STRAUSS-KAHN: Some good, some bad, some ugly

The Strauss-Kahns  confer with their lawyer Ben Brafman

The more The Slog digs into the Strauss-Kahn case, the murkier it gets

Whatever his peccadilloes and saving graces, Dominic Strauss-Kahn has clearly decided to fight ugly bigotry with ugly bruisers. And they don’t come any uglier than his defence attorney Ben Brafman. Brafman counts mobster Vincent ‘Vinny Gorgeous’ Basciano, ex-Bonanno family head, among his clients and friends. He also has the best record in US legal history of unlikely acquittals against all the odds.

Like so much that surrounds DSK’s lifestyle and contacts, Brafman is a curious mixture of good and bad. Hugely talented, feared by every DA’s office in America – but a man whose whole professional life begs questions – he’s half top lawyer, half spin doctor. Having told DSK he should lose weight in time for his trial (a stroke of genius in its own right) Ben Brafman now has half the investigative agencies in America engaged in the task of digging any and all dirt on Nafissatou Diallo. And if it comes to it, be in no doubt that he will show her no mercy.

A good piece of sleuthing by the Daily Mail has solved the mystery of why the Sofitel rape-accusing maid obtained asylum in the US: it seems the entry visa was on compassionate grounds, in that her daughter had serious pelvic injuries following a road accident in Guinea – injuries that only US surgeons could cure. The facts stack up, and so I for one am happy to accept that and move on.

But the rest of the Mail interview with her ‘brother’ is vomit-inducing, a continuation of the Mother Theresa image spin – and the death of her husband is still unexplained. This seems odd, as a natural but tragic death could also add to her sympathy vote. And we still await the rationale for the DA’s AIDs denial, given her apartment is exclusively reserved for HIV+ women. The sanctimonious tone of the Mail article (“we have chosen not to reveal her name”) is also classic hypocritical Dacre bollocks: not only is there no reason at all now not to name her, I understand the family wouldn’t talk to the paper without a written legal assurance to that effect.

Dominic Strauss-Kahn also has a new apartment, and – as we’ve seen already – Murdoch’s New York Post is following every fetish and fart with avid interest. The Post’s latest ‘scoop’ is that DSK hasn’t hired any female cleaners for the flat; this follows hot on the heels of Newscorp’s world exclusive about what a lousy tipper the former IMF head is.

Nothing is ever too banal or beastly for Rupert’s papers to print, but in grubbing around in the Strauss-Kahn’s trash cans, they seem to have missed a couple of points.

First up, DSK’s younger brother Marc-Olivier Strauss-Kahn is more than just ‘a director at Banque de France’. Second, sources close to the Brafman team assert strongly that the maid Nafissatou Diallo seduced him, they had sex – and then she demanded money. The line being taken by these sources is that – as Brafman alluded in his letter to DA Cyrus Vance last week – the lady is not the burkha-wearing innocent painted by her family.

My view is that there is compelling evidence about that in both directions. Stay tuned.