Category: The defenses

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Thirteenth Appeal Session:  It Looks Like The Defenses Have A Real Friend in Court - Judge Hellman

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. Context Of Overt Hellman Bias

Do you recall this fraught post?

“Corruption Of Appeal: Angry Top Criminal Judge Chiari Is Blatantly Forced Aside”

Umbria’s highly qualified top criminal judge had been yanked from the case by Umbria’s Chief Judge (and avid mason) De Nunzio, who has seemingly been gotten-to by the Sollecito family or their defense team.

Conjectures in Perugia abound. Maybe money was involved, or mafia ties, or masonic ties. 

In the period since the prosecution seems to be winning every shot at the hard facts. And yet Hellman intermittently seems to show major bias in his pro-defense rulings.

Hellman’s opening remarks back in 2010 favored the defense. So did his defined scope of the appeal, which has been illegally expanded into a mini-trial.

Contrary to appeal law, Hellman has accepted a total of FIVE new defense witnesses! None of whom relate closely to trial substance.

Two clearly biased and competent “independent” DNA experts were appointed to review some of the DNA. But why? The Carabinieri labs are meant for this purpose.

And whereas the defenses have been granted everything they ever wanted, time and again Judge Hellman has ruled against the prosecution.

And it happened again today.

Astoundingly, Hellman ruled that a confession on 27 July under oath by Luciano Aviello in front of Prosecutor Comodi making serious accusations against the Sollecito family and their defense team was not accepted for court follow-up!

Roll on Supreme Court. That is where Umbria Prosecutor General Galati recently transferred from and he has told the prosecution they will prevail for sure at that level.

2. Today In Abbreviated Court Session

There is a strike in Perugia so court could only meet for a half of a day. The Italian reporting today conveys a picture of more of the same tough prosecution rebuttal that we were seeing yesterday.

It emerged that the DNA that was remaining on both the bra clasp AND the knife might have been re-tested if Carla Vecchioti and Stefano Conti had not come up with some contentious quibbles for not proceeding.

The prosecution may now call for those tests to actually be done, by a new set of independent experts. Let us see if Judge Hellman will allow them.

Amanda Knox looked increasingly down today as she absorbed the trend in the testimony, and at one point she slumped on the table seemingly asleep. Serial over-promising by her suffocating entourage hasn’t done her any good.

Mr Mignini believes that at several points Amanda Knox wanted to confess and to pay her dues. Surely better this than a Casey Anthony or OJ Simpson situation with their attendant huge overtones of illegitimacy.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Witness Tampering By Defenses? Investigations Launched After Witness Aviello U-Turns

Posted by Peter Quennell



To whom Aviello now points a finger

1. Witness Aviello’s U-Turn

Sources tell us they believe Vanessa Sollecito and her family are again under investigation, this time possibly with Sollecito’s defense lawyers.

The investigation was said to be sparked by the specific claims of Luciano Aviello yesterday under oath before a magistrate in Capanne Prison that Vanessa Sollecito paid him 30,000 Euros for his testimony on June 18 with Sollecito’s counsel in the loop.

2. Aviello’s Testimony 18 June

We repeat here a summary already posted of what Luciano Aveillo testified to on 18 June by Will Savive:

Another prison inmate Luciano Aviello [42] who has served 17 years in jail after being convicted of being a member of the Naples-based Camorra, testified today that his brother Antonio and his colleague had killed Meredith while attempting to steal a “valuable painting.”

Aviello said that the Albanian (who offered his brother “work” in the form of a robbery) had inadvertently jotted down the wrong address, and they instead went to the house where Kercher and Knox were living, and they were surprised by Meredith’s appearance. According to Aviello, his brother and the Albanian man then committed the murder and fled.

Aviello is from Naples, but was living in Perugia at the time of the murder. He claims that his brother, who is currently on the run, was staying with him in late 2007 and on the night of the murder he returned home with an injury to his right arm and his jacket covered in blood.

Flanked by two prison guards, Aviello described how his brother had entered the house Meredith shared with Knox and had been looking for the painting when they were disturbed by a woman “wearing a dressing gown.” So many convicts, which one to believe, if any?

“My brother told me that he had put his hand to her mouth but she had struggled,” Aviello testified. “He said he got the knife and stabbed her before they had run off. He said he had also smashed a window to simulate a break in.”

Aviello said his brother had hidden the knife, along with a set of keys his brother had used to enter the house. “Inside me I know that a miscarriage of justice has taken place,” he asserted. Consequently, Aviello had been in the same jail as Sollecito and had told him: “I believe in your innocence.”

3. New Aviello Claims 26 July

In light of the betrayal by his cellmates, Luciano Aviello now states that all of this above was fiction.

There were no hidden keys, and no knife, and his brother was not living in Perugia at that time.

Here is a translation by our main poster ZiaK of one of the most comprehensive reports of what Aviello now says. We’ve added the emphasis to key passages..

“I lied following agreement with Sollecito’s lawyers in exchange for money”

Aviello claims he received 30 thousand euros in exchange for his testimony

Published 27/7/11

by Francesca Marruco

After having received notice that investigations had been completed by the Perugia prosecutor, the ex supergrass (state’s evidence), Luciano Aviello, requested and was granted a hearing with the Perugia prosecutors.

Last Friday in Capanne prison, the witness who had been brought into the court case by Amanda Knox’s defence team admitted - in a roundabout way - to Dr Manuela Comodi that everything he had declared was false: that it was false and had been agreed with Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyers in order to create confusion in the case.

He denied all the statements he had made in court. Luciano Aviello, who had told the judges of the Assize court that Meredith had been killed by his brother and that he himself had hidden the knife with which she was killed as well as the keys of the via della Pergola house, told the assistant prosecutor, Manuela Comodi - who, together with her collegue Giuliano Mignini, was in charge of the investigations into the death of Meredith Kercher - that he recanted everything he had previously declared.

His brother had nothing to do with it, he had never hidden any knife nor any bunch of keys. And he had never lived in Perugia - as he had stated in court before the judges.

Aviello: “Nothing is true, and it was all by agreement.” As to why he had told this flood of whoppers, he gave his explanation in fits and starts in over 80 pages of court records.

It was from a desire to help someone he had met in jail, and whom he loved - Raffaele Sollecito - by means of his lawyers, some of his family, and one of Amanda Knox’s lawyers, who apparently went to the Alba jail to hear him in order to deflect suspicion from Sollecito’s team.

Aviello heavily accused Sollecito’s lawyers and sister [Vanessa]. He said that it had been Vanessa who had delivered the 30,000 euros to an acquaintance of his in Naples, who was to act as a go-between. The money was to be found in an apartment in Turin which the Perugia police will check.

Aviello declared himself as being willing to appear in court and repeat everything before the appeal judges of the court of Assizes.

His first motives and his current ones:

The reasons for which he had agreed to tell these lies, according to what he told the prosecutor, was that he had been assured that the Perugian prosecutors would not investigate him - contrary to what had in fact happened - and that he was fond of Raffaele Sollecito.

And also because he was to receive in compensation those 30,000 euros which he would use for a sex-change operation, as he himself had declared several times.

But now that he had received notice that the investigations were finished, and since (he claims) he no longer hears from Raffaele any more, because otherwise no-one would believe him [translator’s note: I assume “him” means Raffaele being concerned that if he stays in touch with Aviello no-one would believe hi, Raffaele, any more], he no longer has any reason to continue lying.

Whereas he has plenty of reasons to try and lighten his own position as someone under investigation for calunnia (criminal slander).

Aviello: Raffaele had told me that it was Amanda and that he was also there.

Around the middle of the interrogation, Aviello said - referring to something that Raffaele apparently told him - that “the murderer, in fact, was not him: it was Amanda, during an erotic game”.

Raffaele apparently also declared “I actually know that it’s true that Amanda did it, but I didn’t do it: it wasn’t me that did the murder; I didn’t do it”.

This is what [Aviello] declared between one allegation and another, and he also declared that he was prepared to repeat everything before the judges. Before those very judges to whom, on 18 June last, he had so shamelessly lied.

What has changed? The repercussions which these new declarations - made by a man who has already been convicted 8 times previously for slander [calunnia] - cannot be conjectured.

Or at least, not all of them. The lawyer Giulia Bongiorno has already declared that she will defend her honour in court against anyone who might accuse her of having paid a convict to create confusion in the case.

It is foreseeable that Luca Maori and Carlo Dalla Vedova will take the same stance.

What the Prosecution will do is more difficult to determine. The investigations on Aviello’s slander against his brother may have ended, but how many others may be instigated as a result of these declarations?

In the meantime, everyone will return to court on Saturday to discuss the genetic evidence, which might truly decide the path that this case will take.


4. What Happens Next In Court

This was sworn testimony. Dr Comodi will now file a statement with Judge Hellman. and request that Aviello be brought back to court as a prosecution witness this time for defense cross-examination.

Early announcements might also be expected from the accused Sollecito family, who did meet with Aviello in prison, and from the accused Giulia Bongiorno.

And presumably a beeline is now being made to that apartment in Turin where the 30,000 Euros if it exists might be hidden.

Meanwhile, any search for the knife and keys Aviello had claimed he hid will drop dead.

Added 7 September: see Part

5. Another Investigation Commences

Several sources make us understand that the independent DNA consultants Carla Vecchioti and Stefano Conti might now be under investigation for possible contact or collaboration with one or several defense DNA experts including Hampikian.

Our main poster Fly By Night already suggested that the geographical location and published views of experts quoted by Carla Vecchioti and Stefano Conti looked pretty fishy.

And the lawyer for the family of Meredith, Francesco Maresca, complained on Monday that a request endorsed by Judge Hellman for those consultants to make sure to use European resources on the state-of-the-art of low-count DNA testing had been ignored.

6. Important Update 7 September

Update: We have posted the sworn Aviello statement on the Wiki.

At the appeal-court session today 7 September Judge Hellman without substantive explanation refused to even allow a court hearing on it, let alone to recall Aviello to alow the defenses to cross-examine him.

This looks like more strong anti-prosecution bias - but it also has the perverse effect of leaving a black cloud over the Sollecito family and defense team.

If the prosecution or defense come to believe that an element of the appeal is not being thoroughly and objectively examined, they are entitled to appeal instantly to the Supreme Court of Cassation for a ruling.

Amanda Knox’s defense already took that route late in 2007, long before she ever went to trial, to request that her statement made without counsel present in the wee hours of November 6 2007 should be put aside. The Supreme Court so ordered.

So the power of upward appeal to Cassation is available to the prosecution if they want ti use it.

Hedging their bets, the prosecution has sent the Aviello statement to the Florence courts (to circumvent Hellman?) where Aviello may now be put on trial for perjury. He could then denounce his brother again, or he could denounce the Sollecitos and their lawyers.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Giulia Bongiorno’s Next Super-Witness: The Apple Of Her Witness Luciano Aviello’s Eye?

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. Anti-Aviello Testimony

This above is former Italian politician Vladimir Luxuria who, despite appearances, is fully male.

Testifying for the prosecution today, several rather convincing fellow-inmates have now contradicted defense witness Luciano Aviello’s 18 June testimony that his brother and one other had murdered Meredith.

Here is their claim. Defense counsel Dalla Vedova’s and Bongiorno’s “super witness” Luciano Aviello had told his fellow inmates that he wanted a sex change operation so he could end up looking like Luxuria.

This operation was to be paid for with money he claimed Bongiorno was offering for his false testimony to help RS and AK.

Giulia Bongiorno ended up outraged, and threatening lawsuits at this testimony, which she claimed was false (the paying of the money bit).

We are told an investigation will be started which may affect whether Bongiorno can stay on the Sollecito team.

[Added: yes, a month later we were told an investigation was under way.]

2. Bongiorno’s Other Problems





Above, a juror is grinning at Giulia Bongiorno’s frustration while Rudy Guede stonewalls her.

At various points in the trial and appeal she has dropped the ball in spectacularly goofy ways.

Bongiorno disappeared from the trial court late in 2009 for weeks with no explanation. She next appeared with a baby in her arms. 

This morning she was sputtering to Judge Hellman that she only found out today about Rudy Guede’s letter - the letter reproduced in full in in this post which we translated into in English a full year ago.

She tried to have it excluded.

Here is another of Bongiorno’s sundry public disasters. She had claimed that an ex-burglar would climb into Filomena’s bedroom - but he never made it above eye-level with the window-sill.

In fact in three and a half years NO climber has ever made it through that window, though one or two did break in the far more logical way - via the hard-to-see and easy-to-climb rear balcony.

We do look forward to Giulia’s suit against the inmates. She has promised such suits often before.

Perhaps they will all arrive in a bunch?


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Today’s Desperate Moves By The Defense Lawyers Seem To Have Backfired On The Two Defendants

Posted by willsavive




1. Court Order Of Business

Just as expected, five inmates testified to the Italian court that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent, to the best of their knowledge.

According to Barbie Nadeau (author of the Beast Book Angel Face) security was tight in Perugia today, as a string of blue prison vans pulled into the back parking lot of the central courthouse carrying some of Italy’s most notorious convicts.

2. The Testimony

1. Mario Alessi

First to the stand was Mario Alessi who is serving a life sentence in Italy for kidnapping and killing 17-month old, Tommaso Onofri, in 2006, was called by Sollecito’s defense team. Almost immediately after taking the stand, Alessi turned pale, became ill, and had to step down. After nearly an hour he finally returned to tell his story.

Alessi, who was being held in the same prison as Rudy Guede, testified that the Guede told him that Knox and Sollecito are innocent, speaking in prison conversations in November 2009, a month before the Knox and Sollecito were convicted.

Alessi said Guede approached him during recreation time at the Viterbo prison. “Rudy links arms with me, inviting me to take a walk with him, he has something important to tell me,” Alessi told the court. He quoted Guede as saying he was worried because “I don’t know whether to tell the truth or not,” and that the truth “is altogether different from what you hear on TV.”

Alessi then testified that Guede said he and a friend went over the house with the intent of having three-way sex with Meredith Kercher. When she refused, the scene turned violent. Alessi said Guede told him he had gone to the bathroom and upon coming back he had seen his friend holding Kercher to the ground.

Eventually, “a knife appeared, almost out of nowhere,” Alessi said, quoting Guede as saying that it was pointed at Kercher’s throat. Kercher began fighting, according to Alessi, and her throat slit got slit in the process. Guede tried to rescue her, Alessi said, but his friend stopped him.

Alessi testified (translation by Jools) that”¦

“Guede asked me what benefits he would get if he told the truth. He then said that he had met Meredith in a bar with some friends of his ““ one was called The Fat One. He said that one had got drunk and that he had followed Meredith home to see where she lived.

A few days later he said he and this drunk friend went back to the house to see Meredith. They asked her if she would like to have a threesome and she had told them to leave.

Rudy said he then went to the bathroom and that when he came back the scene was very different. He said that Meredith was on the floor, back down, and that his friend was holding her down by the arms.

He said that they swapped positions. Rudy then told me that he had put a small ivory handled knife to her throat and that it had cut her and his hands were full of blood. He said that his friend had said: “˜We need to finish her off or we will rot in jail.’”

Note: The bold statement above is a huge inconsistency, because, by all accounts (Knox as well as others who lived in the cottage), Guede already knew where Meredith was living - he had been to the cottage twice before that.

According to Alessi, Guede did not reveal the identity of his alleged accomplice.

Alessi said he and Guede had developed a friendship in prison but eventually Alessi broke it off as he realized that Guede “said two innocent people were in jail” but did nothing about it. Alessi then contacted the lawyers representing Sollecito. Of course, being the humanitarian that he is, Alessi claims that he tried to convince Guede to “tell the truth.”

Upon cross-examination, Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca held up a photo of the child Alessi murdered (Tommaso Onofri) and asked him, “Do you know who this is?” “No” Alessi replied, looking away. Italian media report that he also denied he is serving a life sentence.

Three more fellow Viterbo prison inmates were called to back up Alessi’s story, including police informant Marco Castelluccio, who took the stand behind a blue cover, guards around him. Castelluccio said he heard the story about Knox and Sollecito’s innocent mostly from Alessi. He said on one occasion, however, he heard Guede say from a separate cell that Knox and Sollecito were innocent.

2. Luciano Aviello

Another prison inmate Luciano Aviello [42] who has served 17 years in jail after being convicted of being a member of the Naples-based Camorra, testified today that his brother Antonio and his colleague had killed Meredith while attempting to steal a “valuable painting.”

Aviello said that the Albanian - who offered his brother “work” in the form of a robbery - had inadvertently jotted down the wrong address, and they instead went to the house where Kercher and Knox were living, and they were surprised by Meredith’s appearance. According to Aviello, his brother and the Albanian man then committed the murder and fled.

Aviello is from Naples, but was living in Perugia at the time of the murder. He claims that his brother, who is currently on the run, was staying with him in late 2007 and on the night of the murder he returned home with an injury to his right arm and his jacket covered in blood.

Flanked by two prison guards, Aviello described how his brother had entered the house Meredith shared with Knox and had been looking for the painting when they were disturbed by a woman “wearing a dressing gown.”

“My brother told me that he had put his hand to her mouth but she had struggled,“Aviello testified. “He said he got the knife and stabbed her before they had run off. He said he had also smashed a window to simulate a break in.“Aviello said his brother had hidden the knife, along with a set of keys his brother had used to enter the house. “Inside me I know that a miscarriage of justice has taken place,” he asserted.

Consequently, Aviello had been in the same jail as Sollecito and had told him: “I believe in your innocence.”

Knox’s lawyers, Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga, visited Aviello in Ivrea prison near Turin back in May 2010 and videotaped his statement and included it in their appeal request.

Under cross examination from the prosecution it emerged that Aviello had also been convicted seven times of defamation to which he angrily replied: “That’s because all of you, the judiciary are a clan.”

As Aviello testified, Knox””dressed in an ankle length floral pattern white dress and blue top””listened intently, occasionally making notes or discussing points with her lawyer. 

3. A Comment

So many convicts, which one to believe, if any?

Rudy Guede will now get a chance to rebut all of the above at the next appeal hearing on 27 June. This may be the worst-case scenario that the pussyfooting Knox and Sollecito defenses tried to avoid for three years. Did Knox realize?

Oh yes, it’s true! Judge Hellman has ordered Guede’s testimony to counter that of Mario Alessi. Guede will be heard alongside two fellow-detainees and two Perugia officers. June is shaping up to be a real “scorcher” in this appeals trial.

Guede had refused to speak on the stand in the original trial of Knox and Sollecito, because his appeal was still ongoing. Now, with Guede’s final appeal completed with Italy’s Court of Cassation; a real surprise could be in store.


Cross-posted here from my own website Savive’s Corner.


Today’s Star Witnesses For The Defense Alessi & Aviello Up To Necks In Trouble?

Posted by Peter Quennell


Alessi above; no shot of Aviello available due to protected status

1. Summary Report

Today the Long-shot defense witnesses Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello were heard. 

Already the Italian media are reporting on what looks like a slow moving train-wreck for the defense.

1. Mario Alessi

We have already had many posts on Alessi (read from the bottom up). Frankly, not a great choice. Mario Alessi is one of the least liked and trusted characters in Italy.

In part because before Alessi was arrested for killing a baby with a spade after kidnapping the parents, he was seen on national TV saying “Who could have done such a horrible thing?” Attempts to hoodwink the Italian public and courts never seem to go over very well.

Main reporting on the testimony of Mario Alessi will be available later today.

Here is what we already know. 

1) Alessi’s nervous and defiant claims on the witness stand that Guede told him Sollecito and Knox were not involved sounded distinctly hollow.

2) The prosecution ripped into him during the cross-examination phase and left him squirming and evasive on his claims.

3) The prosecution announced that the police have already investigated him for false claims, and a request for his prosecution has been sent to Viterbo.

4) The lawyer for the victim’s family also ripped into him with a description of his murder of a baby, with an image of the baby being presented to the court.

5) Alessi then developed some sort of health condition with low blood pressure as one of the symptoms, and was briefly treated.

6) Alessi seemed to be trying to opt out from any more interrogation on the stand, but Judge Hellman ordered him to come back.

2. Luciano Aviello

Luciano Aviello next took the stand.

We have already had many posts on Aviello too (read from the bottom up).  Again this is not someone Italy likes or trusts.

The Naples Comorrah mafia snitch among other things accused his missing brother and one other of murdering Meredith while in the wrong house looking for valuable art. Hellman had real problems keeping order in the court as Aviello also accused the police and RS lawyer Bongiorno of crimes.

The prosecution cross-examination of Aviello was cut off. Oddly, Hellman appeared to not want to hear about those latter accusations at all.

A fuller report will be posted when the media reports come out. It will be interesting to see if any photographs appear of Aviello. There are no recent shots. Barbie Nadeau tweeted from the court that he looks about 12 years old.

If he cannot produce Meredith’s keys or a knife that he claimed he buried at his brother’s request, he too will be toast and also facing new charges.

2 Longer Report #1

From an excellent report in the Daily Beast by Barbie Nadeau:

Five super-witnesses took center stage in a Perugia courtroom in defense of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who are appealing their convictions for killing Meredith Kercher.

[Mario Alessi]

The first witness, Mario Alessi, was on the stand briefly before he turned pale and took ill and had to leave the courtroom. After nearly an hour, he returned to tell the court a very convincing story about how Rudy Guede admitted that Knox and Sollecito were not part of Kercher’s murder and that a “drunk man” and a “fat guy” killed her instead.

He started by recounting how he and Guede found a quiet spot in the prison yard out of the view of the closed-circuit television camera and Rudy poured his heart out, telling him the real story of Kercher’s murder.

Alessi’s account was rich in detail as he explained how he tried to convince Guede to “tell the truth.” The only problem with Alessi is the fact that he is one of Italy’s most notorious murderers himself, convicted for the 2006 kidnapping and murder of a two-year-old boy.

The lawyer representing the Kercher family Francesco Maresca held up a photo of the child and asked Alessi, “Do you know who this is?” “No,” Alessi replied, looking away. “That’s ok, we know who he is,” replied Maresca.

[Alessi Cellmates]

Three more witnesses followed, each backing up Alessi’s account of Rudy’s story, each one more colorful than the previous… their credibility was deemed questionable based on the fact that they were convicts and the essence of their testimony was prison-yard gossip.

The judge… decided he needs to hear from Guede himself to clarify the prison gossip. That hearing was scheduled for June 27. And Guede will testify.

[Luciano Aviello]

The final witness threw a curveball in a day that was going largely Knox’s way.

Luciano Aviello took the stand to tell the court that his brother was the real murderer. He explained that he was just out of prison for mafia collusion and living in a “mini apartment” in Perugia “thanks to your generous justice system” he added, looking at the judge for effect.

Then he explained that on the night of November 1, after he got back to Perugia after a quick trip home to Naples, his brother came to his apartment at around 10 or 11 at night.

“My brother came in and sat on the sofa. The right arm of his jacket was ripped and he could see blood on his arm. My brother then pulled out a pocket knife and a set of keys. He was very afraid. He didn’t want to create problems for me in Perugia. My brother was very emotional.”

Aviello then went on to explain that his brother had met up with an Albanian man who offered him “work” in the form of a robbery. The Albanian had inadvertently jotted down the address incorrectly and they went instead to the house where Kercher and Knox were living.

Having found Kercher home alone, they started to attack her sexually and then they killed her. “I’m not telling you this because I have hate inside me for my brother,” he said. “I am coming forward because it is the right thing for me to do.”

At one point he lectured the prosecutor about jumping to conclusions too quickly. “Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent,” he said. Then under cross examination he lost his temper and exploded into a near-rage of wild gesticulation and Neapolitan dialect that was largely incomprehensible…

[Reaction Of Knox]

Knox, who was dressed in a conservative skirt and blue blouse, looked dismayed during most of the hearing. Her appeal is winding down and she knows well that every trial date should count towards proving her innocence, and potentially setting her free….


3. Longer Report #2

This is by our main poster Will Savive.

Another prison inmate Luciano Aviello [42] who has served 17 years in jail after being convicted of being a member of the Naples-based Camorra, testified today that his brother Antonio and his colleague had killed Meredith while attempting to steal a “valuable painting.”

Aviello said that the Albanian (who offered his brother “work” in the form of a robbery) had inadvertently jotted down the wrong address, and they instead went to the house where Kercher and Knox were living, and they were surprised by Meredith’s appearance. According to Aviello, his brother and the Albanian man then committed the murder and fled.

Aviello is from Naples, but was living in Perugia at the time of the murder. He claims that his brother, who is currently on the run, was staying with him in late 2007 and on the night of the murder he returned home with an injury to his right arm and his jacket covered in blood.

Flanked by two prison guards, Aviello described how his brother had entered the house Meredith shared with Knox and had been looking for the painting when they were disturbed by a woman “wearing a dressing gown.” So many convicts, which one to believe, if any?

“My brother told me that he had put his hand to her mouth but she had struggled,” Aviello testified. “He said he got the knife and stabbed her before they had run off. He said he had also smashed a window to simulate a break in.”

Aviello said his brother had hidden the knife, along with a set of keys his brother had used to enter the house. “Inside me I know that a miscarriage of justice has taken place,” he asserted. Consequently, Aviello had been in the same jail as Sollecito and had told him: “I believe in your innocence.”


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Possibilities For Political Derailing Of Justice For Meredith Are Now Down Near Zero

Posted by Peter Quennell

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (below left) gets a huge slap in the face in a referendum of Italian voters. He had no obvious powers to wield over the appeal in any case.

Mr Berlusconi’s own grip on power will be weakened by the repeal of a law that excused senior office holders from attending court because of their workload. He is a defendant in three time-consuming trials involving allegations of bribery, fraud and paying for sex with a 17-year-old girl—cases that are sapping his authority.

And the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano (below right) makes clear through a spokesman that he will not lift a finger to help to spring Amanda Knox despite the request from some junior Berlusconi-party parliamentarians..

Italy’s president says he’s following the case of American student Amanda Knox but can’t intervene as she appeals her conviction on charges she murdered her British roommate.

President Giorgio Napolitano’s diplomatic counselor responded to an Italian lawmaker who asked the head of state to intervene to avert controversies stemming from the case.

Mr Napolitano is known to really dislike Mr Berlusconi and his party, so the Rocco Girlanda ploy the Knox forces inflated into an imminent home run was actually dead even before it ever began.

There is no growing global or American or Italian mass movement pro-Knox, and President Obama and Republicans leaders have nothing to gain by denying Meredith her justice.



Sunday, May 22, 2011

So The Two Pressed Defense Teams Decide To Go Eyeball To Eyeball With Cassation

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. How Looks The Appeal?

The appeal is not looking very pretty for the defenses.

There seems no single brick in the wall of the prosecution’s case that, if pulled, will place the entire structure in doubt.

The Supreme Court ruled last December that at Rudy Guede’s trial, Judge Micheli had it right in saying that three perpetrators killed Meredith, one of which was definitely Rudy Guede.

Judge Micheli also ruled in October 2008 that only Knox had a reason to rearrange the crime scene, and Knox’s and Sollecito’s trial judge Massei ruled the same in December 2009.

The extensive forensic evidence in Filomena’s room, in the corridor, and in the bathroom Meredith and Amanda Knox shared, has so far been ruled out for re-examination.

None of it suggests Guede was ever in that bathroom or in Filomena’s room - in fact it suggests he headed straight out the front door .

Eye-witnesses other than the man in the park, Curatolo, are not to be heard from again.

Curatolo is probably not much discredited because he could say that it did not rain on the night he claims he saw Sollecito and Knox in the park watching the house (it did rain on Halloween) and that it was the night before all the cops arrived at the house. Buses were around as he described.

The only thing that might have shaken his timeline is that he might have seen a late Halloween reveler or two.

And the defenses seem to have no obvious way of explaining why Knox and Sollecito came up with so very many muddled alibis and why each at one point even ended up blaming the other.

A report today from TGCom said this on the review of two small parts of the DNA evidence:

Expert reports on the traces of DNA found on the knife held to be the murder weapon used to kill Meredith Kercher, and the clasp of the bra worn at the time of the murder, will be filed June 30.

This has been established by the 2011 Assize Court of Appeal in the Perugia trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox. The new deadline was set by the judges at the request of their experts who had requested an extension of 40 days.

The experts have been in the courtroom, explaining that they have obtained all the scientific data required.

They have however also highlighted the need to consult the minutes related to the seizure of the knife and the testimony in the 2009 trial of the agents that followed the inspection at the home of Sollecito. Documents that the Court ordered are to be provided to the experts.

In front of the judges one of the experts stressed that the “maximum cooperation” was provided by the scientific police who performed the technical tests in the course of the investigations.

Nothing in that looks too promising.

2. Best Defense Options Left?

What moves are available if Knox and Sollecito are really to be sufficiently suggested not guilty?

  • Option 1: Putting both of them on the witness stand without preconditions for the first time so the appeal court can hear their stories in full, compare them, and subject Knox and Sollecito to no-holds-barred cross-examination.

  • Option 2: Putting the two prison inmates Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello on the witness stand, with several claimed corroborators, to say in Alessi’s case that Guede confided that he did it with two others, and to say in Aviello’s case that his missing brother did it with one other.

What we know of their claims so far - and police and prosecution have really checked out Alessi and Aviello and revealed nothing of what they have up their sleeves - there are only poor connects between their claims and what is described in the Micheli and Massei reports.

Each could crumble in a devastating way under cross-examination, and then be contradicted by a long line of witnesses that the prosecution could bring in to rebut them.

Here is Andrea Vogt reporting on Option 2 from the trial session yesterday which turned out to be mainly procedural: setting several new appeal court dates, and a new date for the findings of the reviews of the DNA on the large knife and bra clasp.

The parties eventually agreed to hold hearings June 18 and 27. And, surprisingly, Judge Hellmann also agreed to admit five new controversial witnesses into the appeals trial, a process normally reserved for debating contested evidence already introduced in the first trial.

The five new witnesses being requested by the Sollecito and Knox defense are all prison inmates ““ convicted of everything from child homicide to being Mafia snitches and drug dealing.

Some of the witnesses have given conflicting accounts of stories they’ve heard about the case while behind bars. At least three, however, agree on their version, that Rudy Guede told them that Knox and Sollecito were innocent (an account Guede denies).

The prosecution is likely to call for counter testimony. The decision to open up the appeal to wholly new testimony from convicted prison inmates is bound to complicate the already confused trial even more, and likely push any final decision far into the fall, toward the fourth anniversary of Kercher’s brutal stabbing and Knox’s incarceration in connection with it.

As if five convicts weren’t enough, Knox’s attorneys announced they had received yet another letter from a different inmate, Tommaso Pace, this time making bizarre and unfounded claims that victim Meredith Kercher was targeted by two unnamed brothers paid $100,000 to kill her over alleged drug debts.

The new letter from Pace (whom the judge and attorneys must still agree to call as a witness) sets up the prospect of potentially six prison inmates taking the stand in Knox’s defense over the summer””each of them with a slightly different story and motive for telling it.

Alessi’s own lawyer seems to have counseled him not to get up on the stand, presumably fearing perjury charges and additional time in his cell.

Aviello is literally unlikely to show his face.

The prosecution could bring back Rudy Guede as a witness against both, and even without Guede testifying, it looks like the prosecution might turn all five witnesses on their heads. 

So Option 2 could drag things out for some months, and try to confront the unequivocal Supreme Court finding issued last December and ported into this appeal: no one wolf.

And still have the Knox and Sollecito defenses conclusively crumble.

Meanwhile, the judges and jury could be watching a very prolonged dog-and-pony show, while impatiently wondering:

“WHY didn’t they simply choose Option 1? Then some or all of us might very quickly have gone home.”


Monday, February 21, 2011

Italian Media Reporting Injunction And 100 Million Euro Suit Filed In NYC By Sollecito Defense Team

Posted by Peter Quennell


This above is the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York at 500 Pearl Street in downtown.

It is adjacent to the Borough of Manhattan Federal Supreme Court for which we posted an image previously. Italian media including the newspaper Il Giorno are reporting from New York that an injunction request to stop tonight’s showing of the Lifetime film has now been filed at this court by Sollecito’s defense team, with a request that damages for 100 million Euros (about $137 million) be awarded if Lifetime proceed tonight with the airing.

Most of Il Giorno’s long article describes scenes which may or may not be true and damaging and the possible effects on the appeal of Raffaele Sollecito, which has been showing some hints that it may depart from the appeal grounds of Amanda Knox - which to some extent, on the matter of alibis, it already has.

The Lifetime producer Craig Piligian has already spoken out that the film script followed the official record closely (especially the Massei report) and concludes with the verdict and various questions left open. 

We should have more on this later today. We doubt that a Federal judge will grant an injunction to stop the airing of the movie, but not much in this case has proved predictable.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sollecito Defense Team Breaking From Knox Defense Team On Legal Measures To Stop Lifetime Movie

Posted by Peter Quennell


The Amanda Knox team of Ghirga and Delle Vedova were ready to stop by legal means the showing of the Lifetime movie in Italy.

We presume they were only willing to go that far and no further because there are various signs that Edda Mellas and Curt Knox had a hand in the generation of this movie - not least that they have never denied it or decried it. Chris Mellas confirmed that they were helping out in his candid announcements that he tried to get Panettiere face to face in Capanne with Amanda Knox.

But there is already a huge separation between the Knox and the Sollecito defense teams - Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori (image above) have no liking at all for the runaway train of xenophobic conspiracy theorists.

And of course Raffaele Sollecito STILL does not confirm Amanda Knox’s attempted fifth alibi for the night that she was at his place all along.

We have already warned that the fact of this movie could make things very much worse for Amanda Knox.

Now it looks like this is happening. Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori want the movie delayed worldwide on the basis that it could SERIOUSLY damage their client’s prospects. 

The large Italian news service ADNKronos is now reporting that if Lifetime do not confirm by this next Monday that the movie is to be held back until after the appeals are over, they will file suit in New York Federal court in Manhattan (image below).

If there is a Federal court session on this, we should be able to report from the front lines, hopefully with some shots, on the Lifetime producers trying to defend their bizarre movie.

Looking forward.



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The El Bizarro Defense: “It’s Unfair To Use The DNA They Didn’t Manage To Scrub Away Against Them”

Posted by Cardiol MD


Remember the twins who appealed for mercy at their trial for murdering their parents? On the grounds that they are now orphans?

There is something of that reminiscent here. The defenses of Knox and Sollecito seem to be trying to exclude evidence that they themselves tried to destroy, essentially on the grounds that their destructive attempts failed to destroy all of it, and left behind only some of it.

Their argument boils down to whether the disputed DNA evidence is more unfairly prejudicial than probative. The faux forensic experts who are arguing in the media that this disputed DNA evidence would not ever be admitted in US or UK courts are in fact totally mistaken.

It is my opinion that because it was the defendants’ deliberate conduct that nearly succeeded in extinguishing all their DNA, any US and UK courts would insist to admit this highly relevant evidence, and let the participants duke out its fairness, in open court, in front of a jury.

That is what the only relevant court in Meredith’s case, the Perugia appeals court, is now doing.

DNA evidence may be “only circumstantial” but that is as with most of the evidence in this case. Meredith was murdered - that’s a fact - but no one saw who did it except the killers.

Judge Hellman designated his selected Expert Reviewers with such alacrity that I think he had already thought it all out.  Judge Hellman is being prudently responsive to the legal and political pressures bearing down on him, and knows the ruling also calls the defendants’ bluff.

As Tom in the post below and others are pointing out, the review is limited to a very partial review of the DNA evidence, and what is not to be reviewed is by far the most significant.

The possibility of more residual blood at the blade/handle junction is thought-provoking. Sollecito’s obsession with knife-ownership suggests that his knife, the murder-weapon, would be top quality, probably with a handle/blade junction, pretty, but vulnerable to seepage into it.

Also, the knife-wielders significantly, even deliberately, stayed away from the well-known neck-blood-vessels, the Jugular Veins, and the Carotid Arteries, on both sides, focusing their neck-stabs on the area of the Larynx, as if they had some medical knowledge of what they were doing - but not enough.

The blood-vessel they did cut - the right superior thyroid artery - is a branch-of-a-branch of the better known blood vessels, but very close to the larynx. They didn’t know, or care, enough to anticipate the lethal consequences of cutting so small an artery in that particular location, so near to the airways.

I agree with others that Judge Hellman may also be innoculating himself by heading off a possible adverse ruling of the Supreme Court in Rome, which must be restricted to Procedural/Legal issues.

The defence lawyers sem to be submitting, probably against their own better judgement and advice, to the FOA camp’s insistence for additional review. I also believe the defendants will bitterly regret this insistence.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Appeal Hearing Next Wednesday In Suggestive Absence Of Sollecito Lead Lawyer Giulia Bongiorno

Posted by Peter Quennell


The first appeal hearing next Wednesday 24 November will be technical or procedural.

The hearing to be presided over by by Appeals Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman will cover the lawyers’ motions on evidence and witnesses.

If at the next hearing on 11 December those requests are disallowed (all of the Guede team’s requests during Guede’s appeal last December were disallowed) this level of appeal for Knox and Sollecito might be over within two months if we assume two hearings a week. .

Appeal Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola will be joined by main-trial prosecutors Manuela Comodi and Giuliano Mignini. This was a judge’s decision, and not Ms Comodi’s or Mr Mignini’s, and it was to ensure that many months would not be wasted mastering the complexities of the Massei Report and the further many thousands of pages of documents that make up the case.

The defence teams will consist of Giulia Bongiorno, Luca Maori and Donatella Donati for Raffaele Sollecito, and Luciano Ghirga, Carlo Della Vedova and Maria del Grosso for Amanda Knox. Ms Bongiorno is five months pregnant, and she has said that it is for this reason that she will not appear in court next wednesday. 

Is this move a sign of something more to come?

During the trial last year, the prosecution hardly missed a beat and the pace was relentless. When it came time for the defense phase, it was slow and hesitant, some court days were canceled, and some of the defense presentation seemed decidely ad hoc.

Once last year Ms Bongiorno disappeared for weeks on end, ostensibly on parliamentary business, and later in the year she developed an attack of appendicitis at a key moment. That threw into question whether she would handle the end-of-trial defense summation - at the last moment, some part of it she did

She presumably isn’t liking this case very much. Her attempt amidst much publicity to have someone actually simulate Guede’s supposed climb through Filomena’s bedroom window was a total ignominious failure. And we have heard that the Sollecito family and defense team despise the Knox entourage and PR scheme with its incessant sliming of the Italian justice system and its main players in this case, which has done them nothing but harm.

Raffele Sollecito himself has still not provided Amanda Knox with a full alibi for the night (his last word was that she was out for four hours) and on the whole seems to show signs of pulling way from her rather than of associating himself with her any closer. They talked by phone a few days ago but the call was officially monitored and so we presume nothing significant was said.

The Knox defense might complain about no videotape or recording of Knox fingering Patrick, for which she was awarded an extra year in prison. But the unscheduled WITNESS interrogation of Knox did not require a recording - witnesses by the thousand are questioned by police daily all over the world (watch any crime show on TV) without a video recording being made.

Maybe it is just as well for Knox as she seemingly cracked because Sollecito made her crack - by calling her a liar in the next room, over their first alibi, and changing his own. Better not to have recorded that…

The mitigating factors that Judge Massei accepted that are being appealed against by the prosecution include whether Knox demonstrated some remorse by placing the duvet over Meredith after the attack - meanwhile apparently removing her cell phones and locking the door some minutes before Meredith finally succumbed.

They also include whether Knox instigated the attack on Meredith. Judge Massei concluded that Guede instigated it, but Mignini had argued that there was a payback element to the attack, which may have entered their minds the previous day (those AK messages to Meredith) or that same fateful night (Patrick’s message saying no need to come to work, one interpretation being that Amanda was on the point of being fired.) 

On the demand for some retesting of the DNA, it is worth recalling that the defense experts were expected to attend the one time only testing of the DNA on the knife - but on that day despite weeks of advance notice they found “good” reason to be elsewhere.

On the demand for retesting of Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp, it was pressed in hard and there is zero sign that any contamination had taken place - here again. the defense played a seeming trick. The Rome labs realised within hours of their first crime scene search that the bra clasp was still back in Meredith’s room, and weeks went by before the investigators and representatives of the defense could all be there to collect it.

The many contradictory albis, the various witnesses, the luminol evidence, the post-attack behaviors, the possibilities of both Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede at his second appeal, which is in December, turning into wild cards?? Not a pretty sight for Amanda Knox’s defense.

Can they get pregnant too? No doubt they wish that they could.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Corruption Of Appeal: Angry Top Criminal Judge Chiari Is Blatantly Forced Aside

Posted by Peter Quennell



Umbria’s top criminal judge Sergio Matteini Chiari

Very Dirty Business

Only one month ago Umbria’s top criminal judge Sergio Matteini Chiari was to preside.

Now a very angry Judge Chiari has been forced aside with no public explanation from Chief Judge De Nunzio [image below] as to why.

A wildly wrongly qualified judge, Hellmann, a business judge with just two criminal trials in his past, both fiascos, mysteriously takes his place.

Rumors of foul play are appearing in the Italian media. Has Chief Judge De Nunzio been leaned upon politically? Do big bucks or rogue masons have any role in this?

Click here for the rest


Friday, October 01, 2010

Knox Slander Hearing Adjourned: Her Lawyers Make It Sound Like She Might Crack - Too Late?

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Amanda Knox and her lawyer Luciano Ghirga in court last June]

The slander hearing was adjourned by Judge Matteini to Monday 8 November, after less than one hour.

Amanda Knox now knows she is not only facing the huge and detailed Massei Report and (vital to remember) the really huge volume of witness and expert statements and evidence exhibits and other documents to which it it links, which are for the most part only available in Italian.

Now she knows she is facing a bunch of hostile cops, as she was exchanging stares with all of them today in court. And if she continues to accuse them in court, she will be cross-examined, and pressed very hard to name which one or ones it was - while looking him or her or them right in the eye.

Quite some pressure. Mr Ghirga has just been reported as saying this about Amanda Knox’s state of mind.

“She has hardened herself, she has become more unhappy and less serene,” he said. “I hope we can help her to find her serenity back before Nov 24 and that she doesn’t lose her courage. This would not help us.”

And here is another report from another of her lawyers.

“She’s very down,” said her lawyer, Maria del Grosso of Rome. “I’ve told her to be tough. It won’t help to fall apart now. “

This all seems to imply that Knox just might decide to abandon the hard line encouraged by the PR campaign, which seems to be getting her nowhere except into more hot water, and move from her various conflicting stories and over now to something completely different. 

Something credible and consistent that actually sounds like the truth? Who knows?

Coming so late in the process, with Meredith’s family and friends already put through deep pain for nearly three years, it may not happen - at least not yet. Still, one consistent story if believed could affect her sentence and the conditions of her stay in prison if she does not win her freedom at appeal.

And some peace of mind for all those who have been hurt. All except one: her family’s very precious Meredith. Stay tuned.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Explaining The Massei Report:  All Judges, Lawyers And Witnesses At Trial Jan-Dec 2009

Posted by Storm Roberts



[Above: Dr Giancarlo Massei, the president of the Court]

Our intention with this new series of posts is to show how thorough the trial was, and how compelling the Massei Report on the grounds for the Knox-Sollecito sentence is. 

At the beginning of the trial, the witness counts were considerable: approximately 90 for the prosecution, 60 for the civil plaintiffs, 90 for the defence of Raffaele Sollecito, and 65 for the defence of Amanda Knox.

However, a large number of witnesses for both Amanda Knox and for Raffaele Sollecito were removed from the witness listing. Thus the actual number of people testifying was lower than originally expected. 

Here is a comprehensive list I have compiled, made by going through the Massei Report, picking out the witnesses, and noting what they testified about. If I had the information available, I have noted where a witness was specifically called by the defence of either of the then defendants.

Officers Of The Court

  • Judges:  Dr Beatrice Cristiani and Dr Giancarlo Massei, the president of the Court.
  • Prosecutors: Public Ministers Dr Manuela Comodi and Dr Giuliano Mignini.
  • Interpreter for Amanda Knox:  Dr Anna Baldelli Fronticelli.



[above: the two prosecutors]

The Legal Teams:

  • For the family of Meredith Kercher:  Francesco Maresca and Serena Perna.
  • For Diya “Patrick” Lumumba: Carlo Pacelli.
  • For Aldalia Tattanelli (the owner of the house): Letizia Magnini.
  • For Amanda Knox:  Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova.
  • For Raffaele Sollecito: Giulia Bongiorno, Daniela Rocchi and Luca Maori.



[above: Amanda Knox’s legal team]

Witnesses


The following is a list of witnesses and a brief note as to the evidence they presented. I am not detailing their arguments here, merely indicating the areas the witnesses were heard in.  For full details of the evidence and the court’s arguments please read the Massei Report in full and the summaries coming up.

  • Amanda Knoxtestified while not under oath at the request of her defence and the legal team representing Diya Lumumba.  Her testimony was heard on 12th and 13th June 2009. Raffele Sollecito made a couple of interventions from his seat beside his three lawyers, but he did not get up on the stand.
  • Mrs. Elisabetta Lana and her son, Alessandro Biscarini.  They discovered two mobile phones, both belonging to Meredith Kercher (one was registered to Filomena Romanelli, Meredith’s flatmate), in their garden at Via Sperandio.
  • Dr. Filippo Bartolozzi - at the time Manager of the Department of Communications Police for Umbria - Dr. Bartolozzi received the mobile phones from Mrs Lana, the first at approximately 11.45 to 12.00hrs on 2nd November 2007, the second at approximately 12.15 to 12.20 hrs.  He traced the first phone to Filomena Romanelli and, at noon, despatched two officers to her address to investigate why her phone was in Mrs. Lana’s garden.
  • Inspector Michele Battistelli and Assistant Fabio Marzi - the two officers despatched by Dr. Bartolozzi.  They arrived at 7 Via della Pergola at a little after 12.30 hrs - they found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito sitting outside the house.  They gave evidence about the circumstances leading up to the discovery of Meredith’s body and with regards to securing the scene whilst awaiting the Carabinieri and Scientific Police.
  • Filomena Romanelli who was Meredith’s flatmate gave evidence regarding the phone she had lent to Meredith.  She also detailed when she had moved into the flat at 7 Via della Pergola and the living arrangements.  She told of her plans for the 2nd November and how a worrying phone call from Amanda Knox led to her calling her back and returning to her home earlier than planned.  A key point of Ms. Romanelli’s evidence was her disagreement with Amanda Knox over when Meredith locked her door - Ms. Romanelli stated that Meredith had only once locked her door and that was when she had returned to England for a few days.
  • Paola Grande, Marco Zaroli and Luca Altieri - the other young people who were at the property when Meredith’s body was discovered.  Mr. Altieri broke down the door to Meredith’s room.
  • Laura Mezzetti - the fourth flatmate in the upstairs flat at number 7 Via della Pergola.  She testified with regards to the living arrangements and also that Amanda Knox is an early riser, a “morning person”.
  • Robyn Butterworth, Amy Frost, Sophie Purton and Nathalie Hayward - Meredith’s friends from England.  They testified as to when they last saw Meredith and described the behaviour of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito at the Police Station in the evening of 2nd November 2007.  They also testified that Meredith had no plans after returning home at around 21.00 hrs on 1st November other than to study and have a rest as they had been out late the previous night and believed that they had classes the next day.  Meredith’s friends did not know of Rudy Guede and had not heard Meredith mention his name.
  • Giacomo Silenzi, one of the young men living in the flat underneath Meredith’s flat.  He was Meredith’s boyfriend.
  • Stafano Bonassi, Marco Marzan and Riccardo Luciani the other tenants of the downstairs flat.  Along with Mr. Silenzi they testified as to the the interactions between themselves and the girls upstairs, the gatherings they held, the fact that Rudy Guede was known to Amanda Knox.  They testified as to Rudy Guede’s actions at their house.  They gave evidence of having met or known of Raffaele Sollecito and his relationship with Amanda Knox.
  • Giorgio Cocciaretto a friend of the young men in the downstairs flat testified with regards to knowing Rudy Guede through playing basketball and having seen him at the 7 Via della Pergola house when both Meredith and Amanda Knox were present.
  • Rudy Guede availed himself of his right not to participate in the trial of Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito.  Judge Massei details Rudy Guede’s involvement based upon the evidence available in order to complete the reconstruction of events of 2nd November as he was charged alongside Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.
  • Marta Fernandez Nieto and Caroline Espinilla Martin - two young ladies living in the flat above Rudy Guede, they testified than on the night of 31st October they had been in the presence of Rudy Guede and that the only girl they saw him dance with was a “blonde girl with long smooth hair”.
  • Gioia Brocci from the Questura of Perugia who testified with regards to a trail of shoe prints leading from Meredith’s room to the exit of the flat getting fainter as they went.  Ms. Brocci also testified as to the lack of signs of climbing on the wall below Filomena Romanelli’s window.  She also collected evidence from the bathroom next to Meredith’s room.
  • Sergeant Francesco Pasquale testified as to the possibility of breaking into the flat though the window in Filomena Romanelli’s room.  Sergeant Pasquale was a consultant for the defence.
  • Maria Antonietta Salvadori Del Prato Titone, Paolo Brocchi, Matteo Palazzoli and Cristian Tramontano testified with regards to previous incidents involving or possibly involving Rudy Guede.
  • Edda Mellas , Amanda Knox’s mother.  She testified as to communications with her daughter on the 2nd November amongst other things.
  • Antonella Negri a teacher at the University who taught Amanda Knox and who testified as to her diligence as a student.
  • Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele Sollecito.  He testified as to his son’s character and about his communications with his son.  He also spoke of his son’s relationship with Amanda Knox.
  • Antonio Galizia, Carabinieri station commander in Giovinazzo, the Sollecito family’s home town.  He testified that in September 2003 Raffaele Sollecito was found in possession of hashish.
  • Jovana Popovic testified as to the presence of Amanda Knox at Raffaele Sollecito’s home at two points in time on the evening of 1st November 2007.
  • Diya “Patrick” Lumumba was Amanda Knox’s employer at “Chic”.  He testified that he has sent her a text message excusing her from work on the evening of 1st November.
  • Rita Ficcara Chief Inspector of the State Police - to whom Amanda Knox delivered a written statement composed whilst she was awaiting to be transferred to Capanne Prison.
  • Antonio Curatolo - Mr. Curatolo testified as to having seen Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito at the basketball court in front of the University (the Piazza Grimana) in the evening of 1st November 2007.
  • Maurizio Rosignoli - who runs a kiosk in the Piazza - testified with regards to the timing of buses at the Piazza Grimana thus corroborating times in Mr. Curatolo’s evidence.
  • Alessia Ceccarelli - who worked managing Mr. Rosignoli’s kiosk - gave evidence as to Mr. Curatolo’s presence in the Piazza.
  • Marco Quintavalle, who runs the shop “Margherita Conad”, testified he had seen Amanda Knox at 07.45 hrs on 2nd November, she was waiting for him to open his shop, she went to the section of the store that had items such as groceries, toilet paper and cleaning products but he did not serve her at the till so could not specify what she bought if anything.  He testified that he knew Raffaele Sollecito as he was a regular customer.
  • Officer Daniele Ceppitelli gave evidence with regards to the 112 calls made by Raffaele Sollecito at 12.51 and 12.54 hrs on 2nd November.  In these calls Raffaele Sollecito declared that nothing had been stolen from the flat.
  • Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and Maria Ilaria Dramis gave evidence of unusual sounds and activity coming from the area around 7 Via della Pergola - namely a scream and the sound of running footsteps.



[one of Sollecito’s three lawyers with Sollecito]

Expert Witnesses

  • Dr. Lalli, the Coroner, he performed the post mortem and ascertained the cause of death and a “time window” when death was likely to have occurred.  He put the time of death between 20.00 hrs on 1st November 2007 and 04.00 hrs the following day.
  • Dr. Domenico Giacinto Profazio was head of the Perugia Flying Squad at the time of Meredith’s death.  He gave evidence regarding the investigative procedures and safeguards including the physical security of the property.
  • Dr. Marco Chiacchiera, deputy director of the Perugia Flying Squad also gave evidence regarding the scene and investigation.
  • Monica Napoleoni, Deputy Commissioner of the State Police gave evidence regarding the scene and investigation.  She also testified as to Raffaele Sollecito’s desire to remain with Amanda Knox.
  • Mauri Bigini a chief inspect at the Flying Squad confirmed the evidence given by Profazio and Napoleoni.
  • Armando Finzi a chief inspector at the Flying Squad gave evidence regarding the examination of Raffaele Sollecito’s flat and the collection of the knife which is now termed “the Double DNA Knife” (Exhibit 36).
  • Stefano Gubbiotti and Zugarini Lorena confirmed the evidence regarding the search of Raffaele Sollecito’s flat.
  • Dr. Giunta from the Scientific Police in Rome directed the detection of latent prints at the scene.
  • Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni from the Scientific Police in Rome collected biological trace evidence for analysis.  She also performed the analysis of DNA evidence and testified extensively on all aspects of DNA - from the background science, through the collection and the testing methods employed to the analysis.
  • Professor Mauro Marchionni, Dr. Vincenza Liviero and Professor Mauro Bacci, the three consultants appointed by the Public Ministers to analyse the forensic medical evidence testified as to various aspects of Dr. Lalli’s report including the cause of death, timing of death, the sexual assault and the wounds.  They reported on the degree of compatibility of the knife - Double DNA Knife, Exhibit 36 - with the wounds suffered.
  • Professor Gianaristide Norelli, the consultant for the civil party, is a forensic police doctor. He testified with regards to the time and cause of death and the sexual assault against Meredith.  He testified as to the degree of compatibility of the Double DNA Knife with the wounds suffered.
  • Professor Francesco Introna, a consultant appointed by Raffaele Sollecito’s defence testified with regards to the forensic medical evidence (cause and time of death, the sexual assault). His opinion is that the murder was committed by one person and that the Double DNA Knife was not the weapon used to inflict the large wound on the left of Meredith’s neck.  He hypothesised that Meredith was already undressing at the end of the day when she was surprised by her sole attacker who attacked from behind.
  • Professor Carlo Torre, a consultant appointed by Amanda Knox’s defence testified with regards to the same areas as described above.  In his opinion the Double DNA knife was not the knife used to inflict the large wound on the left of Meredith’s neck.  He believed a stabbing from the front was the most likely dynamic, and he saw nothing that would lead him to believe there was more than one attacker.
  • Professor Vinci, a consultant appointed by Raffaele Sollecito’s defence, he testified with regards to the stains on the bed sheet -which appeared to be made in blood, outlining a knife.  Professor Vinci also testified with regards to footprints found in the flat.
  • Dr Patumi, a consultant appointed by the defence of Amanda Knox, testified with regards to the neck wounds suffered and also with regards to the genetic evidence as detailed by Dr. Stefanoni.
  • Professor Anna Aprile, Professor Mario Cingolani and Professor Giancarlo Umani Ronchi, all independent consultants appointed by the judge (GIP) at the preliminary hearing. Professor Aprile testified specifically on the question of the sexual assault, Professors Cingolani and Umani Ronchi again considered the evidence with regards to the cause and time of death and the compatibility of the Double DNA Knife with the large wound on the left of Meredith’s neck.
  • Dr. Torricelli, the consultant for Meredith Kercher’s family, testified and gave her opinion on the genetic evidence as detailed by Dr. Stefanoni.
  • Dr. Sarah Gino, a consultant appointed by the defence of Amanda Knox, testified and gave her opinion on the genetic evidence as detailed by Dr. Stefanoni.
  • Professor Tagliabracci, a consultant appointed by Raffaele Sollecito’s defence, testified and gave his opinion on the genetic evidence as detailed by Dr. Stefanoni.  He also gave evidence with regards to the effects of certain drugs.
  • Marco Trotta, Claudio Trifici and Gregori Mirco officers of the Postal Police, gave evidence with regards to the seized computer equipment and also with regards to internet activity at the home of Raffaele Sollecito.
  • Mr. Fabio Formenti, the technical consultant appointed by Raffaele Sollecito’s defence - observed the Postal Police’s analysis of the computer equipment.
  • Dr Michele Gigli and Dr. Antonio D’Ambrosio, consultants appointed by Raffaele Sollecito’s defence, testified with regards to the computer and internet evidence.
  • Chief Inspector Letterio Latella gave evidence with regards to mobile phones and how they pick up signals from base stations which cover certain areas, he also testified with regards to the call records of the mobile phones of the defendants, victim and others.  He detailed how a connection to the network was picked up by the base stations and how the location of the phone can be approximated through knowing which base station was used.  He was able to tell the court which connections to Meredith’s two phones were made from her own flat and which from Mrs. Lana’s garden.
  • Assistant Stefano Sisani provided evidence with regards to both landline telephone services and mobile phone services.
  • Bruno Pellero an engineer appointed by Raffaele Sollecito’s defence to give evidence with regards to telephonic communications.
  • Dr. Lorenzo Rinaldi, Principal Technical Director of the State Police, director of the three sections which compose the Identity Division of the ERT, gave evidence regarding shoe prints and footprints (including those highlighted by the use of luminol.
  • Chief Inspector Pietro Boemia, who worked alongside Dr. Rinaldi.
  • Chief Inspector Claudio Ippolito a consultant who reported on shoe prints - appointed by the public minister.



[Background: the Judges and jury (lay judges) for the trial]>


Friday, July 09, 2010

Third Of Three Excerpts In Italian from LA7 Program On Meredith’s Case

Posted by True North

Again, thanks to TJMK poster Cesare Beccaria for the video links. We posted some background last Friday.

This is the interview with Rudy Guede’s defense lawyer Walter Biscotti, and the continuation of the re-enactment of the crime - warning: it is very jarring, with graphical shots of Meredith’s room after the crime, and then three figures running and two later kissing.

Walter Biscotti claims to the LA7 reporter Andrea Vogt that Rudy Guede entered the house with Meredith, they talked for a while, and then they had consensual sex. Rudy later goes to the bathroom.

He hears Amanda’s voice enter the house. He hears an argument over money between Meredith and Amanda. While listening to his iPod Rudy hears a loud scream.

When he enters Meredith’s room, he sees her bleeding and tries to stench the flow of her blood with a towel. Rudy hears two people outside the house running away, and he also runs away.

Mr Biscotti cannot explain the damning evidence of Rudy found on the pillow under Meredith’s body.

*************

Inserted by Peter: We have been told that Biscotti was trying to claim sexual intimacy not sex. Apparently there is some difference. Please read the following paras by True North in that context. Judge Micheli didnt believe ANY claim of intimacy at Guede’s trial, so Biscotti is contradicting the Micheli sentencing report without making that clear. There is ZERO proof of intimacy, and the claim is ugly and highly disrespectful to Meredith and her family. Biscotti should withdraw it.

*************

The sex claim is old, totally improbable, not born out by any facts in evidence, or by the timeline, Meredith’s moral disposition, or her known plans for the second half of that evening. These were to complete an assignment, and then, since she had been up late the night before (Halloween) to get plenty of sleep.

Meredith never - NEVER - had casual sex and she already had a boyfriend (then traveling) who lived in the apartment down below. Even Walter Biscotti may conceivably be repulsed by this line of defense, but he seems to have no other way of placing Guede legitimately in the house, or explaining the signs of Guede having been involved in a sexual attack on Meredith.

Many have pointed out that it seems a severe weakness of the rather soft-line Italian system that Rudy Guede’s defense can continue to make such offensive claims about a victim, make no confession, offer no full apology, and still emerge with a sentence of only 16 years. Meredith’s family and friends are very ill-served by this, and it fuels a dishonest line by Knox’s supporters. 

Mr Biscotti does strongly finger Amanda Knox by name and one other person who everyone watching would take to be Raffaele Sollecito. The lone-wolf theory, also totally improbable, is not even mentioned here. Nor are the claims by convicted baby-killer Mario Alessi that Guede said he had two other accomplices.

There is of course no huge outcry among Italians over the “wrongful imprisonment” of their fellow Italian Raffaele Sollecito. People in Italy followed the trial in far more depth than they could in the UK or US, and they are not susceptible to any blown smoke, almost certainly including the nasty claims Biscotti makes.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Second Of Three Excerpts In Italian from LA7 Program On Meredith’s Case

Posted by True North

Thanks to TJMK poster Cesare Beccaria for the video links. We posted some background last Friday.

This is the interview with Knox defense lawyer Luciano Ghirga at his law offices in Perugia, plus a fleeting but telling reenactment.

When the LA7 reporter Andrea Vogt asks Mr Ghirga to explain Amanda’s version of events, he emphatically responds that throughout the trial Amanda has been painted as a liar.

He says that Amanda stayed and never left Sollecito’s house between 5:00 pm and 10:00 am the next morning. He disputes the eye witnesses who claimed to have seen Amanda at the convenience store, and at the piazza above the house with Sollecito around 11:00 pm.

When Ms Vogt asks Mr Ghirga what he thinks about the quality of the evidence, he raises the fact that the bra clasp wasn’t retrieved until 46 days later. He believes the bra clasp evidence was contaminated because it had moved from its original location.

Andrea Vogt says to Mr Ghirga: “You always argued that there was only one perpetrator”. He responds that the trial forensics experts never ruled out the possibility that all of the body wounds, including those on Meredith’s neck, mouth and knees, could have been committed by one person.

**********

Note that in this interview Mr Ghirga never states that Sollecito never left his house that night. He only mentions that Amanda never left that house. In line with the observations of our poster Cesare Beccaria that the defenses rarely give the other defenses any breaks, and often make things more difficult for them.

Both the Micheli sentencing report for RG and the Massei sentencing report for AK and RS conclude that the wounds on Meredith with two knives and the sexual assault HAD to have been done by more than one person, and that dozens of evidence points confirm this.

And Mr Ghirga’s arguments at trial that Knox never left Sollecito’s house were very weak - and undermined by Knox herself and by Sollecito. Even the few straws he grasps at seem to be floating out of reach.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire (Part 4 of 4)

Posted by Cesare Beccaria


My previous report appeared here. In January 2009 the trial of Knox and Sollecito sees its first session. In February 2009 the prosecutor calls Rudy Guede to testify in the trial of his presumed accomplices.

A year earlier, Guede had said, on several occasions, that he wanted to have a face-to-face confrontation with Sollecito. This time, on the contrary, he says that he will be “mute” until his appeal, although he could “say some heavy stuff regarding the two defendants, but first I have to defend myself.”

All the attorneys conveniently keep their client off the stand, except for Amanda, who does a fairly decent job. Guede is not put on the stand and no confrontation was allowed by his lawyers. Sollecito is conveniently kept on the sidelines throughout the trial except for a couple of interventions. All their words were filtered by their lawyers.

On 4 April 2009 Guede is again called to testify at the trial in Corte D’Assise, andt he exercises his right to silence. From February to December 2009 the three attorneys play their game in Court, both in the Guede appeal and in the Knox-Sollecito trial in the Corte D’Assise.

Everything they said is documented in the trial transcripts and their reciprocal accusations went on and off until the last days in the Corte D’Assise.

As we have already seen for Rudy’s trial, during the closing statements the explicit accusations re-emerges with great strength (“the only guilty person is Guede, while Raffaele must be acquitted”, says Mrs. Buongiorno) and then the ceasefire kicks right back in again, right after the trial.


In mid-December 2009 a fourth Porta a Porta program discusses the murder of Perugia.

The previous week Amanda Knox and Raffaele Solecito have been found guilty of the murder, and now Guede is waiting for his verdict on appeal.

On this program the attorneys continue with their veiled reciprocal accusations, but without being direct and too explicit. More than a ceasefire, it’s an armed truce.

Amanda Knox’s attorneys were not present on the program, but Amanda was represented by Mrs. Sabina Castelfranco, the correspondent for CBS. This time she timidly tries to venture into the usual American media propaganda and lies regarding this case, but she’s regularly contradicted, and on certain occasions even ridiculed.

Sollecito’s father is present in the studio. His father talks about the innocence of his son, and only of his son, without mentioning anything in defense of Amanda. “My son was not at that house….  Curatolo could not have seen my son because he was at his house”. He says that if Raffaele was present at the crime scene he would have helped Meredith, and so on.

The host Bruno Vespa asks Sollecito’s father why did Amanda accuse Patrick, an innocent man? Francesco Sollecito responds “You are giving me a hard task, that of being not only the defender of my son but also of Amanda Knox”.


Giuseppe Castellini, director of the Perugia newspaper Giornale dell’Umbria, says that this trial has a logic, and such logic emerged from the various judges in 2008 up to Judge Micheli (GUP) that charged them with the crime.

The judges had said that more than one person committed the crime.

“Clear elements prove than more people were involved”. There’s physical evidence at the crime scene of more than one person. Two witnesses heard the screaming and more than one person leaving the house. The GUP had asked “Who are these people?” and Castellini concludes that “all clues and all circumstantial evidence lead to only two people and to no one else”.

“This is the weird thing”, says Castellini. “Everything leads to Amanda and Raffaele. There is not a third person….  Defense then rightly tries to dismantle such pieces of evidence one by one, but this is in essence the story of this trial”.

The host Bruno Vespa asks Guede’s lawyer Biscotti “You claim that the killers are Amanda and Raffaele?” Biscotti responds: “No, actually it is the Court that has decided on first instance that Amanda and Raffaele are the killers”.


The discussion rotates around Rudy’s role and statements.

We know that Rudy Guede never took the stand at either trials and only gave a spontaneous declaration that doesn’t require any questioning on the part of the prosecutor. In court, Rudy said: “I heard the voice of both Meredith and Amanda and they were arguing over what Meredith had already told me: the money that Meredith was missing”.

Rudy says he heard Meredith saying to Amanda “We need to talk”, and Amanda responding: “What’s happening?” In his declarations in Court Guede does not mention Raffaele (as he had previously done out of trial) but merely states that he was assaulted by a young man, in a time span of few seconds, and couldn’t recognize him. (Note that in previous statements he had said that the struggle lasted few minutes and that the assailant was Raffaele).

Vincenzo Mastronardi, a criminologist hired by Guede’s defense, repeats what Rudy told him: “I heard the bell. I heard it was Amanda. I heard Meredith say “˜we need to talk’”. Bruno Vespa asks him: “Did he only hear Amanda?”, and he responds “Yes, he only heard Amanda”.

Then Mastronardi explains his discussion with Guede. He asks him “Did he have glasses? He responded “˜no’. Did he look like Raffaele Sollecito? He responded “˜I don’t know, he might look like him but I am not certain’. “˜All I am certain of, is that the voice was of Amanda’ “.


This is interesting: why does Guede confirm that Amanda was in the house, but does not confirm - in December 2009, just a few days before his verdict on appeal - that Raffaele was also in the house?

Why has he been accusing Raffaele since March 2008 and now, just before his verdict on appeal, he says (or rather, his consultants say) that he’s certain about Amanda but not of Raffaele?

Do Guede’s attorneys fear a wrong move by Sollecito’s attorneys, while being confident about Amanda’s attorneys?

At this point the host Bruno Vespa starts a heated argument with the criminologists, claiming that it is not possible that Guede could have not recognized the assailant. “Come on, you’re a criminologist” says Vespa, “you know that anyone could easily recognize the face of the person that is wielding a knife in front of you….  You have to agree that this is an element of objective fragility” he adds.

Paolo Crepet, a psychiatrist, notes that originally Rudy’s version was kind of different. “Rudy talked to his assailant. He was threatened”.

Rudy’s attorney intervenes “No, you remember wrong”. Bruno Vespa also intervenes and says to Biscotti “Wait, you must admit that there is plenty of incongruence. They didn’t give Guede 30 years for nothing”. Biscotti responds “They sentenced Guede just like they sentenced the other two”.


On the timing of the murder, Bruno Vespa asks if it is true that Guede talked about 9:00-9:30PM.

Here the attorney of Guede gives an inaccurate response that was not picked up by anyone in the studio. He says that Rudy said that the murder happened at a later time. “He didn’t have a watch, therefore he didn’t know the exact time [of the murder], but it was certainly very late”, says Biscotti.

This is incorrect. Guede has said, at the beginning and on a couple of occasions after, that he entered the house with Meredith at 21:00 and that he heard the screaming at 21:20-21:30. So why is his attorney now saying that Guede testified that the murder happened much later? Why did no-one in the studio intervene to contest his statement?

On the forensic tests, Bruno Vespa says that “Non-repetitive testing must be done, by law, with the presence of all parties, otherwise they are not valid”.

The lawyer for Meredith and her family, Maresca, responds “All tests are not disputable, since all attorneys and their consultants were notified on the time and date of these non-repetitive tests”.

And in fact no one from the defenses showed up. By law, if they are notified and don’t appear for the testing, the results are perfectly valid. Defense attorneys chose not to be present, although notified and invited, because that was seemingly part of their defense strategy.

Regardless of the outcome of those non-repetitive tests, it would have been strategically preferable to avoid being present, because if the results were favorable to their client, that would be fine. And if the tests went against their clients, they could always claimed contamination at a later time.


On 4 March 2010 Rudy Guede, following the public release of the Motivazione against Knox and Sollecito, said: “chi sa’ parli” (“those who know must speak”).

On 6 March 2010 Rudy Guede writes a letter to Mediaset following the appearance on the scene of Mario Alessi, a child murderer serving a life sentence, who was claiming Guede divulged that he was alone at the house with another accomplice. Guede ends his letter by saying that the “horrible assassination” of Meredith was done by Amanda and Raffaele.

The court reached their decisions based on testimony and evidence from the night presented at trial. Everything else, including diaries, phone calls from Germany, cartwheels and media gossips, was totally irrelevant to the judges.

Formally, Guede’s accusations of the two accomplices must be dated from March 2008, but we know very well that the reciprocal accusations started on November 2007 and they went on for the entire two trials.

Except for Amanda, the attorneys have strategically avoided their clients from taking the stand and responding to questions, confrontations and cross-examination. Raffaele never spoke one word, except for spontaneous declarations. Guede was kept silent throughout the two trials, despite various promises of “speaking out”.

The prosecutor asked to have Guede on the stand for questioning, but he always exercised his right to silence and, as the Massei Report states on page 389 “The defense of Knox and Sollecito did not give their consent to admitting Guede’s declarations”. This is very indicative of the trial strategy adopted: avoiding their clients to pronouncing one bad word and avoiding putting them face to face with each other.


Now for some conclusions.

There is a lot of “I don’t remember” in this horror story. Rudy doesn’t remember the face of the aggressor, but then slowly, but progressively, his mind begins to function and, at appropriate moments, he remembers his name and that of his friend by the door.

Amanda doesn’t remember if she went to Via della Pergola with Lumumba, nor if Raffaele was with her. She doesn’t remember what she did at Raffaele’s house for the entire evening and night, but then she meets a nun in jail that restores her memory.

Raffaele also has a hard time remembering what happened in those few hours. He doesn’t remember if he was home alone or if Amanda was with him. Then he changes his statement but still doesn’t remember if Amanda left and, if she did, at what time she returned.

Can cannabis give such effects in exactly the time frame in which a young woman is being brutally murdered? Why did only three people out of 84 interviewed have this incredible amnesia?


As the journalist of Corriere della Sera, Fiorenza Sarzanini, said: “the arrests happened when they were saying things like “˜I was there with Patrick but can’t remember if Raffaele was also there’.

And Raffaele saying things like “˜I was at my house all night, but I don’t remember if Amanda was with me the entire time’”.

All three have lied several times, lost their memory but then slowly regained it, and changed their stories in order to fit new information as it became progressively known.

But most importantly they all have accused each other from the very beginning.

Not only the appellate judges of Rudy Guede’s trial but even Judge Micheli in Guede’s trial of first instance said that “The defendants, more or less explicitly, have intended to defend themselves by accusing each others.”

And that Rudy Guede “was there and he knows very well what happened”

“We might think that he remains firm on his unsustainable positions in order to cover up for someone, but on the contrary” says Judge Micheli, “it was from the very beginning that he chose not to involve others, and then he changed his attitude when he understood that other people were abandoning him to his own destiny”.


It should also be considered that the defense of Amanda Knox and of Raffaele Sollecito have called to trial only those witnesses that would testify against Rudy Guede and have requested only that police carry out more investigations on Guede.

Also, the Massei Report states that the defenses of Knox and Sollecito have at the end of it all “explicitly indicated Rudy Guede as the sole perpetrator of the criminal acts against Meredith Kercher”.

Rudy’s original story of the events was so ridiculous that no one could have possibly believed him. And no one did.

Despite this, he avoided naming his presumed accomplices directly, but chose instead, from the very beginning, to imply their involvement through his writings and his threats, while waiting for the appropriate time to formally accuse them of the murder.

“Guede kept quiet for as long as he could” said the Court of Appeal “because, given the deep connection of the events, accusing Amanda and Raffaele would have exposed him to their very probable retaliation”.

The court said all three should have explained what had happened in that house on the night of the murder, “at least for a sense of human compassion toward the poor victim”.

Instead, they “preferred to cram their statements (made on several occasions) with lies, reticence, half-truth, allusions, improbable occurrences and by more or less veiled reciprocal accusations”.

This is my final report. Ciao from Rome, and thanks.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire (Part 3 of 4)

Posted by Cesare Beccaria


My previous report on this appeared here.

During the first two months of 2008, the attorneys of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito begin to elaborate their theory of the sole killer that entered the house through the window, and then raped and killed Meredith.

It is interesting that these attorneys at first didn’t mention the name of Rudy Guede though the accusation was more or less explicit.

During his chat conversations from Germany Guede had already mentioned Raffaele’s involvement. When Giacomo asked him if that was Raffaele he had replied several times “I think so”. But as the two previous posts below show, thereafter he began to pull back.

By the time of his three-hour interrogation with the prosecutor on 26 March 2008 Rudy Guede apparently has had enough, and he is done with pulling back any longer. He now formally accuses Knox and Sollecito (“I saw Amanda and Raffaele that night”).

He now shows no doubts about identifying Raffaele Sollecito as the aggressor (“that guy with the knife was Raffaele”).

When asked by the interrogators why he responded “no” to the question of Giacomo as to whether Amanda “did it”, Guede states first that he was mainly concentrated on the male figure with the knife, and second his response to Giacomo’s questions was given in a hurry.

But Rudy did mention Amanda’s name in those previous conversations from Germany, indirectly implying her involvement. Amanda Knox was also mentioned extensively in his diary written at the end of November 2007, and he described her there in harsh words.

During his interrogation by the prosecutor, Guede now adds that he heard Amanda’s voice by the door, and then he saw her silhouette from Filomena’s window (“As Raffaele walked out I heard someone waiting for him outside. Now I can say that it was Amanda Knox”).


Judge Micheli in his January 2009 sentencing report for the Guede trial points out that Guede constantly “adjusted the content of his statements to the parallel and progressive evolution of the investigations”. He conveniently adjusted the time of the murder and other claimed facts as the investigation proceeded.

Guede originally indicated the time of Meredith’s murder as having been around 9:20-9:30PM. This is what he told Giacomo during the Skype conversation. His attorneys would later push the time to 11:30PM, denying that Guede had ever talked about 9:30 and couldn’t have known the time anyway as he hadn’t had a watch on him. 

The Micheli Report states that Guede’s accusation of Amanda and Raffaele formally happened during the interrogation of 26 March 2008. The conversations from Germany were not admitted by the court, and nor was his diary. Only Giacomo’s testimony was considered.

Judge Micheli in his sentencing report considers none of Guede’s declarations as credible.

On December 7in his first interrogation on his arrival back in Italy, Rudy never made references to Amanda. He said that he looked out the window but didn’t see or recognized anyone.

Judge Micheli therefore says that the interrogation of March 26, 2008 cannot be considered a completion of his previous declaration (as his lawyers were asserting), but rather a “radical change of course”.

Why didn’t Guede accuse Amanda and Raffaele during, or right after, the interrogation of December 7?

After all, he had a great opportunity to claim to recognize a person that was arrested and accused of the murder whose name was well known to Rudy. And as Micheli states in the report, “Guede didn’t even have the natural qualms that a witness might have in cases of uncertainty, knowing that he might get an innocent person in trouble”.

So why did he reserve the right to indicate his alleged accomplices at a later time?

On 15 May 2008 Guede asks to make some new spontaneous declarations.

Among other claims, he claims to have seen Raffaele at the scene of the crime, and his new conviction about this derives from the fact that he had seen his pictures in the newspapers. He also confirms the presence of Amanda: “I heard various steps of people leaving. I went to the closest room, I looked outside and I saw the silhouette of Amanda”.


On 19 October 2008 the prosecutor at Guede’s trial in his closing statement observes that “at the beginning Amanda had intentionally covered up for Guede, sidetracking the investigators toward another black person. For his part, Rudy has tried to keep Amanda out while being more explicit in involving Raffaele”.

On 24 October 2008 Francesco Vinci, the forensic consultant for the Sollecito defense, hands over to the Court his analysis report for the DNA on Meredith’s bra hook (Evidence 165B).

He states that “the analysis clearly shows that there are profiles of three other individuals on the clasp”, adding that the genetic profiles of Amanda and Rudy are also on the clasp.

Although Vinci’s presumed intention is to try to remove from trial the evidence against his client (since too many DNA profiles are found on the clasp, making it hard to reach an “unequivocal interpretation”) in reality this intervention comes across like an attempt to involve Guede’ s other two unlucky friends.

Meo Ponte, correspondent of La Repubblica, puts it nicely: “One asks if this is an involuntary false step or if Sollecito’s defense has decided to return to their previous steps when, at the beginning of the investigations, they were looking at every possible way to separate the fate of Raffaele from that of Amanda, trying to reduce charges against Raffaele to those of a lesser crime”.

Interesting here is that four days before the verdict of the first instance against Rudy Guede (and the decision on the formal charging of Knox and Sollecito) all the attorneys for all three can be seen to be fighting a three-way war, trying to save their own clients at the expense of the others.

Mr Mignini couldn’t have asked for more. This tactic almost renders superfluous the presence and arguments of the prosecutor.

Knox’s and Sollecito’s attorneys are indirectly accusing Guede (without mentioning his name) by trying to prove the sole-killer theory. And Guede’s attorneys are definitely implicating Knox and Sollecito, and at the last day of trial explicitly accuse them of the murder.

On 28 October 2008 Rudy Guede receives a 30 years sentence, and Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are formally also charged for Meredith’s murder.


The day after on 29 October 2008 the top-rated national TV program Porta a Porta (in the second of the four shows so far) discusses the trial outcome of the previous day. All the lawyers are present except for those of Amanda Knox.

Whereas during the days before the trial all the attorneys were fighting for their own client, and accusing each other’s clients of murder, during this Porta a Porta program they look fairly friendly.

Mrs. Buongiorno (the lead lawyer for Raffaele Sollecito) says that she is not saying that it was Guede who killed Meredith, she is saying that “procedural elements” conclude that there is such responsibility. “All I want to say is that Raffaele was not in that house.”

Bruno Vespa, the host of the Porta a Porta program,  asks Mr. Biscotti (Rudy Guede’s attorney) if his defense claims that Amanda and Raffaele are the two people identified by Guede on the night of the murder. Biscotti replies that Guede “heard two people”, but he doesn’t confirm that it was Raffaele and Amanda.

Why does Guede’s defense all of a sudden avoid mentioning the names of those whom until the previous day they had accused of the murder?

The magistrate on the show, Simonetta Matone, intervenes and she says: “As part of your defense strategy I remember that you have said that Amanda and Raffaele are the two people responsible for this homicide”.

The attorneys of Guede responded: “well, this is a trial dialectic (dialettica processuale)”. The magistrate then asks them “what are you talking about, trial dialectic? You have claimed that Amanda and Sollecito committed the crime”.

Mr. Biscotti (Guede’s attorney) doesn’t respond, and Mrs. Buongiorno (Sollecito’s attorney) steps in and immediately changes the subject.

Further on in the program, Mr. Biscotti says that Rudy heard Amanda’s voice, but doesn’t say that Guede identified Raffaele.

The Porta a Porta host, Bruno Vespa, asks Biscotti how could it be that Rudy was not able to see the assailant? Biscotti explains that it was dark and the assault was quick.

Bruno Vespa continues to be incredulous and insists that it is impossible for him not to have recognized his attacker.


Why does Biscotti now hide the fact that Guede saw Sollecito, when up to just a few days before he was confirming his identity? In fact, why would both Guede’s attorneys and Sollecito’s attorneys avoid discussing the reciprocal accusations that had gone on for months until just a few days earlier?

Could it be that they are both now preparing for the next trial at the Corte d’Assise, both of them hoping for an acquittal that would be beneficial both to Raffaele and to Rudy?

Right after the first verdict the ceasefire is back in place, and everyone is back out of the gray area.

It’s also interesting that during the program Mrs. Buongiorno insists in defending only Raffaele. She contests the bra clasp but never says anything about the knife. Her only concern is Raffaele.

She says “My trial is as follows: you must prove that three people committed the crime, or you must prove the presence of Raffaele in the house”.

At a certain point in the Porta a Porta program, Alessandro Meluzzi, a well known psychiatrist hired by the Guede team, intervenes during a discussion and says: “”¦ but wasn’t there a footprint found of Raffaele?”.

Mr. Biscotti - Guede’s lawyer - blocks him immediately and says “no, no, no”. Mr Meluzzi looks around in despair and then realizes he has said something outside of the defense line and now keeps quiet instantly. Why was he stopped?

In the first session of the Knox-Sollecito trial in the Corte D’Assise of 16 January 2009 Luca Maori, Sollecito’s second attorney, begins by saying that “Raffaele’s life was destroyed on October 25, the day he met Amanda “¦ this changed his life because of the tragic consequences and at the end [meeting her] has destroyed him”.

In the opening statement Mr. Maori makes it clear and simple: “Justice is already done. Rudy Guede, the only person responsible for the murder, has received a 30 years sentence”.

Asked by journalists about his reaction to these accusations, Walter Biscotti responded as he had done on other occasions: “My client will speak at the appropriate time.”


On 19 January 2009 they are all back again, on the third Porta a Porta show, except (again) for Amanda Knox’s lawyers.

Guede had been sentenced in the first instance to 30 years. His lawyer Biscotti now adds a little more detail to Guede’s story. He explains that Rudy went to the bathroom and heard Amanda discussing with Meredith, put on his earphones and closed the door.

The TV host Bruno Vespa reminds Mr. Biscotti that the attorneys of Sollecito and Amanda have accused Guede, and have said that he was already convicted and therefore he must be the sole killer.

Mr. Biscotti doesn’t appear very happy: “In our opinion this has been a “cowardly procedural move (“vigliaccata processuale”)....  They took advantage of the absence of Rudy in that hearing” of 16 January, he replies.

And then he adds that their strategy would not work since the GUP has denied their clients’ release on house arrest and has issued a definite ruling on the matter.

Guede’s attorney is practically saying here that, even though Rudy was convicted in the first instance, the other two are also charged and will also have to stand trial. “We will be vigilant and we’ll observe every breath of that trial”.

(It’s funny how Biscotti refers to his accusation of the other two a few months earlier as “dialettica processuale” (dialectical) but now calls Maori’s accusation of Guede a “vigliaccata processuale” (cowardly).)

The prosecutors have announced that they will call Rudy Guede to testify at the trial of his presumed accomplices, and the Porta a Porta host Bruno Vespa asks Biscotti if Rudy will finally tell the complete truth in front of the Court of Assise.

Biscotti responds that Rudy has already told the truth and that he will next talk further in front of the judges of appeal, implying that his client will not testify at Knox’s and Sollecito’s trial.

He says that since Judge Micheli didn’t find him credible, just like as he didn’t find the other two credible (they were not even called as witnesses at Rudy’s trial), Guede could exercise his right to silence at Knox’s and Sollecito’s trial.


Giuseppe Castellini, director of the Perugia-based newspaper Giornale dell’Umbria, weighs in at length on this Porta a Porta show about Guede’s changing of his versions.

In the second version, Guede says that as he entered the bathroom he heard the bell ring and heard Amanda’s voice. He then was reassured because he knew it was Amanda. Guede also said in his second version that from Filomena’s room he sees Amanda and another person that he couldn’t identify, running away.

In the third version, Rudy hears the voice of Amanda (“We need to talk. What is the matter?”) and he asks Mignini to have a confrontation with Sollecito.

Mr Biscotti, Guede’s attorney, disputes Mr Castellini’s claim that the description changed and he says that Guede never changed his version, but rather “integrated it with details” and that Guede asked for a confrontation with both Raffaele and Amanda.

Mr. Gentile, the other lawyer for Guede, adds that Guede was interrogated in Germany without attorneys present (implying that what he said back then cannot be considered as a first version).

The Porta a Porta host. Bruno Vespa. notes that every one of the three accused is claiming their innocence and at the same time each accusing the other of the murder.

He then asks Luca Maori, one of Sollecito’s attorneys, if the situation of Raffaele is linked to that of Amanda or if there could be a different scenario (“she was there and he wasn’t”).

Mr. Maori responds that “Raffaele is Raffaele and Amanda is Amanda, although this does not mean that their positions could not be linked….  Raffaele was at his house and probably even Amanda, so both were at his house during the night”.

He adds that Raffaele never changed his version.


The newspaper director Giuseppe Castellini reacts strongly to this claim by Mr Maori.  He illustrates by reading Raffaele’s statements word by word that he did in fact change his version, three times.

On the first version, of November 5 (which is actually the second version if we exclude the statement in which he said he spoke “a lot of rubbish”) Raffaele said he went home alone, while Amanda went to meet her friends. He says he surfed the web all evening and Amanda returned at 1:00AM.

Days later, police hear from Jovana Popovic, who testified that she rang the bell at 8:40PM and Amanda answered the door, and therefore Amanda must have been home at that time.

Mr Castellini observes that now Raffaele changes his version again and notes how he had said “on November 5 I lied because I was under a lot of pressure”. Mr Castellini says that Raffaele had stated that Amanda was with him all that night, but now, in his latest version, he doesn’t remember if she went out that evening and for how long.

Bruno Vespa asks how can it be possible that a person cannot remember, after just a couple of days, if his girlfriend was with him or not, what time she left, and what time she returned?

“Everyone is able to remember where they were when the man landed on the moon. And that was forty years ago….  Raffaele should have been able to describe minute by minute what happened on that evening”.

The answer of Sollecito’s attorney Mr. Maori is as follow: “Someone must have killed poor Meredith. This someone is certainly not Raffaele Sollecito, because there are no evidences that put him inside the house of the murder. Everything else is details”.

It’s interesting to note that Mr. Maori hardly mentions Amanda Knox.

Even when asked if Amanda was with Raffaele he doesn’t give a straightforward answer, he just repeats that his client is not guilty. Throughout the two hours of the Porta a Porta program, he keeps saying that his client was not at the crime scene: “We will prove in court that he wasn’t there, and that he did not commit the crime.”

The CBS correspondent on the TV show, Mrs. Castelfranco, keeps trying to insert Amanda into the discussion (“Amanda wasn’t there either”) but Maori was not confirming this, he was not even listening.


The host Bruno Vespa tells Maori that there was more than one person reported by a witness as leaving the house and therefore “the killers must have been more than one”.

Mr. Maori’s answer is: “We are not alone in saying that the killer is only one. It’s the judge that has sentenced just one person”.

Guede’s attorney replies: “Oh, come on, Maori ! How can you say these things?.

A very important issue is now brought up by the host, Bruno Vespa.

Talking about Amanda, he says that it’s very strange that a person says “I was there” and then days later denies being there.

“Usually people say “˜I was not there, I know nothing, I have seen nothing’ and then eventually they admit that they were there”, says Vespa. “Instead Amanda [at first] says “˜I was there’ and the killer is Lumumba”.

No one in the Porta a Porta studio contests Mr Vespa’s claim that this is strange, including Maori and the CBS correspondent.

And the reason is very simple: while the U.S. media has justified Amanda’s behavior by claiming that she was forced to name Lumumba under brutal police pressure, the Italian media has never reported this because there is zero evidence that it ever happened.

The widely known and believed fact is that Amanda named Lumumba voluntarily, when the police asked her to verify her cell phone activities and was asked who that person was. This is a given and indisputable fact, confirmed by various witnesses.

Even Mrs. Castelfranco, the CBS correspondent, is very careful in not repeating the false claim of the U.S. media. She says instead that Knox was “young and confused”.  The CBS correspondent adds that after all none of them remember well what happened that night.

The host Bruno Vespa interrupts her: “One thing is remembering single details. Another is remembering if she was there or not. Being at the house [of the crime] or sleeping at the house of the boyfriend, are two enormously different things…. It is very striking that her first instinct was that of saying “˜I was at the house of the crime’”.

The CBS correspondent remains silent.


At this point, Mr. Biscotti, Guede’s attorney, says that while Rudy admits to being in the house, the other two each deny their presence although there is evidence that unequivocally confirms both of their presences.

Mr Vespa asks Biscotti if their trial strategy is that of proving Rudy’s innocence, or if it would be convenient to them to also demonstrate the culpability of Amanda and Raffaele.

Guede’s lawyer Biscotti responds: “We don’t want to prove their guiltiness. But since there is no other individual whose evidence in the house is proved, we must make a logical inference”.

The host reminds Biscotti that they have explicitly accused Raffaele and Amanda during Guede’s trial. Biscotti responds: “Well, the logical inference tells us that Amanda and Sollecito are the guilty ones”.

Mr Vespa asks “Therefore the person that ran into Rudy (whom he did not fully identify) would be Sollecito?”.

And Biscotti responds “In our opinion, since we were not there and could not have seen it, by linking all the circumstances that emerged from the investigation of the prosecutor and those that emerged from the preliminary hearing, this leads to the conclusion that whoever killed Meredith could not have been other than the other two defendants”.

Francesco Maresca, the attorney for the Kercher family, makes it plain that in his view all three defendants are without any doubt responsible for Meredith’s murder.

My next report appears here.



Friday, May 14, 2010

How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire (Part 2 of 4)

Posted by Cesare Beccaria


My previous report on this appeared here. On 12 November 2007 Guede has a first chat conversation on MS Messenger, from Germany, with his friend Gabriele.

His friend asked him why he keeps running away, and Guede answers “I can’t”.  “You can’t what?” asks his friend. Guede replied “you know [why]”. “What should I know” asks his friend, but with no further reply.

Up to that moment the media knew nothing about Rudy Guede’s involvement, but he certainly felt that police were already investigating him. He knew that thus far Amanda and Raffaele had not mentioned his name.

On 15 November the investigators identify the finger print on the pillow as belonging to Rudy Guede.

On 16 November Giacomo, another friend of Rudy, was informed that Guede could have had something to do with the murder, and on the 18th he is interrogated by the prosecutor.

On 18 November Raffaele writes in his diary: “As I am thinking and rebuilding [my thoughts] I think that Amanda always remained with me. The only thing I don’t remember exactly is if she left during the evening for few minutes”.


At this point police know that Raffaele and Amanda were together at his house when Jovana Popovic arrived at 8:40PM. But they were also found together at Raffaele’s house when Jovana rang the bell in the afternoon between 5:45-6:00PM.

Why then would Raffaele say at first that he went home alone at 9:00PM, and then that “maybe it was 8:30” and Amanda was with him, and now he thinks that Amanda was with him the entire time, but he doesn’t remember if she left and, in the event that she did, at what time she returned?

Was he desperately attempting to dissociate himself from Amanda? Was he then being told to retract, but just not too much?

“I am certain that she cannot have killed Meredith and then returned home” says Raffaele. “I hope that truth emerges. None of us three [meaning also Patrick Lumumba] have anything to do with this”.

Here again we find this supposition regarding Amanda. A week before he said “It would be fabulous if Amanda hasn’t done anything” and the previous day he said: “I don’t think she’s capable of killing someone”.

What is the need of all these quasi affirmations? And why does Amanda make the exact same quasi affirmations in her own diaries?


On 19 November Guede has another chat conversation on MS Messenger, this time with Giacomo. He explains to Giacomo what had happened that evening, and that neither Amanda nor Patrick are involved.

Why does he explicitly deny Amanda’s involvement in the murder? Could he be covering up for her, since she also hasn’t ever mentioned his name up to this date?

On the same chat session, Rudy describes the aggressor as an Italian of young age. When Giacomo asks if that person was Raffaele, his reply was “I don’t know, but I think so”. He repeated “I think so” several times as Giacomo kept asking him if he was sure that person was Raffaele.

Soon after, Giacomo and Rudy started a conversation via Skype, the online video phone system. This conversation was recorded, and made public.

A couple of parts are very important. First of all, Rudy puts a lot of emphasis on the money stolen, and on Meredith being upset with Amanda. Why would he be so insisting on this matter?

Rudy adds that “Amanda never mentioned the money issue, nor did Raffaele” implying that he somehow knows this information first-hand, since it had not ever been reported in the media up to that day.

Rudy then tells Giacomo that he went to the bathroom, and heard the doorbell ring and Meredith opening the front door. Rudy adds that “It could have been anyone “¦ it could have been Amanda”.

So again he explicitly mentions Amanda. Why would he say “It could have been Amanda”?


On that same conversation Guede reads a paragraph to Giacomo from a media article mentioning the laundry, the break-in and the undressing of the victim, Meredith.

Guede says “If all this really happened, it must have been done by Amanda or Raffaele… they have done it”. Giacomo asks “Why would they have done this”? And Guede replies “Because when I left she [Meredith] was dressed”.

Giacomo says “So they killed her while she was dressed”. And Guede says: “Yes, here it says that they [clothes] were washed in the washing machine, but that’s not true. She was dressed”. And then he explains to Giacomo how she was dressed and adds: “That means that they have washed them [Meredith’s clothes]”.

Then Giacomo asks “But why did they wash her clothes if she [Amanda] has nothing to do with this”, and Guede replies “What the hell do I know”. And finally Guede adds: ” “¦ then after, from what I read, someone came back, because when I left the window was not broken. That means that someone broke it, and it wasn’t me”.

Again, here we have Rudy Guede mentioning Amanda and Raffaele. Why would he mention their names, and assume that they staged the break-in, undressed the victim, and did some laundry?

On 20 November Raffaele writes “Today they finally caught the real killer of this incredible story. They found him in Germany. But at the moment I am not 100% tranquil because I fear that he might make up strange things”.

Why would Raffaele fear that the killer might fabricate some strange things?

On 20 November Rudy is arrested in Germany. He is interrogated for the first time, in Koblenz, where he repeats the same version he had given to Giacomo on the phone, except that he does not mention Amanda or Raffaele.


During his detention he writes a memorandum in which he describes the events of the night of the murder.

This document is of extreme importance, since this time he does mention Amanda again, this time with serious threats.

First, he includes “kind words” for Meredith

To see these written in a memorandum while denying his own role in her death and failure to save her seem simply repulsive. They seem about the lowest thing that a man with a minimum of decency could ever write.

He was undeniably there when she was killed, and according to the judges he participated to the murder. His story of using an I-Pod when going to the bathroom and not hearing things and then hearing things seem simple stupidity.

Second, Guede indicates that Amanda’s story of being at the house with Patrick is not true.

He knows that Patrick has been recently released. Why then does he ask “How could Amanda have slept in that place full of blood”? Also, why is he blaming Amanda for not calling the ambulance?

Also, Rudy knew that Amanda stated that she heard Meredith screaming. Why would he tell Giacomo on Skype that he heard “a scream so loud that it could have been heard from the street”?

Third, in his writings, Rudy asks Amanda for the reason for her account of Meredith being raped. “Meredith and I just talked that night” Rudy writes. Then he adds “Say the truth, what are you hiding”.


We see here another important statement that Guede is making. Why would he be upset that Amanda said that Meredith was raped? Also, why would he want to clarify the fact that with Meredith they “just talked”?

Guede sounds as if he’s extremely upset about Amanda’s story of rape, and about the accusation of a black man. To him all this must appear as if Amanda was giving clues to the prosecutor to look further into Guede as the possibly killer.

We should note that Amanda did make a partial retraction when she states that her story could have been an imagination of her mind. But she never fully retracted her story, or her accusation against a black man.

Guede knows that Amanda’s story is not just partially but totally untrue. For this reason he writes a harsh criticism of Amanda and asks her, in a threatening way, to talk and speak the truth.

Guede is also angry about what he read regarding the staged break-in, the undressing of the victim, and the laundry, and quite probably about the evidence left intact in the toilet.

To him, the sum of these events and statements by Amanda probably looked like a direct attempt now to accuse him of the murder. “You already knew who to blame” he asks.

And then in turn he blames Amanda for the killing. “Did you hate your friend so much to the point of killing her or wishing her death?”.

All this was written as early-on as 20 November 2007.

Raffaele is also mentioned by Guede in his prison diary. He writes: “that AF, AF, could have been his name?”. Rudy adds: “what the hell happened that night. Talk and say the truth. What are you hiding. If it wasn’t Raffaele with you that night, who was it?”.

So we can clearly see that the reciprocal accusations began long before March 2008. Much less than one month after the murder of Meredith, they were already threatening one another and accusing each other.


And there’s more.

On 23 November 2007 three days after Guede is arrested in Germany, Raffaele requests an appointment with the prosecutor because he wants to clarify his position.

Mignini sets the appointment for 6 December 2007.

On 3 December 2007 Walter Biscotti, Guede’s attorney, announces on the Porta a Porta show (the most popular television program in Italy) that his client has important revelations to make, and that he “saw the killer and might be able to identify him “¦ Rudy didn’t tell me his name “¦ on his return I will show him the pictures and I imagine that he will be able to recognize him”.

But hadn’t Rudy already seen Raffaele’s pictures on the media while in Germany? Didn’t Giacomo ask him if it was Raffaele, to which he responded “I don’t know but I think so”?

On 5 December 2007 Guede meets his father in Mannheim.

According to “Il Messaggero” and “Il Mattino”, Rudy is quoted as saying: “I want to return to Italy as soon as possible and tell everything I know. I want to indicate the murderer of Meredith. I saw him and I could recognize him. Someone else was with him”.

When journalists ask Rudy’s attorney if he has seen the photos of Raffaele, he responds that all this is a matter for the prosecutor.


On 6 December 2007 Raffaele is questioned by Mr. Mignini - but he exercises his right to remain silent! Although it was he that asked to be interrogated in order to “clarify his position”.

On 7 December 2007 Guede arrives in Italy and is interrogated by the prosecutor.

Everyone is expecting Rudy to announce the name of Raffaele, but he doesn’t. He never even mentions Amanda. Rudy’s attorney tells the journalists that his client “did not give out the name of the killer because there is no name to give”.

So why did Guede announced from Germany some “important revelations” and that he saw the killer and could identify him - and then he doesn’t?

Why did Raffaele ask to be interrogated and then, after Rudy’s threat, and the day before Guede’s arrival, he exercises the right to remain silent once he sits down, face to face, at his own request, with the prosecutor?

Walter Biscotti tells the prosecutor that any “possible procedural action of recognition will be subject to subsequent interrogation” (“eventuali attivita’ processuali di riconoscimento saranno oggetto di successivo interrogatorio”).

Does this mean that Rudy is reserving the right to indicate the killer sometime in the future?

During the trial, Mr. Biscotti specifically noted that the name of Amanda Knox was not brought up by Guede only late in the day, since during the interrogation of 7 December 2007 by the GIP (the judge for the preliminary hearings) the attorney had stated that his client would be “available to provide further clarifications” right then.

Only the working schedule of the prosecutor made the interrogation slide to March 2008. 


On 7 December 2007 Rudy Guede was interrogated by the GIP for seven hours, and he claimed his innocence. He explains his byzantine version of the events on the night, and he never mentions Amanda or Raffaele.

Guede says “I don’t know who the killer is and I cannot give a precise description because I was concentrating on looking at the knife”. Guede says that he heard two people talking outside the house, but he couldn’t even tell if those voices were of a male or a female.

In response to many other questions, his recurrent phrase was “I don’t remember”. He also explained his knowledge of Meredith’s missing money, which Rudy knew way before it became of public knowledge as he revealed in the conversation with Giacomo from Germany.

Amanda had previously said she had been at the house on the night of the murder, and she had never mentioned the name of Rudy, accusing instead another black man.


On 14 December 2007 Guede is heard by the Tribunale del Riesame.

He repeats that he didn’t see the aggressor because it was dark but that he could create an identikit. He confirms that two people were present, but doesn’t name Amanda or Raffaele.

The judge warns him that he must reveal the truth by telling the names of the people involved, but he refuses, saying that he never met Raffaele, and that he didn’t know Amanda had a boyfriend. 

The Tribunale rejected his plea of house arrests because he was not coming clean.

A few days after his return to Italy, Guede receives a visit in prison from his friend Giacomo. During the conversation, Guede tells him that his memory was improving and that he saw Amanda at the house.

We can again see therefore that Amanda is mentioned, way before March 2008.

Guede also adds that Amanda accused Lumumba because, most likely, the assailant told her that a black man was in the house. Guede tells Giacomo that he had never met Sollecito before.

This discussion in prison took place on 7 December 2007 though it was brought out at trial only much later, through Giacomo’s testimony.

On 25 January 2008 Sollecito’s attorneys allow him or make him to say “I don’t know Rudy Guede but I am ready for a face to face confrontation with him”.

Obviously it was just a bluff.

Raffaele never talked, was never cross-examined, and was always kept off the stand. All we know about his statements was either through his lawyers or his father.

My next report appears here.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire (Part 1 of 4)

Posted by Cesare Beccaria


Most people in Italy believe the two trials ended correctly because they have been exhaustively reported-to throughout.

Also they have been able to follow the machinations and the twists and turns of the three defendants and defenses in real time. And the court documents and transcripts are all issued in Italian, and some are officially posted on the Internet.

The media coverage in Italian in Italy exceeds the media coverage in English in the UK and USA by a factor of five or ten. And there have been a number of very highly rated and balanced TV talk-shows on the case, in the course of which the defenses were not able to muzzle or slant the discussions - even if they ever considered doing such a thing.

These TV talk-shows on the case have included the most prestigious of all such shows in Italy, Porta a Porta, which offered hours of discussion by all the legal players except for Amanda Knox’s team in December 2007, October 2008, February 2009, and December 2009.

The Porta a Porta discussions are at various points referred to here, and the images used here are from those shows.

This is a four-part analysis, based mostly on Italian-language sources, of the many twists and turns of each of the defendants (as they then were) and their defense teams when intent on giving themselves an edge while often slyly selling out the others.

This interplay has been evident almost as much between Knox and Sollecito and their teams as it has between either of them and Rudy Guede, though rather less hostile.

It is worth pointing out two things up-front. First, that this is still far from played-out, more twists and turns can be expected, and we still might see the complete flying-apart and separation of all three. And second, that public maneuvering like this by three people accused of a crime is REALLY unusual and there have been few real precedents. This behavior sure is not typical of innocent parties.


So to begin…

“Guede has kept quiet for as long as he could” said the Court of Appeal in its recent motivation report “because, given the deep connection of the events, accusing Amanda and Raffaele would have exposed him to their very probable retaliation”. (“Guede, finché ha potuto, ha taciuto, poiché, stante la profonda connessione degli eventi, accusare Amanda e Raffaele lo avrebbe esposto a più che probabili dichiarazioni ritorsive da parte di costoro”).

This phrase in boldface is extremely important in understanding the connection of the three actors to this horrible story.

Their attorneys have done an excellent job so far (the best they could) and will continue on appeal to try to convince the judges of their innocence, or at least for a substantial reduction of their sentence. Rudy Guede’s attorneys have already obtained what they needed. He will probably be out on parole in less than five years now.

The other defense have played a very delicate game in this trial. From the beginning, they could have asked for a finding of “preterintenzione” (a sort of non-intentional second-degree murder). But this would have forced their clients to admit the truth without the certainty of the judicial outcome. Hence they opted for the not-guilty plea.

Their first strategic action was in each case (RS and AK) to stop the damages that their clients were inflicting upon themselves with their statements.

The next strategic action was that of not appearing at the lab for the non-repetitive testing for the DNA, with the obvious intention (almost habitual in Italy) of refuting ex-post each and every forensic finding that could have been adverse to their client.


The third strategic action flowed from the major problem all the attorneys were facing in defending their own client: the risk of reciprocal retaliation. Like concentric circles, they all came to share a gray area that was tacitly considered off-limit for everyone else, like a haunted house that no one else dared to enter.

At first, this tacit accord was respected. But when various defense necessities emerged, the breaching of the accord began. The process was gradual but inexorable, leading to two brief but clear breaches: Guede’s explicit accusations against the other two in March 2008, and reiterated right after the disgraceful intrusion on the scene of Mario Alessi earlier this year.

This tactic was observed by the Appellate Court that heard Guede’s appeal. In their recent motivation report.

The judges reprehended all three offenders by stating that all three should have explained what had happened in that house on the night of the murder, “at least for a sense of human compassion toward the poor victim” and that instead they had “preferred to cram their statements (made on several occasions) with lies, reticence, half-truth, allusions, improbable occurrences and by more or less veiled reciprocal accusations”. (“Gli imputati hanno invece preferito infarcire le loro dichiarazioni, rese in diverse occasioni, di bugie, reticenze, retromarce, mezze verità , allusioni, prospettazioni inverosimili, accuse reciproche, più o meno velate”).

Rudy Guede was questioned in Koblenz, Germany, right after his arrest. He was also interrogated on December 7, 2007 and on March 26, 2008, and made spontaneous declarations on May 15, 2008.

At first he did not formally accuse anyone, and he remained very vague about his accomplices. He chose to go on trial first and so he had a slight advantage over the others.

Rudy Guede is undoubtedly a compulsive liar. He told his version of the events to perfectly fit his case, and adjusted his inconsistencies according to the changing development of events.

He first says Meredith was killed around 21:20 and then his attorneys made him change the time to 23:30. According to his absolutely improbable account, he met with Meredith at 21:00 and within TEN MINUTES they managed to talk about her mother’s health, go around the house looking for the missing money, had oral sex, and then suddenly had an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Then he puts his I-Pod on at high volume while doing his business in the bathroom of a girl he barely knew.


In this implausible story, Guede doesn’t explicitly name his accomplices. Amanda and Raffaele also told their fair share of lies, but at the beginning they didn’t directly accuse Guede either.

Things changed when the various attorneys started to slowly penetrate inside the off-limit zone.

Guede’s memory began to function as the lone-wolf theory was materializing. Apparently the volume of his I-Pod was not loud enough now to impede him from recognizing Amanda’s voice. His vision became clearer and he began to recognize her silhouette from the window and the identity of the aggressor.

The more Knox and Sollecito’s attorneys were elaborating their theory to reinforce their defensive strategy, the better Guede’s memory became. Every time allegations of the sole killer emerged, Guede’s attorneys were ready with their rounds of ammunitions, needed to keep the other attorneys at bay.

Now, if we take a closer look at the chronology of events, we can observe a possibility that has been largely overlooked but is of extreme importance. 

Maybe the staged break-in was not necessarily made with the intention specifically to frame Guede. (Judge Micheli actually advanced this notion, as Amanda and Raffaele most likely had no knowledge of Guede’s earlier break-in in Milan.).

And yet it is without doubt that some one person or several persons intentionally tried to mislead investigators and with a good degree of certainty these people took also part in the crime. And for obvious reasons Guede was not among them during the staging and the cleaning.


Let us now look more closely at the chronology of the events in order to understand why it is clear that Guede did not act alone. Also to see that he did mention Amanda and Raffaele way before the interrogation of March 2008. We can also observe how the three defendants have tried in various ways to accuse each other from the very beginning, through their voluntary statements and through their “prison diaries”.

It should be noted that it is highly unrealistic that lawyers let their clients write “prison diaries” without their consent, especially after all the lies and inconsistencies they have told to police and prosecutors until they took over. Those “prison diaries” sound anything but spontaneous.

Raffaele changed his versions of the events at least three times. At first he confirms Amanda’s original deposition. But then, under interrogation on 5 November he admits to having spoken rubbish in his previous statement, because, he claimed, Amanda convinced him of her version and he didn’t think of the inconsistencies. And that he went home alone around 9:00 PM, smoked a joint, ate and surfed the net, and finally Amanda returned at 1:00 AM.

Amanda then is told by police that Raffaele had just blown her alibi. But instead of refuting Raffaele’s statement, she immediately takes the opportunity to accuse Patrick Lumumba, adding that Raffaele was probably with her at the crime scene.


Let’s now look at Amanda’s statement given to police on 6 November 2007.

Amanda writes: “I know that Raffaele has placed evidence against me, saying I was not with him on the night of the murder “¦ there are things I remember and things that are confused “¦ what happened after I know does not match with what Raffaele was saying”. Amanda goes on to explain what happened at Raffaele’s house in a very confusing way and with many “perhaps”, I’m not sure” and “I don’t remember”.

She goes on to write: “my boyfriend has claimed that I have said things that I know are not true “¦ I never asked him to lie for me “¦ What I don’t understand is why Raffaele would lie about this. What does he have to hide? I don’t think he killed Meredith but I do think he is scared, like me. He walked into a situation that he has never had to be in, and perhaps he is trying to find a way out by disassociating himself with me”.

She adds: “I also know that the fact that I can’t fully recall the events that I claim took place at Raffaele’s home during the time Meredith was murdered in incriminating”. Raffaele as well states that he cannot recall precisely what he did at his own house that evening.

Amanda remembers that she noticed blood on Raffaele’s hand, “but I was under the impression that it was blood from the fish”. Amanda then asks: “is there any other evidence condemning Patrick or any other person. Who is the real murderer?”


A week later, when the knife was found, Amanda goes even further. She now wonders if Raffaele could have killed Meredith and then put the knife-handle in her hand while she was sleeping. “Was Meredith’s DNA on the knife?” Raffaele had asked “Maybe, because one time I accidently pricked her”.

“It’s impossible that Meredith’s DNA is on the knife”, says Amanda, “because she’s never been to Raffaele’s apartment. So unless Raffaele decided to get up after I fell asleep, grabbed said knife, went over to my house, used it to kill Meredith, came home, cleaned the blood off, rubbed my fingerprints all over it, put it away, tucked himself back into bed, and then pretended really well over the next few days, well, I just highly doubt all of that”.

Doesn’t all this sound like a reciprocal veiled accusation? Why would two people accused of murder, with exactly the same fate, write down their doubts about the innocence of their presumed accomplice? Why doesn’t Amanda mention Patrick or Rudy at all in her diary?

On 7 November 2007 Raffaele Sollecito begins writing his own diary. His most recurrent phrases are “I don’t remember”, “maybe I did this, maybe I did that”. The prosecutor has already reminded him that he has given three different versions of his story, in particular about Amanda. He is still not sure if Amanda left the house, and if she did he now doesn’t remember how long she was out for. “Why don’t they investigate on her”, he asks.

On 11 November 2007 Raffaele recalls that someone told him that on the morning of November 2 Amanda went home to take a shower and then went to a public laundry with some Argentinean guy and he put a pair of blue Nikes in the washing machine.

“All this makes me totally lose faith in Amanda, after she keeps on lying”, Raffaele writes. Adding that “I know little of her, but although I don’t think she’s capable of killing someone she could be capable of lying in order to hide the fact that she has relations with [hangs out with] disreputable people”.

We note here Raffaele saying: “I don’t think she’s capable of killing someone”, while a few days before Amanda wrote: “I don’t think he killed Meredith”. Why would they both have the need to make such conjectures? It is very unlikely (if not impossible) that lawyers would allow them to make any written statements, including diaries, without their consent.

Raffaele goes on to write: “I worry about two things: if Amanda that night remained with me all night, we might (although that is a very remote hypothesis) have made love all evening and all night, stopping only to eat. That would be a mess because there would be no server connections during those hours.” (How can a twenty-three years old boy not remember if he made love “all evening and night”?). Four days earlier Amanda wrote: “perhaps I made love to Raffaele. In fact, I think I did make love with him”.

Raffaele’s second worry is that “Amanda could have stolen my knife and gave it to the son of a bitch that killed Meredith, although even this hypothesis sounds like science fiction, but possible, therefore I am not at ease.”


Amanda writes in her diary that the encounter in prison with a nun made her memory function all of a sudden.

She says: “In my cell I was waiting for an answer to come to my head when a sister arrived at my door. She told me to be patient because God knows everything and would help me remember the answer “¦ and then it hit me. Everything came back to me like a flood one detail after the other “¦ I cried, I was so happy. I wrote everything I could remember and an explanation for my confusion previously “¦ Police think that I’m involved “¦ But now at least I know it’s not true. I remember what I did that night and there’s no way that they can prove that I was there, in Meredith’s room”.

“They really think I’m involved and its sad, because it means they still have no idea what happened. They really don’t know who killed my friend”. Then she continues to ask herself why Raffaele is lying, what is he afraid of.

This reciprocal accusation of lying is also repeated. We will see that in his diary Rudy also accuses Amanda of lying. Why do they constantly accuse each other of lying? And why do they also insist on the recurrent phrase: “what are you hiding”?

On 12 November 2007 Raffaele gets 90% of his memory back.

He says: “I am 90% sure that on my second declaration I said rubbish”, and that his first version (that Amanda was with him) is the right version. It should be noted that in his second police interview he said the exact contrary, stating that his claim that Amanda was with him was rubbish.

Now Raffaele changes his story again and adds: “the fact that Amanda induced me to tell her version is rubbish “¦ I’m realizing that probably Amanda was with me all night, without ever leaving. And I am certainly not the one that lies in order to help the investigations and put everyone in trouble. On the contrary, it would be fabulous if Amanda hasn’t done anything”.

The memory loss claim now surfaces. Raffaele adds: “I realize that if we all ended up in jail is also my fault regarding the facts of that evening and also because me and Amanda smoked many joints.” “I lived in weightlessness an event that I could not believe it could have been real”. Raffaele is basically saying that it’s also his fault if he cannot remember what happened that night. As we have seen, Amanda wrote something similar when she acknowledge that her lack of memory could be “incriminating”.

Not only Raffaele, but also Amanda and Rudy have this mysterious amnesia on the events of that evening. All three of them don’t remember well. All imagine that certain things happened “¦ but maybe not. No one is able to recall even the most impossible things to forget (was it Raffaele the aggressor with the knife? Was Amanda home with Raffaele? Was Amanda at the cottage with Lumumba? Was Raffaele with her? Did they really make love all night?).

My next report appears here.



Page 3 of 5 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >