Maid whipping up public opinion: Strauss-Kahn team

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Lawyers for ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Sunday the woman who has accused him of attempted rape was trying to whip up public opinion as she gave her first media interviews.

"This conduct by lawyers is unprofessional and it violates fundamental rules of professional conduct for lawyers," Strauss-Kahn's lawyers said in a statement.

"Its obvious purpose is to inflame public opinion against a defendant in a pending criminal case."

The Guinean woman, who has accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in a Manhattan hotel suite in May, said she had gone public 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."

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.

© 2011 AFP

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