Strauss-Kahn a free man after appeals court ruling

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A New York appeals court sided with the trial court judge Tuesday in rejecting a special prosecutor for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, meaning the former head of the International Monetary Fund is a free man, more than three months after he was charged with raping a hotel maid.

New York state Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus dismissed all charges earlier Tuesday against Strauss-Kahn, 62, after prosecutors acknowledged that the accuser had lied repeatedly during their investigation.

Kenneth Thompson, the lawyer for accuser Nafissatou Diallo, had requested that Dist. Atty. Cyrus Vance Jr. be removed from the case and a special prosecutor take over. Obus rejected that motion, and the appeals court quickly concurred with Obus’ decision.

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Strauss-Kahn left the courthouse with his wife, Anne Sinclair.

“These past two and a half months have been a nightmare for me and my family,” he said in a statement. “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.’

Later, he appeared outside the Tribeca town house where he was held under house arrest until July, and summed up the statement in French, the Associated Press reported.


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--Geraldine Baum in New York