DSK: Off the hook

Can’t really say we didn’t see this coming: after countless rumours, media hysteria and much turmoil, all charges have been dropped against former Socialist Party leader and former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Forbes reports that DSK is finally in the position to hit back against the near-constant media attacks he’s been facing since his arrest in May for allegedly sexually assaulting a maid in a New York hotel:

“Justice Michael Obus dismissed all criminal charges against him, after having rejected a special motion by the complainant’s lawyer to remove the DA Cy Vance for having ‘turned his back’ on a rape victim. Leaving a lower Manhattan courtroom, Strauss Kahn said ‘these last two months have been a nightmare.’

The tide has definitely turned for DSK, as the former IMF chief is known in France, after having been initially victimized by the press around the world.  Strauss-Kahn still faces a civil suit by former Sofitel Hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, who insists the Frenchman attempted to rape her.

‘If we do not believe [Diallo] beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so,’ read court documents from the DA’s office asking Judge Obus to drop the charges.  Diallo seems to have dynamited her own case, as her own lies and inconsistencies forced the hand of a prosecution that once characterized their case as strong.”

Now, this doesn’t mean she was making it up: in fact, forensic evidence still points to some sort of violent sexual encounter, but Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers argued hard that it wasn’t forced. At the end of the day, it appears the maid simply wasn’t a credible enough victim.

Behold, her lawyer Kenneth Thompson speaking out against the DA:

The Daily Beast’s Cheryl Thomas also lamented the outcome, writing:

After a decisive initial response, New York prosecutors lost their courage and commitment to pursue the case against DSK –despite the strong evidence that supports Nafissatou Diallo’s claim. They point to her credibility – lying on a 10-year-old asylum application and associating with the wrong people. The evidence about the incident itself–the semen on her blouse, the blood, torn clothing, the testimony of hotel workers and police who heard her story and witnessed her trauma immediately after the incident– has apparently been trumped.  

Dismissing these charges on the grounds of the woman’s credibility reinforces a status quo that has silenced women for centuries. But it is presumptuous and dangerous.  A jury should have decided whether to believe her. Those individuals’ decision would have been affected by a vast landscape of forces that cross borders.  Juries’ views reflect those of the societies they live in–the power structures, the status and roles of men and women.”

What do you think? Political assassination and opportunistic exploitation, or justice undone?

Read more about DSK in the Carnet Atlantique.

This entry was posted in France, Politics, US and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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