No sympathy for Dominique Strauss-Kahn from Michael Bloomberg

By Jennifer Lipman, May 18, 2011
Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has weighed into the ongoing scandal involving IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

In the four days since news broke that Mr Strauss-Kahn had been arrested in Manhattan for the "criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment, and attempted rape" of a 32-year-old hotel maid, a number of well-known figures have commented on the case.

There have also been calls for the French politician to step down from his position at the IMF.

Mr Bloomberg told reporters he believed it was right that Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, was forced to walk from his cell to the court on Sunday evening despite the presence of news cameras.

He said: "I think it is humiliating, but if you don't want to do the perp walk, don't do the crime.

"I don't have a lot of sympathy for that. Our judicial system works where the public can see the alleged perpetrators."

However , he admitted that if the charges against Mr Strauss-Kahn were disproved, society would need to "look in the mirror and say we should be more careful the next time".

The reaction to what former French Culture Minister Jack Lang called Mr Strauss-Kahn's public "lynching" has been mixed in France, with some complaining about a smear campaign intended to destroy a presidential hopeful.

Writing on the Daily Beast website yesterday, French commentator Bernard-Henri Levy said nothing could justify "a man being thus thrown to the dogs".

Pointing out that the charges were only "suspicions", Mr Levy criticised "the slime of a public opinion drunk on salacious gossip".

He added: "The Strauss-Kahn I know, who has been my friend for 20 years and who will remain my friend, bears no resemblance to this monster, this caveman, this insatiable and malevolent beast now being described nearly everywhere.

"Charming, seductive, yes, certainly; a friend to women and, first of all, to his own woman, naturally, but this brutal and violent individual, this wild animal, this primate, obviously no, it's absurd."

Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyer Benjamin Brafman, a high-profile defence lawyer from an orthodox Jewish community, said his client would plead not guilty. He was denied bail on Monday and is set to appear in court on Friday.

Last updated: 10:50am, May 18 2011