IMF's Strauss-Kahn to make second bid for bail

IMF's Strauss-Kahn to make second bid for bail

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn is to make a second bid for release from jail Thursday when his attorney presents a new plan for bail to a New York judge, dpa reported.

The powerful international economist spent his fifth night in a New York jail on charges that he sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a maid Saturday at Manhattan's Sofitel hotel.

Strauss-Kahn's first bid for bail was rejected Monday by New York Judge Melissa Jackson, who said the French citizen posed a flight risk after he was hauled off a plane that was preparing to take off for Europe and arrested Saturday.

In a filing Wednesday in state court, Strauss-Kahn declared he would not leave the United States without court permission and waived his extradition rights.

"In the event I fail to voluntarily appear in the New York court for any such proceedings, I waive the issuance and service of the warrant provided by law for my extradition from the Republic of France or any other jurisdiction," Strauss-Kahn said in the affidavit.

Strauss-Kahn was also expected back in criminal court Friday in Manhattan when a grand jury could issue an indictment against him. In the US judicial system, a grand jury determines whether there is enough evidence to go to trial.

The jury has already heard testimony from his 32-year-old accuser, CNN reported. According to a prosecutor's statement Monday, she had entered Strauss-Kahn's suite, leaving the door open as is required by her employer, when the economist emerged naked from the bathroom and locked the door behind her.

"He grabbed the victim's chest without consent, attempted to remove her pantyhose and forcibly grabbed the victim's vaginal area," the official charging document said.

He forced her to perform oral sex on him, Assistant District Attorney John McConnell said.

The 62-year-old, who had been expected to lead the French Socialist Party to victory over President Nicolas Sarkozy in elections next year, was being held in protective custody on Rikers Island in the East River. He reportedly had an entire wing to himself to protect him from other prisoners.

He was also being kept under suicide watch as a result of his intake evaluation, The New York Times reported. Officials quoted by the Times said such watches could be routine based on the nature of the charges against a defendant or whether he had ever been in jail before.

Strauss-Kahn's initial bail proposal offered 1 million dollars in cash. He earns a tax-free salary of 420,930 dollars plus a cost-of-living allowance of 75,350 dollars to live in Washington.

The second proposal to be presented Thursday would suggest that he be confined to home detention 24 hours a day in Manhattan with electronic monitoring in addition to the 1-million-dollar cash bail, court papers showed. He already turned over his French passport to the prosecutor's office.

As one of the most privileged of all international diplomats, Strauss-Kahn would ordinarily be entitled to diplomatic immunity against some criminal charges, but the IMF has repeatedly said that Strauss-Kahn was in New York on private, personal business and not on assignment from the fund.

"The MD's [managing director's] immunities are limited and are not applicable to this case," IMF spokesman William Murray said this week.

Jeffrey Shapiro - the lawyer representing his accuser, a widowed West African immigrant and mother of a teenage girl - told CNN Wednesday that the prospect of Strauss-Kahn's release has made his client nervous.

He said she "came from a world" where the letter of the law was not obeyed and where powerful men always got their way. "The idea that this person who attacked her is free, ... in her mind, that could cause her some harm," he said.

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