By John Helmer, Moscow
The disclosures by disgruntled New York law enforcers in the US press today, revealing that the accusing chamber-maid in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) affair is a career liar with thousands of recent dollars in her bank account, puts an end to the trumped-up prosecution. Whether Strauss-Kahn returns to be President of France is up to him. President, oops Prime Minister Vladimir Putin turns out to be right once again .
The US system not only parades the accused in front of the media to make them look guilty, as happened to Strauss-Kahn in the month of May. The system also calls to account higher-level officials by the leaks of their subordinates; these can reveal dereliction of duty, official conspiracy, and abuse of authority. The leaks by “well-placed law enforcement officials” to the New York Times and other media, revealing that Strauss-Kahn’s accuser and the only state witness in the case plotted to make money on her accusations, are only the beginning of the process by which the New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne and District Attorney (DA) Cyrus Vance Junior will have to answer for what they did to destroy Strauss-Kahn by framing him, and on whose orders they have been acting.
They may try to save public face and themselves from official liability by having DSK plead guilty to minor offences with the right to immediate and full release. Strauss-Kahn will almost certainly refuse. His next campaign is on his return to Francce, where he knew, even before the events in New York, that his political opponents – principally, President Nicolas Sarkozy, but also Martine Aubry and other Socialist Party rivals for the presidential election in 2012 – wanted, and have plotted, to get him out of their way.
On April 28, more than a fortnight before Strauss-Kahn’s detention by the New York authorities, he told French reporters that he suspected a honey-trap was being prepared for him. Le Novel Observateur reported on May 19 what he had said in April. “What is it that they are going to pull off?” Strauss-Kahn said. “A photo of me in the act of screwing a chick (tirer une gonzesse) ? Who will want to publish that?” He also added, according to Liberation journalists present:, another scenario of entrapment: “A woman [that he would have raped] in a parking lot and to whom they would promise 500,000 or 1 million euros to invent such a story.” Since that’s what Strauss-Kahn said he believed in April, it appears to have been a colossal misjudgement for him to have sex in May with a stranger in a New York hotel, where he had stayed a dozen times before. Poor character, arrogance maybe, but a crime? not apparently any longer.
The crime now opening for investigation is the conspiracy to pervert justice. That’s Article 105, section 105.10, in the New York State Penal Code. The perps? – read on.
According to the New York Times, the prime media accuser of Strauss-Kahn in May, the two law enforcement leakers now reveal that the chamber-maid “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.”
Look carefully  at the calendar and the date lines on the legal papers filed against Strauss-Kahn. The alleged sex crimes occurred at about noon on Saturday, May 14. More than an hour and a half elapsed before the New York Police Department (NYPD) was called to hear the allegation of rape. Strauss-Kahn was taken off his flight bound for Paris and from about 4 in the afternoon, the interrogations began.
A still secret application was made by the police and the New York district attorney’s office for the Manhattan Criminal Court to compel Strauss-Kahn to provide DNA samples from his body. Asked to confirm when that occurred and other details, the press spokesman for DA Vance did not deny it but told this correspondent: “None of this is confirmed. There is no public info available. We don’t discuss anything evidence related, or confirm anything that’s part of an ongoing investigation.”
Those remarks were transmitted by email and not quotable according to the background rule. But that rule was being violated by the DA’s office in several ways, and now, in light of the latest disclosures, they can be reported. Naturally, Vance was authorizing all manner of “evidence related” disclosures to the press – except those which compromised the case he was building against Strauss-Kahn.
Why Vance attempted to cover up the Sunday court hearing isn’t known for the time being. What is clear is that he was buying time, and if telephone records of the prosecuting officials and their government supervisors are revealed, those between New York, Washington and Paris may prove to be even more dramatic than those between the chamber-maid and the jail-bird.
That the conversation between them on May 15 was recorded is probably not due to the assiduous efforts of the NYPD detectives or DA Vance, but rather because calls between jail and the outside are routinely recorded.
The Manhattan Criminal Court’s annual report shows that the time between arrest, indictment and remand (or release) of alleged offenders in Manhattan averages 25 hours. But Strauss-Kahn was held through Saturday night and Sunday before he was taken to his first court hearing on Monday morning, May 16. He was then dispatched to jail. But by then Vance knew, or should have known, that Strauss-Kahn’s accuser was already discussing how to make money from her accusations. Look at the date-line at the bottom of the first criminal complaint  filed in court against Strauss-Kahn and released by the DA’s office — it’s blank. So when exactly did the police and prosecutor have evidence to suspect their star witness, their only witness, was discussing a perjury for pay scheme?
Vance took three days presenting his evidence against Strauss-Kahn to the grand jury, before taking their formal charge-sheet to court on May 19. It’s clear the claims of what had happened on May 14 were already changing in the legal papers. But what of the evidence against the chamber-maid? It is now known that her bank account was regularly on the receiving end of thousands of dollars from people she calls her “fiancé and his friends”. Vance should now be ready with answers to such questions as: for what services and purposes did the chamber-maid make so much more money than she was earning at her Sofitel job? If the jail-bird has been convicted of drug-running, what does he say about the sources of the money he paid his “fiancé”? Is the jail bird ready to testify to being a conduit of money from Frenchmen or others interested in arranging sex for Strauss-Kahn? How much did he tell the chamber-maid and when? And when did Vance know, or ought he to have known about the bank account cash, the dates of the big-number deposits, and the fiancé?
It’s too early in the New York morning for Vance and his press spokesman to respond to these questions. What is near-certain is that Vance did not reveal a scintilla to the grand jury before they indicted Strauss-Kahn.
In the new New York Post version of the chamber-maid’s case today, “She’s a con artist,” one law enforcement source said, adding that prosecutors have concluded “she cannot be put on the stand. “She’d be a flawed witness.” The alleged victim, a chambermaid at the Sofitel Hotel, “continuously lied to us,” a law-enforcement source told The Post.”
In the New York Times, it is reported that the DA’s office has concluded “”It is a mess, a mess on both sides.” A mess may be what it is on Strauss-Kahn’s side. But on the side of DA Vance and the NYPD, the mess is a crime. Let’s see whose naked features are visible running for cover; whose fingerprints are on the opening door, whose pantyhose has been torn, and whose DNA has been left behind.