Dominique Strauss-Kahn Resigns from IMF over Sex Charge

World | May 19, 2011, Thursday // 07:49|  views

The Director General of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is pictured as he is being taken out in handcuffs from the special police unit for sexual harassment in New York's Harlem. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund after allegations of attempted rape.

"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," he said in a statement issued Wednesday. "I think at this time first of my wife—whom I love more than anything—of my children, of my family, of my friends."

In issuing his resignation Wednesday, Strauss-Kahn said, "I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me."

Dominique Strauss-Kahn faced an avalanche of calls to resign as head of the International Monetary Fund following his arrest on charges of attempted rape.

The Austrian finance minister, Maria Fekter, said he was hurting the IMF, while her Spanish counterpart, Elana Salgado, said her sympathies were with the alleged victim.

"Considering the situation, that bail was denied, he has to figure out for himself, that he is hurting the institution," the Guardian cited Fekter as telling journalists after arriving at a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels.

Salgado said the offences he was accused of were "extraordinarily serious". She said he needed to decide for himself if he should step down.

"If I had to show my solidarity and support for someone it would be toward the woman who has been assaulted, if that is really the case that she has been," she said.

Other European officials were more supportive.

"I'm very sad and upset. And he's a good friend of mine," the Luxembourg prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, said on Monday.

"I didn't like the pictures I've seen on television," he added, referring to footage that showed Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs being escorted by police outside a New York police station.

The majority of French people also stood by him.

Some 57% of those questioned in a poll this week believe that Strauss-Kahn, a widely popular Socialist politician who was preparing to launch a campaign for the presidency next year, is a victim of a smear campaign.

The figure shoots up to 70% among Socialist voters.

A total of 29% believe that the incumbent president, Nicolas Sarkozy, will gain the most benefits if Strauss-Kahn is kicked out of the race, though there is no implication that he has masterminded the plot.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested on a flight back to Europe where he had been due to host a series of high-level meetings about Europe's debt crisis.

He is being held at Rikers Island penal complex in New York and will be back in court on Friday.

Strauss-Kahn faces a number of charges in the alleged sexual assault of a 32-year-old maid in New York's Sofitel hotel last Saturday.

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

The images of Dominique Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs have circled the globe, but they are particularly disturbing to the French.

French law prohibits publishing the images of handcuffed suspects before they are convicted.

Many in France are shocked by the media coverage of a man that was until recently seen as a possible candidate for president.

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Tags: Anne Sinclair, sex attack, sexual assault, Nicolas Sarkozy, France, New York, International Monetary Fund, IMF, Strauss-Kahn, Dominique, Socialist Party


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