Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released on his own recognizance Friday after prosecutors said an extensive background investigation of the hotel housekeeper who accused him of sexual assault caused them to reassess the case, writes the Associated Press.
He still faces the criminal charges related to the alleged assault, which he denies. Strauss-Kahn, who had been under house arrest on $6 million in cash and bond, left the courtroom smiling, holding hands with his wife.
The New York Times first reported that investigators uncovered major inconsistences in the woman's account of her background, citing two law enforcement officials.
The issues concern the woman’s activities during the hours before the alleged assault and her U.S. asylum application, a law enforcement officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Associated Press. The native of the West African country of Guinea stated on her application that she was raped in her homeland. The source told a reporter that prosecutors think the woman lied on her application, and about the rape.
"She actually recounted the entire story to prosecutors and later said it was false,” said the law enforcement official.
The new developments, however, the official said do not mean that the prosecution has changed its position on the sexual assault charges, or have decided to change the charges against Strauss-Kahn.
A court hearing is set for Friday. Strauss-Kahn denies the allegations that he assaulted the woman.
Those familiar with the case have said the prosecution wants to reduce Strauss-Kahn’s $6 million cash and bond bail substantially and change the status of his house arrest.
The accuser’s lawyer had not returned a reporter’s phone call at press time, and the New York Police Department, which investigated the case, would not comment on the potential new developments.
The Wall Street Journal reported that a Strauss-Kahn attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said "There will be serious issues raised by the district attorney's office and us concerning the credibility of the complaining witness.”
(Photo: AP Photo/David Karp)
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