Prosecutors cry foul after DSK lawyers complain about leaks, threaten to discredit accuser

Laura Rozen
The Envoy

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has kept a comparatively low profile as he awaits the start of court proceedings on charges of attempted rape--but that's certainly not true of his legal team. The attorneys representing the former IMF chief--who is known familiarly as DSK--have already drawn a notice of rebuke from prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office.

The New York prosecutors released the letter in the wake of allegations from DSK's attorneys that they possess information that would "gravely undermine the credibility of the complainant in this case," Reuters reported.

"We were troubled that you chose to inject into the public record your claim that you possess information that might negatively impact the case and 'gravely' undermine the credibility of the victim," prosecutors said in a letter, Reuters reported. "We are aware of no such information."

DSK attorneys Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor had earlier written the Manhattan DA to complain about apparent leaks to the media from law enforcement that have been damaging for their client. Among these were reports earlier this week that investigators had found DNA evidence on the complainant's clothing that belongs to DSK.

Brafman and Taylor threatened the prosecution with retaliatory tactics, with leaks of their own seeking to harm the case against their client and the credibility of his accuser.

"Indeed, were we intent on improperly feeding the media frenzy we could now release substantial information that in our view would seriously undermine the quality of this prosecution and also gravely undermine the credibility of the complainant in this case," Taylor and Brafman threaten.

DSK's defense team has reportedly enlisted the services of a Washington firm founded by former CIA officers to try to dig up damaging information on the 32-year-old Guinean-born single mother who brought the charges against DSK.

The Envoy previously reported that the founder of the firm, William Green, was formerly a CIA case officer in France who was expelled from the country in 1995 after a botched CIA operation to recruit a French official to spy on his own country.

U.S. sources knowledgeable about the case found it odd that DSK, a former French finance minister, would have retained Green's firm, TD International, in 2007 to try to help him secure the IMF job, given that background.

The New York Post reported this week that associates of DSK have allegedly tried to offer money to the hotel maid's impoverished relatives in Guinea to persuade her to withdraw her complaint.

Sources have informally suggested that one likely strongarm tactic for the DSK defense would be to collect information shedding doubt on the legality of his accuser's immigration status.

DSK's lawyers have previously suggested that their client will allege that any sexual activity that occurred between the maid and the IMF chief was consensual--a charge that the woman's lawyer, Jeffrey Shapiro, has vehemently denied.

(Dominique Strauss-Kahn, center, is led from 71 Broadway in Manhattan's financial district where the former International Monetary Fund leader was staying following his release on bail, on Wednesday, May 25, 2011: David Karp/AP)