@J_Pinet tweets IMF Chief's arrest before the US media and gets accused of conspiracy

“a friend in the US just told me that #DSK was arrested by the police in a NYC hotel one hour ago.”

It was the middle of the night in Paris when the news broke that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Chief of the IMF, had been pulled off an Air France flight and arrested for sexual assault. Coincidentally, he was also set to announce his candidacy for the 2012 French presidential elections next month – and could therefore become one of the strongest opponents of President Sarkozy. But now it looks like the Parti Socialiste may have to nominate someone else…

Dominique Strauss-Kahh, or DSK as many call him, may have somewhat of a womanizer reputation. Despite being married to French TV reporter Anne Sinclair since 1995, an affair with a Hungarian colleague at the IMF surfaced in 2008. But this time we’re talking about something a little different; we’re talking about being accused of rape just days before announcing plans to run for President.

As can be expected in this day and age, the news broke on Twitter first. Jonathan Pinet, a master’s student at Sciences Po Paris (and supporter of Sarkozy’s party, the UMP)  tweeted that he had received the information from a friend who worked at the hotel where DSK was staying (and where the apparent incident took place.). His tweet was retweeted by over 40 people – one of the first being Arnaud Dassier, a journalist who recently published anti-DSK articles when the IMF Chief was seen in a Porsche with his wife.

An article in French newspaper Le Monde clearly underlines that DSK was arrested on board Air France flight 23 and not at the Sofitel as Pinet mentioned in his tweet. While it is possible that the inaccuracy of the information that Pinet published on Twitter was an innocent error, many are wondering if it points to a conspiracy.

Comments on Twitter and Facebook regarding the #DSK affair have been multiplying and Pinet’s followers have more than doubled in the last 24 hours. Many think the situation looks suspicious, especially as DSK plans to plead innocent. His wife has very openly announced that she believes his innocence as well.

I’ve contacted Pinet to comment and will keep you posted as the situation evolves.

Regardless of what the truth of the situation is, I expect that a fair portion of France will now get on Twitter.