May 16, 2011 in Nation/World

IMF chief’s arraignment postponed

Geraldine Baum Los Angeles Times
Deputy takes helm

Despite Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, the International Monetary Fund said in a statement it remains “fully functioning and operational.” The IMF Executive Board convened an informal session Sunday and made Strauss-Kahn’s deputy, John Lipsky, acting managing director.

NEW YORK – Arraignment of IMF leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault charges was postponed until today, his attorneys said late Sunday.

Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys told reporters the arraignment would take place after 11 a.m. today while their client undergoes a “scientific forensic examination” requested by the government.

Strauss-Kahn, leader of the International Monetary Fund, was expected to plead not guilty to charges of attacking a maid in a luxury suite at a Times Square-area hotel.

He was removed from a plane departing New York for Paris on Saturday. The jet had been taxiing down the runway for takeoff when it was called back to the gate, where officers came aboard and took him away.

Strauss-Kahn has been in police custody since about 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

One of his attorneys, William Taylor, said of his client, “He’s tired but he’s fine.”

Another attorney, Benjamin Brafman, added, “He intends to vigorously defend these charges and he denies any wrongdoing.”

The assault allegations have caused a disruption in Strauss-Kahn’s job – preserving the stability of European monetary policy – and his possible bid for the presidency of France.

On Saturday night, Strauss-Kahn was taken to the Harlem headquarters of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit, which investigates rape and other sex crimes. He was expected to be charged with committing a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment, said Paul Browne, deputy New York City police commissioner.

The Manhattan district attorney will determine the actual charges, which will be made public at the arraignment.

The incident began Saturday afternoon, police said.

“A 32-year-old chambermaid at a Sofitel on 44th Street said that at about 1 p.m., she entered Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s room to clean when he came out of the bathroom naked, pushed her onto the bed and assaulted her,” Browne said. The maid told police that before she could escape, Strauss-Kahn forced her to perform oral sex, Browne said.

For the last four years, Strauss-Kahn, 62, has been the managing director of the IMF, a lending institution with 186 member countries that helps oversee the global economy.

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