In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, the latest developments in the trial of former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn have cast some serious doubts on the credibility of the prosecution. News outlets are now reporting that the maid who accused Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her is not only a serial liar, but may have deliberately staged accusations in an attempt to extort the publicity for financial gain. The New York Times reports, “[An arrested drug dealer] is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank accounts over the last two years.”
This news comes in addition to the 32-year-old Guinean woman’s admission that she lied about being sexually assaulted in her home country in order to boost her chance of being granted asylum in the U.S. After these details were revealed this morning, Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest on his own recognizance, the only stipulation of his release being that he remain in the state of New York.
The development of the Strauss-Kahn case is illustrative of the tractability and fickleness of the news media. Following the maid’s initial allegations, nearly every major outlet broke the story with headlines tinged with the conclusion that a greedy, slimy IMF chief had taken advantage of a helpless refugee. Now, though the case hasn’t yet been dropped, Strauss-Kahn’s release from house arrest indicates that prosecutors no longer think they have a winning case, and will have to re-evaluate evidence before deciding to move forward.
After three and a half years of serving as director of the International Monetary Fund, Strauss-Kahn lost his position in May after he was arrested on charges of sexual assault. Christine Lagarde is set to take office as the new IMF director on July 5. This case has been costly for Strauss-Kahn, who not only had to put up $6 million for bail, which was returned to him today upon his release, but had to pay roughly $200,000 a month for an ankle monitor, surveillance cameras, and armed guards as a condition of his release. Strauss-Kahn has also suffered politically, his reputation tarnished after he was arrested on a flight back to Europe where he was supposed to host a series of important meetings about Europe’s debt crisis. Until his arrest, Strauss-Kahn was highly involved in projects intended to aid Greece’s recovery and prevent further debt crises from playing out the same way in other EU nations.
Strauss-Kahn was also in line to possibly succeed Nicolas Sarkozy as French president, hopes for which seemed all but lost after recent allegations. But now that the case has turned in his favor, he may be able to regain his political standing and may one day become president.
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