July 5- A formal complaint alleging attempted rape has been launched against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn in France. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
The lawyer acting for French writer Tristane Banon filed a formal complaint alleging attempted rape against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Attorney David Koubbi. SOUNDBITE: Attorney David Koubbi, saying (French): "The complaint was filed against Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn for attempted rape, events of a particular violence and gravity. I absolutely don't wish to make of this case a political one. I would like to specify that. However, if some politicians try, by not telling the truth, and when I say truth, I mean what they knew to be true, if some politicians try to get in the way of the defense of Ms Tristane Banon, they will then be considered as adversaries." The statement ended weeks of speculation over whether Banon would make formal legal moves against Strauss Kahn, whom she alleges tried to assault her in 2003, when she was 22. Signs that U.S. charges against Strauss-Kahn are unraveling have set off a round of political sparring that threatens to poison the run-up to an April 2012 presidential election that Strauss-Kahn had been positioned to win for the left prior to his arrest in New York on supicsion of sexual assaulting a New York hotel chambermaid. French left-wingers, furious their star candidate has been all but knocked out of the election race, dismissed the Banon complaint as more evidence that Strauss-Kahn's foes are determined to bring him down. The Banon case may fizzle out after a preliminary inquiry, unless the judge deems there is tangible evidence of an attempted sexual assault. Regardless of the outcome, opinion polls since the weekend suggest that more than half of French voters think Strauss-Kahn's political career is already over. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.