Strauss-Kahn released as case collapses
New York prosecutors have decided to release the former head of the IMF from house arrest and return the bail money he put up, although the state is to retain Strauss-Kahn travel documents.
The case against the former head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn could collapse, as investigators start to doubt the credibility of the witness and victim – a maid from a New York hotel who accused Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault.
The investigators now do not believe most of what the woman told them about the circumstances of the incident in a Sofitel Hotel room on May 14.
”She has repeatedly lied since the initial May 14 allegation and may have links to criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering,” said a source close to the investigation, according to the New York Times.
According to the source, the prosecutors also discovered the maid had made a phone call to an imprisoned man on the day of her encounter with Strauss-Kahn. That man was one of several individuals who had deposited about $100,000 into the woman’s personal account within the last two years. The conversation, in which she reportedly discussed the benefits of pursuing charges against the banker, was recorded.
Prosecutors have already informed defense lawyers of discovered facts and now the sides are discussing the dismissal of the charges against Strauss-Kahn.
However, according to The Wall Street Journal, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers do not intend to seek immediate withdrawal of all seven charges, as the tests clearly showed a sexual relationship between Strauss-Kahn and the hotel employee.
He was put on trial on June 6 and was released on $6 million bail after pleading not guilty. He also has also spent around $200,000 on surveillance cameras and security guards – another condition of his temporary release.
Strauss-Kahn was arrested on May 14 and charged with sexual assault and attempted rape. The maid from the Sofitel Hotel told authorities she entered his hotel suite for a regular clean up when he emerged naked from the bathroom and attacked her.
The former head of the IMF is facing more than 25 years in prison if convicted.
Unexpected twist could affect French presidential elections
Dominique Strauss-Kahn's allies among influential representatives of French Socialists were pleased by the reports about maid’s questionable credibility as a witness, as this can help to revive Strauss-Kahn's 2012 French presidential bid.
Socialist MP and deputy of Paris, Jean-Marie Le Guen, has criticized those who declared the end of Strauss-Kahn’s political career without waiting for the court decisions.
"For us it is too early to be talking about hypothetical questions,” she said. “But what I'm telling you is 'Yes, he will be present for the presidential campaign,' if what we heard this morning is true, that the American justice will free him and rehabilitate him, to give him back his honor and dignity. Then, as Strauss-Kahn is a fighter, he will fight in our country. You can be sure of this."
The former French Prime Minister from the Socialist Party Lionel Jospin called the recent reports “a real stroke of lightning.” At the same time, he said it is too early to speculate about the possible Strauss-Kahn’s return to politics.
The former head of the IMF and a prominent member of France's Socialist Party was considered a leading potential contender for next year's presidential election in France before he was charged with sexual assault crimes.
The deadline for declaring candidacy in the French presidency is July 13.