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Strauss-Kahn awaited in court to answer sex charges

Other News Materials 16 May 2011 14:48
The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was due to appear in court in New York later Monday on charges of sexual assault and attempted rape.
Strauss-Kahn awaited in court to answer sex charges

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was due to appear in court in New York later Monday on charges of sexual assault and attempted rape.

The 62-year-old Frenchman, escorted by police and wearing handcuffs, was taken Sunday night from the police station in the borough of Harlem, where he had been held since his arrest Saturday evening, DPA reported.

He had been expected to be brought to a Manhattan court to hear the charges against him and apply for bail, but his court appearance was delayed to allow time for him to undergo medical tests connected to the alleged attack.

After gathering DNA evidence from his hotel room, New York police obtained a warrant to have Strauss-Kahn himself examined for further clues.

Strauss-Kahn, who had been expected to contest next year's presidential elections in France, was arrested at New York's John F Kennedy airport after a maid at New York's Sofitel hotel claimed he attacked her when she entered his room to clean it on Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday evening, the 32-year-old cleaner identified the former French finance minister from a police line-up.

One of his two lawyers, Benjamin Brafman, told US media Strauss- Kahn denied the charges against him.

Strauss-Kahn had been about to depart the US for a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin when he was escorted off an Air France flight minutes before it departed for Paris.

On Monday, he had been due to attend a key meeting in Brussels of eurozone members that will focus on a second possible bailout for Greece.

The IMF has said John Lipsky, the IMF's first deputy managing director, will lead the organization in an acting capacity in Strauss-Kahn's absence.

The bank has declined further comment on the case, except to say that the Washington-based lender "remains fully functioning and operational."

It was not clear who would represent the IMF at the Brussels meeting.

The affair has sent shockwaves through France, where polls had showed Strauss-Kahn defeating incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy if chosen to represent the opposition Socialist Party.

If convicted he could face up to 25 years in prison.

While the government and left-wing politicians have stressed he remains innocent until proven guilty, a member of Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Majority has described the incident as "humiliating for France."

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