Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Lawyers Complain to DA About Leaks

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have written a letter to Manhattan DA Cy Vance complaining about leaks of information, which they attribute to New York police. The letter has been filed with the court.

The letter also states they have uncovered material to undermine the credibilty of the hotel maid accusing DSK of sexual assault.

“Indeed, were we intent on improperly feeding the media frenzy, we could now release substantial information that in our view would seriously undermine the quality of this prosecution and also gravely undermine the credibility of the complainant in this case.”

The letter was also a discovery request. Apparently, what's being leaked in the media hasn't yet been turned over to the defense. Defense lawyers shouldn't have to learn the evidence against their client from media reports consisting of selectively leaked information from anonymous cops.

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    shocked... (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by diogenes on Thu May 26, 2011 at 05:56:14 PM EST
    "The letter also states they have uncovered material to undermine the credibilty of the hotel maid accusing DSK of sexual assault."

    So making an insinuation without supporting facts isn't being part of the feeding the media frenzy?

    is it fair of me to assume this letter (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by cpinva on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:38:59 PM EST
    was shared with the media, by defense counsel? not that i'm suggesting selectively leaked info by the police is ok (seems mr. vance needs to put a leash on his people), but it seems that both sides have been guilty of the same "strategy".

    no, it was filed with the court (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:47:55 PM EST
    Those with access to the court docket, like the media, can get it.

    And I assume (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by BDB on Thu May 26, 2011 at 08:19:12 PM EST
    the only purpose of putting the item in there about the accuser's credibility is because the media has access to it.  To raise it privately would deny them the media coverage.

    I'm against the police and DA leaking stuff, but both sides seem to be playing this game.  I hope the judge makes both of them stop it.


    False equivalence (none / 0) (#5)
    by Rojas on Fri May 27, 2011 at 07:21:49 AM EST
    The defense made a very generic statement relating to two points. Their claim is that they have information that they could could release if they were so inclined.

    The state on the other hand, acting through it's agents in the prosecutor office and police dept., is actively attempting to poison the well. They are releasing specific information and making specific allegations and the filters are off on the degree of certainty or the level of support for these specific allegations.

    It is simply not rational to say they are playing the same game at this point in time.

    I'm willing to bet that right now in it's files, though they won't be leaking it to the press, the NY prosecutors office has information that would tend to undermine the quality of this prosecution and tend to undermine the credibility of the complainant in this case. Any takers?


    now that the media is (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by ding7777 on Fri May 27, 2011 at 11:31:32 AM EST
    aware of possible unflattering information, when asked, the defense needs only to point the media in the general direction and viola, the info is published while the defense denies leaking the info

    I have (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by lentinel on Fri May 27, 2011 at 05:13:10 PM EST
    to disagree.

    If the defense says it has evidence that will undermine the credibility of the accuser, it is poisoning the reputation of the accuser without having to in fact disclose anything at all.


    If and when (none / 0) (#12)
    by Rojas on Sat May 28, 2011 at 07:57:06 AM EST
    they actually disclose some information. Until that point I would respectfully disagree.

    Surely, or maybe not, we can agree that the select leaks by the state up to this point are at least an order of magnitude more damaging to the prospects of a fair trial than this relatively innocuous statement of the defense.



    We disagree. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by lentinel on Sat May 28, 2011 at 01:04:25 PM EST
    When the defense lets out that they have evidence that undermines the credibility of the accuser - the reaction by all who hear or read that is to speculate upon what the nature of that evidence might be.

    It would have to show that she was:

    A: A prostitute.

    B; A serial blackmailer.


    C: Someone who was irresistibly drawn to this guy and flung herself into his arms in a moment of unbridled passion and then turned around and sought to make money out of the encounter.

    All of the above scenarios reflect poorly upon the accuser.

    As I said, it poisons her reputation and character - and does so without having to disclose anything at all.


    If you are so inclined (none / 0) (#14)
    by Rojas on Sun May 29, 2011 at 06:41:48 AM EST
    the very fact that he has answered the charges with a plea of not guilty would cast the same aspersions on the complainant's character. And if you are so inclined, any statement by the defense relating to a positive inference that their client is not guilty can be considered an assault on the complainant's  reputation and character.

    I am not so inclined.


    Well, (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Sun May 29, 2011 at 12:13:07 PM EST
    when someone pleads "not guilty" it can mean anything.
    It could be setting something up for a plea bargain, for example.

    It is different than announcing to the world that the defendant has evidence as to the flawed character of the accuser.

    At least it feels different to me.


    Hard to recall anyone pleading "guilty" (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by oculus on Sun May 29, 2011 at 12:22:53 PM EST
    at the arraignment!

    please, don't treat us like (4.25 / 4) (#6)
    by cpinva on Fri May 27, 2011 at 08:46:52 AM EST
    complete imbeciles. of course it's the same thing. in fact, it may well be worse, since defence counsel's assertions may well be construed as a threat against the alleged victim.

    heck, it almost sounds like, um, extortion. and of course they put it in there, knowing full well the media would immediately pick up on it. assuming they had no idea that might happen is to suggest those attorney's are idiots. somehow, i doubt that's the case.

    it's shabby on both sides.


    "In the letter, sent Wednesday and made (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri May 27, 2011 at 11:52:53 AM EST
    public Thursday"  [NYT]

    Interpretation:  defense counsel made the letter public on Thursday.  

    again, the letter was filed with the judge (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 27, 2011 at 07:35:14 PM EST
    and is publicly available in the court's file. The defense did not have to give it to the media and I doubt they did. Major news agencies routinely scour court dockets for new filings.

    Prosecution to defense (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jbindc on Fri May 27, 2011 at 04:12:18 PM EST
    "Put up or Shut Up".

    So, what is this supposed bombshell evidence? Alas, no clues were offered.

    Prosecutors responded in a letter Thursday, saying in effect, do tell. "If you really do possess the kind of information you suggest that you do, we trust you will forward it immediately to the district attorney's office," wrote Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, a top prosecutor in the Manhattan DA's Office, according to WSJ.