Share this article

print logo

Ex-leader of IMF may not be prosecuted

New York City prosecutors asked a judge Monday to dismiss all criminal charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn because the hotel maid who created a cross-continental sensation by accusing him of sexual assault repeatedly lied to them.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office said in court papers that the accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, repeatedly gave false information to investigators and grand jurors about her life, past and actions following her encounter with the French diplomat and former chief of the International Monetary Fund.

"In virtually every substantive interview with prosecutors, despite entreaties to simply be truthful, she has not been truthful on matters great and small," the lawyers wrote.

Diallo and her attorney, Kenneth Thompson, met briefly with representatives of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office to discuss the decision not to proceed with the prosecution. Thompson didn't say what had happened inside or reveal what his client was told, but he recited a short statement condemning prosecutors for their handling of the case.

"Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case," he said. "He has not only turned his back on this innocent victim. But he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case."

Thompson is asking a judge for an order disqualifying the prosecutor's office from handling the case. Diallo is also suing Strauss-Kahn, seeking to make him pay financially if not with his freedom, a move that the diplomat's lawyers said helped erode her credibility.

Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to go before a judge today. His lawyers, William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman, issued a statement saying that he and his family were grateful for the decision.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested after Diallo said he chased her down and forced her to perform oral sex. Strauss-Kahn denied the allegations, and his lawyers have said anything that happened wasn't forced.

Like many sexual assault cases, in which the accused and accuser are often the only eyewitnesses, the Strauss-Kahn case has hinged heavily on the woman's believability. Early on, prosecutors stressed that Diallo had provided "a compelling and unwavering story."

But then prosecutors said July 1 they'd found the maid had told them a series of troubling falsehoods, including a persuasive but phony account of having been gang-raped in her native Guinea.