Strauss-Kahn granted bail, ordered home detention

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn
New York, May 20: Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was today (May 20) granted USD 1 million bail under stringent conditions, which includes tagging him with an electronic device, after he was formally indicted on all seven counts of sexually assaulting a hotel maid here.

62-year-old Strauss-Kahn would be detained at home ringed by armed guards and has been told to surrender all travel documents.

The New York Supreme Court Judge Michael J Obus asked him to pay an additional bond of USD 5 million as he acknowledged that there is "a serious risk" that Strauss-Kahn could attempt to flee.

Strauss-Kahn, who has claimed innocence, was locked up in a New York prison since Saturday when he was bundled out of a Paris-bound flight and taken into custody on charges of sexually assaulting a chambermaid at Sofitel hotel in Manhattan.

Strauss-Kahn has been charged with a criminal sex act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. He allegedly forced the maid, who is a native of Guinea, to perform oral sex and submit to anal sex.

"I expect that you will be here" for court, Obus said, addressing Strauss-Kahn directly.

"I do want to make it very clear: If there is the slightest problem with your compliance," court officials would quickly alter the bail agreement." Strauss-Kahn looked tired as he sat in court wearing a blue shirt and gray jacket without a tie. His wife, Anne Sinclair, a French TV journalist, was present in court along with their daughter.

Earlier, a grand jury indicted Strauss-Kahn on all seven charges he faced after his arrest on May 16, including four felony counts and three misdemeanors.

"These are extremely serious charges, based on the grand jury's determination that the evidence supports the commission of non-consensual, forced sexual acts," Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr said after the bail hearing.

Strauss-Kahn is allowed to stay with his wife in the apartment. On June 6, the court will hold an arraignment hearing in which the exact charges will be revealed.

Strauss-Kahn, however, has to spend one more night at the Rikers Island prison where he being held since Monday.

Prosecutors had cited the example of film director Roman Polanski, who fled from the US in 1977 after admitting to engage in unlawful sex with a minor. Strauss-Kahn, however, has given up his extradition rights, which he is granted as a French citizen.

Strauss-Kahn is expected to plead not guilty. His lawyers have also said that the sex was consensual. 

PTI

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