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DSK court hearing delayed to late August

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12:00 CEST+02:00

A possibly crucial court hearing due next Monday in the sex crime case against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been postponed for three weeks, lawyers said on Tuesday.

The hearing in New York State Supreme Court had already been delayed from July 18th to August 1th. It is now set for August 23rd.

Lawyers for the fallen French politician and former head of the International Monetary Fund called on prosecutors to drop charges by the time of the hearing.

"We have consented to a postponement of the status hearing before Judge Obus from August 1st to August 23rd," Strauss-Kahn's attorneys William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman said.

"We understand the district attorney is continuing to investigate. We hope that by August 23rd he will have reached the decision to dismiss."

However, the District Attorney's office said only that "the investigation into this pending criminal case is continuing."

No reason was given for the repeated delay.

However, the once seemingly strong case against Strauss-Kahn, who is accused of forcing a New York hotel chambermaid into oral sex, has hit major snags since the start of this month.

Speculation is growing that prosecutors may drop charges or take other measures to avoid a trial, given worries they have expressed publicly over the maid's credibility.

The delayed court hearing had been expected to handle critical issues, including the setting of a trial date.

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