Disgraced banker Dominique Strauss-Kahn was freed without bond on Friday as the rape case against him started to crumble amid questions about the accuser’s credibility.
Prosecutors told a judge that the credibility of the maid who claimed the former IMF chief sexually assaulted her in a Manhattan hotel room had been thrown into question.
After a brief hearing in a lower Manhattan court, the judge agreed to let Strauss-Kahn be freed from house arrest and his $5 million bail and $1 million cash bond returned.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, agreed to return to court as needed, including for a July 18 hearing.
Prosecutors have not dropped the charges against Strauss-Kahn, although they reportedly believe the sexual assault case against Strauss-Kahn him has been severely compromised.
The accuser, a housekeeper at New York’s Sofitel hotel, on May 14 accused Strauss-Kahn of having violently assaulted her when she entered his room. Since then, the New York Times quoted officials as saying, she has repeatedly lied about her alleged links to drug-dealers and money launderers.
The 32-year-old woman, who is from Guinea, also misled police about her immigrant status, the report said, and spoke with a jailed accused drug lord after the alleged assault about the benefits of pursuing charges against Strauss-Kahn.
A lawyer for the woman told the Times that the allegations do not undercut her accusations of sexual assault.
Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn do not deny there was sexual encounter.
Strauss-Kahn, who was forced to leave the IMF, had been considered a front-runner for the French presidency, the first Jew to hold such a position since World War II.