple award winning actor and co-host of the MTN Project Fame reality ... Full story

Nollywood Actor Chris Nkulor Is Dead

Chris Nkulor, a prolific Nollywood actor, has recently passed on. The actor had earlier this month been diagnosed of a kidney ailment, and this was ...

Boko Haram: Abducted Chibok School Girls Estimated To Be 234

The number of secondary school girls still under Boko Haram captivity is more than the figure widely circulated. There are 234 of them missing from the ... Full story

Lola Omotayo-Okoye Replies Haters Who Blame Her For Psquare Break Up

It seems people are beginning to blame Peter Okoye’s wife, Lola Omotayo for the sad Psquare’s separation. Fans are calling her all sorts of names like ... Full story

Paul Okoye Breaks Silence On Psquare Split

The Psquare Family: Peter and Paul Okoye with wives Lola Omotayo, Anita Isamah and children – Andre, Aliona and Cameron. As the on-going controversy in the ... Full story

Comment on: IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces sex charge

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Peter Okoye's Wife, Lola Omotayo Speaks On P-Square's Rumoured Breakup

Since the rummoured breakup of P-Square sprung, there have been tales that the wife of Peter Okoye, Lola Omotayo, was responsible for it. Some people ...

Cossy Orjiakor Thinks Marriage

Nollywood actress, Cossy Orjiakor may not have acted in lots of movies, but she has successfully substituted that for series of issues, which have kept ...

Fans Blasts Juliet Ibrahim Over Shopping Spree At H & M

Ghanaian actress cum singer, Juliet Ibrahim, who jetted out to Amsterdam to represent her country at the International Kidney Cancer Coalition Conference, in Netherlands, has ...

Meet Mr. Nigeria 2014 Contestants

It is that time of the year again to crown the next Mr Nigeria 2014. Silverbird Group, organisers of the contest, has unveiled the 20 ...

MC Abbey Bags Award Of Excellence

Seasoned comedian, MC Abbey was recently honoured by a church as he was given an award of excellence. The handsome entertained was reportedly rewarded for ...

Tonto Dikeh, Frank Artus, Zack Orji, Others For ‘Mama Africa’ Premiere

Come Sunday, May 4, 2014, all roads will lead to The Filmhouse Cinemas, located at Leisure Mall, Adeniran Ogunsanya Road in Surulere, Lagos for the ...

D'banj Visits Bomb Blast Victims At Abuja

Following the bomb attack at Nyanya in Abuja last week, music ariste, Dapo Oyebanjo aka D'Banj, on Tuesday, visited the victims and urged the youths ...

Solidstar Shoots Video For Super Eagles Theme Song

Nigerian singer, Joshua Inyiezo, popularly known as Solidstar, is currently shooting the Super Eagles’ official 2014 FIFA World Cup theme song, Nigeriafilms.com can authoritatively report. ...

Mercy Johnson, Chika Ike Deny Beef Rumour

Over the weekend, it was reported that Nollywood damsels; Mercy Johnson Okojie and Chika Ike were not in talking terms. According to reports, the two ...

Omotola Gets MTV Personality Of The Year Award Nomination

Nollywood actress, Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde is no doubt having it good for her especially after her Times magazine recognition. The beautiful mother of four has been ...