Strauss-Kahn to return to France in coming days: party

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Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is set to return to France "in the days to come," Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry said Tuesday.

Asked on Canal+ television when Strauss-Kahn would return home after sexual assault charges against him were dropped in the United States, she replied: "He will come back in the days to come."

Aubry has announced her candidacy to lead to lead the Socialist party in next year's election against President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Strauss-Kahn was once considered the Socialist's best hope to unseat Sarkozy but few expect him to run following the allegations of sexual misconduct.

"Dominique Strauss-Kahn has regained his freedom, to act, to move and to speak," Aubry said.

"I have always said the same thing: first, the presumption of innocence, second, I think the same thing as many women about the attitude of Dominique Strauss-Kahn with respect to women," she added.

"I was the first to say on the first day that we must at the same time defend the presumption of innocence, the victim, and her word", Aubry said regarding the immediate public vilification of Strauss-Kahn after his May in arrest in New York on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper.

A Manhattan court dismissed the charges on August 23 after prosecutors expressed doubts about the housekeeper's credibility.

"As for the rest, that is a matter about which Dominique Strauss-Kahn must speak. The French people are not waiting for me to tell them what happened in that room. I do not know," the Socialist leader said.

© 2011 AFP

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