We've reached the point in the high-stakes international game of Monopoly where Dominique Strauss-Kahn pulls out the Get Out Of Jail Free card he's been hiding under the board. Today his lawyer moved to dismiss Nafissatou Diallo's suit against him on the grounds that he had diplomatic immunity at the time, so he can't be slapped with a civil suit.
Strauss-Kahn tried to claim diplomatic immunity when he was first arrested, but then quickly declared, "No, no, no, I'm not trying to use that." (Diplomats' home countries can still charge them or waive their immunity, so it doesn't mean they're free to rape and pillage in foreign lands.) Now he's trying to use the policy even though his status as a diplomat is hazy. According to CNN, the U.S. hasn't signed a U.N. convention that specifically grants International Monetary Fund officials immunity, but his attorneys argue that U.S. courts recognize the protections as "customary international law."
Futher complicating matters is Strauss-Kahn's resignation as IMF managing director after he was arrested in May. His lawyers say he still had diplomatic immunity until he left the country. Bolstering their claim is the fact that his travel documents are stamped "DIPLOMATIC" and state in six languages that he's entitled to international immunities.
The Associated Press reports that Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson, says Strauss-Kahn's latest attempt to escape punishment will fail because he isn't an official diplomat and was in New York on "personal business" during the alleged assault. "This baseless motion is another desperate attempt to avoid having to answer for the deplorable acts he committed against Ms. Diallo," Thompson said.