DSK Has a Polanski Problem in His Bid for Bail

The lack of an extradition treaty between the U.S. and France lowers his odds of winning release

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Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former director of the International Monetary Fund, will go before a judge today to argue once more that he be released on bail. Judge Melissa Jackson on Monday denied his bail request of $1 million, saying Strauss-Kahn was a flight risk after he was arrested on board an Air France flight to Paris. Now, the Socialist Party bigwig has agreed to give up his right to extradition as well as offering to surrender his travel documents and wear an ankle bracelet to ensure he stays sequestered in Manhattan--likely at his daughter's home.

The absence of an extradition treaty with France had been a sticking point in Strauss-Kahn's bail attempt. Comparisons to Roman Polanski have pervaded the case and its coverage. The Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown director fled to France after he was arrested for sexual assault in 1977 and has never been extradited. "Mr Polanski… lowered the odds that Mr Strauss-Kahn... will get bail in New York any time soon," the Times' Jim Dwyer wrote yesterday.

In a 16-page bail application submitted late Wednesday and reprinted by the New York Times, Strauss-Kahn signed an affidavit that contained the following clause:

Meanwhile, investigators have begun to question the Sofitel Hotel's decision to wait an hour before contacting police about Strauss-Kahn's alleged attack on a maid there. Reuters reported this morning that the Sofitel didn't file a police report until 1:32 p.m. on Saturday, while lobby cameras show Strauss-Kahn leaving at about 12:30.

There are at least two explanations for why the hotel waited an hour to phone police, the law enforcement source said.

One possibility is that the alleged victim was so upset, and her report of mistreatment so startling, that it took managers an hour before they felt comfortable alerting authorities about her claims.

An alternative explanation, which the law enforcement source said police currently believe is more plausible, is that management of the French-owned hotel were reluctant to rush to report damaging allegations against such a prominent Frenchman.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.