Published on 19 May 2011 Sections , , ,

Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigns as IMF head

Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigns as head of the IMF over attempted rape charges. A French journalist tells Channel 4 News he is seen as innocent until proven guilty in France.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigns as IMF head (Reuters)

Mr Strauss-Kahn’s letter of resignation was published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after he was arrested over an alleged sexual assault in New York at the weekend.

He vehemently denied charges of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching, in his resignation letter, and vowed to clear his name.

“I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence,” Mr Strauss-Kahn wrote.

“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; together we have accomplished such great things over the last three years and more.

I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence. Dominique-Strauss Kahn

“To all, I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me.

“I want to protect this institution which I have served with honour and devotion, and especially – especially – I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence.”

Mr Strauss-Kahn has been imprisoned in New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail since being denied bail on Monday. He is accused of trying to rape a hotel maid in the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan.

The IMF will continue to be run by John Lipsky as Acting Managing Director until a new Managing Director can be found.

‘Innocent until proven guilty’

A poll released in France on Wednesday showed that 57 per cent of the French believe he is definitely or probably the victim of a plot. As well as being IMF head, he was also seen as a leading candidate for the French presidential elections.

Journalist Thomais Papaioannou, who works for I-Tele in France, told Channel 4 News the allegations of a plot were still in the news because many people were so shocked by Mr Strauss-Kahn’s treatment so far.

“He has quit and said I am innocent, innocent, innocent, and you have to respect his right to say that. This is why people are so puzzled, and why the plot scenario is on the news still,” she said.

People are asking: a qui profite le crime? Who will profit from this arrest? Journalist Thomais Papaioannou

“Even if we know Mr Strauss-Kahn is a womaniser, OK, lots of people are. But this is about rape – it’s completely different. And he is innocent until proven guilty.

“It’s really shocking how they are treating this guy – showing a photo of him in prison for example. He is already guilty in the eyes of a lot of people and he hasn’t even stood trial.

“Everybody is really shocked about this detail in France. The media is going very far and they don’t protect the principle of innocence, which is the most essential principle in our system.”

She said people in France were asking questions about who would benefit from his dramatic fall from fortune.

“People are asking: a qui profite le crime? Who will profit from this arrest? People are trying to figure out who could be the winner.”

Candidates to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn at IMF
Dominique Strauss-Kahn's resignation as head of the IMF has left a void at the top of one of the world's most important financial institutions.

The post has traditionally gone to a European, but there is rising pressure to open the field to all members as developing countries play a larger role in the global economy. Candidates have to be 65 or younger.

Kemal Dervis - Turkey Seen as a leading non-European candidate. The 62-year old is credited with bringing Turkey's economy back from the brink in 2001. Now at a US think-tank.

Christine Lagarde - France French Finance Minister, 55. Would be a top European candidate and first woman to hold the post - although could be difficult to bring another French person in after the Strauss-Kahn scandal.

Axel Weber - Germany Former President of Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, and ex-European Central Bank governing council member. The 53-year old is currently an economics professor in the US.

Trevor Manuel - South Africa Well-respected former South African Finance Minister, the 55-year old has long been touted as a possible candidate - although IMF insiders believe he may be better suited to the World Bank.

Agustin Carstens - Mexico Aged 52, he is currently Governor of the Bank of Mexico. Formerly Deputy Managing Director of the IMF

Mark Carney - Canada Local media suggest the 46-year-old former Goldman Sachs employee, now head of the Canadian central bank, could be a neutral candidate.

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