Strauss-Kahn Released from House Arrest, Charges Still Stand

Posted July 1st, 2011 at 6:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been released from house arrest, after prosecutors raised questions about the credibility of the hotel maid accusing him of sexual assault.

Strauss-Kahn left a New York courthouse Friday, after a judge agreed to return his bail and revoke pre-trial restrictions on his movements. He is free to travel anywhere in the United States.

A prosecutor says authorities have been conducting a thorough investigation of all aspects of the case, including the maid's background, her statements about the incident and her past activities.

But the prosecution says it is not yet moving to dismiss charges against Strauss-Kahn. They include sexual assault and attempted rape.

Strauss-Kahn's attorney says the case shows “how easy it is for people to be charged with serious crimes and for there to be a rush to judgment.”

The veteran French politician was arrested in May on charges he attacked a 32-year-old African immigrant who came to clean his suite at a luxury New York City hotel. The arrest prompted his resignation from the IMF.

The maid's attorney insisted her case still stands, saying she has consistently described a “violent sexual assault” that Strauss-Kahn committed against her and has not changed her story about that encounter.

The next court date is set for July 18.

U.S. media are reporting the accuser, an immigrant from Guinea, has lied to prosecutors investigating the case. The New York Times reports serious discrepancies have been uncovered about the woman's background, with issues involving her application for asylum, along with possible links to criminal activities such as drug dealing and money laundering.

Strauss-Khan has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In Friday's hearing, he did not get his passport returned to him, so he will be unable to go back to France.

Before his arrest, Strauss-Kahn was considered a leading contender to run as the Socialist Party candidate against French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the country's 2012 presidential election.

Former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was recently chosen to succeed Strauss-Kahn at the IMF.