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Strauss-Kahn reveals frustration in e-mail to IMF

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Dominique Strauss-Kahn timeline
  • The former head of the International Monetary Fund insists he is innocent
  • He says he quit because he doesn't want the fund to "share my own personal nightmare"
  • The IMF will start taking nominations for his replacement Monday
  • A battle is shaping up between Europe and the developing world to lead the body

Editors Note: Read in full Dominique Strauss-Kahn's email to the staff of the IMF.

(CNN) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last week as head of the International Monetary Fund in the face of sexual assault charges, told the fund's staff of his "profound sadness and frustration in having to leave under these circumstances" in an e-mail obtained by CNN.

"I deny in the strongest possible terms the allegations which I now face," Strauss-Kahn wrote to his former employees.

IMF acting head John Lipsky forwarded the e-mail to the fund's staff Sunday evening. It was then obtained exclusively by CNN's Nina dos Santos.

The Frenchman said he is confident that he will be exonerated of charges of attacking a hotel maid in New York, but he could not "accept that the Fund -- and you dear colleagues -- should in any way have to share my own personal nightmare. So, I had to go."

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He praises his former colleagues effusively in the e-mail, saying, "What the institution has achieved in the last three and a half years is the fruit of your thinking, your work, your conviction," and signs off, "Thank you, good luck for the future, and au revoir. Dominique."

The fund is scheduled to begin accepting nominations for his replacement Monday, with a battle shaping up between Europe and the developing world.

Every managing director of the fund has been European since the institution was created in 1945. Four have been French.

The United Kingdom said over the weekend it would back French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde for the position.

"We support her because she's the best person for the job, but I also personally think it would be a very good thing to see the first female managing director of the IMF in its 60 year history," British Chancellor George Osborne said.

Osborne is Britain's equivalent of a finance minister.

The fund said Friday that it aims to complete the selection process by June 30.

Lagarde is likely to face opposition from developing economies, who are proposing their own candidates for the post.

Mexico will put forward Central Bank Chief Agustin Carstens as a candidate, the state-run news agency reported Sunday.

Carstens worked with the fund as the executive director for Mexico, Spain, Venezuela and Central America, and was later a deputy managing director there, Notimex said.

Strauss-Kahn, who is accused of trying to rape a maid last week in his suite at the Sofitel hotel in New York, was released from Rikers Island jail on Friday and is staying with his wife, Anne Sinclair.

He sought the company of two female hotel staffers after he checked into Manhattan's Sofitel Hotel one day before his alleged sexual assault on the maid May 14, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation.

As a receptionist was escorting Strauss-Khan to his suite after check-in, he asked her to stay for some Champagne, according to the source, but the receptionist told investigators she turned him down.

Later, according to the source, Strauss-Kahn called a different receptionist from his suite to ask if she would join him for a drink in his room after she got off duty. Like the first receptionist, she also declined the former IMF chief's invitation.

"She described it as flirtatious," the source, who asked for anonymity, told CNN Sunday.

The additional details are emerging from police interviews with hotel staff about contacts employees may have had with their prestigious guest prior to and following the alleged attack.

Strauss-Kahn has been indicted on seven charges, including forcing the maid to perform oral sex on him and attempted rape. If he is convicted, Strauss-Kahn would face up to 25 years in prison.

In his written resignation to the International Monetary Fund last week, Strauss-Kahn said, "I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me."

CNN's Susan Candiotti, Ross Levitt and David Wilkinson contributed to this report.

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