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Strauss-Kahn accuser at prosecutor’s office

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 12:50 EDT
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The New York hotel maid who has accused French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault Wednesday met with prosecutors amid uncertainty over whether the case will proceed.

Nafissatou Diallo, a Guinean immigrant, was seen entering the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for meetings expected to focus on whether prosecutors will pursue their case against Strauss-Kahn amid what they say are problems with her credibility.

Diallo revealed her identity on Sunday for the first time since the May 14 incident in which she alleges Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, tried to rape her in his Manhattan hotel room.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, has denied seven charges of attempted rape and sexual assault, and prosecutors threw a bombshell into the highly-watched case when they said earlier this month that doubts over Diallo’s credibility had emerged.

On Tuesday, lawyers said that a possibly crucial court hearing scheduled for next week had been delayed until August 23.

“We understand the district attorney is continuing to investigate. We hope that by August 23 he will have reached the decision to dismiss,” Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman said in a statement.

However, the district attorney’s office said only that “the investigation into this pending criminal case is continuing.”

No reason was given for the delay.

Diallo, 32, said Sunday that she had decided to go public after 10 weeks in hiding because she wanted justice and to clear her name.

“I want justice. I want him to go to jail. I want him to know you cannot use your power when you want to do something like this,” she told ABC.

In the ABC interview, she talked forcefully in heavily accented, but mostly fluent English about the sequence of events she says took place in the 28th floor suite at the Sofitel hotel.

She recounted the incident, saying Strauss-Kahn, once seen as a leading contender to be the next president of France, emerged naked from a shower to “grab my breasts” and despite her pleas, forced her head down to his penis.

When she found out the identity of her alleged attacker, she referred to her troubled past in Guinea to explain why she feared for the worst.

“They’re going to kill me,” she said. “I know if that was in my country, he’s a powerful man like that, they’re going to kill me before someone knows.”

Strauss-Kahn’s experienced legal team has slammed the media blitz as an attempt to pressure prosecutors into going ahead with the criminal case, without which a potentially lucrative civil lawsuit might not gain traction.

But Diallo appears also to want to reclaim her public image after having been painted in tabloid newspapers as a gold digger, and even a prostitute.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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