US Treasury Secy calls for new leadership of IMF

New York: The International Monetary Fund needs to find an interim replacement for its embattled chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is "obviously not in the position to run the IMF," US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said.

Strauss-Kahn is currently locked up in a New York prison as he faces sexual assault charges.

Speaking at the Harvard Club, Geithner said the IMF board should formally designate an interim head of the body.

Strauss-Kahn is "obviously not in the position to run the IMF and it is important that the board of the IMF formally put in place for an interim period someone to act as managing director," Geithner said in the first remarks by a top Obama administration official on the case.

In Strauss-Kahn`s absence, the First Deputy Director John Lipsky has been serving as acting managing director of the IMF.

"There`s a lot going on in the world… you want the IMF to have the capacity to be helpful… and I`m very confident that they will be able to," Geithner was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying.

Strauss-Kahn, who was denied bail, is being held at the Rikers Island prison.

He has been charged with a criminal sex act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment of the 32-year-old maid in his hotel room in Manhattan on Saturday.

His defense team Ben Brafman and William Taylor have said their client will plead not guilty and will fight the charges.