IMF chief case 'damning': US senator

17th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

US Senator John Kerry said Tuesday that the circumstances surrounding IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's alleged assault of a hotel maid were "very troubling if not damning."

"You've got to give it a few days to let that develop. But if the evidence is what it appears to be, I think it would be very difficult for him to manage. It's very troubling," Kerry told reporters.

"We have in America a presumption of innocence, but obviously the circumstances are very troubling if not damning."

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman noted that any potential replacement of Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the world financial body was a contentious affair.

"There's still a leader there; I don't think we need to get into that yet," he said.

"The Chinese want the next leader to be from China, the Africans want the next leader to be from Africa. Europeans want to continue to be with Europeans."

Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund and a leading French politician tipped as a presidential front-runner for 2012, was charged in the early hours of Sunday morning with sexual assault and attempted rape for an alleged attack a day before at the posh Sofitel hotel in New York.

The 62-year-old IMF chief is currently languishing in a New York jail awaiting a grand jury's decision on whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial. The next court hearing is scheduled for Friday.

© 2011 AFP

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