Ex-IMF Leader Strauss-Kahn Set to Be Freed
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former leader of the International Monetary Fund, was set to be released from Rikers Island Friday if the terms of an elaborate bail package that includes home detention and constant surveillance were met.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, was granted bail during a hearing in Manhattan on Thursday. According to the terms of the agreement, the French politician would have to live in a New York City apartment rented by his wife, be under video surveillance and have at least one armed bodyguard around him at all times, according to Judge Michael Obus.
Obus accepted this monitoring arrangement, which will be provided by a private security firm, in addition to $1 million cash bail and an electronic ankle bracelet Strauss-Kahn will wear. Those were already offered on Monday, when a Criminal Court judge denied bail to Strauss-Kahn.
The judge also asked that Strauss-Kahn post a $5 million bond and submit all travel documents.
William Taylor, Strauss-Kahn’s attorney, characterized the conditions of the bail package as “the most restrictive possible,” and said his client, rather than wanting to become a fugitive, "has only one interest and that is to clear his name."
Assistant District Attorney John McConnell reiterated the main argument he had made on Monday in opposing the bail: Strauss-Kahn was a flight risk who has "stature and resources to live a life of ease and comfort" beyond the jurisdiction of the court and the United States.
He also pointed that a grand jury had indicted Strauss-Kahn on Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting a maid in the Sofitel Hotel in New York. He is indicted on charges of criminal sexual act in the first degree, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, as well as on charges of attempted rape, sexual abuse in the first and third degree, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.
Strauss-Kahn, thought to have been one of the strongest contenders for French presidency before the incident, came into the courtroom around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, looking calm, and smiling at his wife, Anne Sinclair, and daughter, Camille, a graduate student at Columbia University. Around 100 journalists, many from France, packed the 13th-floor courtroom.
Much of the discussion before the judge made a decision was focused on Strauss-Kahn’s behavior on last Saturday after the alleged attack took place. McConnell described Strauss-Kahn’s exit from the Sofitel Hotel as "unusually hasty." Taylor countered that his client merely rushed to a lunch with a family member close to the hotel. Afterward, he got on a flight for which he had purchased a ticket not in the last minute, but a few days earlier, because, as the head of the IMF, he had a meeting scheduled with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European officials.
On Wednesday, Strauss-Kahn resigned from his position at the IMF, which he held since 2007.
"I want to devote all my strength, all my time and all my energy to proving my innocence," he said in a statement released by the IMF.
Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to appear in court again on June 6.