US Treasury secretary calls for interim IMF head
Published 19/05/2011 | 05:00
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last night declared that IMF chief Dominic Strauss-Kahn is not in a position to run the IMF and an interim replacement should be named.
Mr Geithner said the most important thing for the IMF was that it found a leader to fill Mr Strauss-Kahn's shoes.
"He is obviously not in a position to run the IMF," Mr Geithner said of Mr Strauss-Kahn, who is on suicide watch at Rikers Island prison.
"It is important that the board of the IMF formally put in place for an interim period someone to act as managing director."
It is the first time that a top official from President Barack Obama's administration has publicly spoken about the impact of Mr Strauss-Kahn's alleged sexual assault.
However, Mr Geithner refused to comment on the case or the details of the charges.
Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said on Monday that the defence believed the forensic evidence "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter".
But Jeffrey Shapiro, the lawyer for the maid at the centre of the case, said that "when a jury hears her testimony and sees her in person" it will become clear that "there is nothing consensual about what took place in that hotel room".
He said that his client had "no agenda" and believed it was her responsibility to follow the judicial process "and she will do that".
Public opinion in France appears to be largely on the side of Mr Strauss-Kahn, who until his arrest was considered one of the leading candidates for the French presidential election next year.
An opinion poll for RMC radio, BDM television and the 20Minutes website found 57pc of those who replied believed Mr Strauss-Kahn was the victim of a conspiracy.
That number rose to 70pc among those who identified themselves as favouring Mr Strauss-Kahn's centre-left Socialist Party.