France's Strauss-Kahn sex charges: a timeline
A US judge released France's former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on his "own recognizance" Friday, after reports that the case against him on sexual assault charges is collapsing.
Here is a timeline of events in Strauss-Kahn's case starting on Thursday, amid hopes among France's socialists that the turnaround might mean he could run for the country's presidency next year.
Thursday, June 30:
- Officials announce that Strauss-Kahn will return to a Manhattan court for an unexpected appearance in the case on charges he attempted to rape a New York hotel maid. The former French finance minister and head of the IMF had not been expected back in court until July 18.
- The New York Times, citing two law enforcement sources close to the case, says that the sexual assault case against Strauss-Kahn is collapsing due to doubts over the victim's credibility. Officials tell the newspaper that within a day of the alleged rape attempt, the maid was recorded speaking on the phone with a man jailed for possessing 400 pounds (180 kilograms) of marijuana and discussing the benefits of pursuing charges.
Friday, July 1:
- Doubts cast on Strauss-Kahn's case on Friday raise hopes among France's opposition Socialists that he may return to help them fight Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency next year.
Former Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin says the report is a "thunderbolt" but says it is too early to bank on a return by Strauss-Kahn to politics. Socialist officials, amid jockeying for position for a candidate for the 2012 presidential election, express relief.
- Prime Minister Francois Fillon says on a visit to Jakarta it is necessary to "wait calmly for American justice to run its course," saying that "Dominique Strauss-Kahn has the right to the presumption of innocence."
- A lawyer for his accuser insists to The New York Times that Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted the victim despite the new revelations.
- Prosecutors agreed to lift Strauss-Kahn's bail, but say they are not moving to dismiss the case.
- The judge ruling on the case says the 'case is not over' and that Strauss-Kahn is released on his 'own recognizance' His passport will be kept by the authorities.
- Strauss-Kahn's lawyer says he is confident he 'will be exonerated'
© 2011 AFP