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Dominque Strauss-Kahn and Hotel Maid Settle Civil Suit

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Sofitel Hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo have settled their civil suits against each other for an undisclosed amount. She sued him for the hotel room encounter, he counter-sued her for defamation.

Also settled: Diallo's defamation suit against the New York Post which had reported she was a prostitute.[More...]

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No Immunity for Strauss-Kahn in Civil Suit

A judge in New York has refused to dismiss the civil lawsuit filed against Dominique Strauss-Kahn by Nafissatou Diallo, the housekeeper at the Sofitel who alleges he sexually assaulted her. Strauss-Kahn raised the defense of diplomatic immunity.

In his decision, Justice McKeon quoted from a monetary fund document advising its officials that they enjoy immunity from the judicial process only in respect to their official duties.

The judge added that even that limited immunity expired with Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s resignation. The decision also noted that Mr. Strauss-Kahn chose not to raise immunity during his criminal proceedings because he wanted to clear his name.

Prediction: This case will now settle for an undisclosed sum of money. [More...]

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Dominque Strauss-Kahn Placed Under Formal Investigation in French Organized Vice Probe

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was placed under formal investigation today in France on charges of participating in an organized vice ring. According to Reuters,

Judges had the option of putting him under investigation for having potentially benefited from misappropriated company funds if he knowingly attended prostitute sessions paid for by his executive friends using expense accounts.

Instead, the investigation will focus on the pandering angle, and whether Strauss-Kahn was aware that the women at the parties were prostitutes supplied by pimps.

He may or may not have to stand trial:

Under French law, "juges d'instruction," which are a cross between investigating prosecutors and criminal magistrates, notify the accused they are under investigation and can hold the person if they believe it warranted. It is they who later decide whether to send the case to court.

Put another way: "Under French law, preliminary charges mean authorities have reason to believe a crime was committed but allow more time for investigation."

He has been released on bond. [More..]

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New Details in Dominique Strauss Kahn Case: A Set-Up?

Update: Sofitel responds, via The Daily Beast. It says the video celebration lasted only 8 seconds and might have been about sports. It says the guest in 2820 checked out at 11:36 am and Diallo cleaned the room shortly thereafter.

Investigative journalist Edward Epstein provides new details in the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the Sofitel hotel maid in the New York Review of Books. Epstein says he had access to the hotel's electronic key swipe records and time-stamped hotel security camera videotapes. He also reviewed cell phone records for a phone used on May 14 by Accor security employee John Sheehan. Accor owns the Sofitel.

The Guardian details Epstein's findings if you don't want to take the time to read his entire report.

[More...]

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French Proseuctor Will Not Charge Dominique Strauss-Kahn For Alleged Rape

Dominique Strauss-Kahn will not be prosecuted in France for an alleged attempted rape on journalist Tristane Bannon.

The Paris prosecutor's office on Thursday dropped an investigation into a writer's claim that Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her, citing lack of sufficient proof, though it said the former IMF chief admitted to a lesser charge of sexual assault.

The prosecutor said there was evidence of sexual aggression but that charge was beyond the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations on sexual aggression is three years; on the greater charge of attempted rape, it's 10 years. While DSK admitted the aggression, he denied that he attempted to rape Bannon.

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn Asserts Diplomatic Immunity in Maid's Civil Suit

Dominique Strauss-Kahn didn't have dipolmatic immunity in the criminal case with the New York hotel maid, but are civil cases different? Strauss-Kahn filed a motion to dismiss Nafassitou Diallo's lawsuit today saying the court lacked jurisdiction over him. The NY Daily News reports:

in the court papers, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers argued that a different standard, the UN Specialized Agencies Convention, grants the top official of international organizations like the IMF "absolute diplomatic immunity."

That the United States never signed on the Specialized Agencies Convention is of no matter, the lawyers argued, because so many other countries have signed it. It has now "achieved the status of what is known as customary international law," they said.

[More...]

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DA Files Motion to Dismiss Charges Against Dominique Strauss Kahn

The Manhattan District Attorney's office has filed a 25 page motion asking the court to dismiss all charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. You can read it here.

“The nature and number of the complainant’s falsehoods leave us unable to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt, whatever the truth may be about the encounter between the complainant and the defendant,” the papers state. “If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so.”

DSK's lawyers issued this statement: [More...]

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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.”

[More...]

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Accuser's Lawyer Predicts Dismissal

The New York Times reports the lawyer for the accuser in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case got a letter inviting his client to a meeting at the DA's office Monday, one day before the DA will announce in court whether he is dropping charges against DSK.

Kenneth Thompson, the lawyer, predicts charges will be dropped. Why? From the terse tone of the letter, and because:

“If they were not going to dismiss the charges,” Mr. Thompson added on Saturday, “there would be no need to meet with her. They would just go to court the next day to say, ‘We’re going to proceed with the case.’ ”

Then there's this statement in the letter: [More...]

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Lawyers Response to Accuser's Interviews

Excellent statement by William Taylor and Ben Brafman in response to the outrageous interviews the accuser's lawyer in the Dominque Strauss-Kahn case has drummed up for her. (The Newsweek interview took place over three hours in her lawyer's office.)

Ms. Diallo is the first accuser in history to conduct a media campaign to persuade a prosecutor to pursue charges against a person from whom she wants money. Her lawyers and public relations consultants have orchestrated an unprecedented number of media events and rallies to bring pressure on the prosecutors in this case after she had to admit her extraordinary efforts to mislead them. Her lawyers know that her claim for money suffers a fatal blow when the criminal charges are dismissed, as they must be.

This conduct by lawyers is unprofessional and it violates fundamental rules of professional conduct for lawyers. Its obvious purpose is to inflame public opinion against a defendant in a pending criminal case. The fact is, however, that the number of rallies, press conferences, and media events they have orchestrated is exceeded only by the number of lies and misstatements she has made to law enforcement, friends, medical professionals and reporters. It is time for this unseemly circus to stop.

As I said in the earlier post, a motion to restrict the accuser and her lawyers' extra-judicial comments is needed immediately. And the District Attorney should seriously consider dropping the charges altogether after this blatant attempt to poison the potential jury pool. [More..]

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Hotel Maid Accuser Goes Public

Update: Newsweek has an interview The Maid's Tale, with the DSK accuser, Nafissatou Diallo.

Time for a gag order immediately in the Dominque Strauss-Kahn case. The hotel maid accusing him is going public, embarking on a media tour, starting with ABC News: GMA on Monday and Nightline on Tuesday.

In an exclusive television interview, ABC News' Robin Roberts speaks with the hotel employee who alleges she was sexually assaulted by former International Monetary Fund Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

For the first time viewers will hear, in her own words, her version of the events that allegedly took place at the Sofitel Hotel in New York in May. ...The interview airs on Tuesday, July 26 on "Nightline."

ABC shows a picture of the accuser, but still doesn't mention her name? How absurd. I hope Ben Brafman is spending today drafting a Motion to Ban Extra-Judicial Comments by Trial Participants. This case needs an order like the one entered in the Kobe Bryant case: [More...]

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Update on the Accuser's AZ Prison Telephone Call

Yesterday I wrote at length on details not adding up about the recorded phone call between Dominique Strauss-Kahn's accuser and her boyfriend/fiance/husband in the Arizona immigration jail on May 15, the day after the encounter at the Sofitel Hotel. The call was first reported by The New York Times.

When the conversation was translated — a job completed only this Wednesday — investigators were alarmed: “She says words to the effect of, ‘Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing,’ ” the official said.

The Wall St. Journal has new details on the phone call , all coming from the prosecution and law enforcement. The article was written after the writer spoke with lead prosecutor Joan Iluzzi-Orbon. The new disclosures make even less sense. [More...]

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn: The Mysterious Phone Call With Jailed Acquaintance

[Note: This is so long that it's likely to interest only those closely following the developing details of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case.]

One of the details not adding up in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case, which I don't believe will be a case much longer, is the phone call the accuser had with her jailed friend (also described as her boyfriend or fiance) 28 hours after she reported her encounter at the Sofitel with DSK.

When the conversation was translated — a job completed only this Wednesday — investigators were alarmed: “She says words to the effect of, ‘Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing,’ ” the official said.

....Suspicions of the woman’s associations arose relatively quickly: within a week of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, the authorities learned of a recorded conversation between the subject of a drug investigation and another man, who said his companion was the woman involved in the Strauss-Kahn matter, according to another law enforcement official.

Reportedly, he was arrested when attempting to obtain 400 pounds of marijuana in exchange for counterfeit designer goods from Chinatown somewhere in the Southwest. The Times reported: [More...]

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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.)

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Dominque Strauss-Kahn's Accuser: A "Working Girl"?

Update (7/5): The accuser has sued the New York Post for libel over the article.

Is anyone surprised by today's New York Post article alleging that Dominique Strauss-Kahn's accuser was a "working girl"? I opined last night,

The only remaining viable theories are: (1) It was a set-up (2) He paid her for the sex or (3) She consented, thinking she was going to paid, and got angry when he didn't offer money, didn't pay enough or refused to pay. While normally, paying for sex would be a crime, in this case, just like the rape claim, if he denied it, proving it would require believing her, and that's out of the question now.

Of course, a prostitute can be sexually assaulted and no one is saying she shouldn't be believed on that ground. [More...]

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