The sexual assault case against former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been dismissed on Tuesday by a New York judge Michael Obus. (photo, from leparisien.fr)
Prosecutors doubted the credibility of Nafissatou Diallo, the 32-year-old hotel maid who accused him of sexually attacking her when she entered his hotel room to clean it on May 14.
About two dozen placard-waving protesters were outside the New York State Supreme Court in lower Manhattan to denounce the collapse of the case when Mr Strauss-Kahn arrived in a six-car motorcade with his wife Anne Sinclair. The protesters cries could be heard from the courtroom on the 13th floor.
In effect the case will be dismissed once the judge rules on an appeal against the move.
The 62-year-old French politician is now a free man, although Ms Diallo filed a civil suit against him this month.
“Our inability to believe the complainant beyond a reasonable doubt means, in good faith, that we could not ask a jury to do that,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told Judge Michael Obus.
According to prosecutors DNA evidence proved that a “hurried” sexual encounter did occur between Mr Strauss-Kahn and Ms Diallo, without establishing whether she was telling the truth about it being non-consensual.
On Monday Manhattan prosecutors cited deep concerns over Ms Diallo’s credibility when they filed court papers saying they did not feel comfortable with pursuing the case.
They wrote that she “has not been truthful on matters great and small” and has an ability to present “fiction as fact with complete conviction”, and added that medical and DNA evidence was “simply inconclusive” as proof of a forced sexual encounter.
On Tuesday Mr Strauss-Kahn released a statement through his legal team saying that “these past two-and-a-half months have been a nightmare for me and my family.
“I want to thank all the friends in France and in the United States who have believed in my innocence, and to the thousands of people who sent us their support personally and in writing.
“I am most deeply grateful to my wife and family who have gone through this ordeal with me.”
He added: “We will have nothing further to say about this matter and we look forward to returning to our home and resuming something of a more normal life.”
After his arrest in May Mr Strauss-Kahn resigned from his job as director of the International Monetary Fund. Christine Lagarde, former French finance minister was chosen to succeed him.