Strauss-Kahn case is 'close to collapse', say reports
The prosecution case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund and French presidential hopeful accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, is close to collapse, a report in the New York Times has claimed.
The newspaper reports allegations that significant problems have emerged with the case against the former IMF boss that could see the conditions of his house arrest in New York being relaxed with immediate effect.
Based on interviews with two unnamed law enforcement officers, it says that "major holes" in the case will be admitted to a federal criminal court in Manhattan as early as Friday. New York Police Department had no comment last night.
At the centre of the potentially dramatic turn in the case, the New York Times reports, is lack of confidence on the prosecution side in the witness's testimony about herself and what she says happened to her in Strauss-Kahn's room at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan on May 14. After she alleged that he sexually assaulted her, New York authorities swept into action, arresting Strauss-Kahn as he waited to take off on a flight to Europe.
Separately, the Associated Press reported that prosecutors have raised issues about the woman's credibility, citing an official who is familiar with the case saying the issue was not necessarily about the rape accusation itself, but rather questions surrounding the alleged victim's background that could damage her credibility on the witness stand.
Lawyers in the defence team for Strauss-Kahn have suggested that they had evidence calling into question the veracity of the housekeeper's account, but until now the nature of the doubts have not been revealed.
Lawyers for the maid - who is not being named - were unavailable for comment last night. She has already testified before a grand jury about the charges in New York and convinced them of the merits of her case. When stories first emerged that Strauss Kahn's lawyers intended to argue the woman had consensual sex with Strauss-Kahn, her former lawyer Jeffrey Shapiro said: "There was nothing about any aspect of this encounter between this young woman and the defendant which was remotely consensual or could be construed as consensual, either physical contact or sexual contact."