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Entries in IMF (18)

Friday
Jul012011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Released from House Arrest

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A smiling Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, left Manhattan State Supreme Court on Friday, arm in arm with his wife, Anne Sinclair, after he was released on his own recognizance and without bail.

Prosecutors said the case had "substantial credibility issues," ABC News learned Thursday night, and the District Attorney's office told the court Friday that it had reason to "reassess its position about the strength of the case."

The court ruled that the bail order be vacated, as well as the multimillion-dollar cash bond.

Despite the setback, the New York District Attorney's office did not move to dismiss the case and prosecutors noted that the alleged sexual assault was corroborated by forensic evidence. The district attorney's investigators have uncovered significant issues with the account of the maid who alleged that Strauss-Kahn assaulted her in a New York City hotel room.

Meanwhile, Lisa Friel, the chief of the Manhattan district attorney's sex crimes unit, has resigned the post she held for nearly a decade, ABC News has confirmed. Her resignation Wednesday, first reported by The New York Times, comes as one of the office's most high-profile sexual assault cases continues to unravel.

Discoveries that the Sofitel hotel maid considered financial gain, had questionable relationships with at least one alleged drug dealer and other issues in her past prompted prosecutors to present their findings to the defense, according to law enforcement officials and other people familiar with the case.

While prosecutors were initially extremely confident in their case after Strauss-Kahn's May 14 arrest, as soon as they realized it was unraveling, they did what was proper and contacted the defense. Senior prosecutors met with lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and provided details about their findings, ABC confirmed.

Strauss-Kahn, a leading candidate for the French presidency before being accused of sexually assaulting the woman, resigned his powerful position as head of the IMF in the wake of the allegations against him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul012011

Ex-IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn's Accuser Under Fire

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been released without bail. Developing...

(NEW YORK) -- Manhattan District Attorney's investigators have uncovered significant issues with the account of the maid who claimed she was assaulted in a New York City hotel room by the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, ABC News has learned.

Discoveries that the Sofitel hotel maid considered financial gain, had questionable relationships with at least one alleged drug dealer and other issues in her past prompted prosecutors to present their findings to the defense and represent a backdrop to a bail modification hearing Friday, according to law enforcement officials and other people familiar with the case.

While prosecutors were initially extremely confident in their case after Strauss-Kahn's May 14 arrest, as soon as they realized it was unraveling, they did what was proper and contacted the defense.  Senior prosecutors met with lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and provided details about their findings, ABC confirmed.

It is likely the strict terms of Strauss-Kahn's bail will be relaxed by Judge Michael Obus at Friday's Manhattan State Supreme Court hearing, law enforcement sources said.

The unraveling of the case was first reported Thursday by The New York Times, which noted that the prosecution and defense are engaged in conversations that could result in dismissal of serious charges against Strauss-Kahn.  ABC News subsequently confirmed that information.

The holes in the credibility of the housekeeper led prosecutors to doubt much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances of the case or about herself, ABC News has confirmed.

The Times noted that 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 criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering."

Prosecutors from the office of District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., plan to tell the court that there are problems with their case, ABC News has learned.  More details are expected to be presented to the judge, two persons involved in the case acknowledged.

According to The Times, "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, as The Times reported, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana.  He was among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, into the woman's bank account.

According to The Times, an official told the newspaper that "she told investigators that part of her application for asylum included 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."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun302011

Ex-IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn Back to Court Friday

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been under restrictive house arrest in Manhattan and his attorneys tell ABC News Radio that they plan to ask a judge to remove some of the conditions of his bail.  

Strauss-Kahn wasn't due back in court until the middle of July, but to make such a request, defense attorneys would likely have to present compelling new evidence.  

Now ABC News has learned that sudden holes emerged Thursday night in Strauss-Kahn's case. He has been accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York. Law enforcement officials reveal that his accuser has been linked to an imprisoned alleged drug dealer and a discussion about profiting from the charges.

Previously, Strauss-Kahn's attorneys said they had uncovered information that would "gravely undermine the credibility" of his accuser.

Strauss-Kahn is set to attend a bail hearing Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun062011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Pleads Not Guilty on Sexual Assault Charge

Richard Drew-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the man who was a contender to be the next president of France, pleaded not guilty in a New York criminal court Monday at his arraignment on multiple charges of sexually assaulting a hotel room maid.

In the moments before his plea, Strauss-Kahn had sat at the defense table between his attorneys, Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor, looking relaxed and with his legs stretched out.

The 13th floor courtroom was packed -- mostly with reporters -- at 9:20 a.m. for the arraignment of the former head of the International Monetary Fund on charges he assaulted a maid at a posh Manhattan hotel last month.

The former IMF czar entered court holding hands with his wife Anne Sinclair as they passed several dozen hotel maids chanting "Shame! Shame!" at the man known simply as DSK. One of the protesters held a sign that read, "An injury to one of us is an injury to all of us."

Court officials blocked off an elevator for Strauss-Kahn which he rode to the 13th floor where he was arraigned by Judge Michael Obus.

At a previous court appearance last month, Strauss-Kahn was ordered released from jail on $1 million bail. Strauss-Kahn was required to post an additional $5 million insurance bond and the French politician agreed to house arrest and 24-hour monitoring.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, who had been a contender to be the next president of France, had been deemed a flight risk and denied bail three days earlier. But his lawyers were able to negotiate terms for his release, allowing him to avoid having to remain in an 11 foot by 13 foot cell at New York's notorious Riker's Island jail, where he had been in protective isolation and on suicide watch.

Since Strauss-Kahn's DNA has been found in semen ABC News has learned was found on the maid's clothing and on a section of carpet, experts say the defense will likely insist that any sexual contact between the maid and Strauss-Kahn was consensual.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun062011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn to Be Arraigned on Sexual Assault Charges

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Dominique Strauss-Kahn entered a plea of “not guilty” Monday to multiple charges of allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel room maid at a posh Manhattan hotel last month.

(NEW YORK) -- The former head of the International Monetary Fund, who is accused of sexually assaulting a maid last month in his New York City hotel suite, will be back in court Monday to be arraigned.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is expected to plead not guilty to the charges stemming from the May 14 incident at the Sofitel Hotel. The 62-year-old faces seven counts, including attempted rape, criminal sexual assault, and unlawful imprisonment.

His lawyers appear to be preparing to defend him by asserting the sex was consensual and by seeking to discredit the accuser, a 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea.  The defense team has also hired private detectives to scrutinize the woman's story and her past.

Just the same, the maid's head lawyer has hired two high-powered attorneys to repel any assault on her reputation and credibility.

Strauss-Kahn has been awaiting the court appearance in a luxury townhouse in lower Manhattan where he's under house arrest.  He was released from jail on May 20 on $1 million bail.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May272011

Strauss-Kahn's Accuser Hires High-Powered Lawyers

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With the lawyers for former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn apparently ready to play hardball, prosecutors in the case are prepared to hit back just as hard.

There were reports that defense attorneys Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor had information that would "gravely undermine the credibility" of the New York City hotel chamber maid who accused Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape and sexual assault last May 14th.

Prosecutors said Thursday they were troubled by the lawyers' claims and suggested that this may be a ploy by the defense to intimidate the alleged victim, a 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea.

Just the same, the maid's head lawyer hired two high-powered attorneys to repel any assault on her reputation and credibility.

Jeff Shapiro announced that Norman Siegel, former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, and Kenneth P. Thompson, who prosecuted New York police in the Abner Louima trial, have been added to the team.

Shapiro said his client is doing well despite her ordeal.  In the meantime, Strauss-Kahn is out on $1 million bail and living in a luxury townhouse in lower Manhattan while he awaits his next court date on June 6.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May262011

Ex-IMF Head Strauss-Kahn Moves to New Housing in NYC

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn has found a new home in lower Manhattan, where he will remain under house arrest and tight security while he waits to be tried for the alleged rape of a hotel maid earlier this month, according to officials.

Strauss-Kahn, who resigned from his position as head of the IMF last week after a grand jury in New York indicted him on seven charges, was moved late Wednesday.  The new apartment is about one mile away from the luxury high-rise near Wall Street where he was staying following his release on $1 million bail.

The new apartment in New York's exclusive Tribeca neighborhood is also conveniently located near the courthouse where Strauss-Kahn will be tried for the alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid at the Sofitel Hotel in midtown Manhattan on May 14.

Attorney William Taylor told reporters Wednesday that Strauss-Kahn, who is often referred to simply as "DSK," was "doing fine" while awaiting trial under house arrest.

Strauss-Kahn's new accommodations, which were confirmed by the court on Wednesday, were approved by a judge, according to spokesman David Bookstaver.

This is the second time Strauss-Kahn has had to move since his release from New York's Rikers Island prison facility.  An Upper East Side apartment building where he had intended to remain on house arrest refused to accept him because of unwanted media attention.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May232011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's DNA Found on Maid's Uniform

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- DNA belonging to Dominique Strauss-Kahn was found on the uniform worn by the hotel chambermaid who has accused the former head of the IMF of sexually assaulting her in his Manhattan hotel suite, investigators said Monday.

Soon after the 32-year-old maid reported the alleged assault on May 14, police took her uniform into evidence and searched the room for traces of Strauss-Kahn's DNA. Investigators ripped up a swath of carpet where the maid spit after she was allegedly forced to perform oral sex. They also used a black light to search of traces of DNA in a bathroom sink.

Strauss-Kahn's attorney, Benjamin Brafman, has previously suggested that DNA evidence would prove the encounter that allegedly took place in Strauss-Kahn's $3,000-a-night suite at the Sofitel Hotel was consensual.

"The forensic evidence, we believe, will not be consistent with a forcible encounter," Brafman said.

Investigators did not reveal the type of DNA that was found on the maid's uniform and whether it was Strauss-Kahn's sperm.

Strauss-Kahn Friday was released from jail on $1 million bail and remanded to house arrest in an apartment owned by the private security firm Stroz Friedberg. Under the conditions of his bail, the firm will keep the French politician and economist under 24-hour surveillance.

Last Wednesday, Strauss-Khan resigned his post as chief of the International Monetary Fund, the body that oversees international monetary markets.

"I deny in the strongest possible terms the allegations which I now face; I am confident that the truth will come out and I will be exonerated," Strauss-Kahn wrote in an email to his former colleagues, which was confirmed authentic by ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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