Sarkozy's sleaze file on Strauss-Kahn
Published 25/05/2011 | 08:37
President Nicolas Sarkozy's regime keeps a cache of sleaze information on his rivals, including police details of an alleged incident in which Dominique Strauss-Kahn was caught with a prostitute, it has been claimed.
Mr Sarkozy's aides have long boasted that they had Mr Strauss-Kahn 'over a barrel' over several allegedly compromising sexual affairs, including police notes of him allegedly frequenting a Paris swingers club.
A police note written before the 2007 French presidential elections reportedly claims that Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, was "surprised in an unfortunate position in a car to the West of Paris in a hot spot for paid encounters during a routine (police) control". The "hot spot" is thought to be the Bois de Boulogne wood, a notorious pickup spot.
Citing three separate trusted sources, France's Le Monde newspaper claimed the note was passed on to Mr Sarkozy's entourage shortly before the presidential elections he eventually won.
Mr Sarkozy, it said, chose not to leak the note back in 2007 as Mr Strauss-Kahn was not seen as a serious threat to his presidential hopes, having been recently knocked out of Socialist primaries. The original was shredded.
But according to the report he chose to resurrect the information in recent weeks after polls suggested Mr Strauss-Kahn would trounce the incumbent should he run next year. The allegations were leaked to French media – including Le Monde – in a bid to smear Mr Strauss-Kahn.
However, the French press chose not publish the note, considering it a breach of Mr Strauss-Kahn's private life.
Neither the Paris police or the French interior ministry wishes to confirm or deny the existence of the note.
Ultimately there was no need for it, as Mr Strauss-Kahn was earlier this month arrested on charges of sexual assault and attempted rape of a hotel maid in a New York hotel. Yesterday, A French businesswoman claimed the alleged victim's family in her native Guinea had been offered a seven-figure settlement fee.
In another development Fox News, citing police sources, said Mr Strauss-Kahn allegedly shouted, "Do you know who I am?" as he assaulted the alleged victim.
He allegedly told her: "No, baby. Don't worry, you're not going to lose your job."
The leaked police note is reportedly just one of many in the possession of the Elysée, which has "all the most intimate secrets of politicians and will go as far as using the sleaze information at its disposal."
Mr Sarkozy's aides have long boasted that they had Mr Strauss-Kahn "over a barrel" over several allegedly compromising sexual affairs, including police notes of him allegedly frequenting a Paris swingers club.
Since his spell as interior minister starting in 2002, Mr Sarkozy has built up an inner circle of top police and intelligence chiefs.
The president is by no means the first in France to be closely informed of the private lives of his rivals and allies.
François Mitterrand famously bugged the phones of numerous rivals but also any actresses he was keen on.
Historically, such spying was done by the Renseignements Généraux, the domestic intelligence service created two centuries ago under Napoleon Bonaparte.
Notes belonging to its long-time chief Yves Bertrand, seized in 2008, included details of Jacques Chirac's face lift and an alleged affair between Mr Sarkozy and the wife of a current cabinet minister. Mr Bertrand told Le Monde yesterday the DSK affair vindicated his job.
"It proves it's legimitate to take an interest in the private life of politicians. Indeed, I sometimes received orders to conduct inquiries into whether a person slated for government had any 'weaknesses'," he said.
Mr Sarkozy has since merged the RG with France's counter-espionage service to form the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence.
Despite Mr Strauss-Kahn's arrest, the French Socialists would still beat Nicolas Sarkozy in the next presidential election, a new poll revealed yesterday.
The unpopular president would be trounced by either of the two emerging main opposition contenders, Francois Hollande and Martine Aubrey.