Strauss-Kahn released without bail, case in doubt
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released without bail on Friday after a dramatic court hearing...
Former IMF chief
Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released without bail on Friday after a
dramatic court hearing where the sexual assault case against him
appeared to shift in his favour.
Strauss-Kahn, who smiled as he
walked out of court, still faces felony charges of attempted rape and
sexual assault over the alleged attack on a hotel maid in New York. His
lawyers said they will seek to have the charges dismissed but the judge
said prosecutors were continuing to investigate.
turnabout could upend French politics. Strauss-Kahn, 62, was a strong
candidate for the 2012 French presidential election until his May 14
At a hearing to seek
changes to his bail conditions, prosecutors said the credibility of the
woman at the centre of the case had been thrown into question.
a result, the court agreed to let Strauss-Kahn be freed and his bail
and bond returned. He agreed to return to court as needed, including for
a July 18 hearing.
that the circumstances of this case have changed substantially and I
agree the risk that he would not be here has receded quite a bit. I
release Mr. Strauss-Kahn at his own recognizance," Justice Michael Obus
told the court.
arrest forced his resignation from the International Monetary Fund and
appeared to end his presidential hopes, weeks before he had planned to
declare his candidacy.
supporters in the French Socialist party voiced delight at the apparent
reversal and some said they hoped he might re-enter the 2012
case has hinged on the accuser, a 32-year-old Guinean immigrant who
cleaned the $3,000 (1,867.53 pounds)-a-night suite at the Sofitel hotel
in Manhattan where Strauss-Kahn was staying.
said at the hearing their change of view on the maid's credibility
followed "an extensive investigation" but they gave no details.
New York Times quoted two well-placed law enforcement officials as
saying prosecutors found issues with the accuser's asylum application
and possible links to criminal activities, including drug dealing and
discovered the woman made a phone call to an incarcerated man within a
day of her encounter with Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the
possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him, the paper said.
conversation was recorded. The man was among a number of people who had
made multiple cash deposits, totalling around $100,000, into the
woman's bank account over the last two years, The New York Times said.
The woman's brother told Reuters in Guinea that she was the victim of a smear campaign.
lawyer said after the hearing that his client's story had never wavered
and Strauss-Kahn's assertion that she had consensual sex with him was a