Did Sofitel Cover Up?
This article appears today at the website of l'Express, a left-wing publication. The questions raised are: Were there other incidents that had been covered up by Sofitel? Is Bernard Debré (see my previous post) wrongly incriminating Sofitel? If so, why? Are his accusations aimed at weakening the Front National? How can that be the case, since the FN would be weakened by DSK's presence on the ballot, not by his absence. Very confusing. Judge for yourselves:
By publishing an article at his blog on Sunday in which he called Dominique Strauss-Kahn a "sexual criminal" who ought to seek "treatment", the deputy from Paris unleashed the anger of many left-wing politicians, including Pierre Moscovici, and message-board commenters, who reproach him for excessive violence in his use of words.
Contacted by l'Express on Monday morning, Bernard Debré (photo left) stands by his remarks and now accuses Dominique Strauss-Kahn of previous sexual aggressions, in the same New York hotel. According to him, they were covered up by the management, against the will of the employees.
"This hypocrisy must stop. This is not the first time that DSK has engaged in this sort of behavior at Sofitel. He always stayed there. This has happened several times and for many years. Everybody in the hotel knew it," declared Bernard Debré, currently on a trip to China.
"The employees were about to rebel," he added. "The management was au courant but until now no one dared say anything. They covered up all the other affairs. Other hotel maids before Ophelia - a charming woman, 32 years old, who did her job very well - had been attacked. Let's stop pretending we were born yesterday. Do you believe that the New York cops would have arrested him in the plane (photo below) if they did not have precise information?"
"This is humiliating for our country. It is shameful. Now I am in Shanghai. The Chinese look at me and laugh. They say that all Frenchmen are sex maniacs. If we continue to cover up, that will help the Front National," Bernard Debré continued.
Note: I strongly disagree. By exposing DSK, by getting him off the ballot, the Front National is in a better position, and the Socialists are weakened (temporarily). It almost sounds as if Debré has to justify what he is doing without in any way incriminating his boss Nicolas Sarkozy, who is (or was) DSK's friend and promoter. Rather than incriminate Sarkozy, he claims to be stemming the tide of pro-Marine feelings. As I said above, this is confusing, because he is doing the opposite. However, he may mean that it is better for him to expose DSK than for Marine to do it and get the credit. If this is the case, it's just a bit shoddy. It means his only motive is to thwart the success of Marine Le Pen.
Note: Pierre Moscovici, mentioned above, is a Socialist leader and was at one time a student of Strauss-Kahn at the ENA (National School of Administration), a specialized college that trains those entering public service.
"I have had many calls from MP's and party members who support me," he insists. And from ministers also? "I cannot say anything."
Note: So he cannot give out the names of the ministers who support him? Then, the hypocrisy has not ended. The floodgates of revelations against Strauss-Kahn have been opened, but we are not allowed to know who is glad or why. Is this not an admission that Sarkozy would be angered if his ministers supported Debré?
There is another article at l'Express that informs us that the maid in question is a 32-year old from Ghana, and the single mother of a teenage girl, who normally did not work on the floor where he was staying:
(…) DSK was supposed to occupy a regular room on the night of May 13-14. But at the last minute he was upgraded at no extra cost to an unoccupied suite. Normally, Ophelia, a 32-year old Ghanian, did not clean that floor of the hotel. But following a personnel problem she was sent to Suite 2806 occupied by DSK.
According to the young woman's narrative, when she arrived, the door was ajar and inside a waiter was removing the tray. He explained that the occupant had departed, and then left. At that moment a naked man came out of the bathroom and violently attacked her.
Note: Why did the waiter say that? Did he really think no one was in the room? Did the tray belong to the previous occupant? Not clear at all.
Hotel spokesmen affirmed that the maid, a single mother of a 15-year old girl, had never caused the slightest problem in three years of service, not in her performance on the job, not in her contacts with hotel clients.
According to the police report, at 12:28 p.m., DSK paid his bill with a credit card. A little while later he called the hotel to ask if a mobile phone had been found in his suite. After a check, no phone or personal effects were found. This call allowed the police to locate DSK and to arrest him on board the Air France plane a few minutes before take-off.
On another note, the management of Accor (owner of Sofitel) denies the repeated accusations by the UMP deputy from Paris, Bernard Debré, who spoke of precedents. If, in 2010, the head of the IMF stayed on five different occasions at Sofitel New York, including once in September, once in October and once in November, no incident was reported.
Note: As I post, I see that DNA evidence has been found on the hotel maid who was too terrified to admit everything at first. See Lawrence Auster.