News / Europe

IMF Chief Denied Bail in Sexual Assault Case

IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn
IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Peter Fedynsky

A New York City Judge has denied bail to International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is in custody on charges of sexual assault against a hotel maid.  Strauss-Kahn has been determined a flight risk.

Assistant District Attorney John McConnell told the Manhattan Criminal Court the defendant faces multiple charges, including criminal sexual assault and attempted rape.  McConnell asked Judge Melissa Jackson to deny bail, saying Strauss-Kahn has the personal, political and financial resources to pay millions of dollars in bail and not return.  

McConnell said Strauss-Kahn has no ties to the United States or New York, noting also the absence of an extradition agreement with France that would help ensure his appearance for trial.

The defendant stood just a few meters away looking dejected, and dressed in the long dark trench coat he wore the previous day.  One of his defense attorneys, Benjamin Brafman, offered what he said was a generous $1 million bail package.  It included an agreement that Strauss-Kahn would stay with his daughter, currently a New York City resident, wear an electronic monitoring device, and surrender all of his travel documents.

Speaking to reporters after the proceeding, Brafman said the defense is disappointed by Judge Jackson’s decision.

“We do not believe he has any intention of ever fleeing the jurisdiction, his principal intention is to try to clear his name, and re-establish his good name," said Brafman.

The prosecution said forensic evidence is still being compiled against the IMF official.  Preliminary evidence, according to Assistant District Attorney McConnell includes a vivid and consistent account by the victim, identification of the defendant in a police lineup and a hotel surveillance tape that appears to show him leaving the hotel in a considerable hurry.

Brafman argued that Strauss-Kahn was late for a luncheon meeting before his planned departure from John F. Kennedy airport to France and subsequent meetings with European leaders.  He also said his client cooperated with hotel security officials and police because he has nothing to hide.

The defendant stepped into the courtroom twice.  The first time was for just a few minutes during a series of petty cases that are normally on the docket in the Manhattan criminal court.  They include public disorder, drug possession, and possession of stolen goods.  His actual hearing lasted nearly 30 minutes.  

Strauss-Kahn has been considered a leading Socialist Party candidate for the French presidency

The prosecution says he could face from five to 25 years in prison if convicted.

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