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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez 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 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 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 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.

VOA Blogs