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Entries in International Monetary Fund (12)

Tuesday
Aug302011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Visits IMF, Apologizes for Scandal

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn paid a visit to the Washington D.C. headquarters of the International Monetary Fund Monday to say farewell to staffers and to meet with his successor, less than a week after New York prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against him.

William Murray, a spokesman for the IMF, said Strauss-Kahn met with current managing director Christine Lagarde and other staffers.

One IMF staffer told AFP that Strauss-Kahn addressed employees and said he wanted to “apologize to those who have been hurt” by the scandal.  The staffer said the former IMF head said he was sorry the case had a negative impact on the organization.

Strauss-Kahn resigned as the head of the IMF in May after he was charged with attempted rape and criminal sexual contact in connection with an alleged attack on a Manhattan hotel maid.  All criminal charges have been dismissed, but Strauss-Kahn still faces a civil lawsuit filed by his accuser.

Strauss-Kahn, a leader in France's Socialist Party, has expressed a desire to return home, but it’s unclear if he still intends to run for president in an effort to unseat incumbent Nikolas Sarkozy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug232011

Prosecutors File Motion to Dismiss Strauss-Kahn Charges

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York prosecutors on Monday asked a judge to dismiss sexual assault charges against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, citing questions about his accuser's truthfulness.

Strauss-Kahn had been accused of sexually assaulting Sofitel Hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo in May.

In a 25-page motion filed with Judge Michael Obus, prosecutors said "evidence gathered in our post indictment investigation severely undermined her reliability as a witness in this case."

During the investigation into the incident, prosecutors say, Diallo presented three different versions of the alleged assault and lied under oath.  Her credibility "cannot withstand the most basic evaluation," prosecutors said in the motion.

"If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so," Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said.

Obus is not expected to rule on the dismissal request until Tuesday, when Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to appear in court, possibly for the last time related to these charges.

Diallo's attorney says his client is "devastated" by the decision to abandon the criminal case.

Kenneth Thompson said he still believes there is sufficient physical evidence to overcome any doubts prosecutors have about the hotel maid's credibility.  He told ABC News that Monday's meeting involving three prosecutors from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Thompson and Diallo "was hostile."

"Joan Illuzzi basically told Ms. Diallo that they were dismissing the case, claiming because she lied to them," Thompson said.  "They totally disrespected Ms. Diallo by walking out on her while she was trying to ask them a question."

The district attorney's office by practice does not comment on meetings between lawyers.

Strauss-Kahn had long maintained he was innocent of the charges.

"We have maintained from the beginning of this case that our client is innocent," Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, William W. Taylor and Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement.  "We also maintained that there were many reasons to believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn's accuser was not credible.  Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his family are grateful that the District Attorney's office took our concerns seriously and concluded on its own that this case cannot proceed further.  We look forward to attending the hearing on Tuesday."

In what may have been a last-ditch attempt to change the anticipated outcome of the crumbling case, lawyers for Diallo had earlier filed a motion to disqualify Vance from the case.

"The Manhattan District Attorney has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case.  He has not only turned his back on this innocent victim but he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case," Thompson said in a statement Monday afternoon.

In the filing to disqualify Vance, Thompson said Vance "has sabotaged defendant Strauss-Kahn's prosecution."  He said Vance's handling of the case "has been inadequate and troubling."

Thompson accused Vance's office of treating his client "abusively."  He said the office failed to refute a New York Post article that called Diallo a hooker.

Thompson also claimed the DA's office was predisposed to dismissing a case it once called "strong."  He says an assistant district attorney told Diallo's counsel, "No one with half a brain would ever put her on the stand."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug222011

Strauss-Kahn Case May Take Dramatic Turn

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office are seeking to dismiss the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, ABC News has learned.

(NEW YORK) -- The highly publicized prosecution of former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn may take a dramatic turn, and possibly end altogether, Monday.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office has summoned the hotel maid who accused Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape, Nafissatou Diallo, to a meeting Monday afternoon. At that meeting prosecutors may reveal to her whether they intend to go forward with the case.

"While we remain hopeful that the District Attorney will decide to continue with the prosecution of Mr. Strauss-Kahn given the mountain of physical evidence demonstrating that he sexually assaulted Ms. Diallo on May 14, we are not confident that he will do so," said Douglas Wigdor, one of Diallo's attorneys.

Wigdor and his partner Kenneth Thompson are seeking to disqualify Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance from the case. They say they believe he is no longer impartial and they're seeking to move the case to another prosecutor's office. This kind of motion is rarely granted.

There was no immediate comment from the district attorney's spokeswoman.

Prosecutors have come to doubt the case, which once appeared strong, because of what they call "substantial credibility issues" related to Diallo's background and conduct.

Questions have arisen surrounding what happened immediately after the alleged attack and have led the Manhattan District Attorney's office to consider whether to drop the charges amid concerns about Diallo's credibility.

Diallo said she was in the hall when Strauss-Kahn left the suite, but hotel records show she briefly went into another room, and then re-entered Strauss-Kahn's suite.

Diallo has also admitted to lying on her tax returns and lying about the details of a rape in her home country of Guinea that helped her to achieve asylum in the United States -- but she says that it is irrelevant to what she says happened in Strauss-Kahn's hotel suite.

Strauss-Kahn has denied all charges. His attorneys have suggested the encounter in the Sofitel Hotel suite May 14 was consensual. His attorneys have portrayed Diallo as a woman out for money.

If charges against Strauss-Kahn are dismissed, as his attorneys have said they must be, a dramatic prosecution would end without answering the question of what really happened between one of the world's most powerful men and an immigrant maid inside the hotel suite.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Maid in Dominique Strauss-Kahn Case Holds Press Conference

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Nafissatou Diallo continued her recent campaign Thursday to defend her honor against allegations that she was lying about being sexually assaulted by former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Since Diallo accused Strauss-Kahn of forcing her to perform oral sex last May in the luxury New York hotel where she worked as a maid, the 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea has faced allegations that she was trying to shake down her alleged attacker for money, and that she's led a shady past that included being a prostitute.

Prosecutors in the case, who re-interviewed Diallo extensively earlier this week, have also cast doubts about her story, leading Strauss-Kahn to be freed from house arrest while he awaits trial.

After giving interviews to ABC News and Newsweek magazine to dispel notions she was making the story up, Diallo appeared at a news conference Thursday with community and religious leaders to issue a short statement that suggested she had unfairly become the perpetrator rather than a victim.

Among other things, Diallo said, "I hear a lot of bad things that they're calling me.  That's why I have to be here and let people know that a lot of things they say about me is not true."

The maid also said that she's been through a lot and that she cries every day.

Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn's next court date is scheduled for August 23.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul252011

Exclusive: Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Accuser Speaks Out

In an exclusive interview ABC News' Robin Roberts speaks with the hotel employee who alleges she was sexually assaulted by former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to sexually assault her in a New York City hotel room is ending her public silence in an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," Nafissatou Diallo told ABC's Robin Roberts. "I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this."

Strauss-Kahn may not go to jail. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is considering whether to drop the charges amid "concerns" he has said he has about Diallo's credibility.

Diallo was asked about the instances that caused prosecutors to "reassess the strength of the case." Diallo acknowledged "mistakes," but also said they should not preclude Vance's office from going forward.

"God is my witness I'm telling the truth. From my heart. God Knows that. And he knows that," she said.

The woman whose accusations upended the politics of France and the workings of one of the world's most prominent banking institutions was unequivocal in her assertion that Strauss-Kahn attacked her inside room 2806 at the Sofitel Hotel.

"I never want to be in public but I have no choice," Diallo told ABC News, adding "Now, I have to be in public. I have to, for myself. I have to tell the truth."

She reenacted moments of the alleged assault, at one point kneeling on the floor to describe how she says Strauss-Kahn tried to force her to commit a sex act.

"I turned my head, he comes to me, and grab my breasts," she said. "I said, 'Stop! Stop! I don't want to lose my job.'"

Diallo said she did not know who Strauss-Kahn was prior to the encounter May 14. Once she learned his identity she said she thought she would be killed.

"And then they say he's going to be the next president of France. And I say, oh my God! And I was crying. I said, 'they're gonna kill me.'"

Until now Diallo's identity had been protected. She said she is coming forward now to defend her story and her reputation, which has been besmirched by tabloid headlines calling her a prostitute.

"I'm not," Diallo said.

Defense attorneys for Strauss-Kahn categorically deny any criminal wrongdoing occurred. They have suggested what happened inside the hotel suite was consensual and, in a statement, they called Diallo's interview an "unseemly circus."

"Its obvious purpose is to inflame public opinion against a defendant in a pending criminal case," William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman wrote in a statement.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment on the interview.

"This is a pending criminal case," DA spokeswoman Erin Duggan said. "To protect the integrity of the criminal justice system, the rights of the victim, and the rights of the accused, we will not discuss the facts or evidence in what remains an ongoing investigation."

The interview took place in the Manhattan office of Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson. He told ABC News he plans to file a civil lawsuit against Strauss-Kahn on his client's behalf within days.

"There's no mystery. There's no hiding the fact. This man attempted to rape her," Thompson said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul242011

Exclusive: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Accuser Tells Her Story to ABC News

In an exclusive interview ABC News' Robin Roberts speaks with the hotel employee who alleges she was sexually assaulted by former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (Heidi Gutman/ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to sexually assault her in a New York City hotel room has broken her public silence in an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," Nafissatou Diallo told ABC's Robin Roberts in an interview to air Monday on Good Morning America, World News with Diane Sawyer, Nightline, and affiliates of ABC News Radio. "I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this."

Strauss-Kahn may not go to jail. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is considering whether to drop the charges amid "concerns" he has said he has about Diallo's credibility.

There were no restrictions on the interview, and Diallo was asked about the instances that caused prosecutors to "reassess the strength of the case." Diallo acknowledged "mistakes," but also said they should not preclude Vance's office from going forward.

"God is my witness I'm telling the truth. From my heart. God knows that. And he knows that," she said.

The woman whose accusations upended the politics of France and the workings of one of the world's most prominent banking institutions was unequivocal in her assertion that Strauss-Kahn attacked her inside room 2806 at the Sofitel Hotel.

She reenacted moments of the alleged assault, at one point kneeling on the floor to describe how she says Strauss-Kahn tried to force her to commit a sex act.

"I never want to be in public but I have no choice," Diallo told ABC News, adding, "Now, I have to be in public. I have to, for myself. I have to tell the truth."

Defense attorneys for Strauss-Kahn categorically deny any criminal wrongdoing occurred. They have said what happened inside the hotel suite was consensual and, in a statement, they called Diallo's interview an "unseemly circus."

"Its obvious purpose is to inflame public opinion against a defendant in a pending criminal case," William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman wrote in a statement.

The interview took place in the Manhattan office of Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson. He told ABC News he plans to file a civil lawsuit against Strauss-Kahn on his client's behalf.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul062011

Strauss-Kahn Lawyers Have 'Constructive' Meeting With Prosecutors

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Lawyers for former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Wednesday they had a "constructive" meeting with prosecutors in their effort to have the sexual assault charges against him dropped.

Prosecutors reportedly want Strauss-Kahn to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

"The investigative process is continuing, and no decisions have been made," a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said, according to ABC News New York affiliate WABC-TV.

Strauss-Kahn has been charged with trying to rape a housekeeper and forcing her to perform oral sex in a New York City hotel in May. The next scheduled court appearance is July 18.

"There is ample evidence to suggest that this case is going nowhere and going nowhere fast," criminal lawyer Robin Sax said. "But I think because public perception is so essential here, we will see the district attorney's office at least close this case properly and make sure that they have a complete packet before they do the official dump."

The prosecutor's office said last week that questions about the victim's credibility had crippled the Manhattan district attorney's case, which resulted in his being released from house arrest.

Prosecutors outlined her lies and inconsistencies about the case in a three-page letter. It included details of a recorded call from the hotel maid to her boyfriend in an immigration jail in Arizona, where she told him, "Don't worry. This guy has a lot of money. I know what I am doing."

In addition to cheating on her taxes and lying about her income, the hotel maid also falsely claimed on her application for political asylum to the United States that she'd been gang raped in her native country of Guinea. But even after she admitted to altering her account of what happened after the encounter with Strauss-Kahn, prosecutors maintained there was still evidence to suggest a sexual assault had taken place.

But Sax, a former prosecutor with no connection to this case, is not convinced that the case is strong enough to proceed to trial. "A prosecutor has an obligation to bring charges only when they can believe that they can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, Sax said. "And at the end of the day, if you can't believe your witness, you don't have a case."

Strauss-Kahn's defense team indicated last week that unless prosecutors presented strong evidence, the former frontrunner to become the next president of France would not be willing to plead guilty to any crime.

If that is true, the district attorney's only options would be to drop the charges or take it to trial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul062011

Maid in Strauss-Kahn Case Sues over Prostitute Allegations

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The hotel chambermaid at the center of the case involving sexual assault charges against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) has sued The New York Post for calling her a prostitute.

The 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea contends the newspaper is guilty of libel for recently publishing stories and headlines that screamed, "DSK Maid a Hooker," "DSK ‘Refused to Pay’ Hooker Maid for Sex" and "She Saw Johns While in DA Protection!"

The maid claims the newspaper knew the information was false and printed it anyway, adding, "In an apparent desperate attempt to bolster its rapidly plunging sales, Defendant New York Post ran a series of defamatory articles."

According to the lawsuit, the maid, who worked at Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan where she claimed Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her, accused the Post of subjecting her to "humiliation, shame, scorn, emotional injury, embarrassment, loss of standing in the community, loss of self-esteem, public disgrace, severe and extreme emotional distress and ridicule throughout the world."

Prosecutors are said to have found holes in the alleged victim's accusations against Strauss-Kahn, who was freed from house arrest last week and could soon have all the charges against him dropped.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul052011

French Writer to Sue Dominique Strauss-Kahn for Alleged Rape

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A French journalist and writer is expected to file a lawsuit Tuesday in connection with an alleged rape attempt by Dominique Strauss-Kahn in 2002, according to several media reports.

Tristane Banon, now 32, has accused Strauss-Kahn of attempting to assault her when she interviewed him for her first book, Admitted Mistakes, in Paris when she was 22 years old.

Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors will proceed in this country with their investigation into the alleged rape of a hotel maid by Strauss-Khan, the former International Monetary Fund chief, as fresh revelations emerged in recent days that she has lied to prosecutors and to a grand jury.

"Our prosecutors from the Manhattan D.A.'s office will continue their investigation into these alleged crimes and will do so until we have uncovered all relevant facts,'' Cyrus Vance, a prosecutor in the case, said.

The New York chamber maid that accused French economist Strauss-Kahn of raping her in his Manhattan hotel room has cheated on her taxes, lied about a previous experience of rape in her native Guinea and might have been looking to profit off of her case against the French politician, according to the prosecutors handling her case.

Details that have emerged about the unnamed chamber maid may irrevocably damage the district attorney's case against Strauss-Kahn, who was recently released from house arrest when details of his accuser's past and shaky account of what happened between the two in at the Sofitel Hotel emerged last week.

The blow to the prosecution came after a three-page letter they sent to the Strauss-Kahn's defense attorneys disclosed lies and inconsistencies in the maid's past, along with discrepancies in her account of what occurred after she left Strauss-Kahn's hotel suite May 14.

After details of the maid's checkered past and inconsistent account of events were revealed to the court, Strauss-Kahn appeared before a Manhattan judge Friday where he was released on his own recognizance, and the stiff home confinement bail conditions imposed on him were lifted.

In addition to cheating on her taxes and lying about her income, there are also reports of several bank accounts in the maid's name with large sums of money, though she initially told investigators the hotel was her only source of income.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul012011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Released from House Arrest

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A smiling Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, left Manhattan State Supreme Court on Friday, arm in arm with his wife, Anne Sinclair, after he was released on his own recognizance and without bail.

Prosecutors said the case had "substantial credibility issues," ABC News learned Thursday night, and the District Attorney's office told the court Friday that it had reason to "reassess its position about the strength of the case."

The court ruled that the bail order be vacated, as well as the multimillion-dollar cash bond.

Despite the setback, the New York District Attorney's office did not move to dismiss the case and prosecutors noted that the alleged sexual assault was corroborated by forensic evidence. The district attorney's investigators have uncovered significant issues with the account of the maid who alleged that Strauss-Kahn assaulted her in a New York City hotel room.

Meanwhile, Lisa Friel, the chief of the Manhattan district attorney's sex crimes unit, has resigned the post she held for nearly a decade, ABC News has confirmed. Her resignation Wednesday, first reported by The New York Times, comes as one of the office's most high-profile sexual assault cases continues to unravel.

Discoveries that the Sofitel hotel maid considered financial gain, had questionable relationships with at least one alleged drug dealer and other issues in her past prompted prosecutors to present their findings to the defense, according to law enforcement officials and other people familiar with the case.

While prosecutors were initially extremely confident in their case after Strauss-Kahn's May 14 arrest, as soon as they realized it was unraveling, they did what was proper and contacted the defense. Senior prosecutors met with lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and provided details about their findings, ABC confirmed.

Strauss-Kahn, a leading candidate for the French presidency before being accused of sexually assaulting the woman, resigned his powerful position as head of the IMF in the wake of the allegations against him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio