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Daughter of Strauss-Kahn questioned in French probe into attempted rape accusation
PARIS (AP) ' French investigators have questioned one of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's daughters, one of his ex-wives and may question a Socialist presidential hopeful about claims the former International Monetary Fund chief tried to rape a writer.
Conflicting reports are surfacing about what the investigators have learned so far. And it's unclear whether they have enough material to take their preliminary investigation closer toward a possible trial.
Strauss-Kahn is already fighting attempted rape charges in New York stemming from a May encounter with a hotel maid, and the French case is being watched by players in the troubled U.S. legal saga.
Strauss-Kahn denies wrongdoing on either side of the Atlantic. A prominent Socialist politician, he was a top contender for France's presidential elections until his New York arrest in May. He resigned from the IMF to concentrate on fighting the charges.
The latest to face questioning in France was one of his four daughters, Camille Strauss-Kahn, a Columbia University graduate student and a friend of writer Tristane Banon, who brought the French charge against Strauss-Kahn.
A judicial official said Tuesday that Camille Strauss-Kahn was questioned Monday in the French probe. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is under way.
Banon says Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to wrench off her clothes and shoved his fingers in her mouth and underwear as she fought him off on the floor of an empty apartment during a 2003 interview for a book she was writing.
Banon and her mother have been questioned about her legal complaint, as has Strauss-Kahn's second wife, Brigitte Guillemette, who is also Banon's godmother.
Meanwhile, investigators are expected to question former Socialist chief Francois Hollande, who is seeking the party's nomination for next year's presidential elections. Banon's lawyer has said Hollande was told of the 2003 incident between Strauss-Kahn and Banon.
Banon posted a message on Facebook on Tuesday thanking her online "friends" for defending her name against heavy criticism on several French websites. Critics have questioned her motives for filing the legal complaint eight years late and cast doubt on her credibility.
The Associated Press does not name victims of alleged sex crimes unless they agree to be identified or publicly identify themselves, as Banon has.
Strauss-Kahn is currently in New York with his third wife, Anne Sinclair, awaiting a new court hearing Aug. 1 on the New York sexual assault charges.
New York prosecutors are re-evaluating their case after saying earlier this month that the chambermaid misled them about her background and her actions right after the alleged assault. That undercut her overall credibility, although she hasn't changed her account of the alleged attack itself, they say.
Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.