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NY judge dismisses assault charges against Strauss-Kahn

Today’s dismissal was delayed pending an appeal court ruling regarding an application for a special prosecutor.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, centre, arrives at court today with his wife Anne Sinclair.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, centre, arrives at court today with his wife Anne Sinclair.
Image: Mary Altaffer/AP/Press Association Images

UPDATED at 18:45

A NEW YORK judge has dismissed criminal charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who had denied the allegations.

Earlier today, New York Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus denied the alleged victim’s request for a special prosecutor to be appointed and for the district attorney to be taken off the case. An appeal was immediately lodged against that ruling, delaying the dismissal of charges against Strauss-Kahn until that appeal was been ruled on.

This evening, a New York appeals court upheld the ruling that there was no legal basis for a special prosecutor to be appointed to the case. The appeals court ruling means that the case against Strauss-Kahn is now dismissed.

No other witnesses

The prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the charges yesterday. According to those papers, evidence “establishes that the defendant engaged in a hurried sexual encounter with the complainant, but it does not independently establish her claim of a forcible, nonconsensual encounter”.

The lawyers acknowledged that the case would hinge on testimony from the alleged victim Nafissatou Diallo, 33:

Aside from the complainant and the defendant, there are no other eyewitnesses to the incident… Indeed, the case rises and falls on her testimony.

Diallo’s credibility as a witness was called into question after reports that she altered her story in the wake of the alleged assault and misrepresented herself on an asylum application. Her lawyer Kenneth Thompson said that queries over Diallo’s credibility had left her feeling more investigated than Strauss-Kahn.

Protesters supporting Diallo gathered outside the Manhattan courthouse today bearing signs such as: “Put the rapist on trial – not the victim”.

Diallo is also pursuing a civil case against Strauss-Kahn.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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