Saturday 25 February 2017

Former IMF chief is finally released but barred from luxury apartment complex

Resident refuses to let Strauss-Kahn move in

Guy Adams and David Usborne n New York

Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the New York State Supreme Courthouse
Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the New York State Supreme Courthouse

DOMINIQUE Strauss-Kahn's was released from New York's notorious Rikeris Island jail after a hearing descended into farce yesterday when he was unable to find a suitable venue for his court-ordered house arrest.

The former IMF chief, who is accused of the attempted rape of a chambermaid in his hotel suite, was left with nowhere to go after the management of an upmarket Manhattan apartment complex -- where his wife, Anne Sinclair, had rented a temporary residence -- declared him persona non grata.

However it is understood that a "safe-house" was eventually found. Ms Sinclair, who in public has remained vehemently supportive of her 62-year-old spouse, was forced to embark on a search for the alternative accommodation.

Complained

A longstanding resident of the building, where two-bedroom flats rent for around $14,000 (€9,900) a month, is believed to have complained at the prospect of having him for a neighbour and a media scrum.

The development left Mr Strauss-Kahn in legal limbo.

Under an agreement negotiated on Thursday, the man who was until this week tipped as a future French president was to be freed on $1m bail, provided that he surrendered his passport, wore an electronic ankle bracelet and agreed to spend the months leading up to his trial under supervised house arrest.

He also had to post a $5m bond. Ms Sinclair, a well-known French journalist, is certainly not short of money.

But for as long as social stigma prevents her finding accommodation, Mr Strauss-Kahn will be forced to languish behind bars.

The situation is all the more unfortunate since Mr Strauss-Kahn has already backed his bail with the deeds to his wife's $4m house in Washington DC.

He has further agreed to pay $200,000 (€140,000) a month for armed guards to ensure that he doesn't attempt to escape.

The security firm the court approved to guard Mr Strauss-Kahn is not obliged to keep police informed of his location.

Irish Independent

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