French prosecutors to probe Diallo lawyer witness claim

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French prosecutors said Wednesday they would begin probing a claim by lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn accuser Nafissatou Diallo that an attempt was made to suborn a witness in the high profile case.

Prosecutor Marie-Therese de Givry said a complaint was lodged on Tuesday by the hotel maid's French lawyer Thibault de Montbrial, prompting the opening of a preliminary inquiry.

De Montbrial announced on Monday that he was to file a complaint at Pontoise court alleging that an official in Sarcelles, near Paris, pressurised a woman claiming to have had a liaison with Strauss-Kahn not to give evidence.

The official, a deputy to Sarcelles mayor Francois Pupponi, has not been named. Strauss-Kahn is a former mayor of Sarcelles.

Pupponi is a friend of Strauss-Kahn who stepped down as the head of the International Monetary Union in the wake of allegations he attempted to rape Diallo at a New York hotel on May 14.

A judge on Tuesday dismissed all sex crime charges against the 62-year-old, who prior to the scandal was tipped to run in French presidential elections next year.

© 2011 AFP

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