An American observer comments on French politics.
@Art I guess you got to DRUDGE REPORT at the same time I did. SMOKING GUN HAS THE COMPLAINT!http://www.thesmokinggun.com/file/strauss-kahn-complaintARTICLE @ SMOKING GUNhttp://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/celebrity/dominique-strauss-kahn-complaint-647801Strauss-Kahn, will remain in custody without bail until his next court appearance, State Supreme Court Judge Melissa Jackson ruled. Strauss-Kahn faces four felonies and three misdemeanors, with the top count carrying a maximum of 25 years in prison.Judge Melissa Jackson is a tough, fair, very competent former ADA in the Office of The Kings County (Brooklyn) DA
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. All we need now is a guest appearance by Kenneth Starr to make the experience as sordid and disgusting as possible.
NB The above comment with link to the Official Complaint filed in Court today against DSK from Smoking Gun is mine.- Cincinna
@David Re: COMPLAINT Res ipsa loquitur But, remember, it is only an accusation, and DSK will have every oppotunity to answer, and challenge and refute any or all of the charges. Your silly comments bringing in Clinton/Lewinsky via your mention of Kenneth Starr have no relevance here. Clinton was convicted of perjury in the Paula Jones case. The more appropriate comparison would be the Clinton/Juanita Broadderick case As Joe Friday said " just the facts, ma'am"
Rape isn't pretty. It isn't just about a "man who likes women." What the French are trying to do is make it sound like it's nothing special. Shame on all of them.
The text can be seen/downloaded here, and is translated into French. Ever since that has been available, the PS shut up (except for Michele Sabban who keeps saying it's an international plot) and journalists are vacillating in their heartfelt defense of the former Messiah.http://www.rue89.com/2011/05/16/le-texte-plainte-deposee-contre-strauss-kahn-traduction-204138The IMF seems to have thrown him under the bus - they released a statement whereby we learned DSK wasn't in NYC on IMF business and that he didn't have any immunity.On TV, they're saying it's "justice spectacle" because the act is available to all but they indicate the circumstances are very detailed, hence less likelihood of a totally made up story (what many people said.)
Jack Lang disagrees with you, Art; he was disgusting today on France2. I can't recall what he said exactly, except that the US had a rotten justice system and poor DSK, but you can hear it all here:http://jt.france2.fr/20h/Myos
I feel like I just fell down the rabbit hole! I am absolutely stunned that the head of the IMF would be a “no bail” flight right. Maybe the case against him is totally bulletproof (and DSK or his high priced lawyers simply spouted off in a way that is inconsistent with the physical evidence and witness accounts, in which case his goose is now well and truly cooked).But it also occurs to me that this might be an indication that the case against DSK is weak and getting weaker as we learn more about supposed sequence of events. After reading the timeline article on Rue 89 I’m starting to think that there are many gaps and logical inconsistencies that will now have to be explained by the prosecution. It is starting to look like investigation was a rush job and the sex crimes unit may have been too focused on getting itself “on the right side of history” and bagging a high profile, high-publicity defendant instead of carefully assembling and scrutinizing the evidence before acting. The allegations are disgusting but don’t forget that’s all that they are even if you accept that DSK is a misogynistic lecher who is so egomaniacal as to believe that an almost public rape would simply be overlooked by the authorities. All of which makes me think that maybe the DA’s office is starting to feel like its reputation is on the line and they’re digging in their heels. It’s possible that the DA’s office just pushed in a big stack of blue chips on the hope that someone such as DSK (whose life is now basically ruined no matter what) will take a plea just to avoid sitting in jail for a year or two while his case works its way through the system. After all, the general rule in New York City’s criminal justice system is that everybody will eventually plead to something.Also, the time-line in the complaint is just bizarre. Apparently, the hotel maid entering his suite was a chance event. DSK is supposed to have emerged almost at once from the bathroom naked and ready for action, so to speak. He would have needed to make the decision to rape this woman almost the instant she arrived, without knowing whether, for instance, this woman would be alone for the entire time or a housekeeping supervisor would be coming to make sure that this VIP’s suite had been cleaned properly. This makes no sense.Also, how was DSK able to simply check out and go to his lunch if, within minutes, this woman was telling her friends, hotel security and the NYPD that she’d just been sexually assaulted? How was it that the NYPD didn’t respond quickly enough to prevent DSK from leaving the hotel? (The call would have been a high priority one and should have indicated that the suspect was “there now”)? Why wasn't he detained by hotel security?Curiouser and curiouser!
I think this may go a long way (as others are suggesting) to silencing the conspiracy fantasists and reality deniers.
DSK changed his testimony from "total lie" to "yes I had sex with her, but it was consensual".Looking for the source.Mitch above makes good points though.
meshplate, you obviously weren't on BFM AND iTélé where Michele Sabban continued with that international conspiracy nonsense.
You are right, thank goodness I missed it. However now that BHL's jaw is warming up, I can't wait for le tout paris to start jawing off that old favorite: "he's another dreyfus." Just like Polanski was another dreyfus. victims be on your guard against these "liberals." Their concern human rights does not extend further than their pals. Yuck
@Myos Jack Lang is disgusting . Pot calling kettle black? He is one whom the French Press and the PS have covered for his entire political career. His escapades and double vie are known to one and all, as were the proclivities of DSK, Chirac, and Mitterrand. The French Press, and the PS need to do some soul searching. Continuing on this path of supporting and covering for people-political bigshots living extravagant and/or morally or pllitically corrupt lives presenting themselves as representatives of average French citizens, if unchecked, will lead to one thing. The election of a dangerous pretend-Populist, really a fascist like Marine le Pen.
@Mitch To Judge Melissa Jackson, DSK is just another criminal defendant. Her remarks when considering his flight risk are completely logical. She did say that he was arrested aboard a flight leaving the country. His lawyer did not change his plea, but in a statement, left the door open for a consensual defense. Another really stupid member of his defense team remarked that he was really shocked at the line-up to see the how unattractive the complainant was. Ah! Misogyny! The more facts that come out, the worse it looks for DSK. For those who question the propriety of publishing the Complaint , all Court proceedings are in the public record. An exception is Grand Jury proceedings which will be held soon. Grand Jury is held in secret, and only the Prosecutor, grand Jury members, Defendant, and witnesses are present. The defendant may consult with hislawyer who waits outside in the hall. Since it is a fact finding procedure to decide if a crime has been committed, and if there is enough evidence to go forward, no lawyers are present. Brafman, with his long hair and $500 haircut may not play not very well with a NY Jury,
NEWS FLASHABC NEWS reporting that DSK has been taken to Riker's Island Prison. I guess he'll learn how the other half lives! This from http://www.realclearpolitics.comvia FORBES.comPat Buchanan on the sex scandal surrounding IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn: "I will tell you. Look, you have the Charlie Sheen of global finance running the IMF. The seriousness of it is this: He is dead as a presidential candidate in France. Good news for Sarkozy, he's out of the IMF, but more important, this is going to bring a focus on the IMF, which through the back door has been putting the American taxpayers on the hook to bail out Greece and Ireland and those European countries which are in fact bailouts of those European banks. And Ron Paul is right on top of this, and, Joe, I see this as bringing the IMF, at this critical point, when the bailouts in Europe are in big trouble, it is put a limelight on the one institution other than the European Central Bank, which is baling out these European countries and banks."
@Cincinna,As to the strength of the case against DSK and the way it is trending, I must respectfully disagree. The more details we learn, the more questions have been raised in my mind about the internal logic of the accusations and, most particularly, about the timeline. I find the facts as described in the press to be in at least in temporary equipoise and I will be looking for the prosecutors to lay out a case that is more intuitively appealing and with independent evidence that proves intimate contact such as swabs from her mouth or scrapings from either of their fingernails. Without that kind of physical evidence, there are just too many problems with the timeline as the prosecutors have been laying it out.As to the bail hearing, I’d never heard of Judge Melissa Jackson before yesterday and I’m prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt, but comments about the accused being arrested on an airplane while trying to flee the jurisdiction seem a unfair because she’d already been told that, in fact, DSK had a previously made reservation for that flight and was apparently scheduled to leave NY on Saturday in order to make a previously arranged meeting with the German Chancellor, among others.I keep returning to the comment that Arthur Goldhammer posted the other night about how people like DSK don’t always get a free pass when there’s a trophy scalp to be had and a reputation as a fearless prosecutor to be made (preferably at little risk to one’s self). I like to think of it as the Lindsey Lohan problem. In the post-OJ world, judges and prosecutors always like to be seen as being “tough” on celebrities. The downside is that rich and powerful people frequently earn with celebrities and so it is sometimes better to act prudently in dealing with a Mel Gibson, Roman Polanski or Charlie Sheen. These are men who have many millions of dollars themselves and who earn hundreds of millions more for rich, powerful and politically connected businessmen. Consequently, celebrities with huge earning potential must be treated with kid gloves and can’t be sent to jail. But Lindsay Lohan’s career arc has been nothing but a downward spiral for years. She isn’t rich and powerful herself and she no longer makes money for anybody who is rich and powerful. She’s the perfect risk free celebrity punching bag.I think Judge Jackson looked at the prejudicial bad press DSK was getting and the fact that there didn’t seem to be any push-back from anybody with political clout in NYC, and decided it was a free shot at burnishing her judicial integrity credentials. My bet is that her decision would have been quite different if opinion leaders or the mayor or a bunch of Wall St honchos had been kicking up a fuss about his being held overnight. I think she figured that if everybody important was throwing DSK under the bus she might as well join in. If she’d made the remarks about DSK being on an airplane, leaving the country, before learning that he was scheduled on that flight, well, that be one thing. But I think saying it after learning of his reservation and that he would be willing to wear a monitoring device just makes her look like a publicity seeking hack.
If France and the U.S. have no extradition treaty, DSK is a flight risk.
@Mitch I enjoy your comments, but your lack of knowledge about the NY justice system, the integrity of the Court system, the renowned professionalism of the NYPD and the independence of the judiciary and office of the DA is troubling. Bonfire of the Vanities, the novel by Tom Wolfe published in 1987, mentioned by Art Goldhammer is brilliant, and highly recommended reading. But, it's description of NY Justice and politics is NY in the early 80's-pre-Rudy. NY is a completely different place now, and the "Masters of the Universe" now all live in Greenwich, CT, not Park Avenue. A NYS Supreme Court judge like Melissa Jackson, is elected, not appointed. The position is a very high level one, and not in any way comparable to a Magistrat or Juge d'instruction in France. My guess is that before she got the dossier, she had never even heard of DSK. The Mayor, and "financial bigshots" would never dream of trying to influence a sitting judge. The many charges listed in the Official Complaint indicate there is extensive forensic evidence taken from DSK, the victim, and the hotel room. As to bail, it isn't even a close call for now. No Judge would grant bond to a rich, powerful foreign national who does not live in NY and can fly out of a private airport on a private jet. And, as Mary says, France and the US to not have an extradition treaty.
@Cincinna,With respect, the NYC where you are living appears to be completely different from the one with which I am familiar. Without getting into a slanging match, and speaking only in general terms, corruption has always been endemic in NCY’s courts, particularly in the family law courts where it has been practiced brazenly for decades. Try Googling “Victor Barron” “Gerald Garson” or “Larry Martin” and “Michael Feinberg” for a start. As for the renowned professionalism of the NYPD, try Googling “buddy boys”.Again, I don’t know anything about Melissa Jackson as a person and she is probably a hardworking, incorruptible public servant, but to suggest that simply by virtue of being an elected Supreme Court judge she is somehow immune to the blandishments of the politically powerful is to ignore the many investigations over the years which have found a pervasive “culture of corruption” in NYC’s judiciary. Similarly, the notion that the city’s big-shots wouldn’t dream of trying to influence a judge seems hopelessly naive. But my original point was that I felt her decision was motivated more by a desire to score cheap political points (she’s elected, remember) than by a clearheaded analysis of the situation. My memory from many years ago is that there is an extradition treaty between the US and France, although I will concede that the French seem to consider rendering their nationals totally optional. Nevertheless, the criminal justice system in this country has evolved a number of ways to evaluate whether French citizens are flight risks. The fact that he is a person of substance with a responsible job in this country, was willing to surrender passport, wear a monitoring device and live with his daughter who resides in NYC should have been more than ample to get him an OR release under normal circumstances. If it isn’t a desire to burnish her halo at work, then tell me why she didn’t consider these traditionally sufficient conditions adequate and, indeed, didn’t even bother to consider them during the 20 minute hearing. My bet is that if the city’s big-shots had wanted DSK out, he’d be out today on those very same conditions she rejected and it wouldn’t surprise me bit if the Court of Appeal overturns her.As to the criminal complaint itself, it makes no reference to actual physical evidence recovered but does contain this interesting nugget: In the original leaks, the NYPD said that the sexual assault took place at 1 pm, which suggests that the call to NYPD must have been after that time. It is now conceded that, in fact, DSK checked out and left the hotel at about 12:20 pm. So now the alleged victim has placed the attack at noon instead of a time for which DSK has an alibi. But when did the timing get sorted out, by whom and how was it done? Before or after the police realized that DSK had 1 pm alibied? Also, if the crime took place at noon and the call to the NYPD wasn’t until after 1 pm, what was happening during that time? Did she make a first report to hotel security or a friend? Finally, there is an important and objective test of her credibility: From the leaks, it seems that she claims to have scratched DSK deeply in several places (and importantly, in places normally covered by clothing). Did she make such a statement? Does the examination of DSK’s body corroborate her statement? If so, DSK is guilty and will undoubtedly be convicted at trial. But if there aren’t any marks where she says they should be and if traces of her skin, hair or clothing fibers aren't found on DSK, then he might be innocent. Have you considered that possibility?
@Cincinna,With respect, the NYC where you are living appears to be completely different from the one with which I am familiar. Without getting into a slanging match, and speaking only in general terms, corruption has always been endemic in NCY’s courts, particularly in the family law courts where it has been practiced brazenly for decades. Google “Victor Barron” “Gerald Garson” or “Larry Martin” and “Michael Feinberg” for a start. As for the renowned professionalism of the NYPD, try “buddy boys” or “meat eaters and grass eaters”.Again, I don’t know anything about Melissa Jackson as a person and she is no doubt a hardworking, incorruptible public servant, but to suggest that simply by virtue of being an elected Supreme Court judge she is somehow apolitical or immune to the blandishments of the politically powerful is to ignore the many investigations over the years which have found a pervasive “culture of corruption” in NYC’s judiciary. Similarly, the notion that the city’s big shots wouldn’t dream of trying to influence a judge seems hopelessly naive. But my original point was that I felt her decision was motivated more by a desire to score cheap political points (she’s elected, remember) than by a clearheaded analysis of the situation. The fact that he is a person of substance with a responsible job in this country, was willing to surrender his passport, wear a monitoring device and live with his daughter who resides in NYC should have been more than ample to get him an OR release under normal circumstances. If it isn’t a desire to burnish her halo at work, then tell me why she didn’t consider these traditionally sufficient conditions adequate and, indeed, didn’t even bother to consider them during the 20-minute hearing. My bet is that if the city’s big shots had wanted DSK out, he’d be out today and those very same conditions she rejected would be fine with her. (It wouldn’t surprise me bit if a higher court overturns her next week, as it should on the merits).As to the criminal complaint itself, it actually does not describe physical evidence recovered but does contain this very interesting nugget: In the original leaks, the NYPD said that the sexual assault took place at 1 pm and it was strongly implied that this time was based on the victim’s statements. The 1 p.m. time suggests that the call to NYPD’s records probably show the call being placed after that time. It is now conceded that, in fact, DSK checked out and left the hotel at about 12:20 pm. So now the alleged victim has placed the attack at noon instead of a time for which DSK has an alibi. But who sorted out the timing and how was it done? Before or after the police realized that DSK had the original 1 p.m. time alibied? Also, if the crime took place at noon and if, as I now suspect, the call to the NYPD wasn’t made until after 1 p.m., it’s fair to ask what was happening during that time? Where was she? With whom did she speak? Did she make a first report to hotel security or a friend? If so, when? If it was before DSK left the hotel, then why was he not detained? If it was after DSK checked out at about 12:30 what accounts for the delay?Finally, there is an important and objective test of her credibility that could resolve all doubt in my mind: It seems that she claims to have scratched DSK deeply in several places (and importantly, in places normally covered by clothing). Did she make such a statement? Does the examination of DSK’s body corroborate her statement? If so, DSK is surely guilty and will undoubtedly be convicted at trial. But if there aren’t any marks where she says they should be and if traces of her skin, hair or clothing fibers aren't found on DSK, then he might be innocent. Have you considered that possibility?
"What the French are trying to do is make it sound like it's nothing special."-> Er, "the French" is too much here.Gopnik's column, linked by Art http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/05/dsk-french-lives-french-law.html , is very right: the white line you should not cross, in the middle of the road, is the same in France as in the US, it's about violence towards another person.But "the French" broadly admit that you flirt "avec la ligne jaune", referring to sex in ways that might be qualified in the US as harassing. Everybody knows (and it was published) that DSK behaved this way. It was registered as the main drawback of the person.That explains why some French suspected, or hoped, DSK only would have had at Sofitel an "inadequate behaviour" which would not have been, well, the one described in this complaint. And this explains, too, why some French suspected the "too weak" DSK might have fallen into a trap, meaning a provocative behaviour by somebody sent by political enemies… well, this kind of things exist.But other French, including political leaders, expressed at first their concern for the woman. And all French do recognize that a rape attempt has nothing to do with "la séduction" or "le libertinage".Now they will wonder: how could it be possible? How could the leader in the presidential run behave this criminal way (if he did)? Psychiatrists tell us such behaviours are not isolated, one-time instants of madness, but, most often, rooted habits that only a sense of impunity can allow.And the question will rise: who creates this impunity bubble around powerful people? How does this system work? It should question "power in France", or more precisely, the way the French society deals with power.I hope this story should - I hope that
@FrédéricLN, part of giving people in power in France permission to do whatever they want is shown by those who are appalled, shocked and appalled!, by the mere sight of DSK in a courtroom, but not in any way because of what he is charged with possibly having done. Certainly not that, but rather solely and simply because he is there, as if he were the REAL victim! Naturally he did, they suggest, did he would do when an agent of a power hostile to France and/or the IMF paraded herself so that he would pounce on her. What planet are we on! Or these conspiracy theorists believe that the NY police and DA have not a single scruple and have dragged this poor man before the court and the world's press on the basis of an unsubstantiated lie as if the police and DA were not confronted with false and baseless accusations every minute of every day. Why and how some French people have a tendency to side with the presumed aggressor in this case and to pretend the victim is a liar or an agent of the CIA or whomever is utterly stunning and stupefying, There are 7 charges, which have to have some plausible basis in fact and evidence if the DA is pursuing them. The sheer dishonesty of claiming the contrary is astonishing. Gopnik says the French are horrified that France is being Berlusconized, Well I haven't encountered many I can tell you. Rather it's as if some wish to hasten that process along: look at BHL. Once again like Polanski, DSK is the new martyr, the new Dreyfus.
Another aspect of this cultural difference is the sheer fact that a proceeding is televised. How can some people be shocked by that after OJ and Michael Jackson, just to name the most obvious? I confess to not knowing what the legal arguments are for such televised coverage, but I suppose it is thought in the interest of the public to have cameras there because the public has a right to know. The point is that the intention behind it is not to turn this trial into some special form of psychological humiliation or to make it into a show trial. Americans don't see this practice as a humiliation, just an electronic extension of the public seats in the courtroom. However, some French people see this as if were a barbaric attack on the fundamental human rights of the accused. It's not a comfortable situation certainly but it is was never intended to be, yet compared with the charges themselves it is surely not a primary concern for the defendant. I see this obsession on the part of some French poeple with la forme as another way of denying the simple facts that DSK stands accused of serious charges.
BHL is, hopefully, not representative of France in any way ;-)Just Agnès Maillard, if not representative either, is much more of it than BHLhttp://blog.monolecte.fr/post/2011/05/17/DSK-ivresse-du-pouvoir
Post a Comment