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IMF’s Strauss-Kahn Makes New Bid for Bail in Assault Case

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Photographer: Andrew Gombert/Pool via Bloomberg
Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Photographer: Andrew Gombert/Pool via Bloomberg

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned yesterday as head of the International Monetary Fund, asked a second judge to release him on bail over charges that he sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a hotel maid in Manhattan.

Strauss-Kahn has been at New York’s Rikers Island jail complex since he was ordered held in custody at his arraignment May 16 before Judge Melissa Jackson. In a filing yesterday in state court, Strauss-Kahn, a French citizen, said he didn’t intend to leave the U.S. 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 an affidavit filed in court.

A bail hearing is scheduled for today before State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus. Strauss-Kahn informed the Executive Board of the IMF of his intention to resign as managing director with immediate effect, the IMF said in an e-mailed statement.

“I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me,” Strauss-Kahn said in a letter included in the IMF statement.

Home Detention

Strauss-Kahn’s bail proposal includes a requirement that he be confined to home detention 24 hours a day in Manhattan with electronic monitoring, in addition to posting $1 million in cash for bail, according to court filings. He previously surrendered his French passport to the district attorney’s office. His so-called laissez-passer travel document issued by the United Nations will be given to his lawyers, who will turn it over to prosecutors, according to the filing.

Strauss-Kahn said in the resignation statement that he wanted “to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence.”

In denying bail on May 16, Jackson agreed with prosecutors that Strauss-Kahn might flee if released.

Assistant District Attorney John “Artie” McConnell told Jackson at the bail hearing that Strauss-Kahn had every incentive to flee. If convicted of the most serious charges against him, he could be sentenced to as long as 25 years in prison, McConnell said.

‘Network of Contacts’

McConnell also said France doesn’t extradite its nationals and that Strauss-Kahn has “substantial” resources and “an extensive network of contacts throughout the world.”

Erin Duggan, chief spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., declined to comment on today’s bail hearing.

Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Strauss-Kahn, has said his client will plead not guilty to the charges.

Another court hearing in the case is set for tomorrow, when prosecutors will have to disclose whether a grand jury has indicted Strauss-Kahn.

The hotel housekeeper who reported being attacked testified before the grand jury yesterday, her lawyer, Jeffrey Shapiro, said in an interview.

“She was exhausted and emotionally drained,” he said. “I don’t know that she’s finished. I don’t know that she knows.”

Shapiro said he thought the district attorney was opposed to the bail application. He said his client was “very concerned about the idea that this man would be free.”

Defense Argument

At the May 16 bail hearing, Brafman made an argument that may suggest the defense will claim the woman consented in the alleged incident.

“There is nothing about this incident which was in any way consensual and the evidence in this case will absolutely establish that,” Shapiro said today.

Executive Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman Agnifilo, chief of the office’s trial division, won’t work on the case because she is married to Marc Agnifilo, an attorney at Brafman’s New York-based law firm.

Friedman Agnifilo recused herself from the case “as soon as the law firm of Brafman & Associates, with which her husband is associated, was engaged as counsel for the defendant,” Duggan said in a statement. “This is consistent with routine practice.”

Friedman Agnifilo and Marc Agnifilo didn’t return calls seeking comment yesterday.

‘Correctly Treated’

The French consul general in New York visited Strauss-Kahn in a police precinct and later at Rikers Island, said Marie-Laure Charrier, a consulate spokeswoman. The visit by the official is standard practice when a French citizen is arrested in the U.S., she said yesterday in an interview.

Philippe Lalliot, the consul general, went to see Strauss-Kahn to make sure he’s being “correctly treated” and receiving proper food, clothes and medications, Charrier said.

The consul general hasn’t discussed any legal issues surrounding Strauss-Kahn’s arrest or imprisonment, nor offered help regarding bail, Charrier said.

“There is no interference in the judicial process itself,” she said.

In Strauss-Kahn’s request for bail, his lawyers said his family has ties in the U.S.

“Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s history and background weigh strongly in favor of an order of release on bail,” his lawyers said in court papers. “Mr. Strauss-Kahn is a loving husband and father and a highly regarded international diplomat, lawyer, politician, economist and professor with no prior criminal record.”

Married Man

He has been married for more than 10 years to Anne Sinclair, who was born in New York, according to court filings. She completed part of her secondary schooling in the U.S.

The couple has lived in Washington since November 2007, when he was named managing director of the IMF, according to the filing. A copy of a deed in Sinclair’s name to a Georgetown home bought in 2007 for $4 million was included in yesterday’s filing.

At the May 16 bail hearing, Brafman asked Jackson to let Strauss-Kahn stay with his daughter, who lives in Manhattan.

Camille Strauss-Kahn is a graduate student at Columbia University and lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, according to yesterday’s filing.

The case is People v. Strauss-Kahn, 1225782, Criminal Court of the City of New York (New York County).

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