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‘Fiance’ defends DSK accuser as ‘honest lady’

An Arizona inmate identified as the fiance of the woman accusing Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape, defended her in an online interview on Wednesday, saying she would have had no cause to invent her story.

“I know that he (Strauss-Kahn) did what he did,” said Amara Tarawally, 35, described by online news website “The Daily Beast” as an illegal immigrant from Sierra Leone. “She had no reason to lie,” he told the news site.

Tarawally, who is in prison awaiting possible deportation, told The Daily Beast that he first met the maid “six or seven years ago,” and described her “a good lady, very honest.”

The chambermaid, who emigrated from Guinea to New York and applied for asylum in 2004, has accused the former IMF head of sexually assaulting in May, in an explosive case that has been headline news around the world.

Legal analysts said it was the woman’s relationship to Tarawally — who served nine months of a drug-related sentence and now is being held in a facility in the desert town of Eloy, Arizona — which shredded her credibility in the case.

Particularly suspect were alleged remarks she made to her inmate-boyfriend in a phone conversation one day after the alleged assault, alluding to Strauss-Kahn’s wealth, and saying “I know what I’m doing” in how she handles the case.

Tarawally insisted that neither he nor the maid had ever heard of Strauss-Kahn until the incident, and denied allegations by the tabloid New York Post newspaper that the maid was a part-time prostitute, insisting that, to the contrary, she is a devout Muslim.

“I tell her pray, pray, pray” to get through the legal ordeal, he said.

Tarawally was arrested in July 2010 according to court records cited by The Daily Beast and produced almost $40,000 in cash to buy 114 pounds of marijuana from a man who turned out to be a police informant in Chandler, Arizona.

After a plea bargain, three felony charges were dropped but he was convicted of marijuana possession and turned over immigration authorities after serving his prison term.

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TRIAL

Ghosn trial may be delayed until next year: Japanese media

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn's trial, which was expected to begin in September, will be delayed, local media said Saturday, hinting that it may not start this year.

Ghosn trial may be delayed until next year: Japanese media
Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn leaving a detention centre on Thursday. Photo: Behrouz Mehri / AFP
The 65-year-old tycoon, currently on bail, is preparing for his trial on four charges of financial misconduct ranging from concealing part of his salary from shareholders to syphoning off Nissan funds for his personal use.
   
The Tokyo District Court had proposed to start his trial in September during its pre-trial meetings with his defence lawyers and prosecutors, news reports said, quoting unnamed sources.
   
But the court told the lawyers and prosecutors on Friday that it had retracted the plan without proposing a new time frame, Kyodo News said, adding that the move could mean the trial will not start this year.
   
The court also decided not to separate the trial for Ghosn, his close aide Greg Kelly and Nissan — all indicted on the charge of violating the financial instruments law by underreporting Ghosn's compensation, according to Kyodo.
   
His lawyers have so far demanded he be tried separately from Nissan and have voiced fears he will not receive a fair trial.
   
The Sankei Shimbun also said prosecutors gave up filing an appeal to the Supreme Court against his bail, a move to erasing a chance of his return to jail unless he is arrested again on fresh charges. Immediate confirmation of the news reports was not available.
   
On Thursday, Ghosn exited his Tokyo detention centre after accepting bail of $4.5 million under strict conditions, including restrictions on seeing his wife.
   
His case has captivated Japan and the business community with its multiple twists and turns, as well as shone a spotlight on the Japanese justice system which critics say is overly harsh.
   
Ghosn denies all the charges, with a spokesperson for the executive saying on Monday he would “vigorously defend himself against these baseless accusations and fully expects to be vindicated”.
   
In a statement hours after his release, Ghosn said: “No person should ever be indefinitely held in solitary confinement for the purpose of being forced into making a confession.”
   
The dramatic case has thrown international attention onto the Japanese justice system, derided by critics as “hostage justice” as it allows prolonged detention and relies heavily on suspects' confessions.
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