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Source: 'No decision's been made' on whether to drop Strauss-Kahn case

From Susan Candiotti, CNN National Correspondent
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What now for Strauss-Kahn?
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: DA defends his office, saying the "road to get to the truth has twists and turns"
  • Investigators are trying to determine what happened in a N.Y. hotel on May 14
  • Key questions emerged last week about the credibility of the ex-IMF chief's accuser
  • Attempts to reach the woman's lawyer have not been successful

New York (CNN) -- Days after presenting evidence questioning the accuser's credibility, New York prosecutors are still working to determine exactly what happened between Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the hotel maid that originally led to the financier's arrest on sexual assault charges.

A source close to the investigation told CNN on Sunday that it is unclear whether the former International Monetary Fund chief will learn this week whether he will be cleared of any or all charges in the case.

"No decision's been made," said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

Prosecutors have said there is incontrovertible DNA evidence of sexual contact between Strauss-Kahn and the Sofitel hotel employee on May 14. The French financier was arrested later that day, while aboard a plane at New York's John F. Kennedy airport, and later indicted on seven charges, including forcing the maid to perform oral sex on him and attempted rape.

But the case took a major turn last week, when prosecutors told the defense about issues regarding the accuser's credibility and said they had no issues if Strauss-Kahn's bail conditions were modified. Yet the prosecution added it was not dropping any charges because the investigation is not over.

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New York Judge Michael Obus then decided to release Strauss-Kahn from house arrest. At the time, he stressed the move did not mean the case would be resolved anytime soon.

"There will be no rush to judgment," Obus said.

One issue that raised questions about the accuser, a 32-year-old Guinea native, is a recorded phone call to her from a boyfriend who was in an Arizona jail that took place less than two days after the alleged attack.

In the conversation, Strauss-Kahn's accuser said that "she's fine, and this person is rich, and there's money to be made," a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN, confirming a development originally reported by The New York Times.

Authorities have also discovered several bank accounts in the woman's name, set up in different states, into which "several thousand dollars at a time" had been deposited "by people she knew, (who were) potentially involved in drug dealing," the source said.

Attempts to reach the woman's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, for comment have been unsuccessful.

Investigators have no evidence that the sexual encounter in the hotel room was preplanned, according to the source close to the investigation.

"There is no indication of a set-up. None," the source said.

Strauss-Kahn, considered a viable candidate in France's presidential election before his arrest, has consistently proclaimed his innocence. He pleaded not guilty June 6.

His defense team in June challenged the accuser's credibility, threatening to release information that would "undermine the quality of this prosecution and also gravely undermine the credibility of the complainant in this case."

The next court date for Strauss-Kahn is scheduled for July 18.

In a statement to CNN, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance defended his office's handling of the case. He said that "the accuser's credible account of a sexual assault by a stranger was corroborated by witness statements and forensic evidence, (then) vetted and appropriately presented to the grand jury."

After the indictment, "our thorough and continuing investigation uncovered information" that could affect the case, which was "quickly disclosed" to Strauss-Kahn's defense team.

"A prosecutor's responsibility, in every case, is to the truth," Vance said. "Sometimes the road to get to the truth has twists and turns in it, which are not always apparent at the outset."

He concluded by saying that his office's goal "is not a win or loss, but rather to ensure the criminal justice system balances the rights of all those who come before it."

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