Strauss-Kahn case riles the French

By Elaine Ganley

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces more than 70 years in prison if convicted. — AP picture

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces more than 70 years in prison if convicted. — AP picture

In a country where the judicial process takes place largely behind closed doors, the spectacular and brutal dimension of American justice in the matter of the former International Monetary Fund chief has baffled the French, writes ELAINE GANLEY

THE transatlantic gap separating the American and French justice systems and moral codes is as wide as the ocean itself — appalling a nation witnessing the unravelling fortunes of a favourite son, jailed former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Some of the charges against Strauss-Kahn in the alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in New York do not exist in France. And, if the case was being heard in France, the 62-year-old former IMF chief might risk three to five years in prison instead of scores in the United States, a leading expert says. He also likely would not be sitting in a notorious jail right now on a suicide watch.

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