How Strauss-Kahn's world fell apart

20th May 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 and arrested at New York's JFK airport.

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 veteran politician, who denies the accusations, is charged with "criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment, attempted rape" of the 32-year-old unnamed woman employee of the hotel.

His wife, French television journalist Anne Sinclair, says she has "no doubt his innocence will be established."

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: New York judge accepts prosecution argument that independently wealthy and well-connected Strauss-Kahn was a flight risk; denies bail despite offer of $1 million dollar bond.

He is sent to New York's sprawling Rikers Island prison. In total, with the seven charges levied against him, he faces between 15 to 74 years behind bars.

High-profile defense attorneys William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman sign on to argue from Strauss-Kahn's corner.

Sinclair arrives in New York from Paris.

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

The victim is said to be living through "extraordinary" trauma since the alleged attack, 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" against him.

He is formally indicted by the grand jury and the seven charges against him are confirmed.

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

He is set to leave prison Friday. The next hearing, during which Strauss-Kahn could enter a plea, is set for June 6.

© 2011 AFP

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