Dominique Strauss-Kahn 'tried to claim diplomatic immunity'
Dominique Strauss-Kahn immediately tried to claim diplomatic immunity when he was arrested over the alleged sexual attack of a hotel chambermaid, official police transcripts have revealed.
The former head of the International Monetary Fund told detectives who hauled him off an Air France flight to Paris that he wanted to “speak with someone at the French consulate”.
Court papers released by New York prosecutors gave transcripts of conversations Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, had with hotel staff and police after allegedly sexually assaulting the 32-year-old maid on May 14.
He twice called the Manhattan Sofitel to report he left behind a mobile phone, and hotel staff — coached by police — called back to ask for his location, which he gave.
At 4.40pm, detectives Terry Ng and Diwan Maharaj boarded his flight on the tarmac at JFK airport. “Do you have my cell phone?” he asked. “We would like you to come with us,” said Det Maharaj.
“What for?” asked Mr Strauss-Kahn. “Now is not the time or place to discuss,” the officer said.
Inside the airport, Sgt Raymond di Lena said: “NYPD needs to speak with you about an incident in the city at a hotel”. Mr Strauss-Kahn gave “no response”. Moved to a police station, he said: “I have diplomatic immunity. Can I speak with someone from the French consulate?”.
Mr Strauss-Kahn later relented when asked if he had some kind of diplomatic status, saying: “No, no, no. I am not trying to use that, I just want to know if I need a lawyer.”
Prosecutors intend to use scientific tests, photographs and electronic recordings as evidence, the papers said.
Mr Strauss-Kahn is on bail awaiting trial for seven charges, which he denies, and faces up to 25 years in jail if convicted.