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Friday, July 29, 2011

Nafissatou Diallo, Strauss-Kahn's accuser, was misquoted: lawyer

Maid accusing Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her in a Midtown Hotel did not call an imprisoned pal about the former IMF boss's wealth, her lawyer said Wednesday after a marathon meeting with prosecutors.
The call, which attorney Kenneth Thompson said they reviewed at during a nearly eight-hour meeting, reportedly involved the woman, Nafissatou Diallo, telling the friend "I know what to do" after hearing that Strauss-Kahn was a very rich man.
The implication made by Strauss-Kahn's lawyers has been that Diallo is trying to cash in on a lawsuit against the former head of the International Monetary Fund and that anything that occurred was consensual.
"For the last several hours we have been upstairs listening to that tape and that tape shows that the victim never said the words, 'He has a lot of money and I know what to do,' " Thompson told reporters after the lengthy meeting.

The quote was misleading in my opinion because the quote made it seem like the sole focus was on his money and how to get his money. Her sole and primary focus is on what happened to her."
Thompson said Diallo was merely confiding in her friend about the attack and that "the very first time she spoke to the gentleman in jail about Dominique Strauss-Kahn she never said one word about his money."
The second time she spoke to the friend after the attack it was the jailed friend, who Diallo denied being romantically involved with, who mentioned that Strauss-Kahn was wealthy, Thompson said. Her response was unclear.
The meeting involved a Fulani interpreter to convey the meaning of the conversation, one of "several" prosecutors have recorded, between the Guinean maid and the inmate, Thompson said.
Prosecutors declined to comment on the meeting.

Her lawyer, Kenneth P. Thompson, insisted that taped conversations between Diallo and the inmate do not suggest that Diallo wanted to exploit the case to make money off Strauss-Kahn, CNN reports.

Law enforcement officials had earlier told Thompson as well as journalists that the tapes include Diallo saying “words to the effect of: ‘Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing.’ ”

After listening to the tapes with Diallo, Thompson said Wednesday that his client's statements were mischaracterized.

"He said that at no point did she raise the issue of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s wealth or status in the way that prosecutors had described it. Rather, he said, the man she was speaking with, who initiated the calls to Ms. Diallo, remarked during one conversation that Ms. Diallo could stand to gain money from the case, but she quickly dismissed the idea and said it was a matter for her lawyer," The Times reports.

“It is a fact that what they told me and what they told you was not accurate,” Thompson told reporters. “Ms. Diallo never said, ‘I am going to get this guy’s money’ or anything about scheming to get his money.”

Furthermore, Thompson said the tapes show that Diallo's depiction to police of what happened in the hotel room is consistent with what she told her friend immediately after the incident.

The district attorney's office did not comment on the meeting, Reuters reports.

The lawyer's assertions add a new twist to the case, which took a turn when prosecutors said they had found discrepancies in Diallo's account of her past and the hotel incident, suggesting she may not be credible. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have called on Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to drop the case.

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