The ex-IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been granted bail by a court in New York. He spent Thursday night in prison but should be freed on Friday subject to conditions being fulfilled.
The decision by the judge Michael Obus came after a grand jury formally indicted Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault charges.
The conditions are one million dollars in cash with a five million dollar guarantee. In addition, Strauss Kahn must live under home detention in Manhattan with a 24-hour armed guard at his expense, and be electronically monitored.
The defence said a flat had been rented by Strauss-Kahn’s wife.
The prosecutor John McConnell argued unsuccessfully that given all that was at stake, Strauss-Kahn had an incentive to flee back to France where he would be safe from extradition to the US.
He said the presumed victim had provided strong and compelling evidence of the attack.
In court Strauss-Kahn’s defence lawyer William Taylor proposed stringent bail conditions in a bid to secure his client’s freedom; the judge took time out to question him further about the details.
The man who until recently was one of the most powerful on earth may now go free at least temporarily after languishing in New York’s Rikers Island jail.
But he still faces a long battle to clear his name. The next court hearing has been set for June 6.