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DSK wins back passport ...but he's staying in US

Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn is free to travel the world again after getting his passport back from prosecutors who dropped a high-profile sexual assault case against him.

But it is unclear when he might put the passport to use.

He has said he "can't wait to go back" to his native France but has other things to do first.


The IMF has said he plans to visit its headquarters in Washington, where he also has a home, as early as next week.

Mr Strauss-Kahn's passport was returned to his lawyers yesterday, a source said.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyers Benjamin Brafman and William W Taylor are not divulging their client's next move.

The 62-year-old economist, former diplomat and one-time French presidential prospect has been in New York since a weekend trip turned into an arrest, nearly a week in jail and about three months in a hastily rented, $50,000-a-month town home where he was initially on house arrest and under armed guard.

He resigned his IMF post days after his arrest, saying he wanted to focus on clearing himself in the criminal case.

IMF spokesman David Hawley would not say why Mr Strauss-Kahn planned to visit.

But the former managing director may want to say farewell to former colleagues and apologise in person to the staffers if they feel his involvement in the sex case tarnished the 187-nation lending organisation's reputation.

The attempted-rape and other charges against Mr Strauss-Kahn, who is married, were dismissed after prosecutors said they no longer considered his accuser reliable.