MSNBC is reporting that a judge agreed Thursday to free former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn from a New York City jail on the condition that he post $1 million in bail and remain under house arrest, under the watch of armed guards, at a private apartment in Manhattan. The 62-year-old banker and diplomat wore an expression of relief after Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Obus announced his decision in a packed Manhattan courtroom. Later he blew a kiss toward his wife.
The ruling didn't free Strauss-Kahn immediately. Authorities need time to review and approve the security arrangements involved in his home detention, which lawyers said would be at an apartment rented by his wife. They did not disclose the location of the home.
Strauss-Kahn will also have to take out a $5 million insurance bond. It's not believed that the wealthy banker will have any problem meeting the financial conditions of his release.
"He's going back to Rikers tonight, and we expect him to be released tomorrow," said William Taylor, one of his attorneys.
His political career in shambles and his leadership of the IMF a memory, Strauss-Kahn was formally indicted at Thursday's hearing on charges that he sexually abused a maid at a Manhattan hotel.
Since his arrest, the French politician has been held at the city's bleak Rikers Island jail complex. Prosecutors had opposed his release, saying his wealth and international connections would make it easy for him to flee.
Strauss-Kahn definitely has the means to post the bail, and one more night in Rikers will be a gentle reminder of what he's facing: major time in prison if convicted of sexually assaulting the maid in his hotel suite. He is alleged to have chased her down a hallway, forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to make her remove her stockings. If that happened, they should lock him up and throw away the key.
Read more at MSNBC.
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