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Questions may scuttle Strauss-Kahn case

Dominique Strauss Kahn, second left, enters Manhattan criminal

Dominique Strauss Kahn, second left, enters Manhattan criminal court with his wife, Anne Sinclair, for his arraignment proceedings on charges of sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid. (June 6, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

The Manhattan district attorney's office has uncovered evidence that "raises serious issues" with the credibility of the woman who has accused former International Monetary Fund Leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually attacking her, said a law enforcement official who did not want to be identified.

The discovery of potentially damaging information was uncovered by investigators for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., the official said.

Vance and his staff met with defense attorneys Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor late Thursday afternoon to tell them of their findings, the official said.

It was unclear Thursday night if prosecutors were going to have to drop the case against Strauss-Kahn or substantially reduce the charges, which right now are serious felonies.

Earlier Thursday, officials had said there would be a hearing Friday on bail conditions in the case.

Brafman said Thursday night, "You can confirm that credibility issues concerning the complaining witness have arisen."

The woman's lawyer did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Defendants and prosecutors can raise the issue of bail at any point in a case. It's common, if asking a judge to revisit a bail decision, to argue that new information or new proposed conditions change how one or more of the factors should be viewed.

Strauss-Kahn, charged with attempting to rape a hotel maid, is living in an expensive rental town house and paying for 24-hour security to guard him, in addition to posting $1 million bail and a $5 million bail bond.

The security measures were estimated to cost him about $200,000 a month, on top of the $50,000-a-month rent on a town house in trendy TriBeCa. He settled there after a hasty and fraught house hunt: A plan to rent an apartment in a tony building on Manhattan's Upper East Side fell through after residents complained about the hubbub as reporters and police milled around the building.

The 32-year-old maid told police that Strauss-Kahn chased her down a hallway in his $3,000-a-night suite in the Sofitel hotel, tried to pull down her pantyhose and forced her to perform a sexual act before she broke free.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have said the encounter wasn't forcible. Her lawyer has said she is prepared to testify despite a "smear campaign" against her.

With AP

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