* Prosecutors to ask judge to dismiss charges - media
* Strauss-Kahn still faces civil suit, French allegation
By Mark Egan and Daniel Trotta
NEW YORK, Aug 22 Prosecutors on Monday
appeared set to drop sexual assault charges against former IMF
director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a stunning reversal in the
case against a man who many had seen as the next president of
The Manhattan District Attorney's office will recommend to
a judge that the case be dismissed after they lost faith in the
accuser, a 32-year-old hotel maid from Guinea, due to lies she
told about her past, New York news media reported.
Prosecutors were to meet with the maid, Nafissatou Diallo,
and her lawyer at 3 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Monday to discuss the
case ahead of a court hearing on Tuesday.
Strauss-Kahn, who has strongly denied the allegations, was
the leading contender for the April 2012 presidential elections
until Diallo accused him of attempted rape and forcing her to
perform oral sex on May 14 in his luxury Sofitel Hotel suite
near Times Square.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, was marched from a first-class cabin of
an Air France plane, which was to take him to meetings in
Europe on the sovereign debt crisis, to face the charges.
After a night in custody, he was paraded unshaven before
the media at the Manhattan courthouse in a "perp" walk, a scene
that enraged many in France who viewed it as tantamount to
convicting a man who had yet to be charged with any crime.
More stories on the Strauss-Kahn case [ID:nDSK]
A TIMELINE of events [ID:nN1E77L0T0]
Held in gang-ridden Rikers Island prison, Strauss-Kahn a
few days later resigned his job as managing director of the
International Monetary Fund -- a position which is among the
most powerful in global finance.
Prosecutors initially had trumpeted Diallo as a credible
witness and her testimony helped convince a grand jury to
formally charge Strauss-Kahn and a judge to hold him under
house arrest with onerous bail terms.
But the case has teetered since late June when prosecutors
disclosed she fabricated being gang-raped for her U.S. asylum
application and lied about other aspects of her past.
Those revelations threatened her credibility as a witness
and led prosecutors to agree to release Strauss-Kahn from house
arrest, though he remains barred from leaving the country. He
faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Diallo and her lawyers have fought their case publicly,
keeping the pressure on District Attorney Cyrus Vance to
continue. While the identity of alleged rape victims is usually
shielded, Diallo granted interviews to Newsweek magazine and
ABC television, and she held a tearful news conference where
she gave her version of events and said she could not sleep.
Her lawyer has requested a special prosecutor to pursue the
criminal case, though legal experts said such a move would have
little chance of succeeding.
Strauss-Kahn was due to appear in court on Tuesday, at
which point the dismissal of charges could be a mere formality
if prosecutors make public their decision on Monday.
Even if the case is dismissed, Strauss-Kahn's legal
troubles will be far from over. He still faces a civil lawsuit
filed by Diallo on August 8 and a complaint from French writer
Tristane Banon who said he tried to rape her during a 2003
interview. Authorities in Paris are considering whether to
press charges in that case.
Yet his political fortunes may revive. Frontrunner for the
socialist party nomination for president, Francois Hollande,
said on Monday that Strauss-Kahn could hold public office if
the sexual assault charges are dropped, and that it was up to
the former IMF chief to decide whether he would run in the
October party primaries. [ID:nLDE77L066]
"Whatever has been said, a man with the abilities of
Dominique Strauss-Kahn can be useful to his country in the
months and years to come," Hollande told France Inter radio.
Reports that the New York State's case was folding were
rife over the weekend. The New York Times, citing a person
briefed on the matter, said Manhattan District Attorney Vance
has decided to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Diallo's credibility was harmed by her failure to disclose
her past inconsistencies promptly and willingly, the Times
reported, citing a law-enforcement official involved in the
Further revelations could hurt her credibility, The New
York Post said citing two sources briefed on the document
Vance's office has prepared after a deeper investigation.
"There are going to be bombshells," the Post quoted one
source as saying.
While her lawyer Kenneth Thompson has acknowledged problems
with Diallo's past, he has stressed that she never waivered in
her story of a naked Strauss-Kahn emerging from the bathroom
and violently sexually assaulting her. Women's groups and hotel
workers have said such assaults are not uncommon for maids.
Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have suggested any sex was
Though Strauss-Kahn is free to return to French politics,
his image was damaged and the Socialist party would have to
make an exception to now allow him into the presidential race.
A poll released in July showed two-thirds of French people
do not want him to be a candidate.
(Additional reporting by Joseph Ax and Noeleen Walder; Editing
by Anthony Boadle)