Guinea's President is Happy for Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Alpha Condé , the President of Guinea addressed the Dominique-Strauss Kahn case today:

We are both [himself and Strauss-Kahn] members of the Socialist Party, the French Socialist Party is a member of the Socialist International, so I am very happy for him and I hope his sufferings will not have a lasting effect,” Condé told RFI at the African Union summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, after the latest twist in the sexual assault case.

He said his country will do what they can to help the accuser.

“Obviously, the lady is Guinean. It is the duty of the head of state to defend all Guinean citizens. We will see how we can come to her aid, because Guinea has to defend its children wherever they are. We will see how we can help her.”

A cynical person might ask whether, given that statement, she really still needs asylum in the U.S. (in the event she is prosecuted and convicted of fraud for her original application. Here's one example of such a prosecution.)

< Dominque Strauss-Kahn's Accuser: A "Working Girl"? | Saturday Pre-July 4 Open Thread >
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    I would rather that my country (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 10:28:01 AM EST
    be wrong ten times about granting asylum for the sake of the eleventh refugee whom we welcome here than that this case be used to imply that we ought to restrict immigration, and especially asylum, even more.

    not what I was asking (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:08:14 AM EST
    The question is, if she's convicted of perjury for lying to a grand jury, what happens to her green card and asylum? Perjury in New York (testifying falsely about a material fact) is a class D felony carrying more than a year in prison. Under federal immigration law, a state conviction for that offense would make her an aggravated felon, from which there can be no cancellation of a removal (deportation) order. Would her asylum be in jeopardy? I don't know the answer.

    There's another category for asylum seekers that allows even a convicted felon to remain in the country, but it requires a stricter showing one is in jeopardy of physical harm or death if returned to their home country.

    I guess I'm asking if asylum can be rescinded if obtained based on fraudulent misrepresentations in the application process, and if so, whether given the President's statement he'd protect her, she'd be denied or ineligible for withholding of removal on asylum grounds because she's not in jeopardy if returned to Guinea.


    That's not a cynical question (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:16:09 AM EST
    though, is it?  Instead, as rephrased, it seems a straightforward question.

    With Alpha Conde's record (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 10:50:42 AM EST
    on human rights and abuse I'm not at all surprised by his response to this at all.  Discouraging and veiled disparaging of asylum means fewer pesky leaks for him.

    Alpha Conde's record (none / 0) (#24)
    by Laguinee on Sun Jul 03, 2011 at 03:30:33 PM EST
    I'm not sure what you mean about President Conde's record. He has only been in office a very short time and I'm not aware of any record. Prior to taking office he was the leading member of the opposition to both of Guinea's prior presidents and has been jailed for that. He was also a history professor at the Sorbonne in France.

    Conde (none / 0) (#25)
    by Laguinee on Sun Jul 03, 2011 at 03:51:41 PM EST
    Here is a link to his biography, which comes from his own campaign website. It appear to be a factual description. http://www.presidentalphaconde.com/conde_journey.html

    Let me just note that the people of Guinea are rather confused by this news story. They are not usually in the spotlight and to have be related to bringing dow a powerful man, it was challenging enough before it came out that the facts of the case may not be accurate. The topic is being discussed in many heated conversations, especially between members of the woman's ethnic group and those of other ethnic groups.

    As for Alpha Conde's comment about Strauss-Kahn - Guinea is a small country with huge needs. Politically and economically France plays a very important role in Guinea - while it seems impossible today that DSK coul return as a strong contender for president of France, stranger things have happened. Now that the woman's credibility is in doubt, Conde must be careful not to burn bridges. He did earlier come out in support of the woman, and I think he is making very careful statements about the situation.

    Finally - as a permanent resident I think it is unlikely she would be deported for this if she is charged but I don't know what process there is to revisit an asylum case when there is proof of false information.


    Typos (none / 0) (#27)
    by Laguinee on Sun Jul 03, 2011 at 03:54:10 PM EST
    Sorry - I see missed a final letter on a couple of words. I wa typing from my phone, and too quickly I guess!

    Close. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Towanda on Sun Jul 03, 2011 at 03:51:44 PM EST
    I read about him earlier this week, that he was a poli sci prof at the University of Paris (not the part that is called the Sorbonne) until returning to run again and win this time.  

    And I read that he had in past praised the junta that preceded him.  But he later switched on that.

    Agreed that he has not been in office long enough to be blamed for much -- but for the same reason, were I a refugee from Guinea, I would not return with confidence that much had changed as yet nor that any change could be counted to be longterm.


    Guinea (none / 0) (#28)
    by Laguinee on Sun Jul 03, 2011 at 04:05:23 PM EST
    My experience in Guinea is that the average person on the average day is not in danger. The people in danger in the past have been those who take action contrary to the govt. I read that this woman said she wanted asylum to protect her daughter from genital cutting. There have been very limited cases of asylum for this reason and those have only been recent so she took instruction from someone and made up stories about her husband being tortured and killed.

    It would be very unusual for a girl to make it to 15 without being cut, but maybe this was when she was younger.


    The math (none / 0) (#29)
    by Towanda on Sun Jul 03, 2011 at 04:47:14 PM EST
    makes the daughter eight years old when they emigrated, from what I read.

    Some versions of the story (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 04, 2011 at 10:45:47 PM EST
    say she emigrated alone and then sent for the daughter a few years later. Her application for asylum was 2004 but some of her relatives say she came here 13 years ago. I have no idea which is accurate.

    Alpha Conde has not dealt with (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 04, 2011 at 02:40:44 PM EST
    the violence and corruption and has been asked by many concerned about human rights to pony up already.

    Actually... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Addison on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 10:58:16 AM EST
    ...I think a truly cynical person might ask if we can take President Condé's statement at face value. But whatever. Perhaps Guineans have a talent for making spurious statements that people take at face value. The alleged victim/alleged perjurer fooled some people, here Condé fools some more.

    I guess I'm more cynical (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:00:07 AM EST
    because I didn't "ask;" I knew not to.

    That said... (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Addison on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:13:12 AM EST
    ...it's possible that Condé is on the "side" of the woman. I don't know enough about recent Guinean history to know, and I don't know if Jeralyn brushed up on her recent Guinean history before writing the post. However, simply taking the statement at face value, pretending at credulousness just to make a point, and presenting it without context and with an implied full faith in the words of Condé was something I found objectionable.

    I think that's basically right (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:17:08 AM EST
    no I did not (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:21:38 AM EST
    I never heard of the President of Guinea before. But the owner of the 2115 Cafe, which the accuser frequented and who has defended her in the past, has a picture of himself with the President on the wall of the cafe.

    bq. Just two days after Strauss-Kahn's arrest, [owner Ibrahim]Fofanah and the restaurant manager, Blake Diallo, held a press conference on Frederick Douglass Boulevard to vouch for the woman's character.

    So her defender, the restaurant owner, is also proud of his connection to this President.


    I think it's worth saying (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:25:54 AM EST
    that Guinea has an unpleasant human rights record.

    Perhaps it's getting better, but I think that conclusion is premature.


    This president seems to (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:34:14 AM EST
    Wow Jeralyn, I am not a fan (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 10:59:09 AM EST
    of your last sentence.

    See the relevance of it (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:11:04 AM EST
    I'm not really sure what cynicism (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:16:24 AM EST
    has to do with it. I read your original comment to suggest that we could rely on Condé's comment to deny asylum applications from Guinea. Or, at least, that the accuser's application is now moot on the basis of  Condé's comment. I think neither conclusion is warranted.

    you read it wrong (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:26:53 AM EST
    I was not suggesting any such thing. I thought my verb tense "needs" (vs needed) made it clear. Maybe I'll add the word "still" or "now" as in "still needs asylum." I believe her application was granted a long time ago.

    I think what it comes down to (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:30:49 AM EST
    is what your presumption is about asylum should be. For my own part, I think that taking it away is pretty serious business, and I would not be offhand about it.

    Enough, I edited the statement (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 11:43:04 AM EST
    in the original post to clarify. Let's move on, you've made your point and we're getting away from the point of the post which is that the President made a comment supporting DSK.

    Evidence (none / 0) (#18)
    by ZtoA on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 12:00:52 PM EST
    Apparently a case is argued with evidence. I suppose that does not really mean direct evidence, but evidence of character and the past lives of the two parties which is evidence of how one feels about the person.

    How ever this turns out, IF she either falsely accused him, or tried to take advantage of a rape, or was set up, or offered services as a prostitute,  or whatever... one could look at is as him being sexually abused. She is now the sexual abuser IF her accusations were tainted or even if she simply has a tainted past. So, the larger context which includes the legal issues, is of two sexual abusers in conflict.

    DSK (none / 0) (#19)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 12:11:09 PM EST
    poster child for sexual abuse

    how interesting

    i never thought of it like that


    Malice (none / 0) (#20)
    by Rojas on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 12:35:01 PM EST
    is required IMHO. There is no clear evidence at this point.
    The state on the other hand has clearly failed. The law may hold them harmless as the DA enjoys immunity. I think the bar should be much lower or higher actually depending on your point of view.

    Who released the alleged (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 05:28:14 PM EST
    victim's grand jury testimony?  Is this not protected information?  

    I don't believe anyone has (none / 0) (#22)
    by Rojas on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 07:06:13 PM EST
    entirely. She made statements that conflicted her earlier GJ testimony. It appears a summation of each, regarding only the conflicting statements,  was provided to the defense and the court.

    the district attorney (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 07:28:56 PM EST
    First, after the indictment, the defense often gets the grand jury testimony of government witnesses. Second, the DA is under an obligation to advise the defense of exculpatory or impeaching evidence of their witnesses. This would include statements that contradict earlier sworn testimony.

    Third, this is all in the letter the DA wrote the defense and filed with the court (including that she admitted to prosecutors she lied to the grand jury)

    Via the New York Times:
    The accuser only told the DA on Tuesday that she had lied in her grand jury testimony.

    The final meeting occurred on Tuesday in the seventh-floor offices of the district attorney at 1 Hogan Place. It began at 11 a.m. and lasted five or six hours, except for a short lunch break, around an oval table in a conference room in the offices of the Public Integrity Unit. It was devastating.

    It was after they onfronted her with her bank records showing the large cash deposits into her account, and after she admitted some other lies,

    At the same meeting, the woman gave a new version of what she had done immediately after the encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. In testimony before the grand jury in May, she said she had fled Suite 2806 to an area in the main hallway and waited until she saw Mr. Strauss-Kahn leave in an elevator. She has said that her supervisor arrived a short time later, and that she told her supervisor what had happened.

    On Tuesday, the well-placed official said, she told investigators new details, stating, "I forgot to tell you this." In fact, she said, she left Mr. Strauss-Kahn's room and entered another room -- her lawyer said it was Suite 2820 -- and cleaned it, and then returned to Suite 2806 and cleaned it until her supervisor arrived.

    The Times says even this new version isn't matched by the hotel key card evidence. She didn't go to clean the other room until she had finished cleaning DSK's room. She cleaned two rooms, including the one she says she was assaulted in, before reporting it. She told the grand jury she cowered in the hallway after the attack, hiding, and waiting for DSK to leave in the elevator, and that when he did, she reported the attack.