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Probe clears IMF chief Strauss-Kahn in affair

Video by Cédric MOLLE LAURENCON , Sonali BHATTACHARYYA

Text by REUTERS

Latest update : 2008-10-26

The International Monetary Fund's board faulted Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn of “a serious error of judgment” but found no abuse of power in an affair he had with an IMF economist.

 

The International Monetary Fund's board cleared Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Saturday of harassment, favoritism and abuse of power following an inquiry into his affair with a subordinate.

"The executive board noted that the incident was regrettable and reflected a serious error of judgment on the part of the managing director," the IMF's board of member countries said in a statement.

"The executive board stressed that the personal conduct of the managing director sets an important tone for the institution and, as such, must be beyond reproach at all times," it added.

The investigation into allegations of improper conduct by Strauss-Kahn found that his affair with Piroska Nagy, who worked in the IMF's Africa department as a senior economist until taking a buyout in August, had been consensual.

The head of the IMF board, Shakour Shaalan, said the board's decision was unanimous among its 24 members, who oversee the day-to-day operations of the global institution.

The board sought to deal with the investigation quickly so as not to distract the IMF from its role in dealing with the global financial crisis that has sent markets plunging on fears the world economy is in for a long and deep recession.

Shaalan told a conference call with reporters that Strauss-Kahn still had the confidence of the board.

"Our conclusion was that this will in no way affect the effectiveness of the managing director in the very challenging and difficult period ahead," said Shaalan, who represents Egypt and other Arab countries on the board.

"This was an unfortunate incident where he expressed his regrets and the board has accepted his apologies," Shaalan said, adding, "I personally spoke to him after the meeting and informed him this should not happen again."

Date created : 2008-10-26

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