NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn told police he had diplomatic immunity shortly after he was detained at a New York airport on accusations he tried to rape a hotel maid, court papers showed Thursday.
A redacted timeline of events showed that when police removed Strauss-Kahn from an Air France flight to Paris just minutes before it was due to depart New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on May 14 he asked them, “What is this about?”
When told detectives wanted to talk to him about “an incident in the city at a hotel,” Strauss-Kahn was silent and then about 15 minutes later said, “I have diplomatic immunity” and asked to speak with someone from the French Consulate.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, is under house arrest in New York City and has pleaded not guilty to attempted rape, sex abuse, a criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
The former managing director of the 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 on private business.
At about 5:15 p.m. on May 14 during his transfer to the Manhattan Special Victims Unit, which deals with sex crimes, from the airport, Strauss-Kahn said: “I need to make a call and let them know I won’t be at my meeting tomorrow.”
“These handcuffs are tight,” he added.
Strauss-Kahn had been due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 15 and join euro zone finance ministers in Brussels the following day to discuss the bloc’s debt crisis and how to handle the economic meltdown in Greece.
At 9 p.m. at the Special Victims Unit, Strauss-Kahn asked to call his lawyer, then asked police if he needed a lawyer. A detective said he had a right to a lawyer, but added that he didn’t know if Strauss-Kahn had diplomatic status.
“No, no, no, I’m not trying to use that,” Strauss-Kahn said.
At 10:55 p.m. Strauss-Kahn was asked if he wanted to speak with detectives about the hotel incident, to which he replied: “My attorney has told me not to talk. I was ready to talk.”
The timeline, which finishes at 9.50 p.m on May 15, then shows he only spoke with police to ask for food. The timeline was provided by prosecutors to New York Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus and Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers 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 18.
Editing by Cynthia Osterman