Strauss-Kahn blames Sarkozy for destroying his bid

London, April 28: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who was under investigation for sexually assaulting a hotel maid in the US, accused his political enemies linked to President Nicolas Sarkozy for destroying his bid for presidency, The Guardian has reported.

“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 Friday, 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, reported RIA Novosti.

The case was opened May 14, 2011, after Nafissatou Diallo, 32, alleged that Strauss-Kahn 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 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. He 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 as “imaginary” a French journalist’s claim that he tried to rape her during a 2003 interview.

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 that he undoubtedly would have won the election if he could have participated in it.

IANS