Bloomberg News

Strauss-Kahn Accusers’ Lawyers Meet With N.Y. Prosecutors

July 19, 2011

(Updates with comment from spokeswoman for prosecutor in fourth paragraph.)

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Manhattan prosecutors met with lawyers for two women who separately accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attacking them.

David Koubbi, a lawyer for writer Tristane Banon, who told French authorities Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape her in 2003, declined to comment to reporters as he left the Manhattan district attorney’s office today. With him was Kenneth P. Thompson, who is representing a hotel maid who accused Strauss- Kahn of sexually assaulted her in a New York Hotel room in May.

Strauss-Kahn has pleaded not guilty to the charges in New York and has filed a complaint with Paris prosecutors accusing Banon of slander. A hearing is set for Aug. 1 in the New York case.

“The investigation is continuing,” Erin Duggan, chief spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said today in an e-mail. She declined to comment on the meeting.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, was freed from home confinement this month while awaiting trial in New York after prosecutors said the case against him was hurt by the accuser’s “substantial credibility issues.” According to a letter dated June 30 and filed with the court by prosecutors, the 32-year-old hotel housekeeper from Guinea lied to a grand jury about her actions right after the alleged attack, as well as on her tax returns and in an application for asylum.

‘I Want Justice’

“I want justice for the victim,” Thompson said after today’s meeting, which lasted about 2 1/2 hours. “She was sexually assaulted in that room and the truth matters. We want her to be able to tell her account.” Thompson also declined to say what happened in the meeting.

Thibault de Montbrial, a Paris-based attorney for the maid, also came out of the Manhattan district attorney’s office with Koubbi and Thompson.

Banon filed a criminal complaint in France against Strauss- Kahn this month, saying he assaulted her in February 2003 when she went to interview him for a book. Her accusation came after Strauss-Kahn was freed from home confinement in Manhattan.

Paris police questioned Banon about her complaint on July 11. They have since met with her mother, Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife and his daughter Camille, who was a friend of Banon at the time and now lives in New York.

French police investigating Banon’s claims also will question Francois Hollande, the front-runner for the Socialist Party presidential nomination, a spokeswoman for Paris prosecutors said today. Hollande has said that he had heard something about Banon’s claims, said Agnes Labregere-Delorme, the spokeswoman.

--With assistance from Heather Smith in Paris. Editors: Andrew Dunn, Stephen Farr

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Freifeld in New York at kfreifeld@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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