Strauss-Kahn bail plans in disarray: reports

20th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn have posted $1 million bail and a $5 million insurance bond, but an apartment deal to enable his release from jail has fallen through, US media reported Friday.

The 62-year-old former head of the International Monetary Fund has been indicted on charges of sexually assaulting, attempting to rape and unlawfully imprisoning a 32-year-old chambermaid in his hotel suite on Saturday.

NBC television reported a bail bondsman as saying the $1 million bail and the bond had been approved. It also quoted an attorney, Marc Agnifilo, as saying he still hoped Strauss-Kahn would be released on Friday but admitting "a lot has to happen."

Journalists were staking out a glitzy-looking apartment building -- the Bristol Plaza on East 65th Street in Manhattan -- which several reports said had been rented by Strauss-Kahn's wife, Anne Sinclair.

But NBC and the New York Post tabloid reported that Strauss-Kahn's departure from jail may have to be put on hold after Bristol Plaza residents found out about his plans to move in and complained.

One source said that "someone high-profile in the building" had objected to Strauss-Kahn staying, the Post reported.

Asked by AFP if an apartment had been rented in the name of Sinclair or Strauss-Kahn, a building supervisor responded dryly, saying: "We have no guests at such name."

Strauss-Kahn, who has spent the last four nights inside Rikers Island jail after being charged with alleged sexual assault, was due to be freed wearing an electronic ankle bracelet.

His lawyers also had to satisfy judge, Michael Obus, that he would be placed under 24-hour surveillance, complete with video cameras and a round-the-clock armed guard.

The tough bail conditions will cost Strauss-Kahn some $200,000 a month, the prosecution said.

The media reports threw into doubt expectations that the bail package could be signed and sealed on Friday.

Strauss-Kahn has denied all the charges, and resigned Thursday as head of the IMF to devote his time to fighting to clear his name. If convicted he could be forced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Strauss-Kahn has not yet entered a formal plea. That is expected to come at his next court appearance on June 6.

© 2011 AFP

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