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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Strauss-Kahn Held In Jail After Bail Denied

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is being held at the notorious Rikers prison in New York after being denied bail.

The head of the International Monetary Fund is in a cramped 11ft-by-13ft cell - less than a week after staying in a $3,000-a-day hotel suite.

On arrival at the prison the economist was given rudimentary bedding, a drinking cup, soap, shampoo and toothpaste.
He was also physically and psychologically examined before being separated from other inmates in case he is attacked.
IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn stands and approaches the bench for his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York
Dominique Strauss-Kahn at Manhattan Criminal Court
Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, has been accused of sexual assaulting a hotel maid at the Sofitel on Saturday when she arrived to clean his room.
He allegedly emerged from his bathroom naked, dragged the maid from the corridor and then attacked her.
The economist was located by police after he rang the hotel to say he had left behind his mobile phone and told staff he was at JFK Airport.
He was removed from a flight by two officers minutes before it was due to take off and returned to the city.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn (R) stands with his lawyer Benjamin Brafman (2R) as Assistant District Attorney John McConnell (L) speaks as they appear in federal court May 16, 2011 in New York City.
Mr Strauss-Kahn in court as the prosecutors outline the allegations
His legal team insist he is innocent of the charges which include attempted rape, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment.
They proposed a $1m bail and said he could wear an electronic tag.
But Judge Melissa Jackson, at Manhattan Criminal Court, denied bail - claiming there was a risk he might flee back to France.
She said: "When I hear your client was at JFK airport about to board a flight, that raises some concerns."
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Judge Melissa Jackson presides over the case of International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in federal court May 16, 2011 in New York City.
Judge Melissa Jackson denied bail on grounds the IMF chief could flee
The 32-year-old hotel maid, an African immigrant, claims Mr Strauss-Kahn dragged her from the hall into a bathroom, where she was made to perform oral sex on him.
She says she managed to free herself when the IMF chief started to remove her underwear and she then ran downstairs to raise the alarm.
Assistant district attorney John McConnell told the court: "The defendant restrained a hotel employee against her will.
"He sexually assaulted her and tried to rape her. When he was unsuccessful, he forced her to perform oral sex on him."
Mr McConnell said the alleged victim, who picked the IMF boss out of a police line-up, had given a "powerful account".
He added: "The crime scene unit has processed the hotel room. Preliminary evidence suggests there are findings that will support the victim’s version of events."
Prosecutors insisted that Mr Strauss-Kahn's "massive network of contracts" across the world and his wealth meant he was an "incurable flight risk".
Mr McConnell also told the court he had seen video of the defendant leaving the hotel and that "he appeared to be a man in a hurry”.
The IMF boss’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, insisted his client had ties to the US and his flight back to Europe was organised far in advance.
Mr Brafman described the charges as "defendable" and claimed the forensic evidence taken by police "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter".
Outside court, the lawyer added: "We believe we will prove that Mr Strauss is innocent of these charges.
"I think it's important that you all understand that this battle has just begun."
Lawyers William Taylor (R) and Benjamin Brafman speak to the media about their client Dominique Strauss-Kahn, leader of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in front of a Manhattan court after he was denied bail on May 16, 2001 in New York City.
Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyers William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman outside court
The lawyer successfully defended pop star Michael Jackson from child molestation charges in 2005.
Mr Strauss-Kahn looked tense and haggard during the court appearance. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
He is being held on remand in Rikers jail and is due back in court on May 20 when his lawyers are expected to try to overturn the bail decision.
The IMF has still not decided whether to remove the economist from his job but has installed his deputy John Lipsky in his place temporarily.
A spokesman said after a meeting on Monday: "The IMF and its executive board will continue to monitor developments."
Caroline Atkinson, Director of External Relations at the International Monetary Fund speaks in front of IMF Headquarters in Washington about Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Caroline Atkinson, Director of External Relations at the IMF
Meanwhile in France, the Socialist Party has been left in disarray because Mr Strauss-Kahn was expected to win its nomination for next year’s presidential election.
The party’s leaders are meeting on Tuesday for crisis talks and try to map out a new plan for the contest.
In a further blow, a French author is now considering pressing charges against Mr Strauss-Kahn for allegedly trying to rape her nine years ago.
Tristane Banon, the daughter of a French socialist, consulted a lawyer in Paris about action against the economist who she describes as being like a "rutting chimpanzee".
She claims she physically had to fight off Mr Strauss-Kahn when he tried to seduce her in 2002, when she was 22.
Her mother Anne Mansouret said she talked her daughter out of taking action because he was such an influential figure.


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