NY judge rejects Strauss -Kahn immunity claim | News | DW | 01.05.2012
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NY judge rejects Strauss -Kahn immunity claim

Bronx Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon has rejected Dominique Strauss-Kahn's claim of diplomatic immunity from a lawsuit over an alleged sexual assault. The civil suit against Strauss-Kahn is now set to proceed.

A New York judge on Tuesday rejected former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's claim of diplomatic immunity from a civil suit stemming from allegations that he sexually assaulted an African immigrant hotel maid.

Nafissatou Diallo, a Guinean national, had claimed that 63-year-old Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her as she cleaned his room in New York's Sofitel Hotel on May 14, 2011. New York prosecutors eventually dropped their criminal case against the former IMF chief after finding out that 33-year-old Diallo had lied about her actions after the encounter.

Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sex assault, leaves Manhattan criminal court, Wednesday, July 27, 2011, in New York. Diallo met with prosecutors Wednesday morning for the first time since the district attorney's office publicly announced it had doubts about her credibility. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

Diallo says she told the truth. Prosecutors questioned her credibility

Diallo claims that her account of the incident itself was accurate and subsequently filed a civil lawsuit after the criminal charges were dropped. She has accused the former IMF chief of forcing her to perform oral sex. Strauss-Kahn, who maintains the encounter was consensual, had claimed diplomatic immunity due to his position as IMF chief.

But Diallo's lawyers argued that Strauss-Kahn's claim was baseless, stressing that an IMF spokesman said shortly after the encounter went public that Strauss-Kahn didn't enjoy immunity because he was in the US on personal business. He was visiting his daughter in New York.

Flurry of allegations

Tristane Banon at an inauguration of an exhibition at the Nelly Biche de Bere showroom in Paris.

Banon's case was dropped due to statute of limitations

Strauss-Kahn was forced to resign his position at the IMF as a consequence of Diallo's allegations. He was originally pegged as a favorite to become the socialists' candidate to face off against Nicolas Sarkozy in France's 2012 presidential elections, an ambition that was torpedoed by the scandal.

The former IMF chief has faced further allegations of sexual assault by other women. French author Tristane Banon claimed that Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during an interview in 2003. Paris prosecutors dropped the case due to the statute of limitations.

French authorities are pursuing unrelated allegations that Strauss-Kahn might have been implicated in a prostitution ring which included prominent city figures and police in Lille. In March, authorities leveled preliminary charges against Strauss-Kahn, indicating that they had reason to believe a crime was committed but needed more time to investigate.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyer has admitted that his client had engaged in "libertine" acts in the past but maintains that the former IMF chief had done nothing illegal.

slk/ipj (AP, AFP, Reuters)