Strauss-Kahn granted bail, house arrest ordered

NY court grants bail ($6 million), but with stringent conditions—the former IMF head will be tagged with an electronic device—judgement acknowledges that there is “a serious risk” that Strauss-Kahn could attempt to flee

New York: Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was today granted $1 million bail under stringent conditions, which includes tagging him with an electronic device, after he was formally indicted on all seven counts of sexually assaulting a hotel maid here, reports PTI.

62-year-old Strauss-Kahn would be detained at home ringed by armed guards and has been told to surrender all travel documents.

The New York Supreme Court Judge Michael J Obus asked him to pay an additional bond of $5 million as he acknowledged that there is “a serious risk” that Strauss-Kahn could attempt to flee.

Strauss-Kahn, who has claimed innocence, was locked up in a New York prison since Saturday when he was bundled out of a Paris-bound flight and taken into custody on charges of sexually assaulting a chambermaid at Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan.

Strauss-Kahn has been charged with a criminal sex act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.

“I expect that you will be here” for court, Obus said, addressing Strauss-Kahn directly.

“I do want to make it very clear: If there is the slightest problem with your compliance, court officials would quickly alter the bail agreement,” the judge said.

Strauss-Kahn looked tired as he sat in court wearing a blue shirt and gray jacket without a tie. His wife, Anne Sinclair, a French TV journalist, was present in court along with their daughter.

Earlier, a grand jury indicted Strauss-Kahn on all seven charges he faced after his arrest on 16th May, including four felony counts and three misdemeanours.

“These are extremely serious charges, based on the grand jury’s determination that the evidence supports the commission of non-consensual, forced sexual acts,” Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr said after the bail hearing.

Strauss-Kahn is allowed to stay with his wife in the apartment.

On 6th June, the court will hold an arraignment hearing in which the exact charges will be revealed.

Strauss-Kahn, however, has to spend one more night at the Rikers Island prison where he is being held since Monday. Strauss-Kahn has given up his extradition rights, which he is granted as a French citizen.

Strauss-Kahn is expected to plead not guilty. His lawyers have also said that the sex was consensual. Yesterday, Strauss-Kahn resigned from the IMF.

“It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of Managing Director of the IMF,” Strauss-Kahn wrote to the Washington-based IMF board.

"Dominique Strauss-Kahn has today informed the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of his intention to resign as Managing Director with immediate effect,” the IMF said in a statement after it received a formal letter in this regard from Strauss-Kahn.

Strauss-Kahn, a socialist politician, was seen as a possible contender for the 2012 presidential elections in France.


Just Dial Amitabh!

Idealess brand managers have gradually destroyed the enigma and the legend of the Big B. Just Dial is yet another example

One thing about Indian advertising that depresses the most is the blind, thoughtless use of celebrities. It's like: Don't have an idea? The product is boring? Not sure of your creative skills? Cool! Just Dial a Celebrity!

And among the celebs, the most unwatchable, irritating choice has to be Amitabh Bachchan. You'll notice, across most campaigns, he doesn't fit into the brand or the category from any angle. Plus, he looks the same, acts the same, and the humour, when used, is so forced it makes you cringe. And yet, the Bachchan mania rolls on. Quite frankly, I am flummoxed out here.

Here's a theory: Most of today's marketing directors and ad agency heads grew up on the Bachchan blockbusters of the seventies. When he used to play the angry young man. Perhaps it's a hangover of the spell he cast on young men, who are now middle aged leaders in the corporate world. Perhaps more than relevance to the brand, it's the 'joy' of shooting with the legend that drives these guys. This may sound over the top but I really can't think of any other explanation.
The latest brand to fall sick on account of 'Bachchanititis' is Just Dial. There is a series of commercials on air, where a hamming, bumbling, babbling Bachchan explains the advantages of the brand. Which essentially involves him breathlessly rattling off telephone numbers for Just Dial. And how your desperate need for plumbers, caretakers, maalis, travel agents, etc, is now easily dealt with.  
One thing immediately strikes you when you watch these ads. What IS the reason for using Bachchan? What does he bring to the table? Where is the brand connect? There is very little chance of Bachchan ever dialling to seek the number of a plumber. Any little known actor or model could have done these ads. In fact, giving a fresh face to Just Dial would increase its brand salience. Rather than confuse it with the million other brands the ageing actor endorses.
I recall doing an interview with Bachchan a few years ago. Where he admitted that one of the reasons for doing as much work as possible is that he never has to ever face the days of bankruptcy again. And therefore I don't really blame the man for signing on any brand that knocks on his door.  
What upsets me is idealess brand managers who have not just made TV viewing a daunting task, but have gradually destroyed the enigma and the legend of the Big B.



Jose Kottanani

2 years ago

Believe me Mr Anil, when Mr Amitabh Bachchan comes on the screen, people sit up and look up. whether they will in the end use the product or not, is entirely dependent on the product itself. But, yes personalities like Mr Bachchan and SRK bring the product into notice of the people. It is called pigging riding on the Brand Amitabh Bachchan, for which Just Dial has paid a lump sum amount to Mr Bachchan. You just showed that you have no ideal about consumer's mentality and nor anything about advertisement. Period.


5 years ago

very well written article.
offers a great insight into the psyche of the legend and the people who are actually using him for selling anything from a hair oil to just dial...!!


5 years ago

totally agree..even with Shah Rukh's just "Dial a Celeb"


5 years ago

money life will loose its credibilty if they continue with people like mr. anil


5 years ago

it seems mr. anil has some personal enmity with mr. bachchan.

jamna v

5 years ago

My be it is for the money, though, by now he must have enough in his kitty for the next seven janmas.
I feel it is for his son who is brand ambassador


5 years ago

I am 23 and love to way amitabh any time. Justdialnos annocon in it\'s business like amitabh in the world. What better connect do you want? Please write responsibly and keep your frustration in control.

Positive thinker

5 years ago

Anil, your claim to fame Is one interview with Amitabh Bachchan. Brand managers know their job they get sacked if they don't deliver. Of course bloggers like you can be irresponsible endlessley hurt other peoples feelings. God bless you dear.

Probe money-laundering charges against Amar Singh, Allahabad HC tells ED

The Court gave the direction while dismissing a petition filed by Amar Singh, former Samajwadi Party general secretary, who had challenged an FIR  lodged in Kanpur nearly two years ago, accusing him of various financial irregularities

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court today directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to investigate charges of money laundering against Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, saying that the probe should commence within two weeks.

The Court gave the direction while dismissing a petition filed by the former Samajwadi Party general secretary who had challenged an FIR (First Information Report) lodged in Kanpur nearly two years ago accusing him of various financial irregularities when the party was in power in Uttar Pradesh, reports PTI.

A division bench comprising justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and SS Tiwari asked the ED to commence the investigation “within two weeks” and submit a status report before the court within a month of the commencement of the probe.

Mr Singh had moved the court challenging an FIR lodged at Babupurwa Police Station in Kanpur on 15 October 2009 by a local resident Shiv Kant Tripathi under various sections of the IPC, the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Mr Tripathi had also moved the Court with the prayer that the issue be probed by the ED.

The petitions by Mr Singh and Mr Tripathi were clubbed together and heard by the bench which had reserved its judgement on 28th March.

Senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who had argued on behalf of Mr Singh, had described the FIR lodged against his client as “clearly an act of malice and fraud” aimed at “settling political scores” and, hence, was “liable to be quashed.”

However, the Court said it found “no substance in the submissions that the proceeding is liable to be quashed on grounds of mala fide and political rivalries.”

The Court took a serious note of the allegation made by the petitioner that Mr Singh, when the Samajwadi Party was in power in UP and he was the Chairman of the UP Development Council—a post equivalent to that of a Cabinet minister —“had indulged in money-laundering business by creating a web of shell companies.”

“Money laundering poses a serious threat to financial system integrity. It may emerge as a parallel economic system within a country controlled by a few. This may destabilise and perish a sound economy,” it said.

“We are of the firm view that it is a pre-eminently fit case for exercise of extra-ordinary power and the matter needs thorough probe by Special Cell as the matter has national ramifications,” the Court said.

Taking note of the fact that “the companies which are alleged to be shell companies are registered in various states,” the court held “the ED being a Central agency shall be the appropriate cell capable of carrying out a thorough probe.”

It is, therefore, directed that the entire papers relating to this matter shall be entrusted to the ED within two weeks and immediately after receipt of the papers the ED shall commence investigation. The first status report shall be submitted by the ED within one month after receipt of papers,” the Court said.

“List this matter in the first week of July on which date the authorities-that-be shall appear in person and shall submit the first status report,” the order said.


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