IMF responds to Geithner's comments on Strauss-Kahn

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Wednesday that its acting chief has the authority to handle regular business of the Washington-based agency, in response to earlier comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the jailed IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

"John Lipsky is acting Managing Director and as such, has the authority to conduct the regular business of the Fund," William Murray, an IMF spokesman, said Wednesday in a statement.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, was arrested in New York Saturday after being accused of sexually attacking a maid at the Sofitel New York hotel near Manhattan's Times Square.

Geithner, responding to a question during a Tuesday event in New York, said Strauss-Kahn who had been jailed since Saturday on sexual-assault charges is "obviously not in the position to run the IMF."

The IMF said on Tuesday that it has not had contact with Strauss-Kahn since his arrest in New York.

"We are aware of widespread speculation about the Managing Director's status. We have no comment on this speculation, other than to note, as we did earlier this week, that the Executive Board was briefed informally on developments regarding his arrest in New York. We continue to monitor developments. Meanwhile, Mr. John Lipsky remains acting Managing Director, and the Fund continues its normal work," Murray noted in a Tuesday statement. 

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