The alleged sexual attack victim of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has been identified as an African immigrant from Guinea, a country once colonized by the French.

New York Police said the woman, 32, had already identified the suspect from a lineup that included five other men.

The alleged sexual attack at the Times Square Sofitel by a man with a formidable opportunity to be the next French president on the platform of the Socialist Party, is shifting focus to the sexual abuse of African women dating back to the colonial days.

But it is also ironically underscores years of failed economic policies championed by the IMF on the African continent, the very reason that increasing numbers of Africans have become vulnerable second class citizens in Western capitals, often exploited as sex slaves, maids and nannies by powerful capitalist oligarchs.  

Whereas most African families live on one dollar per day, Mr. Kahn was soaking in luxury in a lavish $3,000 per night hotel suite.  That amount alone, without even one French cigar, croissant or a shot of cognac added to the bill, equals the daily sustenance of 3,000 African families in Guinea today.

This is at a time that the IMF is continuing to force African governments to cut programs for the poor through Structural Adjustment Programs and other controversial economic policies such as devaluation of national currencies.

Meanwhile, Mr. Strauss-Khan is assembling an all-star defence team to be led by Benjamin Brafman, famously remembered as Michael Jackson's pre-eminent lawyer.   He appeared in a New York court today, but his lawyers said he would plead not guilty to charges of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. 

Also, in Paris, a female writer is reportedly considering a formal complaint against Mr. Strauss-Khan from a similar assault upon her in 2002.

Until he stepped out of the shower naked in his swanky hotel suite on Saturday and reportedly tried to rape the Guinean immigrant, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was the Socialist early favorite in next year’s French presidential race.  That ambition is now in tatters, as is his international power base at the IMF.

A New York judge has denied the IMF chief bail, the judge ordered on Monday that Mr. Strauss-Kahn be held in a New York jail without bail until the next adjourned court date.

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