New York: Lawyers for the hotel maid accusing
former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault
denied they had offered to hinder criminal proceedings in
return for a payoff.
"The story is false," said Douglas Wigdor, who represents
Nafissatou Diallo. "It is another baseless attack against Ms
Diallo and her attorneys designed to distract people from the
fact that Mr Strauss-Kahn attacked and sexually assaulted an
innocent woman inside the Sofitel."
He was denying US media reports that the prosecutor`s
office was looking into whether Diallo had sought such an
arrangement during secret settlement talks.
The prosecutor`s office said it had no comment on the
Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal said
Kenneth Thompson, another attorney for the Sofitel hotel maid,
had indicated he would work to see that the criminal trial
foundered in return for a civil settlement.
A similar story in the online Daily Beast news site quoted
unnamed sources close to the case saying that settlement talks
took place in mid to late June.
If true, the reports would raise further doubts about
Diallo`s credibility ahead of a key hearing on Tuesday at
which prosecutors are expected to announce whether or not they
intend to pursue the case.
The arrest of Strauss-Kahn in May on charges of attempting
to rape the housekeeper sent shock waves through France --
where he was a leading politician -- and the International
Monetary Fund, from which he soon resigned.