Dominique Strauss-Kahn left a Manhattan court on Friday beaming, a freer man. The stringent – and expensive – bond conditions stand dropped in the light of new revelations making the accuser’s case less credible than before.
In legal terms, the former IMF chief was let off on his own recognizance, which is a personal guarantee that he will be back in the court for the remaining duration of the case. The next date of hearing is July 18.
Strauss-Kahn doesn’t have to wear an electronic anklet for surveillance purposes and doesn’t have to pay for the exorbitant security detail. He cannot, however, leave the US yet as his passport remains with the prosecutors.
The former IMF chief is accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper of a New York hotel where he was staying. Since his arrest he spent a couple of nights in Rikers Island jail and then at a New York townhouse.
While there is enough forensic proof of a sexual encounter between Strauss-Kahn and the housekeeper, prosecutors have told the defense team they have reasons to doubt her account of the incident.
There will be no “rush to judgment” said judge Michael Obus dropping the bond conditions.
“Thanks, your honour,” said Strauss-Kahn, looking a relieved man.
He left the courthouse shortly with his wife Anne Sinclair.
Outside., his lawyers did a small victory lap telling reporters they were always convinced of their client’s innocence. Defense lawyer Ben Brafman then accused the media and others of “rush to judgment”.
The victim’s lawyer, Kenneth Thomson, however, said there was no change in the substantive case against Strauss-Kahn. He said the accuser had herself given the prosecutor the information that is now making her look less credible.
The accuser is alleged to have lied to the prosecutors and had links to people involved in drug dealing and gun running.