Possible development in civil suit against Strauss-Kahn

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CNN reported on August 23, 2012 unconfirmed rumors of an out-of-court settlement in the civil suit against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF and former French presidential hopeful.  The civil suit was brought by Nafissatou Diallo after the related criminal case for attempted rape was dismissed last year.  Strauss-Kahn, from the time he became aware of DNA evidence implicating himself, has maintained that any sex with Diallo was consensual.

Strauss-Kahn had earlier reminded everybody that he used to be a big shot and therefore had diplomatic immunity, because asserting diplomatic immunity is how innocent people normally behave when accused of rape.  A Bronx judge was unmoved by Strauss-Kahn’s ties to former greatness, ruling in May that Strauss-Kahn did not enjoy diplomatic immunity.   Judge McKeon pointed out that Strauss-Kahn was no longer head of the IMF by the time the suit was filed.  Also, Judge McKeon reasoned, the “absolute immunity” of the 1947 Specialized Agencies Convention cited by Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer isn’t widely accepted as international law.  The only sort of diplomatic immunity that Strauss-Kahn might be entitled to would have to relate to things he did as part of “official acts,” not his personal conduct.  (What?!  It’s not part of official business when you have allegedly consensual sex with someone even though it isn’t consensual to her?)

A few days after Judge McKeon’s decision, Francois Hollande became president of France, thereby cruelly reminding Strauss-Kahn that he is not and likely never will be.  Strauss-Kahn then counter-sued Diallo, claiming that her accusations damaged his reputation and cost him his career.  The counter-suit asked for $1 million in damages, because suing a poor hotel maid for $1 million will do wonders to improve your reputation.

(Cross-posted at impropaganda.blogspot.com)

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