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Strauss-Kahn accuser meets with prosecutors

By Reuters
Thursday, July 28, 2011 7:32 EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) – The hotel maid who accused former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her met with prosecutors on Wednesday for several hours to discuss details of the case.

Nafissatou Diallo’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, said afterward the meeting went well and that taped conversations between Diallo and an imprisoned man about Strauss-Kahn were discussed and played at the session.

The case against Strauss-Kahn has teetered for weeks since prosecutors disclosed they had uncovered several discrepancies in Diallo’s account of her past, and of the immediate aftermath of the alleged assault in a New York hotel.

Diallo, 32, who broke her silence three days ago, giving interviews to Newsweek and ABC News, arrived with Thompson for the meeting about 10 a.m. amid a crush of media. They emerged shortly before 6 p.m. Diallo declined comment before getting into a car and being driven away.

The district attorney’s office, which is determining whether to move forward with charges of sexual assault and attempted rape, declined comment on the meeting.

Supporters for Diallo said she would hold a news conference on Thursday at noon (1600 GMT) at a church in New York’s Brooklyn borough. They said she would thank women’s groups for their fight on her behalf.

Strauss-Kahn, who had been widely seen as a leading contender for the French presidency, has denied the allegations. His lawyers have called on Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to drop the case, while Thompson and a coalition of women’s and minority groups are pressing for a trial.

Thompson told reporters after the meeting that tapes of Diallo’s first telephone conversation with the imprisoned man following the alleged attack included her allegation that Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her.

He also said reports that Diallo told the man in that conversation that Strauss-Kahn “has a lot of money, and I know what to do,” were not true.

“The discussion about his wealth never came up,” said Thompson, who contended the tapes showed that the conversation was only about the alleged rape attempt.

He conceded that in a subsequent call, the two did talk about Strauss-Kahn being rich and powerful.

Strauss-Kahn is no longer under house arrest but is barred from leaving the country. His next court date is set for August 23.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Chris Michaud and Peter Cooney)

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