New IMF boss Lagarde says she spoke on phone to Strauss-Kahn

6th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

New IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday she had spoken on the telephone with her predecessor Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is facing sex assault charges in the United States.

"It was a strictly professional contact and dedicated exclusively to the succession I am taking up" at the International Monetary Fund, she told the France 24 television news channel.

They discussed "a certain number of current issues" related to the IMF, she said.

Lagarde earlier Wednesday gave her debut press conference as IMF chief.

"I think the presumption of innocence is something that is highly valued the world over," Lagarde said in her Washington press conference in Washington when asked about US handling of the Strauss-Kahn case.

"I think it would be the honour 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 say the charges could soon be dropped, citing sources close to the case.

© 2011 AFP

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