segunda-feira, 22 de agosto de 2011

Strauss-Kahn case 'may be dropped´

The sexual assault case against former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn is likely to be dropped by New York prosecutors, an official close to the case said.

The source claimed prosecutors will probably tell his accuser that they will not pursue the case because of doubts about her credibility and a lack of evidence proving a forced sexual encounter.

A lawyer for Strauss-Kahn did not immediately respond after the New York Post first reported prosecutors' likely decision. The Manhattan District Attorney's office has also declined to comment.

Strauss-Kahn has been accused of trying to rape a hotel maid. He denies the charges.

The likely developments would bring a formal end to the case at Strauss-Kahn's next court date on Tuesday, when prosecutors may ask a judge to dismiss the charges and might elaborate on their reasoning.

The case had teetered after capturing international attention as a seeming cauldron of sex, violence, power and politics: A promising French presidential contender, known in his homeland as "the Great Seducer", accused of a brutal and contemptuous attack on an African immigrant who came to clean his plush hotel suite.

The stakes were high for both Strauss-Kahn - who resigned his IMF post, spent nearly a week behind bars and then spent possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars on house arrest - and for District Attorney (DA) Cyrus R Vance Jr, who was handling the biggest case he has had during his 18 months in office.

One of Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, Benjamin Brafman, did not immediately respond to an email message on Sunday, after the New York Post first reported prosecutors' likely decision to drop the case. The DA's office declined to comment.

The hotel maid's lawyer had predicted prosecutors would tell her on Monday they were dropping the case. The attorney, Kenneth Thompson, told France's RTL radio on Sunday that the woman, Nafitassou Diallo, "feels abandoned by the Manhattan District Attorney". The questions raised about her credibility have made her feel "that she's being investigated more than Strauss-Kahn", he said.

Then considered a promising Socialist candidate for the French presidency, Strauss-Kahn, 62, was arrested in May. Diallo, 32, said the diplomat chased her down and forced her to perform oral sex when she arrived to clean his plush suite at the Sofitel hotel in New York. Strauss-Kahn denied the allegations.

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