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Embattled IMF chief could be released on bail pending deal

world Updated: May 19, 2011 10:22 IST

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Embattled International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of trying to rape a New York hotel maid, could be released on bail as early as Thursday pending a deal his lawyers plan to submit, according to media reports.

Attorneys of Strauss-Kahn, who is currently lodged in a New York jail cell after being initially denied bail by a Manhattan Criminal Court judge, plan to appear in New York State Supreme Court Thursday, to present a deal to secure his release, CNN reported citing court administration spokesman David Bookstaver.

Prosecutors have warned that the powerful IMF chief is a potential flight risk.

Meanwhile, the alleged victim is set to testify before a grand jury in Manhattan Criminal Court, CNN said citing her attorney and a source.

"I want her to feel safe," said her attorney Jeffrey Shapiro. "To the extent that his freedom would impair her feeling of safety, that would deeply concern me."

The woman, a widow with one child who lives in the Bronx borough of New York, is expected to refute the notion that the incident was consensual, Shapiro said.

Prosecutors allege that a naked Strauss-Kahn, 62, chased the housekeeping employee through his posh Manhattan hotel suite on Saturday and sexually assaulted her.

But Strauss-Kahn's defence attorneys say the incident was consensual. "The forensic evidence, we believe, will not be consistent with a forcible account, and we believe there is a very, very defensible case," attorney Benjamin Brafman said during Strauss-Kahn's arraignment Monday.

A law enforcement source cited by CNN said Strauss-Kahn was examined for scratches and DNA samples were taken, and investigators searched for other evidence in the suite, including possible bodily fluids from both individuals.

Strauss-Kahn consented to the testing after investigators were prepared to execute a search warrant, the source said.

Forensic test results could be ready as soon as Strauss-Kahn's next court appearance, scheduled for Friday.