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

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.

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

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 said.

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.

IMF chief on suicide watch in jail

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been put on a suicide watch by prison authorities who fear he may try to kill himself.

Strauss-Kahn has been lodged at the Rikers Island Prison since Saturday after he was made to deboard a Paris-bound flight and was arrested.

A source said Strauss-Kahn Stut is on a so-called ‘101 Watch,’ Correction Department jargon for constant monitoring and suicide watch.

The source said was stripped off his Cartier watch and given a blue jailhouse smock to wear.

The high-profile prisoner is being checked regularly and has been made to wear shoes with no laces to pre-empt any suicide attempt.