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IMF ex-chief spends big to save himself

world Updated: Jun 02, 2011 02:06 IST

Driving from a $50,000-a-month apartment to see a likely $1,500-an-hour lawyer while supervised by a guard costing thousands per day, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is turning his defense against sex crime charges into a legal shopping spree.

With multi-millionaire wife Anne Sinclair at his side, the former International Monetary Fund chief clearly hopes he can throw enough money at the scandal to make it go away.

He may just be right.

“When money is no object, you can buy yourself justice. I don’t mean by paying people off — I mean by presenting all sorts of defenses,” defense attorney Todd Henry at The Henry Law Firm in Philadelphia told AFP.

Leading this multi-layered counterattack against accusations that Strauss-Kahn tried to rape a New York hotel maid on May 14 is renowned attorney Benjamin Brafman.

Brafman has defended P Diddy and Michael Jackson and commands star prices of his own. Although hard figures are not available, experienced attorneys told AFP that typical hourly fees range from $500 to $1,500, with Brafman likely at the high end. As Henry put it, Strauss-Kahn will have to decide “what his freedom’s worth.”

Add in Strauss-Kahn’s other principal lawyer William Taylor, and the private investigators at Guidepost Solutions, a secretive company headed by a senior ex-federal prosecutor, and the bill really starts rocketing.

Guidepost’s participation has not been confirmed, but according to other investigative services the New York firm is tasked with digging up dirt on the accuser, a 32-year-old west African immigrant sent to clean Strauss-Kahn’s room at the luxury Sofitel near Times Square.

Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn awaits trial under house arrest on a $1 million cash bail and $5 million bond in a Manhattan townhouse Sinclair reportedly rented for $50,000 a month.