Bloomberg News

Strauss-Kahn Lawyer Calls Prosecutor Meeting ‘Constructive’

July 06, 2011

(Updates with prosecutor’s comment in first paragraph.)

July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office said “no decisions have been made” in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case after talking with the former International Monetary Fund chief’s lawyers in what the defense called a “constructive meeting.”

Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn, who is charged with the May 14 sexual assault and attempted rape of a hotel housekeeper, met with prosecutors for more than an hour and a half today. Vance disclosed last week that the 32-year-old housekeeper, a native of Guinea, had lied about key aspects of her life and her actions immediately after the incident.

“We had a constructive meeting,” Benjamin Brafman, one of the lawyers, said as he left the prosecutor’s office in Lower Manhattan with Strauss-Kahn lawyer William Taylor III. The lawyers declined to comment further.

“The investigative process is continuing, and no decisions have been made,” Erin Duggan, chief spokeswoman for Vance, said in an e-mail after the meeting. She declined to comment on the meeting.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, was indicted May 19 for the alleged attack at the Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan. He has pleaded not guilty.

The former French finance minister, who was stopped by police from taking an Air France flight the day of the alleged attack, was released from home confinement July 1 after prosecutors told a judge the case had been hurt by “substantial credibility issues” with the accuser.

Armed Guard

Until last week, Strauss-Kahn was only allowed to leave the townhouse where he is living for medical, legal and religious purposes. He was required to remain under armed guard and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. He posted $1 million bail and a $5 million bond, which were ordered returned.

Prosecutors originally argued for Strauss-Kahn to be held in jail, saying he was a flight risk, especially because France doesn’t extradite its citizens.

Noel Leader, a representative of a New York group called 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement which advocates for justice on behalf of African-Americans, stood outside the District Attorney’s office today while the meeting was going on. Leader called for Vance to allow the case to go to trial or have a special prosecutor appointed.

“There’s enough information to proceed with the prosecution,” Leader said. He added that there are problems with many witnesses in criminal trials.

A sexual encounter is corroborated by forensic evidence, prosecutors reiterated last week.

The woman told the grand jury she fled to the main hallway on the floor, prosecutors said. On June 28, she admitted she cleaned a nearby room, then returned to the suite where the incident occurred.

The district attorney’s office also said the housekeeper lied on her tax returns and in an application for asylum.

The housekeeper stated in a 2004 application for asylum that she had been raped by Guinean soldiers, prosecutors said in a June 30 letter. The woman “cried and appeared markedly Distraught” in two interviews when recounting the rape, according to a court filing. Then she admitted the rape she had spoken of so emotionally had never occurred.

The case is People v. Strauss-Kahn, 2526/11, Supreme Court for the State of New York, New York County (Manhattan).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Stephen Farr

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Freifeld in New York at kfreifeld@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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