Saturday, July 02, 2011

Various items on "DSK" (Dominique Strauss-Kahn)

Bmaz at FDL writes about the state of the case as of Saturday in DSK Case Collapse: Lawyers, Phone Calls & Money the S*** Hits The Fan 07/02/2011. I checked back at my one post where I discussed the Strauss-Kahn case, Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest and the IMF's political direction 05/17/2011, and was relieved to see I didn't say anything that I'm embarrassed about now. My focus there was on the potential implications of his departure from the IMF. And I still say that the American press coverage I've seen passed over the IMF policy implications pretty lightly. I also posted a video of a debate between Naomi Wolf and Maureen Tkacik on thorny issues raised by the case and its larger context. Wolf's reservations about whether due process was being observed by the law and whether the press was being sufficiently careful are particilarly notable in light of the latest developments.

This is the news report from PBS Newshour, In Strauss-Kahn Case, All Eyes on Accuser's Statements 07/01/2011:

As I noted in that May post, Strauss-Kahn is clearly an arrogant prick. And it's important to note that, as of this writing, his accuser has not withdraw her rape accusation nor has the prosecutor withdrawn the charges. And the fact that the accuser may also be an unsavory character doesn't mean her accusation shouldn't be taken seriously. Clearly, the New York District Attorney's office did take it very seriously.

But, as bmaz describes, the rape case looks like it's going up in smoke:

It is not often you see the total implosion of a major criminal case in quite such a spectacular fashion as we have witnessed with the Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) case in the last 24 plus hours. As I said Thursday night when the news first broke of the evidentiary infirmities in relation to the putative victim were first made public in the New York Times; there is simply no way for the prosecution to recover, the criminal case is dead toast.

Today, the letter from the Manhattan DA’s Office to DSK’s attorneys detailing the Brady material disclosures gutting their victim’s credibility was made public. It is, to say the least, shocking. But what has transpired since then has been nothing short of stunning.

As expected, DSK had his release conditions modified to OR (own recognizance) and all restrictions, save for not leaving the United States, removed. If you do not think that is a crystal clear sign of just how much trouble the prosecution is in, then you do not know criminal trial law.
Well, I don't know criminal trial law on any specialized level. But what Jim Dwyer and Michael Wilson report in Strauss-Kahn Accuser's Call Alarmed Prosecutors New York Times 07/01/2011 indicates that not only is her credibility as a witness in question in a general way. There is also at least one piece of evidence, from a call she made to an acquaintance in prison the day after the alleged attack that was recorded, that directly relates to her credibility on the specific allegation. The PBS Newshour report above also mentions a serious oddity about her initial account of the incident under oath to the grand jury. The prosecution has not yet dropped the charges of rape and sexual assault. Bmaz speculates that dropping the charges could come as early as next week. But the case is still pending as of now.

Laura Rozen in Lawyer for alleged victim in DSK case lashes out at DA, says victim will come forward The Envoy 07/01/2011 writes, "'Law & Order' could not have produced a script with more dramatic turnarounds."

Digby, whose has been piercingly critical of our Pod Pundits' obsession with stories involving sex and powerful people, recalls in DSK: with friends like these ... Hullabaloo 07/01/2011 the dubious quality of the public support he received from the for-some-reason-famous philosopher Bernard Henri Levy: "With friends like Bernard Henri Levy, DSK is lucky he didn't get life in prison. Let's just say his [Levy's] defense [of Strauss-Kahn] was what made me tend to believe the charges."

Robert Kuttner has generally had some decent commentary on the case, including this piece which commenting on how unions help protect members from employer retaliation in reporting a sexual assault in situation like this one in Union Maid The American Prospect Online 06/06/2011.

But Kuttner took some flak for this post, Applying Occam's Razor to Strauss-Kahn The American Prospect Online 06/30/2011. He addresses the criticisms here: Postscript on DSK The American Prospect Online 06/30/2011.

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