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DSK Has Bail Lifted Over Sex Assault Case

DSK Has Bail Lifted Over Sex Assault Case

6:03am 1st July 2011
(Updated 12:03am 2nd July 2011)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been released without bail over sexual assault allegations.

The former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief had his strict bail conditions lifted after he sought to change them in a New York Court.

He was given his cash bond back but the judge told him he still could not leave the country and authorities retained his travel documents.

Prosecutors told the court the credibility of the hotel maid who accused him had been thrown into question.

They said in court filings that she admitted she lied to the grand jury about what happened in the moments after the alleged attack.

"The complainant has since admitted that after the incident in Suite 2806, she proceeded to clean a nearby room and then returned to Suite 2806 and began to clean that suite before she reported the incident to her supervisor," they said.

Justice Michael Obus said: "I understand that the circumstances of this case have changed substantially ... I release Mr Strauss-Kahn."

But the judge stressed that the "case is not over" and said the French politician was due to appear before the courts again on July 18.

Strauss-Kahn is facing charges including attempted rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse.

Outside the court, his lawyer said he was confident his client "will be exonerated".

:: See Sky reporter Hannah Thomas-Peter's tweets from New York below

Strauss-Kahn had been under house arrest in a townhouse in the Tribeca neighbourhood of Manhattan, where he was subject to an electronic monitoring device and under the 24-hour watch of armed guards, since his arrest.

Following the dramatic court hearing, where the case against him appeared to shift in his favour, he will now be able to move freely around the United States.

The woman, who cleaned the suite at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan where he was staying, claimed Strauss-Kahn appeared naked from the bathroom and chased her down the hall before the alleged assault took place.

Prosecutors in New York were initially confident in her story - but now have doubts about the woman's credibility with reports the 32-year-old has repeatedly lied since initial allegations in May.

They reportedly had discovered issues with the Guinean immigrant's asylum application and possible links to criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering.

Prosecutors also found out the woman had had a phone conversation, which was recorded, within a day of her encounter with Strauss-Kahn, in which she told a man about the possible benefits of pursuing the charges, the New York Times said.

But the victim's lawyer Kenneth Thompson remained adamant the hotel maid was attacked and denied claims she had changed her story.

"The victim here may have made some mistakes, but that doesn't mean she's not a rape victim," he said.

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