Dominique Strauss-Kahn is due to appear in court in New York on Friday at 11:30 a.m. A call to the Manhattan District Attorney's office confirmed the appearance, which wasn't announced until late in the day on Thursday, but prosecutors didn't give out any information as to what the hearing was about. The New York Times, however, reported that "a person briefed on the matter... said that the purpose of the hearing was to modify the extraordinary bail conditions imposed upon Mr. Strauss-Kahn after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 32-year-old Guinean housekeeper who came to clean his hotel suite at the Sofitel New York." Jon Swaine, the New York reporter for the U.K. Telegraph, sent out this slightly illuminating tweet: "Why is #DSK in court? Ben Brafman, his attorney, emails: 'Bail application'. Applying to alter bail conditions? 'No further comment tonight' " Strauss-Kahn, the former director of the International Monetary Fund, is currently confined to a TriBeCa townhouse, which he cannot leave except for religious observances, medical reasons, court appearances, or to meet with his lawyers. He must stay under 24-hour guard, which he must pay for.
The news of the unexpected court appearance follows a somewhat confusing story today that suggested Strauss-Kahn's lawyers were looking to get his case thrown out on a technicality. The Telegraph's Henry Samuel reported that Brafman and William Taylor, who are both representing Strauss-Kahn, had told a reporter for the French daily Liberation that they would move to have the case thrown out because a court document showed the housekeeper had been shown photos of Strauss-Kahn before she officially identified him to police. In fact, Liberation reporter Fabrice Rousselot did not talk to Brafman or Taylor. Rather, he spoke with lawyer Bradley D. Simon, who is not involved in the case but has been offering commentary. Simon told Rousselot that a question about the process by which Strauss-Kahn's accuser identified her alleged attacker could factor into his defense.