Saturday 21 January 2017

Strauss-Kahn's future as IMF chief hinges on bail hearing

Grand jury testimony may lead to indictment

Jon Swaine in New York

Published 19/05/2011 | 05:00

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and wife Anne Sinclair pictured in their apartment in Paris
Dominique Strauss-Kahn and wife Anne Sinclair pictured in their apartment in Paris

International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials said last night that the future of Dominique Strauss-Kahn hinges on a bail hearing scheduled for later today.

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They indicated that the hearing could spell the end of his leadership of the organisation.

Should a New York judge deny the IMF chief bail or even impose highly restrictive conditions on his freedom, the IMF's executive board would expect him to resign, the two senior IMF officials said.

If the judge did not, the board could then remove him on the grounds that he could not lead the IMF from a jail cell or far from its Washington headquarters.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the highly sensitive situation. Mr Strauss-Kahn is imprisoned in New York City on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel maid.

No action is foreseen before tomorrow's hearing.

Meanwhile, the hotel chambermaid who alleges she was sexually attacked by Dominique Strauss-Kahn lives in an apartment block used exclusively for people with HIV or AIDS.

The woman, who works at the Manhattan Sofitel, claims that on Saturday the IMF managing director locked her in his $3,000-a-night suite, attempted to rape her and forced her to perform a sex act on him.

The maid was due to testify last night before a grand jury, which is considering whether there is enough evidence to prosecute Mr Strauss-Kahn.

If it decides there is, the grand jury, which sits in secret, will issue an indictment that will form the basis of the prosecution in Mr Strauss-Kahn's trial.

The 32-year-old Guinean woman, who is not being named due to the nature of the alleged attack, has lived in an apartment in The Bronx, the northernmost borough of New York City, since January.

Community

The property, where she lives with her 15-year-old daughter, is rented out by the Harlem United Community Aids Centre, which provides services including housing to local HIV-positive people.

Typically, an adult in the household must be HIV-positive or have Aids to be eligible for one of the group's properties.

The maid lived in another Harlem United property from 2008 to this year.

Jeffrey Shapiro, the maid's lawyer, has said that she is a widow. She is the only adult registered at the property, to which she has not returned since the alleged attack last weekend.

A spokesman for Harlem United Community Aids Centre said: "We have no comment whatsoever" and declined to discuss the rules on who is eligible for the group's properties.

A spokesman for Mr Shapiro also declined to comment. An employee at Chaim Gross, the company that manages the building, said: "No one is available" and hung up the phone.

Mr Shapiro described the maid, who is staying in an undisclosed location, as a "simple woman, with little education", who survives from "pay cheque to pay cheque". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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