Strauss-Kahn charges to be dropped

Strauss-Kahn charges to be dropped

The sex case against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominic Strauss-Kahn gets stranger by the day. And there's more to it than meets the eye.

Bloomberg reports that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. will ask a judge to dismiss sexual-assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn because they'd be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Christopher Dickey in the Daily Beast says the problem lies with the big holes in the testimony of his accuser, hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo. "If the criminal charges are indeed dismissed, there is "definitely not" any way that Diallo or her attorneys can compel Strauss-Kahn to stay in the United States … And the civil case is not expected to come to trial for two years in the best of circumstances. By then, Strauss-Kahn could be on his way to rebuilding the political career that was shattered by his arrest, and he may have regained public sympathy in France, where his friends and defenders have excoriated the American legal system."

The New York Times reports that there is a political agenda. It's all about shoring up the defences of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. "Still, several legal and political insiders pointed to a number of factors that could affect Mr. Vance's job security: He replaced a very popular, long-tenured district attorney in Robert M. Morgenthau; he is running a prosecutor's office that gets much more attention than the others in the city; and, because he is in only his second year in the position, his reputation is not yet firmly established. One political strategist, who asked not to be identified because he did not want to offend Mr. Vance, said the district attorney could be in danger of losing re-election only if other negative or embarrassing cases for him lie ahead."

According to the New York Times, the bluntest assessment came from a former prosecutor who talked on the condition of anonymity. "Still, from a purely political perspective, dismissing the case would be Mr. Vance's best option…Dropping the case would lead to short-term criticism, but it would eventually disappear, the former prosecutor said."


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