Desperate Last Moves by Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Accuser
As Dominique Strauss-Kahn's supporters plan his return to France and French politics, and Reuters' reports that officials in France believe Tristane Bannon's charges are unlikely to result in a criminal case, Nafassitou Diallo's lawyers are expected to make a last-ditch effort today or tomorrow for a special prosecutor to take over the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case. It has no chance of succeeding.
Mr. Thompson’s motion will almost certainly fail, legal experts said, because under the law his client has no authority to ask for Mr. Vance’s office to be replaced by a special prosecutor. “It’s what we call an A.O.D.: an act of desperation,” said Stephen Gillers, a professor at New York University Law School. “She may benefit from a successful prosecution, but she has no legal interest in the prosecution.”
The New York Times has the latest on the reasons DA Cy Vance's office will give for dismissing the case: Diallo's repeated lies and her refusal to accept responsibility for any of them. Not only did she continually lie to prosecutors, but when they caught her on it, it was like pulling teeth to get details from her, and she always blamed someone else: From her asylum application lies (someone gave her a tape to memorize) to the money in her bank account (it was her boyfriend) to her fraudulent tax return (it was the tax preparer), the prosecutors determined they couldn't ask jurors to believe despite her continual lies to prosecutors, she was telling the truth to the jury.
[P}rosecutors came to believe that Ms. Diallo seemed unwilling to take responsibility for telling the truth. “We deal with witnesses with these kinds of problems every day,” the official said. “With her, we had to drag the details of the lies out of her over weeks. It might have been different if she had let all the air out in a day or two. Every time she was confronted with her lies, she would blame someone else — someone told her to say this for asylum, someone else took advantage of her bank accounts, someone else did the taxes.”
...“We couldn’t tell the jury that she kept lying to us but that they should believe her,” the senior official said.
Nor are prosecutors buying Diallo's lawyer's version of the recorded phone conversation with Amara Tarawally, her boyfriend/fiance/husband in the Arizona immigration jail, the day after the encounter with Strauss-Kahn. According to the Times:
Later, when he listened to the tape with a translator, Mr. Thompson said the prosecutors had mischaracterized its contents. The district attorney’s office later had several translations from Fulani prepared, and these produced different texts that covered the same subject. The official involved in the investigation said there could be “no question as to the substance of the conversation.”
While prosecutors might have wanted Ms. Diallo to hold off on filing a civil suit, they had no objection to her seeking damages for injuries she might have suffered at the hands of Mr. Strauss-Kahn. But the phone call, the official said, signified another episode of Ms. Diallo’s not being forthright.
Shorter version: She discussed DSK's wealth with her boyfriend and denied doing so to prosecutors, insisting that his financial status never entered her mind.
The New York Post says there will be bombshells revealed tomorrow:
The new details will include evidence that the maid lied to prosecutors about her caught-on-tape plotting for a Strauss-Kahn payday just one day after the alleged assault, and that she also lied to them about having had sex the night before the alleged assault -- a consensual encounter that offers an innocent explanation for redness cited by her lawyers as proof of Strauss-Kahn's guilt, the sources said.
[T]he DOR [dismissal on recommendation request] will include never-before-revealed allegations that Diallo has repeatedly deceived prosecutors and other officials about curious cash deposits into her bank accounts, about her questionable personal relationships, and about whether she had talked with anyone about cashing in against the well-heeled former banker.
Diallo's lawyers have another desperado move in the works. One of them just flew to France where he will give a press conference tomorrow as he embarks on a tour to find more women allegedly assaulted by DSK for his civil suit.
This case has been toast since July 1 when the DA's disclosed Diallo's prior lies to lawyers for DSK in this letter.
After that, her lawyer made a series of poor decisions, from trotting her out to try to sell her case to the public to filing a civil lawsuit for damages to constantly belittling the District Attorney's office. He should have spent his time mending fences with the DA's office and working with his client to overcome her reluctance to telling prosecutors the truth.
Instead, the prosecution is left not only with her admitted lies to the grand jury, lies on her tax return, lies on her asylum application and lies about a prior rape in Guinea, but no confidence in her stories about her drug-dealing boyfriend/fiance/husband, the money that moved through her bank accounts, or her multiple cell phones. The discrepancies in her version of what happened in the aftermath of the encounter may be the least of it.
The Post has not been the most credible source, so I'm not giving much credence to "a bombshell" that she had consensual sex the night before the encounter with DSK. But, if it turns out she did, and lied about it to the DA, only confirming it when they confronted her with evidence of it, game over, probably for the civil suit as well. Same if there's evidence Diallo's lawyer told DSK's lawyers their client would stop cooperating with prosecutors if they reached a financial settlement. Her lawyer denies this happened, but the DA has asked for documentation regarding the lawyers' June meeting. My translation: they probably have documentation provided by DSK's lawyers that reference or infer such an offer.
On to the civil suit, which DSK undoubtedly will settle, so he can be free to travel back and forth to the U.S. and not worry about discovery requests, depositions and private investigators combing through his other personal affairs. Since he has no vast fortune (it's his wife who is wealthy and she isn't obligated to pay any judgment Diallo might win against him), I suspect Diallo will settle for a fairly low amount and DSK's wife will promise to pay it. Diallo's lawyers will take their share, and she'll get the rest.
Things don't look too promising for her. Her fiance/boyfriend/husband is grasping at deportation appeals following his conviction for conspiracy to distribute marijuana, an aggravated felony that mandates removal from the U.S. (He'll probably claim the need for asylum, a long shot.) She may face immigration actions on her false asylum application, or criminal charges from her lies to the grand jury. (The latter is doubtful as it's probably the one benefit the DA is willing to extend to her, so as not to have other women decide against going to authorities with sexual assault allegations for fear of being prosecuted themselves.)
Diallo's lawyer complains his client is being treated like a defendant instead of a victim. If she is not lying about the nature of the encounter with DSK, all she had to do was be truthful with prosecutors and investigators about her past lies that would have come up at trial and they would have gladly worked out an explanation for them, pointing out to the jury that she readily admitted them and explained them. Instead, the DA's office tomorrow will explain that's not the case. I won't be surprised if they mention a concern that Diallo would lie on the witness stand, putting them in the untenable position of knowing their witness was committing perjury.
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