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Strauss-Kahn lawyers meet NY prosecution

Lawyers for French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn reportedly met with the chief prosecutor for Manhattan amid growing speculation that charges he sexually assaulted a New York hotel maid may soon be dropped.

Strauss-Kahn’s defense lawyers, who arrived at the office of District Attorney Cyrus Vance in the morning, declined to comment on the subject of talks. The New York Times earlier reported that they intended to discuss whether the case against the former IMF chief can be resolved through a dismissal or a plea agreement.

It was not completely clear whether the lawyers were able to meet Vance in his office, as he was seen leaving the building prior to their arrival, Reuters reported. However, Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor III, who are defending the former IMF head in the court, were later quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the meeting was “constructive.”

Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to appear in court on July 18.

He was released from house arrest last Friday after a New York court reviewed his case. Prosecutors said that the review was triggered by doubts over the truthfulness of the maid’s testimony, adding that they are still investigating the case. 

In a separate recent development, French writer Tristane Banon filed a fresh criminal complaint against Strauss-Kahn with French prosecutors, claiming that he attempted to rape her in 2003. While prosecutors are investigating the new accusations, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers announced that they are planning to file a legal complaint accusing Banon of slander. 

According to Christopher Dickey, Newsweek magazine’s Paris bureau chief, Banon has been trying to get her message across for a long time, but for some reason has gone unnoticed.

“The truth is that this young woman Tristane Banon has been trying to get this story out for a very long time, and [nobody] would take her seriously,” he told RT. “She even brought it on television at one point about four or five years ago. Still nothing happened. So I think she thinks this is her last chance to get justice, if indeed she is right in the accusations she is making.”