Sunday, November 27, 2011
Breaking News - The Plot to Destroy DSK Dominique Strauss-Kahn - Signs Point to Trap Linked to French Pols - New York Post
By LAURA ITALIANO and ANNIE KARNI
It sure seemed like employees of Midtown’s posh Sofitel were happy to hear Dominique Strauss-Kahn was in trouble.
Two employees of the high-end hotel high-fived and performed a bizarre, 3-minute celebratory dance moments after learning that a maid had accused Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her, a bombshell new report reveals.
The revelers — whose celebration was captured on security video — were Brian Yearwood, the hotel’s chief engineer, and an unidentified man who had accompanied the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, to the hotel’s security office.
“They could have won the lottery,” quipped DSK lawyer William Taylor, who has seen the curious video.
“It seems directly related to speaking with Diallo and calling the police,” Taylor told The Post.
The dance video has no audio, so it’s unclear what the excitement was really about. But the “extraordinary” dance is just one of a slew of suspicious facts about DSK’s last hours May 14 at the Sofitel offered in a story by veteran investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein, published online yesterday by the New York Review of Books.
The story doesn’t go into detail about the sexual-assault allegations brought against Strauss-Kahn, which were eventually dropped by Manhattan prosecutors.
Instead, it details a series of events mostly after the incident — and it implies strongly that DSK may have been set up by allies of his main political rival, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The idea of a political plot against Strauss-Kahn is “absolutely ridiculous,” said Jean-Francois Cope, secretary general of Sarkozy’s party, the UMP.
“To imagine that what happened to Mr. Strauss-Kahn was the object of any kind of involvement by the UMP, excuse me, but let me say that it’s a bit obvious as a manipulation,” he said.
But Taylor, a key member of Strauss-Kahn’s New York legal team, said questions raised in the report demand answers.
“We know [the maid] isn’t telling the truth,” he said. “But now we have to wonder whether the hotel and the French government are telling the truth.”
After the alleged assault around noon, DSK checked out of the hotel and went to lunch with his daughter and her boyfriend.
That was about when Diallo told hotel security that Strauss-Kahn had emerged from the shower and assaulted her in room 2806.
At 1:03 p.m., John Sheehan, director of safety and security at Accor — the French-based hotel company that owns the Sofitel — got a call at his home in upstate Washingtonville.
He rushed to Manhattan, and on the way dialed a 646 phone number that appears to belong to Accor, the New York Review of Books story said.
It was unclear with whom Sheehan wanted to speak.
One possibility, the story says, was his boss, Rene-Georges Querry, a Sarkozy pal who was taking in a soccer match in France from the president’s private box that morning.
But Querry claims he did not hear news about DSK until four hours later, when the destroyed politico was taken into custody.
Another possibility was Xavier Graff, the duty officer at Accor in Paris.
Graff, wrote an e-mail five weeks after DSK’s arrest that he took credit for “bringing down” the IMF chief, who at the time of his arrest was leading Sarkozy in presidential polls. Graff later claimed he was joking, but the indiscretion cost him his job.
Taylor also questions why the hotel staff didn’t call police until 1:31 p.m. — an hour after Diallo reported the assault.
“Why didn’t the hotel call the police [immediately]? The Sofitel and the French government should respond to these questions.”
Two hours before his alleged sex assault on Diallo, DSK had been alerted via text from a female friend that his IMF BlackBerry may have been hacked by Sarkozy’s operatives, according to the report.
DSK lost the hacked BlackBerry that day, and it has never been recovered, the story said.
Strauss-Kahn was charged with attempted rape. His lawyers claimed he’d had a consensual “hurried sexual encounter.” The charges were dropped in August after prosecutors decided Diallo was an unreliable witness and had lied about the day’s events.