New York DA Cyrus T. Vance Jr

Security blackout unnerves DSK legal team

Sources in New York remain confused this morning following the revelation late yesterday EDS that Dominic Strauss-Kahn’s next hearing date is to be pushed back a further three weeks. A spokesman for the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan confirmed the changed schedule.

“We have consented to a postponement of the status hearing before Judge Obus from August 1 to August 23rd,” Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman said,”We understand the district attorney is continuing to investigate. We hope that by August 23rd, he will have reached the decision to dismiss.”

No reason was given for the delay (the second for a hearing originally meant to take place on July 18th) but among other things, the postponed hearing had been expected to handle issues such as the setting of a trial date…or indeed if there would be a trial at all. However, it does appear that, behind the scenes, DSK’s legal team is rattled.

A reliable Slog source based in New York, who has called several developments correctly over the last weeks, said early this afternoon BST, “I know [DSK lawyer] Brafman is wary of Vance. There’s a lot at stake here. Brafman at first thought Vance was looking into the possibility of a conspiracy against [DSK] maybe emanating from abroad, but none of [the team] thinks that now. There is a growing concern that the DA [Cyrus T. Vance] is trying to find new evidence against Strauss-Kahn.”

This is quite possible: DA Vance suffered a humiliating reverse when his star accuser Nafissatou Diallo turned out to be less than reliable. Last week, Ms Diallo came out of her US anonymity with splash stories in Newsweek and on the ABC network, but the impact of her accounts was short-lived. There also remains uncertainty as to why photos previously released of the accuser don’t look like the person shown last week in New York.

A Washington source added in the last hour that security about the ongoing investigation was “pretty total” – something of a change from the days following Dominic Strauss-Kahn’s original arrest in June.