Quite the turnaround for former IMF head Dominque Strauss Kahn. The Guardian said it best:
“Strauss-Kahn was freed from house arrest and had his bail dropped, as it emerged that investigators had discovered his accuser, a 32-year-old Guinean-born maid, had lied about a previous rape claim.
They also uncovered evidence that appeared to cast doubt on key elements of her account, and seemed likely to do deep damage to her credibility as a witness.”
Perhaps, like us, you are wondering just what the hell happened here. Well… essentially, the prosecutors were the ones to halt a much-anticipated showdown in court, after the victim “lied repeatedly” in her dealings with them.
First off, the maid apparently lied about being gang-raped in her home country in order to find political asylum in the U.S. Secondly, her recollection of the events following the attack hasn’t exactly been consistent. But most damagingly:
“The New York Times has also reported that police have tape recorded a telephone conversation between the woman and a man in prison on the day of the alleged rape in which she talked about the possible financial benefits that could come to her as a result of pursuing charges.
The investigation also found deposits made into her bank account totalling $100,000 (£60,000) over the last two years, some of which came from the man, a convicted drug dealer.”
So what happens now?
Strauss Kahn is effectively free from house arrest, and can travel anywhere within the U.S., although his passport has not been returned.
And political activists in France are arguing that the maid’s case still stands, despite any discrepencies with her story or history.
“The rough and tumble sparring over what now happens to DSK legally will not extend much beyond the limits of Manhattan. But back in France, the social and gender lessons of Friday’s development are already being noted. Early in the day, when Green Party leader Cécile Duflot was asked by France Info radio for her reaction to the news, she avoided the already surging media excitation and multiplying forecasts of what might come next by keeping firmly focused on what the case should be about. “I just want to see justice done,” Duflot said. “I want to see justice for the victim, and I want to see justice for Dominique Strauss-Kahn. That’s all.” Despite the soft delivery, her message was clear: forget all the theatrics, and focus on whether a crime against the victim took place–or not.”
So what do you think? Is Strauss Kahn innocent, or did someone simply dig up enough dirt on the alleged victim to free him from prosecution?
Read more about French politicians in the latest issue of the Carnet Atlantique.