Strauss-Kahn accuser's lawyer calls interview 'a joke'

20th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

The lawyer for the New York hotel maid who accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape called Monday the primetime interview he conducted in France "a joke," and said the full story would come out with an upcoming deposition.

Kenneth Thompson, who represents the maid Nafissatou Diallo, also stressed in an interview with AFP that the ex-politician had failed to explain what exactly transpired at the Sofitel hotel on May 14, shortly before his arrest on sex assault charges.

"The event last night was not an interview, it was publicity stunt," Thompson said of Strauss-Kahn first public comments since he returned to France, after the criminal case in New York was dropped.

"Everything was scripted, I found it to be a joke," he said.

Thompson noted the civil proceedings in the case were set to begin later this month, and that Strauss-Kahn was expected to give his full account of the events in a sworn deposition.

He "will have his deposition taken (in our office) and if he doesn't come here, we'll go to Paris to take his deposition," Thompson said.

"And it's not going to be done by Anne Sinclair's friend," he added, referring to the interviewer in the high profile interview Sunday, Claire Chazal, a friend of the 62-year-old Socialist politician's wife.

"We are going to ask him the question everyone wants him to answer: what happened in that room within 9 minutes," Thompson told AFP.

"How is it possible that he created some type of relationship with a woman that he had never met before, within 9 minutes?" he asked.

Over 13 million people tuned in Sunday to watch the interview where Strauss-Kahn made an admission of "a moral failing," but critics quickly decried how the interviewer Chazal chose not to press him on what happened in the hotel suite that he admitted was a mistake.

"What happened involved neither violence nor constraint: no criminal act," Strauss-Kahn insisted.

Thompson was also indignant at the Strauss-Kahn's "interpretation" of a report on the case by New York Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

"Read the report, the report doesn't say that he is innocent, the report says the prosecutor decided to walk away because he had a higher burden of proof, and we believe they didn't have the will to take this case to trial," Thompson said.

The criminal trial collapsed when the New York prosecutor said the Guinean maid's history of deceit and inconsistent testimony made her an unreliable witness.

© 2011 AFP

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