Home cinema, designer kitchen – no wonder Dominique Strauss-Kahn's smiling

Former IMF chief swaps Rikers Island jail for $50,000-a-month apartment in New York's trendy TriBeCa

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was yesterday ensconced in plush new accommodations in a smart lower-Manhattan neighbourhood. But the legal challenges facing him intensified as New York prosecutors beefed up their team, while the hotel maid he is accused of trying to rape enlisted two prominent civil-liberties attorneys ahead of a possible civil lawsuit against him.

The new abode of the former International Monetary Fund chief is a detached four-bedroom townhouse, complete with a gym, home theatre and steam spa bath, for sale at an asking price of $14m (£8.6m) and renting for $50,000 a month.

Mr Strauss-Kahn moved in on Wednesday evening, smiling to reporters as he left the apartment. He was released on bail of $1m on 20 May.

His temporary new home in the Tribeca district – just a short walk from the courthouse where he will appear on 6 June – is a gilded cage, but it is also a very tightly barred one.

Mr Strauss-Kahn is considered a flight risk and his movements are monitored by armed guards and cameras around the clock. Although he is allowed out for court dates, doctors' visits and religious services, he must give prosecutors six hours' notice each time he plans to leave.

The security arrangements are being handled by the same company, Stroz Friedberg, that managed the house arrest of the financier Bernard Madoff, at an estimated cost to Mr Strauss-Kahn of $200,000 a month.

According to one of his lawyers, the former IMF director and one-time French presidential aspirant was "doing fine" under house arrest. But there was "not much he could do" and he was "very bored", William Taylor said .

Mr Strauss-Kahn, who spent several days in jail on Rikers Island after his arrest on 14 May, has been indicted on seven counts, four of them felony charges of criminal sexual acts, attempted rape and sexual abuse, and three misdemeanour offences, including unlawful imprisonment.

But he has denied all wrongdoing, saying in his statement of resignation from the IMF that he rejected "with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me". On 6 June he is expected to plead not guilty, claiming that what occurred in his luxury suite at the Sofitel Hotel, close to Times Square, was consensual.

The court battle is set to be fierce. The Manhattan district attorney's office has assigned two female prosecutors, with experience of high-profile rape and murder trials, to join prosecutor Artie McConnell. They will take on Mr Strauss-Kahn's high-powered defence team of Mr Taylor and Benjamin Brafman.

Under New York law, any civil case by the maid, a 32-year-old immigrant from the West African country of Guinea, has to be filed within a year of the original incident. But it would almost certainly not go ahead until the criminal case was concluded.

Lawyer Jeffrey Shapiro has now been joined by two prominent civil-rights lawyers: Kenneth Thompson, an ex-federal attorney who successfully prosecuted the 1997 Abner Louima police-brutality case, and Norman Siegel, a former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Mr Thompson and Mr Siegel took part in a meeting with the woman and her family on Wednesday afternoon. "They decided that they should have enhanced representation," Mr Shapiro said. One reason for adding the attorneys was to decide whether "there is a civil case going forward".

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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map