DA v DSK
In the latest news from the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case in New York it is now the prosecutor in the gun. To me it sounds more and more like an episode of 'The Good Wife' with politics, smears, private investigators digging up dirt, deals done behind the scenes and so on - none of which is done in the pursuit of justice. These "hard-ball" stratagems and tactics strike me as very American - in a bad way.
Late on Wednesday, the lawyer for Mr Strauss-Kahn's accuser wrote to Mr Vance requesting he step down after leaking information revealing the prosecution's doubts about the 32-year-old Guinean maid's credibility.
Kenneth Thompson said he wanted to ensure his client's rights "are not further prejudiced by deliberate acts seeking to undermine her credibility".
But the district attorney's office said the allegation was baseless.
"Any suggestion that this office should be recused is wholly without merit," said District Attorney spokeswoman Erin Duggan.
Mr Strauss-Kahn had been a leading contender to be the French Socialist Party's presidential candidate before his arrest in May.
Concerns about the reliability of his accuser in New York have left that case reportedly in trouble, and led to speculation that he might return to French politics.
Every aspect of the accuser's history and circumstances have been used to publicly tarnish her reputation and discredit her evidence before it even gets to trial. The international banker can use his millions and connexions to launch these pre-emptive personal attacks while we look on and ask ourselves whether any woman in a he-said-she-said situation - or indeed any man in a he-said-he-said situation - without witnesses can ever hope to prove a sex assault against a male in a position of power.
Will the victim have her previous relationships, immigration status and financials laid bare and twisted into a conspiracy before she gets the opportunity to confront her assailant and the case put before an impartial jury of the local citizenry? Is it this impotent frustration at the immunity for male abusers in a male-dominated society that drives Ms Banon to go forward with her extraordinary allegations:
On Tuesday, French writer Tristane Banon filed a complaint accusing Mr Strauss-Kahn of trying to assault her as she attempted to interview him in a Paris flat in 2003.
Mr Strauss-Kahn said he would sue Ms Banon for making false statements.