Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss Kahn told police that he had diplomatic immunity shortly after he was detained at a New York airport on accusations he tried to rape a hotel maid as per the court paper reports on Thursday.
When police removed Kahn from an Air-France flight to Paris just minutes before it was due to depart New York’s John F Kennedy Airport, he asked the detective about the matter and when they told him they wanted to talk to him about an incident in the city at a hotel. He was silent and after a few minutes he claimed that he had immunity and asked to speak to someone from the French consulate.
Strauss Kahn, 62, is under house arrest in New York City and has pleaded not guilty of attempted rape, sex abuse, a criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment, and forcible touching. He will be imprisoned for 25 years if found guilty.
The former managing director of International Monetary Fund, who resigned a few days after his arrest, does not have full diplomatic immunity, but IMF Rules granted him immunity limited to acts performed in his “official capacity”. The IMF said Strauss Kahn had been in New York for his private purposes.
At about 5:15 pm on May 14th, during his transfer to the Manhattan Special Victims Unit, which deals with sex crimes, from the Airport asked police the permission to make a call and to inform German Chancellor Angela Merkel to let them know that he won’t be able to present in the meeting which was scheduled on May 15th.
At 9pm at the Special Victims Unit, Strauss Kahn asked to call his lawyer, and then asked whether he needs a lawyer. The detective informed him of his right to have a lawyer but said he was uncertain whether he could claim diplomatic status.
Later the same day, when he was asked whether he wanted to speak with detectives about the hotel incident, he denied saying though he wanted to speak his attorney has asked him not to talk.
The timeline, which finishes at 9:50 pm on May 15th, shows that he spoke with police only to ask for food. The timeline was provided by prosecutors to New York Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus and Strauss Kahn’s lawyers on Thursday.
Prosecutors also indicated that they planned to give Strauss Kahn’s lawyers with scientific and medical reports, photographs and drawings and tapes and electronic recordings.
The next court date in the Strauss Kahn case is July 18th.
Report by Alka Raju