Mother of Strauss-Kahn accuser says aim is justice

Mother of Strauss-Kahn accuser says aim is justice
# 06 July 2011 01:18 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. The mother of a French woman who claims Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2002 said Tuesday that her daughter is filing a criminal complaint against the former International Monetary Fund chief because she wants justice in the case, APA reports quoting “Associated Press”.
Anne Mansouret told the French radio station RTL that her daughter Tristane Banon "considers the only way to end this is in fact to file a complaint, to say that at least justice can be done."
Banon’s lawyer said he would file the complaint Tuesday.
Strauss-Kahn has labeled Banon’s account "imaginary" and is countering with his own plans to file a criminal complaint of slander against her.
Banon, 31, said on a 2007 television show that she had been attacked five years earlier by a politician at an interview in his apartment. She later identified the man as Strauss-Kahn.
"It finished very violently," she said on the television show. "I kicked him. He opened my bra. He tried to undo my jeans. It finished very badly."
Lawyer David Koubbi said Banon had been dissuaded from filing charges by Mansouret, a regional councilor in Strauss-Kahn’s Socialist party. Mansouret said that she regretted urging her daughter not to file a complaint after the incident, fearing that would affect her daughter’s career.
Banon came forward again after Strauss-Kahn’s May 14 arrest in New York, but Koubbi said his client had no intention of pressing charges while the American prosecution was going on because the two cases should be kept separate.
Banon is now moving forward, Koubbi told The Associated Press. He denied that decision was connected to the weakening of the U.S. case.
"She’s a young woman who’s matured," Mansouret told RTL. "She took this decision, I suppose, after maturely reflecting."
Mansouret said she thought that by filing the complaint, it would help her daughter "rebuild herself."
"She tried to move ahead without doing that, and it wasn’t possible. She arrived at a level of suffering. It’s suffering to be permanently harassed by people who criticize how you’ve acted," Mansouret said."
Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers said Monday that he "has always said that the incident described by Ms. Banon since 2007 is imaginary."
"He notes that this complaint comes quite conveniently right at the moment when there is no longer the slightest doubt about the false nature of the accusations against him in the United States," attorneys Henri Leclerc and Frederique Baulieu said in a joint statement.
If Banon files her complaint, a prosecutor can conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if there is enough evidence to support charges against Strauss-Kahn. Preliminary charges are followed by a lengthier investigation, sometimes lasting years, to determine if the case should go to trial before a judge.
The same process would apply to the slander complaint against Banon.
French prosecutors could decide not to pursue the case against Strauss-Kahn if they find evidence he engaged in forcible sexual contact that fell short of attempted rape. The statute of limitations on sexual assault charges in France is three years, while attempted rape charges can be filed for up to 10 years after the alleged crime.
Before the U.S. assault charges, Strauss-Kahn was considered the Socialist Party’s strongest possible candidate to defeat conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy in France’s 2012 presidential election.
Strauss-Kahn has relinquished his passport to authorities in New York and his next court appearance is on July 18.