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Strauss-Kahn case to be dropped

New York City prosecutors have filed court papers recommending dismissal of sexual assault charges against former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was accused of attacking a hotel maid in May in a case that eventually dissolved amid questions about the woman's credibility.

The accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, and her attorney, Kenneth Thompson, met representatives of the Manhattan district attorney's office to discuss the decision not to proceed with the prosecution.

The case captured international attention as a seething cauldron of sex, violence, power and politics: A promising French presidential contender, known in his homeland as "the Great Seducer", accused of a brutal and contemptuous attack on an African immigrant who came to clean his plush hotel suite.

They emerged from the meeting 15 minutes later. Thompson didn't say what had happened inside or reveal what his client was told, but recited a short statement condemning prosecutors for their handling of the case.

"Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case," he said. "He has not only turned his back on this innocent victim. But he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case."

At the same time, prosecutors filed legal papers with the court recommending that the charges be dismissed. The document was not immediately made available to the public, so the district attorney's reasons for asking for the dismissal were not known.

Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to go before a judge on Tuesday. His lawyers, William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman, issued a statement saying that he and his family were grateful for the decision.

"We have maintained from the beginning of this case that our client is innocent," they said. "We also maintained that there were many reasons to believe that Mr Strauss-Kahn's accuser was not credible."

A person familiar with the case had said prosecutors had concerns about Diallo's credibility and insufficient evidence of forced sexual encounter.

The stakes were high for Strauss-Kahn, who resigned his IMF post, spent nearly a week behind bars and then spent possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for house arrest, as well as for Cyrus Vance, who was handling the biggest case he has had during his 18 months in office.


From Belfast Telegraph