2 juillet 2011

Letter From District Attorney to Defense in Strauss-Kahn Case


June 30, 2011

William W. Taylor
Benjamin Brafman

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Indictment No. 2526/2011

Dear Messrs. Taylor and Brafman:

In connection with the above-captioned case, the People disclose the following information to the defense pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law 240.20 as well as Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) and its doctrinal progeny.

In an application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal dated December 30, 2004, the complainant provided the United States Departiment of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service with factual information about herself, her background and her experiences in her home country of Guinea. This information was in the form of a written statement attached to her application, and was submitted as a basis for her request for asylum.

In her application, she certified under penalty of perjury that her written statement was true. In substance, the complainant's statement claimed that she and her husband had been persecuted and harassed by the dictatorial regime that was then in power in Guinea. Among other things, the complainant stated that the home that she shared with her husband was destroyed by police and soldiers acting on behalf of the regime, and that she and her husband were beaten by them.

When her husband attempted to return to what was left of their home the next day, she stated that he was again beaten, arrested and imprisoned by police and soldiers. She stated that she also was beaten when she attempted to come to her. husband's aid. In her statement, she attributed the beatings to the couple's opposition to the regime. She stated that during her husband's incarceration, he was tortured, deprived of medical treatment and eventually died as a result of his maltreatment.

FoIlowing his death, according to her, she began to denounce the regime and finally fled the country in fear of her life, entering the United States in January 2004 to seek refuge (she has told prosecutors that she used a fraudulent visa). She repeated these facts orally during the course of her asylum application process.

In interviews in connection with the investigation of this case, the complainant admitted that the above factual information, which she provided in connection with her asylum application, was false. She stated that she fabricated the statement with the assistance of a male who provided her with a cassette recording of the facts contained in the statement that she eventually submitted. She memorized these facts by listening to the recording repeatedly.

In several interviews with prosecutors, she reiterated these falsehoods when questioned about her history and background, and stated that she did so in order to remain consistent with the statement that she had submitted as part of her application. Additionally, in two separate interviews with assistant district attorneys assigned to the case, the complainant stated that she had been the victim of a gang rape in the past in her native country and provided details of the attack.

During both of these interviews, the victim cried and appeared to be markedly distraught when recounting the incident. In subsequent interviews, she admitted that the gang rape had never occurred. Instead, she stated that she had lied about its occurrence and fabricated the details, and that this false incident was part of the narrative that she had been directed to memorize as part of her asylum application process. Presently, the complainant states that she would testify that she was raped in the past in her native country but in an incident different than the one that she described during initial interviews.

In the weeks following the incident charged in the indictment, the complainant told detectives and assistant district attorneys on numerous occasions that, after being sexually assaulted by the defendant on May 14, 2011 in Suite 2806, she fled to an area of the main hallway of the hotel's 28th floor and waited there until she observed the defendant leave Suite 2806 and the 28th floor by entering an elevator.

It was after this observation that she reported the incident to her supervisor, who arrived on the 28th floor a short time later. In the interim between the incident and her supervisor's arrival, she claimed to have remained in the same area of the main hallway on the 28th floor to which she had initially fled. The complainant testified to this version of events when questioned in the Grand jury about her actions following the incident in Suite 2806. The complainant has since admitted that this account was false and that after the incident in Suite 2806, she proceeded to clean a nearby room and then returned to Suite 2806 and began to clean that suite before she reported the incident to her supervisor.

Additionally, the complainant has stated that for the past two tax years, she declared a friend's child in addition to her own as a dependent on her tax returns for the purpose of increasing her tax refund beyond that to which she was entitled . She also admitted to misrepresenting her income in order to maintain her present housing.

Finally, during the course of this investigation, the complainant was untruthful with assistant district attorneys about a variety of additional topics concerning her history, background, present circumstances and personal relationships.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.


Joan Illuzzi-Otbon
Asistant District Attorney
21 2335-9926

John (Artie) McConnell
Assistant District Attorney

Cc: The Honorable Michael J. Obus
Supreme Court, New York County

The New York Times

Lire aussi :
• Lettre des procureurs sur l'accusatrice de Strauss-Kahn, Questions critiques [traduction de la lettre publiée par The New-York Times].
Revue de presse Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Monde en Question.

1 juillet 2011

Strauss-Kahn Case Seen as in Jeopardy

The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials.

Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors now do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself.

Since her initial allegation on May 14, the accuser has repeatedly lied, one of the law enforcement officials said.

Senior prosecutors met with lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn on Thursday and provided details about their findings, and the parties are discussing whether to dismiss the felony charges. Among the discoveries, one of the officials said, are issues involving the asylum application of the 32-year-old housekeeper, who is Guinean, and possible links to people involved in criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers will return to State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Friday morning, when Justice Michael J. Obus is expected to consider easing the extraordinary bail conditions that he imposed on Mr. Strauss-Kahn in the days after he was charged.

Indeed, Mr. Strauss-Kahn could be released on his own recognizance, and freed from house arrest, reflecting the likelihood that the serious charges against him will not be sustained. The district attorney's office may try to require Mr. Strauss-Kahn to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, but his lawyers are likely to contest such a move.

The revelations are a stunning change of fortune for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was considered a strong contender for the French presidency before being accused of sexually assaulting the woman who went to clean his luxury suite at the Sofitel New York.

Prosecutors from the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., who initially were emphatic about the strength of the case and the account of the victim, plan to tell the judge on Friday that they "have problems with the case" based on what their investigators have discovered, and will disclose more of their findings to the defense. The woman still maintains that she was attacked, the officials said.

"It is a mess, a mess on both sides," one official said.

According to the two officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.

That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman's bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.

The investigators also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. The woman had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.

In addition, one of the officials said, she told investigators that her application for asylum included mention of a previous rape, but there was no such account in the application. She also told them that she had been subjected to genital mutilation, but her account to the investigators differed from what was contained in the asylum application.

A lawyer for the woman, Kenneth Thompson, could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday evening.

In recent weeks, Mr. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, Benjamin Brafman and William W. Taylor III, have made it clear that they would make the credibility of the woman a focus of their case. In a May 25 letter, they said they had uncovered information that would "gravely undermine the credibility" of the accuser.

Still, it was the prosecutor's investigators who found the information about the woman.
The case involving Mr. Strauss-Kahn has made international headlines and renewed attention on accusations that he had behaved inappropriately toward women in the past, while, more broadly, prompting soul-searching among the French about the treatment of women.

The revelations about the investigators' findings are likely to buttress the view of Mr. Strauss-Kahn's supporters, who complained that the American authorities had rushed to judgment in the case.

Some of Mr. Strauss-Kahn's allies even contended that he had been set up by his political rivals, an assertion that law enforcement authorities said there was no evidence to support.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn resigned from his post as managing director of the International Monetary Fund in the wake of the housekeeper's accusations and was required to post $1 million bail and a $5 million bond.

He also agreed to remain under 24-hour home confinement while wearing an ankle monitor and providing a security team and an armed guard at the entrance and exit of the building where he was living. The conditions are costing Mr. Strauss-Kahn $250,000 a month.

Prosecutors had sought the restrictive conditions in part by arguing that the case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn was a strong one, citing a number of factors, including the credibility of his accuser, with one prosecutor saying her story was "compelling and unwavering."

In the weeks after making her accusations, the woman, who arrived in the United States from Guinea in 2002, was described by relatives and friends as an unassuming and hard-working immigrant with a teenage daughter. She had no criminal record, and had been a housekeeper at the Sofitel for a few years, they said.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn was such a pariah in the initial days after the arrest that neighbors of an Upper East Side apartment building objected when he and his wife tried to rent a unit there. He eventually rented a three-story town house on Franklin Street in TriBeCa.

Under the relaxed conditions of bail to be requested on Friday, the district attorney's office would retain Mr. Strauss-Kahn's passport but he would be permitted to travel within the United States.

The woman told the authorities that she had gone to Mr. Strauss-Kahn's suite to clean it and that he emerged naked from the bathroom and attacked her. The formal charges accused him of ripping her pantyhose, trying to rape her and forcing her to perform oral sex; his lawyers say there is no evidence of force and have suggested that any sex was consensual.

After the indictment was filed, Mr. Vance spoke briefly on the courthouse steps addressing hundreds of local and foreign reporters who had been camped out in front of the imposing stone edifice. He characterized the charges as "extremely serious" and said the "evidence supports the commission of nonconsensual forced sexual acts."

Mr. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, Mr. Brafman and Mr. Taylor, declined to comment on Thursday evening.

The case was not scheduled to return to court until July 18.

Jim DWYER, William K. RASHBAUM and John ELIGON
The New York Times

Lire aussi :
• L'affaire Strauss-Kahn sur le point de s'effondrer ?, Questions critiques [traduction de l'article du New-York Times].
Revue de presse Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Monde en Question.

30 juin 2011


Debtocracy dévoile les causes réelles de la crise de la dette grecque et propose des solutions, sur lesquelles le gouvernement et les médias dominants gardent le silence.

Documentaire avec sous-titres en français, Tlaxcala
Interview du journaliste Aris Hatzistefanou, Tlaxcala

Lire aussi :
Dossier documentaire & Bibliographie Économie crise, Monde en Question.
Dossier documentaire & Bibliographie Économie sociale, Monde en Question.

28 juin 2011

Castoriadis, de Marx à Thucydide

La collection Payot "Critique de la Politique" est désormais le lieu privilégié de la réflexion autour de théoriciens politiques se réclamant d'un marxisme critique et hétérodoxe. Au sein de cette collection dirigée par Miguel Abensour, l' Ecole de Francfort est au centre de la politique éditoriale. Ainsi Adorno, Horkheimer, ou Habermas comptent parmi les penseurs auxquels cette collection rend justice, tant par la publication des oeuvres elles-mêmes que par le fait de permettre à des chercheurs de leur consacrer des études de référence.

La parution d'un livre d'importance sur Castoriadis dans cette collection est une nouvelle réjouissante tant il est vrai que l'on ne cesse aujourd'hui de redécouvrir une oeuvre protéiforme, au croisement de nombreuses sciences humaines, se réclamant pourtant de la philosophie la plus authentique qui soit, celle de l'agora athénienne. Avec cet ouvrage, c'est un philosophe en asymptote avec ces pensées critiques d'outre-rhin, avec lesquelles il noue d'ailleurs un dialogue implicite, qui nous est présenté Castoriadis est, surtout et avant tout, un philosophe du retour à Athènes et à la question démocratique comme moment historique qui ne cesse d'interroger notre conception contemporaine du meilleur régime politique.

Lire la suite... Nonfiction

Lire aussi : Dossier documentaire & Bibliographie Socialisme ou Barbarie, Monde en Question.

27 juin 2011

Crise du capitalisme

Je suis convaincu que la crise actuelle du capitalisme n'est pas simplement conjoncturelle et structurelle. Il s'agit de la phase terminale. Le génie du capitalisme à s'adapter à toute circonstance est sur sa fin. Je réalise que peu de gens soutiennent cette thèse. Deux raisons, cependant, me conduisent à cette interprétation.
Lire : Leonardo BOFF, Crise du capitalisme : la dernière ?, Tlaxcala.

Les médias, les consultants, les économistes, les banques d'investissement, les présidents des banques centrales, les ministres du Trésor et les gouvernants ne font que parler de « la crise grecque ». Face à tant de chambard il convient de paraphraser ce propos de campagne de Bill Clinton en disant que c'est d'une crise du capitalisme qu'il s'agit, pas de la Grèce. Que ce pays est un des maillons les plus faibles de la chaîne impérialiste et que c'est pour cela que c'est là que les contradictions qui le rongent irrémédiablement se font le plus évidentes.
Lire : Atilio A. BORON, Ce n'est pas la Grèce qui est en crise, c'est le capitalisme !, Tlaxcala.

Lire aussi :
Dossier documentaire & Bibliographie Économie crise, Monde en Question.
Dossier documentaire & Bibliographie Économie sociale, Monde en Question.