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Ex-IMF boss Strauss-Kahn in the clear over sex attack

By David Usborne

With two sentences that were as terse as the legal saga that preceded them had been convoluted, Judge Michael Obus yesterday agreed to terminate the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), the former IMF chief.

"The indictment is dismissed. The security order is vacated," Judge Obus intoned, accepting a motion for dismissal filed by the prosecution on the grounds that the accuser in the case, the Guinean-born hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, had repeatedly lied to them to the point where proving her claims regarding an alleged sexual assault in a hotel room on May 14 beyond a reasonable doubt appeared impossible.

If there was vindication for Mr Strauss-Kahn, it was tinged with the knowledge that the damage done to his reputation may never be repaired.

He was expected to head first to his home in Washington with his wife and thereafter - his passport returned - to Paris or a holiday home in Morocco.

"These past two-and-a-half months have been a nightmare for me and my family," Mr Strauss-Kahn said in a hastily issued statement. "I want to thank all the friends in France and in the United States who have believed in my innocence."

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