French Socialists hope Strauss-Kahn returns
Doubts cast on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex assault case raised hopes among France's opposition Socialists Friday that he may return to help them fight Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency next year.
Strauss-Kahn will be "an indispensable player in political life in the coming months", Jean-Marie Le Guen, a Socialist member of parliament close to the former IMF head, said on France Inter radio.
"All those who speculated on his political disappearance will now have to reckon with a person who, I hope, will soon be free to move around and will be able to look the French straight in the eye," he added.
"His presence... would be decisive for our success in the presidential election," said Jack Lang, a leading Socialist former minister, on BFMTV.
"He has competence, intelligence, vision... it would be a quite extraordinary boost."
The New York Times reported on Thursday that the case against Strauss-Kahn was collapsing due to doubts over the victim's credibility. He denies the charges of sexually assaulting and trying to rape a hotel maid,
The charges last month appeared to have wrecked the career of Strauss-Kahn, who previously had polled as the candidate most likely to beat Sarkozy.
Citing law enforcement sources, the newspaper said prosecutors did not believe much of the story from the maid and suspect she has repeatedly lied to them.
The district attorney's office said Strauss-Kahn would make a court appearance Friday.
© 2011 AFP