Lawyers for maid in DSK case seek special prosecutor

NEW YORK Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:42pm EDT

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NEW YORK Aug 22 (Reuters) - Lawyers for the hotel maid who accused former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault have filed a motion demanding that the Manhattan district attorney's office be disqualified from the case.

The motion, filed Monday afternoon in state Supreme Court, seeks the appointment of a special prosecutor and asks that the case be stayed until a hearing can be held on the request.

Legal analysts say the unusual request is unlikely to succeed. The move comes as the criminal case against Strauss-Kahn is expected to be dismissed over questions about the credibility of the woman at the center of the case. [ID:nN1E77L0VE]

Strauss-Kahn, who has denied the allegations, was the leading contender for the April 2012 presidential elections until Nafissatou Diallo accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on May 14 at New York's Sofitel Hotel.

In the motion, Diallo's lawyers harshly criticized the district attorney's office for its "abusive" behavior towards her and for what they called a mishandling of the prosecution.

"For weeks, the DA has attempted to undermine the credibility of Ms. Diallo and the successful prosecution of the charges pending against Defendant Strauss-Kahn," the court filing said.

"The DA has also treated Ms. Diallo abusively, victimizing her further," the motion added.

The judge was not in court on Monday, a court clerk said, so no immediate decision could be made on the motion. The clerk said they were nevertheless trying to reach the judge today.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office declined to comment on the motion. For more stories on the Strauss-Kahn case, click on [ID:nDSK]. (Reporting by Joseph Ax and Basil Katz, editing by Anthony Boadle)

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