News / Europe

Former IMF Chief Faces New Sexual Assault Charge

Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss Kahn (file photo)
Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss Kahn (file photo)

As France's Christine Lagarde starts her job as the International Monetary Fund's first female boss, her predecessor Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces new sexual assault charges in Paris. Strauss-Kahn plans on filing a countersuit.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's new accuser is very different from the New York hotel maid who has reportedly offered questionable testimony in a sexual assault case against the former International Monetary Fund chief.

Thirty-two-year old Tristane Banon is a French author.  Her mother is a prominent member of the French Socialist party and once reportedly close to the Strauss-Kahn family.  Banon claims Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her when she interviewed him in 2002.

Banon's lawyer David Koubbi made it clear in interviews on French radio that the French and New York case were completely separate.  He said he was not collaborating with the American justice system.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers said they will file a criminal complaint for slander against Banon should she press charges.

The latest accusation deals a blow to Strauss-Kahn, whose fortunes appeared on the rise amid reports the New York sexual assault case against him was  introuble.  In France, some members of his opposition Socialist Party, like party chief Martine Aubrey, raised speculation Strauss-Kahn might even run for the French presidency next year, if he is cleared.

Aubrey told French radio that should Strauss-Kahn decide to become a candidate, nobody would force a calendar on him.

Analyst Nicole Bacharan, of the Foundation of Political Sciences in Paris, said there is an outside possibility that the former IMF chief could still return to political life.

"One way would be to look at it as an innocent man who went through a terrible ordeal, who suffered political damage unknown at least in recent history and he could have the aura of some martyr and come back from the dead.  Some amazing political story to tell and he could make a comeback," Bacharan said.

But it may be that the French are fed up, and the traditional line here between the public and private lives of elected officials has been erased.  Besides the Strauss-Kahn case, two other political scandals have hit the news in recent weeks.

American University of Paris Political Science Professor Steven Ekovic:

"It seems to me this was the scandal that just went too far, and the French are asking themselves now about the behaviour of their politicians and political figures," Ekovich said.

Banon's mother says she now regrets having previously told her daughter to stay silent about Strauss-Kahn's alleged rape attempt.  Experts say that any legal process against him in France could take years.

You May Like

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs