Dominique Strauss-Kahn released without bail
Friday 01 July 2011
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released without bail today 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.
The turnabout could upend French politics. Strauss-Kahn, 62, was a strong candidate for the 2012 French presidential election until his May 14 arrest.
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.
As 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.
"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.
Strauss-Kahn's 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.
His supporters in the French Socialist party voiced delight at the apparent reversal and some said they hoped he might re-enter the 2012 presidential race.
The case has hinged on the accuser, a 32-year-old Guinean immigrant who cleaned the $3,000-a-night suite at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan where Strauss-Kahn was staying.
Prosecutors said at the hearing their change of view on the maid's credibility followed "an extensive investigation" but they gave no details.
The 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 money laundering.
They also 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.
The conversation was recorded. The man was among a number of people who had made multiple cash deposits, totaling 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.
Her 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 lie.
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...