IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn quits over sex charge

 
NYPD prisoner movement slip for former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn Dominique Strauss-Kahn was denied bail at a hearing on Monday

International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned following allegations he sexually assaulted a hotel maid in New York.

In a statement, Mr Strauss-Kahn - who is being held in Rikers Island prison - said he wanted to "devote all my strength... to proving my innocence."

Mr Strauss-Kahn will make a fresh application for bail later on Thursday.

Whether his successor comes from the developed or developing world will be a topic of hot debate, analysts say.

In the statement, Mr Strauss-Kahn said it was with "infinite sadness" that he tendered his resignation.

"I think at this time first of my wife - whom I love more than anything - of my children, of my family, of my friends. I think also of my colleagues at the Fund."

He said he denied "with the greatest possible firmness" all of the allegations against him, but said he wanted to protect the IMF.

The IMF said it would release information "in the near future" about appointing a successor.

The organisation's deputy, John Lipsky, has been in interim control of the IMF since Mr Strauss-Kahn's arrest on Saturday.

IMF: THE CONTENDERS

(Top left to Right)- Mohamed El-Erian, Stanley Fischer of Israel, Gordon Brown of Britain, Kemal Dervis of Turkey, Peer Steinbrueck of Germany, (bottom L-R) Montek Singh Ahluwalia of India, Christine Lagarde of France, Agustin Carstens of Mexico, Trevor Manuel of South Africa and Axel Weber of Germany
  • Mohamed El-Erian, Egypt
  • Stanley Fischer, Israel
  • Gordon Brown, UK
  • Kemal Dervis, Turkey
  • Peer Steinbrueck, Germany
  • Montek Singh Ahluwalia, India
  • Christine Lagarde, France
  • Agustin Carstens, Mexico
  • Trevor Manuel, South Africa
  • Axel Weber, Germany

Dominique Moisi, a special adviser at the French Institute for International Relations, said it was sad that "a brilliant career" had ended in "such an indignant way".

But he added that some in France were coming to believe that "there is maybe a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in the personality of Mr Strauss-Kahn".

The pressure had been growing on Mr Strauss-Kahn both at home and abroad, says the BBC's Christian Fraser in Paris.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had led calls for him to stand down, followed by the head of the governing right-wing UMP party in France, Jean-Francois Cope, who said he couldn't see how Mr Strauss-Kahn could carry on.

Analysts say Mr Strauss-Kahn's resignation heralds a battle between established and emerging economies over who will get the top job.

Traditionally, the US names the head of the World Bank, while the top job at the IMF goes to a European.

A Chinese government spokeswoman said the selection process should be based on "merit, transparency and fairness" - adding "we believe that emerging and developing countries should have representation at senior levels", Reuters reported.

However, Germany has said it wants the next head of the IMF to come from Europe.

Bail hearing

Mr Strauss-Kahn faces a number of charges in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a 32-year-old maid in New York's Sofitel hotel on 14 May.

They are: committing a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.

Police have removed a piece of carpet from the Sofitel hotel, in search of evidence to support the maid's allegation she was forced into an act of oral sex.

Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said on Monday that the defence believes the forensic evidence "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter".

On Monday a judge in New York denied Mr Strauss-Kahn bail - despite the offer of a $1m (£618,000) guarantee - saying there was a risk the IMF chief would flee the country.

However, he will make a new plea for bail at a court hearing on Thursday morning, Mr Brafman says.

A copy of his bail application, published on the website of the New York Times, shows Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyers are offering new conditions for bail in an effort to convince the judge that he will not try to flee while he prepares his defence.

Lawyer Jeffrey Shapiro: "She had no idea who this man was when she went into the room"

They include Mr Strauss-Kahn being confined 24 hours a day to a Manhattan address, subject to electronic surveillance.

The application also highlights Mr Strauss-Kahn's wife's ties to the US in an attempt to counter suggestions he could be a flight risk, saying she was partly schooled there and is currently working on a book about American political life, and pointing out the pair own a $4m home in Washington DC.

Since being remanded in custody, Mr Strauss-Kahn been placed on suicide watch at Rikers Island, a notorious prison.

Jeffrey Shapiro, lawyer for Mr Strauss-Kahn's accuser, says his client feared for herself and her daughter when she discovered Mr Strauss-Kahn's identity after the incident.

He said she had only become aware of Mr Strauss-Kahn's identity "a day later when a friend called her to tell her, 'do you have any idea who this man is who did this to you?'".

Mr Shapiro said his client was "scared and incredulous".

"When she found out this encounter was with a man of great power and wealth she feared not only for herself but more importantly for her daughter."

The woman, from the West African nation of Guinea, had now been reunited with her 15-year-old daughter in a "safe place", he added.

Labelled view of Rikers Island Jail
 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 131.

    Its unfortunate that he has to stand down simply for being accused of a crime, however serious. in the eyes of the law, he is innocent at this stage. The man could well be ruined by these allegations. if he is found guilty, then he deserves all he gets, but I'll reserve judgement until he has his day in court

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 76.

    Mr Strauss-Kahn stands accused of a most serious offence and it is right that he should have resigned his position at the IMF. Gordon Brown is the obvious candidate with the necessary skills and global contacts for the job. The current government in the UK will try to block his appointment as they are in denial about the causes of the global financial meltdown and resulting recession and deficit.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 69.

    Your Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Public opinion is something else entirely. As far as why he was handcuffed, everyone who gets arrested here is handcuffed. I would also like to point out that this man is not a household name in the US. Most Americans had no idea who he was or where he worked.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 33.

    DSK had one of the most prominent positions in the world. If the charges levied at him are proven in all or part, then it is a testament to his gross personal stupidity. If the charges are not proven in all, then I hope that he will be considered for re-election - it is widely acknowledged that he is the best/only man for the job from what I have heard.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 14.

    I still find it incredible that he gets a private cell. I know he is a suspect and has not been convicted, but other not convicted suspects are exposed to violent criminals. What makes him better than other suspects?

 

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