DOMINIQUE Strauss-Kahn has claimed diplomatic immunity as he seeks the dismissal of a US civil case, accusing a hotel maid of inventing sexual assault claims that derailed his efforts to right the global economy.
“As managing director, which is the chief executive position at the IMF, Mr Strauss-Kahn enjoyed absolute immunity from civil suit,” said a motion filed by his lawyers at a court in the Bronx in New York.
Criminal charges against Mr Strauss-Kahn were dropped in August when prosecutors lost faith in the credibility of hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, but she is pursuing her civil case against the one-time French presidential hopeful.
Mr Strauss-Kahn did not claim immunity in the criminal case as the alleged incident happened while he was staying in New York in a personal capacity, but his lawyers appear to think the same does not apply in the civil courts.
The motion to dismiss said it made no difference that when Diallo filed her civil case on August 8 Strauss-Kahn was no longer head of the IMF.
“Mr Strauss-Kahn enjoyed absolute immunity under customary international law not only while he was head of the IMF, but also for the period of time after he had resigned from his post and was ordered to remain in the United States in his criminal matter.