Putin says Strauss-Kahn is a victim of conspiracy to oust him
Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, has suggested that Dominique Strauss-Kahn may be the victim of a conspiracy to force him from the head of the IMF.
Mr Putin said that he finds it hard to believe that the sex charges against the Frenchman are true and that he may have fallen victim to a shadowy plot to discredit him.
"It is hard for me to evaluate the real political underlying reasons and I do not even want to get into that subject, but I cannot believe that everything is as it seems and how it was initially presented," he said. "It does not sit right in my head."
Mr Strauss-Kahn was arrested at JFK airport in New York on May 14 for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid.
Putin's support for the former IMF head is likely to be seized upon by his critics who suspect that he is a male chauvinist, a claim Mr Putin denies. (© Daily Telegraph, London)