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France

Government slams ‘odious’ Strauss-Kahn conspiracy theories

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2011-07-04

Supporters of Dominique Strauss-Kahn have raised doubts over the role of the French government during and after the arrest of the French politician and former IMF boss.

As Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s trial for alleged sexual assault on a chambermaid teeters on the brink of collapse, conspiracy theories re-emerged over the weekend that were immediately denounced by the government as “odious”.

Socialist lawmaker and Strauss-Kahn ally Francois Loncle said Accor management, the French parent company of Sofitel where Strauss-Kahn’s alleged attempted rape took place, called the French authorities on the night of his arrest.

DA Letter to DSK Lawyers
He also hinted that Accor’s senior management had been in contact with French intelligence services.

“We know Accor was in touch with Paris,” he told FRANCE 24. “But was it before he was arrested? Was it after? Exactly who were they talking to? These are legitimate questions.
 
“I have never said it is a conspiracy and I am not accusing Accor. But it is possible that Strauss-Kahn was victim of an entrapment. It is in everybody’s best interest for the details of all these communications to be made public.”
 
Skulduggery?
 
Before his arrest, Strauss-Kahn was in a position of immense power and potential.
 
The head of the IMF was tipped to win the French Socialist Party (PS) nomination to be party candidate in next year’s presidential election.
 
Polls also showed Strauss-Kahn enjoying a clear lead over President Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of the 2012 election.  
 
With the French government, and Sarkozy himself, having the most to gain from Strauss-Kahn’s downfall, speculation of political skulduggery was inevitable.
 
The allegations increased after Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest Friday after prosecutors acknowledged there were serious doubts about the credibility of the hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault.
 
Dominique Strauss-Kahn: portrait of a political heavyweight
According to a report in the leading French daily, Le Monde
 on Saturday, Strauss-Kahn had been behaving in an increasingly paranoid manner in the weeks before his arrest in New York.
 
The paper quoted close associates of Strauss-Kahn as asking them to remove the batteries from their mobile phones before he would talk to them. According to close ally Francois Pupponi Strauss-Kahn said the Russians wanted to get rid of him as IMF head.
 
On April 28, he even told journalists he could envision “a woman claiming she was raped in a parking lot and being paid between 500,000 to million euros to invent such a story.”
 
Over the weekend, stories emerged in the US tabloid press that claimed Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim, whose credibility was in freefall, had been working as a prostitute at the New York Sofitel.
 
‘Political assassination’
 
On Saturday, Strauss-Kahn supporter Michele Sabban, vice president of the regional council for the greater Paris area, joined Loncle in questioning the behaviour of senior management at Sofitel and Accor.
 
Sabban has been claiming Strauss Kahn’s arrest was part of an international conspiracy ever since he was arrested in New York in May.
 
In an interview with a French radio station over the weekend, she repeated that Strauss-Kahn had been the victim of a “political assassination attempt” and questioned the “attitude” of Sofitel’s directors.
 
She also suggested that Sarkozy had a suspiciously cosy relationship with Ray Kelley, head of the NYPD (New York Police Department) noting that Kelly was awarded France’s highest civilian award the “Legion d’Honneur” in 2006, while Sarkozy was Interior Minister.
 
In interview with the France 2 television network though, current French Interior Minister Claude Gueant slammed the recent conspiracy theories, saying the comments by Loncle and Sabban were “odious”.
 
The management of the French hotel group Accor has also formally denied that any of its directors had intervened in the Strauss-Kahn case in a statement released Sunday.
 
Meanwhile the head of the French intelligence services Bernard Squarcini told Le Monde that neither he nor anyone in his agency had anything to do with the Strauss-Kahn’s affair.
 
Loncle said he was shocked by Squarcini’s denial. “If they say they are not looking into the Strauss-Kahn case, they are either not telling the truth or they are not doing their jobs properly,” he said.
 

 

Date created : 2011-07-04

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