Former IMF chief granted bail in sexual assault case (Lead)

May 20th, 2011 - 10:04 am ICT by IANS  

New York, May 20 (IANS) Former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned after he was charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid, was granted a $1 million bail by a court here Thursday.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, is accused of sexually attacking a maid at the Sofitel hotel near Manhattan’s Times Square.

New York City Supreme Court judge Michael Obus Thursday said Strauss-Kahn can be released on bail with a GPS-enabled bracelet, the New York Post reported.

Earlier, Xinhua said he was being put under 24-hour home detention with electronic monitoring.

The judge also said Strauss-Kahn must have one armed guard with him at all times.

Strauss-Kahn, a French national, would need to spend another day in custody before the bail is signed Friday.

Prosecutor John McConell sought to persuade the judge to deny bail. He said Strauss-Kahn has “the personal, political and financial means to flee. He is an international figure who truly has global influence”.

Defence lawyer William Taylor told the judge during the bail hearing: “He is an honorable man. He will appear in court.”

The judge also set an arraignment hearing, when Strauss-Kahn will formally answer charges, for June 6.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers promised that, if released, he would not flee to France.

Strauss-Kahn allegedly attacked a 32-year-old maid at his Manhattan hotel suite. The woman, reportedly a West African immigrant, told police the IMF chief chased her down a hallway, forced her to perform oral sex and tried to remove her stockings.

His wife, New York-born millionaire art heiress and journalist Anne Sinclair, 62, and daughter from a previous marriage, Camille Strauss-Kahn, 26, were present in court.

Strauss-Kahn earlier resigned from the top post Wednesday night, the IMF said in a statement.

He denied the charges of sexual assault, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment in his letter of resignation, saying: “I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me.”

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