The DSK affair has forced people on both sides of the Atlantic to think about the merits and defects of our respective justice systems. A friendly dialogue continues with Bernard Girard, for example. But I put this question to those of you who know the French system: What would have happened if this allegation had arisen in France? I know that many will say immediately that it would have been made to go away, that power and influence would have been brought to bear on the alleged victim, who might have been paid to retract her story, and somehow it would have been kept out of the papers.
That's the cynical response, and I don't deny that such things can happen. But let's assume that things didn't go that way. Let's assume that the woman stuck to her story, that the police were incorruptible, and that the case landed in the lap of a zealous juge d'instruction. Key question: Would a man accused of a violent sexual assault have been released back into the community? Would he have been able to keep his job at the IMF? Wouldn't the newspapers and other media have relayed all the lurid stories about his past, just as they have done after his incarceration in the US? Wouldn't he likely have been forced out of the presidential race, pending resolution of the case? Wouldn't his lawyers go after the victim, as they no doubt will in the US (to the extent that the judge allows them to--not all evidence is admissible in the US). Can anyone enlighten me about this?