Sunday 26 March 2017

Strauss-Kahn hotel rape case will go ahead, say prosecutors

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife Anne Sinclair leaving their New York residence yesterday
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife Anne Sinclair leaving their New York residence yesterday

Rachael Alexander in New York

New York prosecutors investigating the sexual assault case against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn last night insisted that the inquiry into the hotel rape allegations would go ahead.

After a meeting with Mr Strauss-Kahn's defence lawyers, prosecutors said that they would continue to investigate the case, despite speculation that the prosecution would be shelved.

"The investigative process is continuing, and no decisions have been made," said a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

The charges, brought against Mr Strauss-Kahn in May by the office of the Manhattan District Attorney, appeared close to collapse over the credibility of the 32-year-old hotel maid from Guinea who accused him of attempted rape.

The alleged victim's version of events was unwavering, and police and prosecutors called her credible.

However, prosecutors had to rethink whether they could go forward with the case after finding that Mr Strauss-Kahn's accuser wasn't truthful about her background and the aftermath of the alleged attack.

But they haven't questioned her account of the encounter itself, at least publicly. Authorities haven't concluded no attack happened, but amid the revelations about the accuser's past lies, "the details are a bit more in doubt", said a law enforcement official.

Meanwhile, Mr Strauss-Kahn's attorneys have said they would be able to prove the encounter was not forcible.

In Paris, the official receipt of a complaint from novelist Tristane Banon means prosecutors must now decide whether there is enough evidence to charge him in France.

Ms Banon says Mr Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in an empty apartment during an interview for a book project, struggling with her on the floor as he tried to tear off her clothes.

His lawyers have described the author's account as "imaginary" and say they plan to file a complaint accusing Ms Banon of slander. Her complaint faces a series of difficult tests and could even be dismissed long before reaching a trial.

Irish Independent

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