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Writer says will not pursue Strauss-Kahn in civil case

PARIS (Reuters) – A writer who accused former IMF chiefDominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape said Wednesday she would not pursue a civil case against him after French prosecutorsdropped a criminal investigation into her allegations last week.

Tristane Banon, who accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in a Paris flat where she went to interview him eight years ago, had initially indicated she would start a civil case against the one-time French presidential favorite after prosecutors ruled there was not enough evidence for a criminal trial for attempted rape.

The Paris public prosecutor’s office said there was evidence suggesting sexual assault but the statute of limitations on that lesser charge had already expired.

“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.”

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

Strauss-Kahn quit as head of the International Monetary Fund in May after police arrested him in New York on charges of attempting to rape a hotel maid. He denied any wrongdoing.

U.S. prosecutors decided in August to drop charges against 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn, citing concern over the credibility of the hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo.

The case, however, ended his chances of competing against President Nicolas Sarkozy in April’s presidential elections, which he had been favorite to win.

(Writing by Daniel Flynn; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

Written by | Reuters

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