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Strauss-Kahn and accuser to be called before judge

French prosecutors have ordered former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and French writer Tristane Banon to meet before a judge to recount their stories. Banon has accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in 2003, a charge he denies.


AP – Former IMF chief Dominique Strass-Kahn and the woman who has accused him of trying to rape her in 2003 have been ordered to appear before a judge to tell their stories as part of an investigation into the case, the Paris prosecutor's office said Friday.

French writer Tristane Banon says Strauss-Kahn attacked her while she was interviewing him in 2003, when he was a senior figure in the opposition Socialist Party. He has derided her version of the events as imaginary and has sued her for slander.

Strauss-Kahn has already undergone one legal battle this year when he was charged in New York with trying to rape a hotel maid. Those charges were dropped but not before he resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund and lost his chance to run in France's upcoming presidential election, in which he was considered a leading contender.

He still faces a civil suit in that case.

Banon lodged her complaint after Strauss-Kahn's May arrest in New York, saying her mother and others had discouraged her to come forward earlier because Strauss-Kahn was so powerful.

The prosecutor's office is investigating the accusations but has not yet decided whether to bring charges.

It gave no date for the meeting, which is sometimes part of criminal investigations in France, particularly in cases that rest largely on conflicting testimony.

Plaintiff and defendant are asked to face each other in a judge's chambers and recount their stories. Banon and Strauss-Kahn have already spoken to police.

The Associated Press does not name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they agree to be identified or come forward publicly, as Banon has.


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