Strauss-Kahn's flat plan falls apart: report

20th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's release on bail was thrown into disarray when plans to put him up in a posh New York flat pending trial on sexual assault charges fell apart, a report said Friday.

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

But the New York Post tabloid, quoting unnamed sources, said 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 and after posting a $1-million bail.

Before he can be reunited with his wife, the man once strongly tipped to be the next president of France must also put up a $5 million bond.

His lawyers will also have to satisfy judge, Michael Obus, that plans are in place for him to be placed under 24-hour surveillance, complete with video cameras, and a round-the-clock armed guard.

The tough bail conditions -- which will cost some $200,000 a month -- were imposed after the veteran French politician was indicted on charges of sexual assault, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment of a 32-year-old chambermaid.

The Post report threw into doubt expectations that the bail package would be signed and sealed on Friday.

A grand jury has indicted the 62-year-old French Socialist power baron on all seven charges arising from Saturday's alleged sexual assault at Manhattan's luxury Sofitel hotel.

Strauss-Kahn has denied all the charges, and resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund 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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