Friday, September 26, 2008

Suspect Knox Enters Court Today

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

More shots on our People Page

Posted on 09/26/08 at 02:38 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009Prelim hearingsAmanda Knox
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Suspect Sollecito Enters Court Today

Posted by Peter Quennell

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More images on our People Page

Posted on 09/26/08 at 01:53 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009Prelim hearingsRaff Sollecito
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Suspect Guede Enters Court Today

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

More shots on our People Page

Posted on 09/26/08 at 01:34 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009Prelim hearings
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Comments On The CCTV Video Seemingly Of Meredith And Guede

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Above: this is possibly Meredith returning home. Below: this is possibly Guede, presumably headed for the house as well..

First, the whole video really REEKS of wetness. Looks like Frank of Perugia Shock gets it wrong once again. All the horizontal surfaces are gleaming. Take a look at the last shot below. The reflection of the car headlights suggests a light rain - still in progress.

Second, the CCTV monitors in our own parking buildings here have a much wider field of view than we are seeing in the video. The video (see the post below) gives the impression of having been zoomed-in for the TV broadcast version - they do that a lot. And it is very compressed.

Three, it is something of a surprise not to see Meredith returning home by way of the steel stairs. That (blue line) is the shorter route for her. What we see here suggests she used the stone steps. Maybe the light is better on that route. Or maybe she picked up a gelato from the gelateria up the top..

Fourth, it is puzzling that Guede arrives from the direction of the steel stairs. That (the red line) is not the quick route down from the kebab place, and he may have had business in the direction of the Chic bar.

Or wanted very much to hide his face en route. For SOME nefarious purpose.

Two more images from the parking-facility CCTV camera.


[click for larger images]

Above: this is possibly Meredith returning home. Below: this is possibly Guede, presumably headed for the house as well.

Posted on 09/24/08 at 02:27 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedEvidence & witnessesOther witnesses
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More On The Evil That Was Rained Down On Lumumba

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

Tom Kington of the UK Observer interviews Patrick Lumumba.

Diya Lumumba, 39, was at last week’s first pre-trial hearing in Perugia at which Knox, 21, appeared in public for the first time since her arrest last year. ‘Why did she accuse me?’ he asked. ‘The black is always the killer in films, and I am convinced that is why she named me as her way of derailing the investigation.’

It was November last year when Knox, by then in custody, implicated Lumumba in the killing, telling police he entered Miss Kercher’s bedroom in their shared house on the night of 1 November, while she covered her ears in the kitchen… Police raided Lumumba’s home and arrested him in front of his Polish wife Aleksandra and baby son Davide, saying only: ‘You know what you did.’ Investigators leaked an allegation that Lumumba had entered the isolated house outside Perugia’s medieval walls to ‘possess’ Miss Kercher…

Click here for more

Posted on 09/23/08 at 10:29 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxThose officially involvedEvidence & witnessesPat LumumbaReporting, media, moviesStraight reporting
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Collateral Damage

Posted by Tara

[click for larger images]

Everyone should “Google” his or her own name. The results are sometimes quite surprising.

You might find yourself quoted at a local political caucus, see your name mentioned in the legal documentation for some past dispute, come across a photo of yourself at a PTA meeting, or even be quoted by someone who didn’t tell you they were writing a story for a local rag!

Usually the results are not life altering, and some of us have no results at all.

Amanda Knox accused bar owner and musician Patrick Diya Lumumba of murdering Meredith Kercher. He was arrested and spent two weeks in jail. He has a wife and a young son, who watched as the police handcuffed him at home early one morning and swept him away in a parade of police cars.

The problem is that he was falsely accused and in fact was not involved in the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher.

To the relief of his family, he was released. Unfortunately, his association with a crime he did not commit has a long electronic shelf life.

Here’s what came up this past weekend in a quick search if you just type “Lumumba Perugia”:

  • USA Yahoo Search: 153,000
  • USA Google Search: 23,400
  • USA MSN Search: 11,800

All of these results associate his name with murder. His young son and wife can “google” their last name and see the results, which are increasing daily because this sensational case is not over.

Le Chic, Patrick Lumumba’s bar, is now closed.

Mr. Lumumba has filed slander charges against Amanda Knox, his accuser. Some have been very vocal about their disapproval of his action. They claimed Lumumba had maybe profited financially from interviews and that he will continue to do so. Their thought is: why hit on a young woman who already has the weight of the world against her and is facing murder charges.

My thought is that when you tell a lie, and falsely accuse someone else of murder, you must be held accountable.

Patrick and his family’s life is changed forever, and not in a good way: not when a search of their name brings thousands of results associated with murder.

Posted on 09/22/08 at 11:28 AM by Tara. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Evidence & witnessesPat LumumbaHoaxers - main peopleKnox-Mellas team
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why CBS Should Report Better - Way Better - On This Case

Posted by Peter Quennell

Pizzey makes at least two mistakes in this gushy little report from Rome on CBS News

  • The short-form trial can normally result in a 1/3 reduction in the sentence - the 2/3 claim appears to be baseless.
  • Rudy Guede “admits” to having sex with the victim - better make that “claims” to have had sex, widely disbelieved.

CBS continues its abysmal track record of being one of the most factually-challenged sources on the case.

Click here for more

Posted on 09/18/08 at 03:49 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Evidence & witnessesOther witnessesHoaxers - main mediaCBS NetworkHoaxers - main peopleMore hoaxersReporting, media, moviesBiased reporting
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How Amanda Knox Maintained Her Composure…

Posted by Peter Quennell

[click for larger images]

The Daily Telegraph has this report:

Amanda Knox, the young woman accused of murdering the British student Meredith Kercher, sighed and sang during breaks in her court appearance, it has been reported.

Miss Knox… is known to sing in jail to pass the time. During breaks in a pre-trial hearing, she sang hits by the band Feist [shot above] the Sun newspaper claimed.

A source at the court in Perugia, where Miss Kercher was found murdered, told the Sun: “During the hearing she never said a word. But outside when there were breaks for water and coffee she was smiling and singing. She was also huffing and puffing a lot - I think it was because it was a long day. It was a song by Feist and she said she sings to relax and deal with her stress.

Another shot of Feist that she may now regret.

And here’s Ester Walker of the Independent on the outfit Knox wore - smart move, apparently. (Tell THAT to the judge.)

What could possibly be more innocent than this outfit? Knox, the Seattle-born woman suspected of murdering British student Meredith Kercher, is only 21 and has dressed for her court appearance in Perugia, Italy, like the student that she is.

She wears a waist-length, white cotton smock top, which has red and blue flowers printed along the neckline, over a pair of blue denim jeans. Her hair is tied up in the schoolgirl-ish style, with the top half tied back off her bare face and secured with a purple plastic butterfly clip, and the rest loose.

Her entire outfit makes her look completely out of place in the Italian courtroom or flanked by policemen.

We’re still waiting for a take on Knox’s tan. Sprayed on? Or by the prison pool?

Posted on 09/18/08 at 03:07 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxTrials 2008 & 2009Prelim hearingsHoaxes by KnoxKnox persona hoaxKnox no-PR hoaxHoaxers - main peopleKnox-Mellas team
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Frank Sforza’s Perugia-Shock Blog: Coming Clean…

Posted by Skeptical Bystander

As you probably know, the complex and controversial case of Meredith Kercher is widely posted about on websites in Italy, the UK and the US. They vary a lot in their objectivity and the quality and timeliness of their information.

Some appear to be little more than shills for the defendants and spend a lot of time blowing smoke and trying to brush inconvenient facts under the carpet.

Others are much more objective and really do want to see justice done and, just as importantly,  seen to be done..

The busiest forum on the Meredith Kercher case remains the True Crime Meredith Kercher board hosted as one of his sites (though he usually does not post there) by Steve Huff, a much-admired American crusader for justice.

That board has been busy since last November, in several technical iterations, and it is supported by a large community which has posted some thousands of remarks on it since early in November. (I’m a moderator and poster on that board.)

One of the several blogs of widely varying quality is Perugia-Shock, which is run by an Italian resident of Perugia named Frank. It started out being objective, on-the-ball, amusing, caring for the victim, and widely admired.

But seemingly no longer. Recently it has wandered and the comments below the posts have become more heated.

As many Perugia-Shock readers have noticed, Frank has become quite annoyed with the True Crime board in the last couple of months, and what this suggests about Perugia-Shock is interesting and revealing.

  • Those who post on True Crime board tend to examine, analyze and discuss every piece of information pertaining to this case, and then they decide individually what it is worth. In contrast, Frank brings “scoops” to his public, which he gets from his “sources,” and to which he adds a dash of irony to make his interpretation go down easier. In his comments, he doesn’t seem to appreciate people questioning his authority, his sources or his judgement. And some posters on the True Crime board have been quite vocal and, in most cases, quite astute in their criticism of Frank’s evolving position on the case.
  • One of the criticisms of Frank’s blog on the True Crime board was the temporal (if not causal) relationship between the appearance of the Paypal button for contributions, his proximity to some of the Knox/Mellas family members, and a noticeable change in his focus. I am sure this criticism was noted, although Frank says he doesn’t read any other boards or blogs and gets all the information he needs from his own sources. The Paypal button has now disappeared - although the shift in focus has remained and even intensified.

His blog now seems to have become all about Amanda Knox. I would say that two things have pushed him in this direction: Frank’s audience, and Frank’s sources.

  • The seeming role of Amanda Knox in the crime is undoubtedly what has attracted the attention to the case of much of the English-speaking world and of course a focus on Knox results in more website traffic.
  • Frank’s sources don’t seem to be what they used to be. Perhaps he has broken some important trusts. It is clear that at the beginning he was getting his information from the police and perhaps from the prosecution.

And since? Well, first there was Frank’s Biscotti phase - Mr Biscotti is the lead lawyer for Rudy Guede, one of the defendants, who seems to be under siege by the other two defendants. At this time, Frank was quite vocal about Raffaele and Amanda as suspects.

Then at some point, Frank stopped talking about Raffaele. I think it may have been after the Sollecito clan’s “trafic d’influence” activity was disclosed.

Frank’s comments about Biscotti have since turned quite negative. He recently compared Biscotti to Alan Dershowitz, a flamboyant American trial lawyer, and scoffed at Biscotti’s team of young acolytes in Perugia. What I suspect, my personal opinion, is that maybe these people are now spurning his advances - trust is gone, so no scoops from them.

The strangest turn for me came when Sollecito defense lawyer Giulia Bongiorno made her famous visit to the Kercher/Knox cottage several weeks ago, in which a demonstration was attempted that someone could have come in through flat-mate Filomena’s window.

Just prior to that visit, Frank unveiled a “scoop” about Rudy having a laptop and a cellphone in his possession when he was found in the Milan kindergarten, both stolen from a Perugia law firm by someone who had climbed through a window - just about as high off the ground as Filomena’s.

Given the timing of the Bongiorno visit, the findings that emerged from it, and the content of Frank’s scoop, one has to wonder if the source for Frank’s “scoop” was not the “smiling team” of Sollecito and Knox. (Incidentally the team is not referred to in this way any more—ever since Raffaele stopped being referred to as Daddy’s Boy.)

We can wonder too who gave Frank the Amanda Knox prison diary, and why it was published with the story of an HIV possibility included.

This certainly struck me as odd, since it was just after I myself had been offered a peek at the diary, and had been privately given the HIV story. (Incidentally, when this story was told to me, there was not a hint of anger about the diary being leaked to the press. Only the spin it got seemed cause for concern.) I declined the offer and, considering the source, did not publish the story.

Lo and behold, a photo from the diary and the HIV story were then prominently featured on Frank’s blog a couple days later!

Frank has been referring negatively to the Umbria press. He apparently feels that these papers are not reliable - because they are getting their information from the prosecutor. Or so I gathered from a comment he made on his blog. The book published by four Perugia journalists is worthless, according to Frank, and he is not happy with the True Crime board for translating and dissecting much of it.

The moral of this story? I think you are more than smart enough to work it out for yourselves. If I could offer any advice, it would be to take very lightly Frank’s put-downs of the TC Board. What does he really know about it anyway? According to him, he doesn’t actually read it!

In reality, the posters there seem to have pissed him off by seeking out multiple sources of information and making their own interpretations of it. Keep up the good work!!

*******

Incidentally, I formerly edited many of Frank’s blog posts for him. For those who may have missed it, I am no longer doing this editing. I think my editing was a big help to him, and I didn’t mind doing it, even though I often disagreed with him.

I especially disagreed when he posted about the falsely-accused Patrick Lumumba. Specifically Frank’s post about a money angle; I rarely advised Frank not to post something, but I thought that post reflected a personal vendetta and jealousy, and was unworthy of him.

Frank claimed this post had no bearing to the case whatsoever. So I was surprised when he posted negatively yet again about Patrick Lumumba, and yet again about money. The transcript from the December audience with Prosecutor Mignini was used to harm Patrick, not to help Amanda.

Which shows it’s sometimes possible to harm two birds with one stone…



Transposed comments

Skep,

Thanks for clearing up what has happened over at the Perugia Shock Blog.  I was a long time reader over there, and the shift to supporting Amanda Knox is SO transparent, as well as the editing change since you stopped helping him.  Take today’s entry for example.  It’s title is “Rudy Gets the Short Trial”, yet who’s picture appears with the caption “no, no handcuffs”? Amanda Knox!

To me, when you see a comment section on a blog with an inordinate amount of “comment deleted” entries, it’s time to move on, and conclude something is very wrong.

That is exactly what I have done.

Tara

Posted by Tara on 09/17/08 at 02:47 PM | #

Signs of a real growth-industry here. Fame and fortune via the “Amanda Knox Was Rairoaded” route.

Slime the defendent. Slime the police. Slime the prosecutors. Slime Guede. Slime Italy.

Resulting in books galore. TV crime-chat programs nightly. A standard figure of outrage on CNN’s Nancy Grace outrage program (a wonder they have not already made it on there). Google ads on their websites by the hundred.

If this cannot be spun into a $250,000 a year income, they are not really trying.

We are The Wall here! It will go no further. A very fine piece up there for starters, Skep.

Posted by Fast Pete on 09/18/08 at 11:28 AM | #

Incidentally, and as if on cue, Frank himself has provided support for my arguments above.

Exhibit one: His entry from yesterday is entitled Short Trial for Rudy, but the photo shows Amanda Knox and the caption reads “no, no handcuffs.”

Exhibit two: In the comments section, the Italian Woman at the table asserts that Frank is the first and only source we have for the verbatim deposition of the Albanian witness who claims to have seen the three suspects together on the night of the murder. In fact, Frank’s own source may have been TGCOM, which published the verbatim. It was brought to the TC board immediately by Jools, and then was quickly translated and discussed by the TC board—well before Frank posted. In the comments section to Frank’s blog entry, Jools set the record straight and reproduced her original, time-stamped post from the TC board. Kermit followed up with a link to TGCOM. Both of their comments were deleted by a blog administrator.

After numerous deletions in what seemed like one angry gesture, the blog entry was disabled for comments, although someone (Frank?) noted that perhaps some of the comments had been deleted in error. Thinking that hers had been, Jools reposted her clarification under the prior entry. That too was deleted and the entry was then disabled. I can understand why Frank might want to close his blog when he isn’t there to monitor, but I don’t understand why these simple clarifications were deleted. Is it because both Jools and Kermit indicated Frank’s source (or at least a source that had the information at the same time as or even before he did), or is it because they demonstrated that his “scoop” was not really one at all? Strange doings over there.

This may seem unimportant, but in a case where the press has been maligned for providing inaccurate information, and where certain individuals like Frank claim to be beacons of truth, they need to set the example by, well, being truthful. Or at least correcting their errors. It may be that IW did not know that TGCOM had already published, but once that clarification was provided there was no reason to delete THE TRUTH. In fact, the posters should have been thanked for setting the record straight. But they weren’t. It is hard to trust a source that is more interested in self-promotion than accuracy. If I am wrong about any of this, I hope someone will correct me.

Exhibit three: Not directly related, but interesting nonetheless. IW claimed that all reporters had kept a respectful distance from the Kercher family at all times and had not asked questions. The entry under which she posted this claim is the same one in which Frank tells us that he asked Stephanie how Amanda Knox and her late sister got along. Before she could answer, according to Frank, her lawyer “shouted her mouth.” This was later changed to “shut her mouth,” which is not much clearer. I still don’t understand if this means he placed a hand over her mouth, took his fingers and physically closed her lips, told her to zip it or what. In any case, at least one reporter did not keep a respectful distance and even asked Stephanie a question about Amanda Knox and her late sister.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 09/18/08 at 12:26 PM | #

Posted on 09/16/08 at 09:04 PM by Skeptical Bystander. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Hoaxes against ItalyProsecutor leaks hoaxHoaxes by KnoxKnox no-PR hoaxHoaxers - main peopleFrancesco SforzaReporting, media, moviesBiased reporting
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Outcomes Of The First (16 September) Hearing

Posted by Peter Quennell

Not decided today: is there enough evidence to indict any or all of the three? But there were some develoipments:

The Independent reports:

Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede came face to face yesterday with the family of Meredith Kercher, the British student they are accused of murdering in Italy last year…..

Judge Paolo Micheli granted a request for a fast-track trial for Mr Guede [if indicted] who is fearful of a pact between Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito to frame him for the killing…

The family were admitted to the court as civil plaintiffs, as was a Congolese former suspect, Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, 38, who was cleared of any involvement in the crime….

The owner of the house Miss Kercher shared with Miss Knox and others… has also been admitted as a civil plaintiff, and can therefore claim damages if someone is convicted of murder….

It was the first time that Miss Knox, from Seattle, had been seen in public since she was imprisoned last November. Dressed in blue jeans and a white embroidered top, her hair scraped back neatly in a half-ponytail, she was escorted by two female jail guards….

The next hearing is scheduled for 26 September.

And The Daily Telegraph

The judge has yet to rule, however, on whether the case should go to trial - a decision which is expected at a future hearing, probably next month.

Posted on 09/16/08 at 08:35 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Trials 2008 & 2009Prelim hearings
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Judge Micheli Presides Over First Hearing To Decide If The Three Must Stand Trial

Posted by Peter Quennell

Not decided today: is there enough evidence to indict any or all of the three? But there were some developments:

Rosa Silverman of The Independent reports:

Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede came face to face yesterday with the family of Meredith Kercher, the British student they are accused of murdering in Italy last year…..

Judge Paolo Micheli granted a request for a fast-track trial for Mr Guede [if indicted] who is fearful of a pact between Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito to frame him for the killing…

The family were admitted to the court as civil plaintiffs, as was a Congolese former suspect, Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, 38, who was cleared of any involvement in the crime….

The owner of the house Miss Kercher shared with Miss Knox and others… has also been admitted as a civil plaintiff, and can therefore claim damages if someone is convicted of murder….

It was the first time that Miss Knox, from Seattle, had been seen in public since she was imprisoned last November. Dressed in blue jeans and a white embroidered top, her hair scraped back neatly in a half-ponytail, she was escorted by two female jail guards….

The next hearing is scheduled for 26 September.

Nick Squires of The Daily Telegraph reports:

The judge has yet to rule, however, on whether the case should go to trial - a decision which is expected at a future hearing, probably next month.

And Tom Kington of the Guardian reports.

The family of Meredith Kercher, the British student murdered in Perugia last November, came face to face with two of her alleged killers for the first time in an Italian court yesterday.

Amanda Knox, 21, the American student who was Kercher’s former flatmate, appeared nervous as she passed photographers outside the courtroom. Rudy Guede, 24, who has dual Italian and Ivorian citizenship, followed her minutes later. Knox’s former boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito did not attend court, but it was unclear why not. One of his lawyers said he felt unwell, but another claimed the IT student wanted to avoid “a media circus”. All three suspects, who are in custody, deny any wrongdoing.

Yesterday’s hearing was the first of six, after which Judge Paolo Micheli will decide whether to send Knox and Sollecito to trial next year. He accepted a request from Guede to undergo his own fast-track trial which could be concluded by the end of next month.

Posted on 09/16/08 at 07:41 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeTrials 2008 & 2009Micheli trial etc
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Monday, September 08, 2008

Knox & Sollecito Teams Form Truce To Dump ALL Blame On Rudy Guede?

Posted by Peter Quennell

This is from a surprising report from the Guardian’s Tom Kington in Rome:

Claims have been made of a pact between Knox and her Italian former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 24. It is alleged their lawyers have agreed to work together to blame the murder on Rudy Guede, 21, a part-time gardener from the Ivory Coast and the third accused.

Now, Guede’s lawyers are threatening to call for a separate trial for him alone - well away from the legal teams of the other two whom they fear could prejudice his case.

It is a pact, says Guede’s lawyer Walter Biscotti, that can be traced back to July when Sollecito sent Knox a bouquet of yellow flowers on her 21st birthday which both celebrated in prison.

‘There is a clear desire to make Rudy the guilty party, and it’s clear they will try anything,’ Biscotti said.

All three accused deny murder. Knox, or Foxy Knoxy, as she was known at her Seattle high school, shared a flat with Meredith, from Coulsdon, south London, who was studying in the city as part of her degree at Leeds University.

Knox has attracted headlines through a leaked prison diary in which she detailed her sexual escapades and a Facebook page on which she wrote about rape and fantasy. She has also speculated Sollecito, her then boyfriend, could have been responsible.

Knox’s lawyers maintain that bloodstains in the flat and DNA on a knife found at Sollecito’s flat cannot put her at the murder scene.

Sollecito’s lawyers will also question whether his DNA, found on the back of Meredith’s bloodied bra, is conclusive proof of his involvement. He and Knox claim that they were at his flat when the murder took place.

Guede, who fled to Germany after the murder, is the only suspect who has admitted to being in Kercher’s bedroom on the night she died. He states that they were planning to have sex - though he denies rape and murder. He has stated he was using the bathroom when she was killed, claiming Knox and Sollecito had rushed past him as he emerged.

Sensing a campaign against his client, Biscotti may press for the hearings to be separated in the hope Guede will be cleared quickly. It could involve a fast-track trial behind closed doors and a verdict as early as mid-October.

This could mean that Guede is convicted before a decision is made on whether Knox and Sollecito even stand trial.

‘There was a tacit agreement to just work on the defence of your own client,’ said Biscotti of the other legal teams. ‘But it looks like this is finished.’

He points to a recent briefing by one of Sollecito’s lawyers, Giulia Buongiorno, an MP and high-profile lawyer who has previously defended former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti against Mafia charges, who told journalists that there had been just one killer.

The Kerchers’ lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said: ‘We are holding out for a trial of the other two, even if Rudy is found guilty.’


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