Hotel room to courtroom: Strauss-Kahn timeline

4th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Key events in the saga of former IMF chief Dominque Strauss-Kahn, a high-profile figure in French politics and global economics facing trial on sexual assault charges in New York:

- May 14: Strauss-Kahn is pulled off a Paris-bound flight minutes before take-off from New York's JFK airport and arrested.

He is accused of a sexual assault on a maid in his suite at the luxury Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan.

- May 15: The 62-year-old French politician, who denies the accusations, is charged with "criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment, attempted rape" of the 32-year-old, so far unidentified woman employee of the hotel.

The case shakes political life in France, where Strauss-Kahn had been widely tipped as presidential favorite. Opposition French ministers make claims of a "plot" and "trap" against him.

In Washington, the IMF insists business continues as usual, calls on acting director John Lipsky to step into management role.

- May 16: A New York judge accepts the prosecution argument that Strauss-Kahn is a flight risk and orders him detained without bail in New York's Rikers Island jail.

High-profile defense attorneys William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman represent Strauss-Kahn.

Wife Anne Sinclair, a multi-millionaire heiress and French journalist, arrives in New York from Paris.

- May 17: Strauss-Kahn is reportedly under suicide watch on Rikers Island.

Meanwhile, the alleged victim is living through "extraordinary" trauma, according to her lawyer.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says Strauss-Kahn is "obviously not in the position to run the IMF."

- May 18: The victim, an immigrant from the West African nation of Guinea, testifies behind closed doors at a grand jury hearing. Her lawyer denies she had a consensual relations with Strauss-Kahn.

New York police conduct forensic search of hotel suite.

- May 19: Strauss-Kahn resigns as head of the IMF, and denies "with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made."

He is formally indicted by the grand jury and the seven charges against him are confirmed. He faces a potential maximum of 74 years prison if convicted.

Bail is granted after he agrees to post $1 million cash and $5 million bond, submit to round-the-clock surveillance under house arrest and wear an ankle monitoring bracelet.

- May 20: After four nights in Rikers Strauss-Kahn is released and moves into an apartment near Wall Street. From there he changes to a townhouse rented for a reported $50,000 a month in the trendy TriBeCa neighborhood.

- May 23: US and French television stations report that traces of Strauss-Kahn's semen have been found on the maid's shirt. The New York Police Department denies leaking information about its investigation.

- May 26: Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn complain in a letter filed in court that leaks are feeding a "media frenzy." They claim to have information that could "gravely undermine" the maid's credibility, but give no detail.

- May 27: French President Nicolas Sarkozy calls it a "sad" affair.

- June 1: Moving van arrives with paintings, clothing and other belongings at Strauss-Kahn's place of house arrest.

- June 6: Strauss-Kahn is due to be formally arraigned and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty before Judge Michael Obus in New York state court.

© 2011 AFP

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