$525 hotel bill out of Strauss-Kahn's pocket: IMF

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IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was on a private trip and paid the $525-per-night room bill at a New York hotel out of his own pocket during his now-infamous stay, the institution said Monday.

"My understanding is that the rate of the room was $525, and that it was a private trip paid by the managing director," spokesman William Murray of the Washington-based International Monetary Fund told AFP.

The disgraced dignitary and French presidential hopeful has been in custody in New York since shortly after a chambermaid at the Sofitel Hotel alerted co-workers Saturday that she had been assaulted by Strauss-Kahn in his room -- charges his lawyers denied in court Monday.

French media have reported Strauss-Kahn was staying in a luxury suite that cost some $3,000 per night, but neither the hotel or its parent company Accor have confirmed that.

Luxury digs for $525 near Times Square in notoriously expensive Manhattan would be considered a bargain in some quarters.

But Accor did seem to suggest Strauss-Kahn was spending his night in upscale Sofitel accommodations.

Accor co-founder Paul Dubrule said Suite 2806, where he himself has stayed several times and where Strauss-Kahn was staying on Saturday, has "a bathroom located deep at the back of the suite, after a turn" in the room's hallway.

Accor would not say whether the IMF boss was a regular at the hotel, or for how long he had been staying there before he was arrested.

© 2011 AFP

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