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March 25, 2023

IMF chief resigns, denies sexual assault charges

NEW YORK – The head of the International Monetary Fund has resigned amid mounting calls he step down after being jailed on charges he sexually assaulted a maid in his upscale hotel suite in New York, CNN informs.

In a brief letter to the IMF executive board late Wednesday, Dominique Strauss-Kahn proclaimed his innocence.
He said he was stepping down to “protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion, and especially – especially – I want to devote all my strength, all my time and all my energy to proving my innocence.”

“To all, I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me,” he said. “I think at this time first of my wife — whom I love more than anything — of my children, of my family, of my friends,” he wrote. “I think also of my colleagues at the Fund; together we have accomplished such great things over the last three years and more.”

While the search begins to replace him, John Lipsky will continue as acting managing director of the fund, the IMF said in a statement. Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim, a 32-year-old Guinean maid for the Sofitel hotel, testified before a grand jury for hours on Wednesday and will continue her testimony Thursday, according to an attorney representing her.

Strauss-Kahn’s resignation came as his attorneys are preparing to appeal Thursday to New York’s Supreme Court to release their client on bail. He has agreed to post $1 million in cash, to be confined to home detention in Manhattan with electronic monitoring and to turn over his U.N. travel document to “eliminate any concern that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would or could leave this court’s jurisdiction,” attorney Shawn P. Naunton wrote in the appeal.

A tentative deal was in the works that could result in his release on bail as early as Thursday, a source close to the defense told CNN. The appeal adds a number of conditions, including electronic monitoring, which were not in a bail request turned down Monday by a criminal court judge in Manhattan.

Europe backs EU candidate for IMF

Leading voices in Europe say another European should head the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, BBC reports.

Germany’s Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso’s comments come amid debate over whether the next IMF chief should come from the developing world.

Ms Merkel said a European was needed in light of the eurozone’s problems. A spokeswoman for Mr Barroso was quoted as saying it was “only natural that the member states of the European Union, as the biggest contributor to the fund, agree on a strong and competent candidate who can rally support from the IMF membership”. She said talks were likely to identify a “strong European candidate”. But South Africa, Brazil and Mexico are among developing nations urging the IMF to abandon the tradition of reserving the post for a European – with Brazil saying that era is “over”. On Thursday a Chinese go­vern­ment spokeswoman said the sel­ection process should be based on “merit, transparency and fairness”.

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