Strauss-Kahn Released from House Arrest, Charges Still Stand

Posted July 2nd, 2011 at 12:30 am (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.

A New York judge agreed Friday to return Strauss-Kahn's bail and lift some pre-trial restrictions on his movements.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyer says he is now free to travel within the United States. The court has not returned his passport.

A prosecutor says a thorough probe has been conducted on the case, including the background of the maid, her statements about the incident and her past activities.

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

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 insists 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.

The New York Times reports the accuser, an immigrant from Guinea, has repeatedly lied to prosecutors since making her initial allegations. The newspaper says 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.

Before his arrest, he 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.