Recorded conversation threw DSK charges into doubt: report

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A telephone conversation between a New York hotel maid and her boyfriend recorded after the woman accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault has thrown into doubt her credibility, The New York Times reported.

Citing "a well-placed law enforcement official," the newspaper said the conversation occurred 24 hours after the housekeeper at the Sofitel New York said she was sexually assaulted by Strauss-Kahn.

The boyfriend spoke from an immigration jail in Arizona.

Investigators with the Manhattan district attorney's office learned the call had been recorded and had it translated from Fulani, a language from the woman's native country, Guinea, the report said.

When the conversation was translated -- which was done only Wednesday -- investigators became alarmed, The Times noted.

"She says words to the effect of, 'Don't worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I'm doing,'" the paper quotes the official as saying.

The boyfriend had been arrested while bartering counterfeit designer clothing from Manhattan's Chinatown for marijuana in the Southwest, according to the report.

According to The Times, the woman's lawyer said she did not know the man was "a drug dealer."

Earlier Friday, a judge freed Strauss-Kahn from house arrest after prosecutors said the maid accusing him of sexual assault lied to a grand jury.

A smiling Strauss-Kahn, 62, appeared as if a large weight had been lifted off his shoulders as he left the frenzied atmosphere of the packed Manhattan courtroom, his arm affectionately draped on his wife's shoulder.

Strauss-Kahn, whose $1 million bail and $5 million bond will now be returned, is free to travel anywhere in the United States, though authorities will keep his passport, pending possible trial.

The restrictive bail conditions -- including wearing an ankle monitor, limited outings and being confined to a Lower Manhattan townhouse under the watch of armed guards -- were lifted.

© 2011 AFP

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