French woman won't testify in Strauss-Kahn U.S. case

Reuters News
Posted: May 20, 2011 1:54 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - A French woman considering filing a complaint against Dominique Strauss-Kahn over an alleged 2002 sexual assault does not want to testify in an attempted rape case against the former IMF chief in New York, her lawyer said.

U.S. law enforcement authorities are reviewing at least two earlier cases involving alleged sexual misconduct by the French former IMF managing director, who has denied the charges and says he will fight to prove his innocence.

In France, lawyer David Koubbi told Reuters on Friday that his client, writer Tristane Banon, would refuse to testify to U.S. investigators.

"The presumption of innocence does not exist in the United States. My client does not want her strategy included in that framework," Koubbi said.

French media did not pay so much attention to the Banon case when an account it first surfaced in 2007 but have returned to the matter, which was never subject of a formal legal complaint, since Strauss-Kahn's arrest in New York.

Under French law, sexual assault charges must be filed within three years but attempted rape charges can be brought up to 10 years after the alleged attack.

(Reporting by Thierry Leveque; Writing by John Irish; Editing by Brian Love and Jon Boyle)