World Bulletin/News Desk
The former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was under investigation for sexually assaulting a hotel maid in the United States, accused his political enemies linked to French conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy of destroying his bid for presidency, The Guardian reported on Friday.
“Perhaps I was politically naive, but I simply did not believe that they would go that far … I didn't think they could find anything that could stop me,” The Guardian reported, citing Strauss-Kahn.
Strauss-Kahn was considered French President Nicolas Sarkozy's greatest rival until May when the sexual assault case against Strauss-Kahn was opened.
The case was opened on May 14, 2011, after Nafissatou Diallo, 32, alleged that the man had assaulted her sexually at the Sofitel New York Hotel. Strauss-Kahn, 63, pleaded not guilty and said any sexual contact had been with mutual consent.
Strauss-Kahn told The Guardian that the subsequent escalation of the events on May 14 into a criminal investigation had been “shaped by those with a political agenda.”
Strauss-Kahn is sure that he was put under surveillance by French intelligence weeks before he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. Strauss-Kahn accuses the agents of tapping his phone calls and making sure that Diallo appealed to the police, which eventually provoked an international scandal.
After spending a few days in prison after being detained, Strauss-Kahn was released on a $1-million bail and put under house arrest. In early July, prosecutors said Diallo had lied to the authorities when obtaining refugee status, and also lied to tax and social security officials and to the grand jury after taking an oath. The judge intended to close the case, but Diallo's lawyers said they had proof of Strauss-Kahn's guilt. Starauss-Kahn reiterated that Diallo had lied. He said there was "no act of aggression, no violence."
The former IMF chief has also dismissed a French journalist's claims he tried to rape her during a 2003 interview calling them "imaginary." In the first round of French presidential elections, socialist Francois Hollande has 28.63 percent of the vote, while his main rival, Nicolas Sarkozy, is second with 27.18 percent. The second round is scheduled for May 6. Strauss-Kahn told the Guardian, he undoubtedly would have won the election if he could have participated in it.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed on Tuesday on plans to join the military campaign against Islamic State in Syria, a government official said.
Offer to join is expected to come after a meeting of foreign ministers from the 28-nation alliance in Brussels
Ayman Odeh, the chairman of the Knesset's joint Arab list, will travel to Washington to talk with civil rights leaders and will also be a guest of honor at event hosted by American Jewish billionaire S. Daniel Abraham.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed to expel Palestinian families of fighters and demolish their family home.
Prime minister ends weeks of speculation by announcing parliamentary vote on strikes against ISIL in Syria
Evidence also shows aircraft was warned multiple times before being shot down, State Dept. says
An 11-year lawsuit ends with new revelations about national security letters
The increase of food exports follows Russian sanctions in wake of shooting down of warplane
Turkish president says next stage in combating militants in Syria planned
Russian president accuses Ankara of seeking to protect ISIL oil exports, an important source of funds for the extremist group
Obama called for an easing of inflamed Russia-Turkey tensions in a closed-door meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin on the eve of a climate summit in Paris
Baku accuses Armenian forces of killing Azerbaijani soldier inlatest clash in diputed Nagorny Karabakh region
German Defense Ministry says call for broader coalition against ISIL does not involve Syrian regime forces
'What greater rejection for those who would tear down our world then marshaling our best efforts to save it,' says US president in Paris
Russian President Putin held closed-door talks with his US counterpart Obama on sidelines of UN climate conference in France