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IMF to meet over Strauss-Kahn affair

Text by REUTERS

Latest update : 2008-10-26

The International Monetary Fund is set to meet this weekend to consider the findings of an investigation into the possible abuse of power by its chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, following his brief affair with a senior IMF economist.

 

The International Monetary Fund board will meet this weekend to consider findings of an investigation into possible abuse of power by Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, officials said on Friday.

 

IMF officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a report by the outside lawyer hired to conduct the probe will be sent to the board of 24 member countries later on Friday.

 

A decision is likely on Sunday.

 

The investigation by a lawyer from the firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has looked at possible abuse of power issues relating to a brief affair Strauss-Kahn had with a senior IMF economist, Piroska Nagy, who worked in the IMF's Africa department until taking a buyout in August.

 

Her lawyer, Robert Litt of Arnold & Porter, told Reuters his client had not received special treatment and was not pressured to leave.

 

The IMF has sought to resolve the issue quickly so as not to distract from its role in dealing with the global financial crisis as emerging and developing countries turn to it for finance and advice.

 

Earlier this week, Strauss-Kahn apologized to IMF staff, Nagy and to his wife, French television personality Anne Sinclair, who has dismissed it as a "one night stand."

 

The former French finance minister apologized for "my error in initiating this relationship" with Nagy but denied he had abused his power.

 

Strauss-Kahn also faced questions about the hiring of a young French intern, Emilie Byhet, who worked on one of his political campaigns when he sought the Socialist nomination in the French presidential election.

 

An internal IMF review around Byhet's hiring in the summer concluded that standard procedures were followed.

 

While Byhet's two-month internship, which was later extended, was not part of the formal investigation, IMF officials said the lawyer "was aware of it and will look at everything."

 

The IMF board has been anxious to avoid a repetition of the bitter controversy the World Bank experienced just 16 months ago in which former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz was forced to resign over a high-paying promotion for his female companion at the bank.

 

IMF staff fear the probe may damage the fund's credibility at a time when the financial crisis has forced it into a more prominent global role. (

Date created : 2008-10-25

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