IMF Head Deemed Flight Risk, Denied Bail
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF Chief and leading French presidential contender, was denied bail yesterday after being accused of attempted rape by a hotel employee. Prosecutor Daniel Alonzo compared Strauss-Kahn to Roman Polanski, calling him a flight risk, and Judge Melissa Jackson agreed, noting that he was captured at JFK en route back to France. He is being held at Rikers Island in New York in a separate barracks from other prisoners.
Austrian finance minister Maria Fekter said that he should step down. "Considering the situation - that bail was denied - he has to figure out for himself that he is hurting the institution," Fekter told journalists.
Calling the alleged offenses "extraordinarily serious," Spanish finance minister Elena Salgado said Strauss-Kahn had to decide for himself whether he wanted to step down, adding, "If I had to show my solidarity and support for someone, it would be toward the woman who has been assaulted, if that is really the case that she has been."
Other European officials were more supportive of the IMF's managing director. "I'm very sad and upset. And he's a good friend of mine," Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said Monday night.
Security tapes from the hotel in question show Strauss-Kahn rushing from the premises, while his attorney pointed out he attended several meetings and a lunch with his daughter before heading to JFK.