Monday, June 22, 2015
The Real Victim: Will The Cassation Report Promised Thursday Belatedly Suitably Acknowledge Her?
Posted by Slow Jane
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.”
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Sunday, June 21, 2015
Due To Content Wars And Objective Editors Forced Out, Original Wikipedia Might Not Survive
Posted by Peter Quennell
1 The New York Times Report
The New York Times reports today that the original Wikipedia may not survive. Better resources may take its place.
2. The Hijacking We Observed
From 2010 onward, several of the relevant English-language Wikipedia entries were hijacked by the Marriott-paid thugs. No English-language entry we have read lately is reliable on the case.
Deliberate bias now appears again and again. What is simply left out - lies of omission - is now immense. In 2011 the founder of Wikipedia , Jimmy Wales, joined in - on the wrong side.
One of the effects of the deliberate bias he encouraged was to make many who read here no longer willing to contribute towards Wikipedia’s costs.
Another effect was that good objective editors downed tools and simply walked off.
In March 2011 one of the frustrated good objective editors, Gwaendar, arrived here and posted (first link below) a report about what he and his colleagues had faced.
A few days later (second link below) a translation by TomM and Skeptical Bystander of the main Italian Wikipedia page, still in very good shape, went up:
- Evolution Of The Wikipedia Article On The Murder Of Meredith Kercher
- The Precise And Accurate Italian Wikipedia Article On Meredith’s Case, Now Translated Into English
3. So The Meredith Wiki Stands
In May 2013, as Azoza describes in the post below, Edward McCall and a team of editors and translators began the Meredith Wiki as an effort that stands proudly on its own.
If anything, the Meredith-case Wiki has been gaining speed. What Azoza described represents a fast doubling in size. The volunteer team has grown too, with strong legal and Italian-language skills.
No bias in this freestanding Wiki has ever been proved. It simply carries dozens and dozens of the official trial and appeal documents, most of them now in English, for anyone to take away with them any meaning that they wish.
Our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series, on that huge and nasty hoax, which now has nervous publishers and Knox killer-groupies realizing they may have legal targets on their own backs, could not have happened if the hearing, trial and appeal transcripts had not been made available there first.
And there are many other truths lurking like landmines on the Wiki site.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Major Additions To Meredith Kercher Case Wiki To Provide Complete Impartial Overview in English
Posted by azoza
Origin and mission
The impartial Murder of Meredith Kercher Wiki began in 2013.
The seed was people discussing how to overcome the flawed Wikipedia article of the case. That article relied on sources like Candace Dempsey, Nina Burleigh and American media. In other words, biased or incomplete sources.
In May 2013, Edward McCall set up the website, with the help of volunteer editors from the Perugia Murder File community. Its mission statement was:
Were Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede responsible for the death of Meredith Kercher? This wiki style site was created by a group of volunteer editors to inform the public about the case, by providing translations of original documents and evidence presented at trial.
This continues to be the aim of the Wiki: to make available documents and translate them properly. Our interest is not selectively posting documents, like the Knox campaign has done. We want to make all the facts available, without bias or selecting. We believe all the facts support the notion that all three defendants are responsible for Meredith Kercher’s murder.
Purpose of this post
The purpose of the article here is to let people know of recent changes to the website.
The Wiki is revised when new documents and translations continue to be received. Existing webpages are tweaked when time allows. Webpages are sometimes changed so information can be better presented. Or the website structure is changed when a significant page is introduced.
For example, a new page listing a lot of evidence was added in November 2014. This page can be directly accessed from the main page. That evidence list page has links to other sections of the website, like ‘wikified’ testimony, for easier reference. More links will be added and more evidence noted as more documents become available.
The website had two major redesigns earlier this year. The main page was redesigned to provide clearer ‘at a glance’ updates. We did this primarily to keep everyone up-to-date with the March 2015 Cassazione decision. The boxes on the main page also note updates to other parts of the website. Also, we added buttons so any webpage on the site can be shared on various social media.
The other major redesign has been the addition of the ‘file library’.
Completing the picture
For those long familiar with the case, source material had been seriously lacking. There have been large gaps. The Knox campaign has posted some documents, but their ‘collection’ has always been incomplete. As examples:
1) The crime scene photos start at ‘dsc016’. What about photos 1 through 15?
2) No photos of Sollecito’s place, Guede’s place, via Sperandio or elsewhere
3) They posted many Massei transcripts, but not all. They never posted the 2nd day of Knox’s testimony, or the days when the Kercher family and consultants testified.
4) Some Massei transcripts they posted had pages missing.
5) They have posted many defense consultant reports, but few prosecution consultant reports.
6) They only posted a few Hellmann transcripts, but not all.
7) They only posted one Micheli transcript, but not the others.
8) Hardly any depositions.
9) A lot of police reports are still missing.
In the past six months, we have been trying to correct this. We have set up a file library, which will be the repository of as many case-related files as can be gotten. Files will ultimately include documents, photos, videos and audio- whatever is part of the public record of this tragic case. The files are made available as links for downloading. Eventually many will also be ‘wikified’ so anyone can do a word search through the documents. And when time allows, key documents will be translated.
There are thousands of files related to this case - too many to put on one page. A single file page would take forever to scroll and would be terribly confusing. So the library is structured into subsections. The basic idea is ‘nested boxes’. Once you select a section, you ‘drill down’ through pages to get to document links. Then you click ‘back up’ to the higher levels so you can move to other sections.
Some pages have a mixture of links to documents and links to subpages. These will eventually be simplified for clarity.
Not all file library pages have been created. More pages will be required as more files come in. Once the document files (PDFs) portion is nearly complete, pages will be reviewed and the library layout will be tweaked. At that point, when we’re comfortable with all the pages and their names, links will be added to allow browsing across sections or in sequential order. This hasn’t been done yet to avoid redoing a lot of work later.
A directory tree is a strong possibility too.
The seven sections
The library has over 900 PDFs and photos scattered across 7 major sections.
The 1st section
This section Context and people is empty for now. It will have photos of Perugia, the cottage, nearby locales and pictures of the people involved in the case. We are sifting through photos and erasing duplicates. Once that’s done, this section will quickly fill out.
The 2nd section
This section 2007 Investigations has files related to police investigations in 2007, the arrest and crime scene photos and videos. As mentioned, not all crime scene photos and videos have been made public. We hope to gather as complete a collection as possible. Of course, anything showing Meredith Kercher’s body will be censored, in line with the wishes of the Kercher family, and to maintain dignity. In the past 1.5 months, we’ve gotten over 80 depositions of witnesses and other documents related to early investigations. Things like preliminary police reports and police correspondence. Here you can also find phone and prison taps.
The 3rd section
This section Arrest trials has filed related to the cautionary arrest trials. This includes the Matteini court, the Ricciarelli court and the 2008 Cassazione court, presided by judges Gemelli & Gironi. Files include court hearing transcripts, motivation reports and other files pertinent to these hearings. This is missing quite a bit still, but we hope to correct that.
The 4th section
This section 2008 Investigations has files related to police investigations in 2008. While the murder was discovered on Nov 2, 2007, and arrests were made that month, the actual police investigation continued until the following year, finishing in June 2008. Files here include additional phone and prison taps, police reports from Rome and Perugia, additional depositions and other related documents.
The 5th section
This section Statements and writings contains writings and depositions of the three defendants. GKS = “Guede Knox Sollecito”.
The 6th section
This section Trials and Appeals and Reports is the largest section. We may revise or split this section further. Currently it contains all documents related to the main trials. All three defendants took part in the first main trial, the 2008 Micheli court. Micheli indicted Guede and found enough evidence against Knox and Sollecito. After the Micheli court, Guede’s trial path separated from the other two because he chose a fast-track option. So there are 3 subsections: Micheli, Guede trials and Knox + Sollecito trials. The Knox + Sollecito trials page has further subpages for the Massei court, the Hellmann appeals court, the Nencini appeals court. In this section, one can find court transcripts and reports, correspondence or depositions introduced during court proceedings. So a lot of files.
The 7th section
This section is extra material.This will contain documents, photos and videos indirectly related to the case. Things like interviews, documents on forensics, lab manuals, crime scene analyses, documentaries, related trials like the police calumnia trials, etc.
A few quick notes:
1. There are many versions of the Massei motivations report on the Internet. Most are missing two pages. Another version comes in four parts. We edited ours so this is a complete version with the ‘famous’ missing pages.
2. Similarly with the Borsini-Belardi motivation report. Many versions out there, most of them improperly OCR’ed, with sections missing. Our version is a scan version, not the OCRed one.
3. As noted before, recent additions include a lot of depositions of witnesses taken in the first week of police investigation. You can find these in the “2007 police work” page.
4. Police summaries of the crime scene surveys, and fingerprint reports, are at the bottom of that same page.
5. There’s a PDF containing a ‘5 volume’ police photo report. This PDF has photos of Via Sperandio currently not in the crime scene photos. But certainly those photos are part of the same Nov. 2007 crime scene photo survey. Anyway, you can find it in the Crime Scene page at the bottom. It’s called Photo-photographic-file-censored. We edited out pictures of the body, to preserve dignity of the victim.
6. Towards the bottom of the “2008 investigations” page, we recently added two police charts, and the first “shoeprint report” by Rinaldi & Boemia, which has more data on shoeprints. Their second report concentrated on the footprints.
7. We have the Cassazione March 2015 dispositivo. We will be posting that along with other documents shortly.
The file library is an ongoing thing. We hope to make real progress here, so everyone can look at all the facts of the case, not just a few picks. A bright light is needed on as much material as is possible to offer, in honor of Meredith Kercher, the victim.
When we post a new file batch, we add an update note on the Wiki home page.
The Meredith Kercher Wiki is committed to being the essential record of all publicly available documents and testimonies about the case, to benefit the general public and the media. Please circulate this widely, and check in regularly. There are more changes to come.
ADDED 12 JULY
On 2007 Investigations: Police work page
On 2007 Investigations: Arrests page
On Arrest trials page
On Arrest trials: KSL: Matteini trial page
On Arrest trials: KS: Ricciarelli trial page
2007-11-30-Motivazioni-Ricciarelli-Arresto-Appello-Knox-Sollecito.pdf (forever missing Ricciarelli report)
On 2008 Investigations page
On Trials: Micheli court page
2008-09-16-Testimony-Summary-and-Rulings-Micheli.pdf (first Micheli hearing)
On Trials: KS: Massei and Cristiani trial page
2009-11-20-Closing-arguments-Mignini.pdf (forever missing)
2009-11-21-Closing-arguments-Comodi-Knox.pdf (forever missing- Comodi describes 3D reconstruction)
On Trials: KS: Hellmann and Zanetti trial page
2010-12-11-Testimony-Lawyers-Knox-Parisi-Maori-Ghirga-Vedova.pdf (missing Hellmann hearings)
On Trials: KS: Nencini and Cicerchia trial page
2014-01-20-Testimony-Maori-Crini-Pacelli-Fabiani-Perna-Maresca-Donati-Colotti.pdf (missing Nencini hearing)
On Trials: Knox and Sollecito trials page
2015-03-30-Sentenza-Cassazione-Dispositivo-Knox-Sollecito.pdf (sentence, not motivations report)
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Monday, June 15, 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.
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  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  [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,  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”.
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.
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Saturday, June 13, 2015
Wide Concern In US At A Killer Groupie Who Helped Dangerous Killers To Escape
Posted by Peter Quennell
We have occasionally dwelled upon what drives killer groupies. The phenomenon is widespread and it has been around a long time.
A desperation for money and new jobs and status. Perversions, chips on shoulders, previous brushes with the law - that last driver actually accounts for about half.
Sheer besottedness is one quite common cause. Some people really do love dangerous jerks.
Now a killer groupie is responsible for a huge and expensive manhunt, and for hundreds of thousands 250 miles north of New York City and up into Canada locking their doors and buying guns.
They fear an attack, even death, from two dangerous killers on the loose.
The sole cause of their breaking out of a secure prison which had seen no prior breakouts in 150 years is a killer groupie, a woman married with children employed on the prison staff, who supplied them with power tools to cut their way out. and who was to drive the getway car.
Joyce Mitchell has been arrested and charged with a felony and may face eight years inside.
As she failed to turn up on the night - maybe cold feet, maybe a medical emergency as she seems to claim - the two killers are believed still to be close. Bloodhounds picked up a scent in marshes near the prison only a couple of days ago.
Nice going, Joyce, do call Amanda Knox. Oh, but wait…
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Thursday, June 11, 2015
Why This Offer Of Legal Funding To Amanda Knox May Not Be Such A Good Idea
Posted by Peter Quennell
Report on how hard it is in the US to get compensation - that could inspire a search for new markets
Wrongful convictions in Italy are extremely rare because of the multi-step process to final verdict mandated by law.
In the United States and other countries they are more common. It is not a given though for those innocents who do get released to be given a payment by the state. See the case in the video above.
Somebody on the staff - maybe Andrew Braithwaite - has issued this press release presumably aimed at a share of any proceeds. It does raises question in our minds about whether any due diligence was done, though it may be early days for that yet.
Cavalli Legal Finance Reports a Possible Wrongful Imprisonment Lawsuit
This press release was orginally distributed by ReleaseWire
Hamilton, NJ—(ReleaseWire)—05/28/2015—Settlement loans are now made available and applicable to wrongful imprisonment cases through Cavalli Legal Finance.
The Italian lawyer of Amanda Knox said a lawsuit is possible to be filed, although not certain, against Italy due to the wrongful detention of Knox, following her 7-year-old legal battle in Meredith Kercher’s murder.
In an email, Knox’s attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova said a lawsuit is possible, but they are not interested to make such move at the moment, and that he and his client have no discussion about it. Their option for a settlement loan was not also disclosed.
Italy’s highest court exonerated Amanda Knox, along with her Italian, former boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito in the November 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, Amanda’s British roommate.
Initially, both suspects were convicted in 2009. Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, while Knox received 26 years. In 2011, the convictions were overturned and Amanda returned to Seattle immediately. Under the personal injury cases, Amanda can file for a compensation claim, if the lawsuit has a good merit to win such legal battle, considering the incurred damages such as pain and suffering.
In 2013, their acquittals were both overturned, and just last year, their convictions were reinstated by a Florence court. Knox’s sentence was increased to 28 and half years. The recent ruling to exonerate both suspects was the criminal case’s final decision. Thus, a settlement funding could be availed by the convicts if they wish to.
According to the lawyer, the Italian Supreme Court should issue a written motivation by June 27, and if Knox pursues a lawsuit, the Italian law could provide a maximum of 517,000 euros as compensation, which is equivalent to $556,317. Knox can avail a lawsuit funding to pursue with the case.
Fortunately, Cavalli Legal Finance provides these services so as to help plaintiffs reach settled cases and compensation claims such as Knox’s case. The firm supports not only simple case, but also complex litigation like construction accidents and large complex litigation cases.
As they seem to have been blown some smoke, here are a few comments on the summary above of Knox’s legal history which Cavalli Legal Finance may find of help.
(1) Knox was released possibly illegally as her process was not done yet late in 2011 after an appeal trial which the Supreme Court in 2013 pretty well said straight-out was bent. The lead appeal judge was edged out and an investigation process still goes on.
(2) Knox was in prison for approximately four years. For three of those years she was imprisoned for the felony crime of calunnia for the false accusation of murder against Patrick Lumumba whose career she has pretty well destroyed. She still owes him approximately $100,000 in damages awarded him which she has still not paid.
(3) That sentence was signed-off on by ALL the courts - see the trial court ruling, the 2011 appeal court confirmation (which adjusted the sentence to three years), and the 2013 Supreme Court confirmation. End of the road. A felon for life. The 2015 Supreme Court ruling did not include this in its scope. No further route to appeal.
(4) That leaves one year in prison which in theory could be considered a candidate for a wrongful imprisonment suit. However the Italian Republic has a lot going for its side. For example, very careful process steps were followed and pre-trial Knox was given six opportunities to get the charges dropped. She failed at them all. The US Embassy in Rome had an observer in all courts and cables to Washington DC released reflect no complaints.
(5) The Italian Republic also has going for it that the terse Fifth Chambers verdict (which it still has to explain) actually can still be overturned if a fix was in or if it did not follow the law on what its role at final appeal should be. Questions about sufficient evidence are invariably referred back down to the appeal court; but that did not happen here. See explanations here and here.
(6) Knox is back on trial right now on a second calunnia charge which in theory, as a repeat offender, could carry a six-year term. This relates to her false accusations of crimes by interrogators which she made on the stand at trial in mid 2009 when trying to argue her way out of the first calunnia charge. Three court dates are in September of this year.
(7) Knox has a very dishonest book out in the US, and now Italy and the UK, for which she was said to have been paid millions, which is currently getting a very careful legal read in Italy. The book Waiting To Be Heard (an absurd title given how much she was heard - she has a long history of people trying to shut her up) actually repeats the same false accusations of crimes, with bells and whistles, which are the subject of the current calunnia trial #2. Excerpts from it in the Italian weekly Oggi already have that weekly publication on trial.
We could go on. After the Supreme Court ruling in March there was buzz, perhaps from the hard-pressed families, that lawsuits for false imprisonment would follow soon.
The Italian lawyers tamped that talk down fast, and Sollecito’s lawyers (one of whom is himself to go on trial) pretty well ruled it out entirely. They are said to see it as a slippery slope, an aggressive action, which could bring the castle of cards down fast.
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Monday, June 08, 2015
Why Desperation Sets In At The Pesky Similarities Between Amanda Knox And Jodi Arias
Posted by Chimera
1. The Incessant Comparisons
Google “Amanda Knox” along with “Jodi Arias” who was recently convicted of killing her ex-boyfriend and you will see what I mean.
Of comparisons between the two, there are many dozens. Some pieces damningly list the similarities, and then in numerous defensive comments the facts about the real Knox get mangled. Some pieces try to argue that there are differences, and in comments the writer’s numerous false claims get nailed.
To bring out quite forcefully the stark similarities, this post looks at the interrogations. At the time of this posting, Arias has been convicted of first degree murder, but sentenced to life without parole, since the jury would not hand down the death penalty.
Meanwhile, Knox has been provisionally found not guilty in a highly suspect Fifth Chambers action which might be overturned by an order of the President, or by a challenge by the Florence court, or by a challenge by another arm of the Supreme Court.
2. Similarities Under Interrogation
Below is all of Arias’s 2008 interrogation after her arrest (posted in 4 parts) with notes on some of the similarities. Knox was only ever interrogated once, on 17 December 2007 (at her own request), in a couple of hours, so I also draw on some of her other statements.
Most of what Jodi Arias says is just babbling and rambling, a trait common to Knox. But unlike Knox, Arias doesn’t have a media campaign going on to release her, and Arias hasn’t been able to bend or corrupt any courts.
Part 1 (2 hours 40 minutes)
Part 2 (2 hours)
Part 3 (2 hours)
Part 4 (2 hours)
My view from watching this: Arias is truly emotionally vulnerable here, but even so, her mind is constantly trying to get her out of this.
The problem is that she doesn’t seem to register just how much the contradictions ensnare her. Arias, like Knox, thinks she can talks her way out of anything. She seems stunned that her ‘‘little-girl routine’’ doesn’t win over the police.
Arias seems to think during the police questionings, she can simply make it all go away if she keeps denying. Problem is, her interview is riddled with partial admissions. Knox seems to think that she can win over the media if she keeps denying ‘‘she killed her friend’‘.
However, when Arias finally does testify, she is cold, sarcastic, and testy. (Sound familiar?)
I imagine if Amanda Knox ‘‘had’’ been formally questioned without lawyers, it would have looked something like this. Yes, it is segmented, but it would be mindnumbing to do a complete transcript. However, there were many gems from this questioning. It is chilling to watch, but if you can, do it, and ask yourself if that isn’t another ‘‘Knox’’ performing there.
Note these telling exchanges, all from Part 1
(5:46) Det. Flores: I travelled all the way up here to talk to you. Because, I’ve been working on Travis’ case ever since it happened. And I know exactly what happened, how he was killed. I know a lot of details. And just recently we found quite a bit of evidence, and I’ll discuss that with you. The main thing that I’m looking for though is answers, on why certain things happened, and also to get your statement.
(6:25) Arias: Okay.
(6:35) Det Flores: A lot of details in this case haven’t been released to the public or even to Travis’ family yet. And those details are known only to us, and to the person who did it. And that’s why we’re here. I believe you know some of those details, and you can help us.
(6:51) Arias: I would love to help you in any way that I can
One of the most laughable statements ever made in the case. 8 hours later, she still won’t give them a straight answer.
(8:45) Arias: Should we record this? (reaching for the remote).
Seriously? Arias has been arrested for murder, and her first act is pretend to be ‘‘helping the police’‘. A bit like Knox, who insisted she was helping the police, even after being charged with Meredith’s murder
(10:35) Arias: I know that people have been posting a lot of really nice things on Facebook, you know, memories, and I thought maybe I should do that. And I realized looking back in it is sounded immature, more like a ‘‘Dear Travis’’ kind of letter, so I took it down…
(10:53) Det Flores: Personal?
(10:55) Arias: Yeah, some of it was personal, not too personal, nothing inappropriate.
At least least Arias isn’t emailing people questions about whether Travis likes anal, or what he uses vasoline for. Give her some credit.
(12:00) Arias: I didn’t realize until I was speaking with Ryan Burns, the guy that’s in Utah. We’ve been talking, we try not to talk about that, because it’s kinda like ... ugh (makes disgusted face). And plus Travis is my ex-boyfriend, so, when you’re mourning your friend, how do you talk to to your new potential mating person? .... So, it’s kind of a grey area.
Yes, Jodi thinks dead bodies are ‘‘yucky’‘, and that mourning an ex, while talking to a new potential partner is a ‘‘grey area’‘. Did she go run off to buy any lingerie?
(12:15) Arias: I try not to talk about it too much, but he [Travis] comes up a lot
Your ex-boyfriend was stabbed 29 times and shot in the head. Annoying, how often ‘‘he’’ comes up.
(12:20) Arias: And it was though him [Ryan] that he thought things were really weird, and some think that you had a hand in it.
Maybe because you find the topic of your ex so annoying when you try to spend time with new boyfriend….
(12:28) Det. Flores: I’ve talked to a lot of people. And everyone is pointing the finger at you.
(12:35) Arias: I know.
(12:36) Det Flores: Everyone is saying - I don’t understand what happened to Travis. I don’t know who killed him, but you need to look at Jodi. And sometimes the simplest answers are the correct ones.
Something Knox found out (and soon Arias soon will), is that when you have suspicions about someone, you bring them up immediately. You don’t wait until you become a supect yourself.
(13:30) Det. Flores: I know that you still had a relationship of convenience, even though you were not boyfriend/girlfriend anymore, that you two were still having sexual relations with ...
(13:45) Arias: Does his family know? Just curious.
(13:50) Det. Flores: No, his family doesn’t know anything.
(13:54) Arias: I’m interested in protecting how he is remembered as well.
Another laughable claim. Jodi would later accuse him of everything from being abusive and controlling to pedophilia. Knox uses Meredith’s memory to cash in on a blood money book ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘, does dozens of interviews claiming to be a victim, and uses her website to raise money for her legal fees to get off on Meredith’s murder.
(16:10) Arias: Too much of my nightlife was about him [Travis]. He would text ‘‘hey I’m getting sleepy….. zzzz’‘. That was his code for ‘‘coast is clear, come on over’‘. (long, unrelated rambling).
Less than 3 minutes after saying she wants to protect how Travis is remembered, Jodi is already implying Travis is horny, and leaking unnecessary details. An attempt to smear him? Who else does that?
(19:20) Arias: I used to always joke, ‘‘that, regardless of what the Bible says, and yes I’m Christian, I just live my life by the 10 commandments, and that those are my rules,
‘’ .... so I always used to joke about that.
Your ‘‘friend’’ has been savagely stabbed to death, and after being arrested you are making jokes about fornication. Who else would make such jokes after the loss of a close one?
For the next 15 minutes Arias babbles on about unrelated things. Det. Flores has incredible patience, as most would have slit their wrists listening to her. But finally he tries to pull Jodi back to the topic at hand.
He makes several attempts, but Arias keeps trying to divert the topic away from Travis and his death. After about 1/2 hour of Jodi talking nonsense, Detective Flores tries to get Jodi to give a timeline and direction of her travels.
(52:20) Det. Flores: So, you took this trip and you left on Monday the 2nd until Thursday?
(52:44) Arias: I think so.
(52:50) Det. Flores: So, we have here about 48 hours…. this trip would take you a little over 48 hours…. I have a problem with this trip.
(53:06) Arias: Well I first went to ....
(53:30) Det. Flores: I’ve gone over this trip over and over in my mind. There’s still 20-some odd hours, even if you pull over to sleep, a couple of times ....
(53:42) Arias: Did I tell you I got stranded?
(53:46) Det. Flores: Yeah, you mentioned that. If you slept for 10 hours, here and here (pointing on map), it would still leave 18 some odd hours, for something else. This is the trip that people are focusing on. People are saying that she left .... Travis was killed on Wednesday.
(54:22) Arias: I did not go near his house.
(54:27) Det Flores: I pulled your cell records. Your cell phone was turned off, between here and here (indicates on map). What does that show me?
(54:45) Arias: No, no, no.
(54:50) Det. Flores: Is there plenty of time for you to do this? Yes. And do I believe that you had come to visit Travis? Yes. Did you have the opportunity? Yes, there were no other witnesses.
(55:10) Arias: Well, I didn’t turn it off physically, but it died.
(55:16) Det. Flores: And you magically found your charger here? (pointing on map)
(55:20) Arias: It was under the passenger side of the front seat.
(55:23) Det. Flores: When you were lost, you couldn’t have pulled over and found it?
(55:41) Det. Flores: I’ve been focusing on why your phone turns off here, outside of Los Angeles ... because the [Highway] 15 goes through Las Vegas. It never goes through Arizona.
Detective Flores zeroed in on a huge gap Arias’ timeline. Why did a 48 hour trip take more than 3 days? He also noted that her cell phone was not active for most of that trip.
In Peugia, the police had noted a discrepancy in Sollecito’s timeline. He claimed to have reported the burglarly then waited outside for the police. In fact phone records showed the Postal Police showed up about 15-20 minutes before he made the call. It was later discovered that Knox and Sollecito had turned off their cell phones (something they never did), during the time of the murder.
(58:25) Det. Flores: Were you at Travis’ house on Wednesday?
(58:28) Arias: Absolutely not. I was nowhere near Mesa.
She is very sure then, but with some more questioning, she will not only be there, but a witness to the actual murder.
(58:40) Det. Flores: What if I could show you proof you were? Would that change your mind?
(58:45) Arias: I was not there. (trying to look convincing)
(58:59) Det. Flores: You were at Travis’ house. You had a sexual encounter. Which, there’s pictures. And I know you know there’s pictures, because I have them. I will show them to you. So, I am asking you to be honest with me. I know you were there.
(59:30) Arias: Are you sure that those pictures aren’t from another time?
(59:35) Det. Flores: Absolutely positive.
(59:40) Arias: The last time I had any sexual contact with Travis was in May.
(59:55) Det Flores: You know how I told you about the camera? The camera was damaged. Someone put it in the washing machine, ran it through a wash cycle, with some clothes of Travis’, but the card is intact. You know how I told you the card was destroyed? I didn’t want to tell you the truth, because I wanted to make sure the photos were accurate. We can pull deleted photos, even from 6 months ago. And I have pictures of you and Travis.
(1:01:00) Arias: Are you sure it was me? Because I was not there.
(1:01:00) Det. Flores: Jodi, it’s you.
Arias is trying to look and sound convincing, but her denials come out weaker and weaker. But the stunned look shows through.
(1:01:55) Arias: I didn’t hurt Travis. He’s done so much for me.
But like your Seattle ‘‘colleague’’ you will soon trash the memory of the person you called a friend.
(1:02:00) Arias: I lived there. I lived there for months and months.
Pretty much the excuse Knox used to explain her DNA being everywhere.
(1:02:15) Det. Flores: I know you took pictures in the shower just before he died.
(1:02:29) Arias: I don’t think he would allow that
Either you did, or you didn’t.
(1:05:30) Det. Flores: our record indicate you reported a gun stolen, a .25 auto, which just happens to be the same caliber used to kill Travis.
(1:06:10) Arias: A .25 auto was used to kill Travis?
Using a ‘‘drop piece’‘, reported stolen, brought to the murder scene. Knox brought one of Raffaele’s knives.
(1:06:18) Det. Flores: Do you want to see pictures of him?
(1:06:25) Arias: Part of me does, part of me doesn’t.
(1:06:30) Det. Flores: Why, because you don’t want to remember?
(1:06:35) Arias: No, there’s a morbid curiosity.
Arias is curious to see photos of Travis. In fact, she asks several times to see photos of him (after the fact). The detectives wonder if it is to help her come up with a story, but it is possible she just wanted to see her handiwork
Knox had also made several public demands to visit Meredith’s grave. Creepy as hell.
(1:06:50) Det. Flores: I can’t deny this evidence. The trip you took doesn’t make any sense, the opportunity was there, the pictures on that date with him, your blood is in the house - mixed with his, not alongside, but mixed, your hair is there is blood, and your palm print is there, in blood. Your image is not important, saving the rest of your life is.
(1:07:30) Arias: Listen, if I’m found guilty, I won’t have a life. I’m not guilty.
To compare Det. Flores’ listings: Knox’s account of the night/morning made no sense; she had access and opportunity; she had 5 spots of mixed DNA with Meredith, and oddly, NO fingerprints were found in Knox’s own home.
Jodi’s denial is extremely weak, just like many of the ‘‘no evidence’’ denials that Knox makes.
(1:08:20) Arias: I’m not a murderer, but if I were to do something like that I’d wear gloves, or something.
Wow…. way to be convincing.
(1:09:35) Arias: Let’s say for a second that I did. Suppose I say I did. Why
(1:09:50) Det. Flores: The motive is there. Anger, jealousy ....
Knox frequently argued along the lines of ‘‘there is no motive for me to do this’‘.
(1:29:30) Arias: If I was ever going to try to kill someone, I would use gloves. I’ve got plenty of them.
This is the second time Jodi mentions this. Like Amanda, she knows a little something about C.S.I.
(1:29:55) Det. Flores: Would they see your car, or did you park it down the street?
(1:30:05) Arias: No, they would see it, I drove an Infinite.
(1:31:42) Det. Flores: You know that all rental cars have GPS on them? For us to use….
(1:42:15) Arias: Is it possible that my memory card was in his camera, and they are interchangeable?
(1:43:30) Det Flores: You’re saying that someone took your pictures and your memory card and was framing you?
Knox has written before that she thinks Raffaele planted her fingerprints on the knife used to kill Meredith. Everything is a conspiracy.
(2:01:00) Arias: I’m trying to put his death behind me.
So…. you just want to get on with your life?
3. Numerous Other Similarities
- Arias had cuts on her fingers which she said was from ‘‘dropping glass’‘. She claimed that happens regularly. Police believed it was from the knife slipping in her hand.
- Knox had a cut on her neck which she said was from a ‘‘hickey’‘.
- Arias claimed her phone died while on the road and that she found her charger later
- Knox claimed she turned her phone off so she would not receive a text in case Patrick wanted her to come in afterall. She previously claimed that it was to preserve the charge for her Gubbio trip
- Arias was asked if anyone else was present at the scene. She invented a story about 2 masked intruders.
- Knox was told Sollecito removed her alibi. She invented a story about Lumumba doing the crime.
- Arias has given prison interviews and basked in the limelight
- Knox has given interviews since being released from prison and basked in the limelight.
- Arias refused her own suggestion for a lie detector test since if it wouldn’t help her in court,
- Knox says she will take a lie detector test, but never has.
- Arias attempted to destroy evidence, including attempting to destroy a camera in the washing machine.
- Knox attempted to selectively clean the crime scene, and pin it all on Rudy Guede
- Arias had the foresight to clean her feet before, going to the washing machine to throw the camera in.
- Knox (or Sollecito), had the foresight to clean his/her feet before going into Amanda’s room to grab the lamp.
- Arias had the foresight to clean her hands before grabbing Clorex to put in the washing machine
- Knox had the foresight to leave Meredith’s lamp, but use her own and wipe it for prints
- Arias put her licence back on upside down (it was removed while at Travis’ house).
- Knox put the bathmat (with Sollecito’s footprint), back upside down
- Arias staged a prior break-in so she could report a gun stolen, which she would later use.
- Knox staged a prior break in and later used some techniques on Meredith.
- Arias planned it by using a ‘‘trip to Utah’’ as a way of explaining her time away.
- Knox planned it by waiting for a time when no one else was home.
- Arias tried to wash Travis’ body to destroy evidence.attempted to destroy evidence.
- Knox (and Sollecito), stripped Meredith down to make it look like a rape.
- Arias called Travis’ phone and left voicemails to make it look like she didn’t know he was dead.
- Knox called Meredith’s phone to make it look like she was trying to reach her.
- Arias had sex with Travis prior to killing him
- Knox had sex with a drug dealer (Federico Martini), before and after killing Meredith.
- Arias caused Travis to think she was dangerous and a stalker, leading to police suspicion after.
- Knox caused Meredith and others to think she was pushy and weird, leading to police suspicion after .
- Arias rented a car, bought cans of gas (to avoid stopping at gas stations), reported her gun stolen (so suspicion wouldn’t be aroused), and turned off her phone.
- Knox brought a knife from Raffaele’s flat, brought 2 ‘‘frame-able’’ accomplices, chose a night no one was home, and turned off her phone.
- Arias attempted to rain hostility down on prosecutor Juan Martinez.
- Knox attempted to rain hostility down on prosecutor Guiliano Mignini.
- Arias flirted with the police who arrested her.
- Knox flirted with court officers.
- Arias went to her current boyfriend as if nothing happened.
- Knox went back to her life, including missing Meredith’s memorial.
- Arias murdered her ex-boyfriend.
- Knox murdered her roommate.
- Arias called Travis repeatedly just to hear his voicemail. Stalker?
- Knox texted Meredith repeatedly the day before. Stalker?
- Arias was born July 9, 1980.
- Knox was born July 9, 1987.
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Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Relevance Of The Ship Which Has Sunk In The Yangtze To National Justice System Upgrades?
Posted by Peter Quennell
Regarding the ship which just sank in the Yangtze River with a probable 400-plus deaths, and its relevance to justice systems everywhere?
Well, small inland ships (which are those most prone to a high death-rate) and their rules and regulations are outside the scope of the international body which sets rules and upgrades systems for seagoing vessels.
That is the United Nations agency in London called the International Maritime Organization or IMO. Small inland ships are unregulated unless the relevant government has unilaterally acted.
The IMO sets safety rules including design elements and it advances better rules and systems through conferences and training. It runs a big school in Sweden.
The IMO is NOT part of a world government, or a top down organization; like all of the UN development agencies it is a horizontal network, in its case of all the national maritime agencies in the world.
Their administrators and experts are incessantly heading to London to advance maritime matters in working groups. (The US is a big and enthusiastic player in all of the UN agencies via the relevant Federal departments - agriculture, health, transport, and so on.)
So in China, watch out for a bunch of systems changes with regard to those small vessels. But watch out also for a bunch of systems changes via the IMO at the global level, to try to head off more such catastrophes and to get the best possible rescue efforts going much faster.
The relevancy here?
In justice systems also, many lives are in the balance. But as mentioned in previous posts, the UN doesnt have an agency for justice systems upgrades, or even for a static thumbnail view of each one. It only has a small public administration development unit within the “United Nations proper” in New York.
There is no way that that unit is appropriate to resolving the huge and complex problems in the videos in the post below.
A lesson learned maybe above all others in the UN is that major system change should NOT be attempted in national or local isolation. It is too costly, and way too inefficient, and participants soon tire themselves out or loose interest.
Ideally a few or many countries all set about systems upgrades in parallel processes and they watch and share with one another.
The justice-systems problems in the videos below have many things in common. They seem very ripe for a global effort on the lines of maritime systems. Maybe Italy and the US could each contribute greatly to getting that alive.
Its not beyond us to explain this and to try to push for it. This would kinda trump calling top justice officials of this or that national system corrupt or bungling or criminal.
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Thursday, May 28, 2015
Justice System Reform Is Suddenly Everywhere On The Front Burner
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. The Justice System In The US
2. The Justice System In Mexico
3. The Justice System In China
4. The Justice System In Turkey
5. The Justice System In Britain
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Saturday, May 23, 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?
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chamber May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #3
Posted by Cardiol MD
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.
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Monday, May 18, 2015
“What It Feels Like To Be Wrongly Accused” Could This Be Amanda Knox’s More Truthful First Draft?
Posted by Chimera
What finally was published. You may decide if this was a scrapped first draft, with due caution!
I wanted to get it all out now, so I don’t have to keep explaining it a a hundred times, like I have been on CNN, ABC, NBC, Daybreak, or my memoir, or anyone else who would listen.
I have this dream in my head that when you accuse someone of a horrific act they didn’t do, they inevitably experience shock, disorientation, confusion. They will likely get their name and photo in the paper, and forever be associated with a vile deed. The emotional scars will remain, and their families and friends will abandon them or at least lose trust. However, they did not suffer nearly as bad as you have, as some trauma, such as being slapped in the head, broke you down emotionally.
In all honesty, I know this is as strange to me as it is to everyone else. Since most people don’t angrily deny false accusations, they just let the pressure squeeze their temples, and they let it become hard to concentrate. But they are clearly acting suspiciously, if they don’t remember a fact correctly. But even when they are locked up for that vicious crime, it has to be considered that they are still trying to help the police.
Truthfully, when you falsely accuse someone of murder, police strangely wonder why you did not bring this knowledge up before. You try to keep a straight face, but there is tension in your right eyebrow, and below your right nostril and sometimes triggers you to twitch uncontrollably, making you self conscious about looking people in the face. There’s a pinpoint knot that spasms between your heart making it hard to sit still, as your lies are crumbling around you.
But the truth is, this is still much easier than being outside a murder room with your hands over your ears, while your ‘‘friend’’ is being murdered. After all, it could have been you. The stress is causing you to vaguely remember things, about obscure texts, and to forget if your boyfriend is with you. The stress causes you to smell, even after taking a shower, and to wake up first thing in the morning to buy bleach, as a sudden urge for housecleaning is therapeutic.
Honestly, it can be incredibly stressful to have to release this sudden burst of energy. You yell, are anxious, and hit yourself in the head. The police try to calm you down with food and drinks, but the visions and dreams are tormenting you, as you imagine that you have witnessed something horrific. Yes, your friend let out a huge scream as she died, but you are not really lying when you tell the police who did it. After all, your 2 hour police interview, or was is 14, 35 or 50? Or 150?... was tantamount to torture, and you should not have to be subjected to the stress of having to explain yourself a hundred times while the police investigate the murder of your friend. You suffered too.
My best truth is that when people don’t trust you after making these false accusations, the anxiety arrives even at the most safe and casual of circumstances. You’re hypersensitive to what people say, and how they say it. They seem skeptical when you refer to things constantly as your best truth, or the truth you remember, or the truth you think is closest to the truth. There is an accumulation of primal anger and grief that can give no satisfactory expression when you start talking about visions you had, or how you vaguely remembered something happening. There is always this thought: how can you reconcile with significant parts of society whose trust you have abused?
I have nothing but lies to be afraid of. But people take things out of context. Saying someone had their f***ing throat slit is a way of explaining how a person died (even if I didn’t ‘‘officially’’ know it). That person was my friend. People can’t admit they were wrong when I make gurgling sounds and call blood ‘‘yucky’‘. The can’t admit their mistakes when I say I only knew someone for a month, and want to get on with my life. That person was my friend. They find fault with everything when I say ‘‘shit happens’‘, and miss the memorial, because someone else made the decision for me. That person was my friend. They come up with speculation, and twist things around, and they are haters, when they complain about me wearing Beatles T-shirts in court.
In my head, the trauma felt by the victim of a wrongful accusation is foreign and unimaginable to the majority of people, that’s why I am here to help. By that I mean write this story, not just make up (more) false accusations.
But, in the closest version of the truth, these are the questions that need answered: Why is the person I falsely accused angry with me? Why is he not angry with the police for arresting him? And why are the police now suspicious of me after making a false accusation? Can they not see that I am a good person? Why are people angry when I give interviews of get a million dollar book deal? Can they not see I’ve suffered? I mean, my friend (whose name I forget), was murdered, but it could just as easily have been me. Why are people persecuting me? (loud sigh)
Honestly, I am a victim here. Why can you not see that?
Anyway, that’s all for now. Just need to get on with my life.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Updates: Sollecito’s Trial For Vilipendio And Diffamazione, Knox’s Trial For Calunnia #2
Posted by Peter Quennell
They are each essentially charged for lying to poison public opinion against officials, and Sollecito against the system, to try to win themselves illegal breaks at their murder trial and appeals. Knox in court in 2009, and Sollecito in his book in 2012.
The weekly magazine Oggi is also on trial for jubilantly publishing some of Knox’s numerous lies.
Yesterday in a Florence court a new court translation of the passages from Sollecito’s book fully quoted here were accepted by the presiding judge. They differed little if at all from what the prosecutor filed last year and brought the defenses no joy. Right now both the defenses seem stuck.
And on June 9th the calunnia trial against Knox will start in a Florence court. It would be smart for her to be there, as Sollecito usually is. As mentioned above, Knox is already indicted.
It is not clear who her lawyers will be. Sollecito had to field a new team. Ghirga and Dalla Vedova both helped Knox with her defamatory book and with her defamatory email to Judge Nencini in December 2013 in which Knox ludicrously claimed she had been tortured (for the mundane truth read here) and like Bongiorno and Maori they could feel they have conflicts here.
On June 16 Dr Mignini will testify in the Oggi trial in Bergamo north-east of Milan where Oggi is based against the editor Umberto Brindani and the reporter Giangavino Sulas for publishing illegal claims made in Knox’s 2013 book.
At that hearing Knox’s book may finally become the subject of charges on the same lines as Sollecito’s book. Italian legal opinion is not supportive of the pair or the sleazy moves that led to Cassation giving them a break
That break looks increasingly temporary now. Sollecito could face big fines and Knox could face up to six years. Brighter bulbs would have realized it is best not to confront Italian courts.
Archived in The former defendants, Amanda Knox, Officially involved, Police and CSI, The prosecutors, Trials 2008 & 2009, Massei defense, The Massei Report, Other legal processes, Knox calunnia, Family + defense hoaxers, Knox-Mellas team, Lies in Knox book
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Friday, May 08, 2015
Why Italy Doesnt Look For Guidance On Its Justice System From What It Sees As Foreign Smartasses
Posted by Peter Quennell
Read our numerous posts setting right for example the false claims of Michael Heavey and Steve Moore. And then read this post and this post and this post and these new stories on US justice. And then answer the question below.
Michael Schwanke: Koch behind push to overhaul criminal justice system
Each year it’s estimated the United States spends almost a $100 billion on prisons. According to Mark Holden, Senior VP at Koch Industries, that’s three to four times what the country spends on education.
Holden and Charles Koch authored a letter titled “The Overcriminalization of America” and now are behind a nationwide push to overhaul the criminal justice system.
The letter points to the many federal laws created over the years. “Congress creates, on average, more than 50 new criminal laws each year. Over time, this has translated into more than 4,500 federal criminal laws spread across 27,000 pages of the United States federal code.”
“We all agree that our system isn’t working. Whether you’re a conservative, evangelical, social liberal, progressive, or libertarian there’s something for you. I don’t think there will be a lot of negative reaction to it,” says Holden speaking to Eyewitness News after addressing the downtown Rotary.
Holden says the U.S. accounts for about five percent of the world’s population, but holds 20 percent of the prison population. Most are non-violent offenders. Holden says one in three people in the U.S. has a criminal record which leads to poverty and joblessness.
Cara Tabachnick: Poll: Young Americans have “little confidence” in justice system
Nearly half of American young adults lack confidence in the nation’s justice system or don’t trust their local police to do the right thing, though that perception is deeply divided by race, according to a national poll of 18- to 29-year-olds released by Harvard’s Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
African-American youth had the deepest distrust of the nation’s criminal justice institutions, with 79 percent of those polled expressing little to no trust in their local police department to do the “right” thing.
Hispanic youth weren’t far behind, with 62 percent of those polled expressing little or no trust in their local police force. In stark contrast, just 31 percent of the white youth polled expressed little or no trust.
More than 3,000 people were polled by the Harvard Institute of Politics between March 18-April 1, on questions of criminal justice and other issues, including politics, climate change and terrorism.
Over all, there was an even split on the U.S. judicial system’s ability to “fairly judge people without bias for race and ethnicity.” About 49 percent of those polled said they have little to no confidence that the justice system can operate without bias.
Jason Fyk: Baltimore’s Criminal Justice System Is Corrupt, I Know Because I Was Imprisoned there
n 2011, I was arrested by Baltimore City Police on charges of conspiracy to commit first degree attempted murder.
You might be asking yourself, “Why? What did he do?” I took a cell phone video of a small drunken scuffle in a downtown Baltimore parking garage. I was not a participant in the fight, nor was I an instigator. Despite what the facts of the situation presented, a personal family relationship with one of the so-called “victims” took precedence over the law. What started as a typical two-sided misdemeanor became a one-sided fight for freedom. I spent 50 days in the Baltimore City Detention Center facing two life sentences, and a host of other charges mounting to well over 200 years in prison, all for simply taking a video.
I’ve seen the corruption firsthand. I’ve seen how a law enforcement agent’s personal agenda can destroy a life. I’ve seen how charges are ramped up in order to make a lesser charge stick. I’ve seen detainees entering jail with worse injuries than the participants in the fight I captured on video, all at the hands of police. I’ve also seen the corruption that resides in BCDC on my 50-day tour of the jail.
The conditions at this facility were sub-human, in some cases. Ignoring the mice, cockroaches and decaying conditions, basic necessities of life were severely lacking. The food was nearly inedible and, in some cases, hazardous. For example, the drink flavoring had a poisonous emblem on it, eggs were often brown and rotten when served, and during my stay we even lost water for four days, which meant toilets and sinks did not work. All we had was a cooler jug that was brought in to drink from. Showers were so hot (not adjustable) you could not stand in the water. I saw a detainee drop on the floor, having a seizure from withdrawal, because drugs are not administered for close to a week after arrival. My experience in jail was that of an educated observant, and what I saw was appalling. The list goes on and on.
So Italy or the USA - which country would you pick to do a crime in? Do Heavey or Moore tell you this? How many times have Heavey and Moore found justice lacking in the US? Apparently no times at all. One-note bashing of Italian justice is all that they do.
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Tuesday, May 05, 2015
A Shaky Castle Of Cards At Best: The Long-Term Fight For Legitimacy #2
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
RS and AK in New York a while back, the last time that they actually met
Gloom and doom have been dissipating for over a month now in Italy among those most invested in a just outcome, for the reasons given in this immediate-post-verdict post.
Note that the defense camps really want and need that legitimacy. They know the perverse judgment is not the end of the road. They have clamped down hard on what RS and AK can say.
In the Italian legal community the Fifth Chambers are getting some scathing commentary for their strange law and dismissiveness of the facts of the case which Cardiol in the post below this one once again underlined.
The Fifth Chambers’ sentencing report should be red meat, very tough for the hapless judges to write and a target from Day One and, under a new law in Italy which already overturned several Cassation verdicts, a very likely candidate for a legal suit.
The two book trials should slowly strip the emperors bare (remember those books are still very unread, even by many who read this site, and neither are in Italian yet), and could cost Knox more time inside and both of them fines and civil suits.
The psychologist SeekingUnderstanding has posted several times on how untreated troubled psychology rarely simply gets better with time. RS’s startling new crack at AK shows he has no inner calm, Knox’s delay in wedding plans and her incessant anger and vagueness maybe too.
Neither seem to have the big bucks they will need for their legal teams going forward, or the promise of successful careers. Sollecito still hasnt worked a day in his life and his preferred software area never sees successful entrants at his age. Knox’s only known area of interest - paid writing - is a fast-shrinking field.
Several tough books are already in the works. And the media loves conspiracy theories and hoaxes, and as all the real conspiracies and hoaxes have been on the defenses’ side, trends will also be against RS and AK there.
The only safe bets are that there will be various surprise happenings in the next six months - and that we’d rather be in our camp than in theirs.
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Thursday, April 30, 2015
Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chamber May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #2
Posted by Cardiol MD
1. This Series’ Ominous Context
On Friday, 27th March, 2015 a Panel of five Court of Cassation judges of the Fifth Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court in Rome, found Amanda Knox, and Raffaelle Sollecito, Not Guilty of the Murder of Meredith Kercher.
The President Judge of the Fifth Criminal Chamber of this Supreme Court Panel is Gennaro Marasca, The Prosecutor General is Mario Pinelli, and the Reporting Judge for the Meredith Panel is Antonio Paolo Bruno.
Near the start of the above SCC hearings Judge Bruno was quoted as having said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.”
We consider that to be flat-out wrong. Absurd in fact, as the hapless Hellmann & Zanetti could testify. So do numerous professionals well-briefed on the case in Italy. We expect soon articles in Italian similar to this one.
In fact if the forthcoming Marasca Sentencing Report attempts to brush the numerous real factual certainties under the table there is a near-certainty that the perverse verdict can be overturned by way of a lawsuit or a petition to the President of the Italian Republic.
Post #1 of 10 April described some 26 of the factual headaches facing the SCC under the strict Italian Legal Requirements for classification of Evidence as Circumstantial-Evidence.
The fact that the trials actually had very many certainties was demonstrated in Post #1, and continues in this Post.
2. Note On Circumstantial Evidence
Defendants typically trivialize Circumstantial-Evidence as “Only Circumstantial-Evidence”.
Actually, Circumstantial-Evidence is often the most potent evidence leading Finders-of-Fact to their Verdict. This is even more true in Italian Law because its Circumstantial-Evidence classification-requirement provides that an evidentiary circumstance or fact must be true to the level of being a Certainty. Therefore, for example, the unverifiable RS/AK broken water-pipe story can not be classified as Circumstantial Evidence and cannot legally be admitted as Evidence at all.
Continuing the review of the Massei Motivazione, the Nencini Motivazione, and the several past SCC rulings, demonstrating the large number of Certainties:
3. Certainties 27 To 30
27. THE SIMULATED BURGLARY
This Subject has already been commented-upon in Pesky #1, under the Heading “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’.”
According to the Massei Summary, Part 3:
“8. The staged break-in
The Massei Report examined the evidence surrounding the broken window and disarray in Filomena Romanelli’s bedroom in order to determine whether a real break-in had occurred or the appearance of one had been staged….....
The court concluded that the disorder in Romanelli’s room and the breaking of the window pane constituted an artificial representation created in order to misdirect the investigations towards a person who, not having the key to the front door, was supposed to have entered through the previously broken window and then effected the violent acts on Meredith which caused her death.”
So Massei, having carefully analysed all the Evidence, and the Arguments on both sides Concluded that there was No Burglary at all, and that Meredith’s killers had deliberately created the appearance of a Burglary, in order to misdirect the Investigators of Meredith’s death.
According to the Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel wrt the Simulated Burglary:
“The compartmentalisation of the single pieces of evidence thus weakened their value and their depth, since a piecemeal evaluation of their relationship and of the required synthesis inevitably followed, ignoring the increase in value that the pieces of the mosaic of circumstantial evidence assume when synergistically evaluated.”
The Panel begins its justification for Annulling Hellmann/Zanetti.
The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 66:
“.....the simulation of the burglary should have been evaluated in light of the investigative data collected immediately after the event, such as Rudy’s shoeprints (along the path of his flight) and the traces of the victim’s blood detected in many spots in the bathroom used by Ms Knox and  Ms Kercher, surely carried there by third parties present in the house after the murder.”
The Panel takes-for-granted that the “Burglary” was Simulated by the Perps, and focuses on its improper evaluation by H/Z.
The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 82-83:
“The Hellmann Court of Appeal preferred – in full agreement with the defence pleadings – to favour the information the unreliable Rudy Guede had conveyed in his chat with his friend Benedetti, i.e., that he was in via della Pergola around 9.00/9.30 PM on the first of November 2007; this information was correlated with the victim’s telephone records which registered:
a) an unanswered call at 8.56 PM
b) the dialling of the number 901, corresponding to an answering service at 9.58 PM, immediately after which the call was blocked
c) at 10.00 PM the dialling of the first number in the list of phone numbers for the Abbey bank, without however the dialling of the required dialling code
d) at 10.13 PM a GRPS connection of the length of nine seconds, most probably linkedto a multimedia message, without the necessity of human interaction.
On the basis of these facts, the Hellmann Court reached the conclusion that Miss Kercher had not called her family again in the period of time between 8.56 and 11.00 PM, since shortly after the first attempt an unexpected event may have occurred, such as for example the attack, and the dialling of the number at 10.00 PM could have been done  by another person, who was not familiar with that mobile phone, while attempting to silence it, a fact which would place the time of death at before 10.13 PM.
The reconstructive path is permeated with factual deductions deriving from a series of conjectures and baseless suppositions, without any reliable, demonstrative basis, in spite of [other] findings of significant value which conflict with those [deductions] and have a greater probative value, which were reduced in their importance on the basis of an unsatisfactory reasoning, which stands out because multiple passages contradict other passages of the statement of reasons, and because of manifest illogicality which must be rightfully censured in this venue. “
The Panel implicitly includes H/Z’s failure to recognize the “Burglary"as simulated, as part of its “unsatisfactory” and improperly “baseless” reasoning.
NENCINI Page 175:
“In the cottage at 7 Via Della Pergola, on the day of 2 November 2007, in the early hours of the day and up until approximately 12.00 pm, nobody had a shower, just as no burglar had gottenin through the window of Filomena Romanelli’s room; more simply the totality of the circumstantial evidence examined to this point gives us a plain picture of how the defendants put into action a clean-up of the traces of the murder committed and activity to “derail” the investigations that involved a series of actions, a number of which are still to be described.”
So, having stated at length “the totality of the circumstantial evidence examined” Nencini concludes, that the defendants (Knox and Sollecito) had faked the “Burglary” and,
Nencini Page 335:
“...we exclude, for the reasons already expressed, that the murder was committed by a burglar caught in the act of entering the flat after breaking Filomena Romanelli’s window…”
The Nencini Appellate Court Judges, presumably recognise that their conclusion Knox and Sollecito had faked a burglary didnot implicitly exclude the co-existence of a real burglar.
So now they explicitly “exclude” the conclusion that the murder was committed by any burglar.
What will the Marasca Panel make of that?
28: THE SCREAM
Amanda Knox is herself the very first person to refer to the Scream, in her voluntarily insistent Written-Note of November 6th, 2007.
This allegation is generally accepted to be so factually Certain that its factual existence has never been plausibly disputed.
Massei Pages 98-99:
“.....it can thus be held that, in fact, towards 23:30 pm on November 1, 2007 there was a loud, long scream from a woman which came from  the house at 7 Via della Pergola.
After this scream, Nara Capezzali heard running on the metal stairs located below her residence in the S. Antonio car park towards the section used as the exit for the cars, and straight afterwards she heard running on the path situated in front of the house in Via della Pergola.
The harrowing scream heard a little before must have caused a strong agitation in Mrs. Capezzali, who was rendered particularly sensitive and attentive to what might happen and who knows the area; therefore, it is to be held that she referred to noises on the metal steps and on the path because there actually were such noises and she was able to hear them.
Furthermore, the deposition of the witness Dramis, who referred to ‚running steps‛ heard about 23:30 pm on that same November 1st in Via del Melo, which is very close, almost a continuation of the path of the houseIp in Via della Pergola, could constitute some confirmation of this.
The running on the path in front of the house at 7 Via della Pergola shortly after the heart-rending scream leads this Court to hold that the heart-rending scream came from the house at 7 Via della Pergola; likewise, whoever’s running steps were heard on the metal steps and whoever’s running steps were heard a little later on the gravel path and leaves in front of the house at 7 Via della Pergola lead the Court to hold that more than one person came out of that house.”
So Massei “held” as a specific “fact” that the scream, came from the 7 Via Della Pergola cottage, rented by Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox, among others, at about 23:30 pm on November 1st, 2007.
However, Hellmann/Zanettii, and the miscellaneous FOA systematically trivialized the Scream, e.g.: the Police made AK invent it; the Police suggested it to AK; the Police tricked AK into writing it down; there are so many Screams-in-the-Perugia-Night that the scream the Witnesses testified to having heard was not Meredith’s Scream; the scream the Witnesses testified to having heard was at some other time; and Meredith’s Scream was at yet another time. So-many imagined doubts were marshaled that Hellmann/Zanettii argued that there was too much Reasonable Doubt.
The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 86:
“Before concordant pieces of data convergent towards a time necessarily later than the one established by the court, back to which the heart‐rending scream of the unfortunate Meredith needs to be tracked, the appeals court preferred to draw the threads from Guede’s presentation of facts, [which he] delivered in a context outside the court, and anyway absolutely false (given that the accused declared himself to be uninvolved in the murder).
The conclusions drawn appear even more jarring if one only considers that the heart‐rending scream was mentioned even by Amanda herself in her handwritten letter when the fact was not yet in the public domain. Not only this, but the reconstruction made by the Hellmann Court of Appeal is not even in line with the relevant post-mortem findings, which indicated a time of death range from 6.50 PM to 4.50 AM on 2 November, thus at a time around 11.00 to 11.30 PM according to the calculated average, so as the First Instance Court had argued, with greater adherence to the available evidence.
Thus, the statement of reasons suffers from a grave lack of logic and from inconsistency with other available evidence also on this point, openly showing an obvious explanatory inadequacy to which the judge of remand will have to bring remedy.”
So this SCC Panel Excoriates Hellmann/Zanetti’s biased and illogical reasoning wrt the scream, constructively ordering the judge of remand “to bring remedy”.
NENCINI stated on pages 117-118:
“.....from her very first statements, Amanda Marie Knox provides the picture that, at some point during the attack, Meredith was screaming. Indeed, it was only because of the poor girl’s scream  that the defendant imagined “what might have happened”. This scream, so excruciating that it caused her to move her hands to her ears to block it out, is introduced in the written statement on the same morning at the offices of the Perugia police. Significantly, this is the scream that was clearly heard by the witnesses Nara Capezzali and Antonella Monacchia. It was so “excruciating” that Nara Capezzali was beside herself, something that she told the First Instance Court hearing on 27 March 2009, having previously only spoken about it to the police, about a year after that night of November 2007.”
Thus does “the judge of remand” bring remedy, expressing no doubt that the scream Knox claims to have imagined “might have happened”, Certainly Did-Happen.
It will be interesting to see Bruno’s take if his SCC Panel submits its Motivazione.
29. THE KNIFE COLLECTED IN SOLLECITO’‘S FLAT
This Knife was mentioned in Post #1, in which the use of at least 2 knives in Meredith’s murder was established.
Massei Page 194:
“Seven samples were taken from the exhibit [reperto] acquired by the Flying Squad of Perugia (i.e, Exhibit [reperto] 36) and consisting of a large knife, 31 centimetres long; on the handle, from the trace indicated as ‚trace A‛, the genetic profile of Amanda Knox was found and in a point on the blade, the genetic profile of the victim was found. All of the other samples gave negative results. “
Here, calling this knife Exhibit 36, Massei reports that Meredith’s DNA was found on this knife (In spite of the fact, corroborated by Knox herself, that Meredith had never been in Sollecito’s flat), as well as Knox’s DNA.
Massei Page 264:
“EXHIBIT 36 (THE DOUBLE-DNA KNIFE)
 On November 6, 2007, during the search carried out in the apartment in Perugia where Raffaele Sollecito lived, the 31cm-long knife was found.”
Here, Massei refers-back to when and where this knife was found.
Massei Pages 373-375:
“Of Raffaele Sollecito’s habit of carrying a pocket knife, Corrado De Candia also made reference, recalling that the blade of Raffaele Sollecito’s pocket knife had a length around 6-7cm and a width of 1cm or less.
In relation to the preceding (Raffaele Sollecito actively present at the scene of the murder, finding himself behind Meredith, pulling on the bra with violence, finally deciding to cut it), it must be affirmed that Raffaele Sollecito not only found himself at the scene of the murder and pursuing, with violence, the same objective as RudyGuede, but he is there with a well-sharpened knife (dangerous and thus capable of cutting a resistant material, such as that of a bra,  especially in the part that was cut, which may be seen in photos 117 and 119 in the second volume of photographic evidence) and having a blade probably around 4cm long, as De Martino and Binetti have referred to (the length of this, 4cm, appears more consonant with the type of pocket knife described, and Raffaele Sollecito’s habit of always carrying a pocket knife attached with a clip to his trousers, and therefore to be considered rather short and manageable, with respect to a blade of 6 or 7 cm, as indicated by Candia).
Elements which lead one to consider that the 4cm in depth wound was inflicted by Raffaele Sollecito with the pocket knife that he was always carrying around with him, and was inflicted immediately after having cut the bra, while Rudy penetrated the unfortunate victim – who had been almost completely stripped naked – probably with his fingers because the biological trace on the vaginal swab did not present anything of a spermatic nature.
That the knife used by Raffaele Sollecito on that occasion, according to what has been said, has not been found, is an irrelevant circumstance when it is a case of blade weapons [arma bianca] of easy availability and easy enough to conceal (cf. on this specific point, Cassation 30 June 2004, no 48349).
This progression of violence, from advances to gripping, from which derive the numerous bruises, to ultimately injuring the girl with a knife, finds a possible explanation in the fact that Meredith, it must be held, continued to put up the resistance that she could (there are in fact no signs of yielding, of any acquiescence occurring and, as a matter of fact, the scream that Nara Capezzali and Maria Ilaria
Dramis have declared to having heard confirm this behaviour of the young lady), and, to the end of completely subduing her, even to her will as well, probably, as an angry and almost punitive reaction against a girl continuing in this behaviour, there was the blow inflicted upon the neck producing the 4cm deep wound (corresponding to about the length of the blade described by Binetti and De Martino), a blow that, as observed above, is to be held to have been inflicted with the same pocket knife used to cut off the bra and therefore by the  same person who had sliced the bra itself and who had the use of this pocket knife, and this is Raffaele Sollecito.
The very loud scream (as described by Maria Ilaria Dramis) of pain and, at this point, also of terror, made by Meredith and of which it was said, not causing any repentance among the attackers, but the final definitive progression of violence, and while her already-cut bra was being removed (the bra that, coming into contact with the part of the body that had begun to be covered in blood from the wound in the neck, itself became partially stained with blood), the hand of one of the attackers sealed Meredith’s mouth, so that she could not scream again, and another of her attackers struck her again on the neck, but on the left side because, probably, they were on the other side with respect to the person who had inflicted the 4cm deep wound, causing [in their turn] a lesion 8cm deep. Meredith tried to withdraw the part of her body that was once again and more deeply attainted but, held by the hand of whoever was holding her mouth shut and countered by the presence of the one who had caused the 4cm-deep wound, she ended up being driven back towards the knife that still remained in the wound itself, and occasioned a second incision on the epiglottis, as has been seen, almost as if it were [a case of] a second blow being inflicted upon her.
This dynamic requires the presence of a second attacker, of a second knife. This Court holds that the second attacker is Amanda Knox and the second knife is Exhibit 36. The outcome of the genetic investigation with a quantity of DNA indicated as ‚too low‛ was placed under censure and doubts about reliability. Equally, the incompatibility of this knife with the wounds suffered by Meredith was affirmed.
On these matters, the considerations already made must be recalled, which led this Court to evaluate the outcome of the genetic investigation as reliable, and this knife as absolutely compatible with the most serious wound. The inquiry elements allow, still, further observations.
This knife, which attracted the attention of Inspector Finzi during the search in Raffaele Sollecito’s house such that it was taken, unlike the other knives that were in the same drawer, must have presented itself as different from the others, with  its own individuality with respect to the other knives present in the Corso Garibaldi house. The owner of this house, were this knife not to be found in the Corso Garibaldi house, would have been able to remember its presence and note the absence of this utensil, and this circumstance would have been able to constitute a trace, an investigative hypothesis upon which Raffaele Sollecito may have been called in to supply an explanation for. In relation to this, it is to be held that Amanda and Raffaele would have evaluated as opportune to carry the knife back to the house from which it had been removed, considering also that its cleaning (it was in fact found extremely clean, as has been noted) would have ensured the non-traceability of the wounds suffered by Meredith to it itself.”
Massei here explains the sequence of events at the murder-scene, the knives used, who used them, the wounds inflicted, the scream, why there must have been at least one more attacker additional to Guede, and why it is Certain that 2 knives were used, one of which was Exhibit 36, and why the Court concludes the second attacker to be Amanda Knox and the killing-knife to be Exhibit 36.
Massei also discusses the transport, cleaning and return of Exhibit 36 to Sollecito’s rented flat.
The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Pages 88-90:8
“In the course of their investigation, the appointed experts found a third trace on the blade of the knife taken from Sollecito’s flat (Exhibit 36), apart from the one attributed without objection to Knox and the one attributed with strong objections to the victim, right near the trace from which the DNA attributed to the victim was extracted. This [third] trace was not submitted for genetic analysis due to a decision made unilaterally by one of the experts, Prof. Vecchiotti, without written authorisation from the Court, which had in fact precisely charged her with the task of attributing the DNA found on the knife and bra clasp, because the previous traces] were deemed to be of insufficient quantity to yield a reliable result, being low copy number. Her decision was later approved by the [Hellmann Court of Appeal] on the assumption that the [new] quantity was [also] too small to permit the two amplifications needed to ensure reliability of the result (page 84 of the [appeal] judgment).
Therefore,  when the Prosecutor General and the Counsel for the Civil Partiessubmitted a request to complete the analysis on the basis of the scientific explanation provided by Prof. Novelli, a geneticist of undisputed repute recognized by the [appeal] court itself (page 79 statement of reasons), regarding the availability of instrumentscapable of reliably analysing quantities even smaller than ten picograms in diagnostic fields (such as embryology) in which the need for certainty is no less important than in thecourts, the Hellmann Court of Appeal refused on the assumption that the methods mentioned by Prof. Novelli were “in an experimental phase” (page 84), thereby freely interpreting and misrepresenting the testimony of the professor, who on the contrary mentioned the use of such techniques in diagnostic domains in which the certainty of the Presult is essential.
All in all, the modus operandi of the Hellmann Court of Appeal which, unacceptably delegating its own function, entrusted to the unquestioned evaluation of the expert the decision of whether or not to submit the new trace for analysis, is open to understandable and justified censure, considering that the test requested by the Court should have been done, lying as it did within the scope of the expert’s mission, subject to a discussion of the results if they were not deemed reliable. In any case, a member of the panel of experts could not assume responsibility for unilaterally narrowing the scope of the mission, which was to be carried out without hesitation or reservation, in full intellectual honesty, giving a complete account of the possible insufficiency of the material or unreliability of the result.
All the more so as the repeat of the genetic tests was requested in 2011, four years after the initial tests; a lapse of time during which significant progress had been made in the instruments and techniques of analysis, as Prof. Novelli, a consultant to the Prosecutor General, stressed. Precisely on receiving the information from this consultant, who spoke of cutting‐edge techniques while under oath – the Court fell into another gross misinterpretation, in a significant argument concerning the reliability of the results of the analyses made, by assuming the impossibility of repeating the tests even on traces found at a later time, thereby affecting the logic of the statement of reasons (Section I, 25.6.2007, n. 24667).
The Hellmann Court of Appeal also completely ignored the authoritative points offered by Professor Torricelli, who shed serious doubt on the fact that a very small quantity was found; she quantified the useful material in the new trace as 120 picograms (hearing of 6 September 2011, page 91 of transcript), which is sufficient to execute a double amplification, and she opposed the methodology by which Prof. Vecchiotti reached the decision not to proceed, in a report obviously not endorsed by the Prosecutor General and the Civil Parties. The authoritative nature of the observations of the two consultants of the parties  would have required that the Court deal with their points, which irremediably conflicted with the assumptions of Prof. Vecchiotti, whose points could indeed be accepted by the Court, but only after evaluation of the opposing points, which were of equal scientific value.
It must be concluded that when it rejected the request of the Prosecutor General and of the Counsel to the Civil Parties to complete the expert investigations by analysing the new traces found on the blade of the knife collected in Sollecito’s flat, as initially mandated to the experts ‐‐ a request that was supported by more than adequate scientific knowledge ‐‐ the Court made a flawed decision, by reason of its failure to comply with the relevant laws which mandate the safeguarding of all parties in their access to evidence (article 190 of the Criminal Procedure Code), especially in an area in which the expert report (as a means of seeking evidence) was requested by the Defence, and was arranged, but was not completed regarding the new trace, even though it demanded a response more than any other.”
The Panel Excoriates both Hellmann, and it’s appointed expert, Prof. Vecchiotti. The latter for not examining Exhibit 36 as ordered-to by Hellmann, and Hellmann for letting Vechiotti get away with her dis-obedience.
Finally the Panel Criticised Hellman for “failure to comply with the relevant laws”.(Referring specifically to “laws which mandate the safeguarding of all parties in their access to evidence”)
Nencini Pages 337-338 :
“The Court believes that the other blade, the one that caused the wound on the left side of the neck from which most of the blood came out and that caused the death of Meredith Kercher was held by Amanda Marie Knox. It is the knife that was seized from the flat of Raffaele Sollecito by the State Police and labeled as Exhibit 36, on which it is now appropriate to make some considerations.The knife with the blade of 31cm was seized by the State Police from Raffaele Sollecito’s flatduring the first search performed there. The State Police officer who physically took it from the cutlery drawer declared in testimonygiven during the First Instance trial that his attention was caught by this knife, and not others in the drawer, as it was much cleaner than the rest of the cutlery, so as to imagine that it had beencarefully and recently washed. This circumstance, which might appear to be an irrelevantpersonal perception, brought important conclusions to the trial. The Scientific Police analyzedBthe knife and found, on the blade, inside a series of streaks almost invisible to the naked eye, themixed DNA of two contributors: Meredith Kercher and Raffaele Sollecito [sic].[see Footnote 28 below]
This evidence, strongly contested by the Defense, was analyzed by this Court in the section related to the genetic analyses and there is no reason to repeat those arguments. Surely it is an attribution that cannot be considered definite evidence, for the reasons reported above related to the failed repetition of the analysis of the trace, but it remains a strong piece of circumstantial evidence of the fact that this weapon is the second one used in the murder of Meredith Kercher.
On the knife there was a second different trace with sufficient DNA for an analysis, carried out by Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, who attributed this trace to the DNA of Amanda Marie Knox. This attribution was not challenged by the Defense and can be taken as conclusive evidence.
Furthermore, after having ordered in this remand trial an analysis of the trace (I) extracted during the course of the expert analysis performed at the behest of the Judges of the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, the Carabinieri of R.I.S. [Reparto Investigazioni Scientifiche, Scientific Investigative Unit] of Rome highlighted DNA that could be analyzed and alsoattributed it to Amanda Marie Knox, without any particular challenge.
[Footnote 28:This is certainly an oversight of the Court, as everywhere else in the report they mention the DNA of Meredith Kercher on the streaks, as is widely known. The DNA of Raffaele Sollecito on the knife is never mentioned anywhere else and is not part of the case documentationScientific Investigative Unit of Rome highlighted DNA that could be analyzed and also attributed it to Amanda Marie Knox, without any particular challenge.]
Both traces attributed to Amanda Marie Knox were extracted from the handle of the knife, from the part closer to the blade.
The evaluation of all the elements extracted from the seized knife leads this Court to believe that it is one of the two weapons used in the murder and that it was held by Amanda Marie Knox, who therefore struck Meredith Kercher on the left side of the neck, thus causing the only mortal wound. “
Nencini rebuts the Defence arguments and concludes that Knox stabbed Meredith on the Left side of Meredith’s neck, using Knife Exhibit 36, causing Meredith’s death.
Nencini Page 339:
“...Whoever struck Meredith Kercher on the left side of the neck with a stab that penetrated 8cm (the entire length of the cut) caused violent and abundant bleeding, as shown by the quantity of blood that came out and the splashes of blood on the furniture, so as to hide completely the surface of entry of the blade, thus making  impossible the reintroduction of the weapon in the same cut where it was introduced with the first blow.
It must be stated therefore that whoever struck Meredith Kercher on the left side of her neck did so only once, causing a devastating wound from which, pushed by arterial pressure, a great gush of blood came out, as shown by the splashes of blood on the furniture near the spot where the young woman was struck.
Thus, it must be concluded that the weapon seized is not incompatible with the wound on the left side of Meredith Kercher’s neck, certainly a mortal wound, and that the finding of Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade of the knife is evidence fully compatible both with the nature of the weapon and with its use.”
Nencini summarizes-finally its conclusions, rejecting Defence arguments that the Knife, Exhibit 36, is “incompatible” with the wound on the left side of Meredith Kercher’s neck, but is certainly “fully compatible both with the nature of the weapon and with its use.”
Here is the Wiki Site opinion:
Given there is no doubt that the profile discovered on the knife is Meredith Kercher’s profile and that both contamination and secondary transfer have been excluded the only possible conclusion is that the DNA got on the knife because it was used in the murder of Meredith. That Sollecito would so quickly fabricate a lie to explain why Meredith’s DNA would have been expected on the knife rather than protest that it is impossible just adds support to a position that needs no support. Sollecito’s knife was used to kill Meredith.”
30. THE ANALYSIS OF FOOTPRINTS AND OTHER TRACES
[Note the difference between Footprints/Soleprints and Shoeprints; this difference is crucial]
Micheli post-trial interview 2008, according to the Guardian:
“while footprints there might not definitely belong to Knox and Sollecito, they did indicate more than one attacker.”
Excellent example of how Facts may not indicate “Who?”, but Do indicate, with Certainty, “How Many” (“more than one”)°
Massei Pages 352-353 :
“Professor Vinci stressed the value of some particularly individualising details of the right foot of Raffaele Sollecito, revealed by the said examination, consisting of: the fact that his second toe does not touch the ground (the so-called “hammer” position of the distal phalange) connected to a slight case of valgus on the right big toe, and the fact that the distal phalange of the big toe also does not touch the ground, (meaning that there is a distinct separation between the print of the ball of the foot and the print of the big toe in the footprint of the accused). Given these two features which make Sollecito’s foot morphologically distinctive, Professor Vinci’s study basically arrives at the assertion that, while the second toe of Raffaele Sollecito’s right foot is entirely absent from the footprints known to be made by him, on the contrary the footprint on the bathmat does contain the imprint of the second toe.  Professor Vinci reached these conclusions based on a close examination of the weave of the bathmat, and also by varying the colours of the footprint, as shown in the photograph album of the Scientific Police, so that via the use of different filtres it could be viewed in black and white or in a more intense red colour which emphasised the traces of blood.
A morphological examination of the footprint alone led the professor to consider it as irreconcilable, due to its general shape and size, with the footprint taken directly from Sollecito’s right foot. Indeed, the consultant hypothesised that the measurement calculated by the Scientific Police of the width of the big toe of the bathmat footprint was to be reconsidered: he rejected the measurement of about 30mm in favour of a much smaller measurement of 24.8mm, which he obtained by detaching a mark of haematic substance which he did not consider to be a mark from the surface of the big toe, but from a separate body, namely the imprint of the second toe, which is totally absent from the print taken from Sollecito’s right foot.”
In standard English-Language medical terminology, Sollecito’s Right Foot has a distinctive “Hammer Toe”.
It is certain that None of the other suspects have this abnormality.
This Fact is key to the Certainty that Sollecito was barefoot-at-the-crime-scene!
Note missing 2nd toe-print on Sollecito’s Right Footprint:
The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 96-98:
“13 – Analysis of footprints and other traces
The criticisms expressed on the subject of the obvious lack of logic of the reasoning Oconcerning the evaluation of the genetic evidence are well‐founded.
The [appeal] court evaluated two technical consultancies on the footprint in the victim’s blood left by a bare foot on the bathmat of the small bathroom of the flat where the crime was committed, with [identification] capacity limited to negative comparisons. As a matter of evaluation, this in itself is not subject to censure, however the court of second degree has again fallen into [the error of making] a statement in open contradiction with the available evidence, ending by attributing the contested footprint to Guede, by making an assumption contrary to all the evidence that “after having left a print on the pillow”, he slipped out of his right shoe “in the course of the violent aggressive manoeuvres to which he subjected Ms Kercher” and stained his foot with blood, which he supposedly then washed in the small bathroom, since if it had not happened this way, his right shoe would have also left some bloody traces in the corridor (compare page 100 of the statement of reasons).
Not only is this assumption deeply implausible, considering that the print left by Guede on the pillow was made by his hand, which is easily explained by the dynamics of the event, but it is much harder to explain how he might have lost his Adidas sneaker, given a situation in which Guede, jointly with others, as stated in the verdict that convicted him, overpowered the young Englishwoman so as to immobilise her. Not only that, but the above assumption also clashes with the available evidence regarding the bloody shoe prints which indicate that he left the room where the crime was committed to proceed directly to the exit door of the flat.The fact that only the left shoe was stained does not that his right foot was unshod, since at most it proves that only his right (sic) shoe signify stepped in the pool of blood which formed due to the numerous wounds inflicted on the unfortunate victim, very probably with two knives.
Just as deficient is the logic adopted in a further step of the statement of reasons, relating to the discovery of the presence of traces revealed by luminol (not visible to the naked eye), which yielded Knox’s profile and the mixed profiles of Knox and Kercher, found in Romanelliʹs room, in Knoxʹs room and in the corridor. These traces could not be attributedto footprints left on other occasions, as the appeal court implausibly accepted [them to be], since luminol reveals traces of blood and it is not really conceivable that Knoxʹs feet might have been stained with Kercherʹs blood on some other occasion.
As pointed out by the party submitting the appeal, no justification is given for the coincidence of the presence of Knoxʹs DNA in every trace mixed with the blood of the victim, whereas  the hypothesis formulated by the judgment of first degree is much more plausible: it emphasized the mixed nature of the traces (including those found in the small bathroom) which, via adequate inductive logic, led to the conclusion that with feet washed of the victimʹs blood but still bearing some residue, Knox went into her own room and Romanelliʹs room passing through the corridor during the staging operation as assumed in the initial reconstruction, which is based on the objective fact that only after midnight did the victim’s telephones stop connecting to the cell tower of via della Pergola and connect instead with the one on via Sperandio, where they were eventually found; this meant that only after midnight were they removed by unknown hands from the flat in via della Pergola.
While according to the prosecution’s hypothesis, the mixed traces found in the small bathroom suggested a cleaning activity by Knox, who transferred the victim’s blood from the crime room to various points in the small bathroom (on the sink faucet, on the cotton swabs box, the toilet seat, the bidet, the light switch, the bathroom door) where the traces were collected, the Hellmann Court of Appeal entrenched itself behind a position of absolute certainty, without acknowledging what the First Instance Court had observed in disagreement with the defence arguments espoused by the Hellmann Court of Appeal, which decided, in essence, that if the two defendants had remained in the flat of via della Pergola to clean themselves up from the victim’s blood traces, thus functioning as vehicles carrying blood to the small bathroom, then some trace of Sollecito would have been found, whereas in response to this objection the First Instance Court plausibly noted that Sollecito could have washed himself in the shower stall with an abundance of water, so as to eliminate traces, perhaps without even any rubbing, leaving to Knox the task of cleaning the sink and bidet with the traces of the victim’s blood.
The alternative explanation offered in the first instance judgment to the Defence’s objections was not taken into consideration, and thus the Hellmann Court of Appeal fell into another error of reasoning, having neglected various circumstances which, in the course of their analysis, they should have examined and if necessary refuted with more weighty arguments. As pointed out by the party submitting the appeal, no justification is given for the coincidence of the presence of Knoxʹs DNA in every trace mixed with the blood of the victim, whereas  the hypothesis formulated by the judgment of first degree is much more plausible:
It emphasized the mixed nature of the traces (including those found in the small bathroom) which, via adequate inductive logic, led to the conclusion that with feet washed of the victimʹs blood but still bearing some residue, Knox went into her own room and Romanelliʹs room passing through the corridor during the staging operation as assumed in the initial reconstruction, which is based on the objective fact that only after midnight did the victim’s telephones stop connecting to the cell tower of via della Pergola and connect instead with the one on via Sperandio, where they were eventually found; this meant that only after midnight were they removed by unknown hands from the flat in via della Pergola.
While according to the prosecution’s hypothesis, the mixed traces found in the small bathroom suggested a cleaning activity by Knox, who transferred the victim’s blood from the crime room to various points in the small bathroom (on the sink faucet, on the cotton swabs box, the toilet seat, the bidet, the light switch, the bathroom door) where the traces were collected, the Hellmann Court of Appeal entrenched itself behind a position of absolute certainty, without acknowledging what the First Instance Court had observed in disagreement with the defence arguments espoused by the Hellmann Court of Appeal, which decided, in essence, that if the two defendants had remained in the flat of via della Pergola to clean themselves up from the victim’s blood traces, thus functioning as vehicles carrying blood to the small bathroom, then some trace of Sollecito would have been found,
Whereas in response to this objection the First Instance Court plausibly noted that Sollecito could have washed himself in the shower stall with an abundance of water, so as to eliminate traces, perhaps without even any rubbing, leaving to Knox the task of cleaning the sink and bidet with the in the moments immediately after the murdertraces of the victim’s blood.The alternative explanation offered in the first instance judgment to the Defence’s objections was not taken into consideration, and thus the Hellmann Court of Appeal fell into another error of reasoning, having neglected various circumstances which, in the course of their analysis, they should have examined and if necessary refuted with more weighty arguments.”
Hellmann’s Annulment is here not only fully justified, but is essential to avoid a gross miscarriage of justice.
Nencini Pages 328-329 :
“We know with certainty that, on the evening of 1 November 2007, Rudy Hermann Guede was present inside the Via della Pergola cottage, not only because he said so and it is reported in thefinal verdict that convicted him, but also on the basis of investigations and analyses carried out by the State Police inside the cottage contained in the case file. We also know with certainty that Rudy Hermann Guede could remain inside  the flat with absolute ease… [for] considerable time, as he left his “traces” in the large bathroom [of the flat].
We know with certainty, as this is shown by the evidence, that immediately after the homicide inside the Via della Pergola cottage three people were present, surely two men and a woman. This can be observed from the genetic investigations and the results of the traces highlighted using luminol. We can also say that one of the men who walked over Meredith’s blood left a very visible trace of his foot on a blue bathmat found inside the small bathroom of the flat. This footprint was attributed by investigators to the right bare foot of Raffaele Sollecito, with an analysis this Court finds correct on the basis of the considerations already made. One of the footprints detected using luminol was then attributed to a woman’s foot compatible, in size, to that of Amanda Marie Knox; in addition, mixed DNA traces found in the small bathroom of the flat (washbasin, bidet and cotton-swab box) were attributed to Amanda Marie Knox.
We have, in substance, pieces of circumstantial evidence of certain reliability, multiple and concordant, that place Rudy Hermann Guede, Amanda Marie Knox, and Raffaele Sollecito inside the Via della Pergola flat on the evening of the murder of Meredith Kercher, in the moments immediately after the murder, when the three left traces of their passage by depositing [marks in] the victim’s blood, abundantly released from wounds.”
Emphasizing the Certainty of its knowledge regarding “traces”, blood, luminol, genetic investigations, DNA, and footprints, Nencini rules Guede, Knox, and Sollecito to have been at the crime-scene “in the moments immediately after the murder” of Meredith Kercher.
4. Other Worries For Judge Marasca
However far-fetched the Motivazione of this SCC Panel turns-out to be, it can hardly have-been unaware of the facts that Sollecito is scheduled to be back in a Lower-Court in Florence on 30th April, 2015, facing his first-set of charges in the Sollecito & Gumbel trial for diffamazione and vilipendio (slander of officials and of the system), nor that Knox is scheduled to be back in a Lower-Court in Florence on 9th June, 2015, facing her new, expanded-set of Calunnia charges.
This series continues here.
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Monday, April 27, 2015
Justice System Comparisons #3: Bail, Extradition, and More Crimes In Canadian Law
Posted by Chimera
1. Overview Of My Multi-Part Series
Italian justice has become very slanted toward the defendant, often at the considerable cost of the victim.
Canadian justice does not do that as much. It tries harder than most systems, including the Italian, to be equally fair to both, to balance their interests to the maximum that is possible. So it makes for a good comparison. Although, to be fair, it is still frequently criticised as ‘‘soft on crime’‘.
-First degree murder falls under a number of categories. In many cases, the police and prosecutors do not even have to prove intent. Section 231 defines first and second degree murder, and under cc 231(5)(b) (sexual assault), cc 231(5)(c) (sexual assault with a weapon), 231(5)(d) (aggravated sexual assault), and cc 231(5)(e) (kidnapping and forcible confinement), the trio would face 1st degree for either one of those circumstances. The penalty is an automatic life sentence, with no chance of parole for 25 years. No spontaneous declarations for defendants, lying on the witness stand is not allowed, no automatic appeals.
-There are a number of laws, including those enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to ensure fair criminal proceedings.
-Public Mischief (cc 140), is usually an indictable (felony) offence, and it is when someone falsely accuses another of committing a crime, does does something to divert attention from their own crime, or falsely reports someone has died. Punishment can be up to 5 years. In Italy, it is called ‘‘calunnia’‘. It is something Knox has been convicted of, and others, including Sollecito, remain accused of.
-Perjury (cc 131), is lying under oath, or in judicial proceedings, or falsely making sworn statements. It is an indictable (felony) offence. Punishment can be up 14 years in prison. Unlike in Italy, defendants CANNOT do it at their own trials. Knox, Edda Mellas, Sollecito, and Guede, could all have been charged.
2. Some Background On The Case
Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and (at the time Lumumba), were arrest November 6th, 2007, for the sexual assault and murder of Meredith Kercher. They went before Judge Claudia Matteini, who saw enough probable cause to detain the 3 of them. Lumumba was cleared and released a few weeks later, and Rudy Guede implicated instead. See this post. Judge Matteini, even without complete information was able to see enough cause for concern to keep them detained.
Knox and Sollecito tried to have the Italian Supreme Court (Cassation), overturn those decisions, but Italy’s High Court found that the decisions to keep AK and RS in prison, and away from house arrest. Psychologically tested earlier, the results were disturbing enough to keep the paired detained until trial. See here. Also see here.
In 2008, Judge Paolo Micheli presided over Rudy Guede’s ‘‘short form’’ trial. Guede was found guilty, and given 30 years, the maximum allowed under the ‘‘short-form trial’’ rules Judge Micheli also ruled there was enough evidence to send Knox and Sollecito to trial, as Guede’s accomplices. Guede was denied house arrest prior to trial, and has been in custody ever since his arrest in late November 2007, and was denied day release recently.
The 2009 trial of Knox and Sollecito took almost the entire year of 2009, and was presided over by Judge Giancarlo Massei. In December, the Massei Court found AK and RS guilty. The pair received 24 years for murder with sexual violence, an additional year for staging a crime scene and transporting a knife, and Knox one more year for her false accusation of Patrick. The sentence was originally 30 years for murder, transport and staging, but 5 years were cut off for ‘‘mitigating factors’‘. While AK and RS lawyers planned to appeal, the Court found no reason to let them out prior to the appeal.
The unintended consequence of the 24 years for the murder (with sexual violence), is that Guede, who took the short form trial, ended up receiving 1/3 less than AK and RS, effectively cutting his sentence in half, from 30 years to 16.
The appeal of AK and RS in 2011, before Judge Claudio Hellmann stunned Italy. Hellmann acquitted the pair on appeal, despite the following:
-He said in his ruling, the truth may very well be otherwise
-His report only added confusion, it did not help clarify anything
-Knox still had outstanding charges for falsely accusing police officers of assault
-The appeal effectively was a new trial, but only with the defence presenting
-He said Knox’s false accusation was due to duress, not malicious intent—and then INCREASED her calunnia sentence
-The defence had cherry-picked a few pieces of evidence, but left huge amounts unchallenged
-Rudy Guede was apparently a total liar, EXCEPT for the time of death
Knox and Sollecito were released, and AK immediately returned to the U.S. Sollecito stayed in Italy. However, the Supreme Court annulled Hellmann’s ruling in March 2013. See here.
A new appeal was to be held in Florence, the fall of 2013.
Knox refused to attend.
AK did, however, send an email to Appeal Court Judge Nencini, which repeats many of the false accusations. See here.
She claimed, among other things, financial hardship, despite receiveing a $3.8 million book deal with HarperCollins. See here.
Although refusing to return to Italy, AK has repeated tried to contact the Kercher family, and creepily demanded to visit Meredith’s grave. RS has also admitted to trying to contact the Kerchers, and claimed he has visited the grave.
And Knox lets this bombshell out See here.
Sollecito also received a book deal, from Simon and Schuster, and it also stunk of blood money, just like Knox’s. See here.
Sollecito attended sporadically, visiting the Dominican Republic in between court dates, and apparently shopping for an American bride to help him get around extradition. See here.
January 30th, 2014, the date Nencini confirmed the Massei conviction, RS was caught near the Austrian border. He denies he was trying to flee, but still had his passport confiscated, and was barred from leaving Italy. Judge Nencini was also not the least bit amused by the goings on of the FOA See here.
And of course, the defence, in the spirit of fairness and sportsmanship, pulls this stunt: See here.
AK, on the other hand, hit the talk shows, fake-crying about how scared she is, and how she’ll remain a fugitive if necessary.
3. Canadian Law on Bail
Section 11 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms deals with criminal matters and procedures
11. Any person charged with an offence has the right
(a) to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence;
(b) to be tried within a reasonable time;
(c) not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence;
(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;
(e) not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause;
(f) except in the case of an offence under military law tried before a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment;
(g) not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the time of the act or omission, it constituted an offence under Canadian or international law or was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations;
(h) if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again; and
(i) if found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment.
Marginal note:Treatment or punishment
12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
13. A witness who testifies in any proceedings has the right not to have any incriminating evidence so given used to incriminate that witness in any other proceedings, except in a prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.
14. A party or witness in any proceedings who does not understand or speak the language in which the proceedings are conducted or who is deaf has the right to the assistance of an interpreter.
Section 11(e) refers to the topic of bail, and states that reasonable bail should not be denied without just cause
Actually getting to trial can take a long time. Depending on the nature of the offence(s) charged, it may or may not be in the public interest. Canada actually has pretty strict requirements about how soon an accused must be brought for a bail review.
In fact, the police don’t have to take the person into custody. There is discretion to charge the person, and then release him/her on a promise to appear. Here is a direct quote from cc 503(2), dealing with conditional release.
(2) If a peace officer or an officer in charge is satisfied that a person described in subsection (1) should be released from custody conditionally, the officer may, unless the person is detained in custody for an offence mentioned in section 522, release that person on the person’s giving a promise to appear or entering into a recognizance in accordance with paragraphs 498(1)(b) to (d) and subsection (2.1).
Here is a quote from a practicing Toronto lawyer on why you would be denied bail. See here.
Why would I be denied bail?
Detention is justified only if deemed necessary on one or more of the following grounds:
to ensure that you attend court; e.g., if you have a history of failing to attend court or abide by other court orders
to protect the public; e.g., you could be detained if you have a criminal record for similar offences; in the case of an assault or threatening charge, a history of violence against the same complainant works in favor of detention
to maintain confidence in the administration of justice; the court will consider the apparent strength of the prosecution’s case, the gravity of the offence, the circumstances surrounding its commission and the potential for a lengthy jail term
Normally, police or prosecutors have to justify why a person should remain locked up. There are however, circumstances in which the accused has the ‘’‘reverse onus’‘. In other words, circumstances which the person has to justify why he or she should be released. These include circumstances like being released (while accused) of a similar offence, and certain gun, drug and gang offences.
4. Contacting Victims or Their Families
This is a quote directly from section cc 515(2) of the Canadian Criminal Code:
(2.1) In addition to the conditions referred to in subsection (2), the peace officer or officer in charge may, in order to release the person, require the person to enter into an undertaking in Form 11.1 in which the person undertakes to do one or more of the following things:
(a) to remain within a territorial jurisdiction specified in the undertaking;
(b) to notify the peace officer or another person mentioned in the undertaking of any change in his or her address, employment or occupation;
(c) to abstain from communicating, directly or indirectly, with any victim, witness or other person identified in the undertaking, or from going to a place specified in the undertaking, except in accordance with the conditions specified in the undertaking;
(d) to deposit the person’s passport with the peace officer or other person mentioned in the undertaking;
(e) to abstain from possessing a firearm and to surrender any firearm in the possession of the person and any authorization, licence or registration certificate or other document enabling that person to acquire or possess a firearm;
(f) to report at the times specified in the undertaking to a peace officer or other person designated in the undertaking;
(g) to abstain from
(i) the consumption of alcohol or other intoxicating substances, or
(ii) the consumption of drugs except in accordance with a medical prescription; or
(h) to comply with any other condition specified in the undertaking that the peace officer or officer in charge considers necessary to ensure the safety and security of any victim of or witness to the offence.
Clause (c) specifically states to avoid communicating directly or indirectly with any victim or witness in the case. This would obviously extend to avoid any contact with the Kercher family. Also, it would include having friends and family attempt to contact a witness or victim. This prohibition extends to telephone calls or emails, everything from asking for a private meeting, to asking to visit your alleged victim’s grave. This would also seem to violate clause (h), which is to ensure the safety and security of any victim or witness. There are reasons for this.
1) To avoid any possible threats or intimidation, which would cause the integrity of the system to be questioned
2) To avoid any type of underhanded tactic, such as appealing for mercy, underneath the court
3) To promote fairness in the trial process.
5. Harassing and Stalking of Victims
This is a quote directly from section cc 264 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
264. (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.
Marginal note:Prohibited conduct
(2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of
(a) repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;
(b) repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;
(c) besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
(d) engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.
(3) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Marginal note:Factors to be considered
(4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court imposing the sentence on the person shall consider as an aggravating factor that, at the time the offence was committed, the person contravened
(a) the terms or conditions of an order made pursuant to section 161 or a recognizance entered into pursuant to section 810, 810.1 or 810.2; or
Not only would it be a cc 215(2)2.1(c) of the criminal code, which refers to conduct while released on an undertaking, harassment and stalking themselves are serious crimes. Note that cc 264(4) considers it to be an aggravating factor if this harassing occurred while the subject was under a court order not to contact the person anyway. In any Canadian proceedings, defendants would be barred from contacting family members of the victim, as well as the actual victim.
It is reasonable to assume that the Kerchers want nothing to do with Knox. After all, this woman allegedly sexually assaulted and stabbed to death their daughter/sister, and then made a mockery of the court process, all while pretending to be the victim. Yet Knox has repeatedly tried to make contact with them.
A court sketch, common in media back in pre-camera days
6. Contempt of Court
This is a quote directly from section cc 708 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
708. (1) A person who, being required by law to attend or remain in attendance for the purpose of giving evidence, fails, without lawful excuse, to attend or remain in attendance accordingly is guilty of contempt of court.
(2) A court, judge, justice or provincial court judge may deal summarily with a person who is guilty of contempt of court under this section and that person is liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ninety days or to both, and may be ordered to pay the costs that are incident to the service of any process under this Part and to his detention, if any.
(3) A conviction under this section may be in Form 38 and a warrant of committal in respect of a conviction under this section may be in Form 25.
Knox refused to attend her 2013/2014 appeal in Florence, the one she keeps referring to as a ‘‘new trial’‘. This would not be tolerated under Canadian law. Her bail would have been forfeited, and she would have been arrested.
She would have remained in custody for the duration of the appeal. And should the appeal have confirmed her guilt, she would most likely have remained in custody while it was being appealed further.
Skipping out on your criminal proceedings without valid grounds is contempt. Sollecito did it as well when he took a vacation in the Dominican Republic. Not only is it disrespectful, but it shows a lack of maturity.
Also note, from c.c. 515(2)2.1 of the Criminal Code—see section on harassing—these actions certainly would have violated clause (a), which is to remain in the jurisdiction while the proceedings are ongoing.
7. Cashing in on the Notoriety of a Crime (Son of Sam laws)
In September 2012, Simon & Schuster released Sollecito’s book, ‘‘Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back With Amanda Knox’‘. In May 2013, HarperCollins released Knox’s book ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘.
What was particularly disturbing was that both Knox and Sollecito were still accused of murder when these books came out. Knox was in the worse situation, as it came after the March 2013 Cassation ruling, which confirmed her calunnia against Patrick Lumumba, and annulled Judge Hellmann’s appeal acquittal. However, since Cassation left the Massei trial verdict intact, their legal status was ‘‘guilty, pending further appeals’‘.
Setting aside the sheer idiocy of releasing a book while still accused, it is still illegal to do. Right now, Canadian provinces seem to be writing their own laws. Here are 4 of them.
This is from the website, Victimsofviolence.on.ca See here.
The Province of Alberta: See here.
The Province of Saskatchewan: See here.
The Province of Ontario: See here.
The Province of Nova Scotia: See here.
The provinces do have some small differences in the laws, but the point to be taken here is that you can’t cash in on the notoriety of your crime. In America, this is referred to the ‘‘Son of Sam Laws’’ after serial killer David Berkowitz, who called himself the Son-of-Sam.
8. Laundering the Proceeds of Crime
This is a quote directly from section cc 462.31 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
Laundering proceeds of crime
462.31 (1) Every one commits an offence who uses, transfers the possession of, sends or delivers to any person or place, transports, transmits, alters, disposes of or otherwise deals with, in any manner and by any means, any property or any proceeds of any property with intent to conceal or convert that property or those proceeds, knowing or believing that all or a part of that property or of those proceeds was obtained or derived directly or indirectly as a result of
(a) the commission in Canada of a designated offence; or
(b) an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted a designated offence.
(2) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(3) A peace officer or a person acting under the direction of a peace officer is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) if the peace officer or person does any of the things mentioned in that subsection for the purposes of an investigation or otherwise in the execution of the peace officer’s duties.
Raffaele Sollecito and Andrew Gumbel wrote ‘‘Honor Bound’’ (although they now blame each other). Amanda Knox wrote ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘, which was ghostwritten by Linda Kuhlman. Knox claims that she used her $3.8 million advance (less the taxes), to pay her lawyers, and her family.
The problem is that the books themselves are bloodmoney, cashing in on a crime they committed. That is illegal to do. The million dollar advances were (if Knox is truthful here), essentially converted into legal payments for her lawyers, and to her family.
Unless Knox’s family really did spend a million or more to visit her, the money Amanda claims went to them could be seen as ‘‘gifts’’ or ways to hold onto such funds. Even if the Knoxes/Mellas did spend that much money, Amanda is paying those debts off with illegally obtained money.
Sollecito has not been nearly as open about where his book advance went (rumoured to be $950,000). However, he would have the same legal issues facing him as Knox.
9. Prostitution and Soliciting of Prostitution
This is a quote directly from section cc 213 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
Offences in Relation to Offering, Providing or Obtaining Sexual Services for Consideration
Marginal note:Stopping or impeding traffic
213. (1) Everyone is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who, in a public place or in any place open to public view, for the purpose of offering, providing or obtaining sexual services for consideration,
(a) stops or attempts to stop any motor vehicle; or
(b) impedes the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic or ingress to or egress from premises adjacent to that place.
(c) [Repealed, 2014, c. 25, s. 15]
Marginal note:Communicating to provide sexual services for consideration
(1.1) Everyone is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who communicates with any person — for the purpose of offering or providing sexual services for consideration — in a public place, or in any place open to public view, that is or is next to a school ground, playground or daycare centre.
Definition of “public place”
(2) In this section, “public place” includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied, and any motor vehicle located in a public place or in any place open to public view.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 213; R.S., 1985, c. 51 (1st Supp.), s. 1; 2014, c. 25, s. 15.
In Canada, the prostitution laws are constantly being challenged. Due to lobbying efforts, the punishments are actually becoming much harsher for soliciting than for providing.
Knox met Federico Martini (the man she calls ‘‘Cristiano’’ in her book), on a train in Italy. She had been providing sex, and getting drugs, and it kept happening up to the night she was arrested. It had been known for years in Italy, but only released to the American media in the summer of 2014.
The thing is: this would actually be considered prostitution. It doesn’t matter if he offered cash, or a bag of coke. Martini, the client (a.k.a the John), was providing material goods in return for sex. In Canada, legally speaking , Amanda Knox was prostituting herself (a.k.a. hooking).
10. Fraud Over $5,000
This is a quote directly from section cc 380 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
380. (1) Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service,
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding fourteen years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a testamentary instrument or the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds five thousand dollars; or
(b) is guilty
(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction,
where the value of the subject-matter of the offence does not exceed five thousand dollars.
Marginal note:Minimum punishment
(1.1) When a person is prosecuted on indictment and convicted of one or more offences referred to in subsection (1), the court that imposes the sentence shall impose a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of two years if the total value of the subject-matter of the offences exceeds one million dollars.
Knox wrote her book ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’’ for a reported $3.8 million. Sollecito (or was it Gumbel?) wrote ‘‘Honor Bound’’ for a reported nearly $1 million. Problem here, is that both of these book deals were obtained under false pretences.
Due to the spike in publicity of white-collar crime, the Canadian government imposed a 2 year minimum jail term for fraud that exceeds one million dollars. Considering that the books are fake, the payoff (at least for Knox), exceeds that amount, she would be facing at least 2 years for that.
Also, I have no idea how much money Knox or Sollecito have raised via their websites, or Twitter accounts, or via PayPal. But they could face additional charges of either fraud over $5,000, or fraud UNDER $5,000, which carries lower maximum.
11. Carrying a Concealed Weapon
This is a quote directly from section cc 88 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
Possession of weapon for dangerous purpose
88. (1) Every person commits an offence who carries or possesses a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence.
(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
It was one of the charges Knox and Sollecito faced. Guess what? Can’t do it here either
12. Fabricating Evidence
This is a quote directly from section cc 137 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
137. Every one who, with intent to mislead, fabricates anything with intent that it shall be used as evidence in a judicial proceeding, existing or proposed, by any means other than perjury or incitement to perjury is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 125.
Knox and Sollecito were alleged to have staged the crime scene at the house to make to look like someone had broken in through Filomena’s window, ransacked the place, killed Meredith during a bungled robbery, then fled. The Courts (Micheli, Massei, Nencini, 2 Cassation panels), also believed that Knox and Sollecito had attempted—albeit unsuccessfully—to selectively clean the house, making it look like Rudy Guede was the sole killer.
Knox was a resident in the upstairs part of the house, and therefore had a reason to make it look like an outsider did it. If there were no obvious signs of a burglar, the police would immediately zero in on the other 3 women who lived in the house.
13. Jurors Speaking out During (or After) Criminal Proceedings
Quoted directly from the Canadian Criminal Code:
Disclosure of jury proceedings
649. Every member of a jury, and every person providing technical, personal, interpretative or other support services to a juror with a physical disability, who, except for the purposes of
(a) an investigation of an alleged offence under subsection 139(2) in relation to a juror, or
(b) giving evidence in criminal proceedings in relation to such an offence,
discloses any information relating to the proceedings of the jury when it was absent from the courtroom that was not subsequently disclosed in open court is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
The secrecy that jurors are sworn to survives even after the trial. In the case of Ms. Ballerini talking to the media about the 2013/2014 Florence appeal just before the March 2015 Cassation ruling, it would not be allowed here either. Financial need would not be considered an acceptable defence.
While summary offences carry a maximum of 2 years in prison, in reality, jurors would not see the inside of a cell. A fine and/or probation would be much more likely.
14. Canadian Law on Extradition
Amanda Knox has made it known publicly (and idiotically) that she will never return to Italy, even if it means remaining a fugitive. She claimed that she skipped her last appeal out of fear of a wrongful conviction, even though she claimed she had faith in the Italian Courts. Yes, she’s a hypocrite. Well, Italy does request extradition of convicted criminals, which is what Knox is (pending confirmation by Cassation).
Amusingly, she claims again to have faith in the Supreme Court, while remaining in the U.S. out of fear.
However, many countries extradite both suspected and convicted criminals. Knox’s situation is even weaker, as she will not only be ‘‘convicted’‘, but will be ‘‘convicted, with all appeals exhausted.’’ Considering she has not attended court once since Hellmann released her (she missed Cassation 1, Nencini, Cassation 2), she is not likely to garner much sympathy.
Canada both requests and complies with requests for extradition.
There are a few exceptions however:
(a) Canada generally refuses to extradite if they death penalty is sought
(b) Canada generally refuses to extradite if the person faces inhumane treatment at home.
Note: This article was originally submitted just prior to the Cassation hearing. We will see what happens now.
Note: Almost all options to block extradition are not available if the person has received a sentence of at least 6 months. (This was 2 years, but recently lowered). Knox’s 28.5 years is definitely above that threshold. See section 3 of the Extradition Act, and note 3(3) in particular.
Marginal note:General principle
3. (1) A person may be extradited from Canada in accordance with this Act and a relevant extradition agreement on the request of an extradition partner for the purpose of prosecuting the person or imposing a sentence on — or enforcing a sentence imposed on — the person if
(a) subject to a relevant extradition agreement, the offence in respect of which the extradition is requested is punishable by the extradition partner, by imprisoning or otherwise depriving the person of their liberty for a maximum term of two years or more, or by a more severe punishment; and
(b) the conduct of the person, had it occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence that is punishable in Canada,
(i) in the case of a request based on a specific agreement, by imprisonment for a maximum term of five years or more, or by a more severe punishment, and
(ii) in any other case, by imprisonment for a maximum term of two years or more, or by a more severe punishment, subject to a relevant extradition agreement.
Marginal note:Conduct determinative
(2) For greater certainty, it is not relevant whether the conduct referred to in subsection (1) is named, defined or characterized by the extradition partner in the same way as it is in Canada.
Marginal note:Extradition of a person who has been sentenced
(3) Subject to a relevant extradition agreement, the extradition of a person who has been sentenced to imprisonment or another deprivation of liberty may only be granted if the portion of the term remaining is at least six months long or a more severe punishment remains to be carried out.
15. What Was Allowed In Italy But Would Not Be In Canada?
Here is a section copied directly from the Law Society of Upper Canada’s website. This is the regulatory body with licences and is able to remove lawyers in the province of Ontario. It covers the relationship between lawyers and the administration of justice.
[Amended – October 2014]
5.1-2 When acting as an advocate, a lawyer shall not
(a) abuse the process of the tribunal by instituting or prosecuting proceedings which, although legal in themselves, are clearly motivated by malice on the part of the client and are brought solely for the purpose of injuring the other party,
(b) knowingly assist or permit the client to do anything that the lawyer considers to be dishonest or dishonourable,
(c) appear before a judicial officer when the lawyer, the lawyer’s associates or the client have business or personal relationships with the officer that give rise to or might reasonably appear to give rise to pressure, influence, or inducement affecting the impartiality of the officer, unless all parties consent and it is in the interests of justice,
(d) endeavour or allow anyone else to endeavour, directly or indirectly, to influence the decision or action of a tribunal or any of its officials in any case or matter by any means other than open persuasion as an advocate,
(e) knowingly attempt to deceive a tribunal or influence the course of justice by offering false evidence, misstating facts or law, presenting or relying upon a false or deceptive affidavit, suppressing what ought to be disclosed, or otherwise assisting in any fraud, crime, or illegal conduct,
(f) knowingly misstate the contents of a document, the testimony of a witness, the substance of an argument, or the provisions of a statute or like authority,
(g) knowingly assert as true a fact when its truth cannot reasonably be supported by the evidence or as a matter of which notice may be taken by the tribunal,
(h) make suggestions to a witness recklessly or knowing them to be false;
(i) deliberately refrain from informing the tribunal of any binding authority that the lawyer considers to be directly on point and that has not been mentioned by an opponent,
(j) improperly dissuade a witness from giving evidence or advise a witness to be absent,
(k) knowingly permit a witness or party to be presented in a false or misleading way or to impersonate another,
(l) knowingly misrepresent the client’s position in the litigation or the issues to be determined in the litigation;
(m) needlessly abuse, hector, or harass a witness,
(n) when representing a complainant or potential complainant, attempt to gain a benefit for the complainant by threatening the laying of a criminal charge or by offering to seek or to procure the withdrawal of a criminal charge,
(o) needlessly inconvenience a witness; or
(p) appear before a court or tribunal while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. [Amended – October 2014]
The problem here, is although there are rules of conduct, the rules of conduct also state that lawyers must take every avenue available to help out their clients. So, it seems that the line between zealous advocacy and professional misconduct gets rather blurry. While not necessarily criminal offences, these things would throw the law into disrespute, and could cause problems for lawyers. Cases in point:
i) After the Florence Appeals Court ruled against Knox and Sollecito in January 2014, defense lawyer Guilia Bongiorno tried to have Judge Nencini disciplined for making some rather innocuous remarks to reporters. This was baseless and vindictive. If you lose an appeal, you don’t maliciously try to take down the lead judge. It is a clear violation of clause (a).
ii) Judge Hellmann was installed as lead judge for Knox and Sollecito’s original first appeal. Hellmann was a business judge, and the much more qualified Judge Chairi was forced off the case. There was no legitimate reason for doing this—Hellmann was there as the result of ‘‘judge-shopping’‘. He then proceeded to make a complete mess of that appeal, so much so that Cassation completely annulled it in March 2013. Putting him on the bench in this case is a conflict of interest and violation of clause (c)
iii) Judge Hellmann also went out of his way to twist and distort much of what the prosectors had presented in the 2009 trial, including witness testimony and evidence. Few believe this was accidental. If intentional, it would be violations of clause (d),allowing influence other than as an advocate; and clause (f), distorting evidence and testimony.
iv) Judge Hellmann dragged out the appeal by holding it only a few times each month, which caused enormous burdens on both prosecutors, and the Kercher family. Not only is this rude, it could be seen as a violation of clause (o).
v) Knox’s lawyers, Luciano Ghirga and Carlos Dalla Vedova allowed Knox to make many accusations on the witness stand in June 2009. Among the most serious is Knox’s claim she was physically assualted November 5th/6th. Ghirga himself had said publicly Knox wasn’t hit. These lawyers also passed along Knox’s false email to Judge Nencini, and Vedova filed a bogus claim to the European Court of Human Rights. This is knowingly letting Knox do dishonest things, and repeated violations of clause (b).
vi) Knox and Sollecito’s defence has been shown to be relying many times on false facts and pretences. Although lawyers are obligated to defend their clients, deep down they have to know that the defences they are making is true. These are violations of clause (e), but are prime examples of duty to the court directly conflicting with duty to the clients.
vii) Ted Simon, Knox’s now (absent) U.S. lawyer, has changed his tune. He spoke out publicly in 2008 saying that there actually was a strong case against Knox (motive notwithstanding). However, when he came on board, he ‘‘adjusted’’ his views, and now claims that there is no evidence, never was, and never will be. Although not present at the trial or appeals, Simon has made claims that he himself knows to be false, violating clause (g).
viii) Bob Barnett helped Knox land her book deal with HarperCollins, even though proceedings were still underway, knowing that Knox made false claims, knowing that Knox had been convicted of making false accusations, and knowing that Son-of-Sam laws prohibited such actions. He helped Knox do something dishonourable, violating clause (b). Or, if Mr. Barnett didn’t know, then he is far too incompetent to be a lawyer.
While lawyers are obligated to advocate on behalf of their client, the line seems rather fuzzy as to what actually constitutes ‘‘advocacy’’ and what constitutes ‘‘misconduct’‘. I believe the examples above are all professional misconduct. They were done with the intention of helping AK/RS, but step far, FAR over the line. While this is quoted from the Ontario site, other Provincial and Territorial Law Societies have very similar rules.
16. Where This Series Is Headed Next:
This concludes the part of Canadian laws that would have applied to Knox, Sollecito and Guede, had they committed the crime here. #9, which Knox bragged about to her friends, wrote about in her book, and told to police, would be considered prostitution, when you realize she got drugs for it. And #13 was added after the juror from the Florence appeal, Genny Ballerini, decided to talk to the media. All of the crimes listed in the first 3 parts are all crimes under Italian law, even if they are called something different. These 3 parts were kind of a Canada v.s. Italy perspective.
The next pieces will cover other common law nations, and contrast their varying decisions. Peter suggested giving an even wider context for crime and punishment across the globe. The final piece will be some loose ends, and requests for content are encouraged. If there is a topic I missed, or something that needs more depth, ask.
1st post appears here: An Overview.
2nd post appears here: Public Mischief and Perjury
3rd post appears here: Bail, Extradition & Other Crimes
4th post appears here: Canada v.s. the U.S.A. (Part 1)
5th post coming soon: Canada v.s. the U.S.A. (Part 2)
6th post coming soon: Canada and our Family
7th post coming soon: Loose Ends, and Reader Request
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