Category: Appeals 2009-2015

Monday, October 03, 2016

Netflixhoax 7: Omitted - How Knox Lied Repeatedly To Florence Court She Was Too Scared To Attend

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.


1. Many false claims in the film

NONE of the false claims by speakers were rebutted. Not one, by the Knox PR team moonlighting as serious directors and producers.

The producers’ bizarre technique was to place Knox, Sollecito, Conti & Vecchiotti in front of a camera and then to let them lie unchecked as they did repeatedly throughout the 90 minute film.

For example, Knox makes a very shrill claim in the film that she was repeatedly hit and forced into a “confession” by angry and abusive cops.

In fact she wasnt hit by anyone, except by herself. There was not even an interrogation that night - only the building of a list of names with a couple of kind cops.

Her own lawyers confirmed she was not hit, and they never filed a complaint. They publicly pleaded that she stop making things up. The movie never tells us this, never ever challenges Knox.  We’ll return to this false claim in depth.

For balance, how many Italian justice officials do you suppose the PR team invited to represent the huge team of police, prosecutors and judges, and all of the witnesses, and the huge body of evidence? And to rebut Knox’ claims? After, all she was accusing his staff of crimes.

Precisely one. Dr Mignini. That was it.

He was not even told of the accusations of crimes from Knox. Instead he was asked to address only childish touchy-feely questions which no Italian journalist would ever dream of addressing to a highly trained prosecutor or judge. Dr Mignini is a regular on Italian TV explaining serious legal issues of some complexity, and is a master at it. 

2. Lies previously reported and rebutted

We have so far rebutted seven false claims made by the team in the media or in the film in the previous posts here..

(1) That Knox was found innocent by the Fifth Chambers and fully exonerated or exculpated. No she wasnt. She was confirmed as being at the scene at the time with blood on her hands based on copious evidence, and any trial or appeal court which normally handles murders (the Fifth Chambers does not) would have insisted the Nencini verdict should stand. She remains guilty for life of calunnia and she still owes Patrick his award. Research anyone?

(2) That Dr Mignini hoodwinked the Justice system some way in a supposed pursuit of Amanda Knox although 30-plus judges in fact guided the judicial process - in Italian justice they and not prosecutors are the equivalent of American district attorneys. Raffaele Sollecito is conveniently not accounted for in this conspiracy theory, although with the possible exception of Patrick Lumumba’s lawyer, Sollecito’s words for Knox were the harshest, and his anger rattled on for years. Research anyone?

(3) That Dr Mignini pursued this because he had been convicted, although the conviction, by a rogue prosecutor and rogue judge in Florence with murky connections, had been annulled (in effect deleted; no record) by an appeal court and that confirmed by a strident Supreme Court ruling more than three years prior to the Netflix movie. Research anyone?

(4) That Dr Mignini had consulted a psychic, though it was widely known for many years that he had done no such thing and had written to Corriere at length refuting this more than three years prior to the Netflix movie. Research anyone?

(5) That Dr Mignini holds satanic and sex-orgy theories in this and other cases. No he does not. He has been on national TV pushing satanic theories back and saying they are few. The satanic theory of the Monster of Florence case goes back over a decade before he was requested to check an arm of the case. Knox and Sollecito and Guede were all convicted of murder with a sex-crime element, read all the judges reports prior to trial, all agreed an attack with a sexual aspect was what the evidence said.  Research anyone?

(6) That the Italian justice system is somehow a dangerous error-prone joke (widely accepted as gospel by the movie’s reviewers) though in fact it is one of the most careful systems in the world and unlike the American system (with which it links extensively) never ever sees a false conviction standing by the end of the exhaustive appeals process. Research anyone?

(7) That the release of a provisional positive HIV finding for Knox and a list she created of her recent sex partners was a malicious act by prison staff or prosecutors, though they released precisely NOTHING and it was the Knox defense team that was fervently distributing those materials (of considerable damage to Knox’s public perception). Research anyone?

3. Starting to address Knox’s lies

Much of what Knox says in the movie is untrue. That is not unusual. She consistently lies in all her interviews. She also consistently tries to damage people.

In her book alone we have counted several lies on each page, close to 1000, and about 100 instances of defamations, lies intended to create real damage.

We are going to post separately on each of Knox’s most sweeping and most self-serving lies. Here, we give several dozen examples of lies repeatedly refuted, some of which are in the movie.

The Knox PR team moonlighting as serious directors and producers claim that they devoted SIX YEARS to getting their movie right. They could have found these rebuttals and read them all in a day or two if an honest movie was what they wanted to make.

Perhaps they were simply uncaring of the truth, lost in the complexities of the case, and uncaring of who they damaged, including the real victim’s family, and of what portrait they offered of Italy and Italian justice and its officers, however damaging and vile and untrue.

Or perhaps they were already deeply corrupted, and crazed at the prospect of fame and future career prospects and bloodmoney. If so, they are in unsavory company.

4. Knox’s lies to Italy (#1) rebutted

Knox does not often get the opportunity to lie on a grand scale to Italians. Just as well for her as the negative reaction is opposite and immediate.

Italians followed the trial in real-time witnessed a strident contemptuous sharp-tongued “Terminator Knox” on the witness stand for two days at trial, resulting in this sarcastic reaction and this sarcastic reaction.

“Daffy Knox” and “Terminator Knox” who forever sought media attention at trial in 2009 were retired from 2010 onward in favor of “Whiny Victim Knox”.

In 2013 Knox was too timid to return for her own Florence appeal presided over by Judge Nencini, but not too timid to send him a massively self-infatuated email containing some of the same lies Knox repeats in the movie. Here they all are, easily rebutted by Finn MacCool in Dec 2013. Research anyone?


[By Finn MacCool] You can read here the email Amanda Knox sent to Judge Nencini.

It is dated 15 December 2013 and was handed to Dr Nencini by Dr Ghirga, apparently to the disdain of both of them. It contains many statements which, if she were under oath, could be considered perjury.

One telling point is that she claims “I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid.”  Her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, was not so afraid and he did present himself at an earlier stage of the proceedings.

He made a spontaneous statement and the judge assured him that he should feel free to intervene and make further interventions whenever he wished. So far he hasn’t wished to - he preferred to head back to the Caribbean for his holiday.

But that event and that presence by Sollecito completely undermine the credibility of Knox’s claim that she feels afraid of the court proceedings. There would be nothing to stop her coming and going, at this stage, just as Sollecito did.

I have no doubt that my lawyers have explained and demonstrated the important facts of this case that prove my innocence and discredit the unjustified accusations of the prosecution and civil parties.

That’s what her lawyers were about to try to do. But instead they had to hand this email to the judge, showing their client’s complete contempt for the court process.

I seek not to supplant their work

She doesn’t want to supplant the work of her own lawyers? Most defendants don’t, nor do they feel the need to tell the court that using an archaic seventeenth-century grammatical construction (where modern English would have “I do not mean to…” or “I do not wish to”¦”)

Because I am not present to take part in [my own appeal], I feel compelled to share.

As Judge Nencini said, if anyone wants to talk to a court, come to court. Knox chose not to be present, which means that the word “because” is not a logical connector for why she feels compelled to share what she thinks. “Even though” would make more sense.

The Court has access to my previous declarations and I trust will review them…

The court has access to thousands of pages. Everybody trusts that courts will review the evidence before passing judgment ““ that’s how the legal process works.

I must repeat: I am innocent.

In fact she does not have to repeat that, which is simply a reiteration of her not guilty plea.

I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid.

The wording is reminiscent of a previous declaration, “I am very afraid of Patrik, the African boy who…” Also the court may remember the presence of her co-defendant, who made a brief presentation to the court (and was invited to intervene again at any time he saw fit) and who afterwards flew back to his extended vacation in the Dominican Republic. It is difficult to see what the defendants have to be afraid of from the court, except perhaps the truth.

I am afraid that the prosecution’s vehemence will leave an impression on you, that their smoke and mirrors will blind you.

The prosecution’s case has already been made; this was the opportunity for the defense to make their case. It is the court’s duty to consider the evidence without being overly swayed by the vehemence of lawyers from either side ““ they look at the facts, and pass judgment based on that, and this happens in literally millions of cases every year. (Cassazione alone reviews more than 80 thousand cases each year.)

This is not for lack of faith in your powers of discernment, but because the prosecution has succeeded before in convincing a perfectly sound court of concerned and discerning adults to convict innocent people ““ Raffaele and me.

The second half of the sentence contradicts the first. The writer is explicitly stating that she doubts that the court has sufficient powers of discernment to be able to see through the prosecution’s arguments. Her justification for saying this is simply that it has happened before, with a previous court.

I’ve attentively followed this process and gleaned the following facts…

This is a delusional statement. The writer is the defendant, who is the subject of the process, not an external observer to it. We can compare it with her statements following her arrest, in which she claimed still to be helping the police on an equal basis with them, despite being charged with the murder.

No physical evidence places me in Meredith’s bedroom, the scene of the crime…

The bedroom is where the murder took place, but the crime scene is much wider than that, and certainly encompasses the adjoining room where the burglary was faked, the bathroom where the killers cleaned up, and the corridor that connects those rooms. Knox’s blood, DNA, bare footprints are all found in those places. Within Meredith’s room itself, there is also a woman’s shoeprint that does not match the victim, and which Knox’s own lawyer was obliged to claim was caused by an unfortunate fold in the pillowcase.

Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence in the brutal scenario: handprints, footprints, shoe prints in Meredith’s blood, DNA in her purse, on her clothing, in her body.

The term “brutal scenario” makes no sense here, although she repeats it again a couple of lines later. Perhaps she means “crime scene” or “bedroom”. The only footprints found at the crime scene are those of Knox and Sollecito. A woman’s shoeprint in the room where the murder took place cannot be that of either Guede or the victim, and is most likely that of Knox.

The prosecution has failed to explain how I could have… been the one to fatally wound Meredith ““ without leaving any genetic trace of myself. That is because it is impossible.

Actually it is perfectly possible to do this ““ for example, simply by stabbing someone to death while wearing gloves. However, in this case the prosecution has in fact explained how several traces of Knox’s DNA have been found on the handle of the knife which had the victim’s DNA on the blade. That obviously fits a scenario in which Knox stabbed Meredith Kercher with that knife.

Either I was there, or I wasn’t.

The same thing applies to the appeal court. Either the defendants are there, or they are not. In this case, the defendant is not.

The analysis of the crime scene answers this question: I wasn’t there.

Knox’s footprints, blood and DNA, sometimes mixed with that of the victim, all place her at the crime scene, and so does her DNA on the handle of the murder weapon.

My interrogation was illegal and produced a false “confession” that demonstrated my non-knowledge of the crime.

“Non-knowledge” is a curious word. Knox’s witness interview was perfectly legal ““ it was only the unexpected confession from the witness that changed the status of that interview, so that its contents could no longer be used against her. But there is no question over its legality.

The subsequent memoriali, for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander…

This is an extraordinary aside. The defendant is here rejecting the legitimacy of the Italian Supreme Court, which has definitively found against her, and is also rejecting the findings of the Hellmann court that provisionally freed her, pending appeal. Every single court has found against her on this count.

. ...did not further accuse but rather recanted that false “confession”.

Let us reread some excerpts from this supposed recantation: “After dinner I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand… I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik… In these flashbacks I’m having, I see Patrik as the murderer…Why did I think of Patrik?... Is there any other evidence condemning Patrik or any other person?” This is not a recantation, and it does in fact contain further accusations of Patrick Lumumba while also seeking to throw suspicion both on Sollecito and an unnamed “other person”.

My behavior after the discovery of the murder indicates my innocence.

As dozens of witnesses have testified in a series of trials and appeals, Knox’s post-murder behavior indicated the exact opposite, which is why suspicion fell on her in the first place.

I did not flee Italy when I had the chance.

On page 71 of her memoir, Knox recounts the following exchange with Officer Ficarra, on the day after the murder was discovered: “My parents want me to go to Germany to stay with relatives for a couple of weeks. Is that okay?” She said, “You can’t leave Perugia. You’re an important part of the investigation.”

I stayed in Perugia and was at the police’s beck and call for over 50 hours in four days.

Chapter Ten of her memoir gives her own account of what she did on Monday, November 5th. She went to a nine o’clock grammar class, at which she refused to discuss the case with her fellow students; she spoke on the phone with her Aunt Dolly, admitting that she had not yet contacted the US embassy; she bumped into Patrick Lumumba where she refused to talk to BBC reporters; she spent the afternoon with Sollecito and then accompanied him to a friend’s house where she played the ukulele. Far from being at the police’s beck and call, she ignored their request that she stay home while they interview Sollecito separately, and turned up to the Questura regardless, although not before they had finished their evening meal.

The police coerced me into signing a false “confession””¦.

Her false accusation of Patrick Lumumba, for which she was convicted and has already served four years in prison, was not a confession and was not coerced.

. “¦one may be coerced into giving a false “confession” because of psychological torture”¦ This is a universal problem.

The US-based Innocence Project reports that there have been 244 exonerations since 2000, which is just over seventeen per year, which in turn means that currently in the USA, roughly 0.1% of cases are eventually overturned. Being wrongfully convicted might be devastating for the person concerned, but it is not a universal problem.

I did not carry around Raffaele’s kitchen knife.

The defendant has not been accused of carrying the knife around, but rather of stabbing Meredith Kercher to death with it. Forensic evidence supports that accusation, too.

I had no contact with Rudy Guede. Like many youth in Perugia, I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guede.

Very typical of Knox’s writing is this kind of self-contradiction, sometimes occurring within the same sentence, or as in this case, in consecutive sentences, seemingly with no self-awareness that any contradiction has even occurred.

If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics.

The prosecution is present in the court, having made its presentation in the usual way. The defense lawyers are about to do exactly the same thing. The only theatrics happening in the court at that moment is a bizarre email sent by one of the defendants, in lieu of attending her own appeal to her own murder conviction.

But because no evidence exists that proves my guilt, the prosecution would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements.

No further comments… [End Finn MacCool] 

5. Knox’s lies to Italy (#2) rebutted

The Italian weekly magazine Oggi is actually on trial for contempt of court for translating and republishing some of the numerous lies and defamations in Knox’s book Waiting To Be Heard.  This is the article with offending Knox quotes in bold, and below our own rebuttal. Research anyone?

Amanda Knox: The American girl’s sensational story

Chilling. No other adjectives come to mind after having read Waiting to be Heard, finally released in the United States. An extremely detailed and very serious charge against the police and magistrates who conducted the investigation into the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Immediately after the crime, Amanda recounts, and for entire days and nights, they had interrogated the American girl and placed her under pressure to make her confess to a non-existent truth, without officially investigating her, denying her the assistance of a lawyer, telling her lies, even prohibiting her from going to the bathroom and giving her smacks so as to make her sign a confession clearly extorted with something similar to torture.

And now the situation is very simple. There are only two choices: either Amanda is writing lies, and as a consequence the police officers and magistrates are going to have to sue her for defamation; or else she is telling the truth, and so they are going to have to go, not without being sanctioned by the CSM [the magistrates’ governing body] and the top brass of the Police. The third possibility, which is to pretend that nothing has happened, would be shameful for the credibility of our judicial system.

Amanda Knox has written her Waiting to be Heard memoir with the sense of revulsion and of relief of someone who has escaped by a hair’s breadth from a legal disaster, but has got her sums wrong. Cassation has decided that the [appeal] proceedings have to be redone and the hearings should be (re)commencing in October before the Florence Court of Appeal.

In a USA Today interview, Ms Knox has not excluded the possibility of “returning to Italy to face this battle too”, but it would be a suicidal decision: it’s likely that the appeal will result in a conviction, and the Seattle girl will end up in the black hole from which she has already spent 1,427 days.

In this way Waiting to be Heard risks being the “film” on which Amanda’s last words are recorded about the Mystery of Perugia, her definitive version.

We have read a review copy. And we were dumbfounded. Waiting to be Heard is a diary that has the frenetic pace of a thriller, written in a dry prose (behind the scenes is the hand of Linda Kulman, a journalist at the Huffington Post), even “promoted” by Michiko Kakutani, long-time literary critic at the New York Times.

The most interesting part does not concern the Raffaele Sollecito love story (which Amanda reduces it to puppy love: “With the feeling, in hindsight, I knew that he… that we were still immature, more in love with love than with each other”), and whoever goes looking for salacious details about the three Italian boys Amanda had casual sex with, one night stands, will be frustrated (Ms Knox describes those enounters with the nonchalance of an entomologist disappointed with his experiments: “We undressed, we had sex, I got dressed again with a sense of emptiness”).

There are no scoops about the night of the murder and even the many vicissitudes endured during the 34,248 hours spent in Capanne prison ““ the [claimed] sexual molestations suffered under two guards, the unexpected kiss planted by a bisexual cellmate, the threats made by another two prisoners ““ remain on the backdrop, like colourful notations.

Because what is striking and upsetting, in the book, is the minute descriptions, based on her own diaries, on the case documents and on a prodigious memory, of how Ms Knox had been incriminated (or “nailed”).

COME IN KAFKA. A Kafkian account in which the extraordinary naivety of Amanda (the word naïve, ingénue, is the one which recurs most often in the 457 pages of the book) mixes with the strepitous wickedness of the investigators decided on “following a cold and irrational trail because they had nothing better in hand”.

Devour the first 14 chapters and ask yourself: is it possible that the Police and Italian justice work with such incompetence, ferocity, and disdain for the truth? You place yourself in her situation and you scare yourself: If it happened to me? You’re in two minds: is it a likely accusation, or a squalid calumny, the version of Amanda?

Because in reading it you discover that in the four days following the discovery of Meredith Kercher’s body (on 2 November 2007), Amanda was interrogated continuously, and without the least of procedural guarantees [=due process].

She changes status from witness to suspect without being aware of it.” No one had told me my rights, no one had told me that I could remain silent”, she writes. When she asked if she had the right to a lawyer, the Public Prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, had responded like this: “No, no, that will only worsen things: it would mean that you don’t want to help us”. Thus, the Public Prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini.

For a long period of time, Ms Knox, who at the time spoke and understood hardly any Italian at all, mistook him for the Mayor of Perugia, come to the police station to help her.

Then, with the passage of time and of the pages, the assessment changes: Mignini is a prosecutor “with a bizarre past”, investigated for abuse of office (he was convicted at first instance, but Cassation annulled the verdict on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction: the case will be held in Torino ““ ndr) and with the hunger to fabricate “strange stories to solve his cases”.

Mignini “is a madman who considers his career more important than my liberty or the truth about the killing of Meredith”. On the phone, the Perugian prosecutor reacts with aplomb: “First I will read the book and then I will consider it. Certainly, if it really calls me “˜mad’ or worse, I think I will file suit”.

BEING IN PRISON IS LIKE CAMPING Amanda goes looking. When the officers mysteriously bring her along to the crime scene inspection of the apartment below the one in which she and Meredith were living in, Ms Knox put on the shoe protectors and the white forensics gloves and called out Ta-dah! spreading her arms “as if I was at the start of a musical: I wanted to appear helpful”.

When they dragged her in handcuffs into Capanne Prison, she believed what the Police would have told her, and that was they would hide her for a couple of days to protect her (from the true killer, one presumes) and for unspecified bureaucratic reasons. “In my head I was camping: “˜This won’t last more than a week in the mountains’, I told myself,” writes Amanda.

They take her money off her, and her credit cards, licence and passport, and she draws strength from repeating to herself that “surely they’re not going to give me a uniform, seeing that I’m a special case and that I’ll be here for only a little while”.

But it’s the account of the notorious interrogation that takes the breath away. Around ten in the evening on her last day of freedom, Ms Knox accompanies Raffaele to the police station (he was called in, also without a lawyer, by the Police) and is thrown into a nightmare which she populates with many faces: there is Officer Rita Ficcara, who gives her two cuffs on the head (“To help you remember,” she would say); there’s another officer who advises her: “If you don’t help us, you’ll end up in prison for 30 years”; Mignini arrives and advises her not to call a lawyer; super-policewoman Monica Napoleoni dives in and bluffs: “Sollecito has dropped your alibi: he says that on the night of the murder you had left his apartment and that you had told him to lie to “˜cover you’”.

And a crescendo of yelling and intimidations that lasts from 11 at night until 5.45 in the morning. Seven hours “produce” two confessions that, exactly because they are made without a defence lawyer, cannot be used in the proceedings, but forever after “stain” the image of the accused Knox: Amanda places herself at the scene of the crime and accuses Patrick Lumumba.

RAFFAELE CONFIRMS THE ACCUSATIONS An account of the horror is confirmed by Sollecito in his memoir, Honor Bound, Raffaele writes of having heard “the police yelling at Amanda and then the cries and sobs of my girl, who was yelling “˜Help!’ in Italian in the other room”, and of having being threatened in his turn (“If you try to get up and go, I’ll punch you till you’ll bleed and I’ll kill you. I’ll leave you in a pool of blood”, another officer had whispered to him).

Published lines which have passed right under the radar of the Perugian investigators: “No legal action [against the interrogators] has been notified to us,” Franco Sollecito, Raffaele’s dad, tell us. For having recounted the sourness of her interrogation in court, Amanda was investigated for calunnia: the trial will take place in Florence. This one, too, will be a circumstantial case: it’s the word of two young people against that of the public prosecutor and the police.

The recording of the interrogation would have unveiled which side the truth stands on. But it has gone missing.

Our own rebuttals:

  • Knox was NOT interrogated for days and nights. She was put under no pressure in her brief witness interviews except possibly by Sollecito who had just called their latest alibi “a pack of lies”.

  • Knox WAS officially investigated in depth, after she surprisingly “confessed” and placed herself and Patrick at the scene. Prior to that she’d been interviewed less than various others, who each had one consistent alibi.

  • Knox herself pushed to make all three statements without a lawyer on the night of 5-6 November 2007 in which she claimed she went out from Sollecito’s house, met Patrick, and witnessed him killing Meredith.

  • Far from Knox being denied a lawyer, discussions were stopped before the first statement and not resumed, in the later hearing she was formally warned she needed one; she signed a confirmation of this in front of witnesses.

  • Prosecutor Mignini who Knox accuses of telling her a lawyer would hurt her prospects when she claims she asked for one was not even in the police station at that interview; he was at home.

  • She was not prohibited from going to the bathroom. At trial, she testified she was treated well and was frequently offered refreshments. Her lawyers confirmed this was so.

  • She was not given smacks by anyone, though she did repeatedly smack her own head. Over a dozen witnesses testified that she was treated well, broke into a conniption spontaneously, and thereafter her talking was hard to stop.

  • There is no evidence whatsoever that Knox was subject to “something similar to torture” and as mentioned above only Sollecito applied any pressure, not any of the police.

  • There is nothing “suicidal” about returning to Italy to defend herself at the new appeal. Sollecito did. She risks an international arrest warrant and extradition if she doesn’t.

  • There is no proof except for her own claims of sexual molestations in prison; she is a known serial liar; and she stands out for an extreme willingness to talk and write about sex.

  • Many people have testified she was treated well in prison: her own lawyers, a member of parliament, and visitors from the US Embassy were among them; she herself wrote that it was okay.

  • She may have based her account on her diaries and “prodigious memory” but the obviously false accusation against the prosecutor suggests that much of the book was made up.

  • The investigators had a great deal of evidence against Knox in hand, not nothing, and they were not ever faulted for any action; they helped to put on a formidable case at trial in 2009.

  • “Police and Italian justice work with such incompetence, ferocity, and disdain for the truth” is contradicted by a very complete record prior to trial which was praised by the Supreme Court.

  • Mr Mignini has NO bizarre past at all. He is widely known to be careful and fair. He would not have been just promoted to first Deputy Prosecutor General of Umbria otherwise.

  • He was put on trial by a rogue prosecutor desperate to protect his own back from Mignini’s investigations; the Supreme Court has killed the trumped up case dead.

  • There was nothing “mysterious” about Knox being taken to the crime scene to see if any knives were gone, but her wailing panic when she saw the knives was really “mysterious”.

  • Knox never thought she was in prison for her own protection; she had signed an agreement at the 5:00 am interview confirming she did know why she was being held.

  • Monica Napoleoni did not “bluff” that Sollecito had just trashed their joint alibi; he actually did so, because his phone records incriminated him; he agreed to that in writing.

  • There was no crescendo of “yelling and intimidations that lasts from 11 at night until 5.45”. There were two relatively brief sessions. Knox did most of the talking, named seven possible perps, and drew maps.

  • There was zero legal requirement to record the recap/summary interview, no recording has “gone missing” and many officers present testified to a single “truth” about what happened.


6. Coming up In Our Next Posts

More of the same. Knox blowing smoke and our exposing her. Some of the same smoke she blew for Netflix. And also, our lies of omission seies.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Florence Courts Resent Mangling Of RS/AK Appeal By Cassation Now Have Ominous Ways To Re-Visit

Posted by Peter Quennell



Highrise Florence courts are just visible at left background


The Marasca/Bruno verdict setting RS and AK free has taken some hard knocks within the Italian legal community.

It is not lost on anyone that Sollecito defense lawyer Bongiorno was given special favors, including being allowed to argue unchallenged before the Fifth Chambers for some hours beyond the legal limit.

Or that the Fifth Chambers should never ever have received the appeal.

Or that the drafter, Bruno, was suffering seriously ill health at the time, and delivered a report which is largely legal nonsense.

Here Machiavelli and Catnip and most exhaustively James Raper explained many of Marasca’s and Bruno’s absurdities.

But the Florence courts are not done yet. They are still processing cases involving Knox, Sollecito, Sfarzo (a stage name, real name Sforza) and Aviello. They still sit on this potential bombshell of a case against Sollecito lawyer Maori, which explains how the Fifth Chambers acted illegally.

Other cases are also possible, and two involving Knox are still continuing in Bergamo.

Now Rudy Guede’s team of lawyers in Rome and Viterbo prison have filed an appeal against his own conviction. It is filed with the courts in Florence.

The team notes that judgments against Guede up to and including the Supreme Court’s First Chambers concluded that he had acted against Meredith only in collusion with others and not in isolation.

This could reopen the Marasca/Bruno outcome which argued that he DID act alone or at least not with RS and AK though there is massive evidence to the contrary. That judgment while final in the normal course of things cannot stand under Italian law if illegalities were entered into.

With more and more documentation being read widely, the case against Knox and Sollecito acting in collusion with Guede is coming to look as strong as it did throughout their trial in 2009.

That is the quite possible Florence outcome.

It is one that Guede might accept fairly calmly, as his fury at Sollecito is quite palpable, and he wants nothing more than to nail his fellow attacker.


Monday, May 02, 2016

Revenge “On” The Knox: Judges Bruno And Marasca Of The Supreme Court Strike Back

Posted by Chimera



Judge Bruno the drafter of the seriously bizarre Fifth Chambers report “Who, me?!!!”

1. Overview Of The Post

We have posted both multi-part analyses of the Amanda Knox book (extended 2015 edition) and also multi-part analyses of the 2015 Supreme Court verdict attempting to apply closure to the case.

Primarily because they both make so much up and leave so much out, both efforts appear to Italian lawyers and observers and our own team to have fallen far short.

Worse, as I demonstrate here, Knox and the Supreme Court were not even on the same page. They used different arguments which tend to cancel one another out.

In effect the report of Judges Bruno and Marasca late in 2015 pulled the rug out from under Knox’s book published a few months before.   

2. Arguments Of The Supreme Court

The final report from the 5th Chambers of Cassation was released in September 2015, several months late, with rumors swirling in Rome that it was proving a tough task. 

Our five critique series were put together by (1) the Perugia prosecution, (2) Machiavelli, (3) Catnip, (4) James Raper (the longest of those four), and (5) in draft by Olleosnep.

From James Raper critique Part 1

The Fifth Chambers argued as follows:

1.  The standard of “beyond any reasonable doubt” was not met due to insufficient and/or contradictory evidence - pursuant to Article 530, section 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.

2.  Multiple attackers upheld. Guede was guilty with others unknown.

3.  The break-in in Romanelli’s room was staged.

4.  Amanda Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but there is insufficient evidence that she played a participatory role.

5.  The DNA profile of Meredith Kercher on the knife and the DNA profile of Raffaele Sollecito on the bra clasp have “no probative or circumstantial relevance”

6.  “Motive is not irrelevant” and motive was not established.

7.  No selective cleaning.

8.  No purpose would be served in remanding the case back to the 1st instance court of appeal (as had occurred on appeal against acquittal)

From James Raper Critique Part 5

The Fifth Chambers argued as follows:

1.  Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but in a non-participatory role. Very probably (if this is not a held fact) she had scrubbed Meredith’s blood off her hands in the small bathroom.

2.  Sollecito was very probably there as well, but it cannot be known when.

3.  There was certainly an assailant (and perhaps more than one) in addition to Guede.

4.  There was a staging of the break-in in Filomena’s room.

While this seems (in a very tortuous way), to assert an “insufficient evidence” finding rather than an “innocence” finding, the findings of the 5th Chambers are now considered final, unless they are overturned.

That being said, these findings directly refute the bulk of Knox’s book “Waiting to be Heard”

3. Arguments of Amanda Knox

Our 12-part series taking apart the claims in Knox’s book can be found here.

(1) Chapter 5, 6: The Evening and Morning After Meredith Died

Knox Version (A): AK/RS were at his apartment, watching Amelie, smoking pot, reading Harry Potter and f***ing.  AK returned to her home late the next morning.

Knox Version (B): AK was in the kitchen while PL was murdering Meredith

Knox Version (C): AK was in the kitchen while PL was murdering Meredith, and RS was probably there

Knox Version (D): AK has no clue what was going on, and doesn’t remember anything.

Version (A) is the story AK told in her book and on television—though the details are flexible.  Versions (B), (C), and (D) are the 3 statements she made November 5th/6th.

However, the truth Bruno and Marasca think is closest to the truth (pun intended), is version (C), with Guede as the killer instead of PL.

Other courts: Pre-Trial Judge Micheli (October 2008), Trial Judge Massei (2009), Appeal Judge Nencini (2014) all found that Knox was not only involved, but that she personally killed Meredith.  Even if you accept the Cassation ruling that AK wasn’t actually involved, the final ruling did place her at the crime scene, and RS probably so.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(2) Chapters 7, 8, 9: The Ensuing Investigation

AK goes on and on in WTBH about how she was trying to help the police.  She complains about how she was subjected to repeated and very lengthy interviews.  However, she never shared any of the insider information she had about that night.  The police officers involved noted that she and RS seemed particularly unhelpful.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(3) Chapters 10, 11: The Knox Interrogation Hoax

AK goes on in great detail especially in Chapter 10 about how she was lured to the police station, and brutally interrogated.  In her December 2013 email to Judge Nencini, she refers to it as “torture”.

Interesting how she remembers it with such lurid detail.

  As AK points out, there is no recording or video
  All of the officers involved give “very” different accounts
  AK claims to be traumatized and have her memory go blank

AK’s performance was convincing enough to make Judge Claudia Matteini (November 2007) believe PL was the killer.  But since then ....

(a) the 3 judge panel headed by Judge Massimo Ricciarelli (November 2007);

(b) the 5 judge Cassation panel headed by Judge Torquato Gemelli (April 2008);

(c) pre-trial Judge Paolo Micheli (October 2008);

(d) trial jury headed by Judge Giancarlo Massei (December 2009);

(e) appellate jury headed by Hellmann/Zanetti (October 2011);

(f) Cassation panel headed by Judge Chieffi (March 2013);

(g) appellate jury headed by Judge Alessandro Nencini (January 2014);

(h) Cassation panel headed by Bruno/Marasca (March 2015)

.... have ALL ruled that AK framed PL, and that she did it willingly, and wasn’t tricked or coerced.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(4) The Afterword: Everything After Hellmann’s Ruling

AK triumphantly declares that Cassation (2015) found her and RS innocent.  But once again, AK releases her book prior to the Cassation report.  Idiot.

Se especially here.

AK does misrepresent far more than just the 2015 Cassation findings in the Afterword.  More on that later.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(5) Understanding the Bruno/Marasca Ruling

At a minimum, Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and the Afterword of “Waiting to be Heard” are complete bullshit.

Considering that these bogus claims are repeated throughout the book, it can reasonably be inferred that much of the rest is made up as well. 

This is not me talking.  This is referencing the Bruno/Marasca ruling, which as it stands, is final.

(6) Author’s Note

This is a lot of speculation on my part, (as Andrew Gumbel would say “hearsay and speculation abound”), but feel free to comment

The B/M report can be understood in one word: finality.  They don’t want any one else looking at it.

(A) B/M rule “insufficient evidence” rather than “innocent” hoping to placate the Italian public.

(B) B/M sabotage AK’s ECHR appeal chances, as they don’t want another court looking to carefully at it

(C) B/M ruling essentially says “just short of guilty” to stop AK/RS from crowing about their innocence.

(D) B/M ruling claims AK/RS lied and obstructed to ward off any potential wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.

(E) B/M do strongly imply AK/RS are guilty to try to give a “moral win” to the Kerchers.

(F) B/M appear to bend over backwards to acquit, trying to look “incompetent, at worst”, rather than corrupt.

(6) The problem is: Bruno and Marasca haven’t taken into account the personalities of everyone involved

(a) The Hellmann/Zanetti ruling (October 2011) stunk of corruption, so Italy would be immediately suspicious of anything remotely similar.

(b) AK’s ECHR appeal seems to warded off for now, but AK seems hell bent on going ahead anyway.

(c) AK/RS did start parading around again, and AK re-released her book

(d) RS and Papa Sollecito sued anyway.

(e) Far from giving a “moral win”, this ruling and the accompanying report just leave a bad taste.

(7) Bullshit in WTBH (Beyond Bruno/Marasca)

Chapter 1: Before Leaving Italy

Questions For Knox: Why The Huge Lie About Your ZERO Academic Intentions In Europe?

Chapter 2: Federico Martini (a.k.a. Cristiano)

US And UK Media Wrongly Attribute Italian Report Of Knox/Cocaine-Dealer Link To Trial Prosecutors

Multiple: Capanne Chapters

The Amanda Knox Book: Good Reporters Start To Surface Amanda Knox’s False Claims In Droves

Chapter 31-35: The Hellmann Appeal

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

4. Final Thoughts

I stand by my claim that WTBH is 90-95% bullshit.

Fair to say, Bruno and Marasca would likely agree.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #5

Posted by James Raper



Image is of busy Rome at night

The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

I conclude my critique of the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

The four previous posts can be read here and here and here and here. A full translation of the Marasca-Bruno Report can be read or downloaded here.

The Critique Part 5

So, let’s do a brief recap now

1. The Report starts with sensationalized general slurs on the competence and motives of the investigators and judges.

2.  Marasca and Bruno misunderstand the relevance of motive. Nencini was not in error. It is not relevant, or of less relevance, if the evidentiary framework of guilt is by itself sufficient to establish guilt. In such circumstances the normal formula is to attribute futile and trivial motives that require no further definition. Conversely motive does acquire importance, an element in itself, if that framework is insufficient.

3. Their section on TOD produces nothing that is relevant.

4.  Having failed to establish a convincing connection between “the primacy” of rules of evidence and a guarantee of the repeatability of DNA analysis, such that the latter is required by the former, or at least can be tolerated by it for some specific reason, they assert that the latter must prevail anyway. It requires numerous inconsistencies, a failure to follow the ground rules of evidence, and the illogicality of failing to follow their own argument, such as it is, to assert that Meredith’s DNA on the blade of the knife, and Sollecito’s DNA in a mixed sample from the bra clasp, have no probative or circumstantial value simply because they were not capable of repetition. That is simply a dogmatic assertion and one, as we shall see, that has no connection with the permitted grounds for appeal.

5.  As if the foregoing was not enough, and perhaps conscious of it, they bring up the matter of contamination again. Which would not be relevant if the foregoing were true. The contamination argument has long been shown to have no mileage in it. The cardboard box (from the police station) is a stupid reference and that there was pre-existing dirt on a latex glove mere speculation, without context.

6. The section on luminol hits and removal of blood traces is characterized by many misrepresentations and a chronic misunderstanding of the evidence and the inferences that can be drawn from it.

7.  On the simulated break-in, which they accept, they declare that they are then stymied in the necessary inference by the feeblest of anomalies.

8.  Now up to this point we have encountered few, if any, mistakes, inconsistencies and contradictions, of any significance, other than those that Marasca-Bruno are making, or making up, themselves. 


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Remember this?  -

“that fact finding is a task pertaining exclusively to the fact-finding judge, and not up to the Court of Legitimacy. The Supreme Court has to limit itself to whether the fact-finding judge’s reasoning is compatible with common sense and within the limits of an acceptable latitude (law cited) as well as compliant with the limits of evidence.”

In fact appeals to the Supreme Court can only be made under the precise circumstances provided for by the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.

These are governed by Article 606. Of the provisions in this Article, only section 1, para (e) is applicable, as follows -

“(e)  defect, contradictoriness or manifest illogicality of the judgement reasoning, when the error results from the text of the provisioning appealed, or from other documents in the proceedings specifically noted in the reasons of encumberment.”

Therefore, although fact finding is the preserve of the lower courts, the Supreme Court can enter into the merits of the judgement appealed against on this ground.

The question arises as to what constitutes a fact to which para (e) would not relate.

There are probably not many, for most facts determined would require an element of reasoning. For instance, to hold that a particular witness was reliable, or otherwise, would require explanation, that is, reasoning, and so on.

To be clear, “defect”, “contradictoriness” and “illogicality” all relate to the judgement reasoning.

For instance, a failure to take into account contradictory evidence in the judgement reasoning must obviously be included as a defect.

Another defect would, of course, be misapplication or misinterpretation of the law in the judgement reasoning, an error to which the 5th Chambers have already shown themselves prone.

I am not quite sure how “contradictoriness” in the judgement reasoning is to be construed, but I suspect that there would be contradictoriness in asserting something contrary to the weight of the evidence, or indeed in the absence of any evidence in support. Another case might be in making a point which is then undermined elsewhere in the reasoning

In any event a clear restriction on the Supreme Court entering into the merits of the judgement appealed against, apart from the foregoing, would appear to be that in the case of illogicality, that it has to be manifest.

However, no particular instance of manifest illogicality is likely, on it’s own, to invalidate a verdict, unless it amounts to a serious defect from which the reasoning, as a whole, on the verdict, cannot recover.

Effectively, there have to be numerous manifest illogicalities in the reasoning of the judgement appealed against, for this to happen. Under those circumstances one might actually describe the judgement as “perverse” at one end of the scale, and “unsafe” at the other. Setting aside a conviction for such reasons I would understand.  Usually, at least in the UK, an unsafe conviction would result in a re-trial if the prosecution requested it.

However even the Supreme Court has to motivate it’s decision making process, free from such defects. Clearly that has not been the case.

The banal peppering of the Report with references to “manifest illogicality” and “intrinsically contradictory”, and so on, may impress the undiscerning reader, but the repetition and context are, frankly, “manifestly” unconvincing to the discerning reader.

What we find, on analyzing the 5th Chambers’ motivation, is that when it enters into the merit, it does not do so in a balanced way, and without logical inconsistency on it’s own part, but simply by making dogmatic assertions on the merit. That is hardly extending an acceptable latitude to the fact-finding judge nor is it explaining why his reasoning is incompatible with common sense.

In particular, I do not see how one can make the assertion that the DNA on the knife and the bra clasp has no probative or circumstantial relevance, because the tests were not repeated, when this can scarcely be described as a product of the application of section 1 (e) of Article 606.


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Furthermore, one also has to consider the effect of Article 628. The 2nd paragraph states that -

“In any event a verdict issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand may be appealed only on the reasons that do not concern those that had already been decided by Cassation on the order of remand”¦.”

At the very least this should have served as a warning to the 5th Chambers.

The Chieffi ruling annulling Hellmann was not intended as a foray into the merit but it was a criticism of the procedural defects and reasoning methodology of the Hellmann court, which errors we can see repeated in the Marasca-Bruno Report.

The most obvious and most frequent error is the use of dogmatic assertion, the starkest example of the deployment of self-contained circular reasoning it is possible to have. Indeed, it does not warrant the description “reasoning”.

Another important error was the “atomizing” or “parceling out” of the circumstantial evidence in an attempt to exclude items prior to assessing it in an overall evaluation. This error underwrites the 5th Chambers’ approach to the case, manifestly in it’s use of dogmatic assertion to achieve the aim of eliminating or reducing the evidence.

Abstract hypothesizing on contamination is another.

The reprise of Hellmann’s reasoning as to the reliability of the witness Curatolo is another, and most objectionable, one.

Interestingly, the “validity” of the DNA testing was not an aspect raised by Galati and consequently not touched upon by Chieffi. The only conclusion has to be that the State (subsequently confirmed by Nencini) deemed the reliability of the results as perfectly safe.


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Article 530, Section 2 and Conclusions


I now turn to the matter of the sufficiency of the evidence.

There is no formula as such.

The evidence is sufficient if the bar of culpable beyond a reasonable doubt is met, insufficient if it is not.

The starting point is clearly the evidence itself, and then the inferences that are drawn logically from it.

As to the evidence and inferences, we are assisted by the fact, under the Italian system, that all verdicts, whether at trial or appeal stage, are required to be motivated in writing. 

The final motivation, prior to the 5th Chambers, is, of course, the Nencini report. It seemed to me that Nencini, despite a few flaws, did an excellent job in unifying the evidence in a global way, as is required of what is essentially circumstantial evidence, fully in accordance with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court on the matter, and with all the arrows pointing in the same direction and substantially corroborating each other. It left no reasonable doubt, in my humble submission, that the Florence court’s affirmation of the guilty verdicts was correct.

Now, we have already discussed the grounds on which an appeal can be made to the Supreme Court. The sufficiency of the evidence is not one of the stated grounds.That is a matter for the fact-finding judges of the lower courts. The 5th Chambers therefore knowingly exceeded their remit.

We also find, having gone through the Marasca-Bruno criticism of the Nencini Report, in some detail, that many, if not most, of these criticisms lack substance and lack logical consistency in their own right.

The overall effect has been to produce an improper, if not fraudulent, weighting (for want of a better word) on the matter of sufficiency, which should not have even been considered anyway.

In addition the result of the Report has been to produce an interesting scenario based on the following conclusions.

1.  Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but in a non-participatory role. Very probably (if this is not a held fact) she had scrubbed Meredith’s blood off her hands in the small bathroom.

2.  Sollecito was very probably there as well, but it cannot be known when.

3.  There was certainly an assailant (and perhaps more than one) in addition to Guede.

4.  There was a staging of the break-in in Filomena’s room.

As to Knox having blood on her hands (literally rather than metaphorically) there are inconsistencies to be derived from this because, according to the Report, this would have been as a result of contact with blood outside Meredith’s room. Why? Where is that blood? Such blood could, of course, have been there prior to it being removed. However, to affirm that would be to prejudice a number of assertions they have already made. More likely is that Knox had been in Meredith’s room, during or after the event and without, we would have to observe with some interest, leaving any trace of herself there. That would also be the logical explanation for her lamp being on the floor there.

Guede was not charged with, and hence was neither acquitted nor convicted of, the offence of staging, but in any event Marasca-Bruno did not attempt to attribute the staging to him. This leaves either Knox, an unknown person, or Sollecito. As to an unknown person it is manifestly difficult to see how he would be “a qualified person” for the purpose of the inference that only someone with an interest in removing suspicion from himself would do this. Knox and Sollecito qualify whether there is an anomaly or not.

As to who Guede’s unknown accomplices may have been, Marasca and Bruno are silent. This is not surprising as there was no forensic trace of them. There were, in fairness, unidentified genetic profiles, male and female, obtained from cigarette stubs taken from the ashtray in the lounge/kitchen, but as with the mixed genetic profile of Knox and Sollecito on one of these, they cannot be dated and therefore cannot be placed within the time frame for the murder. For all we know they could belong to Romanelli and her boyfriend Marco Zaroli, both of whom were at the cottage earlier on the day of the 1st Nov, with Knox and Sollecito.

More pertinently, however, is this scenario regarding Knox.  It is not one that her defence team, even in their wildest dreams, would have considered advancing on her behalf. She had, throughout the proceedings, maintained that she was not there, whether or not in a non-participatory role.

That is not surprising. The scenario we have is that Knox and perhaps Sollecito were at the cottage with Guede, and at least one other, and that Guede and this other saw fit to commit a horrendous murder in their presence, without encouragement nor opposition from either of them it would seem, but certainly in the knowledge that such action, even if it met with cowed submission from them in the first instance, would meet with the utmost reprobation, and then they leave, trusting to Knox and Sollecito not spilling the beans. That really is stretching credulity well beyond the bounds of breaking point. Even more so if there was no unknown accomplice.

Furthermore, and if that is nevertheless so, then Knox has had more than enough chances to put the record straight, particularly since her return to Seattle. She still has the opportunity to do so.

What we have, therefore, is a fact that neither the defence nor the prosecution has ever advanced in the entire history of the proceedings, and not one that any previous judge has drawn.

Now it may be something that can be justified by a fact-finding judge, on remand, and in the light of the Marasca-Bruno Report.  Not.  But it is surely beyond the remit of the 5th Chambers to hold that as a fact and without even permitting prosecution and defence submissions on it. That runs counter to the principle of natural justice, a violation inherent in the final appeal and in the decision not to permit a remand to a 1st instance court of appeal.

It would have been interesting to have seen the defence submissions.


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I said at the beginning that the Marasca-Bruno Report was a desperate attempt to bring home an incomprehensible verdict. It has been described elsewhere (by a reputable american reporter who had been present throughout the proceedings) as superficial and intellectually dishonest. It is not only that, it is a charade that sullies the good name of Italian justice.

A question to arise is what truly motivated the verdict? It seems to me that the only “glaring investigative omission” in the case, is this. However that is a murky world of connections and undue influence about which we can only speculate at this stage.

Had it been incompetence and had the five Supreme Court judges held up their hands and simply admitted that they had made a mistake, I might have had some sympathy for them. Instead they have persisted with a charade which is essentially corrupt.

By “corrupt” I mean that they have knowingly acted in bad faith. They cannot otherwise have been such simpletons. It is also abundantly obvious why they did not dare risk remanding the case to another appeal court.

As for Knox and Sollecito, sadly for them, they are anything but exonerated.


Friday, November 13, 2015

A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #4

Posted by James Raper



Image is of busy Rome at night

The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

I continue critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

The three previous posts can be read here and here and here. A full translation of the Marasca-Bruno Report can be read or downloaded here.

The Critique Part 4

The Simulated Break In

This is all too briefly treated by Marasca-Bruno (whom by now I am beginning to think of as Zaphod Beeblebrox from The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy) and by way of a sidetrack really.

They in fact affirm the circumstances of simulation without actually having the gumpf to explicitly say so.

They are more concerned to turn their attention to the inference that only a “qualified” person would have an interest in a simulation so as to remove suspicion from him/herself.

Marasca-Bruno are not interested in Guede.

They acknowledge that Knox and Sollecito are “qualified” persons”¦”¦”¦”¦

“Yet this element is also substantially equivocal, especially in the light of the fact that, when the postal police arrived it was”¦.Sollecito - whose trial position is inextricably bound to Knox’s - who pointed out the anomaly to the police officers, that nothing had been stolen from Romanelli’s room.”

And that’s it? The smoking gun, the bull in the appellants’ china shop, brushed aside - because of an anomaly? Pathetic.

It was staged but sadly not staged to perfection, by way of something actually being stolen. A stager, knowing this, would not countenance revealing this information to the police, although it may have been an inadvertent slip due to Sollecito being an idiot.

An inadvertent slip aside, he would have no reason to mention that nothing had been stolen, unless he was as aware as others were that the staging had it’s flaws in other respects as well, in which case he could have thought that his comment had the appearance (Marasca and Bruno fall for it) of innocence.

And how did he know that nothing had been stolen - which only subsequently turned out to be true when Filomena checked the contents of her room-  unless he was involved in the staging?

Even if one accepts the anomaly and extremely dubious reasoning above, it only applies to Sollecito. There is nothing equivocal about the logical inference applying to Knox. That is so despite the illogical connection in asserting that their trial positions are inextricably linked.

Is Knox a ventriloquist and Sollecito her dummy?

Curatolo & Quintavalle

“Nevertheless, the presence of intrinsic contradiction and poor reliability of witnesses [ ed: ie the above named] do not allow unreserved credit to be attributed to (their) respective versions, to the extent of proving with reasonable certainty the failure, and therefore the falsity, of the accused’s alibi, who insisted she stayed in her boyfriend’s home from late afternoon on the 1st November until the following morning.”

Here Marasca-Bruno effectively reprise the reasoning of Hellmann.

Curatolo was a tramp, a drug addict and pusher, and a prosecution witness stooge. The same evening he had seen Knox and Sollecito together in Piazza Grimana (1st Nov) he had seen revellers wearing Halloween masks, and the special buses to take them to discos and nightclubs, referenced by the witness, were not running that night.

Marasca -Bruno overlook the improbability that Curatolo could have seen the two together on Halloween, given that it was established as a trial fact that on that evening Sollecito was attending a friend’s anniversary dinner outside Perugia, and Knox was meeting up with her friend Spiros.

Perugia is a student town. There are numerous discos and nightclubs catering to this market. The defence did produce nightclub owners testifying to their clubs not being open the day after Halloween, and shuttle bus operators testifying that they were not running special buses to them, though these witnesses did not exclude the possibility that other nightclubs had some, or that other buses could have been hired for a private party.

There were indeed still a good few discos and nightclubs open (these can be listed if required), with a normal bus service for Perugia as well. Guede, himself, was seen dancing at the Domus hours after the murder.

[ Halloween is a relatively new festivity in Italy. All Saints Day (Nov 1st) and All Souls Day (Nov 2nd ) are holidays in Italy.]

“This contradicts the balanced assessment - but always in a context of uncertainty and ambiguity - of the witness referring (regarding the context of when he saw the two accused together) to the day before he saw (in the afternoon) unusual movements of police and Carabinieri and, in particular, men wearing white overalls and headgear (they looked almost like aliens) enter the house on via della Pergola.”

As regards Quintavalle, Marasca-Bruno are brief and equally dismissive. This is all they have to say -

“Quintavalle - apart from the lateness of his statements, initially reticent and generic - offered no contribution to certainty, not even as to the product bought by the young woman he noted on the morning after the murder, when his shop opened. The fact he recognized Knox is worthless as her image had appeared in every newspaper and television news broadcast.”

There was no evidence that the young woman had bought, or had tried to buy, a product.

No, his identification testimony was not worthless on that account. If it was worthless for that reason then a lot of ID witness testimony would go by the board in today’s world of rapid 24 by 7 news coverage.

Quintavalle was able to describe the clothes that the young woman was wearing, which description, blue jeans, grey jacket and scarf, was a match for the articles of clothing that the crime scene investigators had photographed scattered on the top of Knox’s bed at the cottage and which had immediately became material evidence along with everything else.

Since Knox was wearing different clothes, including a long white skirt, when she and Sollecito were photographed outside of the cottage by the press, it is difficult to gauge how Quintavalle might have been influenced in his description.

Raffaele Sollecito At House

“In Sollecito’s case too the evidentiary frame work which emerges from the judgement under appeal is marked by inherent and irreducible contradiction”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦However, the strong suspicion remains that he was present in the house on via della Pergola on the night of the murder, albeit it has not been possible to determine when. On the other hand, if Knox’s presence in the home was certain, it would hardly be credible that he was not with her.”

And More On Other Matters

Marasca-Bruno return to the question of the knife again despite the fact that they have excluded it as having any “probative value or circumstantial relevance”.

This is an inconsistent element in their own reasoning, such as their reasoning is.

They remind us that no trace of blood was found on it, and assert that it was a questionable choice to go for a DNA test rather than establish the nature of the biological trace.

“An extremely questionable option, given that the finding of blood traces, coming from Kercher, would have given the trial an element of strong evidentiary value, showing for certain that the weapon had been used to commit the murder.”

One begins to wonder whether they are mentally fatigued at this point. But no, that can’t be it. They have had over 130 days to write 34 pages of reasons, and that wouldn”˜t be particularly taxing, provided that there had been reasons for the verdict in the first place, and that they had remembered them.

They are waffling, padding and turning to risible argument. Particularly given that they should know exactly why Dr Stefanoni had only one sensible option available to her. They had even referred to this in the preceding paragraph.

Even if it had been blood in sample 36b then, without establishing whose blood it was, the knowledge that it was blood would be totally useless as a piece of evidence, as the blood could have come from anywhere, at anytime.

“What is certain is that no traces of blood were found on the knife. Lack of which cannot be traced to meticulous cleaning. As noted by the defence, the knife showed traces of starch, a sign of ordinary domestic use and of cleaning that was anything but meticulous. Not only this, but starch is famous as a substance with a high absorbance rate, thus it is highly likely that, in the event of a stabbing, it would have retained blood traces.”

As we come towards the end of their reasoning the dogmatic assertions start to pop up thick and fast out of nowhere.

Why can lack of blood traces not be connected to meticulous cleaning? Isn’t that, by definition, what meticulous cleaning does?  Was there any expert evidence to the contrary? How can Maresca and Bruno be so sure that their version of common sense is shared universally?

Yes, starch does absorb liquids. However, how do they know that the starch was there on the knife at the time of the murder? It is not improbable that having cleaned the knife it was used again for ordinary domestic use. The starch could also have got there as a consequence of the investigators handling it with latex gloves, which contain traces of starch, and this was pointed out at the Hellmann appeal.

“Finally, the footprints found at the murder scene can in no way be traced to the appellant.”

Another dogmatic assertion. They are, I should point out talking about Sollecito at this point, not Knox.

The bloody footprint on the bathmat and a luminol enhanced footprint in the corridor were useful for negative comparison purposes and both were attributed by the prosecution experts to Raffaele Sollecito because of points of comparison with his foot and because neither had similar points of comparison with Knox and Guede.

Their evidence was disputed by a defence expert witness.

Massei and Nencini agreed with the prosecution experts, Hellmann did not.

However, remember the bit about fact-finding being for the fact-finding judge and not the Court of Legitimacy?

Not only do Marasca-Bruno break the rules at to their remit but they do not even give reasons for their assertion.

“The computers of Amanda Knox and Kercher, which might have been useful to the investigation were, incredibly, burned by the careless actions of the investigators.”

Another unjustified and dogmatic assertion. 

Four computers were found to have sustained damage - probably an electrical burn-out - but it is not in evidence that they were damaged by the investigators.

Indeed, I do not recall any trial evidence that they were working before they were recovered by the investigators. Certainly Sollecito’s Asus was not. That had been damaged for months. Filomena’s computer was found to have been already damaged when it was switched on in her presence at the police station.

It may be the case that Knox, somewhere in her testimony, asserted that her computer was in working order when she last used it, or something like that. But then she would say that, wouldn’t she?

Of all the computers that had problems, the data was ultimately recovered from all but Knox’s Toshiba.

And realistically, what potential information relevant to the investigation did Marasca-Bruno think could be found? Photos of Knox together with Meredith? If there were such photographs, had they been deleted from the camera?

Knox communicated with her family at home by means of an internet café because it had skype available.

E-mail communication is recoverable whether or not the user’s computer is broken.

Marasca-Bruno also opine that in respect of their alibis, what we are talking about is a failed alibi rather than a false alibi. Is this a necessary and relevant distinction?

They both maintained, for trial purposes, that they had been together at Sollecito’s flat from about 9 pm onwards on the 1st November, that both had slept and that Knox had been the first to rise at about 10.30 am the next morning. Of course, Sollecito had contradicted this in his statement to the police. He said that Knox had gone out and not returned until 1 am. However this was not admissible as trial evidence.

In relation to the crucial period of time in which TOD is ascertained to have occurred there is no independent corroboration of their alibi. In that sense it is a failed alibi.

However the reliability of their alibi can certainly be assessed from the trial evidence. Sollecito’s phone was switched on at 6.03 am and earlier heavy music had been played on his computer for half an hour at 5.30 am, on the 2nd November. That manifestly contradicts the alibi. In short the pair were lying when they said that they had slept and that neither had risen until 10.30 am.  Accordingly, it is a reasonable inference that their alibi is not to be trusted.

There is, in addition, the evidence of Curatolo and Quintavalle.

What In Part Marasca-Bruno Left Out

Finally Marasca and Bruno declare that -

“The panorama of the declared evidence is complete.”

Except that this is not true.

They have not for example mentioned the following, which are certainly part of the declared evidence, and which certainly have to be taken into account if we are to consider the sufficiency of the evidence -

1. The presence of Knox’s table lamp on the floor in Meredith’s room.

2.  The police photograph of Knox’s throat and the statement of Laura Mezetti that what is seen in the photograph, as she had noticed at the Police Station, is a scratch.

3.  Knox’s dried and congealed blood on the tap in the small bathroom next to Meredith’s room.

4.  Knox’s e-mail to the world with it’s implausible aspects and which exposes crucial contradictions in the respective accounts of the appellants.

5.  The phone records which expose a suspicious pattern of behaviour on their part and which show that the cell phones of both the appellants had been switched off, or rendered inoperative, between 8.42 pm on the 1st November and 6.03 am on the 2nd November.

6. The luminol enhanced mixed DNA trace for Knox and Meredith on the floor in Filomena’s room, certainly requiring an explanation.

***

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #3

Posted by James Raper



Image is of busy Rome at night

The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

I continue critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

My first post can be read here and the second read here.  A full translation of the Report can be read here.

Traces in the Murder Room, the Small Bathroom and the Corridor

A selection of quotes from the Report -

“Total absence of biological traces attributable with certainty to the two defendants in the murder room.”

“An insurmountable monolithic barrier on the path taken by the fact finding judge.”

Selective cleaning - “an hypothesis that is patently illogical”

“Selective cleaning not capable of escaping detection by luminol is, for sure, impossible”

It follows, of course, that if the knife and bra clasp have no probative or circumstantial value (effectively rendered inadmissible as far as the incriminating traces on them are concerned) then there are no biological traces attributable to Knox and Sollecito in Meredith’s room. However it is an exaggeration to present this as an insurmountable monolithic barrier to the fact finding path.

Marasca-Bruno misrepresent and trivialise what was undoubtedly a manipulation of the crime scene (i.e the cottage) by the removal of traces of blood, and in this limited sense “selective”, by insisting on using the word “selective” across the board, and in the main to refer to removal of DNA, in both a derogatory and confusing manner and to sidestep the real issue.

The removal of traces of blood, whether selective or not, is not capable of escaping detection by luminol, as they appear to explicitly acknowledge.

Therefore the comment that “selective cleaning” is an hypothesis that is patently illogical is patently deceitful and unworthy of their station as Supreme Court judges.

Having just done a bit of misrepresenting themselves Mascara-Bruno then claim to have unearthed “an obvious misrepresentation of evidence” - presumably by judges previously involved in the case. They say that the SAL had excluded (because of the TMB test) that the luminol enhanced traces were of an haematic nature.

This, of course, is a manifest misrepresentation. TMB is a specific presumptive test for blood. However, that the TMB testing was negative (no result) does not exclude that the traces were haematic in nature, even if the presumption must be that they were not.

They then criticise Nencini -

“Not only that, but it is patently illogical, in this context, the reasoning of the fact finding judge, who reckons being able to overcome the defensive objection that the luminescent bluish reaction generated by luminol can be produced by substances different from blood (for instance leftovers of cleaning detergents, fruit juice and many others), by arguing that the reasoning, while theoretically correct, has however to be contextualised, meaning that if the fluorescence occurs at a place where a murder occurred, the reaction cannot but be connected with haematic traces.

The weakness of the argument is such, already at first sight, that it does not require any confutation, since to reason in that way one should also surmise that the house on via della Pergola was never the object of cleanings nor was a lived in location.

This observation hence allows us to categorically exclude that those traces were made of blood and wilfully removed in that circumstance.”

Oh dear. What is this Court of Legitimacy doing?  Cherry picking, misrepresenting the evidence, entering into a discussion of the merits in line with desperate defence submissions, and drawing conclusions on that basis, that’s what.

I have refrained so far from bringing under discussion glaring omissions of evidence for the reason that I am responding to argument.

However it’s time for the gloves to come off because the above is simply unacceptable.

Reading through this report one gets the impression that Marasca-Bruno think it is sufficient that they are only responding to the Nencini Report and that it is sufficient to pick holes here and there, as if they were marking a student”˜s exam paper, and with the defence submissions as a model answer. That is manifestly inappropriate, even for a Court of Legitimacy.

So here are other reasons to support Nencini”˜s contextualising.

1.  If the luminol fluorescence was due to non-haematic substances such as bleach, fruit juice etc ( due to the fact that the cottage was lived in) then it is remarkable indeed, since the investigators could not see what they were looking for, and therefore where to spray, and therefore sprayed everywhere in the corridor and elsewhere (but not in Meredith’s room, it seems), that fluorescent patches did not appear in smears all over the place but instead were limited to and grouped in specific places, and in a specific way, that is, in the shape of footprints.

2.  There were 4 obvious bare footprints located by the luminol and 3 of these were of a shape and size attributable to a woman - compatible with Knox in fact. One was in Knox’s bedroom, the other two in the corridor, that is, between Knox”˜s room and Meredith”˜s room. The two in the corridor contained Meredith’s DNA.  It is not possible to obtain DNA from bleach or fruit juice etc.

3. The 4th was compatible with Sollecito and the bloody print on the bathmat in the small bathroom.

4. The luminol hits took place on the 18th December whereas the murder occurred on the 1st Nov. The hypochlorite in bleach responsible for luminol emitting light evaporates naturally after just a few days and therefore bleach as a source for the fluorescence can be excluded.

5.  If the fluorescence was due to the peradoxise in fruit juice or other vegetable matter then there should at least be some rational explanation as to why Knox had such substances on the sole of her foot, and why does the peradoxise not show up where she had not stepped in it? What would be the source for these substances and how would they have got there? No explanation has ever been advanced.

6.  As already mentioned the TMB tests on the luminol hits do not categorically exclude blood. Indeed TMB applied after luminol is less likely to bring up a positive result because the chemical reaction for both applications is the same, and luminol is far more sensitive than TMB. That was made clear by, amongst others, Dr Gino who was in fact an expert witness for the defence.

All in all, given the considerable quantity of blood in Meredith’s room, and the fact that it had certainly been tracked outside of her room, visually obvious in the small bathroom, Nencini’s “contextualizing” is not at all illogical. It is plain common sense.

Indeed relevant observations here - before I leave the topic - are that there were no visible connecting bloody footprints between Meredith’s room and the bloody footprint on the bathmat in the small bathroom, and whilst there was blood on the inside handle of her door, there was none on the outside handle, although the door was closed and locked.

When discussing the relative merit of presumptions arising from the luminol and TMB tests, context and the trial evidence are everything. If Marasca-Bruno are relying on some other source of information, then they should - if they are acting in good faith - have disclosed this.

I will leave the last word on this to Nencini, who opined that the defence attempts to argue that the luminol hits were the consequence of a non-haematic source were “from an objective point of view a remarkable exercise in dialectical sophistry rather than trial evidence on which any judge might base reasoning that would be beyond criticism.”

The Selective Search for Other Logical Inconsistencies

“Another big logical inconsistency” is the explanation for why Meredith’s cell phones were removed; if to prevent them ringing, then the goal could have been achieved by switching them off or removing the battery.

OK, point taken, but if that goal could have been achieved simply by switching them off or removing the battery, then why take them with them? The answer, if the perpetrators were thinking straight, would be that in switching them off or removing the battery, the perpetrator could have left his fingerprints on them.  So they would have had to take them anyway. So why bother with the manipulation? A logical inconsistency?

Marasca-Bruno return to the Prosecution’s argument on motive at the Nencini appeal. We can recall that Crini had suggested that there could possibly have been an argument between Meredith and Knox over Guede’s use of the large bathroom. M-B say that the reason for a quarrel could certainly not have been this, as such an incident is not referred to in Guede’s evidence.

Marasca-Bruno argue that the hypothesis of the theft of the money and credit cards that Meredith would have blamed Knox for is illogical and contradictory, given that Knox (and Sollecito) were acquitted of the charge.

OK, but Nencini was not seeking to re-convict them. The hypothesis was based on trial facts and has a high degree of probability even if it did not reach the bar of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Meredith’s credit cards and rent money were never recovered.  He was simply looking for a plausible reason for a quarrel - on the basis of what Meredith would have thought ““ whether or not Knox was the responsible party. Nothing illogical or contradictory in that.

Marasca-Bruno maintain that it is arbitrary to argue, just because Knox and Sollecito were at Sollecito’s flat viewing a movie, taking light drugs and having sex, that they were later at the cottage for a reason which included a sexual motive and destabilized by drugs.

Marasca-Bruno maintain that there was another investigative omission in the failure to analyze the content of the cigarette stubs (presumably for drugs?) or to ascertain the biological nature of the trace, but just to go for a DNA test, on the basis that such tests would render the sample unusable.

OK, but I am not sure that was the basis for not conducting the further tests. Establishing whether or not Knox and Sollecito had smoked a reefer, or a cigarette whilst under the influence of drugs, at the cottage, at some time, is really not that important. The biological nature of the trace was obviously saliva whether or not it contained drugs.

“And all this was done with the brilliant result of delivering to the trial a totally irrelevant piece of information”  “¦”¦[given that the cottage was where Knox lived and where Sollecito “hung out”.]

Irrelevant as it turned out, I agree. It seems a bit harsh to criticise the DNA test though. I am sure that M-B would have been ecstatic if the mixed trace had turned out to be Guede and an unknown, rather than Knox and Sollecito. And wasn’t the trace postulated as a source for contamination of the bra clasp?

A Few General Remarks

Get a load of this -

“It is, surely, undeniable the interpretative effort displayed by the fact finding judge in order to remedy the unbridgeable investigative gaps and the significant shortfalls of evidence with shrewd speculations and suggestive logical arguments, even if merely assertive and apodictic.”

As we are discovering, “shrewd speculations and suggestive logical arguments, even if merely assertive and apodictic” is exactly what Marasca-Bruno are up to.

What investigative gaps and significant shortfalls of evidence are they talking about? Have we come across any yet? Anyway I will come to discuss this and other matters raised by the Report when I discuss the sufficiency of the evidence at the end of this critique.

Marasca-Bruno then assert (to paraphrase) that fact finding is a task pertaining exclusively to the fact-finding judge, and not up to the Court of Legitimacy. The Supreme Court has to limit itself to whether the fact-finding judge’s reasoning is compatible with common sense and within the limits of an acceptable latitude (law cited) as well as compliant with the limits of evidence.

That’s right. Remember that.

“Faced with missing, insufficient or contradictory evidence, the judge should simply accept it and issue a verdict of acquittal, according to Article 530, section 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure, even if he is really convinced of the guilt of the defendant.”

Note the surprising inclusion of “missing” evidence, although M-B have merely been speculating wistfully about that and, for obvious reasons, it is not referenced in the wording of Article 530.

Marasca-Bruno then spend far more words than is necessary on Nencini’s mistake of referring to Sollecito’s DNA being found on the knife blade.

There is then a bit of sense but a lot of pompous waffle about the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard.

“It is certainly useful to remember that, taking for granted that the murder occurred in via della Pergola, the alleged presence at the house of the defendants cannot, in itself, be considered as proof of guilt”

This is the precursor for what comes a bit later.

Marasca-Bruno note that there is a difference between “passive behaviour” and “positive participation”.

“It is indisputedly impossible that traces attributable to the appellants would not have been found at the crime scene [ed: by which they mean “the murder room”] had they taken part in Kercher’s murder.”

This is not a remark but a dogmatic assertion which is patently unconvincing. Had Knox and Sollecito been -

    (a) egging Guede on to a sexual assault
    (b) exhorting him to finish her off
    (c) whether with his own knife or one that was handed to him,

then it is improbable in the aforesaid scenarios under (a),(b) and (c) that they would have left traces, but in the event of any one of the aforesaid (a),(b), and (c) they would be participating positively in the commission of the crime, and hence as guilty as Guede.

So, the assertion is not just dogmatic but manifestly illogical.

The Presence of Amanda Knox

“With this premise, with regards to Amanda Knox’s position, it can now be observed that her presence in the house at the scene of the crime is considered an established fact from the trial, in accord with her own admissions”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦.on this point the reliability of the judge a quo is certainly to be subscribed to.”

Developing this affirmation, Marasca-Bruno hold that she was there at the time of the murder but in a different room.

“Another element regarding her (presence) is represented by traces of mixed DNA, her’s and the victim’s, in the small bathroom; an eloquent confirmation that she had come into contact with the latter’s blood, while the biological traces belonging to her are a result of epithelial rubbing.”

Also:

“Nevertheless, even if attribution is certain, the trial element would not be unequivocal as a demonstration of posthumous contact with the blood in circumstances where she would be attempting to remove the most blatant traces of what had happened, perhaps to help someone or deflect suspicion from herself, and thus entailing her certain direct involvement in the murder”¦”¦.her contact with the victim’s blood would have occurred after the crime and in another part of the house.”

I will comment on this later.

As regards the false accusation against Patrick Lumumba - 

“It is not understood what pushed the young American to make this serious accusation. The hypothesis that she did so to escape the psychological pressure of the investigators appears extremely fragile”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦.nevertheless the calumny in question also represents circumstantial evidence against her in so much as it could be considered as an initiative to cover for Guede, against whom she would have had an interest to protect herself due to retaliatory accusations against her. All is underpinned by the fact that Lumumba, like Guede, is black, hence the reliable reference to the former, in case the other was seen by someone, coming into or going out of the flat”

Yes, indeed, but despite a clear run in to the try line M-B still manage to drop the ball. Nencini had no doubt that it was not just an initiative to cover for Guede, but also an opportunity to deflect the investigators from ascertaining her active participation in the murder. Lumumba, after all, would not be able to provide the investigators with any information on that score, or indeed about any others that might have been involved. M-B fail to mention that.

***

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Saturday, November 07, 2015

A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #2

Posted by James Raper



Image is of busy Rome at night

The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

I continue critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

My first post can be read here. A full translation of the Report can be read here.

Time of Death

“Another judicial error is the finding that the establishment of Kercher’s exact time of death was irrelevant, in the belief that the approximate timing offered by the expert investigators was sufficient, for all that this may have been correct at the trial stage”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦.time of death is an unavoidable factual pre-requisite for the verification of the defendants”˜ alibis.”

Once again, this is to entirely misrepresent Nencini.  He did not say that the TOD was irrelevant, and as for an exact TOD this would be impossible, even if the temperature of the body had been taken by the pathologist as soon as he arrived at the scene of the crime, which I am sure any intelligent and informed observer would understand. That would have narrowed the time frame very probably, but it was not a “judicial error”.

We could go on and delve into the evidence, particularly the expert and other evidence which became available over time and which conditioned Nencini’s observations, but Marasca-Bruno do not, instead resorting to a banal statement that does not take account of any of the foregoing.

“Deplorable carelessness in the preliminary investigative phase”¦”¦[ ed: not taking body temperature, yes, but other forensic considerations had to apply as well]”¦....a banal arithmetic mean between a possible earliest time and a possible latest time (from around 6.50 pm on the 1st Nov to 4.50 am of the following day), thus fixing the time at about 11 -11.30pm”

At the time of the Massei trial the pathologist, Dr Lalli had concluded that death may have occurred between 8 pm on the 1st Nov and 4.00 am the next day. This was based on calculating temperature decrease in the cadaver, taking the Henssge nomogram into account, rigor mortis, hypostatic marks etc. The Henssge nomogram also allows one to calculate back a specific number of hours from the time of first measurement and this permitted an intermediate valuation of about 11 pm. It was not simply an arithmetic mean.

But in any event, the decision not to take the body temperature but rather preserve the scene for forensics for about 11 hours had no detrimental impact upon the defendants’ alibis. It is accepted that Meredith was certainly alive at 9 pm on the 1st Nov and there is nothing to corroborate an alibi for the accused from 9.15 pm onwards on the 1st Nov until 5. 30 am the following day.  Body temperature taken, and rigor mortis observed, earlier, would not have been able to narrow TOD down to a period of 15 minutes ( 9 to 9.15 pm), and hence prior to the last temporal reference point for a credible alibi, the interaction on Sollecito’s computer, or anything like that.

On The Scientific Evidence

Marasca-Bruno observe that there is a debate to be had here as to -

“The legal value attributable to scientific evidence, with particular reference to the genetic investigations, acquired in violation of the rules established by international protocols.”

The terms of the debate therefore define it”˜s conclusion.

There are, they say, two theories which have to be balanced -

(1) “that which puts an increasing amount of weight on the contribution of science, even if not validated by the scientific community,” 

and

(2)  “that which insists on the primacy of law and postulates that, in deference to the rules of criminal procedure, only those scientific experiments validated according to commonly accepted methodological canons may be allowed to enter.”

No cigars for guessing which self- formulated option they prefer. It is, of course, (2), but still they have already both begged and loaded the question with their insistence on “validation” (which in this context means repeating the scientific test to obtain the same result) according to “international protocols”

Then, to disguise that selection, we have this -

“The court concedes that this delicate problem”¦..must find a solution in the general rules that inform our legal system”¦.and not”¦.in an abstract insistence on the primacy of science over law or vice versa”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦. Scientific proof cannot, in fact, aspire to an unconditional credit of self-referential trustworthiness in the trial setting, by the very fact that a criminal trial renounces all notion of legal proof.”

Marasca-Bruno would not be so stupid as to insist that science has primacy over law in a trial setting.  Would they? The law, having primacy, must find the means to accommodate the maxims of science, but within the general rules that inform the legal system.

They continue -

“The reference co-ordinates will have to be those attaching to the principle of cross examination and to the judge’s control over the process of formation of evidence, which must respect preordained guarantees, the observance of which must strictly govern the judgement of the relevant results’ reliability.”

Interesting. “Cross-examination”? Perhaps they are reminded of the decisive inadmissibility of the previously discussed section of Guede’s letter. Can the DNA traces on the knife and the bra clasp fall into the same category? Can “validity according to international protocols” be a preordained guarantee, in the same manner as the rights of an accused not to be incriminated by a witness who refuses cross-examination is guaranteed by Article 526 of the ICCP?

If so, then some compelling reason will have to be advanced - abiding by the rules of evidence that inform the legal system. They cannot refer to an Article on the point in the ICCP. There is none, and if there were, and if it stated that the repeatability of a scientific test was a guarantee for the test to be reliable and/or admissible, then sample 36b from the knife would not even have made it into the trial. And this is not the fault of the ICCP. There is no other body of law in the world that I am aware of that embodies any such guarantee, even for Low Copy DNA. And the reason for that, in part, is that there is no internationally recognized protocol, and precisely because there is no agreement in the scientific community as to this as yet.

Marasca-Bruno tend to treat “reliability” and “admissibility” as interchangeable concepts, and indeed, given the manner in which they consider these concepts, in the context of the topic under discussion, there is some logic to this, for surely if a piece of evidence is pre-ordained as unreliable then it must be inadmissible as well.

There then follows a lot more pompous waffle that need not detain us, other than to comment that none of this advances, and indeed does not even consider, any compelling reason for regarding repeatability as a pre-ordained guarantee from the point of view of admissible, or reliable, evidence.

Indeed, the ICCP does specifically take into account non-repeatable tests for we can find in Article 360 that provided the conditions therein are complied with then the results of non-repeatable technical tests are admissible.

Why the insistence on repeatability despite Article 360?

Does the testimony of an eye witness to a crime have to be corroborated by a video of the incident, or other eye witness testimony, before his testimony can be considered reliable and admissible?

Why is the result of a scientific test, conducted in accordance with a method which has already been repeatedly used in the scientific community to establish the validity of the method, be treated any differently?

The eye witness, of course, does not have a video of the incident by which to check his memory, whereas a biological trace may well be sufficient to allow for repeated tests. However in such cases, if there is no repeat, the result is not automatically ruled unreliable or invalid. It is for the defence to request a repeat and if they do not, then it does not happen.

There would, of course, be a capacity for repeat, which Low Copy Number might not have, but if repeats do not occur when the capacity exists, then this is because the result is unambiguous, as the results were, for the judge a quo, in the case of Meredith’s profile on the knife and Sollecito’s profile on the bra clasp.

However, Marasca-Bruno move on to declare that they do not share Nencini’s lack of hesitation in attributing evidentiary value to the knife and bra clasp results.

They quote the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, in genetic investigations, about it’s degree of reliability -

“full value of proof, and not merely as an element of circumstantial evidence according to Article 192.”¦”

adding that

“in cases where the genetic investigation doesn’t provide absolutely certain findings, circumstantial value can be attributed to it’s results (section 2,n. 8434 of 05/02/2013, etc”¦”¦)”¦”¦which mean that where identity is established, the findings of the genetic investigation assume significant evidence, while in the case of mere compatibility with a specific genetic profile, they only have circumstantial importance.”

It is at this point that I had to pause and consider the very real possibility that Marasca-Bruno may have the combined denseness of two planks of wood nailed together. 

The compatibility of trace B on the knife with the genetic profile of Meredith Kercher is such that it is full proof of the “identity” of the trace, certainly established, and that by any scientific protocol. That was acknowledged by all the trial experts and even, though with some reluctance, by Vecchiotti.

Even if not full proof of ID it certainly has significant circumstantial relevance, according to the above and pursuant to Article 190 (which is mentioned later).

With that uncomfortable thought perhaps lurking in the back of their minds, they seek to obfuscate matters -

“As a general rule it is possible to adhere to these conclusions, on the condition, though, that the activity of collecting samples, storage and analysis of the exhibits has respected the regulations approved by the protocols of the profession.”

They then, rather bizarrely, go on to aver that that the correct methods, to preserve authenticity, were stated by the Supreme Court”¦..“even if only on the subject of information technology evidence” 

Eh ?!

They refer to Article 192, section 2 -

“The existence of a fact cannot be deduced from pieces of circumstantial evidence unless they are serious, precise and consistent.”

They opine -

“Taking into account such considerations [ed: “such considerations” need not concern us - they were just preceding waffle] one really cannot see how the results of the genetic analysis - that were performed in violation of recommendations for the protocols regarding the collection and storage - can be endowed with the characteristics of seriousness and preciseness.”

John McEnroe and “You cannot be serious!” springs to mind.

They are also confusing the information obtained from the electropherogram with sample collection methods.

It is, of course, important to maintain clarity of thought by keeping the issue of the value of the evidence [ed: it’s seriousness, precision and consistency] apart from the issue of contamination. As Nencini and others were able to do. Marasca-Bruno are running these issues together.

“It is absolutely certain that these methods were not complied with [cites the C-V Report] -

(a) The knife collected and then preserved in a cardboard box, of the sort used to package Xmas gadgets, agendas “¦”¦”¦.

(b) The bra clasp [collected 46 days after] “¦”¦”¦”¦..the photographic documentation demonstrating that at the time of collection, the clasp was passed from hand to hand”¦. In addition wearing dirty latex gloves.”

Shall I comment? Oh, alright. What is the relevance of the cardboard box unless it was a conduit for contamination?  That was not even hypothetically plausible.

Yes, as we all know the bra clasp was recovered after 46 days. But where are these collection protocols that are internationally recognized and are a pre-ordained guarantee recognized by law?

As for dirty gloves the only evidence of this that I have seen is a photograph of the bra clasp being held in one gloved hand whilst the glove on another hand, patently belonging to the same operative, shows spots of some substance on it, which spots are most probably, in the circumstances, blood derived from the clasp the operative is holding.

Where is the common sense of the 5th Chambers?

What exactly was wrong with the in-depth common sense analysis of Massei and Nencini?

And so we swing back to the conclusion that was their premise.

“In essence, it is nothing less than a procedure of validation or falsification typical of the scientific method, of which we have talked before. And it is significant, in this regard, that the experts Berti-Berni, officials of the R.I.S Roma, carried out two amplifications of the trace (ed: 36I) retrieved from the knife blade.

In the absence of verification by repetition of the investigative data, it is questionable what could be the relevant value to the proceedings, even if detached from the scientific theoretical debate, of the relevance of outcomes carried out on such scarce or complex samples in situations not allowing repetition.”

Let us recall what actually happened with sample 36I. In 2013 this sample, which had not been analyzed by the Independent Experts, was analyzed by Berti-Berni. The sample was Low Copy Number and the quantum of DNA present was significantly less than was present with sample 36B. However they were able to carry out the test with a repeat because since 2007 there had been further technical advances in the equipment.

The repeat confirmed the evidential value of the first test (Knox) despite the low level of DNA. Low Copy Number, as an inherent problem per se, and as evidence of contamination per se, as argued in the case of 36B (Meredith), was shown not to be an issue. That was what was truly significant about the test, and it underscores that the result of the test on 36B had significant evidential value.

The knife and the bra clasp -

“”¦.cannot take on either probative or circumstantial relevance precisely because, according to the aforementioned laws of science, they necessitated validation and falsification.”

The primacy of the rules of evidence has just been jettisoned with this dogmatic assertion, which is not even derived from the logic of the argument they have presented in support. Indeed much of the argument (or rather, the waffle) is merely this dogmatic assertion in numerous different guises and tediously extended formulations of itself.

Not only that but Guede was also convicted on the basis of DNA tests that were not repeated!

One wonders what criminal judges in Italy will make of this, and of the fact that judges from the 5th Chambers, who deal primarily in matters other than criminal law, have presumed to lay down law to them in this field.

The reality is that despite this nothing will change as to the rules of evidence and how forensic evidence is evaluated in the criminal courts. The system, understandably, will not countenance that. That will leave this case, as it pertains to Knox and Sollecito, as an exception, a bizarre anomaly in the judicial record.

Perhaps, in the future it will not present a practical problem, given that developments in technology are able to detect even smaller amounts of DNA, thus allowing for repeats.

***

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Thursday, November 05, 2015

A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #1

Posted by James Raper



Image is of busy Rome at night

The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

I will be critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

This is the 54 page report released by the Fifth Chambers of the Italian Supreme Court late in September. For a full translation of the Report which can be referred to or downloaded please click here.

Key Decisions Of The Court

These are the eight main decisions I found In The Report -

    1.  The standard of “beyond any reasonable doubt” was not met due to insufficient and/or contradictory evidence - pursuant to Article 530, section 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.

    2.  Multiple attackers upheld. Guede was guilty with others unknown.

    3.  The break-in in Romanelli’s room was staged.

    4.  Amanda Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but there is insufficient evidence that she played a participatory role.

    5.  The DNA profile of Meredith Kercher on the knife and the DNA profile of Raffaele Sollecito on the bra clasp have “no probative or circumstantial relevance”

    6.  “Motive is not irrelevant” and motive was not established.

    7.  No selective cleaning.

    8.  No purpose would be served in remanding the case back to the 1st instance court of appeal (as had occurred on appeal against acquittal)

I am going to examine the 34 pages in which Marasca-Bruno present their rationale for the above. These pages also include reasons for the dismissal of various appeal submissions, which are of no interest to this critique.

Central to the acquittals is of course the claim that that the evidence was insufficient and/or contradictory and I shall look closely at how the Report sets out to demonstrate this.

We shall discover that a number of these co-called contradictions are not plausibly inherent in the trial evidence or in previous reports but are in fact the result of illogical reasoning, dogmatic assertion, indeed simply plucked from the air, by the 5th Chambers itself.

My Own Overall Reaction To The Report

My overall reaction to the Report is that it is quite unlike any other reasoning I have seen produced by a court of law. 

It smacks of a desperate attempt to bring home an incomprehensible verdict.

The language and the dogmatic assertions, unsupported by any evidence, are quite startling.

The competence of the investigators, the forensic service and the judges who have adjudicated previously in the case, is called into question, frequently in a preposterous way. 

I suspect that the Report was written with a view to the media being able to lift headlines from it, and many such potential headlines are to be found loaded towards the front of the Report. The busy tabloid editors dream.

Indeed the Report (when it actually has anything to say) is akin to opinion based journalism; inadequately researched and ill-considered.

There is a substantial amount of ponderous, self indulgent, and obfuscatory “scholastic” waffle in the Report. It forms a turgid barrier (like thick treacle) for the reader and, of course, the Courts’ affirmation that Knox was present when the murder was committed is only to be found deep into the Report.

Remove this waffle and padding however and the illogical and self -defeating nature of the reasoning stands out.

It is odd that some of the lengthy legal citations appear to conflict with the point that the Court is trying to make.

The Report challenges, if not overturns, some settled and well understood legal concepts in criminal law and natural justice and violates aspects of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure. This must be of some concern to the Italian judiciary in general.

If ever there was a Supreme Court judgement that needed to be referred by the Italian President to the Council of Magistrates for review, this is it.

My Critique Of The Decisions Part #1

On The Nencini Appeal

So, let’s start. We begin with Marasca-Bruno setting the stage for their play (which as it progresses, bears a marked resemblance to Hamlet).

The Report claims that the Nencini appeal was -

“conditioned by the prospect of the factual profile unexpectedly included in the sentence of annulment ( i.e annulling Hellmann); such that the stringent and analytical evaluation of the Supreme Court might unavoidably force one towards affirming the guilt of the two accused. Misguided by this basic misunderstanding, the same judge is drawn into logical inconsistencies and obvious errors of judgement that are here reported.”

The Report refers to “the troubled and intrinsically contradictory path” of the history of the trial, by which, of course, they mean the acquittals at the Hellmann appeal.

“An objectively wavering process, whose oscillations, however, are also the result of clamorous failures, or investigative “amnesia” and culpable omissions of investigative activity. Had they been carried out these would, in all probability, have led to a picture, if not of certainty, to at least of tranquil reliability, pointing to either the guilt or innocence of today’s accused. Such a scenario, intrinsically contradictory, constitutes in itself, already, a first and eloquent signal of an investigation that was never capable of reaching a conclusion that was beyond any reasonable doubt.”

There are many carefully crafted layers of deception, supposition and “begging the question” in the above two quotes.

The first is that there was a factual profile (without stating what this was) emerging from the sentence of annulment.

That would not be true since all that the Supreme Court 1st Chambers did was annul Hellmann’s verdicts having accepted the prosecution’s grounds of appeal, one of which, incidentally, was that Hellmann was riddled with examples of “begging the question”, a trait which Marasca and Bruno are by no means averse to themselves.

That left the judicial process with the factual profile that emerged from the Massei trial, modified, if at all, by trial evidence from Hellmann.

Marasca-Bruno also quite arbitrarily assert that Nencini was “conditioned” and “misguided” by the terms of the annulment.

Whatever errors Nencini may have made in his Report (and there were a few) I can only find one (see later) that could have been potentially significant, an error in law, that is certainly censurable, but it is highly subjective and offensive to assert that these were conditioned by and a consequence of the annulment, or imply that they had an impact on the verdict. That assertion is simply begging the question and is clearly an affront to the appeal judge.

It is, of course, perfectly true that the Hellmann annulment came with a request from the 1st Chambers of the Supreme Court for the Florence appeal court to consider, (to paraphrase), “within it’s broadest discretion, the possibility of determining the subjective positions of Guede’s co-conspirators within a range of hypothetical situations, from premeditated intent to kill to an unwanted sex game that got out of control”.

To be clear, being asked to consider someone’s subjective position is not just an invitation to consider motive but more broadly an invitation to consider that person’s understanding of the nature and consequences of his interaction, or non-interaction, with a situation.

As it happened Nencini demonstrated latitude and independence in considering an entirely different and just as likely, if not more so, hypothesis. The hypothesis was not an affirmation of guilt, let alone proof, but was an element in the picture, and was certainly not forced upon the court by the terms of the annulment.

Marasca-Bruno may not have cared much for Nencini’s hypothesis (see later) but they can hardly, to be consistent, deplore the motivation given that they come up with (be it on little evidence) a subjective and puzzling scenario of their own for Knox (see the end of this critique) that leaves a lot of questions begging.

Equally begging the question is that the Hellmann acquittals were the consequence of an investigation that was never capable of reaching a conclusion that was beyond reasonable doubt. Marasca-Bruno also seem to accept, they certainly imply, that even an annulled verdict is evidence of reasonable doubt. Again there is no logical connection for that given that the verdict - they accept this - was correctly annulled..

All these assertions require to be demonstrated. Are they?

On The Claimed Media Impact

Next the Report claims that the media impacted on the conduct of the investigation and the judicial proceedings. There was “an unusual media clamour” of an international nature that -

“led to a sudden acceleration of the investigation, in the frantic search for one or more guilty people to placate international opinion, and certainly did not help lead to the truth”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦media attention led to “prejudicial reflexes”, “procedural deviations”, generating “illicit noise” in the provision of information. This is not so much from the late discovery of witnesses, as of the raiding of the trial by the impromptu propulsion of detainees with proven criminal records, who are certainly not people averse to moments of pathological lying”¦”

The media, take note. But it is the investigators that are once again being called to account here.

Marasca-Bruno do not identify the point at which the aforesaid sudden acceleration is supposed to occur but I would hazard a guess that it was when the investigators discovered the body of a girl who had been brutally murdered. The only propulsion required would be the perfectly natural need to identify and detain the perpetrators, and not what the media was saying about the case.

Marasca-Bruno do not produce one convincing iota of evidence that the investigators were unduly influenced by the media attention rather than the evidence they were obtaining.

There is, of course, more than a nod to the defence PR myth of a Rush to Judgement about the above. However it is overlooked that there was a period of 7 months between the arrest of Knox and Sollecito and the prosecution notifying all concerned that they were ready to press charges.

Marasca-Bruno are, of course, perfectly right about Alessi and Aviello but omit to mention their names and that these were witnesses called by the defence. The media had nothing to do with that, but rather the evidence of multiple attackers.

Thus ends the setting of the stage for a play within a play.

We should now be aware that there is something rotten in the State of Denmark, with which a theatrical Marasca-Bruno, the personifications of Hamlet, are about to grapple. Nencini becomes Claudius who, as revealed by a supernatural apparition, had murdered Hamlet’s father (Hellmann).

On Multiple Attackers

We now come to a clear and unequivocal endorsement of multiple attackers. Well done.

And then, and here I somewhat reluctantly have to agree, Marasca-Bruno identify an error in law in the Nencini Report.

Nencini referred to Guede’s appearance at the Hellmann appeal when Guede was questioned as to the letter he wrote in response to the allegation concerning him made by Alessi. In this letter, read out to the court, Guede wrote “I hope that sooner or later the judges realize my complete lack of involvement in what was a horrible murder of Meredith a lovely wonderful young woman, by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox.”

Guede had not specifically said as much before and when cross-examined on the matter he declined to answer, referring the court to his previous statements. Nencini’s error was to treat the letter and those previous statements, in as much as they contained accusations placing Knox and Sollecito at the cottage at the time of the murder, as admissible circumstantial evidence.

That, however, is expressly excluded by the rule that states that incriminatory statements made by a witness of another are inadmissible unless the witness submits to cross-examination on them.

It should, however, be remembered that Guede did not give evidence at the Massei trial (nor were his previous statements admitted) and so it cannot be said that the error was that significant in the context of the evidence as a whole.

On The Trial Process

Having set the stage and dealt with points of law Marasca-Bruno now turn to the “merit of the trial process” which, of course they have already, and without merit, managed to sully.

Particularly this involves looking at the “Motivational structure of the ruling under appeal”.

“Discrepancies, inconsistencies and errors in judgement do not escape notice.”

They then proceed to set these out.

1. The Issue Of Motive

“Erroneous, in the first place, is the assertion regarding the substantive irrelevance of ascertaining the motive for the murderous act. This cannot be accepted in the light of the unquestioned doctrine of this regulating court, relating to the relevance of motive as the glue that links the various elements of which proof is made, especially in circumstantial cases such as the one at hand”

Well, Nencini did not maintain that motive was irrelevant, or even substantially irrelevant, per se. What he did say was this -

“Regarding motive, first it is necessary to quote the teaching of the Court of Legitimacy on whose opinion the precise indication of a motive for the crime of murder loses relevance when the attribution of responsibility to a defendant derives from a precise and concordant evidentiary framework (see Supreme Court, section 1 Criminal Sentence No. 11807, 12th February 2009).”

Marasca-Bruno ignore the above but quote another bit of law which, to paraphrase it,  because it becomes complicated in translation, states that motive, whilst capable of constituting an element, has to be congruent with and capable of pointing all the elements of the evidence in a single direction, in a clear, precise and convergent manner, failing which any motive so postulated attains an air of ambiguity unable to fulfill it’s purpose.

Marasca-Bruno continue -

“”¦..which as we shall see shortly, (such purpose) cannot be maintained in the case at hand, in the face of a body of evidence which is ambiguous and intrinsically contradictory.”

If my paraphrasing is correct, then this does not contradict Nencini. Indeed the quotes, taken together, are complimentary and encapsulate what just about every criminal lawyer understands to be correct about the relevance of a motive in criminal proceedings. Nencini is not erroneous. Motive is not central. It is an element which may be useful. Futile and trivial motives are difficult to pin down to a specific cause. There are, indeed, glues other than motive, which fulfill the same purpose, such as the behaviour, lies, inconsistencies and contradictions referable to the words and actions of the accused themselves.

Finally, on motive, Marasca-Bruno make another point.

Guede had a sexual motive but this cannot be extended to others. To demonstrate the point they present the following argument, but here, again, I encounter a difficulty with the translation into English, and so I paraphrase:

“If it would be manifestly illogical (ed: as it would be) to hypothesize the involvement of Romanelli and Mezetti in the murder, and in complicity with a complete stranger, then it is equally illogical not to extend the same argument to Sollecito who had never met Guede.”

According to M-B, Nencini’s failure to advance this argument is a judicial error.

However I can quite understand why he did not advance it.

Firstly, the argument is based on Guede’s sexual motive and the implied premise that gender and sexual assault are related, which does render the involvement of Romanelli and Mezetti unlikely but does not help Sollecito.

Secondly, the lack of a link to Guede, in either case but particularly in Sollecito’s case, has nothing to do with whether or not the hypothesized perpetrator would in fact possess such a motive. Thirdly there is a link anyway, Knox,

The argument might conceivably operate on another plane, leaving aside sexual motive. Would anyone commit murder with a stranger?  Well it happens in fact, particularly if there is a party who can link the strangers together.

The reason, of course, why one cannot hypothesize the involvement of Romanelli and Mezetti in the murder is that they both had proven alibis, whereas Sollecito did not, and that would seem to be the more pertinent fact.

It is a suggestive argument but one that is flawed. In any event it is not significant and Marasca-Bruno are not averse from making significant judicial errors themselves, as we shall see.

***

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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #7 Of 7: Attempt At Why Court Blinked At Guilt

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Cassation mural by Cesare Maccari 19th century, on the theme of justice

Overview Of The Post and the Series

This represents pages 41 to 46 of the original, which is 53 pages in total. Machiavelli posted the final few quite damning pages several weeks ago.

The four part series by the lawyer James Raper that follows next concentrates on the analysis and conclusions in the second half. We have already carried a four part analysis by Catnip.

We also posted these charges against defense lawyer Maori which also explain at length how the Fifth Chambers (which handles no murder cases normally) among numerous errors of its own broke two laws.

Apart from questions as to why it wandered from its narrow mandate, that court should not have one-upped the First Chambers findings in 2013 or the Nencini findings in 2015 without referring the case back down to him.

Those charges are now lodged with the Florence court, and the archaic “political-track” route to their questionable seats on the Supreme Court of Judge Marasca and Judge Bruno as opposed to career-track has already been sealed off by the Council of Magistrates.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final.

Attempt to Explain Why The Court Blinked At Guilt

8. Now, in fluid succession, the points of clear logical disparity in the appealed motivation should be positioned.

8.1 A process element of incontrovertible value ““ as will be explained further ““ is represented by the asserted absence, in the room of the homicide or on the victim’s body, of biological traces attributable with certainty to the two defendant, when, in contrast, there copious traces have been detected firmly referable to Guede.

This was an insurmountable roadblock on the road taken by the trial judge to arrive at an affirmation of guilt of the current appellants, who were already absolved of the homicide by the Hellmann Appeal Court.

To overcome the inconvenience of such negative element - unequivocally favorable to the current appellants ““ it has been sustained, in vain, that, after the theft simulation the perpetrators of the crime carried out a “selective” cleaning of the environment, in order to remove only the traces referable to them, while still leaving those attributable to others.

The assumption is manifestly illogical. To appreciate, in full, the amount of disparity it is not necessary to carry out an expert investigation ad hoc, even if requested by the defense. Such a cleanup would be impossible according to common-sense rules of ordinary experience, an activity of targeted cleaning capable of avoiding luminol examinations which are in commonplace use by investigators (also used to highlight different traces, not just hematic ones).

After all, the same assumption of an asserted precision in the cleaning is shown to be wrong in point of fact, considering that “in the little bathroom” hematic traces on the bathmat, on the bidet, on the faucet, on the cotton buds box, and on the light switch were found. And also, in a case of guilt of the current appellants, certainly they would have had enough time for an accurate cleaning, in the sense that there wouldn’t be any reasons for hurry that would have animated any other perpetrator of the crime who would probably be worried about the possible arrival of other persons. In fact, Knox, was well aware of the absence of Romanelli and Mezzetti from the house and she knew that they would have not returned home that night, therefore there would have been all the necessary time for an accurate cleaning of the house.

With reference to the asserted hematic traces in the other environments, especially in the corridor, there’s also an obvious misrepresentation of the proof. In fact, the progress-of-works reports of the Scientific Police had excluded, consequent to the use of a particular chemical reagent, that, in the examined environments, the traces highlighted by the luminol were of hematic nature. Those -of-works certificates, despite being regularly compiled and registered in evidence, were not considered.

Also manifestly illogical, in this regard, is the argument of the trial judge who (at f.186) assumes that he could overrule the defense objection in relation to circumstances in which the luminescent bluish reaction caused by the luminol is also produced in the presence of substances different from blood (for example, detergent residues, fruit juices and others), on the assumption that that, even if theoretically exact, would have to be “contextualized” in the sense that if the fluorescence manifests itself in an environment involving a homicide, the luminol reaction can only be attributed to hematic traces.

The weakness of this, even at first sight, doesn’t require any notation, and it would furthermore require the assumptions that the house in via della Pergola was never subject to cleaning or that it was not ever lived in.

This analysis permits us therefore to exclude, categorically, that hematic traces were removed on that particular occasion.

There’s another clear logical disparity regarding the explanations given by the trial about the theft of the cellphones of Kercher,  which the unknown perpetrator or perpetrators, while moving away from via della Pergola, got rid of, after the homicide, tossing them into a plot next to the road which in the dark could appear like open country (while was a private garden instead).

Far from plausible further more is the judge’s justification that the cellphones would have been taken to avoid their eventual ringing leading to discovery of the corpse of the young English woman before the hypothetic time, without considering that such an outcome could have more easily been achieved by shutting the telephones off or removing the batteries.

It is also clearly illogical ““ and also little respectful of the trial’s body of facts ““ to reconstruct the motivation of the homicide on the basis of supposed disagreements between Kercher and Knox, enhanced by the irritation of the young English woman toward her housemate for having allowed Guede in the house, who had thereupon made an irregular use of the bathroom (f. 312). The explanation offered by the Ivorian in one of his declarations during the proceeding against him (and usable, according to what stated before, only in the parts which don’t involve responsibilities of third parties) is, instead, a different one. The young man in fact was in the bathroom, when he heard Kercher arguing with another person, who he perceived had a female voice, so that the motivation for the arguing could have not be constituted by his use of the bathroom.

Also illogical and contradictory is the judge’s statement that, attempting to provide a cause for that disagreement (which was moreover denied in other declarations) doesn’t hesitate to retrieve the hypothesis of the money and credit card theft which Kercher was said to have attributed to Knox, despite the fact that, in a definitive finding, Knox, and Sollecito too, would be absolved because “there is no hard fact” on the crime of thievery in relation to the aforementioned goods (f.316).

It is also arbitrary in the absence of any accepted confirmation to transfer to the house at via della Pergola the situations that Knox, in one of her declarations, had described and contextualized in a different timeframe and circumstance, which was in via Garibaldi n. 130, in Sollecito’s house: viewing of a movie, light consuming of drugs, sexual intercourse, and nocturnal rest lasting until the late morning of the 2nd of November, in a period before, during and after the homicide. This was introduced as a dynamic of the murder, the possible destabilizing effect of drugs.

This also was done in the absence of any verification, and also because ““ among the multiple omissions or disputable investigative strategies ““ the police teams, even after collecting a cigarette butt from the ashtray in the living room containing biological traces of a mixed genetic profile (Knox and Sollecito), didn’t carry out any analysis on the nature of the cigarette’s substance because that investigation would have resulted in an impossibility to verify the genetic profile, making the sample “unusable”. And all of this with the brilliant [sic] result of submitting to the trial an absolutely irrelevant data, considered that it is certain that Sollecito frequented the house in via della Pergola, because he was sentimentally bound to the American girl; while in contrast the verification of the nature of the cigarette sample might have offered investigative leads of particular interest.

What is underlined above is emblematic of the whole body of the appealed findings related to the reconstruction of the relevant event, reported in par.10 with the title: conclusive evaluations.

It is undeniably a faulty interpretation attempt of the judge in order to compensate for some investigative lacks and obvious proof shortfalls with acute speculative activity and suggestive logical argumentations, being merely assertive and dogmatic.

Now it is unquestionable that the factual reconstruction is an exclusive task of the trial judge and it is not the responsibility of the Court of Cassation to establish if the proposed assessment is actually the best possible reconstruction of the facts, nor to approve his justifications, requiring this court only to address verification if such justification is compatible - according to the basic jurisprudence formula ““ “with common sense and with the limits of a plausible appreciation of opinion” (among others, Section 5, n. 1004 of 30 November 1999, dep. 2000, Moro G, Rv. 215745), and also according to the probative requirements in the light of the text of article 606 lett. e) of the code of criminal procedure; it is also true that the chosen reconstructive version, even if in compliance with the standards of ordinary logic, has to adhere to the reality of the body of facts and be presented as the result of a process of critical evaluation of the points of proof acquired. Therefore the use of logic and intuition cannot compensate for shortfalls in proofs or investigative inefficiency. In the face of a missing, insufficient or contradictory proof, the judge must limit himself to accepting that and deliver an acquittal sentence, according to article 530, chapter 2, of the code of criminal procedure, even if driven by an authentic moral conviction of the guilt of the accused.

Also, there is no shortage of errors in the motivation text of the examined sentence. Accordingly the assumption is totally erroneous in f. 321, according to which in the almost imperceptible grooves of the knife which was considered the weapon of the crime (item 36) DNA samples were attributable to Sollecito and also Kercher. The assumption is, in fact, in conflict with the lengthy exposition in the part concerning the aforementioned item (ff. 208 ss), where the outcomes of the genetic investigations which had attributed trace A to Amanda Knox, trace B to Kercher, a finally, trace I ““ the examination of which was unjustifiably passed over in the Conte-Vecchiotti survey ““ attributed after a new test to Knox. As will be stated further, given the attribution of the traces A and I to the current appellant, the reference of the trace B to Kercher cannot have ““ for the reasons stated above ““ any possibility of certainty being a low copy number sample meaning a scarce-quantity sample which could allow only one amplification (f.124). It doesn’t appear anywhere that the knife carried biological traces related to the genetic profile of Sollecito.

9. The noted errors in judgment and the logical inconsistencies conflict fundamentally with the appealed sentence which therefore deserves to be annulled.

The aforementioned invalidating reasons mount up in the absence of a possible framework of proof that could really be accepted as able to support a verdict of guilt beyond reasonable doubt as required by article 533 of the code of criminal procedure, in the recent text of article 5 of law n. 46 of 2006.

Regarding the discussion of the range of meaning of that rule and its possible reflection on the evaluation of the evidence, this Court of Cassation has more than once had occasion to restate that “the normative prevision of the judgmental rule of beyond reasonable doubt which is based on the constitutional principle of presumed innocence, has not led to a different and more restrictive criteria of evaluation of the proof, but has coded the jurisprudential principle according to which the declaration of the sentence has to be based on certainty with regard to the accused ( Section 2, n. 7035 of 09 November 2012, dep. 2013, De Bartolomei, Rv. 254025; Section 2, n. 16357 of 2 April 2008, Crisiglione¸ Rv. 239795).

It is not in essence an innovative or “revolutionary” principle, but the mere formal recognition of a judgment rule already existing in the judiciary experience of our Country and therefore already in firm force regarding the conditions for a sentence, given the preexistent rule of article 530, second chapter, of the code of criminal procedure, according to which, in case of insufficiency or contradiction of the evidence, the accused has to be acquitted. (Section 1, n. 30402 of 28/062006, Volpon, Rv.234374).

On the basis of such premises the principle was enhanced according to which “the judgmental rule contained in the formula for beyond any reasonable doubt requires the pronouncing of a guilty sentence only when the acquired proofs excludes all but the remotest eventualities, even if supposable in theory and considered possible in the nature of things, but it is obvious that in this concrete case, the investigation results lacked any verification during the trial, unless outside the natural order of things and normal human rationality” (Section 2, n. 2548 of 19/12/2014, dep. 2015, Segura, Rv. 262280); together with the enunciation that alternative reconstructions of the crime have to be based on reliable probative elements, because the doubt which inspires them cannot be founded on merely conjectural hypothesis, even if plausible, but has to be characterized by rationality (cfr Section 4, n. 22257 of the 25/03/2014, Guernelli, Rv. 259204; Section 1, n. 17921 of the 03/03/2010, Giampà , Rv. 247449; Section 1, n. 23813 of 08/05/2009, Manikam, Rv. 243801).

9.1 The intrinsically contradictory quality of the body of proof, the objective uncertainty of which is emphasized by the highlighted irregular progression of the proceeding, doesn’t allow us to consider it as having passed the standard of no reasonable doubt, the consecration of which is a milestone in juridical civilization which has to be protected for always as an expression of fundamental constitutional values clustered around the central role of the person in the legal system, whose protection is effected at trial by the principle of presumption of innocence until there is definitive verification, according to article 27, chapter 2, of the Constitution.

9.2. The terms of objective contradictions in the proof here can be illustrated for each appellant, in a synoptic examination of the elements favorable to the hypothesis of guilt and the elements to the contrary in the text of the appeal and the defense declarations.

9.3. It is useful to the side by side examination of these profiles to consider that, given the committing of the homicide in via della Pergola, the supposed presence in the house of the current appellants cannot, in itself be considered as a demonstrative element of guilt. In the evaluative approach to the problematic compendium of proof offered by the appellate judge, we cannot ignore the juridical categories of “non-punishable connivance” and “participation of persons in the crime committed by others” and the distinction between them as accepted by indisputables decision of the Court of Cassation.

In this regard, it is well understood that the distinction resides “in the fact that the first postulates that the agent maintain a merely passive behavior, of no contribution to the effecting of the crime, while the second requires a positive participatory contribution - moral or material ““ to the other’s criminal conduct in ways that aid or strengthen the criminal purpose of the appellant” (Section 4, n. 1055 of 12/12/2013, dep. 2014, Benocci, Rv. 258186; Section 6, n. 44633 of 31/102013, Dioum, Rv. 257810; Section 5, n. 2895 of 22/03/2013, dep. 2014, Grosu, Rv. 258953). Equally certain is the effect of this specific distinction in the subjectivity consideration, since in the actual participation by persons in the crime the subjective element can be identified in the conscious representations and will of the participant in cooperating with other subjects in the common realization of the criminal conduct (Section 1, n 40248 of 26/09/2012, Mazzotta, Rv. 254735).

9.4 Now, a fact of assured relevance in favor of the current appellants, in the sense of excluding their material participation to the homicide, even assuming the hypothesis of their presence in the house of via della Pergola, lies in the absolute absence of biological traces referable to them (apart from the hook of which we will discuss later) in the room of the homicide or on the victim’s body, where in contrast multiple traces attributable to Guede were found.

It is incontrovertibly impossible that that in the crime scene (constituted by a room of little dimensions: ml 2,91x3,36, as indicated by the blueprint reproduced at f. 76) no traces would be retrieved referable to the current appellants had they participated in the murder of Kercher.

No trace assignable to them has been, in particular, observed on the sweatshirt worn by the victim at the moment of the aggression and nor on the underlying shirt, as it should have been in case of participation in the homicide (instead, on the sleeve of the aforementioned sweater traces of Guede were retrieved: ff. 179-180).

The aforementioned negative circumstance works as a counterbalance to the data, already highlighted, on the absolute impracticality of the hypothesis of a posthumous selective cleaning capable of removing specific biological traces while leaving others.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #4 Their Findings - Ambivalent In Spades

Posted by catnip



Sollecito & Bongiorno: reported as very un-thrilled at the findings RS was at crime scene and lied

Overview

This is my dissection of Part 9, the final 10 pages of the report.

My previous dissections of the Fifth Chambers explanation can be read here and here and here.

Dissections

Each sentence in the paraphrased gist of the repoirt below corresponds to one paragraph in the text.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Errors in law and logical inconsistencies mean that the impugned judgment merits being cassated [quashed]. The evidential picture does not reach the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s not an innovative or “revolutionary” principle and is already present in Italian law, implicitly in Article 530 para 2. Remote possibilities are not “˜beyond a reasonable doubt’(Segura case, 2014) and mere conjecture, even though plausible, cannot found alternative reconstructions (Gurenelli case, 2014, etc) (9).


COMMENT: Citing from cases is a good technique, even to including their names, à  la common law systems. Not reaching the BARD standard is the crux of the matter.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The contradictory evidence as illustrated by the up-and-down nature of the proceedings through the courts does not reach the BARD standard (9.1)


COMMENT: This is disingenuous. The Perugia Court of Appeal judgment was annulled (except for the calunnia), so calling it into play again as one of the, presumably, “up” side of the “˜swings-and-roundabouts’ of the case as if it were a valid judgment is misleading.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: An overview of the for-and-against positions can be given (9.2)


COMMENT: Given the appearance of a balanced handling of the matter is a good technique. The assumption that there are for-and-against positions is not clarified or explained, though, merely asserted.

That is, a reading of the evidence as “˜not guilty’, to stand and be opposed to and contrasted with a reading of the evidence as “˜guilty’, involves a circularity of reasoning: it is the ultimate contradiction for the same evidence to support both positions simultaneously.

The result of a “˜not guilty’ conclusion is that the evidence leads there, and away from a conclusion of “˜guilty’. A for-and-against view begins with the conclusion, in order to prove the conclusion: circularity.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Presence does not equate with guilt. Passive participation is different to active participation (Benocci case, 2013 etc). The subjective element can be found in voluntary participation and cooperation (Mazzotta case, 2012) (9.3)


COMMENT: Absence of evidence does not equate with innocence (meaning evidence of absence). Quoting from cases is good: it gives the impression something legal is going.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Even given their presence, FOR the accused is the absence of their traces in the room or on the body (excluding the bra-clasp, of which more later), and likewise FOR the accused is the presence of Rudy’s evidence. The room is so small that is impossible not to leave any traces if they were murderers. Nothing of theirs was found on the victim’s top or the piece of clothing underneath, whereas Rudy’s trace was found on a sleeve of the top. This makes a clean-up impossible. (9.4)


COMMENT: Declarations of certainty about the consequences of the size of the room are not evidence, no matter how close such declarations seem to be in going “˜beyond a reasonable doubt’. Given an erroneous starting point, impeccable reasoning can be applied, and a conclusion reached.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Amanda’s self-described presence is credible in that she described, for the first time, a possible sexual motive for the murder, and the piercing scream. In her calunnia she puts herself on the scene which no-one else (other than those others present, obviously) would have known. According to the calunnia, the scream and the murder is due to Patrick Lumumba. AGAINST: the mixed traces (dilute blood, skin cells) in the small bathroom.

Suspicion is not decisive. The trace is not equivocal ““ there could have been posthumous contact with the blood.  There was no trace in the murder zone or on the body. The reason why she accused is incomprehensible ““ the psychological pressure theory is weak (fragile). She couldn’t think it would stand up, since she knew well that Patrick had no relationship with Meredith, or that Patrick wouldn’t have a cast-iron alibi. Maybe to cover for Rudy (both men being black), perhaps hypothesising that Rudy had been seen.

The staged burglary scene, for the prosecution, pointed to somebody who knew the victim, but this is ambiguous because it was Raffaele who pointed out to the police that nothing had been carried off. Lies revealed by SMS and Curatolo and Quintavalle are suspicious, but they are scarcely credible witnesses. The enigmatic drug-dealer Curatolo, coming late to the case and no stranger to cases with a strong media presence, is contradicted by the lack of buses, and the masks and joking around of Halloween, apparently counterbalanced by seeing the accused the day before forensic spacemen arrived. Quintavalle, another tardy witness, has nothing specific to add, not even what purchases were made, and identifying in Amanda in the courtroom has no relevance since her image had appeared on all the newspapers and TV news.

The “A” and “I” traces on the knife are neutral, given she lived with Raffaele, and (as said) there were no traces of Ms Kercher on the knife, contrasting with the prosecution hypothesis that it was the murder weapon. It was an arguable choice to test the trace for DNA rather than for what substance it was. Attributing the trace to Amanda is not unequivocal, and is indifferent, since she lived with Raffaele. Even attributing trace “B” to Meredith is not decisive (not being blood), since, with students, it’s plausible that convivial gatherings and other events would require the transport of a knife for domestic use. Starch implies ordinary use; lack of blood cannot lead to a cleaning action since starch is well-known to be absorbent and would have absorbed blood if it had been there.

It’s implausible that Amanda would carry the kitchen knife for protection in her big bag, rather than carry a small flick knife like knife-collector and knife-fan Raffaele certainly had in his possession. Attributing the print in the homicide location to her is, finally, anything but certain. (9.4.1)


COMMENT:  “˜All over the place like a dog’s breakfast’. Where to begin? The strong suspicion, reinforced with every statement made, is that Bruno is one sandwich short of a picnic. The main cause is due to taking the defence claims in their appeal papers as if they were the factual basis of a new trial. Which makes Bruno two sandwiches short of a picnic. For a Cassation judge, the picnic hamper and its contents is a serious matter. This whole section, and the following one, are destined to become a classic example.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: For Raffaele, the picture is likewise. The bra-clasp, the only trace of his, has no certainty, since there is no 2nd amplification, there is no probative value. There is a strong suspicion he was there on the night, but when is not possible to determine. Given Amanda was present, it’s scarcely believable he wouldn’t be with her. Amanda had versions of the “something strange” story and other versions of being present, it’s strange she wouldn’t have called her boyfriend, presumably being ignorant of Italian emergency procedures and having her boyfriend close by. No call, there was no phone record, implies he was with her.

But presence at the scene is not certain proof. Defence arguments are insufficient to remove doubt. Even if Raffaele watched everything, it does not rule out his presence ““ he could have been at the house, it’s a short distance away, ten or so minutes. Amanda’s claims to have been at Raffaele’s house, countered by Curatalo’s and Quintavalle’s testimony, raises strong suspicion against Raffaele. But their strongly approximative and ambiguous statements cannot, reasonably, lead to certainty, notwithstanding the appeal court’s problematic subjective view on the matter. Suspicions rise from the substantive failure of the alibi about the computers, although it’s not a case of speaking about failed alibis, but rather alibis that didn’t make it. No certainty either about Raffaele’s prints, with their “probable identity”, rather than certainty. (9.4.2)


COMMENT: Reasonable minds can (and often do) come to different conclusions on the same facts. But: Highly trained professional lawyers applied the incorrect methodology?! If Bruno thinks Florence did that, then what’s to stop anyone thinking that Bruno has done the same thing? Curatolo is an enigmatic drug-dealer (and again the media get a look-in), but the enigmatic drug-taking Raffaele isn’t, even with his knife-fetish?

Luckily, enigmas, according to common experience, are not generally the convivial party-going kind, whereof large kitchen knives for domestic use are easily transported. Bruno, and the Bruno Cafe-and-Bar Specials, are ripe for satire (which may be the underlying ulterior intention, subconsciously-speaking: to make a mark, or a stain or a trace, no matter how indeterminate, or, keyword, indecisive.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Since the main charge is unsupported, the subsidiary charges also fall. (9.4.3)


COMMENT: True, as a principle.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Contradictory probative elements must compel an acquittal. One last question remains to be resolved. Remand of the case to another court is logically linked to the objective possibility of further tests. The response is definitely negative. The traces are so small they cannot guarantee reliability. Amanda’s and Meredith’s computer were burned by the investigators, probably through the wrong electric current causing irreversible damage. The declaratory evidence is exhaustive. Rudy refused and cannot be compelled to testify.

Defence technical requests cannot guarantee clarity, not only because of the amount of time, but the problematic testing (possibility of selective clean-up); obvious irrelevance (tests on Raffaele’s computer), given the possibility, no matter what the interaction, of going over to Meredith’s house; or clearly superfluous, given the completeness of the examination undertaken (for example, the autopsy and subsequent medico-legal tests). Remand of the case would be useless. Annulment of the conviction under charge (A)  [=aggravated murder] implies a redetermination of the sentence imposed, which will be set as the same one handed down by the Court of Appeal of Perugia, adequate and just.

And so all other defence submissions petitions requests are to be considered denied, while any lines of argumentation, including those not examined, are inadmissible as being, clearly, related to the mertis. (10)


COMMENT: Repeating of the same wallpaper pattern starting to occur. Which means, there is nothing more to say. Literally.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: It only remains to dispose the case (11):

Charge (B): extinction of the charge by prescription
The impugned judgment, excluding aggravated calunnia, annulled without remand on charges (A), (D)and (E) on the grounds on not having committed the deed
Re-determine the sentence inflicted on Amanda for the crime of calunnia to three years of imprisonment.
So decided 27/03/2015
Signed
(Bruno, Recorder) (Marasca, President)


COMMENT: Only Bruno initialled each page; Marasca limited himself to signing at the end.

Observations

What have we learned on the first read-through of (the legal part of) the Cassation decision?

  • That the court is not slave to science, yet Bruno pronounces about repeatability and its scientific significance (which he mistakes for the significance of falsifiability). He makes repeatability a judicial truth. I expect Bruno will be surprised to “learn” that there are sciences where repeatability is not an option, yet they are still science.

  • That the court is not slave to the expert, yet when the defence claim that international standards have been breached in the collection of evidence, that is accepted as judicial truth.

  • That a person is not slave to their DNA: the presence of DNA (Raffaele’s on the cigarette butt) is proof of nothing since he was a visitor to the cottage, and the absence of DNA (in the room) is proof of everything since it “shows” (with certainty) that they weren’t there as murderers.

  • That the court is adept at applying common experience and associated physics, yet Bruno does not hesitate to declare what is and isn’t physically possible (in a small room, say; or with starch grains).

  • That the court applies logic and common sense and everyday knowledge, yet, in continuously describing the crime as senseless, incomprehensible, and indeed not of the everyday, Bruno looks for sense and rationality, and the not finding of it doesn’t alert him to the possibility that it isn’t there.

  • That the copy-paste function on junior judge’s computers should be switched off in cases of non compus mentus, or that at the least that copyright payments should be made to defence clerks for usage of the material, to offset their costs.

Others here will pick up the baton on this. I look forward to seeing them run.


Friday, October 30, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #6 Of 7: Why The DNA Evidence Was All Useless

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Luca Giordano (Fa Pesto), Love and Vice Disarm Justice, 17th century

Overview Of The Post and the Series

This represents pages 37 to 41 of the original, which is 53 pages in total. Machiavelli already posted the final few pages so one more post of 5 pages will see the completion.

Following this 6th post will be a final brief analysis by Catnip, and following the 7th and final post will be a major analysis of the entire report by lawyer James Raper from legal and evidence standpoints.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final.

Why DNA Evidence Is All Rejected

7.1. With these general and abstract considerations, we now examine from a new particular perspective specific details of a broadly problematic case.

In this specific case, in fact, it is not a question of verifying the nature and admissibility of a scientific method that is not really new, as in the Franzoni sentence formerly mentioned, , on the admissibility of the “Blood Pattern Analysis” or B.P.A. (a procedure already accepted in the United States and Germany, combining scientific laws of different universally recognized disciplines) because the objects of examination are the outcomes of the one science, genetics, of well-known reliability and increasing use and utility in judicial investigations.

Furthermore, this Court on multiple occasions has already recognized the procedural value of genetic investigation into DNA, given the statistically great number of confirmative recurrences, making the possibility of an error infinitesimally small (Section 2, n. 8434 of 05 February 2013, Mariller, Rv. 255257; Section 1, n. 48349 of 30 June 2004, Rv.231182).

Here it is more a matter of verifying what kind of procedural value can be assigned in a trial to the results of a genetic investigation carried out in a context of verifying very small samples with very little respect for the rules included in international protocols by which, normally, such scientific research is inspired.

Implicitly referring to the jurisprudential interpretation of legitimacy, the judge has not hesitated to attribute to the aforementioned outcomes evidential relevance (f. 217).

The attribution cannot be shared.

Important to note that the case law of this Supreme Court, cited above, has acknowledged of genetic investigations ““ specifically their degree of reliability ““ full evidential value, and not a mere evidential element, according to article 192, chapter 2, of the code of criminal procedure; adding that, in cases where the genetic investigation doesn’t have absolutely certain outcomes, it can be attributed lesser evidential value (Section 2, n. 8434 of the 05 February 2013, Mariller, Rv. 255257; Section 1, n. 48349 of the 30 June 2004, Rv.231182). This means that, in the situation of placing suspects in terms of firm identity, the outcomes of the genetic investigation can have conclusive relevance, while in case of mere compatibility with a determined genetic profile, the outcomes have a mere circumstantial relevance.

This enunciation of principle needs a further clarification.

Generally, it is possible to accept the respective conclusions, provided the sampling activity, conservation and analysis of the sample were respectful of the requirements stated in the relevant protocols. This is true also in the less firm hypothesis, in which the outcomes of the analysis don’t arrive at a firm identity result, but merely a compatibility one.

The principle of necessary methodological correctness in the phases of collection, conservation and analysis of examined data to preserve their maximum integrity and validity has been stated by this Court in Section F, n. 44851 of 6 September 2012, Franchini, although that was in the area of IT evidence, on the basis that those principles have been included in the code of criminal procedure with the modification of the second chapter of article 244 of the code of criminal procedure and the new particular requirement of article 254 bis of the same code, introduced into law on 19 September 2008, n. 48.

Justifying reasoning resides, for this Court, in the same notion of evidence offered by the standard code of procedure, which in article 192 chapter 2 states that “the existence of a fact cannot be deduced from evidence, unless they are serious, precise and concordant”, so that a procedural element, to be elevated to firm evidence, has to present the characteristics of seriousness, precision and concordance, according to a configuration borrowed from the civil law (article 2729, first chapter, civil code).

This is all summarized in the so called “certainty” requirement of circumstantial, even if such a requisite is not expressly enunciated in article 192 of the code of criminal procedure, chapter 2. It’s about, in fact,  a further connotation considered non-failable in consolidated case law and intrinsically connected to the requirements for systematic evidential proof, through which, using a procedure of formal logic, a demonstration of the proof matter ““ a previously unknown fact - is achieved flowing from a confirmed fact and, therefore, considered true. It is well understood, in fact, that such a procedure would be, in short, fallacious and unreliable, in cases where it moves from non-precise to serious factual premises and therefore to certain. Given, obviously, the fact that the certainty, discussed here, is not to be understood in absolute terms, in an ontological sense; the certainty of the evidential data is, in fact, always a category of a procedural nature, falling within that species of certainty which takes form during the evidential procedure. (cfr. the Franzoni sentence).

In the light of such considerations it’s not clear how the data of the genetic analysis ““ carried out in violation of the prescriptions of the international protocols related to sampling and collection ““ could be considered endowed with the features of seriousness and precision.

And in fact, rules for crystallizing of the results from valid samples, strengthened through repeated experimentations and methodical statistical verifications of experimental data, promote the standards of reliability in the results of the analysis both in hypothesis and identity and simple compatibility with a particular genetic profile. Otherwise, no relevance could be attributed to the acquired data, not even of minor evidence (cfr. Section 2, n. 2476 of 27 November 2014, dep.2015, Santangelo, Rv. 261866, on the necessity of a correct conservation of the vessels containing the genetic imprints, for the purpose of “repeatability” of the technical verifications capable of duplicating the genetic profile; repeatability also is dependent on the quantity of the trace and the quality of the DNA present on the biological samples collected; id. n. 2476/14 cit. Rv. 261867).

In this case, it is certain that these methodological rules have not being fully observed (cfr, among others, ff. 206-207 and the outcomes of the Conte-Vecchiotti survey, acquired by the Court of Appeal of Perugia).

Just consider, in this regard, the modalities of retrieval, sampling and conservation of the two items of major investigative interest in the present judgment: the kitchen knife (item n. 36) and the brassiere hook of the victim (item n. 165/B), regarding to which, during the process, the conduct of the investigators was qualified as lacking in professionalism (f. 207).

The big knife or kitchen knife, retrieved in Sollecito’s house and considered as the weapon of the crime, had been kept in a common cardboard box, very similar to the ones used to pack Christmas gadgets, like the diaries normally given to local authorities by credit institutes.

More singular ““ and unsettling ““ is the fate of the brassiere hook.

Observed during the first inspection of the scientific police, the item had been ignored and left there, on the floor, for some time (46 days), until, during a new search, it was finally picked up and collected. It is sure that, during the period of time between the inspection in which it was observed and when it was collected, there had been other accesses by the investigators, who turned the room upside down in a search for elements of evidence useful to the investigation. The hook was maybe stepped on or moved (enough to be retrieved on the floor in a different place from where it was firstly noticed). And also, the photographic documentation produced by Sollecito’s defense demonstrates that, during the sampling, the hook was passed hand in hand between the operators who, furthermore, wore dirty latex gloves.

Questioned on the reasons for the absence of a prompt sampling, the official of the scientific police, doc. Patrizia Stefanoni, declared that, initially, the collection of the hook was not focused on because the team had already collected all the clothes of the victim. Therefore, no importance was attributed to that little detail, even if, in common perception, that fastening is the part of major investigative interest, being manually operable and, therefore, a potential carrier of biological traces useful for the investigation.

Also, the traces observed on the two items, which the analysis of has produced outcomes that will be discussed further, were very small (Low Copy Number; with reference to the hook cfr. ff. 222 and 248), so little that it didn’t allow a repetition of the amplification¸ that is the procedure aimed to “highlight the genetic traces of interest in the sample” (f. 238) and attribute the biological trace to a determined genetic profile. On the basis of the protocols of the matter, the repetition of the analysis (“at least for two times” testimony of Major CC Dr Andrea Berti, an expert nominated by the Appeal Court, f. 228; “three times” according to Professor Adriano Tagliabracci, technical adviser for Sollecito’s defense, f.126) is absolutely necessary for a reliable analysis result, in order to marginalize the risk of “false positive” within the statistical limits of insignificant relevance. 

In essence, it is nothing less than a procedure of validation or falsification typical of the scientific method, of which we have talked before. And it’s significant, in this regard, that the experts Berti-Berni, officials of the R.I.S. of Roma, carried out two amplifications of the trace retrieved from the knife blade (f. 229).

In absence of verification for repetition of the investigation data, it is questionable what could be the relevant value to the proceedings, even if detached from the scientific theoretical debate on the relevance of the outcomes of investigations carried out on such scarce or complex samples in situations not allowing repetition.

The Court is sure that the scientific truth, regardless of elaboration, cannot automatically be introduced in to the process to transform itself into procedural truth. As stated before, scientific proof requires a mandatory postulate, verification, so that the relevant outcome can take on relevance and be elevated to the rank of “certainty”; since otherwise it remains unreliable. But, independent of the scientific evaluation, an unverified datum, precisely because it is lacking in the necessary requirements of precision and seriousness, cannot be granted in the process any evidentiary relevance.

Certainly, in such a context, is not a zero, to be considered non-existant. In fact, it is still process data, which, although lacking in autonomous demonstrative relevance, is nevertheless susceptible to appreciation, at least as a mere confirmation, within a set of elements already equipped with such inclusive indicative value.

Therefore hidden here is the judicial error in which the trial judge committed in assigning evidential value to the outcome of the genetic investigation unsusceptible to amplification and resulting from an unorthodox procedure of collection and sampling.

7.2 In order to clarify any possible misunderstanding in this regard, it is worth considering that if it is impossible to attribute significant demonstrative relevance, in the court process, to outcomes of genetic investigations not repeated and made unsusceptible to repetition, because of scarceness or complexity of the sample,  it is not possible to compensate by way of claiming the efficacy and usability of the “unrepeatable” technical verifications, in case of, as in this circumstance, observance of the defensive guarantees accorded in article 360 of the code of criminal procedure. In fact, the technical investigations to which the procedural rule mentioned are those that ““ for crystal-clear positive formulation ““ are related to “persons, things or places the status of which is subject to modification”, in other words situations of any type or category which, according to their nature, are variable, therefore it is necessary to crystallize their status unequivocally even before the preliminary investigation phase, to avoid irreversible modifications with an outcome that under standard procedures is destined to be utilized during the court hearings. This is allowed because the verification to be carried out, especially in cases of impossibility of repetition because of modification of the item to be examined, is still capable of highlighting already-accepted realities or entities equipped with demonstrative value. In this case, despite the observance of the rules expressed in article 360 of the standard code of procedure, the acquired data ““ not repeated and not susceptible to repetition for any reason ““ cannot assume either probative or evidential relevance, precisely because, according to the aforementioned laws of science, it requires validation or falsification. So, in one instance the empiric data, when immediately “photographed”, acquires demonstrative significance; while in another instance it’s lacking such a feature, precisely because its indicative relevance is indissolubly bound to its repetition or repeatability.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #5 Of 7: Some “Incongruencies” By Previous Courts

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Painting by Paride Pascucci of Siena on the theme of justice

Overview Of The Post and the Series

This represents pages 32 to 37 of the original, which is 53 pages in total. Machiavelli already posted the final few pages so two posts of 5 pages will see the completion.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

On Further Appeal Grounds

6. The examination of the motivational structure of the appealed sentenced, the object of multiple claims by the defenses, can now be proceeded with.

Even from a very first reading, we can identify contradictions, incongruencies and errors in rulings which deeply permeate the whole argumentative structure.

6.1 Firstly, the judges’ statement is erroneous that the motive for homicide does not have to be determined with precision

The assumption is not acceptable in relation to the indisputable principle of this regulatory Court (from Section 1, n. 10841 of the 24 September 1992, Scupola, Rv. 192865) regarding the relevance of the motive as bond between multiple elements that the proof has constituted, during evidential procedures like the one examined here.

Furthermore, the value in this as one of the strengthening elements of the evidence is, obviously, contingent on verification of the reliability coefficient of the evidences, by way of clarity, precision and concordance, with analytic and resulting appreciation of these, individually considered and subsequently placed in a global and unitary perspective (Section 1, n. 17548 of 20 April 2012, Sorrentino, Rv. 252889 in the wake of Section U, n. 45276, Andreotti, Rv. 226094 according to which the “cause”, representing a confirming element of the involvement in the crime of the subject intent on the physical elimination of the victim as it converges in its specificity and exclusivity in an unequivocal direction, nevertheless, but still preserving a margin of ambiguity, in the meantime can work as a catalytic and strengthening element of the evidential value of the positive elements of proof of responsibility, from which can be logically deduced, on the basis of known and reliable experience rules, the existence of an uncertain fact (that is the possibility of attributing the crime to the instigator), when, after analytic examination of each one of them and in the framework of a global evaluation, the evidences in relation to the interpretation supplied by the motive reveal themselves as clear, precise and convergent in their univocal significance).

This, as will be stated below, cannot be confirmed in this case, because of an evidential compendium which is equivocal and intrinsically contradictory.

Specifically, none of the possible motives in the scenarios of the appealed sentence have been firmed up in this case.

The sexual motivation attributed to Guede during the separate procedure against him is not wholesale extensible to the supposed other attackers; for as has been stated before the hypothesis of a group erotic game has not been demonstrated; it is not possible to presume for each contestant a shared or combined motive assuming a sharing in the attack. Such an extension would have to postulate the existence of trusting interpersonal relationships between the contestants, which within the particular and sudden character of the criminal pact would lend verisimilitude to such a move.

Now, though the sentimental relationship between Sollecito and Knox was fact, and though the girl had occasion to know Guede to some extent, there is no proof that Sollecito would have known or hung out with the Ivorian. On this point it is contradictory and clearly illogical to assume (see f. 91) the unreasonable hypothesis of participation in such a brutal crime with an unfamiliar person by the housemates Filomena Romanelli and Laura Mezzetti (who certainly didn’t know Guede), but not extend this argument to Sollecito, who also seems to have never known the Ivorian.

6.2. Another error of judgment resides in the supposed irrelevance of the verification of the exact hour of Kercher’s death, considering sufficient the approximation offered by the examinations, even if assumed as correct during the trial pohase.

With regards to this, Sollecito’s defense has reasons to appeal, since they signaled the necessity of a concrete verification specifically in the evidential proceedings, every consequential implication. Furthermore, the exact determination of the time of Kercher’s death is an inescapable factual prerequisite for the verification of the alibi offered by the defendant in course of the investigation aiming to verify the possibility of his claimed presence in the house at via della Pergola at the time of the homicide. And for this reason an expert verification was requested.

So, specifically on this point, it is fair to note a despicable carelessness during the preliminary investigation phase. It is sufficient to consider, in this regard, that the investigations carried out by the CID had proposed a threadbare arithmetic mean between a possible initial time and a possible final time of death (from approximately 6:50 PM on 1st November to 4:50 AM on the next day) setting the hour of death approximately at 11-11:30 PM.

The examinations of the gastrointestinal tract of the victim, who, in the late evening, had consumed a a meal with her English friends, has allowed ““ once again only with approximation, adjusted during the trial hearings ““ to much further circumscribe the temporal range.

The Appeal Court further reduced the temporal range, placing it in the hours between 9 PM of the 1st of November (time of Kercher’s farewell to her friend) and 12:10:31 AM of the next day, on the basis of the recording (resulting from the acquired phone records) of a signal of one of the cellular phones of Kercher intercepted in a telephonic cell covering the area of via Sperandio, where the cellular phones had been abandoned by the perpetrators of the homicide.

But this observation also suffers from approximation, because at the last indicated time, Meredith Kercher was already dead, even if only for a little time, precisely because the signal was registered in the area where the telephones had been abandoned, after being stolen, shortly after the homicide, within the house in via della Pergola, some hundreds of meters from the place of their retrieval.

The contestant’s defense has offered, in this regard, a more reliable analysis, backed up by incontrovertible facts.

From the examination of the telephonic traffic has emerged that, after the departure from her English friend’s house at 9 PM, the young woman had, in vain, tried to call her parents in England, like she used to do every day, while a last contact was registered at 10:13 PM, so that the temporal range has been further reduced to approximately 9:30/10:13 PM.

7.  The second critical observation, relative to the appealed judgment, introduces the central matter of the judgment value attributable to the results of the scientific examinations, with particular reference to the genetic investigations, acquired in violation of the rules dictated by international protocols.

The specific question falls within the doctrinal debate on the relation between scientific proof and criminal procedure, in search for an equilibrium between the orientation ““ which is amenable to certain foreign schools of interpretation ““ which tends to recognize ever more weight to the science contribution, even if not validated by the scientific community; and the orientation which claims the supremacy of the laws and postulates that, according to the rules of criminal proceeding, only scientific results tested according to methodological standards which are routinely accepted could be considered as relevant here.

The present cultural debate, even if respecting the principle of free conviction of the judge, also tries to critically revisit the notion, by now obsolete and of dubious credibility, of the judge as a super-expert. In fact, the archaic rule of thumb reflects a cultural model that is not current anymore and instead is anachronistic, at least in the measure of what is supposed to be handled by the judge’s real capacity to manage the scientific knowledge flow that the parties would enter into the proceedings, where, instead, a more realistic configuration wants him completely unaware of that contribution of the knowhow,  the result of scientific knowledge that doesn’t belong to him and cannot ““ and has not to ““ belong to him. And this is truer in relation to genetic science, in which complex methods postulate a specific knowledge in the fields of forensic genetics, chemistry, and molecular biology, which are part of a knowledge patrimony very distant from the prevalently humanistic and juridical education of the magistrate.

But the consequence of the inescapable acknowledgment of such a state of legitimate ignorance of the judge, and therefore of his incapacity of managing “autonomously” the scientific evidence, cannot be his uncritical acceptance, which would be equivalent ““ maybe for a misunderstood sense of free convincement and maybe also of a misunderstood concept of “expert of experts” ““ to a substantial renouncement of his role, through totally uncritical acceptance of the expert contribution to which is delegated the resolution of the judgment and therefore the responsibility for the decision.

But also, in a situation of a one-sided scientific contribution coming from just one of the procedural parties, and thus standardly disposed of by the same judge, this can be welcomed as a paraphrasing in a more or less rational way of the technical argumentations presented to support the procedure, a problem dramatically arises when in a situation of conflicting scientific contributions, the same judge is called upon to settle upon a choice, and, in this case, the paraphrase is more complex, requiring a pertinent and valid motivation to explain the reasons for which an alternative scientific prospection would not be shareable. (cfr. Section 6, n. 5749 of 09 January 2014, Homm, Rv. 258630, according to which the judge who considers to adhere to the conclusions of the expert, in discordance with the ones presented by the defense adviser, even if not obliged to provide, as a reason, an autonomous demonstration of the scientific exactitude of the firstly cited, and the erroneousness, on the contrary, of the others, “he is however called to” demonstrate the fact that the expert conclusions have been valued “in terms of reliability and completeness”, and that the advisers’ argumentations have not been ignored).

The court considers that this delicate problem, with regard to the present judgment, requires a solution within the general rules which compose our procedural system, and not from elsewhere in an abstract claim of a supremacy of the science over the law or vice versa. The scientific evidence cannot, in fact, aspire to an unconditional endorsement of reliability during the trial proceeding because the criminal procedure rejects every idea of legal proof. Also, known to everyone is that there doesn’t exist a single science, a bringer of absolute truth and immutability throughout time, rather various sciences and pseudo-sciences, both the official ones and the ones not validated by the scientific community because they reflect research methods not universally recognized.

And therefore the solution to this problem must result from the consideration of principles and rules which regulate the acquisition and the formation of the evidence in the criminal procedure and, then, of criteria which support the relative evaluation.

The citation points must be ones relating to the adversarial principle and the judge’s control over the path of formation of the proof, which has to respect predetermined guarantees, the observance of which must be a rigorous parameter of the judging and reliability of the relevant outcomes.

So, a result of a scientific proof can be considered reliable only when examined by the judge, at least with reference to the subjective reliability of those who advance it, and the scientific method employed, and a more or less acceptable error margin, and the objective value and reliability of the obtained result.

Therefore, observing a method of critical approach not different, conceptually, from the one required for the appreciation of ordinary evidence, aiming to elevate as much as possible the degree of reliability of the legal truth, or alternatively, reduce to reasonable margins the inescapable gap between procedural truth and substantial truth.

Moreover, in procedures of inductive-inferential logic, which allow one to trace back from the known fact to the unknown one to be proved, the judge, in his full freedom of convincement, can use any element which would work as a bridge or bond between the two considered facts and allow one to trace back from the known one to the unknown one, according to parameters of reasonability and common sense.

The connection can, therefore, be of the most varied nature: the so called “experience rule”, legitimated by common knowledge or by direct observation of the reality of a phenomenon, which registers the repetitiveness of specific events in constant, identical, determined, conditions; a scientific law, of universal value or more narrowly statistical; a law based on logic, which presides and orients the mental paths of human rationality and anything else useful to the purpose.

The evidential reasoning which allows passing from the element of proof to the result of proof it is an element of the exclusive competence of the judge of merit, who has obviously to supply a concrete motivation and who, with regards to evidential proof, is required to apply a duplicable confirming scrutiny: a first verification concerning the so called “external justification” by way of which the same judge has to test the validity of the experience rule, or scientific-logic law, or any other rule observed; and a further verification related to the so called “internal justification” through which must be demonstrated, concretely, the validity of the result obtained through the application of the “bridge-rule” (Section 1, n. 31456 of 21 May 2008. Franzoni, Rv. 240764).

 


Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #3 Their Profound Evidence Muddle

Posted by catnip



Back of house, showing route in of 2 different burglars in 2009


My previous dissections of the Fifth Chambers explanation can be read here and here.

The next two sections (7 and 8) of the Bruno judgment span ten pages. Each sentence in the paraphrased gist below corresponds to one paragraph in the text.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: As to the forensic evidence, it was collected in violation of international standards. Science is receiving too much weight in the legal sphere, the scientific method does not equate to procedural rules. The judge is no longer the “˜expert of experts’, and genetics is light years from the sphere of the judge.

There is no confidence over science, in the sense that it is no longer to be trusted uncritically. Science is a choice, it must be reasoned. Legal rules are not trumped by science, the court does not automatically accept science, and there are many sciences. Evidentiary rules must be followed. Legal testing of evidence is done by cross-examination.

The court accepts evidence according to various factors, and this reduces the distance between “˜procedural truth’ and substantive truth. Inference is any method which bridges two facts in question, allowing the unknown fact to become known, according to reasonableness and good sense. This bridging can be common experience and direct observation through repeatability, scientific laws of universal application, and logic. Trial judges go from item of evidence to result, giving reasons, with external checks (the validity of experience or scientific law) and internal checks (consistency). (7)

COMMENT: Most of this section is bland platitude (not that there’s anything wrong with that).The “˜violation of international standards’ is accepted as a given, and the emphasis on repeatability (as diagnostic of the scientific method) is preparation of the ground for rejecting any tests that weren’t or couldn’t be repeated. Rudy’s forensic evidence is never referred to, as if it has been sealed off in a cardboard box somewhere.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: In the current case, there is no new scientific method to examine (like blood pattern analysis) but genetics. DNA is reliable. It is evaluated against international protocols, and their breach. The court below did not hesitate to consider the test results to be indicative evidence. This cannot be accepted by this court. Indicative evidence is not proof, genetic results which are not absolutely certain can be indicative. Identification is probative, compatibility can be indicative.

Collection, conservation and analysis of evidence must follow rules.  Criminal Procedure Code Articles 244 para 2, 254 bis. And Article 192 para 2: “˜weight, precision, consistency’, which translates as certainty; certainty cannot be assumed. It cannot be seen how genetic analysis ““ in breach of collection and preservation protocols ““ can be weighty and precise in an evidential sense.

There are standards, and there must be repeatability. “In the case at hand, it is certain that those methodological rules have not been absolutely observed (cf, amongst others, folios 206-207 and the results of the Conte-Vecchiotti [sic] tests, deposited with the Perugia Court of Appeal).”

It is enough to consider, in that respect, the knife and bra-clasp; there was a lapse in professional standards (f. 207). The coltellaccio [great big knife] was put in a cardboard box of the gift-organiser kind.

More worrying are the journeyings of the bra-clasp. 46 days, there were other accesses of the crime scene, it was stepped on or at least moved, and the video shows multiple handlings of it with dirty gloves. “Questioned on the reasons for the defective and hasty collection, Dr Stefanoni will say in testimony that, initially, it was not considered necessary to collect the bra-clasp because “¦ [dots in original] the victim’s intimate garment as a whole had been collected.

Nothing of importance was attributed to that small particular, notwithstanding that, in the common perception, it is exactly that closure apparatus that would be of major investigative interest, being manually operated and, therefore, a potential carrier of biological traces useful for the investigation.”

The bra-clasp test is not repeatable (Law [sic] Copy Number), which repeatability is to avoid false positives. The validation/falsification method wasn’t applied; and, significantly, even the RIS of Rome did two amplifications of trace I on the knife-blade. Ask what value such a result is. Scientific truth is not transferable to procedural truth; science is not legal certainty; without precision and weight, it cannot be evidence in court.

An item of evidence can be considered. The court below erred in attributing probative value to genetic results incapable of amplification or which were the fruit of improper recovery and collection procedures. (7.1)

COMMENT: The term indiziario, which cross-maps to “˜item of circumstantial evidence’, I have rendered as “˜indicative’, to bring out how Bruno demotes it. The theme is transferability: transferability of methods, procedures, of truths is not possible; but transferability of DNA is.

The appeal court’s error was to give non-zero weight to zero-weight evidence. Evidence gains zero-weight by not being certain. Certainty is achieved by repeatability, or by following international standards. The three dots (”¦) are for dramatic anti-climactic effect: meaning Stefanoni is a nincompoop, in other words. Note the spelling of Conti, with an “e”.

And the Voyages of a Bra-Clasp idea is Bongiorno’s and too irresistible to leave out (as with much else).

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Article 360 of the Code only governs sources of evidence that are mutable; the laws of science involve falsification; probative value is linked to repeatability (7.2)

COMMENT: Interesting jurisprudence. It’s almost as if Bruno is living on another planet. The trope/canard about repeatability in science is an interesting psychological crutch. The accumulation of bizarro-concepts is starting to mount. Individual sentences in the text make sense (sort of), but stringing them together in a too-much-something-in-the-coffee way is starting to ring alarm bells.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The judgment below was obviously illogical (8).

COMMENT: A leitmotiv.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The missing traces of the accused on the victim have valency. This is a monolithic roadblock on the path taken by the court below in reaching an affirmation of guilt for the current appellants, “already acquitted of the homicide by the Perugia Court of Appeal”. The “selective clean-up” argument is useless and manifestly illogical: it didn’t clean-up the Luminol traces (Luminol is useful for revealing traces of material different to blood).

The clean-up hypothesis is also disproved by the traces in the small bathroom, and since Amanda knew that the other two were outside Perugia and wouldn’t be coming back that evening, there would have been plenty of time to do a proper clean-up.

As for the corridor traces, the SAL cards [work logs] ruled out, on the basis of the use of a particular chemical reagent, that the traces revealed by Luminol were blood ““ and there is nothing of this in the judgment. Not only that, it is manifestly illogical for the lower court to overrule the defence objection that the bluish Luminol reaction can be produced by substances that are not blood (for example, detergent residues, fruit juice and so on) and that the fluorescent reaction cannot be anything other than blood.

The fragility of the argument is such that, no question, the house at Via della Pergola had never been cleaned. Therefore, it can be categorically ruled out that blood was removed.

Another glaring logical hole is the theft of the phones. The posited reason that it was to prevent the ringtones of the phone being heard could have been accomplished by switching them off or removing the battery. Disrespectful to the proceedings and clearly illogical is the notion of ill-feeling, including the English woman blaming her flatmate for letting Rudy in to use the toilet; Rudy’s “truth” (and admissible insofar as it does not involve third parties) is that he was in the bathroom when he heard Mr Kercher have an altercation with another, female-voiced, person, so that the reason for the altercation cannot have been his use of the toilet.

It is illogical to posit that, in order to support the ill-feeling scenario, the stolen money and credit cards be used, when Amanda and Raffaele were cleared of that charge (f. 316).

It is arbitrary to translate to Via della Pergola a situation Amanda described in a different location, Raffaele’s house: watching a film, taking light drugs, having sex and a good long sleep until late morning the following day; there is no evidence of the influence of drugs, and finding a mixed DNA trace (Amanda and Raffaele) on a cigarette butt instead of doing a DNA-destroying drug test that might have offered useful insights was absolutely irrelevant, given that Raffaele was a visitor to the cottage because of his girlfriend.

The preceding picture is emblematic of the complex architecture of the impugned judgment relating to the substantive reconstruction, starting at paragraph 10, with the title “Conclusive Evaluations”. It is certainly undeniable that the court below required interpretative effort and speculation to fill the large evidentiary holes in the investigation.

Now, it is undoubted that it is the court of merit’s task to reconstruct what happened, not Cassation’s; common sense must be used; it can be logical but must stick to (legal) reality and be based on admitted evidence. Logic and intuition cannot be a substitute for lacking evidence and investigative inefficiencies. In the face of lacking, insufficient or contradictory evidence, the court must acquit under Article 530 paragraph 2, even if morally convinced of the culpability of the accused.

Further, there are holes in the court’s reasoning, for example in saying that Raffaele’s and Meredith’s DNA was found on the knife (f. 321) when elsewhere in the judgment (ff 208) Amanda is trace A, Meredith is trace B, and finally, trace I (unjustifiably ignored in the Conte-Vecchiotti [sic] report) is also Amanda’s. Trace B cannot carry any certainty, being unrepeatable, but nowhere on the knife is there any biological trace attributable to Raffaele (8.1)

COMMENT: Missing evidence is evidence of being missing. Something proves the opposite. What’s the Perugia Court of Appeal (=Hellmann) got to do with anything? The “˜clean-up’ refutation has the hallmarks of Bongiorno technique: to the prosecution suggestion that there might have been a party, her response was, “Where are the balloons, the corks and the champagne glasses?”

Obviously, “clean-up” has a specific meaning to Bruno. Switching a phone off or removing the battery needs fingers and will likely leave traces behind; better a sock and sling-throw into the dark. It’s common sense.

Can Bruno really be so obtuse: the bra-clasp is super-important exactly because it requires fingers, but the phones aren’t (in the hypothetical user’s mind). Drug-testing the cigarette butt is a good idea. Until you think about it: if Raffaele was at the cottage before, after, during, but not at the murder, how can a cigarette butt (with or without ice or cocaine on it) be tied to anything, time-wise?

Applying Bruno’s logic about the typo about Raffaele’s DNA being on the knife, then Bruno’s reference to Conte-Vecchiotti is also a “gaping hole”, because there’s no such people, and refers to a nothing; it’s Conti-Vecchiotti. Same with the nonsense phrase “˜Law Copy Number’ ““ what’s that? An obvious absurdity.

Therefore Bruno’s judgment is as void as its voids are. That’s logic. Obviously, if someone is stoned in Garibaldi Street, they can’t be stoned at a place two minutes’ walk away. That’s also “˜logic’.

Overall impression so far…

“Suddenly a strange madness took hold of him, a yearning to look once more off the end of the world. It would be his last chance, he thought; “¦”

“”  George R R Martin, A Game of Thrones, [HarperCollins, 1996], p 176. ISBN 9780002246576

There was an episode of Doctor Who last year, where one character was explaining the scientific beliefs of another, and the Doctor asked, “˜Why does he think that? Is he an idiot?’

Good question.

I can’t quite help thinking the choice is between whether Bruno is an idiot, or whether he is merely writing a satire for a student magazine and pretending to be an idiot. Perhaps, in my ignorance, I have not read enough yet, or I have misunderstood what I have read.

There is some logical analysis going on, - and the example of there being no clean-up because if it was Amanda, she would have known she would have had all night, and therefore would have done a proper job of it (!), so because she didn’t, there wasn’t (!!), is a good one ““ but joining two or more sentences into a coherent thought, and things start to disappear into the mists.

Another leitmotiv: The translation into “certainty” of what characteristics items of evidence must have to be admissible (in common law terms), erases the concept of “˜beyond a reasonable doubt’ from the picture.

Since he’s had multiple months to “˜get it right’, and these gaps remain, it looks as if Bruno’s condition is not a temporary one.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #4 Of 7: Continuing Dismissal Of Various Claims

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Another Italian masterpiece on justice (in this case brutal justice, by Caravaggio)

Overview Of The Post and the Series

Only two more posts after this one (we promise!).

Machiavelli already posted what constitutes Part #7 and also the first few paras of this one.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Again this seems like a lot of furious backpedaling away from the imperial, magisterial announcement by Judge Marasca back in late March.

Our further critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts. Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

On Further Appeal Grounds

4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(”¦) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.

Well, so the “fact” that was ascertained within that verdict, indisputably, is Guede’s participation in the murder “concurring with other people, who remain unknown”. The invoking of the procedural norms indicated means that the usability of such fact-finding is subordinate to [depends on] the double conditions [possibility] to reconcile such fact within the scope of the “object of proof” which is relevant to the current judgement, and on the existence of further pieces of evidence to confirm its reliability.

Such double verification, in the current case, has an abundantly positive outcome. In fact it is manifestly evident that such fact, which was ascertained elsewhere [aliunde], relates to the object of cognition of the current judgement. The [court’s] assessment of it, in accord with other trial findings which are valuable to confirm its reliability, is equally correct. We refer to the multiple elements, linked to the overall reconstruction of events, which rule out that Guede could have acted alone.

Firstly, testifying in this direction are the two main wounds (actually three) observed on the victim’s neck, on each side, with a diversified path and features, attributable most likely (even if the data is contested by the defense) to two different cutting weapons. And also, the lack of signs of resistance by the young woman, since no traces of the assailant were found under her nails, and there is no evidence elsewhere [aliunde] of any desperate attempt to oppose the aggressor; the bruises on her upper limbs and those on mandibular area and lips (likely the result of forcible hand action of constraint meant to keep the victim’s mouth shut) found during the cadaver examination, and above all, the appalling modalities of the murder, which were not adequately pointed out in the appealed ruling.

And in fact, the same ruling (p. 323 and 325) reports of abundant blood spatters found on the right door of the wardrobe located inside Kercher’s room, about 50 cm above the floor. Such occurrence, given the location and direction of the drops, could probably lead to the conclusion that the young woman had her throat literally “slashed” likely as she was kneeling, while her head was being forcibly held [hold] tilted towards the floor, at a close distance from the wardrobe, when she was hit by multiple stab wounds at her neck, one of which ““ the one inflicted on the left side of her neck ““ caused her death, due to asphyxia following [to] the massive bleeding, which also filled the breathing ways preventing breathing activity, a situation aggravated by the rupture of the hyoid bone ““ this also linkable to the blade action ““ with consequent dyspnoea” (p. 48).

Such a mechanical action is hardly attributable to the conduct of one person alone.

On the other hand such factual finding, when adequately valued, could have been not devoid of meaning as for researching the motive, given that [27] the extreme violence of the criminal action could have been seen ““ because of its abnormal disproportion ““ not compatible with any of the explanations given in the verdict, such as mere simple grudges with Ms. Knox (also denied by testimonies presented, [even] by the victim’s mother);  with sexual urges of any of the participants, or maybe even with the theory of a sex game gone wrong, of which, by the way, no mark was found on the victim’s body, besides the violation of her sexuality by a hand action of Mr. Guede, because of the DNA that could be linked to him found inside the vagina of Ms. Kercher, the consent of whom, however, during a preliminary phase of physical approach possibly consensual at the beginning, could not be ruled out. 

Such finding is even less compatible with the theory of the intrusion of an unknown thief inside the house, if we consider that, within the course of ordinary events, while it is possible that a thief is taken by an uncontrollable sexual urge leading him to assail a young woman when he sees her,  it’s rather unlikely that after a physical and sexual aggression he would also commit a gratuitous murder, especially not with the fierce brutality of this case, rather than running away quickly instead. Unless, obviously, we think about the disturbed personality of a serial killer, but there is no trace of that in the trial findings, since there are no records that any other killings of young women with the same modus operandi were committed in Perugia at that time.

4.3.2.  With regard to the second matter, relative to the option of akkowing ““ as article 238 bis of the code of criminal procedure allows ““ declarations “against others” made by Guede in the context of his own procedures in absence of other defendants (with reference to declarations, not always coherent and consistent, during the preliminary investigations and noted in his sentencing reports, somehow involving Knox in the homicide, but never explicitly Sollecito, while continuing to plead innocence, despite the presence in the crime scene and on the victim’s body of multiple biological traces attributed to him), the ruling can only be negative. Such a mode of allowance would result in an evasion of the guarantees dictated by article 526 chapter 1- bis, of the code of criminal procedure, according to which “the defendant’s guilt cannot be proved on the basis of declarations produced by anyone who, in free will, had always voluntarily avoided the examination by the accused or his defense team”. And furthermore, it seems a clear violation of article 111, chapter four. of the Constitution, which dictates identical an prescription in order to harmonize judicial processes according to article 6 letter d) of the European Convention for Human Rights (Section F. n. 35729 of the 1st August 2013, Agrama, Rv 256576).

In this regard, it appears useful to refer to the principle of “non-substitutability”, accepted by the United Divisions of this Supreme Court under the category “legality of the proof”, meaning that, when the code establishes an evidentary prohibition or an expressed non-usability, it is forbidden to resort to other procedural instruments, typical or atypical, with the purpose of   surreptitiously avoid such obstacle (Section U, n. 36747 of the 28 May 2003, Torcasio, Rv. 225467; cfr,, also, Section U, n. 28997 of the 19 April 2012, Pasqua, Rv. 252893).

And also during this trial, Guede ““ asked to speak as contextual witness, following the accusative declarations of the convicted offender Mario Alessi (sentenced for the horrible homicide of a child) ““ after denying the accusations of the aforementioned, confirmed the content of a letter sent by him to his attorneys which was then, surprisingly, shared with a television news service, in which he accused the current contestants - has then, substantively, avoided cross-examination by the defendants. And in fact, after recognizing the authenticity of the missive, where he denied what was stated by Alessi, regarding some asserted confidences related to the innocence of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, he didn’t wanted to be cross-examined by the accused’s defense, claiming his presence (as contextual witness) was limited to the content of Alessi’s declarations, which was with regard to him. So, the non-usability of what he declared ““ in the part concerning the letter that related to the current contestants ““ that is not useable in a different procedural context because it was produced absent the prescribed guarantees.

Furthermore, facing such unmoving and non-cooperative behavior, the appeal judge [Hellmann] did automatically insist on cross-examination of the Ivorian, despite the final irrevocability of the sentence against him, and failed to resolve the incompatibility of speaking in the present proceeding, according to article 197 of the code of criminal procedure.

And in fact, according to article 197 bis chapter 4 of the same standard code of procedure, he could have not been obliged to depose on the facts for which he had received a sentence, having always denied, during the proceeding against him, his responsibility and, not being able, in any way, to depose on facts involving his responsibility regarding the crime for which he was accused.

4.4 Finally, continuing on the preliminaries, the matter of standards must be faced, as claimed by the defense, regarding the denial of the claim for renewed court hearings during the appellate trial, on the request of carrying out new external investigations as requested.

The appeal exception was founded upon the observance of the presumed obligatory nature of the request of evidential integration of article 627, chapter 2, second part, according to which “[”¦.] if a sentence in appeal has been annulled and the parties request it, the judge can order a reviewing of the court hearings by obtaining proofs relevant to the decision”

Clearly, the letter of this norm is far from the discipline of the regular powers of the appellate judge regarding this matter under article 603 of the code of criminal procedure “non-decidability of the state of proceedings”,  in the hypothesis above in part 1, that the defense request referred to evidences already collected or new; referring to the criteria of article 495, chapter 1, on the hypothesis of new evidences found after the first instance ruling; there is “absolute necessity” of its integration with supplementary investigations, in case of review ex officio, beyond the special subject matter (originally in application and now canceled, according to article 11 law 28 April 2014, n. 67) of the requested review in favor of a defendant absent from the trial in the first instance.

The Supreme Court here states that the particular formulation of the aforementioned rule does not require the appellate judge, in the hypothesis of annulment of the first instance ruling, to be obliged to renew the court hearings just because the parties request it. A different interpretation would not have a rational basis and, instead, would introduce a dystonic element in the discipline of the institution.

In fact, the first part of the second chapter of article 627 of the code of criminal procedure highlights that the appellate judge decides with the same powers of the judge whose ruling has been annulled, except only for limitations originating in the law.

For a harmonic reconstruction that follows the code’s architecture it is imperative, then, to consider that the specific observance of the trial ruling renewed during the appeal judgment should not create an exception to the general requirement dictated in article 603 of the code of criminal procedure.

Furthermore it is clear that the reference, in chapter 2 of article 627 of the code of criminal procedure, to the assumption of “relevant” evidence for the decision constitutes a mere repetition, given that the trial judgment is, necessarily, central to the evaluation by the appeal judge charged with the requirement of evidentiary integration and the same appreciation of absolute necessity inspiring the appeal. And in fact, in case of renewing of the trial hearings on appeal no evidence that is not “relevant” to the decision may enter the proceeding; and the same thing applies, more generally, to the whole evidential section of the criminal proceeding, according to the fundamental principle stated in article 190 of the standard code of procedure, according to which the judge has to approve the evidence requested by the parties, excluding, beyond the instances prohibited by the law, any “manifestly irrelevant or unnecessary” evidence.
In this sense, with this clarification, it is worth, therefore, restating the orientation expressed, regarding this matter, by this Supreme Court on similar occasions

(Section 5, n. 52208 of 30 September 2014, Marino, Rv. 262116, according to which “the appellate judge, charged with the proceeding following the annulment declared by the Court of Cassation, is not obliged to reopen the court hearings every time the parties demand this, because his powers are identical to the ones of the judge whose sentence was annulled, and he has to accept assumption of the suggested new evidence only if it is necessary for the new decision” according to article 603 of the code of criminal procedure, and article 627, second chapter, of the code of criminal procedure; Section 1, n. 28225 of 09 May 2014, Dell’Utri, Rv. 260939; Section 4, n. 20422 of 21 June 2005, Poggi, Rv, 232020; Section 1, n. 16786 of 24 March 2004, De Falco, Rv. 227924)

Also, without question, the use of the powers conferred upon the appellate judge regarding new investigation, has as always to be concretely motivated and the relative motivation is, of course, again contestable by the Supreme Court.

In this specific case, the appeal judge [Nencini] has given a concrete reason for denying further evidentiary incorporation, considering it irrelevant for his decision purpose.

Furthermore the motivations for the denial of appeal implicitly emerged from the judge’s motivational construct, which declared complete the evidentiary compendium.

Furthermore, there is no reason to assumne, even within the specific appellate judgment, that the general principle of neutral expertise separated from the viewponts of the parties and remitted to the discretional power of the judge, was not observed because “it doe not come within the category of decisive proof and the consequent ruling of denial is not arguable according to article 606, chapter 1, let. d), of the code of criminal procedure, because it represents the result of a factual judgment which, if supported by adequate motivation, cannot be reversed by Cassation” (Section 6, n. 43526 of 3 October 2012, Ritorto, Rv. 253707).

5. Now having resolved, in the sections above, the defense’s prejudicial claims,  and the preliminary standard ones, the “merit” of the judgment can now be considered, in relation to the substance of the appealed matters

Firstly, it has to be assumed that, according to the loss of rights claimed under point b), relative to the charge of illegal carrying of the knife, this is now beyond the statute of limitations.

This has to be accepted, even in absence of more favorable reasons for acquittal on the merit, referring to article 129, second chapter, of the code of criminal procedure, and also the declarations of guilt in the trial sentence and the second appeal court.

Moreover, according to the undisputed decision of this Court of Cassation “the acquittal formula on the merit prevails on the statute of limitations in appeal cases where, with a mere analysis, the absolute absence of the proof of guilty against the defendant that is in fact positive proof of innocence can be observed, though not in the case of mere contradiction or insufficiency of the evidence which requires a pondered judgment between opposing conclusions, n.10284 of 22 January 2014, Culicchia, Rv. 259445).


Friday, October 09, 2015

The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #2 The Strange Two Unrelated Tracks Approach

Posted by catnip



The Bruno demon in the cage…

Initial impressions of the legal reasoning

A closer reading, or later pages, may reveal a change in opinion might be required. If so, those changes in the post will be noted. Based on experience, the likelihood is that, how a thing starts, is how it will tend to continue. Changing horses in mid-stream, though theoretically possible, is not an everyday occurrence.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: A European Court of Human Rights decision in Amanda’s favour won’t affect the calunnia conviction, since the accusations were repeated to the Prosecutor (such interviews are institutionally immune to psychological pressure), and she confirmed them again when writing in her note, signed by her, in a moment when she was alone with herself and her conscience. (2.2)

COMMENT: To the defence allegation that it was police pressure that caused Amanda to falsely claim that Patrick was the murderer, the obvious and common sense response that the claim was repeated in situations where no pressure was possible, deflates the allegation.

However, note Bruno’s implicit assumption, that Amanda was behaving rationally, that is, not affected by drugs, impaired mental states, or delusional or incorrect beliefs, is not raised, let alone examined and a factual finding made. (Not that it is in the Court of Cassation’s general remit to make findings of fact, but that is another matter.

And Bruno specifically addresses that point later, so he is not unaware of it.)  This way of treating assumptions forms a characteristic pattern, and has implications later. Note that while the murder charges were dismissed, the calunnia conviction was confirmed. This would not be a matter that any PR push for Raffaele would need to be concerned about, as we indeed find.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The request is refused to have the Grand Chamber consider the probative value of evidence collected in breach of international forensic standards; witness statements made under a strong media spotlight; and the admissibility of accusatory statements made in the judgment of another court and received into evidence. (2.3)

COMMENT: Bruno can handle the forensics methodology question, Alessi’s bag-of-hot-air statements, and the legal implications of the explicit accusations made in the judgment reasons confirming Rudy’s conviction.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The appeal court did not follow Cassation’s ruling on the principles of law involved, namely that the court is not to rely on the original (annulled) reasoning, the court must not trespass into the merits of the case, the court retains the original scope of enquiry, all the facts must be looked at, and the action to take depends upon the type of annulment because there can be errors of law, and errors of logic. (3)

COMMENT: The Florence Court of Appeal did not follow the instructions set down for it by Cassation. This aspect of the rules of law and procedure will take some detail to examine fully, but suffice to say here that Bruno’s own methodology is not automatically immune from the same defects he is accusing Florence of having, merely because it is him saying so. How well does Bruno himself follow the rules?, in other words. Verbal gymnastics and semantic yoga poses are presaged.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: There were glaring errors. (3.1)

COMMENT: This becomes his leitmotiv, and he actually uses that word when talking of others.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: There is only one irrefutable certainty in this case: Amanda’s guilt as regards her criminal calumny (calunnia) against Patrick Lumumba; the investigator’s glaring errors and omissions ““ the intrinsically contradictory complex of evidence is anything but beyond a reasonable doubt (4).

COMMENT: Amanda’s crime against Patrick remains; the evidence is intricate and, due to errors, incomplete, therefore the standard of “˜beyond a reasonable doubt’ has not been met. How it is that the investigator’s actions were in actual error is not established: the implication is that the defence appeal claims are simply being taken on copy-paste trust.

A fair assessment would entail examining the basis of claims that there was forensic error, hearing any counter-arguments, weighing the significance and importance of any such error if it were found to exist, and deciding if it has a bearing and impact on the legal question to be decided ““ this is all trial-court matter.

People being driven by the media spotlight is another leitmotiv of Bruno’s. It’s almost as if he is embodying what he is saying that others have done.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The absurd and incomprehensible death of Meredith Kercher in mysterious circumstances and the international media spotlight forced an increase in the pace of the investigation and a knee-jerk search for someone guilty to display to the international media, and lack of regard for international protocols about possible contamination, led to hurried, incomplete and incorrect investigative activity. The lack of repeatability, breaking one of the most fundamental requirements of the scientific method as established by Galileo, was a flaw. (4.1)

COMMENT: Here is the first clue that the search for a rational motive is not going to be successful: the murder was senseless. The media spotlight provides the logical underpinning, the motive if you will, of why the police made errors: they needed a quick result, and so therefore cut corners. The “˜international standards’ (which are never named explicitly) provide the yardstick against which these cut corners can be measured.

(Which leads to a circular-logic paradox scenario: At the scriptwriters’ workshop for Detectives 101: Writer A: “I’ve got them on the scene now, ready to decide what to do. So how do I get them to cut corners? What are the corners, the international standards?” Writer B: “I don’t know. Make “˜em up. Or download something official-looking off the Internet.” Writer A: “What are their guidelines in real life, though? Surely they don’t go about breaching guidelines on every callout. How did they know about putting on gloves, for instance?” Writer B: “.”)

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The media and its associated “noise” (in it computer science sense) induced a mythomane seeking to break the long grey day of an incarceration regime, at least for a day; and Rudy the half-truth teller is key: definite traces of him were found in the room and on the victim. (4.2)

COMMENT: Alessi, believed to be a full-truth teller, wanted some fresh air for a couple of hours, so a trip to the courtroom was organised. The media’s fault. Rudy, the known half-truth teller, knows more, because actual traces of him were found in what can be referred to as the “˜murder zone’. Notwithstanding that a person’s traces can be found on a victim, and the person is not a murderer. Bruno is also performing some literary yoga poses in this passage.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Rudy’s finalised, definitive, judgment, and his statements, attract questions of admissibility. (4.3)

COMMENT: This is the crux of the legal use of the inferences available in terms of Bruno’s reasoning. Rudy’s trial and conviction are being treated by Bruno as separate and distinct from the trial of Amanda and Raffaele, rather than logically interlinked: if the forensics against Amanda and Raffaele are flawed, then those against Rudy are not, because his conviction has become definitive. That is an artificial way of looking at it. Inferences can go both ways: if Raffaele’s DNA is the result of contamination, then so could Rudy’s be, for exactly the same reasons; if a person has the victim’s blood on their hands, then that does not make them the (or a) murderer.

Indeed, Rudy explicitly stated he got blood on him while trying to help Meredith (implicitly, this must be the untrue part of one of Rudy’s half-truths). So then Rudy’s conviction becomes a legal fiction, not a representation of what actually happened, and Rudy’s definitive judgment voids itself into nothingness. Bruno avoids discussing this line of thought, for some reason. He also, conveniently, has somehow forgotten about the phrase “acting in company with” in the Criminal Code, again, for some reason (presumably).

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Rudy’s judgment: The search for a motive for the murder has yielded nothing, in proportion to what has been conjectured: mere disagreement among flatmates, sexual desires (an at least initial consensual act cannot be excluded); and even less for an unknown burglar who graduates from theft, to uncontrollable sexual assault, to gratuitous homicide with such brutal ferocity, unless there was a serial killer in action, which there is no evidence of in the documents that in Perugia, at that time, other homicides of other young women in identical circumstances were being committed. (4.3.1)

COMMENT: This counts as a straw man within a straw man. The Perugian Serial Killer angle almost qualifies as a laughable joke. And what are the chances of finding a traditional rational motive for an irrational (“senseless and absurd”) act? Close to zero, would be the statistician’s answer. The key word is “gratuitous”. Although, the lone-burglar scenario defence gambit gets a drubbing.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Rudy’s statements—made in the absence of the people whose rights are affected (a denial of rights), not always coherent and constant (a denial of logic), and somehow involving Amanda (but never Raffaele explicitly), while continuing to maintain his innocence notwithstanding his forensic presence at the scene and on the victim ““ can only be rejected as inadmissible, and in breach of the requirements for a fair trial. In fact, Rudy as a witness violates his right not to testify after finalisation of his sentence or undergo cross-examination. (4.3.2)

COMMENT: There’s legal yoga posing in this section. The interlinked nature of the trials works both ways: accusations made by the Amanda and Raffaele defence against Rudy in his absence can’t be responded to and cross-examined by him. The bit about “˜not always coherent and constant’ also applies to Amanda and Raffaele. And the bit about Rudy never mentioning Raffaele being on site and present does not sound like it came from Amanda’s defence. On the plus side, Bruno, as editor, did manage to condense the 600-and-more pages of the (Bongiorno) defence appeal down to a couple of dozen paragraphs.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The procedural rules were violated when the defence request to re-open argument was refused. The term “relevant”, as in relevant evidence as mentioned in the Code, is mere linguistic decoration (4.4)

COMMENT: There might be some merit in the idea that witnesses are recalled and argument re-opened only when it’s relevant, and not otherwise. The assertion of procedural violation remains just that, though, an assertion. In any case, opposing views are not examined. So how did Bruno reach his decision? A set of reasons without the actual reasons being given ““ is that what we are looking at?

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The charge relating to unlawful transport of a knife has exceeded the time limit set by the statute of limitations. (5)

COMMENT: The limitations period expiry gambit is a widely-used defence strategy. Lots of people, including very many in the media spotlight, have taken advantage of it and benefitted from it.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The judgment appealed from, the subject of multiple censures by the parties, exhibits mistakes, incongruities and errors of law. (6)

COMMENT: The prosecution are strangely absent from all of this. Did Bruno only have the transcript of the second day’s hearing, after misplacing the prosecution’s or leaving it at the bus stop? In any case, he does not give any indication that he has read it.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: In first place, the affirmation that determining the motive is substantively irrelevant is an error. Automatically transferring Rudy’s sexual motive to the others doesn’t hold up; the erotic game scenario finds no corroboration; extending a shared and definite set of interpersonal relationships amongst the co-participants is also a species of transfer.

The love-story between Amanda and Raffaele is obvious and even if it appears certain that she somehow, somewhen, knew Rudy, there is no evidence that Raffaele knew him or ever visited him. If Laura and Filomena didn’t know Rudy and are ruled out as murderers, not to do the same with Raffaele is illogical and irrational. (6.1)

COMMENT: The other judges got it wrong about the importance of motive. If motive is essential, then no motive means no crime. And if one person had motive, it doesn’t mean the others must have had the same motive. The love-story appears obvious, but appearing so doesn’t make it so. Calling it a love-story is an interpretation, in any case. How was the conclusion reached and alternative hypotheses rejected? And how does not knowing Rudy socially (beforehand) have a bearing on anything (even motives)? A straw straw-man being invoked?

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Holding that the exact time of death was irrelevant was also an error. From the phone records, it emerges that the time of death can be set between 21:30 and 22:13. (6.2)

COMMENT: The exact time is needed for a fair trial so the accused can supply an alibi. The prosecution method of picking the middle of the estimated time range is “˜mere’ arithmetic, not science (including gastric).  Perhaps Bruno read along the line underneath by mistake on the phone call log printout (if he actually read anything)? Perhaps he just accepted the defence claim at their word? Who can tell?

Pause here and re-energize, before we continue in another post. Bruno’s pattern seems to be shaping up as:

Make assertions as if they are conclusions; show no reasoning for them; exhibit a predilection and fondness for posing (of which more, when we get to the detail); and embody what he alleges the prosecution (and Alessi) have done, namely hastening under pressure and influence of the media spotlight and not following international standards, in this case, of legal reasoning and fairness (plus the implicit backhanders to all those who “got it wrong”).

It’s almost as if this case has provided him with the opportunity of at least a small break from long grey days of unproductive solitude. If so, it’s no wonder his sympathy with Raffaele’s situation of watching mould growing on his cell wall shines through so brightly.


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #3 Of 7: Dismissal Of Appeal Claims, Nencini Scope

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Overview Of The Post and the Series

The purpose of the series was summarised in Post #1.

With this post we are about 3/4 of the way through the judgment and here Marasca and Bruno push aside both some of Knox’s and Sollecito’s grounds of appeal and also Judge Nencini’s chosen scope.

This is done in a manner remarked on by Catnip as curiously pedantic and dogmatic. It is based largely on innuendo and a noticeably weak grasp of the real facts - for example the jailbirds Alessi and Aviello were DEFENSE witnesses and hardly a weakness of the prosecution case.

The evidence discussed is cherrypicked and the bar for “beyond a reasonable doubt” is set way higher than judges who normally handle murder cases (as the Fifth Chambers and these particular judges do not) would ever espouse. The exhaustive six-step review process prior to the 2009 trial is totally ignored.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Our further critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts. Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

CONSIDERED THAT

1. Logical and exposition reasons call for an immediate examination of the preliminary matters advanced by the defenses.

In fact, these are issues of prejudicial relevance, since they are potentially capable of influencing the subsequent developments of decisions which, even if devoid of substantial definitiveness, could nevertheless have a decisive effect, at least in relation to the remand back to the lower court and postponement of the present consideration.

First of all, we will address the issue of constitutional legitimacy of the combined provisions of articles 627 par. 3, and 628 par. 2 of the code of criminal procedure, for supposed violation of the principle of reasonable length of the judicial process in light of article 111 of the Constitution; also the request to delay judgment until the decision of the European Court for Human Rights, subjected to an appeal submitted by the defense of Amanda Knox complaining about coercive treatment to which the aforementioned was supposed to have been exposed by the investigators during the preliminary investigations; also to the multiple requests of Raffaele Sollecito’s defense to refer examinations to the United Sections of this Supreme Court [a panel of all Chambers] about matters of particular relevance to their capability to generate interpretative alternatives in the case law of this Court.

2. All the requests are clearly unfounded.

2.1. Unfounded, first of all, is the restated issue of constitutional legitimacy of the laws that rule judgment by the courts after Supreme Court remand. And in fact, the motivating report of the previous [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.], who, with the preliminary court order dated 30 September 2013, has considered the matter as clearly unfounded, is irreproachable. To the arguments brought forward [by the judge] in relation to the first matter ““ an illustration of how the dynamics of the relationship between a judgment of annulment on legitimacy grounds, and a replacement judgment by the lower judge after remand, are guided by a progressive narrowing of the thema decidendum [matter], which, serves to preclude an extension ad infinitum of the trial process ““ this can be added: the effect of the progressive delimitation of the res iudicanda is followed by the judiciary as a possible result not only of the rescinding [annulling] judgment, but also of the requirements of article 628, par. 2, of the procedural code, according to which in all cases the sentence of the appellate judge can be challenged only in relation to reasons not concerning points already decided the Court of Cassation, or for failure to abide with the requirements of article 627, chapter 4 , of the code of criminal procedure, according to which “the appellate judgment by the court following Supreme Court remand cannot reopen the issue of nullity, even absolute, or inadmissibility, decided during previous trials or during preliminary investigations.”

Thus legitimacy jurisprudence is prohibited to extend as far as non-usability, since it is considered as an expression of a general principle of the decree which tends to confer definitive status to the decisions of the Court of Cassation (Section 5, n. 10624 dated on 12 February 2009, Barbara, Rv. 242980; Section 5, n. 36769 dated on 03 September 2006, Caruso, Rv 235015; Section 1, n. 22023 of the 18 April 2006,  Marine, Rv. 235274; and, about preliminary judicial review, Section 6, n. 47564 of the 14 November 2013, Tuccillo, Rv. 257470; contra, Section 3, n. 15828 of the 26 November 2014, Rv. 263343).

It is thus perfectly acceptable to affirm that the legislative [parliament] has designed a procedural module with a progressive foundation (principle of so-called “progressive ruling”), which can be viewed ““ in a slice of time ““ as “concentric circles”.

Furthermore, the previous court ““ in the instances described in the appeal document signed by the lawyers Ghirga and Della Vedova ““ had already had the opportunity to take care of this matter, declaring it inadmissible on the basis of argumentations that the current defensive explanations doesn’t seem capable of rebutting, since they do not proffer arguments that could possibly promote a different deciding conclusion.

It cannot be ignored that the criminal trial is, constitutionally, aimed at the acknowledgement of the material truth by means of a cognitive progression, excluding possible errors in procedendo or in iudicando, medio tempore occurring, to reach its final purpose, in terms of approximation as close as possible to that objective, [20] rendering back to the community a result commonly intended as “judicial truth”, that means truth found procedurally (rectius, the one which has been possible to verify by means of the ordinary gnostic and inferential instruments at disposal of the judge). All of this, within the ineluctible contexts of the procedural formalities, which represent, obviously, the maximum expression of juridical civility and the prestigious spirit of a centuries old process of advancement of procedural knowledge typical of the Italian juridical culture.

And when one deals with, as in this case, matters of particular evidence in absence of direct proof, or of reliable technical-scientific contribution, or of pertinent and usable declarative contributions ““ the judicial truth, detached from factual reality, ends up being a mere fictio iuris, considering the limits and the ordinary subjectivity of the instruments of human knowledge, commonly depending on a reconstructive and re-elaborative process a posteriori.

So, it is precisely in this circumstances that the respect of standards is most necessary, representing an unswerving parameter ““ objective and privileged ““ for the verification of correctness and adequacy of the cognitive process of the judge during the pragmatic approach to the material truth.

And the Judge of the legitimacy is, in fact, called to attend to the aforementioned verification with cognitive powers only ab extrinseco, meaning that they are limited to a mere external check of the formal correctness, congruency and logical coherence of the set of explanations justifying that cognitive progression, without any possibility to observe the real demonstrative importance of the evidential elements used in it.

And furthermore, such pursue of finalization will have to comply with the constitutional principle under article 111 of the Constitution about reasonable length of a trial process intended to develop through phases and predetermined sequenced articulations.

The pursue of that ultimate purpose (seeking of the material truth) ““ particularly in trials of particular delicacy like the one examined here, of such difficulty in carrying out of procedural activities, and technical investigations of particular complexity ““ has therefore to be related to the necessity of a judicial reply of a length as short as possible, for the obvious necessity of respect for the value of the subjects involved and of the ineluctible claim for justice both of the victims and the community.

2.2. The request of Amanda Knox’s defense aimed at the postponing of the present trial to wait for the decision of the European Court of Justice [sic] has no merit, due to the definitive status of the guilty verdict for the crime of calunnia, now protected as a partial final status, against a denouncement of arbitrary and coercive treatments allegedly carried out by the investigators against the accused to the point of coercing her will and damaging her moral freedom in violation of article 188 of penal procedure code. [21]

And also, a possible decision of the European Court in favor of Ms. Knox, in the sense of a desired recognition of non-orthodox treatment of her by investigators, could not in any way affect the final verdict, not even in the event of a possible review of the verdict, considering the slanderous accusations that the accused produced against Lumumba consequent to the asserted coercions, and confirmed by her before the Public Prosecutor during the subsequent session, in a context which, institutionally, is immune from anomalous psychological pressures; and also confirmed in her memoriale, at a moment when the same accuser was alone with herself and her conscience in conditions of objective peacefulness, sheltered from environmental influence; and were even restated, after some time, during the validation of the arrest of Lumumba, before the investigating judge in charge.

2.3. Finally, denied also is the request from Sollecito’s defense seeking to obtain referral to the United Sections of this Court of matters related to the evidential value of scientific results acquired in violation of international protocols which contain specific prescriptions meant to assure the genuineness of the sampling and the analysis; also related to the standards of evaluation of expert testimony during the trial process under strong media exposure; also related to the usability of accusative declarations reported in the verdict that had been acquired according to article 238”“bis of the procedure code.

These are, clearly, matters of particular weight, of some agreed relevance for purposes of defining the present judgment, but of dubious capacity to generate potential jurisprudential contrasts. Anyway, interpretative tangles are checked out here which this Court could not ignore, with the pertinent conclusion having binding effectiveness within the purpose of defining the present proceeding.

3. Having thus stated, the main topic of the present proceeding can now be approached, the leitmotiv of the claims of the contestants, revolving around a prejudicial claim of inobservance, on the part of the [Florence] appeal judge, of the dictum of the [2013] annulment ruling by this Court and the principle of law established within it.

The investigation requested to this Court is only apparently simple, considered that the ratio decidendi of the annulment ruling is founded on the finding of a manifest illogicality of the rationale supporting the appealed judgement; a finding which consists ““ and specifies itself ““ in the observation of a violation of the principles of completeness and of non-contradiction.

It is an established jurisprudential rule that, in presence of such reasoning for an annulment, derived from a deficit in the reasoning, the new appeal judge [giudice di rinvio] is tasked with the comprehension of the whole body of evidence, which he is expected to revisit [22] in full freedom of conviction, without any bound, being only supposed to produce, as a result, a reasoning deprived of those flaws of manifest illogicality or manifest contradiction which caused the annulment of the first appeal verdict. In the case law of this Court of Cassation there is, in fact, the recurrent statement “following an annulment for incorrect reasoning, the new appeal judge is prohibited from basing the new decision on the same arguments considered illogic or inconsistent by the Court of Cassation, but he is however free to reach, on the basis of different argumentations from the ones claimed in the Supreme Court therefore integrating and completing the ones already issued, the same judicial result of the annulled ruling. This because it is an exclusive task of the courts of merit to reconstruct the resulting facts from the trial findings, and to assess the signification and value of the relative sources of evidence”. (among others, Sect 4, n. 30422 of 21 June 2005, Poggi, Rv. 232019; Section 4, n. 48352 of 29 April 2009, Savoretti, Rv 245775).

A problem ““ suggested with appreciable discretion within the new reasons [of appeal] in favor of Knox ““ appears when, as in this case, the Court of Cassation has entered in the merits, going beyond the institutional limits assigned to it, such as when for example it offers a range of causal alternatives for the murder and assigns to the judge the task of picking, within that predetermined numerous clausus, the one most appropriate to the case at bar. There’s no doubt, in the opinion of this panel, that in such peculiar event the new appellate court cannot consider itself either bound or influenced, because of the aforementioned clear problem of this institutional kind, that, for what was stated before, exists between cognizance of legitimacy and cognizance of the fact, the latter being the exclusive prerogative of the judge of merit. In this regard the Supreme Court has already given its contribution, stating that the new appellate judge cannot be influenced “by evaluations possibly over-stated by the Court of Cassation in its argumentations, since the spheres within which the respective evaluation are carried out are different, and it is not the task of the Court of Cassation to put its conviction before the judge of merits in regards to those matters. After all, in those cases where the Supreme Court possibly focus its attention over some specific aspects from which the lack or the contradiction of reasoning emerges, this doesn’t mean that the new appellate judge would be tasked with a new judgment only on the specified points, because the judge retains the same powers which originally belonged to him as a judge of merits in relation to the identification and evaluation of the trial data, regarding the point of the verdict affected by annulment” (Section 4 n.30422/2005 cit.). In the same sense it was stated that “”¦ possible factual elements and assessments contained in the annulment ruling are not binding for the new appellate judge, but are considered exclusively as a reference point in order to position the complained-about error or errors, [23] and therefore not as data imposed for the decision requested of him; moreover, there’s no doubt that, after the ruling of annulment for incorrect reasoning through the indication of specific points of deficiency or contradiction, the powers of the new appellate judge cannot be restrained to the examination of the single specified points, as if they were isolated from the rest of the evidential material, but he must also carry out other acts of evidence-finding on which results his decision has to be based, providing the reason for this within the judgment report” (Section 4, n. 44644 of 18 October 2011, defendant F., Rv. 251660; Section 5, n. 41085 of 3 July 2009, defendant L., Rv. 245389; Section 1, n. 1397 of 10 December 1997 dep. 1998, Pace, Rv. 209692).

All of this is the background to a reiterated doctrine of this Court of Cassation, consolidated to the point of constituting a ius receptum, according to which “the powers of the new appeals judge are different depending on if the annulment has been ruled for violation or erroneous application of the criminal code, or for absence of manifested illogicality of reasoning, since, while, in the first hypothesis, the judge is bound to the law principle expressed by the Court, without changing the evaluation of the facts as they were found by the appealed verdict, in the second hypothesis, a new examination of the evidential compendium can be carried out, without repeating the same incorrect reasoning of the annulled order. (among the others, Section 3, n. 7882 of 10 January 2012, Montali, Rv. 252333).

3.1. As we will see, the appeals judge [Nencini] was influenced on many points by the suppositions of factual aspects emerging within the annulment judgment, as if the convincing and analytic evaluations of the Supreme Court were unavoidably converging in the direction of affirmation of guilt of the two defendants. Being misled by this error, the same judge encounters clear logic inconsistencies and obvious errors in iudicando, which need to be challenged here.

4. Meanwhile, it can’t be ignored, on a first summary overview, that the history of these proceedings is characterized by a troubled and intrinsically contradictory path, with the only fact of irrefutable certainty being the guilt of Amanda Knox regarding the slanderous accusations against Patrick Lumumba. On the concern of the murder of Kercher, the declaration of guilt of Knox and Sollecito, in first instance, was followed by a ruling of acquittal from the appeal Court of Assizes of Perugia, consequent to an articulated evidential integration [the Conti-Vecchiotti report, ed.]; the annulment by this Supreme Court, First Criminal Section; and finally the judgment, on appeal, of the Court of assizes of Florence, today considered under a new Cassation appeal.

An objectively wavering process, the oscillations of which are the result of glaring failures or investigative “amnesias” and of culpable omissions in [24] investigating activities, which, had they been carried out, would have, probably, allowed from the start the outline a framework, if not of certainty, at least of reassuring reliability, in direction of either the guilt or the non-involvement of the current appellants. Such scenario, intrinsically contradictory, constitutes a first, eloquent, representation of an evidential set of anything but “beyond reasonable doubt”.

4.1. Surely, an unusual media fuss about the crime, caused not just by the dramatic modalities of the death of a 22-year old woman, so absurd and incomprehensible in its genesis, but also by the nationality of the persons involved (a USA citizen, Knox, accused of participating in the murder of her housemate who was sharing a foreign study experience with her; an English citizen, Meredith Kercher, killed in mysterious circumstances in the place where she likely used to feel most safe, her home, and additionally the international implications of the case itself, prompted the investigation to suffer from a sudden acceleration, which, in the spasmodic search for one or more culprits to be delivered to international public opinion,  surely didn’t help the search for substantial truth, which, in complex murder cases like the one examined here, has an ineluctible requirement both for accurate timing, and also the completeness and accuracy of the investigation activity. Not only that, but also, when ““ as in this case ““ the result of the search is greatly based on the results of scientific examinations, the antiseptic sampling of all the elements useful to the investigation ““ in an environment provided of the appropriate sterilization, so to shield it from possible contaminations ““ constitutes, normally, the first cautionary strategy, itself the vital prelude to a correct analysis and “reading” of the retrieved samples. And if the key part of the activity of technical-scientific research consists in specific genetic investigations, whose contribution in the investigative activity emerges as more and more relevant, the reliable parameter of correctness can only be the respect of standards imposed by the international protocols which outline the fundamental rules of procedure of the scientific community, on the basis of statistic and epistemological observation.

The rigorous respect for such methodological standards provides a reliability, conventionally acceptable, in the assembled results, firstly related to their repeatability ““ that is the possibility that those findings, and those alone, would be reproduced by an identical investigative procedure 0in identical conditions, according to the fundamental laws of the empiric method and, more generally, of experimental science, that since Galileo has been based on the application of a “scientific method” (typical procedure meant to obtain knowledge of “objective” reality, reliable, verifiable and sharable; by common knowledge this consists, on one hand, in the collection of empiric data in relation to the hypothesis and theories to be confirmed; on the other hand, in the mathematical and rigorous analysis of such data, that is associating ““ as stated for the first time by aforementioned Galileo ““ “sensible experiences” with “necessary demonstrations” that is the experimentation with mathematics.

4.2. As we will see, all of this is basically missing in the current judgment.

Not only that but, the media attention, besides not helping the search for the truth, has produced further prejudicial feedback in terms of “procedural diseconomy”, generating undue “noise” (in the IT meaning) , not so much from the delay of the availability of witness testimony from certain persons (considering that from this point of view it is anyway just a matter of verifying the reliability of the corresponding declarative contributions), but because of the introduction into the trial of extemporary declarations by certain detained subjects, of solid criminal caliber [defense witnesses Alessi and Aviello], surely intent on self-serving mythomania and judicial attention-seeking behavior capable of assuring them a media stage, including on TV, so breaking at least for one day the grayness of their prison regime. And by the way this was a common instance of claims from “fetchers” of truths collecting within the prison environment unworthy confidences between co-inmates during the routine yard time. Clearly not commendable situations, which, also, had had the outcome of assuring ““ for the first time during the appeal ““ the active participation in this case of Rudy Guede (when he was summoned during the first instance judgment, he invoked his right to not respond; p. 3): [he’s] a key element in this case, even if unshakably reticent (and has never confessed), a bringer of half-truths differing from time to time.

Rudy Guede is the Ivorian citizen who was also himself involved in the Kercher case. Tried separately with a separate judgment, as a co-participant to the murder, he was sentenced, at the end of an abbreviated trial, to the penalty of thirty years imprisonment, reduced on appeal to sixteen years.

Our mention of him is to make it worth introducing the second, irrefutable, certainty of this trial (after the one concerning the responsibility of Knox for the crime of calunnia), that is the guilt now under irrevocable ruling, of the Ivorian as the author ““ participating with others ““ of the murder of the young English woman.

The finding of guilt of the aforementioned was reached on the basis of genetic traces, definitely attributable to him, collected in the house in via della Pergola, on the victim’s body and inside the room where the murder was committed.

4.3. The same reference [to Guede] also raises two relevant points of law, highlighted by the defense: one concerning the usability and the value of the aforementioned irrevocable verdict in this proceeding; the other related to the usability of the declarations - in terms less than coherent and constant ““ produced by Guede within his own trial, which may involve the current appellants in some way.


Friday, October 02, 2015

The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #1 The Strange “Dogmatic Assertions” Approach

Posted by catnip



General Garofano founded Carabinieri labs, has long argued DNA evidence in this case very strong

1. Overview Of This Post

These analyses will be interspersed with the final posts of the Marasca/Bruno report. 

A person holding themselves out to be a “˜creation scientist’ may easily make a statement (in the form of a short sentence in an article or of a soundbite on TV).

At which point, it may take a whole book of effort, to examine the background and field(s) of scientific learning and expertise that are involved and to follow the lines of reasoning used (if any), in order to come to a satisfactory assessment of the accuracy and reliability of that statement.

Likewise with the Fifth Criminal Chamber Cassation judgment penned by Bruno. It seems to be full of assertions. And that’s it.

Take, as one example, the international standards that the forensics personnel are supposed to have breached.

2. Example: “˜International standards’

Much has been made of what have been called “˜international forensic standards’, and whether they have been met and what significance the evidence would have had if they hadn’t.

There is also a subtext of what forensic procedure the Italian Scientific Police were actually following and why a breach of those guidelines did not ground a submission by the defence that there had been contamination and therefore that the evidence was unusable.

(Plus also, disposable gloves are called “˜monouso’, that is “single use”, in Italian, and that name seems to have sown some confusion in the minds of the defence lawyers about how such gloves are to be used in actual cases.)

In Italian, there’s a recent textbook, with international contributors:

Donatella Curtotti and Luigi Saravo (eds), Manuale delle investigazioni sulla scena del crimine: Norme, techniche, scienze, (2013) [Giappichelli, 2013] (Crime Scene Investigation Manual: Guidelines, techniques, science)

ISBN 9788834829004

A perusal of the contents shows that its coverage is extensive in terms of subject matter, and not superficial, at over a thousand pages:

Introduction

D Curtotti, BAJ Fisher, MM Houck and G Spangher, “Diritto e sceinza: Un rapporto in continua evoluzione”,  pp 1-36 (Law and Science: A relationship in continuous evolution)

The legal picture

D Curtotti, “I rilievi e gli accertamenti sul locus commissi delicti nelle evoluzioni del codice di procedura penale”,  pp 37-118 (Collection and tests at the scene of the crime in the developments of the Criminal Procedure Code)

D Curtotti, “L’inadeguatezza delle norme al cospetto della nuova realta’ investigativa e le soluzioni giuridiche percorribili”,  pp 119-146 (Legal inadequacy in the face of the new investigative reality and feasible judicial solutions)

F Giunchedi, “Le consulenze techniche tra accertamenti irripetibili e incidente probatorio”,  pp 147-176 (Technical consultants between unrepeatable tests and preliminary hearing)

A Procaccino, “Le selezione del consulenti technici e la tracciabilita’ dell’expertise: Profili interni e comparatistici”,  pp 177-218 (The selection of technical consultants and the audit trail of expertise: Internal and comparative profiles)

D Curtotti, “Il sopralluogo della difesa”,  pp 219-234 (The defence crime scene search)

D Curtotti and L Saravo, “L’errore technico-scientifico sulla scena del crimine”,  pp 235-253 (Technical and scientific error at the scene of the crime)

E Cataldi, M Vaira and A Iasillo, “La scena del crimine vist dai protagonisti del processo”,  pp 255-300 (The scene of the crime as seen by the protagonists in the trial)

The technical-scientific picture: the new investigative paradigm

L Saravo, “Il nuovo paradigma investigativo sulla scena del crimine”,  pp 301-312 (The new investigative paradigm at the crime scene)

L Rockwell and L Saravo, “L’analisi logica della tracce”,  pp 313-342 (The logical analysis of traces)

L Garofano and L Saravo, “Il primo intervento”,  pp 343-364 (First intervention)

L Saravo, “CSI: Il metodo di ricerca e valutazione delle tracce”,  pp 365-414 (CSI: Trace search and evaluation method)

The technical-scientific picture: technique, technology and science on the traces of crime

R Gennari and L Saravo, “Le tracce”,  pp 415-466 (Traces)

A Galassi, D Gaudio, P Martini, L Saravo, M Sgrenaroli and G Vassena, “La rappresentazione della scena del crimine: Dalla descrizione narrative ai rilievi tridimenionali”,  pp 467-558 (Representation of the crime scene: From narrative to 3D)

R Gennari and L Saravo, “Rilievi edaccertamenti sulle tracce: Dalle impronte al DNA”,  pp 559-644 (Collection and tests on traces: From prints to DNA)

G Arcudi and GL Marella, “Il cadavere e la scena del crimine: Un binomio inscindibile”,  pp 645-671 (The body and the crime scene: An inseparable pairing)

The technical-scientific picture: new techniques

TP Sutton, “L’analisi della macchie di sangue (BPA)”,  pp 672-706 (Blood pattern analysis)

M Mattiucci, “Le indagini sui repertiinvisibili: High Tech Crime”,  pp 707-718 (Analysis of invisible evidence: High Tech Crime)

P Magni and E Di Luise, “Gli insetti nelle scienze forensi”,  pp 719-742 (Insects in the forensic sciences)

P Magni and E Di Luise, “Le tracce orfane: Botanica, micologia, zoologia, microbiologica, e geoscience nel mondo forense”,  pp 743-791 (Orphan traces: Botany, mycology, zoology, microbiology and geoscience in the world of forensics)

B F Carillo, U Fornari, G L Giovanni and L P Luini, “La scena del crimine vista con gli occhi della criminologia”,  pp 791-872 (Looking at the crime scene through the eyes of the criminologist)

The technical-scientific picture: complex investigations

D Gaudio, D Salsarola, P Poppa, A Galassi, R Sala, D Gibelli and C Cattaneo, “L’archeologia forense: Il corretti recupero dei resti umani”,  pp 873-896 (Forensic archaeology: The correct recovery of human remains)

S Scolaro, P Magni and E Di Luise, “La scena criminis in ambiente acquatico”,  pp 897-926 (The crime scene in aquatic environments)

B Cristini and F Notaro, “Lo scenario incendiario”,  pp 927-982 (The incendiary scenario)

A Boncio, Ecataldi, R Mugavero, G Peluso and L Saravo, “Lo scenario terroristico”,  pp 983-1062 (The terrorist scenario)

D O’Loughlin and L Saravo, “I disastri di massa”,  pp 1063-1086 (Mass disasters)

In all the above, the name of Garofano can be seen (a well-known and highly regarded forensics expert), and the Australian contribution (the last chapter) relates to learnings from the Black Saturday bushfires.

“fictional events can gain currency in the real world”  “”  Jim Fraser, Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction, (2010) [Oxford University Press, 2010], p 25 (talking about movie scenes showing the effect of an injection of adrenalin into a person’s heart).  [ISBN 9780199558056]

The defence aim was to reduce the significance of Raffaele’s DNA being found on the torn-off or cut-off clasp of Meredith’s bra, which clasp was collected on a second, later, occasion from a different location in Meredith’s room a pace or so distant from that in which it had been found originally (beneath a pillow under her body).

The video of the scene showed the clasp being handled by various gloved personnel before being bagged.

One strand of the defence attacked the gloves, arguing that they should have been changed.

What are the actual recommendations on gloves?

Disposable gloves should be “˜changed frequently’:

“The evidence collector must handle all body fluids and biologically stained materials with a minimum amount of personal contact. All body fluids must be assumed to be infectious; hence, wearing disposable latex gloves while handling the evidence is required. Latex gloves also significantly reduce the possibility that the evidence collector will contaminate the evidence. These gloves should be changed frequently during the evidence-collection phase of the investigation. Safety considerations and avoidance of contamination also call for the wearing of face masks, shoe covers, and possibly coveralls.”  “”  Richard Saferstein, Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, 10th edition, (2011) [Pearson, 2011], p 286, Collection of biological evidence. ISBN 9780132545792

Gloves should be changed for each new item of evidence:

“One key concern during the collection of a DNA-containing specimen is contamination. Contamination can occur by introducing foreign DNA through coughing or sneezing onto a stain during the collection process, or there can be a transfer of DNA when items of evidence are incorrectly placed in contact with each other during packaging. Fortunately, an examination of DNA band patterns in the laboratory readily reveals the presence of contamination. “¦ Crime-scene investigators can take some relatively simple steps to minimize contamination of biological evidence: 1. Change gloves before handling each new piece of evidence. 2. “¦ 3. “¦ 4. “¦”  “”  Richard Saferstein, p 288.

Myths about contamination

“There are many myths and misunderstandings about contamination”¦ The first is that all scenes are examined using the highest standard of anti-contamination precautions (suits, overshoes, mob caps, gloves, etc.), which is not the case. “¦ Secondly, the belief that contamination can be completely prevented by wearing the kinds of protection described above and by controlling a scene is unfounded. If you accept Locard’s principle, then you have to accept that any examination of a scene is likely to disturb it and to “˜contaminate’ it in some way. Finally, the assumption that because someone has failed (for whatever reason) to follow recommended operating procedures with regard to contamination does not mean that contamination will necessarily result and have an impact.”  “”  Jim Fraser, Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction, (2010) [Oxford University Press, 2010], pp 19-20.

ISBN 9780199558056

What does the Italian crime scene manual say?

Personal protective gear and single-use equipment mitigates the risk of contamination.  “”  R Gennari and L Saravo, “Rilievi edaccertamenti sulle tracce: Dalle impronte al DNA”,  pp 559-644 (Collection and tests on traces: From prints to DNA), p 626.

The main references to contamination are in R Gennari and L Saravo, “Le tracce”,  pp 415-466 (Traces), where they say:

“In the strictest sense, the term “˜contamination’ refers to the introduction into the scene (and even onto an item of evidence originating there) of spurious information corrupting its original nature or state.”  (p 449).

“It must be noted, though, that the contaminated item of evidence is not necessarily unusable [emphasis in original]. It is only an item of evidence which has lost its original state: its own characteristics have undergone modification and it has been enriched with other, indeterminate, information. It is necessary to know how to evaluate the impact that this could have had in the question posed or on the information that will be needed to be revealed to reconstruct the crime.”  (p 450).

“It is not enough just to wear the personal protection gear to reduce the risk of contamination; it is necessary that this gear be employed in the correct manner [emphasis in the original].

Not changing gloves before touching a new surface is, for example, a source of contamination: DNA, once touched a first time, transfers itself to all the various surfaces touched successively by the same gloves.”  (p 451).

And, not to forget, protective gear is worn for the protection of forensic personnel against infection and chemicals (p 452).

So, in summary:

Gloves reduce and minimise the risk of contamination - they do not remove it altogether; contamination cannot be completely prevented. Searching a scene changes it from its original state.

Changing gloves “frequently”, or “each time” a new piece of evidence, or a new surface, is touched.

After putting on the gloves, what counts as a new piece of evidence or new surface in this list?:

bedcover, victim, pillow, bra-clasp, carpet/floor

Coughing or sneezing on the evidence: means the forensic officer’s DNA contaminates the item, not the accused’s DNA.

Following the procedure does not guarantee that the evidence is uncontaminated; following procedure just reduces the potential risk of contamination.

Likewise, not following procedure does not mean the evidence is automatically contaminated.

And even if the item were contaminated, that does not make it unusable.

In Raffaele’s case, if his DNA were transferred via the latex forensic gloves, how did his DNA get there on the glove when it was found definitively nowhere else in the room? Did he spit on his hand and then shake hands with the forensic officer? Now, that would indeed be a breach of protocols, anywhere in the world.

To say that, because it’s the accused’s DNA, therefore it’s contamination, is circular reasoning.

All of the above should have been (and was) examined at trial, and double-checked on appeal (eventually).

So why is Bruno taking up the invitation to rehash it all again?

3. Further Reading On DNA

See our previous 50 or so previous posts on DNA.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #2 Of 7: Summaries Five And Six

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



“Justice and Peace” by Corrado Giaquinto 1762. Click here to go straight to Comments.

Overview Of The Post and the Series

The purpose of the series was summarised in Post #1.

With this post we are 2/5 of the way through the judgment and summaries of the appeal grounds still continue. These are new grounds by Knox’s and Sollecito’s teams.

As previously, Sollecito’s team throw in everything but the kitchen sink. Knox’s new grounds are about 1/4 of that length, and mainly request that Knox’s appeal to ECHR Strasbourg be awaited before this verdict comes down.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.  Our own critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

1. Further Knox Appeal Grounds

4.1. In favor of Knox, two further reasons were submitted.

In the first one, objected to is the violation of article 606 lett. a), b) e) of the code of criminal procedure, criticizing the entire reasoning process of the appealed verdict, which exceeded the fixed standard of the - already exorbitant - annulment ruling , with violation of articles 627 par. 3, and 623 of the code of procedure. Criticized, particularly, is the anomalous examination of the merits within the annulment ruling.

In the second reason, objected to is the contradiction and manifest illogicality in the rationale according to article 533 of the code of criminal procedure.

And at the end, a delay of the judgment is proposed while waiting for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, following the presentation to the international judicial body on the appeal of 11.22.2013, for alleged violation of the right to an equal trial, according to the article 6 par. 3 lett. a/c ECHR; for alleged violation of defense rights, according to the article 48 par. 2 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; and for the violation of the prohibition on torturing, according to the articles 3 ECHR and 4 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

2. Further Sollecito Appeal Grounds

4.2 Also Sollecito’s defense proposed new reasons, listed as follows.

The first new reason challenges the incorrect reasoning on the time of Kercher’s death. As defense has stated a careful examination of objective elements would have allowed the setting the time of death in a period of time between 9-9:29 and 10:13 PM.

The exact determination of the time of death [exitus] was fundamental to proving the actual presence of the accused at the crime scene, at the time of the aggression.

In particularl the examination carried out on the victim’s cell phone revealed subsequent contacts between 9 and 9:13 PM, as reported in the Pellero report on the SMS and the aforementioned cellular phone. This would have allowed acquiring ““ if not the certainty of the young English woman being alive until 10:13 PM, considering the possibility of accidental phone connections ““ at least useful information in this regard.

More precisely, the following contacts took place during the considered period of time:

1) a first call, at 8:56, to her home number, in England, remained unanswered and not followed by a new call, strange considered the habits of the girl, who was used to calling her family every day;

2) another contact, maybe accidental, at 9:50 PM, on a voice mail, lasted a few seconds, without waiting for an answer;

3) a contact, at 10PM, with the English bank Abbey, which failed obviously because it was not preceded by the international prefix;

4) at 10:13, an SMS was received by the cellular phone, in the place where it was abandoned, in via Sperandio.

On the other hand, the examination carried out on Sollecito’s computer registered an interaction at 9:20 PM and a subsequent one at 9:26 PM, not found by the postal police, but discovered by the defense expert D’Ambrosio by means of a different operative system application (MAC), for the watching of an animated cartoon (Naruto) of the length of 20 minutes, demonstrating that Sollecito was at home until 9:46.

This helps to demonstrates the non-involvement of the accused, also evident from the Skype contact occurred between Guede and his friend Benedetti.

To be sure, a new IT analysis by judge-appointed experts would have been necessary, as requested in vain by the defense.

The previous [a quo] judge, then, also committed an obvious misrepresentation in the evaluation of Curatolo’s testimony, not realizing that the declarations of the witness were, actually, in favor of the accused, especially in the part where he states to have seen the couple in piazza Grimana at 21:30 PM until 12:00 AM. Therefore, there was an internal contradiction of the judging: it wasn’t true what was stated at p. 50 concerning the supposed absence of extrinsic elements confirming that the two accused, from 9:30 PM to 12:30 PM of the next day,  would have been in a different place than the one where the homicide took place.

Within the reconstruction of the crime, then, it was not taken in account that witnesses Capezzalie and Monachia located the harrowing scream that they heard at a time around 11 ““ 11.30 PM. However, Ms. Capezzali was contradicted by other witnesses, residents of the area, who declared they didn’t hear anything.

Furthermore, not examined was the video clip captured by the camera placed near the parking lot which had filmed the passing by of a person similar, in features and clothes, to Guede. The time of filming was 7:41 PM, though 7:39 PM effectively because of a clock error of 12 or 13 minutes.

Also the autopsy, in observing the gastric situation, allowed the fixation of the hour of death between 9:30 and 10 PM. Furthermore, during the cross-examination hearing, the forensic pathologist Dr. Lalli rectified an error contained in his technical report, pointing out that the time of death would have had to be set not at “not less than 2-3 hours from the last meal (that took place around 6 PM, with the English friends)” but at “not more than 2-3 hours from the last meal”.

Considered this uncertain conclusion, a new analysis by judge-appointed experts [perizia] was requested in vain, in the new reasons for appeal, dated 29 July 2013.[17]

So, in the light of the trial data, as stated by the defense, the time of death of the young English woman would have had to be approximately set between 9 and 10:13 PM.

The second new reason challenges the failure to order a judge appointed experts review [perizia] in order to verify or otherwise the possibility of a selective cleaning of the crime scene which would have removed only the traces referable to the two accused, leaving only Guede’s ones. In fact, in Kercher’s room multiple traces of Guede were found but none of Sollecito.

Incorrect reasoning is also suggested on the supposed alteration of the crime scene by the accused. It was not, however, considered that Sollecito had no interest in polluting [the scene].

The third reason challenges a flaw in rationale regarding the plantar imprints presumed as female footprints (size 37 EU) demonstrating a participation of more than one person in the crime.

With reference to the imprints, there was an obvious error in the judgment, also present in the judgment of annullment of Cassation (p. 21), considering that the only imprint retrieved in Kercher’s room belonged to Guede.

The fourth reason again claims violation of the law, with reference to the article 606 lett. c) and e) regarding the evidence on the participation to the crime and the violation of the articles 111 Const, 238, 513 and 526 of the code of penal procedure on the usability of the interrogation of Guede and the observance of the evaluation standards on a charge of complicity.

The fifth reason claims misrepresentation of the evidence and manifest illogicality, related to the results of the genetic investigation on the knife (item 36) and also on the supposed “non-incompatibility” of the instrument with the most serious wound observed on the victim’s neck. Claimed further is the violation of the evaluation standards of evidence according to article 192 of the code of criminal procedure.

The sixth reason claims lack of rationale, because there was no consideration of the violation of the international recommendations on the sampling and examination of traces of small entity and the interpretation of the results. Also claimed is misrepresentation of the evidence and manifest illogicality of reasoning on the results of the genetic examinations carried out on the kitchen knife and also violation of the proof evaluation standards, according to the article 192 of the code of procedure.

The seventh reason claims incorrect reasoning with reference to the violation of the international recommendations on the sampling and analysis related to the genetic examinations carried out on the brassiere hook (item 165 B) and the objected-to contamination of the item, after the inspections carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department.

The eighth reason challenges the violation of articles 192 and 533 of the code of criminal procedure on the interpretation of the genetic examination on the item 165 B and lack of rationale on the objected violation of the international recommendations in matter of interpretation of mixed DNA.[18]

The ninth reason challenges a violation of article 192 of the code of criminal procedure and manifest illogicality of evidence for misrepresentation of the scientific investigation, considering the failure of the DNA proof in this case.

The tenth reason challenges a manifest illogicality in the motivation in the luminol evidence related to the supposed presence of blood imprints in areas of the house of via della Pergola and also on the bathmat, and manifest illogicality of rationale related to the mixed traces of Knox and Kercher and the evaluation of the circumstantial evidence in relation to the participation of more than one person to the crime.

The eleventh reason challenges a manifest illogicality or contradictory nature in the motivations related to the evaluation of the motive of the murder.

The twelfth reason argues the same incorrect reasoning and misrepresentation of the evidence related to the time of the 112 call.

The thirteenth reason argues the same incorrect reasoning in relation with the alibi and the supposed tentative of Sollecito to cover for the supposed co-perpetrator Amanda Knox.

The fourteenth reason challenges the violation of the law principles stated by Cassation and the violation of the judicial standards of “beyond reasonable doubt” according to article 533 of the code of criminal procedure.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #1 Of 7: The Four Opening Summaries

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



More judicial artwork in the Supreme Court. Click to go straight to Comments.

1. Overview Of The Post And Series

This is about one-quarter of the report. These sections summarize the crime against Meredith, the legal process, and the appeals Knox and Sollecito filed with Cassation in 2014.

This is our second translation post after this one which showed that Knox and Sollecito were NOT found innocent, far from it.

They were in fact confirmed as being at the scene of the crime, as were Guede and a presumed two others, and lying about it, though for supposed reasons not even the defenses had ever argued.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report. Resisted was any attempt to employ more fluent English because the Italian itself is far from fluent or coherent.

We’ll post critiques separately in Comments and other posts except for this one.

Notable for its absence is any attempt to explain why the Fifth Chambers pushed aside the First Chambers to handle this murder case, and why in that process at least two laws (bedrock articles of the judicial code) seem to have been broken.

They seem to have been tasked only to assess whether the appeal should be handled by a joint arrangement of all Supreme Court Chambers because of claims by defenses that the unusual amount of publicity and supposed legal complexity required that.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

2. The Four Opening Summaries

1. Summary Of The Crimes Against Meredith

This is the original language of Marasca and Bruno. It is their take on the prosecution.

1. Raffaele Sollecito and the United States citizen Amanda Marie Knox were called to account, before the Perugia Court of assize, for the following crimes:

A) within the meaning of Articles 110, 575, 576, first clause , number 5, in relation to the crime sub C) and 577, first clause number 4, in relation to article 61 n. 1 and 5 of the penal code, to have, in conjunction between them and with Guede Rudi Hermann, killed Kercher Meredith, by means of choking and subsequent breaking of the hyoid bone and profound lesion on the left anterolateral and right lateral neck region, caused by a piercing and cutting weapon mentioned in section B), and meta-hemorrhagic shock with observable asphyxical subsequent to the bleeding (caused by the puncture and cutting wounds present on the left anterolateral and right lateral region of the neck and the contextual aspiration of hematic material), and taking advantage of the nocturnal hour and the isolated location of the apartment inhabited by Kercher and the same Knox, as well by two other Italian girls (Romanelli Filomena and Mezzetti Laura), an apartment located in Perugia, in via della Pergola number 7, committing the act for futile reasons, while Guede, with the conjunction of the others, committed the crime of sexual violence;

B) within the meaning of Article 110 of the penal code and 4 law number 110/1975 to have, in conjunction between themselves, brought out of the house of Sollecito, without a justified reason, a big puncture and cutting knife with a total length of 31 cm (seized from Sollecito the 6th of November 2007, exhibit 36);

C) within the meaning of Article 110, 609 bis and ter no. 2 of the penal code to have, in conjunction between themselves and with Guede Rudi Hermann (Guede as material executioner, in conjunction with the co-accused) forced Kercher Meredith to endure sexual acts, with manual and/or genital penetration, by means of violence and threast, resulting in constraining maneuvers which produced lesions, particularly on the upper and lower limbs and on the vulvar region (ecchymotic suffusions on the fore side of the left thigh, lesions on the vestibular-vulvar area and ecchymotic areas on the fore side of the medial third of the right leg) as well as the use of the knife described in point B; 

D) within the meaning of Article 110, 624 of the penal code, acting together, acquiring an unjust profit, in the circumstances of time and place described in point A) and C), took possession of the sum of approximately € 300.00, two credit cards, of Abbey Bank and Nationwide, both from United Kingdom, and two cellular phones owned by Kercher Meredith, stolen from the aforementioned; fact to be qualified within the meaning of article 624 bis of the penal code,  the place of execution of the crime cited in point A) referred to here.;

E) within the meaning of article 110, 367 and 61 n. 2 of the penal code to have, acting together, simulated the attempted burglary and entering of the room of the apartment in via della Pergola, inhabited by Romanelli Filomena, breaking the window glass with a stone found in the vicinity of the house and subsequently dropped in the room, near the window, all of this to obtain impunity from the crimes of homicide and sexual violence, trying to ascribe them to unknown persons who broke in, for this purpose, into the apartment;

All this took place in Perugia, during the night between the 1st and 2nd of November 2007.

Knox only, furthermore, regarding the crime mentioned in point F), within the meaning of article 81 cpv, 368, clause 2, and 61 n. 2 of the penal code, because, with multiple actions within the same criminal plan, knowing that he was innocent, with statements filed during declaration to the Flying Squad and the Police of Perugia on the 6th of November 2007, she falsely blamed Diya Lumumba called “Patrick” for the murder of the young Meredith Kercher, all of this to obtain impunity for everyone and particularly for Guede Rudi Hermann, colored as is Lumumba; in Perugia, during the night between the 5th and the 6th of November 2007.

2. Summary of The Legal Process 2009-2014

This is the original language of Marasca and Bruno. It is their take on the 2009 trial, the 2011 Hellmann appeal, the 2013 Supreme Court appeal, and the 2013 Nencini appeal.

By judgment of 4-5 December 2009, the Court of assize declared Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty for the crimes mentioned in point A) ““ this including the crime mentioned in point C) ““ also in B) and D), regarding the cellular phones, and E) and, for what concerns Knox, also the crime mentioned in F); crimes which fulfill the prerequisite of continuity and, excluding the aggravating factor mentioned in article 577 and 61 n.5 of the penal code, conceded to both extenuating circumstances equivalent to the remaining aggravation circumstances, condemned them to the sentence of twenty-six years of prison for Knox and twenty-five years of prison for Sollecito, plus other consequential terms;

condemned, also, the same accused, jointly, to pay compensation for damages to the civil parties John Leslie Kercher, Arline Carol Lara Kercher, Lyle Kercher, John Ashley Kercher and Stephanie Arline Lara Kercher, damages to be compensated at a separate session, with the immediate payment of the amount of 1,000,000.00 € each in favor of John Leslie Kercher and Arline Carol Lara Kercher and 800,000.00 € each in favor of Lyle Kercher John, Ashley Kercher and Stephanie Arline Lara Kercher;

condemned, also, Amanda Marie Knox to pay compensation for damages to the civil party Patrik Lumumba, to be compensated at a separate session, with the immediate payment of the amount of 10,000.00 €, plus other consequential terms.

condemned, finally, the aforementioned Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to pay compensation for damages to the civil party Aldalia Tattanelli (owner of the apartment in via della Pergola), to be compensated at a separate session, and for Lyle Kercher, John Ashley Kercher and Stepanie Arline Lara Kercher, with immediate payment.

Regarding the appeals proposed by the accused, the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, by judgment of 3 October 2011, declared Knox Amanda Marie guilty for the crimes referenced in point F), excluding the aggravating factor mentioned in article 61 n.2 of the penal code and excluded the general extenuating circumstances equivalent to the aggravating factors within the means of article 368 of the penal code ““ condemned her to the sentence of three years of prison; confirming strictly for this sentence the civil damages.

absolved the accused from the crimes previously accredited to them on point A), B) and D), to have not committed the act, and from the crime described in point E) because there is no case to answer, rejecting the damages proposed against them by the civil party Aldalia Tattanelli.

regarding the appeals proposed by the Perugia prosecutor-general, by the accused Amanda Marie Knox and the civil parties, this Court of Cassation,  First Criminal Division, with sentence of 25 March 2013, cancelled the disputed sentence referring to the crimes mentioned in point A) ““ incorporated in point C) ““ B), D) and E) and the aggravating factor within article 61 n.2 of the penal code concerning point F) and referred the appeals to the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Florence for new examination.; denying Knox’s appeal, with subsequent circumstances.

During the review the Court of Assizes of Florence, with the trial sentence indicated above, confirming the exisistence of the aggravating factor within the meaning of article 61 n.2 of the penal code, with reference to the crime within the meaning of article 368, second paragraph of the penal code, point F), revises the sentence against Amanda Marie Knox to be twenty-eight years and six months of prison; confirming the trial sentence, with the consequential damages in favor of the constituted civil parties.

Against the aforementioned ruling, the accused’s defendants had proposed different Court of Cassation appeals, each one subject to the following critical reasons.

3. Summary of Amanda Knox appeal

This is Marasca and Bruno summarising the submission of Knox lawyers Dalla Vedova and Ghirga.

The appeal in favor of Amanda Marie Knox, before the presentation of the multiple reasons of which it was constituted, was preceded by a long premise which, on the one hand, anticipated the direction of the entire appeal and, on the other hand, proposed once again the same set of problems already discussed in the original grounds for appeal, such as the constitutional legitimacy issue of the conjunction of articles 627 chapter 3 and 628 chapter 2, regarding the application of a possible “indefinite repetitiveness” of an order of remand by the Cassation and corresponding options of indefinitely appealing a rescission order.

In first arguments the basis for contesting of the entire appeal was presented, represented by the pretentious avoidance of the dictum of the rescission order of this legitimacy Court and the divergent interpretation of the same probative material by two different courts of assizes, Perugia and Firenze, the last, however , based on mere paperwork exam.

Then, it continued into the analytical analysis of the procedural factual circumstances or evidences, which wouldn’t have been validly examined or, illegitimately, perceived in a partitioned way and not from a global and unitary perspective.

Taking into account this, various reasons for the appeal were deduced and reasons summarily presented, according to the terms of article 173, chapter 1, disp. att. code of penal procedure, that is in the terms strictly necessary to the decision.

The first reason challenged the violation and inobservance of the criminal law, according to article 606 lett. b) and c) of the code of criminal procedure and also the incorrect reasoning, according to the same article let. e), about the decisive matter of the asserted reason, of Knox for the commitment of the crime, in violation of article 110 of the penal code.

Contested, in this regard, was what previously assumed in the judgments as to the merits, regarding some claimed disagreements between the aforementioned Knox and Kercher, despite the occurred absolution, with definitive decision, of the finding for theft of the sum of three hundred euros and the collected depositions, including the one provided by Marco Zaroli, regarding the “idyllic” relationship between the two girls. From the records of proceedings there had not emerged any reason that could have induced Knox to mindfully concur in the murder act and, contrarily to the assumption of the judge, the verification of motive during the evidentiary process was absolutely necessary. In this regard, no indications have been offered by the [First Chambers] review judge, despite the specific indication of the rescission order, which had notified a triple possibility: 1) genetic acknowledgement on the death option; 2) changing of an initial program which only included the involvement of the English girl in a not shared sexual game; 3) mere forcing of an erotic group game.

Also, in a scenario of absolute uncertainty the review judges had elaborated an abnormal type of collusion in a crime, the fruit of a singular mixture of different impulses and reasons of the participants: Mr. Guede driven by a sexual motive; Ms. Knox by resentment towards the English woman; Mr. Sollecito by unknown intent.

The second reason highlights a problem of great relevance in the circumstance of the present judgment, that is the right interpretation of the scientific examination results from a perspective of respect of the evaluation standards according to article 192 of the criminal procedural code and the relevance of the genetic evaluation in the absence of repeatable amplification, as a consequence of the minimal amount of the sample and, more generally, the reliability coefficient of investigations carried out without following the regulations dictated by the international protocols, both during the collecting phase and the analysis.

Particularly, anomalies were challenged in the retrieval of the knife (item 36) and the victim’s brassiere hook, which do not exclude the possibility of contamination, as correctly outlined in the Conti-Vecchiotti report, ordered by the Perugian Court of assizes, which also notified the unreliability of the scientific data, precisely because it was not subject to a further examination.

It was also denied that the retrieved knife would have been the crime weapon.

The third reason challenged the law violation and incorrect reasoning, according to article 606 lett. b) and e), regarding the teleological nexus between the crime of calunnia and the homicide. In this regard, the psychological conditions of the accused during the issue of the calumnious declarations dated 11.06.2007 are outlined, her declarations were considered unusable by this Court (with ruling number 990/80); also challenged was a violation of article 188 of the code of criminal procedure, for infringement of the declarer’s moral freedom during the assumption of evidence.

The fourth reason challenged incorrect reasoning regarding the relevant circumstances of the happening, with reference to, firstly, the asserted simulation of theft in Romanelli’s room, without considering that Guede, at the moment of his arrest, presented wounds on his right hand compatible with the hypothesis of a previous breaking of the window’s glass and subsequent climb in order to enter the room, with shards of glass on the windowsill, also in the same way not considered was the criminal record of Guede, who wasn’t new to stealing in apartments, with identical modalities. Moreover, not considered was that not a single genetic imprint of the accused had being retrieved in the room of the murder, while fourteen imprints referable to Guede were retrieved in the same room.

The argument was totally illogical of a purported selective cleaning of the environment carried out by the accused, being almost impossible to remove specific genetic traces, leaving others intact.

The fifth reason denounces the incorrect reasoning in the evaluation of the Curatolo’s and Quintavalle’s declarations, non-adequately interpreted during the examination of the evidence. Also the illogical relevance given to the SMS received by Patrik Lumumba, due to uncertain of the site of the reception, and considering the well-known unreliability of localizations based on the triangulation of telephone cells.

The sixth reason challenged the law violation, in relation to the use of statements considered unusable by this Court, with particular reference to the declarations of the accused contra se at 5:45 AM of 11.6.2007.

Also, it was not considered that the defense report submitted by Knox suffered from the unstable psychological conditions in which she found herself, also from the stress consequent to the violation of her defense rights.

The seventh reason denounces the violation of articles 111 Cost., chapter 2 and 238 of the criminal procedure code, with reference to the irrevocable sentence issued against Guede and the inappropriate interpretation of the declarations produced by the aforementioned, via Skype, to his friend Giacomo Benedetti.

The eighth reason denounces the lack of assumption of decisive evidence, according to article 606 lett. d) of the criminal procedure code and in relation to articles 111 chapter 2 and 238 bis of the criminal procedure code, for failure to re-open court hearing evidentiary phase, denied with order of 09.30.2013, in order to examine Guede, after his accusations against the indicted woman.

The ninth reason signals inconsistency and contradictory nature of motivation and also great inaccuracy, such as the declaration at page 321 about the presence of genetic traces of Sollecito and Kercher on the retrieved knife.

It is argued, also, that the place where the cellular phones of the victim had been retrieved was compatible with Guede’s itinerary towards his house, situated in via del Canerino n. 26.

Inadequate, moreover, was the evaluation of the results of the report provided by Massimo Bernaschi about the computer damage, by suspected electric shock.

The tenth reason denounces the inobservance or erroneous application of articles 627 and 603 of the criminal procedure code referring to the preliminary order of 09.30.13 and 04.17.14.

Requested, also, is the correction of the material error presented in the order dated 04.17.13, referring to the erroneous indication of the place of birth of the accused, who was born in Seattle and not in Washington.

The eleventh reason denounces the violation and inobservance of article 606 lett b), in relation to the quantification of the punishment in point of aggravating circumstance according to article 61 n.2 of the penal code for the crime of calunnia placed on the accused assuming a teleological nexus.

The remand judge [Nencini] had considered the generic mitigating circumstances of minor value, previously considered equivalent, despite the final status of judgment [giudicato] on the point.

4. Summary of Raffaele Sollecito appeal

This is Marasca and Bruno summarising the submission of Sollecito lawyers Bongiorno and Maori.

3. The appeal on behalf of Raffaele Sollecito is explained in terms of twenty-two reasons, which will be also systematically summarised according to the requirements of article 173, chapter 1, of the code of penal procedure.

To this summary explanation has to be added the reference to the introductory part, containing specific requests.

The first concerns the ruling for referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel [Sezioni Unite] on matters asserted of being of maximum relevance and, potentially, capable of generating interpretative contrast:

a) Probative or evidential value of the results of the scientific evidence in case of violation of scientific community international protocols regarding the collection and reading of the data;

b) Usability of declarations produced by Guede during the appeal process. In relation to this, it is inappropriate to relate the review of this appealed sentence to what he has stated during interrogation, reported in the appealed sentence according to article 238 bis; if those declarations were usable, it would be a consent to include in the trial, in violation of the same procedural disposition, declarations produced in absence of cross-examination.

c) Range of explanation of the principle of beyond reasonable doubt, which, from what is stated by the current defense, would be violated in this specific case by the erroneous statement by the remand judge, according to which the lack of procedural collaboration of the accused has exempted the judge from analyzing the alternative hypothesis emerged from the trial papers or the defense perspectives.

d) Reliability limits in witnesses’ declarations (such as the ones from Dramis, Monacchia, Quintavalle and Curatolo), produced some time after the facts, after being solicited by journalists. The question is about the verification of the reliability of witnesses during the procedures who created strong media impact, with particular reference to Gioffredi and Kokomani claims and to the declaration of the former offender Luciano Aviello, who did not hesitate to produce slanderous declarations towards the prosecutor, the defence attorney, and Raffaele Sollecito’s father.

The intervention of the supreme jurisdictional assembly was necessary in order to fix the evaluation standards of oral evidence during trials with strong media exposure, aiming to preserve the credibility of the trial, protecting it from mythomaniac or judicial attention-seeking behavior.

In the introductive part also thoroughly examined is the position of Amanda Knox regarding the erroneous evaluation of the evidence against her, which had reflected negative effects also on the position of Sollecito, with the distorted conviction that the two substantial positions would be linked by an indissoluble bond, almost like a unique communication vessels system or an abnormal “mutual” extension of responsibility.  All of this in order to denounce the erroneous methodological position consisting in the lack of an “identifying” evaluation of the appellant’s role in the tragic happening subject to judgment. And the aforementioned assumption gave headway to a further denouncement of legitimacy, consisting in the remand judge avoiding the dictum of the cancellation judgment, which gave to the remand judge the task of “highlight the subjective position of Guede’s contestants in the light of all the supposable circumstances”, all specifically enunciated.

It is also pointed out that Ms. Knox had never placed, even in her noon report (erroneously considered of confessional nature), Sollecito at the crime scene. On the contrary, from the aforementioned report, it was possible to deduce that the foretold was not present in the house of via della Pergola.

In fact, no trace of Sollecito was found in the room of the murder. The only element of proof against him was represented by the DNA trace retrieved on the brassiere hook of the victim; trace of which relation with the indicted was actually denied by the Vecchiotti-Conti report, which, in this regard, had accepted the observations of the defense advisor Professor Tagliabracci, world-renowned geneticist.

Once this is considered, it is possible to proceed with a brief listing of the reasons for the appeal.

1) The first articulated reason challenged the violation of articles 627, chapter 3 and 628 of the code of criminal procedure for the nonobservance of the principles enounced in those articles, particularly referring to the necessity: a) to ascertain the presence of the suspects on the crime scene; 2) to outline the subjective positions of the Rudy Guede’s assumed co-attackers; 3) to establish the motive of Raffaele Sollecito in relation to the one asserted for Guede.

In strict connection with the aforementioned appeal, also, further reasons of complaint are advanced, specifically contexted within the logic of incorrect reasoning, with regard to the meaning of article 606 lett e) of the code of criminal procedure, connected with the challenged avoidance.

  • The first concerns the appealed denial of the evidentiary phase re-opening, also expressed in the order dated on 30th September 2013, also appealed. The request procedurally proposed by the defense (based on the new reasons of the 29th June 2013 and the minutes of the hearing dated 30th September 2013) was aimed to acknowledge the actual presence of the accused on the crime scene and the role carried out by each one of them on the occasion. It is advanced also:

  • the omitted evaluation of decisive elements regarding Sollecito’s alibi, with particular reference to the results of the integrative report submitted by the technical expert for one of the parties, D’Ambrosio, which demonstrates the interaction of the indicted with his computer;

  • manifest illogicality of the reason in relation to what is expressed by article 522 of the code of criminal procedure; in the absence of motivations capable to exceed the limit of beyond reasonable doubt with regards to supposed participation of Sollecito to the criminal act of murder and to the role he carried out in the crime;

  • lack of reasoning in the motivations report, in relation with articles 192 and 238 bis, with regards to the content of the irrevocable sentence against Guede in order to identify a reason for the murder.

The requested re-opening of the evidentiary phase, aimed to demonstrate the absence of the indicted on the crime scene and the inexistence of any reason,  was illogically denied, especially since the appealed sentence had already asserted an autonomous reason, of sexual nature, against Guede.

Furthermore, the denial of the re-opening of evidentiary phase also includes a law violation in regard to article 627, second paragraph, in accordance to which “if the appeal sentence is annulled and the parties issue a request, the judge orders the re-activation of the evidentiary phase in relation to the assumption of evidence found relevant for the decision”

Even if is not intended to follow the case law orientation in line with the renewing of the appealed preliminary hearing, as for the right to evidence, the appeal judge was, however, obliged to give reason for the denial of the request of re-opening of evidentiary discussion in a rational manner and consistent with the evidentiary framework.

It was, among other things, requested a genetic perizia [examination/investigation by judge-appointed experts] in relation to the stain (apparently of spermatic nature) present on the victim’s pillowcase, in order to verify its nature and possible attribution to an unknown third party; a perizia aimed to acknowledge the effective possibility to carry out a selective cleaning in order to remove only the traces connectable with the current appellants, inside the victim’s room, without removing the ones retrieved and correctly attributed to Mr. Guede; the carrying out of exams on the item 165 B, with previous acquisition from the criminal laboratory department, of the residual DNA sample extracted from the brassiere hook and further genetic exams on the same item, ordering for such purpose a supplementary investigation in order to cancel every reason of doubt on the matter; [11] exams on the stone retrieved inside Ms. Romanelli’s room, in order to identify the presence of DNA on the stone surface; audiometric test [perizia] aimed to acknowledge the possibility of hearing the supposed heart-rending scream coming from the house in via della Pergola and the footsteps with the windows closed, of the witness Capezzali; IT investigation [perizia] on Sollecito’s computer, in order to verify the existence of human interactions during the night between the 1st and 2nd November 2007; anthropometric perizia in relation to the build, height, gait and somatic features of the subject filmed by the parking facility camera, to be compared with the physical features of Guede and his clothes at the moment of the arrest; examination according to the ex-article 197 bis of Guede in regards to the facts happened the night of the murder.

The rejection of the aforementioned evidentiary discussion requests has been motivated by the appeal judge by illogical and off-topic reasoning.

2) Violation of article 606 lett. e), with reference to the wrong reading and interpretation of the content of Knox’s report.

3) Another incorrect reasoning has been deduced with reference to the considered irrelevance of the exact determination of the hour of death of Meredith Kercher (which according to the defense should have been placed between 9 and 10 PM, 10:15 PM at most), with special reference to the exam carried out on Ms. Kercher’s phone records.

4) The same flaw has been challenged regarding the supposed incompatibility of Mr. Curatolo’s declarations with the time of the scream, and the asserted irrelevance of [scientific] exams on the precise hour of death of the young English woman.

5) Also distorted was the interpretation of Capezzali’s declarations, of which has been attached the relative transcription.

6) In regards to flawed reasoning, interpreted according to the new wording of article 606 lett. e) of the code of criminal proceeding, the erroneous interpretation of Mr. Curatolo’s witness declarations is challenged.

7) The same for Mr. Quintavalle’s testimony and the omitted examination of the evidential contribution of inspector Volturno, who submitted the service note according to which the aforementioned Quintavalle had told of having seen Mr. Sollecito and Amanda always together.

8) With reference to the combined provisions of articles 606 lett. e) and 192 of the procedure code it is, then, challenged the erroneous evaluation of the proof in relation to the supposed participation of persons in the crime, with particular reference to the contested examination of the footprints and traces highlighted by luminol.[12]

9) Also challenged is the misrepresentation of the evidence related to the time of the 112 call, also based on the supposed error of the timer of the camera situated near the parking lot.

10) Identical violation is challenged with reference to the supposed alteration of the crime scene carried out by the two suspects.

11) Other case of motivational deficit, a sub-type of evidence misrepresentation, and also contradiction or manifest motivational illogicality, is challenged, according to article 192 of the code of criminal procedure, regarding the supposed falsehood of the provided alibi and the related violation of the principle nemo tenetur se detegere.

Moreover, it should have been considered as a “failed” alibi, not “false”, and as such not suitable to sustain an “evidential conclusion”, otherwise it would be subject to inadmissible inversion of the burden of proof.

12) Also erroneous was the interpretation of the results of the genetic evidence on item 36) and on the supposed compatibility of the seized weapon with the most serious wound observed on the victim’s neck. With regards to this, it was clear the misrepresentation in which the judge was involved, given that on the knife’s blade was not observed any mixed Kercher-Sollecito DNA. On the same instrument had been retrieved traces of starch, proof that it was not true that it had been properly washed in order to remove incriminating traces. Furthermore, the starch, found in plants, has a well-known absorbing capability, so it should have absorbed the blood in case it was used for the commitment of the crime.

Hence, the motivated request to refer the trial papers to a United Sections of Cassation panel.

Furthermore the assumption that the most serious wound on the left side of the victim’s neck would have been inflicted with a single strike was denied by unambiguous emerging proofs, such as the results of the examination submitted by pathologist Cingolani, and also the conclusions of the party’s expert Introna.

13) The motivation of the appealed sentenced was objectionable also in relation to the asserted availability of the kitchen knife for Amanda Knox at the time of the aggression. In this regard, it was illogical to state that the kitchen knife, used for the homicide, wouldn’t have been hidden, considering that the furniture and instruments of the apartment rented by Sollecito were listed in inventory, so that the lack of the knife would have generated suspecion, and according to this it was replaced in its place subsequent to cleaning.

Also clearly illogical was the motivation related to the carrying of the knife on the part of Ms. Knox, with asserted use of the capacious purse in her possession, for supposed reasons of personal defense, for this purpose induced by Sollecito who was familiar with knives. It was not considered that to be true this explanation would exclude the hypothesis of joint concurrence, since it would admit that the suspect woman was alone [13] and not able to take advantage of, in case of aggression by strangers, the supposed defense by her boyfriend.

However, there was no evidence on the supposed concurrence of the appellant in [a charge of] unjustified carrying of thee knife.

14) Obvious also was the flawed reasoning on the results of the genetic investigations on the bra hook, for which a referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel is requested.

With regard to the possible contamination of the item, the appeal judges overlooked the photographic material placed before the court, which clearly demonstrated the possible contamination, regarding the way the hook was treated, with a “hand to hand” passage carried out by persons who wore dirty latex gloves.

Furthermore, a second amplification was not carried out on the hook despite the fact that half of the sample was still available, and remained unused.

Also, the hook, though observed during the first inspection carried out by the scientific police,  was left on the ground, on the floor, and there it remained for some time. It wasn’t true, also, that between the first access and the one during which the hook was finally collected, only two inspections by the investigators took place, in reality there were more and in such occasions everything was put in disarray.

With regard to this, the objections by the defense and the contrary conclusions of the defense adviser professor Tagliabracci, were not considered.

15) A misrepresentation of the evidence also took place in relation to the actual delivery of the progress reports [SAL] on the examinations carried out by Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, of the scientific police.

16) Another reason for complaint with regard to the judge’s motivations context is related to the supposed theft simulation in Romanelli’s room and the absence of motivation in the new reasoning presented in the report of 29th July 2013.

In this regard, it is argued that it was Sollecito who notified the postal police, their having arrived in via della Pergola for other reasons (the retrieval of Kercher’s cellular phones, one of them with the sim card in the name of Romanelli), about the strangeness of the fact that from the room of the housemate of Kercher and Knox, the computer and valuable items were not missing; that the testimony declaration of lawyer Paolo Brocchi and of Matteo Palazzoli, presented in the new submiessions, regarding acts of thievery carried out by Guede with modalities similar to the ones that were supposed to be used for the breaking-into the apartment in via della Pergola, were not considered; nor were properly considered the defense reports about the wounds on the palm of the hand palm of Guede at time of his arrest in Germany; nor that the evidence had been misrepresented with reference to the collocation of the glass shards, given that from the collected testimony declarations [14] it resulted that the shards of glass were placed both under and over the objects present in Romanelli’s room; that, also, a glass fragment was retrieved in Meredith’s room, indicating that whoever unlawfully entered the room had brought that fragment with him. Therefore, it was clear that the sentence under appeal was based on mere speculations, totally detached from the trial’s reality.

17) Challenged also is the violation of article 238 bis of code of criminal procedure, on the fact that through the acquisition [in the trial against Knox and Sollecito] of the irrevocable sentences issued against Guede, it was intended to make use of declarations released contra alios in a different procedural context, although those declarations were issued in absence of the blamed persons. Beyond this point, for which a referral to United Sections of Cassation was solicited,  Guede’s declarations were erroneously evaluated, in violation of the standards dictated by article 192 of the code of criminal procedure and the indications of this Court (p. 57). It was true that those declarations were adopted as a mere confirmation element, but they were still unusable declarations. The sentences about him, after all, also the Supreme Court ones, demonstrated the absolute unreliability of Mr. Guede.

18) Another violation of the article 238 bis of the code of criminal procedure was challenged with reference to the supposed binding effectiveness of external final verdicts [giudicato esterno].

19) Also related to the declarations of Guede, their use constituted a violation of articles 111 Const., 526 chapter 1 bis of the code of criminal procedure, and 6 of the European Convention. And also on this matter, referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel was requested.’

20) In the event that such legal approach is not shared [by the Supreme Court], a question of constitutional illegitimacy was advanced of those laws which allowed bypassing the regulatory prohibitions in regards to the usability of declarations incriminating third parties in the absence of the accused persons, by means of the mere acquisition of irrevocable judgments against the declarant and containing the relative propagations contra alios.

21) Incorrect reasoning was also challenged in relation to the supposed possibility of contamination of the evidence during the appeal, independently from the doubting of sufficient quantity expressed on the point.

22) There was also a lack of rationale also related to the aggravating circumstance of sexual violence.

23) The same also applies with regard to the supposed theft of the victim’s cellular phones. 

24) Clear also is the violation of the principle of the beyond reasonable doubt, because of the omission of the examination of alternative solutions.

Finally, a rationale was omitted on a possible downgrading of the charge from voluntary murder to the less serious charges of aiding a crime or manslaughter, and also the application of mitigating circumstances.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Supreme Court Confirms All Three Were There And Lied, RS & AK Apologists Desperate To Downplay That

Posted by Machiavelli




1. Shocking Sentencing Report

Despite the public relations campaign this was by any standards a very strong case.

In contrast the language, logic and law of the Marasca/Bruno Report are about as weak as Rome lawyers have seen. The Fifth Chambers normally handles only appeals of verdicts for fraud, defamation, and other mundane non-violent personal and family injuries and they are forbidden from judging evidence. Their reports are almost invariably 1-3 pages long.

No finding by any experienced murder judge ever stretches logic and law and evidence as much as this. This grim situation for RS and AK still remains. 

    (1) The report very firmly places all three at the scene of the crime with extensive language on a long list of proofs; but though bizarrely it separates two from the crime itself.

    (2) The final verdict is not “assoluzione” meaning acquittal or innocence but simply “proscioglimento” meaning the dropping of charges (not usually used in a court context, see the note in the final paragraphs of translation) which can be subject to appeal.

    (3) The report does nothing to help Knox and Sollecito to get beyond their calunnia, villiipendio and diffamazione trials. It makes a win against either or both Knox and Sollecito in a wrongful-death suit more or less an assured thing. And it pre-emptively dismisses the frivolous appeal by Amanda Knox to ECHR Strasbourg.

If the appeal by Knox and Sollecito against the Nencini court findings and guilty sentences had been handled without chicanery, it is the First Chambers which deals with murder cases and which annulled most of the Hellmann appeal outcome in 2013 which would have got this appeal. Almost certainly those judges would have simply rejected the appeal, and sent Knox and Sollecito right back to jail.

The report makes lawyers question why Knox and Sollecito were not at minimum found guilty of being accessories to murder after the fact. Even the defense teams seem to have realised the risks in the shaky judgement

2. Passages Finding Knox And Sollecito Were There

In chapters 4, 9 and 10 the Marasca/Bruno report makes very clear that Knox and Sollecito were both at the house on the night. They find that the proof of that stands up. Highlighted in the translation below are passages amount to the firm conclusion that Knox definitely was there, with blood on her hands, and Sollecito logically also.

From Chapter 4

4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(”¦) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.

Well, so the “fact” that was ascertained within that verdict, indisputably, is Guede’s participation in the murder “concurring with other people, who remain unknown”. The invoking of the procedural norms indicated means that the usability of such fact-finding is subordinate to [depends on] the double conditions [possibility] to reconcile such fact within the scope of the “object of proof” which is relevant to the current judgement, and on the existence of further pieces of evidence to confirm its reliability.

Such double verification, in the current case, has an abundantly positive outcome. In fact it is manifestly evident that such fact, which was ascertained elsewhere [aliunde], relates to the object of cognition of the current judgement. The [court’s] assessment of it, in accord with other trial findings which are valuable to confirm its reliability, is equally correct. We refer to the multiple elements, linked to the overall reconstruction of events, which rule out that Guede could have acted alone.

Firstly, testifying in this direction are the two main wounds (actually three) observed on the victim’s neck, on each side, with a diversified path and features, attributable most likely (even if the data is contested by the defense) to two different cutting weapons. And also, the lack of signs of resistance by the young woman, since no traces of the assailant were found under her nails, and there is no evidence elsewhere [aliunde] of any desperate attempt to oppose the aggressor; the bruises on her upper limbs and those on mandibular area and lips (likely the result of forcible hand action of constraint meant to keep the victim’s mouth shut) found during the cadaver examination, and above all, the appalling modalities of the murder, which were not adequately pointed out in the appealed ruling.

And in fact, the same ruling (p. 323 and 325) reports of abundant blood spatters found on the right door of the wardrobe located inside Kercher’s room, about 50 cm above the floor. Such occurrence, given the location and direction of the drops, could probably lead to the conclusion that the young woman had her throat literally “slashed” likely as she was kneeling, while her head was being forcibly held [hold] tilted towards the floor, at a close distance from the wardrobe, when she was hit by multiple stab wounds at her neck, one of which ““ the one inflicted on the left side of her neck ““ caused her death, due to asphyxia following [to] the massive bleeding, which also filled the breathing ways preventing breathing activity, a situation aggravated by the rupture of the hyoid bone ““ this also linkable to the blade action ““ with consequent dyspnoea” (p. 48).

Such a mechanical action is hardly attributable to the conduct of one person alone.

[Ed note: Firm settling on motive is not required in Italian law.] On the other hand such factual finding, when adequately valued, could have been not devoid of meaning as for researching the motive, given that [27] the extreme violence of the criminal action could have been seen ““ because of its abnormal disproportion ““ not compatible with any of the explanations given in the verdict, such as mere simple grudges with Ms. Knox (also denied by testimonies presented, [even] by the victim’s mother);  with sexual urges of any of the participants, or maybe even with the theory of a sex game gone wrong, of which, by the way, no mark was found on the victim’s body, besides the violation of her sexuality by a hand action of Mr. Guede, because of the DNA that could be linked to him found inside the vagina of Ms. Kercher, the consent of whom, however, during a preliminary phase of physical approach possibly consensual at the beginning, could not be ruled out. 

Such finding is even less compatible with the theory of the intrusion of an unknown thief inside the house, if we consider that, within the course of ordinary events, while it is possible that a thief is taken by an uncontrollable sexual urge leading him to assail a young woman when he sees her,  it’s rather unlikely that after a physical and sexual aggression he would also commit a gratuitous murder, especially not with the fierce brutality of this case, rather than running away quickly instead. Unless, obviously, we think about the disturbed personality of a serial killer, but there is no trace of that in the trial findings, since there are no records that any other killings of young women with the same modus operandi were committed in Perugia at that time.

From Chapter 9

9.4.1 Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it.

About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time [46] a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.

We make reference in particular to those declarations that the current appellant [Knox] produced on 11. 6. 2007 (p.96) inside the State Police headquarters. On the other hand, in the slanderous declarations against Lumumba, which earned her a conviction, the status of which is now protected as final judgement [giudicato], [they] had themselves exactly that premise in the narrative, that is: the presence of the young American woman inside the house in via della Pergola, a circumstance which nobody at that time ““ except obviously the other people present inside the house ““ could have known (quote p. 96).

According to the slanderous statements of Ms. Knox, she had returned home in the company of Lumumba, who she had met by chance in Piazza Grimana, and when Ms. Kercher arrived in the house, Knox’s companion directed sexual attentions toward the young English woman, then he went together with her in her room, from which the harrowing scream came. So, it was Lumumba who killed Meredith and she could affirm this since she was on the scene of crime herself, albeit in another room.

Another element against her is the mixed DNA traces, her and the victim’s one, in the “small bathroom”, an eloquent proof that anyway she had come into contact with the blood of the latter, which she tried to wash away from herself (it was, it seems, diluted blood, while the biological traces belonging to her would be the consequence of epithelial rubbing).

(Ed: This next passages on hypotheticals shows how ignorant of murder jurisprudence Marasca & Bruno were, they had never handled a murder case before.]  The fact is very suspicious, but it’s not decisive, besides the known considerations about the sure nature and attribution of the traces in question. 

Nonetheless, even if we deem the attribution certain, the trial element would not be unequivocal, since it may show also a posthumous touching of that blood, during the probable attempt of removing the most visible traces of what had happened, maybe to help cover up for someone or to steer away suspicion from herself, but not contributing to full certainty about her direct involvement in the murderous action. Any further and more pertaining interpretation in fact would be anyway resisted by the circumstance ““ this is decisive indeed ““ that no trace linkable to her was found on the scene of crime or on the victim’s body, so it follows ““ if we concede everything ““ that her contact with the victim’s blood happened in a subsequent moment and in another room of the house.

Another element against her is certainly constituted by the false accusations [calunnia] against Mr. Lumumba, afore-mentioned above.

It is not understandable, in fact, what reason could have driven the young woman to produce such serious accusations. The theory that she did so in order to escape psychological pressure from detectives seems extremely fragile, given that the woman [47] could not fail to realize that such accusations directed against her boss would turn out to be false very soon, given that, as she knew very well, Mr. Lumumba had no relationship with Ms. Kercher nor with the Via della Pergola house. Furthermore, the ability to present an ironclad alibi would have allowed Lumumba to obtain release and subsequently the dropping of charges.

However, the said calunnia is another circumstantial element against the current appellant, insofar as it can be considered a strategy in order to cover up for Mr. Guede, whom she had an interest to protect because of fear of retaliatory accusations against her. This is confirmed by the fact that Mr. Lumumba, like Mr. Guede, is a man of colour, hence the indication of the first one would be safe in the event that the latter could have been seen by someone while entering or exiting the apartment. 

And moreover, the staging of a theft in Romanelli’s room, which she is accused of,  is also a relevant point within an incriminating picture, considering the elements of strong suspicion (location of glass shards ““ apparently resulting from the breaking of a glass window pane caused by the throwing of a rock from the outside ““ on top of, but also under clothes and furniture), a staging, which can be linked to someone who ““ as an author of the murder and a flatmate [titolare] with a formal [“qualified”] connection to the dwelling ““ had an interest to steer suspicion away from himself/herself, while a third murderer in contrast would be motivated by a very different urge after the killing, that is to leave the apartment as quickly as possible.

But also this element is substantially ambiguous, especially if we consider the fact that when the postal police arrived ““ they arrived in Via della Pergola for another reason: to search for Ms. Romanelli, the owner of the telephone SIM card found inside one of the phones retrieved in via Sperandio ““ the current appellants themselves, Sollecito specifically, were the ones who pointed out the anomalous situation to the officers, as nothing appeared to be stolen from Ms. Romanelli’s room. 

Elements of strong suspicion are also in the inconsistencies and lies which the suspect woman committed over the statements she released on various occasions, especially in the places where her narrative was contradicted by the telephone records showing different incoming SMS messages; by the testimonies of Antonio Curatolo about the presence of [the same] Amanda Knox in piazza Grimana in the company of Sollecito, and of Mario Quintavalle about her presence inside the supermarket the morning of the day after the murder, maybe to buy detergents.

Despite this, the features of intrinsic inconsistency and poor reliability of the witnesses, which were objected to many times during the trial, do not allow to attribute unconditional trust to their versions, in order to prove with reassuring certainty the failure, and so the falsehood, of the alibi presented by the suspect woman, who claimed to have been at her boyfriend’s home since the late afternoon of November 1st until the morning of the following day. Mr. Curatolo (an enigmatic character: a clochard, drug addicted and dealer) [48] besides the fact that his declarations were late and the fact that he was not foreign to judiciary showing-off in judicial cases with a strong media impact, he was also contradicted about his reference to young people waiting for public buses to leave in the direction of disco clubs in the area, since it was asserted that the night of the murder the bus service was not operational; and also the reference to masks and jokes, which he says he witnessed that evening, would lead to believe that it was on Halloween night, on October 31., and not on Nov. 1. instead.

The latter point apparently balances ““ still within a context of uncertainty and ambiguousness ““ the witness’ reference to (regarding the context where he reportedly noticed the two suspects together) the day before the one when he noticed (at an afternoon hour) an unusual movement of Police and Carabinieri, and in particular people wearing white suites and head covers (as if they were extra-terrestrials) entering the house in Via della Pergola (obviously on November 2., after the discovery of the body).

Mr. Quintavalle ““ apart from the lateness of his statements, initially reticent and generic ““ did not offer any contribute of certainty, not even about the goods bought by the young woman noticed on the morning subsequent to the murder, when he opened his store, while his recognizing Knox in the courtroom is not relevant, since her image had appeared on all newspapers and tv news.

Regarding the biological traces, signed with letters A and I (the latter analysed by the RIS) sampled from the knife seized in Sollecito’s house and yielding Knox’s genetic profile, they constitute a neutral element, given that the same suspect lived together with Mr. Sollecito in the same home in via Garibaldi, although she alternated with the via della Pergola home, and ““ as for what was said ““ the same instrument did not have blood traces from Ms. Kercher, a negative circumstance that contrasted the accusation hypotheses that it was the murder weapon.

On that point, it must be pointed out that ““ again following a disputable strategic choice by the scientific police genetic experts ““ it was decided that the investigation aimed at identifying the genetic profile should be privileged, rather than finding its biological nature, given that the quantity of the samples did not allow a double test: the quality test would in fact would have “used up” the sample or made it unusable for further tests. A very disputable option, since the detecting of blood traces, referable to Ms. Kercher, would have provided the trial with a datum of a formidable probative relevance, incontrovertibly certifying the use of the weapon for the committing of the crime.

The verified presence of the same weapon inside Sollecito’s house, where Ms. Knox was living together with him, would have allowed then any possible deduction in this respect. Instead, the verified identification of the traces with genetic profiles of Ms. Knox resolves itself in a not unequivocal and rather indifferent datum, given that the young American woman was living together with Mr. Sollecito, sharing time between his dwelling and [49] the Via della Pergola one. Not only that, but even if it was possible to attribute with certainty trace B to the genetic profile of Ms. Kercher, the trial datum would have been not decisive (since it’s not a blood trace), given the promiscuity or commonality of inter-personal relations typical of out-of-town students, which make it plausible that a kitchen knife or any other tool could be transported from one house to the other and thus, the seized knife could have been brought by Ms. Knox in Via della Pergola for domestic use, in occasion of convivial meetings or other events, and therefore be used by Ms. Kercher.

What is certain is, that on the knife no blood traces were found, a lack which cannot be referred to an accurate cleaning. As was accurately pointed out by the defence attorneys, the knife had traces of starch, a sign of ordinary home use and of a washing anything but accurate. Not only, but starch is, notoriously, a substance with remarkable absorbing property, thus it is very likely that in the event of a stabbing, blood elements would be retained by it.

It is completely implausible the accusative assumption on the point, that the young woman would be used to carrying the bulky item with her for a self-defence purpose, using ““ it is said ““ the large bag she had for that purpose.  It wouldn’t be actually understandable why the woman, if warned by her boyfriend to pay attention during her night time movements, was not in possession of one of the small pocket knives surely owned by Sollecito, who apparently had the hobby of that kind of weapon and was a collector of a number of them.

Finally, the matching with the current appellant woman of the footprints found in the place location of the murder is far from being certain.             

9.4.2 Also the evidential picture about Mr. Sollecito, emerging from the impugned verdict, appears marked by intrinsic and irreducible contradictions. His presence on the murder scene, and specifically inside the room where the murder was committed, is linked to only the biological trace found on the bra fastener hook (item 165/b), the attribution of which, however, cannot have any certainty, since such trace is insusceptible of a second amplification, given its scarce amount, for that it is ““ as we said ““ an element lacking of circumstantial evidentiary value.

There remains anyway the strong suspicion that he was actually in the Via della Pergola house the night of the murder, in a moment that, however, it was impossible to determine. On the other hand, since the presence of Ms. Knox inside the house is sure, it is hardly credible that he was not with her. 

And even following one of the versions released by the woman, that is the one in accord to which, returning home in the morning of November 2. after a night spent at her boyfriend’s place, she reports of having immediately noticed that something strange had happened (open door, blood traces everywhere); or even the other one, that she reports in her memorial, in accord to which she was present in the house at the time of the murder, but in a different room, not the one in which the violent aggression on Ms. Kercher was being committed, it is very strange that she did not call her boyfriend, since there is no record about a phone call from her, based on the phone records within the file. Even more if we consider that having being in Italy for a short time, she would be presumably uninformed about what to do in such emergency cases, therefore the first and maybe only person whom she could ask for help would have been her boyfriend himself, who lived only a few hundred meters away from her house. Not doing this signifies Sollecito was with her, unaffected, obviously, the procedural relevance of his mere presence in that house, in the absence of certain proof of his causal contribution to the murderous action. 

The defensive argument extending the computer interaction up to the visualization of a cartoon, downloaded from the internet, in a time that they claim compatible with the time of death of Ms. Kercher, is certainly not sufficient to dispel such strong suspicions. In fact, even following the reconstruction claimed by the defence and even if we assume as certain that the interaction was by Mr. Sollecito himself and that he watched the whole clip, still the time of ending of his computer activity wouldn’t be incompatible with his subsequent presence in Ms. Kercher’s house, given the short distance between the two houses, walkable in about ten [sic] minutes.

An element of strong suspicion, also, derives from his confirmation, during spontaneous declarations, the alibi presented by Ms. Knox about the presence of both inside the house of the current appellant the night of the murder,  a theory that is denied by the statements of Curatolo, who declared of having witnessed the two together from 21:30 until 24:00 in piazza Grimana; and by Quintavalle on the presence of a young woman, later identified as Ms. Knox, when he opened his store in the morning of November 2. But as it was previously noted, such witness statements appeared to have strong margins of ambiguity and approximation, so that could not reasonably constitute the foundation of any certainty, besides the problematic judgement of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge.

An umpteenth element of suspicion is the basic failure of the alibi linked to other, claimed human interactions in the computer of his belongings, albeit if we can’t talk about false alibi, since it’s more appropriate to speak about unsuccessful alibi. 

Finally, no certainty could be reached [was acquired] about the attribution to Mr. Sollecito of the footprints found in the via della Pergola house, about which the technical reports carried out have not gone beyond a judgement of “probable identity”, and not of certainty (p. 260/1).

9.4.3. It is simply the case to observe, that the declaration of the lacking of a probative framework, coherent and sufficient to support the accusatory hypothesis regarding the more serious case of the homicide, reverberates on the residual, accessory charges referred in point d) (theft of the phones) and e) (simulation of crime).

From Chapter 10

10. The intrinsic contradiction of probative elements emerging from the text of the appealed sentence, undermines in nuce the connecting tissue of the same sentence, causing the annulment of it.

And in fact, when facing a picture marked by such contradiction, the appeal judge was not supposed to issue a conviction but rather ““ as we observed above ““ they were compelled to issue a ruling of acquittal with reference to art. 530 paragraph 2 of penal procedure code. 

At this point the last question remains, about the annulment formula ““ that is, whether it should be annulled with remand or without remand. The solving of such question is obviously related to the objective possibility of further tests, which could resolve the aspects of uncertainty, maybe through new technical investigations. 

The answer is certainly negative, because the biological traces on the items relevant to the investigation are of scarce entity, as such they can’t undergo amplification, and thus they won’t render answers of absolute reliability, neither in terms of identity nor in terms of compatibility.

The computers belonging to Amanda Knox and to Ms. Kercher, which maybe could have provided information useful to the investigation, were, incredibly, burned by hazardous operations by investigators, which caused electric shock following a probable error of power source; and they can’t render any further information anymore, since it’s an irreversible damage. [Ed: unproven how damage occurred, all records were recovered.]

The set of court testimonies is exhaustive, given the accuracy and completeness of the evidentiary trial phase, which had re-openings both times in the instances of appeal [rinvio; sic].

Mr. Guede, who was sure a co-participant to the murder, has always refused to cooperate, and for the already stated reasons he can’t be compelled to testify.

The technical tests requested by the defence cannot grant any contribution of clarity, not only because a long time has passed, but also because they regard aspects of problematic examination (such as the possibility of selective cleaning) or of manifest irrelevance (technical analysis on Sollecito’s computer) given that is was possible, as said, for him to go to Kercher’s house whatever the length of his interaction with the computer (even if one concedes that such interaction exists), or they are manifestly unnecessary, given that some unexceptionable technical analysis carried out are exhaustive (such are for example the cadaver inspection and the following medico-legal examinations).   

Following the considerations above, it is obvious that a remand [rinvio] would be useless, hence the declaration of annulment without remand, based on art. 620 L) of the procedure code, thus we apply an acquittal [proscioglimento *] formula [see note just below] of dropping of charges which a further judge on remand would be anyway compelled to apply, to abide to the principles of law established in this current sentence.

[Translator’s note:  Under the Italian Procedure Code, the Italian word for “acquittal” is actually “assoluzione”; while the term “proscioglimento” instead, actually refers only to non-definitive preliminary judgements during the investigation phase, and it could be translated as “dropping of charges”. When applied to the investigation phase “proscioglimento” is normally meant as a not-binding decision, not subjected to double jeopardy, since it is not considered a judgement nor a court’s decision.]

The annulment of the verdict of conviction of Ms. Knox as for the crime written at letter A), implies the ruling out of the aggravation of teleological nexus as for the art. 61 par. 2 Penal Code. The ruling out of such aggravating circumstance makes it necessary to re-determine the penalty, which is to be quantified in the same length established by the Court of Appeals of Perugia, about the adequacy of which large and sufficient justification was given, based on determination parameters which are to be subscribed to entirely.

It is just worth to note that the outcome of the judgement allows to deem as absorbed, or implicitly ruled out, any other objection, deduction or request by the defences, while any other argumentative aspect among those not examined, should be deemed manifestly inadmissible since it obviously belongs to the merit.



3. Wrong Translation Circulated By Amanda Knox

This version was garbled apparently to try to show innocence.  (It is a crime to deliberately garble Italian legal documents.)


Above: wrong Knox version. Correct translation again:

4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(”¦) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.


Above: wrong Knox version. Correct translation again:

9.4.1 Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it.

About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time [46] a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.


Friday, July 03, 2015

Rome Shocked - Seems Drafting Of Fifth Chambers Report With Poss Illegalities Not Even At First Base

Posted by Peter Quennell




The Illegalities

These are described in the Maori charges document and explained further in our post below.

In summary, Judge Marasca in his 27 March court ruling and 29 March Corriere interview illegally threw out the March 2013 First Chambers rulings. Plus he illegally accepted the appeal arguments on the evidence which he should not have.

He cannot do that in the sentencing report itself without reprisals being guaranteed.

The Tweet

Our first alert today was this tweet by the most reliable Italy-based reporter on the case.

Andrea Vogt “@andreavogt: Italian legal code (Art. 617) requires Cassation court to issue reasoning after 30 days. #AmandaKnox case due April 27. Why the delay?


The Rumor

On checking, word appears to be spreading in Rome that the Fifth Chambers may not even have got to first base.

On April 27 a draft of the report should have been filed with the Cassation Registry. But it apparently isnt even there yet.

The Code

Here are the relevant rules for the Supreme Court.

1. The Original

Art. 628 CPP

1. Conclusa la deliberazione, il presidente o il consigliere da lui designato redige la motivazione. Si osservano le disposizioni concernenti la sentenza nel giudizio di primo grado, in quanto applicabili.

2. La sentenza, sottoscritta dal presidente e dall’estensore, è depositata in cancelleria non oltre il trentesimo giorno dalla deliberazione.

3. Qualora il presidente lo disponga, la corte si riunisce in camera di consiglio per la lettura e l’approvazione del testo della motivazione. Sulle proposte di rettifica, integrazione o cancellazione la corte delibera senza formalità .

2. The Translation

1. Subsequent to the deliberation, the president or the director appointed by him draws up the motivation report. They observe the provisions concerning the judgment in the first instance, as applicable.

2. The judgment, signed by the President and by the writer, is lodged at the Registry no later than the thirtieth day after the deliberation.

3. If the president has done this, the court will meet in closed session for the reading and approval of the text of the motivation. On the proposed rectification, integration or cancellation the court shall act without formalities.


What To Expect?

The only legal and face-saving way out? Admit error, and if there are real grounds, refer the appeal back down to the Florence court.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Big Shot Across Bows Of Fifth Chambers: Charge Claims Several Illegalities By Marasca & Bruno

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



President Sergio Mattarella, right, might have the power to overturn Judge Marasca’s verdict

1. The Unexplained Delay Of The Sentencing Report

Judge Marasca and President Mattarella, a former judge, have similar reputations: they have both fought mightily to prevent bent outcomes. 

It has been put about in Italian legal circles that Judge Marasca is not exactly in love with his panel’s verdict. We reported talk in Rome that he held out for several hours on 25 March against a majority faction led by Judge Bruno.

Perhaps he remains a captive of the majority in what might be a tainted court - if it is, it would not be the first tainted court in this case. The Hellmann court is considered as such, as quotes below indicate.

Almost with no exceptions, Cassation routinely reports its appeal verdicts both fast and briefly. Often the reports are presented within several weeks. and most of them come in at under 50 pages. 

In Meredith’s case all of the previous Cassation reports came in well before their deadlines. The one that took the longest was the 74-page report of the First Chambers in 2013, annulling most of the Hellmann verdict.

That took 85 days. We are already 10 days beyond that. It will not be very long before the delay in the report really raises red flags. 

2. Judge Marasca’s Post-Verdict Interview

Judge Marasca is well known for not giving interviews and for letting his court statements speak for themselves.

Seemingly aware that his court statement on 27 March was already being questioned, and by some ridiculed, he did give this interview to the reporter Fiorenza Sarzanini for Corriere. Key quotes from it.

A further process could not ascertain the truth about the murder of Meredith Kercher. The “proof used was so contradictory “it is impossible to overcome the doubts and inconsistencies…

The judges of the fifth section of the Court of Cassation were all agreed on canceling the sentence to 28 years and six months for Amanda Knox and Raffaele 25 years “without referral” [back down to the Florence court].

The panel chaired by Dr Marasca also considered “non-binding” the earlier ruling of the Supreme Court that in March two years ago ordered a new appeal trial [in Florence and annulled the Hellmann verdict]

These claims are contended in this new criminal complaint (see the Italian original here) and are rebutted most forcefully in the quotes from it below.

3. The Complaint In The Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Hands

On 28 May the criminal complaint was filed by the Perugia prosecutor Dr Mignini and two lead investigators against one of Sollecito’s lawyers, Luca Maori, together with a reporter and an editor of the Perugia weekly Settegiorni Umbria.

The interview and editorial comments sliming the prosecution and the investigators were published back in January, two months before the Fifth Chambers ruled. They might be seen as one of many attempts to poison public opinion and to lean on the courts - in this case, the Fifth Chambers, which had the appeal.

The narrative describes some nasty lies of commission and omission by Maori and the magazine staff. We wont repeat them here. Impactful on a much wider plane is how the complaint characterizes the investigation and the prosecution of the case, and the various attempts to bend courts and so bend outcomes of the case.

It is highly significant that this complaint was filed by a Florence lawyer and with the Florence court. The chief prosecutor for Florence and its region Tuscany has been quoted as scathing of the Fifth Chambers verdict, presumably seeing it as a slap in the face to his own team which contended the Knox-Sollecito appeal, and perhaps an attempt to take the powerful Florence court down a peg.

The Florence court had made a large number of documents available to the Fifth Chambers. As this narrative is highly relevant, the law would have required the Florence Chief prosecutor to forward it. We can presume then that all the Fifth Chambers judges have the document available and, as it sets up a polarity, quite possibly the First Chambers judges as well.

4. The Significance Of The Complaint’s Various Phrasings

If we notionally divide the document into five parts, part (1) explains the people named in the rest of the document and their respective roles, parts (2) and (3) describe the main elements of the very complex legal process and mistakes that were made by the Hellmann court and the Fifth Chambers; and parts (4) and (5) go into detail about the case against Maori and his interviewer and editor.

The excerpts below are from parts (2) and (3). Anyone involved in the legal process would see rather rapidly that parts (2) and (3) could constitute a blueprint for legal action against the Fifth Chambers (such legal action is now allowed) and could also constitute a petition to President Sergio Mattarella, the head of the Italian justice system, who has the power to overrule a Cassation outcome.

[1] it appears necessary to highlight the circumstances, in fact and in law, left in the shadows by the interview and which render even more serious, frankly incomprehensible and above all without any justification on the basis of the complex course of proceedings, the defamatory statements contained in the article and the very grave and intolerable accusations launched with so much superficiality against the investigators and the 34 magistrates who had upheld the prosecution’s case against the 11 who had doubted it.

Noted above are the many lies of omission (some are listed below; we have a long list pending) that tend to be typical when the defenses and those who were in the dock and their supporters describe the case. Also noted are the 34 magistrates who handled elements of the case and did not abort the process. See the examples here and here.

[2] The two accused Knox and Sollecito had been arrested on the morning of 6 November 2007, under an arrest warrant issued by Dr Mignini, as the Public Prosecutor in charge, a decree promptly validated by the GIP Dr Claudia Matteini who had issued a precautionary custody order for imprisonment. The appeals of the suspects against this latter, as issued by the GIP on the request of the same Dr Mignini, had then been timely rejected by the Re-examination Court for Perugia and by the First Chamber of the Court of Cassation.

Noted above is one area subjected to numerous lies of omission. In fact many magistrates were guiding the process and the prosecution had no opportunity for independent initiative prior to trial. Dr Mignini did not have to do that interview with Knox, he did it at Knox’s own request, to give her another fair shot at clearing herself - which she failed miserably.

[3] As a consequence, the two remained in a state of preventative imprisonment until the decision of the Court of Assizes Appeal Court presided over by Dr Pratillo Hellmann, that is for almost four years and there had never been, by their defence, any application of revocation or substitution of the orders against the accused, Knox and Sollecito…

A legal omission by the defenses which might be considered an incompetent blunder, which contrasts strongly with Maori’s claim that the two were in effect being railroaded. The lawyers did not go the extra mile. 

[4] the Court of Assizes at first instance, presided over by Dr Giancarlo Massei, with Dr Beatrice Cristiani as Recorder, at the end of a very long and thorough trial phase, had sentenced Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox for murder and the connected offences and Ms Knox, in addition, for calunnia against Patrick Diya Lumumba.

The trial was indeed long and thorough. Some of the most compelling evidence was behind closed doors - another area for lies of omission. Knox did herself great harm on the stand, sounding flippant and callous and not at all consistent or convincing, which ultimately cost her three years for calunnia. During the defense phase the lawyers had little to present and sessions were shortened or cancelled. There was much railing against Rudy Guede, who was not in court to answer back to it.

[5] At appeal level, the Court of Assizes Appeal Court - inexplicably composed of the President of the Social Security [Welfare] Chamber [Hellmann] and of an advisor specialised in the Civil Chamber [Zanetti]—despite it being that the President of the Criminal Chamber, Dr Sergio Matteini Chiari, was presiding over a bench; in any case there not being present a magistrate from the competent criminal chamber —had acquitted the two but had upheld the conviction of Ms Knox for calunnia, setting the penalty as a good three years of imprisonment.

This is still being investigated - did the defenses request of Chief Judge De Nunzio that the president of the criminal chamber Judge Chiari be replaced by the wrongly qualified Judge Hellmann? Judge Chiari (who resigned over this) has himself claimed so. And why was the wrongly qualified Judge Zanetti there?

[6] In the course of the proceedings there had been two experts nominated [by the Court] who, amongst other things, had submitted their report ignoring the documents attesting to the negative result of controls on the presumed contamination of the knife and of the bra-clasp, documents adduced instead by the Public Prosecutor. This should have entailed the sweeping away of [=the complete rejection of] the same expert report but the Court, presided by Pratillo Hellmann, with Advisor-Recorder Dr Massimo Zanetti, had ignored the grave error committed by the experts, an error which had been severely censured by the [Chieffi] Court of Cassation, First Criminal Chamber, in the decision handed down on 26 March 2013…

Investigation of Conti and Vecchiotti is also proceeding. They seem to have been bent and to have lied to the court - either that or remarkably incompetent. There is another quote strongly suggesting they were bent below.

[7] [Judge Chieffi] accepted almost all the grounds of appeals put forward by the Prosecutor-General and had annulled completely and definitively the acquittal decision, with remission (evidently upholding the grounds of appeal) to the Court of Assizes Court of Appeal of Florence which, in its turn, had fully confirmed the convictions of the Court of Assizes of Perugia.

There are many lies of omission about the annulment - one can find numerous quotes from the Hellmann court embedded in comments, articles and books - the Knox book goes on about how wonderful that appeal was without saying that none of it is of legal relevance now. 

[8] the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same,—the latter constraint, as constituted by the jurisdiction of sole legitimacy, being understood—, for defect pursuant to Article 606 Criminal Procedure Code and limited to the grounds proposed by the appellants (Article 609 Criminal Procedure Code).

Here is a translation of Article 628 of the Penal Code:

Impugnability of a ruling issued by a judge after remand

1. A verdict that had been issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand, may be impugned through a recourse at Supreme Court of Cassation if the ruling was issued on an appeal instance, and through the mean provided by law if was issued on a first instance level.

2. In any case a verdict issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand may be appealed only on the reasons that do not concern those that had already been decided by Cassation on the order of remand, or for not abiding to disposition of art. 627 paragraph 2.

The second paragraph of Article 628 clearly indicates the Fifth Chambers of Cassazione should absolutely not have accepted requests of appeal from AK and RS against the Florence verdict on those points that had been already decided by the First Chambers (the Chieffi court).  Those points decided by the Chieffi court, as per Article 628, cannot be appealed. Questions about them should be inadmissible.

[9] the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same…

the Court of Cassation cannot, therefore, ever adopt decisions on the merits and issue orders of acquittal under Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

...two chambers of the same Court of Cassation, the First (the one competent for proceedings in homicide matters, whose decision of annulment is definitive and who had identified and decided questions of law in a definitive and un-retractable manner) and the Fifth (who would have had to decide the appeals presented only on grounds of legitimacy of the defendants’, constrained by what had already been definitively decided by the First) have handed down two absolutely divergent decisions and the second had annulled the Florentine decision, positively excluding any remitting to another court and acquitting the defendants pursuant to Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

The Fifth Chambers seems to have clearly broken the law governing its allowed scope. It had no business getting into the evidence. If there was a perceived problem that should have been referred back down to Florence.

[10] from these starting points in fact and in law which are absolutely undeniable, it emerges that the course of proceedings in this case have been absolutely linear and respectful of the substance of the procedural rules up to and including the Florentine decision.

Well proven by the narrative. As we have frequently noted Knox was given six opportunities to liberate herself even before the 2009 trial began (try finding an equivalent of that in any other system) and failed all of them.

[11] the Court of Cassation, on the appeal of the Prosecutor-General of [the Perugia] district Court, had in a radical and definitive manner annulled the acquitting pronouncement and had remitted it to the Florentine district court because the same would adopt the consequent decisions of merit in the line of reasoning of the principles of law laid down by the First Chamber of the Supreme Court and of the points decided by it.

What the First Chambers said must stand. Surely all of the judges of the panel knew this very basic principle of Cassation. Be assured the First Chambers judges will be rubbing it in that this more junior panel has no right to reverse them.

[12] These principles of law are by now unmodifiable and unarguable: the [Fifth Chambers] , called on to decide the matter, as a “second opinion”, concerning the appeal of the defendants from the [Florence] judgment below, would have had to hand down a judgment fully within the “railway tracks” of the law, as fixed by the First Chamber, like the Florentine district court did, principles from among which we may cite:

Once again the emphasis is on how the First Chambers knew both the law and the case thoroughly, and the Fifth Chambers was seemingly adrift at sea.

[13] [Umodifiable principle]  the principle, in fact the unfailing legal prerequisite of a Supreme Court decision, namely the fact that the Court is precluded from “trespassing into a re-evaluation of the compendium of evidence” (see the judgment of the First Chamber at page 40);

[14] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle of law of the total and holistic evaluation of the probative material, as opposed to the “parcelled-up and atomistic evaluation of the pieces of circumstantial evidence, taking them into consideration one at a time and discarded in terms of their demonstrative potentiality”, which characterised instead, in the negative, the decision of the Court presided by Pratillo Hellmann (see the decision of the same First Chamber at pp. 40 and 41… ). The ancient brocard “Quae singula non probant, simul unita probant” [”˜Those which alone do not prove, together do prove’], quoted on p 41 of the First Chamber’s judgment, consecrates in a definitive and unmodifiable manner this requirement of a global and holistic approach in which each individual piece of the jigsaw puzzle of reconstruction of the facts is considered together with all the others in their demonstrative synergy;

[15] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle by which the [Hellmann] court had run afoul of grave shortcomings and contradictory lines of reasoning and in glaring misrepresentations of the outcome, even in the attempted decoupling of the calunnia, by now definitively attributed to Ms Knox, with the result of masking from view the responsibility of the same in the homicide;

[16] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the testimony of the homeless person Mr Curatolo ought to have been evaluated on the basis of corroboration between his statements and the objective and unarguable circumstances emerging from the trial (such as the fact that the witness had with absolute decisiveness anchored the fact of having seen the two accused in the precincts of the basketball courts of Piazza Grimana, nowadays Piazza Fortebraccio, the evening before the arrival, the following day, at the Via della Pergola house of the men from Forensics in their white coveralls), rather than on the basis of Mr Curatolo’s social conditions and lifestyle (see the cited judgment of the First Chamber at page 50);

[17] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the definitive conviction of accomplice Rudy Hermann Guede ought to have been taken into account (no. 7195/11, published on 16.12.2010, it also from the First Criminal Chamber of Cassation), Guede having been held to have been extraneous to the simulation of burglary of a house. [A] habitation that, on the night of the murder, was solely at the availability of the victim and of Amanda Knox and from the statements made by the same Rudy before the Perugian district court, according to which Meredith was killed by the two co-accused (see the judgment at pages 55 and 56).

[18] [Unmodifiable principle] The principle by which contamination of the evidence is to be proved by the party invoking it and which, on the facts of the case, no evidence in support had been offered and which the [Hellmann} Court had seriously confused the abstract possibility of the fact with the averment of the fact (see the judgment at page 69).Umodifiable principle] The principle according to which it was a matter of a homicide committed by multiple persons, in concourse amongst themselves (see page 73 of the cited judgment).

Some brilliant legal arguing. This seems to really make it impossible for the Fifth Chambers to override these firm ruling of the First Chambers .

[19] [Only by ignoring all of the above, in reading the misleading Maori interview, one could be] induced into thinking that errors upon errors had been committed by the officers and agents of the police taskforce and by magistrates convinced of the prosecution case against Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito, then in fact of a “conversion” of the error into a knowing arbitrary act… One would have been led to think of investigators who, incurable in terms of these continual “denials”, falling prey to a kind of accusatory delirium which was by now running unchecked, would have continued to “persecute by prosecuting” two poor youngsters, contrary to any probative evidence, for the sole purpose of not seeing their initial reconstruction denied.

But see how Lumumba was checked out and released by the same team. Plus the same team worked on other cases which drew no accusations at all. It is significant to note that the Bongiorno & Maori team and Sollecito himself again and again dropped Knox in it, even in remarks made after the Fifth Chambers ruling on 27 March.

[20] for the readers it would have been difficult to be able to learn the details of the Kercher proceedings, [Maori and Lagana] launched themselves into making unbelievable, irresponsible statements, defamatory beyond any limit, statements which express an inexplicable rancour and bitterness towards the investigators in the Kercher case, from which, for the rest, especially Advocate Maori had given proof of from the start itself of his defence of Raffaele Sollecito

Maori falsely ascribed the “satanism as motive claim” to Mignini and seems to have been a party to other dirty tricks and loaded statements. At this point of the complaint the Curatolo testimony and knife evidence is re-emphasized as valid for their purposes and never undermined by the innuendo of the defenses. 

[21] Maori adds, repeating a singular idea repeated many times in the course of the proceedings and put to the Prosecution as the most significant expression of the error committed by the investigators: the guilty party, Rudy Hermann Guede, had already been secured by justice. Why continue to investigate the other contenders, when it had been found that it was Rudy who, no one knows why, would have been the sole killer and whose presence would have been incompatible with any accomplices?

As mentioned above, Guede was not at the trial in 2009 and so the defenses could freely rant on about him. Although some witnesses were devoted to trying to prove him a bad guy who must have acted alone, it went nowhere. The jury visit to the cottage showed them how ludicrous it was to argue that anyone would choose THAT window to break in. 

[22] Laganà  knows nothing about the proceedings and plainly ignores: the calunnia by Ms Knox against Lumumba, the mise-en-scene of the burglary (which could have been realised only by someone who would have been afraid of becoming involved in the investigations), the genetic material of Ms Knox found a little bit below the handle of the knife and that of the victim in proximity to the point of the blade, the genetic profile of Mr Sollecito found on the clasp of Meredith’s bra, the systematic lies of the two, the traces of mixed blood of Knox ““ Meredith and the print of Sollecito’s foot stained with blood on the small mat in the bathroom next to the room where the murder happened, the traces revealed with Luminol, of the bare feet of Amanda and Sollecito, the witness who sees the two between 21.30 and 23.30 in Piazza Grimana, a couple of dozen metres from the murder scene, and Rudy’s accusations, just to mention a few examples.

Once again we see the theme common throughout the narrative of noting copious lies of omission - vital things simply left out which dont suit Lagana’s apparent purpose.

[23] [Maori] launches accusations against the press [although] the accused were able to benefit from a systematic information process in their favour and without any contradiction. One can see the case of, for example, the programme “Porta a Porta” which, in the months immediately preceding the Fifth Chamber judgment, had interviewed only Sollecito or his family and consultants, blatantly ignoring any requirement of an even balance, which instead had occurred previously, and all this in a programme on the public network..

This describes how even some arms of the Italian media became tainted and partisan and how the court officers were forbidden by the code of conduct from offering the kind of contradiction and rebuttal very common on American TV.

[24] Unfortunately, this procedural matter has been marked by pressures (often accompanied by menaces) and defamations which the investigators, themselves as well, have suffered in the media, by a very serious activity of disinformation and from serious attacks on the personal and professional reputation of the investigators by numerous organs of information especially in the United States (like in fact CNN), [and] by the extremely challengeable behaviour of experts who, beyond having “forgottten” the existence of negative controls, had been seen by Dr Mignini (and, according to what has been said to him, also by the biologist at Scientific Police headquarters Dr Patrizia Stefanoni), to be having a long conversation and in a “private” manner, with the defence lawyers of the accused, in particular with Advocate Maori, before the hearing in which the experts were to be examined and cross-examined had started. This had happened in particular on two occasions, both in Piazza Matteotti, in front of the law courts building, one time in front of the main entrance and a second time, further back, in the direction of Via Oberdan, while [on a third occasion] Dr Stefanoni and Dr Comodi had seen them together, amongst the various defence lawyers for the accused, in a bar..

This illegal mingling of supposedly impartial court-appointed consultants with the defense teams, described in public writing here for the first time, should have been enough to see Conti and Vechiotti dismissed as consultants from the case, and further down the road facing charges.

[25] there are letters addressed to Dr Mignini, the first on paper with letterhead from the Supreme Court [sic] of the State of Washington (in which place is found Ms Knox’s city of residence, that is Seattle), on the part of judge Michael Heavey (now in retirement after having undergone a disciplinary proceeding for having used Washington State Supreme Court letterhead in a “private” letter addressed to his Italian counterparts) which turns out to have been written also to other magistrates involved, under various roles, in the proceedings and which claimed, with absolutely inconsistent reasoning, the innocence of Ms Knox, asking his Italian colleagues in a pressuring way to “acquit her”; or the highly contentious and clumsily inexpert comments of satisfaction concerning the judgment of the Court presided by Dr Pratillo Hellmann, by authority of the Government of the United States, as, to cite a couple of examples, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and, above all, with repeated interventions in the proceedings under way, Senator Maria Cantwell, of the State of Washington

Failures in fact checking shows up the very one-sided nature of American politics and media coverage. Judge Heavey even wrote to the Presidents of the US and Italy and copied those letters to Congress. Italian court officials are highly restrained from response to protect themselves. Even now many Italians officials dont even know what was being said in English about them and what they were being accused of.

[26] All this evidences the very particular climate in which the proceedings unfolded, especially that of the first appeal, introduced by a summary by the Recorder Dr Massimo Zanetti in which the latter was not at all worried about affirming that in the proceeding that was then being opened the only certain thing was the death of Meredith Kercher, a phrase matching the one that the Recorder of the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, Dr Paolo Antonio Bruno, pronounced according to what was referred to Dr Mignini by an advocate for the civil party.

What a remarkable coincidence. In the case of both statements this is not in accordance with the Italian appeals code. Frequent examples were quoted above of how the Fifth Chambers must accept the First Chambers rulings as givens, and the First Chambers in 2013 in effect ruled in annulling Hellmann that no appeal should be a whole new trial lacking the rather key prosecution part. Note that in March 2015 the Fifth Chambers heard at length from defense lawyers who had been seven years on the case - but no prosecutor from Perugia or Florence was even invited to be there.

5. And In Conclusion

This was a VERY solid case. As is said there, all the lists of evidence in the quotes above could have been longer. Here is a much longer list. Cardiol’s great four-part series on Certainties contains a long list. We have posted various other such lists of evidence, a list of hoaxes, and numerous lists of false claims, and many Powerpoints, and many questions for Sollecito and Knox. Plus even more lists via our right column here.

So it looks like the verdict could become unglued. Italian courts work to some extent on precedent and a tainted verdict could be a very bad precedent. Other prosecutors and judges will be getting similar messages to the judges, not least the judges of the First Chambers which normally handles the murder appeals.

Please read the posts on the fight for legitimacy here and here for more context to all of this.


Friday, June 26, 2015

What No-Show Amanda Knox SHOULD Have Emailed Judge Nencini As Truthful Testimony in December 2013

Posted by Chimera



As the real thing really didnt work any better for Knox…


As is well known, Amanda Knox refused to attend her own appeal in Florence in 2013/2014.

This was a defence appeal by Knox herself and Sollecito against the 2009 conviction by Judge Giancarlo Massei’s trial court.  It was not a new trial, or a retrial, or even a prosecution appeal. It was an appeal DEMANDED by Knox and Sollecito.

While Knox refused to attend, she did send a long, rambling email to Lead Judge Nencini.  Judge Nencini tartly read out the email in court, and remarked that she could have delivered this in person and answered questions if she wanted it credibly on the record - after all, Sollecito was sitting right there and not scared out of his wits.

Kudos to fellow main posters Finn MacCool and SeekingUnderstanding for their original and well done posts on this ‘‘submission’‘

With a bit of fact checking, Knox’s email could have looked to the court and the media more like this.  Enjoy.

Court of Appeals of Florence section II Assise Proc. Pen, 11113

Letter sent to attorneys Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga via email Seattle, 15 December 2013

Attn: Honorable Court of Appeals of Florence

1. I have no doubt that my lawyers have explained and demonstrated the important facts of this case that prove my innocence and discredit the unjustified accusations of the prosecution and civil parties. I seek not to supplant their work; rather, even though I am not present to take part in this current phase of the judicial process, I feel compelled to share my own perspective as a six””year-long defendant and causation of Meredith’s injustice.

2. The Court has access to my previous declarations, and please disregard that whole ‘‘aggravated calunnia’’ in which Cassation says i framed Patrick to divert attention, or that pending calunnia charge claiming I falsely accused the police to sabotage the court proceedings.  I trust you will not be blinded by these things to come to this verdict.  I must repeat: I am innocent.  Because repeating it will help dissuade you from studying my lies too carefully.

3. According to my lawyers: I am not a murderer, I am not a rapist, I am not a thief or a plotter or an instigator, at least not until Cassation signs off on it. I did not kill Meredith or take part in her murder or have any prior or special knowledge of what occurred that night, (other than screaming, slit throat, and that the body was moved). I was not there for part of the time, and had nothing to do with it.

4. I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid. Frederico Martini is probably still pissed that I gave him up; the court and jail officials don’t like my book; and I think there is still an open warrant on me for calunnia.  Also, without any employment or housing references, staying here may be tricky.  I have faith in your judgement, but am worried you are so poor a judge you will be blinded my the Prosecution’s vehemence.  I remember Judge Micheli: he was the wise Judge who found Guede guilty; he was the idiot Judge who ordered Raffaele and I to stand trial as accomplices.

5. My life being on the line, at least until I get parole, and having with others already suffered too much, I’ve rehearsed this story and attentively followed this process and gleaned the following facts that have emerged from the development of this case that I beg you not to dismiss when making your judgement:

6. No physical evidence places me in Meredith “˜s bedroom, the scene of the crime, because I define only that as the crime scene.  My DNA mixed with Meredith’s was in the bathroom and Filomena’s room, not Meredith’s.  Those bloody footprints cleaned away were in the hallway, not Meredith’s room.  Raffaele had one knife, and this other was at his flat, neither of which is Meredith’s room.  My lamp on Meredith’s floor had no fingerprints on it, and does not implicate me.  That DNA on Merdith’s bra, and bloody footprint on the bathmat only implicates my alibi witness (who refuses to be questioned), not me.  Those false alibis, false accusations, details I know about the crime, and phone records are not physical evidence, and did not happen in Meredith’s bedroom. Those ‘‘eyewitnesses’’ the Prosecution produced are not forensic evidence, and do not place me in Meredith’s room.

7. Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence of his presence in the brutal scenario, we made sure of that.  Heck, the police couldn’t even find my fingerprints in my own bedroom.

8. No evidence places me in the same brutal scenario, again, which I restrict to Meredith’s bedroom, and only actual physical evidence.  The prosecution has failed to explain how—with these restrictions—I could have participated in the aggression and murder””to have been the one to fatally wound Meredith””without leaving any genetic trace of myself. Just because i spend a lot of time talking about it, and am a C.S.I. fan, doesn’t mean I know how to remove evidence.  That is because it is impossible. It is impossible to identify and destroy all genetic traces of myself in a crime scene and retain all genetic traces of another individual, or so C.S.I. has taught me. Either I was there, or I wasn’t. My analysis of the crime scene answers this question: I wasn’t there.

9. My interrogation was illegal and produced a false “confession” that demonstrated my non-knowledge of the crime- The subsequent memoriali, for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false “confession.” Yes, I wrote out a false ‘‘confession’’ that accuses someone else.  Just as I testified to the prosecutor in prison and to my family members in prison when our conversations were being recorded without my knowledge. Dammit, give me some privacy.

10. My behavior after the discovery of the murder indicates my innocence, if you think creatively enough. I did not flee Italy when I had the chance, because (in my November 4th email), the police wouldn’t let me leave.  I stayed in Perugia and was at the police’s beck and call trying to think of answers for over 50 hours in four days, convinced that I could help them find the murderer, or at least someone who was ‘‘close enough’‘.  I never thought or imagined that repeatedly changing my story would fuel their suspicions. I did not hide myself or my feelings: when I needed sex, Rafael ‘‘embraced’’ me; when I was scared of being exposed, I cried; when I was angry that it wasn’t working, I swore and made insensitive remarks; when I was shocked, I paced or sat in silence, at least until I could find a new ‘‘best truth’‘; when I was trying to help, I evaded questions, consoled Meredith’s friends, especially her male friends, and tried to keep a positive attitude that this would blow over.

11. Upon entering the questura I had no understanding of my legal position, accompanying Raffaele to a witness summary session which I was not invited to. 20””years old and alone in a foreign country, I was, legally speaking, innocent and never expected to be suspected and subjugated to torture, and I wasn’t. I was told I was a witness, then after I placed myself at the crime scene I was told I was a suspect. I was questioned for a prolonged period in the middle of the night and in Italian, a language I barely knew, and that questioning includes the time I was sleeping or getting tea.  I denied legal counsel- still The Court of Cassation deemed the interrogation and the statements produced from it was inadmissible. In my memoir, WTBH; I was lied to, yelled at, threatened, slapped twice on the back of the head. I told myself I had witnessed the murder and was suffering from amnesia. I told myself that if I didn’t succeed in ‘‘remembering’’ what happened to Meredith that night, I would never see my family again. I browbeat myself into confusion and despair, to sell to the media at a later date. When you berate, intimidate, lie to, threaten, confuse, and coerce someone in believing they are wrong, you are not going to find the truth, but again, that is not what happened here.

12. The police used tea and kindness to coerce me into signing a false “confession” that was without sense and should never have been considered a legitimate investigative lead. In this fragmentary and confused statement the police identified Patrick Lumumba as the murderer because we had exchanged text messages, the meaning of which I let the police wrongfully interpret (”˜Civediamo piu tardi. Buona serata’). The statement lacked a clear sequence of events, corroboration with any physical evidence, and fundamental information like: how and why the murder took place, if anyone else was present or involved, what happened afterward””it supplied partial, contradictory information and as the investigators would discover a little later, when Patrick Lumumba’s defense lawyer produced proof of him incontestable alibi, it was obviously inaccurate and unreliable.  After over 50 hours of rehearsing the questioning over four days, I was mentally exhausted and I was confused.

13. This coerced and illegitimate statement, which I dreamed up, was used by the police to arrest and detain a clearly innocent man with an iron-clad alibi with whom I had a friendly professional relationship, (at least until I destroyed his life). This coerced and illegitimate statement was used to convict me of slander.  Judge Hellmann saw that this statement was coerced, and threw out my calunnia conviction .... I mean he increased the sentence .... never mind.The prosecution and civil parties are accusing and blaming me, a result of their own overreaching.

14. Experience, case studies, and the law recognize that one may be coerced into giving a false"confession” because of torture.  I’m not sure why this applies to my case, but damn, it sure sounds impressive.

15. This is a universal problem. According to the National Registry of Exoneration, in the United States 78% of wrongful murder convictions that are eventually overturned because of exonerating forensic evidence involved false “confessions.” Almost 8 in 10 wrongfully convicted persons were coerced by police into implicating themselves and others in murder. I am not alone: Susan Smith and Casey Anthony ‘‘falsely confessed’’ that other people did it too.  And exonerating forensic evidence is often as simple as no trace of the wrongfully convicted person at the scene of the crime, but rather the genetic and forensic traces of a different guilty party””just like every piece of forensic evidence identifies not me, but Rudy Guide.

16. In the brief time Meredith and I were roommates and friends we never fought.  Roommates, not friends.

17. Meredith was my friend, not that I was her friend. She was kind to me, helpful, generous, fun, and in retrospect, I should have been more of the same.  She never criticized me. She never gave me so much as a dirty look, even as I left the place a mess, and even when I flirted with her boyfriend, or she took my job at the bar.

18. But the prosecution claims that a rift was created between Meredith and I because of cleanliness. This is a distortion of the facts. Please refer to the testimonies of my housemaster and Meredith’s British friends. None of them ever witnessed or heard about Meredith and I fighting, arguing, disliking each other. None of them ever claimed Meredith was a confrontational clean-freak, or I a confrontational slob. Laura Masotho testified that both Meredith and I only occasionally cleaned, whereas she and Filomena Romanelli were more concerned with cleanliness. Meredith’s British friends testified that Meredith had once told them that she felt a little uncomfortable about finding the right words to kindly talk tome, her new roommate, about cleanliness in the bathroom we shared. The prosecution would have you believe this is motivation for murder. But this is a terrifying distortion of the facts, as proving motive it not necessary—anywhere.

19. I did not carry around Rafael’s kitchen knife.  That’s what men are for, to do the lifting for me.

20. This claim by the prosecution, crucial to their theory, is uncorroborated by any physical evidence or witness testimony. I didn’t fear the streets of Perugia and didn’t need to carry around with me a large, cumbersome weapon which would have ripped my cloth book bag to shreds. My book bag showed no signs of having carried a bloody weapon. The claim that he would have insisted I carry a large chef’s knife is not just senseless, but a disturbing indication of how willing the prosecution is to defy objectivity and reason in order to sustain a mistaken and disproven theory.  Yes, i can positively disprove a theory I know nothing about.

21. It is yet another piece of invented “evidence”, another circumstance of theory fabricated to order, because having discovered nothing else, the prosecution could only invent: phone records, false alibis, false statements, false accusations.

22. I had no Contact with Rudy Guide, even though I mention in my book having seen him twice, and a third time in the next paragraph.

23. Like many youth in Perugia, I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guide. He played basketball with the young men who lived in the apartment below us. Meredith and I had been introduced to him together. Perhaps I had seen him amongst the swarms of students who crowded the Perugian streets and pubs in the evenings, but that was it. We didn’t have each other’s phone number, we didn’t meet in private, we weren’t acquaintances. I never bought drugs from Rudy Guide or anyone else. I was having sex with Federico for drugs, which isn’t the same thing.  The phone records show no connection. There are no witnesses who place us together, except my statement here. The prosecution claims I convinced Rudy Guide to commit rape and murder, completely ignoring the fact that we didn’t even speak the same language. He has lived in Perguia for 15 years, and I am a student of Italian. Once again, the prosecution is relying upon a disturbing and unacceptable pattern of distortion of the objective evidence.

24. I am not a psychopath.  That evaluation in 2008 was unfair, as I didn’t get a chance to prepare my spontaneous answers.

25. There is no short list to the malicious and unfounded slanders I have enjoyed over the course of this legal process. In trial, in the media I have been called no less than:

“Conniving; manipulating; man””eater; narcissist; enchantress; duplicitous; adulterer; drug addict; an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol; dirty; witch; murderer; slanderer; demon; depraved; imposter; promiscuous; succubus; evil; dead inside; pervert; dissolute; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; rapist; thief; reeking of sex; Judas; she-devil;

26. I have never demonstrated anti-social, aggressive, violent, or behavior. Throwing rocks at cars, writing rape stories, and staging break ins are not violent or anti-social.  I am not addicted to sex or drugs.  In fact, Federico Martini hasn’t given me any since I was arrested.  Upon my arrest I was tested for drugs and the results were negative. I am not a split-personality One does not adopt behavior spontaneously.

27. This is a fantasy. This is uncorroborated by any objective evidence or testimony. The prosecution and civil parties created and pursued this character assassination because they have nothing else to show you. They have neither proof, nor logic, nor the facts on their side. They only have their ‘‘evidence’’ against me, and my personal opinions about them. They want you to think I’m a monster because I am telling you they think I am a monster.  it is easy to condemn a monster. It is easy to dismiss a monster’s defense as deception. But the prosecution and civil parties think I’m both severely mistaken and wrong. I have condemned them without proof of wrongdoing, and I seek to convince you to condemn them without proof of wrongdoing.

28. If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics. Never mind that this is my own appeal, and I ‘‘should’’ be demonstrating why the 2009 trial verdict is unjust.  If I had a case, there would be no need for smoke and mirrors to distract you from the mountains of physical evidence against me. But because this evidence exists that proves my guilt, I would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements. Because I am not a murderer (yet), I would seek to mislead you into convicting me by charging your emotions, by painting me as an innocent until proven guilty, but not as a monster.

29. The prosecution and civil parties are committing injustices against the Kerchers because they cannot bring themselves to admit, even to themselves, that they’ve made a terrible mistake, namely, that the murder was premeditated. Again, it is my own appeal, but they are persecuting me.

30. The Court has seen that the prosecution and civil parties will not hear criticism of their mistakes, by people who won’t attend their appeal.

31. The Court has seen that the prosecution jumped to conclusions at the very start of their investigation: they interrogated and arrested innocent people and claimed “Case Closed"before any evidence could be analyzed, before bothering to check alibis.  As proof of this, they called Raffaele to the police station (at his leisure), to clear up discrepencies in his alibi.  Then when he claimed I lied, Rita Ficarra then asked me for an explanation.  Those brutes!  Then they hauled in Patrick just because in ‘‘confessed’’ several times that he did it.

32. The prosecutor and investigators were under tremendous pressure to solve the mystery of what happened to Meredith as soon as possible. The local and International media was breathing down the necks of these detectives. Their reputations and careers were to be made or broken. In spite of that, they still saw my mistakes. Under pressure, they admitted to as few mistakes as possible and committed themselves to a theory founded upon disproving my mistakes.

33. Had they not jumped to conclusions based on nothing but Raffaele’s changing alibi and my false accusations, they would have discovered definitive and undeniable evidence of not Patrick Lumumba, but of Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox. We would not be here over six years later debating clues my lawyers claim are inconclusive and unreliable.  Had we plead guilty we would have been spared the cost, anguish and suffering, not only of Raffaele’s and my family, but especially of Meredith’s family as well.

34. My accusations are unworthy of judicial or public confidence. In over six years I have failed to provide a consistent, evidence-driven, corroborated theory of the crime, but would nevertheless argue that you should not take my life away. I beg you to see through the ‘‘facts’’ and ‘‘reason’’ of what I say. I am innocent. Raffaele is innocent. Meredith and her family deserve the ‘‘truth’‘. Please put an end to this great and prolonged injustice for them.

in faith,

Amanda Marie Knox

 


Monday, June 22, 2015

The Real Victim: Will The Cassation Report Promised Thursday Belatedly Suitably Acknowledge Her?

Posted by Slow Jane





It was a gloriously sunny early summer’s day.

I stepped out of the tube onto Tooting Broadway, with throngs of shoppers overflowing the pavements and schoolchildren milling around the bus stops in groups.

Now here at last, in Croydon Cemetery, fifteen bus stops later, I found Meredith’s grave, startling in its unexpectedness, after walking for quite a while, hopeless at following directions, having originally gone to the wrong graveyard altogether, the day before.

My heart pounded as her name suddenly leapt out at me.

The burial site is beautifully maintained, with miniature pink and red rose bushes and set in the peaceful landscaped grounds, with evergreens and lawns.

I stood for a while overcome with emotion, quite alone, with nobody in sight all around.  I said a few prayers, including one pleading that Meredith’s murderers be brought to justice.  I quietly sang Psalm 23 and pondered how this beautiful, funny, bright young student had lived a life that was all too short.

A feeling of pain - for her mother Arline and father John, and Stephanie, Lyle and John and for all her family and friends - contracted like a taut elastic band across my chest.

I recalled how at her funeral service at St John the Baptist Church many of the mourners, including sister Stephanie and friends from Leeds Uni had carried a single white rose each.

Stephanie read out a poem she wrote, ” Don’t Say Goodbye”.  Her old school friends sang as a choir the requiem,  In Paradisum.  Two hymns sung at the service, on 14th December 2007, were “˜Abide with me” and “For the Beauty of the Earth”.

Meredith’s favourite record “With or without you” by U2 (below) was played.

As I sat on a creaky bench nearby under the shade of a gnarled old tree, I scribbled down the following lines:

    I came to pay my respects

    To Meredith Kercher so dear

    To all who knew her.

    Go gently into that night

    Enforced on you by the evil,

    Those who walk in the darkness,

    And you were in their path.

    Your light shines

    And the dark has not overcome it.

 

I write this article to reflect that this is about Meredith Kercher and her family and friends, and to reclaim the memory of her purity from the soiled agenda of the ex-defendants and the cruel IIP and FOA stalkers.

Stephanie Kercher had said, in response to Knox’s demand, on the launch of her “memoir”, that she be taken to visit Meredith’s grave, that Stephanie and her family just want a safe place for Meredith to rest in peace.

I cast my mind back to the news reports that broke in November 2013 that Raffaele Sollecito had nevertheless paid a “secret visit” to the spot.  He had been in London in March 2013.  He had the grace not to include pictures of the grave on his “London” Facebook page that he may have taken.

Newspaper reports reveal he was taken there by an “English friend” and left no flowers.  The “friend” who was quick to betray Sollecito’s “secret” is speculated to be one Nigel Scott, ex-Lib Dem Councillor in Haringey, and a purported member of the Injustice in Perugia advisory board, the rather grand name of a lobby of aggressive pro-Knox advocates.

Scott put up a picture of the grave in a tweet ““ hastily taken down ““ as the news broke.  He disparagingly refers to the grave as being in “poor condition”, with a temporary headstone marker. 

His co-campaigner, Karen Pruett, maintains a Find A Grave webpage for Meredith and was forced by demand from enraged supporters of Meredith Kercher’s family to take down the picture of Meredith’s grave, most probably taken from the Daily Mail.

Notorious FOA poster Lyn Duncan - who tweets under the name of @Annella - and others, left “tributes” after the acquittal, despite one of their party, Doug Bremner Jr, having referred to the Kerchers as “Nazis” and another mocking Meredith’s grave lacking a headstone as late as 2011, when Knox was first acquitted by Hellmann, as shown in the Daily Mail.

Time has shown how Scott’s, Pruett’s and other Knox chums’ characters speak for themselves.

Meredith’s final resting place is beautiful, in a quietly understated way.  The grave adjacent is of a Liverpool supporter aged 22,  who died around about the same time as Mez, who was 21.  It is very poignant to see.

Meredith’s headstone is fashioned out of marble and reads, ” We will always love you MEREDITH SUSANNA CARA KERCHER 28th Dec. 1985 ““ 1st Nov. 2007 Forever in our thoughts, always in our hearts.”

The temporary marker, so much derided by Knox’ supporters, remains at the foot.  I left some Sweet Williams in a flower container and slowly walked away, moved and changed by the visit.




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chamber May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #4

Posted by Cardiol MD




1. SERIES OVERVIEW

This post continues a response to the March 27th, 2015 announcement of Cassation’s Fifth Chamber that it had decided that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were Not Guilty of the November 2007 Murder in Perugia of Meredith Kercher.

The Fifth Chamber’s Reporting Judge Antonio Paolo Bruno, was reported to have said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted”.

In fact Judge Bruno was wrong.

Post #1 and Post #2 and Post #3 reported dozens of Certainties contained in “the trials”.

As previously noted, the Existence, Timings, Durations, and General-Locations of all the telephone calls are a very fertile source of Certains, or Certainly-Nots. This is because civil telephone time-keeping all over the Earth’s surface, including in Italy, the U.S. and the U.K, use, and specifically did use in November 2007’s Perugia, the Coordinated Universal Time Protocol (CUT).

Coordinated time-keeping assures that the time assigned to a telephone event is accurate and very precise, independent of where it occurs.  It’s almost as if these November, 2007’s Perugia “˜phone users were wearing criminal-offender’s ankle bracelets. CUT records enable decisive challenge to the credibility of a false witness (impeachment).

(Uncoordinated Time-keeping could have resulted in wrong times being assigned to a telephone event)

2. MORE SUCH CERTAINTIES


(A) SOLLECITO’S PHONE

43. IT IS CERTAIN THAT SOLLECITO’S PHONE WAS EITHER AFFIRMATIVELY SWITCHED-ON, OR HAD-BEEN-MOVED, AT 6:02:59 AM, 2 NOVEMBER 2007

Therefore, contrary to the Defense “reasoning”, cited below, there is Certain proof that Sollecito’s phone was switched on or had been moved at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007, and that Sollecito &/or Knox were awake at that time, contrary to their assertions, which are Certainly false:

Nencini Page 158:

“If in fact one can agree with the Defense reasoning by which there is no certain proof that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 Raffaele Sollecito’s phone was switched on (by himself or by Amanda Marie Knox, the only two present in the apartment) allowing [142] reception of the SMS sent to him by his father a good six hours earlier, the only logical alternative is that someone obviously moved the phone inside the apartment from the location in which it was positioned, and where it was not receiving the “signal”, to a different location in the apartment, where the “signal” was received.What matters, and what the Court finds proved, is that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 in the apartment at 130 Via Garibaldi, they were not in fact asleep, as the defendants claim, but rather the occupants were well awake, so much as to switch on or move the phones.”

More in this case:

(B) WITNESS ANTONIO CURATOLO

Antonio Curatolo had testified at the Massei Trial that he had seen Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, from 9:30pm to around midnight of 1 November 2007 in Piazza Grimana”

However, the Hellmann Court of Appeal’s motivazione had rejected the reliability of Curatolo’s Testimony.

The SCC Panel, Annulling the Hellmann Court of Appeal’s motivazione had, in turn rejected and annulled Hellman’s Analysis of Curatolo’s Testimony, stating on pp 67-69:

“The Hellmann Court of Appeal rejected the reliability of the testimony of Antonio Curatolo which, in the reconstruction of the First Instance Court, had been taken as a basis of proof that the negative alibi offered by the two accused was false,  and which constituted one of the tesserae of the mosaic which led to their being held to have been present at the scene of the crime.  Incidentally,  it is worth recalling that the First Instance Court held, via reasoning that was correct from both a legal and logical point of view, that the false alibi must be considered as evidence against [the accused],  to be placed in relation to the other elements of proof in the context of the entire body of evidence.

This method of analysing the testimony, as observed by the Prosecutor General submitting the appeal,  is absolutely subject to censure in that it displays a lack of the prerequisite thorough examination of the facts and circumstances,  so that the conclusion that was reached [by the Hellman Court of Appeal] ““ that in indicating the two accused students as having been present in Piazza Grimana, he confused the evening of 31 October and the evening of 1 November ““ clashes with ascertained facts that seriously contradict such an absolutely certain assumption,  so as to shed full light on the well”foundedness of the charge that the justifying discourse is contradictory and thus manifestly lacking in logic (it was in fact proven by other facts that on the evening of 31 October that neither Knox nor Sollecito,  who were both occupied,  the former at Lumumba’s pub where she was preparing for the normal activity associated with the Halloween festival,  the latter at a graduation party,  could have been present in Piazza Grimana at around 11 PM).

The assertion that the sighting of the two young people by the witness should be shifted to 31 October (page 50 of the sentencing report)  because the context described was more suitable to that day than the next day,  since [the latter]  did precede the arrival of the Scientific Police but [50] [was] taken out of context,  is a manifestly illogical assertion, not only because it contradicts facts which unequivocally demonstrate that the two were not in the piazza on the evening of 31 October (a fact of fundamental importance in the context of the evaluations) and thus the impossibility of squaring the circle in the sense proposed, but also because it follows an utterly weak inferential rule.

Starting from the need to undo the knot of contradiction presented by the testimony (he saw the two young people the evening before the investigation of the Scientific Police and he saw them in the context of the Halloween festival),  the Hellmann Court of Appeal,  after having heard the witness testify a second time and after having verified that he erroneously placed Halloween on the night of 1”2 November, they heard the witness reiterate that his temporal placement of the fact was anchored to the described presence of people who were all dressed in white and that, after midday on the day after he saw the two young people, he caught sight of the men in white in via della Pergola (a fact with a very high level of certainty, more than any other) together with the police: this notwithstanding, the Court reached the conclusion that his testimony could not be accepted due to the man’s deteriorating intellectual faculties and due to his lifestyle, since he was a detainee for drug dealing when he testified the second time and was a habitual heroin user.

Once again,  the progression of the argument emerges as obviously illogical,  in that the evaluation of the testimony should have been correlated (regardless of the conclusions, this being a discussion of evaluation methods)  to the unique objective fact of absolute reliability (the presence of individuals wearing the white suits, the day after the sighting of the two in the piazza, at a time earlier than 11 PM”midnight) because that is a fact whose existence is certain, which was a unique identifying circumstance, which could not but remain imprinted on the mind more than any other; while instead, once again, character issues were considered and asserted, furthermore, without any scientific examination that could ascertain whether the man’s intellectual faculties had deteriorated.  Moreover, Curatolo showed up when called upon to testify,  in both the first and second instance trials and, even well after the fact, he never had any difficulty recognizing the two accused as those whom he had seen in Piazza Grimana the evening before he noticed the men dressed in white (whom he called “extra”terrestrials”) and the police in via della Pergola.

The fact that he had been a homeless man who spent all day in the piazza was not a reason for dismissing him as an unreliable witness out of hand, at the cost of colliding with the accepted principles on the matter of the reliability of testimony.  In conclusion,  [51]  a contribution [that was]  expressed with certainty and noted in the trial transcripts of the witness, and again during his second testimony (“as certain as I’m sitting here” he said of having seen the two accused the evening before the day in which he saw the men in white suits and the police), cannot be circumvented by merely referring to the character of the author of the contribution; this would have required a process of evaluation through facts with equally strong probative evidence.

Moreover,  the opinion must be annulled and remanded, since the explanations of the reliability of the witness Curatolo are incomplete (as they did not take into consideration the facts that contradicted the conclusion reached by the Court), vitiated by an incorrect application of the laws governing the matter. The “˜precise and serious’ nature of the evidence provided by the testimony was dismissed in the [Appeal] opinion without testing its concordance with other evidence, on the basis of a conjecture (that the witness superimposed the evening of 31 October onto that of 1 November) that was not even confronted with the facts contradicting its conclusions”

In summary, this SCC Panel ruled that Hellmann’s Motivazione “must be annulled and remanded” because it ignored facts contradicting Hellmann’s conclusion, and incorrectly applied “the laws governing the matter”, “without testing its concordance with other evidence”, not even confronting Curatolo “with the facts contradicting (Hellmann’s) conclusions”.

Therefore:

44. IT IS CERTAIN THAT CURATOLO WAS PRESENT IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE EVENING OF NOV. 1st, 2007
45.  IT IS CERTAIN THAT CURATOLO TESTIFIED THAT HE SAW MEN IN WHITE SUITS, AND POLICE PRESENT IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE MORNING AFTER HIS SIGHTING OF AMANDA KNOX AND RAFFAELE SOLLECITO IN PIAZZA GRIMANI.


3. AND MORE BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBTS


(A) WITNESS ANTONIO CURATOLO

The SCC Chamber’s reasons, given above, for Annulling And Remanding Hellmann’s conclusions re Curatelo’s misremembering the Date, in spite of his specifically remembering that it was the evening before he saw the Official Commotions relating to Meredith’s murder, justify the Conclusion that:

8. IT IS BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THAT CURATOLO SAW AMANDA KNOX AND RAFFAELE SOLLECITO IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE EVENING OF NOV.1st, 2007 ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS. A FEW YARDS FROM THE COTTAGE AT NO. 7, VIA DELLA PERGOLA, WHERE, IN THE SAME SPAN OF TIME, THE MURDER TOOK PLACE.


WITNESS MARCO QUINTAVALLE

Nencini p 156:

“Amanda Marie Knox went to Marco Quintavalle’s Conad shop around 7:45am on 2 November 2007, obviously in search of something to buy that she could not find. She was noticed by Mr. Quintavalle who, at the trial, identified her with certainty in the courtroom. So we are able to affirm that Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she claimed to have slept at Mr. Sollecito’s house in his company until 10am in the morning on 2 November 2007.

Having already been proven false by witness testimony, the alibi given by the accused is also proven false by comparing it with objective data, which tallies with the witness testimony referred to above.”

SCC. Annulling H/Z p 50

“In this case,  [the Defence argues that]  a re”evaluation of the witness is not allowed,  given that his testimony was correctly examined by the Hellmann Court of Appeal,  knowing the lapse of time after which he offered his contribution to investigators. The witness’s statements were,  for the rest,  compared with those of his co”workers, who referred to the doubts expressed by Quintavalle on the exactitude of his identification. There is therefore no lack of logic in the reasoning,  since the lack of logic must be manifestly perceived,  whereas minimal inconsistencies must have no influence”

SCC ANNULLING H/Z p 70-71

“In reality,  the notice taken of the witness’s statements, as pointed out by the Prosecutor General, is absolutely biased, since the sighting out of the corner of the eye referred to the girl’s exit from the shop, whereas the witness specified having seen her at a close distance (between 70”80 centimetres), adding that she remained imprinted on his mind “because of her very light blue eyes”,  her “extremely pale face”,  and “a very tired expression”.

Moreover,  the witness clarified in his testimony that he became convinced that the girl who appeared in the newspapers was the one he saw in the early morning of 2 November 2007, given that the colour of her eyes could not be ascertained from the photo, but that he became certain once that he saw the girl in the courtroom. The selection made from the pool of information was absolutely one”sided, which distorted the evidence to the point of making it appear uncertain, whereas the witness explained the reasons for his perplexity and the development of his conviction in terms of certainty.

As noted by the Prosecutor General in the appeal documents filed,  this portion of the report assumed relevance within the framework of the reconstruction and required an explanation based on an examination of the entire testimony; instead, through a process of unacceptable selection, only some of the testimony was considered to be of value, indeed, only that portion considered to be consistent with a [specific] conclusion, one that in fact required rigorous demonstration.

The result,  once again,  is blatantly and manifestly illogical. What is at issue is not a re”evaluation of the evidence ““  which is obviously prohibited by this Court, as the Defence for the accused has justly pointed out ““ but rather the need to point out a glaringly evident flaw that consists of an intolerable chasm between what is stated by the witness and what is acknowledged in the justifying arguments, on a point of significant importance, since it concerns the foundation of the alibi.

On this point also, the new judgment will have to be conducted in light of the preceding observations.”

Given the above:

9. IT IS BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THAT MARCO QUINTAVALLE SAW AMANDA KNOX IN HIS CONAD SHOP AT AROUND 7:45 am ON 2 NOVEMBER 2007.

Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she claimed to have slept at Mr. Sollecito’s house in his company until 10am in the morning on 2 November 2007.

To be continued, though we may need to wait until the end of June 2015 when SCC’s Motivazione is due.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Court Filing Contends Fifth Chambers Encroached Illegally On First Chambers & Florence Court Powers

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





We have devoted an entire series by lawyers to showing how unsound in law, in science, in media analysis, and in facts of the case the Marasca/Bruno explanations are.

This opinion representing the Perugia and Florence Prosecutions was drafted by several of the most experienced and respected lawyers in Italy.

It was drafted in light of the spoken Fifth Chambers verdict pro-defendant at the end of March. The panel’s written explanation was then overdue. The opinion was filed with the Florence court.

These passages quoted below raise issues of what the Fifth Chambers under the Penal Code legally can and can not do, with respect to prior rulings of (1) the Supreme Court itself, which mostly overturned Hellmann in 2013 for exceeding legal scope; and (2) the Florence (Nencini) appeal court.

According to this opinion, the Fifth Chambers has significantly overstepped its legal boundaries in brushing aside previous rulings and trying to fulfill the role of an appeal court, or a first-level trial court.

This was the same overstretch that the First Chambers concluded the 2011 Hellmann appeal court had wrongly done. Both courts are widely considered in Italy to have been illegally bent.

This is now uncharted territory. If this opinion goes forward the Judges of the First Chambers and Florence court and the Council of Magistrates all seem likely to side with what it claims.  If so reactions might ripple on for years.

The Fifth Chambers judges might find themselves increasingly beleaguered. And their rulings on evidence items and the investigators and prosecutors and foreign media would all seem to be moot, if the perception grows that the Fifth Chambers should not even have gone there.

the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same”¦

the Court of Cassation cannot, therefore, ever adopt decisions on the merits and issue orders of acquittal under Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

...two chambers of the same Court of Cassation, the First (the one competent for proceedings in homicide matters, whose decision of annulment is definitive and who had identified and decided questions of law in a definitive and un-retractable manner) and the Fifth (who would have had to decide the appeals presented only on grounds of legitimacy of the defendants’, constrained by what had already been definitively decided by the First) have handed down two absolutely divergent decisions and the second had annulled the Florentine decision, positively excluding any remitting to another court and acquitting the defendants pursuant to Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same”¦

the Court of Cassation cannot, therefore, ever adopt decisions on the merits and issue orders of acquittal under Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

...two chambers of the same Court of Cassation, the First (the one competent for proceedings in homicide matters, whose decision of annulment is definitive and who had identified and decided questions of law in a definitive and un-retractable manner) and the Fifth (who would have had to decide the appeals presented only on grounds of legitimacy of the defendants’, constrained by what had already been definitively decided by the First) have handed down two absolutely divergent decisions and the second had annulled the Florentine decision, positively excluding any remitting to another court and acquitting the defendants pursuant to Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

from these starting points in fact and in law which are absolutely undeniable, it emerges that the course of proceedings in this case have been absolutely linear and respectful of the substance of the procedural rules up to and including the Florentine decision.

the Court of Cassation, on the appeal of the Prosecutor-General of [the Perugia] district Court, had in a radical and definitive manner annulled the acquitting pronouncement and had remitted it to the Florentine district court because the same would adopt the consequent decisions of merit in the line of reasoning of the principles of law laid down by the First Chamber of the Supreme Court and of the points decided by it.

These principles of law are by now unmodifiable and unarguable: the [Fifth Chambers] , called on to decide the matter, as a “second opinion”, concerning the appeal of the defendants from the [Florence] judgment below, would have had to hand down a judgment fully within the “railway tracks” of the law, as fixed by the First Chamber, like the Florentine district court did, principles from among which we may cite:

[Umodifiable principle] the principle, in fact the unfailing legal prerequisite of a Supreme Court decision, namely the fact that the Court is precluded from “trespassing into a re-evaluation of the compendium of evidence” (see the judgment of the First Chamber at page 40);

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle of law of the total and holistic evaluation of the probative material, as opposed to the “parcelled-up and atomistic evaluation of the pieces of circumstantial evidence, taking them into consideration one at a time and discarded in terms of their demonstrative potentiality”, which characterised instead, in the negative, the decision of the Court presided by Pratillo Hellmann (see the decision of the same First Chamber at pp. 40 and 41”¦ ). The ancient brocard “Quae singula non probant, simul unita probant” [”˜Those which alone do not prove, together do prove’], quoted on p 41 of the First Chamber’s judgment, consecrates in a definitive and unmodifiable manner this requirement of a global and holistic approach in which each individual piece of the jigsaw puzzle of reconstruction of the facts is considered together with all the others in their demonstrative synergy;

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle by which the [Hellmann] court had run afoul of grave shortcomings and contradictory lines of reasoning and in glaring misrepresentations of the outcome, even in the attempted decoupling of the calunnia, by now definitively attributed to Ms Knox, with the result of masking from view the responsibility of the same in the homicide;

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the testimony of the homeless person Mr Curatolo ought to have been evaluated on the basis of corroboration between his statements and the objective and unarguable circumstances emerging from the trial (such as the fact that the witness had with absolute decisiveness anchored the fact of having seen the two accused in the precincts of the basketball courts of Piazza Grimana, nowadays Piazza Fortebraccio, the evening before the arrival, the following day, at the Via della Pergola house of the men from Forensics in their white coveralls), rather than on the basis of Mr Curatolo’s social conditions and lifestyle (see the cited judgment of the First Chamber at page 50);

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the definitive conviction of accomplice Rudy Hermann Guede ought to have been taken into account (no. 7195/11, published on 16.12.2010, it also from the First Criminal Chamber of Cassation), Guede having been held to have been extraneous to the simulation of burglary of a house. [A] habitation that, on the night of the murder, was solely at the availability of the victim and of Amanda Knox and from the statements made by the same Rudy before the Perugian district court, according to which Meredith was killed by the two co-accused (see the judgment at pages 55 and 56).

[Unmodifiable principle] The principle by which contamination of the evidence is to be proved by the party invoking it and which, on the facts of the case, no evidence in support had been offered and which the [Hellmann} Court had seriously confused the abstract possibility of the fact with the averment of the fact (see the judgment at page 69).Umodifiable principle] The principle according to which it was a matter of a homicide committed by multiple persons, in concourse amongst themselves (see page 73 of the cited judgment).

Here is a translation of Article 530:

Article 530:

1. If the act does not subsist [541 2, 542], if the defendant has not commited it [541 2, 542], if the act is not an offence or it is not envisaged by law as an offence, that is, if the offence has been committed by a non-indictable person [c.p. 85] or by a not punishable person for other reasons, the judge issues a judgement of acquittal, stating the reason. 

2.The judge issues a judgement of acquittal also when there is lack of evidence or it is not sufficient, or there is contradictory evidence that the act subsists, that the defendant has comitted it, that the act constitutes an offence or that the offence has been committed by an indictable person.(1).

3. If there is evidence that the act has been committed in circumstances of a legal excuse or exemption from criminal liability, that is, there is doubt about them, the judge issues a judgement of acquittal pursuant to clause 1.

4. In the event of an acquittal the judge applies security measures, in the cases provided for by law.

And here is a translation of Article 628:

Impugnability of a ruling issued by a judge after remand

1. A verdict that had been issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand, may be impugned through a recourse at Supreme Court of Cassation if the ruling was issued on an appeal instance, and through the mean provided by law if was issued on a first instance level.

2. In any case a verdict issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand may be appealed only on the reasons that do not concern those that had already been decided by Cassation on the order of remand, or for not abiding to disposition of art. 627 paragraph 2.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

When Not Itself Nefariously Influenced, Italy’s Supreme Court Usually Sustains A Hard Line

Posted by Peter Quennell



The President of Italy at the first of a planned series of anti-mafia rallies


If there are any jurists in Italy who think the Fifth Chambers respected the law and the huge evidence, they are sure not speaking up yet.

A bent outcome? Certainly there have been attempts by organized crime and other unsavory elements to bend all the Italian courts at all levels (think Hellmann) and even at the Supreme Court level there seem to have been instances of successful bending.

But whereas in the US the administration of most justice is highly localized and most jurists have to run to keep up with evolving cases and trends in their own states, justice in Italy is highly centralised and all judges and lawyers follow all main cases.

Routes are many to keep an outcome that stinks from being left that way.

We are told to expect a scathing outpouring from numerous jurists when the Fifth Chambers pushes its report out. Also almost certain legal action and possible retaliation against Judges Marasca and especially Bruno via the powerful Counsel of Magistrates.

As their nervous defense lawyers will know all too well, two things in particular are not auspicious for Knox’s and Sollecito’s final outcome.

First, a huge push is now starting to finally rid Italy of the mafias. Like it or not Sollecito is related to mafioso of the same name and the seaside town in the Dominican Republic which he visited several times in recent months is said to be a thriving mafia hangout.

Now President Mattarella (himself a judge and mafia fighter) has kicked off a series of rallies throughout Italy to give all of the population courage and positive expectations. If he is appealed-to to reverse the Fifth Chambers verdict in Meredith’s case and he suspects organized crime had a vested interest in humiliating the Florence courts he may side with that appeal.

Second, if Cassation finds a way to revert to form on Meredith’s case it can be expected to reflect the hard line it demonstrated against the Hellmann-appeal outcome in 2013 and the hard line in for example this case among many similar.

Partners who manifest extreme jealous behaviour towards their other half are guilty of mistreatment, Italy’s highest court of appeal has said.

Italy’s Court of Cassation on Thursday overturned the acquittal of a Sicilian man for mistreating his wife.

The husband, who is from Sicily, allegedly suffered from “morbid jealousy”, also known as “delusional jealousy”, a psychological disorder in which a person wrongly believes their spouse or sexual partner is being unfaithful without having any real proof to back up their claim.

His jealous behaviour included constantly accusing his wife of being unfaithful, reading her text messages and even demanding that their daughter get a DNA test.

According to the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, his behaviour was so extreme that his wife even quit her job as a flight attendant because he said the job was “not suited to a respectable woman”.

In May 2014 an appeal’s court in Palermo, Sicily, acquitted the man of mistreating his wife.

But on Thursday Italy’s highest court overturned the acquittal, stating that such behaviour amounted to “psychological harassment”, a crime punishable by law.

“Constantly hassling the spouse with continuous manic and obsessive behaviour inspired by morbid jealousy constitutes mistreatment,” the court said, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano.

His behaviour caused “significant imitations and constraints in her daily life and choices, as well as an intolerable state of anxiety,” according to the court.

The case has now been reopened and the woman’s claims will be evaluated in another hearing, the paper said.

Jealousy a crime? Isn’t jealousy widely seen as a Knox trademark?


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chamber May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #3

Posted by Cardiol MD



Media staff waiting in front of the Supreme Court

1. This Series’ Foreboding Context

On March 27th, 2015 Cassation’s Fifth Chamber announced that it had decided that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were not guilty of the November 2007 Murder in Perugia of Meredith Kercher.

The Fifth Chamber is but one of Cassation’s more than 75 Panels. It’s reporting Judge is Antonio Paolo Bruno. He mas dismissive of the massive evidence. He was quoted as having said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.”

Posts #1-#2 addressed the fact that, contrary to Judge Bruno’s pronouncement,  the trials had Many Certainties, listing them under 30 enumerated Headings, but in total, there were many more Certainties and Certainly-Nots, listed in sub-headings.

The existence, timings, durations, and general locations of All the telephone calls are Certains, or Certainly-Nots. They bring the Total up to Many; Many more than 30; Certainly Not “not many”, as Judge Bruno asserted, Inappropriately, Deceptively, and Prejudicially.

Note the distinctions between when, and where Message-Received, and -Sent, versus When, Where and Whether Message-Read, e.g. Knox was near the Women’s Villa when her Telephone received Lumumba’s crucial message, but allegedly at Sollecito’s Flat when she First-Read his message. In Knox’s officially reported Q&A Testimony there was Confusion and Ambiguity over this issue, exploited to Knox’s advantage

2. Certainties 31 to 42

31 THE FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

Details of the Fatal Sequence have been masked, over the years, apparently for humanitarian considerations, but such details should be available to readers who wish to more-objectively assess culpability. Here is what we have deduced:

Massei disagreed with the Reconstruction proposed by the Prosecution, which depicted Meredith on her knees, facing the floor:

a.  Massei concluded that Meredith was in a standing position, facing her attackers:

MASSEI PAGE372-373: “”¦considering the neck wounds sustained, it must be believed that Meredith remained in the same position, in a standing position, while continuously exposing her neck to the action of the person striking her now on the right and now on the left. Such a situation seems inexplicable if one does not accept the presence of more than one attacker who, holding the girl, strongly restrained her movements and struck her on the right and on the left because of the position of each of the attackers with respect to her, by which it was easier to strike her from that [ End of p372; Start of p373: ] side. “¦”

b.  Meredith’s autopsy was performed by Dr. Luca Lalli, but his detailed findings are not included in Massei’s report, they await their Translation into English.The Massei report includes only a limited paraphrase of Lalli’s findings.

32 CERTAINTY ONE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

In “Darkness Descending - the Murder of Meredith Kercher” Paul Russell (Author), Graham Johnson (Author), and Luciano Garofano (Author) give clearer, more detailed descriptions of Dr. Lalli’s findings than Massei does.

On pages 72-74 of DD it emerges that the cut (Stab A) made by A large knife in Meredith’s neck was on the left-side, ran obliquely from left-to-right, almost parallel to her jaw, and slightly Upwards.

33 CERTAINTY TWO re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

DD does state that the knife entered 8cm vertically below her left ear, 1.5cm horizontally towards the front of her neck, but does not specify the cut’s length.

34 CERTAINTY THREE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

A large knife created a gaping wound, visible only through the opened-skin of the Left-Side, continuing its travel under the skin, traveling across the mid-line plane, towards the right-side, exposing the oral cavity, fatty tissues and throat glands. Important jaw muscles were also severed.

35 CERTAINTY FOUR re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

As DD states, there was another stab wound (Stab B) on the right-hand side of Meredith’s neck, 1.5 cm long, penetrating 4 cm subcutaneously.

36 CERTAINTY FIVE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

Stab B was made by a Knife smaller than the above large knife.

37 CERTAINTY SIX re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

The wound was shallow, did not create a gaping wound, did not cut important subcutaneous structures, but did create a route to the exterior through which blood from Stab A, then created by the large knife on Meredith’s left side could also exit to Meredith’s right side.

38 CERTAINTY SEVEN re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE


g.  The large knife had damaged no significant vessels of the Left-Side.

39 CERTAINTY EIGHT re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

i.  Blood also flooded the subcutaneous tissues around the breech in the right-hand side of Meredith’s airway caused by the knife-stab on the left-side of her neck.

40 CERTAINTY NINE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE


j.  This resulted in Meredith’s inhalation of her own blood.

41 CERTAINTY TEN re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

k.  Meredith stops screaming, but now her blood seems to be everywhere, including over her attackers, and they quickly abandon her, already evading the accountability they are fully aware is theirs.

42 CERTAINTY ELEVEN re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE


l.  As DD comments, during Meredith’s Autopsy surprise was expressed that the Jugular Veins and Carotid Arteries (of both right and left sides) were intact.

Others who read about this murder, had concluded-then that the killers must have known about the major blood vessels (MBVs), but not about branches-of-Carotid-branches such as little RSTA.

3. Plus Beyond Reasonable Doubts

BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT ONE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

c.  Accepting Massei’s conclusion, Knox and Sollecito were standing-up and facing Meredith in Meredith’s room. Knox, Sollecito and/or Guede, were participating in the restraining of Meredith.

BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT TWO re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

d.  Sollecito (or Guede) was holding the smaller Knife, probably in his right hand. This smaller knife made Stab B.

BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT THREE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

Stab B preceded Stab A, and caused Meredith’s scream.

f.  When Meredith screams Knox plunges Knife36 into Meredith’s neck in the above long-axis direction, from left to right, transecting Meredith’s Hyoid bone, first opening Meredith’s airway to the atmosphere, then transecting Meredith’s Right Superior Thyroid Artery.

BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT FOUR re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE


e.  Knox was holding Knife36, probably in Knox’s right hand, holding Knife36 against the left side of Meredith’s neck with Knife36’s point directed slightly upwards the right side of Meredith’s neck, the blade-label facing towards Knox, the palm of Knox’s right hand also facing towards Knox and the long-axis of Knife36 angled a few degrees above horizontal.

BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT FIVE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

f.  When Meredith screams Knox plunges Knife36 into Meredith’s neck in the above long-axis direction, from left to right, transecting Meredith’s Hyoid bone, first opening Meredith’s airway to the atmosphere, then transecting Meredith’s Right Superior Thyroid Artery.

BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT SIX re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE


h.  A thin stream of bright-red blood spurted from this artery to its exterior environment, probably through the cuts made in her skin to the outside by both knives.

(Consistent with bleeding from both cuts, Follain, in his book “A Death In Italy” states that Guede saw that blood was coming out of the left side of Meredith’s neck. Follain also states that Francesco Camana of the Rome forensic police, in Camana’s written report, that spurts of blood in the middle of Meredith’s chest made her sweatshirt more bloody on the right side than on the left side)

BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT SEVEN re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE

i. The large knife was Knife-36, which had been brought to the murder room from Sollecito’s kitchen.


This series continues here.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chambers May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #1

Posted by Cardiol MD



The Italian Supreme Court is in the background

1. How Overload Can Overwhelm The Checks And Balances

The Italian Supreme Court (SCC) has 396 Judges in Rome and elsewhere.

Because of the enormous pro-defendant tilt in the system, the SCC hears about 80,000 appeals a year - more than all other Supreme Courts in the rest of Europe combined.

The SCC operates in panels, typically of 5 justices; that scales to about 4 appeals/panel/workweek, or about 1 appeal/panel/workday. A huge workload impinging on carefulness and promoting distraction and exhaustion.

Even with a law-clerk infrastructure, and the most ingenious exploitation of human concentrated-attention-span, highly questionable outcomes such as that for Meredith’s case would seem inevitable.

The four SCC judges panels (2008, 2010, 2013, 2015) which have ruled on various issues arising as Meredith’s murder case inched its way through the Italian legal system have been composed of different judge-combinations, with different skills, different knowledge, different education, and different experiences.

In many cases high-tech issues are an integral part of the evidence before the courts. This requires the enlistment of expert opinions because the judges may not be versant in the relevant high-tech issues. All sides, the defence, the prosecution, other interested parties, and even the judges, can cherry-pick experts for hire, who often use brazen sophistry to persuade the judges in the experts’ favour.

These facts may help to explain if not justify the unexpected conclusion of this current SCC judges panel which is now drafting the Motivazione.

2. Circumstantial Evidence And The Italian Requirement For Certainty

Near the start of the 2015 SCC hearings Judge Bruno, one of the 5 members of the Marasca SCC-Panel, was quoted as having said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.”

As we await this particular Motivazione intended to explain its decision, we will review the Massei Motivazione, the Nencini Motivazione, and the several past SCC rulings to establish what do constitute the certainties - of which in fact as Italian law defines them there is actually a large number.

In order to be classified as Circumstantial Evidence in Italian Law an evidentiary circumstance or fact must be true to the level of being a certainty. Note that this rule does not supersede BARD, it applies only to the the acceptance of individual items of evidence as circumstantial, so it can mislead and confuse authors and readers.

As will be noted below, under this Italian requirement the unverifiable RS/AK broken water-pipe story can not be classified as pro-defense Circumstantial Evidence. Therefore it cannot legally be argued as corroboration of the excuses of Knox & Sollecito, including their mop claims.

Sollecito’s father, Dr. Francesco Sollecito, did say that RS had mentioned the alleged-leak of Nov. 1st, 2007, in the father’s 221 seconds, 20:42:56 call of Nov.1st, 2007.  Hellmann/Zanetti bought into this story, discussing it in their Motivazione.

AK is quoted by Nencini as referring to the alleged-leak in her testimony, but neither Galati nor the 2013 Hellmann/Zanetti-annulling SCC panel mentioned the alleged-leak. All seemed aware that there was no certainty.

3. An Explanation Of Why This Will Matter So Much In Future

In 2013 the SCC itself annulled most of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict in part because there was an obvious parceling-out of the pieces of circumstantial evidence and a lack of assessment of each piece of circumstantial evidence. Hellmann-Zanetti had failed to check whether the possible flaws and lacks in the logical value of each single piece of evidence could be resolved by cross-checking them and taking in account the whole.

Have the SCC judges themselves now made this same mistake? It is especially at this level that informed legal analysis in Italy of the pending SCC Motivazione will concentrate, future books on the case will concentrate, and the final degree of legitimacy will be established.

Given the peculiarity that the case was not referred back down to Florence for adjustment, worries at this level especially could be driving the very obvious nervousness of all of the defense counsels, shushing and restraining their clients in the presumed hope that the SCC judges really can square the circle and achieve legitimacy.

4. Certainties And Certainly-Nots In The Circumstantial Evidence

1. Fracture Of Hyoid Bone?

The SCC-Panel for Guede’s Sentencing (English Translation) wrote on Pages 4-5:

c) The body presented a very large number of bruising and superficial wounds ““ around 43 counting those caused by her falling ““ some due to a pointed and cutting weapon, others to strong pressure: on the limbs, the mouth, the nose, the left cheek, and some superficial grazing on the lower neck, a wound on the left hand, several superficial knife wounds or defence wounds on the palm and thumb of the right hand, bruises on the right elbow and forearm, ecchymosis on the lower limbs, on the front and inside of the left thigh, on the middle part of the right leg, and a deep knife wound which completely cut through the upper right thyroid artery fracturing the hyoid bone, a wound which caused a great deal of bleeding from the vessels of both lungs.

This caused a haemorrhagic shock and asphyxiation by the presence of blood in the respiratory passages, an exitus [decease] placed at around 23:00 of Nov. 1 by the forensic pathologist.

The emphases are mine. The knife cut through the hyoid bone rather than fractured it (in the English version it should say that it severed the hyoid bone; this is a translation issue). A Certainly-Not then.

The wound certainly did not cause any bleeding at all from the vessels of either lung; this is not a translation issue. This is a factual error in the original Italian Sentencing Report. A Certainly-Not then.

(This shows how the SCC-Panel Reports are not infallible. Unfortunately the Marasca Panel will have to dredge-up some past, fallible SCC-Panel Reports in order to explain its own reasoning.)

2. Two Knives?

Massei Translation p377: “There must necessarily have been [405] two knives at the scene of the crime.”

Certainly! There were 2 major, penetrating knife-wounds into Meredith’s neck; one entering on the left-side, and one entering on the right-side, which was made by a pocket-knife of the size Sollecito customarily carried. The latter wound could not have been made by whatever knife entered on the left-side. Therefore 2 knives were Certainly used.

3. Single Blow?

Massei Translation p 371 “”¦a single blow was apparently halted by the jawbone”¦”

Certainly Not.

The statement that a blow could be “apparently halted” by Meredith’s jawbone is at best a figure of speech, and the quotes of Prof Cingolani on page 152 of the Massei Translation clearly indicate that any cause and effect inference from the phrase “apparently halted”, “did not”¦. have elements of certainty to establish” it was “stopped by the jawbone.” Prof Cingolani “did not, however, have elements of certainty to establish that the blade which had caused the wound 4 centimetres deep had stopped at the said depth because [it was] stopped by the jawbone.”

Maybe there is a Judicial, translational, or typographical glitch and “by” the jawbone should have been “near” the jawbone. Skin is soft and bone is harder but there is no way that the knife striking the jawbone or hyoid bone would halt the knife in this case, they would just roll with the blow, depending on the angle of attack.

Furthermore, contact between the knife and jawbone or hyoid bone would not mark the knife because living-bone is softer than the knife. When your pet gnaws on a non-living cow-bone, neither the bone nor your pet’s teeth can bend; both your pet’s teeth and the bone can be broken, and the bone gets scratches on it because it is still softer than the teeth, but your pet’s teeth do not get scratches on them, because they are harder even than the non-living bone.

If someone is stabbed in the back with a kitchen carving knife, penetrating ribs on its way to the heart, the knife may have no scratches at all, nor show any signs of damage caused by that action. Any implication in the statement quoted above that stabbing Meredith’s neck with enough force to penetrate the layers of her neck and then strike bone would have the effect of signs of damage to the knife-blade, is a mistaken implication.

It is an old rule of materials-physics that a softer substance cannot mark a harder substance. [To some people this may be counter to their intuition, so I have passed it by an eminent MIT physicist, and he agrees with me that the knife blade would certainly not show signs of damage caused by the stabbing in this case.]

4. SMS Message?

It is Certain that at 20:18:12 on Nov.1st, 2007 Amanda Knox’s mobile-phone received the SMS sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, which let her off from having to go to work at the “šLe Chic? pub on the evening of 1 November.

Remember that mobile-phones are equivalent to convicts’ ankle-monitor bracelets, their use creates with Certainty a record of the Times of cell-phone activities, the Location of the corresponding transmitter-cell, and hence the general location of the mobile-phone, especially Ruling-Out particular Locations e.g. Proving whether the carrier of the phone was in or out of the range of their home transmitter-cell. Call Verbal-Content is not publicly available.

Here the mobile-phone Record proves that Knox’s mobile-phone was Certainly-Not in Sollecito’s lodging-house at 20:18:12 on Nov.1st, 2007:

At the time of reception, Knox’s phone connected to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, whose signal does not reach Raffaele Sollecito’s house. Amanda Knox’s mobile phone, and therefore Knox herself, was therefore far [i.e. absent] from Corso Garibaldi 30 when the SMS reached her, as she was walking in an area which was shown to be served by the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell.

This point of her route could correspond to Via U. Rocchi, to Piazza Cavallotti, to Piazza IV Novembre, bearing in mind that Lumumba’s pub is located in Via Alessi, and that Amanda Knox would have had to travel along the above-mentioned roads and the piazza in order to reach the pub.

Knox was therefore Certainly Not at Sollecito’s Corso Garibaldi Lodging at that time, contrary to the allegation that she was, and Knox Certainly-Could have been at her Cottage.

5. SMS Reply?

At 20.35.48 on Nov.1st, 2007, Amanda Knox Certainly sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723; the message was sent when her on Nov.1st, 2007 mobile phone was in Corso Garibaldi 30 or in the immediate neighbourhood. The cell used, in fact, was that of Via Berardi sector 7 - no other [use] was shown for the day of 1.11.07, noting that Amanda declared during hearings that she had switched her mobile phone off once she had returned 323 to Raffaele’s house, claiming she was more than happy she did not have to go to work and could spend the evening with her boyfriend.

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

6. Bomb Threat?

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

This call was Certainly received, the Police Certainly came to Mrs. Lana’s home, presumably not long after 10: pm on the evening of November 1, 2007 (Time & Duration of Police presence apparently not publicly-available).

The Courts must know those times accurately and precisely; reasonably assuming them to be after Meredith’s murder, and near the time of the Phone-Dump (Otherwise, the necessary combination of coincidences is too implausible).

It is most likely that the visible, and possibly audible, presence of Police triggered the panicked disposal of the Cell-Phones down the steep slope that falls sharply into the valley below.

There is no need to invoke any awareness by the phone-dumper[s] of the reason(the hoax-call) that the Police were near Mrs. Lana’s residence.

So if the killers saw flashing police-lights, or any other sign of police near Mrs. Lana’s place, that sign could be enough to explain panic phone-dumping - then and there (not considering whether the phones were switched-on or switched-off).

According to John Follain the slope is heavily overgrown with trees and bushes, an ideal place to dispose of evidence. If the phones had fallen just a few yards further, they would certainly have gone over the edge of the cliff, down into a 50m gully, straight into a thick scrub of nettles, and probably been lost forever”¦.

7. Phone Dialings?

There were four dialings on Meredith’s mobile phones after her arrival home on the evening of 1 November ‘07:

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

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

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

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

These dialings are Certain with regard to Existence, Timings, and Location.

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

8. Phone Location?

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

9. A Tow Truck?

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

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

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

These events Certainly occurred, but those times are approximate.

10. Francesco Called?

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

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

These phone calls are Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

11. Phone Location?

For 2.11.07 the first record is that of MKP - [0]0:10: 31, (i.e. Very early in the a.m. 10 minutes and 31 seconds after midnight) “when it has been established as an incontrovertible fact that Meredith’s English mobile phone was no longer in Via della Pergola, the mobile phone having received the contact under the coverage from Wind signal [cell] ..25622, which is incompatible with the cottage.”

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

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

12. Phones Stolen?

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

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

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

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

See item 6. above.

13. Crimescene Meddling?

Having accomplished the Phone-Dump, Meredith’s killers next re-model the crime-scene, minimising the evidences of their identities, cleaning-up the evidences that it was “˜an inside job’, and simulating the appearances that it was “˜an outside job’.

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

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

They wish it had never happened.

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

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

They cannot prevent the discovery of Meredith’s murder.

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

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

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

It is beyond reasonable doubt that:

Meredith’s killers seized her mobile telephones, and that

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

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

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

Amanda Knox caused:

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

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

    iii. the English phone to ring again, also very briefly, at 12:11:54 (4 seconds), after being brought into Mrs.Lana’s house. 6. Sollecito had more than 5 days, from about 11.30 pm on November 1st, 2007 until November 6, 2007, to remove from the killing-knife the traces of Meredith’s DNA.

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

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

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

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

14. Phone Switched On?

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

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

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

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

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

Three more phone-calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

15. Francesco SMS Received?

At 06:02:59 Raffaele Sollecito received the SMS from his father allegedly wishing Raffaelle a good night; from the evidence of the mobile phone record printouts of Dr. Francesco Sollecito, it was shown that the sending of the message occurred at, as has been said, 23:41:11 of 1.11.07. This was the last SMS sent from that mobile phone during the whole day of 1.11.07

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16. Francesco Calls Received?

At 09:29 another call was received lasting 38 seconds

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

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

17. More Calls Later?

Another 2+ Hours later:

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

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

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

AK/RS have accepted that they have to “˜stand-pat’ with their efforts so-far to accomplish not-to-be-the-“discoverers”-of-Meredith’s-body.

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

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

18. Yet More Calls?

For the day of 2.11.07, when Meredith was already dead, the traffic registered for the Vodafone number was shown to be the following 5 calls, Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20. More Phone Locations?

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

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

At 12:54: a second call by Raffaele to “š112? (57 sec.; connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)

Three more Sollecito calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

21. More Phone Locations?

At 13:17:10 (lasting 1 second) to Meredith’s phone: the cell used was located in the same place, sector 7

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

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

Three more Knox calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

22. Another Phone Location?

At 13:40:12: incoming call from his father to RS (94 sec.; Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell)

Another Sollecito call Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

23. More Knox Calls?

At 13:48:33 (1 second): this is an attempted call to AK’s mother’s number

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

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

Two more Knox calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

24. Francesco Call?

14:33: Sollecito’s father called Sollecito for 21 seconds (as above)]

Do RS and father exchange more caveats in their call Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations?

25. More Knox Locations?

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

Call to Meredith’s phone at 15:13:43 (5 seconds) cell not indicated.

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

Two more Knox-related calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

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

Massei Translation p.324:

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

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

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

26. Sollecito Locations?

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

At 17:42: RS’s father called RS for 97 seconds (as above).

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

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

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


This series continues here.


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

In Big Complication For Cassation Guede Demands New Trial To Prove He Was Not “Accomplice Of Myself”

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above: Rudy Guede’s smart lead lawyer Walter Biscotti on another high profile case


The Fifth Chambers of the Supreme Court was the one that allowed Knox and Sollecito to walk free.

Sooner or later they must explain. Initial statements of their reasons has many Italian justice officials in strong disbelief.

If there were evidence problems (and we know of next to none and hundreds of evidence points suggesting guilt) the Florence appeal court was the correct court to put them to bed.  Cassation has no legal mandate for that.

It gets worse. Somehow the Fifth Chambers has to explain why the First Chambers ruled the other way on some very key points in 2010 and 2013 and why it confirmed Knox’s sentence for the felony of calunnia with no further possibility of appeal.

It gets worse. The five judges would seem to have to come down for either the highly discredited Lone Wolf Theory or for two other “missing killers” (for which there is zero evidence) to have attacked Meredith. 

From 2007 to 2015 two defense teams tried very hard but without conviction or success to do both of those things - even though Guede and his defense had no way to answer back as they were not even in court.

Those same two teams tiptoed away from much of the pesky evidence against all three which they were simply powerless to explain.

So Guede’s demand for a new trial reported today could not be timed worse from the Fifth Chambers judges’ point of view.

Chances are that this request will be ruled on by another Chambers of Cassation. It might take some time but they might have no compunction (especially if they are the First Chambers) about hanging the increasingly embattled Fifth Chambers out to dry.

No way Guede’s conviction ever gets reversed. He knows that. We all know that. The evidence is way too strong. But Guede could really rub it in that he was not the initiator of the 15-minute attack and could certainly not have done it alone. That he had no motive at all. That he was not a drug dealer or a burglar - no evidence for either exists.

That he was not the one who had a reason to clean up the house as his own trial ruled. And that he did not wield the final blow.

*****

Added to the top post on Thursday, and amended Friday.

It looked briefly like his lawyers contradicted Guede. But legally Guede is the one with much at stake and gets to call the final shots.

And Biscotti merely added that while he didn’t know exactly what Rudy said, his words should not be considered as a public statement, he did not intend for them to go public.

Of course, Biscotti would want to keep their powder dry, and keep Guede out of harms way, and keep all possible options open in Cassation.

Smart legal, safety and financial tactics.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Shaky Castle Of Cards At Best: The Long-Term Fight For Legitimacy Begins

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Current State Of Play

As we so often hear, true justice has to be SEEN to be done.

At the end of the day it’s the legitimacy that counts - whether most informed people buy in - and the fight for this could play out over years.

Maybe that was on the minds of the tense Sollecito lawyers seen above after the surprise outcome was announced. Can those five judges make what seemed like a shoot-from-the-hip decision stick?

Back in 2009 the prosecution put on a very fine case, after Knox and Sollecito had failed six great opportunities in 2007 and 2008 to be let out. Prosecutors touched all the bases fast and, including what was presented in closed court, offered a very legitimate case for guilt which a unanimous panel of judges bought into.

Defense attorneys were rumored to be despondent and they never really hit a high point. Sollecito talks in his book about Maori having little conviction in him. Bongiorno was said to feel the same way and to not like Sollecito very much. Several times she was a surprise no-show in court. Ghirga was affable but uncomfortable, and sometimes he dozed off.

Was there under UK and US common law a strong case for an appeal? Under UK and US law an appeal must be requested, and a judge must decide. We have yet to read one opinion by a UK or US judge (and yes, they do write) that a case for granting an appeal was very strong.

In other words, under UK and US common law, the unanimous verdict and sentence would almost certainly have been it. All three would be serving their terms, and five years ago the whole world would have moved on.

In 2010 a clear case of judge-shopping occurred.  Dont take our word for it - the senior and very experienced criminal-law Judge Chiari openly said he had been pushed aside as he resigned. He had been one of Italy’s finest prosecutors, and mentally and in terms of the law and grasp of the facts he was a giant compared to the bumbling ill-qualified Hellman, a business judge with only one other murder trial (a fiasco) in his past.

Throughout 2011 legitimacy swayed this way and that. The prosecutors began to smell a lot of rats and Prosecutor Comodi publicly said so. The chief prosecutor Dr Galati (who had just arrived from the Supreme Court) maintained that it didnt altogether matter, because he just knew the Supreme Court would throw a bum outcome out.

He was right. In March 2013 the elite First Section of the Supreme Court threw the bum outcome out, except for the part about Knox framing Patrick for which she had served three years.

The elite First Section handed the case back down to a new court, the Florence appeal court.

The Florence courts are staffed with very fine prosecutors and judges as they often handle national cases. Right now that court is handling a major investigation into national government corruption on a grand scale, Knox adulator Rocco Girlanda is one of those named.

National politicians under the gun like to knock chips off the courts given half a chance. Ex PM Berlusconi’s allies were said to have this as a fairly consistent aim. Any outcome ever in Rome which takes the Florence courts down a peg (as now) gets a lot of close looks.

Rumors abound in Rome that the president of the group of five judges and maybe one other felt the outcome of the Florence appeal court was the right one. If this is true, they may have never bought in and may now be only going through the motions with a forced grin.

The president of the court already issued an explanation of sorts. This has many in their peer group - the Council of Magistrates (which edged Hellmann out - refused him a promotion so he had nowhere to go) and all of the other judges and prosecutors in Italy - scratching their heads and wondering how in the Sentencing Report the circle can be squared.

Meanwhile on other fronts legitimacy is now on the line. Sollecito is due back in court in Florence on false claims in his book on 30 April. Knox’s calunnia trial is due to resume again shortly in Florence with expanded charges targeting false claims in her book. The Oggi trial for quoting false claims in Knox’s book has a testimony session 16 June.

The final verdict and sentence maybe cannot be wound back and their chances of serving more time for murder and a sex crime are remote. (Knox could be sentenced to more time at her second calunnia trial).

But the circumstances in which they are walking around may come to look very odd. The Supreme Court actually can be sued now for an inexplicable outcome, and made to take another look.

The President of the Italian Republic (who is the ultimate head of the justice system) can be petitioned to step in. Political parties like Beppe Grillo’s astonishingly popular Five Star Movement (said to be already snooping) have a lot of power to make things come unstuck. .

So, in the months and even years ahead, this is clearly going to be a long game, with legitimacy as the ultimate prize. Sorry, Sollecito and Knox, but it aint over till the fat lady sings.

2. New Developments Indicate Concern

Seven developments in this race for legitimacy points suggest that the RS and AK camps are very concerned about it, and are not at all sure what to do.

1) Francesco Sollecito is quoted as asking Guede to endorse the outcome. Guede already said the opposite although his main statement was in the annulled Hellmann appeal. Aviello is still on trial by the way, in 2011 he pointed at the Sollecitos as not playing by the rules.

2) Francesco can be sure Guede wont actually speak out, as he will have his own legal action in the works to get his case reviewed. That could go to another section of Cassation and if they rule differently really open a can of worms.

3) Sollecito has spoken out heatedly and vengefully on Italian TV in effect wanting the Italian state to pay him off in a big way and everybody else to believe him or shut up.

4) Bongiorno publicly disagreed with him and she said such actions need to be considered with a cool head down the road.

Report on the Il Tempo website.

Lawyer Bongiorno. “In the coming days we will evaluate request for compensation,” announced Raffaele’s lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, after the acquittal of the young man for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

“There are feelings of revenge in Sollecito’s soul,” added the lawyer today. “We will wait for the motivations. Not thrash/lambaste those who might have done [Sollecito] wrong.”

“We’ll see if there were errors and what measures and initiatives could be undertaken. Civil liability - she concluded - is a serious institution that should not be exercised in the spirit of revenge.” (Translation by Guermantes on Dot Net)

5) Barbie Nadeau quotes an Italian expert who says that because RS and AK both provably lied to the police and led them astray, any claim for compensation could be dead on arrival.

Bongiorno may already realise this. She may also realise that having a litany of lies read out hardly advances their quest for legitimacy points.

6) This is previous news. Bongiono passed on being the lead lawyer in Sollecito’s book case. Nothing could cost legitimacy points more than a loss at the Florence trial on the false claims in RS’s book.

Note that at the moment few Italians - including Cassation - know what is in the book. It is possible Bongiorno wants to make herself scarce before the legitimacy points just gained head down the tubes.

7) The Fischer disinformation group (see posts coming up) has moved from shrill to frantic harrassment mode.

Let’s guess. Bongiorno and the other Perugia lawyers would think that a really bad idea, as Knox and RS are still on trial and abuse wont make that go away. Legitimacy if any will come not from strongarming but from cool heads.

Here’s betting all 4 main lawyers and both families would like to keep RS and AK on a really short string. Nothing will screw them like yet another of their open spats.

Right up to last week RS was still distancing himself a mile from Knox.


Cassation Appeal By RS And AK Against Nencini: Cassation Rules Not Enough Evidence NOT Innocence

Posted by Machiavelli

1. Dispositivo issued by Judge Marasca

This statement by Dr Marasca was dated 30 March 2015. An English translation and analysis is below the document image.








Dispositivo: VISTO L”˜ART. 620 LETT.(A) C.P.P.; ANNULLA LA SENTENZA IMPUGNATA IN ORDINE AL REATO DI CUI AL CAPO (B) DELLA RUBRICA PER ESSERE IL REATO ESTINTO PER PRESCRIZIONE; VISTI GLI ART. 620 LETT. (C) E 530, COMMA II C.P.P.; ESCLUSA L’AGGRAVANTE DI CUI ALL’ART. 61 N. 2 C.P. IN RELAZIONE AL DELITTO DI CALUNNIA, ANNULLA SENZA RINVIO LA SENTENZA IMPUGNATA IN ORDINE AL REATI DI CUI AI CAPI (D) ED (E) DELLA RUBRICA PER NON AVERE I RICORRENTI COMMESSO IL FATTO; RIDETERMINA LA PENA INFLITTA ALL RICORRENTE AMANDA MARIE KNOX PER IL DELITTO DI CALUNNIA IN ANNI TRE DI RECLUSIONE.


seen art. 620 lett. A) c.p.p.;

annuls the impugned verdict as for the charge in count B) of the indictment section because the time of limitation of the offence has expired;

seen articles 620 lett. L) and art. 530 second paragraph of c.p.p.;

excluding the aggravating circumstance under art. 61 n.2 c.p. in regard to the felony of calunnia, annuls the impugned verdict without remand as for the crimes charged in counts A), D) and E) of the indictment section due to the recurrents not having committed the crime; re-determines the penalty inflicted to recurrent Amanda Knox in three years imprisonment for the crime of calunnia.


2. Two Warnings

Warning 1

(1) The statement “because they did not commit the crime” does not imply a finding of innocence under Italian law; and when the art. 530.2 is mentioned there is no possibility of a finding of innocence;

(2) There are major legal blunders: the Cassazione is not allowed to make any finding of facts of any kind, it does not assess evidence directly, and it may not mention 530.2.

It could not have re-determined the penalty for calunnia if the penalty was already definitive. Here unusually the verdict was definitive but not the punishment, as Nencini increased the sentence from the 3 years imposed by Hellmann to 3 and 1/2 years, having been asked by the First Chambers to consider whether there was a teleological link with a murder conviction. Having annulled the conviction for murder the Fifth Chambers wiped out the extra 6 months.

Warning 2

At the end of the 2015 Afterword of Knox’s “If I did it” paperback edition, the Creative Writing student writes: 

Minutes later Carlo Dalla Vedova, one of two Italian lawyers, called.

“Does “˜acquitted’ mean not enough evidence to convict?” I asked him. Or did they find us innocent?”

“They find you innocent. Amanda!” he said. “It’s the best result possible!”

That is untrue. Readers may like to be warned that this is the latest lie. Either by Knox or Dalla Vedova. See Warning 1.

In fact Cassazione explicitly mentions 530 paragraph 2, which in Italian law means “not enough evidence” but not “finding of innocence”.

Such annulment is a legal blunder since Cassazione may not do any fact-finding in the merit.

However, as a court finding, 530.2 is finding of doubt, therefore the contrary of what Knox conveys to her readers.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Supreme Court Appeal By RS And AK Against Florence Court Rejection Of Their First Appeal #2

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



This was in 2009, Meredith’s family, not in court, may hear things came full circle today

Tweets from the court

New tweets from the court if any (we may have to wait for breaks) are being added under the various author’s names below. Numbering flows from Wednesday’s post.

Any breaking news

22. Reason for delay in the announcement is paperwork we believe, there were dozens of reasons for an overturn in the two written appeals, and they would have to be responded to one by one if appeal is denied. The Telegraph seems to be planning a live website feed though it may be from outside. .

21. Here is where Sollecito is headed if he makes it before any guilty verdict and the 2 police cars in his rear mirrors him stop him and take him in:  41°14’37.80"N 16°29’2.50"E Put that into Google Earth search and then descend to street view. Thats the gate for the compound, chez Sollecito is a couple of houses down on the left. Francesco Sollecito has addressed crowds of reporters there. 

20. Video here of RS and his sister Vanessa leaving by side entrance, possibly for Bari. As Florence prosecutors are in court, this may be his way of ensuring he is not photographed being frogmarched out of there.

19. Knox undercut her own defence by stiffing Florence court. Could in new Florence trial face more years for criminal defamation. Moore & Burleigh & Fischer & other PR shills may face citations too, as their excesses outnumber those of Gumbel and Sforza already in court. Tweeting stalkers too. Communication Police looking now.

18. Italian ANSA report is calling RS lawyer Giulia Bongiorno’s address to the court “Bye Bye Amanda” as she says only questionable DNA relates RS to scene of crime. [Oh? Several footprints? Opposing knife wounds? Multi alibis? Computer? Cellphone?]

17. Media, please get it right: Amanda Knox was not “tried in absentia” at Florence “trial”. IT WAS HER OWN APPEAL and Italian lawyers argued with her for a week that she really needed to be there. Having abused so many in Italy, and put drug dealer in jail, was her no-show really such a surprise?

16. Strong-arming unethical Gogerty-Marriott PR firm closes down in Seattle with a final dishonest thump of the chest. Said to be freaked by potential legal liability. Maybe Knox herself should sue as they made her plight much worse.

15. So NYC Sollecito advisor John Q Kelly shows his face again. He was wildly wrong on the hard facts late 2009 and promptly disappeared.

Tweets from journalist Andrea Vogt

17. Heavy media & police presence at Italy’s high court this a.m. for final hearing in #amandaknox case. Sollecito’s defense at 9.

18. Raffaele Sollecito’s Italian and American lawyers Giulia Bongiorno & John Q Kelly just greeted in hall outside Aula Magna

19. Giulia Bongiorno on the lack of DNA from #amandaknox and sollecito in murder room: only a dragonfly leaves no trace.

20. Bongiorno casting doubt on forensic police dna interpretation. “Maybe, in science, does not exist. Either it is Raffaele ‘s dna or not.”

21. High court judges in #amandaknox case are going into deliberations now. They will alert all one hour before they announce decision.

22. Court can: 1) call appeal [outcome] inadmissable 2) accept it 3) reject it 4) annul convictions & back to appellate 5) annul convictions.

23. Members of Florence prosecutor’s office are at Rome court today for decision on #amandaknox / Sollecito appeal of their convictions.

24. #amandaknox convictions have been completely overturned. She is a free woman.

25. Both raffaelle Sollecito and #amandaknox convictions have been fully overturned. Cries of joy in courtroom from sollecito’s family

Tweets from main poster Kristeva

15. Follow @andreavogt as she has better phone reception than me. I apologize

16. Much larger crowd today attending the final hearing for #amandaknox & #RaffaeleSollecito

17. The general feeling among reporters is that #RaffeleSollecito might get a second appeal. no chance 4 #amandaknox

18. Several reporters interested in http://themurderofmeredithkercher.com and will call me to have more info in the next days

19. I was asked how the #MeredithKercher support website started and I gave the whole history

20. Spoke to Maresca to thank him and in return he thanked our volunteer work for http://themurderofmeredithkercher.com 

21. Reporters were also interested in PR machine for #AmandaKnox and I referred them to http://truejustice.org

22. After Bongiorno, Maori will give his arguments and Judges with enter chambers to deliberate verdict

23. Timing of verdict for #amandaknox and #RaffeleSollecito unpredictable. May justice 4 #MeredithKercher prevail. My prayers for family

24. [6.15 am US east coast time] Maori finished. Judges have entered chambers to deliberate verdict.

25. No more appeals. Case over #amandaknox #RaffaeleSollecito acquitted for murder of #MeredithKercher #SHAME

26. I am shocked

Tweets from main poster Machiavelli

17. [no tweets yet]

Tweets from journalist Barbie Nadeau

4.  High court now deliberating fate of #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito in #MeredithKercher murder case.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Supreme Court Appeal By RS And AK Against Florence Court Rejection Of Their First Appeal

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Above: stock image on another day of the Supreme Court’s Great Hall

Tweets from the court

New tweets from the court are all being added under the various author’s names below. This will continue Friday for sure.

Any breaking news

13. Court is over for the day and will resume on Friday.

12. La Nazione reports: “The judgment of the Supreme Court on the murder of Meredith Kercher will not arrive before Friday 27, the day when the judges will meet in closed session. This was announced by the President of the Fifth Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, Gennaro Marasca, during today’s hearing.”

11. We dont know the local telephone network capacity there. But many cellphone transponders can handle only 24 calls at a time. Demand for “outside lines” could number in the hundreds from the entire court. Maybe there’s an open WAN but we doubt.

10. Regardless of outcome Knox legal problems could go on for years. Since 2009 she has faced calunnia charges for lying on the stand. Possible sentence six years. Now Florence court has added calunnia charges for lying in her book, in Oggi, on her website, and on American TV. Perception going back to Ricciarelli is she is dangerous and hurts people, even if final murder verdict is not in.

9. Popper says of Dr Pinelli: “In his late 50s (a young man ref Cassazione average), a career both in Abruzzo region (Avezzano where he was born in 1957) and L’ Aquila, and then Naples in the Procura Generale; then promoted to Cassazione. Very much acquainted with murders and organised crime.”

8. Popper says of Dr Marasca: “Section President of Cassation [one of the few] and member of Consiglio Direttivo, a sort of Executive Board of the Supreme Court ... one of the most experienced magistrates in Italy, born in 1944. Since 1970 a magistrate.”

7. News service ANSA: “The head judge is Gennaro Marasca. The lead prosecutor is Mario Pinelli. After the prosecutor has spoken it will be the turn of Maresca (for the Kerchers). Then they’ll hear from Bongiorno and Maori, Ghirga and Dalla Vedova”.

6. New report with today’s date from Barbie Nadeau on the CNN Website. Seems CNN like most US media no longer solidly in Knox camp.

5. The Court has placed a ban on live tweeting from inside the courtroom, where mobile phone reception is poor anyway. Reports will come during the breaks.

4. Best guess at timing of decision is late PM US East Coast time. In 2013 it came the next day.

3. As with previous court outcomes, expect long-form analyses of outcome by Machiavelli etc within the next few days.

2. New York Times’s Elisabetta Povoledo provides a good overview of today’s context.

1. See our own scenario for today and coming weeks in the event the Florence verdict and sentences is confirmed.

Tweets from journalist Andrea Vogt

1. Raffaele Sollecito is here in court, speaking with his lawyer Giulia Bongiorno. #amandaknox lawyers and Patrick Lumumba also present.

2. Cannot tell how the court is leaning. Reviewer made hurtful and helpful comments to both sides. Still could go either way. #amandaknox

3. Court pres Gennaro Marasca calls break until 2:30. PG Mauro Pinelli has another hour of arguments. Arguments & ruling could be Friday

[break for lunch]

4. There is a sense among some observers that the Court is differentiating between positions of amanda knox and raffaelle Sollecito.

5. Maresca: I am representing the Kercher family in court for the 8th time. I hope this will be the last arguments I give on their behalf.

6. Maresca: It is time for the Kercher family to finally be able to remove this poor victim from the law courts.

7. Ghirga: “its not that we want to blame the poor black guy, its that you cannot rule out a single aggressor.”

8. Lawyer Luciano Ghirga: The scientific evidence favors #amandaknox (no trace of her in the murder room).

9. Carlo dalla Vedova has launched a blistering attack on the state of Italian justice system and the problem of “the neverending trial.”

10. Dalla Vedova for #amandaknox: How can we tolerate in Italy that trials can go on forever?

11. Hearing over for the day. Raffaelle Sollecito’s defense will continue Friday, march 27.

12. Ghirga: “its not that we want to blame the poor black guy, its that you cannot rule out a single aggressor.”

13. Lawyer Luciano Ghirga: The scientific evidence favors #amandaknox (no trace of her in the murder room).

14. Carlo dalla Vedova has launched a blistering attack on the state of Italian justice system and the problem of “the neverending trial.”

15. Dalla Vedova for #amandaknox: How can we tolerate in Italy that trials can go on forever?

16. Hearing over for the day. Raffaelle Sollecito’s defense will continue Friday, march 27.

Tweets from main poster Kristeva

1. I have arrived outside Section V. Sollecito, father and Greta. Poor [cellphone] reception.

2. Spoke to Avv. Maori & asked him who general prosecutor is and he doesn’t know yet. there are 2.

3. Andrea Vogt has just arrived and speaking to Avv. Ghirga

4. American British Journalists are all talking to Avv Dalla Vedova now.

[court session starts]

5. Relator Judge P. A. Bruno laughs once and while getting names wrong such as Hallowo instead of Halloween.

6. Prosecutor finds Rudy’s climbing up wall 4 numerous times “crazy”

7. Paolo Antonio Bruno knows the case extremely well without ever looking at his notes.

[court breaks for lunch]

8. Prosecutor has ended. He asked without remand 28.3 yrs #amandaknox and 24.9 for #raffaelesollecito

9. Bongiorno has asked to speak on Friday so most likely verdict will be then.

10. Pacelli now on civil case for Patrick Lumumba

11. Maresca has now concluded. Confirms all points made by Nencini, the general prosecutor and Galati

12. Maresca was brief and concise and said that after 8 years he hopes this is the last time he has to make same arguments

13. Maresca says that everything asked by #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito has already been asked at Perugia and Florence trial.

14. Maresca makes a big point about pages re Conti & Vecchiotti and calls them on their lie.

Tweets from main poster Machiavelli

1. Reporting Judge at SC for the Meredith case is Antonio Paolo Bruno.

2. The Prosecutor General is Mario Pinelli. President Judge is Gennaro Marasca.

3. PG said the Florence sentence “respects the indications set by the Cassazione”

4. PG: says courts, based on findings “correctly established that the theft was staged”.

5. PG: court “pointed out correctly” that there was a staging “in order to side-track investigation”

6. PG: “3 people attacked the victim” and “there was no fight” unless you mean “attempts to defend herself by restrained victim”

7. PG: Florence decision not to repeat computer analysis on Sollecito’s laptop is “not censurable”

8. Sollecito reported nervous when PG observes computer data defence objections are irrelevant to alibi.

9. PG: Florence refusal to order anthropometric investigation on CCTV images is “adequately motivated”

10. Pinelli: phones removed because by “ringing in the home” may have caused early discovery of the crime.

11. Judge Bruno (like Zanetti) had said the trials had “not many certainties” beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.

12. PG Pinelli said some minor charges have expired, thus Florence should re-assess penalties with slight reduction due time limitation laws.

13. Antonio Paolo Bruno is the Supreme Judge who was accused of conspiracy with Mafia by prosecutor DeMagistris in 2006.

14. Pinelli asked 3 months cut from both penalties (weapon carrying). But this cut may technically require intervention by Florence court.

15. Maresca says that everything asked by #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito has already been asked at Perugia and Florence trial. Enough.

16. Maresca makes a big point about pages re Conti & Vecchiotti and calls them on their lie.

Tweets from journalist Barbie Nadeau

1. Judge confirms verdict will be Friday in #MeredithKercher case.

2. Prosecutor in #AmandaKnox case asks to trim 3 months off Knox’s 28 year 6 month sentence.

3. Reason for shaving 3 months off sentence in #AmandaKnox case is statute of limitations in theft charge.



Monday, March 23, 2015

Did The State Department Offer Assurances To Knox She Never Would Be Extradited?

Posted by Ergon



US Sec of State Kerry (discussing Snowden) really needs extraditions to work

1. Overview

This is the first of two posts on the real source of an increasing flow of anonymous but seemingly official State Department claims that Knox’s extradition is not in the cards

2. The Current Italy/US Extradition Treaty

As repeatedly explained here by posting lawyers the Italy/US treaty is deliberately written to exclude any politics.

If either nation has arrived at a guilty verdict of someone currently in the other nation by following its own laws, then the other nation deliberately has no legal option but to extradite them to serve their term.

So far neither nation has ever refused to do what the treaty says and so far politics has never intervened. That helps both nations in pursuing other extradition cases around the world.

3. Claims By An Anonymous Source

“Will Amanda Knox Be Dragged Back to Italy in Murder Case?” This was by Nina Burleigh in a cover story in Newsweek on March 19, 2015 quoting an anonymous source.

A State Department source tells Newsweek that diplomats in both Italy and the U.S. expect an extradition request to be denied: “I don’t think either Italy or the U.S. wants a major burr under our saddle in terms of relationships between our countries, and this would be that, if the Italians pushed it.” If they do, the source adds, there “is not any way” the U.S. will arrest Knox, nor will it have her declared a fugitive.

The elected Italian government in Rome is separate from the judiciary, and traditionally the two branches do not have warm relations. “I know the Italian government was rolling its eyes” over the prospect of the case reaching this phase, the State Department source says, adding that Rome faces “a real political problem” if the judiciary requests extradition. The American diplomat predicts the Italian court won’t ask to extradite.

It seems that ever since Amanda Knox was wrongfully acquitted by the Hellmann appeals court of Perugia in 2011 we have been inundated with unsourced reports that “the United States would never extradite Amanda Knox.

Going back several years to the Daily Mail, Guardian, The Express and various American media, they all seemed to be reading from the same script:

  • She hadn’t received a fair trial.

  • American public opinion would “˜never allow her to be sent back”.

  • The Secretary of State would quietly prevail upon his counterpart in Italy to not request extradition.

And, as the final appeal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito came up to the last stretch it seemed that these same hacks were repeating the same talking points, even though much has changed since 2011.

These were the basic points, reported over and over in the main stream media till it almost seemed like a guarantee. So I have been looking for the last three years to verify the truth of that. And, who made that promise, if any were made? These were the basic parameters of my search, and I had to tune out the background noise of “˜double jeopardy” and “˜dueling extradition experts”.

Then I had to look for the “˜unnamed source” quoted in all the news reports.

These possibilities came up: 

  • WA US Senator Maria Cantwell spoke to her colleague Sen. John Kerry of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who spoke to his brother in law David Thorne, the former US Ambassador to Rome, who passed on a quiet message to the Italian Foreign minister. But would they ever speak on or off the record to reporters or like it very much if it was going to be bruited about?

  • Mid-level Friends Of Amanda Knox like Anne Bremner and Judge Heavey had received vague assurances from Senator Cantwell; somehow extrapolated as iron clad guarantee that Knox would never be extradited, never mind there has not been any precedent I can find that would apply to a similar case like this.

  • Someone in the Department of Justice and/ or State is feeding them shite.

  • The FOA are making it all up. That last was my favourite, given that they are led around by people like Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, and J. Michael Scadron.


4. My Search For The Truth

This has been an interesting journey, and as always, things seem to just come together at the last moment. It has helped that I have been watching diplomatic activity up-close all my life.

My father was in the Pakistani Foreign Service stationed in London, so, shortly after I was born, lived in the UK from age 0-3, then with the Pakistan Embassy in Tokyo from age 3-8. We were a cosmopolitan group of embassy brats going to St. Mary’s International School.

My friends were American, Iranian, Turk, Indian, East German, Canadian, New Zealand, points all over. Their parents were all diplomats and I made lifelong friends. My father could have received a posting as assistant to the ambassador to Washington D.C. after that but fate prevailed as he’d been stationed out 8 years and had to be rotated back to Pakistan.

Since that time I kept in touch with my friends and also developed this passion for International Relations and Geopolitics. Traveling to the US and other countries but also meeting over the internet, made many more friends at various levels of the State Department. Saw the changes there as respected career diplomats got replaced by interest groups and major donors to political parties. Such only went to choice postings, of course, but not second or third world countries, so I had many interesting discussions with them over the years.

The Wikileaks cables were a revelation as Embassy intercepts showed the thousand different ways diplomacy led to but also tried to prevent, war. I’d been reading them ever since they first came out so started searching for links to secret discussions with Amb. Thorne. Couldn’t find anything except what already was reported, so reporter Andrea Vogt’s FOI request find was a goldmine:

NEWLY RELEASED EMBASSY CABLES SHED LIGHT ON STATE DEPT HANDLING OF AMANDA KNOX CASE

By Andrea Vogt

FEBRUARY 13 “Newly released state department documents show the U.S. Embassy in Rome declared the Amanda Knox matter “Case Closed” in a cable to Washington just days after the American’s clamorous 2011 acquittal.  The memo reveals wishful thinking on the part of some U.S. diplomats, who were only too eager to see the thorny case come to a clean close.”

In Update March 23, 2015 posted today, Andrea Vogt says this:

In a 2011 Italian embassy cable released as part of several Freedom of Information Act requests I’ve filed on this case (first published Oct 11, 2011) [US] diplomats in Italy mistakenly thought Knox’s acquittal in 2011 would bring to a close this complex and divisive international case. Italy’s Court of Cassation would prove them wrong, overturning her Perugia acquittal and ordering a second appeal in a different venue (Florence) which ended last year with a guilty verdict.

So is a political fix being attempted or already in? See my Part Two Conclusion to be posted next.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rogue Juror Genny Ballerini, Translated: She Misled, Oggi Misled More, UK Media Misled Even More

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. Interpretations Of The Interview

In reading the translation by Miriram these points may be worth bearing in mind. They are largely based on advice from Yummi in Italy.

Genny Ballerini comes across to Italians as someone not especially educated who is more than a bit lost on the law and the case. She herself admits she may be naive and had not followed Meredith’s case. She was surprised to end up on the jury for Knox’s and Sollecito’s “trial”. She voices no concern for Meredith or her family.

A former factory worker, she had been unemployed for some months, and she appreciated the small fee the court paid her for jury duty and apparently also a fee that Oggi paid her for the interview. She had to be persuaded by Oggi to do the interview, and she seems unaware that it may have been illegal.

The lead judge and side judge, the professionals, remained neutral and impartial and promoted no particular outcome. There were no arguments among the jury. She seems to be drawn toward Sollecito without any very logical reason. (Hmmm. Sollecito had addressed her and the others directly and he was standing right in front of her looking at her.)

She repeatedly refers to a “trial” and to previous “trials” for example “when the trial started” and “I formed my beliefs studying the three files of the previous trials. Not only. During the trial I kept a diary for every hearing”. She never once uses the word for “appeal” or wonders why there were no prosecution exhibits and witnesses.

The Oggi headline is misleading. Almost of her doubts are described in the past tense and she admits she voiced them to the other jurors early in the “trial” because things were not clear to her. She had folders of evidence to poke though; these may have related only to the appeal points the defenses had filed.

At one point she says “we discussed to reach an agreement” and at another point she says she voted against the verdict. It is not clear in what order, and she may finally have joined in a total consensus. She seems to connect the punishment to the supposed amount of evidence rather than the barbaric nature of the attack.

Please see Part 3 below for how the UK media has managed to report this even more confusingly.

2. The New Translation By Miriam

Miriam has carefully translated the original interview in Oggi for us.

“Not Enough Evidence For Such A Heavy Sentence”

On January 30th of last year, the appeal Court of Florence sentenced Amanda Knox to 28 years and 6 months of imprisonment and Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years for the murder of Meredith Kercher. 12 hours of deliberation were needed for the eight judges - two professional judges (the President Alessandro Nencini and Doctor Liliana Cicerchia)  and six Lay Judges - to wrap up that decision.  Among the lay judges was Genny Ballarini, a 48 year old,  worker from Prato. After long negotiations and courteous refusals, on the eve of the decision by Corte di Cassazione, she accepted to speak to Oggi.

Twelve hours, half a day: a lifetime for who judges and for who is judged. Without entering into detail, as not to violate the secrets of the “camera del consiglio”, what can you tell us?

We went through all the documents, drew the conclusions, in order to arrive at an agreement.

And then?

I certainly had many doubts about the guilt of the two young people. I wasn’t an upholder the defendant’s innocence, but I thought and said to the others: “The evidence we have is not enough to inflict all these years of prison. Where is the evidence to send them to prison? Maybe I was naïve, but before pronouncing such a heavy sentence I wanted to see clearly. There was not enough, according to me, to justify a such a heavy sentence: questionable proof, odd testimony and uncertain evidence”. 

And of the motive, what ideas did you arrive at?

“That of the inadequate cleaning of the house? Nonsense. You do not massacre a girl because she complained about a bit of a smell in the bathroom. Anyway, at the end of every hearing we would sit down and discuss, we would reconstruct the facts on the basis of the timing, the cell phones, the statements of the accused that indicated how Amanda and Raffaele could be at the scene of the crime. I would ask ” But is it enough to convict them?” Against Raffaele, beyond the hypothesis, remained the discussed trace on Meredith’s bra clasp. How could you not have doubts? “What was the motive that could have pushed Raffaele to participate in the massacre of that poor girl”?  I asked.

The prosecutor in the first trial described Sollecito as “depraved”, putting him inside of the erotic game ending in a tragedy and he was depraved, argued the prosecutor, because he was a fanatic of Manga, the Japanese comics that mix eroticism and violence. 

“But if he is a murderer you need to prove it!” I noted. “It is not enough to read comics or watch cartoons. And then it was the same prosecutors that reminded that Amanda was not a tranquil young lady because she once received a fine for nocturnal racket. It seemed to be, excuse me, more nonsense”.

One of the controversial points is that in that small room in which Meredith was murdered, there was not even one trace of Knox. How do you explain that?

“They claimed that Knox had removed her traces by cleaning. Who knows! Today when I think about it again I have even more doubts”, she said. When the trial started the atmosphere in the “camera del consiglio” was accusatory. Maybe I am naïve, but I had doubts. I thought: what we have in our hands it’s not enough to send them to prison for all those years.  May be Amanda was there, but she didn’t participate. I listened to Raffaele and he seem to me a fine young man, he seemed to me sincere”¦ At the beginning I had no opinion: I have never liked crime news and I had read just a bit on the case. I formed my beliefs studying the three files of the previous trials. Not only. During the trial I kept a diary for every hearing. I wrote down everything that was happening and at the end I would add my impressions.

How did you interact with the Court’s President?

He and the side Judge did not express an opinion till the end. During all those months I never managed to understand what they thought about the case.

So they did not influenced the Lay Judges?

Absolutely not. They would explain only the things that we could not understand. I understood what they thought only when the verdict was decided, but my doubts remained. At a certain point, I stressed that Rudy Guede left on the crime scene more traces than Raffaele and Amanda and yet he was given 16 years instead of 25. They explained to me that he was judged through a fast track trial, that provides a reduction of the sentence. 

And what do you think of Guede?

I think that he gave three different versions of the facts and he never said that Amanda and Raffaele were with him. How can you take into consideration Rudy to establish the guilt of the other two?

What did you think when the verdict was decided?

Right away I said that I did not agree and it was noted. On the increasing on the sentence even other Lay Judges did not agree, but it was explained to us that it could not be any different.

Did you ever fight among yourselves?

No, never.

You said that you do not like crime news and the speculations on blood related crimes? Why than did you accept to became part of the Lay Judges of a trial so complicated and a such media driven event?

I was drawn. I could only refuse only for health reasons. I accepted even for economic reasons since at that time I was on unemployment check. On the other hand they had told me that in that session, from July to September, usually the “Corte d’Assise” has scheduled trials of less importance. I would have never imagined that we were going to end up with Meredith’s murder.

You implied to economic reasons. You worked seven months from July to January with burdensome hearings. How much did you received?   

In all 1.500 Euro: 200 Euro a month! I received them from the Department of Justice seven months after the conclusion of the trial. Not much, but needed: I spent them for a sensitive surgery.

3. How The UK Press Reported This

The Mirror and Daily Mail cherrypick the most sensational claims, make them sound current rather than nearly 18 months old,  and dont publish the whole interview.

In effect they leave out almost all of the context in Par 1 above, dont explain why Italians are unmoved, and omit the essential point that this was NOT a new trial and the jury did NOT hear the case presented in depth with exhibits and witnesses as the trial jury did.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Why Rogue Juror Genny Ballerini Was So Confused About The Appeal: It Was NOT A 2nd Trial

Posted by Peter Quennell



Umberto Brindani, the editor of the weekly Italian magazine Oggi

1. Explaining The Broad Context

A rogue juror has mischaracterized the outcome of the Nencini appeal in Oggi.

Very odd, as the consequence of this very unusual action is that she could be charged with vilipendio, with an illegal action to poison public opinion to lean upon a court process to affect its outcome. To help explain what may be going on here, think of Italy as two factions.

  • A very large faction which is comparatively very law-abiding and very forgiving and which greatly admires Italian law enforcement and judges and prosecutors.

  • A relatively tiny faction consisting of such unsavory elements as corrupt politicians and businessmen, the mafias, rogue masons, satanists (yes there are some) and others who, by any means fair or foul, seek unfair breaks for themselves and their associates.

The Perugia courts, being close to Rome, and the Florence courts, being very large and very competently staffed, have particular roles in matters of national-level justice. Anyone who manages to throw sand in the wheels of those court systems may have won one for some in the small and unsavory faction at the cost of the very large pro-justice faction.

MP Rocco Girlanda is a great example of how this works. The member from Gubbio once of Berlusconi’s party used his parliamentary privilege to “check Knox’s conditions” in Capanne dozens of times. Apparently even the Knox-Mellases found Girlanda’s advances pretty creepy, and someone from the family is said to have headed for Italy in a hurry.

Girlanda not only wrote a creepy book about Knox and took a creepy position on panels of the Italian-American Society in Rome which he once headed. He also tried to monkey with Meredith’s case by petitioning the President, and by attempting to reduce the national Department Of Justice budget. But some of his closest political colleagues from Gubbio are on trial now and may entangle him, and see Andrea Vogt’s tweet the other day that Florence prosecutors are investigating Girlanda, for corruption at a national level.

The Sollecitos also incline toward murky incitement outside the courtroom. Think of the bag of cash the witness Aviello said was offered. Think of conversations caught on tape discussing the capturing of politicians who might lean on the Perugia justice officials. For this Vanessa lost her job and the Sollecitos may still face charges.

The Sollecitos seem to have made a beeline in 2008 for Giulia Bongiorno, a longtime defender of some of those in the smaller faction, for her political clout, although some of her actions in handling the case, such as shrieking at Judge Nencini with a knife in her hand (the same judge who will execute Cassations decisions) seem daft in the extreme.

The Sollecitos may - may - now be a party to some strange media developments in Italy, such as the fawning Porta a Porta show of a few days ago. 

2. The Court Pressure Oggi Faces

The editor of Oggi Umberto Brindani seems to take malicious glee in Oggi’s reports to its weekly readership that put Italian justice in a bad light, perhaps to bring Italian justice down a peg and win one for some in the small faction.

Now although no other Italian media would risk repeating in Italian the lurid conspiracy theories of the Knox PR in English in the United States, Oggi did choose to go there - and was slapped with charges as a result.

Our posts here and here explain how Brindani’s taunting has bitten him in the tail. Oggi quoted defamatory and inaccurate claims from Knox’s book which are a magnet for diffamazione and vilipendio charges, as Brindani found out.

If Brindani goes down against the Bergamo prosecutor for this, as seem inevitable, both the Oggi house of cards and the Knox-Mellas-Sollecito house of cards are put at risk. Oggi may face fines and civil damages for a lot of Euros. More especially, Oggi’s credibility and future would take a knock.

3. Enter The Rogue Juror

This Daily Mail report is in fact 100% quoting the latest edition of Oggi. (Gee, thanks, Daily Mail; for obvious reasons Oggi try hard never to put their own scurrilous stories online.)

Essentially Genny Ballerini is complaining that it was an unfair “trial” and she didnt see a case being made or a motive explained.

On the face of it, this makes absolutely zero sense.

What happened in Florence just over a year ago was an APPEAL by RS and AK, not a second trial. It was tightly focused only on a couple of points the defenses wanted to quibble about (unsuccessfully, as it happened).

The prosecution presented next to nothing of the case it had already presented in great detail in 2009. There were no similar summations, no recreations of the attack on Meredith, no witnesses of its own examined in court, and almost no exhibits.

And guess what? Genny Ballerini didnt even set eyes on Amanda Knox or Rudy Guede!!

Working under strict instructions from Cassation, Judge Nencini guided his lay judges to examine and vote on ONLY the points the defense had tried to prove to their advantage.  They all knew, or should have known, even this rogue juror Genny Ballerini, that any attempt to act as a second trial jury on the lines of the Hellmann appeal jury would be illegal, and was not why they were sitting there.

Unless she is seriously daffy the surprise surfacing of Genny Ballerini in Oggi of all places only makes sense in the light of what Part 1 above explained. Genny Ballerini seems to be being used to muddy the waters to the hoped-for advantage of some in the smaller faction. 

4. The Guts Of Ballerini’s Claims  

Our main poster Chimera checked out Genny Ballerini’s individual claims, and at that level also shows that Genny Ballerini is either out to lunch or working as a tool for Oggi and by extension some in the small faction.

(1) The juror did not ‘‘help convict’’ Knox/Sollecito at the 2013/2014 Florence appeal.  The court merely confirmed the trial verdict of Giancarlo Massei (2009).

(2) ‘‘She slams the prosecution’s case, citing questionable proof, flimsy evidence, and bizarre testimony’‘.  This was only a defence appeal, which is a HUGE detail to omit.

When the defense files an appeal, essentially they are saying there is something wrong with the prosecution’s case as presented back at trial.  The prosecution PROVED their case, they don’t have to again.  So yes, the burden is on the defense.

If she does not know this (and these comments may be deliberately misquoted), then Ms. Ballerini doesn’t understand the purpose of an appeal or her role in it.

(3) Knox was 20 at the time of the murder, not 19.

(4) The article says they served 4 years before being freed on appeal, but it leaves out the fact that they had been convicted at trial.  While technically correct, it implies something that is not the case.

(5) The article says that Knox rebuilt her life finding love with Colin Sutherland, and working as a journalist.  While true, they were only recent developments (late 2014).  Knox had been released 3 years prior to that.

(6) The appeal court reinstated the guilty verdict?  Wrong.  Again, the March 2013 Cassation ruling annulled Hellmann’s ruling, but it left Massei’s trial conviction intact. The appeal court actually confirmed it.

In other words, AK and RS weren’t forced back to Florence for a new trial.  They themselves chose to redo their own appeal, rather than accept the 26 and 25 year sentences.  Big difference.

(7) ‘‘The evidence is not there to inflict all these years in prison’‘?  Frightening, if she actually made these statements.  The appeals court is ONLY to look at errors, not to retry the case.  Did she not read her job description?

(8) Ms. Ballerini says of Sollecito: What possible motive could he have for participating in that murder? 

A better question would be: why he did refuse Judge Nencini’s invitation to testify?  Come on, he just did a freaking book tour.  And Ms. Ballerini was there in court ... did she not have an urge to ask him questions?

(9) ‘‘She insisted that the 2 professional judges had not tried to sway the jury.’’  Can you think of why that may have done so? Perhaps back in late 2011?

Part of me thinks this story is a plant, her words and conclusions sound almost verbatim from the FOAK crap that has been coming out for years.

If it is true (a big if) it is frightening that someone so limited could be on a appeal jury.  Either she does not understand the purpose of an appeal, or she is being used as a sockpuppet.


5. Present Conclusions

This aint over. Investigators will already be checking out Genny Ballerini to see what makes her tick and decide if she should face charges. We will keep you posted.


Genny Ballerini is the lay-judge on the left


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rare Case Where Extradition To Italy Was Refused Has Been Reversed By Brazil

Posted by Peter Quennell



The World Court in the Hague in the Netherlands which Italy used as a threat


This case shows how a remorseless Italy perseveres, and how it may involve the World Court.

This is the Cesare Battisti case (see his image below) which goes back to the early Berlusconi governments and beyond. It is not clear whether the Renzi government has been pressing Brazil hard but Battisti is very likely one day to be back in the land of his birth. And meanwhile he will remain locked up.

This is from a CNN report describing the status as of mid June 2009.

Battisti was a member of the Armed Proletarians for Communism, or PAC, guerrilla group in Italy.

He is alleged to have participated in a number of crimes, which led to his incarceration. He escaped from an Italian prison in 1981 and was granted asylum in France during the presidency of Francois Mitterrand…

In 1998, Battisti was tried and convicted in absentia of the four killings. For several years, France and Italy were embroiled in diplomatic spats over extradition requests.

Battisti later fled to Mexico, where he continued his work as a writer of thriller novels, and subsequently to Brazil. In Brazil, his fate was oftentimes unclear.

In January 2009, the Brazilian Supreme Tribunal granted refugee status to Battisti. But later it reversed course and supported extradition, giving then-President Lula the final say.

“Italy may not like it, but will have to respect it,” Lula said at the time. “This person is being accused of a crime which took place in 1978, and his accuser no longer exists to prove the veracity of the facts.”

Lula sided with the Italian’s claims that the conviction against him was politically motivated, and in the last days of his administration rejected the extradition. Italy protested.

Brazil gave Battisti a status just one step short of citizenship. The Berlusconi government then threatened to take the case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague (the World Court). Quite a threat.

That is something the Italian government could theoretically also do if there is a protracted wrangle over Knox. It may or may not have been one factor in what Brazil did next.

The Associated Press reports. This is from last week.

Brazil’s federal police on Thursday arrested former Italian communist militant Cesare Battisti on a judge’s deportation order.

The arrest comes despite former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2010 rejecting Italy’s extradition request for Battisti, who is a fugitive from Italian murder convictions. Silva granted him asylum and had the Supreme Court approve that decision three years later.

However, also in 2013, the top federal appeals court rejected Battisti’s request to overturn a Brazilian conviction for using fake immigration stamps in his passport when he entered Brazil in 2004.

Federal prosecutors used that decision to seek Battisti’s deportation, arguing he had violated Brazil’s Foreigner’s Law, which prohibits foreigners convicted of a felony in another country from receiving residency.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled in favor of the prosecutor’s motion, which led to his arrest Thursday. He was being held in Sao Paulo….

There are several layers of appeals that Battisti can make, and it’s expected to take years before his case again reaches the Supreme Court for a new ruling….

We’ve noted before that if countries want dangerous perps back, there are certain ways to apply pressure direct. For example, Interpol Red, notices and also this.



Monday, March 16, 2015

Probable Final Cassation Ruling In 10 Days: Likely Scenario For The Immediate Future

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi


We reported previously that Prime Minister Renzi, the former mayor of Florence, has great trust in the court system there.

Cassation is expected to rule on Knox’s and Sollecito’s separate appeals against the Florence outcome (in which they yet again not-too-subtly edge one another between themselves and the flames) on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

We have something of a consensus here upon what happens then and thereafter, with main inputs here from Italian watchers Popper and Yummi.

1. Cassazione will probably merely announce that the affirmation of conviction by the Nencini appeal court is legitimate from the point of view of Italian law and there will be nothing significant said on the merits of the case.

2. In final appeals Supreme Court justices simply confirm a sentence or not based exclusively on law points. The Cassazione motivation reports due within three months are not too important as they cannot be appealed anyway. A report may not be needed for extradition, the Massei + Nencini sentencing reports could be explanatory and legally correct enough in this case.

3. The execution of this decision would then be over to the Florence courts. If the Nencini confirmation of verdict and sentence is affirmed it will probably then be over to Prosecutor Crini and Judge Nencini, and an arrest warrant for Sollecito would be immediate.

4. There is a slight chance, perhaps 5% to 10%, that Sollecito might try to escape, as he seemed set on doing when he made it to the border on the same day as Judge Nencini’s 2014 ruling. On Italian TV he has been sounding very aggrieved with Amanda while not really winding back the strong case against himself. He lacks his passport and probably the secret stash of money to stay on the run indefinitely.

5. An arrest warrant for Knox, the other defendant, would normally be issued as soon as possible. If she is still located in the US she could be rapidly arrested and put in a holding cell. Based on other examples it is possible that her physical return to Italy could take as long as nine months, though the treaty promotes a fast-track meaning not upward of three months.

6. There is normally 45 days for the extradition papers/request from Dr Andrea Orlando, the Italian Minister of Justice, to be handed over by the Italian Embassy in Washington DC to the State Department, though there is allowance for that request time to be extended.

7. The evidence of course really is overwhelming and no single proof of foul play has ever been proven. Italian justice officials have relevant information they could share privately, such as the corruption of the Hellmann appeal alleged by Judge Chiari, Prosecutor Comodi and others, and such as Knox’s unsavory drug record which is normally a big no-no for the State Department. 

8. Comments made by the host and a magistrate on Italy’s Porta a Porta show last week suggests vagueness on the part of the Italian media and public about the Italy/United States extradition treaty. This treaty, which has always been faithfully observed previously by both countries, with no exceptions, is stark and minimalist and focuses on the paperwork and whether the national law was followed, as explained by lawyers James Raper and TomM. 

9. Assuming their final conviction, Sollecito’s arrest and return to prison will drive Italian public opinion, dormant for years but stirring as the Porta a Porta show suggested, to demand a quick extradition of Knox, who was the flatmate of Meredith the victim and without whom no murder would have taken place.

10. Probably very unlikely, but if there is sustained political resistance despite American media finally getting the facts right, the powers demanding extradition will build up immense pressure, and it will be world-wide pressure from the point of view of the US, not just Italy. All countries will be watching to see how the US behaves, and if their treaties are reliable or not.

The US relies heavily on the Italian government, which is currently a very strong one, on many other matters, and it has other extradition cases worldwide in motion or anticipated (think Snowden in Moscow) so it will be almost certainly be faithful to legality and precedent.

Knox smeared prison authorities in her book and directly caused the imprisonment of a drug-dealer which might be reasons she fears going back. Conceivably a negotiated outcome could result in Knox serving the rest of her time in an American prison to get round this. American prison? This would be nice for her family, but probably a lot less nice for Knox herself.

Knox has long been the pawn of an ugly family and bunch of parasites. Dont totally rule out her simply hopping on a plane to pay her dues and get away from them.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Summaries Of The Nencini Report #1: The Attention Directed To Various Crucial Timings

Posted by Cardiol MD



[Florence Palace of Justice at night]

1. Overview Of This Series

The court-ordered repeat of Knox’s and Sollecito’s appeal concluded in Florence a year ago.

On 25 March of this year Paolo Antonio Bruno, the Supreme Court lead reviewing judge, will present to his colleagues on the bench his findings and recommendations on Judge Nencini’s findings and verdict.

Between now and then we will be posting on areas of the report which make the final conclusions firm and, we believe, have the defenses pretty stumped

The Nencini version we use is the PMF translation introduced here. The full report can be read in HTML format on the Wiki and downloaded in Acrobat format from PMF.


2 Approach To This Summation

The Nencini reports builds on and essentially endorses the outcomes of three previous courts: Micheli 2008, Massei 2009, and Cassation 2013.

Despite the lengths of those reports, no court described from all angles every piece of evidence, and the most persuasive 1/4 of the trial in closed court in 2009 (the autopsy and the recreation of the attack) have never been publicly fully reported upon. 

TJMK has posted summaries of all of those reports: see the Micheli Report, the Massei Report. and the Cassation report.

Summarizing requires selection, deciding what to include and what to omit. The aim here is to emphasize the points to which the Judges seemed to attach the most weight. What was in the minds of the Judges can be inferred only from the words of the report; their sequence tends to be chronological, rather than determined by relative importances they conclude.

The Knox, Mellas and Sollecito misinformation campaigns dont wat you to know this, but with the exception of translations by Andrea Vogt, no main stream media in the US or UK has yet translated or summarized or even excerpted any of those reports. Most did not even mention them at all.

3. Phone Records On Coordinated Universal Time Protocol

The CUT protocol is used for civil telephone time-keeping all over the Earth’s surface, including in Italy, the U.S. and the U.K.

Coordinated time-keeping assures that the time assigned to a telephone event is accurate and very precise, independent of where it occurs. Uncoordinated Time-keeping can result in a time being assigned to a telephone event even before it actually did occur.

Although not explicitly pointed-out in the Nencini Report or other official reports and documents, CUT is the protocol used for all telephone-traffic times, mobile and landline, involving all users referred-to; they are precisely recorded, their very existence, their start, their end, their duration, and even their location. Only their content is protected.

Therefore there is a wealth of information about which there is no doubt at all with regard to the existence and the time-sequence of ‘phone traffic, which is selected for inclusion in Nencini here:It’s almost as if the ‘phone users are wearing criminal-offender’s ankle bracelets. CUT records enable decisive challenge to the credibility of a false witness (impeachment).

1. Timing of The Lumumba Text Traffic

Nencini finds that Amanda Knox was not at Sollecito’s at 20:18 and 12 seconds when she received Patrick Lumumba’s text message,  but was at Sollecito’s at 20:35 and 48 seconds when she responded to Patrick Lumumba’s text message. and her claim that she was there both times is false.

{Ed: Furthermore, although mentioned in TJMK but not mentioned by Nencini, Knox was not due at "Le Chic" until 10: pm, it is implausible that at 8:18 pm she was on her way to work. More than 17 minutes are left unaccounted-for. Given the local geography, those 17 minutes unaccounted-for provide ample time for Knox to go to her own apartment and, before Meredith's return at 9:pm, take the rent money never-otherwise accounted-for.}

2. Timing of Meredith’s Murder #1

The murder of Meredith Kercher was committed between 9:00 pm on 1 November 2007, when she returned to her rented apartment at the Via della Pergola cottage, and 00:10:31 am on 2 November 2007 when “her” stolen mobile phone was found by its receipt of CUT-timed call to have been located at the garden of the residence of Elisabetta Lana at no. 5\bis Via Sperandio, in Perugia.

The phone had last been used to make an attempted internet connection from the cottage at 10:13:29 hours (9 seconds duration) on 1 November 07.

3. Timing of Meredith’s Murder #2

[63-64] “It is certain that at about 9:00 pm Meredith Kercher said goodbye to her friend before going home, and was therefore still alive at that time.

Investigations of the phone records establish that the mobile phone containing the English SIM card issued a signal at 00:10:31 am on 2 November 2007 that was intercepted by the cell tower no. 25622, a cell tower that could not be affected by signals coming from Via della Pergola, but that intercepts signals coming from Via Sperandio, a road where the mobile phone had been abandoned after the murder by the homicide perpetrators.”

Therefore at 00:10:31 am (ten and a half minutes past midnight) on 2 November 2007, Meredith’s murder had already occurred.

4. Timing Of Alibis of AK And RS

[140] “Thus, it can be affirmed at this point that, on the basis of the statements of both the witnesses, and on the basis of the picture emerging from the phone records previously noted, Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she was provided her second version of the events that occurred on the afternoon of 1 November and on the morning of 2 November 2007.

The alibi provided by Amanda Marie Knox ““ of having returned to Raffaele Sollecito’s home in the late afternoon of 1 November 2007 and of having remained there, in the company of the co-accused, until 10:00am in the morning on 2 November 2007 ““ does not correspond to the truth.

Based on the precise witness testimony of Antonio Curatolo and Marco Quintavalle, which this Court finds credible for the reasons expressed, Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, from 9:30pm to around midnight of 1 November 2007 were seen in Piazza Grimana on multiple occasions, a few yard from the cottage at no. 7, Via della Pergola, where, in the same span of time, the murder took place.

Amanda Marie Knox went to Marco Quintavalle’s Conad shop around 7:45am on 2 November 2007, obviously in search of something to buy that she could not find. She was noticed by Mr. Quintavalle who, at the trial, identified her with certainty in the courtroom. So we are able to affirm that Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she claimed to have slept at Mr. Sollecito’s house in his company until 10am in the morning on 2 November 2007.

Having already been proven false by witness testimony, the alibi given by the accused is also proven false by comparing it with objective data, which tallies with the witness testimony referred to above.

[141] First of all, the examination of the phone records.

From the phone records in the court file, it is apparent that Raffaele Sollecito’s mobile phone remained inactive from 8:42:56 pm on 1 November 2007 until 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007; switched off or in any case “out of range” of the signal.

It emerges from the records that the last telephone contact engaging his device dated 1 November 2007 is the call at 8:42:56 pm received by the father, Francesco Sollecito, during which Raffaele spoke to the father about the broken pipe in the kitchen; the subsequent contact at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 was the SMS [text message] sent to him by the father, Francesco Sollecito, and which was generated by this latter’s telephone at 11:14 pm on 1 November 2007.

Both contacts linked via the “cell” that serves number 130, Via Garibaldi, and so it must be concluded that the timings indicate that the mobile phone was present inside Raffaele Sollecito’s residence at number 130, Via Garibaldi.

From the critical examination of what results from the phone records, it can objectively be held as proved not only that Raffaele Sollecito’s phone was not “active” from 8:42:56 pm on 1 November 2007 to 6:06:59 am [sic] on 2 November 2007, but that, reasonably, at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 Raffaele Sollecito was in fact not sleeping, as stated by Amanda Marie Knox and averred to by Mr. Sollecito; rather, he was wide awake, enough to switch on his own mobile phone and be able to receive the SMS sent to him by his father the night before.

The Defense, supported by the conclusions of their technical consultants, argued that the fact of having received the SMS sent by Francesco Sollecito to his son on the evening of 1 November 2007 only at 6:02:59 am on the morning of 2 November 2007 would not necessarily be proof that the accused had switched his phone on at that time, since the phone, until that time, could have simply been positioned at a spot in the house where it was not able to receive the “signal”, on the assumption that special measurements had been made showing that not all points in the apartment at 130 Via Garibaldi were able to effectively receive the phone “signal”.

This Court finds that the Defense argument is not justified.

If in fact one can agree with the Defense reasoning by which there is no certain proof that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 Raffaele Sollecito’s phone was switched on (by himself or by Amanda Marie Knox, the only two present in the apartment) allowing [142] reception of the SMS sent to him by his father a good six hours earlier, the only logical alternative is that someone obviously moved the phone inside the apartment from the location in which it was positioned, and where it was not receiving the “signal”, to a different location in the apartment, where the “signal” was received.

What matters, and what the Court finds proved, is that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 in the apartment at 130 Via Garibaldi, they were not in fact asleep, as the defendants claim, but rather the occupants were well awake, so much as to switch on or move the phones.

And that the situation inside the apartment at 130 Via Garibaldi was not in fact that of a house in which the occupants spent a peaceful night also emerges from an examination effected on one of Raffaele Sollecito’s computers by the Postal Police.

It appears that at 5:32 am on 2 November 2007 the computer connected to a “site” for listening to music, remaining connected for around half an hour. Therefore, at 5:32 am someone in the house occupied by Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito sat in front of the computer and listened to music for around half an hour and then, at 6:02:59 am, either switched on Raffaele Sollecito’s mobile phone or put it in a different place in the apartment.

At the conclusion of the critical examination of the statements made by the defendants it can therefore be affirmed not only that the statements made to the investigating police at 1:45 am and to the Prosecutor at 5:45 am on 6 November 2007 by Amanda Marie Knox constitute a malicious incrimination as regards Patrick Lumumba, but also that the same was constructed for the specific purpose of distancing police suspicion from the defendants, offering the investigators a “guilty party” on which to focus their attention.”

Here, Nencini is clearly summarizing his own conclusions regarding Knox’s statements re Patrick Lumumba.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Legal Timeline Of The Main Case, On Which The Next Ruling By Supreme Court Could Be Final

Posted by catnip



Cassazione (Supreme Court of Italy) seen from the east across the Tiber River


Todays Status

The Supreme Court is due to rule, possibly in the autumn, on what might be the final appeal by Sollecito and Knox on grounds which have not been published. Main steps prior to this:

November 2007

Meredith Kercher is found violently killed in her home while studying abroad in Italy. Her housemate, Amanda Knox, and Amanda’s friend Raffaele Sollecito, as well as Amanda’s boss, Patrick Lumumba, are arrested. A fourth person, Rudy Guede, is tracked down and also arrested. Patrick Lumumba’s alibi is confirmed and he is released.

December 2007, January 2008

Due process hearings authorise the continuation of preventative custody for the suspects, on the grounds of flight risk and possibility of tampering with the evidence.

October 2008

Preliminary Hearing Court, Perugia, Micheli presiding ““ after investigations have completed, the committal hearing finds there is a case to answer and remands Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to stand trial on the charges of :

    (A) aggravated murder in company of Meredith Kercher
    (B) illegal transport of a knife from Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment
    (C) aggravated sexual assault in company of Meredith Kercher (later folded into charge (A), on the grounds of being part of the same criminal event)
    (D) illegal profiting by possession, to wit: of a sum of money approx. €300 and of credit cards belonging to the victim, and her mobile phones
    (E) simulation of a crime, to wit: staging a break-in in Filomena Romanelli’s room
    (F) Amanda Knox, in addition, calunnia, for falsely claiming, knowing him to be innocent, Diya Lumumba also called “Patrick”, of being the author of the murder

Rudy Guede is tried summarily “on the papers”, as he has requested the expedited trial procedure (“fast-track” trial) and is found guilty of charges (A) and (C), and not guilty of the theft, charge (D), and sentenced to life, automatically discounted to 30 years for choosing the expedited trial procedure.

December 2009

On appeal to the Court of Appeals, Perugia (4/2009, on 22 December 2009), his sentence is reduced to 24 years, automatically discounted to 16 years, the aggravating factors of the charges not being found by the court. His final appeal, to the Supreme Court of Cassation, First Criminal Section, is rejected (7195/11, hearing of 16 December 2010, reasons handed down 24 February 2011).

December 2009

Court of Assizes, Perugia, presided over by Massei ““ finds Amanda and Raffaele guilty of all charges (except the theft of the money and credit cards) but without the aggravating factors applying, and sentences them, with mitigating factors included, to 26 years for Amanda, and 25 years for Raffaele (the extra year for Amanda being for the calunnia).

October 2011

Court of Appeals of the Court of Assizes, Perugia, presided over by Hellmann (after a last-minute replacement) ““ trial convictions quashed, except for the calunnia charge against Amanda (charge (F)), where sentence was increased to time served (3 years); both prisoners released (4/2011, decision 3 October 2011, reasons handed down 5 December 2011).

March 2013

The Supreme Court of Cassation (25/3/2013) found the acquittals on charges A&C, B, D, and E to be unsafe, and annulled that part of the decision, remanding the matter to the Florentine jurisdiction, as per the usual cascade rules, for a fresh determination, and rejected Amanda Knox’s appeal on the charge (F) conviction and sentence.

January 2014

Court of Appeals, Second Chamber, Florence, presided over by Nencini ““ trial convictions on the non-calunnia charges upheld, therefore sentence increased to 28 years and 6 months for Amanda (11/13, decision 30 January 2014, reasons handed down 29 April 2014). All convicted parties to pay the relevant compensation to the various injured parties. Appeals to the Supreme Court of Cassation have been lodged.

Associated Timelines

See the posts here and here on the timing of events arrived at by the trial judges.


Sunday, July 06, 2014

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

Posted by SomeAlibi



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

What on earth were they thinking?

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

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

Secondly, they did it all for no legal benefit.

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

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

Speaking in tongues

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

But that is precisely what didn’t happen…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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




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

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

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

So, let’s do it for them here”¦

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confirming how three became company

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

What silence gets you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Rome Press Conference Reports: Sollecito Separates From Knox, Bongiorno Misleads On Her Text

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Overview Of This Post

Sollecito and Bongiorno held a much-attended press conference at which they tried to hang Knox out to dry.

This post first quotes some of the reports and then looks at the big reveal, that there is proof Knox was out TWICE including later in the evening when Sollecito was still at home.

2. Reports From English-Language Media

Lizzy Davies In The Guardian

Raffaele Sollecito, the ex-boyfriend of Amanda Knox who faces a 25-year prison sentence for the murder of Meredith Kercher, has placed renewed pressure on his American co-defendant by noting “certain anomalies” in her case.

As he unveiled his defence strategy for a potentially definitive appeal which could see him and Knox definitively convicted of the British student’s killing in 2007, the 30-year-old Italian said he still believed “to this day in the innocence of Amanda Marie Knox”.

But, in what some read as a sign he is preparing to distance himself from his former lover after six-and-a-half years of rigidly joint defence, he added: “But obviously, in what I read in the court papers, I register certain anomalies.”

While saying she hoped both convictions would be quashed by Italy’s supreme court, Sollecito’s lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, urged the judges to take “coherent and consequent decisions” if they felt there were contradictions in the appeal court’s sentence, and not to “automatically extend anomalies pertaining to Amanda to Sollecito”.

At a press conference in Rome on Tuesday, Sollecito acknowledged, as he has done previously, that he cannot be absolutely certain of how much time the 27-year-old student from Seattle spent in his flat on the early part of the evening of the murder, even if he is certain the two spent the night together. The pair have always said their memories were foggy due to the effects of cannabis.

Sollecito’s appeal, said Bongiorno, focused on a text message which Knox says she sent from her then boyfriend’s home at 8.35pm the evening of the murder but which the Florence court, in its reasoning, accepts was sent from outside.

“According to the sentence, this [SMS] was not written from Raffaele’s house. Therefore the two were not together,” said Bongiorno. She added that, from her client’s point of view, the discrepancy was “either the nth mistake of the sentence, or ‘I [Sollecito] was lied to, too.’”

She added that his defence team had estimated that the attack on Kercher took place between 9pm and 9.30pm ““ though a time of death has never been agreed on and prosecutors have argued it occurred later. Sollecito says evidence from his computer proves he was at his home until at least 9.26pm.

Another hinge of his defence is a memo written by Knox in which she admitted to confusion over earlier statements in which she had falsely accused bar owner Patrick Lumumba of the murder, said she was present at her house and heard the 21-year-old Leeds University student “screaming”.

She later retracted the statements.

Sollecito said he did not believe the contents of the “odd, eccentric” memo, but that as the Florence appeals court ““ which reinstated the pair’s guilty verdicts in January ““ appeared to draw on parts of it for the convictions, he was forced to respond to that version of events.

“For me this memo recounts only fantasies and figments of the imagination,” he said. “But if what were written in the memo were true, taking it as a given that the judges are right [to use it in their verdict], could you explain to me where I figure in it?”

He added: “What is my participation? What is my motive, my involvement, anything? Explain it to me, because my name is Raffaele Sollecito and not Amanda Marie Knox.”

Unsigned, BBC Website

At a press conference in Rome on Tuesday, Sollecito insisted that he was innocent but said he remained convinced that Knox was too.

Unveiling his new defence strategy, he said January’s guilty verdict had been based on evidence from Knox that exonerated him.

“The 25-year prison sentence given to me is based entirely on the statement written by Amanda Knox in pre-trial detention. She herself exonerates me entirely,” he told press.

In the statement, she says she was in her flat while the murder was being committed, “with my hands over my ears because in my head I could hear Meredith screaming”.

Sollecito is not mentioned by Knox in the text, which his defence team says is proof he was not present at the scene.

“Taking it as read that the judges are right [in basing their verdict on Knox’s statement] will you please explain what I have to do with it?” Sollecito said.

Knox later withdrew the statement after saying she had written it under police pressure, and the pair have been each other’s alibis since, saying they spent the night together at his house.

Sollecito’s lawyer Giulia Bongiorno said that while he has always said he “spent the night” with Knox, he has never said they spent the evening together.

Ms Bongiorno added that her client’s appeal would cite a text message that Knox claims to have sent while with Sollecito at his house.

“This text message, according to the court’s own ruling, was not sent from his house. Therefore the pair were not together,” she said.

Despite throwing doubt on his ex-girlfriend’s alibi, the Italian said he had “always believed, and still believe, that Amanda Marie Knox is innocent.”

Hannah Roberts Daily Mail

Knox and Sollecito have always maintained that they were together the evening of the brutal 2007 murder in Perugia, after which Miss Kercher, 21, was found half naked her throat slit in the cottage she shared with Knox.

But Sollecito’s lawyer Giulia Bongiorno said that ‘for the entire first part of the evening, they were not together. It’s this first part of the evening that’s new [to his defence]’.

Sollecito has pointed to phone records that show that Knox was away from his house for part of the evening.

In a dramatic change of legal tactics that he announced in a press conference in Rome he has now claimed there are “˜anomalies’ in Knox’s story.

Knox says that she received a text, while at Sollecito’s house, from her boss, telling her not to come to her job at a nightclub that night.

But phone records show that the text was received on the road between their houses, something that their retrial judges felt was key in their reconstruction of events. Sollecito’s phone and computer records show that he was at home that evening.

Sollecito said: “˜I have always believed in the innocence of Amanda. But I have to react to the accusations of the court and to the text message.

“˜Either the court has made their umpteenth mistake or she lied to me.’

He added: “˜I was in love with her and we had some very happy moments, but ultimately Amanda was a stranger.’

‘There are anomalies in her version of events. Against me there is nothing.’

The ‘fundamental basis’ for the conviction is Knox’s memo to police in which she says she was at the cottage when the murder took place, he said.

“˜I believe this was a hallucination, but if the court believes it is true then they have to accept that she did not say I was there. She gave me an alibi. “˜

It is not the first time Sollecito has expressed his doubts about the holes in Knox’s story.

In an interview with Italian television earlier this year, he said Knox had spent the night with him but went back to her place to shower, he said. When she returned, she was ‘very agitated,’ he said.

She told him that it looked like someone had broken in and that there was blood in the bathroom, Sollecito said. But rather than call the police, she showered and returned to his place something he finds odd. “˜Certainly I asked her questions,’ he said. ‘Why did you take a shower? Why did she spend so much time there?’

He didn’t get any real answers from her, he said.


3. Analysis: Bongiorno’s Claim About Knox’s Location When Texting

Giulia Bongiorno claimed yesterday that Amanda Knox replied to Patrick’s text while she was away from Sollecito’s house.

This is demonstrably untrue.

Mobile-phone-tower records show that Knox’s phone received Patrick’s incoming text telling her not to come to work when she was already somewhere on the route to his bar in Via Alessi. Knox apparently then turned around and went back to Sollecito’s house.

Mobile-phone-tower records show Knox texted back, responding to Patrick, from Sollecito’s house in Corso Garibaldi at 8:35.

They both claim this in their books - Sollecito himself claims it too.  Those books are pretty suspect throughout, but for once they both tell the same truth.

Some five minutes later, Knox and Ms Popovic met at Sollecito’s house so Knox was still there then. That is still three to four hours away from the best estimate of Meredith’s death.

So the time-period prior to 8:35 pm when Knox texted from Sollecito’s flat was the only time-period when there is hard proof that Knox and Sollecito were ever apart that night. In her unforced statements on 5-6 November Knox did claim she went out alone to see Patrick, but we have only her word she was alone.

Here is the narrative from Judge Massei’s 2009 report.

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

− 20.35.48 Amanda sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723; the message was sent when the young woman’s mobile phone was in Corso Garibaldi 30 or in the immediate neighbourhood. The cell used, in fact, was that of Via Berardi sector 7.

Here is the narrative from Judge Nencini’s 2014 report.

At 20.18 and 12 seconds, Amanda Marie Knox received a text message sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, in which he informed her that it would not be necessary for her to go to the bar to carry out her usual work. At the time of receipt, Amanda Marie Knox’s handset connected via the sector 3 mast at Torre dell’Acquedotto, 5 dell’Aquila, as shown by phone records entered in evidence. This mast cannot be reached from the vicinity of 130 Via Garibaldi, the home of Raffaele Sollecito. According to the findings of the judicial police entered in evidence, this mast could be reached by anyone in Via Rocchi, piazza Cavallotti or piazza 4 Novembre, all locations in Perugia which are intermediate between 130 Via Garibaldi, the home of Raffaele Sollecito, and Via Alessi, where the “Le Chic” bar is located.

From this set of facts established in the case, Amanda Marie Knox’s claim, according to which she received Patrick Lumumba’s text message while she was at 130 Via Garibaldi, appears false. Given the mast connected to and the time, it is reasonable to assume that, when Amanda received the message, she had already left Raffaele Sollecito’s home and was on her way to the “Le Chic” bar. Presumably, she then turned around and went back.

Here, then, is the first crack in the account of the young woman who, in her narrative, claims never to have left the house at 130 Via Garibaldi from the moment of her entrance into the house in the afternoon of 1 November 2007, together with Raffaele Sollecito. There is oral evidence (the deposition of Popovic) and evidence obtained through phone records that, at around 18:00 on 1 November 2007, Amanda and Raffaele were at the home of the latter. Later, at precisely 20:35 and 48 seconds, when Amanda Marie Knox sent a text message to Patrick Lumumba, connecting to a mast serving 130 Via Garibaldi, both were once again [118]together at Raffaele Sollecito’s home. This fact is confirmed by Popovic, who went there to cancel that evening’s appointment with Raffaele. In fact, the witness reported that she had visited Raffaele’s home at around 20:40 in the evening.

In essence, it can be established with certainty that Amanda and Raffaele were apart, albeit for a limited period of time, on the evening of 1 November 2007, contrary to what is stated repeatedly in multiple statements made by Amanda Marie Knox.

It seems Bongiorno got it wrong about Knox, and Sollecito sat beside her happily nodding his okay.


Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Judge Nencini Issues Harsh Warning To Tell The Truth - So Amanda Knox Does The Precise Opposite

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Substance Of The Nencini Explanatory Report

The Florence Court of Appeals released the Nencini Motivations Report in Florence one week ago today.

This report explains the rejection of Knox’s and Sollecito’s own first appeal against the Massei trial outcome of 2009. Four years were lost because the Hellmann court, which heard the first iteration of that appeal was bent as Cassation, the competent judge displaced, and now Judge Nencini have all concluded.

The Hellmann outcome of 2011 was mostly annulled, as in “ceased to exist”. The main findings and verdict have zero legal standing, and zero relevance to today’s process though (see below) Knox and Sollecito repeatedly try to ride that dead horse again.

Cassation confirmed Knox’s three-year prison sentence for framing Patrick (for which she has served the time). And Cassation referred the methods and recommendations of the Conti & Vecchiotti consultancy, which Cassation had hammered on legal grounds, to the Florence appeal court for the substance to be reviewed.

Our evidence and law experts here and in Italy have been looking at Judge Nencini’s 347 page report and find it hard-hitting and unequivocally blunt.

It will be extremely hard to appeal against within the very narrow limits Cassation allows. It removes all of Judge Massei’s ambiguities about motives, it reaffirms the witness statements of Curatolo and Quintavalle, and it judicially affirms the validity of the DNA and other forensic evidence against Knox and Sollecito.

There is overwhelming proof of the presence of all three perps, Knox, Sollecito and Guede, in the cottage that night.  Guede is considered to have been brought inside by Knox, who had the only key, and he could not possibly have broken in through Filomena Romanelli’s window in the manner asserted by their defense.

Especially troubling for the defense, the report hints at an illegal suborning of the independent forensic experts appointed by the Hellmann court, and it also hints that the two “supergrass” witnesses, the prisoners Aviello and Alessi, may have been illegally tampered with by Sollecito’s lawyer Giulia Bongiorno, as first claimed 30 months ago.

The report warns that criminal slander of justice officials and other contempts of court will be heavily leaned on.

So the report demolishes the last remnants of Judge Claudio Hellmann’s now annulled acquittal, and substitutes for its fatally flawed reasoning a tightly crafted report that confirms the convictions of Knox and Sollecito.

It confirms that they acted in concert with Guede as Cassation itself long ago concluded had to be the case, and it appears to close any possible argument against the verdict that will carry weight at the Supreme Court.

2. Amanda Knox’s Press-Release Statement In Response

Knox issued a seven paragraph statement later the same day. Maybe not the smartest bit of work.

It is riddled with factual inaccuracies and innuendo, is typically arrogant and condescending in tone, includes the trademark racial innuendos about Italians and the black guy in the case, and shows no signs in its compiling of competent legal help.

Here below we show the various ways in which Knox flouts Judge Nencini’s warning and attempts to mislead. None of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: The Hellmann Court Found Knox “Innocent”

I have stated from the beginning of this long ordeal that I am innocent of the accusations against me. I was found innocent by the only court in Italy that retained independent forensic experts to review my case. I want to state again today what I have said throughout this process: I am innocent of the accusation against me, and the recent motivation document does not ““ and cannot ““ change the fact of my innocence.

First even if she was provisionally released following the now-annulled appeal, Amanda Knox was never, repeat never, found innocent. Only Cassation can make that final ruling, and they strongly found against the lower court that had jumped the tracks midway-through.

Even Judge Hellman himself said after his verdict that ‘the truth might be otherwise’ and suggested any reasonable doubt as to guilt has not been categorically and legally dismissed. He seemed to divine that he had failed in his task of bending the outcome in a way that would stay bent.

Second the court that Knox thinks found her innocent no longer exists as a legal fact. It seems to endemically escape Knox that the Hellmann outcome was annulled. Annulled. As in: wiped off the books. It is surprising that even Curt Knox and Ted Simon and David Marriott, while admittedly themselves no masters of Italian law, cannot help Knox to grasp that simple fact. It weakens her to keep clinging to a myth.

One reason it was annulled (and the reasons were overwhelming, one of Italy’s most decisive annullments ever) was that both Cassation and Dr Nencini had good reason to suspect the Hellmann court had been corrupted and had deliberately departed from the evidence and the law. Knox needs to ask herself why the highly qualified Judge Chiari was pushed aside (and immediately resigned in anger) in favor of a wrongly-qualified business judge (who is now ignominiously retired).

Third, it needs to be grasped by Knox that the Conti/Vecchiotti consultancy, far from being legally right and acting independently (and scientifically), was suggested as illegal by Perugia’s chief prosecutor Dr Galati, as appeal judges are forbidden from appointing consultants at that stage. While Cassation passed in ruling on that one, the consultancy outcome was criticised as illogical and legally unsound by both Cassation and Judge Nencini, as biased, full of baseless innuendo about contamination, and possibly tampered with by an American academic hired by the defense.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: Only Rudy Guede’s DNA Was Found

The recent motivation document does not ““ and cannot ““ change the forensic evidence: experts agreed that my DNA was not found anywhere in Meredith’s room, while the DNA of the actual murderer, Rudy Guede, was found throughout that room and on Meredith’s body. This forensic evidence directly refutes the multiple-assailant theory found in the new motivation document. This theory is not supported by any reliable forensic evidence.

The forensic evidence is not just the DNA on the knife or in the room. It also includes the extensive traces deposited by Knox in the rest of the crime scene (bathroom, corridor and Filomena’s bedroom), and it also includes all of the autopsy.

Meredith’s room itself was not comprehensively tested for DNA. The room was dusted only for fingerprints, as the investigators had to make a call on prints or DNA.

Guede’s DNA was not found “throughout that room” or all over Meredith’s body. Guede’s DNA was found only in one instance on Meredith’s body, on a part of Meredith’s bra, mixed with Meredith’s blood on a sweatshirt cuff and the purse, and on toilet paper in a bathroom.

Knox’s DNA was found mixed with the blood of Meredith in multiple places, the only known source for which was the pool of blood in Meredith’s bedroom:  multiple prints of Knox’s bare right foot in the hallway and in Knox’ bedroom, and at least five instances of mixed samples containing the DNA of both Meredith and Knox, including in the north bathroom and Filomena’s room, places where Guede did not go.

The court ruled that the blood and mixed DNA evidence found throughout the crime scene places her and Sollecito there at the time of the murder at the same time as Rudy Guede.

Though not DNA, there was one bloody shoe print in Meredith’s bedroom estimated to be Euro size 36-38, compatible with Knox size 37 and with no one else known of who could have left it there.

No fingerprints of anyone were found in the room, just a palmprint of Rudy Guede. Fingerprints were not found even on Knox’s own lamp, which she only confirmed grudgingly at trial was her own, and not found even in Knox’s own bedroom. Overwhelming sign of a cleanup? The courts all believed so.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: The Knife As Murder Weapon Was Disproved

The forensic evidence also directly refutes the theory that the kitchen knife was the murder weapon: the court-appointed independent experts confirmed that neither Meredith’s blood nor her DNA was on the alleged murder weapon, which experts also agreed did not match the stab wounds or the bloody imprint of a knife on her pillow.

Judge Nencini’s finding is that two knives HAD to have been involved from both side of Meredith’s throat and the final blow was by a large knife the same size as the one in evidence.

Regarding the large knife, Knox rehashes the same arguments her defense made to no avail before the original trial court that found her guilty. We posted explaining the solid proof here and here.

The only DNA tests that matter with regard to the big knife are (1) the sound finding by Dr Stefanoni that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade - Knox is wrong, the independent experts did not refute that; (2) the sound findings by Dr Stefanoni and the Carabinieri lab that Knox’s DNA was on both the blade and the handle of the knife. None were overturned; contamination was ruled out; and the defense was left without a shot.

The Hellmann-appointed experts confirmed that the genetic profile found on the knife blade was the genetic profile of Meredith Kercher.  The TMB test did not confirm if it was blood, but defense experts were forced to concede that TMB erroneously fails to confirm that blood is present about half the times in assessing minute quantities.

The Hellmann-appointed experts tried to explain away the genetic profile as being the result of contamination, but were never able to identify any scenario by which a knife that had supposedly never left Sollecto’s kitchen contained biological material yielding a clear genetic profile of Meredith Kercher.

Accordingly the Appeals court has ruled the kitchen knife is in fact the one that was wielded by her to strike a final blow, and at the same time there was a second knife in the room used by Sollecito to torture Meredith.

London DNA expert Dr David Balding certified Raf’s DNA as being on the bra clasp. This proves by itself that Sollecito was there. Knox belatedly claimed she stayed at the Via Garibaldi apartment with Sollecito all evening and now and then Sollecito belatedly backs her up. But how could that be if the court has positives of his footprint on the bathroom rug and on the bra, showing he was over at Meredith’s cottage that night? Proof of him present equals proof of her.

The Hellmann-appointed experts were not charged with analyzing the stab wounds, or whether the imprint on a sheet was of a knife or of something else and the result of the fabric being folded - nor was this within their field of expertise.  Defense experts testifying on these issues were in conflict.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: The Circumstantial Evidence Is “Unreliable”

In fact, in the prior proceeding in which I was found innocent, the court specifically concluded that the forensic evidence did not support my alleged participation in the crime and further found that the circumstantial evidence was both unreliable and contrary to a conclusion of guilt.

The recent motivation document does not ““ and cannot ““ change the fact that the forensic evidence still does not support my participation and the circumstantial evidence still remains unreliable and contrary to the conclusion of guilt.

Knox appeals to Hellmann’s ruling on the circumstantial evidence being unsound. But the Supreme Court, in annulling Hellmann, explained why it found his arguments illogical, and reminded the court of the standards by which circumstantial evidence must form a coherent whole. Judge Nencini in our opinion amply meets those standards in an elegantly argued report which will be hard to defeat at Rome’s Supreme Court.

Knox herself has proved the “unreliable” one, proven over and over again to be a liar who attests to her own bad memory in written statements, who talks of “dreams her mind made up”, who repeatedly goes vague.

We cannot rely on Knox’s recall of phoning mom, the timing of which moves and sometimes disappears. Knox claims she can’t remember where she was that night, she told a whopper of a lie on her boss, she can’t remember if the door to Filomena’s room was open or closed, she can’t remember her own lamp, she claims she rarely looks at a clock. On and on.

The strongest example of circumstantial evidence Knox can’t shake is the five spots of her DNA mixed with Meredith’s blood. Maybe 2 or 3 spots could be put down to unlucky chance, but five really removes reasonable doubt.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: No “Legitimate” Motive Is Identified

And the recent motivation document does not ““ and cannot ““ identify any legitimate motive for my alleged involvement in this terrible crime. No fewer than three motives have been previously advanced by the prosecution and by the courts. Each of these theories was as unsupported as the purported motive found in the new motivation document, and each of these alleged motives was subsequently abandoned by the prosecution or the courts. Like the prior “motives”, the latest “motive” in the new motivation document is not supported by any credible evidence or logic. There is simply no basis in the record or otherwise for this latest theory.

“Proof” of motive is not required in any legal system in the world. The serial misleader Ted Simon should at least admit to that. The motives advanced were not withdrawn or abandoned by successive judges; they were fine-tuned chronologically only within very narrow limits. The sex hazing that went too far was weighted downward and pushed back, and a battle over theft of money was weighted upward and pushed forward.

The court found very compelling evidence that Knox committed the murder and led the pack. It postulates that Meredith and Amanda were incompatible with each other, and that Knox, Sollecito and Guede, high on drugs, first assaulted Meredith, restrained and abused her, and then murdered her with two knives.

Knox was known to be in serious rejection by those she encountered in Perugia for her sharp-elbowed brashness - growing rejection by her flatmates, her employer and the bar customers, and just about everyone she encountered except initially for Sollecito. But soon even he was being given a hard time and has semi-rejected Knox in return ever since. The first words of his 8 November 2007 statement to Judge Matteini were “I wish to not see Amanda ever again.”

And money was a huge looming problem which could have had her back in Seattle in weeks. Knox was known to want to head for China, and was known locally to have an expensive drug habit which had cut her savings in half. She really needed to hang on to that job at Patrick’s bar, especially as she had no work permit.

Sollecito’s bank balance was minimally topped up by his father each month. Francesco seemed to realise cocaine is an expensive habit and didnt want to see his son off down that slippery slope. So with Knox’s own habit, her remaining savings would have run out in weeks. How then to explain to Curt Knox that she really needed a whole lot more? He would have given her a very hard time before any more money flowed.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: The Supreme Court Will Allow Another Full Appeal

I will now focus on pursuing an appeal before the Italian supreme court. I remain hopeful that the Italian courts will once again recognise my innocence. I want to thank once again, from the bottom of my heart, all of those””family, friends, and strangers””who have supported me and believe in my innocence.

Cassation wont “once again” recognise innocence. Knox should be encouraged to get real. So should her dummy followers - all her immediate circle know she was involved. There are no obvious grounds for Cassation to second-guess Judge Nencini, a very senior and very respected judge, considering the thoroughness of the Nencini Report. The disjointed series of statements on her blog arguing to the contrary look like the opinions of her friends and fans, not legal minds, and it is time she realizes they have feet of sand and no power to help.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.


Three lawyers and five others supplied the rebuttals for Amanda Knox’s false claims here and elsewhere, such as Knox’s email to Judge Nencini and her interviews on TV. Posts on those follow soon. Below: the careful way in which Italian media explain what Judge Nencini released.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why Final RS & AK Appeal Against Guilty Verdict May Fail: Multiple Wounds = Multiple Attackers

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Reports From Italy On Why AK & RS Appeal Failed

The Nencini Report has been released and we are seeing to its translation right now.

Meanwhile journalists in Italy have these reports which convey the very implacable, damning tone. There was nothing accidental about Meredith’s death; Knox premeditated it all along.

First report

From Il Messagero kindly translated by Miriam:.

FLORENCE -  The knife that was seized at Raffaele Sollecito house is the knife that killed Meredith Kercher, and the blow was delivered by Amanda Knox.  So writes the President of the Court of Appeal of Florence, Alessandro Nencini, in the motivation report of the sentence that was passed on Jan. 30th that saw Amanda Knox sentenced to 28 and a half years and Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years.

Over 330 pages in which the court covers the appeal and explains the conviction. Starting with the knife considered “not incompatible with the wound that was carried out on Meredith Kercher. “In the present case, writes Nencini what counts is the accessibility of the weapon by the accused, it’s concrete portability from house to house, it’s compatibility with the wound, and the presence of Meredith’s DNA on the blade. All of these elements ascertained by the court lead to the conclusion that the knifed evidenced as no. 36 was one of the knifes used in the attack, and was the knife that Knox used to strike the fatal blow to Meredith’s throat.”

The court retains to have sufficient evidence of “certain reliability” of Rudy Guede (convicted to 16 years) Amanda and Raffaele in the house where Mez was killed, on the night between the 1st and November 2, 2007 in 7 Via della Pergola “in the immediate phases following the murder.” The Court then tells how she was immobilized and Mez “was not able to put up some valid resistance because she was dominated by multiple assailants and cut at the same time with the blades of several knives.”

Rejected therefore is the defense’s strategy of both of the convicted, that have always maintained that the killer was only one.: the Ivorian Rudy Guede.

Second report

Bullet points from various Italian media.

  • The big knife from Sollecito’s house held by Amanda Knox caused the fatal wound to Meredith while the other was held by Raffaele Sollecito.

  • There is strong “multiple and consistent” evidence of all three in the house immediately following the murder.  All three worked to suppress Meredith.

  • There was an escalating quarrel between Knox and Meredith leading to a progressive aggression and murder with sexual components.

  • Between Amanda and Meredith there was no mutual sympathy and Meredith harbored serious reservations about the behavior of AK.

  • The biological trace found on the bra clasp that Meredith Kercher was wearing the night she was murdered was left by Raffaele Sollecito
Third report

No especially accurate reports in English have appeared yet and the erroneous “new trial” is still surfacing. Andrea Vogt tweets that she will be posting an analysis soon.

The mischievous defense-inspired “sex game gone wrong” and “satanic theory” mantras are still widely showing up in the duped media, but are nailed hopefully finally in this new report.

Judge Nencini has closely followed and endorsed the “from all angles” Massei trial analysis, but with the inclusion of some more credible explanations from Prosecutor Crini which Judge Micheli had also espoused back in 2008.

In particular, Rudy Guede is not now highly improbably seen as the one initiating the attack on Meredith, and sex was not at all the primary driving force for the attack (the prosecution never ever said it was). Knox carried the big knife from Sollecito’s for a purpose.

The bad blood between the girls resulting from Knox’s crude, brash, very lazy, drug-oriented behavior was well known in Meredith’s circle. All of them had backed away from her, as also had her employer and the patrons in his bar.

There was a probable theft of money by Knox who was unable to account for a sum similar to what Meredith would have stashed away for the rent and that is seen as the probable spark for the explosive argument and attack.

Fourth report

Barbie Nadeau in The Daily Beast

Amanda Knox apparently did not kill Meredith Kercher in a “sex game gone wrong,” as had been previously decided by a lower court in Perugia, according to a Florentine appellate judge who released today a 337-page document explaining his decision to convict Knox and her erstwhile Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, for Kercher’s murder. Rather, the judge claims, Knox allegedly killed Kercher, her 21-year-old British roommate, because she didn’t like her.

All Italian courts require judges to explain the reasoning behind their rulings, and it likely represents the penultimate step in a seven-year case that has seen Knox and Sollecito first convicted in 2009 then acquitted in 2011 then convicted again in January 2014. Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast native who was also convicted for his role in the murder back in 2008, is serving a 16-year jail sentence. He is currently eligible to apply for work furloughs from prison.

Judge Alessandro Nencini, along with a second judge and six lay jurors, were tasked with hearing a second appeal that began in September 2013 after Italy’s high court threw out the acquittal that set Knox and Sollecito free in 2011. Italy’s high court cited “inconsistencies” and “legal mistakes” and tasked Nencini’s court with hearing the appeal again. It was not a retrial per se, but rather a fresh look at the appeal process that freed Knox.

Nencini decided that the appellate court that set Knox free erred in evidentiary and legal matters. That court will now have to rule definitively on the case, using Nencini’s reasoning and whatever appeal Knox and Sollecito file for their final judgment. If the high court accepts Nencini’s verdicts, the two will be required to serve their prison sentences in Italy. Knox has vowed she will not return to Europe, but Sollecito, unless he escapes, won’t be as lucky.

The court’s explanation of its decision comes down hard on the first appellate court that overturned Knox’s guilty verdict, at times seemingly scolding them for misapplication of penal codes and for throwing out witness testimony without explanation. “It was an operation of evaluating evidence with using logic,” Nencini wrote, accusing the first appellate court of essentially throwing out testimony that allegedly proved Knox’s involvement, but keeping testimony that supposedly supported her innocence.

He used Knox’s prison diary as a prime example. “Look at the contradictions in the evaluation of the diary written in English by Amanda Knox,” he wrote, referring to a handwritten prison diary taken fromKnox’s cell as part of the investigation to determine why she accused her pub boss Patrick Lumumba of Kercher’s murder during early interrogations. “On one hand, the appellate court of Perugia completely devalued the writings when she admitted wrongdoing by accusing Patrick Lumumba. On the other side, they valued it when she defended herself.”

Nencini also ruled that there was plenty of forensic evidence tying Knox and Sollecito to the crime scene, writing “they left their tracks in the victim’s blood” more than once in the document. He accepted testimony that supported the theory that a knife found in Sollecito’s apartment was one of the primary murder weapons, and he reasoned that a second knife was also used that matched a blood stain left on Kercher’s mattress.

The first knife in question was the only hard evidence reexamined in the second appeal, and forensic experts ruled that a previously untested spot on the knife’s handle consisted of 100 percent Knox’s DNA. An earlier court heard testimony that a tiny smidgeon of DNA on the groove of the blade was Kercher’s, but the first appellate court agreed with witnesses who testified that the sample was too small to be considered a perfect match. The second appellate court not only considered the knife to be the murder weapon, it also ruled that Knox “plunged the knife into the left side of Kercher’s neck, causing the fatal wound.”

The second appellate court also reasoned that Kercher’s bra clasp, which had been cut from her body after she was killed, had Sollecito’s DNA on the tiny metal clasp. “The biological trace found on the bra clasp that Meredith Kercher was wearing when she was assassinated belonged to RaffaeleSollecito,” Nencini wrote, agreeing with the judge in the original murder conviction. “The clasp was manipulated by the accused on the night of the murder.”

The court also scoffed at certain rulings laid out by the first appellate court, saying that the court’s reasoning that it would have been easy for “a young athlete” like Rudy Guede to scale the wall and enter the apartment, was borderline racist.

Nencini also ruled that with regard to motive in the murder, it was subjective and personal. “It is not necessary for all the assailants to share the same motive.”

The court picked out small details of Knox’s presumably errant testimony, including how she told police the morning Kercher’s body was found that Kercher always locked her door “even when she takes a shower,” which was later contested by the girls’ other roommates.

Nencini also clearly believed ample forensic testimony, presented by experts examining the original autopsy, that Kercher was killed by more than one person. “”She was completely immobilized when she was murdered,” he said, reasoning that Guede could not have acted alone, and instead likely held her back as Sollecito and Knox knifed her.

The judge also pointed out incongruences in Knox’s testimony about the night of the murder, but noted problems with the other witnesses, which included a homeless man, an elderly woman who said she heard screams. Still, he ruled that Knox’s accusation of Lumumba is vital evidence against her. “It is impossible to separate the two acts,” he wrote.

Using Nencini’s reasoning, Knox’s lawyers now have the roadmap for planning their final appeal to Italy’s high court, likely later this year or in early 2015. However, this same high court threw out the acquittal in the first place, so Knox may need more than luck to walk free. If she is definitively convicted, she will likely face an extradition order to come back to Italy to serve out her sentence. There are very few legal loopholes that would allow an American citizen to escape a court decision by a country, like Italy, that shares extradition treaties with the U.S.



[Judge Massei at crime scene; report says why Knox & Sollecito appeal against his 2009 verdict has failed]




[The Supreme Court in Rome is expected later this year to confirm this outcome]


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Council Of Magistrates In Effect Shrugs At Judge Nencini Answering Loaded Question Of A Reporter

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Cassation judge Antonio Esposito who just faced down a similar complaint to the CSM]


The only ones pushing for the CSM committee hearing today and maybe another one at Cassation were Giulia Bongiorno and a few political friends.

Everybody knows she has once again lost very big and once again is snakily trying to demonize the court rather than gracefully moving on.

The final vote of the full CSM will be announced next week, but it seems a foregone conclusion. The Council will shrug and move on.

Judge Nencini explained himself well for one hour (with his wife, also a judge, present) and probably no magistrate on the Council would have acted so differently, given that the michievous reporter had been asking if the killing of Meredith happened simply because the three had nothing better to do.

Maybe some of the magistrates were thinking “So Bongiorno didnt put Sollecito on the stand? Hmmm, she KNOWS of his guilt only too well”. There is no mood among them to to see the defiant Sollecito who has slimed the system and slimed a much admired judge use a loophole to get himself off.

Jools explained the context of today’s hearing several weeks ago and translated one of the media reports for us today.

Knox, Sollecito judge unlikely to be disciplined by CSM

Inquiry over post-conviction press statements

Rome, March 11 - The Italian judiciary’s self-governing body, the CSM, is likely to drop an inquiry into a Florence judge who broke Italian legal convention by giving press interviews after convicting Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in February, judicial sources said Tuesday.

In Italy, judges usually only talk about their verdicts via written explanations published at least a month after they are handed down. But Alessandro Nencini, the head of the panel that sentenced Sollecito to 25 years and American citizen Knox to 28 and a half years at the repeat of the appeals-level trial, gave three interviews to different newspapers that were published February 1.

As a result, Nencini was accused of being biased. One of the most controversial aspects is that in one of the interviews, Nencini seemed to suggest that the fact Sollecito had not allowed himself to be cross-examined had damaged his chances of getting off.

The judge told a CSM commission Wednesday that he did not give interviews, but rather spoke in passing to reporters at the courthouse. He also denied saying the murder was the result of ‘‘kid’s play’’ gone wrong, or expressing an opinion on Sollecito’s defense strategy.

The hearing transcript will be available within a week, when the CSM commission will make its opinion official. The consensus seems to be that Nencini’s statements to the press may have been ill-timed, but not enough to justify a transfer, judicial sources said.  Nencini is still not out of the woods, pending the result of justice ministry and Cassation Court inquiries that could lead to disciplinary action against him.


Friday, February 28, 2014

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

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)




Under the table & over the top

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




(Photo by Machiavelli_Aki)


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

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




(photo by Ansa)


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

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

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

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

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

Aggressive Digressions

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




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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Introducing to “˜Halves’

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

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

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






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

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

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

Primordial Fossils

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

The purpose behind the Black Curtain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mark of Infamy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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


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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Never mind.






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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

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






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

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








Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei will soon confront many false claims ]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, February 24, 2014

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

Posted by Peter Quennell




Meet 39-year-old Matteo Renzi

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

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

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

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

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

More bad news for Sollecito and Knox

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vitadamamma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How does Amanda reconstruct that night?

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

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

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

And Raffaele Sollecito?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Menti Informatiche

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If it was not Rudy, then who?



Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Defense Dirty Tricks: Did We Just See Yet Another One, An Attempt To Compromise Judge Nencini?

Posted by Jools




Judge Nencini offers corrections

This is my translation of a statement from Judge Necini carried by the Florence GoNews website.

“In relation to the press articles that reported my statements on the trial for the death of Meredith Kercher I intend to point out that there has been no interview organized or pre-arranged.

I ran into some journalists in the corridors of the courthouse who told me of the rumors and speculations that were being circulated on the duration of the deliberation session.

I then had a brief talk with them meant, in my intention, to clarify possible misunderstandings. In this I accept responsibility, reaffirming that I did not agree to disclose in any way the reasons for the sentence.  In particular, I have not expressed any opinion on the strategy procedure followed by the defence of the accused.

In fact the only reference to that matter, reported in the article that appeared in Il Messaggero, is one in which I stated that the accused were defended in the process to a ‘very high standard.’

If my words have generated misunderstandings on this point and on the absolute legality of the choice of an accused to make spontaneous statements I regret it.

These explanations are dutybound for the respect I owe to the people who participated in the process with me and to the [Law] System of which I’m proud to be a part of; as well as for consistency in my professional history, with over thirty years of work carried out without spotlights and without interviews.”


Context for those corrections

This is in relation to the previous days articles claiming Judge Nencini supposedly gave an “inappropriate” interview to the press.

In very short order three or four lay members of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) laid a complaint about non-appropriate conduct (under Art. 6 of the CSM rules) for a presiding appeal court judge to give press interviews commenting on the motivations reached by the judges on any sentence before its official publication.

Not surprisingly, the first people to complain were Bongiorno and Maori (grasping at straws, much?!!) and then to follow were these three or four lay members of the CSM, who happen to be also members of the centre-right political party “Forza Italia” (Berlusconi’s party).

As a result of the complaint made by these people, the Justice Minister, Annamaria Cancelleri, ordered an inquest on the allegations against Judge Nencini which could have led to his reprimand for disclosing details of the verdict reached to the press.

Personally, I think this all results from the desperation of Sollelcito’s defense and they have erncourgaed the others to instigate it. Making a meal out of nothing, in the hope that the whole appeal trial gets thrown out.

And let’s face it, it wouldn’t be difficult for Bongiorno to find some of Berlusconi’s people that are always looking for ways to attack members of the judiciary given Berlusconi’s hatred for the system. Just my opinion…

In any case, the allegations seem to be false, Judge Nencini actually didn’t say much, and the inquest will prove it, but in the meantime the press is concentrating on this rather than the hopeless work the defense produced. This maybe is the whole objective.

The later, longer interview

The interview by Fiorenza Sarzanini with Judge Nencini the following morning is claimed to be quite legal, because the decision of the court had been published the previous evening.

Andre Vogt kindly posted a very accurate translation on The Freelance Desk, and as it will scroll down soon and be hard to find, we can repost the full interview here.

The Freelance Desk

Posted 1 February

Italy’s most influential newspaper, the Corriere Della Sera, this morning has published a fascinating long interview with Judge Alessandro Nencini about his reasons for convicting Amanda Knox. The interview was done by one of the newspaper’s most veteran crime and investigative reporters, Fiorenza Sarzanini. Click here to read the original.

HEADLINE: Amanda and Raffaele: The Judge Speaks

SUBHEAD: “I have children too; it was a huge burden.”

SUBHEAD2:  “The defense had asked to separate the positions of the two accused, but Raffaele would not allow himself to be questioned.”

By Fiorenza Sarzanini

“I feel relieved because the moment of the decision is the most difficult. I have children too, and handing down convictions of 25 and 28 years for two young people is a very hard thing, emotionally.”

It is 10 am the day after the verdict and Justice Alessandro Nencini is in his office. The President of the Florentine Court of Appeals, which two days ago found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher, knows that the decision will “open up new debate, especially in the media”, but that is exactly why he agreed to explain how the verdict was reached.

You deliberated in chambers for 12 hours. Was the judicial panel divided?

“The case files took up half of the room. There are 30 expert reports. The lay judges, who aren’t court staff, had to read all the documentation to reach a joint decision, as is expected in the appeals court.  You have to review all the documents, think about them, and reason.  We did that using all the time that was necessary, and taking into account the fact that the victim was also a young girl.

And then the decision was unanimous?

“I spoke of a joint decision. I can say that in all these months and in particular during the last session of deliberations, we carefully considered the gravity of a verdict that involves young people and their entire families. This is a case that has consumed many lives.”

Yours was a narrow path, the Court of Cassation had urged you to remedy the Perugia appeal decision that had acquitted the two accused.

“Not so, we had maximum flexibility. The only restriction was that in the case of acquittal, we would have to have give reasons based on logic. There was no other binding restriction.”

Not even with regard to the decision handed down in Rudy Guede’s case?

“Effectively the specifics of the case was this: there was a person already convicted via fast-track, and definitively, for concourse in the same homicide. The Court of Cassation was asking us to consider who participated and their roles.  We could have said that the two accused weren’t there, and then provided convincing reasoning, but we did not believe this to be the truth.”

Why didn’t you question Guede?

“For what purpose? He has never confessed and even if we had called him, he had the right to remain silent.  We didn’t think it was necessary.  Rather, we felt it was important to study the other aspects more in depth.  In fact we requested an expert report and heard witnesses about which there were doubts. That is the role of the appeal judges. In four months, we’ve been able to arrive at a result.”

Sollecito’s lawyers had asked you to split the defence.
“We’ll explain the point more in the reasonings, where we will explain why we rejected that request. In any case, Sollecito did not want to be questioned during the trial.”

And this influenced your choice to convict him?

“It is the defendant’s right, but certainly it removes a voice from the trial proceedings. He limited himself to making spontaneous declarations, saying only what he wanted to say, without being cross examined.”

Over the years, various motives have been speculated. What idea did you yourselves form?

“We convicted and we will explain it explicitly in our reasoning.  For now, I can say that up until 20:15 of that evening, these young people all had different plans, then their commitments fell through and the occasion for this to happen was created.  If Amanda had gone to work, we probably wouldn’t be here.”

Are you saying that the murder was just a coincidence?

“I’m saying this was something that unfolded between these young people. There may have been coincidences, and we’ve taken it into the reasoning. I’m aware this will be the most debatable part.”

Cassation demolished the acquittal. Will you as well?

“We are not going to mention it. We simply have to focus on the decision in the first instance (Massei) which we confirmed, on the facts.

And you don’t believe that there were errors?

“I didn’t say that. Some I believe there may have been and I’ll point them out.”

You convicted Amanda Knox, but didn’t issue any precautionary measures against her. Why?

“She is legally in the United States.  At the moment of the offence she was in Italy to study and she went home after having been acquitted. She is an American citizen. The problem will arise when it is time to carry out the sentence.  For now I don’t believe that such a measure wouuld have been necessary.”

So why then have you confiscated Raffaele Sollecito’s passport?

“It was the agreed minimum. In these cases such measures serve as prevention. We want to avoid that he makes himself impossible to find during the period of waiting for a definitive judgment.”

And you believe being forbidden to leave the country is enough?

“Yes, that seemed more than sufficient to us. If there are other developments later, we will consider them.”


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