Released: Dominique Strauss-Kahn in court last week
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn remained under house arrest and armed guard on Saturday in an apartment in New York’s financial district that has become a tourist attraction.
Strauss-Kahn, who was released from jail on Friday, was expected to stay in the apartment in Manhattan for a few days until permanent housing could be found, as he defends himself against charges of raping a maid in a New York hotel.
A trial may be six months or more away.
The temporary housing was arranged by a private security company that is guarding Strauss-Kahn at an estimated cost of $200,000 a month, which he is responsible for paying.
Satellite trucks lined the block outside the apartment, and scores of reporters and photographers waited for a glimpse of the man who until a week ago was one of the most powerful financial figures in the world.
Once a strong contender to be the next president of France, Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was seen as the leading contender to succeed him.
However, his wife in the bid to secure her bail, put up her mansion as collateral to help raise $6million to free her husband from jail.
The former chief of the International Monetary Fund spent Friday night in a £2,700-a-month apartment after being let out of New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison, where he was being held on sexual assault charges.
His wife, heiress and French television presenter Anne Sinclair, is also understood to be paying the rent for his ‘golden cage’ on the fourth floor of an exclusive block of flats near the site of the former World Trade Center.
The French politician’s bail was set at $1million (£600,000) in cash and a $5million (£3million) insurance bond, which Miss Sinclair raised on her mansion in Washington DC.
If her husband absconds, she will forfeit the money and the house in the exclusive Georgetown district, which she bought in 2007 for $4million (£2.4million).
Strauss-Kahn is charged with sexually assaulting a chambermaid at a Times Square hotel last Saturday.
Miss Sinclair is also paying £150,000 for armed guards, who have been posted outside the apartment’s gold-and-marble portico to ensure the 62-year-old politician does not try to flee to France.
Disgraced: Mr Strauss-Kahn is charged with sexually assaulting a chambermaid
Assistant District Attorney Artie McConnell, the prosecutor who brought the charges, strongly objected to the house arrest, saying the area close to Ground Zero was ‘problematic for the police to control’.
And residents of the building were enraged when they were told Strauss-Kahn had moved into the sprawling two-bedroom flat.
However, they have been assured that he will not be allowed to use the building’s gym or billiards room. He can leave the building only to attend religious services or seek essential medical treatment.
Strain: Anne Sinclair, wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, left, and daughter Camille leave Manhattan Criminal Court after agreeing to elaborate bail arrangements
His initial choice of a flat was the Bristol Plaza in mid-town Manhattan, which advertises flats that are ‘better than a hotel’ – and has a daily maid service. But he later withdrew
his application ‘out of respect’ for other tenants, one of his lawyers said.
‘The tenants in the building will not accept his living there,’ the lawyer elaborated.
Golden cage: The Manhattan apartment building where former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Khan is under house arrest
He was also rebuffed when he applied to move into a graduate housing block, where his daughter, Camille, a New York university ¬student, has digs.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that his alleged victim, a 32-year-old West African immigrant who cannot be named for legal reasons, has gone into hiding after invest¬igators for Strauss-Kahn’s legal team allegedly approved a ‘smear’ campaign.
The investigators are attempting to prove that the financier was trapped into ‘consensual’ sex with the woman in a conspiracy designed to derail his campaign to unseat French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Reuters and additional reporting by