Thursday, 19 May 2011

Strauss-Kahn steps down as IMF chief

Former managing director of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn
France's Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under pressures over alleged sexual assault charges that he strongly denies.

"It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of Managing Director of the IMF," AFP quoted Strauss-Kahn as saying on Thursday.

"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 want 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," he went on to say.

The leading French politician, who is jailed in New York's notorious Rikers Island, awaits a grand jury decision on whether to indict him on charges of the alleged sexual assault and attempted rape of a 32-year-old Manhattan hotel chambermaid.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested on May 14 over allegations that he had sexually attacked the cleaning lady at the luxury hotel near Times Square on Saturday.

He was expected to declare his candidacy for the French presidency soon and was considered as a strong contender to defeat President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's elections.

The 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn could face 5 to 25 years in prison if convicted.

The IMF is the intergovernmental organization which oversees the global financial system through the macroeconomic policies of its member countries.