Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was granted a bail package Thursday by a judge on charges the diplomat tried to rape a hotel maid. He was scheduled to get out of Rikers Island Friday.
With Strauss-Kahn's wife and daughter and scores of international reporters looking on, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus ordered him to post $1-million cash and a $5-million bail bond, and pay a security firm for 24-hour electronic and human monitoring.
Lawyer William Taylor said the silver-haired diplomat, who smiled at his family but looked haggard after three days at Rikers, would stay at an apartment in Manhattan rented by his wife, Anne Sinclair.
The lawyer told Obus there was an "extreme" need for release. "He will appear in court," Taylor said. "He has only one interest at this time, and that is to clear his name."
The hearing came as prosecutors, who argued that Strauss-Kahn's wealth and connections made him a flight risk, released a seven-count indictment charging him with attempted rape and two counts of forced oral sex in a Saturday encounter with a housekeeper at the Sofitel in Manhattan.
The woman alleges that Strauss-Kahn, 62, pounced on her when she came to clean his room. He was pulled off an international flight later that day and put in a police lineup. He resigned from the IMF Wednesday, and his prospective candidacy to be France's next president now looks dead.
Prosecutors originally argued that Strauss-Kahn was trying to flee the country when he was caught on the plane, and argued to Obus Thursday that he made a "hasty" exit from the hotel. Taylor said the plane ticket was bought a week in advance, and his client had a leisurely lunch before heading to the airport from the Sofitel.
Assistant District Attorney Artie McConnell also argued the case was strong, and that a "bracelet with a battery" would never be enough to protect against flight to France -- which has no extradition treaty with the U.S. -- by a man with the power of Strauss-Kahn. "We have a man who by his own conduct has shown a propensity for impulsive criminal conduct," he said. " . . . He has the status and the resources to live a life of ease and comfort in parts of the world beyond this court's jurisdiction."
Strauss-Kahn has surrendered his French passport and in an affidavit waived "all extradition proceedings of every kind and character."
Obus warned Strauss-Kahn that "if there is the slightest problem with your compliance with any of this, or anything is brought to my attention that warrants a reconsideration of the bail conditions, it will be done promptly and the court will decide whether or not the conditions need to be modified."
In addition to wearing an ankle bracelet, the security firm Stroz Friedberg will assign guards 24/7 to watch Strauss-Kahn, accompany him when he leaves the apartment, and install electronic monitoring devices.
"The prospect of Mr. Strauss Kahn's teleporting himself to France and living as a fugitive sex offender is ludicrous," Taylor said.
Prosecutors said the security would cost Strauss-Kahn about $200,000 a month. Taylor said his client's net worth is $2 million, but his wife is much wealthier. She owns the couple's $4-million house in Washington, D.C., where the IMF is located.
Obus will sign a written order approving the bail package Friday, and after the bail is posted, Strauss-Kahn is expected to be released directly from Rikers. His arraignment on the indictment was set for June 3.
After the hearing, Taylor was asked about his client's state of mind. "It's much better now," he said, "than it was before we started."
With Bloomberg News
and the Los Angeles Times