Perp walks ordinary in US, an outrage in France


  • Business Premium
  • Wednesday, 18 May 2011

NEW YORK: A sea of cameras captured a rumpled, handcuffed, angry-looking Dominique Strauss-Kahn as plainclothes detectives took the International Monetary Fund head from a police precinct to court. The images weren't unusual for a high-profile criminal case in the U.S., but in his French homeland, they'd be illegal.

While American authorities have condoned such "perp walks" (short for perpetrator) for more than a century, in France it's been illegal to show images of suspects in handcuffs since 2000. French politicians and citizens alike are upset by the images, which they say make Strauss-Kahn, accused of sexual abuse, appear guilty.

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