As Dominique Strauss-Kahn prepares to appear in court today for the expected dismissal of criminal sexual assault charges against him, yesterday's meeting between prosecutors and his accuser Nafissatou Diallo was reportedly a curt one. "Nafi, we're going to dismiss the case. You have lied to us repeatedly. We can't win," assistant district attorney Joan Illuzi-Orbon apparently said, according to Diallo's attorney Kenneth Thompson. The meeting "lasted no more than 30 seconds," Thompson tells the Times.
In their motion to dismiss the charges against Strauss-Kahn, the prosecution stresses that "the case rises and falls on [Diallo's] testimony," but because of her numerous lies (about the minutes after the alleged assault, her finances, a rape that did not occur in Guinea, among others) the prosecution could not trust her to credibly testify. "If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so," the motion reads.
But as the New Yorker's Jeffery Toobin points out, Strauss-Kahn's legal victory "should not be confused with a moral one." Given the facts and forensic evidence in the case, "A housekeeper appeared in his hotel room, and some brief time later—maybe ten minutes, maybe a little more—she was spitting out his semen in the hallway." Indeed, "It is difficult to imagine a scenario that reflects anything but dishonor, if not criminal culpability, on this prominent man." In a nauseating, if banal detail that underscores the classist undertones to the entire ordeal, investigators found semen from 3 other men in Strauss-Kahn's $3,000-a-night Sofitel suite.
If people are protesting outside the Manhattan Supreme Court today, in Paris, there seems to be a sense of relief. "It's good it's finished. It was ugly. It was a lot of noise for nothing," one French woman tells the Daily News. Another noted that the whole ordeal was jarring for the country's psyche: "We're not used to those images. It was very violent for us, the handcuffs, his face when he emerged from prison after not sleeping." If Strauss-Kahn does want to return to politics, he may be welcomed, as one woman says, "People want to return to the Socialists but there is nobody with charisma. If it's him against Sarkozy, I'll vote for him."