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Friday, July 31, 1998 Published at 22:11 GMT 23:11 UK

World: Americas

Paula Jones tries again

The Paula Jones case was dismissed in April

Lawyers representing Paula Jones, the woman who lost a case of sexual harassment against President Clinton, say they have applied for the case to be reinstated.

Miss Jones' case triggered the investigation into the so-called sex and perjury case against the president, in which he is alleged to have had a sexual relationship with the former White House worker Monica Lewinsky, and then urged her to lie under oath about it.

It was in the Paula Jones case that Mr Clinton and Miss Lewinsky both denied on oath that they had ever had a sexual relationship.

'Misapplied the law'

A conservative non-government group, the Rutherford Institute, which is supporting Miss Jones' legal battle, said her lawyers believed that the judge who dismissed the case misapplied the relevant law and misinterpreted facts.

[ image: Judge Wright: dismissed case]
Judge Wright: dismissed case
The lawsuit was dismissed in April, while the president was on his historic tour of Africa.

The case rested on allegations that Mr Clinton had asked Miss Jones for oral sex at a conference they were attending in 1991 at a hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas, when he was Arkansas governor and she was a state employee.

In dismissing the case, Judge Susan Wright wrote that Miss Jones did not suffer any tangible economic harm, and that a single case of harassment did not necessarily create a hostile work environment.

But two weeks later Miss Jones said she would apply to have the case reinstated.

The Rutherford Institute President, John Whitehead, said: "This appeal presents an opportunity for the law to realise one of its highest functions, to teach the people."

"The court now has the opportunity through this case to re-establish fundamental principles of decency and humanity. At issue are the limits of power and privilege, at stake are human dignity and equality," he said.

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