Tristane Banon: “I am not going to present a civil case”

19 October, 2011

 Tristane Banon

Tristane Banon has filed formal charges against DSK


[October 19]”I am not going to present a civil case,” Banon told Canal+ television. “Very clearly, in the letter which the prosecutor’s office sent me, it states that there was a sexual aggression so my status as a victim is recognized.”
[July 11] Tristane Banon has been interviewed by police for the first time.
It is the first step in the preliminary inquiry . Investigators will decide if there is enough evidence to proceed with a full trial.
French prosecutors have started a preliminary inquiry into a writer’s claim that former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2003. Detectives have been assigned to investigate the complaint lodged by Tristane Banon.
Even if the Manhattan case falls apart, Strauss-Kahn may still face sexual assault charges in Paris. A young writer named Tristane Banon, whose allegations of attempted rape by Strauss Kahn in 2003 have been long known in the shadows here, has filed formal charges against him. The DSK legal team called the charges “imaginary.” But a trial here may keep alive the basic issue of unwanted male advances. Her charges also appear to have dimmed the glow of any DSK triumphalism.

At age 22, Ms. Banon interviewed DSK in a private apartment of his choosing. She says he approached her with force, tried to rip off her blouse, bra, and jeans, and that she had to kick him and forcibly remove herself.
With Banon’s complaint in their hands, French prosecutors had to decide whether to open a preliminary inquiry of their own; or send it to an independent investigating magistrate to lead a full inquiry.
The New York Post had an explosive allegation. A single, anonymous source said that Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s accuser was working as a prostitute, servicing guests of the Sofitel Hotel in their pricey suites.

Too good to check? Perhaps. According to a knowledgeable source, the New York Post did not present the accuser’s camp — lawyers, PR agents — with those allegations before running that July 2 story.
Jeremy Saland, a criminal defense attorney who served as a prosecutor under Mr. Morgenthau, said his statement was “more than merely a vote of confidence” for Mr. Vance.

“It’s a show of support and an affirmation that what Vance is doing is the right thing,” Mr. Saland said. “At this stage in the process, people are smelling blood in the water about the way the case is being handled. Former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau’s statement is more than a life preserver; he’s pulling him out of the water.”
In his statement, Mr. Morgenthau said he met with Mr. Vance earlier this week to discuss the “issues raised by the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case.
“For decades we instructed line prosecutors at the Manhattan D.A.’s Office to seek justice over everything else, to investigate, to find the truth, and to proceed without fear or favor,” the statement said. “The most important attribute I looked for in hiring junior prosecutors was a strong ethical sense. The recent actions from the District Attorney’s Office show me that these attributes are alive and well.”
Mr. Saland called Mr. Morgenthau’s support “unparalleled,” adding: “There’s nobody in the business of criminal law that has the same cache.”
L’Express in French

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