Strauss-Kahn formally cleared

A New York court has dismissed charges of sexual assault against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, which means the criminal case against him is now closed. The ruling, however, won't take effect immediately.

The news comes after New York City prosecutors asked that all criminal charges against the former International Monetary Fund leader be dismissed because they were not certain beyond a reasonable doubt that the hotel maid who had accused him of sexual assault was telling the truth.

The 33-year-old West African maid, Nafissatou Diallo, claimed Strauss-Kahn attacked her and sexually assaulted her in his luxury suite on May 14.

Soon after the scandal broke Strauss-Kahn was forced to leave his post at the IMF. However, yet another woman, the writer Tristane Banon, claimed she had had sex with the then IMF head and brought legal action against him.

French magazine Le Point went even further, citing a friend of Strauss-Kahn’s wife as saying that Strauss-Kahn had had sex with three different women on the weekend that led to the assault charges, his resignation and a worldwide scandal. None of the allegations has yet been proved.

Following Tuesday’s announcement, Strauss-Kahn thanked his supporters, adding that the last few months had been “a nightmare” for him and his family.

Meanwhile, Robert Zaretsky, history professor at the University of Houston, thinks that in the long run the scandal is unlikely to jeopardize Strauss-Kahn’s political career in France.

“I do think come 2012 it won’t be Dominique Strauss-Kahn running as the socialist candidate. But who’s to say what’s going to happen after 2012. He’s relatively young, only 62-years-old, and the French take on this affair is very different from the take of, say, many Americans. So he does have a future,” said Zaretsky.