23 Aug 11 Strauss-Kahn
Drama Ends With Short Final Scene, NYT, JOHN ELIGON
22 Aug 11 Recommendation for dismissal, Indictment No. 02326/2011, NYT, related court documents
4 Jul 11 The D.A. Did the Right Thing, NYT, JOE NOCERA
1 Jul 11 Strauss-Kahn Is Released as Case Teeters, NYT, JOHN ELIGON
1 Jul 11 After Justicia was mislead down the garden path, DSK regains his smile
30 Jun 11 Strauss-Kahn Case Seen as in Jeopardy, NYT, Jim Dwyer, William K. Rashbaum and John Eligon.
30 jun 11 Letter from NY District Attorney to DSK attorneys
14 Jun 11 From African Village to Center of Ordeal, NYT, ANNE BARNARD et al.
31 May 11 Russia Says IMF Chief Jailed For Discovering All US Gold Is Gone, Whatdoesitmean.com, Sorcha Faal (credible?)
23 May 11 When Institutions Rape Nations, truthout.org, Rebecca Solnit
22 May 11 New details of investigation of a hotel maid's charge, iwatch news, John Solomon (français)
19 avr 11 Geithner défend la dette américaine pour rassurer les créanciers, Reuters
19 May 11 Strauss-Kahn Is Indicted and Will Soon Leave Jail, NYT, JOHN ELIGON
19 May 11 I.M.F. Chief Quits in Wake of Charges of Sexual Attack, NYT, GERRY MULLANY
17 May 11 Atop I.M.F., Contradiction and Energy, NYT, LANDON THOMAS Jr. et al.
16 mai 11 La dette américaine atteint le plafond autorisé par les parlementaires, LEMONDE, AFP, Reuters
16 May 11 IMF chief Strauss-Kahn caught in "Honey Trap", Global Research, Mike Whitney (français)
14 May 11 I.M.F. Chief, Apprehended at Airport, Is Accused of Sexual Attack, NYT, AL BAKER et al.
Joke(r) Schon einmal wollte sich Dominique Strauss-Kahn gierig auf eine schwarze Frau stürzen. Ihr Begleiter konnte ihn gerade noch zurückhalten... Hier das Bild. Ach was. Das ist einfach ein offizielles Pressebild des IWF. Die Aufnahme wurde gemacht und veröffentlicht anlässlich des G-20-Gipfels in Pittsburgh im September 2009.
Chief, Apprehended at Airport, Is Accused of Sexual Attack
By AL BAKER and STEVEN ERLANGER
The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was taken off an Air France plane at Kennedy International Airport minutes before it was to depart for Paris on Saturday, in connection with the sexual attack of a maid at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, the authorities said.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was widely expected to become the Socialist candidate for the French presidency, was apprehended by detectives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the first-class section of the jetliner, and immediately turned over to detectives from the Midtown South Precinct, officials said.
The New York Police Department arrested Mr. Strauss-Kahn at 2:15 a.m. Sunday “on charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and an unlawful imprisonment in connection with a sexual assault on a 32-year-old chambermaid in the luxury suite of a Midtown Manhattan hotel yesterday” about 1 p.m., Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman, said.
Reached by telephone, Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer, said he would be representing Mr. Strauss-Kahn with William Taylor, a lawyer in Washington.
“We have not yet been able to meet with our client and we may have more to say tomorrow,” said Mr. Brafman, who said he had been contacted late Saturday night. He said Mr. Strauss-Kahn was being housed at the police department’s Special Victims Unit.
Early Sunday morning, Mr. Brafman said that his client “will plead not guilty.”
Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, had been expected to declare his candidacy soon, after three and a half years as the leader of the fund, which is based in Washington. He was considered by many to have done a good job in a period of intense global economic strain, when the institution itself had become vital to the smooth running of the world and the European economy.
His apprehension came at about 4:40 p.m., when two detectives of the Port Authority suddenly boarded Air France Flight 23, as the plane idled at the departure gate, said John P. L. Kelly, a spokesman for the agency.
“It was 10 minutes before its scheduled departure,” Mr. Kelly said. “They were just about to close the doors.”
Mr. Kelly said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn was traveling alone and that he was not handcuffed during the apprehension.
“He complied with the detectives’ directions,” Mr. Kelly said.
The Port Authority officers were acting on information from the Police Department, whose detectives had been investigating the assault of a female employee of Sofitel New York, at 45 West 44th Street, near Times Square. Working quickly, the city detectives learned he had boarded a flight at Kennedy Airport to leave the country.
Though Mr. Strauss-Kahn received generally high marks for his stewardship of the fund, his reputation was tarnished in 2008 by an affair with a Hungarian economist who was a subordinate there. The fund decided to stand by him despite concluding that he had shown poor judgment in the affair. Mr. Strauss-Kahn issued an apology to I.M.F. employees and to his wife, Anne Sinclair, an American-born French journalist whom he married in 1991.
In his statement then, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said, “I am grateful that the board has confirmed that there was no abuse of authority on my part, but I accept that this incident represents a serious error of judgment.” The economist, Piroska Nagy, left the fund as part of a buyout of nearly 600 employees instituted by Mr. Strauss-Kahn to cut costs.
In the New York case, Mr. Browne said that it was about 1 p.m. on Saturday when the maid, a 32-year-old woman, entered Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s suite — Room 2806 — believing it was unoccupied. Mr. Browne said that the suite, which cost $3,000 a night, had a foyer, a conference room, a living room and a bedroom, and that Mr. Strauss-Khan had checked in on Friday.
As she was in the foyer, “he came out of the bathroom, fully naked, and attempted to sexually assault her,” Mr. Browne said, adding, “He grabs her, according to her account, and pulls her into the bedroom and onto the bed.” He locked the door to the suite, Mr. Browne said.
“She fights him off, and he then drags her down the hallway to the bathroom, where he sexually assaults her a second time,” Mr. Browne added.
At some point during the assault, the woman broke free, Mr. Browne said, and “she fled, reported it to other hotel personnel, who called 911.” He added, “When the police arrived, he was not there.” Mr. Browne said Mr. Strauss-Kahn appeared to have left in a hurry. In the room, investigators found his cellphone, which he had left behind, and one law enforcement official said that the investigation uncovered forensic evidence that would contain DNA.
Mr. Browne added, “We learned that he was on an Air France plane,” and the plane was held at the gate, where Mr. Strauss-Kahn was taken into custody. Later Saturday night, Mr. Browne said Mr. Strauss-Kahn was in a police holding cell.
Mr. Browne said the city’s Emergency Medical Service took the maid to Roosevelt Hospital for what Mr. Browne described as treatment for “minor injuries.”
No matter the outcome of Saturday’s episode, it will most likely throw the French political world into turmoil and the Socialist Party into an embarrassed confusion.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a leading member of the party, has been considered the front-runner for the next presidential election in France in May 2012. Opinion polls have shown him to be the Socialists’ most popular candidate and running well ahead of the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, who leads the center-right party.
France has been waiting for Mr. Strauss-Kahn to decide whether to run for his party’s nomination in a series of primaries, which would mean giving up his post at the fund.
The view in France was that if Mr. Strauss-Kahn wanted to run, he would have to make his intentions clear early this summer, and most politicians and analysts have been predicting that he would not be able to resist the chance to run the country.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn contested for the nomination five years ago, losing to Ségolène Royal, who ultimately lost a second-round runoff to Mr. Sarkozy. Mr. Sarkozy then arranged for Mr. Strauss-Kahn to get the I.M.F. job, partly to remove a popular rival from France’s political landscape.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn was the French minister of economy under the Socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin, from 1997 to 1999, and he has also been a professor of economics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies. In 1995, he was elected mayor of Sarcelles, a poor suburb of Paris.
The couple are known to enjoy the finer things in life, and Mr. Strauss-Kahn has sometimes been attacked for being a “caviar leftist.” Recently Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his wife were photographed entering an expensive Porsche in Paris belonging to one of their friends. The image of a Socialist with Porsche tastes was quickly picked up by the news media, especially the newspapers that generally support Mr. Sarkozy.
William K. Rashbaum and Colin Moynihan contributed reporting.
chief Strauss-Kahn caught in "Honey Trap"
By Mike Whitney
I have no way of knowing whether the 32-year-old maid who claims she was attacked and forced to perform oral sex on IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is telling the truth or not. I'll leave that to the braying hounds in the media who have already assumed the role of judge, jury and Lord High Executioner. But I will say, the whole matter smells rather fishy, just like the Eliot Spitzer story smelled fishy. Spitzer, you may recall, was Wall Street's biggest adversary and a likely candidate to head the SEC, a position at which he would have excelled. In fact, there's no doubt in my mind that if Spitzer had been appointed to lead the SEC, most of the top investment bankers on Wall Street would presently be making license plates and rope-soled shoes at the federal penitentiary. So, there was plenty of reason to shadow Spitzer's every move and see what bit of dirt could be dug up on him. As it turns out, the ex-Governor of New York made it easy for his enemies by engaging a high-priced hooker named Ashley Dupre for sex at the Mayflower Hotel. When the news broke, the media descended on Spitzer like a swarm of locusts poring over every salacious detail with the ebullient fervor of a randy 6th-grader. Meanwhile, the crooks on Wall Street were able to breathe a sigh of relief and get back to doing what they do best; fleecing investors and cheating people out of the life savings.Strauss-Kahn had enemies in high places, too, which is why this whole matter stinks to high-Heaven. First of all, Strauss-Kahn was the likely candidate of the French Socialist Party who would have faced Sarkozy in the upcoming presidential elections. The IMF chief clearly had a leg-up on Sarkozy who has been battered by a number of personal scandals and plunging approval ratings.
But if Strauss-Kahn was set up, then it was probably by members of the western bank coalition, that shadowy group of self-serving swine whose policies have kept the greater body of humanity in varying state of poverty and desperation for the last two centuries. Strauss-Kahn had recently broke-free from the "party line" and was changing the direction of the IMF. His road to Damascus conversion was championed by progressive economist Joesph Stiglitz in a recent article titled "The IMF's Switch in Time". Here's an excerpt:
"The annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund was notable in marking the Fund’s effort to distance itself from its own long-standing tenets on capital controls and labor-market flexibility. It appears that a new IMF has gradually, and cautiously, emerged under the leadership of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.So, Strauss-Kahn was trying to move the bank in a more positive direction, a direction that didn't require that countries leave their economies open to the ravages of foreign capital that moves in swiftly--pushing up prices and creating bubbles--and departs just as fast, leaving behind the scourge of high unemployment, plunging demand, hobbled industries, and deep recession.
Slightly more than 13 years earlier, at the IMF’s Hong Kong meeting in 1997, the Fund had attempted to amend its charter in order to gain more leeway to push countries towards capital-market liberalization. The timing could not have been worse: the East Asia crisis was just brewing – a crisis that was largely the result of capital-market liberalization in a region that, given its high savings rate, had no need for it.
That push had been advocated by Western financial markets – and the Western finance ministries that serve them so loyally. Financial deregulation in the United States was a prime cause of the global crisis that erupted in 2008, and financial and capital-market liberalization elsewhere helped spread that “made in the USA” trauma around the world....The crisis showed that free and unfettered markets are neither efficient nor stable." ("The IMF's Switch in Time", Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate)
Strauss-Kahn had set out on a "kinder and gentler" path, one that would not force foreign leaders to privatize their state-owned industries or crush their labor unions. Naturally, his actions were not warmly received by the bankers and corporatists who look to the IMF to provide legitimacy to their ongoing plunder of the rest of the world. These are the people who think that the current policies are "just fine" because they produce the results they're looking for, which is bigger profits for themselves and deeper poverty for everyone else.
Here's Stiglitz again, this time imparting the "kiss of death" to his friend Strauss-Kahn:
"Strauss-Kahn is proving himself a sagacious leader of the IMF.... As Strauss-Kahn concluded in his speech to the Brookings Institution shortly before the Fund’s recent meeting: “Ultimately, employment and equity are building blocks of economic stability and prosperity, of political stability and peace. This goes to the heart of the IMF’s mandate. It must be placed at the heart of the policy agenda.”Good luck with that.
Right. So, now the IMF is going to be an agent for the redistribution of wealth.... (for) "strengthening collective bargaining, restructuring mortgages, restructuring tax and spending policies to stimulate the economy now through long-term investments, and implementing social policies that ensure opportunity for all"? (according to Stiglitz)
Can you imagine how much this kind of talk pisses off the Big Money guys? How long do you think they'd put up with this claptrap before they decided that Strauss-Kahn needed to take a permanent vacation?
Not long, I'd wager.
Check this out from World Campaign and judge for yourself whether Strauss-Kahn had become a "liability" that had to be eliminated so the business of extracting wealth from the poorest people on earth could continue apace:
"For decades, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been associated among anti-poverty, hunger and development activists as the poster child of everything wrong with the rich world's fiscal management of the rest of the world, particularly of poor nations, with its seemingly one-dimensional focus on belt-tightening fiscal policies as the price of its loans, and a trickle-down economic philosophy that has helped traditional wealthy elites maintain the status quo while the majority stayed poor and powerless. With a world increasingly in revolution because of such realities, and after the global financial crisis in the wake of regulatory and other policies that had worked after the Great Depression being largely abandoned, IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has made nothing less than stunning observations about how the IMF and the world need to change policies.Repeat: "...a fundamental rethinking of economic theory".... (a greater) "distribution of income"...(more) "regulation of financial companies", "central banks need to do more to prevent lending and asset prices from expanding too fast".
In an article today in the Washington Post, Howard Schneider writes that after the 2008 crash led toward regulation again of financial companies and government involvement in the economy, for Strauss-Khan "the job is only half done, as he has been leading the fund through a fundamental rethinking of its economic theory. In recent remarks, he has provided a broad summary of the conclusions: State regulation of markets needs to be more extensive; global policies need to create a more even distribution of income; central banks need to do more to prevent lending and asset prices from expanding too fast. 'The pendulum will swing from the market to the state,' Strauss-Kahn said in an address at George Washington University last week. 'Globalization has delivered a lot .?.?. but it also has a dark side, a large and growing chasm between the rich and the poor. Clearly we need a new form of globalization' to prevent the 'invisible hand' of loosely regulated markets from becoming 'an invisible fist.'" (http://wcampaign.org/issue.php?mid=625&v=y )
Are you kidding me? Read that passage again and I think you'll agree with me that Strauss-Kahn had signed his own death warrant.
There's not going to be any revolution at the IMF. That's baloney. The institution was created with the clear intention of ripping people off and it's done an impressive job in that regard. There's not going to be any change of policy either. Why would there be? Have the bankers and corporate bilge-rats suddenly grown a conscience and decided to lend a helping hand to long-suffering humanity? Get real.
Strauss-Kahn broke ranks and ventured into no man's land. That's why he was set up and then crushed like a bug.
(Note: Strauss-Kahn has been replaced by the IMF's number 2 guy, John Lipsky, former Vice Chairman of the JPMorgan Investment Bank. How's that for "change you can believe in"?)
I.M.F., Contradiction and Energy
By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and STEVEN ERLANGER
Artful politician that he is, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has a keen sense for not just his strengths but also his potential weaknesses — though few would be quite as blunt in saying so.
Considered the Socialist party’s leading candidate for president of France, Mr. Strauss-Kahn identified three threats to his aspirations in an interview with the newspaper Libération, held on April 28 but published only this week. “Money, women and my Jewishness,” he said. “Yes, I like women,” he went on. “So what?”
Mr. Strauss-Kahn added, “For years they’ve been talking about photos of giant orgies, but I’ve never seen anything come out.”
Today, Mr. Strauss-Kahn sits in a jail cell on Rikers Island in New York, his reputation — and any political ambitions — perhaps irreparably tarnished by his arrest on charges of attempted rape of a hotel maid in Manhattan last weekend.
It is a humbling comedown for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, whose rise on the world stage has been marked by contradictions.
As managing director of the International Monetary Fund in Washington since late 2007, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has returned the agency to relevance by helping engineer a $1 trillion bailout for Europe — but only after an initial humiliation when he was reprimanded for a brief affair in 2008 with a subordinate.
A prominent Socialist, he has held powerful positions in previous French governments despite his wealth, lavish lifestyle and his reputation as a womanizer.
A man with an impressive intellect, great charm and restless energy, his flaws have been accepted because of his accomplishments. “Even the chatter about women was discounted enormously by everyone around him,” said Steven C. Clemons, director of the American Strategy program at the New America Foundation who first met Mr. Strauss-Kahn in 1998 and was impressed by his strong personality.
“I don’t think there was a conspiracy of silence,” Mr. Clemons said. “The discussion I always heard about him was he’s one of the titans, that he’s such an extraordinarily different person, that rules don’t apply to him in the same way.”
One former I.M.F. official said that, had Mr. Strauss-Kahn been a less senior person, he might been fired or at least “sent to Siberia” because of the affair with his underling. He survived an investigation, in part, this person said, because the culture at the I.M.F. dictated “no rules” for the managing director and because there was little appetite to rid the agency of a charismatic and effective leader when an international financial crisis looming.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn arrived at the I.M.F. at what would be an opportune time for him and the agency, which had become an international organization with little clout since the Southeast Asia financial crisis in the mid 1990s. A former finance minister for France, he had a deep knowledge of international economics and was on a first-name basis with most of Europe’s top leadership.
He played a pivotal role as Europe’s debt crisis deepened last May, and leaders were deadlocked over what to do. In midnight phone calls, Mr. Strauss-Kahn pressed them to take action. Quickly, he urged, before things got worse. His insistence helped overcome their hesitance, and they agreed to a set up a $1 trillion rescue package to help Greece and other troubled countries, with the I.M.F. contributing to the bailout fund. And as countries like Germany pushed for harder austerity terms, he was vocal in saying that could backfire by slowing economic growth too much — which seems to be the case in Greece today.
“The only real strength of the I.M.F. is the ruthlessness of truth-telling,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn said at the time.
“Early on, the Europeans were in complete denial. I think his main accomplishment will go down as persuading them that they had to deal with Greece before it was too late. And he did that not by bullying them, not by banging the table, but much more by coaxing and persuading them,” said Simon Johnson, who was the I.M.F.’s chief economist from March 2007 to August 2008.
It was a seminal triumph for the I.M.F. and a moment to savor for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who was already winning plaudits after the inauspicious start resulting from the affair.
He had a reputation as a skilled, hands-on and tough-minded manager who did not shy from making tough decisions. He cut the I.M.F.’s staff by 400 to reduce costs. But he still managed to command the loyalty of his staff, by engaging them on their own terms, and by delving into the details of their highly technical research, according to several current and former fund employees. Traveling constantly, Mr. Strauss-Kahn is known to carry two BlackBerrys with him — one encrypted and the other not — to stay in constant touch. Those on the receiving end say his messages often come adorned with two smiley faces.
“For a guy who was so flamboyant, he found a way to get things done, to save the institution by working behind the scenes,” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “He is effective at maneuvering in very, very high circles — which is really not at all an easy thing to do.”
Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his third wife, the American-born French journalist Anne Sinclair, have kept a surprisingly low profile in Washington, despite their prominence in France.
Ms. Sinclair, who inherited a fortune from her grandfather, an art merchant who had exclusive contracts with Matisse and Picasso, was a famous television interviewer in France, a kind of Barbara Walters, before moving to Washington with Mr. Strauss-Kahn.
They live in a 5-bedroom, 5-bath brick home in fashionable Georgetown; the house, bought in 2007 for $4 million, is in her name, real estate records show. They own two apartments in France, one that cost 4 million euros ($5.7 million) that was bought with cash, and a penthouse bought by Ms. Sinclair in 1990 for 2.5 million euros ($3.5 million), the year before they married. They also own a century riad, or private house, in Marrakesh, Morocco, bought for 500,000 euros ($706,000) in 2000.
The couple’s wealth enabled them to live well beyond his I.M.F. salary of about $442,000 — tax-free, as are salaries for many employees at international agencies — and an expense allowance of $79,120, according to the 2010 I.M.F. annual report. His marriage to Ms. Sinclair and their lifestyle have led to Mr. Strauss-Kahn being called a caviar socialist, a term used in France, an image that was reinforced recently with the publication of a photo of him stepping into a Porsche in Paris.
For all their connections, the couple does not often turn up at A-list parties in Washington or mingle with the city’s political elite. “I’ve never met them, I don’t know anything about them and I can’t find anybody who has met them,” said Sally Quinn, the Georgetown doyenne and wife of the former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee. “It’s weird; we’ve always known the head of the I.M.F. before.”
Mr. Strauss-Kahn has managed to rise to the corridors of power in France even though he did not graduate from the elite Ecole Nationale d’Administration — he failed the entrance examination — though he later taught there after graduating from another French university. He met his first wife in high school in Monaco and married her when he was 18. They had three children before divorcing. In 1986, he married his second wife, who had given birth to their only child a year earlier. He and Ms. Sinclair have no children together.
Ms. Sinclair has supported Mr. Strauss-Kahn through all his reported indiscretions since their marriage in 1991. Tristane Banon, a journalist and writer, publicly claimed in 2007 that Mr. Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during an interview in 2002, when she was 22. Aurélie Filipetti, a respected Socialist parliamentarian in France, said in 2008 that she had been groped by Mr. Strauss-Kahn and would “forever make sure” she was never “alone in a room with him.”
In their 2006 book “Sexus Politicus” on the sexual behavior of politicians, the French journalists Christophe Deloire and Christophe Dubois devoted an entire chapter to Mr. Strauss-Kahn under the heading, “The DSK Affair.” They cite the case of a young journalist who tells the authors she had met Mr. Strauss-Kahn when she was researching a book on the professional failure of leaders. “He was so forward in his manner and inappropriate that she was on the point of lodging a complaint,” they wrote. They added that “his art of seduction which can reach obsessiveness has no equal besides his intellect.”
After Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s brief affair with a Hungarian economist at the I.M.F. in early 2008 came to light, he was allowed to stay after an investigation found that he had not abused the power of his office. Still, he was chastised for inappropriate behavior and apologized.
The I.M.F. maintains a more permissive stance toward sexual relationships between supervisors and subordinates than other multinational organizations. Its ethics policy states that such relationships “do not, in themselves, constitute harassment.” The World Bank, by contrast, says such a relationship is “a de facto conflict of interest.”
When — even if — Mr. Strauss-Kahn will ever return to his expansive high-ceilinged office on the 12th floor of the I.M.F. building in Washington is not clear. The office has a reception area, a comfortable couch in a sitting area, a conference room and a bathroom. “It exuded power,” said one former IMF official.
All of which is a far remove from his cell in Rikers Island, where Mr. Strauss-Kahn has been ordered to stay pending trial. His lawyers are fighting for his release on the $1 million bail posted by his wife, arguing that he suffers from sleep apnea and that he should not be considered a flight risk.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Binyamin Appelbaum and Graham Bowley contributed reporting.
Chief Quits in Wake of Charges of Sexual Attack
By GERRY MULLANY
Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned Wednesday as head of the International Monetary Fund after explosive accusations that he had sexually attacked a housekeeper in a Midtown Manhattan hotel room.
“It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of managing director of the I.M.F.,” he said in a statement dated Wednesday and released early Thursday by the I.M.F. “I think at this time first of my wife — whom I love more than anything — of my children, of my family, of my friends.”
His resignation comes four days after Mr. Strauss-Kahn was taken off an Air France plane at Kennedy International Airport and arrested in connection with the accusations, and a day after Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, called for his resignation.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, had been expected to declare his candidacy for the French presidency soon. He was seen as one of the candidates most likely to defeat President Nicolas Sarkozy. In issuing his resignation, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said, “I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me.”
News of the arrest produced an earthquake of shock, outrage, disbelief and embarrassment throughout France.
Though Mr. Strauss-Kahn received generally high marks for his stewardship of the bank, his reputation was tarnished in 2008 by an affair with a Hungarian economist who was a subordinate there. The fund decided to stand by him despite concluding that he had shown poor judgment. He issued an apology to employees at the bank and his wife, Anne Sinclair, an American-born French journalist. French media quickly announced Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s resignation and underscored that he was leaving to focus on proving his innocence. Commentators said it was unusual for Mr. Strauss-Kahn to use personal language, including references to his wife, family and colleagues at the I.M.F.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s extramarital affairs have long been considered an open secret. But the legal charges against him — which include attempted rape, forced oral sex and an effort to sequester another person against her will — are of an entirely different magnitude, even in France and elsewhere in continental Europe, where voters have generally shown more lenience than Americans toward the sexual behavior of prominent politicians, most notably the escapades of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s resignation sets off the jockeying for his replacement. The French finance minister, Christine Lagarde, is considered a leading candidate to succeed Mr. Strauss-Kahn, her friend and colleague. Her straight talk has helped burnish Ms. Lagarde’s reputation as one of Europe’s most influential ambassadors in the world of international finance.
Her main competition, analysts say, is Kemal Dervis, a former finance minister of Turkey. Mr. Dervis is credited with rescuing the Turkish economy after it was hit by a devastating financial crisis in 2001, in part by securing a multibillion-dollar loan from the I.M.F. Before that, Mr. Dervis worked at the World Bank for 24 years.
In the meantime, the I.M.F. said in its statement Wednesday night that John Lipsky would remain as acting managing director. Mr. Lipsky can continue as interim leader until a new chief is appointed. He had already announced plans to leave the agency in August. Normally, a successor is voted by the agency’s 24-member executive board, with large financial contributors like the United States, Japan and China getting a bigger percentage of voting rights. It was not immediately clear when the board would start to consider candidates, whom member countries must nominate.
Europeans want to keep one of their own in a post they have occupied since the I.M.F was created after World War II. But the world’s fast-growing emerging nations say their time has come to run a big institution like the I.M.F., given their growing global economic might.
While at the helm of the I.M.F., Mr. Strauss-Kahn, an economist and politician, had used the European debt crisis to seize, somewhat audaciously, a new and prominent role for the world body. Trying to shed its old image as a hidebound policy task master, the fund refashioned itself as the investment bank of multilateral institutions — doing whatever it took to get the deal done.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn was a leading member of France’s Socialist Party when he was chosen by the newly elected Mr. Sarkozy, a conservative, to be the head of the fund, a job that has traditionally been given to a European.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arrest on Saturday came 10 minutes before his plane was due to depart, at about 4:40 p.m., when two detectives of the Port Authority suddenly boarded Air France Flight 23, as the plane idled at the departure gate.
The police had been called to the hotel about 1:30 p.m., but when they arrived, Mr. Strauss-Kahn had already checked out. At some point, Mr. Strauss-Kahn called the hotel and said that his cellphone was missing. Police detectives then coached hotel employees to tell him, falsely, that they had the telephone, according to a law enforcement official. Mr. Strauss-Kahn said he was at Kennedy Airport and about to get on a plane.
Suspicions are widespread in France that Mr. Strauss Kahn may have been set up. On Wednesday, a poll conducted by CSA showed that 57 percent of people surveyed think he was “the victim of a plot.” Seventy percent of respondents from his Socialist Party also agree with the theory.
Still, as Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer prepared to renew efforts obtain his release on bail, France was quickly recalculating the impact on the political landscape.
As the country heads into a presidential election next year, those questioned by CSA believe Mr. Sarkozy has the most to gain from Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s downfall, followed by the far-right National Front candidate, Marine Le Pen, and François Holland, the current Socialist front-runner.
Ms. Le Pen wasted little time turning the spotlight back on Mr. Sarkozy. “I wonder if Mr. Sarkozy is considering the responsibility he bears for having sent Dominique Strauss-Kahn to the I.M.F.,” she said after news of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s resignation emerged. She said that France needed to learn a lesson from his arrest, and ensure that “rich and poor are treated with an equal footing.”
Lori Moore contributed reporting to this article from New York, and Liz Alderman from Paris.
Is Indicted and Will Soon Leave Jail
By JOHN ELIGON
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, at his bail hearing Thursday in Manhattan - Pool photo by Richard Drew
A judge granted bail on Thursday to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, allowing him to be freed from Rikers Island to stay in a Manhattan apartment while his sexual assault case is pending.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers said in court that their client would put up $1 million cash bail and wear an ankle monitor. They also said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would remain under 24-hour home confinement in the apartment recently rented by his wife, with an armed guard posted outside — presumably to ensure he stays inside. He also submitted a waiver of extradition, should the American authorities need to get him back from France.
The judge, Michael J. Obus of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, agreed to those conditions, also requiring $5 million bond to be posted. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was not expected to be released into home confinement until Friday, after the judge made the bail agreement final.
After setting Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s bail conditions, Justice Obus issued a stern warning.
“Mr. Strauss-Kahn, I assume you’re going to be posting this in due course,” he said. “You will be subject to and you will have the benefit of the protection of the criminal court system, the criminal justice system of this state and this country. I expect you will be here.”
If there is the “slightest problem with your compliance,” Justice Obus added, he could change the conditions of the bail and even withdraw it.
Before the judge gave his decision, prosecutors announced that a grand jury had indicted Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who has been in protective custody on Rikers Island since Monday, on charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel housekeeper at the Sofitel New York.
The charges included several first-degree felony counts, including committing a criminal sex act, attempted rape and sexual abuse; the most serious charges carry 25-year prison terms.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn is due back in court on June 6.
The courtroom fell silent as Mr. Strauss-Kahn was brought in at about 2:30 p.m., looking far better than he had in his previous court appearance. He wore a gray suit with a baby blue shirt and was clean-shaven. He gave a tight-lipped grin and nod to his wife, Anne Sinclair, and daughter, Camille Strauss-Kahn, who were sitting in the front row.
Ms. Sinclair walked into the courtroom clutching the hand of Mr. Strauss-Kahn's daughter. She wore a gray dress with a dark blazer.
In a sign, perhaps, of the seriousness with which prosecutors are treating the case, Artie McConnell, the assistant district attorney assigned to it, was accompanied by Daniel R. Alonso, the chief assistant district attorney, and Lisa Friel, the chief of the office’s sex crimes unit.
Mr. McConnell affirmed the prosecution’s objection to bail being set. As he had argued during the Criminal Court arraignment on Monday, he said that the evidence against Mr. Strauss-Kahn was compelling and that he had the means to flee.
“He has the stature and the resources not to be a fugitive on the run,” Mr. McConnell said, but to “live a life of ease and comfort in parts of the world that are beyond” the jurisdiction of the court and the United States.
Suggesting that the defendant acted in a manner consistent with someone who had just committed a crime, Mr. McConnell said Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s exit from the hotel was “unusually hasty.”
The prosecutor added that Mr. Strauss-Kahn had “shown a propensity for impulsive criminal conduct.” Mr. Strauss-Kahn gently shook his head in response.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers argued that the proposed bail package was comprehensive enough to allow his release from Rikers. One of his lawyers, William W. Taylor III, said the defense had hired a security team that would provide video monitoring, an ankle bracelet to monitor his movements and an armed guard at the entrance and exit of the building.
“There is really nothing more restrictive that can be accomplished along these lines,” Mr. Taylor said in court, adding that his client was “an honorable man.”
Mr. Taylor also criticized the district attorney’s office, saying it had been unreasonable in bail negotiations. They have been resistant, he said, even though the security team was one that Mr. Alonso, the chief assistant district attorney, had recommended.
The prosecution’s position “simply has been, ‘No, no, no,’ ” Mr. Taylor said. “Not that any one of these is inadequate or insufficient,” he continued. “It’s simply no.”
Justice Obus’s move came after Melissa Jackson, the chief judge of Manhattan Criminal Court, denied him bail on Monday, agreeing with prosecutors that Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a citizen of France who was thought to be the leading contender to become that country’s next president, presented too great a flight risk.
Benjamin Brafman, who also represents Mr. Strauss-Kahn but was in Israel on a family matter, said Thursday that he was “delighted with the court’s decision.” “It was the only fair thing to do,” he said via e-mail.
The defense has hired Stroz Friedberg, a respected investigative consulting firm that focuses primarily on computer forensics and cybercrime investigations, to handle the security measures for Mr. Strauss-Kahn. The firm provided similar monitoring for Bernard L. Madoff.
Justice Obus said he would leave it up to Stroz Friedberg to determine how many people had to stand guard at Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s apartment, how many visitors he could have and the limited circumstances under which he could leave the apartment.
The decision on Thursday was a victory for the defense, which made the unusual and risky move of filing a new application on Wednesday, before Mr. Strauss-Kahn knew whether he was to be indicted. Typically, if a defendant is held without bail after appearing in Criminal Court, that person’s lawyer waits until after an indictment, when all the charges are clear, to ask for new bail.
But it spoke to the urgency with which Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers wanted him released after images circulated of him in handcuffs, looking unshaven, glum and tormented. The French have expressed dismay over those images.
Getting Mr. Strauss-Kahn released will help the defense portray an image of him on their own terms — as a clean-cut businessman. That image is at odds with the portrait that prosecutors have tried to depict.
Law enforcement officials have said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn attacked the housekeeper when she came in to clean his luxury suite at the Sofitel. They have said he came out of the bathroom naked while the woman was inside the room cleaning and restrained her. “He sexually assaulted her and attempted to forcibly rape her,” and when that failed, he forced her to perform oral sex, Mr. McConnell said in court on Monday.
Mr. McConnell said preliminary indications were that forensic evidence was consistent with a detailed account of the attack that the woman gave. But a person briefed on the case has said that the defense may argue that any sexual encounter was consensual.
Colin Moynihan and William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting.
details of investigation of a hotel maid's charge
that she was sexually assaulted by IMF chief
By John Solomon
The hotel maid who alleged she was sexually assaulted by the former head of the International Monetary Fund was found by a supervisor in a hallway after she escaped from his luxury suite, according to two people familiar with the investigation. Three members of the Sofitel hotel staff heard her story and then took her to the hotel’s security office.
They described her as traumatized, having difficulty speaking and concerned about losing her job if she pressed charges. The hotel security chief found her story credible and called police.
The maid also repeatedly spit on the walls and floor — witnessed by hotel colleagues — as she described being forced to commit oral sexual acts on Strauss-Kahn. Her saliva is being tested for DNA and could become crucial evidence in the case, the sources said.
These sources, who spoke only condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, provided the first detailed account of the hour-long window between the alleged attack and when police were summoned. What transpired in that hour is certain to be questioned by Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers as criminal charges move forward.
The sources asserted that the steps taken during that hour helped make the criminal case and apprehend the suspect before he fled the country. In that hour, Sofitel hotel staff calmed the maid, got her to overcome her difficulty describing what happened, did a thorough interview, and got police on the scene for forensic testing.
The sources said the maid, described as a West African immigrant in her 30s, had normally been assigned to clean a different floor in the hotel but recently volunteered to take the floor of Strauss-Kahn's luxury suite after a colleague went on leave.
The maid reported she entered Strauss-Kahn's room shortly before noon on Saturday, May 14, after a room-service employee assured her the suite was empty. She left the door open as she began cleaning.
She said she was startled when Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from a bathroom. She said she apologized to him and turned away from him, but the ex-IMF chief grabbed her from behind and touched her breasts, remarking she was beautiful.
The woman alleged Strauss-Kahn slammed the door to the suite and engaged the indoor latch to lock it, trapping her inside. She alleged that he dragged her deeper inside the suite, and when she slipped trying to get away, he forced her head down to perform oral sex acts.
The woman eventually escaped the room and hid in a hallway just outside his $3,000-a-night VIP suite, as Strauss-Kahn hurriedly left the suite and went downstairs to check out.
A cleaning supervisor for the floor found the traumatized maid shortly before 12:30 p.m. as she stood near a closet outside the suite. The maid said she hid in a hallway until Strauss-Kahn left, and the supervisor emerged from a service elevator a few moments later for a normal floor check. The supervisor tried to calm the maid and ascertain what happened, taking her back to Strauss-Kahn's suite where she became visibly upset. The maid expressed concern during at least one of the conversations with her supervisors that she'd lose her job because she had walked in on a hotel guest, the sources said.
The floor supervisor reported the maid had nausea and was trembling. As soon as the supervisor ascertained an attack had occurred, she called one of her bosses in housecleaning, who responded to an in-house call and came to the floor, the sources said.
When the more senior housekeeping supervisor got enough details from the maid to believe a crime had been committed, she called a hotel security officer to the room. The security officer interrogated the maid, getting extensive details of what had happened in the suite. Throughout the questioning, the maid appeared traumatized and several times spit on the floor and walls. At one point she went to a bathroom to try to vomit. Her saliva was later removed from carpet and walls as evidence.
The hotel security officer then alerted the chief of hotel security, a former law enforcement officer, who conducted another interview that was halting at times because the woman had become increasingly traumatized and sick, the sources said. The maid repeated her concerns about being fired and inquired whether she should even press charges.
The security chief made the decision to call New York police and an ambulance once he had ascertained there was enough evidence of a crime and that the maid's story had been consistent during all four conversations she had with hotel employees, the sources said.
The four interviews and repeated efforts to calm the woman took about an hour. Police were summoned around 1:30 p.m.
Shortly after police arrived, Strauss-Kahn called the hotel to report he had left his cell phone behind and his call was immediately routed to the Sofitel security chief, the sources said.
Working with detectives who were in the room, the hotel security chief falsely told Strauss-Kahn the cell phone had been located and he would drive it to the IMF chief. The security chief got Strauss-Kahn to tell him that he was already at the Air France lounge at New York's John F. Kennedy airport and planning to fly to Paris, the sources said.
Using the information from the security chief's call, police detectives called Port Authority police and apprehended Strauss-Kahn on the jetliner about 10 minutes before the flight was to depart.
The Sofitel has fully cooperated with law enforcement, making employees available for voluntary interviews, reviewing security tapes, and turning over records of phone calls, check-ins and check-outs, and door card readers. Some of these employees were also brought before a grand jury before Strauss-Kahn was formally indicted and released on $1 million bail this week.
Says IMF Chief Jailed For Discovering All US Gold Is Gone
By Sorcha Faal
A new report prepared for Prime Minister Putin by the Federal Security Service (FSB) says that former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn [photo with Putin L-1] was charged and jailed in the US for sex crimes on May 14th after his discovery that all of the gold held in the United States Bullion Depository located at Fort Knox [photo L-2] was ‘missing and/or unaccounted’ for.
According to this FSB secret report, Strauss-Kahn had become “increasingly concerned” earlier this month after the United States began “stalling” its pledged delivery to the IMF of 191.3 tons of gold agreed to under the Second Amendment of the Articles of Agreement signed by the Executive Board in April 1978 that were to be sold to fund what are called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) as an alternative to what are called reserve currencies. This FSB report further states that upon Strauss-Kahn raising his concerns with American government officials close to President Obama he was ‘contacted’ by ‘rogue elements’ within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who provided him ‘firm evidence’ that all of the gold reported to be held by the US ‘was gone’.
Upon Strauss-Kahn receiving the CIA evidence, this report continues, he made immediate arrangements to leave the US for Paris, but when contacted by agents working for France’s General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) that American authorities were seeking his capture he fled to New York City’s JFK airport following these agents directive not to take his cell-phone because US police could track his exact location.
Once Strauss-Kahn was safely boarded on an Air France flight to Paris, however, this FSB report says he made a ‘fatal mistake’ by calling the hotel from a phone on the plane and asking them to forward the cell-phone he had been told to leave behind to his French residence, after which US agents were able to track and apprehend him.
Within the past fortnight, this report continues, Strauss-Kahn reached out to his close friend and top Egyptian banker Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar to retrieve from the US the evidence given to him by the CIA. Omar, however, and exactly like Strauss-Kahn before him, was charged yesterday by the US with a sex crime against a luxury hotel maid, a charge the FSB labels as ‘beyond belief’ due to Omar being 74-years-old and a devout Muslim.
In an astounding move puzzling many in Moscow, Putin after reading this secret FSB report today ordered posted to the Kremlin’s official website a defense of Strauss-Khan becoming the first world leader to state that the former IMF chief was a victim of a US conspiracy. Putin further stated, "It’s hard for me to evaluate the hidden political motives but I cannot believe that it looks the way it was initially introduced. It doesn’t sit right in my head."
Interesting to note about all of these events is that one of the United States top Congressman, and 2012 Presidential candidate, Ron Paul [photo L-4] has long stated his belief that the US government has lied about its gold reserves held at Fort Knox. So concerned had Congressman Paul become about the US government and the Federal Reserve hiding the truth about American gold reserves he put forward a bill in late 2010 to force an audit of them, but which was subsequently defeated by Obama regime forces.
When directly asked by reporters if he believed there was no gold in Fort Knox or the Federal Reserve, Congressman Paul gave the incredible reply, "I think it is a possibility." Also interesting to note is that barely 3 days after the arrest of Strauss-Kahn, Congressman Paul made a new call for the US to sell its gold reserves by stating, “Given the high price it is now, and the tremendous debt problem we now have, by all means, sell at the peak.”
Bizarre reports emanating from the US for years, however, suggest there is no gold to sell, and as we can read as posted in 2009 on the ViewZone.Com news site: "In October of 2009 the Chinese received a shipment of gold bars. Gold is regularly exchanges between countries to pay debts and to settle the so-called balance of trade. Most gold is exchanged and stored in vaults under the supervision of a special organization based in London, the London Bullion Market Association (or LBMA). When the shipment was received, the Chinese government asked that special tests be performed to guarantee the purity and weight of the gold bars. In this test, four small holed are drilled into the gold bars and the metal is then analyzed.
Officials were shocked to learn that the bars were fake. They contained cores of tungsten with only a outer coating of real gold. [photo L-3] What's more, these gold bars, containing serial numbers for tracking, originated in the US and had been stored in Fort Knox for years. There were reportedly between 5,600 to 5,700 bars, weighing 400 oz. each, in the shipment!"
To the final fate of Strauss-Kahn it is not in our knowing, but new reports coming from the United States show his determination not to go down without a fight as he has hired what is described as a ‘crack team’ of former CIA spies, private investigators and media advisers to defend him. To the practical effects on the global economy should it be proved that the US, indeed, has been lying about its gold reserves, Russia’s Central Bank yesterday ordered the interest rate raised from 0.25 to 3.5 percent and Putin ordered the export ban on wheat and grain crops lifted by July 1st in a move designed to fill the Motherlands coffers with money that normally would have flowed to the US.
The American people's ability to know the truth of these things, and as always, has been shouted out by their propaganda media organs leaving them in danger of not being prepared for the horrific economic collapse of their nation, now believed will be much sooner than later.
24 Jun 11 Egyptian banker Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar pleads guilty to groping hotel maid, NYDaily News, Melissa Grace et al.
23 Jun 11 Ron Paul Holds Hearing on Gold Audit Bill, The Street, Michael Baron
17 Jun 11 Fort Knox: Präsidentschaftskandidat Ron Paul zweifelt an US-Goldreserven, Financial Times Deutschland
6 juin 11 DSK et son ami Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar – sont-ils tombés à cause de l’or?, agoravox.fr
31 May 11 Egyptian banker Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar arrested on sex charges, Associated Press, Guardian
31 May 11 Vladimir Putin claims Dominique Strauss-Kahn is the victim of a conspiracy to force him out, MailOnline, David Gardner
30 May 11 DSK hires 'crack team' of former CIA spies, MailOnline
29.Mär 11 US Bundesstaat Utah führt Gold- & Silberwährung als Konkurenz zum Dollar ein, realgeld.com
24.Mär 11 Utah: Gold und Silber werden offizielle Zahlungsmittel, goldmoney.com, Roman Baudzus
23.Mär 11 Utah macht ernst - Gold offizielles Zahlungsmittel, wisopol.de
30 Aug 10 Ron Paul questions whether there's gold at Fort Knox, NY Fed, The Hill, Michael O'Brien
25 Feb 10 China To Purchase Half of IMF's Gold, pravda.ru
African Village to Center of Ordeal
By ANNE BARNARD, ADAM NOSSITER and KIRK SEMPLE
She was born in a mud hut in an isolated hamlet in Africa with no electricity or running water, a 10-minute hike to the nearest road. Unschooled, she was married off to a distant cousin as a teenager, had a daughter and was soon widowed.
Not long after, in her early 20s, she arrived in the United States — one more anonymous immigrant struggling to make a new life. She served stew in a cubbyhole of an African restaurant in the Bronx, and landed a more stable job a few years ago as a housekeeper changing the sleek sheets at the Sofitel New York, in Midtown Manhattan.
Then came the encounter on May 14. The woman told the authorities that she was sexually assaulted by the French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn while cleaning his suite at the hotel. Now she finds herself in the glare of international scandal.
Lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn have signaled they will scrutinize her character and background in a case that pits her word against his. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was head of the International Monetary Fund and a leading contender for the French presidency before his arrest.
He has hired private detectives as well as prominent defense lawyers who have said in court papers that they have “substantial information” that could “gravely undermine her credibility.” They have not provided any details.
In dozens of interviews with people who know her or are familiar with her life, the woman, now 32, is portrayed as an unassuming and hard-working single mother. The interviews were conducted in New York and in her homeland, Guinea, with relatives, neighbors, co-workers and former employers. The woman herself has stayed out of public view in recent weeks and has not spoken to reporters.
“She is a village girl who didn’t go to school to learn English, Greek, Portuguese, what have you,” said her older brother, 49, whose first name is Mamoudou. “All she learned was the Koran. Can you imagine how on earth she is suffering through this ordeal?” “The place where she is now,” he added, “I don’t even know where it is.”
The woman, the youngest of five children, was raised in a deeply religious household, according to Mamoudou and another brother, Mamadou, who is in his early 50s. Both brothers still live in a village called Thiakoulle, where they grew up with her. (Guinea, in West Africa, is a mostly Muslim country, and many men from the woman’s ethnic group are called some variation of Mamadou, which is Muhammad in the local language, Fula. The New York Times generally does not identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault. To protect the woman’s identity, The Times has also omitted the surnames of her relatives.)
Their father was a respected local imam, and when they were young they studied at home, the brothers said, using a set of traditional wooden panels inscribed with passages from the Koran.
As a girl, she was shy, sheltered and raised to respect authority. “Before she left here, nobody even knew if she could speak up for herself,” Mamoudou said. “She never got into any arguments, with anybody.” “Even if she were hungry, she wouldn’t tell you,” he added during an interview in the family home, a spartan, concrete structure that replaced the thatched-roof hut where she was born. Leather-bound holy books rested on a table. The only picture on the wall was of a white-bearded elderly man, their father, now deceased.
She lived in the hamlet until she was a teenager, then moved, possibly for work, to Guinea’s capital, Conakry, a 13-hour drive along rugged mountain roads. Two months later, her father summoned her back to the village. He had found a husband for her, a distant cousin. She had no choice but to obey, her brothers said.
The couple moved to a region three hours away, where she gave birth to a daughter. But when her husband became ill and died, the woman moved with her daughter to the capital, where Mamadou was living at the time.
In the meantime, her sister, Hassanatou, had followed a Guinean husband to New York, joining compatriots who, compelled by poverty, political turmoil and ambition, had immigrated. In 2002, the woman decided to leave Guinea, too. She spoke no English at the time. "Everybody wants to go to the U.S.,” Mamadou said. “You know why people leave Africa.”
Settling in the Bronx
It is not clear how the woman gained entrance to the United States. In the 12 months ending in September 2002, the United States issued 4,410 visas to Guineans, a vast majority for business trips or tourism, officials said.
But by the time she began her job as a housekeeper at the Sofitel in 2008, she had legal status and working papers, her lawyers said.
After coming to the United States, she settled in the Bronx, where many in New York City’s small Guinean population have blended in among other West African immigrant groups in neighborhoods like High Bridge, north of Yankee Stadium, Claremont and Morrisania.
The community was still recovering from the killing of Amadou Diallo, a street vendor from the woman’s region and ethnic group, who was shot to death by the police in 1999 in a case that received widespread attention. The officers were acquitted after testifying that they had mistakenly thought he was pulling out a weapon.
The woman melted into this community. She did not seem to be well known even in the neighborhoods where Guineans often lived.
After prayers at a few West African mosques, Guineans often go to Guinean-owned restaurants to eat cooked cassava leaf and beef stew, drink homemade juice made from hibiscus flowers and watch television broadcasts of African news and sports. They shop at Guinean stores that sell West African staples like cornmeal, yams, palm oil and spices.
In Guinea, a former French colony, many people closely follow the news from France. In fact, one of the oddities of this case is that before he was arrested, Mr. Strauss-Kahn — often referred to in the Francophone world as DSK — was probably better known in Guinea, at least among the educated, than in the United States. (It does not appear that the woman knew of Mr. Strauss-Kahn before the encounter in the hotel room.)
After arriving from Guinea, the woman showed up one day at African American Restaurant Marayway, near Grand Concourse in the Bronx, looking for a job, recalled the owner, Bahoreh Jabbie, who hired her.
For several years, she worked the busy evening shift, helping Mr. Jabbie and his wife, Fatima, in the kitchen behind smudged bulletproof glass or serving customers at the restaurant’s three tables. Her daughter sometimes stopped by to visit.
Mr. Jabbie, an immigrant from Gambia, in West Africa, said the woman revealed little about her private life, but was a steady worker. “She was good with me,” he recalled.
During this period, she received asylum, her lawyers have said, though they have not revealed the basis of her asylum petition to federal immigration authorities.
According to community leaders and immigration lawyers, most Guineans who have received asylum in recent years have sought sanctuary from political persecution in their homeland, though others have petitioned to avoid social practices, like female genital cutting and forced marriage.
One day, the woman told Mr. Jabbie that she was leaving the restaurant for a better paycheck at the Sofitel hotel.
With that, she entered a new world, with a grand, golden canopy and wood-paneled suites, blocks from Times Square. She was considered a good employee there.
In her telephone calls home to Guinea, her brothers recalled, she talked only about her daughter, now in her teens, and never about the rest of her life.
Still, she could have drawn on the company of a growing extended family, with one relative living among a cluster of West Africans on Wheeler Avenue in the Bronx, where a street sign and mural commemorate Mr. Diallo near the building where he was shot.
“On Sundays, he had 50 to 60 people over in the backyard,” recalled Andre Landers, a retired police officer and neighbor, referring to the woman’s relative. “When they had a baby born, they had ceremonial get-togethers.”
The only other hint of the woman’s social life came from acquaintances who said she would sometimes stop by a West African restaurant, Café 2115, on Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem, where livery-cab drivers and others eat, socialize and watch French news programs on widescreen televisions.
“She isn’t a fiery woman,” said a friend, who did not want to be identified so as not to appear to be meddling in the case. At home, for fun, the woman watched Nigerian comedies on DVD, the friend said. “She was watching that every day,” he added.
For now, her life, once unremarkable, is under intense scrutiny — by journalists and lawyers, and investigators working for the prosecution or the defense. Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers have already suggested that any sexual encounter was consensual, an assertion that her lawyer has called preposterous.
Her lawyer is a former federal prosecutor whose practice includes criminal defense and employment discrimination matters, and who has obtained large civil settlements for his clients.
Meanwhile, in the immigrant neighborhoods that she has called home for the past nine years, residents are also trying to get a sense of a woman very few have met.
For many in the Guinean population, which has fierce ethnic rivalries that reflect tensions back home, the case has taken on a special resonance.
The woman is a member of the Fulani ethnic group, Guinea’s largest, which has suffered years of persecution by other ethnic groups. Many Fulani feel that their grievances have never been fully addressed.
“It wakes up the trauma that we have,” said Mamadou Maladho Diallo, a Fulani journalist in New York.
The woman’s brothers in Guinea said they had not spoken with her since the hotel encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. One brother produced a notebook with several New York cellphone numbers that he said were his sister’s. He has tried calling them, but no one has answered.
The brothers seemed worried and confused about what was happening.
But they said their sister’s upbringing would anchor her as the case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn proceeded.
“She has faith,” her brother Mamadou said. “She will never change that.”
Adam Nossiter reported from
Guinea, and Anne Barnard and Kirk Semple from New York. Reporting was contributed
by John Eligon, William K. Rashbaum and Rebecca White from New York, and
Abdourahmane Diallo from Guinea.
Case Seen as in Jeopardy
by Jim Dwyer, William K. Rashbaum and John Eligon.
The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials.
Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors now do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself.
Since her initial allegation on May 14, the accuser has repeatedly lied, one of the law enforcement officials said.
Senior prosecutors met with lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn on Thursday and provided details about their findings, and the parties are discussing whether to dismiss the felony charges. Among the discoveries, one of the officials said, are issues involving the asylum application of the 32-year-old housekeeper, who is Guinean, and possible links to people involved in criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers will return to State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Friday morning, when Justice Michael J. Obus is expected to consider easing the extraordinary bail conditions that he imposed on Mr. Strauss-Kahn in the days after he was charged.
Indeed, Mr. Strauss-Kahn could be released on his own recognizance, and freed from house arrest, reflecting the likelihood that the serious charges against him will not be sustained. The district attorney’s office may try to require Mr. Strauss-Kahn to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, but his lawyers are likely to contest such a move.
The revelations are a stunning change of fortune for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was considered a strong contender for the French presidency before being accused of sexually assaulting the woman who went to clean his luxury suite at the Sofitel New York.
Prosecutors from the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., who initially were emphatic about the strength of the case and the account of the victim, plan to tell the judge on Friday that they “have problems with the case” based on what their investigators have discovered, and will disclose more of their findings to the defense. The woman still maintains that she was attacked, the officials said.
“It is a mess, a mess on both sides,” one official said. According to the two officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.
That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.
The investigators also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. The woman had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.
In addition, one of the officials said, she told investigators that her application for asylum included mention of a previous rape, but there was no such account in the application. She also told them that she had been subjected to genital mutilation, but her account to the investigators differed from what was contained in the asylum application.
A lawyer for the woman, Kenneth Thompson, could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday evening.
In recent weeks, Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, Benjamin Brafman and William W. Taylor III, have made it clear that they would make the credibility of the woman a focus of their case. In a May 25 letter, they said they had uncovered information that would “gravely undermine the credibility” of the accuser.
Still, it was the prosecutor’s investigators who found the information about the woman.
The case involving Mr. Strauss-Kahn has made international headlines and renewed attention on accusations that he had behaved inappropriately toward women in the past, while, more broadly, prompting soul-searching among the French about the treatment of women.
The revelations about the investigators’ findings are likely to buttress the view of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s supporters, who complained that the American authorities had rushed to judgment in the case.
Some of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s allies even contended that he had been set up by his political rivals, an assertion that law enforcement authorities said there was no evidence to support.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn resigned from his post as managing director of the International Monetary Fund in the wake of the housekeeper’s accusations and was required to post $1 million bail and a $5 million bond.
He also agreed to remain under 24-hour home confinement while wearing an ankle monitor and providing a security team and an armed guard at the entrance and exit of the building where he was living. The conditions are costing Mr. Strauss-Kahn $250,000 a month.
Prosecutors had sought the restrictive conditions in part by arguing that the case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn was a strong one, citing a number of factors, including the credibility of his accuser, with one prosecutor saying her story was “compelling and unwavering.”
In the weeks after making her accusations, the woman, who arrived in the United States from Guinea in 2002, was described by relatives and friends as an unassuming and hard-working immigrant with a teenage daughter. She had no criminal record, and had been a housekeeper at the Sofitel for a few years, they said.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn was such a pariah in the initial days after the arrest that neighbors of an Upper East Side apartment building objected when he and his wife tried to rent a unit there. He eventually rented a three-story town house on Franklin Street in TriBeCa.
Under the relaxed conditions of bail to be requested on Friday, the district attorney’s office would retain Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s passport but he would be permitted to travel within the United States.
The woman told the authorities that she had gone to Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s suite to clean it and that he emerged naked from the bathroom and attacked her. The formal charges accused him of ripping her pantyhose, trying to rape her and forcing her to perform oral sex; his lawyers say there is no evidence of force and have suggested that any sex was consensual.
After the indictment was filed, Mr. Vance spoke briefly on the courthouse steps addressing hundreds of local and foreign reporters who had been camped out in front of the imposing stone edifice. He characterized the charges as “extremely serious” and said the “evidence supports the commission of nonconsensual forced sexual acts.”
Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, Mr. Brafman and Mr. Taylor, declined to comment on Thursday evening. The case was not scheduled to return to court until July 18.
After Justicia was mislead down the garden path, DSK regains his smile
Facing fate: DSK and his unswerving anchorwoman & pillar in an unmoored, treacherous world. Keystone - Le Matin
DSK and his lead sherpa in front of the judge. © Keystone - Le Matin
After Justicia's mind was lead out of the fog. © Keystone - Le Matin
Dominique Strauss-Kahn et son épouse Anne Sinclair quittent le tribunal pénal de Manhattan. (AFP) - Le Temps
DEFENDANT Dominique Strauss-Kahn ... After he emerged from the courthouse, his smile grew with every step. [text NYT]
DSK and his wife, Anne Sinclair, leaving the court on Friday after he was released. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images
A la sortie du Tribunal de New York. DSK est accompagné de son épouse Anne Sinclair. Keystone - Tribune de Genève
Getty images - Le Matin
Anne Sinclair et Dominique Strauss-Kahn, le 1er juillet 2011, à New York.- REUTERS/ALLISON JOYCE
Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves court Tuesday August 23, 2011 with his wife, Anne Sinclair
Is Released as Case Teeters
By JOHN ELIGON
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, who is accused of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper, was released from house arrest on Friday as the case against him moved closer to dismissal after prosecutors told a Manhattan judge that the credibility of his accuser was in serious question.
Prosecutors acknowledged that there were troubling revelations and glaring inconsistencies in various accounts given by the housekeeper, who accused Mr. Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in May. In a brief hearing at State Supreme Court in Manhattan, prosecutors did not oppose his release; the judge then freed Mr. Strauss-Kahn on his own recognizance.
The development represented a stunning reversal in a case that reshaped the French political landscape and prompted debate about morals, the treatment of women and the American justice system. Prosecutors said that they still believed there was evidence to support the notion that Mr. Strauss-Kahn had forced the woman to perform oral sex, but that inconsistencies in her past and in her account of the moments following the episode could make it extremely difficult to persuade jurors to believe her.
The comments that followed the quick court action illuminated the complex, often shifting relationship among the three legal interests in the case. Lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn on Friday praised the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., for “doing what is appropriate”; Kenneth P. Thompson, a lawyer for the housekeeper, accused Mr. Vance of being “too afraid” to try the case; and Mr. Vance defended how his office had handled the case, which is by far the highest-profile of his year-and-a-half tenure.
In a letter sent to Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers and filed with Justice Michael J. Obus on Friday, prosecutors outlined some of what they had discovered about Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s accuser, poking holes in her account and in her background.
The housekeeper admitted to prosecutors that she had lied about what happened after the encounter on the 28th floor of the hotel, the Sofitel New York. She initially said that after she had been attacked she waited in a hallway until Mr. Strauss-Kahn left the room. She now admits that after the episode, she cleaned a nearby room, then returned to Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s suite to clean there. Only after that did she report to her supervisor that she had been attacked.
What precisely occurred between the woman and Mr. Strauss-Kahn — whether it was an attack or a consensual encounter, as his defense team has suggested — remains known only to the woman and to Mr. Strauss-Kahn.
Prosecutors disclosed that the woman had admitted lying in her application for asylum from Guinea. According to their letter, she “fabricated the statement with the assistance of a male who provided her with a cassette recording” that she memorized. She also said that her claim that she had been the victim of a gang rape in Guinea was a lie.
The woman also acknowledged that she had misrepresented her income to qualify for her housing, and that she had declared a friend’s child as a dependent on tax returns — in addition to her own daughter — to increase her tax refund.
Mr. Thompson, the woman’s lawyer, gave a lengthy retort outside the courtroom in which he conceded that there were problems with her credibility, but insisted that she had still been the victim of an attack and that her version of it had never wavered. He said some evidence, like bruising she had sustained, was consistent with a nonconsensual encounter. And he said her decision to clean a room afterward was consistent with someone who was confused and upset.
“Our concern is that the Manhattan district attorney is too afraid to try this case,” Mr. Thompson said. “We believe he’s afraid he’s going to lose this high-profile case.”
The prosecutors have not completed their investigation, one official briefed on the matter said, and thus have not made a final determination whether the housekeeper was sexually assaulted. The official said that an examination of the woman after the alleged assault did find vaginal bruising, but that it was not conclusive evidence of a forcible sexual encounter. The woman’s account of what happened inside the hotel suite has been consistent, the official said, aside from minor details of the kind that sometimes vary in the numerous retellings of the same story.
Questions are sure to be raised about how swiftly and vigorously prosecutors proceeded with the case, as many in France questioned whether there was a rush to judgment. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, was considered a strong contender for the French presidency before his arrest. He subsequently resigned his position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
From Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s first court appearance on May 16, Mr. Vance’s office expressed extreme confidence in its case. At that hearing, an assistant district attorney said, “The victim provided very powerful details consistent with violent sexual assault committed by the defendant.”
The case has the potential to affect Mr. Vance’s political fortunes. Outside the courthouse on Friday, he stressed that his office did what it was required to do.
“We believe we have done nothing but to support her,” Mr. Vance said. “Our duty is to do what is right in every case. Our office’s commitment is to the truth and the facts.”
Mr. Strauss-Kahn will now be able to move about the country freely. (He had dinner Friday night at Scalinatella, an upscale restaurant on the Upper East Side.) Although prosecutors will retain his passport, most of his restrictive bail conditions have been lifted. Under those rules, he was required to stay in a Lower Manhattan town house under armed guard and to wear an ankle monitor. He could leave only for certain reasons and had to notify prosecutors when he did.
Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer who has represented Mr. Strauss-Kahn along with William W. Taylor III, said: “I want to commend Cy Vance for doing what is appropriate, for doing what I think took some great courage and personal integrity, to stand up and say this case is not what we thought it was. We are absolutely convinced that while today is a first giant step in the right direction, the next step will be to make a complete dismissal of the charges.”
The letter from the prosecutors did not include everything their investigators had learned about the woman. According to two law enforcement officials familiar with the prosecutors’ inquiry, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.
That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling about $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.
The investigators also learned that the woman was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. She had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.
After his hearing, Mr. Strauss-Kahn emerged from court, smiling at the assembled crowds, the expression brightening with each step. Later, at the town house on Franklin Street where he had been under confinement, a gift arrived of over a dozen red, white and blue balloons, accompanied by an inflatable Statue of Liberty.
A note was attached, according to Sean Hershkowitz, of Balloon Saloon in TriBeCa, that said, “Enjoy your freedom on Independence Day.” He added that he had been by a few weeks earlier with a different delivery: an inflatable shark with a chew toy. That gift, Mr. Hershkowitz said, was refused at the door.
Matt Flegenheimer, Colin Moynihan and Anahad O’Connor contributed reporting.
D.A. Did the Right Thing
By JOE NOCERA
A young immigrant woman, lacking privilege and money, alleges that she was raped while on the job. She reports the incident soon after it takes place. There is semen on her clothes and bruises on her body. She tells her story with such conviction that, according to The Times, seasoned investigators cry when they hear it.
The man she says raped her — wealthy, famous and powerful — is on an airplane about to depart for his native land. This is the same country that, for decades, helped shield Roman Polanski from being prosecuted for statutory rape in the United States. The man in the current case appears to have left the hotel where the rape allegedly occurred in some haste. He even forgets to take one of his cellphones.
With no time to spare, detectives lure him off the plane and arrest him. When he is questioned, he refuses to talk about the incident, having already “lawyered up.” He is forced to do the “perp walk,” and spends the next five days in jail, at which point he is indicted. (Under New York law, if prosecutors don’t indict him within five days, they have to release him on his own recognizance.) Once out on bail, he is placed under house arrest, in a $200,000-a-month TriBeCa townhouse. The New York tabloids mock him mercilessly.
Now that the man can’t flee, prosecutors turn their attention to the alleged victim. They begin investigating her background, knowing that the case hinges on her credibility. In just six weeks — an extraordinarily short time, as these things go — they put together a devastating profile of her past, filled with troubling inconsistencies, outright lies and the possibility that she hopes to profit from her alleged ordeal.
The prosecutors waste no time divulging these exculpatory facts to the man’s lawyers. Then, in open court, they tell the judge what they’ve found. He releases the man from house arrest. Though the case is not yet abandoned, it almost surely will be.
You know what I’ve just described, of course: l’affaire D.S.K. In the days since Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s stunning reversal of fortune, many Frenchmen have howled at the injustice of it all: “This vision of Dominique Strauss-Kahn humiliated in chains, dragged lower than the gutter,” as the French writer (and D.S.K. friend) Bernard-Henri Lévy put it — all because Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, chose to believe “a hotel chambermaid” over an esteemed member of the French political establishment.
In America, meanwhile, the case’s collapse has brought sniping from former prosecutors and white-collar defense attorneys, who have criticized Vance for indicting Strauss-Kahn before he knew more about the victim’s background.
For the life of me, though, I can’t see what Vance did wrong. Quite the contrary. The woman alleged rape, for crying out loud, which was backed up by physical (and other) evidence. She had no criminal record. Her employer vouched for her. The quick decision to indict made a lot of sense, both for legal and practical reasons. Then, as the victim’s credibility crumbled, Vance didn’t try to pretend that he still had a slam dunk, something far too many prosecutors do. He acknowledged the problems.
Lévy, himself a member of the French elite, seems particularly incensed that Vance wouldn’t automatically give Strauss-Kahn a pass, given his extraordinary social status. Especially since his accuser had no status at all.
But that is exactly why Vance should be applauded: a woman with no power made a credible accusation against a man with enormous power. He acted without fear or favor. To have done otherwise would have been to violate everything we believe in this country about no one being above the law.
As for Strauss-Kahn’s humiliation, clearly something very bad happened in that hotel room. Quite possibly a crime was committed. Strauss-Kahn’s sordid sexual history makes it likely that he was the instigator. If the worst he suffers is a perp walk, a few days in Rikers Island and some nasty headlines, one’s heart ought not bleed. Ah, yes, and he had to resign as the chief of an institution where sexual harassment was allegedly rampant, thanks, in part, to a culture he helped perpetuate. Gee, isn’t that awful?
The point is this: We live in a country that professes to treat everyone equally under the law. So often we fall short. The poor may go unheard; the rich walk. Yet here is a case that actually lives up to our ideal of who we like to think we are. Even the way the case appears to be ending speaks to our more noble impulses. Vance didn’t dissemble or delay or hide the truth about the victim’s past. He did the right thing, painful though it surely must have been.
To judge by his recent writings, Bernard-Henri Lévy prefers to live in a country where the elites are rarely held to account, where crimes against women are routinely excused with a wink and a nod and where people without money or status are treated like the nonentities that the French moneyed class believe they are.
I’d rather live here.
Drama Ends With Short Final Scene
By JOHN ELIGON
After the hearing on Tuesday, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, center, said in a statement that the criminal inquiry had been “a nightmare for me and my family.” Michael Appleton for The New York Times
The coda to one of New York’s most gripping and erratic criminal dramas lasted all of 12 minutes.
A prosecutor spoke first, quickly summarizing what had been obvious for weeks: the Manhattan district attorney’s office had little confidence in its case, and even less trust in the accuser it had initially championed. A defense lawyer was next, saying simply, “We do not oppose the motion.”
Then the judge spoke.
And just like that, the sexual-assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn was dismissed Tuesday, bringing an abrupt end to what had been a three-month episodic criminal investigation, each chapter offering a sensational twist on the underlying storyline: Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a man of international power and prestige, was accused of sexually assaulting an immigrant hotel housekeeper after she entered his suite to clean it.
The dismissal order issued by Justice Michael J. Obus of State Supreme Court in Manhattan brought some semblance of legal vindication to Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, after his stunning and embarrassing arrest more than three months ago. He was taken into custody on May 14 aboard an Air France jet at Kennedy International Airport, and then appeared disheveled and in handcuffs before news cameras.
After the hearing Tuesday, Mr. Strauss-Kahn issued his first statement since his arrest, characterizing the criminal inquiry as “a nightmare for me and my family” and thanking the judge, his own wife, Anne Sinclair, and family and other supporters.
He added, “Finally, we are obviously gratified that the district attorney agreed with my lawyers that this case had to be dismissed,” and said he looked “forward to returning to our home and resuming something of a more normal life.”
One of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, Benjamin Brafman, said he expected his client to go to Washington, where he and his wife have owned a home for several years, to straighten out some personal matters.
“Until today, it was very hard to plan Dominique’s future,” Mr. Brafman said, noting that the prospect of many months of preparation and trial had loomed large. “You can think about what you want to do, but you had the threat of prison hanging over your head.”
For the accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, a 33-year-old Guinean immigrant, the result caps a precipitous fall. Prosecutors initially portrayed her as a credible and powerful witness, but then said that her myriad lies about her past — including a convincing, emotional but ultimately fraudulent account of being gang-raped by soldiers in Guinea — ended up undermining the case.
Ms. Diallo, who has made her identity public, still has a civil suit pending against Mr. Strauss-Kahn for unspecified damages. Her lawyer, Kenneth P. Thompson, has been relentless in his assertion that Mr. Strauss-Kahn forced his client to perform oral sex and that the office of the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., should have taken the case to trial.
After the hearing, Mr. Thompson said Mr. Vance “has abandoned an innocent woman and has denied an innocent woman a right to get justice in a rape case.
“And by doing so, he has also abandoned other women who will be raped in the future or sexually assaulted.”
Mr. Thompson made one last attempt to keep the criminal case alive, filing a motion on Monday asking that Mr. Vance’s office be disqualified. But about an hour before Tuesday’s hearing, a court clerk handed out a one-page decision in which Justice Obus denied Mr. Thompson’s motion.
Mr. Thompson appealed the decision, but an appellate judge struck down the appeal Tuesday afternoon, clearing the way for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, to return to France, though his lawyers said he would not head there immediately.
Mr. Vance has faced criticism from some black civic leaders and women’s rights groups, some of whom protested outside the courthouse Tuesday morning. To them, the case represented an instance of a powerful, wealthy man getting away with something he did to a poor immigrant woman. They argued that Ms. Diallo’s credibility problems should not have prevented Mr. Vance from allowing a jury to decide whether it believed her.
On Tuesday, Mr. Vance released a statement saying that his office was committed to protecting victims of sex crimes, even ones with “imperfect pasts.”
“If we are convinced they are truthful about the crimes committed against them, and will tell the truth at trial, we will ask a jury to consider their testimony to prove a crime,” the statement said. “If we are not convinced, we cannot, should not and do not take the case to a jury.”
(Mr. Vance had planned a news conference in his office to answer questions, but shortly after he took to the podium, earthquake tremors were felt and the room was evacuated. Mr. Vance smiled and said to a member of his security detail, who was hurrying him out: “I’m O.K. O.K. O.K. I’ve been through earthquakes in Seattle all the time.”)
Mr. Vance has sought to allay criticism of his decision through a 25-page report that his office filed with the court on Monday and through statements made by the lead prosecutor on the case, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, on Tuesday.
The prosecution’s original report was about three times as long, but it was scaled back to provide only the details relevant to support the legal arguments and to spare Ms. Diallo embarrassment, a law enforcement official briefed on the case said.
“At the time of the indictment, all available evidence satisfied us that the complainant was reliable,” Ms. Illuzzi-Orbon told Justice Obus. “But the evidence gathered in our post-indictment investigation severely undermined her reliability as a witness in this case, to the point where we are no longer able to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Before that, Ms. Illuzzi-Orbon said the case “rises and falls” on Ms. Diallo’s testimony because the physical evidence was not conclusive of a sexual assault and she was the only witness.
One of the more devastating instances in which Ms. Diallo lied came after prosecutors confronted her about where she went after the alleged attack, Ms. Illuzzi-Orbon said. Prosecutors disputed her account with independent evidence, Ms. Illuzzi-Orbon said, and she responded by denying that she had told them that.
“With three prosecutors, an investigator and a translator hanging on her every word, she said she never told us something that everyone in the room heard,” Ms. Illuzzi-Orbon said. She added that prosecutors could not resolve the question of whether what happened between Mr. Strauss-Kahn and Ms. Diallo was criminal.
But Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s team took the district attorney’s actions to mean something else.
“Today the district attorney has told the court that it does not believe he is guilty,” William W. Taylor III, one of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, said in front of the courthouse. “What a turnaround. What a remarkable change in the life of a criminal case, and what a remarkable event, what a tragedy in the life of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.”
While he commended prosecutors for investigating and ultimately dismissing the case, Mr. Taylor said, “There was a collective rush to judgment, not only by law enforcement, but also by the media.”
Mr. Brafman added: “You can engage in inappropriate behavior, perhaps. But that is much different than a crime.”
Still, the court of public opinion may not be on Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s side. Amid a maze of metal barricades and news cameras, protesters outside the courthouse chanted slogans like “D.S.K., shame on you!” and “Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes, no means no!”
Colin Moynihan, William K.
Rashbaum and Noah Rosenberg contributed reporting.