IMF 'will cooperate fully' in US probe of ex-chief

26th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The International Monetary Fund will fully cooperate with the investigation of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn for alleged sexual assault, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

"We will be behaving as a good citizen in the United States, where we live," IMF spokeswoman Caroline Atkinson said at a news conference.

The IMF "will cooperate fully," she said in response to a reporter's question about Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last week as managing director to face sexual assault charges in New York.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, is under house arrest in New York and denies all charges.

Asked whether the IMF staff had been contacted by New York investigators, she said she did not know.

Atkinson said the Fund "immediately" retained legal counsel on May 14 when Strauss-Kahn was arrested on allegations he sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a chambermaid in his suite at the posh Sofitel hotel in Manhattan.

Atkinson also said that neither IMF officials nor the legal adviser had met with Strauss-Kahn since then.

"Nobody has met with him," she said, adding there had been contacts with Strauss-Kahn's lawyers.

As for IMF cooperation, she said she expected there were various issues to be discussed, including the availability of staff for interviews.

"I don't think that those have been addressed yet," she said.

Asked whether the IMF has received other complaints against Strauss-Kahn, she said: "I'm not aware of any complaints."

"The former managing director is involved in a legal proceeding ... I don't want to get involved and I don't think it's appropriate to get involved in comments on that."

Strauss-Kahn announced his resignation on May 18 in a letter to the IMF executive board as he was being held in New York's Rikers Island prison.

A widely tipped Socialist contender in 2012 French presidential elections, he has been under house arrest since May 20 after posting $6 million bail.

Indicted by a grand jury on seven charges, he is scheduled for a June 6 court appearance to enter his plea.

Strauss-Kahn has insisted he is innocent of all charges in the case.

Since the IMF opened nominations for his successor Monday, two candidates have entered the race: Agustin Carstens, Mexico's central bank chief, and Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister.

Nominations close on June 10 and a new managing director is expected to be selected by June 30.

© 2011 AFP

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