The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested at New York?s John F. Kennedy airport on Saturday afternoon accused of an alleged sex attack on a hotel maid earlier in the day.
Reports said Strauss-Kahn was about to board an Air France flight to Paris. He was arrested by plainclothes officers from the Port Authority of New York and turned over to Manhattan police, reports said.
The married 62-year-old is a former finance minister and has been slated as a likely presidential candidate with the French Socialist Party.
Reports quoting authorities said Strauss-Kahn has been charged with a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment relating to an incident involving a 32-year-old woman. The woman, who was allegedly locked up in a suite at the Sofitel New York as the French politician was preparing to leave the United States, was later treated in hospital for minor injuries, reports said.
The IMF is heavily involved in the bailouts of Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Straus-Kahn, who was set to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday, was expected to attend a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Brussels the following day. Some analysts have said that the charges could have an impact on the bailout process.
Strauss-Kahn is no stranger to scandal. In 2008, he was accused of having had a sexual relationship with a senior official in the IMF?s Africa department. She left the organization while Strauss-Kahn later apologized for an ?error in judgment.?