Strauss-Kahn charges close to being dropped


New York prosecutors appeared poised Monday to drop sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a high-flying international banker seen as the likely next French president before the scandal broke.
In the latest stunning twist to a case that has captivated international attention, prosecutors summoned Nafissatou Diallo, the 32-year-old African immigrant who says the International Monetary Fund chief forced her into oral sex when she went to clean his luxury hotel room three months ago. Her lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, told The New York Times he understood the 3:00 pm (1900 GMT) meeting at the District Attorney’s Office was to inform Diallo that the case had collapsed.
“They’re going to announce that they’re dismissing the case entirely, or some of the charges,” Thompson said.
Thompson told AFP he still hoped “the DA will stand by Diallo,” but it appeared increasingly likely that prosecutors will use a court hearing on Tuesday to ask that the judge formally dismiss charges.
If that happens, Strauss-Kahn would be free to return to France, where his May 14 arrest in New York and brief imprisonment before being freed on bail, caused a political uproar.
Not only did Strauss-Kahn have to resign as head of the IMF after his arrest, but he had to abandon what was widely expected to be a successful challenge against President Nicolas Sarkozy in upcoming elections.