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Legal Maneuvering Continues in Strauss-Kahn Civil Suit

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Monday appealed a judge’s decision to allow a civil lawsuit against their client to move forward. A former hotel housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, filed the suit against him in August 2011, claiming he sexually assaulted her.

In May, Bronx Supreme Court Judge Douglas McKeon denied Strauss-Kahn’s request to dismiss the suit based on diplomatic immunity. The judge said then that Strauss-Kahn’s attempts to claim immunity were “his own version of a ‘Hail Mary’ pass,” noting he resigned the IMF post before the civil suit was filed. 

Diallo’s attorneys, meanwhile, are seeking documents from the criminal case that was dismissed. In mid-May, her attorneys requested that the judge issues subpoenas to six public entities, because they have “documents relevant to her claims and/or defenses” against Strauss-Kahn.

Those entities are the New York Police Department, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the Port Authority Police Department, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

“We believe that the DA has the evidence Ms. Diallo needs to proceed with her case,” said Kenneth Thompson, her attorney, in a phone interview on Tuesday.

The Manhattan DA’s Office and the NYPD are opposing the request, citing the fact that the criminal case was dismissed and documents sealed.

The decision on whether the request for subpoenas will be granted is now up to the judge.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May 2011 after Diallo accused him of sexually assaulting her at the Sofitel Hotel in New York, where she worked In August, the Manhattan District Attorney’s dismissed the criminal charges against Strauss-Kahn after the case was undermined with what the prosecutors said were Diallo’s untruthful statements.

By then, Diallo field a civil suit seeking damages for injuries and other losses she claims to have suffered as a result of the attack.

Strauss-Kahn, once considered a serious possible candidate for the French presidency, filed a $1 million countersuit against Diallo in May, saying in court papers she made “malicious and wanton false accusation,” when she accused him of sexually assaulting her, and that they cost him his job.

In France, prosecutors said in May that they had opened a preliminary investigation into accusation that Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted a woman in a hotel in Washington, District of Columbia, in 2010. He had already been charged in March with involvement in a prostitution ring.

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