|Ex - IMF chief with JK in Dar, March 2008 during CHANGES MEETING|
|Nafissatou Diallo, (33)|
The coda to one of New York’s most gripping and erratic criminal dramas lasted all of 12 minutes.
A prosecutor spoke first, quickly summarizing what had been obvious for weeks: the Manhattan district attorney’s office had little confidence in its case, and even less trust in the accuser it had initially championed. A defense lawyer was next, saying simply, “We do not oppose the motion.”
Then the judge spoke.
And just like that, the sexual-assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn was dismissed Tuesday, bringing an abrupt end to what had been a three-month episodic criminal investigation, each chapter offering a sensational twist on the underlying storyline: Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a man of international power and prestige, was accused of sexually assaulting an immigrant hotel housekeeper after she entered his suite to clean it.
The dismissal order issued by Justice Michael J. Obus of State Supreme Court in Manhattan brought some semblance of legal vindication to Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, after his stunning and embarrassing arrest more than three months ago. He was taken into custody on May 14 aboard an Air France jet at Kennedy International Airport, and then appeared disheveled and in handcuffs before news cameras.
After the hearing Tuesday, Mr. Strauss-Kahn issued his first statement since his arrest, characterizing the criminal inquiry as “a nightmare for me and my family” and thanking the judge, his own wife, Anne Sinclair, and family and other supporters.
He added, “Finally, we are obviously gratified that the district attorney agreed with my lawyers that this case had to be dismissed,” and said he looked “forward to returning to our home and resuming something of a more normal life.”
One of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, Benjamin Brafman, said he expected his client to go to Washington, where he and his wife have owned a home for several years, to straighten out some personal matters.
“Until today, it was very hard to plan Dominique’s future,” Mr. Brafman said, noting that the prospect of many months of preparation and trial had loomed large. “You can think about what you want to do, but you had the threat of prison hanging over your head.”
For the accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, a 33-year-old Guinean immigrant, the result caps a precipitous fall. Prosecutors initially portrayed her as a credible and powerful witness, but then said that her myriad lies about her past — including a convincing, emotional but ultimately fraudulent account of being gang-raped by soldiers in Guinea — ended up undermining the case.
Source: New York Times