14 Oct 2011

Strauss-Kahn sex assault probe dropped

4:29 pm on 14 October 2011

Prosecutors in France have dropped an inquiry into allegations of attempted rape against the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Khan.

The 62-year-old was accused by writer Tristane Banon of attempted rape in a Paris flat where she went to interview him in 2003.

The Paris public prosecutor's office said there was not enough evidence to pursue a count of attempted rape.

While evidence existed suggesting sexual assault, a prosecution on that lesser charge was not possible under the statute of limitations.

Since the incident dated back to 2003 and Banon had only filed her complaint in 2011, the matter could not be pursued, the statement said.

Ms Banon's lawyer, David Koubbi says his client is disappointed at the decision.

"Some people have said that Dominique Strauss-Kahn should have treatment - we are convinced he should be locked up," he said in a statement. "So in terms of this, because at the last moment he won't be imprisoned, Ms Banon is particularly disappointed."

Mr Khoubbi says his client still has the option of taking a civil complaint and would take a decision on that in the next few days.

Ms Banon's claim emerged earlier this year when Mr Strauss-Khan was facing charges over an encounter with a hotel employee in New York.

US prosecutors decided in August to drop those charges citing concern over the credibility of the hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo.