New York: International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been moved to New York's notorious Rikers Island jail complex after a judge denied him bail on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid. Strauss-Kahn had 'settled' in at the East River compound by early Monday evening, media reported citing a New York Department of Corrections spokesman.

At least, until his next court appearance on Friday, he will be in protective custody, staying in an 11-by-13 foot cell by himself and having no contact with other inmates-steps taken because he is considered a high-profile detainee, the spokesman said.

His co-prisoners will include 14,000 men and women who are being held or have been convicted for a host of violent and other crimes committed in New York City.

In denying Strauss-Kahn, 62, bail Monday, Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson agreed with prosecutors' assertions that he is a flight risk saying, 'the fact that he was about to board a flight, that raises some concerns.'

Prosecutors had argued against bail, saying they believe Strauss-Kahn has engaged in 'similar acts' at least once and that there would be nothing to prevent him from returning to France and living 'open and notoriously' like film director Roman Polanski.

The fact he left the hotel quickly after the alleged incident, leaving his cell phone behind, became a key point at his arraignment on Monday.

His defence lawyers said Strauss-Kahn was simply hurrying off to a lunch appointment-pointing to his lack of a criminal record and willingness to remain with his daughter in New York in requesting USD 1 million bail.

"This battle has just begun," defence attorney Benjamin Brafman told reporters. "We think this case is very defensible."

If convicted Strauss-Kahn - the man who was widely believed to be contesting for the next French presidential election - faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

IMF Executive Board meets in Washington

Meanwhile the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held an informal meeting at its headquarters in Washington on Sunday to discuss the fallout of the arrest of its Managing Director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, on rape charges in New York.

"The Executive Board convened this afternoon in an informal session to receive a verbal report from senior Fund officials, including John Lipsky, Acting Managing Director, and Sean Hagan, the fund's General Counsel, on developments related to Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn," IMF spokeswoman Caroline Atkinson, said.

"The Board was briefed regarding criminal charges that have been brought against the Managing Director during a private visit to New York City," she said.

"The IMF and its Executive Board will continue to monitor developments," Atkinson added.

(Agencies)