Why it took so long for the prosecutors to realize that the maid was not credible

I wrote to Robert Jackall, author of the absorbing 2005 book Street Stories: The World of Police Detectives:

The immediate question I have about the story is this: DSK was arrested on May 14, about six weeks ago. The prosectors must have discovered the maid’s lies and suspect behavior, at the latest, by two weeks after the incident. That’s a month ago. It seems to me the reversal of the case we’re reading about today, should have taken place then.

Robert Jackall replies:

Investigations go much more slowly than one might think. The first statements by the prosecutors in the office of the District Attorney of New York were, I’m quite sure, based on their interviews with the woman herself and they had strong impressions of her uprightness, etc. This was the basis for the formal indictment. Then, they put the DANY detectives to work to “enhance” the case. This can take a while, but one can see the general outlines of how it went. By doing interviews with all of her associates, and examining every aspect of her life, including her housing (in an AIDS hostel), her finances, her immigration application and subsequent records, and undoubtedly getting tips all the while from the defense attorneys who had their own sources, the drug dealer’s name came up. Then they go and track him down and find out he’s in the Manhattan House of Detention. So they subpoena the routinely recorded phone records (ALL phone calls of ALL prisoners there are recorded). They get those, and, lo and behold, the woman had spoken to this big-league (400 pound of marijuana is big league) dealer and things suddenly look different. So they go back to the woman and go over previous statements with their new-found on-the-ground knowledge, and she begins contradicting herself. And so on. This kind of thing typically takes weeks and weeks. I don’t think there’s anything unusual about the sequence here.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 01, 2011 10:45 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):