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Another rape case likely against Strauss-Kahn

A French woman will bring legal action this week for attempted rape against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, her lawyer said Monday in an interview published online.

Tristane Banon, a journalist and writer, "is lodging a complaint for attempted rape against Mr Dominique Strauss-Kahn", the lawyer, David Koubbi, was quoted as saying by news magazine L'Express on its website.

"I will send the complaint tomorrow, Tuesday July 5, to the prosecutor, who will receive it on Wednesday morning."

The announcement came as Strauss-Kahn had high hopes of being cleared in another sex assault case, which saw him arrested and charged with trying to rape a New York hotel maid and cost him his job as head of the IMF.

Banon, 32, has alleged that Strauss-Kahn invited her to an apartment in 2003 promising to give her an interview, and instead pounced on her like "a rutting chimpanzee".

She made that allegation against the powerful politician in 2007 on television and in an interview with a news website, but had not so far made a formal complaint to authorities.

The New York case meanwhile appeared close to collapse after prosecutors cast doubt on the accuser's credibility, saying the maid was suspected of lying to police.

He was released from house arrest on Friday, prompting his allies in the French opposition Socialist Party to dream he could return to run for president.

Koubbi said in the wake of Strauss-Kahn's arrest that Banon had previously been persuaded not to take action by her mother, a regional councillor in Strauss-Kahn's Socialist Party.

In February 2007, Banon was a guest on a television chat show and recounted how a senior politician had lured her to a virtually empty apartment in the guise of agreeing to give an interview and then assaulted her.

In the broadcast version of her comments the name of the politician was bleeped out, but a year later Banon confirmed to the AgoraVox website that she was referring to Strauss-Kahn.

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