ISSN 2330-717X

IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn Charged With Criminal Sex Act, Attempted Rape

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(RFE/RL) — Prosecutors in New York have charged the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, with a criminal sexual act and the attempted rape of a hotel maid.

The charges follow allegations made by a 32-year-old woman who worked as a maid at a Manhattan hotel, where Strauss-Kahn had been staying in a $3,000-a-night suite.

A police spokesman said Strauss-Kahn does not have diplomatic immunity. Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for the IMF chief, told Reuters in an e-mail that Strauss-Kahn will plead not guilty.

The 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn, one of the world’s top international diplomats tasked with handling financial crises, was taken off an Air France plane at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport minutes before it was due to leave for Paris.

Strauss-Kahn was on his way to Europe for a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today.

He was due to attend a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Brussels on May 16 to discuss the bailouts of Portugal and Greece.

Strauss-Kahn has also has been considered a possible Socialist Party candidate in the French presidential election next April.

Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, took over the IMF in November 2007.

In October 2008, Strauss-Kahn apologized for “an error of judgment” for conducting an affair with a female subordinate, but denied he had abused his position.

The latest allegation will be a massive embarrassment to the IMF, which has authorized billions of dollars in lending programs to troubled countries and has played a major role in the eurozone debt crisis.

The IMF had no immediate comment on the incident.

RFE RL

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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