Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers had what they described as a “productive” meeting Wednesday with the Manhattan District Attorney as the case against the former IMF chief appeared to be falling apart. Neither side revealed what was discussed.
AP - Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers and prosecutors met behind closed doors Wednesday for what defense lawyers called a productive meeting, but there was no immediate word on what would happen to a sexual assault case that has foundered on doubts about the accuser’s credibility.
Strauss-Kahn lawyers Benjamin Brafman and William W. Taylor said the roughly 90-minute, closed-door session with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and assistant prosecutors was constructive. Vance’s office wouldn’t comment on the discussion.
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“The investigative process is continuing, and no decisions have been made,” spokeswoman Erin Duggan said.
For now, the former International Monetary Fund leader remains charged with trying to rape a maid who came to clean his New York hotel suite.
Meanwhile, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Wednesday it had received a criminal complaint accusing Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape a writer eight years ago.
He denies both allegations. His lawyers are pushing prosecutors to drop the New York case. They have said they would be able to prove the encounter was not forcible. Just a few weeks ago, it looked destined to be a long legal fight.
Physical evidence linked Strauss-Kahn to the hotel maid accusing him of sexual assault. Her version of events was unwavering, and police and prosecutors called her credible.
Now, prosecutors are rethinking whether they can even go forward with the case after finding that the woman wasn’t truthful about her background and the aftermath of the alleged attack.
They haven’t questioned her account of the encounter itself, at least publicly, but they appear to have lost faith in the accuser’s prospects of helping them prove it.
Authorities haven’t concluded that no attack happened, but amid the revelations about the accuser’s past lies, “the details are a bit more in doubt,” said a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss internal decision-making.
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The woman’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, has said she’s made mistakes in her life but is telling the truth about her encounter with Strauss-Kahn. He’s urging prosecutors to go forward with the case.
In Paris, the official receipt of the complaint from novelist Tristane Banon means prosecutors must now decide whether there is enough evidence to charge Strauss-Kahn in France.
Banon says Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in an empty apartment during an interview for a book project, struggling with her on the floor as he tried to tear off her clothes. His lawyers have described the account as “imaginary” and say they plan to file a complaint accusing Banon of slander.
Her complaint faces a series of difficult tests in the French justice system and could be dismissed long before reaching trial. Prosecutors must decide first if her allegations would support a charge of attempted rape rather than the less serious crime of sexual aggression, an attack that does not involve an attempt to penetrate the victim.
Date created : 2011-07-06