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US Judge allows Strauss-Kahn more time for civil case

Reuters

A New York judge has given lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn more time to prepare their defence in a civil suit brought by Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid who accused the former IMF chief of sexual assault.

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Judge Douglas McKeon’s ruling gave Strauss-Kahn's attorneys until 26 September to respond to Diallo’s complaint because he had “understandably, focused on the criminal charges against him" before they were dropped last month.

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

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

Strauss-Kahn says he had consensual sex with Diallo, and his attorney Benjamin Brafman described the incident as a "momentary lapse of judgment that was not criminal".

Her lawyers on Saturday slammed Sunday’s planned TV interview with Strauss-Kahn, pointing out that the interviewer, well-known presenter Claire Chazal, is a friend of his wife Anne Sinclair.

Lawyers Kenneth Thompson and Douglas Wigdor claim Chazal will be biased in his favour.

People in France and around the world "deserve to hear Mr Strauss-Kahn answer pointed questions about his conduct on 14 May", a statement said. "If Mr Strauss-Kahn thinks that people in France will really believe that he was able to convince Ms Diallo, who had never met him before and did not know that he was in the room, to engage in sexual acts with him within a matter of minutes, then he should describe how that happened.”

Strauss-Kahn still faces investigation in France over a rape attempt allegation by French author, Tristane Banon.

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