My political career is over, admits Strauss-Kahn

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn declared in an interview broadcast on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, on Russian television that his political career was over and he was instead working as an economic advisor. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn declared in an interview broadcast on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, on Russian television that his political career was over and he was instead working as an economic advisor. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn declared in an interview broadcast on Wednesday on Russian television that his political career was over and he was instead working as an economic advisor.

"Politics for me is in the past," Mr Strauss-Kahn, who resigned from the IMF's top job in 2011 after being accused of sexual assault in a New York hotel, told state news channel Rossiya 24 in an interview.

"Today, I am working as an advisor to big companies in numerous countries in all the corners of the world - in Russia, Africa and Latin America," he added.

"I try my best to fulfil my role and give the most accurate advice possible," he said in the interview, which was conducted in French but dubbed into Russian.

Until his downfall, Strauss-Kahn was seen as the leading candidate to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency but the New York case made his participation impossible.

The presidency was ultimately won by his fellow Socialist Francois Hollande.

Mr Strauss-Kahn was in July suddenly appointed a member of the board of directors at two Russian state-controlled financial institutions - the Russian Fund for Direct Investment and the Russian Bank for Regional Development, the latter controlled by oil giant Rosneft.

"These companies have given me the task of giving a broader vision of all the global markets," Mr Strauss-Kahn added.

He admits a sexual encounter took place in the New York hotel room but says it was consensual. In December, he paid undisclosed damages to the maid whose allegation sparked the case.

A criminal investigation into the incident collapsed after the maid changed her version of events, leading prosecutors to conclude there was little chance of a conviction.

But in a new legal headache, it emerged this month that Mr Strauss-Kahn will face trial on pimping charges along with 12 others over an alleged prostitution ring in the French city of Lille.

Mr Strauss-Kahn, who was presented by the Russian television as an "influential French economist", said he had been hired by the Russian firms for his economic experience.

"The chiefs of these firms decided that my knowledge would be useful and this work suited me because I think that all the economic forces should work together," he said.

He said that Russia should "significantly internationalise its economic activity" and invest more in other countries.