By Igor Siletsky
The scandal linked to Dominique Strauss-Kahn is nothing but a political intrigue. This was stated by the former International Monetary Fund chief himself in an interview with an American investigative journalist for the Guardian. Dominique Strauss-Kahn accused political allies of French President Nicolas Sarkozy of orchestrating the New York maid assault scandal. Observers do not exclude that he fell victim to an intrigue. At the same time, such an accusation ahead of the presidential runoff in France is a heavy stone thrown at Sarkozy.
Dominique Strauss-Khan was arrested in the U.S. in May last year. He was accused of allegedly raping a maid in the Sofitel Hotel. At the time, the IMF chief pleaded not guilty and ultimately, the court dismissed the case. However, he stepped down as the IMF chief, and his bid for the French presidency collapsed.
Last year, the French mass media actively discussed whether the French leaders could have set-up the affair with the “American housekeeper” so as to drive out Strauss-Kahn from the presidential race. In the interview with the Guardian, the former IMF chief alleged that French intelligence had been eavesdropping on him and listening to his phone calls weeks before he was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting the maid at the hotel. Detectives hired by Strauss-Kahn identified that some workers of the Sofitel Hotel might have had contacts with the French special services. However, the IMF chief showed irresponsibility towards the detectives’ warning. He admitted that he was “politically naïve” and did not believe that special services would go that far. Nevertheless, they went even further. In March 2012, Strauss-Kahn was charged with aggravated pimping in France. Under law he might be sentenced to 20 years. Prosecutors insist that he had participated in parties in Paris, Brussels and Washington to which prostitutes were invited.
There is no evidence that Strauss-Kahn was deliberately pushed out from the political scene, of course. Analysts say that Strauss-Kahn’s interview should be considered first and foremost as a statement by a prominent figure of the Socialist Party. It was presented especially before the presidential runoff, says expert at the Centre for Political Conjuncture, Maksim Minaev.
“The interview has a political subtext. Strauss-Kahn is supporting Hollande to hit Sarkozy. This is an element in the election campaign, which is undoubtedly, oriented to his voters: Sarkozy’s guilty card will be played,” Maksim Minaev said.
Notably, before Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May, his rating among Socialists surpassed that of Francois Hollande. In the interview with the Guardian the financier said that he would have won the presidential elections if he had participated. On the 22nd of April, Sarkozy was second in the presidential election. The runoff will be held on the 6th of May, and opinion polls suggest that the Socialist Party candidate will win. He needs only 1.5 percent additional votes. In this case Socialist Strauss-Kahn can do a lot and on the other hand, he has nothing to loose.