International Law

Judge Finds No Immunity for Strauss-Kahn in Maid's Civil Suit, Calls Claim a 'Hail Mary Pass'


A New York judge discounted a diplomatic immunity claim by Dominique Strauss-Kahn as a “hail Mary pass” in a ruling today allowing a hotel maid’s suit to go forward.

Justice Douglas McKeon said Strauss-Kahn had already resigned as chief of the International Monetary Fund when hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo filed the suit alleging sexual assault, report the New York Times, the New York Post, the Associated Press and the New York Daily News.

“Confronted with the well-stated law that his voluntary resignation from the IMF terminated any immunity which he enjoyed, Mr. Strauss-Kahn threw (legally speaking that is) his own version of a ‘Hail Mary’ pass,” McKeon said in his decision.

Strauss-Kahn has said the hotel room encounter was consensual. A judge dismissed criminal charges last August based on a request by prosecutors who said Diallo had lied about a gang rape on an asylum application.

McKeon said Strauss-Kahn did not cite immunity in the criminal case because he wanted to clear his name. “Mr. Strauss-Kahn cannot eschew immunity in an effort to clear his name only to embrace it now in an effort to deny Ms. Diallo the opportunity to clear hers,” McKeon wrote.

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