Presumption of innocence crucial: IMF's Lagarde

6th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

New IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that media should respect the presumption of innocence in crime cases, as the sex case against her predecessor Dominique Strauss-Kahn appeared to be falling apart.

"I think the presumption of innocence is something that is highly valued the world over," Lagarde said in her debut press conference at the International Monetary Fund, when asked about US handling of Strauss-Kahn's case.

"I think it would be the honor of the media to actually respect that as well," she said, while not commenting directly on the case.

Strauss-Kahn, a French politician and economist, resigned as IMF managing director on May 18 to fight charges in New York that he had sexually assaulted a hotel chambermaid.

After weeks of heavy US press coverage of the case, last week the prosecutor admitted serious doubts about the credibility of the accuser.

US press reports Monday said the charges could soon be dropped, citing sources close to the case.

© 2011 AFP

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