Saturday, March 31, 2012

500 Strauss-Kahn pleads Diplomatic Immunity in Maid Rape civil lawsuit

Strauss-Kahn pleads Diplomatic Immunity in Maid Rape civil lawsuit

(1) Strauss-Kahn asks Judge to dismiss Lawsuit because he had “absolute
immunity”
(2) Dominique Strauss-Kahn claims diplomatic immunity in maid case
(3) French Judges grill Strauss-Kahn whether prostitutes were paid out
of company funds
(4) France's Strauss-Kahn under investigation in pimping case
(5) Maid sues New York Post for articles that said she had worked as a
prostitute.
(6) Rupert Murdoch-owned NY Post headline "DSK Maid a Hooker"
(7) French female novelist presses on with claim DSK attempted to rape her

(1) Strauss-Kahn asks Judge to dismiss Lawsuit because he had “absolute
immunity”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/nyregion/strauss-kahn-seeks-to-dismiss-housekeepers-suit.html?_r=1

Strauss-Kahn Wants Judge to Dismiss Accuser’s Lawsuit

By COLIN MOYNIHAN

Published: March 28, 2012

Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, whom prosecutors accused of raping a
hotel housekeeper before dropping charges against him last year, asked a
judge on Wednesday to dismiss a civil lawsuit against their client,
saying his former position as head of the International Monetary Fund
bestowed “absolute immunity” upon him.

Appearing in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, one of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s
lawyers, Amit P. Mehta, told Justice Douglas E. McKeon that “Mr.
Strauss-Kahn enjoyed the same kind of diplomatic immunity” given the
secretary general of the United Nations, a member of the Russian
consulate or a Chinese diplomat.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers said in court papers that his status as the
head of an international organization with a special relationship with
the United Nations protected him from lawsuits, even those based upon
“acts done in the executive’s personal capacity.”

But Douglas H. Wigdor, a lawyer for the housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo,
countered that immunity provisions in international law were meant not
to protect individuals from wrongdoing, but only to allow diplomatic
missions to function smoothly.

Amid questions from the justice, Mr. Mehta contended that protections
included in the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the
Specialized Agencies, which was adopted by the United Nations General
Assembly in 1947, should be extended to Mr. Strauss-Kahn, even though
the United States did not sign that accord.

The provisions of the special agencies convention, which are accepted by
more than 100 nations, have the status of “customary international law,”
Mr. Mehta argued, adding that the United States Supreme Court and the
New York State Court of Appeals had recognized such laws even without a
specific treaty signed by American authorities.

Although Mr. Strauss-Kahn had resigned his position of managing director
at the International Monetary Fund by the time the civil lawsuit was
filed, Mr. Mehta said immunity still applied.

At times, Judge McKeon seemed skeptical of the line of logic that Mr.
Mehta was advancing. At one point he wondered why Mr. Strauss-Kahn had
not made similar arguments while facing a criminal case.

“Did he at any time assert that immunity?” he asked.

“It wasn’t in his interest to do so,” Mr. Mehta replied, adding that Mr.
Strauss-Kahn had wanted to clear his name.

In May 2011, Ms. Diallo, who worked at the Sofitel in Midtown Manhattan,
told detectives that Mr. Strauss-Kahn had raped her. He was arrested and
charged with sexual assault. Evidence showed that a sexual encounter had
taken place, but in August, the Manhattan district attorney’s office
moved to dismiss the criminal case, saying that prosecutors had
developed doubt about Ms. Diallo’s credibility.

In August Ms. Diallo filed a civil suit in the Bronx, where she lives,
seeking unspecified monetary damages.

After hearing from Mr. Mehta, Judge McKeon turned to Mr. Wigdor, who
said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn could not “unilaterally” claim diplomatic
immunity. He added that that the assertion that it applied to him lacked
support from the International Monetary Fund, the State Department and
Congress.

“Strauss-Kahn does not have diplomatic immunity,” he told the judge. “He
said so himself when he was arrested.”

Neither Mr. Strauss-Kahn, once considered a leading contender for the
presidency in France, nor Ms. Diallo was in court during the two-hour
hearing. The justice said he would rule soon on the immunity issue.

This week, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was charged in France with involvement in a
prostitution ring, accusations that his lawyer disputed.

(2) Dominique Strauss-Kahn claims diplomatic immunity in maid case

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17534652

28 March 2012 Last updated at 21:03 GMT

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is claiming that he has diplomatic immunity in a
civil case brought by the hotel maid who accused him of a sex attack
last year.

Nafissatou Diallo brought the action in New York after criminal charges
were dismissed against the former head of the International Monetary
Fund (IMF).

The charges were dropped when prosecutors lost faith in her evidence.

Mr Strauss-Kahn is currently in France fighting claims that he was
involved with a prostitution ring.

The hearing in New York is the first stage in the civil case brought by
Ms Diallo.

She maintains he attacked her when she came to clean his suite at the
Sofitel Hotel in the US city.

Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyers argued in court that the case should be
dropped, saying the defendant had diplomatic immunity at the time of the
alleged assault.

"Dismissal, your honour, may seem like an unfair result to some, but
it's the result the law compels," Amit Mehta, one of Mr Strauss-Kahn's
lawyers, told Bronx state Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon.

A lawyer representing Ms Diallo, Douglas Wigdor, suggested Mr
Strauss-Kahn "thinks he can unilaterally, himself, in his own personal
capacity, assert diplomatic immunity and not be held accountable for his
actions".

The IMF has said Mr Strauss-Kahn was not entitled to immunity because he
was in New York on personal business at the time.

Judge McKeon did not make an immediate ruling after Wednesday's hearing,
but said he would seek to issue one "expeditiously".

'Sex parties'

In France, Mr Strauss-Kahn has been placed under investigation over
allegations that he was involved in a hotel prostitution ring in the
northern city of Lille.

He has admitted he attended sex parties, but denies that he knew the
women involved in the orgies were hired prostitutes.

Leaked police documents emerged on Wednesday that appear to show that he
exchanged text messages with the people running the parties, in which
prostitutes were referred to as "material".

Prosecutors claim the term suggests he knew the identity and profession
of the women taking part.

At least one of those women has told police there was undue aggression
at these events, an allegation Mr Strauss-Kahn strenuously denies.

The parties he attended were stopped soon after his arrest in May last
year.

(3) French Judges grill Strauss-Kahn whether sex-romp prostitutes were
paid out of company funds

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/26/us-france-strausskahn-idUSBRE82P0W020120326

Judges grill Strauss-Kahn over prostitution case

(Reuters) - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was questioned by
three judges on Monday over his role in a prostitution case in the
northern French city of Lille that could see him placed under formal
investigation.

By Pascal Rossignol

LILLE, France | Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:01pm EDT

The Socialist ex-finance minister, a strong contender to be France's
next president until he was hit with sex assault charges in New York
last May, appeared at the Lille court two days earlier than scheduled,
although no official reason was given for the date change.

The Lille prosecutor's office said the closed hearing began on Monday
afternoon and would likely run late into the evening.

Despite the change in date, a group of about 30 reporters and
photographers waited outside the court, while scantily-clad women who
appeared to be sex workers tried to drum up business nearby.

Using prostitutes is not illegal in France, but Strauss-Kahn risks a
legal probe if investigators decide he knowingly had sex with
prostitutes paid for out of company funds.

Strauss-Kahn went from being a highly respected politician to being
hounded in the world's media after a New York hotel maid accused him of
trying to rape her. The charges were dropped after prosecutors decided
the maid's testimony was unreliable.

But Strauss-Kahn, 62, was hit with a separate sexual assault accusation
in France and on Wednesday his lawyers will be in a Bronx courtroom
fighting a civil lawsuit brought against him by the hotel maid.

The Lille case centers on allegations that a prostitution ring organized
by Strauss-Kahn's business associates supplied clients at the city's
Carlton Hotel.

Strauss-Kahn - who is now jobless and lives a life behind closed doors
in Paris, mainly out of the public eye -- has denied the allegations,
arguing that he was unaware women he met at parties organized by
business associates in Lille, Paris and Washington were prostitutes.

PROTESTS UNDERMINE COMEBACK

Strauss-Kahn has been seeking to restore his reputation as a top global
economist by speaking at conferences, but cancelled an appearance at an
event in Brussels on Tuesday following protests from European members of
parliament (MEPs).

He was due to speak at a debate of young MEPs alongside Jean-Claude
Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, and
former European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet. But the plan
upset female MEPs, prompting European Parliament President Martin Schulz
to pressure organizers to drop him.

French MEP Sandrine Belier said that given the circumstances it would
have been "uncomfortable" to have Strauss-Kahn appear.

Earlier in March he had to be bundled into the back of a police car
after addressing an event at Britain's Cambridge University to escape a
protest by women's' rights activists.

Investigators could drop all pursuit of Strauss-Kahn or place him under
formal investigation on suspicion of complicity in a pimping operation,
or having benefited from misappropriated company funds, if he knowingly
attended prostitute sessions paid for by his executive friends using
expense accounts.

In February, Strauss-Kahn was held in police custody in Lille for two
days for initial questioning, but he is unlikely to be detained in
prison if placed under investigation due to the non-dangerous nature of
the allegations.

His lawyer has said he had no reason to think women at the parties in
question were prostitutes, noting it was not always easy to spot one
when they are undressed.

On Wednesday, lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and the hotel maid accuser,
Nafissatou Diallo, will wrangle over whether his former IMF position
grants him diplomatic immunity from the civil suit.

Neither Strauss-Kahn nor Diallo are due to appear in court.

(Additional reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels; Writing by Alexandria
Sage and Catherine Bremer; Editing by Karolina Tagaris)

(4) France's Strauss-Kahn under investigation in pimping case

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/26/us-france-strausskahn-investigation-idUSBRE82P11U20120326

(Reuters) - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was placed under
formal investigation on Monday by authorities looking into a suspected
prostitution ring in the French city of Lille, his lawyer said,
following a day of questioning by judges in a closed courtroom.

By Pascal Rossignol

LILLE, France | Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:45pm EDT

The investigation on suspicion of complicity in a pimping operation is
the latest judicial headache for the Socialist ex-finance minister. The
move could lead to a trial but it falls short of charging him.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was a strong contender to be France's next
president until he was hit with sex-assault charges, now-dismissed, in
New York last May, was allowed to leave the court after being questioned
by three judges in the case.

The Lille prosecutor's office said in a statement he was required to
post 100,000 euros ($133,300) in bail. He is forbidden to contact
witnesses, the press, and others involved in the prostitution case, it said.

Outside the courthouse, Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Richard Malka, said his
client was innocent.

"He states with the strongest firmness to be guilty of none of these
acts and in particular to not have had the least awareness that certain
women he met could have been prostitutes," Malka told the press.

"Having relations with an escort does not constitute a crime and is a
matter of private behavior, perfectly legal among adults," he added.

The Lille case centers on allegations that a prostitution ring organized
by Strauss-Kahn's business associates supplied clients at the city's
Carlton Hotel.

Already in the case, eight people, including two Lille businessmen and a
police commissioner, have been arrested, and construction firm Eiffage
fired an executive suspected of using company funds to hire sex workers.

Judges had the option of putting him under investigation for having
potentially benefited from misappropriated company funds if he knowingly
attended prostitute sessions paid for by his executive friends using
expense accounts.

Instead, the investigation will focus on the pandering angle, and
whether Strauss-Kahn was aware that the women at the parties were
prostitutes supplied by pimps.

In itself, using prostitutes is not illegal in France.

The highly-anticipated hearing was originally scheduled for Wednesday
but was moved up by two days for unknown reasons.

Under French law, "juges d'instruction," which are a cross between
investigating prosecutors and criminal magistrates, notify the accused
they are under investigation and can hold the person if they believe it
warranted. It is they who later decide whether to send the case to court.

Strauss-Kahn - who is now jobless and lives a life behind closed doors
in Paris - previously has denied the allegations, arguing he was unaware
women he met at parties organized by business associates in Lille, Paris
and Washington were prostitutes.

Strauss-Kahn went from being a highly respected politician to being
hounded in the world's media after a New York hotel maid accused him of
trying to rape her. The charges were dropped after prosecutors decided
the maid's testimony was unreliable.

But Strauss-Kahn, later was hit with a separate sexual assault
accusation in France and on Wednesday his lawyers will be in a Bronx
courtroom fighting a civil lawsuit brought against him by the hotel maid.

PROTESTS UNDERMINE COMEBACK

Strauss-Kahn has been seeking to restore his reputation as a top global
economist by speaking at conferences, but cancelled an appearance at an
event in Brussels on Tuesday following protests from European members of
parliament (MEPs).

He was due to speak at a debate of young MEPs alongside Jean-Claude
Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, and
former European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet.

The plan upset female MEPs, prompting European Parliament President
Martin Schulz to pressure organizers to drop him.

French MEP Sandrine Belier said that given the circumstances it would
have been "uncomfortable" to have Strauss-Kahn appear.

Earlier in March he had to be bundled into the back of a police car
after addressing an event at Britain's Cambridge University to escape a
protest by women's' rights activists.

In February, Strauss-Kahn was held in custody in Lille for two days for
initial questioning in the case. Another of his attorneys, Henri
Leclerci, told French radio in December it was not always easy to spot
prostitutes when they are undressed.

On Wednesday, lawyers for Strauss-Kahn and the hotel maid accuser,
Nafissatou Diallo, will wrangle over whether his former IMF position
grants him diplomatic immunity from the civil suit.

Neither Strauss-Kahn nor Diallo are due to appear in court. ($1 = 0.7504
euros)

(Additional reporting by Gerard Bon and Robin Emmott in Brussels;
Writing by Alexandria Sage and Catherine Bremer; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

(5) Maid sues New York Post for articles that said she had worked as a
prostitute.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304803104576427983091286992.html


JULY 5, 2011, 3:31 P.M. ET

Strauss-Kahn Accuser Sues New York Post

By MICHAEL ROTHFELD

The hotel maid who accused former International Monetary Fund chief
Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault filed a libel lawsuit Tuesday
against the New York Post and five reporters over recent articles that
said she had worked as a prostitute.

The lawsuit was filed in the State Supreme Court in the Bronx, where the
woman lives, and uses only her initials. According to the suit, the
newspaper and its reporters "falsely, maliciously, and with reckless
disregard for the truth stated as a fact that the Plaintiff is a
'prostitute,' 'hooker,' 'working girl' and/or 'routinely traded sex for
money with male guests' of the Sofitel hotel located in Manhattan."

"All of these statements are false [and] have subjected the Plaintiff to
humiliation, scorn and ridicule throughout the world," the lawsuit says.

A spokesman for the Post said, "We stand by our reporting." The Post is
a division of News Corp., which also owns the The Wall Street Journal.

The Post cited "a source close to the defense investigation" in a July 2
article saying she received "extraordinary tips" and had expenses "paid
for by men not related to her." The article didn't explicitly quote the
source saying the woman was a prostitute, instead reporting that the
newspaper "has learned" she worked as one. Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer
for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, declined to comment.

Prosecutors and police have said they investigated whether the woman
engaged in prostitution while employed at the Sofitel and found no
evidence of it. The parent company of the Sofitel didn't immediately
respond to a request for comment.

Investigators have said there is forensic evidence that the maid had a
sexual encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. Lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn
have said no money was exchanged and the encounter was consensual.
Prosecutors declined to comment on the lawsuit, and the maid's lawyers
haven't responded to requests for comment.

The articles in question, from July 2 through July 4, were published
within days of disclosures by prosecutors that the woman, a 32-year-old
Guinean immigrant, had given them and grand jurors false statements,
including about her whereabouts after the alleged attack, experiences
she had in her country before she came to the U.S., and other issues.

Kenneth Thompson, a lawyer for the maid, said last week that her
mistakes notwithstanding, she "from day one has described that sexual
assault many times," and consistently.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62 years old, who has pleaded not guilty to criminal
charges in connection with her allegations, was released from house
arrest Friday based on the revelations of his accuser's damaged
credibility.

—Russell Adams contributed to this article.
Write to Michael Rothfeld at michael.rothfeld@wsj.com

(6) Rupert Murdoch-owned NY Post headline "DSK Maid a Hooker"

Funny thing, there's been no report of the outcome of this court case,
in over 8 months. One can only suspect an out-of-court settlement. Let's
hope Rupert had to pay out bigtime. - Peter Myers.

{visit the link to see the front page}
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/business/2011/07/its-hard-sue-new-york-post-straight-face/39596/

(7) French female novelist presses on with claim DSK attempted to rape her

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/753df77a-a73d-11e0-b6d4-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1RGWk2VDi


July 5, 2011 8:45 pm

French accuser presses on with DSK claim

By James Boxell in Paris

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s battle to clear his name could be prolonged by
months after the lawyer of a French female novelist said her complaint
of attempted rape against the politician had been sent to prosecutors.
Mr Strauss-Kahn’s legal team has vigorously rejected the claims of
32-year-old Tristane Banon and announced plans to make a
counter-complaint for slander. But her decision on Tuesday to press on
with the complaint further highlights the tough road ahead for the
former head of the International Monetary Fund if he decides to try to
resurrect his French presidential ambitions.

The development came as Mr Strauss-Kahn’s hopes were increasing that a
separate case in New York would be dropped after the prosecution became
concerned about the credibility of a hotel maid, who has also accused
him of a sexual attack. On Tuesday, the maid filed a libel lawsuit
against The New York Post for reporting she was a “prostitute”, citing
un-named sources. The paper stood by its reporting.

In a French press interview, published on Tuesday, Ms Banon sought to
justify her decision to take action eight years after the alleged attack
took place, saying she was tired of being accused of lying about the
incident. She says Mr Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her while she was
interviewing him in a Paris apartment, an accusation he claims is
“imaginary”.

“I can’t take it any more, hearing that I must be lying because I
haven’t filed suit,” she told L’Express, a French news magazine.

Ms Banon and David Koubbi, her lawyer, have been accused by allies of Mr
Strauss-Kahn of opportunism because their decision to make the complaint
comes just a few days after the doubts about the New York case led to
the former IMF chief being released from house arrest. His release has
electrified the French political scene, with many of his allies hoping
to see a return to the political fray of a man once deemed to be the
socialist candidate in waiting for next year’s presidential elections.

On Tuesday, Jean-Marie Le Guen, an ally of Mr Strauss-Kahn in the French
assembly, said: “I see some form of opportunism connected to this
torrent of mud; these disinformation campaigns against him when American
justice is about to acknowledge his innocence.”

However, Ms Banon and her lawyer have insisted their decision to launch
the complaint was made in mid-June and was unrelated to the US case.
Once the complaint is received by French prosecutors, they could either
decide to take no action, open a preliminary inquiry or ask judges to
open a judicial inquiry that could last months.
Ms Banon’s decision to claim attempted rape is important because the
French statute of limitations means an accusation of sexual assault
cannot be made more than three years after the event, but this extends
to 10 years for the more serious offence.

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