Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Strauss-Kahn court date postponed

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's next court date in his New York sexual assault case has been postponed

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's next court date in his New York sexual assault case has been postponed, with prosecutors saying the delay was for further investigation and defence lawyers saying they hoped it would lead to the end of the tumultuous case.

Previously set for July 18, the closely watched court date is now scheduled for August 1 as prosecutors weigh what to do about a case rocked by questions about the accuser's credibility.

The Manhattan district attorney's office told the judge in a letter that the postponement was "to facilitate both parties' continued investigation", but Strauss-Kahn lawyers William W Taylor and Benjamin Brafman put their aims more concretely. "We hope that during this time, the district attorney will make the necessary decision to dismiss the case against Mr Strauss-Kahn," they said in a statement.

For now, a DA spokeswoman said no decisions have been made.

The former International Monetary Fund leader is charged with chasing down a hotel housekeeper in his luxury suite May 14, forcing her to perform oral sex and trying to rape her. He denies all the allegations.

Prosecutors said earlier this month that the case had weakened because his accuser had not been truthful about her background and her actions right after the alleged attack.

Among other falsehoods, she told prosecutors an emotional but invented tale of a previous sexual attack in her native Guinea, and she did not tell a grand jury she had gone on cleaning rooms before reporting Strauss-Kahn's alleged attack to a supervisor, prosecutors said.

They also learned she had alluded to Strauss-Kahn's wealth during a phone call with a friend jailed on a marijuana charge, and that other people had deposited tens of thousands of dollars that she could not explain into her bank account, a law enforcement official has said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters not made public in court.

Prosecutors have not raised questions about the veracity of her account of the alleged attack itself, but the revelations could make her a difficult witness for jurors to believe, experts say. The 32-year-old woman's lawyer has said she is telling the truth about her encounter with Strauss-Kahn.

The French economist, 62, was freed from house arrest earlier this month.

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