Strauss-Kahn set to be released on bail

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Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was set to be freed on bail within hours Friday under armed guard and placed on house arrest, after a US judge approved his release.

Strauss-Kahn, who has been charged with sexually assaulting a chambermaid, would be released from the notorious Rikers Island jail on Friday "between 5:00 pm (2100 GMT) and 12:00 (0400 GMT)," the official bondsman said.

The judge has ordered the 62-year-old veteran French politician to be housed in a home detention location in downtown Manhattan, close to Ground Zero.

The new arrangement was made after plans for him to live under round-the-clock surveillance in a plush apartment rented by his wife, Anne Sinclair, reportedly fell through when residents in the complex objected.

Defense lawyer William Taylor confirmed the earlier plan for the former IMF chief to live in the apartment had been changed.

"The reason why they changed plans is because the media invaded the first place," Taylor said, after a hastily called court hearing to detail the new arrangements to the judge.

Earlier a media pack had gathered outside the glitzy-looking Bristol Plaza on East 65th Street in Manhattan, which several reports said had been rented by Sinclair.

Judge Michael Obus accepted $1 million bail in cash and signed off on a $5 million insurance bond for Strauss-Kahn, who is facing trial for the alleged sexual assault of a Guinean chambermaid in a Manhattan hotel on Saturday.

Strauss-Kahn, who has spent the last four nights inside Rikers Island jail, has also agreed to wear an electronic ankle bracelet, and submit all his travel documents.

The New York Post reported he was expected to live in a corporate housing suite belonging to the security firm Stroz Friedberg.

But the company refused to comment to AFP. "Stroz Friedberg has no comment to issue at this time," said Pamela Siegel, chief marketing officer.

© 2011 AFP

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