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Doubts Emerge In Case Against Ex-IMF Chief

Lawyers from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, are due in court Friday at 11:30 a.m. for what's being described as a proceeding that could ease the bail conditions for Strauss-Kahn, accused in a high-profile rape case.

Investigators charged Strauss-Kahn with assaulting a hotel maid in Manhattan in May, touching off an international scandal based mostly on the credibility of the unnamed accuser. But now two sources, confirming portions of a report on the website of The New York Times, say government officials themselves have uncovered inconsistencies and possible misstatements by the woman.

Many of those details could emerge in court Friday, when the District Attorney's office is expected to agree to a defense request to ease severe restrictions on Strauss-Kahn's movements. After being taken into custody at the airport, where he was planning to return to France, Strauss-Kahn spent a few nights in lockup and now is paying $200,000 a month for security guards to watch over him in a luxury apartment.

Any doubts about the credibility of the lead witness could spell doom for the case. Although investigators say they have obtained DNA from the hotel room, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have said any intimate contact was consensual.

Paul Browne, a spokesman for the New York Police Department, declined comment via email Thursday night. The press line for Vance confirmed the details of the hearing in lower Manhattan Friday morning, but said no further comment would be issued.

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