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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

DSK: A DENIAL OF JUSTICE ?


Cyrus Vance published a 25 page report to justify his decision not to prosecute DSK after Ms Nafissatou Diallo alleged that he tried to rape her.

This allegation awoke the indignation of billions of people around the world.  The details of what may have happened in the SOFITEL hotel room 2806 appeared in newspapers everywhere and made avid reading.

The Prosecutor Cyrus Vance interviewed Ms Diallo on several occasions and was also in contact with DSK 's lawyers.  After a great deal of detective work on the past of Ms Diallo it became clear that she had not always told the truth and this became a problem now.  Could she be believed when she recounted what had happened to her in the Sofitel hotel room at the hands of DSK ?

DSK, through his lawyers, indicated that anything which happened was consensual.  DSK was never interviewed by Cyrus Vance. 

After an investigation which lasted three months, the decision not to prosecute DSK and to drop the whole case came as a surprise to all the avid followers of the case.  The basic reason given was that Cyrus Vance was not sure that he could obtain a unanimous verdict from the Jury.

In fact the 25 page justification for this decision raised doubts as to whether sufficient importance had been attached to the allegations made by Ms Diallo, i.e.
1) In the space of 10 minutes her genitals had been injured, and her clothes had sperm from DSK on them. 
2) Her panties had DSK's DNA on them at the crutch.
3) A stain on the carpet tested positive for the presence of semen and amylase and contained a mixture of DNA from DSK and Ms Diallo.
4) Before their encounter in room 2806 DSK and Ms Diallo had never met before. 
5) After their encounter Ms Diallo was in a distraught state according to hotel staff.

Due solely to the fact that she was judged by Cyrus Vance to be an unreliable witness he was not sure that he could obtain a unanimous vote from the jury for a conviction against DSK. For that reason he decided not to prosecute DSK.  

In so deciding, Cyrus Vance the Prosecutor was also the Judge and Jury.  Is a prosecutor obliged to ensure a 100% success rate ? 

In the circumstances, because many years ago Ms Diallo lied to be able to immigrate into the USA and then, perhaps through confusion, lied about some details when she was sexually aggressed, it would seem that Ms Diallo has lost all her Human Rights in the USA.

On the other hand DSK was never interviewed because his lawyers said the relationship was consensual.  Could anyone imagine consent for what appears to have then happened ?

What this case lacks is a court hearing in which both parties explain what happened.  The facts that are known are such that a Jury could come to a unanimous decision, one way or the other. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

DSK & THE SOCIALIST PRIMARIES IN FRANCE

More than three months ago DSK was not yet a declared candidate in the Socialist Primaries simply because this would have instantly disqualified him from his then current job, President of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) until end 2012.

The totally unexpected events which then suddenly occurred in mid May 2011 solved some problems but created others in their place. DSK was accused of attempted rape and found himself in Jail in New York !!!  This put an end to his aspirations of being a candidate in the 2012 French Presidential elections, either as a an independent Socialist or as the chosen and sponsored candidate in the Socialist primaries.

If ever a potential candidate had the total support of his party it was DSK.  The Socialist party would certainly have been patient because all the opinion polls indicated that he was the only candidate who could beat the current President, Sarkozy.

This has all changed now. Now that all criminal charges have been dropped and candidates in the Primaries have all stated their relief that he will not be prosecuted, they realise that he has lost the support of many right thinking voters, in particular women voters. These candidates are very careful with what they say about the whole saga because this could, like a boomerang, damage their own aspirations.

In fact, this whole murky business is far from being over. A civil case by Naffissatou Diallo has yet to heard in New York.  Another similar civil case, this time in France, is also expected. They do not exclude other possible cases.    

     

Monday, 22 August 2011

STRAUSS - KAHN AND USA JUSTICE !!!


What is difficult to understand, for impartial observers, is that a Grand Jury decided on the facts there was a case to be answered for attempted rape by DSK on Nafissatou Diallo, the Sofitel chambermaid.  Now, more than three months later, it would seem that the NY State Prosecutor, Cyrus Vance, is going to declare that there is no case to answer because Nafissatou Diallo is not considered to be a reliable witness !!!

Does that mean the evidence of bruising, sperm and the mental collapse of Nafissatou Diallo after the agression is not acceptable ?  After all the publicity given to the medical report, dropping the case seems curious.  Added to this, it would seem that her character was seriously soiled years before because she apparantly lied when making her application to immigrate into the USA.  Does that in fact mean that she then automatically lost all her Human Rights protection ? If this was serious, why was she not kicked out before ? 

DSK is the accused in this case.  He pleads "not guilty" because he says there was consentment. If this is so, it is a defence, but should that not be proved in court ?  Have investigations been undertaken by the Prosecutor, Cyrus Vance, to verify that DSK is a  reliable witness based on his previous conduct ? Has the Prosecutor fully taken into account why a private case for damages has been undertaken by Nafissatou Diallo ?

The whole world is watching the way American Justice is being handed out !!!

     

Thursday, 18 August 2011

THE FUTURE UNITED STATES OF EUROPE ?


In their joint televised verbal report on August 16, 2011, after their meeting in Paris, Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy proposed three measures which could ultimately, if later adopted by the EU member countries, lead to the creation of the United States of Europe (USE).

The problem of the repayment of the loans already made to Greece (110 billion Euros), to Portugal (78) and to Ireland (85), was not covered, nor was the next loan to Greece of 120 billion Euros.  This will be discussed shortly.

The three measures proposed are:
    1) The creation of an Economic Government in the EURO Zone;
    2) The adoption of the golden rule to ensure balanced budgets by all 17 member countries in the EURO Zone;
    3) The introduction of a tax on financial transactions.

In total there are at present 27 member countries in the EU. Of the 10 which have a local currency other than the EURO, all but three countries are expected to be able to adopt the EURO when they have conformed with certain preconditions.  The three countries, which at present have opted not to adopt the EURO, are The United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark. 

Before the three measures proposed are put to the vote many discussions will take place.  One cannot be sure how much time this will take.  Before a vote much more detail will have to be made available. 
          
The Achilles Heel in the creation of the USE are the bail out loans already made to Greece, Portugal and Ireland, and the current delicate financial condition of Italy and Spain, both of which may need help in the very near future.  From this point of view the creation of the USE may not be possible during the next ten years.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

DSK: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH ?


Next week, on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, the next chapter in the DSK saga will take place in the Criminal Court of New York.

The district Attorney Cyrus Vance has a complex situation to unraval, and his own reputation and his own future may also depend on the solution he will reveal next week in court.  Even before this case he was not always the most popular Attorney in New York.

Whether some or none of the criminal charges against DSK will be maintained remains to be seen.  Was the relationship consensual or not ?

If all the charges are dropped it would not be the end of DSK's legal problems in the USA:  a civil case has already been filed against him by Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel chambermaid he is accused of having sexually attacked.

This civil case is not entirely simple either.  Simply paying off  Ms Diallo is not a straight forward option as it appears that several other women are prepared to testify against DSK citing their own experiences.  They would also, perhaps, want a pay off !!!

Finally the last question is how long will his legal problems go on ?  Estimates are at least two years, whether in prison or fighting the civil case. 

This puts into perspective any lingering hopes he might have of standing for the French Presidential elections next year.  Would the French electorate be prepared to vote for a man who cannot control himself ?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

AFTER THE RIOTS IN GREAT BRITAIN


The recent riots in Britain, which saw the destruction by arson of shops and houses, looting and wanton damage of property, has appalled all right thinking people in the country.

These riots were not of a political nature. They were led by a small number of young, hardened louts who by their actions encouraged others to join in. They were hooded louts of all denominations, coloureds and white, male and female. The police were initially caught off guard but when the riots spread to more than ten cities outside London, measures were taken.

These riots provoked an unexpected reaction from the law abiding inhabitants. About 85% of the population gathered in the streets of their towns, ready to discuss matters and ready to help clear up the mess. This was the British Bulldog spirit which was so much in evidence during the second World War.

One saw on television the Elders of ethnic communities discussing events with British born neighbours.  This was like a real meeting of the Neighbourhood Watch.  They all know their members, in particular the ones which are troublesome !!! 

They all have the same ideals for their neighbourhood and realize that these riots and rioters must be nipped in the bud.  The police must build contacts with these "Elders" and encourage these "Elders" to work with each other.

Britain should be thankful for the efforts made by David Cameron.  Every now and again, not very often, when there is a crisis, a real leader makes his mark. This crisis could lead to the dawn of a new Great Britain. 

        

Monday, 8 August 2011

RIOTS & CRIMES, AND REAL PUNISHMENT ?


Justice is generally based on the principle that "Crime must not pay".  Punishment should serve as a deterrent to criminals to reoffend.  Judges should not be fettered by guidelines from the Government or other external sources when passing judgement and sentencing criminels. 

These are the basic principles which must be respected.   Judges have a great deal of experience of sentencing Criminals.  If a judge fails to be right and just based on the evidence, then it is always possible to make an Appeal. 

The riots and crimes in Tottenham and other areas of London this last weekend, together with the horrendous damage to shops and private properties cannot be accepted nor defended.  There are, however, already some do-gooders who are blaming the Government, for, I presume, not mollycoddling the rioters.

There is however, a basic problem in the Justice System.  There are not sufficient places in prisons to house criminals for the whole length of their sentence.  As a result, on the initiative of the Secretary of State for Justice early release is decided to free cells urgently required for new offenders. 

This is not the ideal solution. It undermines the decisions of Judges. The only real and effective solution is to build new prisons, including some tailored for hardened criminals.  Prison is a deterrent !!!

Many prisoners released early have reoffended within weeks after their early release.  They were probably not prepared to face freedom.  This is where social workers and do-gooders could help.

However reoffenders are again a category of criminal which is not properly covered.  I think that consideration should be given to doubling the sentence or punishment when criminals reoffend.  Crime should not pay, it should not be a profitable occupation !!!  Once criminals understand the rules they will perhaps be deterred.

The message for the Conservatives is clear.  The legacy they inherited from the Socialists must be completely overhauled. Only then can electors expect an improvement in justice.    On all these problems the Socialists, Blair and Brown in particular, completely failed Britain during their 13 years in power.

Britain has problems like this now, and next year the Olympic Games will be held here !!! 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

STOCK MARKET; NO RELIEF THIS WEEK !!!


During this holiday period the financial and banking leaders of the "G 7" have nonetheless been frantically discussing what solution can be found to avoid a crash as severe as in 1929. These discussions will continue this coming week and this in itself will provoke panic on the international stock exchanges and in the banking system.

Simply said, the problem is that Ireland, Portugal and Greece have been bailed-out to stave off a run on the EURO and nobody really thinks that Greece will ever be in position to repay the loans it has received.  To compound the problem, Italy and Spain will also need help in the near future, this year in fact.

In Europe generally, there is a small recession which has resulted in increasing unemployment and this does not augure well for the future.  People are nervous.  Should the solution adopted for Ireland, Portugal and Greece (aid with repayable, low cost medium and long term loans) also be the same solution for Italy and Spain, both with bigger needs than Greece ?  

Does the EU have enough resources to make more risky loans ?   Will these loans not become "Junk Bonds ?   Will some EU countries not risk a down-grading by Standard & Poor's ?        

Saturday, 6 August 2011

WORLD INFLATION CRISIS: INVESTMENTS AND PENSIONS


The turmoil on stock exchanges, the EURO crisis and its' "junk bonds", the USA debt ceiling panic followed by the lower Long Term Debt Rating to "AA+" by Standard & Poor, has left many investors worrying where to invest their money.

The simple fact is that there is too much money available looking for a secure home.  The word "secure" is of prime importance and this also explains why the price of gold has reached sky-high levels in a short period of time. Investors, particularly pensioners, are worried by the sinking stock market prices.

The parity of the US dollar has also faded and is at present no longer the safe haven it was in countries where inflation is rife. Many tourists there have been offered exchange rates to sell US dollars or other stable currencies which are much more favorable than the official rates available.

Of course there are still the old and well tried methods, but they do not suit every investor with money.  To buy real estate, a flat or house, to live in or to rent out, with the help of a loan, is a classic example of how to protect personal net worth.  In present circumstances property prices can only rise in the short term.

The real problem Governments must solve is:  "How can the pensions, State or Private, be garanteed in the short term if inflation rises?"  This is what politicians everywhere must explain !!!      

GREEK CRISIS NOW A EURO CRISIS !!!


Repeatedly making loans to an insolvent company or country is a very risky operation. This we have seen in the case of Greece which has been bailed out for the second time in one year. In the last two weeks the loans made to Greece have become "junk bonds" !!!

Was Greece again bailed out because it had solved or eradicated the fundamental reasons which forced it to apply for financial help in the first place, or was Greece bailed out again because the Leaders of the EU were terrorized, scared stiff, by the thought that the sacred EURO would lose face on the world's financial markets ? 

The very fact that new loans to Greece were again made, with low interest rates and on a long term basis, without any garantees like mortgages, reveals the fears of the EU leaders for the future of the EURO. However, the new loans did not cure the underlying structural faults in the Greek economy: too many civil servants being too highly paid !!! 

Before the final decision to grant the last loans to Greece, it was already generally known that Spain and Italy were also in dire straits.  These countries were watching what was going to be decided !!!  They were and are still watching because there are no rules in the EU treaties which specify what should be done when a EURO country becomes insolvent. This major loophole must be studied with great urgency, even during the current EU parliamentary recess !!!

I have long been of the opinion that EURO countries which are insolvent should temporarily leave the EU and abandon the EURO, readopt their former currency, then  officially convert all foreign currency debts and assets into the new local currency and then devalue the new local currency.  The net result would be, for example, that EU creditor countries would suffer losses on the balances outstanding with the insolvent country.

Banks and companies generally can book such losses against profits which would therefore soften the effect of the pretax loss.

If the EU solves the problems of Italy and Spain in the same way as the Greek problem, there will be melt-down in the EU !!!  Taxpayers will create revolutions everywhere when measures hurt !!!  In the end it is the taxpayer who always picks up the bill, not only for the unpaid debts of insolvent countries but also for the "junk bonds" !!!