How are the accusations of attempted rape against IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn being seen by the French media?
euronews’ Brussels correspondent Sergio Cantone asked Jean Quatremer from the Liberation newspaper for his views on the case against the former French finance minister.
Liberation correspondent Jean Quatremer: The offence of rape in the United States has a wider definition than in France. There is a precedent in Sweden, with the Assange-WikLeaks case. He was accused of rape whereas in France it would not have been considered as a rape. In Sweden, a woman just needs to say no or fail to explicitly give her consent and it is considered rape. In the United States, sexual assault also has a wider definition. It could be excessively applied, for example to look at a woman in an insistent way. So clearly the definition is extremely wide. The French consider an accusation of attempted rape as being something extremely violent, where the alleged victim has been beaten, the victim’s clothes have been torn. We should be careful about using words from the other side of the Atlantic which do not have the same meaning. And in the United States especially, they are particularly unforgiving if gender equality is not respected.
euronews, Sergio Cantone: Could someone have taken advantage of these differences and the alleged weaknesses of DSK, politically speaking?
Jean Quatremer: I absolutely don’t believe this is a conspiracy. It is obviously unimaginable that someone has laid a trap for DSK. In any case, if someone did lay a trap, he fell for it. The idea of a plot is pure fiction. It has emerged that the chambermaid has been working at the hotel for three years. It appears that she’s an immigrant of Guinean origin. So clearly the conspiracy theory doesn’t hold water for a second. There is clearly something else at play here.
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