While the DSK scandal was rocking the front pages of newspapers and inspiring deep conversation about political entitlement, it was hard to see through all the smoke to get a good picture of what really happened at the Sofitel Hotel on May 14th.
Almost 6 months later though, investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein has published a detailed account of that days events after pouring through court documents and checking out surveillance footage. His piece was published in the New York Review of Books this Saturday.
And it makes three points that are making everyone think: He really might have been framed.
Let’s break it down:
- DSK’s IMF Blackberry is still missing: Where was this in the news? Epstein points out that even before the Sofitel encounter, DSK had been warned that his IMF Blackberry (which he used for a mix of personal and professional communication) had been compromised. A friend told him that Sarkozy’s party was somehow in possession of an e-mail he sent to his wife, Ann Sinclair. He was about to have the phone examined for bugs in Paris. This is the Blackberry he lost after his encounter with Sofitel maid Naffest Diallo. She entered his room around 12:06 PM or 12:07 PM. She left around 12:13 PM. He then called his daughter Camille on his personal phone, met her for lunch, and shortly after he left McCormick and Schmicks where he was dining with Camille, he realised his IMF phone was gone.
- Diallo kept going back to the same hotel suite all day and we still don’t know who was staying in it: According to key card swipe records, Diallou visited room 2820 a few times on May 14, including while a guest could have still been there. She also went there immediately after leaving DSK’s suite. She did not tell the prosecution about this.
- The hotel’s security company has close ties to Sarkozy: A French company called Accor group owns the Sofitel hotel. And while Diallo was reporting DSK in NYC, their head of security, René-Georges Querry, was attending a soccer game with President Sarkozy. Back in NYC, John Sheehan the director of safety and security at Accor made a mysterious call to an unidentified 646 number while en route to the Sofitel to look into the Diallo issue. There’s more: Xavier Graff, the duty officer at the Accor Group in Paris, later sent an e-mail where he lauds “bringing down DSK” (he later said it was a joke), and on May 14th, a security guard and an unidentified man were seen giving each other high fives and celebrating around 1:28 PM. This is the same unidentified man who took Diallo to the security office when she reported being assaulted at 12:52 PM.
You can read the full account for yourself here, and see if it doesn’t plant any seeds of doubt in your head.