News Agencies – May 30, 2011
The Guinean woman whose testimony could result in the jailing of one of the most powerful financiers in the world, Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, forced to resign as head of the International Monetary Fund after being accused of raping a maid at the Sofitel Hotel in New York, has come under scrutiny. The 32-year old Guinean Muslim chambermaid has disappeared from view.
But her extended family, living quietly in rural Guinea where the average life expectancy is just 58, has suddenly found itself in the spotlight. French media have named the maid, and her identity is available on the internet, but The Sunday Telegraph has chosen not to publish her name. When her husband died in Guinea, the young woman was encouraged to move to New York by her elder sister, Hassanatou, who paid for her journey. “She couldn’t read, but she did receive a good religious education from her parents, and was a good girl,” her mother explained. Now, remote though they may seem, it has emerged that these same relatives in Guinea and Senegal could also find themselves embroiled in the investigation.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers have hired a global private investigation company to work on his defence. There were no witnesses to the alleged attack, nor any kind of recording of it, so the credibility of the former IMF chief and the accusing chambermaid will be crucial.