Strauss-Kahn, French accuser meet face-to-face

Last Updated: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 18:16

Paris: Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-
Kahn met in a face-to-face confrontation on Thursday with a
Frenchwoman who says he tried to rape her, as the two were
questioned jointly by investigators deciding whether to pursue
the case.

The Paris prosecutor`s office is investigating Tristane
Banon`s claims that Strauss-Kahn attacked her during an
interview for a book in 2003. Strauss-Kahn calls the claims
imaginary and slanderous.

Banon requested a one-on-one meeting with Strauss-Kahn,
which investigators granted. The two arrived at the police
facility this morning in cars and did not speak to reporters
gathered outside.

This kind of confrontation is a practice sometimes used in
France to help officials decide if a case is worth pursuing.
Strauss-Kahn quit as head of the International Monetary Fund
and saw his chances for the French presidency evaporate after
a New York hotel maid accused him of attempted rape in May.

The US case was later dropped amid questions about the
maid`s credibility, but the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, has filed
a civil suit. Strauss-Kahn claimed Monday he has diplomatic
immunity and asked a New York court to dismiss the lawsuit.

French accuser Banon has also threatened to sue
Strauss-Kahn if Paris prosecutors decide not to go forward
with a criminal case against him.

One challenge for Banon`s case is that the incident in
question happened eight years ago.

Banon has said that Strauss-Kahn invited her to an empty
apartment for the book interview, and they ended up tussling
on the floor, with the politician trying to open her jeans and
bra and putting his fingers in her mouth and underwear.

Banon has defended her decision not to press charges
against Strauss-Kahn at the time of the alleged incident. In
2003, she was 23 years old and Strauss-Kahn was an eminence
grise of France`s Socialist party.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 13:37

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