Headsup: In "Talking To Strangers" Malcom Gladwell lied to his readers with an inaccurate and venomous attack on Italian justice that gives aid to the mafias. Below is the seventh of maybe 10 posts providing the ACCURATE information Gladwell should have done. Series starts here.

Category: Raff Sollecito

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 Proposes 30 Years For Knox And 26 For Sollecito

    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 Report

    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.

    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.

    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!

    Tweets 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.




    Tuesday, October 08, 2013

    Questions For Knox and Sollecito: Why Claim Rudy Guede Did It Alone When So Much Proof Against?

    Posted by Marcello




    1. Problems Of Your “Guede did it alone” Mantra

    Your attempts to frame Guede for the entire attack sound racist, and they fly in the face of a multitude of hard facts.

    Why are you and your more untethered supporters arguing to the media that Rudy Guede alone attacked Meredith (he could not have), that he was a drifter (he wasnt), a burglar (he wasnt), and drug dealer (he wasnt), and that his DNA traces are “all over Meredith’s room” (they werent)?

    There are surprisingly few DNA traces of Guede in there, and outside Meredith’s door there is only evidence of (1) his prior use of the south bathroom, and (2) his shoeprints headed straight for the front door.

    There is zero evidence that Rudy Guede was ever in the shared bathroom (the one with Sollectio’s bloody footprint on the bathmat) and zero evidence he was in Filomena’s room (the one with the broken window and the mixed DNA of Meredith and Knox). 

    2. Evidence Against You Is Far, Far Stronger

    Explain if you can about Sollecito’s bloody footprint. Explain if you can about the evidence of cleanup. Explain this and this about your multiple contradictory alibis.

    Explain if you can why YOUR own witnesses Alessi and Aviello were such disasters for your side in court. Explain your cell phone actions (or non-actions) and the timing and content of your phone calls, and your computer actions (or non actions).

    Explain why in Sollecito’s book he claims he sent several emails throughout the night; but there zero records of such emails with his email provider. Explain why both Sollecito and Knox framed Dr Mignini.

    There are three compelling reasons above all why the Massei court and the Supreme Court will remain totally unbending on the point that Guede did NOT attack Meredith alone, and that it had to be a pack attack on Meredith.

    • One is the full day of closed court testimony at trial by crime-scene experts from Rome who accounted for every point of evidence in Meredith’s room with a depiction of a 15 minute pack attack involving three people. This seriously upset the jury and your own defense was left essentially speechless.

    • One is the prosecution’s video shown in closed court during Summations of the recreation of the attack on Meredith, which accounted for every point of evidence with a 15 minute pack attack involving three people.  This seriously upset the jury and your own defense was left essentially speechless
    • .
    • One is that the entry of an attacker via Filomena’s room is so absolutely unbelievable. Your own defense always knew this, and barely tried to make that sale (hence the witnesses Alessi and Aviello).

    There are seven other routes for a burglar to enter the house, all of them faster and quieter and five of them darker. You can see five in these images below: two via the east windows, three up onto the balcony and into the house via the louvre door or the kitchen window.

    All seven routes would be obvious to any burglar, long before he walked all the way around the base of the house to beneath Filomena’s window (which he did several times in your scenario). 

    3. The Numerous Questions From Which You Hide

    On or after 6 November you have both promised to appear in the appeal court in Florence. You are apparently too nervous to face cross-examination under oath, but you have said you intend to try to explain things.

      1) Rudy Guede had been to the apartment at least twice already on prior occasions and knew the boys who lived in the lower story. Why did Guede choose to NOT break-in to the lower story where he knew (or could ascertain) that all four boys were away on holiday, and therefore could break-in and rummage with some certainty of not getting caught?

      2) Why did Guede choose to break-in to the upper story of the villa when he surely knew Knox and Kercher would be staying at the villa for the holidays and could have returned at any time to “catch him in-the-act”?

      3) Why did Guede not check the cottage to make sure no one was there before attempting the break-in? Surely he would have verified that no one was present by circling the cottage and checking if any lights were on in the windows.

      4) If Guede did circle the cottage to make sure no one was there before attempting the break-in, why would he then choose the most visible and more difficult path of entry through a second story window, as opposed to the more hidden and easier path of break-in at the back of the villa, which he would have noticed while circling the villa?

      5) Why would Guede choose to break-in through a second story window that was highly exposed to the headlights of passing cars on the street as well as exposed to night lighting from the carpark?

      6) Ms. Romanelli testified that she had nearly closed the exterior shutters. Assuming her memory is correct, there is no way a burglar could easily verify if the windows were latched and if the inner scuri were latched to the window panes, which would make access to the window latch impractical unless one was armed with a core drill or an ax. Why would Guede, who was certainly familiar with such windows, choose to attempt the break-in through a window that he could not easily verify would allow him quick access?

      7) Assuming the shutters were closed, Guede would have to climb up the wall and open the shutters before smashing the window with the rock. The night of the murder, the grass was wet from rain the previous day. Why was there no evidence of disturbed grass or mud on the walls?

      8) Guede had Nike sneakers, not rock climbing shoes. How did he manage the climb up the wall with that type of footwear?

      9) If the shutters were closed, or somewhat closed, how did Guede manage to lift himself up to the sill with only an inch of sill available to grab onto?

      10) Assuming Guede opened the shutters, how did Guede verify if the inner scuri where not latched to the window panes, which would prevent access to the window latch? There was no light inside Ms. Romanelli’s room to reveal that the scuri were ajar.

      11) Assuming Guede managed to check that the inner scuro behind the right-hand window was not latched, how did he manage to break the glass with a 9 lb rock with one hand while hanging on to the sill with the other?

      12) Assuming Guede managed check that the right-hand inner scuro was not latched, how did he break the glass with the rock without having glass shards fly into his face?

      13) If Guede climbed down to the lob the 9 lb rock at the window from 3 meters below, how would he do so to avoid glass shards raining down on him?

      14) If Guede climbed down to the lob the rock at the window from below, why would he choose a 9 lb 20 cm wide rock to lob up to a window 3 meters above him, with little chance of striking the window in the correct fashion?

      15) If Guede climbed down again and climbed back up to the carpark (up a steep slope with slippery wet grass and weeds) to lob the 9 lb 20 cm wide rock from the car park, why is there no evidence of this second climb down on the walls?

      16) Why did Guede choose a 9 lb 20 cm wide rock to throw from the car park, given that a large, heavy rock would be difficult to lob with any precision? Especially considering that the width of the glass in the window pane is only 28 cm wide, surely anyone, experienced or not, would have chosen a smaller, lighter rock to throw with greater precision.

      17) If Guede lobbed a 9 lb 20 cm rock from the car park, such a lob would require some velocity and therefore force. Guede would have been roughly 11-12 feet away from the window, in order for the lob to clear the wood railing at the carpark. If the rock was thrown with some velocity, why is the upper 1/2 of the glass in the window pane intact, without any fracture cracks at all?

      18) If Guede lobbed a 9 lb 20 cm rock from the car park, such a lob would require some velocity and therefore force. Why is there so little damage to the scuro the rock hit, so little damage to the terrazzo flooring impacted by the rock, and so little damage to the rock itself, which surely would have fractured more on impact with a hard terrazzo floor?

      19) Why was there no evidence of glass shards found in the grass below the window?

      20) If Guede climbed the wall to open the shutters, climbed down and up to the car park to throw the rock, then climbed back down and up again to the window, how does he manage to hoist himself onto the sill without cutting himself on the glass that was found on the sill?

      21) If Guede climbed the wall to open the shutters, hoisted himself onto the sill, tapped the glass with a 9 lb rock to lightly break the glass in a manner more consistent with how the window was broken, why did he throw the rock into the room, rather than let it fall into the grass below?

      22) Why was no dirt, grass, muddy shoeprints or similar trace evidence found on the window sill?

      23) Why was no dirt, grass, muddy shoeprints or similar trace evidence found in Romanelli’s room?

      24) If Guede climbed the wall to open the shutters, climbed down and up to the car park to throw the rock, then climbed back down and up again to the window again, hoisted himself onto the sill without cutting himself on the glass that was found on the sill, unlatched the window and stepped inside Filomena’s room, how did he manage to get glass on top of Romanelli’s clothing that was found under the window sill?

      25) Why would Guede, who would have spent a good 10 minutes trying to break and enter with the climbing up and down from the carpark, waste valuable time throwing clothes from the closet? Why not simply open the closet doors and rifle through the clothes without creating more of mess?

      26) Why did he disregard Romanelli’s laptop, which was in plain view?

      27) Why did Guede check the closet before checking the drawers of the nightstand, where surely more valuable objects like jewelry would be found?

      28) Why were none of the other rooms disturbed during the break-in?

      29) Assuming Ms. Kercher arrived to the cottage after Guede’s break-in, presumably when Guede was in the bathroom, why did she not notice the break-in, call the police and run out of the cottage?

      30) Assuming Guede was in the bathroom when Ms. Kercher returned, why go to the extent of attacking Ms. Kercher in her room rather than try to sneak out the front door, or through the window he had just broken, to avoid if not identification, at least more serious criminal charges?

      31) Assuming Ms. Kercher was at the cottage while Guede broke-in, why did she not call the police the moment she heard the rock crash through the glass, loudly thud to the terrazzo floor and investigate what was happening in Romanelli’s room while Guede was climbing back down from the car park and climbing back up to the window?

      32) Assuming Ms. Kercher was at the cottage while Guede broke-in, Guede could have been on the sill already because he had tapped the glass with the 9 lb rock to break it. Therefore perhaps Guede was already partially inside Romanelli’s room when he was discovered by Ms. Kercher. In this case Guede follows Ms. Kercher to her room in an attempt to dissuade her from calling the police and the assault ensues. But then, if this scenario is correct, when does Guede have time to rifle through Romanelli’s clothing and effects?

      33) Why is there a luminol revealed footprint in Romanelli’s room that has mixed traces of Knox’s and Kercher’s DNA ?

      34) Why does this footprint not match Guede’s foot size?

      35) If multiple attackers were required to restain Ms. Kercher, holding her limbs while brandishing two knives and committing sexual violence, then who else was with Guede and why no traces of this 4th (or more) person(s) were found, either in shoeprints, footprints, fingerprints, DNA or otherwise?

      36) If Guede and others were involved in the assault, why has Guede not acknolwedged them, and instead consistently hinted that, and finally admitting that Sollecito and Knox were with him during the assault?

      37) If Guede and others were involved in the assault, why do the other shoeprints, footprints, DNA traces and fingerprints all point to Knox and Sollecito being present during the assault, in one way or another?


    4. Italy Is Not Buying The Racist Mantra

    If your racist mantra remains “the black guy did it alone” and “Italians are corrupt and stupid” you need to PROVE that. If you cannot answer all of these questions above, this will deservedly cook you.

    You could be facing 30 years with the “mitigating factors” canceled and the new penalties you will incur for your dishonest books and PR campaigns.


    [Five easier ways in: 3 via balcony (note two drainpipes, window grid below), 2 via side windows]










    Friday, September 27, 2013

    Questions For Sollecito: Why So Many Contradictory Explanations Of How DNA Got On The Knife?

    Posted by SomeAlibi





    It is no secret (except seemingly to him) that Sollecito’s book and web postings will once again land him in court.

    This trial will be separate from the main appeal though the prosecution office will be the same. It will be for alleged contempt of the court in serially mis-stating the evidence and accusing many officials of crimes in an attempt to get public opinion to lean heavily on the courts. 

    The Amanda Knox brigade has been trying that too, and look at how well that is working out!

    Here is one seemingly perfect example of how Sollecito (finally responding to the pressures and pleas of his discombobulated lawyers?) may be trying to wind things back. You will recall that news of the discovery of a large knife in his kitchen drawer with Meredith’s DNA on it was related to Sollecito while he was in his prison cell, just over two weeks after the murder.

    As much as the news initially panicked him, shortly thereafter on November 18th, 2007, he seemed relieved to have realised how Meredith’s DNA could have come to be on his kitchen knife after a session of, in his written words, “thinking and remembering”. He wrote in his diary:

    The fact that there is Meredithʹs DNA on the kitchen knife is because on one occasion, while we were cooking together, I, while moving around at home {and} handling the knife, pricked her hand, and I apologized at once but she was not hurt {lei non si era fatta niente}. So the only real explanation for that kitchen knife is this one.

    And that was it: Raffaele had “fortunately” remembered how he had “pricked” Meredith’s hand and that explained the DNA. He remembered it in precise detail - thank heavens for that!

    The problem for Raffaele was that he didn’t know at this stage that the DNA was in a microscopic groove on the blade and not on the tip. The story made no sense. Worse, he was also flatly contradicted by the flatmates, the friends and even Amanda: he had never been cooking with Meredith and his story was therefore impossible as well as implausible. And since he was a murder suspect, the memories and all their specificity which would have given him an alibi for the DNA, became highly suspicious.

    Unfortunately, Raffaele chose to remain silent thereafter and never testified, as was his right, at his trials.

    Subsequently there were many months of Team Knox-Sollecito denying that Raffaele meant Meredith, in contradiction of all plain logic when reading the simple words in his diary. No, said the online apologists, in fact he meant Amanda’s hand and in some way he had thought that maybe Meredith’s DNA had been on Amanda and could have transferred. It wasn’t his fault that his theory was wrong, it was just an honest memory of being with Amanda and nothing suspicious at all.

    On Twitter on September 22nd, Raffaele decided, probably unwittingly as is his wont, to blow that theory up. He was asked about the diary entry by Twitter user MK @santamariaxx and responded thus:

    He replied as in the image above.

    So, he didn’t really mean Amanda at all (thank-you for all the wasted hours of excuse making for Raffaele to those protagonists of that particular theory), but now we learn it was a false memory about Meredith that never happened.

    But let’s unpick this because it’s far from a single mis-remembered sentence or action. This was a contemporaneous diary entry made barely two or three weeks after such a cooking event could have happened and it was a multi-faceted event with multiple actions. He was clear and precise about what happened in detail. Now, he is quite clear the whole thing never happened:

      1. He said he was cooking together with Meredith - but that never happened

      2. He recalled himself “moving about” during the cooking session - but that never happened

      3. He remembered the location “at home” - but was never there in this context

      4. He remembered putting a knife that he was holding into / onto Meredith’s hand - but that never happened

      5. He remembered actively apologizing to Meredith for that clumsy act - but that never happened

      6. He remembered the act of them examining Meredith’s hand and mutually discovering that she had not been hurt - but that never happened

      7. He remembered that this was the real explanation of the kitchen knife - but it never happened

    Sollecito was on his own in a cell, not under interrogation, and spending time “thinking and remembering” on November 18th. What he remembered, in detail, was a multi-part sequence of events with a girl who had been murdered barely two weeks before. He remembered the minutiae of what happened and its sequence when he believed he needed to provide an alibi for the identification of the DNA on his knife.

    None of Amanda Knox’s vagueness about these memories - they were particular and specific in the finest detail. So fine and specific that when he was caught out that this could not have happened, those details looked highly like someone seeking to convince precisely because of the particularity of the details. It was in the time-honoured form: “no, no - it definitely happened, because I specifically remember”..... 7 distinct and separate memories and the sequence in which they occured.

    But all those things never happened according to Raffaele Sollecito in 2013.

    Knox and Sollecito have never stopped the self-serving lies and flat contradictions of themselves. Not now, even after all this time, even after one them is permanently stained as, at a minimum, a convicted liar who criminally tried to frame a man for murder. Sollecito, “not hiding” in his secret location, can’t stop either. Little good it will do either of them. Finally, justice is coming and the lies will be at end. I’d almost feel sorry for him, if he wasn’t then and remains now, an inveterate liar without the honour to face justice in the country of his birth.


    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    Trashing Of Italian Justice To Bend Trial Outcomes And How The Republic Pushes Back

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    A big mob trial in Italy

    1. Those Who See To Trash Italian Justice

    Based on murder and incarceration rates there are not so many bad guys in Italy. But those who are bad can be very very bad.

    Those with a vested interest in taking Italian prosecutors and police down a peg to affect trial outcomes can be bunched into seven groups. 

    • The three regional mafias;
    • A few defense lawyers and well-funded defendants;
    • Politicians shielding corruption;
    • In some instances the freemasons.
    • Those wanting investigations like MOF/Narducci to drop dead;
    • Muckraking magazines like Oggi;
    • Some anti-Italy foreigners.

    None of them are simply pro-Amanda or pro-Raffele. All of them have hidden agendas, and all are under the constant eye of law enforcement.

    Any of the above can join forces. Fighting institutions that make the public safe can make for strange bedfellows. Those attempting to trash justice can use any or all of three prongs in their attacks.

    1) Assassinate the prosecutors and judges assigned to mafia cases. Over 100 in recent years have been assassinated.

    2) Bend the laws in parliament. Bent laws excessively favoring defendants have greatly affected this case.

    3) Flame the justice system and those who work for it. The pro-Knox pro-Sollecito campaign has definite mafia fingerprints.

    Italian justice has adopted powerful if usually latent ways for law enforcers to push back and try to arrive at just outcomes.

    If officers of the Italian courts are publicly accused of crimes in the media while a legal process is playing out, and the claims are malicious and untrue, this is not a civil matter (defamation, slander or libel).

    It is a criminal matter (in the UK and US too) for which sentences can include long prison terms.

    If the officers of the Italian court who are attacked are very senior and have an anti-mafia role they are REQUIRED BY LAW to request a criminal investigation by a chief prosecutor to take place.

    They essentially have no further role themselves after that, except to provide true testimony in court.

    A range of measures is then available to investigating chief prosecutors, up to and including invoking the powers of the Council of Magistrates and even the President of the Italian republic. 

    2. Trashing Of Justice In Perugia Case

    If we look closely - a lot closer than all the UK and US media look, and most of the Italian media - we can spot attempts to further the interests of all seven of these groups in the campaigns against justice for Meredith and especially against justice for the Monster of Florence victims.

    • The three mafias have their toe in the door in various ways including but not only the mafioso witness Luciano Aviello (on which more below), and the Narducci 22 including Spezi, and the editors of newspapers like Oggi who have long done their handiwork for them.

    • The defense forces and the well-funded, sneering, money-grubbing defendants Knox and Sollecito are very well-known to us here; their myriad dirty tricks go as far back as early 2008 and the list has not yet stopped growing.

    • The Berlusconi loyalist and fervid Knoxaholic Rocco Girlanda wrote to the President, asking that he order that the Perugia prosecutors be investigated; Girlanda also tried to cut the national police budget before he was voted out of office..

    • Both the judges in the annuled appeal were freemasons and our main poster Yummi described the furtive freemason fingers in the pie (some freemasons ally with mafias and feud strongly with catholics, which Perugia police and prosecutors are) in his well-researched posts here and here.

    • Those who wanted the MOF/Narducci investigations to drop dead used the ever-willing “useful idiot” Doug Preston to ridicule the investigations in a strident book and numerous media appearances; also they tried hard to take down Dr Mignini, their most recent nemesis though the Supreme Court has totally reversed that for reasons explained here.

    • The notorious editor of Oggi has a long history of sneering and essentially fact-free reporting, aimed at undermining the courts and the police; playing to his advantage, there is a smallish but terminally paranoid readership for such conspiracy myths in Italy.

    • And as for anti-Italy foreigners with their fingers in the pie, well, where to begin? Doug Preston? Michael Heavey? Nina Burleigh? Candace Dempsey? Greg Hampikian? Paul Ciolino? Judy Bachrach? David Anderson? Joel Simon?  Bruce Fischer, and his vast operation?

    All seven groups were happily on a roll up to around the end of 2011, when Knox and Sollecito were released, and many (including Curt Knox’s PR guru David Marriott, Hampikian, and Fischer) prematurely declared that they had won total victory.

    But it is astounding how much matters have reversed in the past year and a half. Take a look at the state of play for them as it is now.

    3. Pushback In Meredith’s Case:

    The Italian Supreme Court is nothing if not remorseless in its mandated pursuit of justice and the truth. We saw this the other day when a prison sentence was allowed to stand against the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who had long thumbed his nose at the courts.

    We also saw it in the convictions allowed to stand against the many CIA operatives and their Italian counterparts who kidnapped Abu Omar and flew him for torture to Egypt.  Though most of their sentences were permitted to be reduced, most are still left with a felony record for life - and the lead CIA operative is now a world-wide fugitive.

    We can now see this same strong reaction against contempt of the courts in the Meredith Kercher case and the Monster of Florence case and the hairbrained “defense” campaigns nominally run for the perps in those two parallel cases.

    Italian officials have various reasons to believe not only that Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox are surely guilty, just as Judge Massei described, but also that they and their American supporters are foolish pawns in some much bigger and even nastier games, and deeply in over their heads.

    In its annullment of the Hellmann/Zanetti appeal and its instructions to the Florence Palace of Justice, Cassation reveals its own suspicion that some very unsavory elements may be attempting to take the Italian justice system down a peg and it wants fast decisive action to stop this. A high-stakes new trial described at bottom here is a first huge warning shot.

    Knox has served three years, will be labeled a felon for life, faces an enormously tough new appeal against an excellent prosecutor, and has her name on a book which commits against Italian officials THE EXACT SAME CRIME she served three years for: false accusations of crimes. She is expected to be charged soon by Bergamo prosectors.

    Sollecito in his own book committed some of the same crimes as Knox did in hers (did we mention criminal enterprise?!) plus another one (accusing the prosecution of wanting him to roll over on Amanda) which his own father has renounced on national TV. He is expected to be charged soon by Florence prosecutors.

    Everybody involved in the writing and publishing of the two criminally defamatory and very self-serving blood-money books (illegal in Italy) could soon be about to take a fall, both in the Italian criminal courts and in the US civil courts. The foolish publishers and deal-makers included, of which Curt Knox himself is one.

    If neither RS nor AK turn up for the new appeal in Florence later in September, they risk warrants being issued for their re-arrest. If they DO turn up they could well turn on one another, and their books will help the prosecution and hamper the defenses no-end - with those mad claims, how can they possibly take the witness stand?

    Criminal defamation charges are still pending against Amanda Knox and against both of her two biological parents. Corruption charges are pending against Francesco Sollecito and Raffaele’s sister Vanessa for attempting to use political means to up-end the Perugia prosecutors.

    Judge Hellmann has been eased out ignominiously, and Judge Zanetti demoted. Conceivably both may face charges, along with Conti & Vecchiotti and maybe Hampikian. And all the defense lawyers are in a ton of trouble for helping AK and RS to write their books, Giulia Bongiorno especially. The former MP Rocco Girlanda is of course long gone. 

    Many of the Knox defense forces have exited or ended up as being of no consequence: Frank Sfarzo (now on the run from the law in the US and Italy); Halkidis and Hampikian (see the Machine’‘s posts below), the hapless two Moores, the proven phoney Bruce Fischer, and so on and on. 

    And US officialdom, not least the State Department and the US Embassy in Rome, still show not the slightest interest in intervening. Any judge is expected to approve extradition of Knox if her refusal to face trial and prison is sustained in face of a final guilty verdict. 

    4. Pushback In Monster of Florence Case

    Yummi mentioned some pushback in the post linked to above, including the trouble rained down on the heads of the prosecutor and judge who put on trial Giuttari and Mignin, whose convictions were scathingly reversed by a very angry Supreme Court. 

    The Narducci case was put back on track by the Supreme Court and a prison sentence seems a sure thing for Mario Spezi and up to 2 dozen others. A prison sentence might be incurred by the delusional weakling and serial defamer Doug Preston.

    The “theory” of the MOF case Dr Mignini has good reason to hold is that the murders were not those of one single serial killer. This perception of a shadowy self-protecting group is absolutely mainstream in Italy, and is reflected in the excellent Guittari book on the case (Il Mostro) which could soon with good reason (it tells the truth) push the silly Preston MOF book off the US and UK bookshelves.

    That theory is espoused by all the current prosecutors in Florence.

    The one media outlet which never fails to take an anti-prosecution stance, Oggi, Is being investigated and could be put on trial for publishing Knox’s false charges against the Perugia and national police and prosecutors and may have problems hanging in there.

    Dr Mignini looks set to be promoted to becoming the next attorney general of Umbria, the region of which Perugia is the capital. And the hold of the freemasons and the mafias over Italian justice is not getting any stronger, just as most Italians prefer.

    5. Pushback In Related Cases

    Former Sollecito witness Luciano Aviello could be the direct cause of a lot of people ending up in jail.

    His trial for perjury and contempt of court is happening now in Florence. His trial has been fast-forwarded as a direct result of the Supreme Court declaring that getting to the bottom of his erratic day in court in 2011 with too-familiar mafia-type allegations must be a top priority.  His forthcoming defense is expected to be explosive.

    We have posted extensively on Aviello since he first surfaced. A mafioso since his teens in Naples, now aged about 40, he has spent most of his adult years in prison. (He is back there again right now - for killing a dog and extortion.)

    As police and prosecutors all know, Aviello has a very long record of making things up to try to give himself some breaks and to keep in with the mafia. He has been repeatedly convicted for perjury.

    He was the witness summoned by a hapless Giulia Bongiorno to try to arrive at an explanation that fits with the prevailing conclusion of the Supreme Court that THREE people had attacked Meredith on the night.

    What Aviello came up with on the stand was that his own missing brother and one other habitual criminal had unintentionally committed the murder. They were trying to steal some artworks, but they got the address of the house wrong.

    Raffaele Sollecito was so thrilled at this (palpably false) testimony by Aviello that he says in his book that he sent Aviello an embroidered handkerchief, perhaps because Aviello has urges toward a sex change operation.

    On the witness stand in mid 2011 Aviello really roasted the police and prosecution in mafia-type terms for failing to come down on his side and follow up on his allegations (actually they had already followed up, but found nothing).

    Then two fellow inmates at his prison near Genoa testified for the prosecution that he had told them that the Sollecitos had offered or paid large bribes for any false testimony helpful to their boy getting sprung.

    Extraordinarily, Judge Hellmann brushed all of this under the rug, and hurried on to other matters less embarrassing to the Sollecitos and Bongiorno.  This REALLY caught Cassation’s attention as there have been strong suspicions in Perugia and Rome that Hellmann and/or Zanetti were in the pocket of one of the families.

    Why did the unqualified Judge Hellmann replace the excellent Judge Chiari, suddenly and inexplicably decided upon by Chief Judge Di Nunzio? Why are seemingly all of the lead players bending things to the Knox-Sollecito side freemasons?

    Were Hellmann and Zanetti and Aviello and Aviello’s fellow inmates among those who received some sort of inducement to bend RS’s way? What was Giulia Bongiorno’s precise role in all this?

    Directly, Aviello could be in a position to bring down both families, both defense teams, and both appeal judges. He could even make a guilty verdict for RS and AK a sure thing.

    Criminal enterprise indeed. We will continue reporting. Oh and make sure to watch your back, Luciano.


    Monday, August 05, 2013

    A New DNA Analysis Strongly Implicating Sollecito Seems to Have The Defense Forces Rattled

    Posted by The Machine


    F
    [Above: DNA professional Professor David Balding; at bottom, DNA amateurs Barras and Halkides]


    The Supreme Court has already shown strong disdain for the myriad dirty tricks of the defense forces, and legal action is building against them (see our post next week).

    That the defense forces in this context attempt to put out even more misleading information seems a sure sign that their backs are to the wall, and that they will risk anything to again tilt the playing field. 

    Colin Barras

    “Software says Amanda Knox’s DNA wasn’t at crime scene”  This highly misleading header appeared above an article by Colin Barras on the New Scientist website last month.

    It should be pointed out that Colin Barras isn’t a DNA expert. He has never been involved in a forensic investigation. He has never provided expert testimony in a court case. He is simply a freelance British science writer with degrees in geology, palaeobiology and palaentology - the palaentology of Jurassic sea urchins.

    Barras explains in his article that Professor David Balding, a Professor of Statistical Genetics at University College London, has developed new software for interpreting Low Template DNA evidence.

    This is true. However, Barras then goes on to make the following claim:

    Using the software on data from Knox’s trial suggests that it was very unlikely that her DNA was at the crime scene.

    In fact Professor Balding and his software suggested nothing of the sort. Professor Balding was referring specifically to an incomplete DNA profile on Meredith Kercher’s bra clasp which has never been at much issue.

    He did not refer to all the other DNA evidence that was collected at the crime scene and presented as evidence in court.

    It’s important to clarify what this crime scene actually is, because the defense forces of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito constantly move the goalposts in relation to this case depending on who they are talking about.

    When they talk about the evidence against Knox and Sollecito, their version of the crime scene is strictly limited to Meredith’s room. When they discuss the evidence against Guede, their version of the crime scene includes other rooms in the cottage i.e. the other bathroom and the hallway. And when they discuss the collection of the DNA evidence, their version of the crime scene suddenly includes the flat downstairs, even though no crime was committed there.

    According to Wikipedia “A crime scene is a location where a crime took place (or another location where evidence of the crime may be found), and comprises the area from which most of the physical evidence is retrieved by law enforcement personnel, crime scene investigators (CSIs) or in rare circumstances, forensic scientists.”

    The Scientific Police from Rome and the Forensic Police from Perugia clearly regarded most of the cottage as a crime scene. The Forensic Police from Perugia catalogued potential evidence by placing letters and numbers in different rooms in the cottage. (The Massei report, p200).

    The Scientific Police then collected DNA and forensic evidence from Meredith’s room, Amanda Knox’s room, the hallway, the kitchen, the blood-spattered bathroom, the other bathroom which was used by Filomena and Laura and Filomena’s room where the break-in was allegedly staged. That’s a total of seven rooms.

    And the Scientific Police didn’t actually claim at the trial that the incomplete profile on the bra clasp belonged to Amanda Knox. It was Sollecito’s forensic expert Professor Vinci who claimed that Knox’s DNA was on Meredith’s bra. His findings were presented in court at Rudy Guede’s fast-track trial in 2008.

    So Colin Barras has used a straw-man argument. He has completely ignored the six pieces of DNA evidence that place Amanda Knox at the crime scene on the night of the murder.

    According to the prosecution’s experts, Amanda Knox’s blood was found mingled with Meredith’s blood in three places in the bathroom: on the ledge of the basin, on the bidet, and on a box of Q Tips cotton swabs.

    Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s DNA was also found mixed together in a bare bloody footprint which was revealed by Luminol in the hallway and a mixture of Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s blood was also found on the floor in Filomena’s room.

    Amanda Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of Sollecito’s kitchen knife and a number of forensic experts - Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo, Professor Giuesppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli, Luciano Garofano, Greg Hampikian and Elizabeth Johnson - have all confirmed that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade.

    Dr Stefanoni analysed the traces on the knife six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA. This means that contamination couldn’t have occurred in the laboratory. Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s apartment, so contamination away from the laboratory was impossible.

    The knife is still in evidence and remains compelling evidence against Knox and Sollecito.

    Ominously for Knox and Sollecito, the Supreme Court explained how DNA evidence should be assessed in court i.e. contamination must be proven with certainty not supposition.

    The burden of proof is on the person who asserts contamination, not the person who denies it.

    In other words, if the defence lawyers claim the DNA evidence was contaminated, they must describe the specific place and time where it could have plausibly occurred.

    Nobody has ever proved that the bra clasp and knife evidence were contaminated and it’s difficult to see how the defence lawyers’s experts are going to do this at the new appeal.

    Chris Halkides

    Chris Halkides is one of Amanda Knox’s most effusive supporters. He has pontificated extensively about the case on his blog View from Wilimington and on other Internet websites.

    On 30 July, he was finally prompted to post an interview with Professor Balding done some months previously. I suspect Halkides had been very keen to interview Professor Balding after reading Colin Barras’ article on the New Scientist website; but was holding back on posting it because it went against his own claims.

    Indeed,  his interview has turned out to be quite a slap in the face for the Friends of Amanda and Colin Barras, because Professor Balding categorically described the DNA evidence against Sollecito to Halkidis as “strong”.

    It’s worth summarising Professor Balding’s impressive academic record which for this case is topnotch, perhaps the best .

    He is currently the Chair of Statistical Genetics at University College in London. He has a first-class honours degree and a PhD in Mathematics. And he has written many journal articles and co-authored a number of books on a range of topics.

    This is apparently the whole of Chris Halkides’ interview with Professor Balding:

    TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013

    An interview with David Balding

    Part 36 in the Knox/Sollecito case

    Professor David Balding recently published an analysis of the bra clasp DNA.  It may be helpful to explain some terms found in this article.  John Butler (Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing) defines the likelihood ratio (LR) as “The ratio of the probabilities of the same event under different hypotheses, and he explains that the prosecution’s hypothesis is usually the numerator, and the defense’s hypothesis is usually the denominator.  A ban is a unit of expressing the weight of evidence (WoE).  This scale is logarithmic; a likelihood ratio of three bans is equal to one thousand.  Some months ago Dr. Balding was kind enough to answer some of my questions about this work.

    Does Raffaele Sollecito¹s DNA fall into the category of low template DNA, and if so, should two separate amplifications have been run?

    There’s no strict definition of “low-template” but broadly yes the peaks associated with Sollecito are low (but not those associated with Kercher, they are high).  Conti-Vecchiotti discuss a threshold of 50 rfu below which a peak should not be relied on; in the UK, that threshold was used in the past but nowadays as techniques have improved the threshold is often lower, 25 or 30. 

    However that doesn’t matter here as all the peaks associated with Sollecito are well above 50: there is a 65, a 70 and a 98, all the 26 other peaks are above 100.  So it is not extremely low template - many low-template cases are successfully prosecuted in the UK even when some peaks fall below the threshold and so are discounted.  In this case all the peaks associated with Sollecito seem clear and distinct so I think there can be no concern about the quality of the result as far as it concerns him or Kercher.

    Replication is generally a good thing and is nowadays done in most cases in my experience, but not all - one problem is that replication splits the sample and so can increase the chance of not getting a usable result.  But although replication is desirable it is not essential.  (In a sense there already is replication, because each of the 15 loci is an independent test.) 

    This is all a matter of weight of evidence, which Conti-Vecchiotti paid no attention to: if you measure the weight of evidence properly, that accounts for the extra assurance that comes from replication and gives a stronger result (or conversely gives a weaker result if there is not replication).  But because Sollecito is fully represented in the stain at 15 loci (we still only use 10 in the UK, so 15 is a lot), the evidence against him is strong even allowing for the additional uncertainty due to non-replication.

    Are there contributors other than Raffaele Sollecito and Meredith Kercher to the autosomal profiles?  If so, how does the presence of this additional DNA affect the bra clasp as evidence?

    Yes, Conti-Vecchiotti identified a further 12 above-threshold peaks at alleles that could not have come from Sollecito or Kercher.  They correctly criticised the scientific police for ignoring these: many do appear to be stutter peaks which are usually ignored, but 4 are not and definitely indicate DNA from another individual.  The extra peaks are all low, so the extra individuals contributed very little DNA.  That kind of extraneous DNA is routine in low-template work: our environment is covered with DNA from breath and touch, including a lot of fragmentary DNA from degraded cells that can show up in low-template analyses. 

    There is virtually no crime sample that doesn’t have some environmental DNA on it, from individuals not directly involved in the crime.  This does create additional uncertainty in the analysis because of the extra ambiguity about the true profile of the contributor of interest, but as long as it is correctly allowed for in the analysis there is no problem - it is completely routine.

    Are there contributors to the Y-STR profile other than Raffaele Sollecito?  If so, how does the presence of this DNA affect our interpretation of the bra clasp as evidence?

    I haven’t looked closely at the Y evidence - there seems no need for it because the autosomal evidence is overwhelming for the presence of DNA from Sollecito.  But from a look at Conti-Vecchiotti, it seems to back up the conclusion from the autosomal profiles: Sollecito’s alleles are all represented and these generate the highest peaks, but there are some low peaks not attributable to him; so at least one of the additional contributors of low-level DNA to the sample was male.

    The bra clasp was collected about 47 days after the murder, and it was found in a different location from where it was initially observed.  In the interim many people entered the cottage and items from her room were removed.  Are these concerns sufficient for the clasp to be excluded as evidence?

    The only worry would be if somehow DNA from Sollecito was brought into the room and deposited on item 165B.  I don’t know enough about what happened to say if that was likely but I’d guess that people walking in and out of the room etc would be unlikely to do that.

    The clasp was collected with gloves that were not clean, not with disposable tweezers (videos here and here).  The glove was handled by more than one person.  Are these concerns sufficient for the clasp to be excluded as evidence? If not, should the clasp be given less weight as evidence because of them?

    Same comment - the only concern is if any of this could have transferred DNA from Sollecito onto item 165B.

    Would you care to comment on the storage of the clasp after the forensic police tested it?

    I know nothing about it.

    Did you analyze the electronic data files?  Did you examine the laboratory¹s own protocols and machine logs?

    I have only seen the epgs for the autosomal DNA profiles of 165B.  There is an unclear version of them in the Conti-Vecchiotti report, but Prof Vecchiotti kindly provided me with a clean set.

    Did you examine the negative controls?

    No

    Fellow main poster Stilicho highlighted the most important conclusions from this interview on the PMF Forum where the quality of the DNA discussion is very informed.

    The interview contains a few things that have been vigorously denied by the FOA:

    The 50 RFU level is not sacred or inviolable.

    It is improbable that Sollecito’s DNA got there by secondary transfer or by contamination.

    The likelihood that the DNA on the bra clasp is Sollecito’s DNA is “overwhelming”.

    ...the interview doesn’t contain anything not already known to both sides but it contains several key elements that are not accepted by both sides.

    Chris Halkides asked two-part leading questions and didn’t get the answers that would be needed to continue to falsely assert that Sollecito’s DNA is not abundant on the clasp or that, if it was there, it likely got there by some other route.

    All the other inferences about environmental contamination are irrelevant to Balding’s main point: it is Sollecito’s DNA on that clasp and it didn’t get there by accident.

    Final Thoughts

    Some credit must go to Chris Halkides for finally posting the interview with Professor Balding even though it categorically said the DNA evidence against Sollecito is strong. I’m not sure he’ll be invited to any FOA events in the future.

    Shame though on Colin Barras, for writing such a misleading article, and for using a straw man argument to highly misrepresent the DNA evidence against Amanda Knox which was then deliberately fed to the Italian media.

    He completely ignored the six pieces of evidence that place her at the crime scene on the night of the murder. He also completely ignored the most important of Professor Balding’s findings.  ie that the DNA evidence against Sollecito is strong.

    This finding implicates Knox and places her at the crime scene when Meredith was killed, and makes a mockery of Barras’s headline that suggested otherwise.


    [Below: the wannabe crime-scene DNA experts Colin Barras, left, and Chris Halkides, right]


    Saturday, July 06, 2013

    Crazed Rant Against Judge Massei Expected to Hurt Prospects For Both Sollecito And Knox

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    This is what we are hearing from informed readers in Perugia on the rant we translated for the post below.

    It is believed that neither RS’s father nor his lawyers nor the Knox people have any control now over him. He is right now quite a loose canon, and very close to finding himself entirely on his own.

    There is widespread outrage at the attack on Judge Massei (image above) who is known as a kindly and courteous man, and a very good judge. Correctly understood, he gave the two quite a break in 2009 with the “mitigating factors” and placing of the main blame on Rudy Guede.

    Judge Massei knows about this attack and it appears he will take action against it. It is expected to result in further consequences for Sollecito. The attack seems unprecedented in the US and UK as well as in Italy.

    The attack seems more evidence of the contempt of the court for which Sollecito is already under investigation in Florence by the SAME chief prosecutor who will organize the prosecution team for the re-run of the appeal. It almost makes inevitable that Cassation’s hard line will be reflected in the outcome of that appeal.

    As to what inspired it, Sollecito is universally regarded locally as a wimp, a weak character, who was under Knox’s control during the attack on Meredith she organized, and has been outshone by her since. (His book actually says this in places.)  In the crisis that is the Cassation ruling, he wants to show her above all that he has a personality, and thinks that insulting the judiciary is the way to prove it.

    Thumbing his nose at Knox? Macho strutting to win her back?

    Knox is said to be under very tight control, so presumably we wont be getting her take on it any time soon.


    Wednesday, July 03, 2013

    Questions For Sollecito: Did Your Father & Lawyers Pre-Approve This Rant?

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    [Francesco Sollecito previously on Italian national TV trying to explain the weirdness of his son]


    This is in response to your open letter to Italy’s TGCom website.

    You are starting to sound eerily like the serial killer Ted Bundy in jubilant “catch me if you can” mode. Ted Bundy also thought he was the brightest guy on the block and the cops, prosecutors and judges were all a few bricks short of a wall.

    Ted Bundy was of course caught, by smart cops, and put on trial, by smart prosecutors in front of a smart judge and jury. He made a terrible hash of his defence, he was unanimously found guilty, by a jury of smart peers, and he was made to pay his dues to society and the victims’ families - with his life.

    You posted this to an audience in Italy which for the most part thoroughly dislikes you, when you are already in line for sentences that could cost you 30 years ranging up to life.

    So. Did your father Francesco and your lawyers Bongiorno and Maori (and all of Knox’s people) give you the go-ahead for this seriously bizarre rant, or not?

    Once upon a time, there was Amanda and Raffaele, she was an American student, studying languages and he studying Computer Science. They met at a classical concert and fell in love…  no wait like that it is too boring….Lets make it more intriguing, lets see…..I know!

    The prosecution found a crazy drunk, and cocaine dealer, Kokomani, after a year the story becomes: Amanda and Raffaele met in August, no one knows how or when, and one day at a bar, where Kokomani would get drunk, Amanda’s uncle came from America, no one knows why or when, and introduces the fiancees ( about to get married, I would say at this point) to the ignorant (unknown) Kokmani (who maybe thought he was going to be the best man) it’s clear. UNDERLINING that he is Amanda’s uncle and the two young people are Amanda and Raffaele (famous at the time, after all)

    Mmmm…...come on it’s not the best, but at least it is more interesting, it doesn’t matter that there is no confirmation to none of this, anyway it’s a movie, OK.  let’ s continue…..

    Raffaele rents a house on Corso Garibaldi,  a five minute walk from Via della Pergola, where Amanda lives with three roommates, Meredith, Filomena and Laura. The two pass many days together, they cuddle, have fun, they have outings to towns close to Perugia, and a couple of times they have lunch at Amanda’s house with the other flatmates. They live enthusiastic days, smiling every time they look in each others eyes….. Halloween Day, Oct. 31 2007, Amanda goes to work at Patrick Lumumba’s pub, so Raffaele works on his thesis and late that night they meet up….. to be together as always, taking care of each other.

    Uff! What a pain in the ass! Give this movie a bit of adrenaline, what the hell! O.K. O.K…...one day along comes a heroin addicted serial super witness brought by the prosecution who says that he saw Amanda and Raffaele in Piazza Grimana, by a small villa a few feet from via della Pergola, discussing vividly, no one knows what and no one knows what day, but it happened at 9:00p.m. to 11:00p.m. circa. It doesn’t matter that the night between the end of Oct. and beginning of Nov. was freezing cold, it doesn’t matter that Raffaele has a house where he can do what the hell he wants, but according to the heroin addicted serial super witness, the two were under the rain for three hours (if we are talking about Nov. 1, 2007) and the cold discussing who knows what, furthermore, the heroin addicted serial super witness of murders (who’s name is Curatolo) says that when he went back to Piazza Grimana the two contentious fiancees were no longer there and he saw the buses that go to the discos boarding the kids…..it doesn’t matter that the 1st of Nov. there is not a bus in this world because the night at the disco was on the night of Halloween, Oct.31, 2007…...for the Pubblico Ministero Giuliano Mignini, Curatolo was a credible witness. Even because heroin does not produce hallucinations while cannabis does.

    In reality the two fiancees passed the evening and the night at Raffaeles’s house since it was free and they had an intensive week of commitments. The 1st of Nov. in particularly Amanda had to work at Patrick’s pub, but as the evening was not busy he did not need Amanda, and after a friend of Raffaele’s passed by to cancel an appointment to go to the bus station, suddenly the two fiancees had the night free and they passed the time watching the movie “il favoloso mondo di Ameliè”, then eating fish Amanda read Harry Potter in German to Raffaele and they made love all night…...

    Il Giudice di Primo Grado, Giancarlo Massei took in full the version of the heroin addicted serial super witness tramp….. Come on Giancarlo we are still not satisfied! Come on! These two fiancees are cramming our balls!! You are all of us….

    According to the reconstruction of Judge Giancarlo Massei, that sentenced Amanda and Raffaele to 25 and 26 years in prison, things went this way: Amanda and Raffaele after being 3 hours in the cold under the rain, the night of the 1st of November 2007, head toward Amanda’s house in Pergola street and go right away into Amanda’s room (a room that was smaller than Raffaele’s cell when he was in prison) and start making love to bother Meredith who was reading a book in the other room…doesn’t matter that more than 5 people had car trouble and were waiting for a tow-truck, in front of the house during that time, and they give testimony that nobody passed by

    Sorry, but why didn’t Amanda and Raffaele go to Raffaele’s house that was free and nobody would have been bothered?.. .  Come-on! Why do you have to take into consideration this useless details, show us some firecrackers! Go Giancarlo!

    Judge Massei continues: sometime during the evening, while the two were having sex in Amanda’s room, suddenly somebody knocked at the door… Amanda and gets up and gets dressed goes to the door and who does she see? ...Rudy Guede, a colored guy that didn’t know anybody except the guys of the lower floor and had met Amanda and Meredith one time but never in his life had he met Raffaele,. that urgently needed to take a shit.

    But what?! What kind of plot is this? Where in the hell do you see that people go around knocking on doors because they need to take a shit?... Come on Giancarlo do not disappoint us! But judge Massei does not disappoint us…. Meanwhile Amanda opens the door to the poor black, victim of bewitched charm for Amanda, and goes inside to go to take a shit…. and Amanda as if nothing happen, goes back in the room and gets undressed again…

    But why couldn’t Meredith go open the door while she was reading a book?..Oh, right! Otherwise Amanda loose the part of the main actress, sorry, you are right!

    Practically , according to Judge Giancarlo Massei’s reconstruction the story goes on like this : while Amanda and Raffaele went back to have sex, Rudy Guede comes out of the bathroom, after listening to some songs on his ipod, he is overwhelmed by the SEXUAL VIBRATIONS that Amanda and Raffaele were relishing in the house hallway and the house room….

    WTF Giancarlo, this is tough shit! Not even Dario Argento could come up with something like that…. “SEXUAL VIBRATIONS”....WTF you are a genius!! Give me five!...but the good part has still to come: when Guedé smells the SEXUAL VIBRATIONS, all of a sudden he is possessed and decides by all means that he has to have sexual intercourse with Meredith.. and ventures in her room and, being rejected, because poor soul he is ugly, Raffaele and Amanda get into the action and at that point dont help Meredith who is their friend, but, to the contrary and unexpectedly, they help Rudy Guede to rape Meredith and than finish her up cutting her throat…

    All three had knives: Rudy has a past as thief, he used to burglarize offices and apartments with the same “modus operandi” that he used to get in in via della Pergola, moreover he has been captured while sleeping in a kindergarten in Milano with a knife in his bag.  Raffaele had always a little collector knife in his pocket: never mind that he never used it to hurt anybody in his life, there are no traces of anybody else on his little knife “¦.Amanda… and Amanda?  Judge Massei says that she used an enormous kitchen knife got from the “looser” Raffaele’s house and put it in her purse…. why?? because…YOU NEVER KNOW (a 15 cm knife can be always useful “¦).. Massei says.

    But the poor Meredith was a small build girl, her wounds are not that big and that knife would have gone through the neck because of how big it is… there isn’t blood on that knife nor Meredith’s DNA because the analysis of the scientific police are completely unreliable , not having being compelled to observe the international protocols.  There are no bleach traces. What the police says are hypothesis never proved .

    Come on, details! But there are no traces of Amanda and Raffaele on the crime scene, there are only Guede’s, everywhere.  How it is possible that they were cleaned, were are the traces of the cleaning??! Come on do not break our nuts! This is just details, let me see this movie!

    What about that little bra hook? There are 5 different profiles…all on the iron part of the hook, nothing on the tissue: it has been found 46 days after the “polizia scientifica” swept the crime scene, and meanwhile even the police swept the scene with no anti-contamination precautions and put upside down the all apartment. There isn’t Raffaele profile on that hook: if that mix of traces is properly read you can find anybody’s DNA

    Do you want to stop with these bothersome things?!! Lets finish to see this movie!! Massei concludes: we don’t know why Amanda and Raffaele choose to kill Meredith, but we have to accept their choice. THE EVIL CHOICE. Probably under the influence, because they didn’t despise her, taking into account that they said that they smoked a joint… unfortunately nobody tested to check if Amanda and Raffaele used heavy drugs or were in the habit of binge drinking. WTF! Great job! You weld The Exorcist and Lethal Weapon!! Giancarlo you are my idol!!!!


    Friday, June 28, 2013

    Updating Our Scenarios And Timelines #2: An Integrated Comparison Of The Timing of the Phone-Events

    Posted by Cardiol MD



    [Above and below: what Meredith missed, outside dining in Perugia at night]

    1. Point of our series

    TMJK’s core focus has long been upon “What happened at 7 Via della Pergola, in Perugia, on the night of November 1-2, 2007?”

    Over the last 4+ years, more than 20 TJMK posts, with more than 400 comments, have addressed the subject of possible scenarios and timelines for those events. They represent a lot of thought and many are worth reading if you haven’t come across them before.

    This post is the second in a series that will reappraise the more probable speculations, using the current state of our information. The first post was four weeks ago.

    Reader comments in response to Part 1 amply reflect readers’ interest in exploring the various “˜open Questions’ referred-to, and how efforts to make Knox and Sollecito confront the true answers are obfuscated by their falsehoods.

    The Truth of the actions of Knox and Sollecito on November 1st & 2nd, 2007, is so precious to them that they attend that Truth with a “˜Bodyguard of Lies’, to borrow Winston Churchill’s famous WW11 dictum. They even further obfuscate the answers to our questions by selectively employing a Bodyguard of Actual Truths.

    The aim of their broken drain-pipe under the sink story (see previous post) was to persuade investigators, and everyone else:

    1.    That there was a broken drain-pipe under the sink (Massei Translation p.67), and

    2.    That the alleged water-leak occurred BEFORE the murder.

    Their obfuscations include:

    1.    The omission of references to incriminating truths, e.g. omission of references to the hammer-toe on RS’s right-foot, one of his most incriminating physical attributes (see representative image of a right-foot hammer-toe below), and

    2.    The inclusion of “Half” truths, and

    3.    The inclusion of references to non-incriminating truths.

    2. Integrated timing of phone events

    This post is an integrated comparison of the timing of the phone-events byy coordinated universal time, merging Massei’s sections on Amanda Knox [AKP], and Meredith Kercher [MKP], as well as that of Rafaelle Sollecito [RSP].

    [For the day of 31.10.07 it was shown that Meredith’s mobile phone with service provider Vodafone 348-4673711 sent an SMS at 18:27:50 hours using the cell at Piazza Lupattelli sector 7. (this signal is received in Via della Pergola 7.)

    The same number received an SMS at 18:29:05 hours (this exchange of messages took place with the number 388-8921724) connecting to the same cell.

    [RSP]: − on 31.10.07 Raffaele received *a call+ from the father’s fixed line (No. 080-3958602) at 22:14 for 44 seconds.

    With respect to Sollecito’s mobile phone 340-3574303, attention was paid to the entire day of 1.11.07 with the following results]

    Which help establish a less-suspicious baseline for comparison with later, more-suspicious results.

    [RSP]− 00:00:39 an outgoing call, just after midnight

    The phone traffic with regard to the day of 1.11.07 was reconstructed in the following terms (cfr. statement of Assistant Stefano Sisani at the hearing of 20.3.09).

    AKP− 00:41:49 hours: outgoing phone call of 20 seconds, to a number whose holder was not identified

    RSP− on 1.11.07 *he+ called the father’s house at 00:02:41 for 262 seconds

    AKP− 00:57:20: Amanda’s mobile phone sent an SMS, using the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 (which does not provide coverage to Sollecito’s house, since it pertains to Via Ulisse Rocchi, Piazza Cavallotti, etc. and therefore at the heart of Perugia’s historic center). This consisted of the SMS which the young woman exchanged with Raffaele at the end of the Halloween evening to arrange meeting up with her boyfriend and be accompanied home

    RSP− 00:57 an incoming SMS 319

    AKP− 1:04:58: Amanda’s mobile phone received *a call+ for 53 seconds from the number 075/9660789, located in Piazza Danti 26

    RSP− 14:25 an incoming call which lasted 58 seconds

    RSP− 16:50 an incoming call, coming from the mobile phone of the father, lasting 214 sec.

    RSP− 16:56 another call from the father (64 sec.)

    AKP− 20:18:12: Amanda receives the SMS sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, which let her off from having to go to work at the “šLe Chic”› pub on the evening of 1 November. At the time of reception the phone connected to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, whose signal does not reach Raffaele Sollecito’s house. The young woman was therefore far [i.e. absent] from Corso Garibaldi 30 when the SMS reached her, as she was walking in an area which was shown to be served by the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell. This point of her route could correspond to Via U. Rocchi, to Piazza Cavallotti, to Piazza IV Novembre, bearing in mind that Lumumba’s pub is located in Via Alessi, and that Amanda Knox would have had to travel along the above-mentioned roads and the piazza in order to reach the pub

    AKP− 20.35.48 Amanda sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723; the message was sent when the young woman’s mobile phone was in Corso Garibaldi 30 or in the immediate neighbourhood. The cell used, in fact, was that of Via Berardi sector 7 − no other [use] was shown for the day of 1.11.07, noting that Amanda declared during hearings that she had switched her mobile phone off once she had returned 323 to Raffaele’s house, since she was more than happy she did not have to go to work and could spend the evening with her boyfriend.]

    Knox may also have been LESS than happy that Lumumba preferred Meredith instead of Knox as an employee. This was humiliating-enough to Knox for Knox to decide that the time to cut Meredith down-to-size was now.

    [RSP− 20:42:56 call from the father (221 seconds: this is the conversation which Dr. F. Sollecito referred to, made at the end of the film he had just seen in the cinema, which the father recommended to the son, at which point [it is said that] Raffaele informed his father of a problem with a broken drain-pipe under the sink in the kitchen”. ]

    Massei Translation page 25: On “the evening of November 1, 2007 at around 10:00 pm, someone called and warned Elisabetta Lana not to use the toilet of her dwelling because it contained a bomb which could explode. Mrs. Lana immediately notified the police of this phone call; and they came to the house but did not find anything. Mrs. Lana and her husband were nonetheless asked to go to the Postal Police the next day to report said telephone call.”

    MKP ““ 20:56 hours on 1 November 07, attempted call to Meredith’s mother’s home in England.

    MKP ““ 21:58 hours on 1 November 07, attempted call to mobile phone’s answering service, voicemail “˜901’.

    MKP ““ 22:00 hours on 1 November 07, dial to Meredith’s London bank “˜ABBEY’.

    MKP ““ 22:13:29 hours (9 seconds) on 1 November 07, attempted internet connection. Connection consistent with being attempted from cottage, but inconsistent with being attempted from Mrs.Lana’s.]

    Massei Translation, page 331, attributes the above 4 dialings to Meredith absent-mindedly playing with the mobile phone in her hand, and her phone may well have still been in her hand when her attackers surprised her.

    Question: Was Meredith’s Phone still in the cottage at Via della Pergola at 22:13:29 hours on 1 November 07? Yes.

    At about 22:30 hours Car broken-down nearby. Tow-Truck called-for.

    At about 23:00 hours Tow-Truck arrives to load car.

    At about 23:13 hours Tow-Truck leaves with loaded car.

    [RSP- 23:41:11 RS’s father attempts phone-call but makes no oral contact. Father leaves message which is not received until 06:02:59 on 2.11.07.]

    This 23:41:11 call was attempted during the very time-frame of the attack on Meredith, her murder, and the flight of her killers with her mobile telephones. Meredith’s Phone[s] were removed from her cottage by about Midnight, less than 20 minutes after this attempted call.

    With regard to the day of 2.11.07:

    [for 2.11.07 the first record is that of MKP - [0]0:10: 31, “when it has been established as an incontrovertible fact that Meredith’s English mobile phone was no longer in Via della Pergola, the mobile phone having received the contact under the coverage from Wind signal [cell] ..25622, which is incompatible with the cottage.”]

    Question: Was Meredith’s Phone still in the cottage at Via della Pergola at 00:10: 31, 2.11.07?  No!

    Therefore Meredith’s English mobile phone had been removed from her cottage between 10.13.39 p.m. on 1.11.07 (more likely 11.13 p.m. when tow-truck departed) and 0:10:31 on 2:11:07; about 10 ½ minutes after midnight ““ say Meredith’s Phone[s] Removed By About Midnight, allowing for the time-elapse before being dumped near Mrs. Lana’s place. (Hellmann obfuscated this time-span on page 14 of his report, implying it to be more than 10 hours after midnight rather than about 10 ½ minutes after midnight.)

    At some time before Meredith’s attackers fled, they had seized her mobile telephones, probably near the beginning of the attack, having started their attack with a pre-emptive strike to intimidate Meredith, remove all hope, surround her, display knives, seal all possible escape-routes, and remove any possibility of phone-calling for help.

    Immediately after Meredith’s scream her attackers had silenced her with the fatal stabbing, and then fled immediately.

    They fled with her already-seized but still switched-on mobile telephones, probably without locking anything, including Meredith’s door.

    Their over-riding and 1st imperative was not-to-be-caught-at-the-crime-scene.





    Having abruptly fled the crime-scene their 2nd imperative was not-to-be-caught-in-possession-of-Meredith’s-telephones.

    Avoid Police!

    Just seeing police could panic the killers into instant dumping of the telephones, without even needing to know why the police were where the police were (There is no need to invoke any awareness by the phone-dumper[s] of the reason the Police were near Mrs. Lana’s place - the hoax-call.). So if the killers saw flashing police-lights, or any other sign of police near Mrs. Lana’s place, that sign could be enough to explain panic phone-dumping - then and there (not considering whether the phones were switched-on or switched-off).

    In “Darkness Descending” page 13, it states:

    Mrs. Lana’s backyard overlooks a steep slope that falls sharply into the valley below. It is heavily overgrown with trees and bushes, an ideal place to dispose of evidence. If the phones had fallen just a few yards further, they would certainly have gone over the edge of the cliff, down into a 50m gully, straight into a thick scrub of nettles, and probably been lost forever”¦.

    In “Death in Perugia” Follain states (Book page 62; Kindle Locations 343-6), apparently as his opinion re Lana’s daughter finding Meredith’s English phone: “It was hidden in some bushes, and she would never have found it if it hadn’t started ringing.”,

    Having accomplished this 2nd imperative, Meredith’s killers paused to attend to their 3rd imperative: re-model the crime-scene, minimising the evidences of their identities, cleaning-up the evidences that it was “˜an inside job’, and simulating the appearances that it was “˜an outside job’.

    One should bear in mind that these killers should have still been overwhelmed by their having actually committed a crime beyond their wildest imaginings.

    Their panic impaired their thinking, and their ignorance, immaturity, inexperience, lack of technical resources and their arrogance precluded their selecting deceptions more effective against knowledgeable, experienced professional crime-investigators with a large fund of resources. They probably think that throwing the stone from inside Filomena’s room was a brilliant deception.

    They wish it had never happened.

    They wish they could make it unhappen (Hellmann/Zanetti got close to fulfilling this wish, but got themselves unhappened by Cassation)

    They wish they could prevent the discovery of Meredith’s murder.

    They cannot prevent the discovery of Meredith’s murder.

    They may be able to postpone its discovery, but not longer than the inevitable return of the cottage-mates, later that day.

    They believe that the person who “˜discovers’ a murder may become 1st-suspect.

    They may be able to manouevre others-than-themselves into being the ones that make the discovery ““ quite a wily aim.

    It is beyond reasonable doubt that

    1.    Meredith’s killers seized her mobile telephones, and that

    2.    Her killers did not switch-off these mobile telephones, and that.

    3.    Her killers threw the telephones into an apparent ravine, landing in Mrs.Lana’s garden, and that

    4.    This phone-dump was accomplished before 00:10: 31, 2.11.07, and that

    5.    Amanda Knox caused:

      i.  the English phone to ring at 12:07:12 (16 seconds) and be discovered by Mrs.Lana’s daughter only because it rang , and

      ii.  the other phone, registered to Filomena Romanelli, to ring, very briefly, at 12:11:02 (3 seconds) and,

      iii. the English phone to ring again, also very briefly, at 12:11:54 (4 seconds), after being brought into Mrs.Lana’s house.

    6.    Sollecito had more than 5 days, from about 11.30 pm on November 1st, 2007 until November 6, 2007, to remove from the killing-knife the traces of Meredith’s DNA.

    In the opinion of the Court of Assizes (Massei Translation p.325), Amanda Knox’s call to Meredith’s phone was

    ...the first indispensible step before putting the [348] planned staging into action. The lack of a reply, since the poor girl was obviously already dead, gave a reason for reassurance about the fact that the young woman’s phone had not somehow been retrieved, [and] was therefore safe in the spot where it had been thrown, which, according to the expectations [in the minds] of the murderers was a precipice or some other inaccessible spot, rather than in the garden of a villa located barely outside the city, where the vegetation concealed it from view.

    A plausible alternative opinion is that Knox’s calls to the obviously already dead Meredith were an obfuscatory stab to simulate what Knox imagined an innocent person would do.

    Knox may well have expected that she was safe from phone-discovery, but these calls turned out to be the very instrument of a phone-discovery.

    Had Knox not made these obfuscatory stabs, in the time-frame she made them Meredith’s phone would not have rung when it did ring and would therefore not have been discovered by Mrs, Lana’s daughter when she did discover it.

    For the day of 2.11.07, when Meredith was already dead, the traffic registered for the Vodafone number was shown to be the following:

    [MKS ““ 00:10:31; duration and caller unspecified, but Wind signal [cell] incompatible with cottage, but compatible with Mrs. Lana’s place.

    Therefore, Meredith’s mobile cell-phone had already been taken away from the cottage by her killers. It is not possible to determine from this phone-record whether the phone was switched on or off, but this phone was discovered at Mrs. Lana’s place because it was ringing, and therefore was “on”.

    MKS− 12:11:02 (duration of 3 seconds): Amanda’s phone call reached the phone and was diverted to the answering service. The Vodafone cell used by Meredith’s service provider was situated in Strada Vicinale S. Maria della Collina sector 1.

    AKP− 12:11:54 (4 seconds): another call is made towards Meredith’s English mobile phone number (the cell used is the one in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, thus compatible with Sollecito’s house)

    RSP− 06:02:59 Raffaele Sollecito received the SMS from his father wishing

    Raffaelle a good night; from the evidence of the mobile phone record printouts of Dr. Francesco Sollecito, it was shown that the sending of the message occurred at, as has been said, 23:41:11 of 1.11.07. This was the last SMS sent from that mobile phone during the whole day of 1.11.07]

    3+ Hours after receiving his father’s message from 23:41:11 of 1.11.07:

    [RSP− 09:24 Raffaele Sollecito received a phone call from his father lasting 248 seconds]

    At this time RS’s consiousness would be dominated by his guilty knowledge, and probably far-advanced in the accomplishment of the 3rd imperative.

    Did RS and father spend 4+ minutes discussing the weather?

    This is the first father/son opportunity to formulate the two-pronged water-leak story.

    Although AK had already been to the hardware store 2 hours before, they may well not have known the potential DNA problems with the knife, the need to scrub it vigorously, to clean-out, and repair the drain-pipes under the sink, and the need to return the knife to RS’s kitchen drawer.

    As it turned-out, Sollecito had more than 5 days, from about 11.30 pm on November 1st, 2007 until November 6, 2007, to remove from the killing-knife the traces of Meredith’s DNA.

    They probably did not know that incriminating stains could be invisible, but can be revealed byLuminol.

    RSP− 09:29 another call was received lasting 38 seconds

    RSP− 09:30 (duration unspecified?) the father called Raffaele; the call connected to the Vial Belardi sector 7 cell.(the best server cell for Corso Garibaldi 30).]

    These two calls were probably spent dotting “˜i’s, crossing “˜t’s, and exchanging options, such as enlisting sister Vanessa’s skills and contacts.

    Another 2+ Hours later:

    [AKP− 12:07:12 (duration of 16 seconds) Amanda calls the English phone number 00447841131571 belonging to Meredith Kercher. The mobile phone connects to the cell at [346] Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 9 (the signal from this cell is picked up at Sollecito’s house)

    AKP− 12.08.44 (lasted 68 seconds) Amanda calls Romanelli Filomena on number 347-1073006; the mobile phone connects to the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell (which covers Sollecito’s house)

    Discovery will be inevitable when Filomena eventuallyarrives-back at the cottage.

    AK/RS have accepted that they have to “˜stand-pat’ with their efforts so-far to accomplish their 3rd imperative.

    Amanda did not say a word in this phone-call to Filomena about Amanda’s phone call to Meredith, thereby withholding information that should have led Amanda to initiate discovery of Meredith’s body, and help Amanda to manouevre someone other than Amanda into being the one who “˜discovers’ Meredith’s body.

    AKP− 12:11:02 (3 seconds) the Vodafone number 348-4673711 belonging to Meredith (this is the one [i.e. SIM card] registered to Romanelli Filomena) is called and its answering service is activated (cell used: Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector3)

    MKS: For the day of 2.11.07, when Meredith was already dead, the traffic registered for the Vodafone number was shown to be the following:

    − 12:11:02 (duration of 3 seconds): Amanda’s phone call reached the phone and was diverted to the answering service. The Vodafone cell used by Meredith’s service provider was situated in Strada Vicinale S. Maria della Collina sector 1.

    AKP− 12:11:54 (4 seconds): another call is made towards Meredith’s English mobile phone number (the cell used is the one in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, thus compatible with Sollecito’s house)

    AKP− 12:12:35 (lasting 36 seconds) Romanelli Filomena calls Amanda Knox (No. 348-4673590); Amanda receives the call connecting to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 (still at Raffaele’s house)

    AKP− 12:20:44 (lasting 65 seconds) Romanelli F. calls Amanda, who receives the call connecting to the cell in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 9 (good for Corso Garibaldi 30)

    AKP− 12:34:56 (48 seconds): Filomena calls Amanda who receives it from the cottage on Via della Pergola 7 (the cell used is that on Piazza Lupattelli sector 7. As mentioned, Raffaele also used the same cell when he called the service centre at 12:35 hours to recharge [the credit of] his mobile phone)

    RSP− 12:35: Raffaele’s mobile phone contacted a service centre for a phone [credit] recharge (the cell used was that of Piazza Lupattelli sector 7, which gives coverage to the little house on Via della Pergola 7. The signal in question does not reach Corso Garibaldi 30, which instead is served by the signal from Piazza Lupattelli sector 8)

    RSP− 12:38: Vodafone sent a message of confirmation of phone [credit] recharge (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, good for Via della Pergola 7)

    RSP− 12:40: incoming call from the father’s mobile phone (lasting 67 seconds; connection through Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, compatible with the Sollecito’s presence near the little house)]

    Do RS and father exchange caveats?





    [AKP− 12:47:23 (duration of 88 seconds): Amanda calls the American (USA) number 00120069326457, using the cell on Piazza Lupatetlli sector 7; the phone call takes place prior to the one which, at 12.51.40, Raffaele Sollecito will make to “š112”›, connecting to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1, which gives coverage to Via della Pergola 7]

    In “Waiting To Be Heard” Knox can hardly deny having made this 1st call, acknowledges making the call, and purports, now, to recall its substance, providing the reader with her version of what was said.

    [AKP− 13:24:18 (duration of 162 seconds): Amanda calls the same American number which corresponds to the home of her mother, Mrs Edda Mellas, using the same cell. It is obvious that the young woman is inside the cottage, where by this point, several minutes earlier, the Postal Police had shown up, [347] represented by Inspector Battistelli and Assistant Marzi, who were engaged in the task of tracking down Filomena Romanelli, who was the owner of the Vodafone phonecard contained in the mobile phone found earlier in the garden of the villa on Via Sperandio]

    In “Waiting To Be Heard” Knox can hardly deny having made this 2nd call either, she acknowledges making the call, and provides the reader with her current version of what was said.

    [RSP− 12:50:34 outgoing call directed at mobile phone 347-1323774 belonging to Vanessa Sollecito, sister of the defendant; duration 39 seconds. Connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell 320

    RSP− 12:51:40 Raffaele Sollecito called “š112”› to inform the Carabinieri of the presumed theft in Romanelli’s room (duration 169 seconds; connection to Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell, which covers Via della Pergola 7)

    RSP− 12:54: a second call by Raffaele to “š112”› (57 sec.; connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)

    MKS− 13:17:10 (lasting 1 second): the cell used was located in the same place, sector 7

    AKP− 13:27:32 (duration of 26 seconds): Amanda calls the American number 0012069319350, still using the cell at Piazza Lupattelli sector 7.

    AKP− 13:29:00 (duration of 296 seconds) Amanda receives [a call] from No. 075/54247561 (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)

    RSP− 13:40:12: incoming call from the father (94 sec.; Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell)]

    AKP− ?13:48:33 (1 second): this is an attempted call to her mother’s number

    ““ see below at 13:58:33

    AKP− 13:58:33 (1 second): this is an attempted call to her mother’s number

    The above item is a faithful translation from the Massei Motivazione section on Amanda Knox’s mobile phone traffic, but is listed out-of-time-sequence; the assigned-time is probably a “˜typo’ ““ “13:48:33” is much more likely correct.

    [RSP− 14:33: the father called for 21 seconds (as above)]

    Do RS and father exchange more caveats?

    [AKP− 14:46:14 (102 seconds) Amanda receives a call from the German number 494154794034, most likely belonging to her aunt Doroty Craft

    MKS− 15:13:43 (5 seconds) cell not indicated.

    AKP− 15:31:51 (1 second): Amanda receives an SMS sent from the number 389/1531078; at this point the cell being used is the one on Via Cappuccinelli 5/A sector 2, where the Questura [police headquarters] is located

    In the hours that followed the [mobile phone record] printouts show that the answering service of Amanda’s number 348-4673590 was activated due to a lack of signal coverage.]

    Massei Translation p.324:

    Finally, the analyses of the [phone record] printouts highlight that the first phone call made by Amanda on the day of 2 November was to Meredith Kercher’s English number.

    The American student called her English flatmate even before contacting Romanelli Filomena to whom she intended to express, as she testified in court, her fears about the strange things she had seen in the cottage, which she had returned to at about 11 o’clock in order to shower in preparation for the excursion to Gubbio which she and Raffaele had planned.

    It is strange that Amanda did not say a word to Filomena about the phone call to their flatmate, when the call, not having been answered, would normally have caused anxiety and posed some questions as to why Meredith did not answer the phone at such an advanced hour of the day.

    [RSP− 17:01: the father called for 164 seconds; cell used is that of Via Cappucinelli 5/A sector 2, corresponding to the location of the Perugia Police Station

    RSP− 17:42: the father called for 97 seconds (as above).

    With regard to Raffaele Sollecito’s landline home phone (No. 075-9660789)

    The above 2 calls presumably covered final agreements on the Father/son stories.

    For the entire day of 1 November and then of 2 November, Raffaele Sollecito’s fixed line was not affected by any calls, either incoming or outgoing.]

    This finishes the merged listings of the Massei sections on AKP, MKP, and RSP, using the UPC telephone traffic, reappraising the more probable scenarios surrounding what happened at 7 Via della Pergola, in Perugia on the night of November 1-2, 2007.

    Readers are invited to make their own suggestions on probable scenarios, here below or in email.


    Sunday, June 23, 2013

    A Summary Of The Cassazione Ruling On Annulment Of The Knox-Sollecito Appeal

    Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)



    [Above and below: justice-themed artwork in Cassazione; motifs are used all over the world]

    1. Introduction

    On June 18. 2013 the Supreme Court of Cassazione issued the official rationale for the sentence of annulment of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict.

    That verdict acquitted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito on the charge of murder and sexual violence, while finding Knox guilty of the crime of calunnia (obstruction of justice by maliciously placing false accusation against a person you know is innocent).

    Previously I posted here a summary of the recourse to the Cassazione by the Umbria Prosecutor-General Dr. Galati and Prosecutor Dr. Costagliola which demanded an annulment of the appeal verdict. I also posted here a first summary report, from the March 25-26 Supreme Court hearing, when the Hellmann verdict was annulled and thus prosecution recourse was won.

    The 74-page motivation report states clearly that Cassazione “˜accept the points of the recourse’ from both the Prosecution and the Kercher parties, while they reject the Knox defense recourse. 

    While you will realize it yourself in reading it, I can say in advance that what the Supreme Court points out in the appeal verdict is a pattern of manifest violation of an unprecedented gravity. All those I know in the law professions have never seen, throughout their professional lives, a Cassazione bashing portraying such a concentration of flaws in one verdict.   

    Mostly written by Judge M. S Caprioglio (possibly including parts by Judge Severo Chieffi) the document features a sophisticated Italian language and a formal style.

    The first half of the report is a summary of judicial events and arguments made by the parties through the previous instances.  The second part basically dismantles all the points of reasoning of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict, without spending too many words for each one of them. 

    2. A premise about the concept of legitimacy judgment

    The second part is introduced by an explanation about what a “˜legitimacy judgment’ is, about its scope and boundaries. The Court is called to assess 1) whether the judges of merit indicated reasons for their decisions, and 2) if reasons are logically argued and legally founded.

    The meaning of “logically argued” is that the Court shall verify that the lower judge actually did take into consideration the evidence included in the trial file (“principle of completeness”), and if reasoning is consistent with them, and with the law. The Court ““ being a “˜court of legitimacy’ [decides on legitimacy of the process that lead to conclusions, not on the merit] ““ does not assess directly the existence or the quality of the pieces of evidence, but may well assess the quality of reasoning about it and its actual consistence with the evidence in the file.

    So the legitimacy judges within their boundaries are not prevented from assessing whether the lower court followed logical criteria, meaning assessing if arguments used by the lower courts are plausible, as well as if their reasoning is “˜complete’ and truthful with respect to the evidence file.  The Supreme Court is also allowed to access the evidence trial documents for the parts that may conflict with the verdict conclusions.   

    The Court states that the present case is obviously based on circumstantial evidence, but points out how circumstantial evidence is not less powerful or logically less valuable than direct evidence.

    While remaining within the boundaries of the legitimacy judgment, the Court notes anyway that at first sight in the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict there is an obvious “parceling out” of the pieces of circumstantial evidence.  This means a lack of assessment also of each piece of circumstantial evidence, since the judge failed to check whether the possible flaws and lacks in the logical value of each single piece of evidence could be filled by crossing them and taking in account the whole set of them. 

    The Court also notes however that the judges’ conclusions also openly contradicted some of the pieces of evidence: they neglected or “˜overlooked’ them in some cases, or dismissed some pieces on which the previous reasoning was based without offering adequate reasons. Moreover the pieces of evidence were also not “adequately elaborated”, and the pieces of reasoning about them were “not coordinated”.

    3. The Amanda Knox calunnia

    Reversing the order of topics from the Galati-Costagliola recourse, the Court deals first with the charge of calunnia for which Knox was convicted twice [obstructing justice by accusing a person who you know is innocent] (p. 41-44), since on this topic there is a converging of all recourses and unanimity by all judges. The appeal court had dismissed a possible link between the calunnia and the murder charges, but the explanation provided for that appears obviously illogical.

    The Hellmann-Zanetti scenario - by which, they say, Knox may have voluntarily accused an innocent man just because she was pressed by investigators, thus for a purpose totally independent from the intent of obstructing the investigation on the charge of murder ““ is argued in a way that conflicts with and neglects the actual evidence documents.
     
    While Hellmann-Zanetti argue solely based on a police interrogation scenario as if the false accusation was an event confined within it, the Cassazione does not see Knox’s calunnia as a single event nor as a behavior limited to the situation of the interrogation, but rather as a prolonged behavior extending over a time of many hours and days (perduranza in atteggiamento delittuoso).  Basically Knox goes on implicating Lumumba repeatedly, and she repeatedly provides false evidence, such as through her hand-written note ““ where she stands by what she declared ““ and by her subsequent behavior.

    The Court also observes the evidence file contains evidence that was overlooked by Hellmann-Zanetti indicating Knox was aware that Lumumba was innocent, such as the recording of prison dialogues with her mother, where she says she feels guilty for having accused Patrick ““ a feeling of guilt implies an assumption that he was innocent. 

    So the appeal court made mistakes because they lacked inference from pieces of evidence, mainly neglecting to argue elements like the discussion with her mother,  her written memoir including the repetition of pieces of false testimony and her court admissions that she wrote her memoir voluntarily. 

    It points out (p.42) that Knox albeit young was a “mature” person ““ meaning she had an adequate cultural level and education and would be able to regain control of herself afterward even if she had suffered a coercion or a moment of emotional breakdown.  Knox would be basically able to understand the gravity of her declaration over a period of time.

    If only one single event, such a false accusation caused by pressure, breakdown and stress could have been argued ““ in the abstract ““ in the way Hellmann-Zanetti did, considering the calunnia as a choice resulting from an episode of emotional breakdown, but the Hellmann-Zanetti reasoning neglects the actual documents and is not fit to explain the persisting and repeated false testimony. 

    The Supreme Court reminds that “˜information about commission of a crime’ can be derived also from the interrogation of a police suspect, even from information released by a suspect who had not be read their rights under Art. 64, even from statements that are not usable for lack of defensive rights, and even that in the event the interrogation is to be nullified.

    In all these cases the suspect commits a calunnia whenever he/she voluntarily and falsely accuses someone to defend himself/herself (so there can’t be any consequential link between the legal status of the interrogation, and the charge of calunnia or the collecting of information about a crime).

    The Cassazione also points out that the Hellmann Zanetti rationale is illogical when it states that “the easiest way out” for one guilty “would have been to accuse the real author of the crime”. The inference obviously does not consider that she may be herself among the real authors of the crime (especially since she lived there and had access to the scene of crime). 

    The Court also points out the failure to properly address the importance of the details contained in the Knox false testimony (the detailing of this is in subsequent chapter). 

    4. The crime scene staging

    The Cassazione accepts the Prosecution General point of recourse complaining about the failure to consider the evidence of staging a burglary, and says the recourse is “founded”. The pieces of physical evidence suggesting a staging are not satisfactorily argued or refuted by Hellmann-Zanetti.
     
    The Hellmann-Zanetti appeal court also argued in favor of the “lone perpetrator scenario” by introducing some assertions which are unacceptable since they openly “collide” with the trial documents or are unfounded. Basically their reasoning was hinging on elements such as speculations about Guede’s personality, they introduced allegations like a purported habitual burglar profile, not backed by any evidence.

    On the other hand they bring in arguments ““ like that about a glass shard in Meredith’s room ““ which have zero implications in their scenario (because they are equally good to argue in favor of a staging).

    They should have argued ““ in favor or against ““ about evidence of burglary/staging based on the assessment of the pieces of physical evidence found on the scene, like argue against Massei’s reasoning about the ones mentioned in the first trial, say why it was not good. On the other hand the break-in scenario, as described by Hellmann-Zanetti, is affected by “multiple logical ruptures”, details are not explained consistently.

    Moreover ““ the Court says ““ a scenario involving the issue of burglary/staging should be argued based on the overall evidence about Rudy Guede, meaning a scenario involving the whole of what he had done, like explain all the traces that show his movements, for example the trail of bloody shoe prints showing that he left the murder room straight away.

    There are aspects of the reasoning that are “˜tautological’ (circular and begging the question).

    The Hellmann-Zanetti reasoning on the same point is also neglectful of part of the file sources (is based on a “˜partial access to information’), for example it overlook testimonies concerning wounds on Guede’s hands, dismissal of glass on top of items. To sum up, the rationale employs inadequate inferential principles and incorrect information. 

    5. Man in the park Curatolo’s testimony

    Hellmann-Zanetti had dismissed the testimony of Antonio Curatolo.

    Their statement about the reliability of Curatolo is totally “˜censurable’, since it is “˜apodictic’ [assumed as a premise “˜true in advance’ without explanation], and not based on thorough analysis of the data. In particular when they state that he tends to confuse days dates: such assertions are both unfounded and illogical since conflicting with the testimonies of himself and of others witnesses. The Court does not assess the reliability of Curatolo as a witness, but notes that the reasons brought by Hellmann-Zanetti are unacceptable.
     
    The possibility to explain elements of the testimony by mistake of date by the witness, so placing his testimony possibly on Oct 31. is conflicting with the other evidence, namely the testimonies showing the defendants were elsewhere on the 31st. Moreover the elements used for the argument are logically weak compared to the strength of the elements showing Curatolo correctly “anchoring” his testimony to real events.

    Then the lower court introduced ““ as further basis of reasoning ““ assertions in order to “˜jump’ across the whole of Curatolo’s testimony: they based their conclusion on the asserted “decaying intellectual faculties”, on his use of heroin, and on his modus vivendi.

    However they do not offer any element of evidence about the alleged mental decay, they fail to show this through analysis of his testimony, and in fact they completely fail to analyze the actual content and consistence of his testimony (lack of “completeness”).  The use of heroin and his modus vivendi (as a “bum”) is also not acceptable as a reason for dismissing reliability of a witness, this would be an arbitrary judgment that violates the principles of witness assessment. 

    Since the witness was very assertive, consistent and felt certain about his testimony, the court would need a logically strong argument ““ based on some other finding or certainty ““ in order to dismiss his reliability (dislikes about his lifestyle or disproven speculations about date mistakes are not).



    6. Shopkeeper Quintavalle’s testimony

    The Court pretty quickly dismisses the Hellmann-Zanetti conclusions about Quintavalle, on grounds that they are based on a “˜cherry picking’ and twisting of information from the documents, basically they misinterpret and neglect to consider the actual content of the Quintavalle’s testimony. 

    In fact the summary description of Quintavalle’s testimony that was offered by Hellmann-Zanetti is basically a misrepresentation based on incomplete parts of the testimony and overlooking of others, and flatly contradicts the content of actual testimony (it is not what Quintavalle and witnesses actually said).

    It is not true that Quintavalle remembered about recognizing Knox one year later, documents show that he was sure about her identity from the early investigation ““ the Cassazione quotes some of Quintavalle’s statements where he remarks her circumstances and features. 

    Hellmann-Zanetti reported some bits of information in a fragmentary fashion without taking into account the explanations of Quintavalle and the answers he actually had given through the investigation.

    The appeal court should have analyzed the whole of what the witness actually said, and crossed the statements with the existing information, instead of selecting cherry- picked bits and pinned on them a meaning out of context. 

    The Cassazione is not interested in assessing the reliability of the witness Quintavalle, but they find “intolerable” that Hellmann-Zanetti give a false picture of the testimony, in a way disjointed from the true content of the trial documentation.

    7. The failure to consider implications of Knox’s memoir

    The Prosecutor General was right in blaming the Hellmann-Zanetti court for neglecting to evaluate the hand written note written by Amanda Knox as a piece of circumstantial evidence. The appeal court dismissed the memoir as useless on the sole basis that it does not have a substantial meaning (actually: that it did not represent the truth). 

    But this argument is insufficient (and circular); it is also “˜structurally’ inconsistent because the same Hellmann-Zanetti court used the very same note as a piece of evidence in the calunnia charge, and cannot be logically linked to pressure because she wrote it alone on her own initiative and not during an interrogation.

    The Court details the content of the note pointing out that in the hand written memoir there is a repetition of some of the details from her previous “˜spontaneous statements’, which are now only set in an oneiric [dream-like, surreal] frame (they “˜seem unreal’) but yet they are the same peculiar details from the false accusation.

    The Court also highlights the new “˜sibylline’ [ambiguous and threatening] accusation by Knox against Sollecito (remembering blood on his hands, but probably from fish).

    The next appeal court will need to build some actual arguments to explain these features, taking in account that ““ as for Hellmann-Zanetti ““ she wrote that while she was fully capable to understand and without any pressure from authorities.

    The contradictory nature of the appeal court reasons on this point is “˜obvious’.           

    8. Failure to consider judicial files from Guede’s definitive sentencing

    The Court spends a bit more than one page to explain why the prosecution recourse is correct in their complaint on this point as well.  In fact Hellmann-Zanetti did accept the Guede verdict as a piece of circumstantial evidence, but argued that that piece was “˜particularly weak’.

    However, the problem is that in reality they did not assess it at all in order to come to that conclusion, but they rather just completely ignored the whole content of the Guede verdict reports.

    The court is not authorized to dismiss a piece of evidence which they formally entered without assessing it, just on “˜in limine’ reasons. Therefore the decision openly “˜violates the law’ (p. 55).

    The Rudi Guede verdict motivations theoretically might be found “˜particularly weak’ as a piece of circumstantial evidence, but it can’t be ruled “˜particularly weak’ on the reasons declared by Hellmann-Zanetti. 

    The appeal court did not try to argue the logical passages of the Guede verdict in order to assess it and explain why conclusions were weak, instead they decided to ignore it, not based on the analysis of its content but instead based on the legal nature of the document.  This is a patent violation of the law, and a conflict with the trial documents.

    Thereafter the Hellmann-Zanetti court steered the discourse onto the alleged “˜habitual criminal’ profile of Guede (an interpretation based on speculation) without explaining the reasons for building a scenario about Guede so far-fetched compared to the findings in the trial’s files about Guede.
       
    Moreover the appeal court adds a further, false and illogical argument when they state that, even if Guede was proven to be guilty of concurring with others, this does not have implications for Knox and Sollecito at all because those accomplices could have been other people.  The alleged lack of implication is false under logic, because determining that Guede acted together with others would additional information on the crime, which could be crossed with other information (such as about who had access to the apartment etc.).

    The Court also remarks that the trials had found and explicitly declared Guede innocent of the crime of burglary, and the appeal court also fails to deal with this in their alternative scenario.

    The appeal court also failed to consider other information from the findings of the Guede trial, and explicitly contradicted it without justification, for example they neglected to consider how the courts had determined through multiple witnesses that Guede actually did not have any injury on his hands on the night after the murder [Guede had cuts on his hand, but many days later, not the night after the murder]. 

    9. Declarations of Rudy Guede at the Knox-Sollecito appeal

    There is an open violation of the law in the Hellmann-Zanetti motivations, in the particular statement where they assert that Guede’s declarations in the courtroom were unreliable for the reason that he refused to undergo a questioning.
     
    The reason brought by Hellmann-Zanetti to rule unreliability is illegitimate when referring to the specific declarations of Rudy Guede in the Knox-Sollecito appeal, and legally not true.

    First, the Cassazione notes that the decision to refuse a questioning pertaining to a crime is within the rights of a witness who is implicated in the same crime. If the witness decided to invoke this right, the courts and the parties are bond to enforce it and limit their questions within topics unrelated to the crime,  and under the law, no conclusion about reliability/unreliability can be drawn solely from the witness’s decision to refuse to answer about a topic in which he was implicated as a defendant.

    No court could conclude that a witness is unreliable on the sole ground that he enforces his rights.

    Moreover, preventing an interrogation of the witness on such topics is just a duty of the Prosecution and the Court, not a ruling “˜in favor’ of the witness (and co-defendant).

    The Prosecutor General had summoned Guede to testify only about the topic of things he said during conversation with inmates and letters he wrote from prison, and since the witness invoked his right as an ex co-defendant the Prosecutor General had the duty to enforce the limitations on his questioning.

    It was the Sollecito-Knox defence attorneys who attempted to place questions directly on the topic of the events of Nov. 2, 2007, and they asked Guede to confirm the content of his letter directly pertaining the Kercher murder.  The defence asked him to confirm if one particular statement of the letter he wrote was true, and the statement of Rudy Guede confirming his Knox and Sollecito implication and accusing them of murder was only in response to this, stemming from the defence question.
     
    The declaration of Rudy Guede might be considered irrelevant as a piece of circumstantial evidence; and the witness might be assessed as unreliable by a court, but this cannot be done based on the illegitimate grounds brought by Hellmann-Zanetti. You cannot have, as an argument for unreliability, the fact that Rudy Guede chose the legal option of not undergoing a questioning about the murder. 

    The Cassazione also notes how the Hellmann-Zanetti report details some of Guede’s declarations in order to argue for his unreliability. However the cited statements from the Skype conversation with Giacomo Benedetti are used by Hellmann-Zanetti just to build an illogical argument: they say Rudy should have logically indicated the true culprits in that call, the fact that he does not accuse them is an indication that they were not there.

    This argument is flawed (besides contradicting the very same claim about Guede’s unreliability). The Cassazione sees the weakness of reasoning about the Skype call as “˜symptomatic’ of the lack of logical consistence of the appeal court on the topic of Rudy reliability, and it also reveals that the criteria they are following are not compatible with logic.
     
    The appeal reasoning is also contradictory on further points, as Hellmann-Zanetti consider some declarations of Guede “˜reliable’ without logical reason - like about the timing of death, where the appeal court considers Rudy’s statement reliable without considering that he had an obvious logical interest and an attitude of misleading the accusations by providing details that were conflicting with evidence. 

    Paradoxically, had the Hellmann-Zanetti court followed the same criteria on other declarations, they should have considered Guede’s declarations “˜reliable’ when he says “Amanda is not implicated”, as well as when he says - talking about Sollecito -  “I don’t know, I think it’s him” . The appeal court did not follow the principle of completeness and they did not consider these. 

    The Hellmann-Zanetti report also fails to consider that Guede was assessed as “˜totally unreliable’ by his trial judges (they could have used such finding in documents to argue unreliability of his statements instead; if they had only read the Guede verdict). In other words they worked inconsistent arguments out of on an incomplete set of data. 

    10. The refusal to listen to the whole testimony of witness Luciano Aviello

    The appeal trial was procedurally flawed also by the refused to call Luciano Aviello before the court again, as he was supposed to complete what was left out of his testimony. 

    Luciano Aviello was called as a witness by the court in accepting a defence request; after his hearing, during the course of the trial, new elements emerged ““ new witness declarations ““ that created a necessity to put some further questions to the witness. 

    The Hellmann-Zanetti court refuse to call back the witness to complete the questioning, despite that he had already been accepted as a witness by the same court. So the witness was basically prevented from completing his testimony.

    The Cassazione does not argue about the reliability of Aviello as a witness (nor about the relevance of his testimony) but points the finger against the inconsistency of Hellmann-Zanetti’s ruling, which causes their decision to be illegitimate.

    The refusal to call back the witness to complete his testimony at a second hearing was manifestly inconsistent, since that violates the principle of completeness (once you call a witness, you need to be ready to listen to all that he has to say).

    The court’s decision was “unacceptable” (p. 58) also because it was based on arbitrary criteria ““ as Hellmann-Zanetti said “another hearing of the witness is not indispensable” on the ground that minutes of his interrogation were entered in the file: the decision violates the principles of usability of documents and the rules of witness hearing.

    The appeal court completely ignored the reasons for and the new content of the topics Aviello was to be questioned about, and did not assess them. Instead, they violated articles 511, 511bis and 512 of the procedure code by “˜replacing’ it with non-usable minutes of his interrogation. 

    The judgement of “˜non-indispensable’ was also unfounded, manifestly so compared to the importance of the topic which referred to the explanation and completeness of Aviello’s testimony. A plot concerning a secret agreement in order to offer false declarations in court is obviously a topic with some relevance.

    There is also a violation of the principle of confrontation, because Aviello was a defence witness and the Prosecutor General had the duty of carrying on an assessment of the witness within the appeal trial by cross examination (Hellmann-Zanetti’s decision allowed only the piece of testimony that could be favorable to the defence, and they cut off the part that could be unfavorable).

    The motivation is also incomplete as Aviello is ruled “˜unreliable’ a priori because of his retraction (which Hellmann-Zanetti apparently considered reliable) and irrelevant as a piece of evidence without actually listening to the content of his testimony, to what he had to say.

    The testimony of Aviello could not be “˜cut off’ that way and could not be considered unreliable a priori without listening to it.


    11. The re-framing of the time of death

    The Court devotes four pages to explaining how Hellmann-Zanetti’s reasoning about re-location of the time of death is illogical. 

    The appeal court refused to anchor the timing (and further features, noises etc.) of the screaming, to the time frame offered by two witnesses, Nara Capezzali and Antonella Monacchia. They also dismissed the testimony of Mrs. Dramis. Instead they accepted the defence idea of determining the time of death based on the statements by the “˜unreliable’ Rudy Guede. They put the time of death in relation to the phone calls, around 9pm.

    As for the Cassazione, such an argumentation path is woven through with “˜conjecture and illusions’ (p. 61). The bases chosen for inference are devoid of any factual validity, as opposed to the elements of evidence which were discharged, which are instead extremely relevant.

    The Hellmann-Zanetti report refutes the elements (testimonies of Capezzali, Damis, Monacchia) with arguments which are riddled with obvious, multiple inconsistencies [like the claim that a half-an-hour error would make the testimony unreliable, or that Nara’s looking unsure between the dates of Nov. 1. or 2. makes the scream attributable to something else, as if she was used to hearing blood-curdling screams every other day and as if the Monacchia confirmation testimony didn’t exist]. 

    So the Hellmann-Zanetti rationale dismisses as “˜unreliable’ or “˜useless’ some very relevant and consistent testimonies (from witnesses they declare “˜credible’), while on the other hand, it accepts as “˜reliable’ a dictum by Rudi Guede and builds a theory of the time of death on it - despite the defence itself having pointed out how Guede was totally unreliable and was also very able at changing and twisting every detail of his story, all the time and on any occasion, from the earliest stages of the investigation. 

    The Cassazione states - without any possibility of question ““ that it is manifestly obvious that things Guede consciously stated on the Skype conversation could never be used as the main credible source to build an inference about the time of death.

    Moreover the Court points out that in fact the appeal court cherry picked just one statement by Guede, regarding the time of death, and considered it “˜credible’, while neglecting to note how within the same Skype conversation Guede also made a number of assertions about Knox

    These included statements that place evidence against Knox and Sollecito. While in the same conversation Guede says “Amanda was not implicated”, he also states that Amanda was in the house; he states remembering that in Romanelli’s room the window appeared intact, and denied having broken it, he inferred that Knox and Sollecito must have done it; he also assumed that they must have altered the scene of the crime and the victim’s body; he also said he thought the man he saw was probably Sollecito.

    The Hellmann-Zanetti court simply neglects to consider and deal with the whole information from the Skype call, which they instead elect to reliably source solely regarding Guede’s declaration about the time; so ““ besides illogicality in the unfounded dismissal of other testimonies ““ their method of processing information violates completeness and consistency.   

    The appeal court is also extremely weak where they try to fill the logical gap by drawing further inference from Meredith’s phone records. The attempt to link a mistaken phone call with the time of death is simply inherently implausible, a wrong call is a trivial event and there is no reason to make such link; also the delay by Meredith who did not call her mother again within the next half an hour is a trivial element which doesn’t have a specific implication upon the time of death.
       
    The worst Hellmann-Zanetti did on this topic is the downplaying and underestimation of the testimonies of the three witnesses ““ Capezzali, Monacchia and Dramis.

    In fact Capezzali described the scream in detail, picturing it with a number of features - “harrowing”, “unusual”, “long”, “isolated” ““ and stressed its uniqueness and added additional information about noises (gravel path etc.) unequivocally linked to the cottage, she made clear that she never heard something similar before.

    Monacchia was even more precise about the timing, since she went to sleep at 10.00 pm and slept for a while; Dramis came home back from the cinema at 10:30 pm. Their timings converge in placing the timing of an isolated scream later than 10:30 pm.

    On the basis of Nara Capezzali’s testimony, it is absolutely unreasonable for the appeal court to assume that Nara could confuse the scream with the usual other “noises” of “junkies”. 

    Dramis as well referred to having been awaken by some noise of a kind she never heard before. Hellmann-Zanetti ruled out the time frame offered by the testimonies of Monacchia and Dramis for no reason except that they gave their testimony one year later; this is a totally insufficient and illogical reason.

    As for considering Rudy as a reliable source, instead it is acknowledged that Guede was obviously lying and following a pattern of behavior/strategy of providing a flow of false details to muddle investigation.
     
    The Court adds that neglecting the importance of information about the scream seems even more stunning when you consider the fact that the scream coincides with a detail that was mentioned in an early testimony of Knox [and even in declarations of Guede]. 

     

    12. The court appointing of new experts and their management

    This point may be the most interesting because it is the only topic on which the Supreme Court doesn’t agree entirely with the Prosecution General.

    The Prosecution’s complaint was “˜partly’ correct about objecting to the legitimacy of the appeal court appointing new experts.

    The point of recourse is founded insofar as the appointing was insufficiently motivated in the rationale: the reason expressed ““  basically addressing just the judge’s lack of scientific knowledge ““  is inconsistent, and also inadmissible because it violates the principle of non-delegation of judgment. 

    However, the judge’s decision of appointing experts itself should supposedly always be based on assessments of the merits of the evidence. The Cassazione cannot decide on the merits, so the decision about whether more expertise is necessary or not, which was supposedly taken based on the evidence available, is an exclusive competence of the judge of merit and the High Court can’t discuss it. 

    The absence of consistent motivations for the appointing reveals an insecurity of the appeal court about the evidence, which they (rightly or wrongly) attributed to incomplete information.  However, the peculiar way the appeal court subsequently managed the experts is censurable.

    The experts decided to not test the new DNA sample, despite the fact that the amount was 120 picograms [so much more than “˜5 picograms’ as declared by Vecchiotti in court, ed.], on an arbitrary decision by only one of the experts, on the ground that it was a “˜Low Copy Number’. Such a decision ““ itself unlawful ““ was subsequently subscribed to by the appeal court.

    When the Prosecution General and consultant Prof. Novelli requested to go on testing the sample, since it was perfectly possible to do so, the court denied, arguing on the false assumption obtained by misquoting Novelli as saying the required techniques were “in the experimental phase”.

    This was a misquote, a misinterpretation of a statement by Novelli, and the Court finds it to be false in the documentation: Hellmann-Zanetti incurred a gross misrepresentation of reality as they called the new technology “experimental”  and “unreliable”.

    Beside this false claim, it was on principle unacceptable that the expert Carla Vecchiotti refused to carry out a test, and that the judge accepted such a decision.

    The expert’s decision violated the judge’s previous ordnance, because the written order said that they must require the court’s opinion before taking any decision, not after; the judge’s change also violated their own ordnance, because it withdrew from the previous tasking. 

    The modus operandi of the court therefore was to let an expert make decisions about their own mandate, based on their own judgment about the subsequent value of their finding in court.

    But the experts had no authority to reduce or re-frame their own mandate, it is not up to them to preemptively decide whether their finding is reliable or not and anyway they cannot refuse to accomplish an order or to bring a finding into court; no matter if their finding is unreliable as a piece of evidence, they have to bring it anyway to court discussion, and its value will be determined through court discussion.

    Hellmann-Zanetti were incomplete on documenting Novelli’s positions which were expressed during the experts’ testing and are in conflict with the Vecchioti-Conti decisions. They could have chosen Vecchiotti’s positions, but only after having dealt with the arguments expressed by the other side too.

    The decisions by which Hellmann-Zanetti managed the experts’ work is also in violation of the principle of equality and the right of all parties to bring evidence, since they ordered a perizia [experts investigation] but then they prevented it from being fully accomplished: they only allowed the research activity by which the defence was seeking evidence, while they prohibited those activities requested by the accusation parties.   

    Once they ordered new scientific tests, the order should have been completed without any a priori unjustified preclusion. Their unbalanced modus operandi was an alteration of the evidence information set, and a violation of the law (p.66), and cause their motivations to be manifestly illogical.


    13. The DNA evidence

    The appeal court passively accepted the new experts’ conclusions, while ignoring the opinions of the witnesses Novelli and Torricelli. Their arguments had a comparable degree of importance, and the witnesses had at least the same degree of expertise and authority than the judge appointed experts.

    As the judges chose to believe the conclusions of some experts in disagreement with others, they are not obligated to demonstrate themselves that such conclusions are true, but nonetheless they are required to report the arguments made by the other side and they need to deal with them in a reasoning. 

    This is especially necessary if the expert witnesses have a great expertise and credibility, at least comparable to that of the judge-appointed experts. 

    Hellmann-Zanetti accepted the C&V report entirely and passively, without confronting it with the opposite arguments and objections. Such procedure is illegitimate, since objections and arguments were not even mentioned.

    The Casssazione recalls, among the not-mentioned and not-dealt-with arguments, that Prof. Novelli had calculated a probability of misinterpretation of the alleles on the bra-clasp; and Dr. Torricelli analyzed the Y-haplotype on 17 loci and found no match except Sollecito. 

    Novelli also testified that recommendations and protocols do exist, but the operator’s competence and common sense in scientific assessment is more important. He also said that the researcher should be always allowed to depart from standard procedures when single situations suggest so.

    The judge-appointed experts themselves ruled out laboratory contamination. Novelli analyzed the series of samples from all 255 items processed and found not a single instance of contamination, and ruled out as implausible that a contaminating agent could have been present just on one single result. 

    Also Dr. Stefanoni testified that the knife was tested 6 days after an alleged contaminating and Vecchiotti confirmed that the time interval would lead to rule out laboratory contamination.

    Hellmann-Zanetti also ignored or twisted information regarding the crime; it ignored the finding that no instance of Sollecito’s DNA was found on the scene as a possible contamination source despite may environmental samples; the High Court labels as false ““ going by the evidence file - Hellmann Zanetti’s statement saying that “everybody had walked around into the house”. 

    Also Cassazione notes that deterioration of an evidence scene due to time would normally cause a loss of DNA information, not an appearing of new information not found elsewhere.

    So Hellmann-Zanetti did not take in account nor cite a huge part of the credited opinions and information; the total failure to mention such a major chunk of information by Hellmann-Zanetti makes their judgment about the topic illegitimate, and shows their “˜unacceptable’ modus operandi. 

    However the most surprising point of Hellmann-Zanetti ““ in the Cassazione’s view ““ is their uncritical accepting of the theory that contamination is “possible”, without linking the scenario of likeliness of contamination to any factual finding or datum. They actually built an axiom on a straining, a cherry picking and a falsifying of information.

    The Court also reminds how Novelli testified that, in order to have a plausible scenario of contamination, you need to prove the existence of a source, of a vehicle of it. 

    They note from the documentation that negative control did exist, and that Vecchiotti & Conti were “˜superficial’ in assuming they did not exist just because they were not included in the technical report.

    The Supreme Court then points out that: 

    (1) the collection of items was performed correctly contrarily to Hellmann’s suggestions, all activities of collection and laboratory tests were done before the eyes of defence experts, the environments were not contaminated, and the defence experts that were assisting did not raise any objection, they complained about things only much later;

    (2) the arguments and explanations dr. Stefanoni subsequently gave were not adequately refuted;

    (3) the picture of correctness in procedure causes the burden of proof in order to claim likeliness of contamination to rest squarely on the shoulders of those who claim it.

    The law does not admit to set out the reasoning from a sheer “falsification” paradigm (meaning: it is wrong to assume that the prosecution has any burden to demonstrate the absence of contamination). Such an assumption would make it impossible to collect any piece of circumstantial evidence or do any scientific test at all.

    The argument that the evidence should be dismissed as unreliable because contamination is “˜possible’ is totally illogical. You can’t dismiss pieces of evidence on the ground of a mere “˜possibility’ (or we should dismiss all pieces of evidence collected on all cases).

    An alleged contamination event needs not to be only “˜possible’ (everything is possible), it needs to be “˜credible’. In order to consider if contamination was likely on a specific instance, some factual evidence of the specific causal circumstance is needed. 

    To bring a claim about “˜contamination’, while you don’t need to actually prove that the event of contamination occurred, you do need to prove a factual and scientific datum that would cause that specific contamination event to be “˜credible’ (probable).

    In order to claim a contamination likely occurred, pointing at issues about professionalism of forensics is not enough. The factual existence of a specific “˜vehicle’ of contamination needs to be proven [like presence of a source, evidence of contamination in other results, explanation of the dynamic etc.]. 

    To refute the scientific finding you need something much logically stronger than a complaint referring to ideal practice and protocols and the absolute generic concept of “˜possible’.  The claim about a fact such as a specific instance of contamination requires “˜factual’ circumstances and data, “˜specific’ and “˜real’.

    14. Analysis of prints and other traces

    The objections by the Prosecution General on this topic are correct.  The appeal court motivations manifestly lacks logical rigor in multiple instances.

    The Court cannot object about the attribution of the bathmat print since the topic is strictly in the merit. But the implied scenario where Guede’s left shoe comes off after he walked on the pillow is implausible: it doesn’t explain why an Adidas shoe would come off, and it doesn’t reconcile with the evidence documentation.

    Guede using the small bathroom to wash himself, and then locking Meredith’s door, is in conflict with the trail of shoeprints only showing him walking straight out. It makes no sense to assume that he lost a shoe just because there are blood prints of the right shoe alone. 

    About the luminol foot prints, it is implausible to assume that those prints were left on some other occasion, since ““ in the Court’s view - luminol basically indicates blood (and in no other circumstance could someone produce such a set of prints in blood). The Cassazione notes that the Massei scenario to explain the footprints was far more plausible, and Hellmann-Zanetti bring no reason to refute it.

    The scenario described by the first instance trial court was also more complete, since it was able to connect the dots on several other details, including the “˜mixed traces’ of blood in the small bathroom, on the light switch, etc.

    The only argument brought by Hellmann-Zanetti was the absence of Sollecito’s DNA from the blood/luminol stains. For the rest it was an “apodictic” assumption, so that they did not deal with the logical points that were made on the first instance.     

    15. The declarations of Ms. Knox

    The Hellmann-Zanetti verdict was “˜critically’ flawed, as claimed by the Prosecution General, also on this point. This topic area falls into the big picture of parceling out of the pieces of evidence which was done by the appeal court.

    The Supreme Court notes that Hellmann-Zanetti just assumed that there was no circumstantial evidence in Knox’s declarations, but they falsely implied that it was about behavioral and emotional evidence. Instead it was about Knox’s revealing a knowledge of details from the crime scene. 

    The Court mentions some of Knox’s statements conflicting with evidence and testimonies: she told Meredith’s friend of having found the body, she said it was before “˜a closet’, that it was covered, that Meredith had her throat cut and that she suffered a great blood loss. The first degree court reports Knox saying she didn’t see into the room, that she was far away in the corridor when it was opened.   

    Hellmann-Zanetti fail to mention this set of elements or clues, and they also neglect to consider the issue of Amanda’s phone call to her mother in the middle of the night and subsequent calls.

    The Cassazione observes that Knox was unable to “˜remember’ the 12:47 phone call and did not explain its content; but Hellmann-Zanetti mistakenly considered such a phone call as occurring “˜at the same time’ of Sollecito’s calls to her sister and to the Carabinieri. In fact ““ the Court notes ““ Knox called her mother three minutes before Sollecito called his sister, she was first person to make any phone calls.

    So Knox’s “˜downplaying’ of her phone call ““ her suggesting a total vague content, a sense of confusion and nothing important ““ and the early time of it, are not considered details worth of mention by the Hellmann-Zanetti court, and they are not put in relation to Knox’s inside knowledge about details of the crime (if she didn’t know anything at all, why does she call her mother to express vague confusion, worried about something she doesn’t know?).
     
    What the Court finds objectionable is that Hellmann-Zanetti simply made assertions and steered on, talking about the subjective emotional reactions, without confronting any logical argumentation made by the lower court, and they failed to do anything to demolish the first instance reasoning. 

    16. Final indications

    The Hellmann-Zanetti verdicts are annulled. The new appeal court will have to fix all the critical legitimacy flaws pointed out following the Cassazione indications.

    The new appeal Judges will have to assess the pieces of circumstantial evidence in a global an unitary way, to assess whether the relative ambiguity of each piece of evidence can be overcome by the overall system between them.

    The result of such an assessment will have to lead to a decision not only about the presence of Knox and Sollecito on the murder scene, but also about their possible roles in the crime, and to decide among an array of possible scenarios: from a premeditated intent to kill to possible scenarios that may involve a non-premeditated decision to murder as a departure from an original plan to have a non-consensual sex game, or involve a forced sex game that run out of control, or a similar situation.

    The recourse submitted by Knox on the point of her conviction for calunnia is rejected. All points of recourse 1-10 by the Prosecution General are accepted, the appeal trial is annulled on grounds of manifest illogicality, inconsistence and violation of law for all conclusions of acquittal; instead, the conviction for the charge of calunnia stands, but the denial of aggravation in finding it not-linked to the murder is annulled.

    Knox is condemned to pay the legal expenses sustained by the State and by Lumumba. If found guilty, Knox and Sollecito will have to pay also the expenses sustained by the Kerchers. 


    17. Considerations arising from the report

    My final thoughts. Since the appeal verdicts were annulled, the legal situation is that Knox and Sollecito stand currently convicted in first degree and awaiting the appeal, which they had launched against their convictions. 

    They had already got a fair trial, before a court presided over by Massei; now they are appealing the verdict in a Florentine court. An appeal ““ under the Italian criminal procedure ““ can take the shape of a new trial ““ usually, partly ““ and so open again sessions where witnesses are heard and evidence are entered. 

    However, in many cases this doesn’t happen, and the appeal doesn’t look like a full trial. Anyway, even if the trial phase is re-opened,  what may look like a trial de novo is in fact only an extension of the previous one; meaning: the trial de novo in fact doesn’t start from scratch, but starts from the documentation already existing and incorporates the previous proceedings. 

    The main piece of documentation now incorporated is the 2013 Supreme Court verdict.

    Whatever appeal court deals with the Knox-Sollecito proceedings,  they will have to set it within the guidelines, limitations and indications established by the Cassazione.

    The Cassazione has dismantled and declared illegitimate all the procedural points by which Hellmann-Zanetti had come to verdicts of acquittals on the charge of murder. This shows how the appeal judgment was obtained only thanks to a dreadful series of procedure errors. 
     
    Unfortunately, actually not all errors in the Hellmann-Zanetti rationale could fall under the radar of the supreme court.  The appeal court didn’t make only legitimacy errors, they also committed obvious mistakes in the merit of evidence assessment (and, not even all legitimacy issues were actually brought to the attention of the Supreme Court of Cassazione). 

    Examples of mistakes in the merits by Hellmann-Zanetti:  they attributed the bathmat footprint on two unproven assumptions:

    (1) The first was that the person who left it must have got his foot wet with blood by walking on a hard, flat surface smeared with blood; an obviously unfounded assumption, actually proven false since there was no hard flat surface covered in blood where anyone had walked (blood got on the murderers feet from soaked towels).

    (2) The second ““ idiotic ““ “˜reason’ was the observation that Sollecito’s toe in the sample print looked more triangular (!) than the bathmat print’s (it is actually obvious that any object would leave a print with slightly more rounded shape on the bathmat compared to the sample paper, since the bathmat is a soft surface). 

    Another one was the claim that the pattern of footprints in luminol could be found in any apartment and be produced in any innocent situation (in a non-blood substance) but somehow they “˜forgot’ to mention what kind of likely substance that could be, and what plausible dynamic - except shuffling on rags or mat ““ could have produced them. 

    Flaws in the rationale and procedure are surreal, like maintaining that Knox’s written memoir is not evidence that she lied because its content is false. Or appointing experts to test DNA samples, then refusing to test the sample despite it’s being more than 120 picograms.

    Even kids could spot the obvious logical errors on evidence assessment in the Hellmann-Zanetti rationale. 

    The refrain of factual errors and legitimacy/procedure violations is so serious that I can hardly believe any Magistrate of the Republic can make such errors in good faith. 

    Despite the sophisticated and formal language,  as you may have understood from this summary, the Cassazione arguments are actually very simple. In fact the errors were very clear and obvious from the beginning - to quote PMF poster Popper “even a child would notice them immediately”  - that in fact the Supreme Court looks like pointing the finger at a naked emperor.
     
    The present Cassazione ruling does not leave any realistic hope for Knox and Sollecito to be acquitted on appeal. They have a right to appeal under Italian law. Though their appeal, when carried on within the rules and principles of law, looks ““ like most appeals ““ basically desperate.

    Their actual chances of being acquitted by a Florentine court look essentially zero, because the court won’t be allowed to employ the key arguments and the path of reasoning followed by Hellmann-Zanetti to come to an acquittal verdict; all these logical tools are illegitimate, and hardly any judge could fix them,  nor come to a “˜not guilty’ verdict by following other logical ways. 
     
    The only positive legal outcome in realistic terms for Knox and Sollecito now consists in seeking leniency or lesser charges based on claiming minor roles, maybe even by attempting to accuse each other.

    Either that or testifying to the truth, seeking mitigating factors like psychological state and age, or showing remorse.


    Friday, June 21, 2013

    Have The Legal Fees Of “Shameless Sollecito” Just Undergone An Astronomic Jump?

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    Back at trial in 2009 the defense lawyers had a fairly miserable time.

    Strong prosecution case hard to dent, over-talkative client on the stand, weak defense rebuttals, and in the summations they were severely outclassed. And then of course they lost. They seemed sometimes bored, sometimes skeptical of their clients, and on several occasions one or two didnt even show up in court.

    At the annulled appeal, things went a little better, after they got the judge they really wanted.

    But there were embarrassing episodes in 2011, like the witness Aviello claiming that Giulia Bongiorno offered him and others some nice perks if they talked.

    The Sollecito and Knox books dont paint the defense teams in an especially ethical light, though they are stated to have helped write the texts. They really should have scrutinised every word, but the mistakes in the book are so “barking mad” that we wonder if Ted Simon or Robert Barnett ever gave them the opportunity.

    All four main lawyers have been named as “persons with significant information” in the contempt-of-court allegations being investigated. They will all be interrogated, may have to testify, and could find their law licenses on the line.

    Those books will make their tasks at the Florence appeal way harder.  There is much new ‘splaining to do.

    Now the KnoxMellases say there will be a huge new financial burden on them, despite rumors of a huge blood-money book advance. Today Sollecito has his paw out for money online (see image below) though he was said to have received a big blood-money book advance as well. (Both books have sold miserably.)

    It looks like the lawyers might have put in for a really big raise to stay on the case. The UK Mirror reports..

    Shameless Raffaele Sollecito, the man accused of Meredith Kercher’s murder, has sparked fury after asking the public for a staggering $500,000 despite already cashing in on the British student’s death.

    Just hours after the Mirror pictured the Italian student back in the arms of his former lover Amanda Knox, the 29-year-old set up an appeal to help cover his legal fees for the pair’s retrial.

    Under the heading “Raffaele Sollecito ReTrial in Florence” he listed his page under the topic of “accidents & emergencies”.

    His appeal comes just months after Sollecito is understood to have been paid a six-figure sum for his book “Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox” about Meredith’s murder….

    Sollecito’s countrymen were outraged after discovering his plea with many taking to his gofundme.com website page to express their disgust.

    One Italian using the name Francesco said: “If there was a collection for you to end up in jail I would definitely be happy to participate.”

    They added: “But today we see murderers sell their stories and make a pile of money. I’m sure Amanda has done.”

    Another called Andrea Giani wrote: “I think you are guilty . . . are you not ashamed to ask for money from lawyers. I despise you very much,” while Marco Bolognesi added: “I’d really pay to see you in jail”....

    Click on the image below for a larger version of Sollecito’s new (possibly illegal) blood-money attempt. The court or the taxman could remove much or all of what he gets.



    Saturday, June 08, 2013

    Questions For Sollecito: Can You Realistically Account For The Hard Evidence On The Bathroom Mat?

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    1. Your Attempted Bath Mat Hoax

    Let us start this series of questions to you with the bloody bathmat footprint

    Specifically how you characterized it at different points in your book as part of your attempted proof that Guede acting alone did the crime.

    Here is the full extent of your hoax “proving” that that print was actually from Rudy Guede’s foot.

    (a) [Page X11] 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

    (b) [page 23] Amanda went ahead with her shower, only to notice a small bloodstain on one of the washbasin taps. It looked like menstrual blood. Was Meredith, who shared the bathroom with her, having some sort of problem? It was unlike her to leave things less than immaculate. Maybe she’d run out to a pharmacy. Then again, it was just one small stain; perhaps she missed it.

    (c) [Page 79]  When my defense team examined the official paperwork, they noticed that the analysis of the footprints"including extensive inquiry into the length and shape of the foot likely to have produced them"had been conducted by two members of the Polizia Scientifica in Rome, working not in their official capacity but as private consultants charging thousands of euros to Mignini’s office. One of the analysts, Lorenzo Rinaldi, was a physicist, not a specialist in anatomy, and the other, Pietro Boemia, was a fingerprint technician with no further scientific credentials. That begged the question: if Mignini’s office felt it needed to contract the job out to private consultants, why wouldn’t it go to people with more pertinent qualifications? The whole thing stank.

    (d) [page 192]  We didn’t bother to ask for a review of the footprint analysis by Rinaldi and Boemia because we had demonstrated some elementary measuring errors and felt confident that would suffice.


    2. Our Analyses Of The Bath Mat Print

    (1) Our main poster the Machine

    The Machine described at the time how the prosecution and their witnesses did a terrific job on this evidence at trial in May 2009, and how your defense had virtually no comeback at all.

    Two bloody footprints were attributed to Raffaele Sollecito. One of them was revealed by luminol in the hallway, and the other one was easily visible to the naked eye on the blue bathmat in Meredith’s and Knox’s shared bathroom.

    Lorenzo Rinaldi excluded the possibility that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat was the right size or shape to belong to Knox or Guede instead of Sollecito: “You can see clearly that this bloody footprint on the rug does not belong to Mr. Guede, but you can see that it is compatible with Sollecito.”

    Andrea Vogt’s report for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer shows just how meticulous and painstakingly detailed the analysis of the bloody footprints was:

    “All the elements are compatible with Mr. Sollecito’s foot,” Rinaldi said, pointing with a red laser to a millimeter-by-millimeter analysis of Sollecito’s footprint projected onto a big-screen in the courtroom. He used similar methods to exclude that the footprint on the bath mat could possibly be Guede’s or Knox’s.

    “Those bare footprints cannot be mine,” said Sollecito in a spontaneous statement”¦. But the next witness, another print expert, again confirmed Rinaldi’s testimony, that the print, which only shows the top half of the foot, matches the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot”¦.

    Rinaldi’s detailed Powerpoint described methods of image analysis, metric and grid measurement of the ball, toe, heel and arch, as well the particular characteristics of the footprints and shoeprints as well as the actual shoes and feet of Knox, Sollecito and Guede. The three suspects gave their footprints and fingerprints at police headquarters.”

    Another print expert also testified that the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot.

    Amanda Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, asked Dr. Stefanoni to confirm that other substances like bleach or fruit juice can also react to luminol.

    Dr. Stefanoni acknowledged that they do, but pointed out that biologists who work regularly on crime scenes distinguish easily between the bright blue glow of a blood trace and the much fainter glow from other reactive substances.

    (2) Our main poster Kermit

    Kermit in effect recreated a version of the Powerpoints which Dr Rinaldi walked the court through, in these Powerpoints here.

    You will see they are detailed and very precise, and it is your footprint and not Guede’s footprint which remorselessly emerges on the bathroom mat.

    After viewing the damning nature of those slides, read at the end what Kermit concludes: You WERE present at the scene of the crime. You might not have had murderous intent, or wielded the fatal blow, but you and your bare foot were there. 

    (3) Our main poster SomeAlibi

    SomeAlibi, a trial lawyer, recently warned here that even ONE piece of evidence if firm and inexplicable enough could be enough for a jury to decide to put you away.

    There are at least four pieces of evidence that tie you to the scene of the crime: those two footprints, your still-unexplained DNA on Meredith’s bra, and sworn eye-witness testimony of Rudy Guede that he saw you there.

    That is in addition to dozens of other evidence points which include cellphone evidence, computer evidence, myriad alibis, an admission that you lied, and another eyewitness account.

    SomeAlibi then goes even beyond Kermit in his analysis to show how definitive the identification of YOUR footprint was. See his chart here which leaves zero room for any doubt. He comments on it as follows:

    I present here a summarized view of critical evidence which suggests with devastating clarity that Raffaele Sollecito was present the night of the murder of Meredith Kercher. No lengthy text, no alternate versions, just measurements.

    This FIRMLY places Sollecito in the very room where Meredith was attacked and killed.

    In the small bathroom right next to Meredith’s bedroom was a bathmat. On it was found a bloody naked right footprint of someone walking straight towards the shower in the bathroom. The blood is that of Meredith.

    The footprint is not Amanda Knox’s - it is too big - but we can compare it to the prints taken of Rudy Guede and Raffaele Sollecito.

    In Judge Massei’s report the multiple measurements were detailed in the narrative over many sentences and, in that form, their immediate cumulative impact is less obvious. It is only by tabulating them, that we are forcefully hit by not one but two clear impressions:

    The measurements are extremely highly correlated to the right foot of Raffaele Sollecito in twelve separate individual measurements. In themselves they would be enough for a verdict of guilt in all but a few court cases.

    But they also show a manifest LACK of correlation to the right foot of Rudy Guede, the only other male in that cottage on the night. Have a look for yourself.

    (4) Our main poster Sara

    posted on our Sollecito Book page that you made a false claim in your point (b) above about the obviousness of the bathroom blood stains.

    Raffaele tries to underplay the presence of blood in the bathroom by claiming that the print on the bathmat was hardly visible or distinguishable as blood.  Even in his interview with Katie Couric he claimed that it was not obvious that the stain on the bathmat was blood.

    The problem? Amanda in her email during the initial days of the investigation says “it was after i stepped out of the shower and onto the mat that i noticed the blood in the bathroom.it was on the mat i was using to dry my feet”

    When Knox herself admits that she knew it was blood on the bathmat, why is Sollecito claiming otherwise?

    (5) Our main poster Vivianna

    Vivianna posted this correction on our Sollecito Book page in response to your claim (c) that the government experts were hired guns - and the wrong ones.

    The reality, according to Judge Massei, is quite different. [the experts were:]

    1. Dr Lorenzo Rinaldi (Engineer, Principal Technical Director of the State Police, director of the three sections which compose the Identity Division of the ERT - Esperti Ricerca Tracce)

    2. Chief Inspector Pietro Boemia of the ERT in Rome

    And their tasks involved analyzing both shoeprints and footprints

    Sollecito forgets to mention that their first consultancy report, with regard to a footprint left by a Nike shoe, was actually favorable to him.  Unlike a previous analysis which had attributed the shoeprint to him, this team of experts correctly attributed it to Guede. 

    However, since the second consultancy task resulted in an identification of a footprint with Sollecito’s, the experts are clearly “out to get him” like everyone else involved in the investigation. It doesn’t seem to occur to Sollecito that if that had been the case, they wouldn’t have bothered to correct the previous consultant’s work on the shoeprints.

    (6) Your Own Lawyers At Trial & Appeal

    That Rudy Guede had attacked Meredith alone needs proof your own defense lawyers miserably failed to provide at trial, and did the opposite of at the annulled appeal.

    At the annulled appeal they put the erratic jailbirds Alessi and Aviello on the stand, in a desperate attempt to explain who were the THREE perps that the crime scene recreation and autopsy had decisively demonstrated attacked Meredith.

    3. Your Claims in Part 1: False In All Rspects

    Guede was NOT quickly identified, precisely because Knox fingered Patrick only. Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her.

    Guede had zero proven history of break-ins and petty crimes, and Judge Micheli became angry at such unfounded 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 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?

    Guede’s shoeprints in blood exit Meredith’s room and lead straight to the front door. There is no evidence at all that he removed his shoe, for whatever reason, and somehow left only ONE footprint several yards from Meredith’s room. .

    And all this together with the footprints in blood outside the door matching the feet of both yourself and Knox is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).


    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    Seeds Of Betrayal: In Interview Knox Reveals To Italy Her Considerable Irritation With Sollecito

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





    For some odd reason, Amanda Knox has decided she is not loved enough in Italy.

    Could it be because she is widely seen to have lied her way through trial, came across as loud, self-absorbed and callous in her 2009 testimony and court interventions, served three years for framing her her kindly employer, was reported as being just as grubby and tin-eared and sharp-elbowed as ever in prison, slimed Italy though her cohorts in much of the English-language media after her 2011 release, and has now written an illegal blood-money book which once again slams a benign Italy?

    In particular it slams the justice system, one of the most popular and trusted institutions in Italy, and its officers of the court, with more proven lies and contradictions with past testimony being unearthed daily. 

    Apparently in Knox’s mind it was all really Guede’s and Sollecito’s faults.

    It was they who tarnished her image. Here in an interview in the current Oggi (which appears just as in contempt of court as last week’s Oggi article now the subject of a criminal investigation) she sets Italians straight.

    Translation here was by our main poster Miriam, who is herself in Italy - and in disgust.

    AMANDA KNOX: ITALIANS; WHY DON’T YOU BELIEVE ME?

    Amanda Knox answers the phone with a bright voice and no signs of fatigue. Strange. She is a veteran of a promotional tour that would have knocked-out a bison. Her book “Waiting to be heard” is selling like mad [it is?] but it will not be published in Italy: our publishers have a - sound - suspect that it would set off a number of complaints for defamation, and they have decided to not publish it.

    “I’m sorry” she says. “The Italians believe that I am full of hate for them, but if they had the opportunity to read my book they would discover that there is not a trace of anger in it. It hurts that so many believe that I am guilty, that I wrote the book out of arrogance, for money. It is not true.” Says Knox venting her frustration.

    Following the Cassazione’s decision on March 26 to redo the appeal process - which had absolved Amanda and Rafaele Sollecito - the British publishers also pulled back.

    “They asked me if I wanted to postpone the book launch. But it is my turn to talk now, and I do not intend to alter my story just because somebody threatens to sue me.” Amanda is nothing if not pugnacious.  “Compared to how I was before I came to Perugia, I am quieter, even timid. My family is disappointed: the sunny happy Amanda no longer exists.”

    Your personality - the way you reacted to Meredith’s death - caused you many problems at the time.

    “People involved in a tragedy can react in many different ways, and your behavior can be manipulated to reinforce the idea that you are the one who is guilty.”

    What are you referring to?

    “To the infamous images taken outside of the small villa on the day Meredith’s lifeless body was found. Those images were cut and obsessively repeated, so as to only show Raffaele and me kissing.” The message was clear: “their friend is dead and all those two think about is kissing.”

    What were you feeling at that moment?

    “I hadn’t understood what had happened; I had not accepted the fact that Meredith had died in such a terrible way. I felt lost and sad. I was desperately trying to understand. Raffaele kissed me to console me: since I did not speak Italian yet, there was a linguistic barrier between us that prevented us from giving each other verbal support. And then, to re-enforce the strangeness of my behavior, there was the contrast of the cries of my roommate Filomena Romanelli. She is Italian, she had understood. She had seen Meredith’s room, the body, the blood. Not me: I was in total confusion.”

    In the book, Honor Bound, Sollecito writes that your behavior that day was “embarassing”

    “I don’t think he was embarrassed . I can understand that he would find me “clingy”. I depended on him completely; I was absolutely clingy. However, he knew how they were looking at us, while I hadn’t considered at all how people might have judged us. I was simply reacting in my lost and disoriented way.”

    One of the PMs believes that Guede didn’t act alone. Could he have had an accomplice?

    “I can only base my opinion on what the prosecution brought to court.”

    And?

    “They found another person’s DNA in Meredith’s room, a person that has never been identified. A smaller amount of DNA than Rudy’s. There is Guede’s bloody handprint on the wall, his footprint, his DNA on Meredith’s body. This evidence leads me to believe he acted alone.”

    John Kercher, Meredith’s dad, maintains that his daughter had studied karate as a child, and that she would have fought to survive. He believes one man would not have been able to subdue her.

    “Of course Meredith fought, but what could she have done against an armed man? Rudy is athletic, and is not small. Mez was minute, she maybe weighed 54 kgs, what good could have Karate done her? Even a man if faced against the likes of Guede, armed with a knife, would not have stood a chance.”

    How do you explain Rudy’s calm countenance during the trial? Before being arrested he had told a friend - Giacomo Benedetti - on Skye that you and Raffaele had nothing to do with the murder. After being arrested he started accusing you.

    “Yes, it is a strange coincidence. I do not know if he changed his story based on his own ideas or those of his lawyers or the prosecution. I only know that after his story changed, the PM began calling him “poor Rudy” to demonstrate how fragile he was, and consequently how easily manipulated by me.”

    When and why did you break up with Raffaele?

    “When he “broke” my alibi (during a police questioning, Raffaele claimed to not remember if Amanda had left the house the night of the murder, editor’s note.) It was a shock for me.”

    “A shock that combined with the fact that we did not communicate for a long time while in prison erased my feelings for him. In prison I had to focus on survival and put love aside.”

    Back in Seattle, James Terrano became your boyfriend.

    “We had been together in university. While I was in prison, we wrote a lot, but just as friends. When I came back home, we began looking at each other differently.”

    Do you live with James?

    “No. At first, I lived with a friend (Madison Paxton, who had moved to Perugia to be closer to her, editor’s note) now I live alone. James is often at my place, we’re very close, but we don’t live together.”

    Did you see a psychiatrist to get over your prison experience?

    “Only once, I started crying and never went back. I talk with my friends and with my family; I don’t need an “external consultant.” Writing the book was extremely helpful; I freed myself of all my anger and my wounds.”

    What will you do now?

    “I took a break from university to write my book; I’m going to go back and would like to graduate next year. I would also like to write other books, if I can afford do. My financial future is very uncertain.”

    But everyone says the advance on the book was fantastic.

    “I’ll just say that I still have not been able to meet my first goal: repay my family for all expenses incurred in defending and staying close to me.” (One and a half million dollars, editor’s note)

    People have also mentioned a movie.
    ..
    “I’ve heard the same. I don’t know how being on the set would be; perhaps not as terrible as I imagine.”

    Is there anything you regret?

    “Yes. I regret not having immediately contacted Meredith’s family, of not having expressed my feelings and sorrow to them. At the beginning, perhaps, it would have been possible. It hurts to know that John Kercher believes I’m guilty, and that this belief is based on faulty information. I had hoped that once absolved, the Kerchers would have believed me. But that didn’t happen.

    Maybe the new trial will draw out the truth

    “That is up to Rudy, but I doubt he will do it.”

    In May 2014, Rudy could receive the first permit allowing him to enjoy a few days out of prison.

    “That’s crazy. It’s simply insane for them to let a guilty man loose because they refuse to admit they were wrong about me.”



    Yes Rudy! What about that? Why did Knox’s own lawyers and the Supreme Court accept that overwhelming evidence proved three people did it?

    And why did you say she did it? And why do her own parents believe she did it? How did you accomplish those tricks? Amanda says: speak up.












    Saturday, May 11, 2013

    For Multiple False Accusations Against Italian Officials Knox Book Not To Be Released In UK Or Italy

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    [From the Dec 2008 NBC Dateline in which all interviewed concluded the two had cooked themselves]


    A judicial order is understood to be imminent to require HarperCollins to withdraw the Knox book from all markets in Europe.

    The exceptions are the UK or Italy because the publishers wisely tried to stay below the radar there. As for the US? The American arm of the publishers (wholly owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corps, both based in New York), would be left with little reason to fight. The First Amendment provides no automatic right to defame. 

    The Knox book is not selling very well in the US, despite a media blitz, and sales are unlikely to perk up from now on. Revenues are probably far below costs. And Knox is increasingly unable to parrot what her ghost writer put in the book - Raffaele Sollecito ran into the exact same problem.

    In the post below this one, one of the most serious of the false accusations is described. Lawyers are shaking their heads at the unbelievable stupidity of that inclusion. Did Robert Barnett and Ted Simon and the defense lawyers and publishers’ lawyers have any real clue about events?

    Let us review where things stand.

    BAD PR takes a position 180 degrees opposite to the truth and almost invariably fails to apply any lipstick to the pig.  GOOD PR takes a position 5 degrees from the truth and often eventually succeeds.

    RS’s and AK’s books both took the 180 degree approach, the “dont believe your lying eyes” approach, the Wizard of Oz approach, the nuclear war approach.

    This now looks like really, really bad PR and no legal common sense at all.

    This may have worked in temporary small ways in the US, though the movement has still not captured any big politician or big lawyer willing to head the parade. The Departments of State and Justice, very well informed on the case prior to the book,  are noticeably cold.

    It only gets worse.

    • In each case some money was made, but now all of that is at risk, in compensation to the victim’s family and in fines by the Italian state.

    • In each case it will be a legal and public opinion disaster for the two and their support teams at the pending new appeal in Florence.

    • In each case, their books had the stink of blood money; that is widely despised both in Italy and in the United States and has rarely turned out to be a good thing (ask OJ).

    • In each case, the very existence of the book as an attempt to rain public hostility on the court during an ongoing legal process is a contempt of the court.

    • In each case, the book contained myriad small mistakes and smears as we have been showing with Sollecitos book and have now begun with Knox’s. (See the links in left column.)

    • In each case, the book contained one huge defamatory lie which might end up costing each of them years in prison.

    In Sollecito’s book it was that the prosecution tried to force on him a deal to roll over on Knox, claiming there was no “real” evidence on him - but stacks of evidence in Knox’s case (gee thanks Sollecito).

    In Knox’s case it was this absurd lie described below that Prosecutor Mignini illegally tried to talk Knox into firmly framing Patrick Lumumba.

    In Sollecito’s case the book was almost instantly ripped apart on Italian national TV in the #1 crime talk show Porta a Porta with Sollecito’s dad seen squirming throughout the show.





    Subsequently Sollecito’s own lawyer Maori had to come out publicly and renounce RS’s claim to the media - it was either that, or Bongiorno and Maori would have been dead certs for prosecution themselves. They were credited with helping to write the book.

    Expect the same from Knox’s lawyers. In many places Knox drops them in it, and she describes Dalla Vedova in particular as performing various unethical and possibly illegal actions.

    Thereafter in Sollecito’s case there was a drip-drip-drip phase in the Italian media. Yummi captured it really well in this in-depth post and it is worth reading again because for Knox we will likely see it repeated for the same reasons:

    Then in RS’s case we had the two developments described here: (1) the complaints against him briefly going public and being widely reported, and (2) then being yanked behind the scenes by the Florence chief prosecutor, where they will be investigated for the next 3-4 months.

    Even in the remote chance that the Florence appeal court declares Sollecito not guilty of Meredith’s murder (and he has now stacked more evidence against him, as has Knox), for falsely accusing court officials who handle mafia cases and have special protections he could still face up to ten years.

    Sollecito’s lawyers and family and he himself are now all seriously off their game, and seemingly doing no more talking. Sollecito seems to be attempting to set up an escape route through Switzerland. Good luck with that.

    Knox’s book now places her in the same position. In fact maybe worse. Two countries have been set at loggerheads by the private practice of foreign policy here. The complaint can therefore be pushed up further, to the powerful Council of Magistrates or even the President of the Republic.

    And at that point, the complaint could be shared with the US Departments of State and Justice and the FBI. If that happens no official in the US, such as a judge deciding on an extradition request, would go to bat for Knox.

    Knox seems cooked. By her own hands. Or those of the exploitative bunch around her.


    Monday, April 22, 2013

    Lawyers Are Puzzled At Why Knox Seems So Intent On Risking Extra Prison Time

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    Knox doesnt need our legal advice. She has some pretty good lawyers of her own.

    So what are they telling her now? The huge risks her book and interview run are all spelled out in the Italian legal code. Accused perps dont ever, ever take their case to the court of public opinion in Italy (try finding another example) because that is a very serious contempt of the court.

    Italy’s justice system so favors DEFENDANTS that it is perhaps the most pro-defendant system in the world. In fact many Italians feel its leniency has gone way too far. That is why there are these automatic appeals and why Knox could talk freely in court and have no cross-examination of her claims.

    At the same time, officers of the Italian justice system are sheltered by huge powers hardly even needing to be invoked. The reason the law is so strong in this dimension is in part because a favored mafia tactic is to do what Sollecito and Preston and Burleigh have done in their books: slime the officers of the court.

    Those powers finally now HAVE been invoked, because of the extraordinary assault on the Italian system and judges and prosecutors and police (rejected even by his dad) by Sollecito in his book.

    They are perhaps the strongest and most extensive attacks on the court system Italy has even seen.

    This is under confidential investigation in Florence and charges expected this summer could cost Sollecito a sentence of five years or more. His book also just about kills his chances at the new appeal, because it makes several hundred wrong claims which to the prosecution will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

    The defense lawyers surely know all of this. Unless they feel their chances at appeal are so bad (which could be the case) that they require desperate long-shot measures, they will surely tell Knox the same thing. 

    Publishers’ necks and ghost-writers’ necks and ABC’s necks are on the line too. HarperCollins UK seem to have been very smart in yanking the book. Their lawyers must have figured all this out.


    Monday, April 08, 2013

    Experienced Trial Lawyer: There’s Far More Evidence Than UK/US Courts Need For Guilt

    Posted by SomeAlibi




    The false claim “there is no evidence”

    Some amateur supporters of Knox and Sollecito have committed thousands of hours online to try and blur and obfuscate the facts of the case in front of the general public.

    Their goal is simple: to create an overwhelming meme that there is “no evidence” against the accused, and thereby try to create a groundswell of support. Curt Knox and Edda Mellas and Ted Simon have all made this “no evidence” claim many times.

    At least some some of the media have eagerly swallowed it.

    The amateur PR flunkies make up myriad alternate versions of what created single points of evidence, often xenophobic scare stories designed to trigger emotional reactions, which they hope will be repeated often enough to become accepted as “the truth”.

    And where things get really tricky, another time honored tactic is to go on at great length about irrelevant details, essentially to filibuster, in the hope that general observers will lose patience with trying to work it all out.

    But time and again we have shown there is actually a great deal of evidence.

    Evidence is the raw stuff of criminal cases. Let me speak here as a lawyer. Do you know how many evidence points are required to prove Guilt? One evidence point if it is definitive.

    A definitive evidence point

    If you’re new to this case or undecided, what is an easy example of ONE definitive evidence item that might stand alone? Might quickly, simply, and overwhelmingly convince you to invest more time into understanding the real evidence, not that distorted by the PR campaign?

    In fact we have quite a choice. See the footprint which was second on that list.

    Now see the table above. I recommend the use of this table of measurement to avoid the lengthy back and forward of narrative argument which so lends itself to obscuring the truth. I would like to present you with this single table of measurements to give you pause to question whether this line that there is “no evidence” is really true or whether it might be a crafted deception.

    I present here a summarized view of critical evidence which suggests with devastating clarity that Raffaele Sollecito was present the night of the murder of Meredith Kercher. No lengthy text, no alternate versions, just measurements.

    This FIRMLY places Sollecito in the very room where Meredith was attacked and killed.

    In the small bathroom right next to Meredith’s bedroom was a bathmat. On it was found a bloody naked right footprint of someone walking straight towards the shower in the bathroom. The blood is that of Meredith.

    The footprint is not Amanda Knox’s - it is too big - but we can compare it to the prints taken of Rudy Guede and Raffaele Sollecito.

    In Judge Massei’s report the multiple measurements were detailed in the narrative over many sentences and, in that form, their immediate cumulative impact is less obvious. It is only by tabulating them, that we are forcefully hit by not one but two clear impressions:

    The measurements are extremely highly correlated to the right foot of Raffaele Sollecito in twelve separate individual measurements. In themselves they would be enough for a verdict of guilt in all but a few court cases.

    But they also show a manifest LACK of correlation to the right foot of Rudy Guede, the only other male in that cottage on the night. Have a look for yourself.

    If you were the prosecution, or indeed the jury, and you saw these measurements of Raffaele’s foot versus the print, what would you think? Answer the question for yourself based on the evidence admitted to court.

    Then, if you compare further, exactly how plausible do you find it that the measurements of the bloody imprint are Rudy Guede’s instead?

    Not only are some of the individual measurements of Rudy’s imprint as much as 30% too small, but the relative proportions of length and breadth measurements are entirely wrong as well, both undershooting and overshooting by a large margin (70% to 150%).

    Conclusions that must follow

    Presented with those numbers, would you consider those measurements of Rudy Guede’s right foot to show any credible correlation to those of the footprint on the mat?

    Supporters of the two have tried frantically to create smoke screen around this - the wrong technique was used they say (ruled not so by the court) / they are the wrong measurements (all 32 of them? that Raffaele’s are matching exactly or within a millimetre but Rudy’s are out by as much as -30% to +50%...?).

    The severity of the impact on the defence is such that there was even a distorted photoshopped version circulated by online supporters of Raffaele and Amanda until they were caught out early on in coverage. But it is hopeless, because these are pure measurement taken against a scale that was presented in court and the data sits before you.

    Have a look at the measurements and understand this was evidence presented in court. Whose foot do you think was in that bathroom that night? Rudy Guede? Or was it Raffaele Sollecito on twelve counts of measurement?

    And if you find for the latter, you must consider very seriously what that tells you both about the idea there is “no evidence” in this case and who was in the cottage that night…


    Wednesday, April 03, 2013

    The Real Catastrophe For The Defenses That Was The Supreme Court Ruling Last Week

    Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)





    On Tuesday March 26, the Supreme Court of Cassation quashed the previous acquittals of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

    The Supreme Court annulled almost the entirety of the 2011 Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdicts, declaring the appeal outcome completely invalid on five of the six charges. The Court only upheld the sixth charge which made definitive Knox’s conviction for calunnia for which she had been sentenced to three years.

    Calunnia is the crime of maliciously placing false evidence or testimony against an innocent person, something the Italian Criminal Code considers not as criminal defamation but as a form of obstruction of justice, a more serious offence. 

    Worse for Knox, the Court annulled a part of the appeal verdict which had dropped the aggravation known as continuance, the aggravation that acknowledges a logical link between the obstruction of justice and the murder charge.   

    Once the dust has settled, the defendants and pro-Knox and pro-Sollecito supporters and defences may finally realize how severe a defeat has been dealt to their side. 

    Most American journalists were completely unprepared for and very surprised at the outcome. But most Italian commenters and a very few others elsewhere considered the outcome quite predictable (the criminologist Roberta Bruzzone for example hinted so in written articles, so did Judge Simonetta Matone, as well as John Kercher in his book, and many others too).

    This really is a catastrophe for the defences. A complete annulment of an acquittal verdict is just not frequent at all. They do occasionally occur, though, and this one appeared easily predictable because of the extremely low quality of the appeal verdict report. 

    For myself I could hardly imagine a survival of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti outcome as being realistic.

    I previously posted at length on the Galati-Costagliola recourse (that is an important read if you want to understand all angles of the annulment). I argued there that a Supreme Court acceptance of the verdict would have so jeopardized the Italian jurisprudence precedents on circumstantial evidence that it would have become impossible to convict anyone in Italy at all. 

    The previous appeal trial obviously violated the Judicial Code as it was based on illegitimate moves such the appointing of new DNA experts for unacceptable reasons.  It contained patent violations of jurisprudence such as the unjustified dismissal of Rudy Guede’s verdict on a subset of the circumstantial evidence. Hellmann-Zanetti even “interpreted” the Constitution instead of quoting Constitutional Court jurisprudence.

    They omitted a number of pieces of evidence, literally “forgetting” them or dismissing them without providing an argument (they should have, being an appellate trial based on the previous findings and arguments of the lower court). The appeal trial had obvious illogical contradictions on a macro level, such as the contradictory putting together of the conviction for calunnia and the acquittal on the murder charge (ignoring a logical link required by statute without introducing any reason at all). 

    The Hellmann-Zanetti verdict was also based on an illogical processing of all pieces of evidence (such as the dismissal of Nara Capezzali’s evidence without logical reason, even after calling her “credible,” and that of Quintavalle; and attributing the bloody footprint to Rudy Guede on the basis of some ludicrous reasoning).

    The appeal verdict basically ignored the concept of “a contrario” evidence, like concluding that the luminol footprints are probably not in blood but in some other substance and not related to the murder (despite failure to indicate any alternative substance nor any reasonable scenario).

    The verdict was also biased with open prejudice in favor of two of the suspects in assuming they would be unlikely to even socialize or hang out together with the third, based on social or racial discrimination (two whites from good-looking families are called “good fellows” while the third is “different”). 

    Beyond the glaring, major faux pas in procedure, the verdict’s low quality, unlawfulnesses, and hypocrisy in its reasoning tended to be pervasive and obvious through all its paragraphs, and possibly this also could have caused an aura of distrust toward the work of the Hellmann-Zanetti court. 

    One could assess the strikingly low quality of the appeal verdict especially by comparing it to a sophisticated recourse such as the 100-page Galati-Costagliola Supreme Court appeal. While nobody could anticipate with total certainty the Supreme Court decision between the Galati-Costagliola appeal and the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdict, to good legal eyes the outcome would be as uncertain as the result of an England versus San Marino football game!

    EACH of the eleven single mistakes, plus EACH of the six “method” mistakes pointed out in the Galati-Costagliola recourse could by itself have been a sufficient cause for the annulment of the acquittals.

    The redundancy of reasons and remarks by Cassation sheds light on the judgment shortcomings from many different angles, and all the reasons presented for the recourse were certainly assessed by the Supreme Court. 

    But on the practical side, most probably the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict did not even survive beyond the first mistake. The appeal verdict most likely crumbled completely from the very beginning on reason #1, the illegitimate appointing of new experts by Hellmann-Zanetti to re-examine the DNA.   

    But even given that the defences’ defeat could be foreseen, I never expected the defeat to pervade to this extent.

    I thought the appeal verdict might be quashed entirely and a new appeal would start from scratch. But the Supreme Court went further and decided to “save” only the parts of the verdict that were unfavorable to Knox, and declared her conviction for calunnia definitive.

    Meanwhile, the Court accepted the Calati-Costagliola reason #10, and quashed the part that denied a logical link between calunnia and murder.
     
    The Supreme Court thus sends Raffaele Solecito and Amanda Knox back to appeal trial, but this time Amanda Knox will enter the trial as a felony convict with a definitive criminal record, which ““ the Supreme Court hints ““ is to be considered logically linked with the charge of murder. 

    Moreover, judges in the appeal that will come next in Florence will have to follow the decisions set by the Supreme Court. Since the Supreme Court’s motivations report has not been issued yet, we still don’t know what points exactly Cassazione will make. But we can expect that several arguments used by Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti that were “needed” to acquit Knox and Sollecito will be now declared illegitimate. 

    This might mean that we will not see for a second time such faulty reasoning as “Knox’s statement can’t be used as evidence of lying because it is not true.” It may not be possible to dismiss the verdict that found Guede guilty of concurring in murder “with others” from the set of evidence just because it was “weak.” It may not be possible to deduce the time of death based only on declarations of Rudy Guede. 

    We also may not have a chance to again see an expert declaring that contamination is “likely” on the sole basis that “everything is possible.” We also may not have another judge attributing footprints without talking about any measurements.






    The Supreme Court session began on March 25, and it is only a rare event that a Cassazione session extends over into two days.

    The first criminal division of the Supreme Court ““ scheduled to decide on this case ““ was a five-judge panel presided over by Dr Severo Chieffi. His name never did sound like a particularly favorable omen for Knox and Sollecito. Dr Chieffi is a 70-year-old judge, known for being the author of a famous 2008 verdict which definitively closed a notorious criminal case (“the first time a Cassazione hearing attracted massive live media attention”), a verdict among the most quoted in jurisprudence which is known as that “on reasonable doubt.” 

    Dr Chieffi and his nine-judge panel explained reasonable doubt as to be intended as an “a contrario” concept, the concept used to formulate a logical reasonable alternative. That verdict pointed out the concept of “reasonable” and also stressed that the nature of evidence is “logical” ““ reasonable depends only on the plausibility of alternatives, not on how conclusive or reliable single pieces of circumstantial evidence are, and a piece of evidence does not require any specific “physical” element or conclusive quality.   

    The rapporteur judge was Dr Piera Maria Severina Caprioglio. The rapporteur judge goes through the papers of the whole trial and summarizes their content to the other panel judges; the rapporteur and the president are the two who physically write the report (it may sound like irony that both judges have the adjective “severe” in their name). I was told Dr Caprioglio was a rather stiff judge, known for her scrupulosity in procedure matters, and she is also a specialist ““ and hard liner ““ about sexual crime (maybe that’s why she was chosen by Dr Chieffi as the one to do the research on this case). 

    At the Supreme Court there is also an office known as the Office of Procurator General, which has more than 50 magistrates. The Procurator General appoints a magistrate (normally called the “PG”) to study cases and to make arguments on all cases dealt with in Supreme Court sessions. The PG is considered “neutral” in the sense that their office represents no party only the “precedents” of the court. While the rapporteur makes a description of the case, the procurator makes arguments about the recourses submitted by the parties. 

    At 10:30 am on Monday, Judge Caprioglio begun her 90-minute speech summarizing the case. She detailed legal events that led to the first Massei-Cristiani verdict, and then the appeal trial led by Hellmann-Zanetti and their verdict. 

    She sounded rather neutral; hers was a sheer summary with no comment attached. Nevertheless, it sounded most ominous for the defences: right from Dr Caprioglio’s speech, in fact, Knox and Sollecito’s attorneys understood that they were going to lose. 

    This is because Dr Caprioglio devoted half of her rapporteur time or more to detailing Massei’s first degree trial and verdict, explaining the arguments and evidence used by the Massei court. Such attention was itself ominous to the defences. 

    A main basis of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti verdict is in fact a series of denials about the work of the lower court, in which plenty of evidence was simply ignored or dismissed without dealing with the first degree conclusions; while the strategy of Giulia Bongiorno was to entirely “replace” the details of the evidence set with a self-made narrative, quite unattached to actual trial events, which somewhat “worked” as rhetoric and in the media.

    Yet Dr Caprioglio was not yet the biggest problem facing Knox and Sollecito. The defence was about to face a pincer front, because the Procurator General’s offices did not appreciate the appeal verdict at all.

    A bomb went off with the speech of Procurator Riello which followed next. 

    Dr Riello recalled the points of recourse submitted by Galati-Costagliola, which may sound technical or subtle to those unaccustomed to them. Dr Riello endorsed the radical censures made by Galati-Costagliola and made clear his own view in an overview of the whole verdict. His arguments had the subtlety of an anvil. 

    To summarize, he basically maintained the appeal judges had conducted an appeal trial as if they were idiots, and followed the paths of logic, procedure and law like sailors without a compass.
     
    Seen from the point of view of the Procurator General, their way of conducting the appeal trial itself was like a journey through a dreadful series of unlawful steps, decisions informally taken without deliberation, and arbitrary and unjustified ordinances. The court simply “lost their way.”

    In the body of their findings, it seems they understood almost nothing about the evidence ““ in particular about how circumstantial evidence works. They did not deal with the findings and arguments of the first instance court as they should have, as if they didn’t exist, and they trivialized the previous legal material. 

    In fact Dr Riello sounded almost sarcastic; outraged by the incredibly amateurish work of this appeal court, he tended to detail the merit of questions and was interrupted by the president asking him to stick to the discussion on the table. 

    At the close of his speech, he called the appeal verdict “a rare concentration of law violation, a monument to illogicality.” He said “the judge of merit lost their way in this trial.” Dr Riello noted “they fragmented, they parceled out the pieces of circumstantial evidence.”

    He implied not only incompetence but a kind of disingenuous attitude: “The Court employed a fair dose of snobbism for trivializing the first degree verdict, reducing it to four elements. A very imprecise and superficial synthesis.”

    He went beyond the criticism expressed in the Galati-Costagliola appeal when he described an obvious bias of the appeal court “not in just a few passages of the second instance verdict ““ it’s as if the defendants should benefit from a kind of anthropological and cultural immunity, in relation to the events.”

    He criticized Pratillo Hellmann’s dismissal of Amanda Knox’s handwritten memoir, and recommended that a new appeal trial must in part be based on that statement as “it is a usable document”; and he stressed that in his opinion “the scream heard by Amanda is a significant datum, of great importance.” The behavior claimed by Knox on the morning of November 2, 2007 in his view was “chilling” and her taking a shower in a cold bathroom is a “chilling detail.” 

    Dr Riello concludes by saying: “These are all conditions for not letting the curtains close on an upsetting and extremely serious crime for which the only culprit found up to the present day is Rudy Hermann Guede, who has been addressed through a Lombroso-style assessment, either calling him a thief, a criminal or a drifter. He didn’t confess and he was not convicted by another court for concurring in a crime together with others, maybe with ‘ectoplasms.’” (A reference to Cassation’s previous decision that he did commit the crime with others, but Hellmann-Zanetti identified no other people; hence ‘ectoplasms.’)

    The Prosecutor General also dealt with the DNA experts’ report which defined the previous results as “unreliable.” He implied that the report and its language were used as a pretext by the defences “as a tombstone, while in fact it is not.” It was used as a tool to focus the trial on the DNA and steer it away from the whole evidence set, to “bury the set of pieces of circumstantial evidence which all have their vital value.”

    The rhetoric of the defences aimed to “blame everything on those involved in the scientific police who are almost depicted as bunglers; however they are not brigadiers playing with toy chemical sets, they are in fact a highly qualified department and they do employ cutting-edge technologies.” 

    A severe legal bashing like the Riello speech is not at all common at the Cassazione. As I heard the news on the radio, law experts commented that the event was unusually serious, and they hinted that its consequences may lead to the setting of a historic jurisprudence precedent.

    Francesco Maresca ““ who brought his mentor Vieri Fabiani with him ““ endorsed the recourse points and made points similar to Dr Riello’s. He pointed out that a major flaw of the appeal trial was to focus on two DNA instances as if the case was based on them. The court appointed experts to review items with no legitimate basis, they provided an inconsistent explanation for their steps, and then they refused to analyze and introduce further evidence, totally contradicting themselves and also violating the code.

    Their criteria for choosing which piece of evidence to discuss or review were totally contradictory, and their series of steps egregiously violated a series of procedural conditions that any court is supposed to follow.

    The analyzing of the knife DNA sample and bra clasp sample as pieces in isolation is a sort of device that serves a defence made-up narrative; the focus on “disputed” items and the re-make of a narrative about legal events is simply a defence strategy which is aimed at the media rather than official court proceedings. For the Kercher family, the evidence points to the guilt of Knox and Sollecito beyond reasonable doubt. 

    The evidence, explained Maresca, consisted of numerous pieces of evidence and reasoning, that were simply not dealt with by the appeal court. The whole process was “non-transparent” and the result is also contradictory given that Knox is indicted by her own words on the crime of calunnia.

    Maresca explained that the appeal verdict is riddled with many flaws and errors in the merit of the facts which cannot be assessed by the Cassazione court, but there are also patent violations of law which are “strong and obvious” and of the most serious kind.






    Then it was the defence attorneys’ turn. Giulia Bongiorno knew she would need to apply the full power of her best rhetorical skills: she pointed out a factual error in the recalling of Prosecutor Riello and threw herself head-first into the merit of the evidence. 

    She even made FOA-style overstatements on the number of Guede’s DNA instances: “So many genetic traces of Rudy Guede were found in the bedroom of the murder, Amanda and Raffaele’s DNA would have been found too if they had been there.” (Her claim is false: in fact, only four samples yielding Guede’s DNA were found in the bedroom, and some were very scant.)
     
    Bongiorno focused on investigation mistakes and complained that Raffaele Sollecito “was put in jail because of a shoe print found beyond the duvet which covered the body, a print that was attributed to Guede.” She also commented on Knox’s handwritten memoir and again put forward the claim ““ already rejected by all the judges of all instances ““ that the statement should be “not usable” because there was a “blackout” of defendant guarantees. Apparently, Bongiorno did understand that the most dangerous threat, and the actual battleground, would be about the danger of having Knox now definitively convicted for calunnia. 

    Bongiorno said “we do not want to put the scientific police on trial” but then said the point defence demonstrated was that they made “an infinite series of errors.” In fact, Bongiorno’s speech largely consisted of the well-known defense stance of pointing the finger at a list of supposed wrong-doings by the police.

    Bongiorno’s argument of pointing out supposed “police mistakes” would probably ring true to Knox’s Amarican supporters, who may find these arguments convincing and effective. 

    In fact, it was obvious that Bongiorno’s position was extremely weak, and that her arguments were not going to have any effect. The weakness of Bongiorno’s arguments was obvious from the start because she backed into arguing the case only on the merit of investigation techniques. 

    Her arguments would maybe resonate effectively with uninformed spectators, but they had already failed in those courts that were legitimate, and they have no consequence from a legal standpoint. Talking about supposed mistakes during the investigation and supposed bad behavior of police are good to build a narrative for journalists, but they would have zero effect on expert judges. 

    I think she knew she was going to lose, but besides being a lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno is also a smart public person, and she plays in the public arena as well as in a court of law at the same time. Her technical stances are all wrong, but she knows she will be remembered well for her good-looking performance. 

    The president did not interrupt her, showing due politeness toward the defence attorneys. But no attorney would convince the Supreme Court by simply saying “we demonstrated that the investigators made mistakes.”

    In order to seek to obtain some positive effect, she should have argued in favor of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdict on points of law, and put forward arguments for their legitimacy; for example, an argument in response to point #1 of Galati’s recourse claiming that the appointing of DNA experts was unmotivated.

    Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova had to take care of their own recourse against the conviction for calunnia on the false accusation of Patrick Lumumba. Their line of defence on this point was the same ““ and could be nothing else ““ than what they maintained though all the previous instances. Dalla Vedova deals with the handwritten note where he understands “Amanda says she is confused, she does not care about what she said.”

    They reintroduced the myth that “she had been interrogated by the investigators for 54 hours.” They explain ““ almost a paradoxical argument ““ that the document was “a defensive paper” while then becoming one of the elements on which the charge of calunnia was built. They stressed that “she wanted to cooperate” with the investigation and that “she was a friend of Meredith.” 

    A failure of their arguments was easily predictable because their recourse was built on points that had already failed at lower instances. Some time ago before this appeal, I posted this criticism of the Ghirga-Dalla Vedova recourse on Knox’s calunnia conviction to the Supreme Court:

    Pages 3-11: The first argument is about the non-usability of the evidence for the crime of calunnia.

    Such an argument is basically the re-proposal of the same argument that had been already dismissed by the Supreme Court in 2008, and subsequently by Massei-Cristiani in 2009 and also by Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti. Therefore, it is an especially weak argument. Ghirga-Dalla Vedova do attempt to use it again at the Supreme Court because it is what they have.

    Just like Giulia Bongiorno will likely recall it too, just like she attempted to request of nullification of Stefanoni’s testimony on procedure grounds before Massei, which was rejected again by Hellmann-Zanetti (the Knox supporters have such a spun perception of the proceedings, they apparently don’t see how some basic defensive claims were rejected by all judges).

    Pages 11-14 complete the first argument, addressing the further requirements of the crime of calunnia (maliciousness and voluntarity). 

    Basically, this point contends that the false accusation was not voluntary or not malicious. The only usable point in my opinion in this reasoning consists of one line, which recalls that Hellmann-Zanetti did not acknowledge the aggravation of continuance for the crime of calunnia. But this point has no consequence because it is a weak point in Hellmann’s verdict itself which violates jurisprudence and logic itself.

    The other claims at this point are basically useless; they attack the Hellmann verdict in a way peculiar to the prosecution appeal with an opposite stance. But in fact “not knowing” that someone is factually innocent obviously cannot be extended to an absolute meaning; Hellmann is illogical on that, because he dismisses the logical link with the murder without explanation. 

    Pages 14-18 speak about the alleged “extreme exhaustion” of Knox in order to exculpate her of her confusion and falsehood.

    This argument tends to be a stronger attempt to use some of the contradiction in Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti, using as a starting point the fact that H-Z did state that Knox was allegedly under excessive pressure. They convicted her for calunnia nonetheless. I think this argument won’t go too far, for two reasons.

    First, because it’s basically on the merits; it quotes the whole writing of Knox and requests the SC to directly re-assess the sincerity of her words, something which the SC are unlikely to do.

    Second, because while on the one hand there is a contradiction in H-Z as they accuse her of calunnia but do not use her writings as an evidence of lying on the other crime, and they reject the continuance despite the obvious link between the calunnia and the murder, on the other hand the contradiction addressed by Ghirga is weaker. There was in fact no factual finding about “excessive pressure,” neither in the H-Z appeal trial nor in previous Massei testimonies.

    As for jurisprudence, pressure and “psychological alteration” itself is not enough to cause a loss of mental faculties to understand and will. Basically, most crimes are committed in a state of psychological stress or alteration, and people are responsible for themselves notwithstanding. The faculty to understand and will is not a psychological condition; it is something that affects the cognitive and decisional functioning of the brain on more basic functions, and requires a medical assessment.

    So there is no way the argument of Ghirga-Dalla Vedova can overturn a conviction for calunnia based on an argument of psychological conditions: they have no basis; and there is no consistent ground to assert “excessive pressure” either. 

    Pages 19-20 is a very short argument about two articles of the code that Ghirga puts in in relation to a case of defensive rights. 

    This is an argument I am unable to assess clearly. This point basically claims Knox is somehow protected by the law because of an extension of her rights of defence. I have the feeling this point is wrong, because the boundaries of the right to defend oneself are already fixed and limited by a SC ruling of 2008, and because Article 51 only applies to what she declared as a defendant, but not to what she declared as a witness.

    Pages 20-22 is only about the sentencing and not about innocence; it claims that, anyway, even if Amanda is guilty of calunnia, the punishment was too stiff and this severity was not logically motivated by Hellmann. This point is the only that could stand, in my opinion.

    After the hearing of March 25 ““ which was the ninth case the Supreme Court panel dealt with that day ““ the panel deliberated for six hours, then adjourned the hearing and scheduled the final decision for the following morning.

    The question whether to annul the verdict entirely, or to confirm the calunnia conviction, might have been the cause of some of the extra time needed. 

    When the Supreme Court has to deal with scheduled cases the relator puts a mark ““ between 1 and 8 ““ indicating the difficulty of the case: 1 is the easiest and 8 is very complex. 

    Almost all recourses are below 3, while a case like the one on the Narducci investigation a week earlier, involving Mignini, could have been closer to 8. The difficulty of this case is unknown. But because of some sensitive jurisprudence involved and because of the articulation of the recourses, this could have been around 6 or higher.

    After retirement of the court, and adjournment to the subsequent day, at 10 am on March 26, the court’s dispositivo was the following:

    ENDING THE RESERVATION FROM THE HEARING OF 03-25-2013, [THE COURT] DECIDES AS FOLLOWS: ANNULS THE IMPUGNED VERDICT, LIMITED TO THE CRIMES UNDER CHARGES:  A) (INTO WHICH CHARGE C) IS ABSORBED), B), D), E), AND TO THE AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER C.P. ART. 61 NO.2 IN RELATION TO CHARGE F), AND REMANDS [THE CASE] TO THE CORTE DI ASSISE DI APPELLO OF FLORENCE FOR A NEW TRIAL. REJECTS THE APPEAL OF AMANDA MARIE KNOX, WHOM IT SENTENCES TO THE PAYMENT OF COURT COSTS AS WELL AS REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PRESENT PROCEEDINGS BY CIVIL PARTY DIYA LUMUMBA, IN THE AMOUNT OF 4000 (FOUR THOUSAND) EUROS, IN ADDITION TO I.V.A. AND C.P.A., PLUS GENERAL EXPENSES ACCORDING TO LAW.

    Thus, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are sent back to appeal trial in Florence on all charges related to the rape and murder of Meredith Kercher (a, b, c, d, e). And Knox is definitively declared guilty of the obstruction of justice charge known as calunnia, while the argument denying any logical link between the calunnia and the murder is quashed.

    Resources used

    The article above draws in part upon a translation into English of news information published by various Italian press sources, which our readers may like to look at directly. A good coverage of the case ““ including Riello’s speech ““ was broadcast by RaiNews 24 and they also have a lot of information on the website. Online updates were provided by Televideo. Commentaries and discussions were hosted on Radio1 - GR Rai. Dr Riello’s comments were reported by Il Fatto Quotidiano and Style.it. There were reports on Libero Italy.it. Also details and chronicles were reported at the end of the day by Il Giornale dell’Umbria. Coverage and the quotes for March 25 were provided by AGI. The dispositivo official document was obtained and published by Andrea Vogt.



    Tuesday, April 02, 2013

    A Growing Number Of Commentators Are Objecting To Overexposure Of The Two Still Accused

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    We have a series of posts coming up that will describe in detail and analyze the outcome of the Supreme Court.

    At least one post will be a roundup of the media. Noticeable this time was less of a tendency to lionize Knox and Sollecito. Some articles and TV reports flipped for Knox, but none did for Sollecito.

    And some editors and reporters have weighed in strongly for better balance. David Barrett of the Daily Telegraph wrote this one.

    The impending retrial for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher fills many court-watchers with dread, myself included.

    Details of the crime are horrific enough. But during the lengthy court processes which we have already witnessed, my discomfort was intensified by the obsession with Amanda Knox.

    The photogenic young American, now 25, was convicted and then acquitted of the 2007 murder. She received more sympathy than most suspects who have ever stood in the dock on such a serious charge.

    The media pack which followed the Italian trial would often comment on Knox’s apparent frailty; the “stress” she was suffering or whether she looked “pale”. It made me gag.

    It’s a difficulty with which any professional and humane court reporter is familiar: how do you keep the victim, who is absent, visible in the very human drama that is a murder trial?

    Is it appropriate to pay more attention to the suspect than to the issue at hand; namely, securing justice on behalf of a person whose life has been taken from them? I say it is not, although I can understand why it happens….

    When the Italian prosecutors again attempt to secure a conviction for that tragic murder in Perugia we will have to get used to seeing Knox’s face on a daily basis once more. But let’s ensure that Meredith remains at forefront of all our minds.

    .


    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Raffaele Sollecito Now Under Formal Investigation For New Crimes Apparently Unprecedented

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    Breaking news. The Chief Prosecutor for Tuscany Dr Quattrocchi (above and below) has taken this investigation of Sollecito behind the scenes. Dr Quattrocchi is actually under no compulsion to make any of the Perugia and Rome complaints public before his investigation is complete. He has ordered all documents removed from the public domain. This is specifically to give the defense and their PR no advantage, and to make sure those others in Perugia who are going to complain about being defamed do so without harm.

    Overview

    This is a contempt of court case as court officials have been impugned. This is Wikipedia’s definition of “contempt of court” under US and UK common law.

    Contempt of court is a court order which in the context of a court trial or hearing, declares a person or organization to have disobeyed or been disrespectful of the court’s authority.

    Often referred to simply as “contempt,” such as a person “held in contempt,” it is the judge’s strongest power to impose sanctions for acts which disrupt the court’s normal process.

    A finding of contempt of court may result from a failure to obey a lawful order of a court, showing disrespect for the judge, disruption of the proceedings through poor behaviour, or publication of material deemed likely to jeopardize a fair trial.

    A judge may impose sanctions such as a fine or jail for someone found guilty of contempt of court.

    We may now find out much more about the equivalent under Italian law.

    When Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were released at the end of 2011, the prosecution filed a Supreme Court appeal within the allotted period. This automatically meant that Sollecito and Knox still stood accused of crimes until the Supreme Court finally signs off.

    Typically Italian defendants in such a legal status get good legal advice, on the lines of “Shut up and keep your heads down. We need to be the only ones doing the talking here.” 

    Here such advice may or may not have been forthcoming, but the public record strongly suggests it was not. In fact Sollecios entire legal team is credited by both himelf and his shadow writer Andrew Gumbel with helping. This is what Gumbel wrote in his Acknowledgments:

    Donatella Donati in Luca Maori’s office gave up many hours to make the official documentation available and to present it all in a cogent order. She’s a largely unsung hero in this story and deserves recognition for her extraordinary efforts on Raffaele’s behalf. Giulia Bongiorno, Luca Maori, and Tiziano Tedeschi answered questions and made comments on parts of the manuscript.

    In the same Acknowledgments Sollecito credits the following.

    I was lucky to have a crack legal team who showed their devotion to the truth and, in some cases, did not even request payment. The team of lawyers and consultants included Adriano Tagliabracci, Francesco Vinci, Bruno Pellero, Francesco Introna, Giulia Bongiorno, Maurizio Parisi, Daniela Rocchi, Luca Maori, Donatella Donati, Marco Brusco, Aldo Poggioni, Delfo Berretti, Tiziano Tedeschi, and Antonio D’Ambrosio.

    Interestingly, Luca Maori has already left Sollecio’s legal team, and all eyes are now on Giulia Bongiorno. Buy plenty of popcorn. Lawsuits could fly between lawyers and family. 

    Since the end of 2011 Curt Knox’s forces seem to have have gone full steam ahead with their own vilifications of the Italian prosecutors, police, judges, and witnesses - in fact almost anyone who had any role in 2009 in finding them guilty, or came to believe that was a fair finding. Ourselves included.

    In late 2012 Curt Knox apparently invited all the most fervent of these attackers to Seattle, including Frank Sforza and Bruce Fischer, as some sort of reward for their legally very ill-advised campaign. Buy plenty more popcorn. Lawsuits could fly here as well. 

    Raffele Sollecito’s forces in Italy had been a lot more restrained.

    But at a stroke, the shrillness of Raffaele Sollecito leapfrogged that of Amanda Knox’s forces, with the publication of his book Honor Bound by Simon and Schuster in English in the UK and US last September,

    INSTANTLY the book became notorious in Italy, because excerpts were read out by an Italian reporter in New York on the national television show Porta a Porta. Raffele Sollecito’s father Francesco was on that show, and he was increasingly forced to admit a key claim in the book was invented. It simply never happened. His son made it up.

    The false claim by his son that Francesco was made to repudiate - it reappears over many pages - concerned a claimed deal engineered by his family and offered by the prosecution to Sollecito.

    The deal he claimed was to roll over on Amanda Knox, and if Sollecito did so, he would be home free.

    Following the Porta a Porta show, the book (obtainable on UK Amazon, where many false claims are repeated in the reviews) began to make its rounds in Italy. It took some time before many official parties accused of crimes by Sollecito obtained copies and started to explore their own legal possibilities. They are apparently still far from finished.

    At the end of last week, the Chief Prosecutor for Tuscany Giuseppe Quattrocchi received the first official request from Perugia, which is to investigate 12 very serious claims in the book against the prosecution and the legal institutions of Italy. The complaint nominates a number of witnesses.

    The Prosecution office of Florence now has a maximum of six months to investigate whether there is a case against Sollecito and other named parties. If so, they will steer it through the hoops of the Italian process.

    The potential ripple effects of this appear to us to stretch on and on. They could come to engulf both legal teams (credited in the book with helping) and all of the PR for both defendants. Sollecito’s publisher and shadow writer are specifically named in the complaint

    If Amanda Knox is not let off the hook by the Italian Supreme Court late in March (the outcome we consider most likely, given the great strength of the appeal) the smart way for Knox to go in light of this could be to junk all her websites, her book, and her interviews, and throw her supporters under the bus. Plus maybe get smarter lawyers - the aggressive and inexperienced Dalla Vedova does her no favors.

    Keeping Amanda Knox’s head out of this deadly new line of fire may be very late - but maybe better late than never.




    Monday, January 21, 2013

    An Overview From Italy #2: Current Perceptions In Italy, Justice Perverters Fail, Mignini Vindicated

    Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)





    My previous report on the bad news remorselessly building here for the defense was on the Procura Generale appeal to the Supreme Court.

    One year ago ““ between the end of December 2011 and beginning of January 2012 ““ there were only rare idle comments in the Italian press about the Meredith Kercher case, more or less sarcastically noting the “suspicious” circumstances of the Appeal trial.  I recall how a mention of the topic was dropped into the last number of “ll Venerd씝 of 2011.

    “Il Venerdì di Repubblica” is the weekly magazine issued together with the newspaper “La Repubblica” (thus probably the most read magazine in Italy).

    The cover theme of that week was provincialism ““ or better “the provincials” - the adjective used to assemble a sample of seven little cities (Cuneo, Voghera, Rimini, Jesi, Perugia, Benevento, Partinico), picked from different regions, and taken as examples on the theme, that is stories of “local colour”;  what goes on in small “provincial places”.  A few characters and stories are brought in to depict the local life of each place, and the voices of local authors adds something about the places.

    The article about Perugia (at pages 62-68) was by Luca Cardinalini. In that number of Il Venerdì, having stories of “local colour” as weekly theme, there were shades of ironic tones for each city, often through the voice of local intellectuals. As Perugia is described, the Meredith trial is quickly recalled among its local stories; the reader can’t miss how this is viewed as in connection with another most remarkable feature of the city, that is Masonry.

    According to Luca Cardinalini and Enrico Vaime, Masonry is called a “Specialty” of Perugia, like chocolate. Local author Enrico Vaime intends to convey the people’s perception about shady powers existing in the city, about a local environment saturated by plots and informal powers, as something behind recent strange judicial decisions such as the Hellmann verdict and the apparent dropping of the Narducci case.  The widespread belief of Perugians that the Public Minister (prosecutor) is the righteous one shines through the words of Enrico Vaime.

    Also notice how racism appears to be another key perception about the verdict. Quality media press in Italy has a typical style of understatement.  This comment hints that it seems obvious that the Appeal was a racist verdict - and it was “expected” that they would find a way to blame the black one and the outcast. 

    Some of Perugian “provincialism” seems to include a very narrow localism of Perugian identity: a person from Orvieto is reported to be called “a foreigner” ; but this is because the cultural viewpoint is based on the assumption of a personal knowledge of all people.  In among this, there is Vaime’s knowledge about how rooted Masonic tradition and power is in the city, in a scenario of “brotherhoods” and “tribes” (the article includes a photo of the most known “Masonic” monument in Perugia: the gryphon or griffen ““ the emblem of Perugia ““ grabbing a toppled Pope’s Tiara in a sign of rebellion). 

    The report by Vaime is objectively correct : the concentration of members of Masonic lodges in Perugia is the highest in the world, about 5 times the national average of Italy (which is anyway very high). 

    In Vaime’s wording decent people in Perugia are ‘Christians’ or ‘Communists’ ““ these are the names he uses to address the main categories he sees as “good” people, two transparent moral systems.  He devolves skepticism toward the less transparent allegiances, the murky and informal connections to powers. 

    I believe these perceptions from one year ago, in this colorful article about Perugia, should be most interesting to the readers of this site.

    The first part of the article on Perugia is not that interesting - it speaks mostly about a local character named Ivano Massetti, nicknamed “Savonarola of Umbrian football”,  the director (“boss”) of a local TV network and leading showman of his own soccer talk show. I skipped this first part with depictions of local folks, and get to the point at p.66 where the Kercher case is first mentioned. 

    This is my translation of the article from this point:

    [”¦](p.66 line 17):

    As Enrico Vaime ““ a 100% Perugian, a writer, and among many other things fiercly provincial ““ already knows: “Only in Perugia do you hear people saying “actually Tizio [random guy] was not a native from Colombella, but from Piccione”, which is three times further”. And when his grandfathers (farther of his father) bearing the same name Enrico Vaime, moved his formal place of residence [to Perugia] from Spello, on the official documents they wrote “emigrated to Perugia and married to a foreigner from Orvieto”.

    The roots are extremely deep. “Still today” Vaime says “when I say to my family “we go back home”, I mean here, in Perugia, where I have not owned a house for decades. And I still call the roads and shops with the names they had when I was a child, even if now the owners are foreigners, from Shangai or, as I say, from Terni”.

    Vaime is cross with the bad reporters who described Perugia, in the Meredith murder case, as a capital of corruption and vice: “An invasion of charlatan journalists who, as they believed they were visiting a remote and lost province, they painted it as a sort of Chicago on the Trasimeno Lake”.

    [The fact] that no Perugian was involved in that sad story, to them that was an irrelevant detail. And the trial ended just the way many Perugians expected: a black guy first wrongly put in jail, another black one convicted, the two white, good-looking, wealthy and well defended young people, free.

    So it was that the Public Minister Giuliano Mignini became a target. He’s a Perugian whom the Perugians know as the dominus of the other judicial case ““ this also is, yes, entirely local ““ about which everybody talks and knows, but always in a low voice: the death of doctor Francesco Narducci,  the one suspected of having ties to the crimes of the Monster of Florence. From the judicial point of view that was - by half ““ just another hole-in-the-water [a failure] for which some critics have hastily put the blame on some alleged lunacy of the public minister.

    But”¦  however”¦ meanwhile, this [Naducci] corpse-swap was indeed found to have been for sure, a kind of unique case in the criminal history of the country. And, for what concerns the recent acquittals of those characters involved in this death, well, after almost a year and a half we are still waiting for the verdict motivations. All of the suspects were esteemed high-class professionals. That’s a perfect mix of strange deaths, sex, lead-astray investigations, and Masonry; this is in the city with the highest number of Masonic lodges in Italy.

    Vaime sighs: “Masonry is something alien from me, but I have many friends who are in it. In Perugia it works as a compensation chamber for various powers, but also as an effort for the surge of the spirit to many decent people. Masters, masons and “33”, but all of them decent Perugians”.  Masonry is considered a local specialty, just like the bruschetta or the Etruscan arch.

    “One day you find out that that mediocre employee of your acquaintance, or the one who performed an incredible career in the public administration or in politics, is a “˜son of Horus’. Then you either laugh, or you slap yourself on the forehead just like saying to yourself “Wow! [how could I ] think about it!”. “That travet* [*a generic mediocre opportunist employee], too” 

    Vaime says “to me it is a strange Perugian, with little interest for the Egyptian god compared to his covet for entering inner circles of a certain world. Their internal motivation is “I want to see how the lords sit at the table”. But in there [Masonry], you see, there are also good Christians and good Communists; as has always happened in this province, which has the art of living together in its genes”.

    [”¦. ]



    This month ““ Jan 2013 ““ the Italian press returned to the topic of the case again in a few brief articles. This time it was because of Sollecito’s book.

    After Maurizio Molinari’s report from New York on the book in September, and the busting by Bruno Vespa on Porta a Porta of Francesco Sollecito, who ended up openly contradicting his own son’s statements, another hint appeared in the local press about what is cooking up backstage. 






    This article in Perugia Today has a neutral take, but the same understatement and kind of vagueness as it anticipates that something very likely will happen.

    What I find most delightful is the quotation marks in the title around the word “author” ““ journalist Nicola Bossi doesn’t believe for a moment that Sollecito actually wrote the book: 

    Meredith Case: “author” Sollecito at risk of criminal lawsuit

    The recounts about an alleged negotiation in order to pin the main charges on Amanda Knox, and unproven violence by the Perugia Police are under target. Mignini is considering criminal lawsuit.

    Written by Nicola Bossi ““ Jan 4. 2013  

    The Meredith case is not closed, and this despite books and movies almost tend to drop it after the acquittal in second instance of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito - who were convicted in first degree for the murder of the English girl that took place in Via della Pergola.

    On upcoming March the 25th the Court of Cassation of Rome will have to decide on the request for a re-opening the trial, submitted by the Procura with the authorization of Public Minister Giuliano Mignini.

    In the environment of the magistrates there is confidence about a [guilty] verdict that many ““ in Italy and in the USA - have heavily attempted to discredit. But from the same environments around them, they talk about a greatly serene Mignini making assessments about the next strategic moves, following the attacks directed against him ““ and against those in Law Enforcement who cooperated with him ““ contained in the book by Raffaele Sollecito.

    An upcoming criminal defamation lawsuit is becoming more and more likely every day, especially about some particular paragraphs. The material published by Sollecito has already resulted in discussions and clamor above all about claimed negotiations [with the prosecution]  aiming to shift the blame onto Amanda alone, to be rewarded with his immediate release.

    But there are also accusations against the Police about violence during his interrogations. “If you dare get up and walk, I beat you up in a bloody pulp and I kill you. I leave you in a pool of blood”. This is what you read in the book “˜Honour Bound’ issued in the US, as what Sollecito attributes to the Perugian officers.

    “They wanted me to lie so they could frame Amanda”: this is the premise of the claimed negotiations claimed to indirectly involve Mignini too, which he always denied. Allegedly this would have been enough to get [Sollecito] out from prison soon, leaving the American woman in trouble.

    So, these are grave accusations which Mignini apparently does not intend to let go unpunished. The criminal lawsuit is likely to be filed earlier than the date of Cassazione [25 March].

     

    Another small piece of news is this article below published in Leonardo and written by Valentina Cervelli: 

    It seems basically a “commented” version of the Perugia Today article. Cervelli adds a few polite lines on her own thoughts in this piece, published on the Bbooks page of Leonardo,it; this is my translation:

    Is Raffaele Sollecito going be sued soon for “Honor Bound”?

    By Valentina Cervelli -  6. Jan 2013

    Are there troubles in sight for Raffaele Sollecito? His “Honour Bound” book is going well in the United States in terms of sales, but here in Italy it might be soon result for him in a lawsuit for defamation by the Law Enforcement forces and by the Public Minister Giuliano Mignini.

    As we know already, in Honor Bound ““ My journey to hell with Amanda Knox and return Raffaele Sollecito has reconstructed the whole judiciary story from his point of view, telling in his autobiography what [he says] is his own truth.

    On March 25 Cassation in Rome will decide on the [prosecution] request for the re-opening of the trial submitted by the Procura authorized by Giuliano Mignini, after the acquittal in the second instance of the two main accused, Sollecito and Amanda Knox.

    The young woman has returned back to her country and we bet it’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to get her back in our country even in case of retrial after Cassation and a possible conviction. But lets leave aside this possible dispute and lets focus on the book. In Raffaele’s book Mignini is iimplicated because he reportedly comes out discredited. In the material published by Sollecito in his book he even talks about alleged negotiations in order to blame Knox alone, obtaining in reward a quick release.

    And what about the allegations of Police violence during interrogations? Of course we don’t get into the merits, but it seems obvious that parties that may be considered offended would tend to launch a counter-attack to defend their dignity and their work. At the moment no lawsuit has been submitted. But with much probability that will be done before the decision of Cassazione.

    By now we can only wait for the publishing of the book in our country, in order to assess with our minds what Raffaele Sollcito has written and the “hot” material published in his made-in-the-US autobiography.

    By the way; one thing Valentina Cervelli might get wrong is the purported good sales of Sollecito-Gumbel’s book.

    The Amazon.com site is reliable as quick indicator of a product’s success;  the price of a new copy of “Honor Bond” on Amazon.com is now $ 3.51 (last week it was 3.76; the cover price is $ 24). It suggests sales are not quite as expected.  The drop speed is significant if you consider that the book has been out for only four months.



    [Above: the Florence Palace of Justice]


    While many honest magistrates seem to be working in Florence, there is still some strange behavior by one or two people in the Florence prosecution office.

    Iin particular by the chief prosecutor there were some unexplainable decisions.  As people reading this site know, Giuliano Mignini and Michele Giuttari were convicted (of some of the charges) in the first degree trial in Florence. 

    The motivations document was disconcerting because: besides the proof of their innocence on the main charge, what was described as the evidence on the remaining charge constituted extremely weak and vague arguments for what was claimed about Giuttari, while they were totally non-existent about Mignini. 

    In the second instance appeal as we know the court completely crushed the trial case.

    The case against them collapsed not because of a technicality, as the FOAs falsely claimed. In the figment of their imagination the Knox supporters erroneously thought that the Florence court had an “option” to overturn the case, to find Mignini and Giuttari innocent, but that they instead decided to pass the judgment on to some other tribunal.

    The pro-Knox believers are probably also ready to believe blindfolded that there was some kind of evidence against Mignini.

    The Knox believers are wrong. What in fact happened in Florence is something almost unique in a judge’s career. The first remarkable event was the decision by the Florence court of nullifying the first degree verdict. They did not simply overturn the verdict (neither change, or “reform” it as we say) since an overturning would imply acceptance that a previous verdict actually existed and was legitimate.

    The cancellation was in fact an in limine act about the validity , which does not require an assessment about it correctness. The court went way beyond. In fact they nullified the whole trial, not only the previous one in terms of judgment, but also the preliminary hearing, and the indictment; and even the request of indictment. 

    It is a legal outcome not comparable to a simple change or overturning because it is a ruling that the whole proceeding was illegitimate from the very roots. The investigation itself of Mignini and Giuttari was declared illegitimate. 

    If elements were found for the opening of an investigation, the prosecutor would be entitled to carry on their duties, though the investigators should be from another territory.  This is important because the Florence court found evidence that people from the same office were involved in cases against Giuttari and Mignini, both as offended parties and as prosecutors. 

    Because of a basic conflict of interest, the local prosecutors were incompatible and the Procura of Florence had no jurisdiction. Not even Genoa would be compatible.

    Florentine prosecutors therefore had no right to bring cases against Mignini and Giuttari. The investigation files now must now be sent to the competent jurisdiction ““ where they should have been sent from the beginning ““ which is Turin; there other legitimate prosecutors will decide if and how there is anything to investigate about, and if there are any charges to bring against anyone.  The Florentine trials should have never taken place. The court ordered that the legitimate investigators are the Procura of Turin. 

    In addition, they also ruled that the court of Florence would be an incompetent jurisdiction in any further possible case that stems from that investigation: since the competent prosecution is Turin, in case elements for the indictment of anyone for any charge are found, in the future, everything should go to a court in Turin ““ this, only if there will be any charge to bring to court . 

    This decision in Florence was a total debacle for the Florence prosecutors.  It is in fact “politically” much worse than an overturning of a verdict. It is not just a like a different conclusion on the merit, it is the decision to take away even the investigation from them, a kind of implicit censure of their work as highly illegitimate.

    But at this point in the procedings, something even worse and even more strange happened.  The Procura of Florence did something even more unusual, in fact unprecedented as far as I know. 

    Apparently the Florence prosecutors are not happy at all to pass the investigation file on to Turin. For some reason they seem instead to want to do unnecessary and irrelevant hard work instead.  The Florentine prosecutors impugned the decision and revisited this at the Supreme Court against the Florentine judges.

    This step is almost unheard of because the decision of the Florence appeal court is of a type that manifestly cannot be impugned at the Supreme Court. The recourse is obviously going to be declared inadmissible. If that submission was done by a private citizen, they would get a heavy fine for that.

    Here it is a power in the Florence judiciary branch making this inadmissible move; for unknown reasons. 

    I’d like to know the real motive behind the latest Florence move, the only effect of which can be a waste of time (and money), a delay, of at least one or maybe two more years, which only makes the failure of the whole proceeding against Mignini and Giuttari more likely due to lapse on an expiration terms.

    I say “I’d like to know” but in fact one motivation stands out as obvious:  the whole proceeding against Giuttari and Mignini, from the first bringing of the charges at the lower courts, appeared as having a wasting of time among its purposes. 

    One practical effect - maybe a practical purpose - of pushing the charges against Mignini, was taking the file about the Monster of Florence case links with the Narducci case away from Perugia. By this move, the Florentine prosecutors managed to factually put their hands on the Narducci-MoF file and remove it from the investigating powers in Perugia.

    Another effect of this was delay. Now this latest move looks as if its purpose were to delay, as much as possible, the transfer of the legal documents to Turin.   

    What is the ultimate event that, by all this, they seem to be seeking to delay?  I can’t know for sure, I can only guess; in fact, I have only one answer, which also stands out as something obvious for those who know a bit of the backstage: 

    Giuliano Mignini is not an ordinary magistrate, he belongs to the Anti-Mafia Territorial Division of Umbria, and recently was selected for a further promotion by the Supreme Council of Magistrates.

    In fact what is delayed is the advancing of Mignini’s career:  in fact he has been already promoted to a directive function; but, by the rules, his taking the post was frozen while awaiting the outcome and conclusion of the Florentine prosecution. 

    Prosecutor Mignini is de facto already functioning as a prominent Magistrate in Perugia and considered as such; but formally he has not been given the directive power.  Several people ““ among them Spezi and a number of his journalist friends, but possibly also other much more important people too ““ are likely not at all eager to see Mignini awarded further power.

    About the latest endeavor by Raffaele Sollecito, who became liable for criminal defamation by writing false allegations about Mignini and others in his book, I expect - as logically unavoidable ““ that several powers and subjects will basically have no option but taking legal against him.

    There will be a strategic necessity to doing this in order to prevent extradition issues in the future, but also, above all, on principle, because Sollecito made false claims about public institutions that needt to have their names cleared.  Considering the kind of allegations against the judiciary as an institution, and considering that Mignini is a judge of the Anti-Mafia Division, this is the kind of lawsuit that I see as likely to be submitted on a national level, in Rome. 

    If that is the case, it would not be the only strange thing that the courts of Rome will deal with.

    It seems like there is a kind of “curse”  on proceedings related to the Narducci case. All sections of the Supreme Court which have been asked seem to have attempted to declare themselves “˜incompetent’ about re-opening the cases related to the Perugian doctor. The Cassazione is a huge office with a hundred judges working there, but maybe not so many of them are eager to deal with this case.

    This could be only a coincidence. It only brings up to my mind, through a free association of thoughts, a more generic question ““ a personal question of mine ““ that is whether the words “Masonry” and “Politics” have an echo in Roman corridors too.

    *****

    Finally I want to add another significant piece of Italian news. 

    The news a week ago was that the Procura of Florence is investigating a possible corruption/mafia plot involving construction enterprises and politicians that revolves around the building of a new high speed railway in Florence.

    Some 31 people are being investigated and among them is the former governor of Umbria. A huge drilling machine ““ nicknamed the “Mona Lisa” ““ used to dig subway tunnels in Florence was sequestrated by the Procura. 

    In the last couple of years Perugia’s prosecution office had a main role in fighting political corruption, but it seems that the Florence Anti-Mafia division is also active, just as it was in the times when the prosecutor Vigna worked with them.

    Vigna was the one who first evolved the “secret sect” scenario in the Monster of Florence case, raising unexpected problems among the Procura staff.


    Tuesday, January 08, 2013

    Perugia’s Exceptional Uni And Economy May Have Made RS And AK Feel Small Frogs In Big Pond

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    [Multi-millionaire success story Brunello Cucinelli and, below, his Perugia-area factory and a typical store]


    Few crime specialists seem to see the pattern of the attack against Meredith as being absent of intense anger.

    There is no way that attack represents the pattern of a lone burglar or for that matter of a single perp of any kind. The Supreme Court already KNOWS that and they know that at first appeal the Knox and especially Sollecito lawyers tried desperately to prove that two or three other perps were there, either with Rudy Guede (witness Aviello) or without (witness Alessi).

    For months now, apparently unnoticed by the FOA sheep, the defenses have been sounding absolutely feckless in the face of the juggernaurt prosecution appeal submitted to Cassation by Perugia’s chief prosecutor Dr Galati.

    We’re betting that if they had it all over they would have urged Knox and Sollecito to take the short-form trial and one of the olive branches offered by the prosecution (that it was a sex-based attack which went too far, not an intentional preplanned murder).

    They could have entered known facts about Sollecito and Knox to show that at the least they had tin ears and had always been callous, jealous and quirky. They might have advanced a drug-based excuse - the other olive branch advanced by the prosecution was that they were on cocaine and not marjuana that night and cocaine can induce rages leading to murder.

    They might also have advanced the notion that both AK and RS were being remorselessly frozen out by their peers, who increasingly looked down on them, not least of course Meredith whose sleep and studies were constantly disrupted by the thoughtless, sharp-elbowed Knox.

    Consider first who were their peers. Perugia is a city of driven high performers and it may not be the most comfortable environment for low-performing layabouts. In its own small way it is about as hustling as Manhattan.

    It is one of the brightest cities in Europe with an extremely high median IQ. It is one of the top-performing cities in the Italian economy, in part because of the advanced scientific research at the very large university, and in part because it is the home to some brilliant international entrepreneurs.

    Both these faces of Perugia are constantly in the Italian news. A search of the past week’s news for the university turns up reports on medical and mathematical and space-science breakthroughs and as usual a number of international conferences in the works.

    And a search of last week’s news for Perugian businesses turns up for example this report on Brunello Cucinelli the highly sucessful and innovative fashion-goods entrepreneur who is now talking of doubling his factory.

    Sollecito was never really a part of either. He had few friends and no girlfriends, he was a year or two behind his age-group in his studies, and he needed his back watched at all times - though from his book it is obvious that he felt needled by his highly successful doctor-father.

    And Knox arrived with poor Italian despite all the claimed studies back in Seattle, she took on only a light and unimpressive study-load (compare Knox’s to Meredith’s) and she was rapidly shedding friends and the goodwill of her tolerant, well-meaning employer.

    Neither had a credible and impressive career path in mind, and for that matter, still don’t. It is tough enough to know you are not making it, that can induce in many quite a rage.

    But it is even tougher when all your peers around you notice it, and in American street parlance you get to feel “dissed”.












    Thursday, December 20, 2012

    Have The Raffaele Sollecito Defense Team Of Bongiorno And Maori Now Gone AWOL?

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    No word from the Sollecito or Knox defense teams since Sollecito’s book kneecapped them, along with Amanda Knox and Sollecito’s own dad.

    The lawyers are nicely credited (see below) in the book as eager helpers. They must just love that. Whoever feels that Sollecito defamed them may be able to require that those credited by Gumbel & Sollecito be cross-examined.

    We do look forward to the possibility of seeing Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori (images above) sweat it out. Along of course with the “boundlessly generous” Steve and Michele Moore, and all those super-diligent publishers.

    And of course Sollecito’s own father and sister, who were dedicated to “getting every detail just right”.

    Of course the Sollecito book then turned around and whacked them. Maybe that is why Sollecito’s dad already admitted on national TV that his son’s claim that a prosecutor broke the law was simply made up. Not easy, being Pappa Sollecito.

    Acknowledgments from page 266 of Sollecito’s book:

    Andrew Gumbel would like to thank Dana Newman, who made a crucial introduction at the start of this project, the indefatigable Sharlene Martin, the ever gracious Gail Ross, the boundlessly generous Steve and Michelle Moore, my favorite pugliese Anna D’Elia, Peter Popham, Robert Adams, and of course the rocking, super-talented team at Simon & Schuster/Gallery who were never less than a pleasure and kept me sane against a tight deadline. Thank you, Jen Bergstrom, for believing in this book from the get-go, thank you Lisa Rivlin and Alex Lewis, and thank you, Trish Boczkowski, for your brilliant editing and infectiously good company. That’s amore!

    This was a group effort all around. The Sollecito family, not just Raffaele, opened up their lives and their souls with remarkable candor. Thank you, in particular, to Francesco and Vanessa for days of fascinating conversation, for your dedication to getting every detail just right, for compiling exhaustive time lines, and making sure that material reached me promptly. Donatella Donati in Luca Maori’s office gave up many hours to make the official documentation available and to present it all in a cogent order. She’s a largely unsung hero in this story and deserves recognition for her extraordinary efforts on Raffaele’s behalf. Giulia Bongiorno, Luca Maori, and Tiziano Tedeschi answered questions and made comments on parts of the manuscript.


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