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DSK trial 'turned France into nation of voyeurs'

The Local/AFP · 18 Feb 2015, 17:05

Published: 18 Feb 2015 17:05 GMT+01:00

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DSK's lawyers delivered their closing arguments on Wednesday, after Strauss-Kahn and 13 others stood trial on charges of aggravating pimping - a crime punishable by up to ten years in prison.
The trial exposed some of the most sordid details of DSK's life, prompting him at one point to lose his temper with an angry retort that he was not on trial for his "deviant acts".
The lawyers told the court on Wednesday that the case had "collapsed" and that the law had been "twisted" to try and attack Strauss-Kahn over his morals in a case which honed in on his sexual proclivities.
"What we were expecting has happened: This case has collapsed," Strauss-Kahn's veteran lawyer Henri Leclerc, 84, told the court.
"Everything that is not forbidden by the law cannot be prevented," he said, quoting from a key French revolution document, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789, to slam the court's focus on Strauss-Kahn's morals.
"The law, the law! As for morals, each to their own. Virtue is practised, not commented upon," he said, with Strauss-Kahn paying close attention from the dock.
"You have heard the arguments, there is nothing left ... of a case which has cost a fortune," said Leclerc.
He lamented that the media had played up the spicy details of the case: "A sodomy, treated well, is a better seller than a declaration of innocence," he told the court. 
He also took aim at one former prostitute's use of the word "carnage" to describe DSK's orgies. 
"Are we expected to believe that a libertine club would be a sweet field of daisies where people chat quietly?"
The second of his lawyers, Frederique Baulieu, picked apart one former prostitute's testimony and called her a victim of the media frenzy around the trial.
"The law has been twisted, distorted," he said.
The third of his lawyers, Richard Malka, said that the case served nothing more than to "turn 66 million French people into voyeurs".
Story continues below…
He added that it was "three years worth of violation into the confidentiality of investigations, putting the most intimate and most mysterious aspects of a man's life on show".
He continued by explaining the ramifications the case has had on DSK, saying that a simple Google search of "DSK and material" returns 493,000 hits. "Material" was the word DSK used in text messages to friends to refer to the women at the orgies. DSK claimed that it was nothing more than "barracks talk" and that it didn't prove that he knew the women were prostitutes. 
As DSK walked out of court on Wednesday, a law student asked him to sign a copy of his penal code, which the former political heavyweight did with a large smile.
A date for the final verdict will be announced on Friday.

The Local/AFP (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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