News / Europe

Former IMF Chief Indicted, Granted Bail

An NYPD prisoner movement slip for former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn
An NYPD prisoner movement slip for former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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A New York City judge has granted bail to Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the former International Monetary Fund chief awaits arraignment and trial on charges of sexual assault.  He is accused of attacking a maid in a New York hotel.

Judge Michael Obus set Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s bail at $1 million, plus a $5 million bond secured against a family home.  The court had denied an earlier request for bail.  In addition, Strauss-Kahn must submit to electronic surveillance.  A private security firm will provide armed guards to prevent possible flight.  He will stay with his wife in a New York apartment.

"We’re very relieved. We’re very happy. We can now focus on some other aspects of the case," said Defense attorney William Taylor.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. said a grand jury has returned a seven count indictment against Strauss-Kahn based on evidence provided by New York authorities.

"Under American law, these are extremely serious charges.  Based on the grand jury’s determination, the evidence supports the commission of non-consensual, forced sexual acts.  The defendant was indicted on all of the charges presented to the grand jury," Vance said.

Those charges include a criminal sexual act and attempted rape.  Strauss-Kahn denies the allegations.  His supporters in France say he is the victim of character assassination by political opponents to preclude his candidacy for the presidency of his native France.  

Strauss-Kahn resigned his IMF position late Wednesday, saying he wants to devote all of his energy to proving his innocence.  His deputy, John Lipsky, an American, will serve as acting managing IMF director.  But European countries are competing against fast growing economies elsewhere to name a permanent successor.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says developing economies have a legitimate claim, but only in the medium term.  "In the present situation, when we have significant problems with the euro and the IMF is very much involved there, there are arguments to propose a European candidate and support him in the international community," she said.

China’s position on a successor coincides with that of countries such as Brazil and South Africa.  "We have always believed that the IMF should continue to push forward for reform, and should choose a better senior official of the IMF based on fairness and transparency. In principle we believe developing countries should be better represented at senior levels," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.

Strauss-Kahn’s arraignment is set for June 6.  He faces as much as 25 years in prison if convicted.

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