IMF chief vows to fight charges

Sex assault case: Strauss-Kahn appears before New York court

While pundits predicted the scandal would scupper the veteran politician’s chances of becoming the next French president, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman said his client would vigorously defend himself against claims that he trapped the maid in a luxury Manhattan hotel and sexually assaulted her.

Police said they had won a warrant to seek DNA evidence on his clothes. “He intends to vigorously defend these charges and denies any wrongdoing,” Brafman told reporters.

The bombshell news of the arrest of one of the world’s most powerful men has left the International Monetary Fund reeling, ahead of critical talks in Brussels on Monday on the fallout of the debt crisis sweeping the eurozone.

No immunity

Strauss-Kahn, 62, has hired a barrage of top lawyers, as questions swirled over whether he could escape prosecution. But late Sunday, a New York police spokesman said the IMF chief did not have the right to diplomatic immunity.

Another lawyer, William Taylor, told journalists outside a Manhattan courthouse that the arraignment was postponed until Monday so Strauss-Kahn could undergo further testing by police.

“Our client willingly consented to a scientific and forensic examination,” Taylor said.
A former finance minister, Strauss-Kahn had been expected to throw his hat into the ring for the 2012 French election, challenging President Nicolas Sarkozy.

But his political ambitions look to be in tatters, after he was yanked off an Air France flight on Saturday just minutes before take-off.

“As we wait for truth to be sorted from falsehood, one thing is already certain: Dominique Strauss-Kahn will not be the next president of the French Republic,” France’s Le Figaro wrote in an editorial.

Commentators also warned about the impact on the IMF, with London’s Financial Times saying it threatened to undermine Europe’s influence within the body at a time when the euro single currency is in crisis.

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