Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today In Perugia: Another Sign of Extreme Nervousness In The Knox-Mellas Camp?

Posted by True North

[above: successful former prosecutor and respected judge Claudia Matteini]

Edda Mellas and Curt Knox were expected to show up for their day in court today. But they didn’t.

Presumably their lawyers warned them in advance that Judge Matteini’s ruling on whether there is to be a libel trial would be going against them. Perhaps not one of the most perfect press-conference moments when loose tongues already seem to have got them in hot water. 

Their defamation trial hearing was postponed by Judge Carla Giangamboni to 15 February. This is today’s court report from the Italian news service AGI.

Five police officers from the Perugia Flying Squad have launched a civil party libel action suit against the parents of Amanda Knox.

Curt Knox and Edda Mellas were not in attendance for this morning’s hearing which has been postponed to February 15.  Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, who are divorced and remarried, have always stood together in defense of their daughter.

They are accused of defaming the officers of the Perugia Flying Squad in an interview made to the Sunday Times in June 2008, in which among other things, they claimed that Amanda had been interrogated for 9 hours without the aid of an interpreter, was kept without food and drink,  and that she was threatened and hit on the back of her head.

Meanwhile on November 24 the appeal hearing will commence in the Court of Appeal in Assize for the two former lovers, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito who were sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Posted by True North on 10/19/10 at 05:04 PM in The officially involvedAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas team


Hmmm. And so the collateral damage grows from what must be the nastiest most over-the-top campaign ever run for someone accused of murder. And especially for someone actually convicted.

Certainly THE most painful campaign ever for the family and friends of the victim. This would NEVER have flown if the victim’s family had been here in the United States. The sole reaction would have been of total outrage.

There have been repeated xenophobic and libelistic overtones and almost endless mis-statements of the facts and the law. The self-defeating smearing of the Italian particpants continues all over the internet right up to this day.

Absolutely the wrong campaign for anyone who knows and understands Italy.  Italian justice is very much geared to hitting very hard to get the full truth out in the open, and so it digs far deeper than the UK and American systems.

Once the truth gets out, penitence to the family of the victim and lower sentences and good chances of rehabilitation are usually expected to follow.

Lying down in front of this bulldozer, as the Knox-Mellas faction repeatedly have done, really does not win any points for, well, brightness. And certainly not for success.

The only one showing the remotest instinct of a stance that might soften her image and maybe reduce her sentence is oddly…. Amanda Knox herself.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/19/10 at 05:34 PM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)

I guess if they knew this was to be a procedural hearing and their presence was not required then it was a good move, as you say, to avoid the press (who would probably have been wanting to see them and speak with them.)

Thank you for the court report article - it gives a very clear explanation of why they have been charged and that this is a civil case brought by police officers - not a criminal case involving Mr. Mignini (as so many seem to claim.)

Posted by Nolongeramember on 10/19/10 at 05:53 PM | #

Hi Innai. Yeas you are right to stress this is a civil case. Mignini was of course not in court. It is Maresca who is in a sense the prosecutor here - he is the representative of the interrogators who feel they were defamed.

To repeat a point on defamation trials. Defamation is rare in Italy because the penalties are so great and so the public discourse really is one of moderation. Parliament is known for its occasional excitements but on the whole it is all more bark than bite.

I smiled at your “press… would probably have been wanting to see them and speak with them”  Yes would they probably ever. The press are watching for their next moves now with considerable fascination. Tough spot they have put themselves in.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/19/10 at 06:05 PM | #

Who cannot forget this PR disaster and abrupt exit by Curt Knox and Edda Mellas on the day the jury gave the guilty verdict to Amanda Knox?

From this Seattlepi article on the day of the verdict,



“If the verdict is not guilty, they will hold a press conference in Perugia at the Braufani Hotel one hour after the verdict”, Marriott said. They have a statement which will probably be read by Deanna, her sister, then they’ll open it up for questions.”

If Knox is found guilty, they will make a brief statement outside the doors of the Perugia courthouse and take no questions, he [David Marriot] said.


After the guilty verdict was rendered, it was indeed a pathetic sight to watch Curt Knox and Edda Mellas run away from all those reporters and journalists, whose attention they so greedily sought.

Posted by True North on 10/21/10 at 01:28 AM | #

the seattle pi/ andrea vogt story on this case can be found here -

Judge delays defamation trial of Amanda Knox’s parents

Posted by mojo on 10/22/10 at 04:56 PM | #

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Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry Rocco Girlanda’s Strutting Manic Grinning Intrusion Seems A Major Danger To Sollecito/Knox Harmony

Or to previous entry Is The PR Campaign Finally Now Pushing Amanda Knox Very, Very Close To The Edge?