Small protest, big passion on Strauss-Kahn case

23rd August 2011, Comments 0 comments

About 20 women staged a vocal protest Monday outside a Manhattan court to protest a prosecutor's move to dismiss sexual assault and attempted rape charges against ex-IMF chief and one-time French presidential favorite Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

A judge was expected to accept the dismissal of recommendation at a hearing on Tuesday. That would end the three-month-long criminal case against Strauss-Kahn that has humiliated the French politician.

"Strauss-Kahn: you will not go unchallenged," read a leaflet from Slut Walk, a group that works against violence against women.

Demonstrators spoke out against Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's move.

"All the evidence suggests that sexual violence occurred," argued Letitia James, a member of NYC Council.

Danielle Kennedy said Vance was a "snake."

"DSK should be on trial, not (his accuser hotel maid Nafissatou) Diallo," Kennedy added.

Diallo says Strauss-Kahn forced her into oral sex and tried to rape her at the Sofitel hotel here May 14.

The case has been one of the most closely watched in New York in many years, pitting the privileged, super-wealthy Frenchman against an illiterate Guinean housekeeper.

Not only did Strauss-Kahn have to resign as head of the IMF after being sensationally pulled from his first class seat on an Air France flight bound for Paris on May 14, but he had to abandon what was expected to be a successful challenge of President Nicolas Sarkozy in upcoming elections.

And despite the apparent collapse of the New York case, he could still face further sexual assault charges when he returns to France.

In one case, 32-year-old writer Tristane Banon has filed a complaint alleging the 62-year-old Socialist politician tried to rape her after luring her to a Paris flat in 2003.

He denies the claim, and she may have difficulty convincing prosecutors to pursue the case so long after the alleged incident, but the magistrates are looking into it.

© 2011 AFP

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