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Sunday, May 15, 2011

IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn Charged With Attempted Rape

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund and a potential candidate for the French presidency next year, was charged with attempted rape and a criminal sex act on a woman in a New York hotel, the police said today.

The charges stem from an incident that allegedly occurred yesterday against a 32-year-old female at a Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan, the New York Police Department said in an e- mailed statement early today. Strauss-Kahn was arrested on an Air France flight at John F. Kennedy airport, the police said. He also was charged with unlawful imprisonment.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, denies the charges and will plead not guilty, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg News today.

He will appear in a Manhattan court later today, New York Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told BBC television in an interview.

The alleged victim is a maid at the hotel, Browne said, according to the New York Times. The assault occurred about 1 p.m. yesterday when the woman entered the $3,000 a night suite -- Room 2806 -- Strauss-Kahn had checked into on May 13, Browne said, the Times reported.

The maid managed to escape from the room and notified colleagues who called the police, Browne told the Times. When officers arrived, Strauss-Kahn was not there and appeared to have left in a hurry, Browne said. His mobile phone had been left behind, Browne told the newspaper.

European Bailouts

Strauss-Kahn had been scheduled to attend a meeting of euro area finance ministers in Brussels tomorrow. The meeting will take place as officials discuss the possible increase of a 110- billion euro ($155-billion) loan package to Greece amid concerns the country may be unable to return to markets to finance its debt next year.

“For the fund, this is terrible news at a time when its leadership needs to portray stability, wisdom, and confidence,” Bessma Momani, a professor in the department of political science at the University of Waterloo in Canada, who specializes in the IMF and its policies, said in an e-mail.

The IMF “remains fully functioning and operational” following Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, the Washington, DC-based organization said in a statement on its website today.


“Mr. Strauss-Kahn has retained legal counsel, and the IMF has no comment on the case; all inquiries will be referred to his personal lawyer and to the local authorities,” Caroline Atkinson, the director of external relations at the IMF, said in the statement.

New York police said Strauss-Kahn doesn’t have diplomatic immunity. The French Foreign Ministry in Paris said the IMF will have to examine what immunity Strauss-Kahn may have. A French consul visited Strauss-Kahn in detention late yesterday, ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in a phone interview.

Continue reading - Bloomberg - IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn Charged With Attempted Rape

Ron Paul: IMF Implicated After Chief Arrested on Attempted Rape Charge

The leader of the International Monetary Fund now embroiled in a criminal assault case in New York City was cleared in 2008 of harassment charges after an affair with an IMF economist.

But it's that kind of behavior that should make the world wonder about trusting the IMF, Rep. Ron Paul said Sunday.

The 2008 Republican presidential candidate told "Fox News Sunday" that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was pulled off an Air France flight moments before take-off from New York Saturday and arrested on charges of a criminal sex act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment, said the whole course of events "is a bit ironic."

Paul, who makes no secret about his disgust of IMF policies, said Strauss-Kahn demonstrates why the Fund has problems.

"These are the kind of people that are running the IMF and we want to turn the world finances and the control of the money supply to them," Paul said. "That should awaken everybody to the fact that they ought to look into the IMF and find out why we shouldn't be sacrificing more sovereignty to an organization like that and an individual like he was."

At the time, French commentators claimed the investigation's timing was suspicious since it coincided with the IMF push toward a global currency.

"It's very odd that it comes just at the moment when people are talking about the IMF and its head taking a lead role in creating a new global financial order which will not necessarily be to the advantage of wealthy, right-wing Americans," a French economist and government adviser told Britain's Observer newspaper.

But Paul said the IMF's moves toward a world currency are "a threat to us."

"I would like to go to a sound American currency, but others want to go to a world currency. They want to use the IMF," he said.

Continue reading - Ron Paul: IMF Implicated After Chief Arrested on Attempted Rape Charge

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