DSK sex assault civil case delayed

FILE In this Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008 file photo International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn speaks during a news conference in Washington. Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be questioned Tuesday Feb. 21, 2012 by F
FILE In this Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008 file photo International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn speaks during a news conference in Washington. Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be questioned Tuesday Feb. 21, 2012 by F

The first hearing into the civil case brought by a New York hotel maid alleging ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her has been delayed until March 28, the court has said.

The afternoon hearing had initially been scheduled for March 15 at the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the borough of New York City.

It will air oral arguments on pre-trial motions and is not the start of the trial itself.

Neither Strauss-Kahn nor his accuser are required to attend the hearing. Civil proceedings in the United States are usually drawn out and can take several years if the parties cannot reach a negotiated agreement.

DSK, as he is known in France, now faces legal proceedings on both sides of the Atlantic next month.

The man once considered a frontrunner to become the next president of France, has been summoned to appear before investigating magistrates in Lille - also on March 28 - on charges linked to prostitution and corruption.

French police questioned him last month for two days about an alleged prostitution ring.

New York prosecutors abandoned a sex assault case against Strauss-Kahn last year, but his accuser, immigrant hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, lodged a civil suit.

Diallo says Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape her in his Manhattan Sofitel hotel room where she had gone to clean on May 14. Strauss-Kahn was arrested later that day but insisted he was being framed and prosecutors later dropped charges, saying the maid had credibility problems.

The civil suit seeks unspecified damages from Strauss-Kahn, who is married to a wealthy journalist.

Friends of Strauss-Kahn have claimed a conspiracy to bring him down, removing what had been seen as a viable challenge to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Strauss-Kahn has also been accused by 32-year-old French writer Tristane Banon of attempting to rape her in 2003. Prosecutors decided there was prima facie evidence of a sexual assault, but ruled that the statute of limitations had passed.

- AFP

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