SHARE
COPY LINK

RAPE

Police interview DSK’s ex-wife in Banon case

Police have questioned Dominique Strauss-Kahn's ex-wife, Brigitte Guillemette, as part of an investigation into a French writer's claims he tried to rape her in 2003, a judicial source said Monday.

Guillemette is the godmother of journalist Tristane Banon, 32, who has lodged a formal complaint against the former International Monetary Fund chief awaiting his next court appearance in New York on a sex assault case there.

Detectives from the violent crimes squad interviewed his ex-wife on Friday, a source said, confirming a report on the Le Point news magazine website.

Banon’s mother, Anne Mansouret, has said recently in several press interviews that she had contacted Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife shortly after the alleged sexual assault on her daughter.

Banon accuses Strauss-Kahn of attacking her during an interview in February 2003 in a central Paris flat. She was herself questioned by police on July 11.

Police also interviewed Friday an online journalist who had worked with Banon, the source said.

Prosecutors will later decide whether to charge the 62-year-old Socialist politician, who was at one time expected to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s presidential election.

Strauss-Kahn faces criminal charges in New York for allegedly trying to rape a 32-year-old hotel maid in May, which he denies.

He has also dismissed Banon’s claims and his lawyers said they have filed a lawsuit for defamation against the young writer, who in a 2007 television interview accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to force himself on her “like a rutting chimpanzee.”

Strauss-Kahn’s name was bleeped out but Banon has since confirmed in a separate interview she was referring to him.

A source to close to the Banon investigation said Monday that Francois Hollande, the former head of the Socialist Party and a candidate for president in the party’s primary this year, is expected to be questioned by police soon.

The Figaro newspaper indicated the interview would take place in early September.

Both Banon and her mother have said Hollande was told about the young woman’s claims against Strauss-Kahn, but he has said he did not know in detail what allegedly happened.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TRIAL

Ghosn trial may be delayed until next year: Japanese media

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn's trial, which was expected to begin in September, will be delayed, local media said Saturday, hinting that it may not start this year.

Ghosn trial may be delayed until next year: Japanese media
Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn leaving a detention centre on Thursday. Photo: Behrouz Mehri / AFP
The 65-year-old tycoon, currently on bail, is preparing for his trial on four charges of financial misconduct ranging from concealing part of his salary from shareholders to syphoning off Nissan funds for his personal use.
   
The Tokyo District Court had proposed to start his trial in September during its pre-trial meetings with his defence lawyers and prosecutors, news reports said, quoting unnamed sources.
   
But the court told the lawyers and prosecutors on Friday that it had retracted the plan without proposing a new time frame, Kyodo News said, adding that the move could mean the trial will not start this year.
   
The court also decided not to separate the trial for Ghosn, his close aide Greg Kelly and Nissan — all indicted on the charge of violating the financial instruments law by underreporting Ghosn's compensation, according to Kyodo.
   
His lawyers have so far demanded he be tried separately from Nissan and have voiced fears he will not receive a fair trial.
   
The Sankei Shimbun also said prosecutors gave up filing an appeal to the Supreme Court against his bail, a move to erasing a chance of his return to jail unless he is arrested again on fresh charges. Immediate confirmation of the news reports was not available.
   
On Thursday, Ghosn exited his Tokyo detention centre after accepting bail of $4.5 million under strict conditions, including restrictions on seeing his wife.
   
His case has captivated Japan and the business community with its multiple twists and turns, as well as shone a spotlight on the Japanese justice system which critics say is overly harsh.
   
Ghosn denies all the charges, with a spokesperson for the executive saying on Monday he would “vigorously defend himself against these baseless accusations and fully expects to be vindicated”.
   
In a statement hours after his release, Ghosn said: “No person should ever be indefinitely held in solitary confinement for the purpose of being forced into making a confession.”
   
The dramatic case has thrown international attention onto the Japanese justice system, derided by critics as “hostage justice” as it allows prolonged detention and relies heavily on suspects' confessions.
SHOW COMMENTS