Strauss-Kahn to visit IMF headquarters next week

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 25, 2011 12:44 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dominique Strauss-Khan plans to visit the International Monetary Fund he once headed next week, days after sexual assault charges against him were dropped, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday.

"Like any former managing director of the IMF, Mr Strauss-Kahn will be welcomed to the fund," spokesman David Hawley told reporters. "I understand he intends to make a personal visit to headquarters."

Strauss-Kahn led the IMF as managing director for four years and resigned on May 18, four days after his shock arrest in New York for criminal sexual assault and attempted rape involving a hotel maid.

In a dramatic development this week, prosecutors asked the charges against him be dismissed after they lost faith in the credibility of his accuser. Strauss-Kahn had been expected to be voted France's next president in the 2012 election.

The maid, Nafissatou Diallo, is pursuing a civil case against Strauss-Kahn and an inquiry is underway in France over allegation he tried to sexually assault writer Tristane Banon in 2003.

There was mixed reaction at the IMF to his planned visit.

"I'm shocked that he would come here after all that has happened," said on IMF employee, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk.

Another IMF employee, asked about the visit, said: "I feel sorry for him."

Strauss-Kahn has been succeeded as IMF director by another French politician, Christine Lagarde, who was France's finance minister, after a hotly contested race in which developing countries challenged Europe's traditional hold on the IMF top job.

In a letter to IMF staff in May to explain his resignation, Strauss-Kahn described the events around his arrest "a personal nightmare."

"I deny in the strongest possible terms the allegations which I now face; I am confident that the truth will come out and I will be exonerated," he added.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Jackie Frank)