US - France

Strauss-Kahn leaves luxury NY townhouse ... briefly

Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has taken his first trip out of the luxurious New York townhouse where he is under house arrest. And Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has expressed doubts about the case against the former International Monetary Fund chief.


Strauss-Kahn is living in the fashionable Tribeca district where he has moved since being released on bail pending his trial on sexual assault charges.

Click for virtual tour of Strauss-Kahn house

On Friday, he took a brief visit to a doctor, for reasons that remain unclear, accompanied by his wife Anne Sinclair.

Strauss-Kahn, who is monitored by armed guards, is not allowed to leave the 40-million-dollar (28-million-euro) townhouse, except for medical visits, court dates and religious services.

Strauss-Kahn's presence has become the object of some fascination for his new neighbours - passers-by peer through the door of the building. And on Friday, an unidentified man attempted to deliver an inflatable shark with red, white and blue balloons.

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has become the latest public figure to express disbelief at the rape allegations. But he said he did not want to discuss what he called "hidden political motives".

Here in France feminists have criticised reactions to the case, saying that the cleaning woman who's made the allegations has a right to be believed.

A recent protest in Paris drew several hundred people, some of them carrying banners that read "We are all chambermaids".

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