Paris: A French writer has filed a complaint alleging former IMF boss and leading politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of sexual assault in New York, attempted to rape her about eight years ago.
   
In a one-word note, her lawyer David Koubbi "confirmed" on Tuesday that he had sent a complaint by 32-year-old Tristane Banon to Paris prosecutors who under French law will now decide whether to launch a criminal inquiry.

Banon's complaint, which relates to an alleged 2003 assault on her by Strauss-Kahn, came just as the 62-year-old Socialist kingpin was hoping to shake off sex crime charges in New York.

The economist has been charged with the attempted rape, kidnapping and sexual assault of a New York hotel maid but the alleged victim's case has been weakened by the prosecution's doubts about her credibility.

Strauss-Kahn's American lawyers are hoping that he will soon be cleared in that case if he returns home to France. He now faces the prospect of a second inquiry relating to the far earlier alleged assault.

The development could overshadow any hopes Strauss-Kahn had of returning to frontline French politics, having once been the pollsters' favourite to defeat incumbent centre-right leader Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential race.
   
But, in a brief exchange with a news network, Koubbi insisted that he had "no intention of making this a political case."

Banon had already publicly accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to force himself on the maid "like a rutting chimpanzee" but said she was persuaded at the time that no one would take her word against the powerful politician's if she
sued.

Strauss-Kahn is still awaiting trial in New York but a judge freed him from house arrest last week after prosecutors revealed concerns about the accuser's honesty.

(Agencies)