Sunday, May 15, 2011

IMF chief arrested, quizzed in alleged sex assault

Managing Director of the International Money Fund (IMF) Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York on May 14 and accused of a sexual attack on a hotel maid, The New York Times reported. -- REUTERS

NEW YORK - IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, widely expected to run for the French presidency next year, was detained on Saturday and quizzed over an alleged sexual assault on a New York hotel maid, police said.

Strauss-Kahn, a Socialist who had been leading French opinion polls for the 2012 elections, was escorted off an Air France flight just minutes before it was to take off from John F. Kennedy International Airport, officials said.

'We took him into custody and we handed him over to the New York City police department,' an official for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey told AFP on condition of anonymity. 'We did it at the request of NYPD.' Authorities were investigating an alleged attack on a maid at the Sofitel New York hotel earlier in the day, police said.

Strauss-Kahn, a flamboyant figure on the French political scene popularly known by his initials DSK, has not officially thrown his hat into the ring to challenge center-right President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential race.

But the 62-year-old former French finance minister had been widely expected to stand, and polls out earlier on Sunday before news of his arrest broke had put him narrowly ahead of the pack if he ran with 26 per cent of the vote.

NYPD spokesman Officer Michael DeBonis told AFP by phone late Saturday that Strauss-Kahn has 'been taken into custody. He's being questioned about an alleged sexual assault. He has not been charged.' 

It was believed he was being questioned at precinct five in Harlem, which is a special unit dealing with sexual harassment where about 30 reporters and TV crews quickly gathered late on Saturday. -- AFP

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