September 26, 2011
Police question Strauss-Kahn in French assault case
UPDATE: [1:10 p.m.] Strauss-Kahn was immune from civil suit under international law when suit was filed, his lawyers say.
Monday, Sept. 12
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was questioned by French police on Monday over a complaint of attempted rape, filed after his May arrest in New York in a separate sex assault case that forced him to resign but was later dropped.
Tristane Banon, a journalist and writer some 30 years his junior, says Strauss-Kahn assaulted her in 2003 in a Paris apartment where he had invited her to interview him for a book she was writing.
The former IMF chief, once seen as a favorite to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency, returned to France after U.S. prosecutors dropped charges last month that he tried to rape a hotel maid.
He was questioned by Paris police for about three hours before leaving the station around 0900 (GMT) in a car without making any comment to journalists.
His French lawyers said in a statement that Strauss-Kahn, who has yet to make any public comment since returning to his Paris home, had asked to be heard by police as soon as scheduling allowed.
Other high profile witnesses, including Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande, have been questioned by police in the case to determine whether they had any knowledge of Banon’s allegations.
One issue is whether her allegations against Strauss-Kahn amount to attempted rape or sexual assault. In France the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases is three years, versus ten years for attempted rape.
Reporting by Nicolas Bertin and Thierry Leveque; Writing by Nick Vinocur; Editing by Peter Graff