Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Video: Dozens arrested despite smaller protests in Ferguson

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

France

French left vents anger at Strauss-Kahn 'lynching'

Video by Catherine Nicholson

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-17

France’s Socialist Party reacted with anger on Tuesday after IMF chief and prominent Socialist Party member Dominique Strauss-Kahn was paraded handcuffed before TV cameras on his way to a US court hearing to face charges of sexual assault.

REUTERS - French Socialist politicians voiced outrage on Tuesday at the parading of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn handcuffed and unshaven in the United States before he has a chance to defend himself on charges of attempted rape.

Arrested on Saturday and charged with sexually assaulting a chambermaid at a luxury New York hotel, Strauss-Kahn was made by police to walk manacled in front of cameras on his way to a courthouse, and his appearance before a judge was televised.
 
"The most likely outcome is that this case will stick and even if he pleads not guilty, which he may be, he won't be able to be candidate for the Socialist primary for the presidency and he won't be able to stay at the IMF."

Jacques Attali, economist and prominent socialist

Former Culture Minister Jack Lang described the treatment of the Socialist presidential frontrunner -- whose political career is now in tatters -- as a "lynching" that had "provoked horror and aroused disgust".
 
The U.S. justice system, he said, was "politicized" and the judge appeared to have been determined to "make a Frenchman pay" by denying the head of the International Monetary Fund bail even though his lawyer had offered to post a $1 million bond.
 
To many Americans, the handling of Strauss-Kahn reflected an egalitarian tradition that all crime suspects get the same treatment, regardless of their wealth or power.
 
Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry (pictured above) denounced "degrading images" and said France was lucky to have a law on the presumption of innocence that bars media from showing defendants in handcuffs before they are convicted.
 
"This man must be respected, his family must be respected. I don't want to make use for myself of what has happened. I think it would be indecent to make an episode out of this today and the rest of the week."

Ségolene Royale, candidate for Socialist Party primary

Former Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou, who drafted that law, called the pre-trial publicity "absolutely sickening".
 
"The power of these images of a Dominique Strauss-Kahn who hasn't been allowed to shave, tired, and not dressed properly, all that offends human dignity," she told Europe 1 radio.
 
Another respected former justice minister, Robert Badinter, who pushed through the abolition of the death penalty in France, said the IMF chief had been subjected to "death by media".
 
"Never forget it's not just judges that are elected (in New York), but prosecutors. And the chief of police is elected. And clearly, in public opinion, to exhibit a powerful rich man in the presence of a victim from a very poor background, electorally, it pays off."
 
'Perp walk'
 
Conservative politicians mostly refrained from commenting on the images of their political rival, heeding President Nicolas Sarkozy's call to show "restraint and dignity", according to a lawmaker who attended a private meeting with him on Tuesday.
 
Some media commentators and lawyers said that making Strauss-Kahn take a so-called "perp walk" -- a U.S. tradition of obliging a suspected "perpetrator" to run a gauntlet of media cameras -- appeared designed to humiliate him and perhaps soften him up for a plea bargain.
 
Previous suspects forced to take a "perp walk" included boxer Mike Tyson, pop star Michael Jackson and Kenneth Lay, the former boss of bankrupt energy trader Enron.
 
"I suppose there is an element of theatre in it," U.S. attorney Graham Wisner of Patton Boggs in New York, told Reuters Television.
 
"For the most part in the United States it's a practice utilised by authorities to humiliate suspects... There is at least a perception in this case that a "perp" or suspect is guilty when he walks shamefaced in front of all of the cameras," Wisner said.
 
Judge Melissa Jackson ordered Strauss-Kahn to be detained in the Rikers Island prison after district attorney Daniel Alonso argued that the IMF chief could flee the United States and there was no legal way to force him to return.
 
IMF chief and Socialist Party favourite charged with assault
In announcing her decision, the judge noted that Strauss-Kahn had been arrested aboard an Air France plane about to take off for Paris.
 
U.S. prosecutors cited the case of celebrity film director Roman Polanski, a French citizen whom Switzerland and France refused last year to extradite to the United States. He fled the United States while awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in the 1970s.
 
One of Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, Dominique de Leusse, told France-Info radio that the French media were flouting the law by running footage of his client in handcuffs and in court.
 
"The press are having a field day with these images that are contrary to French law. They undermine visibly the dignity of Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his presumption of innocence," he said.

 

Date created : 2011-05-17

  • FRANCE - USA

    IMF chief jailed at New York’s Rikers Island

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Strauss-Kahn may face charges over alleged 2002 assault

    Read more

  • INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

    Search is on for Strauss-Kahn's successor at IMF

    Read more

COMMENT(S)