Maid's lawyer slams Strauss-Kahn 'smear campaign'

25th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

The lawyer of a maid accusing Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape said Sunday the ex-IMF chief's team were engaged in a "smear campaign" replete with "baseless" attacks.

"Strauss-Kahn's defense attorneys have conducted an unprecedented smear campaign against the victim of a violent sexual attack," lawyer Kenneth Thompson said in a statement.

"That smear campaign included leaks from the defense team calling (the hotel maid) -- without any basis -- a prostitute, among other things."

His comments came after his Guinean client, who has accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in a Manhattan hotel suite in May, gave her first media interviews in what she called an attempt to clear her name.

"Because of him they call me a prostitute," she told Newsweek magazine. "I want him to go to jail. I want him to know there are some places you cannot use your power, you cannot use your money."

But Strauss-Kahn's lawyers William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman said the woman was "the first accuser in history to conduct a media campaign to persuade a prosecutor to pursue charges against a person from whom she wants money."

And they accused her legal team of having "orchestrated an unprecedented number of media events and rallies to bring pressure on the prosecutors in this case after she had to admit her extraordinary efforts to mislead them.

"Her lawyers know that her claim for money suffers a fatal blow when the criminal charges are dismissed, as they must be."

Thompson leveled similar charges, noting attorneys for the once all-powerful French politician held a press conference in which they claimed medical records didn't show any record of forced sex, "despite overwhelming facts to the contrary."

"Because of those contemptible, baseless and anonymous attacks, (the maid) was forced to come forward in order to put a face to the brutal crime perpetrated by Dominique Strauss-Kahn."

Strauss-Kahn is due back in court on August 1, and his lawyers have called for the case to be dismissed after the prosecution raised concerns about the woman's credibility.

"The defense attorneys should be ashamed and embarrassed by their behavior. Instead, they have chosen to once again attack the victim," Thompson added.

"They are defense attorneys, and clearly believe that these types of false personal attacks are part of their job description. But that excuse isn't sufficient when we are dealing with a brutal sexual attack, a mountain of physical evidence, a victim who spoke out immediately, and numerous corroborating witnesses."

© 2011 AFP

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