UPDATE at 5:05 p.m.: Now it's official.
A New York appeals court rejected the last-ditch effort to push the case forward with a special prosecutor, Reuters reports. The state Supreme Court judge who dismissed the criminal charges against DSK earlier Tuesday had granted a temporary stay to allow the appeals court to consider a request from the accuser to have Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance removed from the case.
The move leaves the former IMF chief free to return to France.
UPDATE Tuesday at 12:01 p.m.: New York State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus on Tuesday granted the prosecution's request to dismiss all criminal charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Obus, however, said his order would be stayed until an appeals court decides whether a special prosecutor should be appointed, the New York Times reports. On Monday, the accuser's lawyer, Ken Thompson, made a last-ditch effort to keep the case going by filing paperwork asking that Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance be removed from the case. Obus denied that motion shortly before dismissing the case against DSK, but Thompson appealed, leading to Obus staying the dismissal.
It was not immediately clear when an appeals court would rule on the issue.
The Associated Press reports that crowds of protesters gathered outside of the courtroom to voice their displeasure with the dismissal. The signs they carried included such messages as "DSK treats women like property" and "Put the rapist on trial - not the victim." The shouting could be heard from inside the courtroom, according to the AP.
UPDATE Monday at 3:42 p.m.: As promised, New York prosecutors on Monday officially asked a judge to dismiss the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Reuters reports that Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance filed the paperwork Monday afternoon. DSK is due to appear in court on Tuesday, when a judge is expected to formally grant the request and dismiss the case, NBC New York reports.
The move came shortly after prosecutors met with DSK's accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, on Monday afternoon, presumably to brief her and her lawyers about their decision. Ken Thompson, one of Diallo's lawyer, said that Vance had "turned his back" on the accuser and the evidence.
“The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance, has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case,” Thompson said, the New York Times reports.. “He has not only turned his back on this victim but he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case. If the Manhattan district attorney, who is elected to protect our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our wives and our loved ones, is not going to stand up for them when they’re raped or sexually assaulted, who will?”
POSTED at 10:27 a.m. New York City prosecutors reportedly plan to ask a judge to dismiss the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, possibly as soon as later Monday.
Unnamed sources tell the New York Times and the New York Post that Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance will file a motion known as a dismissal on recommendation, likely clearing the way for a judge to dismiss the charges outright at a Tuesday court hearing.
While there has been widespread speculation that the sexual assault and attempted rape case was unraveling, the move is nonetheless an “extraordinary turn of events” and will bring an end to one of “the most closely watched prosecutions in New York in decades,” the Times reports.
One law enforcement official told the paper there was no single detail in the background of DSK's accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, that had undermined the prosecutor's faith in its ability to proceed. Instead, the official said, the problem was that Diallo appeared unwilling to take responsibility for telling the truth even after she was caught telling lies.
“We deal with witnesses with these kinds of problems every day,” the official said. “With her, we had to drag the details of the lies out of her over weeks. It might have been different if she had let all the air out in a day or two. Every time she was confronted with her lies, she would blame someone else—someone told her to say this for asylum, someone else took advantage of her bank accounts, someone else did the taxes.”
The Post, meanwhile, reports that Vance’s filing will also include damning new accusations that further call into question Diallo’s credibility. “There are going to be bombshells,” one source told the paper.