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IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn Denied Bail in Sex Case

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 17, 2011 6:55 AM

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is the current head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and front-runner for the French presidency.

He is also accused of attempting to rape a hotel maid. Strauss-Kahn was pulled off an Air France flight on Saturday and booked into a New York jail.

And on Monday, his situation got worse when a judge in Manhattan Criminal Court denied him bail, forcing him to remain behind bars.

Here's why.

Though Dominique Strauss-Kahn can certainly afford the $1 million bail Reuters reports was requested by his attorneys, the terms of bail are often left to the discretion of a presiding judge.

The purpose of bail is to ensure that a defendant remains in the jurisdiction and presents himself at trial. However, this only works when a defendant is not in the position to risk forfeiting his bail money.

It's therefore common for judges to require passport forfeiture, house arrest, or to completely deny bail when money is not of particular issue to a defendant.

You will often see this when celebrities and the incredibly rich are charged with serious crimes.

In this situation, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, as head of the IMF, is one of most important people in the world of finance, and has access to incredible resources. The judge likely feared that a $1 million loss was not sufficient to keep him in the country, and, if released, that he would immediately use his contacts to return to France.

It makes sense to deny bail to someone who is such a flight risk.

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