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Ex-IMF Head to Await Trial in Posh Home

The townhouse in the Tribeca area of Manhattan where former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Khan is being held under house arrest in New York, May 25, 2011

The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has moved from a temporary apartment to a luxurious New York City townhouse to await trial on sexual assault charges.

Strauss-Kahn, who is under house arrest, made the move Wednesday after a judge approved it. He will be under guard at all times and only allowed to leave the home to meet with lawyers, seek medical attention, or attend religious services.

Strauss-Kahn is accused of sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid on May 14. He was arrested the same day while he was awaiting takeoff on a plane bound for France.

He was released last week on $1 million cash bail and a $5 million bond. His next court appearance is set for June 6, when a judge is expected to officially inform him of the charges he faces.

Meanwhile, there is international discussion about who should next become managing director of the IMF. China said Thursday any decision on the next chief should be made "through democratic consultation" and abide by the principles of "openness, transparency, and being merit-based."

China made a joint statement Tuesday with Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa saying it is time to end the "obsolete" custom of reserving the top position at the IMF for a European.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has announced her candidacy for the job and is considered a top contender. Mexican central bank director Agustin Carstens has also declared his interest in the job.

European Union leaders, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have said they want another European to head the IMF at a time when it is helping Greece, Ireland and Portugal cope with debt problems.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.