Expert stumped over ‘planted sperm’ poser
Who is Rodwan, other than the fact that he works for the IGP and is known as the police chief’s bagman and go-between with the organised crime syndicate that controls all the drugs, prostitution, loan-sharking and gambling rackets?
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
At 2.30pm on Wednesday, 25 June 2008, Senior Assistant Commissioner (SAC) II Mohd Rodwan Mohd Yusof met Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in room 619 of the Concorde Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Prior to this secret meeting, Rodwan and Saiful spoke on the phone at least eight (8) times.Three days later, at 2.00pm on 28 June 2008, Saiful went to see Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid of the Hospital Pusrawi to ‘complain’ that he had been sodomised by ‘a very important person’ and that he wished to lodge a police report. The doctor, however, found no traces or evidence that he had been sodomised and suggested, for purposes of the police report, that Saiful go to a government hospital.
Who is Rodwan, other than the fact that he works for the IGP and is known as the police chief’s bagman and go-between with the organised crime syndicate that controls all the drugs, prostitution, loan-sharking and gambling rackets? Well, read the following archived reports to get a better understanding of this scumbag and slime-ball named Rodwan. Maybe then you can understand why he met Saiful in a hotel room three days before the sodomy allegation against Anwar Ibrahim exploded.
Rabu, 30 Disember 1998
Seorang pakar forensik Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) memberitahu Mahkamah Tinggi di sini hari ini bahawa contoh darah Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tidak boleh digunakan untuk ujian DNA kerana ia diambil dan disediakan bagi ujian HIV, Hepatitis B dan VD (penyakit kelamin).
Dr Zahari Noor berkata, oleh kerana itu beliau menolak permintaan polis sebanyak dua kali supaya contoh darah itu digunakan untuk ujian DNA. Menurutnya, ketika di Ibu Pejabat Polis Bukit Aman pada 28 September lalu bagi mengambil darah Anwar, beliau ditanya oleh Asisten Mohd Rodwan Mohd Yusof sama ada ujian DNA boleh dilakukan terhadap Anwar. Katanya, beliau menasihatkan polis supaya tidak mengambil darah Anwar untuk ujian DNA kerana Anwar hanya memberi persetujuan supaya darahnya digunakan bagi ujian HIV, Hepatitis B dan VD.
“Pada 15 Oktober lalu, Mohd Rodwan dan SAC I (Senior Asisten Komisioner) Musa Hassan datang ke HKL dan bertanya sama ada mereka boleh mengambil contoh darah Anwar untuk analisis DNA,” katanya.
Dr Zahari: Kami memberikan empat sebab kepada polis mengapa ujian DNA tidak boleh dilakukan terhadap darah Anwar:
* contoh itu tidak disediakan untuk analisis DNA,
* ia tidak sesuai untuk ujian DNA,
* pendapat kami ialah keputusan ujian DNA itu tidak boleh dipercayai.
* ia boleh membawa keputusan yang mengelirukan kerana kami menyimpan contoh darah itu di dalam bekas biasa tanpa pengawet atau EDTA.
Katanya, mereka kemudian mencadangkan kepada polis bahawa mereka bersedia pada bila-bila masa untuk mengambil contoh darah Anwar di penjara Sungai Buloh untuk ujian DNA jika tertuduh membenarkannya.
“In 1998-1999 trials, Anwar experienced the phenomenon of fabrication of DNA evidence. We had SAC Rodwan illegally removing DNA samples from forensic custody. In cross-examination of the prosecution’s witnesses it was exposed that DNA taken from blood samples was planted on the infamous mattress,” said Sivarasa.
“When confronted with this fact the prosecution amended its charge and persuaded the judge, Augustine Paul, to expunge the entire DNA evidence from the record, preventing Anwar’s lawyers from responding.”
Police have never dilly-dallied in investigating the alleged sodomy against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim since the case was reported to police on June 28, said Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar. He said the police, instead, had been relentlessly seeking relevant and the latest information, besides giving the case priority, as it was a high-profile case.
“We want to solve this case as soon as possible. The investigating officer is constantly looking for new leads. We are doing our best and we need the cooperation of all quarters concerned,” he told Bernama when contacted here Tuesday.
Ismail was asked to comment on Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar’s statement on Monday, asking for police to speed up the investigations into the sodomy allegation against the Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor.
He said since the police investigations began, some quarters had been making speculations and statements that could interfere with the investigations.
“I wish to warn everyone, including bloggers, not to disturb police investigations by disseminating material or information that is inaccurate or false.
“Action will be taken against those who deliberately try to interfere with the investigations. Let the police do a meticulous job,” he added.
Sources told The Malaysian Insider that investigators are “crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s” and will be relying on Anwar’s DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) samples from 1998 when he faced similar charges which cost him the chance to be prime minister.
“Nobody wants a repeat of 1998 when the prosecution had to amend the charges. Anwar has alleged that he had an alibi for the 24 hours on the day the offence took place. So the authorities have to check everything out,” said an official who is familiar with the investigations.
“We understand that there is an attempt to quash credibility of the case even before the matter goes to court. The police cannot say too much because then they will be accused of trial by media and ministers cannot say much because they will be accused to interference.
“This case is built on strong scientific evidence,” the official added.
This was posted on Susan Loone’s blog:
I would like to write the following statement in the name of GOD whom I believe.
I am a government doctor in the rank of consultant working in Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL). I know personally the doctors who examined Saiful on that day – 28 June 2008.
The so-called medical report mentioned in the NST is a fabrication or imagination by the UMNO paper. There is no such medical report submitted to the polis yet.
When examining Saiful, the specialist could not find any signs of Saiful being sodomised. Saiful was very cheerful, unlike real sodomised patients who will usually be very sad and disturbed.
Saiful was subsequently admitted to the ward and observed for a day. He was completely well in the ward and not emotionally disturbed.
Please let RPK know of this.
This article was first published in Malaysia Today on 30 July 2008
Allah S.W.T says in his mighty Al-Quran Chapter No. 27 : Verse No. 50 …”So they plotted a plot: and We plotted a plot, while they perceived not. “While Mahathir and Co plotted a plot to jail and maim Anwar, Allah S.W.T had a great plan for these evil men! Subahanallah! All Praise to God
Foreign sperm detected in the rectum can be inserted by means other than sexual activity, an Australian forensic pathologist told Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial today.
Dr David Wells, who was testifying for the defence, said penile penetration was not the only method to explain the presence of sperm in that area as there were other ways to leave a residue.
He named a few examples, such as through a surgical procedure or inserting an instrument called a proctoscope into the rectum, by pushing traces of sperm found outside the anal region into the cavity.
Dr Wells, who has written some 10 books on forensic medicine, said the use of a proctoscope could complicate matters more because one would not be able to discount the chance that sperm was pushed inside the rectum.
A proctoscope was also used by doctors to examine Anwar’s complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan when the latter sought medical aide two days after alleging he had been sodomised three years ago.
When defence lawyer Sankara Nair questioned if a plastic object, which had been raised in yesterday’s court hearing, could have the same effect, Dr Wells agreed.
He also said that not all victims of sodomy would necessarily display signs of anal injury.
Under questioning from Anwar’s defence team, Dr Wells clarified that such trauma from violent sexual activity would depend on the amount of force used and need not necessarily cause the anal tissues to tear or bruise.
The forensic expert had earlier told the prosecution the same thing.
Datuk Yusof Zainal Abiden had referred Dr Wells to his own book on the topic, and pointed out that the use of lubricant on the anus was among several ways that would not leave trauma scars.
The sexual assault specialist had been stumped earlier when Yusof asked, “If someone had tampered or planted sperm on the [rectal] swabs, that person must have had that particular sperm in his possession?”
Dr Wells replied that sperm and DNA were different things and added that the question would be better dealt with by a DNA expert.
Australian chemist Dr Brian McDonald who specialises in DNA is to testify tomorrow for the defence.
Trial judge Datuk Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah concluded that there was a prima facie case against the 63-year old Pakatan Rakyat (PR) de facto leader, facing a second sodomy case charge in 13 years.
He was sacked as deputy prime minister and finance minister after the first case came to light in 1998.
“Prosecution proven all facts to define charge. Prima facie case made out against accused. Accused therefore called to enter defence,” said Mohd Zabidin today.
Anwar’s lawyers, in their submissions throughout the prosecution’s case, have attacked the credibility of the star witness Saiful as well as the lab findings of the government chemists.
They had charged that Saiful had lied in open court, and charged that there were many loopholes in his testimony.
The judge, however, quashed all arguments relating to Saiful’s credibility, saying that the complainant’s testimony was indeed reliable.
“I found PW1 credible witness, his evidence reliable,” said Mohd Zabidin.
The judge also ruled that there was nothing “inconsistent” with clinical findings by Hospital Kuala Lumpur specialists in the case.
“All three doctors testified positively, conclude there was penile penetration,” said the trial judge.
Defence lawyer Sankara Nair argued against accepting the DNA samples in the trial as the samples were kept by investigating officer ASP Jude Pereira for 97 hours before being given to the chemist.
The prosecution team, led by Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, argued that the DNA samples taken from three items in a cell where Anwar spent the night on July 16, 2008 matched with the “Male Y” DNA profile.
Yusof had also said Anwar was the sole detainee in the lockup at the time when the items — a “Good Morning” towel, toothbrush and mineral water bottle — were retrieved.
Chemist Dr Nor Aidora Saedon and Supt Amidon Anan were called earlier in April to identify the items to be marked as exhibits.
Government scientist Dr Seah Lay Hong testified last March that she had found two unknown male DNA profiles from samples retrieved from around Saiful’s anus, one of which she had earlier called “Male Y”.
The trial will resume from June 6 to 30.
The scope of the Attorney-General’s powers in Malaysia has long been a subject of debate and controversy. He is the chief legal adviser to the government and is responsible for advising ministers involved in legal proceedings in their official capacity
FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS, THEY ONLY KNOW HOW TO BULLY TO GET THEIR WAY AND NOW THINK IT IS THEIR BIRTHRIGHT.
A PASSAGE IN FORMER PREMIER MAHATHIR MOHAMAD’S LATEST ARTICLE ON THE ANWAR SODOMY CONTROVERSY SEEMS TO HAVE OFFERED AN INTERESTING INSIGHT INTO MAHATHIR’S SUBCONSCIOUS THOUGHTS ON THE SUBJECT.
IN AN ARTICLE TITLED “THE ANWAR DEBATE” POSTED IN HIS OWN BLOG ON JULY 17, MAHATHIR SUGGESTED THE CURRENT SODOMY ALLEGATION AGAINST ANWAR IBRAHIM MUST BE TRUE, AS THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT CAN’T POSSIBLY BE SO STUPID AS TO USE THE SAME TACTIC TWICE TO UNDERMINE ANWAR. THE INTERESTING PARTS OF HIS ARGUMENTS ARE FOUND IN PARAGRAPHS 6 & 7, WHICH I QUOTE:
“PARA 6. YET CAN IT BE THAT THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT IS SO STUPID AND UNIMAGINATIVE AS TO USE THE SAME ‘PLOY’ ESPECIALLY AFTER IT WAS SO HAPPY OVER THE RELEASE OF ANWAR? SURELY IT COULD COME UP WITH ANOTHER STORY WHICH WOULD BE MORE CREDIBLE IF IT IS DELIBERATELY PLOTTING OR CONSPIRING AGAINST ANWAR. THE PROBABILITY IS THAT THE STORY IS THE SAME BECAUSE IT IS GENUINE.
“PARA 7. IS THE PRESENT COMPLAINANT A COPYCAT? HARDLY LIKELY. FEW WOULD CARE TO MAKE PUBLIC SUCH A VERY SHAMEFUL THING AS BEING SODOMISED. ………”. (UNDERLINES ARE INSERTED BY ME FOR HIGHLIGHTING PURPOSE).
THE WORD ‘COPYCAT’ IMPLIES THAT SOMEONE IS REPRODUCING SOMETHING BY SIMPLY COPYING A PRECEDENT. SO WHAT IS THAT ‘SOMETHING’ THAT THE SUPPOSED PLOTTERS ARE COPYING? IS IT THE SODOMY ACCUSATION PER SE OR THE PLOT TO FIX ANWAR? SURELY IT MUST BE THE LATTER, FOR IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE FOR SOMEONE TO ACCUSE ANWAR OF SODOMY JUST FOR THE SAKE OF COPYING A SIMILAR ACCUSATION TEN YEARS AGO. SO, BY USING ‘COPYCAT’ TO ILLUSTRATE HIS QUESTION, ISN’T MAHATHIR INADVERTENTLY REVEALING HIS INNER THOUGHTS THAT THE PREVIOUS INCIDENT WAS INDEED A PLOT?
SIMILAR TREND OF THOUGHTS CAN ALSO BE DETECTED IN THE USE OF THE WORDS “THE SAME ‘PLOY’” TO DESCRIBE THE PRESENT INCIDENT, THOUGH THE WORD ‘PLOY’ IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE A SARCASTIC EXPRESSION. FOR IF THE PREVIOUS INCIDENT WAS NOT A PLOT, THEN WHY USE IT TO ILLUSTRATE THAT THE PRESENT INCIDENT ISN’T A PLOT? BY DOING SO, MAHATHIR IS VIRTUALLY SAYING THAT NO ONE IS SO STUPID AS TO USE THE SAME TRICK TWICE ON THE SAME PEOPLE. ISN’T THIS AN ADMISSION THAT THE SODOMY ACCUSATION IN 1998 WAS A CONSPIRACY AGAINST ANWAR?
MAHATHIR ALSO IMPLICITLY ADMITTED THAT THE 1998 SODOMY CHARGE WAS NOT QUITE A SMART MOVE WHEN HE SAID “SURELY IT COULD COME UP WITH ANOTHER STORY WHICH WOULD BE MORE CREDIBLE ……”
THOUGH THE 1998/1999 TRIALS OF ANWAR HAVE BEEN UNIVERSALLY RECOGNISED AS A CONSPIRACY TO DESTROY ANWAR POLITICALLY, IT IS NEVERTHELESS THE FIRST TIME THAT MAHATHIR ACKNOWLEDGED THIS FACT IN HIS OWN WORDS, HOWEVER UNINTENDED SUCH ACKNOWLEDGMENT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.
WITH REGARDS TO MAHATHIR’S MAIN RATIONALE THAT THIS GOVERNMENT CANNOT POSSIBLY BE SO STUPID, MY SIMPLE ANSWER IS THAT THIS IS NOT A GOVERNMENT PLOT BUT AN EVIL SCHEME HATCHED BY A FEW VERY INFLUENTIAL AND POWERFUL INDIVIDUALS WHO FEEL THREATENED BY ANWAR’S IMMINENT RISE TO POLITICAL POWER.
IS THIS ACT STUPID AS CLAIMED BY MAHATHIR? CERTAINLY NOT! ON THE CONTRARY, SODOMY CHARGE REMAINS THE MOST POWERFUL AND CONVENIENT WEAPON TO BRING DOWN A PUBLIC FIGURE IN A COUNTRY LIKE MALAYSIA WHERE RULE OF LAW IS WEAK AND WHERE SUCH SEXUAL CONDUCT IS LEGALLY CONDEMNED AS A HEINOUS CRIME. SIGNIFICANTLY, THE CORRUPT INSTITUTIONS OF STATE THAT WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN BRINGING DOWN ANWAR TEN YEARS AGO REMAIN AS CORRUPTED TODAY (IF NOT MORE).
IS ANWAR GUILTY OF SODOMY AS CLAIMED BY MAHATHIR? THE ANSWER IS: WOULD THE POLICE HAVE RELEASED ANWAR ONLY HOURS AFTER ARRESTING HIM WITH SUCH OBSCENE BALLYHOO, IF ANWAR DID NOT PROVIDE A COMPLETE ALIBI FOR THE DAY HE WAS ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING THE ALLEGED VICTIM?
IT TAKES A THIEF
Not all Malays will swallow what sleepyhead says
HOLD ON AWHILE THOUGH. PRIME MINISTER ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI SAID THAT ANWAR MUST VOLUNTEER HIS ‘NEW’ DNA PROFILE. THE 1998 DNA PROFILE THAT THE POLICE HAVE ON RECORD IS ‘TOO OLD’, ARGUED ABDULLAH. THE POLICE, IN TURN, SAID THAT IF ANWAR REFUSES TO VOLUNTEER HIS ‘NEW’ DNA PROFILE THEN THEY WOULD HAVE TO OBTAIN A COURT ORDER TO FORCE HIM TO DO SO. HMM…..THERE APPEARS TO BE MANY THINGS WRONG WITH ALL THIS.FIRSTLY, IF THE CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT HAS ALREADY WRAPPED UP ITS CASE AND THE AIRTIGHT ‘EVIDENCE’ AGAINST ANWAR HAS ALREADY BEEN SECURED THEN WHY THE NEED FOR ANWAR’S NEW DNA PROFILE? DNA PROFILES NEVER EXPIRE. WOULD THE POLICE ALSO NEED ANWAR’S ‘NEW’ FINGERPRINTS BECAUSE THE ONE THEY TOOK TEN YEARS AGO HAS ‘EXPIRED’? FINGERPRINTS NEVER CHANGE FROM THE DAY YOU WERE BORN TILL THE DAY YOU DIE. AND THE SAME GOES FOR DNA PROFILES AS WELL.
If you can remember, they once dug up Napoleon Bonaparte’s grave and did an examination to prove he had died of arsenic poisoning. And Napoleon died on 5 May 1821, which is more than 187 years ago. You mean to say that Anwar’s DNA profile of ten years ago is already basi?
The truth is, the airtight ‘evidence’ that the Chemistry Department recently conjured is based on Anwar’s specimen of 1998. So they need a new specimen dated 2008. If not, if Anwar calls in an independent foreign expert to audit the Chemistry Department’s evidence, he or she might just discover that the so-called ‘evidence’ is actually ten years old and not from the 26 June 2008 ‘sodomy’ incident as alleged by the government.
Yes, that’s right, they not only can tell whether the so-called ‘semen’ on Saiful’s underwear belongs to Anwar, they can also tell whether it is from September 1998 when they first took Anwar’s specimen, or whether it is dated 26 June 2008 as alleged by the government.
The ‘evidence’ is ready. The semen specimen on Saiful’s underwear has been confirmed. The only problem would be if they allow an independent foreign expert to do an audit on the Chemistry Department’s findings, he or she might confirm that the specimen is ten years old and not dated 26 June 2008 as alleged.
So they need to exchange the September 1998 specimen with a new one dated July 2008. And that is why Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Syed Hamid Albar, and all those others, have asked Anwar to volunteer his new specimen. They need this new specimen to ‘prove’ that the semen on Saiful’s underwear is dated 26 June 2008 and not September 1998. And Abdullah himself ‘confirmed’ this when he asked Anwar to volunteer his new specimen whereas the old specimen is good enough if it is just required for DNA profiling — only that it would not pass the test if an independent foreign expert was to audit the Chemistry Department’s ‘evidence’ and then come out with a report that says the specimen is ten years old.
Yes, in September 1998 they already took Anwar’s specimen. But they can’t use it as evidence in this latest sodomy allegation. They need to ‘update’ the evidence and unless they can force Anwar to give them his new specimen then the evidence will be shot full of holes. And that is why the police had to reluctantly release Anwar on police bail one day after his dramatic Hollywood-style arrest. They either had to release him or bring him to court to be charged. But how to charge Anwar when the evidence is defective? And evidence of Anwar’s so-called sodomy crime supported by a specimen from September 1998 will certainly be defective and will not stand up in court. Anwar is alleged to have sodomised Saiful on 26 June 2008, not in September 1998.
Now can you see how the slime-ball AG and scumbag IGP work? And these two slithery creatures are the same slime-balls and scumbags who fabricated evidence in 1998 that resulted in Anwar having to spend six years in jail. And am I committing an act of sedition and criminal defamation in saying this? I certainly hope so. And, while we are at it, why not I commit yet another ‘crime’? I am going to accuse the AG and IGP of fabricating evidence and of intimidating witnesses.
You see, they asked a certain doctor from a certain hospital to conduct an examination on Saiful. The doctor did so and he came out with a report that said there is no evidence Anwar had ever penetrated or sodomised the young man. The police then picked up the doctor and detained him for three days. As much as they tried to force him to change his report to implicate Anwar he refused to do so.
Until today, the doctor stands by his report that there is no evidence Anwar had sodomised Saiful. He knows he is going to be made to pay for this but he doesn’t care. He is not going to change his report and say that Anwar sodomised Saiful whatever they do to him. Exasperated, the police had to release Anwar on personal bond or police bail. The doctor refuses to doctor his report and neither does Anwar want to volunteer his new specimen.
The ‘evidence’ against Anwar is no good. They now need to look for another way to ‘prove’ that Anwar sodomised Saiful. In the meantime, let us see if the AG will be making another police report against me and whether the IGP is going to arrest me and charge me in court for sedition and criminal defamation for this latest allegation of mine.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn became a free man Tuesday when a judge ended the sexual assault case against him at the request of prosecutors, who said the hotel maid who accused the former International Monetary Fund chief couldn’t be trusted.
Though evidence showed Strauss-Kahn had a sexual encounter with Nafissatou Diallo in his hotel suite more than three months ago, prosecutors said the accuser was not credible because of lies she has told, including an earlier false rape claim. State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus said he would dismiss the case, but there was one more legal twist to get through: He first wanted an appeals court to hear a request from Diallo’s attorneys to keep the case alive by appointing a special prosecutor. The criminal case ended about two hours later, when the higher court agreed with Obus that there was no legal basis for removing the district attorney from the case.
The case drew global attention and left both the accuser and the accused – a one-time contender for the French presidency – with tattered reputations.
Strauss-Kahn arrived at court in a six-car motorcade and was greeted by protesters wielding signs carrying such messages as “DSK treats women like property” and “Put the rapist on trial – not the victim.” The shouting could be heard inside the courtroom.
He appeared resolute inside. He smiled and shook hands with his biographer as his wife, journalist Anne Sinclair, sat nearby.
The couple left court without speaking to reporters, but Strauss-Kahn later issued a statement describing the case as “a nightmare for me and my family.”
“I want to thank all the friends in France and in the United States who have believed in my innocence, and to the thousands of people who sent us their support personally and in writing. I am most deeply grateful to my wife and family who have gone through this ordeal with me,” he said.
“We will have nothing further to say about this matter and we look forward to returning to our home and resuming something of a more normal life.”
Later, Strauss-Kahn appeared outside the posh Tribeca town house where he was held under house arrest until July – when prosecutors first publicly admitted they had doubts about the maid’s credibility. He summed up the statement in French and was mobbed by reporters.
Diallo, from the West African nation of Guinea, claimed that the 62-year-old diplomat chased her down, grabbed her crotch and forced her to perform oral sex when she arrived to clean his luxury suite May 14.
He was charged with a criminal sex act, attempted rape and sexual abuse, and was jailed for nearly a week before being released on $1 million bail under pricey house arrest.
DNA evidence showed Strauss-Kahn’s semen on Diallo’s work clothes, and prosecutors on Monday revealed additional details that led them to believe a sexual encounter occurred. But Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys contended it wasn’t forced.
“At the very first appearance … I said in open court that this was not a forcible encounter,” Strauss-Kahn’s attorney Benjamin Brafman said outside court. “You can engage in inappropriate behavior, perhaps, but that is much different than a crime. And this case was treated as a crime – when it was not.”
When prosecutors brought charges, they said their evidence was strong and Diallo was credible. But in July they said she had told them a series of troubling falsehoods, including a phony account of having been gang-raped in her native Guinea. She told interviewers she was raped in her homeland under other circumstances and embellished the account to enhance her 2003 application for political asylum.
Prosecutors continued investigating and said Monday they uncovered further information that led them to believe they couldn’t ask a jury to believe her story. Like many sexual assault cases, in which the accused and the accuser are often the only eyewitnesses, the Strauss-Kahn case hinged heavily on the maid’s believability.
“Our inability to believe the complainant beyond a reasonable doubt means, in good faith, that we could not ask a jury to do that,” assistant district attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in formally recommending the case be dismissed.
She added that prosecutors’ decision to drop the case “does not mean that we, in any way, condone the defendant’s behavior.”
The case was the biggest for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance in his 18 months in office. He said in a statement that his job is to seek justice – not convictions at any cost.
“We should not blindly advocate for one side, or be afraid to assess honestly whether we can meet our burden of proof. Because when prosecutors fail to follow the facts where they lead, justice becomes secondary to victory,” he said.
“In dismissing the case today, we believe – and I believe – this is the right decision.”
Vance had scheduled a news conference to discuss the dismissal, but as it began the courts building started shaking from the earthquake in Virginia that was felt along much of the East Coast. Reporters and others rushed out of the building and the event was canceled.
The quake also prevented Strauss-Kahn from getting his passport back from New York authorities, which would allow him to return to France. He could retrieve the passport as early as Wednesday.
Diallo, 33, continues to insist that Strauss-Kahn attacked her; her attorneys vainly argued that Vance was biased. She has maintained that she feared what would happen if she had told the truth about her asylum application earlier.
Diallo has sued Strauss-Kahn and came forward in a series of interviews with media after it became clear prosecutors were losing faith in her credibility. The Associated Press does not usually name people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, as she has done.
Diallo did not attend the hearing in which Obus decided to dismiss the case. Her attorney Kenneth Thompson said outside court that she had been abandoned.
“No man, no matter how much power, money and influence he has, has a right to sexually assault a woman,” Thompson said. “We are disappointed that District Attorney Vance apparently does not believe in equal justice under the law and has denied an innocent woman a day in court.”
Thompson’s partner addressed members of the French media in Paris, expressing similar concern and frustration. Diallo’s lawyers had no other plans to appeal.
In France, Strauss-Kahn’s fellow Socialists lauded the end of the criminal case. Party chief Martine Aubry called it “an immense relief.”
“We were all waiting for this … for him to finally be able to get out of this nightmare,” she said on France-Info radio.
On the streets of Guinea’s capital, Conakry, and on its airwaves and on the editorial pages of its major newspapers, opinions were mixed. A small and unscientific sample indicated that women tended to back Diallo, while men questioned her version of events.
“Since the beginning of time, the powerful have always won. Nafissatou Diallo didn’t stand a chance against DSK,” said Pepe Bimou, a computer programmer. “The only possible outcome was that she would lose.”
Diallo’s attorneys said they would aggressively litigate the civil case – though they expect it would take two years to go to court.
Meanwhile, another sex assault case in France against Strauss-Kahn continues. Novelist Tristane Banon, who says Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2002, has filed a new criminal complaint in France. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers have called her account “imaginary.”