Video: Prosecutors seek to drop Strauss-Kahn case

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    >>> back here in the u.s., a formal dismissal of the sexual assault case against dominique strauss-kahn is expected today. nbc's ron allen is in low enmanhattan this morning with details on this. hey, ron, good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning to you, ann. prosecutors were so sure about their case against strauss-kahn in may he was pulled off an airplane, arrested and put in jail. now they said they believe there was a sexual encounteder between him and the hotel maid but she has changed her story so many times they don't know the truth of exactly what happened and what's more they say she has lied to them about many other aspects of her life. it all began with this dramatic, dominique strauss-kahn would then quit as the head of the powerful imf. his chances of becoming president of france apparently gone. but while he kept a low profile , free on bail, and paying tens of thousands of dollars to live in this luxury townhouse, the case against him began to unravel. his accuser, diallo, 33, stood silently by her attorney, moments after prosecutors told them they would drop the case against strauss-kahn .

    >> manhattan district attorney cyrus vance has denied the rights of a woman to get justice in a rape case.

    >> reporter: in court papers prosecutors sadial lo has provided shifting and inconsistent versions of the erts surrounding the alleged sexual assault . that in virtually every interview she has not been truthful on matters great and small. and that it is impossible to resolve the question of what exactly happened in straus- kahn 's sweet. legal experts say prosecutors have little choice.

    >> the reality is the district attorney has to rely on the credibility of his witnesses or else he should not be putting those witnesses forward in court.

    >> reporter: prosecutors say diallo's falsehood includes an emotional story, being gang raped in her native country that never happened. they say she's given three different versions of what she did in the minutes right after the alleged attack in strauss-kahn 's suite.

    >> they told me i want you to know that --

    >> reporter: biographer and nbc news consultant has been in touch with strauss-kahn since the arrest.

    >> i think his mind is shared between hope and anxiety.

    >> reporter: that end may come later today , during what is expected to be a very brief, final appearance before a judge. diallo is not living this day without a fight. her attorney is demanding a special prosecutor be appointed to take over the case. and she still has a civil lawsuit pending against strauss-kahn . he may make his first public statement about this in person or on paper after the trial, after the hearing if the charges are, in fact, dismissed. ann?

    >> ron allen , thank you so much. savannah guthrie is our legal correspondent. good morning. what are the chances that she be appointed a special prosecutor be a game changer in this case?

    >> it is a game changer. the prosecutors will more than likely take this case.

    >> the new york times puts it's this way. this is, quote, intricate and devastating in the anatomy of a case.

    >> this is almost an indictment of the accuser here. the prosecutor lays out in great detail why it is that they lost faith and decided that she was not credible. what's interesting here is sometimes prosecutors take cases and they may still believe in the case but they make a practical judgment they cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt . this case is different. these prosecutors said they personally did not believe this accuser beyond a reasonable doubt and couldn't ask jury to do so either.

    >> but they're saying that in part because they said most troubling was that she had lied in the past. so is this to say that a real victim of a crime cannot be defended by the court if he or she has lied in the past?

    >> it's a really good question. you know, there is no perfect victim. but this alleged victim was far from it. the prosecutors said, look, we understand, people lie on the government application, they may have changes in their story that aren't really material. that was not this case, according to prosecutors. they say she lied repeatedly to them. she acknowledged according to prosecutors, lying to the grand jury about the fact that the case here. and most significantly in my view, this alleged victim allegedly lied to prosecutors about a prior gang rape against her. they said not only did she lie to them about it, she did so so convincingly. she cried. she persuaded them. they believed her. and then she later admitted it was all a lie. and for that reason, i think prosecutors thought, we just can't thrust alleged victim.

    >> because she was such a good liar in their view in their argument. what about the other idea that there was another woman in france who has accused strauss-kahn of unwanted sexual advances. should the prosecutors have weighed that in?

    >> it's very, very unusual, although sometimes it can happen that prior allegations of sexual assault could come into a trial? but this more than likely would not -- he still faces those charges in france . but the sum total in the prosecutor's motion to dismiss an accuser who utterly and totally lost credibility.

    >> should she have any recourse?

    >> she does have recourse, civil suit . the standard of proof is much lower. all the credible she has in a criminal case she continues to have in a civil case . i know her lawyer has asked for a special prosecutor to look into the case. number one, it's unlikely she will get this special prosecutor . number two, this prosecutor will probably run into the very same credibility problems that the manhattan prosecutors found.

    >> savannah guthrie , thank you for your perspective this morning.

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Timeline: Dominique Strauss-Kahn


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