First locked up, then locked out: Strauss-Kahn barred from his rented refuge

Bail plans in disarray for former IMF chief as exclusive apartment block refuses him entry

New York

Innocent until proven guilty, and with a $1m bail cheque burning a hole in his prison jumpsuit, Dominique Strauss-Kahn's release from New York's notorious Rikers Island jail descended into farce yesterday, after he was unable to find a suitable venue for his court-ordered house-arrest.

The former IMF chief, who is accused of the attempted rape of a chambermaid in the suite of his hotel last weekend, was left twiddling his thumbs after the management of an upscale Manhattan apartment complex where his wife Anne Sinclair had rented a temporary residence declared him to be persona non grata.

Ms Sinclair, who in public has remained vehemently supportive of her 62-year-old spouse, was forced to embark on a search for alternative accommodation, after the Bristol Plaza on East 65th Street pulled out of a deal to provide a residence for the couple. A long-standing resident of the building, where two-bedroom flats rent for around $14,000-a-month (£8,600), is believed to have complained at the prospect of having him for a neighbour.

The development left Mr Strauss-Kahn in legal limbo until a judge ruled shortly before 5pm that his conditions for bail had been met. It appeared last night that Mr Strauss-Kahn would move first to temporary housing from which he would not be allowed to stray for any reason. As well as armed guards and video cameras, the doors from the residence would be alarmed. Once he has moved, presumably with his wife, to more long-term accommodation pending his trial, Mr Strauss-Kahn will be allowed out but only for medical or legal appointments. There was no information last night on what kind of temporary abode had been found.

Under an agreement negotiated on Thursday, the man who was until this week tipped as a future French president was to be freed on $1m bail, provided he surrendered his passport, wore an electronic ankle bracelet, and agreed to spend the months leading up to his trial under supervised house arrest. He is unable to leave New York or move into a hotel. That presents a strategic problem, since residents of city's upscale apartment complexes are notoriously choosy about the people permitted to live next door.

Ms Sinclair, a French journalist, is certainly not short of money. She is sole heir to her grandfather, a wealthy art dealer called Paul Rosenberg. Mr Strauss-Kahn has backed his bail with the deeds to his wife's $4m house in Washington DC. He has also agreed to pay $200,000-a-month for armed guards to ensure that he doesn't attempt to escape.

"They are certainly permitted to use reasonable force necessary to restrain or to prevent his escape," his lawyer told the court. "That, however, will not be a problem with this client, who is intent on coming to court to clear his name."

As journalists and TV crews gathered at Rikers Island awaiting the inmate's release, the IMF's finances were coming under scrutiny. Before his resignation, Mr Strauss-Kahn was earning roughly $530,000 a year, and he is likely to be paid $300,000 in compensation for quitting the job. His pension will provide another $318,000 per year.

In France, where many believe he was the victim of a conspiracy, politics may turn into a double courtroom drama this autumn. With the "DSK" trial due to begin in October, it emerged yesterday that the suspended trial of former president Jacques Chirac on corruption charges will probably resume in Paris in September. Mr Chirac's trial on allegations that he embezzled public money to fund his political party while mayor of Paris was interrupted in March. France's highest appeal court rejected the challenges yesterday.

* It was last night reported that Strauss-Kahn was moved into a 21-story granite skyscraper called the Empire Building. The apartment building on Broadway in Manhattan's Financial District, several blocks from the World Trade Centre site, rents two-bedroom apartments starting at $4,250 a month, with nine-foot ceilings, bay windows and walk-in closets.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory