Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Key meeting in Strauss-Kahn case

22 August 2011 Last updated at 16:29 GMT Dominique Strauss-Kahn Dominique Strauss-Kahn was considered a possible candidate for the French presidency before the case Prosecutors are to meet the hotel maid accusing former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault, amid reports the case is about to collapse.

Nafissatou Diallo's lawyer has said they expect to learn the case will be dropped when they meet New York prosecutors at 15:00 (20:00 BST).

Mr Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May accused of sexually assaulting the African immigrant.

He also faces a civil lawsuit filed by Ms Diallo this month.

Mr Strauss-Kahn is expected to appear in a Manhattan court on Tuesday, when prosecutors will outline how the case is to proceed.

If the charges are thrown out, he would be free to return to France.


Authorities in Paris are still considering whether to press charges against him over an allegation by French writer Tristane Banon that he tried to rape her during a 2003 interview.

Nafissatou Diallo, right, and lawyer Kenneth Thompson Nafissatou Diallo, shown with her lawyer Kenneth Thompson, has defended her case in the media

An international media frenzy erupted on 14 May when Ms Diallo, a 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea, told police that Mr Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted her in a suite at the Sofitel Hotel in New York City.

The 62-year-old IMF director was arrested that day on board an Air France jet and was later marched out of a New York police station in handcuffs.

Authorities in New York said they had DNA evidence showing a sexual encounter occurred and that Ms Diallo's account of the alleged assault was credible.

Lawyers for Mr Strauss-Kahn said that any sexual encounter between the two had been consensual.

Ms Diallo's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, has told US media he expects prosecutors to inform them on Monday that the case will be dropped.

Mr Thompson also told France's RTL radio on Sunday that his client "feels abandoned" by the Manhattan district attorney and felt "that she's being investigated more than Strauss-Kahn".


Mr Strauss-Kahn had been touted as a leading contender to take on French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the April 2012 presidential elections.

French novelist Tristane Banon leaves her lawyer's office in Paris on 13 July 2011 French novelist Tristane Banon claims she was attacked by Mr Strauss-Kahn

After his arrest, he was forced out of his job as director of the International Monetary Fund and later placed under house detention.

Within weeks the case was called into question as prosecutors said there were inconsistencies in Ms Diallo's background and her account of the alleged assault.

Prosecutors also said Ms Diallo had not been truthful on an asylum application form in her account of a gang rape she said she suffered back in Guinea.

Mr Strauss-Kahn was later freed from his restrictive bail conditions.

Ms Diallo then took the unusual step of giving media interviews, defending her allegations against Mr Strauss-Kahn.

On 8 August, she filed a civil suit against him.

An opinion poll released in July showed two-thirds of French people do not want Mr Strauss-Kahn to be a candidate in the 2012 elections.

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