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Sunday, May 16, 2021

France investigating ex-president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing over sex assault claims

France investigating ex-president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing over sex assault claims

German reporter Ann-Kathrin Stracke says former leader, who is in his 90s, repeatedly touched her behind while in his Paris office in 2018. French prosecutors opened probe after journalist filed charges against d’Estaing

French prosecutors said on Monday they are opening a probe against ex-president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing over allegations by a German journalist that he sexually assaulted her after an interview in 2018.

The investigation follows claims by reporter Ann-Kathrin Stracke that Giscard d’Estaing, 94, repeatedly touched her behind in his Paris office, officials said.

Giscard d’Estaing, France’s oldest surviving former leader, served as president from 1974 until 1981, when he lost out on re-election to Francois Mitterand.

Stracke, 37, said last week she had filed charges against the former leader, claiming he had placed his hands on her backside three times while they posed for a photograph together in December 2018, when he was 92.

“I decided to tell my story because I think that people should know that a French former president harassed me sexually after an interview,” said the journalist for German public television WDR.

She took her case to Paris prosecutors on March 10 this year, backed by her employer which carried out an independent investigation into her claims.

Stracke said Monday she was pleased to hear of the decision, adding: “I am, of course, at the disposal of the French authorities in the context of this investigation.”

Giscard d’Estaing’s lawyer declined to comment.


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