France: ex-president investigated over allegation of sexual assault

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PARIS – The Paris Prosecutor’s Office announced on Monday that it had opened a preliminary investigation into a charge of sexual assault against the 94-year-old French president, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

The investigation is into a German journalist’s allegation that Giscard sexually assaulted her in an interview in 2018, the prosecution said.

The journalist said that Giscard grabbed her buttocks three times and tried to push her hand away, according to reports from the French daily Le Monde and the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.

German broadcaster WDR, the media outlet for which the December 2018 interview was conducted, had previously indicated that it had investigated the charge.

Giscard’s French lawyer said last week that the former French leader “had no memories” of the alleged incident. Giscard was president of France from 1974 to 1981.

Reportedly, the journalist initially filed a complaint with Paris prosecutors in March.

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