Strauss-Kahn apologizes to IMF staff: witness

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Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Monday apologized to staff at the Washington-based lender, a witness said, after being cleared of sexual assault charges.

Strauss-Kahn told staff he had come to "apologize to those who have been hurt" by the scandal, and said he was sorry that the sensational case had had a negative impact on the IMF, according to a Fund employee at the meeting.

The French economist's visit to the IMF headquarters in Washington lasted just under two hours, witnesses said.

The employee described the atmosphere of the meeting as "very positive" and said about half the Fund's staff was present and had applauded Strauss-Kahn, who was emotional.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, resigned as the International Monetary Fund's managing director after he was arrested and charged in May. He was replaced in July by former French finance minister Christine Lagarde.

Strauss-Kahn, who last week walked free when a judge dismissed charges that he sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a hotel maid in New York in May, made a farewell visit to his former headquarters in Washington.

A New York judge last week approved a request by prosecutors to dismiss charges that he sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a hotel maid.

Prosecutors said they could not pursue the case because the accuser's lies had made it impossible to prove her accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.

© 2011 AFP

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