Banon charges viewed as opportunistic and beyond limitation statutes

French public prosecutors tonight dropped an investigation into writer Tristane Banon’s accusation of attempted rape against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. As The Slog suggested before his departure from New York, The Paris public prosecutor’s office said the elapse time between the alleged offence and this complaint was too long to be credible. Some evidence, it added, suggesting sexual assault but a prosecution on that lesser charge was not possible under the French statute of limitations law.

“What came to light is that, while there is not enough evidence to pursue on a count of attempted rape, there are elements that can be qualified as sexual assault,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement on the outcome of a preliminary inquiry by police. 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.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers had dismissed the accusations and launched a counter-suit against Banon for alleged defamation.