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Many relieved, others outraged, that DSK rape charges dropped

By the CNN Wire Staff
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New York drops assault case against DSK
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Some French politicians express relief that DSK no longer faces charges
  • Others say it's "bad news for justice, and bad news for women"
  • Tristane Banon will pursue her case in France, her attorney says

Paris (CNN) -- When the news first broke in May that former French finance minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been accused of raping a hotel maid in New York, shocked French politicians immediately suspected a trap.

Conspiracy theories abounded, with some saying that opposing political parties had orchestrated the whole affair to preemptively bring down the front-runner for the French presidency.

"There's a general feeling of a media, a judicial fury -- of a lynching," Jack Lang, France's former minister of culture and education and a Socialist Party lawmaker, told Europe 1 radio May 17.

Tuesday, a judge in Manhattan dismissed the case against Strauss-Kahn, after the prosecutor's office said it could not believe Nafissatou Diallo's claims beyond a reasonable doubt due to lies she had told prosecutors and authorities.

"Since the first day, I had a personal intuition that (Strauss-Kahn) was the victim of a baseless legal pursuit," Lang said Tuesday. "I was very shocked at the way the presumption of innocence was trampled by certain people in the United States and in France."

Judge in DSK case dismisses all charges
The Strauss-Kahn case as it unfolded

Martine Aubry, who is now the Socialist party candidate for the presidential primaries -- a position Strauss-Kahn would have likely been in had it not been for his arrest -- said Tuesday she was "very happy" that the charges had been dropped.

"It's happiness, a relief," she told France Info. "We have all been waiting for him to finally get out of this nightmare."

But others were outraged.

"To refuse to try the case in which the former director of the (International Monetary Fund) is accused of rape is bad news for justice and bad news as well for women," said French parliament member Marie-George Buffet.

"The decision... poses great risks to women's rights, going back to the time when rape victims were presumed to be guilty, the time when rape wasn't considered a crime," she added in a statement Tuesday, according to Agence France Presse. "The truth has not been told, neither for the supposed innocent party, nor for the alleged victim."

Françoise Hostalier, a deputy of the Union for Popular Movement (UMP), called the decision to drop the case "surprising and very shocking."

She said the case "would have at least revealed the true face of the man who could have become a candidate for the French presidency."

"French politics are now rid of an individual unworthy of a democratic representation," Hostalier added.

Also angry at the news is Anne Mansouret, the mother of journalist Tristane Banon. Banon filed charges in France against Strauss-Kahn for attempted rape, after he was arrested and charged in New York.

Banon's attorney, David Koubbi, told the French program "20 Minutes" that his client is not dropping her case. "It's only just begun," he said.

"What we're witnessing now is a self-congratulation session by the friends of Strauss-Kahn, and I find that to be a filthy indecence," he said. He said Banon is "devastated at what has happened to (Nafissatou Diallo) because she believes her."

Some French people said that despite the outcome of the Strauss-Kahn case in the United States, the former IMF chief's political career has ended.

"I think that's pretty much over," Vincent Ramelli told CNN.

 
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