International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned his post from a New York City jail cell, where he is battling charges of sexual assault.
The IMF released his letter of resignation early Thursday. Dated Wednesday May 18, Strauss-Kahn’s letter says he feels compelled to resign to protect the institution.
He says he wants to devote all his strength, time, and energy to proving his innocence.
Defense lawyers are seeking to get him released on bail, as a grand jury considers whether to formally indict the man who once was considered a leading French presidential hopeful.
A court official told reporters that a judge will hear arguments for bail at a hearing on Thursday. A judge ruled earlier this week that the wealthy, 62-year-old French national could be a flight risk.
Meanwhile, the hotel maid whom the IMF chief has been accused of assaulting was reported to have testified against him Wednesday.
A lawyer for the 32-year-old woman said she would tell a grand jury in New York that there was “nothing consensual” about her encounter in Strauss-Kahn’s hotel room last week.
The woman, a widowed mother originally from Guinea, alleges that Strauss-Kahn groped and assaulted her in his luxurious hotel suite, and that he tried to rape her.
The New York grand jury is listening to testimony from her and others in secret, to determine if there is enough evidence to indict Strauss-Kahn. The grand jury decision is expected to be announced at a hearing Friday.
Strauss-Kahn denies the charges, as well as allegations that he tried to flee the country after the incident. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers say the IMF chief went out to lunch after leaving the hotel. They insist that the Paris flight on which he was arrested had been booked long before.
Strauss-Kahn has weathered past scandals. In 2008 he apologized for what he termed an “error in judgment” for an affair with one of his subordinates. Also, a lawyer for French writer Tristane Banon says she may make a legal complaint against Strauss-Kahn, claiming that he sexually assaulted her in 2002.