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Strauss-Kahn overshadows true IMF scandals

May 17, 2011, 12:10 UTC+3
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NEW YORK, May 15 (ITAR-TASS) - Police in New York City have detained and taken to custody the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, The New York Time said.

He was taken off an Air France flight bound for Paris as the jet was idling on the tarmac at the airport some ten minutes before it was scheduled to take off.

Strauss-Kahn is accused of "a brutal attack on a woman employee at the hotel Sofitel New York".

According to police information, the head of the IMF tried to rape the 32-year-old woman but she managed to wrest out of his embrace and called the police.

When the policemen arrived, Strauss-Kahn had already abandoned the hotel, leaving behind his mobile phone and many other private belongings. "It looked like he had left for there in a great hurry," a police officer said.

"Strauss-Kahn had been considered a leading contender to run on the Socialist Party's ticket against President Nicolas Sarkozy" in the presidential election due in France in 2012, the newspaper recalled.

A former economics professor, Strauss-Kahn rose to political prominence first as a deputy in parliament in the 1980's and then as a finance minister under socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, a post he held until 1999, The New York Times said.

He eventually "sought the socialist party's presidential nomination himself in 2007 - calling for an "anti-Sarkozy front" - but lost to Segolene Royal," the article said.

"Months later he was tapped to run the IMF and received Sarkozy's support, which many critics called a strategy by Sarkozy to keep Strauss-Kahn away from the forefront of the socialist party," the newspaper said.

Saturday's arrest is far from the first scandal around Straus Kahn's personality, it went on.

"In 2008 he was embroiled in a controversy after accusations arose that he had had a sexual relationship with one of his subordinates, Piroska Nagy, a senior official in the I.M.F.'s Africa Department."

The IMF hired a law firm to launch an investigation, and Nagy left the fund and went to work for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

"With the IMF needed to quell the international economic meltdown, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was kept on the job," The New York Times said. He later apologized for an "error in judgment."

Spokespeople for the IMF press service told Itar-Tass they were aware of the situation around the Managing Director but they vehemently refused to make any comments on it.

New York police official representative Paul Browne confirmed to reporters that Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been detained. He indicated that the man was being questioned at the time of reporting.

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