Saturday, July 2, 2011

Case against DSK on shaky ground

The free world was shocked when Dominique Strauss Kahn was charged with sexual assault a few weeks back.   But now, DSK's bail conditions have been significantly relaxed after the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. (son of Jimmy Carter's Secretary of State) released a letter to DSK's lawyers revealing some disturbing facts about the accusing woman.
  • She has admitting lying about the facts that led her to seek asylum in the United States -- namely that she and her late husband were tortured by the military regime in Guinea.   She fabricated her story by listening to a cassette tape recording of a similar case by a male refugee asylum applicant and memorizing those facts.   Furthermore, her visa to the United States was forged.
  • She also has admitted lying to prosecutors about being gang raped in her home land.    According to her she was going to stipulate to an entirely different case of sexual assault when her asylum hearing finally came up.
  • She initially claimed to the Grand Jury that after being attacked (so she says) by DSK, she fled to a hidden corner of the hallway of the hotel, waited for DSK to leave the 28th floor, then reported the incident to her supervisor.   Now she admits that she actually proceeded to clean the adjacent room, then returned to the room DSK had vacated before telling her supervisor.
  • Finally, she has admitted to tax evasion -- by reporting another person's child as her own so as to claim the child tax credit and therefore get a bigger tax refund than to what she was entitled to.   This also allowed her to reduce her taxable income which allowed her to qualify for subsidized housing.
To top it all off, this woman was wiretapped talking to her present boyfriend, being held on an entirely unrelated  immigration charge in Arizona.   During the call, recorded the day after DSK's arrest on May 14th but only translated this past Wednesday, she is clearly heard saying in Fulani, a language of Guinea,  "Don't worry, this guy has a lot of money.   I know what I'm doing."

Vance is certainly not a Robert Morgenthau (the longtime predecessor in the office and the inspiration for the character Adam Schiff, played by Steven Hill, of the original Law and Order), but some simple fact checking before hand could have brought clarity to what was already an embarrassing scandal and adding to a series of setbacks for the justice system in New York State.   Vance's letter may be a case of too little too late.

But even if DSK didn't rape the accusing woman (as is now appearing to be the case) he still has to explain having yet another extra-marital affair.    The woman's comment that he has a lot of money (of course he does!) raises the question if he paid to have sex with her.   And what does this do to a French presidential election that was already in enough turmoil as it is?    Unless DSK is vindicated and very soon, the lack of a viable front-runner for the Socialists has opened up a huge window for the National Front, France's neo-Nazi, anti-immigration, anti-EU and pro-death penalty party.   While its current leader Marine Le Pen (daughter of the justly hated Jean-Marie) has absolutely no chance of winning, even her getting just 20% of the vote would be a major victory for the group.

Sexual assault is a serious crime and must be prosecuted when the allegations are true.   But when they are false, the accuser should also face the consequences -- and in this particular case, deported.

UPDATE (1:55 pm EDT, 1755 GMT):   Minor grammar corrections.

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