Strauss-Kahn resigns as IMF chief to prove innocence

Former French finance minister denies accusations that he sexually assaulted hotel maid; expected to seek $1 m. bail, home detention.

By REUTERS
May 19, 2011 09:35
1 minute read.
Strauss Kahn

Strauss Kahn 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

NEW YORK - Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund, saying he needed to devote all his energy to fight charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid.

His arrest after he was pulled from a plane in New York on Saturday dashes Strauss-Kahn's prospects of running for the French presidency in 2012 and has sparked debate around the world over the Fund's future leadership.

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"I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me," Strauss-Kahn said in his letter of resignation, released by the IMF and dated May 18.

"I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence."

Later on Thursday, the former French finance minister will make his second request to be allowed out of jail on $1 million cash bail and placed under 24-hour house arrest until his trial on charges of attempting to rape a hotel maid, his lawyers said. He is being held in New York's Rikers Island jail.

"Yes there will definitely be a bail hearing tomorrow," Manhattan District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Erin Duggan told Reuters on Wednesday.

A police mug shot of Strauss-Kahn, 62, taken more than 24 hours after he was detained, showed him exhausted, his eyes downcast and half-closed and wearing a rumpled, open-neck shirt.

The photograph is likely to fuel outrage in France over the way the man seen as a strong contender for the French presidency was paraded before the cameras in what is called the "perp walk" before he had a chance to defend himself in court.

Polls released in France on Wednesday showed 57 percent of respondents thought the Socialist politician was definitely, or probably, the victim of a plot.

The woman Strauss-Kahn allegedly tried to rape, a 32-year-old widow from West Africa, testified on Wednesday before a grand jury. It will decide in secret whether there is enough evidence to formally press charges with an indictment.


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