• France's news in English

DSK to face Banon on Thursday: source

AFP · 26 Sep 2011, 17:08

Published: 26 Sep 2011 17:08 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Former IMF chief Dominque Strauss-Kahn will be brought face-to-face on Thursday with the young French writer who has accused him of trying to rape her, according to a source close to the investigation.

The politician will encounter 32-year-old Tristane Banon in an interview suite in the Paris police criminal investigation department's headquarters as part of the probe into the alleged 2003 assault, the source told AFP.

Banon has already said she is ready to confront her alleged attacker, and Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have said he is "at the disposal" of the police as he battles to clear his name -- now tarnished by two sex assault allegations.

Both parties have been interviewed by police over the alleged incident.

"The police unit asked me whether I was prepared to accept a confrontation. Obviously, I said: 'Yes'. I want him in front of me so he can look into my eyes and say to my face that I imagined it," Banon said last week.

Strauss-Kahn has lodged a lawsuit for slander against Banon over her claim, which he has called "imaginary".

The 62-year-old's career as managing director of the International Monetary Fund came crashing to an end in May when a New York hotel chambermaid accused him of sexual assault and he was arrested.

The case dashed his hopes of winning the French Socialist Party's nomination to run for president next year, but his multimillionaire heiress wife stood by him and paid for a luxury Manhattan townhouse during his house arrest.

The New York prosecutor's case collapsed last month after doubts emerged over the credibility of his accuser, Guinean immigrant Nafissatou Diallo, and the man the French call "DSK" made a triumphant return to Paris.

But French police were waiting to interview him about Banon's allegations, which she first made publicly on television in 2007 and brought to magistrates this year after the New York case came to light.

She has claimed that Strauss-Kahn -- 30 years her senior and a friend and one-time lover of her mother -- lured her to an unfurnished Paris flat in 2003 on the pretext of offering her an interview for a book she was writing.

She descibes him grabbing her "like a rutting chimpanzee", attempting to pull off her jeans and forcing her to kick and shout before escaping.

According to a source close to the inquiry, Strauss-Kahn told investigators that he had "made an advance" on her but had backed down on receiving a refusal and had at no point been violent or attempted to force himself on her.

Banon's complaint is for attempted rape rather than sexual assault, and if the prosecutor decides to downgrade the charge Strauss-Kahn would not be charged on the lesser crimes because of the statute of limitations.

Story continues below…

Regardless of the result of the criminal inquiry, Banon has vowed to lodge a civil suit against him, even as Strauss-Kahn will pursue his defamation suit against her. Diallo is also seeking damages in a New York civil case.

Strauss-Kahn was the pollsters' favourite to win next year's presidential election and oust the unpopular incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, and the cases have provoked a political earthquake in France.

The ongoing Socialist primary campaign is now a more open race, with former Strauss-Kahn rival Francois Hollande expected to win.

In a television interview, Strauss-Kahn said he had abandoned his presidential bid for now.


Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Homeless man does a runner from France's top restaurants
Photo: Prayitno/Flickr

"A man's gotta eat," he told police, after racking up gigantic bills in some of France's plushest restaurants.

Underwater museum hopes to make a splash in Marseille
A similar underwater museum piece by Jason deCaires Taylor. Photo: julie rohloff/Flickr

Don't forget your scuba gear...

Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Photo: Jacme/Flickr

Move over Paris...

And France's top chef of the year is... 'Monsieur Idiot'
Alexandre Couillon might have an unfortunate name, but he can sure cook!. Photo: AFP

Look beyond the name. He's the man who turned his family's humble "moules frites" joint into one of France's best seafood restaurants.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
Want to drive a scooter around Paris? Here's what you need to know
jobs available