Tourists flock to Strauss-Kahn base

The New York apartment building where former IMF leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn is under house arrest on sexual assault charges has become a new tourist hot spot.

The New York apartment building where former IMF leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn is under house arrest on sexual assault charges has become a new tourist hot spot.

Meanwhile, the IMF has been working to find a successor to lead an organisation that provides billions in loans to stabilise the world economy.

France’s finance minister, Christine Lagarde, has emerged as a front-runner to replace Strauss-Kahn, but emerging economies have pressed for an end to Europe’s traditional stranglehold on the position of IMF managing director.

Yesterday, open-top buses passed by, with cameras pointed at the luxury high-rise in lower Manhattan where Strauss-Kahn was holed up with his wife, Anne Sinclair.

She left in the late morning, getting into an SUV, destination unknown. Sinclair returned about four hours later.

Sinclair, a prominent French TV journalist before her marriage to Strauss-Kahn, has stood by her husband since his arrest last Sunday.

The 62-year-old economist is accused of sexually assaulting a maid last weekend in his 3,000 US dollar-a-night hotel suite at the Sofitel, near Manhattan’s Times Square. He has denied the allegations.

Strauss-Kahn was released from Rikers Island jail on Friday on $1m (€711,691) bail plus $5m (€3.5m) bond.

A crowd of international reporters and onlookers is gathering around the clock outside the 21-story Empire Building at 71 Broadway, across from Wall Street. Strauss-Kahn was moved there on Friday from his jail cell.

Another Manhattan building on the Upper East Side rejected him, after residents in the building complained about the throng of police and media gathered outside.

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