Sat, May 21, 2011
World > International Organizations > IMF chief faces sex charges

IMF chief released from jail under house arrest

2011-05-21 03:07:19 GMT2011-05-21 11:07:19(Beijing Time)

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn listens to his lawyer, William Taylor, inside of a New York State Supreme Courthouse during a bail hearing in New York May 19, 2011. Strauss-Kahn left jail on bail on Friday and was expected to be whisked to a safe house in Lower Manhattan where he will be held under round-the-clock armed guard. [Photo/Agencies]

A resident of Lower Manhattan carries a sign behind media members who were standing on Maiden Lane in New York's financial district where it was being speculated that former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was being housed after his release on bail in New York May 20, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from jail Friday and will be held under house arrest near the former World Trade Center after the luxury apartment where he had arranged to stay fell through because the neighbors objected to the media frenzy.

Prosecutors said he will be temporarily housed in a building on a small street in lower Manhattan within the Police Department's "Ring of Steel" -- a network of private and police cameras near where the Twin Towers once stood.

While he is there, his family and lawyers will look for a more permanent place for him to await trial on charges he tried to rape a hotel maid.

The original plan was for Strauss-Kahn to move into a luxury residential hotel under armed guard on Manhattan's well-to-do Upper East Side. Even though the address was never officially released, police and reporters soon converged on the building, the Bristol Plaza.

"Last night there was an effort by the media to invade the meantime, efforts would be made to arrange for another suitable residence," state Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus said.

Prosecutors had argued against Strauss-Kahn's release, warning he might use his wealth and international connections to flee to France and thwart efforts to extradite him, like the filmmaker Roman Polanski.

Strauss-Kahn cannot leave his temporary housing at all. Once he is settled somewhere permanent, he will be allowed to leave only for court dates, meetings with his lawyers, doctor's appointments and weekly religious services, and he will have to give prosecutors at last six hours' notice. No trial date has been set.

He is accused of a mindset was "much better now than before we started."

At his arraignment Monday, a prosecutor suggested that if Strauss-Kahn were released and ran, he could end up "just like Roman Polanski," whom the Swiss government declined to extradite last year in the child sex case in the US in which he had jumped bail decades ago.

On Thursday, defense lawyers offered a notorious example of their own: Madoff, the fraudulent financier who stole billions of dollars from investors. Before Madoff pleaded guilty in the federal case and was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009, he was freed on $10 million bail, under house arrest and private guard provided by the same firm Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have proposed to monitor him. Taylor cited Madoff as he noted in court that "there have been other high-profile cases where (defendants) have been released."


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