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Le Monde: Exclusive Details Of New DSK ‘Gang Rape’ Investigation

LE MONDE (France)

LILLE - Dominique Strauss-Kahn's legal troubles have taken a troubling new turn. The former director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and onetime French presidential hopeful has been cited in a new ‘gang rape" investigation, a prosecutor in the northern French city of Lille announced Monday.

The preliminary investigation concerns events that took place in December 2010 at the Hotel W in Washington D.C., when Strauss-Kahn was still heading the IMF. A woman named Marion who was present at Hotel W claims she was forced to have sexual relations with Strauss-Kahn.

"I kept saying I didn't want to I didn't yell, but I said it clearly several times, out loud," she told police, according to a transcript obtained by Le Monde. "I tried to get away but Dominique Strauss-Kahn held me with his weight."

She related these events to Lille police in a deposition in an ongoing case in which Strauss-Kahn already faces preliminary charges for "aggravated pimping in an organized gang." She has not pressed charges.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyer reacted swiftly to the announcement, telling Le Monde that "Dominique Strauss-Kahn has never had any forced relationship with his partners and has never, under any circumstance, acted violently."

Witnesses have given contradictory accounts of the events. The woman says another man helped Strauss-Kahn pin her down, but both denied it. A friend of Marion's who was also present told police she "did not hear her say no" and that "if she had cried out, I would have heard her and I would have intervened."

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Geopolitics

Cilia Flores de Maduro, How Venezuela's First Lady Wields A Corrupt "Flower Shop" Of Power

Venezuela's first lady, Cilia Flores, is one of the country's chief power brokers and a consummate wheeler-dealer who, with the help of relatives, runs a voracious enterprise dubbed the Flower Shop.

Photo of Cilia Flores (left) and her husband Nicolás Maduro (middle)

Cilia Flores (left) and her husband Nicolás Maduro (middle)

Mauricio Rubio

-OpEd-

One of the clearest signs of tyranny in Venezuela has to be the pervasive nepotism and behind-the-scenes power enjoyed by President Nicolás Maduro's wife, Cilia Flores de Maduro.

In Venezuela, it's said that Flores works in the shadows but is somehow "always in the right place," with one commentator observing that she is constantly "surrounded by an extensive web of collaborators" — including relatives, with whom she has forged a clique often dubbed the floristería, or the "Flower Shop," which is thought to control every facet of Venezuelan politics.

She is certainly Venezuela's most powerful woman.

From modest origins, Flores is 68 years old and a lawyer by training. She began her ascent as defense attorney for the then lieutenant-colonel Hugo Chávez, who was jailed after his failed attempt at a coup d'état in 1992. She offered him her services and obtained his release, which won her his unstinting support for the rest of his life.

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