New York Attorneys for Dominique Strauss-Kahn will meet with prosecutors Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the case told CNN.
The meeting comes days after prosecutors disclosed to Strauss-Kahn’s defense team that investigators had uncovered several credibility issues with the accuser.
The alleged victim, 32, accused the former head of the International Monetary Fund of criminal sexual acts and sexual abuse that allegedly occurred in May inside Strauss-Kahn’s Manhattan hotel suite.
Questions surfaced last week when Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance indicated the woman had been less than truthful with authorities about some aspects of her life and her whereabouts immediately after the alleged attack.
Legal analysts suggest that prosecutors are looking for ways to salvage the case, undermined by recent revelations over the accuser’s credibility.
“Prosecutors correctly regard dismissal as complete humiliation and capitulation,” said CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. “If they can get a guilty plea, even to a misdemeanor, that would be a slightly face-saving route out of this case.
“But it seems clear that the defense now very much has the upper hand,” he said.
While it appears Friday’s announcement has left the case on shaky ground, Vance, the district attorney, said prosecutors are not ready to drop charges.
“Prosecutors said on Friday their investigation is continuing, and that remains the case,” Vance spokeswoman Erin Duggan told CNN. “No decisions have been made.”
The accuser’s attorney, Ken Thompson, told CNN on Tuesday that the district attorney has refused to meet with him.
“I’ve been trying to see him today,” the lawyer said. “I’m a former federal prosecutor, and he will not meet with me. That’s outrageous.”
A source with knowledge of the investigation defended the district attorney’s office, saying its staff has had several meetings with Thompson.
The source also told CNN that Thompson refused to allow his client to talk with prosecutors for more than two weeks at a “critical point in the investigation” at time that involved efforts to go over discrepancies with the maid.
Thompson also criticized the district attorney for not letting him or his client hear a recorded conversation between the woman and her boyfriend that took place two days after the alleged attack occurred.
In that call, placed by the boyfriend from an Arizona jail where he’s incarcerated, the woman said that “she’s fine and this person is rich and there’s money to be made,” a source with knowledge of the investigation has told CNN.
Prosecutors received a transcript of the call last week, two days before announcing in court the maid had credibility issues.
Thompson acknowledged that his client discussed the alleged sexual encounter with Strauss-Kahn in the conversation, and added that he has been told by prosecutors that her account was consistent with what she told investigators. The Guinean dialect spoken by the man, according to Thompson, deserves a separate translation.
“What I want is a copy of the tape,” he said. “Not next week, right now.”
The district attorney’s office declined to comment on Thompson’s request.
Thompson has passionately defended his client, saying that just because she’s made mistakes in the past does not mean she wasn’t the victim of sexual assault.
“Despite everything,” the lawyer told CNN on Tuesday, “she wants to get on the witness stand. That’s all she asks for.”
The developments in New York come as Strauss-Kahn is facing separate accusations of attempted rape in France.
A Strauss-Kahn lawyer in France said he has filed a counter-claim against French writer Tristane Banon for “false declarations.” Banon filed a claim this week alleging attempted rape.
Banon’s mother, Socialist politician Anne Mansouret, said shortly after the housekeeper’s accusations were splashed across front pages around the world that her daughter had been attacked by Strauss-Kahn in 2003 but that she had discouraged her at the time from filing charges against him.
The statute of limitations in France for attempted rape is 10 years.
Mansouret, a member of parliament, said she cautioned Banon not to file a police report at the time for fear it would hurt her journalism career.
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