New York: The defence team is likely to question the credibility of the hotel maid who accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in sexual assault case. Strauss-Kahn has already indicated that he plans a consensual-sex defence, a news daily said.

This tactic requires undermining the credibility of the maid, a 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea, according to experts.

"There's not a lot of rocket science to this. They're going to be looking to discredit her," John Cutter, vice president of the investigative firm Beau Dietl & Associates and a retired New York Police told the news daily.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, allegedly forced the maid at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan to perform oral sex. He was taken into custody a few minutes before his Air France flight departed for Paris on May 15.

Defence attorneys for Dominique Strauss-Kahn asserted in a letter last week to the Manhattan District Attorney's office that "were we intent on improperly feeding the media
frenzy, we could release substantial information that in our view would seriously undermine the quality of the prosecution and also gravely undermine the credibility of the complainant
in this case."

A news daily reported that Strauss-Kahn's defence team employed Guidepost Solutions, a private investigations firm run by ex-federal prosecutors, to cross-check every statement in his accuser's allegation. "When you have money you can put up a good defence for what should be indefensible,"  Anne Seymour, who works at Justice Solutions in Washington, DC, and has worked as a victim's advocate for the past 29 years told the daily.

"It means you can hire high-profile attorneys and in many cases they will rip the poor victims to shreds and go into her background and completely question her lifestyle and
go deep in her personal life and find things that have absolutely nothing to do with the case."

The former IMF chief is spending his house arrest at a posh pad in Tribeca in Manhattan. He has posted USD 1 million in bail and USD 5 million bond to stay out of jail. His next court appearance is on June 6.

Agencies