Former IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn Appears In Court

Originally published on May 19, 2011 7:33 pm
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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been granted bail by a New York court, but the legal situation for the former head of the International Monetary Fund has not improved. Shortly before bail was granted, Strauss-Kahn was indicted on sex charges.

NPR's Joel Rose joins us now outside the state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

And, Joel, tell us about the indictment.

JOEL ROSE: The grand jury indicted Strauss-Kahn on seven counts. The most serious are criminal sexual act in the first degree and attempted rape in the first degree, and there are a number of others.

NORRIS: Now, Strauss-Kahn was denied bail on Monday. What was different today? Why was he granted bail in this case?

ROSE: The defense essentially promised that Strauss-Kahn would stay under house arrest with 24-hour surveillance, and he would remain under house arrest 24 hours a day in Manhattan. And in addition, he's going to put up a million dollars in cash and a $5 million bond, an insurance bond. So the judge said that he was satisfied with those conditions.

NORRIS: And he's been granted bail. Has he also been released now?

ROSE: We understand from the defense attorney that Strauss-Kahn one more night at Rikers Island jail, but the defense for Strauss-Kahn says he is relieved. He will not have to be back in court until June 6th. That is when Strauss-Kahn is expected to plead not guilty to the charges.

NORRIS: That's NPR's Joel Rose speaking to us from New York.

Joel, thank you very much.

ROSE: My pleasure.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been granted bail by a New York court, but the legal situation for the former head of the International Monetary Fund has not improved. Shortly before bail was granted, Strauss-Kahn was indicted on sex charges, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

JOEL ROSE: The grand jury voted to indict Dominique Strauss-Kahn on seven counts related to his alleged sexual attack on a housekeeper at a luxury hotel over the weekend. Prosecutor Cyrus Vance described the charges to reporters outside the courthouse as, quote, "extremely serious."

Mr. CYRUS VANCE (Attorney): The defendant was indicted on all the charges presented to the grand jury, including criminal sexual act in the first degree, a class B violent felony, and attempted rape in the first degree, a class C violent felony.

ROSE: The last time Strauss-Kahn was in court on Monday, a judge denied bail, citing the high risk of flight. Strauss-Kahn was arrested Saturday on an Air France plane moments before it took off from JFK Airport. Prosecutors wanted to keep him in custody. But today, a different judge, Michael Obus of the state Supreme Court, granted bail after Strauss-Kahn's lawyers promised to keep him under house arrest in Manhattan. He will submit to rigorous electronic monitoring and a 24-hour armed guard. He's already surrendered his passport.

Strauss-Kahn is also required to put up $1 million in cash plus a $5 million insurance bond. Defense lawyer William Taylor said Strauss-Kahn will spend at least one more night at Rikers Island jail before his release.

Mr. WILLIAM TAYLOR (Attorney): It's a great relief to the family to be able to have him with them. We look forward to continuing the defense of this case. We'll be back in court on June 6.

ROSE: That's when Strauss-Kahn will likely plead not guilty to the charges. His lawyers are expected to argue that the encounter with the housekeeper was consensual.

Joel Rose, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.