Biographer: Strauss-Kahn relieved to have passport

Associated Press
Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrives at his home in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, after appearing in Manhattan Criminal Court where sexual assault charges against him were dismissed. (AP Photo/Robert Mecea)
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PARIS (AP) — The return of his passport had great symbolic importance for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, his biographer said Friday, and the former IMF chief would likely use it soon to return home to France but was unlikely to immediately throw himself back into politics there.

Strauss-Kahn was once considered the front-runner to be France's next president, until he was accused of attempting to rape a maid at a pricey New York hotel in May. In the wake of that accusation, he was forced to relinquish his prestigious post at the International Monetary Fund, spent nearly a week behind bars, paid potentially hundreds of thousands on house arrest and missed a deadline to declare his presidential candidacy.

This week, his fortunes changed: Prosecutors dropped the charges against him, saying they weren't sure they could build a case after calling into question his accuser's credibility.

Though evidence showed Strauss-Kahn had a sexual encounter with Nafissatou Diallo, prosecutors said the accuser was not credible because of lies she has told, including an earlier false rape claim.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Michel Taubmann, who visited Strauss-Kahn a day earlier, said he was not a broken man.

"This is a man who has suffered. It is a man who will obviously take some time to get his bearings," said Taubmann, who is the author of "The True Story of Dominique Strauss-Kahn." ''So this is a man very disappointed but not a broken man."

Taubmann said the return of his passport — which Strauss-Kahn got back Thursday — was very significant since he was used to being engaged with the world at the IMF. Strauss-Kahn had been staying in a town house in New York while prosecutors tried to build a case against him, but it is thought he will now return to Washington, where the IMF is based and he and his wife have a home.

The next step is likely to be a return to France, Taubmann said.

But he added, "I don't see Dominique Strauss-Kahn picking up his life where he left off and returning to France to throw himself in the political battle."

Strauss-Kahn still faces a civil suit from Diallo, and a French author, Tristane Banon, has filed a criminal complaint in France, accusing him of trying to rape her in 2002. The Paris prosecutor's office is still investigating that accusation.

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