In 1999, Dominique Strauss Kahn was knocked out of the race for mayor of Paris by accusations of fraud
WSWS reports that France's
Minister of Finance Strauss-Kahn resigns.
(emphasis mine) [my comment]
France's Minister of Finance Strauss-Kahn resigns
By Peter Schwarz
5 November 1999
The resignation of French Minister of Finance Dominique Strauss-Kahn plunged the Socialist Party-led government into the deepest crisis of its two-and-a-half-year existence.
Strauss-Kahn resigned his office in Prime Minister Lionel Jospin's government on November 2, once it was clear he faced a formal investigation. He is suspected of receiving a fee of 603,000 francs (US$97,000) from France's largest student insurance company, MNEF, for work he did not carry out.
These accusations are not new, but Strauss-Kahn has always maintained his innocence. …
Last week it was revealed that documents purporting to confirm this account had been falsified. Analysis in a police laboratory showed that the paper and typefaces used did not exist at the time when the documents were alleged to have been produced. They must have been created subsequently and given an earlier date.
The Independent reports that M Strauss-Kahn was not only tipped as a possible successor to Jospin.
Minister's resignation tarnishes `clean' Jospin
By CHARLES BREMNER
Wednesday November 03 1999
… M Strauss-Kahn was not only tipped as a possible successor to Jospin, but he was also the favoured candidate in the Socialist campaign to unseat Jean Tiberi, the Gaullist Mayor of Paris.
The Economist reports that DSK might have made a convincing, reassuring prime minister.
A sad adieu to Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Nov 4th 1999 | from the print edition
… Certainly, DSK might well have stood for mayor of Paris in 2001, perhaps prising the capital from right-wing control; and in 2002, when Mr Jospin seems set to stand against Mr Chirac for the presidency, DSK might have made a convincing, reassuring prime minister. …
The charges of corruption were baseless
The New York Times reports that Strauss-Kahn Sees Victory in Elf Case.
Strauss-Kahn Sees Victory in Elf Case
By Steven Levingston
Published: June 30, 2001
PARIS — Prospects may be improving for the political rehabilitation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former French finance minister who resigned in 1999 under a cloud of corruption.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a rising star in the Socialist Party until scandal sidelined him, learned Thursday that a French prosecutor had dropped efforts to try him for allegedly granting a tax break to the fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
The former finance minister now expects to be cleared soon of any role in a broad scandal involving Elf Aquitaine, the former French state oil company that is now part of TotalFinaElf SA.
"All of the suspicions of corruption are falling," said a source close to Mr. Strauss-Kahn.
"I was accused from the beginning of having been paid for work that I did not do," he told RTL. "I was cleared of that. The court said: No, no, the work was done. There was no problem, simply the contract was not correctly dated."
In his defense, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said that the work under question was begun in 1994 but that the contract was not drawn up until 1995.
"So we wrote the date 1994," he said. "I think this is something that I should not have done. But honestly, it didn't damage anyone because both parties were in agreement. I'm hopeful that the court will consider that this was not very serious."
April 28, 2011: DSK worried about becoming the victim of another political set-up
SMH reports about DSK' s April 28 interview.
Presidential run turns into a perp walk
May 18, 2011
It's April 28, an icy Thursday afternoon, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn is ensconced at a restaurant table with a journalist from Liberation, the legendary Parisian newspaper founded by Jean-Paul Sartre.
The lunch date, in an eatery in the French capital's second arrondissement, had been made in secret: the IMF chief and presidential hopeful had been in town all week from Washington and the chat was to be held ''en toute confidentialite''.
Cordial and smiling, DSK as he is known in France, nevertheless appeared cautious, suspicious even. As he extended his hand towards the journalist waiting for him, he asked if he was carrying a mobile telephone.
Strauss-Kahn explained that he carries two: one for IMF business, encrypted for security, and the other for personal business. The personal one, he said, had been left at reception as a precaution against the ''strong feeling'' that he was under surveillance, fearful of dirty tricks by the French Interior Ministry.
Over the next couple of hours, the IMF chief - without confirming formally or on the record - made very clear to the left-leaning Liberation that he was on the path to formally declaring his candidacy for the French presidency. An informal pact with the Socialist Party's leader, Martine Aubry, would see her withdraw her own foray for the top job and so would begin the long - ''too long'' in his view - campaign to become President de la Republique Francais.
Then the bombshell, if only in hindsight.
Without prompting or questions from the reporter, DSK proceeded to outline the three obstacles he foresaw in his run for France's top job: ''Le fric, les femmes et ma judeite.'' (Money, women and my being a Jew.)
Strauss-Kahn, however, chose to begin his explanation with the woman problem: ''Yes, I love women … et alors? [So what?] Over many years people speak of photos of giant orgies … but I have yet to see them emerge. So, let's see them. Bring it on!'' he told Liberation.
Then he recalls a chance meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy, at a urinal during an international summit when he asked his political rival to stop the forays into his personal life. Continuing the story, he veers into the imaginary, portraying himself as a potential victim of a political set-up saying: ''A woman [who claims to be raped by him in a car park] and who has been promised —‚¬500,000 or —‚¬1 million to invent such a story.''
Three weeks after his extraordinary chat with a friendly French newspaper, the IMF chief is behind bars in New York's notorious Rikers Island prison, and due to appear in court again on Friday.
His lawyers say he has a cast iron alibi - lunch with his daughter, a graduate student at Columbia University, in New York, on the very day of the alleged rape.
“DEATH BY MEDIA”
Daily Mail reports about France's fury at 'lynching' of Strauss-Kahn after rape charge.
'They want to make a Frenchman pay': France's fury
at 'lynching' of Strauss-Kahn after rape charge
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:19 PM on 17th May 2011
Arrested on Saturday and charged with sexually assaulting a chambermaid at a luxury New York hotel, police made the 62-year-old walk in front of cameras on his way to a courthouse, and his appearance before a judge was televised.
Former Culture Minister Jack Lang described the treatment of the Socialist presidential frontrunner, whose political career is now in tatters, as a 'lynching' that had 'provoked horror and aroused disgust'.
'Public lynching': Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been unfairly treated according to some of his countrymen
The U.S. justice system, he said, was 'politicised' and the judge appeared to have been determined to 'make a Frenchman pay' by denying the head of the International Monetary Fund bail even though his lawyer had offered to post a $1 million bond.
Former Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou, who drafted that law, called the pre-trial publicity 'absolutely sickening.'
'The power of these images of a Dominique Strauss-Kahn who hasn't been allowed to shave, tired, and not dressed properly, all that offends human dignity,' she told Europe 1 radio.
Another respected former justice minister, Robert Badinter, said the IMF chief had been subjected to 'DEATH BY MEDIA.'
'Never forget it's not just judges that are elected (in New York), but prosecutors. And the chief of police is elected. And clearly, in public opinion, to exhibit a powerful rich man in the presence of a victim from a very poor background, electorally, it pays off.'
Globalpost reports that France takes presumed innocence seriously.
France takes presumed innocence seriously,
especially for someone of the IMF head's stature.
May 17, 2011 11:47
PARIS, France — As the French watched the man they thought would be their next president hauled off to Rikers Island past frenzied camera crews, shame turned to anger at America' s approach to justice.
“I found that image to be of unimaginable brutality, violence and cruelty,” Elisabeth Guigou, a former justice minister, told reporters. She reflected a broad national mood.
Many accept that Dominique Strauss-Kahn might be guilty of sex crimes. But France, which outlived the guillotine and the Napoleonic Code, takes presumed innocence seriously.
“This scene is commonplace in America,” reporter Gilles Bouleau told viewers, with thinly disguised scorn. “When you enter this infernal machine, you emerge in a piteous state even if you are completely innocent.”
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That brought a flurry of indignant comments on TF1' s website. “The images are shocking,” one said. “In France, an American would never have had such a fate.”
Jeffrey Fagan, a Columbia University law professor who lectures occasionally in France, said that showing defendants in a bad light is a time-honored ploy.
“Cuffing DSK and perp-walking him is more evidence against him,” he said. “It is typically American. Prosecutors visually convict people, shifting presumption of innocence to guilt. One loses one' s dignity upon arrest. In France, dignity remains at all costs.”
The idea of equality before the law in America is an “aspiration,” he said, ESSENTIALLY A MYTH. Strauss-Kahn is French, rich and white, accused of raping a black woman in a city that is 50 percent minority.
“This is a trophy for the prosecutors,” Fagan concluded. “It' s like shooting fish in a barrel.”
Americans with long experience in France see a clear difference in police behavior here.
During demonstrations, one soon learns to avoid the CRS, armed riot troops who can resemble Doberman pinschers in a bad mood. They sometimes herd people into vans. But police follow strict procedure to protect detained criminal suspects from cameras or public display. It's even illegal to show a photo of a suspect in handcuffs until he's convicted.
Reaction to court procedure grew bitterer still as the French watched online and on television what many considered to be a rush to judgment in American media. When the story first broke, the New York Daily News splashed Strauss-Kahn' s photo across its front page with a banner: “Le Perv.”
NBC' s Jeff Rossen was careful to add the qualifier "alleged" before each charge, and the network aired Christopher Dickey, Newsweek' s man in Paris, to add context.
But Rossen said evidence included DNA sampling although nothing had yet been determined by tests. More evidence, he said, was that Strauss-Kahn had left behind one of his mobile phones. Like many reporters, he suggested that Strauss-Kahn bolted from the hotel to Kennedy Airport and bought a ticket to Paris one step ahead of the law. Denying bail, Judge Melissa Jackson appeared to have the same impression.
In fact, as Dickey noted, Strauss-Kahn had booked the flight earlier for a scheduled meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and then a European Union conference in Brussels.
News coverage stressed colorful details, such as the $3,000 hotel suite and first-class travel. Whether this is extravagant for the International Monetary Fund director who oversees a trillion dollars is an intriguing question. But it is extraneous. On Monday, an IMF spokesman said Strauss-Kahn paid $525 for the room and had been upgraded to first class.
To many French, American reporters made too much of Strauss-Kahn' s reputation. Clearly, he pursues women. But, as Dickey noted on NBC, he is known as a seducer not a rapist.
One seasoned French journalist who trains young reporters in ethics described herself as stunned at how much Strauss-Kahn has been smeared before trial.
“If he is found guilty he must face whatever American justice prescribes,” she said, asking not to be named. “But when we see him being treated like a dog, we don' t like it.”
Telegraph reports that DSK' s ex-wife says New York sex attack 'unthinkable'.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn: second wife says New York
sex attack 'unthinkable'
By Henry Samuel, Paris 3:52PM BST 17 May 2011
As graphic details of his alleged attack on the 32-year old Sofitel hotel maid emerged, Brigitte Guillemette, whom he married in 1984, leapt to her ex-husband's defence.
"The facts related by the American police are not compatible with the man I know and with whom I lived for more than ten years," she said.
Camille, the pair's daughter —“ one of Mr Strauss-Khan four children —“ is a PhD student at Columbia University and met her father for lunch in a New York restaurant "minutes after his alleged assault".
Mrs Guillemette said that she did not deny her husband was a charmer. "But that doesn't mean to say he could have done what he is accused of doing. I don't think I've ever seen him lock a door. He's someone who is gentle.
Violence is not part of his temperament. He has many faults, but not that one." Referring to the lunch he had with Camille, she said: "Can you imagine that a father could do what they accuse him of and then go for lunch with his daughter a few minutes later?” [No, especially not in this situation
"It makes no sense. IT'S UNTHINKABLE AND IMPOSSIBLE," she added.
Regarding suggestions that her ex-husband was framed, Miss Guillemette declined to comment.
But she told Le Parisien newspaper: "Since his arrest, I note that the police have changed their version (of events) They first set the facts at around 1pm. Then they learned that wasn't possible as at that time Dominique was lunching with his daughter, so they situated the time at midday." She was also questioned about the intention of a 32-year old French author to press charges against Mr Strauss-Kahn for sexual assault and attempted rape over an alleged incident in 2002. Tristane Banon is Miss Guillemette's god-daughter and was long her daughter's best friend.
"I ask the question: why is a young woman deciding to file a complaint several years after the event, the day when a 25-year prison sentence is hanging over the man she accuses?," asked Miss Guillemette.
News of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest tweeted BEFORE IT HAD EVEN HAPPENED
Telegraph asks was it a stitch-up?
Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Was it a stitch-up?
Conspiracy theories that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the victim of a politically-motivated set-up gained ground after it emerged that the first person to break the news of his arrest was an activist in Nicolas Sarkozy' s UMP party.
By Our Foreign Staff 11:57AM BST 16 May 2011
Jonathan Pinet, a political science student, tweeted the news of Dominique Strauss-Kahn' s arrest BEFORE IT HAD EVEN HAPPENED, according to Le Post, a French newspaper.
Meanwhile the first person to re-tweet Mr Pinet was Arnaud Dassier, a spin doctor who had been previously involved in publicising the details of Mr Strauss-Kahn' s luxurious lifestyle.
The first website to break the news, meanwhile, was the French right-wing news blog, 24heuresactu.
Some have suggested Mr Strauss-Kahn could also have been stitched up by his rivals inside the International Monetary Fund, as well as by rivals within the French political establishment.
Mr Pinet immediately denied that he was part of a right-wing plot against Mr Strauss-Kahn, merely saying that he was told the news by a friend of his working at the Sofitel hotel.
Nevertheless, Mr Strauss-Kahn' s supporters seized on the news. “I am convinced it is an international conspiracy," said Michelle Sabban, a senior councillor for the greater Paris region and a Strauss-Kahn loyalist.
"It's the IMF they wanted to decapitate, not so much the Socialist primary candidate," she said. "It's not like him. Everyone knows that his weakness is seduction, women. That's how they got him."
And some of Mr Strauss-Kahn' s rivals also found it hard to believe the news.
“It is totally hallucinatory. If it is true, this would be a historic moment, but in the negative sense, for French political life," said Dominique Paille, a political rival to Strauss-Kahn on the center right, on BFM television. Still, he urged, "I hope that everyone respects the presumption of innocence. I cannot manage to believe this affair."
"We cannot rule out the thought of a trap," Henri de Raincourt, minister for overseas co-operation in President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, said in a broadcast interview.
"I refuse to have a personal opinion and say, 'Yes it was a trap,' or 'No, it wasn't a trap.' I don't know," he said.
"I note that this has happened just after the affair of the car and the suit in a short space of time," he added, referring to sniping at the socialist presidential hopeful for using a Porsche and wearing tailor-made clothes.
"I am not ruling anything out," Raincourt added. "If this turns out to have been a trap, let me tell you that it would not be to the credit of those who set it."
Francois Hollande, the former Socialist party chief, said: "To commit an act of such seriousness, this does not resemble the man I know."
Majority of French people believe
DSK was set up
France24reports that Strauss-Kahn was set up, French say.
Strauss-Kahn was set up, French say
Latest update: 18/05/2011
By Joseph BAMAT / SĂ©bastian SEIBT
In the immediate aftermath of Dominique Strauss-Kahn' s dramatic arrest, the majority of French people were inclined to believe that the managing director of the International Monetary Fund was the victim of a conspiracy, an opinion poll revealed on Wednesday.
The survey, conducted by French polling agency CSA after New York City police charged Strauss-Kahn with sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a hotel maid in a luxury hotel, found that 57 percent of people interviewed thought he was set up. Just 32 percent of people thought he was not the victim of a plot and a further 11 percent had no opinion.
My reaction: Whether or not the charges prove to be true (and I am
extremely skeptical), the treatment of the man believed to be the next
president of France is a sick jock. Those responcible for DSK “perp
walk” deserve to join him on Rikers Island.
1) This looks like the second time Dominique Strauss Kahn is going to become the victim of political hit job.
2) US coverage of the affair has been insanely dishonest and factually inaccurate.
3) The maid is lying about not knowing Dominique Strauss Kahn before entering his room. She knew his face and the fact that he was a French VIP (see below).
4) It is absolutely disgusting that Dominique Strauss Kahn was denied bail. Keeping him isolated from the world in solitary confinement prevents him from giving his side of the story.
MAID IS LYING: One example (out of dozens) of police/media dishonesty
New York Daily News reports that IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn identified in police line-up by maid accusing him of sexual assault.
IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn identified in
police line-up by maid accusing him of sexual assault
BY Alison Gendar, Simone Weichselbaum, Rocco Parascandola and John Lauinger
Sunday, May 15th 2011, 7:30 PM
The Frenchman who heads the International Monetary Fund was identified in a police lineup early Sunday night by the Manhattan maid who claims he sexually assaulted her, cop sources said.
His 32-year-old victim, described by a co-worker as a single mother of African descent, stared down the political star during a police lineup at the Manhattan office of the NYPD's Special Victims Unit.
New York Post reports that the maid had no idea who Strauss-Kahn was until a day or two after she was attacked.
Hotel maid reveals to brother that IMF chief did 'something
bad to me': report
May 17, 2011
The maid's lawyer said she feels “alone in the world” and is telling the truth.
Lawyer Jeffrey Shapiro said THE MAID HAD NO IDEA WHO STRAUSS-KAHN WAS UNTIL A DAY OR TWO AFTER SHE WAS ATTACKED.
Forbes reports that maid says SHE HAD NO IDEA THE MAN WAS A FAMOUS FRENCH POLITICIAN.
IMF head on suicide watch in New York City jail
By CHRIS HAWLEY , 05.18.11, 09:27 AM EDT
NEW YORK -- The maid came from one of the world's poorest countries to the U.S., working to support the teen daughter she raised alone. The penthouse suite at the Sofitel Hotel was just another room. She says SHE HAD NO IDEA THE MAN WAS A FAMOUS FRENCH POLITICIAN. She says he tried to rape her.
THE REALITY: MAID KNEW
WHO HE WAS BEFORE EVER ENTERING HIS ROOM
Le Figaro reports about Sofitel New York, a strange crime scene.
[TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH TO ENGLISH BY ME]
DSK : Sofitel New York, a strange crime scene
Par Renaud Girard
... Returning to our rooms, we find the door closed with a sign saying “cleaning in progress”. The cleaning lady, of Asian origin and wearing a uniform devoid of anything alluring, asks us whether she is bothering us. “Not at all!”
We then, without any stress, begin a conversation with this young lady, who is responsible for cleaning the 14 rooms on her floor and has never had any relationship with DSK' s alleged victim, her college among hundreds. Speaking plain English, she doesn' t know the IMF or DSK; She only speaks of the “VIP from the same country as you.” So how did she know that the person accused of rape was French? “Well, because HIS PHOTO WAS PLACED IN THE STAFF'S CHANGING ROOMS BEFORE HIS ARRIVAL AT THE HOTEL!” [in other words, the fact that she can identify him in a police line-up MEANS NOTHING] In a systematic manner, the hotel' s managements drew the staff' s attention in advance, before the arrival of a VIP, to clients deserving special care. So when she entered room 2806 at noon last Saturday, NAFISSATOU DIALLO KNEW, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, THAT SHE WAS TAKING CARE OF AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PERSON.
Conclusion: Based on the hostility and dishonesty displayed
by those trying to convict him (media, police, the judge, the victim, etc), I
am highly skeptical of the rape charges.
If DSK is released from jail (given bail), he will be able to defend himself against these rape charges and will likely end up the next president of France. So keeping DSK looked up at Rikers Island is an attempt to rig the next French presidential elections.