VIDEO Dominique Strauss-Kahn hotel surveillance videos shown on French TV
Published 09/12/2011 | 08:17
PREVIOUSLY unseen security camera footage of Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaving a New York hotel and the woman who claims he raped her just after the alleged event has been released onto the internet by French media.
BFM television says Thursday was first time the videos, filmed on May 14, have been broadcast publicly
The video, posted on the website of BFMTV, shows the former International Monetary Fund chief leaving the hotel lift and checking out of the Manhattan Sofitel at 12.27pm on the day of his arrest, May 14.
Hotel maid Nafissato Diallo claims he sexually assaulted her 20 minutes earlier.
New York prosecutors dropped the case against Mr Strauss-Kahn, who had been tipped to win next year’s French presidential election, after Miss Diallo was deemed an unreliable witness.
The 62-year-old has admitted that a sexual liaison took place, insisting, however, that it was “consensual but stupid”.
Contrary to police comments at the time of his arrest, Mr Strauss-Kahn appears calm as he pays the bill and not a man attempting to “flee” the premises. Some 45 minutes after she alleged she was assaulted, at 12.51pm, his accuser is seen in the lobby with a staff member and security employee Derek May, who phones an unknown person.
At 12.53pm, the hotel’s chief engineer Brian Yearwood is seen leaving the lift. He, Mr May and a third person are then seen in a corridor with Miss Diallo.
She shows no external signs of distress or shock, calmly sitting on a bench for eight minutes before the men decide to speak to her.
At 13.04pm, she then appears to act out what she said Mr Strauss-Kahn submitted her to with the help of a female employee for security chief, Adrian Branch, who is off camera.
She is left alone until 13.33pm when Mr Branch is then seen and heard calling police to inform them of “sexual assault” on one of the hotel “guests”.
Then Mr Yearwood and Mr May can be seen briefly celebrating in other images, with one lifting the other off the floor and doing a dance step.
American journalist Edward Jay Epstein, who had viewed the images previously, claimed the pair had enacted a “victory dance” lasting three minutes in an article that reignited claims Mr Strauss-Kahn had been set up. In fact, the celebrations lasted 13 seconds.
The hotel has said their euphoric outburst was unconnected with the alleged attack, that they “didn’t really remember what it was about” but that it could be related to a sporting victory. However, there were no events at that time.
Reacting to the video, Michel Taubmann, Mr Strauss-Kahn’s official biographer, said that it “proves that the official version of events was false”.
A spokesman for Accor, the group which owns Sofitel, told BFMTV: “The idea that these videos establish the implication of Accor in a plot is nonsense.”