New York DA Cyrus T. Vance

New York City will retain DSK passport until July 18th

Sources in the US are reporting this afternoon that the New York District Attorney’s Office will drop all charges against Dominic Strauss-Kahn at his next Court appearance. But this won’t be until July 18th – five days after the deadline to register for the French Socialist Presidency Primaries. And a Daily Beast story today adds an intriguing fact about the behaviour of Cyrus T. Vance in wanting ‘to keep DSK in jail’.

The Slog has learned that New York DA Cyrus Vance will drop all charges against the former IMF boss when he next appears in Court.

“There’s really no point to prolonging the agony,” a Washington informant told The Slog this afternoon BST, “I think Vance feels it would just be good money after bad. His career is in tatters, but may just be salvageable in time. However, he’s no appetite for Brafman wiping the floor with the maid – if you’ll pardon the expression”.

The Daily Beast also has as its ‘morning scoop’ EST feature a story suggesting the same thing. Christopher Dickey reports that:

‘ Although the charges against him have not been dropped as yet, law-enforcement officials involved with the case think they almost certainly will be…..when I spent several days talking about procedures with the Manhattan Special Victims Squad that handled the case, I asked directly several times if it had interviewed specific figures in the West African community who had taken the extraordinary step of holding a press conference to vouch for the maid’s character only three days after Strauss-Kahn’s arrest. The police told me they had not…..’

Veterans of the Strauss-Kahn Waltz will know only too well that the almost robotic nature of the ‘she’s a saint a Goddess a virgin a holy woman a devout Muslim shy wonderful marvelous’ shtick was criticised here from the start. However, note this extract from Dickey’s generally anti-DSK piece (my emphasis):

‘District Attorney Vance opted to try to keep Strauss-Kahn in jail after his arrest, and therefore had to have an indictment in five days. If he hadn’t been so intent on confining Strauss-Kahn, an indictment could have waited.’

Now why did the well-connected Cyrus T. Vance want so badly to keep DSK in jankers? Possibly to make himself look more macho – ‘I Vance the Invincible put the IMF boss in a cell’ – but equally possibly because the key thing was for Strauss-Kahn to be in jail – rather than be found guilty.

This is perhaps one of the most curious layer-upon-layer symphonies of confusion, ambition and motive ever to be laid before a senior US Courtroom, but I’m not claiming any inside track here – far from it. There are jigsaw pieces that look as if they’re going to fit – and then don’t. But then another piece comes along, and suddenly hey presto – they both fit.

Yesterday, The Slog suggested that the maid Nafissatou Diallo’s conversation with an Arizona prison inmate tended to rule out a ‘higher level’ of anti-DSK conspiracy. But now we learn that Vance (a) recklessly opted to keep DSK in jail and (b) the Frenchmen cannot now get his passport back in time to compete in France’s Presidential primaries. Along with Vance’s (c) completely inexplicable decision to delay telling the defence for 36 days that he had no case, as such, this will keep conspiracy theorists going for decades.

Nevertheless, a former CIA operative said yesterday, “There’s just far too much uncontrollable sh*t for this to have been an operation.

Anyway, it’s game over for the prosecution. And so Strauss-Kahn exits the frying pan of New York, and returns to the fire of another attempted rape accusation in France. My reading on this one is that the lady should save her money and move on: it’s far too long ago for any forensics, she works for the Right Wing Le Figaro, she’s a feminist who writes books about male domination in politics, and her mum (a Socialist) openly admits that the only reason she’s bringing the case is because the New York case collapsed. Frankly, there isn’t a jury in Europe outside Haringey that would go for it given that background.

But here’s the odd, sleazy sting in the tail that’s always there with Dominic Strauss-Kahn: the girl, Tristane Banon, is his second wife’s Goddaughter. He really is a lecherous old lizard….

Tristane Banon