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New York Prosecutors Want Alleged French Rape Victim to Testify in Strauss-Kahn Case

Tristane Banon leaves her lawyer's office in Paris (File Photo - July 5, 2011)
Tristane Banon leaves her lawyer's office in Paris (File Photo - July 5, 2011)

New York prosecutors investigating a Manhattan hotel maid's rape allegations against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn want a French writer who made similar claims to come to the United States to testify.

Writer Tristane Banon's attorney, David Koubbi, filed the complaint against Strauss-Kahn with the Paris prosecutor's office earlier this month. It accuses Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape Banon while she was interviewing him in a Paris apartment in 2003.

But Koubbi told the Reuters news agency that during a meeting Tuesday at the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance that he refused a request to turn over documents about Banon's case to New York prosecutors.

Koubbi says he will not release the material or advise his client to testify unless there is an official request for legal cooperation from the United States and it is agreed to by French authorities.

Strauss-Kahn, who was once deemed the leading Socialist candidate to take on French President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's election, denies both allegations.

The New York case against Strauss-Kahn hit a snag earlier this month after prosecutors said there were questions about the credibility of the hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault in May.