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Dominique Strauss-Kahn expected to walk free as case collapses

The former IMF head could be set for a return to French politics after prosecutors dropped sexual assault charges.

Strauss-Kahn leaving his rented house in New York last month
Strauss-Kahn leaving his rented house in New York last month
Image: Seth Wenig/AP/Press Association Images

DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN is widely expected to go free today after prosecutors asked for the case against him to be dropped.

The 62-year-old former head of the IMF faced sexual assault charges after an alleged encounter with hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, 33. Ms Diallo had said she was attacked as she cleaned Mr Strauss-Kahn’s suite in the Manhattan Sofitel in May. However, doubts about Ms Diallo’s credibility led prosecutors, led by New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance, to file papers yesterday asking for the charges to be dismissed.

The documents, published in full by the New York Times, state that there was forensic evidence of a “hurried sexual encounter” between Mr Strauss-Kahn and Ms Diallo, but not enough to “independently establish her claim of a forcible, nonconsensual encounter.”

Prosecutors said Ms Diallo had altered her story a number of times in the wake of the alleged assault, and also fabricated a story of being gang-raped by soldiers in her native Guinea.

A hearing is scheduled this morning, at which a judge is expected to accept the prosecution’s request and dismiss the case. Mr Strauss-Kahn would then be free to return to France, where he is still being mooted as a possible Socialist presidential candidate. His party colleague Francois Hollande told French radio yesterday: “Whatever has been said, a man with the abilities of Dominique Strauss-Kahn can be useful to his country in the months and years to come,” the Guardian reports.

Kenneth Thompson, a lawyer for Ms Diallo, yesterday hit out at prosecutors. According to Bloomberg, he told reporters: “Cyrus Vance has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case. 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.”

However, there was also support for Mr Vance from some legal sources. New York lawyer Stuart Slotnick told the Guardian: “This is the same DA’s office that prosecutes people who rape prostitutes. Those are very difficult cases to bring.” He added: “A prosecutor should not prosecute a case that they don’t believe in.”

Read more: Full coverage of the DSK sexual assault case >

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Michael Freeman

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