Category: Raff Sollecito

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Overkill Of Knox/Marriott PR Causes Sollecito-Camp Reaction And Seeming Hurt To Knox Herself

Posted by Peter Quennell



Seattle, generally such a huge plus in the world, embarrased by the river of slime

Act 1. Hubris Of The Knox Public Relations Described

A long report on Marriott’s PR appeared late in 2011 after Knox was provisionally released.

David Marriott never visited Amanda Knox during her four years in an Italian prison.  He met her this month, when she stepped off a plane in Seattle.

Yet for Knox and her family, Marriott was as important a player in her ordeal as anyone in the courtroom. As Knox’s publicist, beginning three days after her arrest, Marriott worked to convince the international public that she did not murder her British roommate while studying in Perugia.

“Hiring him was one of the smartest things we ever did,” said Curt Knox, Amanda’s father.

The article goes on to describe how family and friends were pushed into the limelight and specific big TV networks targeted.  It talks about great financial opportunities for Knox.

Marriott himself demonstrates no understanding of the case - in fact. he sounds proud of his ignorance and his reflexively anti-Italy stance. To a smarter Curt Knox those might have been red flags.

Act 2: Brutal Overkill Of A Flailing Campaign Described

In October 2013 our main poster Media Watcher laid the blame for the slow-moving Knox media cooling at David Marriott’s door.

Now The Examiner is only one of many preparing to take another retaliatory whack.

Public relations is perfectly understandable for celebrities, politicians, or executives, but murder suspects too? At first this aggressive proliferation of pro-Knox articles, tweets and commentary were justified as a defense against the European media’s negative portrayal of her. However, as time wore on, the overpowering presence of Knox’s media campaign has reached outlandish proportions.

Nowadays no blogger is safe to write a factual article about the Meredith Kercher Murder Case without contemptuous comments filling up their Disqus community. Patient webmasters at CNN.com must brace themselves for the onslaught of tens of thousands of interjections cluttering up each and every news article concerning the Meredith Kercher cum Amanda Knox murder case. Mob mentality seems to have taken over Knox’s PR initiative. Knox’s advocates have gone so far as to aim their crosshairs on the victim’s family.

The article, very well researched so far as it goes (it omits the third act below) goes on to describe how Sollecito’s camp has had to open a PR front to unchain Sollecito from Knox. 

Act 3: How Knox Herself Is Losing Big Described

Know your enemy. Dont go about attacking the king unless you can kill him dead. Italy’s Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote about it in The Prince:

If one is striking out at an opponent, one should make sure that the fatal blow is struck, successfully ending the confrontation. Machiavelli wrote that “the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.”

Wise words for Marriott and Curt Knox. They have remained steadfastly ignorant of the enemy. The attack has clearly failed. Wall-to-wall Italy now has the upper hand. And the PR is a millstone around Knox’s neck.

Here are seven of the ways the Knox-Marriott campaign has fallen short and has actually done real harm.

    1) The real case for conviction remains rock-solid with many times the number of evidence points that a US or UK court would require for guilt.

    2) No paper trail helpful to Knox exists between the American Embassy and the State Department, and the extradition agreement is precise and firm. 

    3)  Knox’s bedrock claim, that she was pressured into a false accusation, not only cost her three years for calunnia but will cost her a defamation trial.

    4) The defamatory Knox book that was the windfall David Marriott so jubilantly talks about is turning into an albatross around Knox’s neck.

    5) The bloodmoney windfall will not remain Knox’s to keep, under Italian and American laws, and even Marriott’s fees could be at risk.

    6) The PR is being unresponsive to ANY damaging claims, such as Knox’s attempted framing of Mignini, and its output is increasingly surreal junk.

    7) The PR is making the Sollecito camp hostile, Italian media too; at the same time, since the failed appeal, the US media have chilled.

And so we see the slow death of a campaign built on xenophobia, racism, personal abuse, zero understanding of the details of the case, and zero understanding of the real Italy and its law.

Italy is actually rather a sucker for confession and penitence. Against a famously impervious justice system, the hard line was a terrible, terrible mistake.

Coming soon? “Firing him was one of the smartest things we ever did” says Curt Knox.


Below: From the Examiner, David Marriott and Seattle TV reporter Linda Byron


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Spitting In the Wind: Sollecito News Conference Backfires On Him AND Knox - What The Media Missed

Posted by SomeAlibi



Raffaele looks for divine inspiration? Precious little showing at press conference on Tuesday

What on earth were they thinking?

At Tuesday morning’s press conference Raffaele Sollecito’s team did at least two completely inexplicable things.

Firstly, they scored a spectacular own-goal on the facts surrounding the murder of Meredith Kercher, which has been missed by the press.

Secondly, they did it all for no legal benefit.

In the run up to the press conference it was widely trailed that Sollecito would throw Amanda under the bus by removing her alibi - that she spent the whole of the night of the 1st of November with him at his apartment. After the press conference, it was widely reported he’d done that very thing.

Wrong. Very wrong. In fact, Team Sollecito did the opposite and put a position forward entirely consistent with how the prosecution says Knox, Sollecito and Guede all come together.

Speaking in tongues

There are only a few grains of sand left in the hourglass before Cassation and confirmation of the sentence, which will see Sollecito return to jail until he is well into his forties. You would have thought that it would be “absurd” for him to do anything other than speak clearly and unequivocally.

But that is precisely what didn’t happen…

Sollecito and lead counsel Giulia Bongiorno performed a bizarre tip-toe dance, avoiding saying anything clear or direct. Instead, they made points by reference and allusion, with an unhealthy assortment of metaphorical nods, winks, heavy coughs and adjustments of the lapels at key points.

Did Raffaele say that Amanda left his apartment in the early evening? No. As Bongiorno tortuously phrased it: “Raffaele takes note of the fact the court of appeal found there was something of a lie over Amanda’s whereabouts”¦ of the fact the court [says] she was not with him in the early evening”.

Takes note? What on earth was that all about? Well, the sentence mangling was because at the final Cassation hearing next year, no fresh facts can be heard. The only arguments that can be heard are on failure of due process or failure of logic and reasoning as pmf.org Italian legal expert Popper explains extremely clearly here:

I think we should clarify a number of points after discussions of past few days:

1) Corte di Cassazione does not hear evidence and can only discuss the possible invalidation of a sentence or part of it ref the points appealed, not other points. Corte di Cassazione does not hear defendants or private parties. In public hearings only a specific category of lawyers (Cassazionisti) can speak before them

2) Corte di Cassazione therefore cannot take into account evidence now given spontaneously by the defendant RS directed against AK (eg open door of Filomena) as in Court he has never accepted cross-interrogation of AK’s lawyers, except if on some points RS’ lawyers appealed in writing for manifest illogicality of reasoning but what he says now cannot be used. Keep in mind Cassazione cannot discuss the merit of the judgement of Nencini and Massei, only invalidate it if this judgement and reasoning were based on clearly illogical arguments or neglected key evidence

3) Only if Cassazione invalidated Nencini and remanded to a further appeal a possible renovation of “istruttoria” (evidence discussion) may take place. Otherwise all RS has to say now, even if he confesses she did it and he only helped clean [unlikely IMHO], cannot be taken into account by Corte di Cassazione and would have to be the possible argument for a “revisione del giudicato” (a case in which, after a final judgement, a convicted person claims there is a clear error and brings solid evidence to prove it, it is quite rare only in case of obvious errors. Procedure can be easily denied and IMHO will be denied if he said he just helped clean as Courts have already considered that scenario and rejected it)

4) any discussion on cocaine was not taken into account to convict (even if true, no evidence they sniffed that night) and will not be taken into account by Corte di Cassazione, in theory will not be taken into account for extradition hearing in US Court as this only verifies there is a conviction and treaty respected. PR is another matter, but I think it is not correct to say that would be added to extradition request and may change legal course. Same goes for garage video.

5) The press conference of RS was useless, the panel of Corte di Cassazione judges has not even been appointed and, while not illegal, it is completely unusual for a defendant to hold a PC talking about an appeal (RS is not a public figure or administrator). What counts is the appeal document that we have read. The “great” point that AK does not talk about RS in memoriale is too stupid for me to discuss it here. We must conclude this was only publicity for Bongiorno, she knows she is likely to lose and wishes to make it seem it is a close call. She has minimal chances, approximating 0%.

6) RS has very low chances to succeed, and LG for AK even less, as Corte di Cassazione explained well what they wanted and Nencini gave it to them. Court presided by AN explained who the people concurring with RG in the murder are and gave clear logical explanation for such conclusion. Also, Nencini confirmed first instance, a trial that was perfectly valid for Cassazione after first appeal was invalidated.

There have been cases of a double iteration at Cassazione eg in very complex terrorism trials, evidence was scarce mostly based on witnesses who wanted to sidetrack other investigations. Here, as Alan Dershowitz said [he does not know much about case but this and a few other points he got absolutely right] all pieces of evidence point exactly in the same direction creating a good case [AD does not know it is overwhelming; maybe he did not read all docs].

One other thing AD said, most FOA and JREF and IIP tend to forget: Court is the judge, not them, Court has the responsibility to evaluate all evidence and issue a judgement that, as long as explained logically and legally in writing [something a US jury would not be required to do] using all available elements, will stand and be final after Cassazione.


So, Team Sollecito needed to phrase all of their “points” as things already said by the Appeal Court, which are now facts in law unless overturned due to failure of logic etc.

From there they must then try and make insinuations about these “˜facts’, all the while dressing it up as if it were procedurally in accordance with the pre-Cassation phase. Even though “¦ and here one should be allowed a Pepto Bismol given all the twisting and turning”¦ as Popper explains, it will have no effect on the outcome whatsoever.

In the real world, it was quite clear that what Sollecito was actually saying was, “Yes, she did go out in the early part of the evening, even though I’m not personally saying it, those are the Court’s words.”

He left a massive hanging dot dot dot in place of: “˜Hey everyone - Amanda went off and performed the murder with Guede, not me! No, I haven’t stated the time of her return, because it’s not me talking, it’s the court, but she was out, so figure it out for yourselves”¦’




Not with him in the early evening, which is not the night, we are told, that begins around 11:00 pm

The light at the end of the tunnel has steam billowing underneath it

Here, Team Sollecito run into a horrendous brick-wall of facts which lays Raffaele and Knox out cold. It’s not hard to work it through, but the world’s weary press are too fatigued by this case to even do some simple “if-then” calculations and draw the appropriate conclusion.

So, let’s do it for them here”¦

  • Team Sollecito are saying Knox went out before she sent her SMS reply to boss Patrick Lumumba at 8.35pm. This is in accordance with the case for the prosecution from day dot. They now agree, as the prosecution have always said, that Knox is out of Sollecito’s flat sometime before 8.35pm. (In fact, we know it’s by at least 8.17pm because this is when she received Lumumba’s text to say that she didn’t need to go into work).

  • Team Sollecito then pause and wink to let you do the math(s). If the murder occurred circa 9.30pm by their estimate (which it didn’t, but let’s go with this for a second) and you don’t know when she returned to Sollecito’s for the night, then he couldn’t have done it, because he was at home, but she could.

Here, the Press stop and report Amanda is under the bus. Thank heavens for that, not a stain on Raffaele’s Warren Beatty white suit and can we all go home now?

Wrong. In fact, it’s a horrendous own-goal, which ricochets in hard off the testimony of both independent witness Jovana Popovic and Raffaele’s own father Francesco.

  • At 8.40pm, Popovic arrives at the front door of Raffaele’s apartment and testifies that Amanda Knox opens the front door. It has been suggested that Popovic’s self-estimated timing of 8.40pm is wrong, but this rings very hollow indeed. Popovic had done the walk from her late class ending at 8.20pm many times, and knew it took 20 minutes because she lived on the same road ““ Corso Garibaldi ““ as Raffaele himself.  Both Massei and Nencini agreed with this too. Ouch.

  • So Knox, who was out previously, is already back, at least 50 minutes before even the putative time of murder put by the defence and a couple of hours plus before the real time.

  • In fact, Raffaele’s father Francesco testified to the Massei court that he was certain that Amanda was with his son when he spoke to him at 8.52pm that night. And this was not contested by the defence. Double ouch.

So, even if Knox went out in the early evening, she is objectively shown to have been back at the apartment well before 9pm. And, if that is the case, both Knox and Sollecito are 100% back in the frame. And this is even before they are also seen by a third person who corroborates that they were together that night ““ Antonio Curatolo. Triple ouch.

Confirming how three became company

Worse yet, Knox has argued for 7 years that she never left the apartment. If Sollecito now “says” she did, but we know objectively that she is back at least by 8.40pm, it supports the prosecution case.

This was that Knox left for work and walked to near the cottage, in the area of the basketball court at Piazza Grimana, around where she received the text from Patrick saying not to come to work.

This is the exact time that Rudy Guede was having a kebab, only a couple of hundred yards away. This provides the opportunity for Knox and Guede to have seen each other. Knox, suddenly at a loose end, makes a plan, which involves asking for Guede’s help.

What might that help be? Well, the resurfacing story of Knox’s link with a cocaine dealer chimes nicely with the idea that Knox asked Rudy either to supply her or help her get some sort of drugs and that they arranged to meet back up once he had secured them.

Knox then returns to Raffaele’s to fetch him, is seen by Popovic and her presence acknowledged at 8.52pm by Papa Sollecito and son, before they both head out to connect with Guede back at Piazza Grimana. (Remember, this is where Knox “saw” Patrick Lumumba, when she tried to frame him).

Guede, as was his wont, managed to get himself invited back to the cottage, perhaps for a shared line. This is consistent with Knox’s prison piece “The Story of Marie Pace”, where there are at least two++ men present in a kitchen in a “party” type atmosphere taking drugs which ends up with a hospitalised victim.

It’s only one theory and there are others. However, what Team Sollecito managed to do this week was to confirm that Knox left the flat. Objective facts and witness testimony tell us the time by which she had returned.

And, in that round trip lies the entire timing, location and mechanism for how Guede became involved, which otherwise makes little sense. Now all confirmed by Team Sollecito…




One of Raffaele Sollecito’s telling grimaces when Amanda Knox’s name is mentioned

What silence gets you

So what was the point? Face-saving for Raffaele? Hoping to key up populist support? Fat chance in Italy, where the case has been properly reported.

An opportunity to allude to a “truth” (the best one he can think of for now ““ other truths are available) and say that he and his family believe Knox is innocent? Pull the other one Raffaele!

It is quite clear that several members of the Sollecito clan think that Knox absolutely is guilty and their Raffaele is still too “honourable” to tell the truth. He merely aided the clean-up perhaps. Well in that case, why hasn’t he said exactly when she came back? Was it 11pm? 1am? Was it at 5am when the music starts playing. Why won’t he or you say?

Or”¦ was it face-saving for Bongiorno, as she faces defeat and seeks to protect her valued public persona?  Well, as much as I’ve tried, I have no idea what they thought they were doing.

And to be honest with you, I honestly don’t think they were entirely sure, nor did they think through the consequences of the brick wall objectivity of Popovic + Papa Sollecito.

In the meantime, a family sits in Surrey listening and watching the weasel words and once again is insulted by this “honourable” all-in-white character who knows what “Amanda Marie Knox” did that night, but simply will not say.

Which of course he could choose to do at any moment, court proceedings or not, the way us normal human beings do it: not making allusion, not tipping a wink, but speaking the truth.

But he hasn’t and I suspect he won’t, even though it actually would now be the only thing that could mitigate the length of his inevitable prison term.

And for his acts and that silence he still won’t break - and at least here it is possible to finally speak with certainty - I believe he deserves every one of those 25 years.


Friday, July 04, 2014

The Status Of The Various Computers In The Case And Whether Anything Nefarious Happened To Them

Posted by Sallyoo



Trial court 2009 on one of several days computer and internet activity was testified to

1. Computer use as high-stakes evidence

There have been many arguments about computers during the case.

They began at the very beginning, and there is even now, in the final appeal by Sollecito to the Court of Cassazione, one remaining somewhat fantastical theory.

The facts surrounding the computer evidence collected by the prosecution have been obfuscated and contradicted by the defence using exactly the same techniques as have been used about the DNA and other forensic evidence in the case.

Blind the court (and the public) with hypotheses which very few people can follow, and use this ignorance to spread confusion and doubt.

Let’s try to shed some light.

2. Five key computers, plus

We know that Sollecito is pretty familiar with computers, he had two at the time, a MacBook and an Asus [1],  both portables.[2]  His apartment had a decent broadband connection, supplied, (using the Telecom Italia infrastructure) by Fastweb.

We know that both of these computers were sequestered from his apartment on the morning of Nov 6 2007, when Sollecito accompanied a squad of policemen despatched to search his apartment.

We know that the police removed, (on Nov 7), from the house in Via Della Pergola (where there was no telephone nor broadband service) a MacBook belonging to Meredith, a Toshiba belonging to Knox, and a portable computer belonging to Laura Mezzetti.

The police also took an HP portable from Lumumba’s apartment.

There is even another computer which the police already had possession of, and that is a Sony portable belonging to Filomena Romanelli. This computer Filomena herself had taken away from her bedroom shortly after the discovery of the murder, and which the questura, in the evening of Nov 2, required her to hand over to them because it formed part of the ‘crime scene’.

3. The police HD analysis begins

On Nov 13 a postal police technician (Marco Trotta) received a box containing five computers (two from Sollecito, Knox, Meredith and Lumumba).

On Nov 15, in the presence of Formenti, (a consultant nominated by the defence) Trotta took them apart (removed the hard disks) and attempted to make copies of the data recorded on them.

This is the point at which it is alleged the destruction of three hard disks occurred.

It is difficult to believe that this is the case. Not only because the equipment used had never before (or since) managed to trash a hard disk (and it had no problems with Lumumba’s disk) but also because of the state of Filomena’s computer, which never got anywhere near Trotta.

All of the computers had of course been in the hands of the squadra mobile for some days before being consigned to Trotta, allowing for the possibility of some earlier interference by some malfeasant policeman.

This isn’t likely, not only because Trotta insists that the computers were complete and superficially undamaged, and the hard disks factory sealed when he dismantled the computers, but also because of Filomena’s computer.

4. Filomena’s Sony machine

It is now time to go a little deeper into the history of Filomena’s Sony.

This was a fairly new machine, which she kept in a substantial computer carrying case. It was working perfectly on Oct 30 when she last used it. She had left it in her bedroom, the case standing upright beside her bed, when she went off to spend the brief holiday with her boyfriend.

She found it, still in the carrying case, lying flat in a pile of stuff under the broken window of her disturbed bedroom. [3]

The defence commissioned a Computer Expert Report, entered during the Massei trial, which talked about the reason for the data being irrecoverable on the three computers’ disks.

Their conclusion was that the electronic circuitry controlling the hard disks had, in all three cases, suffered damage, most probably due to an electrical overtension. The circuitry had been ‘fried’.

They were unable to be certain how or when this might have occurred, or to opine on whether it was deliberate.

Filomena, in the presence of Gregori, (another communications police officer), at the Questura on the evening of Nov 2 attempted to turn on her Sony. It wouldn’t work. The hard disk would not respond properly.

When she got it back on Dec 18 and gave it to a private computer technician, he said the control circuitry on the hard disk is ‘fried’. Exactly the same fault as had occurred on the other three, which we are expected by th defense to believe was either a deliberate piece of police sabotage, or proof of police incompetence.

5. The Sollecito computers

The important computers, of course, are those owned by Sollecito because he is, even now, still trying to force an alibi out of them.

The MacBook has been accurately interrogated to death, most particularly by a defence expert named Antonio d’Ambrosio who gave very clear testimony at Massei on 26 Sept 2009.

He was even generous enough to acknowledge that the investigations carried out by the postal police were correct, and well interpreted, and that he was able to uncover a little more information simply because he wasn’t limited by forensic protocols (and could therefore reveal information not visible to the Encase software used by the police) when he examined a copy of the cloned disk from the Mac.

Basically the only ‘news’ in this interesting testimony was an interaction with the Apple website at 00.58 on Nov 2, which he did consider a human interaction with the computer. 

6. Activity on the Internet

Sollecito maintains he spent the whole evening and night in his flat. At first his story was that he was sending e-mails and surfing the web. This was quickly demolished by reference to the IP log supplied by Fastweb, the broadband supplier.

It’s necessary to get slightly technical here.

Most of what we call The Internet, and certainly everything which is called The Worldwide Web, including e-mail clients, subscribe to a protocol which (in shorthand) means everything is a Port 80 request.

The individual computer, via its router, contacts the ISP (Fastweb, in this case) and identifies itself by means of a unique IP address. The ISP then directs the communication to the IP of the website requested.

This is all recorded on the Fastweb network. It is certain that no Port 80 requests were made from Sollecito’s apartment (whichever computer he may have been using) between 18.00 on Nov 1 and 00.58 on Nov 2. 

There are parts of the international communications network which don’t use Port 80 protocols. The most ‘innocent’ of these are Peer to Peer (P2P) networks ““ in widespread use for distributing and downloading music and video files.

Sollecito certainly availed himself of these services, using a program called Amule on his Mac. He had a folder containing downloaded files, which was accessible to the program, and thus also accessible to anyone in the world who wanted a copy of something which Sollecito had in this shareable folder on his computer.

If he wished to save the file for posterity, he would move or copy it from this accessible folder into his own archive.

Video files are large, and they take a long time to download. Clearly, to download a file, or to make your publicly accessible folder available, the computer has to be turned on and connected to a router.

If you use these file sharing services extensively, it implies that you keep your computer turned on and connected all the time. It seems likely that this was Sollecito’s habit.

Clearly, you need to automate this sort of transfer ““ often a large file will be accessed in part from one remote computer, and another part will be located on another remote computer ““ so you simply instruct Amule to get you a film, or a list of films, and you can walk away from the computer.

Even D’Ambrosio is unable to be certain that a human interaction occurred at 21.26 on Nov 1, or whether a pre-requested download of Naruto commenced.

However, no IP addresses are exchanged when connecting to a P2P network, and so it is impossible (from ISP records) to trace any traffic.

It is possible though, from the hard disk, to discover what has been downloaded and saved to a computer on a P2P network, and exactly when ““ but to distinguish an automated process from a user instigated one is not possible.

7. Computers and Hellmann appeal

Now we move onto the Hellmann appeal, where a report from this same consultant D’Ambrosio was accepted into the case files. I haven’t been able to find this report, and Judge Hellman doesn’t even refer to it in his sentencing report.

However, the gist of this D’Ambrosio report is included in the current ricorso (appeal) from Sollecito to the Court of Cassazione.

8. Computers and Cassation appeal

We hear a bit about screensaver behaviour, and quite a lot about post Nov 1 interactions overwriting earlier actions.

The major ‘fresh’  theory now depends on asserting (more than four times in the ricorso) that the postal police destroyed Sollecito’s Asus, and that this action has meant that Sollecito’s alibi cannot be proved.

The lack of any signs of interaction on the Mac can be explained (so we are informed) by the Mac and the Asus being networked together, using a file sharing utility named Samba, and if the (broken) Asus could have been accessed it might have shown that it had been controlling the Mac.

So the Mac would have been doing things at the command of its owner, but because the owner was interacting with the keyboard of the Asus rather than that of the Mac, these actions are undetectable on the Mac.

This is what we are now being asked to believe.

9. Conclusion and way forward

I think this is an accurate summary of the relevant parts of ‘computer evidence’ discussed, or deposited, during the hearings and in the ricorso.  I look forward to any comments, clarifications, corrections, but above all, to any new theories about how and when the four hard disks got trashed.

From other sources there are an additional two hints at possible new or ignored evidence:

The BBC reported, on 14.03.2009, the following sentence. “A second computer belonging to Mr Sollecito also showed no activity but the suspect had himself admitted it had been broken before the crime was committed.”  [4]

And then we have Sollecito, in his prison diary of 11.11.2007, being rather more than aware that his computer is not going to be useful to him as an alibi.

I have been very anxious and nervous in the last few days, but to see my father who tells me “do not worry, we will get you out” makes me feel better. My real concerns are now two: the first one derives from the fact that, if that night Amanda remained with me all night long, we could have (and this is a very remote possibility) made love all evening and night only stopping to eat… it would be a real problem [casino] because there would be no connections from my computer to servers in those hours…

No connections in those hours? Hmmm.

10. My references

[1] This computer is sometimes referenced as an Acer. In Trotta’s testimony (he is reading from notes) it is listed as an Asus, so I have used this name. There is only one computer whether it’s an Asus or an Acer.

[2]  There is a reference to a non portable computer in Sollecito’s apartment (in the testimony of Popovic). This is the only mention of any non-portable (i.e. desktop or tower cased machine with separate monitor).  Given the position from which Popovic saw the screen (on a desk, with Knox sitting in front of it) it seems likely that she was mistaken.

[3]  Amanda Knox frequently refers to seeing Filomena’s computer on her desk after the ‘break in’. At one point in her testimony she changes her mind and corrects herself to change the computer to camera.

[4]  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7943828.stm I have not found another source for this comment.


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Amanda Knox Left Sollecito’s House By Herself? Both Claimed It But Neither Of Their Books Back It Up

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Current Contexts Of Sollecito’s And Knox’s Books

Neither book is exactly riddled with truths.

The claims throughout Sollecito’s book are soon to be the subject of a trial in Florence and the claims throughout Knox’s book are soon to be the subject of a trial in Bergamo. So both will need to endorse or reject what they wrote.

Plus Knox will need to endorse or reject this, from the first unforced statement she insisted on making without a lawyer on 6 November 2007. This is what Sollecito is gleefully using against her now.

Last Thursday, November 1, a day on which I normally work, while I was at the house of my boyfriend Raffaele, at around 8:30 pm, I received a message on my cellular phone from Patrik, who told me that the premises would remain closed that evening, because there were no customers, and thus I would not need to go to work.

I responded to the message by telling him that we would see each other at once; I then left the house, telling my boyfriend that I had to go to work. In view of the fact that during the afternoon I had smoked a joint, I felt confused, since I do not frequently make use of mind-altering substances, nor of heavier substances.

I met Patrik immediately afterward, at the basketball court on Piazza Grimana, and together we went [to my] home.


2. From Sollecito’s Honor Bound (Simon & Schuster 2012)

Amanda and I smoked a joint before leaving the house on Via della Pergola, wandered into town for some shopping before remembering we had enough for dinner already, and headed back to my place. Shortly before six, a Serbian friend of mine named Jovana Popovic rang the doorbell and asked if I’d mind driving her to the bus station at midnight to pick up a suitcase her mother was sending. I said that would be fine. When she left, Amanda and I sat down at the computer to watch a favorite movie, Amélie.

We had to stop the film a few times as the evening wore on. First, Amanda got a text from Patrick telling her it was a slow night because of the holiday and he didn’t need her to come in after all. It was like getting an unexpected snow day””we were thrilled. Amanda texted back: Certo ci vediamo più tardi buona serata! Sure. See you later. Have a good evening.

Then my father called. He and Mara had just seen the Will Smith movie The Pursuit of Happyness, and he told me how beautifully it portrayed the relationship between a father and his son. My father was always making phone calls like this. It was sweet that he wanted to share his experiences, but he also made everything he said sound vaguely like an order, as if laying out the parameters of how I should react to things before I’d had a chance to form my own opinion. But he never stayed on the line for long””he is too nervy and impatient””so I listened calmly and the call was over in less than four minutes.

In the meantime, Jovana dropped by again and told Amanda that I didn’t need to drive her to the bus station after all. Now we didn’t have to leave the apartment. The evening was ours, and we couldn’t have been happier. We switched off our cell phones, finished watching Amélie, and discussed what to make for dinner…

When Amélie ended, I went into the kitchen to take care of some dishes left over from breakfast before we started making dinner. I soon realized that water was leaking out of the pipe under the sink, and I cursed under my breath. I’d had a plumber come and fix the sink just a week earlier, and he had made me buy all sorts of replacement parts that clearly were not put together properly. I suspected he had left them loose on purpose to force me to pay for another visit. As Amanda and I threw kitchen towels onto the puddle on the tile floor, I decided I was going to let my landlady deal with it from now on.

“Don’t you have a mop?” Amanda asked. I did not. She offered to pick one up from Via della Pergola the next morning and bring it round.

We cooked a fish dinner, did our best to wash the dishes again, and tumbled gratefully into bed in each other’s arms. Only later, when I lay in the dark, unable to sleep, did it dawn on me that Papà  had broken his usual habit of calling to wish me good night.

It turned out he did so out of consideration. He had been about to pick up the phone when my stepmother talked him out of it. “Stop bothering him,” Mara said, as they got ready for bed around eleven o’clock. “He’s with Amanda, and they want to be alone. Why don’t you send a text instead?”

My father took her advice, but because my cell phone was turned off, I didn’t receive the message until six the next morning.

It was a desperately unlucky combination of circumstances. If my father had tried my cell and then called me on the home line””which he would have done, because he’s persistent that way””I would have had incontrovertible proof from the phone records that I was home that night. And the nightmare that was about to engulf me might never have begun.

My father called my landline a little before nine thirty the next morning to make sure we would be ready for our day trip to Gubbio. I was too groggy to talk. I’d been up several times in the night””listening to music, answering e-mail, making love””and wanted only to go back to sleep. Amanda got out of bed and said she was going home to shower and change her clothes, so I walked her to the front door, gave her a kiss, and crawled back under the covers.


3. From Knox’s Waiting To Be Heard (HarperCollins 2013)

Raffaele and I were good at being low-key together. We chilled out in the common room and smoked a joint while I played Beatles songs on the guitar for an hour or so. Sometime between 4 P.M. and 5 P.M., we left to go to his place. We wanted a quiet, cozy night in. As we walked along, I was telling Raffaele that Amélie was my all-time favorite movie.

“Really?” he asked. “I’ve never seen it.”

“Oh my God,” I said, unbelieving. “You have to see it right this second! You’ll love it!”

Not long after we got back to Raffaele’s, his doorbell rang. It was a friend of his whom I’d never met””a pretty, put-together medical student named Jovanna Popovic, who spoke Italian so quickly I couldn’t understand her. She’d come to ask Raffaele for a favor. Her mother was putting a suitcase on a bus for her and she wondered if he could drive her to the station at midnight to pick it up.

“Sure,” Raffaele said.

As soon as she left, we downloaded the movie on his computer and sat on his bed to watch it. Around 8:30 P.M. I suddenly remembered that it was Thursday, one of my regular workdays. Quickly checking my phone, I saw that Patrick had sent me a text telling me I didn’t have to come in. Since it was a holiday, he thought it would be a slow night.

“Okay,” I texted back. “Ci vediamo più tardi buona serata!”””“See you later. Have a good evening!” Then I turned off my phone, just in case he changed his mind and wanted me to come in after all. I was so excited to have the night off that I jumped on top of Raffaele, cheering, “Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!”

Our good mood was only elevated when the doorbell rang again at 8:45 P.M: Jovanna had come back, this time to say that the suitcase hadn’t made the bus and that she didn’t need a ride after all. With no more obligations, we had the whole rest of the night just to be with each other and chill out.

After the movie ended, around 9:15 P.M., we sautéed a piece of fish and made a simple salad. We were washing the dishes when we realized that the kitchen sink was leaking. Raffaele, who’d already had a plumber come once, was frustrated and frantically tried to mop up a lot of water with a little rag. He ended up leaving a puddle.

“I’ll bring the mop over from our house tomorrow. No big deal,” I said.

Raffaele sat down at his desk and rolled a joint, and I climbed into his lap to read aloud to him from another Harry Potter book, this one in German. I translated the parts he didn’t understand, as best I could, into Italian or English while we smoked and giggled.

Later, when we were in bed, our conversation wound its way to his mother. His dad had divorced her years before, but she’d never gotten over the break. In 2005 she had died suddenly. “Some ¬people suspect she killed herself, but I’m positive she didn’t,” Raffaele said. “She would never do that. She had a bad heart, and it just gave out. It was horrible for me””¬we were really close””¬and I miss her all the time.”

I felt terrible for him, but it was hard for me to relate. The only person I knew who had died was my grandfather, when I was sixteen. I felt sad when my mom told me, but my grandfather had been old and sick, and we had expected his death for a few weeks.

I’m sure Mom and Oma must have cried, but my strongest memory is sitting around the dining room table telling funny stories about Opa. My grandmother’s message””that grieving was something you did in private; that you didn’t make public displays and you kept on moving forward””had remained with me.

Hearing the pain in Raffaele’s voice, I hurt for him. Nestling my head on his chest, I tried to be comforting.

As we started kissing, Raffaele gave me a hickey on my neck. We undressed the rest of the way, had sex, and fell asleep.

We’d known each other for exactly one week and had settled so quickly into an easy routine that one night seemed to melt happily and indistinguishably into the one that came after.

We planned to break our routine the next day, All Souls’ Day, by taking a long drive into the countryside, to the neighboring town of Gubbio. The November 2 holiday wasn’t usually observed with as much fanfare as All Saints’ Day, but since it fell on a Friday in 2007, a lot of people, including us, were turning it into a four-day weekend. I thought, Italians having a good time again. And I couldn’t wait.

 


Monday, June 30, 2014

Apart From Cassation’s Unyielding Mandate, More Problems With The Belated Sollecito/Bongiorno U-Turn

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


1. The Appeal’s Grounds For Separation

That bizarre infatuation of Bongiorno’s with Knox as Jessica Rabbit is clearly long-gone.

Now the poor boy was home alone and the absent Miss Rabbit had reason and opportunity. Tiziano posted these ten translated points from the new Sollecito appeal to Cassation, which seems to have the highly nervous Knox camp’s tongues tied.

Among the numerous flaws the proceedings appealed against present, the one linked to the claimed impossibility of differentiating between the two accused stands out.

On this point the Appeal Court denied any in-depth analysis at all of the individual roles - an investigation urged by the defence - avoiding taking any position about alternative constructive hypotheses.

10 points are enumerated by the defence in this regard:

- AK’s memorial referring to events at via della Pergola was in the singular

- AK reported receiving SMS not to go to work from Lumumba, but went out just the same

- AK admitted having lied to RS

- RS did not calumny anyone: the accusation against PL was never confirmed by RS

- AK in her memorial positioned only herself at the crime scene at the time of the scream

- only AK’s blood was on the knife blade

- no mixed traces RS/MK were found and highlighted by luminol in the house

- Quintavalle claimed to have seen AK the morning of November 2nd, not RS

- RS did not know RG and had no reason for wanting MK’s death

- the alleged bad relations and the question of disappearance of money regarded only MK and AK


2, Popper Explains Why They Will Go Nowhere

Popper the highly informed Italian commenter on TJMK and PMF has explained on a previous post why this will fall on deaf ears in Cassation.

if RS said something he has not said before it would make no difference now. No more evidence can be admitted at the trial.

Fase istruttoria is over as judgement of merit.  Cassazione can only respond on points appealed and they must be points of law otherwise they are not admissible. Defendants do not talk in hearing.

Once they are convicted, for example, if he had new information on the case and new evidence that proved (in a convincing way) he is not guilty, he could ask for revisione, basically a review of the trial.

He clearly has nothing to say though ... if he said she went out, judges knew that already. If he said that night he was in Milan and could prove it conclusively, that could trigger a review of a final sentence.

We are clearly talking in theory, no such thing will happen.


3. Could The 10 Points Have Worked Previously?

If Judge Nencini was still in the saddle could the ten points have had merit?

Our continuing Interrogation Hoax series has been hammering on the fact that on 5-6 November 2007 quite unpressured Knox herself did state that she went out alone without Sollecito on the night Meredith was murdered. 

But these ten cherrypicked points above and a claim that RS was not even at Meredith’s house that night are self-destroying over-reach. They would not have caused a win or partial win for Sollecito. Not one of them stands up as a get-out-of-jail-free card upon close readings of the reports of Judge Massei and Judge Nencini.

The lower courts did NOT deny analysis of the individual roles - the two themselves opted to be tried together, while Rudy Guede, fearing two snakes, chose to be tried separately.

WHEN did the defense urge investigation of their differing roles? What did the Massei trial court miss? It had many months of the sight of Sollecito - sitting there sulky, saying little, not taking the stand. Yes, not assisting Jessica Rabbit with an alibi, but that was not so obvious.

The wounds on Meredith and the evidence points in Meredith’s room point overwhelmingly to three attackers. They prove the use of two knives from opposite sides. It was Sollecito’s knife that was used for the fatal blow; that remains unshaken - actually, more confirmed by the Carabinieri.

See Ergon on the implacable knife evidence. Sollecito was the knife fetishist, and the one who was already into the cocaine or crystal meth that Knox was probably on judging by her telling smell the next day, her bizarre behaviors through the week following, and her odd money trail.

See the implacable evidence against him on the bathmat by SomeAlibi and Yummi.  That footprint had to have been imprinted within a few minutes of the end of the attack on Meredith.

After the hijacked Hellmann appeal in 2011 Sollecito was deeply craven to Knox and her family and entourage on the US west coast. Craven to the extent that his own family (which despises the Knox-Mellases and blames Knox for his predicament and their lost name and enormous expenses) once hurriedly hopped on an aircraft to Seattle to enforce their separation.

Sollecito’s hapless book-agent Sharlene Martin and shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel both live on the West Coast and Knox’s radioactive FOA obviously provided most of the malicious fantasy that constitutes his defamatory book.

Playing chicken with the Italian justice system is notoriously suicidal. The crazy aggression of the Prestons, Fischers and Moores did not help Sollecito at all at the Nencini appeal (though it helped Knox even less - she got handed the longer sentence.)

The gods-in-their-own-minds in the FOA got Sollecito no US job and no US viza. The email to Judge Nencini and the appeal to ECHR and the promised fight against extradition for Knox are to him merely insults, and attempts to separate Knox off.

So, back in Italy, he is confused, let-down, disgruntled, and loaded for bear. Knox was the loose canon in 2007, Sollecito is the loose canon now.

Here is a key exchange between our main posters SeekingUnderstanding and Hopeful from previous threads.

4. Take On RS Now By SeekingUnderstanding

[t does seem so very sad and frustrating that Raphaele did not open the window of opportunity, as Judge Nencini tried to nudge him to do, just before Christmas.

He is less easy to read than Ms. Knox , for a number of reasons - more introverted, less articulate (certainly in English; but he also doesn’t seem expressive in his own language), and because of the psychology itself.

You may remember I suggested AK finds it unbearable to acknowledge her darker side, to own her projections; unbearable to be thought of as ‘a monster’, to be unlovable, or indeed hated by people. This may be a strong component in her lying.

I believe Raphaele also finds things unbearable, but whereas Amanda appears to turn this unbearable feeling into lashing out to others, - I think in Raphaele, he finds himself and ‘what has happened to him’ (passive aggression) unbearable. His judgement has not only been poor, but catastrophically poor, - and he must know this. One wonders why the self-destruct.

He knows his life is ruined, and he knows his appalling judgement was instrumental. He truly doesn’t have confidence in himself, but bluffs anyway. His ‘ex’, by contrast,has too much. If only she could have self-doubt, and feel shame.

He is not unintelligent, by no means, yet his choices and decisions at times have seemed near idiotically stupid. So there must be something else going on, something deep in his psyche that causes such confusion in his mental and emotional universe.

He seems unable to organize his emotions. He appears to want or expect or need a woman to ‘sort them out’ (sort him out). His relationship with his mother would probably reveal the source of this. How did she manage her emotions? Or did they rule her? . These are the sort of questions I might be asking. He seems overwhelmed, swallowed up by the juggernaut that AK set in motion.

Was his mother easily overwhelmed by life’s problems? Something has gone wrong (drastically) with a healthy model for his ‘anima’.

Where Amanda is the arch manipulator, he is highly manipulable. He seems to copy. Like her, his self-identity is weak, but for different reasons. Drug use, I would suggest, has been both crucial and disastrous for his mind. From this point of view, prison will be a constructive environment for him, (as AK too). Perhaps without the distorting and illusory aspects of drugs he might begin, over many years, to experience true spiritual (and therefore moral) issues.

I always think drugs give a delusion of spiritual experience (‘the highs’),  - wanting them can be (for an introvert) indicative of longing for something more spiritual, but using them will actually prevent such an experience, emphatically.

So then there is bitterness and emptiness, as well as despair and, still, confusion. Thus the addiction which starts as a cycle in the mind.

I knew a psychologist who worked with highly motivated and successful people in the Arts - people who would have burn out, creativity, and performance issues. He was extremely clever. But he was adamant that there had to be a hierarchy for dealing with problems.

That is to say, if someone was using drugs and/or alcohol to the point of misuse (extremely common in the performing arts), - this problem had to be mastered and dealt with FIRST, before anything else could even be addressed. This may seem irrelevant (as Sollecito hasn’t shown he is creative), - but I would
say the signs are that his past (and current?) drug use needs to be sorted before anything else can possibly be.

Such a destructive shame that this has all dragged on for 7years.

I don’t think he has any idea as to how to give a ‘press conference’ - even supposing , by a miracle, he was going to tell the unadulterated truth. He is way out of his depth. I doubt he has sufficient communication skills in his own language, let alone In English for the American media.


5. And The Take Of Hopeful On RS Now

As he is back in the spotlight for the July 1 press conference, your observations about him are timely. He does seem more introverted than Knox, and less articulate. Correct me if I misinterpret what you said about him, that rather than lash out at others aggressively like Knox does to disperse and blame others for her awful feelings about her dark side, Sollecito does the opposite and feels the weight of shame but turns the unbearable feelings inward. He is poster child for passive-aggressive.

I also believe he does have a sense of deep loyalty and faithfulness to his family, since his father has never abandoned him nor did his mother. He has misplaced loyalties at times, and combines a stubborn streak with false sense of need to persevere after he has made wrong steps.

This comment is mainly a review of what you conclude about Raf, but bears repeating. He is ashamed of his “catastrophically bad judgment.” I agree, his pride is wounded, his vanity more than his love for Knox.

I believe Raffaele sincerely regrets what he realizes he has done to his own family, but still can’t quite confess it. Maybe part of him is sorry but part of him is secretly glad he is controlling his father’s destiny, in punitive action for divorcing his mother. He also sent his sister’s career down the cliff. His sister is really to blame for that so with true passive-aggressive deceptiveness he can hide his responsibility for it while causing it.

His wanky emotions have made a trainwreck of his intelligence and caused him to do “idiotically stupid” things and self-destruct.

His drug use to relieve inner confusion caused by lack of self-identity is a coping method that does more harm than good. His patience is more of a drug stupor that makes him slow to act, than real gritted teeth patience, which may be why we’ve waited this long (6 years) for him to reveal the truth about Knox.

He stayed in a cloud of marijuana until she came along. She liked the drugs, too. He allowed her to set the course of his life because he needed or wanted a woman to sort out his emotions. Maybe he was competing with dad with a new hot blondie, too. He didn’t fathom that Knox would become so extreme and so terrifying.

He underestimated Knox, and she saw she could manipulate and destroy him with one hand tied behind her back. She reveled in the besotted weakling, and she felt superiority over Guede too, and soon despised them both. She wouldn’t fall into some darkened room or quiet void of depression like Raffaele’s mom had done giving up on life. The insulated quiet Italian boy raised scrupulously did not see that with Knox he would be “swallowed up in the juggernaut AK set in motion”. He wanted her power and excited vision, but he couldn’t understand her mental illness that went with it. Love is blind.

As long as he could blame her and not himself maybe he was OK with it, especially with drugs to dull the pain, until he felt the full impact of her punishment and years later her treachery. Finally he grew a brain and saw it was Knox who betrayed him, not vice versa. Maybe the press conference is to set that straight.

His drug use got him through much of his first year of prison when he lost all sense of time and space. He was a basketcase. He probably used meds his last 3 years behind bars as well. Perhaps Dr. Sollecito saw that his son got legal prescriptions for him, maybe even purchasing prison favors that way, who knows?

Maybe Knox scoffed at Raf’s crutch, and she continued to compete with him behind bars. She scoffed at her mom for taking antidepressants. Knox had no room to talk as she herself was reportedly a massive drug user at UW and in Italy found a job where liquor flowed.

Has Raf continued the drug use? Does Greta his new girlfriend use drugs? Or has he sworn them off motivated by anger and determination to clear his head for his legal fight?

The concept of “anima” is unknown to me, although the term is familiar. I will research it online, thank you. Your insights are always valuable, thank you for sharing them. Thanks for educating us in the short comment format which can’t do justice to your full knowledge of the subject, but does shed a lot of light and points the way.


Raffaele’s mother and her sad demise seem to be at the root of her son’s depression. Raf has lack of confidence and the need to bluff where he feels no real power. He and Knox are still learning tricks from each other.

I think Knox may have been a father-figure to him in a twisted way, because Amanda is energetic and adventurous and for a short while in Perugia seemed to have it all together and be a hard worker like his dad. Raf met Knox at the peak of her exhileration with her new life in Italy. Like a drug high, it might not have lasted. He was completely deceived.

He may have felt he could never compete with his older sister who might have seemed to him like Amanda and his dad: energetic, capable, feet on ground. This is probably what Raf needs in his life.

Raf commented on Knox living life as if in a dream, there was no reality in her mind, she lived only for pleasure. Maybe he did not like this side of her. This was his wakeup call and he spoke about it openly because it was something he didn’t like, having thought at first glance she was a strong American. He didn’t know whether to attribute her odd mental impracticality to her nationality, her genetics, her femaleness, or her unknown religious upbringing. He had no clue, and maybe it even made him feel stronger and more grounded by comparison since he had formerly thought of himself as a tetherless dreamer but he didn’t want another spaced out confused dreamer like himself for a partner and was having second thoughts. He preferred her rough kick-butt side. She was the brother he never had, a wild West type, a cowboy to climb trees with and roam the range, the key to a new country after his launch to Munich didn’t work out.

In early childhood Raf maybe got labeled or saw himself as “slow” or “dumb” and began to live a self-fulfilling prophecy. He might have felt misunderstood knowing that he did have a lot of intelligence, but that he did not have the same personality as his dad or sis, and not wanting to be equated with his pushed aside mom. He must have felt very alone.

He also may be carrying a lot of shame about his MPD Psycho habit and his secret fantasy life of violence.

Raffaele may have been turned off yet partly tantalized by his father’s profession. A doctor sees a lot of blood and gruesome things with the body.

Raffaele may hero worship a father who can face such grotesque things without wincing, and a sister who had power with the police and saw crime victims.

You mention the Arts and a psychologist who treated performers with burnout and creative types who needed help or a life coach. Maybe Raffaele does see himself as more that artsy type of person, someone wanting to create computer games, sci-fi fantasy, or be an “Experience Teller”. He did write a book, so maybe he does fall into the category of artistic temperament, which often needs a guide or an infusion of stiffened backbone to face the realities of life in a business sense.

Knox seems to be struggling with math, yet her mom is a math teacher and her dad an accountant.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sneak Preview Of Giulia Bongiorno Making Silk Purse Out Of Sow’s Ear At RS Media Nonevent This Week

Posted by Peter Quennell

What is the Sollecito lawyer and politician Giulia Bongiorno most famous in Italy for?

Well it sure aint her grasp of the finer points of Italian law. Or her ability to win in court without over-the-top PR and peculiar tricks. Or her accuracy on those pesky facts of the case. Or her foolish tongue before a very key judge.

Most of all, what Bongiorno IS known in Italy for is being shrill, bullying, and high-key - most especially when yet another of her hapless clients is going down, or when she is on the political stump.

Watch this spot-on satirical impersonation by the terrific Italian impersonator Dario Ballantini which was aired nationally on Italian TV and made a lot of Italians laugh. You can hear the audience there.

It doesnt need a grasp of the Italian language to amuse long-suffering Bongiorno skeptics seeing her taken down a peg. Meredith, the name of the victim here: does Bongiorno even know that? If the victim’s suffering family was Italian and regularly on Italian TV would Italy tolerate her callous, cruel act?

Here is an Italian woman one really can admire.


Thursday, May 01, 2014

Did The Bungling Guardian Check Sollecito Enabler Andrew Gumbel’s Myriad False Claims?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Did Gumbel Mislead The Guardian’s Editors?

Gumbel co-wrote Sollecito’s book.

In the Guardian he has a strident piece accusing Judge Nencini of getting a couple of minor facts wrong in the prefinal draft of his excellent report..

So Knox deserves “a new trial”?  This is the same third-rate reporter who has damaged not only himself but Knox and Sollecito with myriad false claims over two years. He fails to mention to the Guardian and its readers that he has a major vested interest here.

Gumbel seems quite incapable of getting even simple plain facts about the case right.  First, note two false claims right there in the Guardian: this was a new trial, and the protracted legal process is Italy’s fault.

Actually no. This was Knox’s and Sollecito’s own first appeal.

And in the UK and US any approval of any appeal after the very decisive trial outcome of 2009 would have been extremely unlikely. The Hellmann court was in effect hijacked, and the courts all know this, and Hellmann is paying a price for it. That added several years to the process.

And in the appallingly inaccurate book Honor Bound which Gumbel co-wrote with Sollecito, he included factual errors and false criminal accusations on every page and often in every paragraph.

The Gumbel and Sollecito book was released in English on 18 September 2012 and within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.

Bruno Vespa, the persistent host of Porta a Porta, Italy’s most popular crime show (for the equivalent of which American TV cries out) forced Sollecito’s father in national prime-time to admit that at the core of the book was a huge lie.

Other claims about the case and the officials were shown to be wrong on that show too.

Huge numbers of professional book reviews and Amazon reader reviews swallowed Gumbel’s and Sollecito’s false claims in the book whole. The nastiness toward Italy and its justice system and officials was ratcheted onto a whole new plane.

Charges Expected Against Andrew Gumbel

For the legal reasons explained in this key post an investigation by the Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Office was mandated to begin.

In that same post it was warned that for the period the investigation would require, it would be taken below the radar, so that the Sollecito and Gumbel team would have no way to respond through dishonest PR or legal dirty tricks.

A not-unsurprising result of that stealth move was that in the meantime, in the last year, very full of themselves and feeling no constraint, Sollecito and Gumbel went hog-wild in adding more crazy claims.  And still more.

Now Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has issued his announcement of the conclusion of his investigation. Felony charges will be brought, though the specific focus has at present not been revealed except to the defenses.

As we reported several weeks ago, the defense had 20 days to say something, such as to request that Sollecito or Gumbel be interrogated or allowed to declare or explain something.

Then the prosecution will file charges against Sollecito and Gumbel, and possibly their foolish book promoter, Sharlene Martin, and Simon & Schuster, their sloppy and highly irresponsible publishers in New York.

Which precise false claims Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has made the target of his report we do not know. But this is a target-rich environment, that is for sure:

Examples: 20 False Claims In Seven Pages

These twenty examples of felony claims all appear in the book’s preface which is only seven pages. Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate.

1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

No advantage was taken of them. The two stood out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

They were interrogated quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

“We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets. What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do””and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed””was murder Meredith Kercher.

Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle pretty straight.

Remember, Meredith enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

Seemingly unable to reverse herself, she was headed to being among the least popular of students in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she””not Meredith””might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us””Amanda especially””as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

This is laughable. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted by the Supreme Court.

Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Also Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had rather credibly fingered Patrick.

There is no proof Guede was an intruder. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

Four more untrue remarks. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was falsified.

Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was taking a year off.

11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.

Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution””“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”””it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury has to arrive at a scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

Gumble and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.

13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm””the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita””could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system is seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.

15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

The legal process could have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

The Constitution and judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports and all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.

16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts””tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays””are the most reviled institution in the country.


As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sollecito Takes On A New Lawyer To Help Him Work His Way Past The Minefield That Is His Book

Posted by Peter Quennell



Raffaele Sollecito retained Alfredo Brizioli after he burned his trial lawyers in his book


Both Sollecito’s book and Knox’s book seem to have the primary purpose of poisoning public opinion against the courts.

The serious charges Sollecito and Knox will probably face for those books are of three kinds: (1) the contempt-of-court misrepresentation of the Italian justice system itself; (2) the obstruction-of-justice twisting of the evidence in the case; and (3) the claims of crimes committed by numerous career police and prosecution officials.

If false, in effect a gigantic frame-up that leaves Knox’s framing of Patrick in the dust.

At the eighth session of the Florence appeal court back in January, Giulia Bongiorno engaged in a day-long summation which was peculiar, to say the least.

Like Sollecito and Knox in their books, Giulia Bongiorno seemed to be attempting to put the justice system and investigation and prosecution in the dock.

If false, another gigantic frame-up that leaves Knox’s framing of Patrick in the dust.

Bongiorno’s rant didnt seem to help Sollecito in undermining any of the hard evidence in the case, and it left the judges visibly unmoved. But it was notable how closely it resembled the rants on the justice system and its officials by Sollecito himself in his book. See the examples in the post below.

There are some complex later passages in Sollecito’s book and some recurring themes that we will analyse which would seem impossible for Sollecito to write about in such detail without the extensive help of a lawyer who was in the court.

Who precisely was that?

Reports from Italy now state that Alfredo Brizioli, not Giulia Bongiorno, will be the lawyer the Sollecitos choose to respond to the investigating prosecutor’s report on the book. Perhaps Mr Brizioli (who right now is himself on trial for obstruction of justice in another case) can try to negotiate a way for his client to spread the blame before the charges are set in stone.

The Sollecitos seem weak. Alfredo Brizioli seems weak. Giulia Bongiorno seems weak. And Knox also seems weak - if Sollecito is ever going to back away from Knox (perhaps to try to claim the final murderous stab of Meredith was solely Knox’s crazed idea) there is just this one last chance.

We in no way favor Sollecito getting off lightly without recanting. We do want to point to the potential fireworks a smart prosecution has engineered that might help achieve this.

Although there was a sort of bidding war for both books, not every publisher, having seen what was to be in them, was eager to join in. Some did sit on the sidelines. 

Withdrawing the two books ASAP might be the smart move. The mood in the book industry in New York, where both publishers have their HQ’s, seems to be that that move could be the wisest.




Monday, April 07, 2014

Italy Pushes Back On Dirty Tricks And Frame-Ups: Examples Of What Sollecito Must Defend In Court

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Florence prosecutor Gianbartolomei will announce charges later this month]

Many posters contributed to this analysis and to what is to come. Special thanks to James Raper and Sara, and also to Vivianna, Yummi and Kermit.


Sollecito’s blood-money book gets published

Sollecito’s hapless book Honor Bound was released in English on 18 September 2012.

Within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.

Bruno Vespa, the persistent host of Porta a Porta, Italy’s most popular crime show (for the equivalent of which American TV cries out) forced Sollecito’s father in national prime-time to admit that at the core of the book was a huge lie.

Other claims about the case and the officials were shown to be wrong too.

Smarter people than Sollecito’s help in the US (Andrew Gumbel and Sharlene Martin, later John Q Kelly, and Simon & Schuster) might have put the brakes on until they got the truth straight and a revised version out.

But no, a media blitz was all ready to roar. The blood-money couldn’t wait.

Huge numbers of professional book reviews and Amazon reader reviews swallowed Sollecito’s claims in the book whole. The nastiness toward Italy and its justice system and officials was ratcheted onto a whole new plane.

Needless to say, official Italy did take note

For the legal reasons explained in this key post an investigation by the Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Office was mandated to begin.

In that same post it was warned that for the period the investigation would require, it would be taken below the radar, so that the Sollecito defense team would have no way to respond through dishonest PR or legal dirty tricks.

A not-unsurprising result of that stealth move was that in the meantime, in the last year, very full of themselves and feeling no constraint, Sollecito and his team went hog-wild in adding more crazy claims.  And still more.

Now the investigation is complete

Now Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has issued his announcement of the conclusion of his investigation. The content of the notice is at present confidential except to the defenses.

As Yummi reports, from this point on, the defense has 20 days to say something, such as to request that Sollecito be interrogated or allowed to declare or explain something.

Then the prosecution will file charges against Sollecito and Gumbel, and possibly Sharlene Martin and Simon & Schuster, their careless publishers in New York.

Which precise false claims Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has made the target of his report we do not know. But this is a target-rich environment, that is for sure:

Consider for starters these 20 false claims which, believe it or not, all appear in the first seven pages of the book.

1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

No advantage was taken of them. The two stood out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

They were interrogated quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously and refused his release.

3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

“We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperience and pliable judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets. What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially bright or funny or pretty?  That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do””and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed””was murder Meredith Kercher.

Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle pretty straight.

Remember, Meredith enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

Seemingly unable to reverse herself, she was headed to being among the least popular of students in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she””not Meredith””might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us””Amanda especially””as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

This is laughable. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted by the Supreme Court.

Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Also Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had rather credibly fingered Patrick.

There is no proof Guede was an intruder. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

Four more untrue remarks. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was falsified.

Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was taking a year off.

11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.

Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution””“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”””it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury has to arrive at a scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

Gumble and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.

13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm””the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita””could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system is seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.

15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

The legal process could have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

The Constitution and judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports and all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.

16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts””tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays””are the most reviled institution in the country.


As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.

On our further postings

Akk of this above analyzes only the first seven pages, out of a book which has several hundred pages. We will post one or two times more during April. Later in the book, there is a lot of venomous sneering addressed at Dr Mignini, although his performance at trial was excellent - and he is now for Perugia’s region (Umbria) the Deputy Prosecutor General.

In Italy Dr Mignini is now and then on national TV along with Michele Giuttari, who pursued the main Monster of Florence theory - not the crackpot theory Preston and Spezi attempted to use to frame someone. At impugning him,  Sollecito and Gumbel have failed miserably, and for that are now in the crosshairs of the system.

*******

Many posters contributed to this analysis and to what is to come. Special thanks to James Raper and Sara, and also to Vivianna and Kermit.


[Kermit’s take on Katie Couric, one of several smart TV hosts who suspected a giant con]


Friday, April 04, 2014

The Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Office Announces That Sollecito Will Face More Court Action

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Breaking news from Main Poster Yummi

Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has issued a notice about the conclusion of his investigation. The content of the notice is confidential for the defenses.

From this point the defense has 20 days to say something, like to request that the defendant (Sollecito) is interrogated or has anything to declare, or to submit any documents if they want to.

Then, once the 20 days are expired, the prosecution will file charges.

Since the charges will include almost certainly, beyond aggravated defamation, also contempt of the Judicial organs, the prosecution may send a notice to the Ministry of Justice too.

Since they are victims of contempt they may appoint a plaintiff.

The senior Florence prosecutor Dr Giuliano Giambartolomei was assigned to investigate the claims in Sollecito’s “Honor Bound”.

Today he announces that his findings indicate that many claims are spurious and justify new charges being brought against Sollecito. Shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel, who recently published this self-incriminatory rant has also been named.

When the charges are filed several or some others who have been assiduously “helping” Sollecito (mostly for big bucks) such as book-agent Sharlene Martin might find themselves named also  

So Sollecito for sure and Knox most probably will be confronting the often-contradictory claims in their books, and saying whether they accept or reject each of them, which should put other book-writers who made false claims on the spot and maybe wind the whole FOA effort down.

We will be making our separate page on Sollecito’s various false claims live again. Main posters have posted a large number of corrections to Sollcito’s claims in the book. We have been putting them in correct page-order.

Miriam has kindly contributed this translation of today’s report in Il Messagero. Dr Giambartolomei only hints to the reporter what will be in his report which will quote all the passages in full for which Sollecito will have to account. 

Raffaele Sollecito Insults The PM And A New Trial Starts

As always everything [possible] is presumed and as always, in the case of the murder of Meredith Kercher, everything [possible] can be overturned at every verdict.

Even in the associated trials, such as the one for defamation (against PM Mignini) and contempt (against the police) for which Raffaele Sollecito, found guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher along with his ex-girlfriend Amanda Knox, is being investigated along with the British journalist-author (now in absentia) Andrew Paul Gumbel.

Defamation, because many parts of the book “Honor Bound”, of which both are authors, contains for the prosecution various ignominious remarks.

More than simple phrases, entire chapters (allegedly) of the book are written in what is technically called “conclusione delle indagini” and requires the matter to be brought to justice, and therefore to trial.

[The book] starts by summarizing the main evidence (that was then proved to be wrong by the facts) against Sollecito.

The two being investigated write: “ the main proof that Mignini had to bring to the preliminary hearing were my Nikes… and he did everything possible to render them more incriminating…”

Then again “the police had only the pictures of my shoes (not those of the print) and in some way they came to the conclusion that my Nikes were the same brand, model and size as the shoeprints on the floor of Meredith’s apartment. There was no doubt about this”

Then the facts demonstrated that the shoe prints where of Rudy Guede, the third person condemned for the murder of the British student, and could not be those of Sollecito, because of the size.

Therefore this touches on the management of the trial on the part of Mignini. Sollecito-Gumbel write: “one of the reasons that our hearings were so distant one from the other was that Mignini was fighting his own separate legal battle for abuse of investigated activity.”

This connection goes to the case of the death of the Perugian Doctor Franceco Narducci, connected to the Monster of Florence case which Mignini had investigated.

Sollectito sustains: (defended in this case by Alfredo Brizioli) “I think our case, among other things, was a big diversion to keep the media’s attention away from the legal battle Mignini was having in Florence, and to give him the victory in a high profile case he so desperately needed to restore his reputation.”

The young Pugliese continues: “”¦..just as he did in the Monster of Florence case, Mignini used every instrument at his disposal against his critics and adversaries. The avalanches of legal action by part of Mignini had an inevitable icy effect , especially on the Italian press and this played a clear role in turning the public opinion against us.”

The charges against Sollecito and Gumbel are those of having sustained that it was Mignini’s idea to seek to obstruct the investigation as is from the beginning, it was a studied act to bend the investigation and turn the trial to his side.” 

This is a clear accusation in the eyes of the prosecutor Giuliano Giambartolomei: “His approach (Mignini’s), Sollecito is saying, was particularly vindictive…. This is enough for Sollecito to face charges of defamation.”

Important to note that Dr Giambartolomei does NOT explain here precisely what will be in his report. That will have to quote all the passages in full for which Sollecito may have to account. Then he or whatever prosecutor charges Sollecito will go to another depth.

With our analysis of the book and knowledge of Italian law we can probably pick many or most of the false claims made which impugn officals or the Italian system.

More posts coming. Stay tuned.


Friday, February 28, 2014

What We Might Read Into Sollecito Lawyer Giulia Bongiornos Final Arguments To The Appeal Judges

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)




Under the table & over the top

The picture of a serene-looking Giulia Bongiorno waving a couple of knives in court on 9 January may be visual inspiration to this reflection about what we can understand from the structure and content of her closing arguments.

A very peculiar feature of her arguments was the desperate opening, suggesting to put the investigation ““ and the whole justice proceedings ““ on trial.

The introductive topic of her speech is a quote from a book by Alessandro Satta, a narrative description of the riotous irruption of the mob inside the Revolutionary Tribunal hearing room on Sep. 2. 1792, the defendants are the some of the King’s Swiss guards.

The passage by Satta describes the “horrendous” vision of a hord of sanculots slowly gathering outside the court, Bongiorno compares that to the angry mob in Perugia after the first appeal verdict.

But if you read the same text by Satta a little further, a few lines beyond the snippet Bongiorno was reading, the narration goes on describing how sanculots manage to enter the courtroom, in a force of hundreds ready to lynch the defendants, but they are suddenly halted by an authoritative order of the Judge, and they unexpectedly obey.

Just after that, Satta drops in an explanatory quote from the book Le Tribunal révolutionnaire  (by historian Lenotre) saying: “the people understood that these highly educated individuals in black robes would have gone on with the action started by the hords, and they would accomplish it more perfectly”.

It seems like Bongiorno opened her speech with an implicit depiction of the judges and magistrates of Perugia as kind of Jacobin extremists whose task is to “legitimize” the vindictive fury of a pitchforks mob.

The quote she read did not include Satta’s conclusive lines, so that the consequent thought about the judges’ role remained unexpressed and in the background.




(Photo by Machiavelli_Aki)


A side note about Bongiorno’s arguments: in fact I had the feeling that allusion to implicit subtexts was something that belonged to her speech as a method or a style, it marked the whole of her arguments. You may recall Wittgenstein’s dictum “This work consists of two part, what is written in it, and what is not written in it. The latter is the most important part.”

Such a motto might be apt to address the major feature of Bongiorno’s defensive argument, insofar as she conveyed that something that “couldn’t be talked about openly” was there and that was probably a main argument.




(photo by Ansa)


At first, as I said, she went through a brief emotional recollection of her moments while in Perugia surrounded by a raging mob, and then she unfolded the rest of her introductive section.

The purpose of this bit of revolutionary narrative first juxtaposing the Perugian citizens to Sanculots and the judges to Jacobins, and then, immediately following, a series of accessory arguments all encompassed by an introductive function, all this was clearly intended to set a framework thesis meant to work as a basis for the structure of the whole defensive arguments.

It is in fact a peculiar structure, apparently entirely resting upon one, single elaborate premise.

The thesis she places at the foundation of the entire defensive argumentation is the following: the trial as a whole, as much as its outcome, had been somehow determined and “tainted” from the beginning by events which occurred within a very short framework of time, in the very early days of the investigation, the weeks around the time of the suspects’ arrests.

Bongiorno suggested that only this “short period” ““ the early days of November 2007 - is what matters and the only topic worth of a defence analysis; since this was the time frame within which - according to Bongiorno - everything was decided, this was the time when some “errors” in the investigation occurred, before the point when a veil of prejudice and hatred fell upon people’s hearts and minds like kind of black curtain, preventing from that moment on any fair or rational judgement. 

Aggressive Digressions

After the quoting of Satta’s speech, she develops her introduction for a while, branching out into some political-sociological speculations (such as that authorities chose the crime scenario that was most reassuring for the population) as well as some political-anthropological consideration (like the theory that free spirited women are seen as suspicious as a consequence of women empowerment movements). 




(Palace of Justice of Florence ““ photo by FrederickStudio)


A speech opening as did Bongiorno’s, that is, relying on a set of over-the-top considerations, and apparently so much depending upon one extreme premise, unavoidably conveys a perception of weakness, which is at risk to be transferred to the rest of the argumentation.

Thus, it would be a logical question to ask ourselves: why did Bongiorno chose such a setting and introduction, with several risky, over-shooting arguments?

A perception that the argument was unconvincing was palpable among the public as she was unfolding her theories about Perugian police opting for “political” scenarios and about sexy and free women seen as suspicious because of the women’s political movement.

Scepticism emerged even more openly when she described a scene with Amanda Knox releasing her false accusations while speaking under the hypnotic influence of interpreter Anna Donnino - whom she called “psychic” ““ which triggered some stifled laughs among the public.

Then her long introduction dealt with the unfolding of a rhetorical structure set around the concept of “half”.

I use the word ” rhetoric” in a most technical, non-derogatory sense, to mean the setting of a clear order and concepts designed to be easily remembered, anchored to multiple implicit suggestions, so as to remain impressed in the mind of listeners what is distinctive of the style of Giulia Bongiorno.

Introducing to “˜Halves’

In the previous trial instances she didn’t miss the opportunity to borrow characters such as Jessica Rabbit, Amelie and the Venus in a Fur. I thought she would mention at least a few characters of Disney or the Harry Potter saga this time too, and I was not disappointed as she met expectations on this matter (she did mention Harry Potter, the Eskimo kiss “˜Unca-Nunca’, the Bunga Bunga,  the Aladdin Lamp and 9½ Weeks). 

She entered the topical part of the introductive section saying “˜basta’ to always focusing on Amanda’s personality alone, while considering Raffaele just Knox’s other “half”, he is not half a character, he should not be seen as reflexion of Knox.

The curse of being “half” chases him also, meaning there are only “half pieces of evidence” against him.  And this is the rhetoric structure envigorating the arguments after the introduction, the concept of “half” .






Only half pieces of evidence, almost a half admission, or the clear suggestion that there is maybe one “other half” of something (of culprits?) somewhere else, something not to be said, something that is not here.

The concept of “half” recurs and somehow pervades her defence, we should say something more about later on because she picked it up also in the subsequent hours of speech. 

Some videos from the Florence trial available may still be available at the Sky site.

Primordial Fossils

Only after recollecting all these things in the “˜aggressive digressions’ over the introductive part, she goes on with a ponderous section which is the main part of her argumentation.

It’s a topic directly stemming from the introductive themes and premises, in the sense that this main part focuses on and blows up events of the first four days of investigation. It zeroes on few small details of the investigation history, the previous introductive part functionally working to justify the choice and to limit the argumentation to these topics.   

Something the listener would notice from this first and main part of the arguments, as everyone well understands, is that these arguments are arranged in a peculiar type of architecture. A choice that makes crystal clear the actual state of the defence’s options.   

The defence strategy is to focus attention on the supposed flaws in evidence collection at the beginning of the investigation, and not on the evidence set itself.

Bongiorno’s arguments do not map out the evidence set array. They do not devolve an effort of analysis in proportion to the actual weight of the of pieces of evidence.

The bulk of her speech in fact can be summarized as a criticism of some historical happenings ““ what she sees as such ““ which allegedly occurred within a very small time frame. She devoted hours to attacking the beginning of the investigation, early errors such as that the shoe print that had been wrongly attributed to Sollecito on a first assessment.

It appears this attack against the early procedures of the investigation was really considered to be the most effective weapon the defence had left.

The “˜topics’ Bongiorno addressed in this attack as “˜main points’ of evidence against Sollecito, are only three: the wrongly attribute shoeprint, Sollecito’s side-tracking the investigation, and “˜the knife’ (a topic which gets picked up again later, with a long discussion focused on the blade length). 

In the same “˜knife’ topic she included DNA discussion, in a connected digression she dealt with the bra claps, called all the scientific evidence collection “˜the mother of mistakes’ and offered again the known criticism of Stefanoni’s alleged “suspect-centred”.

Later in her speech, she dealt with the other evidence topics, parroted the “˜principles’ expressed in the Conti & Vecchiotti report, offered the known arguments about the bathmat print, etc.

But the bulk of her defence hinged around those “˜mistakes’ in the early investigation phase, this was the actual core of her argumentation, while the other pieces of evidence were dealt with summarily, I had the impression they were almost treated as accessories.

It was clear above all that the defence was not battling the structure of the evidence actually existing today, they were battling a minuscule part of it, or better they were battling something else, something which is not directly the evidence, but rather some historical foundations of the accusation building.

Basically what Bongiorno conveyed is, the fighting terrain was the “˜investigators’ errors’, their “˜excesses’. That is, they were not actively contending Raffaele’s innocence any more.

The implicit content was rather obvious to the listener: a direct claim of Sollecito’s innocence had been already abandoned, that territory was left beyond the lines and the defensive front had been drawn back.

The topic now was not innocence, but rather how the accusation had been unfair and excessive.






At her opening, the quote of Satta was a device to draw attention to the events at the “origin”, so as to prepare listeners for the fact that defence arguments will be focused on what happened during the moments before the “black curtain” came down.

Hence the a long introduction starting from an image of the fury of a mob of sanculots, a narrative on this theme: people were willing to convict the defendants immediately and judges were legitimizing people’s violence.

She oriented the discussion towards the topic of early prejudice and excesses, so to justify the fact that she will talk about the early phases rather than the evidence set, and then she introduced the leit-motiv of the “half”.

This means, rather than disputing the pieces of evidence, Bongiorno wanted to set a “trial of the investigation”, she zeroed on just a few details actually not having much relevance in the actual evidence set.

She talked at length about elements that are kind of fossils ““ like when she went on discussing about the number of circles in the sole of Guede’s shoeprint ““ putting the alleged “errors” in the course of the investigation on trial, and her speech at times sounded as if it was a lecture about dinosaurs, recalling curious things now extinct. 

The explicit function of her introduction was to justify her setting aside the evidence set, downplaying it by framing it into a historical moment, maintaining that it was collected and interpreted when investigators were already beyond the “black curtain” of bias, therefore tainted by prejudice, while judges were like sycophants before an angry mob.

The purpose behind the Black Curtain

The implicit, most important function of the introduction was accomplished via the concept of “half” and all the subliminal suggestions attached. 

We should ask ourselves: is it reasonable to believe Bongiorno was so naïve to expect that the court may accept a theory about a dismissal of evidence in limine?

The answer is no. Bongiorno knew perfectly well that her preliminary criticism of the investigation would not lead to a dismissal of the evidence. 

Bongiorno also knew that the series of preliminary arguments she would offer would be considered ineffective by judges. Such as that the knife DNA should be seen as unreliable preliminarily, that Stefanoni’s work lacked “transparency”, that Vecchiotti and Conti’s “method” should be taken at face value (Bongiorno knows C&V’s intellectual honesty was called manifestly questionable by the Supreme Court ), that this and that allele in the bra clasp DNA should not be considered because, etc.

She also knows that this court will not allow pieces of evidence to be considered separately from each other in a parcelled out way, and that imperfection of single pieces themselves do not work as a logical argument.  Even less could she dismiss the evidence based on political and anthropological theories.

From the fact that she was setting afoot on a trial of the investigation instead of battling the evidence,  the rational listener infers that she is well aware of the weakness of her position, since it implies that the evidence set as the battleground would be indefensible. She needs to search for another terrain of attack, a different structure, as the only possible move.

But there is also another implication. She does need to engage and draw attention to areas where she could “win” something, but this also means that her intent was to “soften” the accusation, to work it out at the flanks rather than face it frontally; to reduce the size of some fundamentals, the “excess” of the accusation.

In other words, to shorten the sentence. And if possible, to separate Sollecito’s position from that of Amanda Knox, albeit within the boundaries of her client’s plea.






Her strategy of attack had a reason, that was to try to soften the accusatory attitude against Sollecito. Besides being risky (may sound extremely unconvincing) the strategy was also loaded with implicit meanings.

What was most stunning to me ““ as it was a recurrent topic through her whole speech ““ was   the concept of “half”. She picked up this introductive theme several times, such as while speaking about the medical findings explaining that only “half” the length of the blade would be used, if a knife so large as Sollecito’s kitchen knife was used, saying that, in this event, this would mean the perpetrator did not intend to kill and killing was the effect of “mistake”, an involuntary movement. 

The importance of the length of the big blade and its “half” was emphasized by a waving of knifes, in a quite impressive theatrical performance: “Either the big wound was made by a smaller knife”  that was held by “someone else” or the knife was “plunged only by half” showing there was no intent to kill.

All this is to be coupled with the fact that, as said above, she devoted a main portion of her 6-hour speech to discussing things that are fossils, elements not existing any more.

She dealt later with other pieces of evidence too, though in a way that seemed somehow marginal, and she did not deal with some of them at all - the inconsistencies in Knox’s account, for example, were left completely out.

She was not that kind with Knox’s written memorials either, calling them “farneticanti”  (waffling, raving).

I noted her complaining about Raffaele being “halved”, as his character is portrayed as depending on Amanda’s and thus seen as equally guilty insofar he was Amanda’s half ““ and this effect is somehow transferred to pieces of evidence.

Bongiorno’s rhetoric emphasizes that Sollecito was accused on “half” pieces of evidence (you perceive that the metaphorical repeating of “half” implies that evidence actually exists,  “by half”, and at the same time this complaint about being seen as “half” of something is a subliminal suggestion that the defendants should be considered separately, and their charges as well, thus maybe their responsibilities if considered separately may be different;  and when it comes to discussing how the murderer used only half of the blade, the subliminal suggestion is bring down the charge by half, involuntary event/manslaughter versus voluntary murder). 

The Mark of Infamy

Giulia Bongiorno picked on the investigators and acted as if she was putting the investigation on trial not because she thought that this would lkead to the defendants being found innocent, but exactly for the opposite reason, because she expected them to be found guilty.

Insults against Prosecutor General Crini, against witnesses and and gratuitous accusations are a risky path but they are also an overt attempt to “soften” the investigation scenario, rather than fight it frontally.

She had no hope to make her client look innocent, her only hope was to soften the strength of the accusation, to make him look less guilty, not so bad as the investigators saw him.

She pursued this in two ways, by suggesting that he should not be seen as the “half” of another perp but rather his responsibility should be considered separately, only that evidence which proves directly against him (Bongiorno repeatedly pointed out that Knox did not utter his name in her interrogation and statement), his actual responsibility might be much lesser than the charge for which he is accused.

The other arm of the defence’s pincer move, the second way to try diminish the accusation, was to portray the investigators in bad light. The “˜excess’ of accusation was to lay blame on investigators for their bias and errors.

Bongiorno’s attack against the investigation might be intended to achieve a psychological effect due to comparative process.

If you consider how the police are responsible for “˜excesses’ and disputable behaviours, you may think the investigators have been prone to gross mistakes that lead to exaggerating Sollecito’s implication, thus the accusation should be not be taken at face value and should be corrected. Maybe the correct assessment of evidence proves he not as much implicated as they had thought.






This seemed to be Sollecito’s own defence strategy, albeit implicit, since Bongiorno must restrain her action within the boundaries of her client’s plea. 

In order to follow her strategy, however, Giulia Bongiorno decided to take a few steps which must be pointed out as particularly reprehensible and infamous.

I was surprised and stunned by those action because they qualify the character of Giulia Bongiorno as far worse than I thought, I really did not expect her to stoop so low. 
 
The infamous part of Bongiorno’s speech is her gratuitous name calling and defamatory attack against Anna Donnino, her attempt to smear her professional reputation and the rude insult in calling her a “˜psychic’. 
 
In real life Anna Donnino is a very respected professional, she has been working for the Questura on tasks of interpreter and language mediator (not as a “˜translator’).

She is also an intelligent person, she is precise and expresses herself with the utmost clarity as her lucid testimony shows.

She is known not only for having unquestionable professional ethics, but also she has an excellent reputation as a person; she is honest and humane and known by everybody for her extremely reassuring, protective temperament, and for her expertise and excellent performance of working with people.

She would help immigrants in difficulty to express themselves and understand their rights and was priceless helping the police to obtain precise information in their investigations.

As an expert in chuchotage and linguistic mediation from two foreign languages, the professional quality of her work is excellent. Her training and work is of interpreter and language mediator although sometimes shee is given translating tasks such as the translation of recordings and wiretappings.

The Questura of Perugia used to hire “˜language mediators’ at the time. You don’t know what a language mediator is? See a university course for a degree in Language Mediation.

The Questuras of some bigger cities also have “˜cultural mediators’ in addition. They are mother-tongue trained to deal with African or Chinese immigrants (one of the many young people having their internship as cultural mediator in a Questura is shown here.

To me, this defamatory attack against Donnino was most disturbing. By doing this Bongiorno came across as surprisingly mean, I’d say what she did was really infamous.

Indeed this was not the only virulent attack, it came after insults to the city of Perugia as she was comparing its citizens to a mob of blood-thirsty fanatics.

This attack too is also particularly vicious, since it exploits, inflames and is subtly synergic with the tones of lies and prejudices disseminated by a perfidious propaganda strategy.

But at a certain point, Bongiorno focused the defamation against one person. As she unfolded a narrative about Anna Donnino acting as a “˜psychic’ who managed to hypnotize, to gaslight Knox to the point of inducing a state of trance in which she mistook a dream for reality, some people couldn’t help laughing in the courtroom.

But even if we consider the surreal and comical rather than the convincing effect, the defamatory intent stands out as reprehensible and humanly vicious.

This is because, as I said above, these particular insults were directed against a person distinguishable for her being a most decent, honest and trustworthy character, and also ““ a further reason ““ because of the recent events for which this person experienced personal suffering: Anna Donnino, a mother of teenagers, has been struck with cancer, and has undergone surgery.

She is under treatment but still currently remains in very bad health. 

The attack against Anna Donnino is an action that rebounds as an ugly stain on the reputation of those who launched it.  A young man from Perugia created a Facebook group to express a the citizens’ “hate”  for those who lead a defamatory campaign of lies against the city. He collected over two thousand likes within three days.

Some of the comments were about Bongiorno’s insults against the city and against respected citizens, pointing out her outrageous hypocrisy since Giulia Bongiorno poses as a campaigner for the respect and dignity of women.




(a StripBit comment by a poster on a Facebook group)


Criticism of Giulia Bongriorno pointing out her hypocrisy is actually not a novelty, it has appeared long since in the press and on the internet.

But it’s hard to understand how someone like her, promoting   an image of herself as an advocate for women and for correctness and respect in language and culture, could take such a an egregiously visible false step, come out with such stupid stereotypical rants, only for what looks like an awkward and useless cause. 

Conclusion

A note for the record: we may recall Bongiorno has also attacked the Perugian police officers, citing the recording of some of their phone conversations in which they say bad words about the Sollecito family.

We can understand her outrage (at least we could, if only she were not the hypocrite she is) but at the same time we can’t fail to notice that she “forgot”  to mention another half of the phone call recordings.

Specifically those where the members of the Sollecito family were speaking about the police officers;  and the kind of language they were using, while attempting to plot “˜under the table’ help from some politician.

Expressing their intent to “˜scorch’ officers and “˜destroy’ magistrates, and one person even suggested that if he met Monica Napoleoni on the road, he would kill her by “˜running over her with the car’ then flee without telling anything, pretending that nothing happened.

Never mind.






After these last sparkles and the knife waving Bongiorno’s performance was over. In the following day’s hearing it was Maori’s turn. As a really last resort, he was taking on the task of disputing evidence in a more “traditional” way, objecting to points of evidence.

Possibly this revealed even more the extreme weakness of the defensive argument (a commenter called it “˜pathetic’).  I did not listen to his argument myself,  I only notice that he did not get much space neither in the press nor in the pro-Knox commenting sites; this might be a clue of how unconvincing he might have been.

One thing that however I could learn about it, is about the feeling, the perception that Maori pointed out even more the separation between the two positions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. 

A hint about this comes in the words of a journalist who was questioning Alessandro Nencini in the lounge immediately after the verdict: the journalist pointed out how Sollecito defence “tried to split the positions of the two accused”.






This mild attempt of a separation was the last act by the defence. As for Raffaele Sollecito himself, we were left with his rather different claim, his book where he described himself as sticking to a “˜honour bound’.

He reportedly bragged about this also with his ex-girlfriend Kelsey Kay, who described him as feeling very entitled because of his loyalty to Amanda Knox and believing she owes him a vital a favour; but Knox won’t even respond to his messages.

Then, we had his final admission in an interview that his friendship with Amanda Knox has “˜deteriorated’, because apparently Knox in practice no longer supports him as before. 

If his defence advisors understood that they needed to somehow “˜separate’  his position from Knox’s at any cost, despite his plea, to suggest he may be implicated but just “˜less’ guilty, we may only agree with them on this. It would also be convenient for him to confess even if he shared the same degree of guilt of Knox.

Sadly, instead he still felt compelled to offer further lies and changing stories such as”˜I noticed no blood on the bathmat’ when questioned by Kate Couric; he offered again a story of pricking Meredith’s hand while cooking together at the cottage.






Other murderers, who committed even more heinous crimes, have recovered and rehabilitated themselves after time spent in prison; even some of those deemed among the worst serial killers managed to do this by expressing remorse ““ for example the rather psychopathic “˜Ludwig’ (Furlan & Abel) killers.

Sure after the years he will spend in jail for the gang-like crime he is found guilty of,  there would be a possibility for a “˜casual murderer’ such as he is to be perceived as rehabilitated.  But to see him as “˜less guilty’ or as “˜rehabilitated’ would be impossible as long as he remains silent or denies.   








Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How Claims By Perpetrators & Their PR That THEY Are Victims Get Equal Pushback

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei will soon confront many false claims ]


To the considerable pain of victims and their loved ones, Italy’s has become one of the most pro-defendant justice and penal systems in the world.

That doesn’t mean that it has become a complete pussycat. Push it, and it usually pushes back harder in its search for the truth. And the quality Italian media goes along. 

Time and again the ill-conceived short-term PR and legal tactics for Knox and Sollecito based on a hurricane of lies have left them in terms of the ultimate end-game worse off than they were before.

Judge Matteini and Judge Micheli (the judges in 2008) both took firm lines with the copious evidence and the psychological tests of AK and RS in front of them.

Both judges took a line as firm as the prosecution (as firm as the “evil Mignini”) in concluding that there was a drug-fueled hazing escalating to murder with sexual aspects (however short the timescale of the intent).

[Ed note: See comment by Yummi below which explains the above a little differently. PQ.]

Though his panel of judges voted unanimously for guilt, Judge Massei in 2009 did take a somewhat less firm line in the sentences, after observing one daffy defendant and one very nervous defendant sitting in front of him for nearly a year. Judge Massei for no especially convincing reason

(1) pinned the initiating of the attack on Rudy Guede (really?!) and

(2) handed Knox and Sollecito (and thus Guede) quite a break with his supposed “mitigating circumstances” (the duvet over Meredith’s body) resulting in 20 years lopped off their combined sentences.

Both the defenses and the PR were weak and largely futile in that year. But come 2010 the dirty tricks moved into overdrive.

Cassation reverted to the firmer line in January 2011 when it ruled on Guede’s final appeal: Guede was a party to the murder, but copious evidence proved he did not act alone. 

The Hellmann appeal court and DNA consultancy and verdict of 2011 were corrupted (counter-measures are still quietly playing out) which fully explains its startling soft line.

Thereafter the Italian courts observed the illegal blood-money binge with the essentially fictional books of Sollecito and Knox, and two years of them each claiming to ill-prepared interviewers “we’re the real victims” on TV.

Cassation observed all of this, annulled the corrupted Hellmann court verdict, and issued instructions in June 2013 to the Florence appeal court to ensure that the firm line should be maintained. Unsurprisingly, we have seen a firm line from the chief prosecutor (Crini) and a seeming firm line from the lead judge (Nencini) in recent weeks.

In the rest of this year Italy will see at minimum these events where the court’s firm line will go on and the babbling and unhelpful legal and PR tactics may finally dry up.

    1) RS and AK continuing to babble for a while on TV as they each dig the other one deeper. Sollecito has just said that his saliva or sneezing may explain why his DNA was on the clasp of the bra.

    2) The sentencing report of Judge Nencini is due at the latest on 30 April and he seems likely to give space to rebuttals of any bizarre new claims made by Knox and Sollecito before 30 April like the one just above. 

    3)  The obstruction of justice trials of witness Luciano Aviello and incessant meddlers Mario Spezi and Frank Sforza will continue, probably though into 2015. Each of those trials could result in others (like Spezi ally Doug Preston and Sforza allies Bruce Fischer and Steve Moore) being declared at minimum persons of interest if not actually charged.

    4) Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei Firenze (image above) may soon be announcing which passages in Sollecito’s book Honor Bound criminally defame Italian officials or deliberately miscontrue hard facts in evidence in an illegal attempt to to poison public opinion against the court.

    5) Similarly soon after on Amanda Knox’s book with the surreal title Waiting To Be Heard (and on Knox articles and interviews in Oggi) by the chief prosecutor in Bergamo. 

    6) Cassation’s First Chambers should be the one to handle Knox’s and Sollecito’s final appeal. They handle murder cases and they issued the guidance to Florence in 2010.

    7) If so, they should take note of such revelations by way of Judge Nencini’s and Prosecutor Crini’s reports; and this next autumn or winter may finally declare a firm “confirmed guilty” final-appeal outcome and invite Knox to come back.

And when prosecutor Giambartolomei Firenze announces which claims are radiocative, hopefully a major hush will come over Heavey, Fischer, Bremner and Moore.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Power Shift In Italy Very Unfavorable To Anyone So Stupid As To Thumb Their Noses At Italian Justice

Posted by Peter Quennell




Meet 39-year-old Matteo Renzi

Mr Renzi was sworn in by the President of the Italian Republic on Saturday as the new Prime Minister of Italy. As a top German newssite remarks, he is looking like a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Mr Renzi is colorful and dynamic and very popular, and may become one of the most effective leaders in recent Italian history and a major player on the world stage. Mr Renzi comes from FLORENCE where he was the popular and effective mayor.

Unlike the Berlusconi faction in parliament (which once included Giulia Bongiorno) Mr Renzi is a big friend of law and order, police, and justice. In the image at bottom you can see him opening the huge Palace of Justice in Florence with all the top officers of the court who just organized the appeal.

This is very bad news for Sollecito and Knox and their foolish gangs, as Mr Renzi will be very unlikely to look kindly on that same Florence court - and any court in Italy including, especially, Cassation - being flouted by convicted perps and made to look weak.

If the new Minister of Justice sends an extradition request to his desk, you can bet that he’ll send it on to the United States. And the US, very keen to stay on good terms with Italy as one of its 2-3 most reliable allies, will exhibit little if any resistance to the extradition of Knox.

More bad news for Sollecito and Knox

The sardonic Italian media is paying very close attention to the ongoing game of each of them pushing the other closer to the flames, and the almost-certain prospect of the two of them and Rudy Guede explosively flying apart.

The Italian media is picking up on signs that Sollecito has become highly resentful at his on-again off-again rejection by Knox, especially as many or most in Italy believe it was Knox who wielded the big knife that killed Meredith to which the other two had maybe not signed on in advance.

There are additional pressures headed down the pike. First, Rudy Guede will be given brief study leaves soon, and under Italy’s new “clear the over-crowded prisons (somewhat)” law Guede could even soon see himself released and free to talk.

Plus the investigators examining the criminal defamation of the justice system and officers of the court by Knox and Sollecito in their exceptionally foolish books are believed very close to announcing that a case against them has been made.

Sollecito’s father on national TV has already admitted that Raffaele lied about a deal to get him off, and this on Knox seems an open & shut case. Knox and Sollecito might face additional sentences of 3 to 7 years if they keep provoking a hard line.

Here are two articles translated by Miriam which summarise (not perfectly in our terms but good enough) the signs of the growing divide and the evidence that will see Knox and Sollecito back in prison.

Vitadamamma

Amanda Knox Will Return to Italy and Go to Jail, as Will Raffaele Sollecito, While Rudy Guede Will Be Freed

This scenario is not only plausible, but seems to be the natural outcome of the last sentencing of the Mez case. Few believe that the Corte di Cassazione could overturn, again, the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence.

So Amanda Knox will return to Italy and go to jail.  For Amanda Knox, “her extradition is quite possible” Christopher Blakesely say without equivocation. He is one of the main experts on such penal proceeding in the United States.

The day after the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence, Giovanna Botteri, the RAI correspondent in the USA, reported something similar, underlining that Amanda rushed to CNN to cry all her tears didnt help.

Knox uses even the social networks to scream again her innocence, but the law says something different.

Even Italian popular opinion seems not in Amanda’s favor : Perugia,  through the social networks, has literally screamed its disagreement and displeasure against Amanda (read: L’Urlo di Perugia: a Facebook page against Knox:  from the people of Perugia)....

Rudy is at the moment the only one sentenced in jail…. How does Rudy reconstruct that night?  Rudy swears to having consensual sex with Mez.

After the intimate relation Guede went to the bathroom and from there he heard her scream, rushing to her room he found her in a pool of blood, and tried to help her. Realizing that Meredith was dead, in shock he ran away.

On the plausibility of this reconstruction, the judges had numerous doubts, to the point of finding Guede guilty and sentencing him.

This reconstruction, according to his lawyers, explains not only the biological traces of Rudy all over the crime scene but also his flight.

How does Amanda reconstruct that night?

Amanda continues to sustain that she did not wield the knife that killed Mez, that she heard her scream while she was in the kitchen and that she covered her ears like a scared child.

The “whys” are many and heavy.  Why did Amanda accused Patrick Lumumba, incarcerated for 14 days while innocent, due to her ignominious accusations? Why on the knife used for the murder are there traces of Mez and Amanda?

Knox DNA was on the handle of the knife that killed Meredith: only because she used it to cut potatoes? The alibi of the potato has always been used by Knox and her lawyers, but it is plausible?

And Raffaele Sollecito?

One of the most decisive evidence against Sollecito in the first trial was the bloody foot print on the bathroom math. In the appeal process that footprint was challenged, it was said that it could be not Sollecito’s and was ascribed to Guede with benefit of doubt .

Now it seems certain that Rudy was wearing shoes ,as is demonstrated by other prints at the scene of the crime, thus the bloody footprint goes back to being ascribed to Sollecito.

Why is Rudy Guede in jail while Amanda and Raffaele are on the loose?

After the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence the appeal to the Cassazione,  was announced, while waiting for the Cassazione, the guilty Raffaele Sollecito had to hand over his passport in order to make it impossible for him to leave Italy.

Right after the sentence Sollecito was stopped in Udine about 60km from the Italy/Austrian border and about 40km from the Slovenian border.

Before the verdict of Corte D’Assise d’Appello of Florence Sollecito was a free man, and therefore legally in possession of a passport and the right to cross the border.

Sollecito, instead of waiting for the verdict in the court room, around 12 o’clock that day left with his new girlfriend and arrived in Udine [in north-east Ital]..

Around night time during a snow storm the two of them took refuge in an hotel , and the owner recognizing Sollecito by name, alerted the police that promptly arrived in order to confiscate Sollecito’s passport as decided by the Court.

Sollecito told the media that he had no intention of fleeing the Country.

One can ask what Sollecito was doing in Udine then, a few hours after his guilty verdict. To excuse Sollecito one can perhaps say that the young man was overpowered by anguish and fear, in fact up to today

Sollecito had never seemed to want to evade justice, instead he was usually in the Courtroom.

Amanda in contrast was not sanctioned with any precautionary measures.  She arrived in America as a free citizen after the not guilty verdict.

Now,  if and when the Cassazione confirms the verdict of the last proceeding, America needs to extradite Amanda and remit her in the hands of the Italian Justice… 

America is tied to Italy by sanction accords by name of international laws, thus if the Cassazione upholds the guilty verdict, Amanda must return to Italy. Nothing makes one think that America could oppose an extradition.

Rudy Guede is the only guilty one in jail at the moment.  His detention was confirmed after a fast track trial, decided by his layers, and his detention was 16 years in jail. (with time off for the fast track trial)

Not many know that while the doors of the prison may soon open for Amanda and Raffaele,, for Rudy instead “freedom” may be close by.

Thanks to the new decree passed last December by the Parliament, Rudy could leave the prison where he is detained. Guede is one of 3 thousand detainees who could benefit from the “empty the prisons” decree.

 

Menti Informatiche

Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox are close to a break up after the sentencing..

Raffaele wrote Amanda a letter saying: “Amanda I am tired. I don’t want to be punished, neither do I want to continue to give justifications for matters that concern you and not me”.

Amanda says “I understand him but: I want to say that Raffaele is not my slave and I am not his oppressor. Raffaele has many reasons to be resentful, but not with me.”

The bond between the two, accused of the homicide of Meredith Kercher, is cracking. A bond that lasted from that horrible night of November1st 2007, when in a house in Perugia, via della Pergola, their English friend was savagely killed.

Looking at a concrete possibility that the Judges of the Cassazione will confirm the sentencing which condemned Amanda and Raffaele to 28 years of jail for her and 26 for him, the two ex-lovers are starting to distance themselves from each other.

Amanda took a picture of herself holding a sign that read “we are innocent” so as to underline a common faith, from which Raffaele can’t dissociate. Not anymore.

Raffaele after six years may be starting to understand that being Amanda’s “fiancé” did not help him at all. He said this to Giulio, in an interview a few months ago, and now in an interview to CNN:

In the Judges head I must be guilty because I was Amanda’s boy-friend. It does not make any sense for me. According to the Judges because in some way I supported Amanda, I must be implicated. According to me this is aberrant. My standing has not been just ignored, but completely forgotten. In all the proceedings I was not part of them unless for the scientific investigations.

For many, many hearings the topic was my DNA, but nobody said nothing of the reason why I was accused of the homicide except the fact that I was Amanda’s boy-friend and because I was with her very often and spent many nights with her, I had to be in some way connected with the homicide.

Is Raffaele’s defense thinking of ditching the girl? Is Raffaele ready to tell the truth of what happened that night? Now Raffaele is in Bari, and is thinking over what happened to him. He reveals:

I discussed with my friends and family the possibility of going abroad a year ago, but I cannot accept the fact of leaving all the people who are dear to me for a theory. I had no motive to hurt Meredith Kercher.

Now I have no light in my future. They took away my passport and I.D. card, and I do not know if I can realize my dreams, or anything I want to do. I do not accept that my future is destroyed.

Too often, though, Amanda and Raffaele forget to mention that Meredith’s life really was destroyed.

Against Amanda and Raffaele there are scientific evidence, bloody footprints on the floor, DNA on the bra clasp and knife, and the many contradictions in their alibis.

From the beginning their behavior caused the carabinieri to be suspicious of them.

Without forgetting the spontaneous confession of Amanda of being in the house while her friend was being murdered. “I have a vision of being in the kitchen, covering my ears while they kill her.” She even gave the name of the killer Patrick Lumumba, her boss, who was then discovered to be innocent.

The attempt to divert the investigation, pointing the finger against an innocent man, is evidence of the quilt of Amanda.

Even Raffaele changed versions more than once. In one of the interrogations he said Amanda was not with him that night and arrived at his apartment in the early hours of the morning. He then said he smoked too much marijuana and could not recall what happened that night.

In the meantime Rudy Guede, 27 years old, condemned to 16 years for the murder of Meredith Kercher, with others, writes:

Now that my verdict is definite, for too long the judicial reasoning have been subjected to a continuous and willful manipulation and alteration of the data of the proceedings…  I would like to point out that I do not accept being labeled as a homeless man,  drifter, and a thief; when instead I had a splendid family and precious and clean friendships in Perugia.

Amanda Knox’s defense team wants to pass him off as a habitual thief. Rudy adds: ” “Meredith’s house was turned upside down, someone simulated a break in. I was not condemned for this simulated break-in.”

If it was not Rudy, then who?



Friday, February 14, 2014

Hard Questions By Italian Journalist Giuseppe Castellini For Sollecito

Posted by Peter Quennell


[Above: Giuseppe Castellini of Giornale dell Umbria has long exposed the Knox/Sollecito lies]

1. Overview Of Italian Media Takes

The fast-growing satires of Knox and Sollecito in Italy described in our previous post are not just emerging in a vacuum. 

The many tough crime-show comperes and crime reporters in Italy have rarely let Knox or Sollecito get away with any of their lies. One example was when Bruno Vespa, the host of Porta a Porta, Italy’s most popular crime show, forced Francesco Sollecito to admit to Italy that his son lied extensively in Honor Bound. Another example is when Oggi published some of Knox’s lies and they were rapidly exposed. For seemingly endorsing Knox’s lies Oggi will face trial for obstruction of justice. 

There are countless other examples where Sollecito and Knox have been exposed as liars. The super-sharp editor of the Giornale dell Umbria, Giuseppe Castellini, has just published this challenge to Sollecito who had absurdly had claimed that nobody ever wanted to ask him any questions in court.

2. Giuseppe Castellini Questions RS

The translation is by Miriam. 

Murder of Meredith:  a few questions for Raffaele Sollecito

Raffaele Sollecito, found guilty and condemned to 25 years by the Appeals Court of Florence, for the murder of the English student Meredith Kercher (for the same crime Amanda Knox was also found guilty and Rudy Guede is already serving a definite sentence of 16 years) has stated that he was never questioned in court, because no one ever asked him.

For the record and in order to have a complete picture at, it should be remembered that during the investigation, Sollecito twice took advantage of his right to not respond to the questions of the PM Mignini.

So if it’s true that the prosecutors, in all the trials never asked to question him in court, neither did he ask to be, limiting himself to giving several times making spontaneous statements, without being cross examined.

However, this is not the real point. The fact is that Raffaele could not or did not want to respond to the questions of the investigators.

His version was always brought forth in detail by his lawyers, obviously, but that is not the same thing.

Important questions remain to which Raffaele did not answer directly during cross examination by the Prosecutors.  Let’s try to summarize some crucial unanswered ones. Who knows if Raffaele will ever decide to respond in detail right here on these pages even though ““ at the moment ““ it seems improbable. We address him directly, sure that he reads these pages.

1. The first time that you were questioned in Questura you said that the first of November 2007 (Meredith was murdered the night between the first and the second of November) after a walk through downtown Perugia (before that you and Amanda have been in the house in via della Pergola). You came home around 08.00pm while Amanda come back much later around 01.00am, you then changed your version saying that you had always been together.  Your first statement seem like a distancing from Amanda, in those hours nobody knows what she did, while the second one has a complete different flavor.  Why did you radically changed your version?

2. It’s proved by the findings (even if your lawyers contested it) that the computer in your house was activated for about half an hour from 05.32am till little after 06.00am of the second of November.  For the experts of the Police it was certainly a human interaction.  You, instead declare that you and Amanda were sleeping.  So who was it then that was using your PC at that hour? 

3. Your and Amanda’s cell phones were turned off at the same time around 08.40pm of the first of November and they were turned on, practically at the same time, a little after 06.00am of the second of November (at that time you received the “good night” sms sent from your father the night before).  How do you explain all this? 

4. You stated that you were not in the house in via della Pergola.  How it is possible that your DNA is on the bra clasp (17 loci that shows your genetic profile, and for the father of Italian genetics, Prof. Vescovi, that with the current processes are not only enough, but more than enough to match your DNA).  And why did luminol revealed a bare right foot print compatible with yours, in addition to the one on the bathmat in the small bathroom? (the size of the big toe, just to point out one thing, is just like yours, while Rudy’s is a lot smaller).

5. Why, if Rudy was the only assassin, in the corridor would he cancel only the bare foot prints, leaving in plain sight always his, but left with the shoe print of his left foot?  Doesn’t it come to mind that whoever cleaned up the prints thought to cancel theirs (specifically the ones ascribed to you and Amanda) leaving behind those recognizable as Rudy’s?

6. You and Amanda were seen by the homeless Antonio Curatolo late the night of the murder and Amanda was seen by the shopkeeper ““ that knew you well and already saw you with Amanda ““ enter in the shop at about 07.45am to buy something and go back toward piazza Grimana.  You and Amanda say that at that hour you were sleeping in your house. Is there something that can demonstrate this, that up to now has slipped away and that would give you the missing alibi?


3. Questions For RS Of Our Own

We have advanced plenty of questions for the evasive Sollecito of our own. Here are seven examples.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In Italy The Faux Self Pity Of Knox And Sollecito Is Increasingly Becoming A National Joke

Posted by Peter Quennell



Meet Amanda Knox the Perugian Chipmunk version.

Knox’s Facebook page is also being satirised and ridiculed (one message there reads “Perugia Hates You”.) Some may actually believe the rumor that Knox is shopping herself around for salacious movies.

Sollecito being nabbed at the Austrian border because of a quick tip to the police also inspired sarcastic humor in Italy, and several journalists have come up with questions to challenge Sollecito when he gets on the stand, as he so desperately wants or says he does.

We expect some more Italian satire (and maybe not only Italian) and will report on that as well, as this long-needed and much-deserved hit-back against dishonest pandering to media audiences could prove an important trend.

If satire proves the way to stop RS and AK babbling lies daily about the case and Italian justice via every craven media outlet, then well done Italy!! Nothing else seems to work to shut the two up, although their false claims and smears could constitute obstruction of justice.

If Knox and Sollecito want to avoid being spoofed, they have two very easy ways to do so: (1) shut up and avoid the media, or (2) stick to telling the truth.


Friday, February 07, 2014

The Hubristic, Meanspirited Campaign: What Sort Of Life Has It Left Knox And Sollecito Now?

Posted by lauowolf





Sometimes it can be frightening to see how people’s self-interested choices turn around to bite them instead.

Had Knox and Sollecito simply told the truth to begin with, this case would have been only a nasty local story in Italy, with a bit of light coverage in Seattle and London. They would have had to accept some narrative that explained their involvement and their guilt, and they would have been sentenced accordingly.

They would then have served their time and gotten out. Eventually they would have gone on, perhaps, to live relatively normal lives.

After all, by the time they left prison virtually no one outside the families involved would remember, or much care, what they had done. Their criminal records would follow them forever, of course, but certainly there would have been no public repercussions for an obscure murder in Italy, years in the past.

People live with such pasts: they live their lives and create a future despite their pasts.

Instead, Knox and Sollecito have rendered themselves toxic for the rest of their lives. Everywhere they go, as long as they live, they will be recognized, whispered about, and pointed out by supporters, opponents, and even the relatively uniformed public.

Always.

Already, Sollecito’s Austrian side-trip was busted by someone who, predictably, recognized him. The intense paparazzi effect will eventually wear off, but years from now, whenever either of them does something simple, its effects will live on.

Apply for a library card ““ instant name recognition, walk through the airport - and someone will realize why that face is familiar.  They’d better get used to it because some stranger will always recognize them. At their every life event, there will be a news alert, and someone potentially selling the story or a photo.

They and their families deliberately established an intensive PR effort for selfish reasons: in order to avoid the repercussions of a terrible act.

But this press creation is a terrible beast. Now that it is here it will need to be fed. Always. Get drunk in public - someone will have a cell phone handy; a marriage breaks up - the ex-spouse will tell all. (And, really, neither of them has the kind of money needed to live forever insulated from the vulgar public.)

For the rest of their lives, in everything they want to do, the whole did-they-or-didn’t-they narrative will be weighed in other people’s reaction: Would you hire either of them for anything? Would you rent them an apartment? Elect them to the school board?

All other things being equal, there will always be someone else available, someone equally good who has no awkward history. And everyone will know about that history; they worked hard to make it so.

And I’m not talking about the prejudice against ex-cons. That’s a real thing, and it will have its impact too. All convicted felons have real problems, after all, but few of them have achieved such notoriety, let alone embraced it.  What I’m talking about is the impact of even old-news celebrity, of always now, and for the rest of their lives, being tabloid fodder.

Sure, there will always be people (Mad Pax?) drawn to the faux glitter of it all, but a life accompanied only by those wanting to share in your “fame” seems pretty ugly to me. What normal person wants the hassle of becoming involved with something like this?

Furthermore, they will never know when someone they think of as a friend might suddenly start thinking of a way to cash in. There might be a book in it, or at least a juicy article for a tabloid.

This isn’t meant as expressing any kind of sympathy for them at all, by the way. They have blood on their hands and horrors in their heads.

Eventually they may come to some kind of terms with their actions. Frankly, though, I hardly care, for it is not merely their crime that requires expiation. I have been sickened to see the unfolding ruthlessness and the sheer ugliness of their publicity campaign.

At its center their PR beast reveals an utter selfishness that is willing to appeal to the worst in their supporter through appeals to American xenophobia, to racism, and in smears against Meredith, Rudy, and Patrick, as well as the entire system of Italian justice.

The PR beast they created denigrates every other element in the case, while portraying the pair of them as young, innocent, and only guilty of a visible passion for each other and a naïve belief in the police.

This tactic required a media product for sale: the attractive young lovers. Their campaign has forced their names, and images and story in all our faces for years now. They and their families did this entirely voluntarily, and they have seemed to relish the attention it brought them.

They’ve been interviewed extensively, treated sympathetically by those who should know better, and altogether have had much more than their fifteen minutes of fame. But celebrity is a beast that turns on its own.

And, importantly, unlike other famous people ““ actors, politicians, authors and the like - there is no proper use for their fame. They have nothing real to share with us, only their story. It is, literally, all about them. And that is how it will remain.

They have become a narrative whose next chapter will always be told. The PR beast, for all its reach, will not be enough to keep them out of prison. But the cameras will be there the day they finally leave prison, in case we have forgotten their faces.

And there will be photos when they drive drunk. Or marry. Or divorce.

Their names are out there, waiting for the tagline, waiting for the joke. (“How bad is your new roommate? Well, at least she’s no Amanda Knox.”) There will be no end to it, ever. They will have no privacy, ever. Karma at work is a scary thing. They invited the beast into their lives, and now it will never leave them alone.

[Below: Said to be Amanda Knox leaving home hiding under a windcheater]


Friday, January 31, 2014

Appeal Session #10 Images: The Two Judges And Six Lay Judges Deliver The Guilty Verdict

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





The statement is sharp and quite brief. Judge Nencini confirms that both Knox and Sollecito are confirmed guilty. The 2009 Massei verdict is upheld.

The sentences are 25 years in priosn for Raffaele Sollecito and 28.6 years in rpison for Amanda Knox including the 3.8 years for the calunnia already served. Each must also incur financial penalties.

Both may be locked in the sex offenders wings as both were confirmed convicted with a sex-crime component. Both may face further charges for false accusations of crimes in their books and in the media, as may some of their more strident “supporters”.

Few in the US and UK seem to realize, but the evidence presented at trial in the first half of 2009 was in fact overwhelming. In the US and UK it is probable no appeal would even have been allowed, as the appeal grounds were so flimsy.

Nothing was undermined at the Florence appeal. In fact the evidence became STRONGER as another trace of Knox was found on the big knife. Innuendo about DNA contamination was sharply rejected in face of zero evidence or even scenario.

Please read our case overview here which links to some vital posts and touches on several of the defense’s illegal tricks.

That includes the corrupting of the 2011 appeal, which is well understood in Italy but not registering with most US and UK media - Sndrea Vogt has begun reporting on part of it, the illegal meddling with the Hellmann DNA consultancy

..






Thursday, January 30, 2014

Appeal Session #10: After Defense Remarks Panel Of Judges Reaches Its Decision: BOTH GUILTY

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Verdict: Both are confirmed guilty

The Massei verdict is upheld. The sentences are 25 years for Raffaerle Sollecito and 28.6 years for Amanda Knox. Sollecito is to have his passport taken away.

For Knox they could issue a worldwide Interpol Red Notice for immediate arrest around the world, even before going for extradition, to stop her dishonest self-serving blabberings. 

Take a look at our conjectures down the bottom of this post on the judges’ deliberations. Looks like we got One, Two and Four right and Knox will be named in the judges report as the prime instigator.

That will hardly help her resist extradition. And it will please Guede and Sollecito, who both always hint at that.

To CNN: yet again this is NOT double jeopardy. Read the extradition treaty. It was ONE valid trial (2009) and now ONE valid and failed appeal (2014). Not two trials.

Tweets from our main poster Machiavelli

26. All these many thanks are so warming and comforting; I’m glad my contribution was useful among the many others.

25. No measure taken for expatriation of Knox because she is a US citizen currently in her own country.

24.  Passport withdrawn for Sollecito and movement restriction within the boundaries of the state of Italy.  No restriction for Knox.

23.  Ruled that Knox’s royalties belong to Lumumba,

22.  Accessory penalties/settlements: established Knox stinks, ordered Dalla Vedova to change jobs… (!)

21.  Her calunnia sentencing has been increased from 3 years (Hellmann-Zanetti) to 3 years and 6 months.

20. To be more precise: Knox has been sentenced to 28 years and 6 months. (She has already served four years).

19. Massei sentence confirmed (25y), Knox sentence increased to 28 years because of calunnia aggravation

18. Bongiorno very agitated

17. Five minutes and a half from a verdict?

16. Judge declared the verdict will be 3D and distributed goggles [?]

15. Sollecito was in the courtroom. Appeared nervous.

14. Said because of the greatness of their power they should acknowledge reasonable doubt.

13. Ghirga emphasized discretional power of the court. Said they have big power to acquit.

12. In point of law: Ghirga said evidence must be considered as a whole in compliance with SC, but assessment should find reasonable doubt

11. Said no blood on knife because of negative TMB and blood confirmatory tests.

10. Ghirga: cited the claims about picograms, said amount is not the point, the problem is test repetition and other conditions

9. Says bruise at back of head is compatible with frotal fight against single aggerssor (disagreement with Introna on this too)

8. Ghirga: Meredith’s blue sweater was removed before fatal stabbing, as for Torre’s opinion. Admitas he disagrees with Sollecito’s defence.

7. Ghirga talked about: Meredith’s blue sweater, an echimosis at back of her head, DNA laboratories and Stefanoni’s quantization

6. Ghirga recalled a small number of details of physical evidence and autopsy.

5. Dalla Vedova asked acquittal, did not specify, whereas Ghirga instead, talking later, invoked reasonable doubt.

4. D.V. says believes there are other Supreme Court rulings in his favor.

3. D.V. emphasized the single pieces of evidence should be assessed each one in parceled out, atomized way before considering the whole

2. DV focused on evidence assessment procedure, quoted SC rulings.

1. Dalla Vedova’s talking lasted a short time, and not very orderly.

Tweets from reporter Barbie Latza Nadeau

28.  Court: Amanda Knox Is Guilty. See more in The Daily Beast.

27.  Kercher family members being briefed by lawyers and British consulate.

26.  Sollecito must surrender all documents, passports, identification,

25. Its 25 years for sollecito and 28.6 years for amanda knox

24.  Amanda Knox [2009] guilty verdict upheld,  sollecito [2009] guilty verdict upheld.

23. Judges and jury enter.22. Huge security presence ahead of verdict including riot police outside and in public area of courtroom amandaknox tense

21. meredithkercher sister stephany and brother lyle have arrived in court for verdict.

20 Prosecutor Crini has arrived in court for verdict in amandaknox appeal

19. Clerk says between 9-930 local time judges will return. Says judges want “utter silence no shouting or clapping”

18. Court clerk says verdict will be delivered between 9 and 9:30 tonight.

17. Amanda Knox “˜Afraid’ Of Today’s Court Verdict http://thebea.st/LeteHD  via @thedailybeast

16. Court clerk says at 8pm she will go back to judge to find out if and when they are ready to deliver verdict.

15. Court clerk says “presumably verdict at 8:00 but everyone come back at 7:00

15. Court clerk just announced that at 6pm local they will tell us when the verdict will be announced.

14. Mario Spezi, author of Monster of Florence, has come to court to hear amandaknox verdict.

13. Lawyers for amandaknox and sollecito, journalists already in courtroom ready for verdict that come come any time from 5pm Florence time.

12. Lunch has just been brought in to judges and lay jury deliberating amandaknox case. No wine.

11. Refreshments just delivered to jury members in amandaknox new appeal, espresso, cappucino and possibly a tea…

10. Judge in amandaknox new appeal says decision will not come before 5pm.

9. amandaknox lawyer asks court to absolve his client.

8. amandaknox lawyer says the dna on the knife attributed to meredithkercher can not be verified, can not be considered.

7. amandaknox lawyer Ghirga tells court they have to look at all the evidence to reach verdict, not value pieces here and there.

6. amandaknox lawyer says you can’t put two innocent people in jail to cover up mistakes of judicial system.

5. amandaknox lawyer tells judge: you cannot convict for murder in the name of Italy when evidence is ‘probably’ attributed to a defendant.

4. amandaknox lawyer says you can’t cancel out evidence, says Amanda’s rights were violated, she was in shock when she accused Lumumba.

3. sollecito in court by his dad who said they are all nervous for verdict over drinks with journalists at hotel bar last night.

2. amandaknox lawyer CDV says they are serene going into verdict because they believe in her innocence,

1. Court in session. One of the jurors wearing a shiny spangled skirt, rest dressed soberly.

Tweets from Freelance Reporter Andrea Vogt

13. Meredith Kercher’s brother: It was the best we could have hoped for, but amanda knox verdict not cause for celebration.

12. amanda knox guilty verdict upheld. Her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said he has called her. She did not cry. She was “petrified.”

11. amanda knox conviction upheld. sentenced to 28 years and six months. Sollecito to 25. Ordered passports to be taken.

10. Meredith’s sister and brother are accompanied by British consulate officials. A hush has come over the courtroom.

9. The family of meredith kercher has arrived in court to hear the verdict.

8. Even most experienced Italian court reporters not predicting what long wait for amanda knox verdict means. Could go either way

7. amanda knox verdict is expected at 9 or 9:30. Clerk reminds about the decorum expected:no applause, shouting, cheering, etc

6. Standing room only in Florence court as media, legal teams, public await amandaknox verdict (timing soon to be announced).

5. Judge and jury in amandaknox case have retreated for deliberations. Verdict not before 5 pm Italy time.

4. amandaknox Judge : we will not give a verdict before 17, after that,can come any time, but will announce with lots of advance notice.

3. Ghirga: We wait anxiously and seriously for justice for Meredith. But doing justice means doing it also for amandaknox and RS.

2. amandaknox lawyers are in court. Ghirga: “siamo fiduciosi, serene, emotionati.” (Roughly: “Trusting, calm, on edge”).

1. Verdict expected late today in amandaknox appeal….

Freelance Reporter Andrea Vogt On Website

From The Freelance Desk

Amanda Knox is expected to wait out the verdict in her appeal at her mother’s Seattle home (likely with American television news networks present) while Raffaele Sollecito was in court with his father and a friend. Sollecito made no remarks upon leaving for the courthouse in a taxi, surrounded by a pack of cameras.  Meredith Kercher’s sister, Stephanie, and brother, Lyle, are also expected in Florence today for the court’s decision, expected in the evening hours….

Conjectures on what the judges may be discussing

The panel of judges is in effect deciding now on positions that must be sustained in 2-3 months in a 100-400 page document that must be okayed by the Supreme Court.

This might be what the quite long (by Italian standards, they will have discussed the case intermittently) jury discussion today is focused upon. Here are four possible issues.


Possible issue one

As sharp Italian media are pointing out, Prosecutor Crini departed from the Massei scenario and suggested a different driver in one key respect.

Like Mignini and Micheli in 2008 he assigned the role of prime mover to Amanda Knox and not to Guede. (Nobody ever assigned it to Sollecito.)

Maybe hoping to give RS and AK a break the Massei jury (not neccessarily the judge himself) assigned to Guede the primary role in starting the attack, saying maybe he forced himself upon her.

Then maybe the other two came in from next door, and set about helping him to subdue Meredith.

They just happened to have two knives handy, and even Massei assigns the fatal blow to Knox.

Crini argued as more likely that Knox started to quarrel with Meredith over hygiene or drugs or money and the other two joined in and for 15 minutes the attack escalated.

In this Knox and not Guede is assigned the role of prime mover.

The judges may want to accept this and seek to assign Knox a harsher punishment accordingly.

(Neither court seems to have settled on a convincing reason for why the big knife was brought down from Sollecito’s house which looks to us at minimum forboding.)


Possible issue two

This relates to the scenario in the comment above. Judge Massei lopped five years off the routine sentences by conjuring up “mitigating factors”.

One such factor was the duvet placed over Meredith which Massei thought could be a sign of remorse, surely by a woman.

Many including psychologists never agreed with this. It could have been simply an aversion to all the blood, which Knox on the stand in 2009 chillingly described as “yucky”.

If so the sentences awarded could creep up beyond the durations decided on by Massei. Above 25 and 26 years.


Possible issue three

This is an alternative to One and Two above. The judges might think the crime was more like a manslaughter, an attack that ended in murder

But not intended as such and never agreed to by two of the attackers.  In which case sentences could be a lot lighter.


Possible issue four

There are financial award considerations. How much to award to whom, plus maybe ways to ensure their payment in light of Knox blatantly stiffing Patrick..

[Below: image of the judges and lay judges arriving this morning]


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Strong Proof That Raffaele Sollecito Also Stabbed Meredith Kercher Causing The Lesser Wound.

Posted by Ergon



Sollecito’s “pocket knife” is a Spiderco Delica4 Emerson Opener made for killing people

Overview

This picks up from from my previous post just below on the large knife that overwhelming evidence shows was wielded by Amanda Knox. 

Sometime around Thursday, January 30, 2014, Judge Nencini of the Florence Appeals Court will be delivering the verdict of the court in the case of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, at which time all arguments regarding the knives, staged burglary, DNA and forensics, false accusation, wonky alibis, and reliability of witnesses will be rendered moot.

There will be nothing left but an argument about the legality of the process, and not the evidence, presented by the defenses if they choose to at some point in the fall of 2014 before Cassazione, the Supreme Court in Rome.

But, until then, we are left with the indelible image of Raffaele Sollecito’s defense attorney Giulia Bongiorno a few days ago flailing with two knives in court, arguing (1) the kitchen knife doesn’t fit the major wound, and (2) there’s a missing knife, which she suggested was a pocket knife wielded by Rudy Guede.

In part I, I proved that the imprint of the knife on the mattress sheet matched the kitchen knife, in shape and dimensions. We have already seen in other articles here on TJMK, that there is a definitive match with Knox and Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the murder weapon, and now we know it was transported to the cottage, to leave its mirror image on the bed.

Here, in part II, is a recap of Massei on the knives and wounds inflicted on Meredith Kercher, and how the defense continually tried to divert us away from the knife image by saying it did not fit the dimensions of the major wound.

Also we will have Frank Sfarzo and Bruce Fischer’s amateurish attempts to prove that Rudy Guede caused the knife wounds. And it will try to address what happened to the missing knife that inflicted the lesser wound on Meredith, and who might have wielded it.





Closeup of the stabbing end of the Spiderco knife shown at the top


Deliberate false claims

One of the many myths surrounding this case was that investigators had no reason to seize the kitchen knife from Sollecito’s flat, and when I showed the photos from Conti’s lab, with the deep scratches on it, that it may have been altered in some way, and denying that was where some of Meredith’s DNA might have been trapped. IIP even posted an out of focus picture some time back to prove that point.

Here is Frank Sforza on the late and unlamented Perugia Shock.‘ANY KNIFE COULD HAVE DONE THAT WOUND’

End of a Myth

Frank Sfarzo, Sept. 19, 2009

Quote: “It was introduced in the room, it was taken out of the box with all precautions, it was shown to them like a relic. They could have a look at it from a distance, and see, or believe to have seen, the groove into which the biological material of Meredith was found.” And:

“Amanda Knox’s lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova brought him (independent expert Professor Cingolani) to say something very clear about the main one: any single-edge knife is compatible with Meredith’s larger wound.”

Here is Bruce Fischer on the error-ridden Injustice In Perugia.

Quote: “The knife was a common kitchen knife retrieved from the kitchen of Raffaele Sollecito. The knife was chosen from the drawer because it looked clean. (Editorial note: it was also, deeply scratched and nicked)

No blood was on the blade.

No DNA was on the blade.

The knife doesn’t match most of the wounds on Meredith.

The knife doesn’t match the bloody imprint left on the bed.

The photographic evidence shows that Raffaele’s kitchen knife is to (sic) large to match the bloody imprint on the bed.

At 4 cm from the tip the knife blade is 2.2 cm wide, while the injury (i.e. the small wound) is 1.5 cm wide. Raffaele’s kitchen knife could not have caused the wounds. The knife blade is also too long to have inflicted the large wound.” (Ed. note: Here they are conflating the dimensions of the lesser wound with the knife that inflicted the major wound, to cause confusion)

This is typical of the dishonesty of Bruce Fischer, who was only parroting what the defense experts had been saying in Massei’s court.

Fischer’s source was these posts from the now discredited Frank Sfarzo: Knife doesn’t match wounds and Knife doesn’t match imprint on bed.



An image of Sollecito’s 2004 model Brian Tighe knife specifically made for killing people

From the Massei Report

This is from the excellent PMF translation.

P. 99: The witness (investigator) recognized it when shown Exhibit 36 as that same knife (pages 176 and 177, hearing on February 28, 2009). He remembered that in the drawer there were other knives, but he collected what was later indicated as Exhibit 36. It had the following dimensions: blade 17 cm. and handle of dark colour 14 cm. He recalled that in Sollecito’s bedroom they found another knife whose total length was 18cm, with an 8cm. blade.” (This would be his Brian Tighe pocket knife, the Spyderco flick knife was seized from his person when he was arrested)

P.135: The stab wound corresponding to the injuries on the right side of the neck was indicated as being a little wound of very small dimensions with a very small path. The path of the wound is 4cm long and only 1.5cm wide. The blade used to make this wound must have had a width of 1.5cm at 4cm from the point. This blade only entered 4cm into the neck “because it encountered the angle of the jaw” (page 33 of the transcripts).

P.147: Professor Vinci testified at the hearing of August 18, 2009. He considered the subject of the “bloody stains” found on the undersheet in Meredith Kercher’s room. In relation to these stains, on the basis of graphics given in the report dated June 30, 2009, he asserted that the knifeprint found on the undersheet in Meredith’s bedroom could have been made either by an 11.3cm knife blade, or by a 9.6cm knife blade together with a mark 1.7cm long left by the handle of the same knife. In either case, the blade could not be wider than 1.3/1.4 cm. (Ahem)

P. 154: Prof Cingolani: He clarified that irregularities present on the blade, on the edge of the blade, could have created the rippling in the wounds.

P. 157: the examination of the wound on the right part of the neck, which had absolutely incompatible dimensions: 1.5cm long and 0.4cm wide with a depth of 4cm.

p.164: she was therefore struck on the right latero-cervical region with a single-edged blade which produced a wound with dimensions of 1.5cm by 0.4cm, with a penetrating depth of 4cm: an action not relevant in determining the cause of death but intended, as before, to subdue Meredith Kercher’s resistance.

p.166: the width of the (kitchen knife) proximal third [blade one third of the distance from the handle] is 3cm.

p166: Along the edge, there was evidence of irregularities in the form of thin ridges at 2.2cm and at 11.4cm from the tip.

p. 167: The experts and consultants who were examined during the course of the trial, taking into examination the various wounds present on the neck, excluded the compatibility of the knife Exhibit 36 and the wound inflicted on the right latero-cervical and having the following dimensions: 1.5cm by 0.4cm, with a depth of 4cm in an oblique upwards direction. They in fact showed that the confiscated knife, at a distance of 4cm from the tip, has a width of approximately 3cm and thus almost double the 1.5cm width of the wound, a width thus incompatible with the dimensions of the blade of this knife.

p.172-3: In relation to the above, the thesis of the incompatibility of the most serious wound and the knife Exhibit 36 is held to be unacceptable, though this knife is incompatible with the 4cm-deep wound, as we have seen. Nor does this conclusion contrast with the circumstances illustrated by Sollecito Defence consultant Professor Vinci in his report relating to the “šanalyses of the haematic stained shapes discovered on the mattress cover in Meredith Kercher’s room”›.

p.175: The reconstruction offered by Professor Vinci certainly appears suggestive. Some doubt remains in the reconstruction of the dimensions of the knife derived in relation from the marks found on the bed sheet. If these marks indeed derived from the knife placed on the bed sheet, then they should in fact have been more abundant, and should have outlined the shape of the knife with greater precision, for the following reason: the knife, if it was placed on the bed sheet, was placed there immediately after it had been used to strike Meredith; therefore, the fresh and abundant bloodstains present on the blade should have been imprinted onto the bed sheet in a more evident and copious way than is actually appreciable. It cannot in any case remain unobserved that, if one of the knives used had a blade length of 11.3cm, or else 9.6 cm ““ according to what was indicated by Professor Vinci in the conclusions to his report ““ the argumentation set forth to sustain the incompatibility of the knife Exhibit 36 would not, on this alone, have any foundation.”

For the record, here are the paragraphs from the English translation of the Massei Report where Patricia Stefanoni describes the streaks and scratches on the double DNA knife and locations where samples were taken.

Judge Massei (on pg. 196) wrote about forensic expert Patrizia Stefanoni:

“She specified that trace B had been taken from a point on the face of the blade; she added that no biological trace was visible to the naked eye. However [she added that] “under considerable lighting, a series of streaks were visible to the naked eye. These streaks ran parallel to the upper part of the blade, therefore, more or less, they were parallel to this side [of the blade] and towards the point they went downward and, therefore, they followed the shape of the point. These streaks, anomalies in the metal, were visible to the naked eye under intense lighting” (page 95 of the transcript). Still in regard to the visibility of these streaks, she specified that they were “visible under good lighting by changing the angle at which the light hit the blade, since obviously the blade reflects light and thus creates shadows, making imperfections visible”.

The samples taken from the handle, in the points indicated with the letters A, D, F were taken in order to verify the possible presence of DNA by the person who grasped that knife. In particular, for sample “A”, a particular point had been chosen, “in which there’s the hand-guard” (page 95) and therefore, in all likelihood, the point where there was the most friction between the hand that grasped the knife and the handle. This sample yielded the result of Amanda Knox’s genetic profile.

The other samples yielded negative results, except the one taken from the blade, from the “scratches and streaks visible under good lighting, by changing the angle of the lighting with regards to the blade” that yielded the genetic profile of the victim (page 96 hearing May 22, 2009).”

And now we know: Dottora Patrizia Stefanoni got it right.

And some disagreement amongst the experts: p.291-2: Professor Cingolani had in fact noted and declared the following: “in the second lesion, the one that is 2 centimetres deep and 1.5 centimetres wide from corner to corner, the only thing that we are tempted to do, [albeit] in an absolutely amateurish/unprofessional way, because we only have photographs available, is to measure, assuming that only the tip entered, how wide the blade is [at a point] 2 centimetres from its tip: it is precisely 1.5 centimetres wide!



A closeup with measurements of Sollecito’s Brian Tighe knife made for killing people

My own investigation

Here is my initial close examination first posted on PMF dot Net last summer.

Ergon   Post subject: INVESTIGATION OF THE KNIVES USED IN THE MURDER Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:42 am

Investigation into the death of Meredith Kercher-THE CAUSE OF DEATH AND THE MEANS BY WHICH IT WAS OCCASIONED

The murder of Meredith Kercher was particularly bloody and brutal. Reading through Massei, pages 109- SURVEY AND EVALUATION OF THE FORENSIC RESULTS through to 158-173, THE CAUSE OF DEATH AND THE MEANS BY WHICH IT WAS OCCASIONED we are reminded of the brutality with which the attack took place, the sexual assault by more than one person, the restraining, the defensive wounds on Meredith’s hands, the torture by more than one knife, restraining by a hand over the mouth when she screamed, (even while she bled to death) and two major knife wounds, one to the left of the throat, the other, to the right. Massei rightly concludes, as did the Supreme Court, that more than one attacker was involved, and, per Massei, there was more than one knife used in the attack. The defense experts tried to draw attention away from the kitchen knife, but, reading through Massei again, I saw how they dropped clues to what the dimensions of the second knife might have been.

We know that Raffaele Sollecito had a fetish for violent porn, that he had an expensive collection of knives, and his many alibis for the night in question have been thrown out by the court. From my studies of criminal psychology, from reading both Amanda and Raffaele’s books and watching videos of their court appearances and television interviews, their psychopathology seem apparent not only to my eyes, but even to the general public that must have looked at them and decided their story somehow did not ring true, and refused to buy their books. There are indeed certain neurological deficits apparent in their demeanor that renowned German neurologist Dr. Gerhard Roth postulates shows up as a ‘dark patch’ in brain scans of all those who display criminal behaviour, and even, “The second type is the mentally disturbed criminal who looks at his world as threatening. A wrong look, one false move, he can explode and become a killer,” he said.

I was shown videos of the crime scene, and able to observe the wounds in Meredith’s neck. The scenes of the room in which the murder took place and, the neck wound, were truly horrifying to me, and showed the extent of the attack. Those images still sit in the mind, but also, cause me to want to get to the bottom of this mystery, hence, my work on the case.

I believe, observing the photos I already posted in the Evidence Files that the kitchen knife was the murder weapon that struck the fatal blow that night. I also believe, reading the pathologist’s report, that the blade that was stuck in Meredith’s neck, in the right latero-cervical area to a depth of 4 cms, was Raffaele Sollecito’s Brian Tighe pocket knife, photo also in the evidence files. Yes, no DNA or blood was sampled from it, but that only indicates it was successfully cleaned that night. My reading of Sollecito’s pathology is that he would not want to dispose of the knife he used, it being very expensive and also as an extension of his fetishistic ego. One other thing I asked to look at: The high resolution photos I posted of the bed show the outline and dimensions of two knives. I believe that both images are of the kitchen knife that struck Meredith in the left latero-cervical to cause a cut of 8-9 cms in depth, and a length of 8 cms (p. 167)

There are two exhibits of the mattress cover, one marked “J” and the other, “O”, both displaying the approximate size and dimensions of the kitchen knife, which I will explain when I post the photos. The first, “J”, has more blood because I believe the knife was placed there first and wicked on to the sheet, causing the distorted splotch at the end. By the time it was moved to its final position by the purse, “O”, it retained just enough blood to leave a clearer, indelible impression.

It was a butchery.”

One last point: Rep. 33A/B/C/D were four samples taken from a black-handled folding knife. It tested negative for blood, but, in one sample, the DNA profile matched a mix of Knox and Sollecito. The other samples were negative. Stefanoni: pp. 103-104

Looking at the images produced by my illustrator, and taking the average of the two estimates of the wound depth, 2 and 4 cms, one arrives at a blade width of 1.5 cms at 3 cms length from the tip of Raphaele Sollecito’s Brian Tighe collectors knife, on which, coincidentally, both Amanda Knox and Sollecito’s DNA was found.

Conclusion:

Raffaele Sollecito stabbed Meredith Kercher, causing the lesser wound. And my personal opinion? It was with the Brian Tighe knife, and somehow both he and Amanda Knox got their DNA on it around the same time that night.

Posted by Ergon on 01/28 at 05:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesThe two knivesDNA and luminolRaff SollecitoComments here (19)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rejected Yet Again By Knox, Sollecito Seems Frantic To Avoid What Might Be A Final Return To Italy

Posted by Peter Quennell




The explosive story of Kelsey Kay

Radar Online is an American celebrity-news website owned by the American Media group in New York. 

It is ranked at about the 500th most popular site in the US. Starting yesterday, Radar Online has been advancing a story with a video by an ex-girlfriend of Sollecito, Kelsey Kay (image above) who lives in Idaho.

Kelsey Kay is claiming that while in the US in several of his 2012-2013 stays Sollecito was seeking a way to get married in a hurry, supposing that being a US resident would somehow keep him safe from Italian law. At first glance Kelsey Kay seems compassionate and smart and she paid Sollecito some money and it is not obviously that she is drumming up any for herself. She sized him up accurately in retrospect. So here we go.

Foxy Knoxy BETRAYED: Ex-Lover Raffaele Sollecito Turns On “˜Evil B*tch’ Amanda As He Faces 26 Years For Meredith Kercher Murder “” And Knox Won’t Help Him Beat The Rap

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were branded a modern-day Romeo & Juliet when they were both imprisoned for the 2007 murder of Knox’s roommate, Meredith Kercher. But now, Sollecito is turning on the woman who was once his only ally, branding Knox an “evil bitch” who is “selfish, mean, [and] cruel” “” all because she wouldn’t marry him in a scheme designed to keep him out of prison!

As Radar has reported, Sollecito proposed to Knox in March 2013, hoping she would marry him and help him flee the retrial and potential reconviction for Kercher’s murder. When Knox refused, he turned to his online pen pal, Idaho woman Kelsey Kay to air his anger.

According to a new report in Star, Sollecito told Kay Knox was “a selfish, mean, cruel girl,” and an “evil bitch.”

Now Kay tells Radar, that was only the half of it.

“I think his feelings were hurt,” Kay explains. What’s more, she says, it seemed that Sollecito felt Knox was obligated to help him because of the couple’s unique history.

“He came across very entitled, like he had saved her [during the first trial] in Italy by not turning on her,” Kay claims, “and that maybe she was obligated to do the same for him.”

“I’ve read text messages “¦ between the two of them,” Kay says. “The text messages were [often] him texting her and her not responding. And he portrayed that to me as she was insensitive, and didn’t care.”

But in the few messages that Knox did send Sollecito, Kay says, she seemed like an entirely different woman than her ex-lover claimed.

“There were some [texts] about them not being able to marry, and [Amanda] explained herself in a very elegant way,” Kay reveals.

Sollecito’s responses, however, were “more desperate, needy,” Kay says…


The Knox-Sollecito kabuki dance goes on

Going back to the very night they were arrested Knox and Sollecito have never been fully as one.

In early statements they each quite openly placed suspicion on the other, and Sollecito retained this high-ground position right through the 2009 trial to its “guilty” end, slyly suggesting he had the upper hand.

Sollecito never at trial or the 2011 Hellmann appeal ever yanked his charge that Knox was absent from his house and maybe present at the attack on the night that Meredith died.

At trial in 2009 the distancing continued. Knox became so desperate about this that she wrote Sollecito frequent “love letters” and finally quite publicly asked justice authorities if they could meet (it was denied).

Their lawyers danced the same kabuki dance. Read this series by a Rome lawyer who watched every feint on TV.

In January 2012 the prosecution said they would appeal the Hellmann outcome to the Supreme Court. They KNEW the outcome had been tainted by the defenses - as, later, so did the Supreme Court.

Two months later this happens.  Sollecito suddenly rockets off to Seattle - with his family in hot pursuit.

No marriage with AK resulted, but what did result, six months later, was Sollecito’s dishonest book, which shows all the signs of channeling the Seattle-centered FOA loonies, and none at all of the hard facts on the ground.

Six months later Knox’s own book appears.

In the two books, Knox and Sollecito not only tell different versions of their truth - they each reveal some exasperation with the other, and it reads in both books like their amazing love affair back in 2007 would have soon ended on the rocks.

In the short period they were together in Perugia, Knox continued messing with other boys - both in Perugia and (with her old boyfriend) in Seattle - while Sollecito stayed home and sulked.

The titles of both books (Honor Bound and Waiting To Be Heard) were themselves big lies - but Sollecito’s is probably the bigger lie.

The prosecution did NOT ask him to roll over on Amanda - they had no need and no legal right - as even Sollecito’s own dad on national TV confirmed (“That was made up.”) and Sollecito’s one and only claim to be “honor bound” had been that he had resisted.

Thereafter Sollecito and Knox seem to have met again in Seattle and maybe in London and New York.  But still no peace of mind or mutual joy at the end of the road for either, as this post and this post strongly demonstrate. 

And legal residency in a country is of course not a barrier to perps convicted in other countries ending up back there and behind bars. The US sends its own nefarious citizens-by-birth to face foreign justice on occasion. Very naive.

Knox and Sollecito both self-admitted flight risks

Ten days ago in a breaking-news box we posted this:

Breaking news. UK media quote Amanda Knox as saying she may go on the lam if guilt is confirmed. (Remember this is HER appeal. She opened this can of worms.) However the US/Italy extradition treaty and official US paper trail give her zero reason for comfort, and an extradition request would immediately put her in a US jail to stop her going on the lam. An Interpol Red Notice would make her unemployable and subject to worldwide arrest.

Now the poster Jackie on PMF dot Org (a lawyer) has posted this:

I think the Kay Fiasco bears directly on the proceedings underway: IF the texts can be authenticated, and IF there is a guilty verdict, those exchanges will make it all but impossible for RS’s lawyers to argue that he is not a flight risk.

So one week from today there is a strong chance a judicial order to lock them up will flow from the Florence court. 




Saturday, January 18, 2014

False Claims In Bongiorno’s Summation: That The Wound “Proved” Sollecito’s Big Knife Was Not The One

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





In defense summation on 9 January, nobody who really knows the case (such as Judge Nencini) would have bought many of Giulia Bongiorno’s outlandish arguments.

The post below this one illustrates how Bongiorno in about half her arguments tried to demonize and mischaracterize all of Perugia, as if somehow Perugia itself had become the real villain in forcing a rush to judgment and wrong conclusion. In fact Perugia took a huge hit from Meredith’s murder but has acted gracefully and competently ever since. 

This post by several of us after discussion in Comments is the first of two on Bongiorno’s claims about the large knife. The second one will follow next week by Ergon.

There is no question in our minds but that this IS the murder weapon. It was proved convincingly by way of the DNA tests done by the Scientific Police and Carabinieri. Here we prove it by way of human physiology and the autopsy.

Waving two knives with a manic expression, Bongiorno claimed that the the large knife in evidence was far too large for the wound in question - and anyway, anyone intent on murder would have easily pushed the large knife right through so there was no intent of murder anyway. Bongiorno dismissed the possibility that hyoid bone could have somehow stopped the blade, prevented it from penetrating, as the bone is not resistant enough.

The surface location of the hyoid Bone is shown in the Illustration above; its front is only a few millimeters below the skin: The hyoid bone is loop-shaped like a C, open at the back; this Hyoid loop encloses part of the airway:


The hyoid bone curves around the upper airway at the base of the tongue, and is also called the tongue-bone or the lingual-bone. It is located between the mouth and the larynx; therefore during inhalation air passes through the hyoid loop before it passes through the larynx, and during exhalation air passes through the larynx before it passes through the hyoid loop.

The hyoid is an integral factor in the swallowing, breathing, and phonation mechanisms. If transected in such a way as to connect its part of the airway directly to the atmosphere, as it was in this case, swallowing, breathing, and phonation will be seriously impaired, as they were in this case.

The coexistent bleeding from the also-transected Right Superior Thyroid Artery accelerated Meredith’s death, more by the drowning-effect of inhalation of the blood into her lungs, than by the loss of circulating-blood alone.

Both the hyoid bone and the jawbone are mobile, which is why we can chew, swallow, talk, smile laugh, and sing, the way that we do, each of us in our own unique way.

The Massei Prosecution Reconstruction depicted the killers making cuts obliquely from behind.

The fatal cut started on the Left, but crossed the midline to the Right.

Both the Right Superior Thyroid Artery, and the nearby Hyoid Bone, were severed but from Massei, it is not precisely clear where the hyoid loop was severed, and it seems that the cut did not include the midline skin; The Florence Appellate Court will have access to the relevant records.

Here is why the hyoid could not have damaged any knife:

It is an old rule of materials-physics that a softer substance cannot even scratch a harder substance.

[To some people this may be counter to their intuition, so I have passed it by an eminent MIT physicist, and he agrees with me that the knife blade would not show signs of damage caused by the stabbing in this case.]

As pointed-out recently on TJMK, some confusion has arisen, caused by a quotation in the Massei Report, where on p371is written: “”¦a single blow was apparently halted by the jawbone”¦”

The statement that a blow could be “apparently halted” by Meredith’s jawbone is at best a figure of speech, and the quotes of Prof Cingolani on page 152 of the Massei Translation clearly indicate that any cause and effect inference from the phrase “apparently halted by” did not mean it was stopped-by the jawbone:

Prof Cingolani “did not, however, have elements of certainty to establish that the blade which had caused the wound 4 centimetres deep had stopped at the said depth because [it was] stopped by the jawbone.”

Maybe there is a Judicial, translational, or typographical glitch and “by” the jawbone should have been “at” the jawbone.

Skin is soft and bone is harder but there is no way that the knife striking the jawbone would halt the knife in this case, the jaw would just roll with the strike, depending on the angle of attack. [The force was not even enough to mark the jawbone itself!]

Furthermore, contact between the knife and jawbone or hyoid bone would not mark the knife because living-bone is softer than the knife.

When your pet gnaws on a non-living cow-bone, neither the bone nor your pet’s teeth can bend; both your pet’s teeth and the bone can be broken or dislocated, and the bone gets scratches on it because it is still softer than the teeth, but your pet’s teeth do not get scratches on them, because they are harder even than the non-living bone.

If someone is stabbed in the back with a kitchen carving knife, penetrating ribs on its way to the heart, the knife may have no scratches at all, nor show any signs of damage caused by that action.

[Look at your own kitchen carving knife. It probably has no marks caused by striking chicken thigh bones. It will have fine parallel scratches created in the manufacturing process.]

Any implication-in, or inference-from the statement quoted above that stabbing Meredith’s neck with enough force to penetrate the layers of her neck and then strike bone would have the effect of signs of damage to the knife-blade is a figment of an uninformed imagination.

The kitchen-knife, found in Sollecito’s apartment, with Meredith’s DNA on the blade and Knox’s DNA on the handle, is the weapon that killed Meredith.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Defenses’ Dishonest, Distinctly Ill-Conceived War Of Aggression Against Perugia

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: the annual Eurochocolate festival - Nestle is a big employer in town]

1. Appreciating the real Perugia

The relatively small town of Perugia (population below 1/4 million) has been a formidable and exceptionally high-achieving presence in the world for 20 centuries.

Perugia has one of the highest median IQ’s not only in Italy but in Europe. It is the home of some cutting-edge research, produces premium high-quality fashion products, and has one of the highest per-capita economic outputs in Italy with impressive job-creation. It has an exceptional transport system and an exceptional communication system, many fine hotels, and many high-end boutiques. Its various sporting teams are formidable. 

Perugia is known as the City of Universities, because it is home to so many of them, and it runs several annual festivals - chocolate and journalism (images just above and below) and jazz - that attract leaders in those fields from around the world. From Wikipedia:

The city is also known as the universities town, with the University of Perugia founded in 1308 (about 34,000 students), the University for Foreigners (5,000 students), and some smaller colleges such the Academy of Fine Arts “Pietro Vannucci” (Italian: Accademia di Belle Arti “Pietro Vannucci”) public athenaeum founded on 1573, the Perugia University Institute of Linguistic Mediation for translators and interpreters, the Music Conservatory of Perugia, founded in 1788, and other Institutes. There are annual festivals and events: the Eurochocolate Festival (October), the Umbria Jazz Festival (July), and the International Journalism Festival (in April).

There is a very high proportion of foreigners living in Perugia at any one time - not only well over 25,000 studying and teaching there, but also those who first come to the University for Foreigners and so on and choose to get married and stay on. A high proportion of the population - far higher than for Italy generally - speaks foreign languages and has traveled internationally.

In terms of Italian justice, Perugia is unusually trusted, efficient and important. Like Florence, it takes some of the investigatory and judicial caseload from the capital city, Rome, including cases involving national politicians and the mafia. Florence and Perugia police and the courts have a symbiotic relationship - each handles some cases involving the officials of the other. 











2. The bizarre war on Perugia of the defense teams

Despite all of the above, Sollecito and Knox and their lawyers Bongiorno and Dalla Vedova are all trying very hard to belittle it. Meanspiritedly and dishonestly to put Perugia itself on trial.

All four seem to carry big chips on their shoulders about Perugia, and do little to hide them - which, contrary to what they may be supposing, is NOT going over well or helping their cause in the appeal court or the cities of Florence and Perugia.

Raffaele Sollecito

Sollecito was first sent to Perugia by his father to attend a high-school for the children of doctors who were proving a handful. He fell behind in his studies, was disciplined for porn, and made almost no friends there. By the time Knox encountered him, his social circle seems to have been largely confined to drug dealers.

His book seethes contempt and resentment for the officials and the town itself.

Amanda Knox

Amanda “Typhoid Mary” Knox may have been attracted to Perugia because of its reputation as a party city - back then it had a reputation for drugs being easy.

In her book in her own words Knox claimed she was amazed to find that Perugia hosted a really, really large university - she claimed that had she known that she would (like Meredith) have enrolled there.

Really? The University for Foreigners is in fact A PART of the main university and for some years has been that way. She actually was enrolled there and if study had mattered could have carried exactly the same study load as Meredith. 

Her book seethes contempt and resentment for the officials and the town itself. Knox fell out with almost everybody and probably now does not have even one person in Perugia who she might label her friend.

The city of Perugia has done its best to honor the graceful talented Meredith. In contrast the sharp-elbowed, self-absorbed Knox who has brought so much harm to the town is now despised there. 

Carlos Dalla Vedova

Dalla Vedova is a business lawyer from Rome who is quoted in Knox’s book as sneering at Perugia and the officials there - who in turn think he is a joke in the courtroom for his many wrong claims of the facts of the case, poor cross-examinations, and mistakes at law.

Judge Nencini sharply shot Dalla Vedova down when he tried to make the false claim that Perugia officials were malicious in releasing a false HIV result for Knox in her early days in Capanne. In fact, it may well have been Dalla Vedova himself who “secretly” put about that interim result and started the unfounded meme that it was malicious.

Giulia Bongiorno

And Giulia Bongiorno? Well, she is from Palermo in Sicily, and a reliable water-carrier for the mafia. She lost both of the biggest trials of her legal career in Perugia.

One was the retrial of ex-PM Andreotti for mafia connections in 2002 (she collapsed at the verdict) and the other was the Knox-Sollecito trial in 2009 with Judge Massei presiding.

If she loses this appeal Bongiorno could be facing three or more criminal investigations - for offers of bribes in Aviello’s prison, for meddling with the appointment of judges (Judge Hellmann replacing the better qualified Chiari), and for the numerous criminal libels in Sollecito’s book, in which she is credited as a main source.

Good reasons for now being a tad hysterical?

Last Thursday in court, Bongiorno impugned a huge cast of characters - police and prosecutors in Perugia, many of the witnesses, the population of Perugia, the police lab specialists in Rome, the media, the Supreme Court - seemingly almost anyone she could think of related to the case except the disgraced Judge Hellmann and the disgraced DNA experts Conti and Vecchiotti.

We have a post coming up which will contend with some of Bongiorno’s false claims about the evidence and police and prosecution behavior - which Judge Nencini himself several times signaled that he knew about quite differently.

These below are among the nasty cracks Bongiorno made at Perugia and the respected officials and good people there. They are taken from Machiavelli’s courtroom reporting, and are what helped cause the growing skepticism and resentment.

3..  Reads book snippet about French revolution, describe a horde of sanculots and armed citizens

4.  Bongiorno: a bloodthirsty mob chasing defendants

5.  Bongiorno was shocked by the angry mob before Perugia courtroom [after Hellmann verdict]

6.  Bongiorno speech hinges around the persecution of defendants.  Describes her fear, fleeing from Perugia.  Says people didn’t know trial papers

7.  Bongiorno focuses on the “early bias” against accused, since four days after finding of body. 

8.  Complains Sollecito doesn’t find a job because has a murderer’s face

9.  Why did they accuse and put them in jail so early? They didn’t even have the knife. 

10.  Bongiorno: authority had to chose between a “tranquillizing” student motive and a dangerous serial killer “worrying” scenario. 

11.  Says: it was Perugia population who chose the less disquieting scenario, and the investigation was based on “less alarming motive” choice

14.  Bongiorno: women are suspected because of today women’s empowerment movements. 

15.  Most active and free women are seen as more suspicious. 

19.  Speaks about “creativity” before the trial.  Speaks at length about the bloody shoeprint. 

20.  Says Knox was the main character, she was so before the trial. 

21.  She is tired of Raffaele reduced by “half”, a half character seen as a reflection of Amanda

24.  Says Raffaele was “halfed”, against him only half pieces of circum evidence: half shoeprint’ knife compatible only if you consider half of blade

25.  Only half of the house of murder investigated.  An interrogation considered evidence of Knox’s calunnia. 

29.  Amanda was caught by anxious urge to answer.  She became uncomfortable because police asked too much, altering her serenity

30.  Says they also insulted Knox

31.  Talking about insults [to Sollecito’s family members], Bongiorno cries. 

32.  Sollecito’s aunts wiretapped as if they were the most dangerous murderers. 

33.  Bongiorno criticized interpreter Anna Donnino. 

34.  Said Donnino altered Knox’s statements. 

35.  Said Donnino acted as mediator not interpreter

36.  Called Donnino a “medium” ( means .  “psychic”)

37.  One of the elements against Sollecito is the accusation of having sidetracked investigation.  Said it was false. 

38.  Said the Cassazione suggests Raffaele lied about timings of call to carabinieri, accused him of sidetracking because he lied. 

39.  But, said, if we look at Knox, it’s not her sidetracking investigation, but rather investigators sidetracking her. 

40.  Said trial was determined by the fact Donnino fid not understand English well, thus sidetracked Knox

41.  Talked about police mistake on the “see you later” message

42.  Said Knox did not commit a crime but convinced herself she did.  B.  mentions the internalized false confession type. 

43.  Explained the three types of false confessions. 

44.  Said Amanda was “induced into raving” by “psychic” Donnino. 

48.  Bongiorno urged judges to get out from codes and get into the hearts of the two young accused. 

49.  Amanda, B.  says, did not understand why Raffaele accused her. 

50.  When Knox learns about bring accused by Sollecito she had a collapse while the “psychic” was saying “remember!”

51.  She described Knox as almost unconscious, buckled because she trusted Sollecito, thinks the police and Raff say so, must be true. 

53.  Said the room is flooded with evidence of Guede all over the place. 

54.  Said that was the nightmare of Perugia, the intruder nightmare. 

55.  Spoke about Guede’s alleged lifestyle. 

56.  Said there is no evidence the three people hung out together. 

57.  Said when the investigators found Rudi, they could not abandon the first suspects, because it’s difficult like leaving your first love mate

61.  Said Mr.  Kokomani “materialized” when investigators had desperate need to prove Sollecito and Guede knew each other

62.  Bongiorno talked about “Aladdin lamp effect”: detectives wishes which materialize. 

65.  Said that Kokomani was offered 10k euros for his testimony.  [Wrong, that was a media offer he refused.  ]













Thursday, January 09, 2014

Appeal Session #8: Sollecito Attorneys Today Try To Show Where Police And Prosecution Went Wrong

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[Giulia Bongiorno today; previously she collapsed in court after a guilty verdict in PM Andreotti’s case]

4. Tweets by Main Poster Machiavelli

148. Bongiorno relies on her “personal belief” as last argument. Bye bye!

147. Bongiorno offers the known arguments to maintain an early time of death. But (now) it’s late for me.

146. She had opened her arguments by quoting Sardinian judge and author Salvatore Satta, to me the choice suggest setting a desperate defence

145. Bongiorno built and waded through a complex building of argument employing extreme rhetoric devices, seemed to be in difficulty to me.

144. I had the impression Nencini was skeptical because not interested in the photos and videos, did not look at them attentively.

143. Details the “plausibility” of an intrusion through the window. Glass shards etc. arguments already seen.

142. “Cogne” is a famous Supreme Court ruling saying guilt can be found “by logical exclusion” on sheer “a contrario” arguments.

141. After brandishing two knifes before the court, talking about footprint, makes an emphatic comment “We are not in Cogne”

140. Bongiorno has ended the ninja-knife-rotating phase.

139. Now Bongiorno speaks about the bathmat bloody print. Says Sollecito’s big toes do not balance on the dystal phalanx. (old argument)

138. Bongiorno shows a picture with an envisioned “knife” (pocket knife belonging to Guede?) together with the print on the bed sheet

137. Nobody brings a “small blow with a big knife”.

136. Says: to paint a large wall you need a “great” (big) brush (paraphrase of a pun from old advertisement) but you don’t use half of a big knife

135. Bongiorno handles a big knife!

134. My opinion: just behind the hyoid bone base there is the cervical vertebra, very resistant, it was the vertebra that offered resistence.

133. When there is a will to kill, the blade penetrates entirely.

132. Bongiorno dismisses the possibility that hyoid bone could have somehow stopped the blade, prevent from penetrating, it’s not resistant enough

131. cites the report by Dr. Umani Ronchi, saying the knife is compatible, but the blade was not used entirely.

130. Last point about the knife is the kind of blade: 17 cm long, while the wound is 8 cm deep. It’s too big, not the murder weapon.

129. Says there isn’t a note indicating a quantifying was done.

128. B: alleges “many mysteries” about Stefanoni’s report. Says there is no DNA amount.

127. In Stefanoni’s report it looks like as if for all knife DNA traces RealTime had been used; and it’s not true. SAL say Fluorimeter used

126. Another point: Fluorimeter. Stefanoni said the PCR method would have been better.

125. Question how he could deduce the knife was compatible. Bongiorno’s points seem extremely weak.

124. Bongiorno attacks on Finzi’s word: quotes testimony when says “It’s the first knife I noticed” and “seemed compatible with wounds”.

123. Question is: possible that Sollecito kills and then puts the knife back in the drawer again? and that he uses a knife from his own kitchen?

122. How is it possible to touch the clasp, but not the rest of the bra? Then Bongiorno says, now let’s deal with the knife.

121. B: There are two questions: 1. why no traces of Knox and Sollecito (except the clasp); 2. why Sollecito’s DNA on clasp but not on bra?

120. No trace of Knox, how could they clean only their own traces…. etc

119. Attributes to Guede the “rest of the whole bra” plus the purse and sweater traces.

118. Emphasizes that other objects in the room instead are “stuffed with” traces of Guede

117. Also, there is the Y chromosome sequence but says it is not reliable for the same reasons.

116. Mentions further reasons for criticism: 1 low template DNA 2 no second amplification (maybe confuses with knife) 3 unknown biological origin

115. Talks about the expert claiming the DNA profile could be compatible with herself (actually wrong, the expert was a female had no Y profile)

114. Says they “found Sollecito’s profile among a 4- individuals mixed trace”.

113. Says Stefanoni applied a suspect-cantered interpretation method on a mixed trace with multiple possibilities. Old argument, weak.

112. The profiles mixed in the trace are more than two, thus DNA not usable. This point of arguments perceived as weak in room.

111. Says the bra clasp trace is a mixed trace.

110. Says mixed DNA profiles are like overlapping of spider webs. High probability of mistake which thread belongs to which one

109. Bongiorno bashes “inconsistence” of Stefanoni and maintains she mistook stutters for alleles.

108. Says if we apply Stefanoni’s criteria to her own findings, the clasp X trace is not attributable to Sollecito

107. Points out the C&V report where they object how Stefanoni considered the peaks departing from guidelines. Say C&V analyzed each peak.

106. Asks, rhetorically, about the way how Stefanoni read the DNA profiles.

105. Mentions the presence of other DNA contributors on the bra clasp.

104. The usual magnified photo showing the dirt on police glove.

103. Calls these “touchings within a contaminated environment”.

102. Says clasp fabric was touched 14 times with one glove, then touched by other gloves.

101. Says the clasp was moved, found under the carpet, originally was under the pillow.

100. B. shows pictures about the object moved around in the room, carpet under table, cloths on bed etc.

99. Complains about the searches made by Napoleoni’s team on Nov 6 & 7 and objects Prosecutor Crini is wrong when says there was only one collection.

98. Says the bra clasp has a “materialization” on the night of Nov. 3 but was not collected because they forgot to place a tag letter.

97. Emphasizes that the forgotten bra clasp has become the pivotal piece of evidence against Sollecito.

96. Says about 20 people have manipulated objects on the crime scene.

95. Emphatically lists the names of all officers who entered the house.

94. Calls the DNA collection “mother of all mistakes” in this case.

93. Items should be touched only once. Stefanoni told the police to not move the items.

92. Disposable gloves must be used, new ones for each item. Quotes Intini saying impossible avoid contamination of crime scene.

91. Says the collection of DNA is fundamental. The collection must be early.

90. Says Cassazione didn’t read the C&V report carefully. Says not all DNA is usable. Stutter peaks should not be considered.

89. Now Bongiorno is talking about DNA.

88. Basically Bongiorno defined evidence against Sollecito as only three points: (1) late call to police (2) knife with Meredith DNA (3) shoe/foot print

87. When B was describing Donnino as a psychic there were people laughing in the room. Her arguments became more effective after the first hour

86. Bongiorno’s series of “half pieces of evidence” seemed like empty rhetoric. The use of video seemed somehow better.

85. The late clock theory is to maintain that Sollecito did not call the 112 after police arrival.

84. The defence theory is the clock was slow, not fast.

83. Bongiorno showed video of alleged Police arrival recorded by parking CCTV, explains defence theory.

82. One thing the SC and PG doesn’t know is about what she calls the “real” timing of Sollecito phone call to 112, as “proven” by defence.

81. One mistake at the Guede trial was about the shoe print attribution.

80. Explains that the subsequent trials of Guede got many facts wrong because they ignored subsequent development.

79. Said Cassazione did not assess the DNA judge appointed report and that testimonies and defence reports were missing.

78. Bongiorno explained the “reverse funnel effect” by which superior court is unaware about additional findings.

77. Sollecito - said B.- would not intervene to help a guy he didn’t know, and not even to protect Knox whom he had been knowing 9 days

76. If cleaning issues were a casus belli among the girls, why would Sollecito enter a raw to defend Rudy?

75. But B. objected this is still only half a motive, because Sollecito had nothing to do with it.

74. Apparently B. acknowledged Laura Masotho testified about problems with Knox cleaning habits. PG thinks means problems living together

73. Talked about the “second motive” calling it “improper use of toilet”

72. Said Guede was a drop-out, the opposite pro-black prejudice is also unacceptable.

71. Urged the court to not assume as individual is a weak and discriminated subject just because a black man

70. The sex theme party is “surreal” Bongiorno said.

69. Said Knox-Sollecito was a tender relation, they enjoyed romantic kisses, were not bored 50y old seeking hot emotions

68. The motive (sex) for the “festino” (little party) was smartly dropped by the PG

67. The motive “accepted” (by courts) was a sex party, but the PG does not believe it.

66. Said motive was considered almost as an optional; said prosecutor general changed the motive because had no choice.

65. Said that Kokomani was offered 10k euros for his testimony.

64. Bongiorno criticized media trials and said witnesses must be “virgins”, otherwise the Aladdin lamp taints the trial

63. Said the Aladdin lamp effect is generated by media trial, in which a “monster” is chased by public opinion

62. Bongiorno talked about “Aladdin lamp effect”: detectives wishes which materialize.

61. Said Mr. Kokomani “materialized” when investigators had desperate need to prove Sollecito and Guede knew each other

60. Bongiorno talked at length to substantiate a scenario of Rudy as a burglar who was used to knives.

59. Rudi would physically approach girls and try to kiss them when he was drunk, B. Said

58. Said Guede harassed girls and Sollecito did not know him.

57. Said when the investigators found Rudi, they could not abandon the first suspects, because it’s difficult like leaving your first love mate

56. Said there is no evidence the three people hung out together.

55. Spoke about Guede’s alleged lifestyle.

54. Said that was the nightmare of Perugia, the intruder nightmare.

53. Said the room is flooded with evidence of Guede all over the place.

52. Bongiorno criticized factual points addressed by Cassazione, mentions wrong early experts reports.

51. She described Knox as almost unconscious, buckled because she trusted Sollecito, thinks the police and Raff say so, must be true.

50. When Knox learns about bring accused by Sollecito she had a collapse while the “psychic” was saying “remember!”

49. Amanda, B. says, did not understand why Raffaele accused her.

48. Bongiorno urged judges to get out from codes and get into the hearts of the two young accused.

47. Said if you believe to the Memoriale, where does it mention Raffaele?

46. The recording of Knox’s conversation with her mother “proves she was still in delusional state”

45. Bongiorno said even if you believe her confession, she doesn’t mention Sollecito.

44. Said Amanda was “induced into raving” by “psychic” Donnino.

43. Explained the three types of false confessions.

42. Said Knox did not commit a crime but convinced herself she did. B. mentions the internalized false confession type.

41. Talked about police mistake on the “see you later” message

40. Said trial was determined by the fact Donnino fid not understand English well, thus sidetracked Knox

39. But, said, if we look at Knox, it’s not her sidetracking investigation, but rather investigators sidetracking her.

38. Said the Cassazione suggests Raffaele lied about timings of call to carabinieri, accused him of sidetracking because he lied.

37. One of the elements against Sollecito is the accusation of having sidetracked investigation. Said it was false.

36. Called Donnino a “medium” ( means .“psychic”)

35. Said Donnino acted as mediator not interpreter

34. Said Donnino altered Knox’s statements.

33. Bongiorno criticized interpreter Anna Donnino.

32. Sollecito’s aunts wiretapped as if they were the most dangerous murderers.

31. Talking about insults [to Sollecito’s family members], Bongiorno cries.

30. Says they also insulted Knox

29. Amanda was caught by anxious urge to answer. She became uncomfortable because police asked too much, altering her serenity

28. Bongiorno says if the court doesn’t want to read the whole interrogation (of Dec 17) they should at least read the memoriale

27. Nencini interrupts Bongiorno: how could I read all interrogations entirely, when Supreme Court prevents me from doing so?

26. Calunnia doesn’t mean there is evidence of murder.

25. Only half of the house of murder investigated. An interrogation considered evidence of Knox’s calunnia.

24. Says Raffaele was “halfed”, against him only half pieces of circum evidence: half shoeprint’ knife compatible only if you consider half of blade

23. [My] Impression that Bongiorno’s start of defence speech was rather weak. Too much over the top, reveals weakness.

22. shoeprint attributed in advance because boyfriend of Amanda. Speaks about “admission” by Rinaldi-Boemis

21. She is tired of Raffaele reduced by “half”, a half character seen as a reflection of Amanda

20. Says Knox was the main character, she was so before the trial.

19. Speaks about “creativity” before the trial. Speaks at length about the bloody shoeprint.

18. Bongiorno: Raf thinks he was put in jail because of wrong print. But not true: it’s because he was Amanda’s boyfriend.

17. Shows pictures of Vinci’s analysis of pillowcase prints.

16. Bongiorno also said other reason for suspicion was that Knox had the keys. The motive chosen was “ideal” not real.

15. Most active and free women are seen as more suspicious.

14. Bongiorno: women are suspected because of today women’s empowerment movements.

13. Started from a sex party gone awry theory. They asked themselves: who could take part to such party? A 20y American sexy girl.

12. Investigators followed Lombrosian criteria (inspired by Cesar Lombroso theories)

11. Says: it was Perugia population who chose the less disquieting scenario, and the investigation was based on “less alarming motive” choice

10. Bongiorno: authority had to chose between a “tranquillizing” student motive and a dangerous serial killer “worrying” scenario.

9. Why did they accuse and put them in jail so early? They didn’t even have the knife.

8. Complains Sollecito doesn’t find a job because has a murderer’s face

7. Bongiorno focuses on the “early bias” against accused, since four days after finding of body.

6. Bongiorno speech hinges around the persecution of defendants. Describes her fear, fleeing from Perugia. Says people didn’t know trial papers

5. Bongiorno was shocked by the angry mob before Perugia courtroom [after Hellmann verdict]

4. Bongiorno: a bloodthirsty mob chasing defendants

3. Reads book snippet about French revolution, describe a horde of sanculots and armed citizens

2. Bongiorno quotes Italian author Satta. Talks about “chase” of the two accused

1. Sollecito is in courtroom

3. Tweets By Freelance Andrea Vogt

15. Leaving court, raffaele sollecito and father expressed satisfaction w/closing args. Perugia attorny Maori to close at next hearing, Jan.20.

14. Bongiorno closing finish: Turn amanda off. Acquit them both, but judge Raffaele Sollecito for who he is, not for half-truths against him.

13. A loud emergency evacuation request was just broadcast in Florence court, but the presiding judge says hearing will continue.

12. Once you’ve seen Bongiorno wave two knives in front of an Italian jury, most other court reporting one has done seems rather dull.

11. Bongiorno holds up butcher knife like the one in evidence to jury: “This knife is too big. It is not the murder weapon.”

10.  New amanda knox court schedule: [prosecution] rebuttals Jan 20, with verdict on Jan 30.

9. Florence amanda knox appeal: court breaks until 14:15. Unclear if sollecito defense will finish today or spill over.

8. Bongiorno: Sollecito is not a puppy dog. He may have brushed her hair, cleaned her ears, but he would not kill for love of amanda knox.

7. Bongiorno and judge exchange laughs over “unca nunca” the eskimo kiss. “I’m over 50,” he said “I need an explainer.”

6. Bongiorno on witnesses found by local journos: “This trial had an Aladdin’s Lamp. Every time cops needed a witness, one materialized.”

5. Bongiorno defending Amanda Knox, while at the same time clearly separating Sollecito’s position from that of Knox.

4. Bongiorno reading amanda’s statement: “If you believe this is a confession, where’s Raffaele? He is never, never, never mentioned.”

3. Bongiorno just read wiretapped comms of Perugia cops Napoleoni and Zugarini insulting Sollecito’s family.

2. Bongiorno: “Amanda amanda amanda amanda amanda . . . And raffaele? Basta with sollecito always being considered Knox’s other half.”

1. Bongiorno: Perugia declared “case closed” 4 days after Kercher murder, w/no murder weapon and a motive intended to calm public fear.

2. Tweets by La Nazione Court Reporter

66. Bongiorno: “In conclusion Amanda and Raffaele are innocent “

65. Bongiorno: “I am convinced that the murderess is Rudy who has already been convicted “

64. Bongiorno “The attack on Meredith takes place at 21.10 when Raffaele ‘s at home “

63. Bongiorno: “Guede had already entered into three more apartments in the holiday periods “

62. Warning to evacuate the court. But it is only a test

61. Bongiorno: “Is it possible that the glass has been broken from the outside “

60. Bongiorno: “The absence of traces of mud on the wall is because in those days it was not raining”

59. Bongiorno: “Plausible hypothesis that someone has entered the window “

58. Bongiorno: “You can not get to a liability via just exclusion . We are not in Cogne “

57. Bongiorno: “Against Sollecito, no real clue “

56. Bongiorno: “The footprint on the rug is not Sollecito, his foot does not match “

55. Bongiorno: “The murder weapon is a boxcutter knife with 8 inches “

54. Bongiorno: “The knife found at Sollecito’s house is not the murder weapon “

53. Bongiorno: “Depth wounds on the victim is not compatible with the size knife “

52. Bongiorno addresses the issue of the knife

51. Bongiorno: “Absurd to think that Amanda and Raffaele have deleted only their tracks

50. Bongiorno: “How can you think that there is only a trace of Sollecito on the clasp ? “

49. Bongiorno: “On the scene of the crime no trace of Amanda, but only Rudy Guede “

48. Bongiorno: “On the hook there are traces of four profiles of DNA “

47. Bongiorno: “That hook looks like it was taken from a landfill “

46. Bongiorno: “The hook was crushed during the inspections “

45. Bongiorno: “The bra clasp was moved “

44. Bongiorno: “The hook of the bra is not at the first inspection reperted “

43. Bongiorno: “About 20 people came to the house between the two surveys

42. Bongiorno: “The finding attributed to Sollecito jumps out only in the second survey “

41. Bongiorno: “It is not true that no one came on the scene between the two surveys “

40. Bongiorno addresses the issue of DNA on the bra clasp of the victim

39. After the break the summation of lawyer Giulia Bongiorno starts again.

38. The hearing is adjourned for an hour

37. Bongiorno ( Sollecito defense ) : ” Rudy Guede did not want to respond to our defense [at Hellmann appeal] “

36. Bongiorno ( Sollecito defense ) : “No survey has ever spoken of the presence of more subjects [than one]”

35. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : “It was Raffaele who raised the alarm”

34. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : “And we demonstrated that Sollicito called 112 before the police arrived “33. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” If the motive are disputes on the hygiene of the house, where was Raffaele ? “

32. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” The indictment identifies the changes to driving and excessive use of water”

31. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : “the relationship of Amanda with Raffaele was tender, kissed like Eskimos “

30. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” Guede unwelcome, if there had been a party he would not have asked “

29. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” In this process, the motive is considered an option, but it is not “

28. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” Absurd to think that Sollecito and Guede became known that night “

27. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” The witness who spoke of the friendship between Raffaele and Rudy Guede was denied “

26. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” Amanda Raffaele prosecuted even when they told [the truth?] “

25. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Absurd Amanda putting herself at the scene of the crime”

24. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” Amanda never pulled into the dance Raffaele “

23. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” Amanda wassidetracked , it is she who is derailed “

22. According to the lawyer Bongiorno interpreter on night of interrogation of Amanda did not just translate

21. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” The interpreter admiited to having helped in the court”

20. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” The interpreter confirms that she has done so in trial court as mediums in the interrogation “

19. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Amanda says that the interpreter invited her to remember”

18. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : “There are black pages in this investigation “

17. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” According to the documents offenses of aunts of Sollecito by those who listened to the wiretaps “

16. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Amanda and nighttime interrogations without a lawyer “

15. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” The identikit identfication of the killer as Amanda proceded and generates slander “

14. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : “On the footprints attributed to Sollecito there was a big mistake “

13, Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) shows some slides in the court on the footprints at the crime scene

12. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Raffaele is not the only other half of Amanda . Just a quick passion “

11. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Amanda was the stronger of the pair with Sollecito “

10. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Amanda was leading [the two] before becoming involved in the legal process”

9. Bongiorno : ” Starting from the motive of the game , Amanda seemed like the perfect one guilty “

8. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” They have chosen an ideal motive and then followed the criteria Lombroso “

7. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” A creation was the motive to reduce fear in Perugia , a party gone wrong “

6. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” In record time, the case was declared closed almost immediately , after four days ‘

5. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : “Against Amanda and Raffaele horde of red herrings”

4. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : “Sollecito was branded a murderess when there was no evidence “

3. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Raffaele and Amanda have become the symbol of depravity ‘

2. Start of the argument of the lawyer Giulia Bongiorno , Sollecito’s defense

1. Start of the hearing. Today it’s up to the lawyers Raffaele Sollecito

1. Overview post Wednesday by Andrea Vogt

Website of Andrea Vogt

Defense lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori will give closing arguments on behalf of Raffaele Sollecito Thursday in Florence, starting at 10 a.m.

While Amanda Knox has been the main focus of attention for most of the U.S. media covering this case, Sollecito has increasingly become the object of gossip in the Italian press, with tabloid magazines like Oggi regularly publishing snaps of him on vacation this winter in Santo Domingo.

More recently several local newspapers in Veneto published speculation about a new woman friend and fellow University of Verona student with whom he had been hanging out with over the holidays in a small town near Treviso.  Amore or amica? He’s not about to tell.

At his last spontaneous declaration before the court Sollecito complained about his lack of privacy and pleaded with the jury to give him his life back. Tomorrow his lawyers will make the case for his innocence formally to the judge and jury. Expect fireworks from Bongiorno, famous for her captivating oratory and no stranger to high-profile cases “” having cut her teeth as defense lawyer for former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti.

ol


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Appeal Session #7: The Day For Knox And Sollecito Attorneys To Show Where Prosecution Went Wrong

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above and below: images from previous sessions, here till today’s crop appears]

Long Form Reports

Website of Andrea Vogt

The court hearing reserved for Knox’s appeal defense began with the reading of an email from Amanda, reported here in the Messaggero and then widely picked up in the English-language press, claiming her innocence and explaining why she was afraid to return to Italy. The email was the only “new” aspect introduced Tuesday so made all the headlines, but at the end of the day it occupied just a small fraction of the day’s arguments. 

Several Italian court observers considered the email a considerable “own goal,” having witnessed the presiding judge raise his eyebrows in obvious annoyance at having to himself read aloud an email from Knox, who requested an appeal in his courtroom, but is refusing to attend it, for reasons she detailed.  “Those who want to speak at the trial should come to the trial,” he said. He also declined to consider the letter a spontaneous declaration because, he said, he could not ascertain if she was the true author of the letter. “I’ve never seen her. I do not know her,” he said.

After the email, Knox’s Perugian lawyer Luciano Ghirga made his closing arguments, followed by Carlo Dalla Vedova of Rome.  Most of the discussion focused on two aspects of the case they felt are fundamentally lacking: motive and murder weapon. Below are short quotes/snippets translated quickly during court.  To read the Kercher family lawyer’s arguments, scroll down to yesterday’s notes.

[Report continues on The Freelance Desk with good summaries of arguments made by Ghirga and Della Vedova]

3. Tweets from La Nazione

66. Meredith process , the hearing ends. The next hearing will be on January 9 [Sollecito team]

65. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : ” Amanda Knox is shown to have worshipped [Meredith]”

64. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “There is a shortage of proof”

63. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “There is no evidence, with doubts you have to acquit Amanda Knox”

62. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “On the motive the prosecutor did the same as the Costa Concordia at Giglio”

61. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Room too small for the participation of more people in the crime”

60. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The victim was attacked from the front,  not from behind”

59. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “For Amanda and Raffaele, Rudy Guede was a stranger”

58. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The bra clasp of Meredith is not a genuine artifact”

57. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The bra clasp November 2nd was white, but 40 days after gray”

56. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Amanda knew the cut was throat because she was told by a policeman “

55. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Absurd that there are missing only traces of Amanda and Raffaele “

54.Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The alleged footprint of female shoe on the pillow: pillowcase was folded over.”

53. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The broken glass from the window shows the easiest way to enter the house “

52. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “War between consultants is like “The War of the Roses” where everyone will hate “

51. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Unable for Amanda and Raffaele to commit the crime in 50 minutes “

50. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The mother of Meredith says she and Amanda were friends “

49. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Guede never says that Amanda was in the house, even outside the interrogations”

48. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Guede never talks about Amanda “

47.Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : ” Guede in his chats after the murder told a friend that Amanda had nothing to do with it”

46. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “There are traces only of Rudy Guede at the crime scene “

45. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The witness Curatolo either is unreliable or is our alibi. Decide for yourself “

44. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Do not trust the testimony of the witness Quintavalle “

43. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Amanda did not call into question Lumumba to sidetrack the investigation “

42. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The alibi of Amanda is of the same type as her roommates ”

41. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The alibi of Amanda is accurate and unchanged in her deposition ”

40. Meredith appeal: the argument of Carlo Dalla Vedova, defender of Amanda Knox, resumes.

39. Meredith appeal: Judge orders one-hour lunch break

38. President Nencini asks if there are certificates for the AIDS tests done on Amanda, but there are none

37. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “It was said of Amanda in prison that she had AIDS, but it turned out an error ”

36. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “From the conversations in prison Amanda does not show anything, the sum of zeros ”

35. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “In 30 hours of interviews with parents in prison Amanda never was heard [incriminating herself]”

34. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “It was immediately admited, the mistake by the investigators”

33. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The footprint of Guede on the pillow right now is the signature of the crime”

32. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Lumumba was not to be charged, he confirmed his alibi”.

31. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “There has been judicial harassment against [my client]”

30. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Prosecution and plaintiff leverage statements of Amanda unusable ”

29. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The declarations of Amanda between 5 and 6 November are unusable ”

28. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Absurd that Amanda is joining the attack on a friend ”

27. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Changing motive is constantly an element of weakness of the prosecution ”

26. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Add up all the clues , the sum of zero is always zero ”

25. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Without connections between clues and evidences the value is zero ”

24. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “In this process there is no evidence ”

23. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “A murder without a motive is fallacious ”

22. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Absurd that the knife used for the murder was brought home ”

21. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Imaginative reconstruction of the prosecution ”

20. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “This story has been in the headlines for months ”

19. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Meredith killed in this manner is a defeat for all ”

18. The closing argument of Lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova begins (Knox defense).

17. Meredith appeal: the closing argument of the Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ) ends.

16. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ) : “Amanda Knox was not present at the crime scene ”

15. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The judgment of Justice is the acquittal of Amanda

14. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The witness Curatolo is unreliable ”

13. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “We challenged from the outset the murder weapon ”

12. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “On the blade of the knife there is no blood and no trace of Meredith.”

11. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The expertise that revealed traces of Meredith on the knife is not trusted “

10. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The knife found at Sollecito’s house is not the murder weapon “

9. The closing argument of Luciano Ghirga defender Amanda Knox begins.

8. Amanda to the court: ” I am innocent , put an end to this enormous injustice ”

7. Amanda : “I’m not the monster he has been portrayed in recent years ”

6. Amanda: ” I did not know Rudy Guede ”

5. Amanda: “I’m not a killer , the prosecution and the civil parties are wrong , they want a conviction without proof ”

4. Amanda: ” Meredith and I have always been friends , we never quarreled ”

3. Amanda: “I have been subjected to illegal interrogation , I made a false confession extorted”

2. Amanda: “I have not killed , raped , robbed , I was not at the scene of the crime”

1. The email of Amanda : “I’m innocent , but I am not in court because I’m afraid”

2. Tweets from Freelance Andrea Vogt

3. Carlo dalla Vedova to #amandaknox appeal jury: If there is no murder motive, you must acquit.

2. Carlo dalla Vedova: We know #amandaknox is innocent. As time passes we’re even more tranquil.There are many more doubts than certainties.

1. In Florence, amanda knox lawyer holds up large knife to jury: “Starch was on the knife. It was not cleaned. It was in domestic use.”

1. Email from Amanda Knox

Court of Appeals of Florence section II Assise Proc. Pen, 11113

Letter sent to attorneys Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga via email Seattle, 15 December 2013

Attn: Honorable Court of Appeals of Florence

I have no doubt that my lawyers have explained and demonstrated the important facts of this case that prove my innocence and discredit the unjustified accusations of the prosecution and civil parties. I seek not to supplant their work; rather, because I am not present to take part in this current phase of the judicial process, I feel compelled to share my own perspective as a six—year-long defendant and victim of injustice.

The Court has access to my previous declarations and I trust will review them before coming to a verdict. I must repeat: I am innocent.

I am not a murderer. I am not a rapist. I am not a thief or a plotter or an instigator. I did not kill Meredith or take part in her murder or have any prior or special knowledge of what occurred that night. I was not there and had nothing to do with it.

I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid. I am afraid that the prosecution’s vehemence will leave an impression on you, that their smoke and mirrors will blind you. I’m afraid of the universal problem of wrongful conviction. This is not for lack of faith in your powers of discernment, but because the prosecution has succeeded before in convincing a perfectly sound court of concerned and discerning adults to convict innocent people-Rafael and me.

My life being on the line and having with others already suffered too much, I’ve attentively followed this process and gleaned the following facts that have emerged from the development of this case that I beg you not to dismiss when making your judgment:

No physical evidence places me in Meredith ‘s bedroom, the scene of the crime, because I was not there and didn’t take part in the crime.

Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence of his presence in the brutal scenario: handprints, footprints, shoe prints in Meredith’s blood; DNA in her purse, on her clothing, in her body.

No evidence places me in the same brutal scenario. The prosecution has failed to explain how I could have participated in the aggression and murder—to have been the one to fatally wound Meredith—without leaving any genetic trace of myself. That is because it is impossible. It is impossible to identify and destroy all genetic traces of myself in a crime

scene and retain all genetic traces of another individual. Either I was there, or I wasn’t. The analysis of the crime scene answers this question: I wasn’t there.

My interrogation was illegal and produced a false “confession” that demonstrated my non-knowledge of the crime- The subsequent memoriali, for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false “confession.” Just as I testified to the prosecutor in prison and to my family members in prison when our conversations were being recorded without my knowledge.

My behavior after the discovery of the murder indicates my innocence. I did not flee Italy when I had the chance. I stayed in Perugia and was at the police’s beck and call for over 50hours in four days, convinced that I could help them find the murderer. I never thought or imagined that they would have used my openness and trust to fuel their suspicions. I did not hide myself or my feelings: when I needed comfort, Rafael embraced me; when I was sad and scared, I cried; when I was angry, I swore and made insensitive remarks; when I was shocked, I paced or sat in silence; when I was trying to help, I answered questions, consoled Meredith’s friends and tried to keep a positive attitude.

Upon entering the questura I had no understanding of my legal position. Twenty—years old and alone in a foreign country, I was innocent and never expected to be suspected and subjugated to torture. I was interrogated as a suspect, but told I was a witness. I was questioned for a prolonged period in the middle of the night and in Italian, a language I barely knew. I was denied legal counsel- The Court of Cassation deemed the interrogation and the statements produced from it illegal. I was lied to, yelled at, threatened, slapped twice on the back of the head. I was told I had witnessed the murder and was suffering from amnesia. I was told that if I didn’t succeed in remembering what happened to Meredith that night I would never see my family again. I was browbeaten into confusion and despair. When you berate, intimidate, lie to, threaten, confuse, and coerce someone in believing they are wrong, you are not going to find the truth.

The police coerced me into signing a false “confession” that was without sense and should never have been considered a legitimate investigative lead. In this fragmentary and confused statement the police identified Patrick Lumumba as the murderer because we had exchanged text messages, the meaning of which the police wrongfully interpreted (‘Civediamo piu tardi. Buona serata’). The statement lacked a clear sequence of events, corroboration with any physical evidence, and fundamental information like: how and why the murder took place, if anyone else was present or involved, what happened afterward—it supplied partial, contradictory information and as the investigators would discover a little later, when Patrick Lumumba’s defense lawyer produced proof of him incontestable alibi, it was obviously inaccurate and unreliable. I simply didn’t know what they were demanding me to know. After over 50 hours of questioning over four days, I was mentally exhausted and I was confused.

This coerced and illegitimate statement was used by the police to arrest and detain a clearly innocent man with an iron-clad alibi with whom I had a friendly professional relationship. This coerced and illegitimate statement was used to convict me of slander. The prosecution and civil parties would have you believe that this coerced and illegitimate statement is proof of my involvement in the murder. They are accusing and blaming me, a result of their own overreaching.

Experience, case studies, and the law recognize that one may be coerced into giving a false"confession” because of torture.

This is a universal problem. According to the National Registry of Exoneration, in the United States 78% of wrongful murder convictions that are eventually overturned because of exonerating forensic evidence involved false “confessions.” Almost 8 in 10 wrongfully convicted persons were coerced by police into implicating themselves and others in murder. I am not alone. And exonerating forensic evidence is often as simple as no trace of the wrongfully convicted person at the scene of the crime, but rather the genetic and forensic traces of a different guilty party—just like every piece of forensic evidence identifies not me, but Rudy Guide.

In the brief time Meredith and I were roommates and friends we never fought.

Meredith was my friend. She was kind to me, helpful, generous, fun. She never criticized me. She never gave me so much as a dirty look.

But the prosecution claims that a rift was created between Meredith and I because of cleanliness. This is a distortion of the facts. Please refer to the testimonies of my housemaster and Meredith’s British friends. None of them ever witnessed or heard about Meredith and I fighting, arguing, disliking each other. None of them ever claimed Meredith was a confrontational clean-freak, or I a confrontational slob. Laura Masotho testified that both Meredith and I only occasionally cleaned, whereas she and Filomena Romanelli were more concerned with cleanliness. Meredith’s British friends testified that Meredith had once told them that she felt a little uncomfortable about finding the right words to kindly talk tome, her new roommate, about cleanliness in the bathroom we shared. The prosecution would have you believe this is motivation for murder. But this is a terrifying distortion of the facts.

I did not carry around Rafael’s kitchen knife.

This claim by the prosecution, crucial to their theory, is uncorroborated by any physical evidence or witness testimony. I didn’t fear the streets of Perugia and didn’t need to carry around with me a large, cumbersome weapon which would have ripped my cloth book bag to shreds. My book bag showed no signs of having carried a bloody weapon. The claim that he would have insisted I carry a large chef’s knife is not just senseless, but a disturbing indication of how willing the prosecution is to defy objectivity and reason in order to sustain a mistaken and disproven theory.

It is yet another piece of invented “evidence”, another circumstance of theory fabricated to order, because having discovered nothing else, the prosecution could only invent.

I had no Contact with Rudy Guide.

Like many youth in Perugia, I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guide. He played basketball with the young men who lived in the apartment below us. Meredith and I had been introduced to him together. Perhaps I had seen him amongst the swarms of students

who crowded the Perugian streets and pubs in the evenings, but that was it. We didn’t have each other’s phone number, we didn’t meet in private, we weren’t acquaintances. I never bought drugs from Rudy Guide or anyone else. The phone records show no connection. There are no witnesses who place us together. The prosecution claims I convinced Rudy Guide to commit rape and murder, completely ignoring the fact that we didn’t even speak the same language. Once again, the prosecution is relying upon a disturbing and unacceptable pattern of distortion of the objective evidence.

I am not a psychopath.

There is no short list to the malicious and unfounded slanders I have suffered over the course of this legal process. In trial I have been called no less than:

“Conniving; manipulating; man—eater; narcissist; enchantress; duplicitous; adulterer; drug addict; an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol; dirty; witch; murderer; slanderer; demon; depraved; imposter; promiscuous; succubus; evil; dead inside; pervert; dissolute; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; rapist; thief; reeking of sex; Judas; she-devil;

I have never demonstrated anti-social, aggressive, violent, or behavior. I am not addicted to sex or drugs. Upon my arrest I was tested for drugs and the results were negative. I am not a split-personality One does not adopt behavior spontaneously.

This is a fantasy. This is uncorroborated by any objective evidence or testimony. The prosecution and civil parties created and pursued this character assassination because they have nothing else to show you. They have neither proof, nor logic, nor the facts on their side. They only have their slanders against me, their personal opinions about me. They want you to think I’m a monster because it is easy to condemn a monster. It is easy to dismiss a monster’s defense as deception. But the prosecution and civil parties are both severely mistaken and wrong. They have condemned me without proof of guilt, and they seek to convince you to condemn me without proof of guilt.

If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics. There would be no need for smoke and mirrors to distract you from the lack of physical evidence against me. But because no evidence exists that proves my guilt, the prosecution would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements. Because I am not a murderer, they would seek to mislead you into convicting me by charging your emotions, by painting me not as an innocent until proven guilty, but as a monster.

The prosecution and civil parties are committing injustices against me because they cannot bring themselves to admit, even to themselves, that they’ve made a terrible mistake.

The Court has seen that the prosecution and civil parties will not hear criticism of their mistakes. Not by the experts of the defense, nor by the experts of the Court.

The Court has seen that the prosecution jumped to conclusions at the very start of their investigation: they interrogated and arrested innocent people and claimed “Case Closed"before any evidence could be analyzed, before bothering to check alibis.

The prosecutor and investigators were under tremendous pressure to solve the mystery of what happened to Meredith as soon as possible. The local and International media was breathing down the necks of these detectives. Their reputations and careers were to be made or broken. In their haste, they made mistakes. Under pressure, they admitted to as few mistakes as possible and committed themselves to a theory founded upon mistakes.

Had they not jumped to conclusions based on nothing but their personal and highly subjective feeling, they would have discovered definitive and undeniable evidence of not Patrick Lumumba, not Rafael Sollecito, not Amanda Knox, but of Rudy Guide. We would not be here over six years later debating inconclusive and unreliable “clues.” We would have been spared the cost, anguish and suffering, not only of Raffaele’s and my family, but especially of Meredith’s family as well.

The prosecution’s accusations are unworthy of judicial or public confidence. In over six years they have failed to provide a consistent, evidence-driven, corroborated theory of the crime, but would nevertheless argue that you should take my life away. I beg you to see the facts and reason of what I say. I am innocent. Rafael is innocent. Meredith and her family deserve the truth. Please put an end to this great and prolonged injustice.

in faith,

Amanda Marie Knox


Monday, December 16, 2013

Appeal Session #6: Case For Knox’s & Sollecito’s Guilt - The Civil Parties

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above, today: Dr Maresca, the Florence lawyer who speaks for the victim, arrives at the court]

7. Court resumes tomorrow

Court will resume at 9:30 am Italy time with the first of the summations for the defenses. When they conclude, probably in January, the prosecution will have a chance of rebuttal.

6. Reporting in English

Andrea Vogt has posted a detailed report from the court at The Freelance Desk, Scroll down to the heading “Update Dec 1t 2013”

5. Reporting in Italian #3

Report by Gazetta del Sud

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, accused in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, were in the grip of a “murderous rage” fuelled by illegal drugs and alcohol, a lawyer for the victim’s family said Monday. Knox, Sollecito and a third person definitively convicted of the crime, Rudy Guede, had “no inhibitions” because of the drugs and alcohol they ingested before murdering Kercher in November 2007, charged Vieri Fabiani.

Only later did the “fear take over” and led to false explanations including a simulated break-in and robbery, and a false accusation against a bar owner in Perugia, where the murder occurred, added Fabiani. A Florence court is trying the case against Knox and Sollecito, who have been on trial twice before for the murder of Kercher. Both have said they are not guilty of the accusations.

Guede was convicted in a fast-track trial and is serving a 16-year sentence in the murder, but Italy’s top appeal court said it was unlikely he acted alone. Knox, who is in the United States and has not returned for this trial, and Sollecito each served two years in prison after a lower court convicted them of murder in 2009. An appeal court overturned those convictions in 2011 and in March, Italy’s highest court sent the case back to the appeals stage over aspects of the evidence it argued had not been properly examined before.

The supreme court ruled that the initial forensic evidence had been wrongly dismissed in the acquittal and a prosecution theory about a sex game that went wrong should be re-examined. Kercher, 21, was found dead on the floor of an apartment she shared with Knox on November 2, 2007. Guede’s DNA was found inside Kercher, on her clothes, and elsewhere in the apartment.

Fabiani said that a motive for the murder was “irrelevant” because the crime was committed while the trio were abusing substances. An Italian prosecutor has requested a 26-year prison term for Knox and Sollecito for the murder, plus a further four years for Knox for allegedly slandering bar owner Patrick Lumumba, whom she initially implicated during tough police questioning before later retracting, saying she had been confused.

The new trial opened in Florence in September, and a decision is expected on January 10.

Translation by The 411

4. Reporting in Italian #2

Report by Umbria24

For the Kercher family it is “intolerable” that Amanda Knox on her website is issuing “invitations to collect donations in memory of Meredith” declared Dr Francesco Maresca, the lawyer for the parents and siblings of Mez, speaking in the Assize Court of Appeal of Florence, where judicial process continues for the murder of the young British student Meredith Kercher, which occurred in Perugia on the night of November 1, 2007 .

Dr Maresca asked the Court “to forget the opposing sides and all that is foreign to the process”, meaning the media coverage of the controversy being generated in the U.S. in the legal defense of Knox, as they should also “forget the statements made in court a few weeks ago by Raffaele Sollecito, who is now returned to a “vacation” in Santo Domingo”

Dr Maresca also pointed the finger at Knox for her book, for which she signed “contracts in the millions” and also retains “a person to handle public relations”. Finally, he invited the Court to also forget “those journalists who are inspired by the freedom of delirium and not the freedom of the press.”

Many elements confirm the original verdict. “We have no doubts about the guilt of the accused - there are so many elements to confirm the sentence”.

The family of Meredith Kercher, said the lawyer, will be in Florence on the day of the judgment of the appeal for the murder of the young British student by the defendants Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito .

This was a heinous crime committed knowingly. “We ask the Court for truth and justice for a heinous crime committed with precise awareness and desire” said the lawyer Vieri Fabiani, one of the lawyers of the Kercher family… “The defendants Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede, in the process of killing Meredith Kercher, were “excited and a murderous rage was triggered” because, with the drugs and alcohol taken ” their minds were free of inhibitions”.

Fabiani focused in particular on Rudy Guede also convicted for the murder of Meredith, recalling that the judgment was delivered after the first degree trial in Perugia [in October 2008]. And on the verdict against Guede, Fabiani stated that he was sentenced in collusion with another two who “accidentally” have been identified as Sollecito and Knox, whose responsibility and presence on the scene of the crime are well documented.

Fabiani called Sollecito and Knox persons of “high criminal capacity” who have created the picture of a crime without serious motive.  Then after the murder “fear, terror, took over and they set out to simulate a theft, frame Patrick Lumumba, to mystify, however clumsily, to banish from their minds the crime they committed.”

Fabiani argued that the presence of two defendants in the house on Via della Pergola that evening, and their willingness toward murder, were strongly demonstrated.

“The motive becomes irrelevant,” even if it can be identified “in the issues between Amanda and Meredith, which evolved into a sort of punishment of the victim, in an escalation”.

3. Reporting in Italian #1

Report by Blitzquotidiano

Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede were ” excitedly and this unleashed their homicidal rage ” that tragic night between the first and November 2 of 2007. Vieri Fabiani, one of the lawyers of the Kercher family, during the appeal session in Florence about the murder of Meredith Kercher .

Because of drugs and alcohol their minds were “devoid of inhibitions ,” argued the lawyer, according to whom the defendants should be considered ” persons of a high criminal capacity .” After the murder, fear took over, then they get to simulate a theft, to accuse Lumumba, to mystify to banish from their minds the crime they committed.”

The lawyer explained that the presence of the two defendants at the crime scene and their willingness to commit murder was strongly demonstrated. “The motive becomes almost irrelevant, even though important elements can be identified” in the problems existing between Amanda and Meredith, which “evolved into a sort of punishment of the victim in an escalation”.

For the Kercher family it is “intolerable that Amanda Knox on her website makes invitations to collect donations in memory of Meredith” added the lawyer Maresca. He invited the Court ” to forget the opposing sides and all that is foreign to the process.” The court should “forget” the statements made in court a few weeks ago by ” Raffaele Sollecito who has returned to “a vacation” in Santo Domingo

Avv Maresca also pointed the finger at Amanda and her book thanks to which she ” has signed contracts making her a millionaire.”

2. Tweets from La Nazione

10. Amanda knows the mode of the crime because she was present

9. Motive is irrelevant, the presence of the accused at the scene of the crime is proven

8. Amanda and Raffaele in the grip of the excitement and this triggered the murderous rage

7. It is not sustainable that Rudy Guede is the only murderer

6. The lack of motive is irrelevant, there is evidence of homicidal intent

5. The ruling of the Supreme Court crushed the acquittal of appeal

4. Amanda knew the mode of the murder

3. On the knife found at Sollecito’s house there was the DNA of the victim

2. Contamination of the bra clasp is false (invented)

1. Meredith proceedings: hearing begins. Lawyer Vieri Adriani for the victim family to speak first

1. Tweets from Freelance Andrea Vogt

5. Courtroom nearly empty for closing args of lawyer representing meredith kercher family. Not much interest in their quiet suffering.

4. Maresca: “While we’re here in trial, Sollecito in Santo Domingo & Knox in US taking online donations for victim she’s accused of killing.”

3. Kercher attny Serena Perna: Meredith’s many wounds in many places (from bare hands,from knife, yet not defensive) = multiple attackers.

2. Kercher attny: Motive, or lack thereof, is absolutely irrelevant.1000 different problems could have led to fatal escalation of violence.

1. Right now lawyers for the civil parties (specifically Kercher family) giving closing arguments. Defense is to follow.



[Below: two images in the courtroom from previous sessions]






Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why Meredith Might Have Survived If The Attackers Had Cared And Called For Help Very Fast

Posted by Cardiol MD



Malala Yousafzai, world-famous Pakistani victim of a Taliban assassination attempt, survived via a tracheostomy

Absence of full medical picture outside Italy

For this post I wear my medical hat - I am a cardiologist who has had many lives in the balance under my hands.

Parts of the prosecution’s evidence back at trial in 2009 were very stark. Some was presented behind closed doors and with no CCTV feed, although good summaries in Italian appeared in the Italian press.

In Italy the reporting on the trial was several times as deep as anywhere else. There were TV chat shows to review the case as it was being made, and many in Italy read the entire Massei Report when the Department of Justice put it on their website.

Nobody in Italy gives the slightest credence to the theory of the Lone Wolf. Many or most have not even heard about it, and to almost all Italians the idea that Guede could have acted alone (as Knox and Sollecito claimed in their English-only books) would seem absurd.

Many Italians were therefore quick to realize that the Hellmann court did not see the prosecution present its real case, and had been led astray by cherrypicking and innuendo by the defense and an unqualified judge. 

In contrast, as I said above, foreign reporting was not deep. The Massei report now being argued against by Knox and Sollecito (yes, this is THEIR appeal) has not yet been carried in English by even one non-Italian media site.

Even the amazing Massei report summary which PMF posters so carefully prepared appeared only here.

How this can affect the January outcome

Among the starkest items of the evidence that are well known in Italy but almost nowhere else are the autopsy findings and the whole-day crime scene recreation testimony.

They were presented (1) only in closed court in mid 2009 and (2) in the attack recreation video shown to the court late in 2009. during Summations. The highly effective video, which took months to get just right, was not entered into evidence and so no jury other than Massei’s has seen it since.

Closing this yawning chasm really matters now because (1) the Supreme Court is in no doubt that Guede did not act alone and (2) the Sollecito and Knox defense attempts to prove one or two other perps staged the attack with or without Guede have fallen off a cliff.

Here is the blunt truth:

  • Meredith’s killers at the end inflicted terrible, terrible wounds, and witnessed what she went through.

  • There is evidence that Meredith might have SURVIVED if medical help had been called very quickly indeed.

Instead of course her killers cruelly ignored her dying pain, took away her phones, locked her door, and for a while at least they simply went away, while she died.

These truths about the attack and in particular the horrific wounds is relevant both to what Meredith’s killers are guilty-of, and to what sentence would be appropriate if it is confirmed they did the deed.

Brief explanation of the medical facts

While this subject is tough for most people, it has to be viewed objectively by medical-professional care-givers and by judges, and now may be an acceptable time to objectively clarify the subject.

Such information is considered highly relevant in US courts, under Federal Rule 702. Testimony by Expert Witnesses, US state Good Samaritan Laws, and possibly in Italian courts, under Art. 593 of the criminal code ““ Failure to Provide Emergency Assistance.

Even though I can find no references to Failure to Provide Emergency Assistance in the various Motivazioni, many TMJK readers may be interested in this discussion of the subject:

MK’s airway-wound, taken in isolation, was certainly survivable for hours or even days; her superior thyroid artery wound was potentially survivable if simple manual compression was quickly applied there-and-then by anyone present, and urgent professional assistance was then obtained.

MK’s dying occupied at least as much as 15 minutes; it was the combination, and proximity of the 2 wounds that was lethal.

The kind of injury to Meredith’s airway, intentionally inflicted with malicious intent, is well within the spectrum of accidental injuries seen and treated in hospital ERs.

The elective therapeutic procedure - tracheostomy - has   consequences very similar both to malicious and to purely accidental airway-injuries.

A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure to create an opening through the neck into the trachea (windpipe).

A tube is usually placed through this opening to provide an airway and to remove secretions from the lungs. This tube is called a tracheostomy tube or trach.tube.

The cutting part of the procedure is called ‘the tracheotomy’; ‘tracheostomy’ is the name assigned when the artificial tube has been inserted.

Tracheostomy is frequently performed in hospitals, all over the world. The subjects of tracheostomy cannot phonate unless the tracheostomy-opening is sealed, typically using a finger to divert the exhaled air through the larynx.

Injuries to the tracheobronchial tree within the chest may occur due to penetrating forces such as gunshot wounds, but are more often the result of blunt trauma. TBI due blunt forces usually results from high-energy impacts such as falls from height and motor vehicle accidents; the injury is rare in low-impact mechanisms.

Injuries of the trachea cause about 1% of traffic-related deaths. Other potential causes are falls from high places and injuries in which the chest is crushed. Explosions are another cause.

Gunshot wounds are the commonest form of penetrating trauma that cause TBI. Less commonly, knife wounds and shrapnel from motor vehicle accidents can also penetrate the airways.

Most injuries to the trachea occur in the neck, because the airways within the chest are deep and therefore well protected; however, up to a quarter of TBI resulting from penetrating trauma occurs within the chest. Injury to the cervical trachea usually affects the anterior (front) part of the trachea.

Notables who survived via a tracheostomy

Many public figures have received tracheostomy in the past. These are perhaps the most well-known:

  • Gabrielle Giffords, a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives received a tracheostomy after being shot in the head.

  • Elizabeth Taylor had an emergency tracheostomy for pneumonia in 1961.

  • Stephen Hawking (physicist) received a tracheostomy because his muscles of respiration are paralysed by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as “˜Lou Gehrig’s disease’)

  • Catherine Zeta Jones (actress) when a little girl, contracted a virus that prevented her from breathing normally, and underwent tracheostomy surgery.

  • John Paul II (Pope) had an emergency operation after a breathing crisis


Others whose tracheostomy saved their lives

  • Ariel Sharon (Israeli Prime Minister)
  • William Rehnquist (U.S. Chief Justice)
  • Friedrich III (German Emperor)
  • Laura Innes (actress)
  • Johnny Weissmuller (actor)
  • Constantine P. Cavafy (poet)
  • Luther Vandross (singer)
  • Gordon Lightfoot (singer)
  • Roy Horn (Magician - Siegfried & Roy)
  • Jack Klugman (actor)
  • Roger Ebert (Movie Critic)

  • Medical and legal conclusions from this

    Repair of Meredith’s airway injury was potentially survivable, given the conditions indicated in the medical text above.

    It was the simultaneous severing of her right superior thyroid artery, and the failures not only to seek emergency care, but the abandonment by her attackers that resulted in her death.

    The right superior thyroid artery is about the same size as the radial artery of the wrist, which when severed suicidally, leads to a similarly slow death from blood-loss alone.

    In Meredith’s case, she inhaled the blood and died less slowly, by coexistent drowning.

    The Nencini Court should take her killers’ Failure to Provide Emergency Assistance into account in its decisions, especially if they now try to claim it was just a prank-gone-wrong.


    Malala Yousafza who survived via a tracheostomy; the tube is visible below her chin


    Thursday, December 05, 2013

    With Sollecito’s First Plea For Mitigation Seen As A Flop, His Behavior Seems Extremely Suspect

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    Sollecito headed for Dominican Republic, but stopped pending court okay

    1. Post Overview

    A week ago Prosecutor Crini had begun a two-day summary of the state’s case so stark and implacable that it had two effects on Sollecito.

    He stayed in his hotel on the second day; and he then took off like a rabbit for some destination initially unknown and repeatedly lied-about by his father (see Part 3 below).

    One of his lawyers (accidentally?) broke the secret. Sollecito had flown to the Dominican Republic. Where he just happens to have some really unsavory relatives. 

    2. High Drama In The Nencini Court

    Sollecito has not ever taken the witness stand.

    And given the minefield his foolish book and media claims amount to, don’t hold your breath expecting otherwise soon. However, last month Sollecito did use the Italian accuseds’ privilege of making an impromptu plea to the judges.

    He was not under oath and not subject to cross-examination by the prosecutors. He did not address the copious evidence, and was seen as attempting to humanize himself to perhaps get some years knocked off a final sentence.

    As always, Knox forces were left confused, thinking he had somehow helped both of them. But Sollecito repeatedly drew attention to his being an Italian and in effect to Knox and Guede not being Italians, thus once again separating himself from Knox on lines Barbie Nadeau also described here..

    Our main poster Yummi was in the court and reported in part as follows:

    One of the woman judges kept staring elsewhere and almost never watched Sollecito all the time he was talking. Sollecito’s speech itself was actually not that exciting. It was so overt that he was focused on portraying himself as a person who is so good and cannot hurt anyone, not the bad guy described in the media.  The real and only topic of Sollecito’s statement was himself, who he is, his “true” personality, he begged them to look at what a good and suffering a boy he is…

    And believe me, Sollecito was just whiny. For a big part of his speech he was just putting distance between who he is today and the person he was when he was 20 years old. He talked about the impossibility of finding a job (the job he would like to have in a corporation, obviously, not just any job) and wanted the judge to project to his condition from that of young Italians who can’t hope to see a future.

    Then 10 days ago the skilled senior prosecutor Dr Alessandro Crini fired back, and effectively demolished Sollecito’s premature statement. As we reported, Dr Crini took nearly two days to do that.

    Sollecito was again in court on the first day, but was seemingly unable to face Dr Crini’s onslaught on the second day. He remained holed up at his hotel.

    Although Dr Crini settled on a lowest-common-denominator motive - a Lord of the Flies flare-up which had escalated into mob violence and the fatal stab to Meredith - his recounting of the evidence and associated behavior of the pack was comprehensive and very hard. Translated from Cronaca:

    Meredith was treated “as if she was an animal.” In this way Dr Crini defined the dynamics of the murder of Meredith Kercher during his indictment.

    According to Dr Crini, the attack escalated to the point where the attackers felt they “needed to get rid of a girl they had abused”. While Rudy Guede sexually abused Meredith Kercher, supine on the floor of her room, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, according to the reconstruction, were at each side of the body of the victim.

    “The mouth and neck of the victim were contained in a fierce way to avoid Meredith going berserk and screaming, and when Meredith did in fact manage to scream, she received the final fierce stab to the throat.” Two knives were used in the crime at the house in Via della Pergola on the night between 1 and 2 November 2007”...

    Dr Crini referring to the bra clasp of the victim, said that “the presence of the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito is quite certain” and explained at length why there was no “possibility of contamination”.

    Amanda Knox was at the scene of the crime, according to the identification made “‹”‹by the scientific police in Meredith’s room of an imprint of a shoe (female size 36-38 according to the results of the analysis)... On the pillowcase, the center of gravity of this bloody history, were found a palmprint of Rudy Guede and this print of the shoe.”




    3. High Drama Right After End Of Court

    Dr Francesco Sollecito was reported as being shocked by the unrelenting tone of the indictment. However, Sollecito’s plight is not nearly as bad as the ever-stubborn Amanda Knox’s.

    Knox has already served three years and was fined heavily for obstruction of justice. She could face another year for that if it is found to have been aggravating. And as the post below mentions, she could face as many as three more charges for aggravating obstruction of justice. 

    Sollecito in contrast has respected the court by actually showing up, and, unlike Knox, has lately shown restraint in accusing his accusers.

    However, the day after Dr Crini ‘s startlingly powerful summary of the case against him, it looked like Sollecito was hastily taking off out of Italy for somewhere. 

    La Nazione reported that police at Florence Airport had held back a fully loaded Air France flight to Paris while they checked with the prosecution that he was indeed allowed to leave the country.  La Nazione said the prosecutors have some concern that he might skip and not come back, but he did voluntarily come back previously from the Dominican Republic, and his family has always ensured some presence in court.

    But next TGCom24 reported that Sollecito’s father had claimed that Sollecito had already gone home to Bisceglie, although he is a free citizen still in possession of a passport and can travel anywhere if he wishes.

    But then TGCom24 reported that he had indeed flown to Paris, but had turned around and come straight back again, to stay with family friends.  And that on 8 December he will sit his final exams in computer science at the University of Verona.

    However, soon after that La Nazione reported that Sollecito’s father had been contradicted by his lawyers, and his erratic son had slipped through his fingers and flown “for his work” back to the Dominican Republic. Translation by Jools:

    1 December 2013 ““ SCOOP. Denials, lies, game by the defenders. But in the end it’s up to the lawyer Luca Maori to admit: “Raffaele Sollecito returned to Santo Domingo, as anticipated on Friday by La Nazione”

    He embarked from Florence’s Peretola Airport and made a stop-over in Paris, from where he then flew to the Caribbean island where he spent the last few months that preceded the start of the new appeals process. “But there is nothing strange - minimizes the lawyer - Raffaele went back to pick up the things he left there, will be back in ten days for the final exams and to await the judgment. With anxiety, but self-assured.”

    No escape, just a normal “work” trip. Permissible, since there is no measure that prevents the accused to leave Italy. But the departure of Sollecito, accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher along with former girlfriend Amanda Knox (already sheltered in the U.S.) caused some sneering. And even the agents of the Border Police, when they saw him in front of the [departure] gate, made a phone call to the Procura to be sure whether the journey in the midst of the appeal process was really “normal.”

    IN FACT. Sollecito ‘s father, in an understandable effort to defend his already too overexposed son, slipped on the so-called banana peel, placing the young man within a few hours in various locations, but never in the true destination across the ocean: in Verona, preparing for the final exam in computer science in regard to the thesis, or in Paris, but just for a flash-stay from which he was back the day after. At Christmas, maintained the father, Raffaele will return from abroad. Maybe for the last break before the final rush of the Mark II process, which, according to calculations by the Assize Court of Appeal, could be concluded on January 15.

    Meanwhile, the hearing on 16 December is for the remaining civil parties, then double date for the defence, (December 17 and January 9) and hearing on the 10 dedicated to counter-argument. With Sollecito in the courtroom, assures the lawyer.

    Nothing strange?! Doctor Sollecito lying repeatedly, instead of explaining to the media where Raffaele went, and why he went there, and why it was a huge secret, was VERY strange.

    It should have official minds very seriously wondering why. WHAT did Raffaele have to do so secretly in the Dominican Republic - where his notorious mafia relatives from Montreal occupy a town there?



    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    Appeal Session #5: Prosecutor Alessandro Crini Concludes, Proposes 30 Years For AK And 26 For RS

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    Overview

    This is the report on the second day of Prosecutor Crnini summarizing the entire case.

    This was not attempted at such length at the 2011 Hellman appeal and that panel of judges was perhaps not ever fully in the picture. The first day of the presentation is reported on here. 

    Real-Time Reporting, Bottom Up

    4. Assessment by main poster SeekingUnderstanding

    The case put forward by the prosecution and reported to us by Yummi is almost startling in its lucid and concise approach.

    It couldn’t be more in contrast to the equivocations and disingenuousness, as well as irrelevant sentimentality that we have unfortunately become used to witnessing. The cutting use of logic was therefore refreshing, and gives grounds for optimism, albeit it tempered by unknowns.

    All the issues seemed to be addressed from the base line, as if from primary considerations. And many points were simply politely dismissed as being unimportant to the true case in hand -which is the establishment of the guilt (or not) of the accused. For example, it was great to hear that the reason why the knife had been brought to the cottage need not be examined - it was enough that it was there.

    It seemed that where the defence had challenged the evidence, for example suggesting contamination of DNA, it was here that Crini spared no detail, and took time in bottoming out the logic, and dispensing with their points. His arguments certainly carried conviction to me.

    I was glad to see motive and behavioural dynamics looked at, as indeed Cassation had requested. It seemed good too that Crini ruled out premeditation, and reduced the dynamics to something highly plausible and believable as well as simple. There are just two points I might observe :

    First, it would seem within character for Meredith to have been both open and direct in confronting issues of hygiene, drug use, infringement of privacy and noise etc., (or even theft of rent money, another possibility). I am not convinced that she would necessarily have been aggressively confrontational. Someone who is relaxed within themselves, accepting of their self, is well able to be assertive in a non-provocative manner. That is quite British too - especially old-fashioned English.

    Secondly, bearing in mind the possible or probable profiles of the defendants, it would not have taken more than one small trigger of reasonable confrontation to release the consequent temper-tantrum or drug fuelled rage. I do not think we are dealing with something proportionate - and this is also why it escalated in the terrifying way it did. I don’t think it is essential to hypothesize as to what in particular Meredith raised an objection to (e.g. Rudy’s bathroom event). It is probable that Meredith’s concerns were reasonable, and then the overly defensive and angry reaction to any criticism whatsoever was unreasonable. I personally think this is enough.

    I liked the way Crini said that even though a source is unreliable or not credible in some ways, that does not mean they do not (inadvertently as it were) give out information that is also true and useful. Possibly other statements from Guede might be taken into account in this way?

    As a psychologist, it would seem dialogue with Rudy might yet be fruitful, but, with things the way they remain with the other two, it does not seem the time now for further words. Something else needs to happen.

    3. Assessment by main poster James Raper

    Crini spent about 10 hours in total addressing the court and was certainly very thorough. Maresca was so impressed that there was no need for him to add anything further.

    Crini came to the prosecution case without the baggage of having presented any previous scenario or of having had his reputation sullied and slandered by the Knox PR machine. He reviewed the evidence dispassionately and found it compelling.

    Clearly he also found the previous machinations of C&V and the Hellmann court objectionable and went in hard here, even discussing previous cases where Vecchiotti and Conti had goofed up. Hellmann had tried so hard to avoid that coming out during his appeal.

    He was not, however, averse to taking a different tack where he thought this was appropriate. A sign of his intellectual honesty which may have impressed the court.

    For instance, he thought that there was no need to nail TOD down to 11.30pm as Mignini had sought to do. He allowed for an earlier TOD.

    He was of the opinion that coming up with an exact time line for a period in which there is no alibi, and when there is already evidence of involvement in murder, is of only marginal interest.

    He spent well over an hour discussing the knife. He did not think it necessary to mull over how it came to be at the cottage. That is speculation that need not detain anyone if the knife is accepted as the murder weapon, and he thinks that on all the evidence it is.

    He ruled out premeditation, even as to a hazing, and presented a very simple scenario as to motive and the dynamics behind and during the attack on poor Meredith. Keeping it simple makes it understandable to everyone. Elaborate further and you risk alienating someone who disagrees with the elaboration and thinks they have a better theory.

    My only objection is that it is a tad ridiculous to believe that Meredith objected to poop being left in the toilet, the toilet she didn’t use. But yes, the objectionable behaviour of a trio of drunken/drugged up louts invading her space would most likely have triggered argument, unpleasantness and then a fight.

    There is plenty of character evidence to support that scenario and with a little imagination, and some recollection of one’s student days, one can easily see how this might have gone. In a way, and Crini admitted to this possibility, Meredith’s own behaviour, or misreading of the situation, may also have been a trigger. Whether one agrees with this or not, it is at least a believable and honest suggestion.

    So he set out base camp for the court (bearing in mind that Cassation had suggested that behavioural dynamics be given serious consideration by the appeals court) and whether the judges elaborate further (perhaps by conjecturing a possible range of equally valid motives and dynamics) is up to them.

    2. Assessment by main poster Hopeful

    Crini is magnificent! He’s absolutely crushing the defense. He nails Knox as having left her bloody shoeprint on the pillow under Meredith.

    He accepts Novelli who found Meredith’s trace on the knife. He believes Knox left DNA on the knife. He quotes from differing experts Gill and Balding and says Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp stands.

    He describes a small, very sharp knife that he believes was used to cut off the bra in several places. He says the knifeprint on the sheet was from the big kitchen knife.

    Crini contends that the strong bruise marks around Meredith’s mouth were from restraining her and blocking the scream.

    He believes this fight was caused by Meredith angrily reacting to Knox’s constant dirty ways in the cottage and Guede’s nasty toilet habit along with his and Sollecito’s unwanted presence in the cottage that night.

    Crini argues a crime of rage when Knox was confronted by Meredith, citing Laura Mezetti’s remarks about the cleaning conflicts. Crini says that Meredith’s scream is what caused the fatal knife blow to silence her.

    Not premeditated, the murder was the final result of the perps’ terror that they had gone too far during the raging fight. He’s asking for 30 years for Knox and asks to increase sentence for calunnia to 4 years, inclusive in the 30.

    He almost laughs at Knox’s weak excuse over the drops of her blood found in the bathroom, saying she would surely have known if she bled.

    He confirms the storekeeper did see Knox early in the morning after the crime. He finds no proof of Sollecito being firmly at his computer sending emails during the crime. He blasts the Knox and Sollecito alibis as being a tissue of lies.

    Crini has another ex-Supreme Court justice standing with him in the Florence courtroom! (Baglione).  Crini has worked extremely hard. He has conquered this convoluted pack of lies and distortions and his diligence shows. He upturned the applecart of Conti-Vecchioti nonsense and thoroughly redeemed Stefanoni’s findings.

    He has completely severed the heads of this Medusa Gorgon mess, Crini is the bomb!

    1. Tweets continue from main poster Yummi

    114. This means a total request of 30 years for Knox and 26 years for Sollecito

    113. [Propose] 26 years for both for the murder

    112. The murder is contextual, their was no premeditation, and no futile motive

    111. Because of their staging and denials, they should not be given generic mitigation for murder.

    110. Requests to increase the penalty for [Knox] calunnia to 4 years

    109. But experience tells statements of unreliable perps do contain revelations about the truth. The ‘argument’ between girls, why such context?

    108. Rudy Guede has no credibility, even if the Supreme Court is right that this cannot depend on his refusal to answer.

    107. Crini cites Laura Mezzetti about the ‘annoyance’ caused by Knox on house cleaning issues.

    106. Meredith was the one triggering an argument because of the ‘impolite’ invasion and behavior. She accused Knox .

    105. Rudy was not sober, quite high, a bit annoying, and was acting the same disgusting way he behaved downstairs days before.

    104. Meredith Kercher was sober, fully awake. The others were at least ‘smoked’, a bit high, Rudy was there in the house.

    103. The motive is not futile, the motive is terror, it is the consequence of the prior aggressive action in which they were involved.

    102. Nothing points to an agreed plan among the three that run out of control; the first cause was an aggression, a clash, impetus of rage

    101. Crini: there is a prosecution duty to conjecture a motive.

    100. The blood drop on the tap: a point is Knox does not explain, guesses, while she must be aware that she bled in the bathroom.

    99. Crini believes the shoe prints on the pillowcase are from a female’s shoe as suggested by police

    98. Knox’s DNA between the blade and the handle (36-i)is very significant. It’s not from sweat or contact.

    97. The print on the bed sheet is compatible with the kitchen knife.

    96. Crini: we don’t need to figure a reason for a kitchen knife to be carried from one apartment to the other..

    95. The bra straps are cut in multiple points, not with a kitchen knife.

    94. Sollecito cut her bra with a knife in multiple parts. hold bra to cut it - no Guede’s DNA in that point - used a small very sharp-edge knife

    93. Rudy did not stab her, because he wad used both his hands, which were unarmed

    92. Wounds indicate she was immobilized by multiple people, they killed her because failing to do so completely, were terrified by her scream.

    91. Criticizes Torre’s theory that the large wound could be caused by a small knife: improbable, the wound has clear margins.

    90. There were two knifes, one was small, not much fit to kill.

    89. Ridiculous to think that Rudy Guede - which she knew - could intimidate Meredith totally to that point. She would react.

    88. Specific indicator: no defence wounds; means bruises are not from fight but restraint.

    87. Description of bruises and lesions around her mouth, indicates extreme force to prevent from screaming. Rest of body was also immobilized.

    86. She was still wearing a blue sweater which was removed subsequently.

    85. Analysis of blood drop pattern and position of victim when stabbed; body moved in a different position.

    84. Location of crime - space between the bed and the wardrobe - is peculiar, analysed by UACV

    83. Crini says will sketch a dynamic of events of the crime.

    82. Crini says - implying Vecchiotti, Pascali - some experts should be “hold where they belong”

    81. Crini recall Pascali working on the Olgiata and the Claps case (2008, 2010);

    80. There is no instance of transfer of Sollecito’s DNA anywhere on the scene

    79. Crini cites the Olgiata case.

    78. Contamination must be deduced from context of finding and collection. You must think a practical way for Sollecito’s DNA to be transferred

    77. Tagliabracci defends Vecchiotti saying the RIS statistical techniques were not used at the time; Crini cites Gill and Balding

    76. Guede’s Y haplotype in victim’s vagina alone was used to identify him.

    75. Sollecito’s DNA is certainly on the clasp for the police; Vecchiotti doubts but considers X separately from Y haplotype

    74. The bra clasp: the first objection was the interpretation of the mixed/complex trace

    73. Crini says he learned a bit of genetics working on cold cases

    72. Vecchiotti and Tagliabracci have a reliability problem in relation to the case, for different reasons

    71. Vecchiotti said she obtained all cooperation she required. Raw data could be accessed by accessing the machine itself as Stefanoni offered.

    70. Crini says he found out the negative controls were deposited, the court will find the document of deposit etc.

    69. Vecchiotti omitted to note the censures/observations written by the other consultants, this procedure is incorrect

    68. Vecchiotti’s approach to the I-trace (refusal to test it ) was ‘ideological’, ‘weak’, ‘insufficient’

    67. Interpretation of profile is for complex result. For non-complex profiles there is actually no ‘interpretation’.

    66. Crini recalls answers by the RIS, defence tried to elicit approval of CV, but RIS said multiple test only if possible, compromise for result

    65. Novelli cited saying the profile of Meredith is certain.

    64. Meredith’s profile came out clean on a single amplification, means the trace is clear.

    63. The meaning of test repetition is its necessity when you have a ‘dirty’, uncertain sequence like Knox’s profile on the knife

    62. Novelli knows very well about double and triple amplification protocols, and Stefanoni knows well too

    61. Guidelines are an indication that guide your driver, but then you have to drive

    60. Someone who keeps a refrigerator like the one Vecchiotti has, should be less critical about laboratory practice

    59. Crini: should we toss any result in the garbage, no matter how important and clear, whenever the test is not repeated?

    58. Speaks about the single amplification by Stefanoni versus guidelines.

    57. The presence of human DNA in a scratch on the blade of a knife itself is not usual

    56. Crini: another introduction specific on DNA; notes btw that the new RIS finding is ‘important’ because adds information

    55. Crini makes an introduction about circumstantial evidence

    54. Discussion on DNA and remaining evidence will start in 1h.

    53. Francesco Sollecito [in interview] was shocked, said he never expected so aggressive arguments from PG [the Tuscany Prosecutor General]

    52. Yesterday, Crini spent the first hour to argue about logical ‘method’: how assess evidence altogether, examples, quotes of SC sentences


    Wednesday, November 06, 2013

    Appeal Session #3: The Carabinieri Labs Report On The DNA On The Knife

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    [Above: an image of similar testing in the same Carabinieri laboratory in north Rome]

    Final Update

    So the court session does not even extend beyond the lunch hour. Good morning Seattle! At this moment it is still only 3:30 in the morning there. Only night owls will know what happened.

    Yummi and Mason2 may have more for us, which will appear either here below this final update on in Comments.  Also Andrea Vogt and hopefully Barbie Nadeau will be filing longer reports in English. We will also check out all the Italian reporting.

    Hard to see any game changers in today’s strong but undramatic testimony. The Carabinieri RIS DNA experts could not be shaken. All momentum remains with the prosecution and with the Supreme Court’s “givens” on the evidence, such as the presence of three attackers in Meredith’s room. 

    The defenses seem to be giving up. They could have phoned it in. Sollecito lawyer Bongiorno didnt make any new fuss. And Amanda Knox lawyer Dalla Vedova was cut off by the lead judge several times, for trickily going off the point. He really is out of his depth in a criminal trial; at the same time often condescending.

    And a seeming big slap in the face for the American defense stooge Greg Hampikian who seems to have illegally colluded with the disgraced Hellmann consultants Conti and Vecchiotti (who were not even mentioned today) when Judge Nencini asked Dr Barni “Would you be able to provide reliable standards without using suggestions from Americans?” Dr Barni responded “Of course”.

    And Sollecito “wasted” his statement by whining about his life, showing no compassion for Meredith (despite his claimed visit to her grave), and not answering any of the dozens of open questions. Sollecito really needed to show he is both strong and compassionate and NOT a weakling under the thumb of Amanda - but he seems to have done quite the opposite. The family lawyer must not be too pleased.

    Fifth Update

    The opening of Frank Sforza’s trial in the same courthouse is postponed, apparently because new information on his campaign to poison opinion against the judiciary and his unsavory connections has been coming in.

    Information will be exchanged that is gathered at this trial on mafiosos Luciano Aviello and at Aviello’s own trial for obstruction of justice which is now proceeding in the same Florence courthouse in parallel.

    The findings and possible charges on the defamatory and dishonest books by Knox and Sollecito are due about now from the Florence and Bergamo prosecutors. Information gathered in those investigations could also be fed in to this process, or put aside for separate trials.

    As both the AK and RS books are bulging with the standard PR talking points (some of which flowed from Frank Sforza and Doug Preston) in a sense it will be Curt Knox, the Mellases, Marriott, Sforza, Fischer and Moore who will be put under the microscope.

    Fourth Update

    A more detailed report on the DNA phase today from the Andrea Vogt website.

    The RIS Wednesday deposited their forensic report on trace 36i, a spot of DNA identified (but not earlier tested) on the kitchen knife alleged to be the murder weapon. “Cento Percento” (100 percent) said Major Berti, discussing compatibility. The RIS found that the DNA was compatible with Amanda Knox, and excluded that it was that of Sollecito, Guede or Kercher. 

    The RIS expert was asked only a few questions from attorneys and the judge. The judge asked why the RIS had done two amplications of the DNA and not 3 or 4. Major Berti described that two is considered the minimum number of amplifications necessary, according to today’s forensic standards, doing less (or more) might have diminished the reliability of the results. The judge also asked about the age of the equipment used. Berti responded that the forensic kit used this time has been commercialized since 2010 and available for use since 2011. 

    At one point the judge stopped a line of questioning by Knox’s Rome attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova, who was asking why the RIS described Knox’s DNA as “fluids” when a prior expert had said the trace did not come from blood.  Nencini said: That question was not put to the RIS by this court, it was not their job to determine that. The other experts’ reports are in the case files for everyone to read, he noted, adding: “We cannot put words in the mouth of this expert that were said by another expert.”


    Third Update

    Tweets from our main poster Yummi (Machiavelli)

    32. Judge Nencini’s comments were always addressed at Dalla Vedova’s arguments, who was in fact a bit silly

    31. The Judge declared the evidence phase closed. Next court dates are 25 November for prosecution argument and 26 for the defences with 16 and 17 December.

    30. Judge Nencini asked Dr Barni “would you be able to provide reliable standards without using suggestions from Americans?” Dr Barni: “of course”

    29. Dalla Vedova said Tagliabracci was the only Italian source in the RIS report, all others are foreigners, emphasized the American labs…

    28. Sollecito said his family absolutely never had issues with justice. And he is a proud ‘member’ of that family

    27. He also played the ‘national’ card, as he remphasized ‘I am Italian’ twice and then addressed the court ‘I am an Italian, as you are’

    26. Sollecito mentioned the defens’s arguments (he has an orthopedical issue with his foot etc.).

    25. The questions of all parties to the experts were intended to elicit information to be used in arguing the unrelated previous finding

    24. He mentioned Meredith’s name only once, to say he barely knew her.

    23. Sollecito talked with a faint voice, a long speech in which he described himself as a victim.

    22. The Carabinieri say that there are only a few governmental laboratories which have the 17025 certificate (the Carabinieri and the Police)

    21. Nencini stops Dalla Vedova, points out that scientific community is international

    20. Dalla Vedova tries to elicit that the good standards are not the Italian ones.

    19. The RIS obtained the ISO9001 certificate in 2008, and a more specific certificate in 2012.

    18. Bongiorno asks RIS to explain why two amplifications are recommended.

    17. Prosecutor Crini asks if there are criteria to distinguish which labs or which experts are more competent.

    16. Speaking about their software which allows to weight probabilities of attribution.

    15. They note that three alleles which are ‘alien’ were drop off in one duplicate.

    14. The biologic method has a ‘consensus’ interpretation and a ‘composite’ interpretation, two ways to interpret the double result.

    13. They describe the methods employed, the ‘biologic’ method and the ‘statistic’ method.

    12. Absence of any male trace stands out as a feature of the sample (all contributors are females)

    11. They extracted two profiles in a duplicate in agreement with experts of all parties

    10. Dr Berti says the sample was a low template. They have a strategy to obtain reliable results.

    9. Points out that documentation says sample 36i comes from insertion of blade in the handle.

    8. Dr. Berti summarizes the recovery of sample in Vecchiotti’s lab.

    7. Bongiorno says Sollecito intends to release a spontaneous declaration. He will do that after the experts testimony.

    6. Berti and Barni enter the court.

    5. Many law students from the Florence school for Magistrates are in court to follow the hearing.

    4. Sollecito had managed to enter the courtroom from side entrance eluding photographers. Carlo Torre arrives in court.

    3. Giulia Bongiorno & Raff kiss each other. Giulia, Raff & Father have a worried discussion

    2. I wonder… will the court withdraw his passport?

    1. Raffaele Sollecito is in courtroom. Walking in empty room, few people waiting. Hearing will start 1/2h probably


    Second Update

    Tweets from Patricia Thomas (AP) and Sabina Castelfranco (AP)

    Patricia Thomas “@MozzarellaMamma:  RaffaeleSollecito - Amanda Knox and I were very carefree and isolated in our love nest.

    Sabina Castelfranco “@SCastelfranco:  Sollecito says he is not the assassin he has been described as. Says Amanda was his first love

    Patricia Thomas “@MozzarellaMamma:  RaffaeleSollecito - I have been described as an assassin. Amanda Knox was my first real love in life

    Patricia Thomas “@MozzarellaMamma:  RaffaeleSollecito takes stand to make statement, starts complaining about media descriptions of himself


    First Update

    Tweets from Barbie Nadeau

    35. Nov 25 - prosecution; 26 - civil; Dec 16 - Sollectio; 17 - Knox; Jan 9 - rebuttals, 10 deliberation and verdict

    34. Dec. 16, 17 closing arguments for Knox and Sollecito

    33. Judge closes hearing for day, says closing arguments begin Nov 25, 26, must find December dates to conclude

    32. Sollecito finishes by thanking judges for their time, judge tells him he can intervene any time during rest of appeal until they deliberate

    31. Sollecito says he hates the fame, how it has hurt him, how it isn’t fair

    20. Sollecito says he has a difficult time looking for work, people associate him with the murder of meredith kercher

    29. Sollecito says that even on his vacation in Dominican Republic, he had to defend himself like a public figure, his life is judged by all

    28. Sollecito repeats twice that he never met Rudy Guede, how nothing in original trial was based on reality.

    27. Sollecito takes trip down memory lane, highlights worst parts of trial and incarceration for him, has not mentioned meredith kercher yet

    26. RaffaeleSollecito - I feel a persecution. It is a nightmare, beyond all imagination.

    25. RaffaeleSollecito—close to tears as he testifies to court “I am fighting every day to bring out the truth” 

    24. Jury totally transfixed by sollecito declaration, can’t take their eyes off him

    23. Sollecito thanks and defends his family, calls amand knox his first love

    22. Judge asks for Sollecito declaration now

    21. Judge asks about relevance of kit they used, how old technology was, etc.

    20. Judge asks what minimum testing is for validation of DNA, RIS says “at least two”

    19. Judge tells Dallavedova he cannot put words in mouth of new expert that were said by previous experts, this is fresh analysis

    18. Judge clarifies that RIS was not asked to reanalyze work that has been done, but to test a sample that has not been tested.

    17. Dallavedova essentially kicks goal into own net, not doing amanda knox any favors by making RIS defend methods used in original conviction

    16. Dallavedova manages to get RIS expert to defend Italian methods, says they are in line with global standards, this was crux of 1st appeal

    15. DallaVedova asks about international protocol, backfires slightly b/c RIS expert says he doesn’t want to dis italian methods, are valid too

    14. Bongiorno hammers point that international standards in DNA must be followed ([claims]they were not for meredithkercher sample on tip of knife)

    13. Jury in new appeal trial for amanda knox; sollecito look totally lost, lots of daydreaming during DNA testimony, nail biting, looking around

    12. Bongiorno asks RIS expert specifics of amplification of sample with an eye to trace with meredith kercher DNA that was amplified many times

    11. Prosecutor asking for clarification on how samples are tested, how RIS experts are qualified, etc.

    10. RIS: DNA testing as important to exclude suspects as to confirm them, in this case no question that amandaknox DNA is on knife, others’ not

    9. RIS: testifying about international standards necessary to validate DNA, how they used in their examination of this particular spot on knife

    8. Sollecito listening attentively and jotting notes as RIS expert testifies about the knife

    7. RIS: the spot they tested on the knife (near handle) matched definitively the DNA of amandaknox in double tests

    6. RIS: the spot they tested on the knife did not match meredith kercher or rudy guede or sollecito after double testing

    5. RIS: Experts tested spot “H” [?] on the knife (the spot near the handle) for both the victim meredith kercher and suspect

    4. RIS: DNA analysis showed no x chromosome, i.e.: no male chromosome in sample they tested on knife

    3. RIS: essential in DNA testing to double test samples to validate results

    2. RIS expert: explains technical details of testing DNA, how much is needed, how it is tested

    1. Judge says he wants to hear from RIS experts first and then sollecito can give his declaration


    Initial Post

    Well, that first shot from the court at the top sure is a surprise, and maybe bad news for Amanda Knox. Where are Sollecito’s other lawyers, Bongiorno and Maori? Presumably they are off to the side talking. .

    In tweets Andrea Vogt has mentioned that she is reporting for the BBC and the Associated Press TV; reporters cannot have bigger clients or more global reach than with those two. This is from Andrea Vogt’s website.

    Court is now in session. Day will begin with RIS forensic debates. Raffaele Sollecito will make a statement later in the day.

    Sollecito arrived in the Florence court of appeals looking relaxed and ready to make his case before the court later in the day. His father, Francesco Sollecito, also appeared visibly happy to have his son back in arms reach, after an extended stay in the Caribbean. A large number of his friends were in the audience.

    Forensic experts for the defense Walter Patumi, Carlo Torre and Sarah Gino were also in attendance in preparation for debate on the new DNA evidence tested by the RIS in Rome, specifically, trace 36i on the kitchen knife alleged to be the murder weapon. RIS say the DNA profile is that of Amanda Knox. Arguments today will mostly about how it might have gotten there, with prosecutors attempting to place it in the context of the murder and defense attorneys arguing it could have been transferred during normal domestic use of the utensil.

    Next hearings are Nov. 25-26, with a verdict expected in mid-December.


    Monday, October 28, 2013

    Some Hard Truths Sollecito PR Shill Sharlene Martin Omits In Her Misleading Invite To The Congress

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





    Dear Sharlene Martin:

    Please dont say we didnt warn you before. In this notice of a Congressional “briefing” (read: paid highly misleading PR) you once again gloss over a number of hard truths.

    You might well be advised to head to higher ground. The US Congress and the Administration will soon be left in no doubt about the correct facts of the case against Sollecito and Knox, as Italian law enforcement start to reach out to their counterparts in the FBI, and as they charge mischief-makers with obstruction of justice in the case, and as more and more reporters in the US and UK media wisen up.

    Against your client, this was always a very strong case. And this alone has your client cooked. Here are some other corrections and correct background to the false claims you have just made.

      1) Senator Cantwell was already burned by associating too closely with your radioactive group. She spoke out daffily for Amanda Knox several years ago - and then, duly warned, she went quiet again. Ask her congressional staff for the story to that. And read our past heads-ups for Senator Maria Cantwell here and here.

      2) Your client Raffaele Sollecito wrote the most defamatory and misleading book about an Italian case in many years. Key claims have been repudiated by his own father on Italian TV. As his case is ongoing Sollecito is meant to fight it in the (very fair) Italian courts, not poison public opinion to lean on those courts. Sollecito is being considered for charges of obstruction of justice for the book and much else in the media, and you and the publishers may be charged too.

      3) This is NOT a third trial. It is a re-run of a first appeal. If the very well-run and highly decisive Massei trial of 2009 had been run in the US or UK it is hard to see what grounds if any, any appeal judge would accept for appeal. Your client would be near the end of his sixth year in prison. And it is known that the Hellmann Appeal and the DNA consultancy were both bent by Sollecito’s and Knox’s own teams (corrective measures have been taken with more to come) so the 6-year process is essentially your own team’s fault.

      4) John Douglas’s highly self-serving chapters on the case are among the silliest ever written in a crowded field. The very vain Douglas starts with the totally false premise that Knox was forced to confess after many many hours, and from there on out it is all downhill. He takes a faux position essentially identical to that of Saul Kassin. Read about Kassin’s own spurious and highly self-serving take on Knox’s “forced confession” here and here and here.

      5) Steve Moore lacks the correct expertise to analyse this case and he was never the ace crime scene investigator you claim. A dozen or more posts here show how unreliable and rambling he is. Among other things he appeared on a disastrous panel (with a team almost identical to yours - and an audience that peaked at 35) at Seattle University a couple of years ago. Read what two very astute lawyers thought of his man-in-a-bubble performance here and here.

      6) The hapless Michael Heavey was officially reprimanded for his bizarre intervention in the case. He was also on the disaster of a panel at Seattle University. He has got the basic facts wrong again and again and again. Here he is getting the facts wrong five years ago.  Here is his association with Frank Sforza, a key mis-stater of the key facts of the case and serial defamer of the Italian officials involved, who he was financially supporting - and who now faces three separate trials of his own.

      7) And the hapless John Q Kelly? This is a tough field in which to come out ahead but John Q was perhaps the silliest talking head for Knox and Sollecito on TV. He babbled on in the media about a railroading that never took place. Read how even his own colleagues considered him to have been duped here and here.

    A Congressional briefing panel that is not made in heaven, that is for sure. Stay tuned. There is more to come.




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