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Tough week for Strauss-Kahn with court cases on both sides of the Atlantic


Former IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces a difficult week as hearings begin in New York on Wednesday in the civil case of chambermaid Nafissatou Diallo who has accused him of sexual assault. On the same day, DSK as he is known in France, is due to be formally charged with involvement in a prostitution ring in the northern city of Liile. 


Neither DSK or Diallo is expected to be present in the Bronx Supreme court on Wednesday where laywers for the ex-IMF head will argue that their client benefits from diplomatic immunity because of his role at the IMF at the time of the alleged offence and is shielded from civil suits.

Diallo’s lawyers say at best DSK is subject to a limited form of immunity which is not valid in cases of alleged sexual assault.

If the case is not dismissed, it enters a ‘discovery’ phase which allows each side to view to challenge evidence that may be used at trial. Once that process is completed and the case is ready for trial there will be a period of time during which a settlement between the two sides may be reached.

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

Civil cases in the US are usually drawn out and it can take years to reach a conclusion.

On the same day here in France, DSK is due to be formally charged with involvement in a prostitution ring in France which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail.

DSK says he was unaware the woman involved in sex parties he took part in were prostitutes. But one of the woman involved says he asked her for her mobile telephone number and how much she charged.

DSK has also been accused by a 32-year-old writer, Tristane Banon, of attempting to rape her in 2003. Prosecutors in the case said there was prima facie evidence of sexual assault, but rule the statute of limitation had passed.

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