Strauss-Kahn lawyers seek Thursday bail hearing

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Defense lawyers for IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn are seeking to win his release at a new bail hearing on Thursday, proposing strict conditions such as an electronic ankle tag, court officials said.

The hearing would be "likely tomorrow, time and place to come," New York court official Erin Duggan told AFP in an email on Wednesday.

"They think that they have a package that the court will accept," CNN legal expert Jeff Toobin said, adding it included "very restrictive conditions" that would make Strauss-Kahn's "escape from the United States impossible."

The IMF chief is facing a new hearing on Friday when a decision by a grand jury on whether to indict him on charges of the sexual assault and attempted rape of a 32-year-old woman in a Manhattan hotel is expected to be unveiled.

A New York judge on Monday denied him bail despite the offer of $1 million in cash as a guarantee, deeming that the veteran French politician was a flight risk. France and the United States have no extradition agreement.

But Toobin said the defense proposals for bail included "not to leave an apartment, not to leave a hotel room or office. And an enormous amount of money. Plus, the surrender of his passport."

He added that Strauss-Kahn's lawyers believed they had not had a proper chance to make their case to bail the powerful head of the International Monetary Fund at Monday's hearing.

"They hadn't had the chance to talk to the people that do the ankle braclets. This would be a more comprehensive presentation," Toobin said.

"They want another bite at the apple here, and they think is is very important both to their client and to their chances of winning to get him out of jail as soon as possible."

The news came just after the alleged victim, a chambermaid, testified to the grand jury about her ordeal on Saturday, which she says happened when she went into Strauss-Kahn's luxury suite in the Sofitel hotel to clean it.

Strauss-Kahn has denied all the charges and his defense have hinted that they may argue that there was consensual sex.

© 2011 AFP

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