Strauss-Kahn supporters seek French probe



Strauss-Kahn supporters seek French probe Paris: Supporters of disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Sunday appealed to French authorities to investigate new allegations that President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative political party may have improperly accessed his personal e-mail.

The online appeal from the support group "Club DSK" follows a report published on Saturday in The New York Review of Books that has triggered new speculation about a possible conspiracy aimed at damaging Strauss-Kahn.

That report, citing unidentified sources close to Strauss-Kahn, alleged that at least one private e-mail sent from his mobile phone had been read at Sarkozy's UMP party offices. UMP officials have denied claims of a plot.

Strauss-Kahn, a Socialist, was seen as Sarkozy's top rival for France's 2012 presidential race until his career came crashing down over revelations about a sexual encounter he had with a New York hotel maid on May 14.

The newspaper report, citing several unidentified people close to Strauss-Kahn, said an unidentified friend of his who had been working temporarily in the Paris offices of Sarkozy's conservative party had warned Strauss-Kahn that day that at least one private e-mail he had sent to his wife from his mobile phone had been read at the UMP party offices.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant, one of Sarkozy's top confidants, told Europe-1 radio on Sunday that the allegations of a plot were "fantasy" and "if anyone thinks there was a plot, they simply have to file suit”.

Club DSK president Antonio Duarte, who said the group has 10,000 members, said that his organisation was considering that possibility, but no decision has been made.

For now, Club DSK appealed in a statement posted on its website for state prosecutors to examine the allegations, and for a parliamentary panel to be created to look into them.

Duarte said his group is simply a support group and does not represent Strauss-Kahn.

US authorities initially charged Strauss-Kahn with attempted rape and jailed him for several days after the maid alleged that he attacked her in a Sofitel hotel suite and forced her to perform oral sex.

The criminal case was dismissed when prosecutors said they had lost faith in her credibility. The maid, Nafissatou Diallo, has filed a civil suit.

Bureau Report