US: Strauss-Kahn case won't hit France ties
The US State Department voiced confidence Friday that the dramatic turnaround in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case would not hurt ties with France, saying the former IMF chief received due process.
Asked if the United States was worried that ties with France would suffer over the handling of the Strauss-Kahn affair, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said: "Not at all."
"This is an individual who's being afforded due process," Toner told reporters. He declined further comment as the case is an ongoing legal matter.
Strauss-Kahn, then head of the International Monetary Fund and a leading candidate for the French presidency, was arrested on May 14 after a maid at his New York hotel accused him of attacking her and forcing her into a sex act.
The treatment of Strauss-Kahn upset some of his allies -- particularly footage of him escorted in handcuffs, a police tactic that is banned in France for fear it affects the presumption of innocence -- although the arrest also prompted discussion on the status of women in the country.
A judge on Friday released Strauss-Kahn from house arrest after prosecutors raised concern about the accuser's credibility, saying she lied to the grand jury. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers said the sexual encounter was consensual.
But prosecutors maintained the case. The Guinean woman's lawyer said she stood completely behind her account of the alleged attack and had evidence to prove the use of force.
© 2011 AFP