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Strauss-Kahn in Rikers Island jail until Friday court appearance

media Dominique Strauss-Kahn yesterday Reuters

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is set to appear in court again on Friday after being denied bail in the rape case against him on Monday. The French Socialist politician and International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief spent the night in New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail, where officials say he will not have contact with other prisoners for his own safety.

Because of a perceived risk of attacks on famous people, Strauss-Kahn will only leave his cell accompanied by a prison-guard, the officials say.

Strauss-Kahn faces six charges:

  • Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree:
  • Attempted Rape in the First Degree;
  • Sexual Abuse in the First Degree;
  • Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree;
  • Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree;
  • Forcible Touching.

The charge sheet states that “the defendant engaged in oral sexual conduct and anal sexual conduct with another person by forcible compulsion". Forced oral sex is not rape according to US law.
 

On Friday a 23-person Grand Jury will hear his alleged victim and establish whether he has a case to answer. 

Strauss-Kahn appeared before Judge Melissa Jackson on Monday. she  turned down the defence’s offer of a million dollars (700,000 euros) bail, which came with a promise that Strauss-Kahn would hand over his passport and stay with one of his daughters, Camille, who is studying at Colombia University in New York.

Satellite view of Rikers Island
Google Map

The prosecution invoked the case of film director Roman Polanski, who fled the US when facing rape charges, to oppose the demand and alleged that the IMF boss was implicated in “at least one” other similar case.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers claimed in court that he left the hotel where the rape is said to have taken place in the hurry because he had a lunch appointment. They have promised to produce the person he was due to meet.

The website of RMC.fr radio on Monday said that they hoped to provide an alibi by arguing that he had left the hotel an hour before the alleged rape for a lunch appointment with his daughter.

The site also reported that the defence intends to argue that the alleged victim, who apparently did not know who her alleged attacker was, is not attractive enough to attract the interest of their client.

The IMF executive board met late Monday to discuss the arrest but made no public statement on a decision on Strauss-Kahn’s position.

The executive committee of France’s Socialist Party was to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday, with party leader Martine Aubry present.

Strauss-Kahn was expected to bid to be the party’s presidential candidate in 2012 but is now likely to be facing trial in the autumn, when party members vote on the question.

Socialist politicians have condemned the publication of photos of their colleague in handcuffs – an act which would have been illegal in France without the permission of the person concerned.

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