Friday, July 1, 2011

There may be troubles ahead

The case against Dominique Strauss Kahn has run into difficulties. Sensibly, not only has he produced the only possible defence - consensual if possibly rough sex - but he has been spending money to find out more about his accuser, as the NY Post reports.
Strauss-Kahn’s legal team has hired the world’s best private investigators to ferret out every detail about the the accuser’s past.

They have unearthed photographs of her drinking and partying, despite her professed Muslim faith, sources told The Post.
There also seems to be some evidence of her being connected with drug dealers. The New York Times has more.
Prosecutors from the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., who initially were emphatic about the strength of the case and the account of the victim, plan to tell the judge on Friday that they “have problems with the case” based on what their investigators have discovered, and will disclose more of their findings to the defense. The woman still maintains that she was attacked, the officials said.

“It is a mess, a mess on both sides,” one official said.

According to the two officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.

That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.

The investigators also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. The woman had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.

In addition, one of the officials said, she told investigators that her application for asylum included mention of a previous rape, but there was no such account in the application. She also told them that she had been subjected to genital mutilation, but her account to the investigators differed from what was contained in the asylum application.
All of that does not necessarily make her accusation against DSK untrue, as Glenn Reynolds points out, but it does make her an unreliable witness whom the prosecutors will not like to put in the box for cross-examination.

So where does that leave us? Not so badly off. Whatever the outcome of this case might be, the truth of DSK's behaviour and the general attitude to male misbehaviour towards women in France (especially on the Left) has now come out into the open and cannot be put back into the secret little box. (Here and here.) That can't be a bad thing.

Furthermore, the IMF (an institution whose time has been and gone, but that's a separate story) has appointed its first woman head. If the case against DSK collapses he may return to French politics and, even, become the Socialist presidential candidate, which will undoubtedly play in the hands of Sarko but, even more so, those of Marine Le Pen. If, on the other hand, the Socialists decide that they don't want the case to be revived too much by innuendo during the campaign, they may well choose Martine Aubry as candidate. Either way, the irony would be very pleasing.

UPDATE: Dominque Strauss-Kahn has been released on his recognizance and his bail returned but he will not be allowed to leave the United States. Next hearing, July 18.

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