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Strauss-Kahn's lawyers say confidential messages must remain secret

Reuters/Lucas Jackson

The case is now in the so-called "discovery phase" - which began on Monday after Strauss-Kahn entered his not-guilty plea - when both sides demand access to evidence collected by their opponents.


In a nine-page letter to prosecutors, the defence lawyers on Wednesday list their demands, but they also insist in a separate letter that certain messages stored on Strauss-Kahn's confiscated phones, iPad and Apple computer, remain secret.

Some messages left after Strauss-Kahn's arrest "contain information concerning preparation of the defence that should not be heard by the District Attorney," say the defence team.

But they request that the prosecution reveal evidence of any prosecution witness "suffering from any physical or mental disability, emotional disturbance, drug addiction, or alcohol addiction."

Lawyers William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman, also demand to know whether any defence witness has immigration problems or is seeking payments through a civil lawsuit.

Legal experts say the defence would sieze on any attempt by the maid to extract compensation from Strauss-Kahn, as a demonstration of motivation to make false accusations.

Although she has hired a lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, with a successful record in winning multi-million dollar payouts, she has not filed any separate civil claim for damages.

The defence is not expected to argue that no sexual encounter took place, as it is believed police could have proof that some kind of sexual encounter did take place in the Sofitel suite.

However, it remains unclear whether any evidence has been found of violence.

The list of demands also includes access to prosecution interviews with witnesses at the Sofitel, Air France, and McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant - apparently the establishment where Strauss-Kahn lunched immediately after the alleged assault.

The lawyers also ask to be told whether "evidence of uncharged criminal conduct is intended to be introduced against the defendant," an apparent reference to speculation that previous complaints about Strauss-Kahn's sexual behavior might be aired in court.



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