Bail Hearing Set For Thursday In IMF Chief Case

The International Monetary Fund leader accused of trying to rape a hotel maid has a court hearing scheduled to seek his release on bail. Benjamin Brafman is Dominique Strauss-Kahn's attorney. He says a hearing has been set for Thursday morning in Manhattan. A court administrator says the hearing concerns a special application on behalf of Strauss-Kahn.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn (R), head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), departs a New York Police Department precinct in New York late May 15, 2011.

The International Monetary Fund leader accused of trying to rape a hotel maid has a court hearing scheduled to seek his release on bail.

Benjamin Brafman is Dominique Strauss-Kahn's attorney. He says a hearing has been set for Thursday morning in Manhattan.

A court administrator says the hearing concerns a special application on behalf of Strauss-Kahn.

The French politician was arrested on Saturday and accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid at his penthouse suite at a hotel near Times Square. A judge held him without bail on Monday.

Investigators cut out a piece of carpet in a painstaking search of a penthouse suite for DNA evidence that could corroborate a hotel maid's claim that IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

New York detectives and prosecutors believe the carpet may contain Strauss-Kahn's semen, spat out after an episode of forced oral sex, the officials said, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

In addition to examining the Sofitel Hotel suite for further potential DNA evidence, they were looking at the maid's keycard to determine whether she used it to enter the room, and how long she was there, officials said.

One of the officials said that the DNA testing was being "fast-tracked" but that the results could still be a few days away.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because neither was authorized to speak about the case publicly and because it has gone to a grand jury.
IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn (R) is seen with his lawyer Benjamin Brafman at Manhattan Criminal Court, in New York, May 16. From flat denial to claiming
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly declined to comment Wednesday on the details of the evidence-gathering but said results of any DNA and other testing have not yet come back. He said the detectives investigating the case found the maid's story believable.

"Obviously, the credibility of the complainant is a factor in cases of this nature," Kelly said. "One of the things they're trained to look for, and what was reported to me early on, was that the complainant was credible."

The Manhattan district attorney's office declined to comment Wednesday, as did one of Strauss-Kahn's attorneys, Benjamin Brafman. Brafman said at his client's arraignment this week that the forensic evidence "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter." That led to speculation that the defense would argue the sex was consensual.

The jailed Strauss-Kahn is one of France's most high-profile politicians and was seen as a potential candidate for president in next year's elections. His arrest shocked France.

The maid is a 32-year-old chambermaid from the West African nation of Guinea. Her lawyer, Jeffrey Shapiro, dismissed suggestions from some of Strauss-Kahn's defenders that she had made up the charges or tried to cover up a consensual encounter.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn (R) head of the International Monetary Fund, watches as his attorneys Benjamin Brafman (C) and William Taylor during arraignment… Read more »
She told police that the 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn came out of the bathroom naked, chased her down, forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear before she broke free and fled the room.

The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sex crimes unless they agree to it.

The scandal comes at a critical moment for the IMF, which is trying to shore up teetering economies in Europe. The IMF is an immensely powerful agency that loans money to countries to stabilize the world economy. In exchange it often imposes strict austerity measures.

AP