Ex-IMF Head Dominique Strauss-Kahn Released

World | July 1, 2011, Friday // 20:04|  views

Dominique Strauss-Kahn (C), the former director of the IMF, leaves Manhattan criminal court after being granted a lesser bail and an end to his house arrest in New York, New York, USA, on 01 July 2011. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been released from house arrest and strode of court with a smile and his wife on his arm on Friday.

His cash bail and bond, totaling USD 6 M, has been returned, according to reports.

The case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of sexually assaulting a maid in a New York hotel on 14 May, is close to collapse after serious doubts arose about the credibility of his accuser.

"I understand 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 recognisance," Justice Michael Obus told the court on Friday.

"In the meantime there will be no rush to judgment on this case," Obus said.

On the court steps, opposing lawyers each maintained their case.

"I want to remind all of you that at each appearance in the last six weeks, we asked you and asked the world not to rush to judgement - now i think you can understand why," said Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, William Taylor.

"We believe the next step will lead to the complete dismissal of the charges," he added.

After Friday's hearing, Strauss-Kahn strode out of court with a smile and his wife on his arm.

The case has changed dramatically over serious credibility issues with the woman who accused him of sexual assault, prosecutors said "we are not dismissing the case."

Prosecutors disclosed the problems Thursday in a meeting with Strauss-Kahn's defense, the source familiar with the case told CNN. The credibility problems are expected to be explained in a letter to be filed Friday by prosecutors with the court.

Investigators uncovered four or five things that could shoot holes in the accuser's credibility, the source said.

Among them was that the alleged victim, a 32-year-old immigrant who worked as a maid at New York's Sofitel Hotel, "had not been truthful in her application for asylum from her home country of Guinea, or about details about a prior sexual assault," the source said.

The New York Times, which reported the revelation first, cited a law enforcement official as saying that the woman has repeatedly lied since her allegation of rape May 14.

"There was more concern about what she told investigators in a very believable way," the source told CNN.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested on a flight back to Europe where he had been due to host a series of high-level meetings about Europe's debt crisis.

Strauss-Kahn faced a number of charges in the alleged sexual assault of a 32-year-old maid in New York's Sofitel hotel.

They are: committing a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.

The images of Dominique Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs circled the globe, but they were particularly disturbing to the French.

French law prohibits publishing the images of handcuffed suspects before they are convicted.

Many in France were shocked by the media coverage of a man that was until recently seen as a possible candidate for president.

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Tags: IMF, Strauss-Kahn, Dominique, head


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