Strauss-Kahn leaves Washington home
Dominique Strauss-Kahn left his Washington home Thursday, believed to be en route to France via New York, one week after sexual assault charges were sensationally dropped against the former IMF chief.
Strauss-Kahn, expected to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy's main challenger in 2012 elections before the scandal broke in May, left his home in Washington's plush Georgetown neighborhood at around 6:00 am (1000 GMT).
Climbing into a taxi with his wife Anne Sinclair after several suitcases had been loaded into the vehicle, Strauss-Kahn waved briefly and smiled after kissing an unidentified young woman goodbye, an AFP journalist said.
Members of Strauss-Kahn's inner circle say he has a ticket to France departing from New York Saturday evening.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, resigned as the International Monetary Fund's managing director in May after he was arrested and charged with the sexual assault and attempted rape of a hotel maid.
Last week, he walked free when a judge in New York dismissed charges against him. Prosecutors said they could not pursue the case because the accuser's lies had made it impossible to prove her accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.
His apparently imminent return has caused embarrassment for France's opposition Socialist Party as it prepares to vote in a primary to choose a candidate to run against Sarkozy next year.
Strauss-Kahn, a respected economist and former finance minister, had been the favorite for the race, but his political career has been left in tatters by the humiliating sex case.
© 2011 AFP