Case against Strauss-Kahn near collapse: report

1st July 2011, Comments 0 comments

The criminal case against ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid, is on the verge of collapsing, the New York Times reported late Thursday.

Citing two unnamed law enforcement officials close to the case, the Times said prosecutors did not believe much of the story told by the French politician's Guinea-born accuser, and that she had repeatedly lied to them since the May 14 alleged attack.

Prosecutors will likely tell the court Friday, when Strauss-Kahn is set to make an unexpected reappearance ahead of the next scheduled hearing on July 18, that they "have problems with the case," in contrast to their once steel confidence in the evidence against him, according to the Times.

At the hearing, Justice Michael Obus was expected to consider a change in the bail conditions under which Strauss-Kahn was released to house arrest -- including 24-hour security monitoring and an ankle bracelet.

"It is a mess, a mess on both sides," one official told the daily.

The revelations could prove an extraordinary turn-around for former IMF director, as the newspaper said he could be released from house arrest due to questions surrounding his accuser.

The newspaper said law enforcement officials had uncovered questions related to the 32-year-old hotel maid's asylum application, and unconfirmed links to criminal activity, such as involvement with money laundering and drug dealing.

Multiple individuals made cash deposits -- amounting to some $100,000 -- into the accuser's bank account in the last two years, and prosecutors had recorded conversations with the maid where she discussed with one of those individuals the pay-off from her sex assault accusations, the report said.

Strauss-Kahn, a French national, has denied all seven charges including trying to rape the woman and sexually assaulting her when she came to clean his hotel suite in a luxury Manhattan hotel.

© 2011 AFP

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