Strauss-Kahn in court to face sex crime charges

16th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was in a New York court Monday to deny charges that he sexually assaulted a Manhattan hotel maid.

Haggard looking, Strauss-Kahn wore a black raincoat and a light-colored shirt.

The finance chief and possible French presidential candidate briefly appeared in the court presided over by Judge Melissa Jackson, then left again through the door leading to holding cells.

It was not immediately clear why he left, but there was no sign of his lawyers in the courtroom, suggesting that his case was not yet ready.

During the few minutes he spent in court, Strauss-Kahn sat on a bench where crime suspects wait before appearing in front of the judge. He did not appear to be handcuffed.

Strauss-Kahn was in court to enter a plea and seek bail. His lawyers say he will plead not guilty and "vigorously" fight the charges that he tried to force himself on a chambermaid at the luxury Sofitel.

The New York state arraignment court deals with a steady flow of criminal suspects, most of them related to drugs possession, assault, and minor theft.

© 2011 AFP

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