Strauss-Kahn blames Sarkozy for his downfall
PARIS FRANCE’s presidential race headed into its home straight on Saturday as ex- IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a Socialist once tipped to win the vote, blamed Nicolas Sarkozy for his spectacular downfall.
The claim came as the battle between Sarkozy and the front-running Francois Hollande grew ever more bitter, with the incumbent accusing the Socialist of subjecting him to a “Stalinist trial” over his bid to woo the far right.
However, Sarkozy rejected Strauss-Kahn’s claims that he was the cause of the ex-IMF chief’s spectacular downfall. “Enough is enough! I would tell Strauss-Kahn to explain himself to the law and spare the French his remarks,” he said while on the election campaign trail in central France Strauss-Kahn, in his first major newspaper interview since his disgrace a year ago, told The Guardian that his fall was orchestrated by opponents to prevent him from standing as the Socialist candidate in the election.
The ex-International Monetary Fund boss had been favoured to win the vote until May last year, when he was arrested in New York and accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo. The charges were later dropped.
Strauss-Kahn said that although he did not believe the incident with Diallo was a setup, the subsequent escalation of the event into a criminal investigation was “shaped by those with a political agenda.” “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,” Strauss- Kahn told the British daily.
The Guardian said it is clear that the “they” refers to people working for Sarkozy and his UMP party.
Strauss-Kahn accuses the agents of intercepting phone calls and ensuring that Diallo went to the police to make her accusations.
He believes he was under surveillance in the days before the encounter, and had removed encryption from his phones because of technical problems, the interview said.
A New York lawyer representing Diallo in an ongoing civil lawsuit against Strauss-Kahn dismissed as “utter nonsense” that there had been any political intrigue.
Opinion polls show that Hollande is expected to win the election run-off against Sarkozy on May 6
Strauss-Kahn said he was sure he would now be in Hollande’s shoes had it not been for the events at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan on May 14 last year.