NEWS

Strauss-Kahn to be freed on bail

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former chief of the International Monetary Fund, has been granted bail by a New York court as he faces trial for sexually attacking a maid in a Manhattan Hotel.

The judge set bail at one million US dollars. He also demanded that the disgraced French politician remain under house arrest in Manhattan under 24-hour armed guard.

“It’s a great relief to the family to be able to have him with them,? defense attorney Bill Taylor said after the late Thursday announcement, reports said.

The former finance minister and once a likely socialist candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections in France, is expected to leave the notorious jail on Rikers Island on Friday. He has been held there since his arrest on a Europe-bound Air France plane on Saturday.

Strauss-Kahn’s perp-walk, with his parading in handcuffs by US police in the American tradition, has caused a fury in his native country, with most commentators slamming the practice as a media circus.

Prosecutors had said the 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn should remain behind bars claiming he had ?incentive to flee.? He was denied bail on Monday.

The Frenchman is set to appear in court on June 6 to formally enter a plea. He has denied the allegations and on Wednesday he resigned as head of the Washington-based organization to focus, as he said, on clearing his name.

Strauss-Kahn was instrumental in Greece becoming the first eurozone country to receive a bailout a year ago. John Lipsky, an American, is the IMF’s acting head but the organization will have to pick a permanent managing director soon. Lipsky has said Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, would be ?an excellent choice? to head the organization.

Traditionally, the head of the IMF has been a European while an American has run the other Bretton Woods institution, the World Bank.

The government in Athens will be watching closely as the new chief will have a major role in deciding whether Athens should restructure its debt or if it should receive more loans.