Picture of Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and is being held without bail. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has been denied bail when arraigned on sexual assault charges. Strauss-Kahn was booked on suspicion of having attempted to sexually assault a hotel worker in Manhattan. He is being held at Riker’s Island for the time being.

International financier sitting in Riker’s Island

On Monday, May 16, the head of the International Monetary Fund was ushered into a New York city courtroom to be arraigned for charges of sexual assault and false imprisonment, according to The Guardian, in one of the highest profile scandals among international diplomats in years. Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested on Saturday for sexual assault and false imprisonment after he was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid at Sofitel, the Times Square hotel he had been staying at. Officers arrested him as he was boarding a plane for France, according to Reuters, and he appeared before a judge on Monday. Prosecuting attorneys labeled him a flight risk and observed that France would not extradite him if he was able to leave. He was denied bail and is now being held at Riker’s Island Correctional Facility.

IMF continues operations

Despite the head of the organization’s imprisonment, the IMF is still carrying on, according to the Los Angeles Times. Kahn was supposed to be in Brussels when he was being arraigned, at a meeting with finance ministers from other European nations concerning a joint bailout package for the Portugal debt crisis between the IMF and the European Union, among other things. The Greece debt crisis is still ongoing, and more aid to the struggling country was also slated to be topic for discussion. A newspaper in Athens carried the headline “the chambermaid blocks Greece!” in reaction to the scandal, and Strauss-Kahn is already a reviled figure there for forcing austerity measures to give the country emergency financial assistance. While these matters are being discussed, Strauss-Kahn is in the holding cells near the Rikers Island Courthouse called The Tombs, according to The Guardian, awaiting his next hearing.

Fallout from scandal

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a prominent figure in the Socialist party in his native France and had been expected to challenge current president Nikolas Sarkozy in the coming elections. He may be replaced by Francois Hollande or Martine Aubry, the Socialist party boss. His job at the IMF is up for grabs, according to the Telegraph, and there are a number of people waiting in the wings to replace him. The former English prime minister Gordon Brown is said to covet the job, but it is said that current P.M. David Cameron won’t endorse him. Current finance minister of France, Christine Lagarde, and former finance minister of Germany Axel Weber are also said to be in the running.

Sources

The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/dominique-strauss-kahn/8517119/Christine-Lagarde-and-Axel-Weber-front-runners-for-Dominique-Strauss-Kahns-IMF-role.html

Los Angeles Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/05/ron-paul-imf-dominique-strauss-kahn.html

Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/16/us-strausskahn-arrest-idUSTRE74D29F20110516

Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-euro-talks-20110517,0,2339845.story

The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/17/dominique-strauss-kahn-court-appearance; http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/15/strauss-kahn-arrest-hits-french-elections

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