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Former IMF Head Could Be Released from Jail Friday

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn stands to depart his bail hearing inside of the New York State Supreme Courthouse in New York . Strauss-Kahn was granted bail by a New York judge, May 19, 2011

The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, could be released from New York's Rikers Island jail as soon as Friday, to await trial on sexual assault charges while on an electronic monitor.

A judge granted his bail request Thursday, under the condition that he put up $1 million bail and another $5 million bond secured by a family home. The French national is also to be watched by an armed guard while living in a rented New York apartment. He has surrendered his passport to U.S. authorities.

The conditions are intended to guarantee that Strauss-Kahn will appear in court for the trial on charges he sexually assaulted a hotel maid on Saturday. He could face decades in prison if convicted. Prosecutors opposed bail, arguing that Strauss-Kahn has the wealth and connections needed to leave the United States.

Strauss-Kahn resigned his IMF post late Wednesday. He strongly denies the charges, for which he was indicted (formally charged) Thursday. An arraignment hearing is set for June 6.

Strauss-Kahn is a former French finance minister, and had been expected to declare his candidacy for the French presidency soon. News accounts before his arrest said he had a chance to oust current President Nicolas Sarkozy.