Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Strauss-Kahn prosecutor speaks out

19 January 2012, 15:37

New York - The prosecutor who charged Dominique Strauss-Kahn with sexually assaulting a hotel maid said on Wednesday he dropped the case because he ultimately wasn't sure what transpired between the two.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jnr dropped the sensational case against the former leader of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in August. Prosecutors noted then in court papers that the decision reflected doubts about the woman's overall credibility, not "factual findings" about what had occurred in Strauss-Kahn's hotel suite in May.

"I determined that I was no longer convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that I knew what happened - not that something didn't happen, but whether we, as an office, knew beyond a reasonable doubt what happened," Vance said at a law firm forum. "... We did not have that quantum of confidence."

Vance's comments on Wednesday were one of the few times he has publicly answered questions about the case. His planned news conference shortly after the case's dismissal was abruptly nixed when an earthquake rattled Manhattan and the DA's office was evacuated just as he started speaking.

Strauss-Kahn was the head of the IMF and a likely French presidential candidate when hotel housekeeper Nafissatou Diallo told authorities he had forced her to perform oral sex and tried to rape her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May. Strauss-Kahn was pulled off a Paris-bound flight, arrested and jailed for several days before being released to house arrest. He resigned from the IMF within days.

Strauss-Kahn, who is married, acknowledges an inappropriate sexual encounter but insists there was no violence.

Accuser adamant

He was freed without bail about six weeks later, when prosecutors first revealed that they were losing faith in Diallo's trustworthiness. They said she hadn't been truthful with them about her background and what she did right after the encounter. The DA's office investigated for several more weeks before asking a judge to dismiss the case.

"As a prosecutor, you have to follow facts as you have them, when you have them. When those facts change, you have to, as a responsible prosecutor, deal with" the changed outlook, Vance told the audience on Wednesday at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.

One of Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, Benjamin Brafman, said on Wednesday that "what is important is that, ultimately, Cy Vance had the guts and integrity to dismiss the DSK case, a prosecution doomed to fail".

Diallo is adamant that she told the truth about her encounter with Strauss-Kahn.

One of her attorneys, Kenneth Thompson, has said Vance's decision not to go forward with the case "denied an innocent woman a day in court". She's pressing her claims in a lawsuit.

The Associated Press doesn't generally identify accusers in sexual assault cases unless they agree to be named or identify themselves publicly, as Diallo has done.

Witness credibility

Vance said on Wednesday that he wished New York law allowed more time for investigation and decision-making in the early stages of cases. Under state law, someone charged with a felony can be held up to 144 hours without an indictment or hearing, unless the defendant agrees to waive the deadline.

"We could benefit, I think, from slightly more extended timetables," Vance said.

In the wake of the Strauss-Kahn case, Vance said he'd continue to urge assistant prosecutors to move as quickly as possible to get relevant information about facts and witnesses' credibility.

But, he said, "there is no single thing that can change the complicated dynamic of determining who's telling the truth between two strangers".


Join in the conversation on News24 Kenya’s Facebook page

Get the latest news by following us on Twitter


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...