Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Brazil's presidential election seen from the web

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ivory Coast launches the "Soap Bucket Challenge"

Read more

#TECH 24

Anonymous Vs ISIS

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria attack: Bomb blast in college in Kano

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy's political comeback: did he ever leave?

Read more

DEBATE

The World This Week

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Travel chaos: Air France pilots take industrial action

Read more

Americas

US judge rejects diplomatic immunity for Strauss-Kahn

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-05-01

A US judge on Tuesday rejected Dominique Strauss-Kahn's demand for diplomatic immunity in the sexual assault civil suit brought against him by New York hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo. The decision paves the way for the suit to proceed.

AFP - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn must face a civil trial over an alleged sex assault in New York, a judge here ruled Tuesday, rejecting his last ditch attempt to claim diplomatic immunity.

The New York Post, which said it had access to the decision before its expected publication, earlier reported that the Bronx judge hearing the suit brought by Nafissatou Diallo ruled Strauss-Kahn had lost immunity because he'd resigned from the International Monetary Fund.



Judge Douglas McKeon called Strauss-Kahn's attempt to escape the civil trial "his own version of a 'Hail Mary pass'," -- an American football reference to the often desperate, long-distance throw a team will attempt in the final seconds of a losing effort.

Diallo alleges the French politician forced her into oral sex when she went to clean his room last year at the luxury Sofitel in Manhattan.

Criminal charges were filed, but then dropped when Manhattan prosecutors decided that Diallo would not make a credible witness. She subsequently filed the civil suit seeking unspecified damages over what she says was a brutal and "sadistic" assault by one of the world's most powerful men.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyers argued in court last month that his position as head of the IMF protected him from further legal action. However, he had never claimed immunity at the time of his arrest and he resigned voluntarily from his post -- losing his privileges -- even before criminal charges were filed.

The ruling, according to the daily, rips Strauss-Kahn's bid to now reclaim immunity when he faced civil action.

"Mr Strauss-Khan cannot eschew immunity in an effort to clear his name only to embrace it now in an effort to deny Ms Diallo the opportunity to clear hers," McKeon wrote.

McKeon also quoted the IMF's own 2011 annual report, saying: "The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour."

Strauss-Kahn says there was a consensual sexual encounter with Diallo in his hotel suite and denies any assault. But regardless of what happened, the scandal destroyed Strauss-Kahn's career, both as head of the IMF and as a would-be candidate for the French presidency.

Opinion polls at the time of his disgrace had pointed to Strauss-Kahn being able to beat incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is now struggling to avoid defeat against Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande in a runoff vote Sunday.

The incident in New York irreversibly tainted Strauss-Kahn. His increasingly sordid public image took another hit when separate, prostitution-related criminal charges were filed in France.

Last weekend, Strauss-Kahn, or DSK as he's popularly known in France, struck back, claiming that his downfall had been orchestrated.

Strauss-Kahn said that although he did not believe the incident was a setup, the subsequent escalation of the event into a criminal investigation was "shaped by those with a political agenda."

"Perhaps I was politically naive, but I simply did not believe that they would go that far -- I didn't think they could find anything that could stop me," he told The Guardian newspaper.

The Guardian said it was clear that "they" refers to people working for Sarkozy and his center-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party.

Sarkozy responded by saying Strauss-Kahn should "explain himself to the law and spare the French his remarks."

Date created : 2012-05-01

  • FRENCH ELECTION 2012

    DSK's return puts France's Socialists on defensive

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Sarkozy rejects Strauss-Kahn's claims of politics behind sex scandal

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Strauss-Kahn says scandal fuelled by 'political agenda'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)