Image: Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife Anne Sinclair
Mike Theiler  /  Reuters
Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife Anne Sinclair depart the IMF headquarters in Washington on Monday.
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updated 8/29/2011 8:25:44 PM ET 2011-08-30T00:25:44

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, returned to the IMF's Washington headquarters Monday to say goodbye to staffers and meet briefly with his successor. The visit came five days after New York prosecutors formally dismissed all criminal charges against him.

In a statement, the 187-nation lending agency said its current managing director, Christine Lagarde, met with Strauss-Kahn before he met with IMF staffers.

"These were private meetings, arranged at his request," the IMF said in a statement. "We have no further comment to offer."

Paulo Nogueira Batista, who represents Brazil on the IMF's 24-member executive board, described the meeting with staffers as warm. He said hundreds packed into an IMF auditorium to hear Strauss-Kahn speak.

Story: Strauss-Kahn 'paid a heavy price,' defense attorney says

"It was a very emotional, warm farewell," Nogueira Batista said. He said that Strauss-Kahn received lengthy applause when he entered the IMF auditorium and after he concluded his remarks. The session was closed to reporters.

The global lending institution emailed staff at the fund's Washington headquarters early Monday to announce Strauss-Kahn's visit. The email said Strauss-Kahn wanted to say goodbye.

Strauss-Kahn resigned from the IMF in mid-May to fight charges of attempted rape and criminal sexual contact in New York. He had taken over as head of the IMF in November 2007 and won praise for his leadership during the financial crisis of 2008 and the severe global recession that followed.

Nogueira Batista said that when Strauss-Kahn took over, the IMF was at a low point in terms of prestige and importance. He said Strauss-Kahn was instrumental in reinvigorating the agency and making it a crucial player in dealing with the worst global downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

In his resignation latter in May, Strauss-Kahn said he was leaving his IMF post with "infinite sadness" so that he could devote full time to proving his innocence.

After a state appeals court judge declined to appoint a special prosecutor, a lower court judge formally dismissed the charges against Strauss-Kahn last Wednesday. An assistant district attorney for Manhattan said the prosecutor's office no longer found credible all the testimony from the hotel maid who had accused him.

Strauss-Kahn, who at one time had been considered a top contender to become president of France, has said he wants to return to France, where he will face an uncertain future that includes another investigation into an alleged sexual assault.

In the United States, Strauss-Kahn still faces a civil lawsuit that hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo has filed against him. Her attorneys have said they will aggressively litigate the civil case. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have called her account "imaginary."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Dominique Strauss-Kahn glad ‘the nightmare’ is over

  1. Closed captioning of: Dominique Strauss-Kahn glad ‘the nightmare’ is over

    >>> back at 7:41. where does dominique strauss-kahn go from here now that the sexual assault case against him has been dismissed? we'll talk to his defense team in a moment, but first nbc's ron allen has the latest. ron, good morning.

    >> good morning, carl. you might be surprised that he's still here in new york at this luxury townhouse where he's been staying. he says he has a few things to do before he heads home to france where he says he hopes to resume one of a normal life . he won't face criminal charges but his reputation has taken a hit and he's lost quite a bit along the way. some 2 1/2 months after his shocking arrest the man known worldwide as dsk left court a free man, but no longer head of the imf, nor likely french presidential candidate. in his first public statement after criminal charges were dropped, strauss-kahn spoke only in french and says he was glad what he called the nightmare was over. i'm relieved for my wife, for my children, and for everyone who supported me during the time, he said. prosecutors have taken the unusual step of asking the judge to throw out the case, saying they believe strauss-kahn did have a sexual encounter with diallo, a house keeper in this luxury new york hotel but prosecutors say diallo made so many false and conflicting statements during her investigation they couldn't determine whether the sex was forced or consensual, adding there was no physical evidence of a violent attack. diallo's attorney still insists she is the victim of a crime .

    >> women who are raped or sexual assaulted should not have to go through some type of path to show they lived a perfect life .

    >> reporter: in a last-ditch appeal diallo's attorney asked for a special prosecutor to take over. as request denied by two judges. diallo stills a a civil lawsuit pend for an unspecified amount of money and other damages. and so ends the criminal case , the house arrest in this luxury townhouse, to the accuser publicly coming forward to demand justice after her credibility was publicly challenged, and finally, to strauss-kahn walking away. but still facing dozens of protesters shouting at him. and now the fallout and the unanswered questions. the prosecution is being criticized for bringing such serious charges and for dropping them. the accuser could face perjury charges and her name and reputation have been dragged through the mud. dsk has yet to fully explain why he apparently got involved in a sexual encounter with a hotel maid in the first place.

    >> benjamin brafman and don are here, his attorneys. good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> we heard him call it a nightmare. what has he told you about what he makes of the situation?

    >> i think at various times we've had some conversations, some were difficult than others. i think now he is relieved. i think unless you have yourself been falsely accused of a very serious crime that you did not commit, i think it's impossible to understand the full measure of the relief that dominique strauss-kahn feels today. greatly relieved.

    >> the charges were dropped though, but clearly something happened in room 2806. forensic evidence of a sexual encounter . was he honest in the beginning that, yes, something happened but not the way she put it?

    >> as ben said yesterday, there's a great deal of difference between a sexual encounter and an attack. and the issue in this case was whether or not he attacked her. the story was improbable on its face that this man would emerge from his bathroom in the nude and jump without further ceremony on the chamber maid. so when we told the prosecutors that there was more to this story than perhaps met their eye and urged them to go slow, unfortunately they moved to indict within three days. as they said yesterday, the post-indictment investigation, the post-indictment investigation, which they did, is what resulted in freeing strauss-kahn .

    >> makes you wonder, ben, what would have happened if it hadn't been for that flight, maybe they wouldn't have had to make such a quick decision on an indictment.

    >> i think it's tough today to go back and figure what could have happened, what would have happened happened. we're dealing with the reality of what did happen. what did happen is he paid a heavy price for a momentary lapse of judgment that was not criminal. at the end of the day , now that the charges are dismissed, i think it's a statement to the world that in these cases, including the media, i might add, that rushing to judgment is not a good idea and let the system play itself out. the presumption of innocence is an important concept in our country.

    >> what happens to him next? public life in france , going back to global economic work in some way?

    >> i think he has a lot of options. i think he is probably best suited to talk about public life in france . but i think his options are wonderfully wide. he's a brilliant man and a brilliant economic mind when we need that most.

    >> yeah, i think until yesterday we have not been able to tell him that he was free to make decisions of any sort. today he is. and i think he and his family will take some time and just relax. they will make whatever arrangements they want to make about where they want to live and when they want to move. and then i suspect he will gather friends about him and make some decisions.

    >> there's always going to be, i think, a school of thought, here was a man who had a sexual encounter with a hotel maid, lunch with his daughter, and went to get on an airplane. have you made a moral judgment about the man?

    >> i think we shouldn't make moral judgments about people. in this country, if you do something inappropriate, you don't get prosecuted. the moral judgment i've made about this man is on balance he's quite a remarkable individual. i'm very impressed by him on balance and the momentary lapse of judgment does not make the man. i think he is a brilliant mind and i think he has a lot to offer the world, and i hope the offers are wide and interesting.

    >> thank you for coming in.

    >> thank you.

Timeline: Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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