Writer files attempted rape complaint against Strauss-Kahn

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A French writer has filed a complaint alleging that former IMF boss and leading politician Dominque Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape her about eight years ago, her lawyer said Tuesday.

In a one word note, David Koubbi "confirmed" to AFP he had sent a complaint by his client, 32-year-old Tristane Banon, to the Paris prosecutors who under French law will now have to decide whether to launch a criminal inquiry.

Separately, in a brief exchange with the French news network i-Tele, Koubbit insisted he had "no intention of making this a political case."

Banon's complaint, which relates to an alleged 2003 assault on her by Strauss-Kahn, came just as the 62-year-old Socialist official was hoping to shake off a previous attempted rape charge in the United States.

The economist has been charged with the attempted rape, kidnap and sexual assault of a New York hotel cleaner, but the alleged victims' case has been weakened by the prosecution's admission that it doubts her honesty.

Strauss-Kahn's US lawyers now hope that he will soon be cleared in that case, but if he returns home to France he now faces the prospect of a second inquiry relating to the much earlier alleged assault.

This is in turn could overshadow any hopes he had of returning to frontline French politics, having once been the pollsters' favourite to defeat incumbent centre-right leader Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential race.

© 2011 AFP

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