The French writer who says Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2003 fought back on Monday, vowing to bring a civil case against the former IMF chief if there was no criminal prosecution.

"/> The French writer who says Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2003 fought back on Monday, vowing to bring a civil case against the former IMF chief if there was no criminal prosecution.

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Writer fights back in Strauss-Kahn rape case

The French writer who says Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2003 fought back on Monday, vowing to bring a civil case against the former IMF chief if there was no criminal prosecution.

Writer fights back in Strauss-Kahn rape case
Canal+ screenshot

Tristane Banon, 32, spoke on primetime television the day after the one-time French presidential hopeful broke his silence, telling over 13 million viewers he did not attack Banon or attempt to rape a New York hotel maid in May.

French police are probing Banon’s allegation that eight years ago now-fallen Socialist politician and economist Strauss-Kahn lured her to a flat, locked the door behind her and attempted to rape her.

“I would bring a civil case,” Banon told private channel Canal+ in what was also her first television interview since the scandal erupted and in which she gave her version of what happened during the alleged attack.

“He double-locked the door and left the keys in the lock, I didn’t feel good but I couldn’t have imagined what was going to happen, and very quickly we fought,” the frail-looking but pugnacious Banon said.

“It deteriorated and I think that if I didn’t have a lot of luck it would have ended up as a rape,” she said, with her lawyer David Koubbi sitting next to her during the roundtable interview.

An articulate but nervous Banon hit out at critics who wonder why she waited until July to go to police, defending her mother, Anne Mansouret, who at the time recommended she not seek prosecution.

Her mother, also a Socialist politician, claims to have had “consensual but brutal” sex with Strauss-Kahn, a family friend. Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife has threatened to sue Mansouret over the claim.

“Everybody told me not to go to the police,” Banon said, but when she went to a lawyer, Koubbi, two years ago he advised her to seek prosecution.

“I just didn’t feel up to it,” she said.

“I’m rightly afraid of power, I get emails every day from women who say to me: ‘I was raped and they never believed me.’ So you can imagine what would happen with Dominique Strauss-Kahn.”

“I’d like to know why is it that in this country when you accuse Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or the friend of his relatives, of something there’s always more doubt about the victim than the accused?” she said.

Paris prosecutors have not decided whether or not to charge Strauss-Kahn in the Banon case, but legal observers here feel it would be a hard case to prove eight years after the events and without physical evidence.

“The dossier isn’t that empty. It’s not just my word against his,” Banon said.

“Why are we never believed? What do I have to gain from all this? Why would I be out to get Mr Dominique Strauss-Kahn?”

The New York prosecutor has thrown out charges against Strauss-Kahn after deeming alleged victim Nafissatou Diallo unreliable, although the 62-year-old still faces a civil case over the claim.

Strauss-Kahn, who denies both alleged attacks, was released from house arrest in New York and allowed to return to France on September 4th.

On Sunday, Strauss-Kahn claimed during his television interview, conducted by a friend of his loyal wife, that his encounter with the hotel maid was “a moral failing” rather than attempted rape.

Strauss-Kahn also did not deny there had been an encounter with Banon, but said: “I was interviewed as a witness. I told the truth that in this meeting there had been no aggression, no violence, I will say no more.

“The version that has been reported is imaginary, slanderous,” he added.

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World unprepared for next financial crisis: ex-IMF chief Strauss-Kahn

The world is less well equipped to manage a major financial crisis today than it was a decade ago, according to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

World unprepared for next financial crisis: ex-IMF chief Strauss-Kahn
Former French Economy Minister and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dominique Strauss-Kahn , poses during a photo session in Paris on Thursday. Photo: JOEL SAGET / AFP
In an interview with AFP, the now-disgraced Strauss-Kahn — who ran the fund at the height of the 2008 financial meltdown — also said rising populism across the world is a direct result of the crisis. 
Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the IMF in 2011 after being accused of attempted rape in New York, although the charges were later dropped. He settled a subsequent civil suit, reportedly with more than $1.5 million.
Q: When did you become aware that a big crisis was brewing?
A: When I joined the IMF on Nov 1, 2007, it became clear quite quickly that things were not going well. That is why in January 2008, in Davos, I made a statement that made a bit of noise, asking for a global stimulus package worth two percent of each country's GDP. In April 2008, during the IMF's spring meetings, we released the figure of $1,000 billion that banks needed for their recapitalisation.
Q: Did the Bush administration grasp the danger of Lehman Brothers going bankrupt?
A: No, and that is why Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson decided not to save Lehman, because he wanted to make an example of it in the name of moral hazard. Like everybody else, he considerably underestimated the consequences. Allowing Lehman to go under was a serious mistake. Especially because only a week later they were forced to save the insurer AIG, which was much bigger.
Q: Ten years on, are we better equipped to deal with a crisis of such a magnitude?
A: No. We have made some progress, particularly in the area of banks' capital adequacy ratios. But that is not nearly enough. Imagine Deutsche Bank suddenly finding itself in difficulty. The eight percent of capital it has at its disposal are not going to be enough to solve the problem. The truth is that we are less well prepared now. Regulations are insufficient.
Q: How so?
A: After 2012-2013 we stopped talking about the need to regulate the economy, for example concerning the size of banks, or concerning rating agencies. We backtracked, which is why I am pessimistic about our preparedness. We have a non-thinking attitude towards globalisation and that does not yield positive results.
Q: Do we still have international coordination?
A: Coordination is mostly gone. Nobody plays that role anymore. Not the IMF and not the EU, and the United States president's policies are not helping. As a result, the mechanism that was created at the G20, which was very helpful because it involved emerging countries, has fallen apart. Ten years ago, governments accepted leaving that role to the IMF. I'm not sure it is able to play it today, but the future will tell.
Q: Do you believe that Donald Trump's election is a consequence of the crisis?
A: I believe so. I'm not saying that there was a single reason for Trump's election, but today's political situation is not unconnected to the crisis we lived through, both in the US with Trump and in Europe.
Q: Connected how?
A: One of the consequences of the crisis has been completely underestimated, in my opinion: the populism that is appearing everywhere is the direct outcome of the crisis and of the way that it was handled after 2011/2012, by favouring solutions that were going to increase inequalities.
Quantitative easing (by which central banks inject liquidity into the banking system) was useful and welcome. But it is a policy that is basically designed to bail out the financial system, and therefore serves the richest people on the planet.
When there's a fire, firemen intervene and there is water everywhere. But then you need to mop up, which we didn't do. And because this water flowed into the pockets of some, and not of everyone, there was a surge in inequality.
By AFP's Antonio Rodriguez