Strauss-Kahn lawyers seek more time in US civil case

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn's lawyers want more time to prepare his defense in a civil suit brought by a New York hotel maid accusing the former IMF chief of sexual assault, a judge said Wednesday.

"They sent a motion and requested additional time. I will issue an order early next week," the judge handling the case, Douglas McKeon, told AFP.

Attorneys for hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, a 32-year-old Guinean immigrant, have yet to comment on the defense motion, he added.

Strauss-Kahn was forced to resign as managing director of the International Monetary Fund when he was arrested in May and charged with the sexual assault and attempted rape of Diallo in his suite at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan.

But late last month, the French economist walked free when a judge dismissed the charges against him after prosecutors said they could not pursue the case because of his accuser's lack of credibility.

DNA evidence indicated that a sexual encounter did occur between the two, but Strauss-Kahn's defense team insists that it was consensual.

Diallo maintains her allegations and has filed a civil suit against Strauss-Kahn, seeking unspecified damages for what she called a "sadistic" attack.

Strauss-Kahn, who was seen as a frontrunner in next year's French presidential election before the sensational charges were brought against him, returned to France on September 4 with grave doubts hanging over his political future.

© 2011 AFP

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