NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dominique Strauss-Kahn was granted bail by a New York judge on Thursday, five days after the former IMF chief was arrested on charges of trying to rape a hotel maid. Here are key quotes from the bail hearing:
WILLIAM TAYLOR, LAWYER FOR STRAUSS-KAHN:
“I have to say that the prospect of Mr. Strauss-Kahn teleporting himself to France and living there as an accused sex offender, fugitive, is ludicrous on its face.
“This is a man whose face is recognized ... to many if not most of the people in that country and elsewhere, and the idea that he would attempt to live the rest of his life as an accused sex offender in France as a fugitive is ridiculous. You can look at him and his lovely family and draw that conclusion for yourself.”
“We expect that Mr. Strauss-Kahn will be vindicated at the conclusion of these proceedings. But that’s for another day.
“Frankly, I was going to ask the court to release on a cash bail with no conditions, but it seems to me that under the circumstances, in light of the people’s strong objection, at this point we have made the decision to accept these most onerous conditions because his need to be released from custody is so extreme and frankly his right to it is so great.”
Taylor produced an itinerary for Strauss-Kahn’s European trip and an Air France ticket which had been bought on May 11.
“These two pieces of evidence authoritatively rebut the notion that Mr. Strauss-Kahn was in a panic mode attempting to make his way onto an international flight to avoid detention in New York.”
“Indeed, it’s undisputed that the reason the police knew his whereabouts is because he called the hotel... from JFK Airport to inquire whether the hotel had located his cell phone. The hotel advised that it had and asked him his whereabouts, which he promptly told them. Indeed, he called the hotel a second time, called security a second time to advise that the plane was boarding and to urge the hotel delivery people to please promptly
bring him his cell phone. We also know that immediately after the incident, alleged incident, he enjoyed a leisurely lunch with a member of his family at a restaurant in midtown, and that he got in a taxi cab at 2:15 more or less to make the 4:30 flight to
“The defendant in this case has shown a propensity for impulsive criminal conduct.”
“There is no right to bail. There is no right to be released.”
“While the investigation still is in its early stages, the proof against him is substantial, it is continuing to grow every day as the investigation continues, and it should be considered by the court when evaluating the issue of bail.
“The complainant in this case has offered a compelling and unwavering story about what occurred in the defendant’s room. She made immediate outcries to multiple witnesses, both to hotel staff and to police.
“The victim was given a complete an expert forensic examination and the findings from that examination are consistent with her account. The crime scene unit processed the hotel room and the scene, and while those scientific tests have not been completed, the preliminary indication are that forensic evidence that support the victim’s version of events may be found.
“The fact that his travel plans had been booked in advance does not change the fact that his exit from that hotel almost immediately after that incident was unusually hasty. While he may already have had plans to leave the country, his exit from the crime scene certainly suggested something had gone on in that room.”
“Whether or not he has international friends, he is a citizen of a country that does not have an extradition treaty with this country, and we know that it is possible that once a person leaves the country, it could be very difficult if not impossible to get him back. And in this case the defendant certainly has resources to live comfortably in his home country, from which he could not be extradited, so that the real issue for the court is whether there are conditions, along with any financial conditions, that would give the court sufficiently assurance that the defendant will be here.”
“If there is a way to secure the defendant’s appearance in court, that is really what the court is almost entirely concerned with at this point, if not entirely.”
“I recognize that the defendant’s wife has extensive assets. It’s one reason why I’m requiring the bond, so there will be some additional assurance. I realize... that money alone is not going to be sufficient to give us the assurance that we need to have. It is primarily these other conditions that I am expecting will simply make it impossible for the defendant to leave, which is really what I am concerned with.”
OBUS (ADDRESSING STRAUSS-KAHN):
“You will be subjected to and you will have the benefit of the protection of the criminal court system, the criminal justice system of this state and this country. I expect that you will be here for the occasion. I am accepting the conditions that have been proposed with the modifications I have made because I believe they are sufficient to ensure, to the extent one can possibly do this, to ensure that you will be here when we need you.
“I do want to make it very clear that if there is the slightest problem with your compliance with any of this, or anything is brought to my attention that warrants a reconsideration of the bail conditions, it will be done promptly and the court will decide whether or not the conditions need to be modified or whether they should be completely withdrawn and you should be returned to free man status. But under the circumstances we will proceed this way.”
Reporting by Edith Honan, Basil Katz, Andrew Longstreth and Michelle Nichols; editing by Anthony Boadle