Sarkozy party rejects idea of Strauss-Kahn conspiracy

Last Updated: Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 21:57

Paris: French President Nicolas Sarkozy`s
party rejected on Sunday as "grotesque" suggestions that Dominique
Strauss-Kahn was the victim of a plot to ruin his presidential
ambitions.

"This story is ridiculous ... this plot argument is
grotesque," said UMP party leader Jean-Francois Cope, while
Interior Minister Claude Gueant dismissed the allegations as
"pure fantasy."

The remarks came after an article in the New York Review
of Books that included hints by associates of the disgraced
ex-International Monetary Fund chief that his arrest on sexual
assault charges in New York on May 14 might have been a
set-up.

Strauss-Kahn, then tipped to beat Sarkozy in France`s 2012
presidential elections, was taken off a plane to Paris that
afternoon after maid Nafissatou Diallo said he had attacked
her in a posh Manhattan hotel.

Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the IMF as a result of
the scandal.

The charges were dropped after prosecutors said Diallo
lied about details of her allegations, but they and subsequent
claims of sexual misconduct in France were enough to end
Strauss-Kahn`s political ambitions.

The New York Review of Books article by investigative
journalist Edward Epstein quotes sources saying that
Strauss-Kahn suspected a smartphone that disappeared just
before his arrest had been hacked.

It also describes camera footage showing an employee of
the Sofitel hotel where the sexual encounter was alleged to
have taken place in Strauss-Kahn`s room, high-fiving a
colleague and appearing to perform a celebratory dance after
listening to Diallo`s testimony.

The article has rekindled speculation that began shortly
after his arrest about a plot to undermine the Socialist
politician, whose wife Anne Sinclair is a multi-millionaire
art heiress and celebrity journalist.

But Interior Minister Gueant said today: "I would say that
it`s pure fantasy."

"I read Epstein`s article. What does it say? That DSK
(Strauss-Kahn) lost his phone. It`s not because one loses
one`s phone that there is a setup," he told French television.

UMP leader Cope said that "we will not fall into this trap
of pursuing this story which has nothing to do with politics,"
adding conspiracy theories were always abundant in the run-up
to elections.

Cope said yesterday that "to imagine that what happened to
Strauss-Kahn was the object of some sort of collusion by the
UMP is stretching things a lot."

PTI



First Published: Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 21:16

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