News / USA

    Strauss-Kahn Under Suicide Watch in New York Prison

    International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn appears in Manhattan Criminal Court during his arraignment in New York May 16, 2011.
    International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn appears in Manhattan Criminal Court during his arraignment in New York May 16, 2011.

    A law enforcement official says International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is under a 24-hour suicide watch in a New York prison.

    Strauss-Khan is being held at Rikers Island, a maximum security prison, for allegedly trying to rape a New York City hotel maid.

    The prison official Tuesday said Strauss-Kahn was placed under a suicide watch after undergoing a psychological exam. He gave no other details.

    Some global financial leaders are suggesting that Strauss-Kahn resign as head of the IMF.

    Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter said he should quit to avoid damaging the IMF. Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado said her sympathies are with the woman who was allegedly assaulted.

    Officials in China and Brazil suggest that the next IMF leader come from outside Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says world leaders should not pre-judge Strauss-Kahn. But she added that Europe has good candidates available to take his place.

    Strauss-Kahn is accused of attempted rape and criminal sexual acts against a maid at a luxury hotel in New York. He denies the charges.

    A New York judge denied Strauss-Kahn bail, saying he could be a flight risk. Strauss-Kahn is reported being kept in a single cell away from the general prison population.

    Strauss-Kahn has weathered past sexual 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 is considering filing a legal complaint against Strauss-Kahn, claiming he sexually assaulted her in 2002.

    Strauss-Kahn is due back in court on Friday.

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