New York: Speculations that former International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the victim of a conspiracy have reignited after it emerged that staff at the hotel where he allegedly assaulted a maid celebrated after his arrest.
According to the Telegraph, a new article claims that staff at New York’s Sofitel Hotel were filmed ‘high-fiving’ and doing a “dance of celebration” after the incident in May.
The article, by the investigative journalist Edward Epstein in the New York Review of Books, is likely to provoke fury among allies of Strauss-Kahn, who have long maintained that he was set up.
Epstein claimed that the hotel’s chief engineer Brian Yearwood was filmed by surveillance cameras meeting an unidentified colleague after sitting with the sexual assault accuser Nafissatou Diallo immediately after the incident.
“The two men high-five each other, clap their hands and do what looks like an extraordinary dance of celebration that lasts for three minutes,” Epstein wrote in an article.
He also reported that Strauss-Kahn was warned that a private e-mail had been seen in a Paris office of President Nicholas Sarkozy’s UMP party.
The claim led Strauss-Kahn to believe his IMF BlackBerry had been hacked. The phone later took on a crucial role in the scandal, after Strauss-Kahn called the hotel to say he had left it in his room.
His call, from a taxi en route to John F Kennedy airport, allowed hotel staff to direct police to the Air France jet that was about to fly him to Paris. The BlackBerry was allegedly never recovered, and Epstein claims its GPS locator was disabled about 40 minutes after the alleged assault, the report said.
Douglas Wigdor, one of Miss Diallo's attorneys has dismissed the article calling it “preposterous” and saying it was “not based on facts or evidence”.
First Published: Saturday, November 26, 2011, 13:42