The Strauss Kahn Sexual Harassment case
Former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn figured in two sexual harassment cases this year. REUTERS/Allison Joyce

Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn spent his very first day outside, free from the house arrest on Saturday. This happened as the prosecutors gave him a benefit of doubt regarding the credibility of the maid who accused him of a sexual assault and attempt to rape.

Other discoveries about the maid include her possible links to criminal activities, drug dealing and money laundering, a law enforcement official told The New York Times.

According to the newspaper, the maid, within a day of the alleged rape attempt was recorded speaking on the phone with a man jailed for possessing 400 pounds (180 kilograms) of marijuana and discussing the benefits of pursuing charges.

Law enforcement officials were surprised and had to be concerned when the conversation was translated from Fulani - dialect spoken in the maid's native.

She says words to the effect of, 'Don't worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I am doing,' the Times quotes one of the officials as saying.

According to the report, the man had made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman's bank account over the last two years.

The sudden twist in the whole case has got supporters of Kahn hoping that the sexual assault case will cave in and the Socialist party favorite will return to frontline politics.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, appeared quite relaxed after a long time as he left the packed atmosphere of the Manhattan courtroom, his arm affectionately draped on wife Anne Sinclair's shoulder.

Later in the evening, Kahn was seen dining with his wife and another couple at an upscale restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side in the evening.

The report quoted Silvia Grottola, a Canadian who was inside the Italian restaurant as saying, that Strauss-Kahn and his wife were recognized and greeted by a couple who dined at a table nearby.The couple approached and shook the hands of the former IMF chief and his spouse.

The freedom and the twist in the case has come as a complete turnaround for a man who spent days locked up in New York's tough Rikers Island jail complex in May.

Strauss-Kahn, whose $1 million bail and $5 million bond will now be returned, is free to travel anywhere in the United States, though authorities will keep his passport, pending possible trial, according to the report.

Kahn was also set free of the restrictive bail conditions like wearing an ankle monitor, limited outings and being confined to a Lower Manhattan townhouse under the watch of armed guards.

The alleged victim's initial testimony to the grand jury had said that she fled Strauss-Kahn's Manhattan hotel suite immediately after the alleged attempted rape on May 14 and waited in the hallway before informing a supervisor.

However, prosecutors revealed, the 32-year-old Guinean maid subsequently changed her story to say she actually cleaned another room and even returned to start cleaning Strauss-Kahn's suite before alerting her bosses, the report said.

Judge Michael Obus told the court: The case is not over, as we've heard. In the meantime, there will be no rush to judgment on the case. We expect the process will go on.

Strauss-Kahn, will return to the court for the next hearing on July 18.

The maid's lawyer Ken Thompson admitted his client had made some mistakes but he said that the forensic evidence would ultimately prove Strauss-Kahn guilty.

According to the lawyer, the attack on the maid was so violent that Kahn ripped the maid's stockings and tore a ligament in her shoulder.

That is a medical fact. She now may need surgery for the damage he caused to her shoulder, he added.