Headsup. Netflix has perpetrated something unique: it has defamed a fine justice system worldwide based on seriously wrong claims and myriad omissions. We expect there to be political and legal repercussions. For our part we plan about half a dozen more omissions posts and movie reviews and thereafter a major propagation of the real facts.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sollecito v Italy & Guede: Damning Incriminations He Will Probably Be Faced With #1

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Sollecito in one of numerous interviews, usually falling short of convincing everyone

Series Overview

We will be running series summarizing the damning and still-standing facts against Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede.

With this post we start into the damning and still-standing facts against Sollecito. He and his father and legal team have already filed a damages lawsuit in Florence against the Republic of Italy.

His intention seems also to be to sue Rudy Guede for defamation. In the RAI interview Guede did pretty solidly place him at the scene of the crime.

These posts will suggest what Sollecito could see thrown back at him. We’ve already pointed out that previous legal threats and court filings went nowhere. We may of course see that happen here also.

Exhibit One

This first post consists of a pre-emptive rebuttal by the pro-bono team working for Rudy Guede at Viterbo Prison. (He also has a pro-bono legal team in Rome now.) They are responding to an attempt by Sollecito to put his case to bed in the weekly Oggi.

As with Guede’s interview this includes claims that are very self-serving. But it does also highlight the kinds of problems Sollecito faces.  It is kindly translated and submitted by Guermantes, one of our friends at PMF dot Net.. Guermantes used Catnip’s new translation of the Micheli Report.


February 5, 2016

The Centre for Criminological Studies of Viterbo responds - on behalf of Rudy Guede - to Sollecito’s assertions made in the Oggi article of January 26, 2016:

Raffaele Sollecito responds to Rudy Guede: “How many lies in the interview with Leosini”

Raffaele Sollecito “challenges” Rudy Guede on stories told by the Ivorian on TV

OGGI, analyzing word for word the interview with the Ivorian, imprisoned for the murder of Meredith Kercher, has identified at least eight omissions and blatant lies aired without being corrected. Among these, the appointment with the girl, the denial of having performed thefts, the use of hard drugs, the content of the judgment of the Supreme Court regarding the placement of Sollecito and Knox in the murder house.

The story of Rudy Guede still stands up though. Here is why …

Viterbo - Received and published – We learned of Raffaele Sollecito’s indignation, who, in an article published by a well-known weekly (Oggi, ed), complains about the inappropriateness of the broadcast of the ‘Cursed Stories’ program, in addition to the way it was recorded and run without contradiction[uncontested].

On this point, it is hardly necessary to recall that Raffaele Sollecito had been the guest on a large number of programs such as Porta a Porta, La vita in diretta, Domenica In, Piazza Italia (Rai programs, public television), Quarto Grado, Pomeriggio 5, Matrix (Mediaset), Otto e Mezzo (La7). All this - before, during and after the trials / verdicts that concerned him.

In the article just published, he notes, however, that comments and observations about current events should be offered before the verdicts and not after. Otherwise we would be “in the presence of a surreal fourth degree of judgment.”

We respect this opinion but we would also like to add that another school of thought argues that trials should be conducted in courtrooms and not on the pages of newspapers or in television studios. And Rudy Guede has waited eight years until the end of all sets of proceedings (including those relating to Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox) before expressing his opinion.

Among other things, during a single television broadcast and not on the talk show circuit of national broadcasters. A choice, of Rudy, which should be respected. Because it is broadly related to the principles and values that characterize the Italian legal system.

Then, shifting the focus to the set-up of the program “without contradiction” [counter-arguments], it is necessary to point out at the outset that, in all those years of “Cursed Stories” programming, no one has ever complained about this mode. Moreover, Raffaele Sollecito himself was also the only guest “without contradiction.” Beginning with Porta a Porta of Bruno Vespa and ending with Otto e Mezzo of Lilly Gruber.

The [Oggi} article summarizes in eight points the alleged lies by Rudy quoting in some cases (not all) excerpts from transcripts or judgments about the case of Perugia. We try to respond to each of them, expressing the views of Rudy.

Point #1)

Rudy had no appointment with Meredith? It may be! But speaking of appointments, the Court of first instance expressed itself by saying that “it is normal for twenty-somethings in a university town to meet up in the usual places without having to first set up a notary’s deed. “ [Par. 206.50] (page 93, Sentence of the First Degree Rudy Guede). This statement may also be taken into account even in the case of objection to Rudy’s words as having no value?

Still on point 1, credence is given to a few statements by Mr. Barrow, without saying, however, that the same had not only debunked at the hearing all his previous claims, but had also been in conflict with Rudy as regards girls. Moreover, the testimony of Mr. Barrow was interrupted by “the emergence of criminal behavior regarding monetary negotiations with a television news organization” (p.52). So much so that the witness was deemed unreliable.

Source: The Micheli Report

[194] Mr BARROW, already interviewed by the Public Prosecutor on the 11th of December 2007, which is to say a few days after Mr GEUDE’s return from Germany, had declared to knowing Mr GUEDE for some years, having often played basketball. On that occasion, though, he specified not moving in the same circles as him, due to RUDY being a habitual liar, drinking and using drugs, not to mention annoying the girls by molesting them in public and trying to kiss them.

[195] As for Ms KERCHER, who he described as shy and reserved, Mr BARROW had said he knew her from their shared visiting of the night clubs in the town centre, and in fact he had seen her on Halloween at the Domus, where – he says – RUDY definitely wasn’t; nor did it appear to him that the accused knew MEREDITH, and according to him it was not in fact true that he had spoken to her or had met her.

[196] In court, Mr BARROW restructured his grounds, saying for example that Mr GUEDE used to drink but a bit like how all the other young men were doing it, even if he had often seen him drunk; he instead denied being certain about any drug use on the part of RUDY, about whom he had mentioned it only for having heard gossip.

And also as regards the molestations, he corrected the gist of what he’d said in remembering only once when the detainee had struck up a conversation with a girl, without knowing that she was actually Mr BARROW’s girlfriend, and a squabble arose: on other occasions, he had seen him pull a girl towards himself while they were talking, although describing it as a gesture common to many others of the same age.

[197] On RUDY’s lies, the witness limited himself to saying that one time Mr GUEDE had been accused of having robbed something in a discotheque from a girl’s purse [translator’s note: handbag in BrE], the accused had immediately denied it, but then it had come out on the grapevine that it certainly had been him; on the presumed certainty that Mr GUEDE had not been at the “Domus” on the evening of the 31st of October, finally saying (and in effect he could not have said otherwise, ab initio) that he had not seen him, without being able to rule out that he really was there.

[198] The testimony, which in practice had not led to anything of significance being acquired, was then interrupted by the emergence of the outlines of an offence by Mr BARROW, concerning negotiations of a monetary nature with a leading television journalist, in whose regard he had presented a claim of trespass (when in reality he had invited those reporters in asking them for money for an interview), and it turned out he had then put forth a further request for money to settle things back to normal.

Point # 2)

Rudy is a serial thief? The article in question contains two sentences that actually relate to the same incident five days before the tragedy, namely his entering an asylum in Milan. A reprehensible episode. So much so that Rudy has earned a related conviction for it (i.e. for possession of stolen goods.). However, beyond this, there is not a single record of another conviction, nor the presence of a complaint concerning other items mentioned in the article. Not only that, but the same Sentence of First Instance refers on page 101 to the absence of a “previous criminal record”, Rudy not having been tried yet for the Milan incident.

[Par. 44]”…on 27 October 2007 (ergo, just five days before the murder) he had been identified in the Milan jurisdiction and had been charged without arrest [a piede libero] for theft, receipt of stolen goods, holding and carrying arms.

Point # 3)

Rudy had left genetic traces in Meredith’s purse? In the trial papers we have not read even one time that Rudy’s genetic material was found inside her purse; if anything, only on the outside. And the difference is not trivial. In fact, finding his trace on the outside of the purse would allow to assume / hypothesize a simple movement of the object in question, while claim to have isolated Rudy’s DNA inside it would mean that the boy might have really went through it, the latter circumstance, which did not result in any conviction, was not confirmed because not supported by any element.

It is therefore in itself horrible and defamatory, the expression used in the [Oggi] article: “While Meredith was bleeding to death” Rudy “rummaged” [in her purse,] Also cell phones and anything else missing from Meredith’s bag were found elsewhere, without any fingerprints or traces of Rudy.

As far as first aid provided by Rudy to Meredith, his efforts were described even by judges who – still on p.101 of the Sentence of First Instance – conclude: “not being able to explain otherwise the presence near the body of three towels.”

Point # 4)

flight into disco. As unspeakable as this behavior is, it is hardly necessary to mention that as regards Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, the Court of Appeal judges commented that there were “numerous and varied ways of how human beings react,  faced with tragic situations” (taken from the Supreme Court with reference on page 17). Why should the same not apply to Rudy?

Point # 5)

Rudy is a liar and he used cocaine? It is true that during the indictments are read expressions like the ones shown in quotation marks in the [Oggi] article, but in many circumstances the same assertions are revisited and subsequently confirmed by the judgments. Moreover, even as regards Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, it states that “the two have given versions not supported by objective evidence and not credible”.

Among other things, it is certainly not the case of measuring the credibility of all the defendants relying on the seriousness of the lies told; otherwise it would be appropriate to recall that Amanda Knox put at the scene of the crime an innocent, namely Lumumba, who only through an iron-clad alibi managed to get out of it.

[Par. 260.77] “It must finally be taken into account, still on the level of serious indicia of guilt and however arguing a contrario, that the two accused have given implausible versions [of alibis] or not substantiated by objective corroboration.

[Par. 260.78] “The circumstance of the missing memory or of the state of confusion, perhaps invoked with (convenient) reference to suggestive pressures on the one hand, or cloudiness of mind through use of stupefactants on the other hand, does not have concrete merit.

Point # 6)

On this point Rudy says nothing special, so we do not understand just where the challenge is to what he said during the TV program.

Point # 7)

The presence of Amanda and Raffaele at the crime scene. It turns out that during transmission Rudy have never claimed to have recognized the person he encountered that evening in via della Pergola. So we don’t understand the complaints about the alleged presence in that house.

It should be noted that in the Supreme Court ruling that absolves Sollecito and Knox is stated (p. 44) that “the hypothesized presence of the current appellants cannot in itself be considered as a demonstrative element of guilt.”

Why cannot the same reflection be taken into account for Rudy? Because the latter would leave traces “everywhere”? Rudy was there and admitted to having been there.

It should however be pointed out that this alleged abundance of traces must be scaled down seeing that on page 97 of the Sentence of First Instance it states that “the quantity of biological material referable to the accused could have been categorized, in effect, as minimal” [Par. 201], “ultimately nothing suggests that there was Rudy’s biological material in great abundance.”

[Par. 201] ”… with the conclusion that the biological material of Ms KERCHER was abundant, and Mr GUEDE’s, in proportion, was quite small.”

[Par. 9.3 on p.41 of the English translation (“pre-final”) of the Bruno/Marasca Report]:  “…the supposed presence in the house of the current appellants cannot, in itself be considered as a demonstrative element of guilt.”

Point # 8)

In the last point it is reported that the substantial reasons for the denial of permission to obtain benefits requested by Rudy is to be attributed to the “lack of critical review of what has happened. He has not showed any remorse or repentance”.

First, if you intend to bring back quotation marks, it would be appropriate to bring it [the quote] back as it was actually written. And that is: “…found that the applicant has committed serious crimes in respect of which he does not recognize his responsibilities.”

Why would he recognize [his responsibilities] if he claims to be innocent to the point of wanting to request a review of the process? Is it not his right? Or the rights that characterize the Italian legal system do not apply to Rudy?

If he really is a liar, he takes the consequences and responsibilities. But ultimately, in this dramatic story, it seems that it is widely assumed. Maybe - and we stress, maybe - far beyond his faults.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Italy Fights For Justice For A Murdered Student As The UK Government Never Did

Posted by Peter Quennell

Above: a minute’s silence in the Italian parliament for Giulio Regeni an Italian student found slain in Cairo a few days ago.

Hundreds of mourners have gathered in a village in northern Italy for the funeral of Giulio Regeni, a Cambridge PhD student found tortured and dead in a ditch on the outskirts of Cairo last week.

Flags were flying at half-mast in Fiumicello, where villagers offered spare rooms and couches for the 28-year-old’s friends and family, as the diplomatic fallout from his death continued in Rome.

The Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, warned Egypt that the health of the relationship between the two countries rested on the quality of the investigation into Regeni’s killing.

Compare with how the UK government reacted after Meredith died. Basically it looked the other way. Many in Italian justice were amazed at how totally disinterested the UK government was in the case in all the years since Meredith’s death.

The US government sprang into action to help Knox and to make sure she was treated right, though there was no proof the Italians would do anything but. They found her a Rome lawyer with good English (Carlos Dalla Vedova) and monitored all her court sessions and her four years in Capanne.

This came at a probable cost of over half a million dollars. And that is just the public support. Nobody ever said “the Federal budget cannot stand this”.

The extent of the British government in pushing justice for Meredith and her family? Exactly zero over the years.

Nothing was ever paid toward the legal costs or the very high travel costs of the Kercher family to be in court as the family finances ran into the ground. Nobody from the Foreign Office in London or the UK Embassy in Rome observed in court except in Florence, just the once.

Appalling pro-Knox Italy-bashing in the UK media based on highly inaccurate accounts was never tamped down - presumably because the Foreign Office was itself in the dark, and did not have a clue what was going on.

The ugly message this sent to the world?  If you are going to be a student in foreign trouble, be an American or Italian. Not a Brit.

However, years after four-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared in Portugal, the UK government is spending heavily to right a possible wrong there.  Back in 2007 Meredith’s case and Madeleine’s case began just a few weeks apart.

Maybe to right a possible wrong in Italy, the UK government could do likewise here.

Posted on 02/14/16 at 12:13 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Justice systemsItalian systemOther systemsThose officially involvedVictims familyOther legal processesThose elsewhereThe wider contextsItalian contextEurope context
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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Endemic Hints By RS That He WAS One Of The Real Killers Pretty Blatant In Italy #1

Posted by Peter Quennell

TV commentator Selvaggia Lucarelli voices what numerous Italians think

“Social Network For Dead People Launched In Italy By Amanda Knox’s Ex-Boyfriend”

We didnt make that headline up. Really. Sollecito’s gruesome venture is described here.

Called Memories, the business will provide a wide range of “graveyard” services, including lightning candles for the deceased, laying wreaths and flowers at graves, and even tombstone cleaning. Once a service is completed, the client’s profile will be updated with a high-resolution photo showing the work done. The prices start at €45 (50 dollars).

The project received a €66,000 grant (nearly $74,000) from Apulia’s regional authorities. Some extra expenses were covered by Sollecito and his family, The Local reported.

According to Sollecite, the idea came to him after his mother died in 2005. The grieving young man thought it would be a convenient way to look after her grave. “I wanted a way to make remembering her easier,” he explained.

Selvaggia Lucarelli is an influential blogger and a sharp and often very funny guest commentator on many TV shows in Italy.  Like many in Italy, she doesnt just want to hold her nose and give the death-fixated fruitcake a free pass.

This time Sollecito ends up in the clutches of a journalist known for her controversy and sharp tone.

It seems that Lucarelli did not welcome the new start-up by the engineer from Puglia.

“See, Raffaele Sollecito, this thing to create a portal for funerals may seem clever but but is really macabre and in addition paints you for who you are (disrespectful and unintelligent) and casts an even more disturbing shadow over you - a healthy person judged innocent by a court while half of Italy is still convinced he’s guilty would instead seek media oblivion.

And if not oblivion, at least a career a few fields away from the smell of death, the suspicion that death carries with it, the face of a little girl named Meredith who was killed like a dog.

But there is obviously a sadistic pleasure in you wanting to see yourself still, with your hair slicked back and a funereal expression, on the front pages of newspapers associated with the word “death” and social networks associated with predictable jokes on the name Meredith.

Meredith needs to be remembered and respected in the silence of your home, not on a portal through which you try to make your wallet fat - you know that wont happen - and boost your macabre popularity.

Posted on 02/09/16 at 09:54 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychologyThose who were chargedRaff SollecitoHoaxes SollecitoSollec persona hoaxSollecito's alibisSollec not-there hoaxSollecito book hoaxes
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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Subtitled In English, Videos Of All Of The RAI Rudy Guede Interview Start Here

Posted by Eric Paroissien

The scene-changing Rudy Guede interview on the government owned Italian network RAI, with subtitles throughout.

Please tell us of technical problems? At the end of each video there SHOULD be a link to the next.

If they dont show up, here are all the direct links.  One and Two and Three and Four and Five and Six and Seven and Eight and Nine and Ten and Eleven. That’s it.

Posted on 02/04/16 at 08:39 PM by Eric Paroissien. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedRudy GuedeHoaxes SollecitoSollec persona hoaxSollecito's alibisSollec not-there hoaxSollecito book hoaxesHoaxes GuedeGuede good guy hoax
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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Knox’s Unsound Appeal To The European Court Of Human Rights Slapped Down By Cassation

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Knox lawyer Carlos Dalla Vedova may have drafted the dishonest ECHR appeal

1. The False Rumor Of ECHR Acceptance Of Knox Case

Eagle-eyed Ergon picked up this rumor, said to come from Chris Mellas (so whats new?): “Word on the street is the ECHR has accepted Knox’s appeal”

Really? Accepted? We contacted the Press Office in Strasbourg and they promptly denied it: “The case in question will be examined by the Court in due time. No decision has been taken as to its admissibility so far.”

That is the limbo status of about 95% of cases from all member countries lodged with the ECHR. The Court has in fact complained that Italian defense lawyers in particular are bogging down the Court’s work with numerous cases on spurious grounds.

2. The Knox Case Fails Our Extensive Lie-Checking

That Knox’s appeal was premature, legally unsound and factually incorrect was shown in great posts by Kermit and James Raper and FinnMacCool. James Raper also attacked the appeal from another angle.

Our mega-series on the Knox interrogation hoax and the Knox false confession hoax presented hard proof, not only that Knox had NOT been leaned on to criminally frame Patrick - she had not even been interrogated.

Her own lawyers had never once supported her, except in trying to chill her hyperbole when she was on the witness stand at her trial.

Nevertheless Knox still airs the phony torture charge at every opportunity, even including that false claim in her infamous email to Judge Nencini - which he sarcastically brushed aside with the advice that Knox should turn up in person.

3. The Knox Case Also Fails ECHR’s Own Submission Rules

ECHR appeals are not eligible for consideration before ALL national legal processes have been exhausted.

Nevertheless, the Knox team jumped the gun in filing the appeal several years early, and even trying to delay the final ruling of the Fifth Chambers so it could come first.

4. The Knox Case Also Fails Italian Law And Case Facts

The Knox defense in filing its submission to the Fifth Chambers had to reveal what its ECHR case was all about. Finally, some hard facts out in the open.

The case included once again the malicious charge Knox again and again makes of “torture”. Here is a summary of the Knox team’s ECHR appeal, as summarised in the Fifth Chambers Report: 

[4.1] And at the end, a delay of the judgment is proposed while waiting for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, following the presentation to the international judicial body on the appeal of 11.22.2013, for alleged violation of the right to an equal trial, according to the article 6 par. 3 lett. a/c ECHR; for alleged violation of defense rights, according to the article 48 par. 2 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; and for the violation of the prohibition on torturing, according to the articles 3 ECHR and 4 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

But Judges Marasca and Bruno for the Fifth Chambers ruled that Knox had no grounds for such a delay in their own appeal.

And beyond that, Judges Marasca and Bruno ruled (warning the Court in Strasbourg) that Knox had no ECHR case at all under Italian law.  In effect the ECHR should not waste its time.

[2.2]The request of Amanda Knox’s defense aimed at the postponing of the present trial to wait for the decision of the European Court of Justice [sic] has no merit, due to the definitive status of the guilty verdict for the crime of calunnia now protected as a partial final status against a denouncement of arbitrary and coercive treatments allegedly carried out by the investigators against the accused to the point of coercing her will and damaging her moral freedom in violation of article 188 of penal procedure code.

And also a possible decision of the European Court in favor of Ms. Knox, in the sense of a desired recognition of non-orthodox treatment of her by investigators, could not in any way affect the final verdict not even in the event of a possible review of the verdict considering

  • the slanderous accusations that the accused produced against Lumumba consequent to the asserted coercions; and

  • confirmed by her before the Public Prosecutor [Dr Mignini] during the subsequent session, in a context which, institutionally, is immune from anomalous psychological pressures; and

  • also confirmed in her memoriale, at a moment when the same accuser was alone with herself and her conscience in conditions of objective peacefulness, sheltered from environmental influence;

  • and were even restated, after some time, during the validation of the arrest of Lumumba, before the investigating judge in charge.

5. As ECHR Case Fails On All Fronts No Joy For Knox

A Strasbourg legal clerk only has to read the words in that last paragraph in bold, and the next notice from the ECHR Press Office will say that the appeal has been rejected.

End of story. Give it a rest, Chris Mellas and Amanda Knox.

Posted on 02/03/16 at 06:16 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Knox ECHR hoax
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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Prime Minister Renzi’s Proposed Reforms Might Have Received A Strange Nudge

Posted by Peter Quennell

So the President of Iran and the Prime Minister of Italy sit in a museum in Rome and stare at… a horse.

You probably know by now that eight nude statues in a Rome museum, male and female, were boxed up on somebody’s orders when the President of Iran visited to discuss several multi-billion-dollar deals.

It was hard to see any relevance of the resultant fuss to our case at all, but the New York Times helps us out.

As a consequence of Boxgate, Italy has suffered ridicule. Nothing is worse than ridicule. Here it is merited. Not so much, I would argue, for Italy’s clumsy attempt at courtesy, for courtesy is important and has become an undervalued virtue. Reading the fall of the West into the concealment of a nude is going too far. Mistakes happen.

No, the ridicule is merited because the decision to hide the works of art was, it seems, made by nobody. In Rome, the buck stops nowhere.

The Capitoline Venus just boxed herself up one night because she was bored and took a few deities along with her.

The prime minister, Matteo Renzi, did not know. The foreign minister did not know. The culture minister called the decision “incomprehensible.” They were, they insist (perhaps too much), as surprised as anyone to find all those white cubes — none, incidentally, provided by the prestigious White Cube gallery in London.

One account has it that a woman named Ilva Sapora who works at Palazzo Chigi, where Renzi’s office is located, made the decision after visiting the Capitoline with Iranian Embassy officials. “Nonsense,” Jas Gawronski, a former Italian member of the European Parliament, told me. The notion that a midlevel Chigi official in charge of ceremonial matters could have made the decision does seem far-fetched. Gawronski believes it is more likely to have been officials at the Farnesina, home to the Foreign Ministry.

One thing can be safely said: Nobody will ever know. I was a correspondent in Rome for some years in the 1980s. Periodically there would be developments in terrorist cases — the Piazza Fontana bombing of 1969 or the Brescia bombing of 1974. Trials, verdicts, appeals followed one another. Facts grew murkier, not clearer. It would take decades to arrive at convictions that did not resolve doubts. Italy has never had much time for the notion that justice delayed is justice denied.

Renzi has wanted to break with this Italy of murky secrets, modernize it, bring stable government and install accountability.

So this incident in a blazing spotlight could even help to push the current reforms of the justice and governance systems along.

And the strongest reform proponents of all? To escape this hamster wheel, judges and prosecutors of Italy. 

Posted on 02/02/16 at 08:01 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Other legal processesItalian unrelatedThe wider contextsItalian context
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why Guede’s Ex-Lawyers Really Bailed On Him? The Italian Perception

Posted by Peter Quennell

Way too much is being made of this in the US in a wrong way.

Biscotti and Gentile of Perugia are not Italy’s winningest team. They have had precisely two cases of national significance in Italy. And both of their clients are serving long terms in prison.

  • Rudy Guede is serving 16 years in Viterbo Prison awarded by the Perugia court and confirmed by Cassation and another three years awarded by the Milan court for stolen property.

  • Salvatore Parolisi (seen above with the lawyers) was sentenced to 20 years for killing his wife Melania Rea with 35 stab wounds, and is appealing for a sentence reduction (really).

We posted a lot on Melania’s case starting even before it was clear that her soldier-husband killed her, in a very elaborate premeditated staging so he could continue life with his girlfriend.

Salvatore and Melania had a little daughter. Melania’s parents not only washed their hands of him after initially defending him, believing his tale that he was innocent.

They ran a blowtorch of a media campaign against him, the sort of thing Knox & Sollecito escaped, and for a while there he was the most hated man in Italy.

To their considerable credit, Biscotti and Gentile do accept to try to defend these low-income clients. But their fees cannot be remotely like those of the Sollecito and Knox teams.

And they do need to win some cases, and to attract more cases, and it is hard to see how they can help Guede to win anything at all in the law courts.

In fact, they never have won anything, ever, for Guede.

He chose the short-form trial in Perugia and the sentence was eventually set by Judge Massei at 16 years under the formula. The three years he was awarded in Milan was to code also.

Ten to one against this, but if the Sollecitos DO sue Rudy Guede as they are threatening for fingering RS as one of Meredith’s killers he is likely to spill the beans entirely.

That wont require any lawyers.

Posted on 01/27/16 at 09:38 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedRudy GuedeThose officially involvedThe defensesHoaxes GuedeGuede good guy hoax
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is Francesco Sollecito Forced Into Legal Aggression He Didnt Want & Which Could Rebound?

Posted by Peter Quennell

Legal Development

Francesco Sollecito is being reported as denouncing Guede and initiating actions against him - and the Republic of Italy.

What must have looked to him nicely wound up by the Fifth Chambers at the end of March last year does seem to have a pesky tendency to become unwound.

It was unwound a bit by the continuance of Sollecito’s book trial in which RS lawyer Bongiorno refused to become involved. It was unwound a bit by the charges Dr Mignini requested against the RS lawyer Maori mid-year. It was unwound a bit by the Fifth Chambers with the poisoned sting at the end of its Report.

That Motavazione as phrased could open the way to a wrongful death suit against Sollecito (and Knox) or a petition to the President. A “guilty” verdict on the numerous false claims in Sollecito’s book could open the way to civil suits.

The petition was filed today at the Court of Appeal of Florence by their lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori. The lawyers decided to turn to the last trial court that dealt with the process. In particular, they demanded compensation of 516,000 Euros for the detention to which Sollecito was submitted from 6 November 2007 to 4 October 2011.

The computer engineer from Puglia has always proclaimed he was not involved in the murder and was finally acquitted along with Amanda Knox.  “I can not spend my life defending myself from something I have not done ...”: Raffaele Sollecito commented on the interview… 

He was followed by his father Francesco in transmitting a statement from their home in Puglia. “Raffaele is shocked and outraged,” said Francesco Sollecito. “I am also deeply outraged. I did not even sleep last night.” The father of Raffaele - finally acquitted for a murder he always proclaimed he was outside of - criticized in particular “Guede’s attitude towards the brutally murdered girl. Guede is refuted by the procedural documents, many of which are omitted in the interview. It was denied, among other things, by Raffaele’s friends that there was a random meeting with Meredith Kercher.”

“Guede still has to explain why he was in that house and why he went to the disco after finding the body. Let us remember, Francesco Sollecito empahsized again, that he is a person definitively convicted of murder. “

No mention at all of Knox? She was the one Guede really nailed, though Raffaele was pretty firmly placed at the crime scene too.

Last year, a bombastic Raffaele Sollecito had threatened to file a suit against Italy, but his father and lawyers had wound him back. Presumably because way, way, way too much could come out. “Take care about what you wish for.” “Let sleeping dogs lie.” “Discretion is the better part of valor.” Take your choice.

But such a suit is normal and expected. It would look suspicious if it was never filed. Now the Florence prosecution may get the chance to make the case in full the Fifth Chambers never heard.

Storms In The Past

Francesco Sollecito and Raffaele Sollecito and Vanessa Sollecito are all notorious for loosing their cool.

Francesco lost it here toward Raffaele, and especially here. Vanessa lost it here and again here. Everybody lost it toward Amanda Knox. Sollecito’s own book describes that rage.

And take a look. Despite supposed “honor bound” there are dozens of examples there.

Francesco Sollecito lost it after the Hellmann acquittal when Raffaele said he and Knox were still a thing, and again when RS took off to Seattle after Knox. He lost it again when a false felony claim in Sollecito’s book was unveiled on national TV.

Bongiorno also often seems in a rage. Hmmm. A group of people in a rage, and then things go too far. Where have we heard that before?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Only In Italy? A Complete Orchestra - Of Women Playing Harps

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Complexity squared….

The venues are not given, but one looks like the La Scala Opera House in Milan, completely sold out. Actually, there are a few such orchestras elsewhere in Europe and in the US; in Italy they are thick on the ground.

Posted on 01/24/16 at 07:46 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Concerning MeredithHer PerugiaThe wider contextsItalian context
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sollecito Lawyers Threaten To Sue If Guede Tells Any Lies; Dont Hold Your Breath…

Posted by Peter Quennell

Bongiorno goes overboard at end of Nencini appeal; Italy laughs

Way to ensure high ratings? Now Bongiorno threatens to sue RAI if the interview propagates any “lies”.

Sources here and here. Good luck! If she DOES sue (dont put any money on that regardless of what Guede says) the Fifth Chambers report will not be her friend and she surely knows.

She hasnt commented publicly on that report though Sollecito has been very sulky of late. She still talks as if the March verdict is the only one that stands.

At other times there have been such threats to sue. None ever happened there. Examples:

  • Bongiorno didnt sue Aviello for saying she had been offering bribes to his cellmates in exchange for their testimony to help RS despite a threat.

  • Bongiorno didnt sue Lifetime TV as threatened for the movie about Knox - the RS character barely appears, maybe that was her beef - despite a threat.

    And Mignini’s case against Maori will really put Bongiorno and Maori in a bind, if Guede doesnt do damage enough.

    Posted on 01/20/16 at 07:03 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015Hoaxes GuedeGuede sole perp hoaxGuede good guy hoax
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    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

    Reports That On Italian TV Thursday Guede Will Claim Knox & Sollecito Initiated Attack, Caused Death

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    It seems the serial defamer Amanda Knox wins no love at all in Italy. As we posted 10 days ago:

    A majority of Italians still believe that Amanda Knox led a cruel pack attack on Meredith and (to Guede’s and Sollecito’s seeming considerable shock) landed the fatal stab in Meredith’s neck.  They watched Knox on the stand for two days, in fact doing herself great harm.

    Italian media are sure looking forward to Guede dropping her in it on national TV later this week. There are half a dozen reports.  This summary in English by Liz Houle just went online.

    It is being reported on January 18, 2016 that Rudy Guede says that he is innocent of the murder of Meredith Kercher. In a clear and concise manner, Guede states that there is no evidence of his DNA on the murder weapon or in the simulated break-in room. He goes on to say that he knew both Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox but was more familiar with Knox. “It was not me, but I’m the only condemned” maintains Guede.

    Rudy Guede sat down in an interview on Italian television show Cursed Stories (Storie Maledette) and gave his unvarnished view of what happened. “It was not me. . . . “ pointing the finger back onto Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

    In precise and coherent language Guede describes exactly what happened the night Meredith Kercher was tortured and left bleeding to death on that cold November night. Guede explains “. . .when I was found in the house of the crime I fled because I was afraid. No one would believe me. I thought: Negro found guilty found. The subsequent investigations, conducted ​​badly, have shown that I was right.”

    There’s also this. Actually CNN has blown hot and cold, with Paul Callan and Chris Cuomo and Erin Burnett and Nancy Grace all coming out anti-Knox.

    Posted on 01/19/16 at 12:49 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedRudy GuedeHoaxes Italy & the caseThe Alessi hoaxHoaxes GuedeGuede good guy hoax
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    Friday, January 15, 2016

    Beyond The Italian And UK Media Reports That Knox Was Found Not Guilty Of Calunnia II

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

    Knox with Rita Ficarra who Knox accused of hitting her.

    UK media are reporting that the case was about slander, in effect a civil case by those who consider themselves damaged.

    But in fact this was calunnia, which is more serious, a false accusation of a crime to a justice official, in this case the claim Knox made on the stand that she was forced to finger Patrick.

    We are told this is key context which the UK reporting leaves out. 

      1. The original complaint was made (the rules required it) by those who were accused before the 2009 trial ended with a verdict of Knox’s guilt.

      2. Preceding Knox on the stand had been all of those she accused. So to court-watchers in Italy her testimony was not a convincing show.

      3. Knox was thereafter found guilty for essentially the same crime, with a sentence set at three years by Judge Hellmann and endorsed by the Fifth Chambers of the Supreme Court.

    In effect, justice had been served for the false claims. Italian justice officials still have a big shot at worse claims in Knox’s book.

    Under the Statute Of Limitations, as the book was added-to and re-issued in 2015, that opportunity exists for another five years.

    Posted on 01/15/16 at 04:21 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxThose officially involvedPolice and CSIOther legal processesKnox followupThe wider contextsItalian context
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    Saturday, January 09, 2016

    How A Major Media Controversy In The US Augurs Well For The Imminent Reframing Of The “Knox Case”

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    1. The Wisconsin Case Now In Dispute

    1. The Netflix Report

    In mid December a pay-per-view documentary about a murder case in Wisconsin was put online.

    Millions of people in the US and elsewhere have paid up and watched the 10-hour Netflix report. Convinced that they are experts now on the whole case, hundreds of thousands of Americans have signed petitions to the President and the State Governor requesting that the convicted Steve Avery be released.

    Some viewers have even taken to berating and threatening the investigators and the prosecution both online and in telephone messages and texts.

    Their take seems to be of the investigators and the prosecution corruptly making many, many things up during the investigation and trial. Their supposed motive was to cover their tails in a previous case where Steve Avery was indeed wrongly convicted, for which they could now face court and loss of jobs.

    Furthermore some reports claimed that a juror had said the jury felt intimidated and were never convinced of guilt.

    2. Reaction Of US Media

    A growing wave of reports and articles have been aired and published online in effect saying most of the hardest evidence was left out.

    The lead prosecutor has been quoted as saying “90 percent of the evidence” against Avery and a relative convicted as an accomplice was not even mentioned in the report.

    So a wave of fact-checking is going on.

    Even though it is still early days here and here are Time Magazine. Here is the Los Angeles Times. Here is the New York Times. Here is On Milwaukee’s website. Here is the International Business Times.

    Several TV documentaries contradicting the Netflix report are reportedly already in the works. See the reports here and here and also here.

    And the juror has now denied that the jury was intimidated and did not do an honest job. So far, all the jurors seem to be standing by their verdict, in the face of a lot of heat.

    Oh and on those petitions which Netflix stirred? President Obama’s spokesman has said it is not a Federal case so he will not intervene, and the Governor of Wisconsin has said he will not intervene either, as the state has good justice systems in place.

    So they will ignore opinion that was deliberately muddled for commercial ends, and instead leave matters to the courts.

    2. Parallels To Reporting Of The “Knox Case”

    The parallels to the Perugia case are in fact immense.

    The prosecution case in 2009 was extremely persuasive and the entire jury (panel of judges) voted for guilt. They sat through the very tough and convincing 1/4 of the trial that was held behind closed doors.

    A majority of Italians still believe that Amanda Knox led a cruel pack attack on Meredith and (to Guede’s and Sollecito’s seeming considerable shock) landed the fatal stab in Meredith’s neck.  They watched Knox on the stand for two days, in fact doing herself great harm.

    In contrast, almost the entire American media followed the Netflix route.

    Main media have struggled to report the trial for language and local-staff reasons, and the Associated Press carried by 2000 media outlets actively misled. Main media presented almost no reporting of the very painstaking judicial checking by ten judges that preceded the case ever going to court.

    Main media have still not translated not even one major document (the Wiki and two PMFs and TJMK have translated hundreds of documents now and are still not done) and have left hundreds of evidence points unaddressed.

    Main media have also misreported the overturning of the Hellmann outcome and the Nencini appeal. They have especially misrepresented the supposed complete Marasca-Bruno reversal for the Fifth Chambers of the Supreme Court.

    As lawyers for Dr Mignini and three of our main posters (James Raper, Machiavelli and Catnip) have shown, in fact the Fifth Chambers (a) should not even have had the case; (b) broke two laws, (c) misinterpreted a few elements of the evidence, (d) left literally hundreds of evidence points out, (e) went against strongly established Italian legal precedents, and (f) even ridiculed plain hard science.

    And even so, they still placed Knox right at the scene of the attack at the time, and Sollecito probably so. Accessories before or after the crime. Felons in their view in fact.

    So here’s a prediction on what Americans will see in the media soon on this case.

    The widespread media reaction against Netflix will be reflected in a major correction in the main media against the serious under-reporting and misreporting of the Perugia case.

    We have some idea of what is already in the works. Stay tuned.


    Posted on 01/09/16 at 01:52 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Reporting, media, moviesMedia newsOther legal processesThose elsewhereThe wider contextsN America context
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    Thursday, January 07, 2016

    A Stretch Inside Not Only Protects Society: For Perps It May Be Best Shot At Coming Right

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    Video 1: Very good analysis by psychologist Dr Drew Pinsky on Tuesday 5 January 2016

    As we posted Ethan Couch killed four and maimed a fifth for life while drunk-driving in Texas two years ago.

    He is now in a Mexico City lockup for illegal immigrants seeking to avoid extradition to the US where he has violated his highly controversial probation. Many or most think this was a travesty for the families of the victims. The judge retired early. Justice was not seen to be done.

    Now he is reported to have run up a $1000 tab at a Mexican strip club which his mother paid. That $1000 apparently went in part toward drinks. He had skipped out of the US mid-December because he was videoed at a party with drinks.

    Sources say Ethan Couch and his mother Tonya went to a strip club called Harem in Puerto Vallarta on the night of Dec. 23. According to club employees, the pair had drinks before Tonya Couch left the club. Ethan stayed at the club and employees told ABC News that he went off to a VIP room with two women who worked at Harem. Hotel and club employees said Couch was extremely drunk.

    Few if any other criminal psychologists ever came out in support of Couch’s defense’s psychologist who convinced the judge two years ago that the affluence of the family was somehow a primary cause.

    In the past few days there have been various psychology panels on cable TV discussing the case. Articles too.

    From them Ethan Couch did not exactly get a lot of love. A term inside to remove him from his family and choke off his dependencies is what the psychologists incline towards, as Dr Drew in the top video highly recommends.

    Video 2: Dr Drew two years ago (this video was previously at the top)

    Posted on 01/07/16 at 08:12 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Justice systemsItalian systemOther systemsCrime hypothesesThe psychologyHoaxes KnoxNasty-prison hoaxOther legal processesThose elsewhere
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    Tuesday, January 05, 2016

    Worldwide In 20th Century, Maybe Half Of All Murders May Be Attributed In Part To Lead Poisoning

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    That lead damages brains has been known for many years. That it causes murders is more recently accepted. 

    The first graph below shows when the US began to move from leaded gasoline to unleaded gasoline in the mid 70s. Lead was removed altogether around 1990.

    Some but not all countries followed a similar pattern.

    The effects, though diminishing, are going to be with us for a long time. Maybe to mid-century? The pioneer researcher economist Nick Nevin wrote this about the murder-rate/lead correlation:

    Lead exposure trends affect homicide trends with a 21-year time lag, reflecting the impact of early-childhood neurodevelopmental damage when those children reach the peak ages of homicide offending.

    That suggests that anyone alive today over 25 may have had significant exposure. Roughly half the world’s population, some 3.5 billion.

    Very few of those committed murders, but of those that did the research findings reflected in the second graph below suggest that half might have been lead-affected and there remain among us millions of time-bombs. This is from a recent BBC report:

    Dr Bernard Gesch says the data now suggests that lead could account for as much as 90% of the changing crime rate during the 20th Century across all of the world.

    Numerous cases like this one now use lead poisoning as a defense.  It doesnt seem a get-out-of-jail-free card, but for some obviously mentally impaired it is proving helpful.

    Posted on 01/05/16 at 10:49 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Justice systemsOther systemsCrime hypothesesThe psychologyThe wider contextsN America context
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    Friday, January 01, 2016

    “Happy Day” By Universita per Stranieri Students Meredith Would Surely Have Got Along With

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

    Posted on 01/01/16 at 08:01 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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    Thursday, December 31, 2015

    Buon Anno 2016! Bay Of Naples Has A Fireworks Show Like… Not Your Normal Town

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

    Last year the fireworks of Meredith’s home town received a lot of praise - she was born not far from that giant wheel.

    Posted on 12/31/15 at 09:48 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Concerning MeredithHer PerugiaThe wider contextsItalian context
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    How American Judges Can Be Made To Feel The Heat Over Controversial Verdicts

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    Why American judges can envy Italian judges part deux.

    As we surely all know now, most Italian judges advance along a career path. Only a few are politically appointed and none are elected.  All of the time their rulings are under minute scrutiny and (as we have seen with Judges Hellmann, Marasca and Bruno) the powerful Council of Magistrates can stop their advancement in a heartbeat if any of those rulings look suspect.

    American judges are mostly elected with little training requirements or qualifications testing. If they seem to have stepped out of line some of them can face political hearings and discipline boards (as Judge Heavey did) but not all do.

    But the worse reaction many fear more is the media and the public turning upon them, made vastly more possible because of the Internet and happening time and time again these days. 

    The American judge now much in the news - and not in a good way - is Jean Boyd of Texas.

    In March 2012 Jean Boyd, then a Juvenile Court judge, sentenced a 14-year-old black boy to 10 years for killing a smaller boy with one powerful punch.  She was criticised for being way too harsh then.

    In December 2013 she veered sharply in the other direction.

    She sentenced a now notorious teenager to mere probation and rehabilitation after he had killed four people and maimed a fifth for life when drunk-driving. The psychological defense she bought into was that his family was so rich that he grew up without the right parenting.

    This was apparently a unique defense and one that has never been attempted for poorer people. Judge Boyd was widely criticised for being way too light then.

    The two cases dropped out of the news for a while.

    But now the notorious white teenager Ethan Couch is all over the news again. A few weeks ago he was caught on video drinking - which could lead to his serving time in prison - and a couple of weeks ago he disappeared along with his mother.

    Considering that he has not yet even been charged with a transgression of his probation, the size and cost of the manhunt was extraordinary. Somehow the US Federal Marshall Service pinpointed his phone in a Mexican apartment, and the Mexican police arrested him along with his mother and locked them up.

    Today he is being held in an Mexican prison with his mother. It is just reported that they are fighting extradition.

    Good luck with that one.

    Judge Boyd actually retired a year ago in face of a petition demanding she be fired. She was given some credit by the local newspaper.

    But her verdict never convinced an angry public or the families of the four dead and one maimed victims, and both he and his irresponsible mother also now seem headed for prison.

    And it seems Ms Boyd is not returning phone calls.

    Below: Tonya Couch and Ethan Couch at the trial in 2013

    Posted on 12/31/15 at 12:02 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Justice systemsOther systemsThe wider contextsN America context
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    Monday, December 28, 2015

    In Commemoration Of Meredith On Her 30th: The Great Bach Tocata & Fugue In D Minor

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

    Fittingly, played by a woman. We think Meredith would have liked that.

    The woman is Emília Dzemjanová, and she is playing in St. Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice in eastern Slovakia where she has recorded often.

    A church organ is not an instrument that many women play, perhaps because it is physically the most taxing. And the thunderous D Minor is especially taxing and both feet need to be pretty busy. The lowest notes here would all be played by Emilia’s feet.

    In fact this is the only rendition on a church organ that we can find on YouTube by a woman. No harm in going where no woman has gone before, right?

    Posted on 12/28/15 at 05:00 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memory
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    Friday, December 25, 2015

    Capturing Collective Memories: Of Broadway Dance And Of Family Life

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    The only YouTube so far,  with costumes & lighting & orchestra the dances really take off

    There’s an astonishing Broadway show on in NYC now.

    If you are part of the million visitors in NYC at any one time (absurd, right?) it’s at the Joyce Theater, tkts are only $45 if you can get them, its a sponsored run. Its called American Dance Machine. Some 18 Broadway dancers and a fine orchestra onstage at the back.

    The promotional video above gives a hint but for-real it is a terrific jolt. Its only a brief season because the dancers are some of the best and are in great demand. A couple are from the several ballet companies here.

    The purpose is to capture and show again many dance routines and several songs from Broadway musicals that are mostly gone, some long gone, and wont be back again, and show just how good they were. Maybe every year there will be another brief season like this.

    How did they put this together? There was an audience panel of the creators and some dancers after the show one night and they explained. They had to hunt round and find choreographers and dancers who had memories of the routines and find videos of the routines at the Arts library at Lincoln Center. The collective memory is mostly still there but its elusive and spread around and it will fade.

    So. To the real point of this post, Does anyone have a family blog? The reason for having one is really the same. Collective memory, in this case of the family, while memories going back awhile are still around. Put down the family history as you know it and get some others in on it and pass it down.

    It might make those who follow want to write online in a more empowering and permanent way than social media, which scrolls away fast and can have limited satisfaction and real-results effects. Best of the family videos and photos can go there.

    Some 20-40-60 years hence those who come next are going to value that body of family history so much. They may not know you but they will know about you and what you did and felt and feel they are part of a great team going forward.

    Season’s cheer!

    Posted on 12/25/15 at 06:28 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in The wider contextsN America context
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    Wednesday, December 23, 2015

    National Justice Systems Learning From One Another Tho Far From “International Standards”

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    Try searching for the “international standards” for DNA testing that Hellmann/Zanetti and Marasca/Bruno claimed Italian police labs dont follow.

    In fact, not only are there no international standards or even Europe-wide standards, there are not even any central mechanisms for crime-fighting research and training and standard-setting.

    Hellmann/Zanetti and Marasca/Bruno were irresponsibly myth-propagating - all suckered by a pair of dishonest DNA consultants on the defense payroll.

    This absence of mechanisms contrasts sharply with all the other segments of national infrastructures, for which the UN agencies run conferences and team efforts for hundreds of nations to learn from. (In them the US and UK and Italy are big players.)

    One reason we give the Italian justice system so much attention is that Italy has one of the lowest crime rates and incarceration rates among high-income countries.

    There is very much to be learned bilaterally from it. Part of its core model is that it has a large and glamorous and much-liked police presence - Italian police are possibly the world’s most popular.

    In contrast, stories of bad policing are pouring out daily in the US.

    Most in the US news for bad policing is CHICAGO right in Bruce Fischer’s backyard, where he abysmally failed to comprehend that there was an epidemic of police shootings while he foolishly gunned for Italy. Numbers dead from police guns there are up in the hundreds, and there is to be a Federal investigation.

    Meanwhile the effectiveness or even comprehension of Fischer’s pretentious “network” has been at zero (perhaps one reason why the Knoxes disinvited Fischer from Knox’s talk at a Chicago law school - also he had been panhandling them). Why do we doubt the Feds will consult him?

    In the news right now in the US is an attempt by jurisdictions to learn from the highly effective Scottish police practices.

    Scotland has an extremely low rate of police shootings, and the few police who do carry guns are trained to handle fraught situations to an extent most American police see only a fraction of. See the video.

    Here is a Daily Telegraph story, and here is a New York Times story:

    Forty minutes into a Scottish police commander’s lecture on the art of firearm-free policing, American law enforcement leaders took turns talking. One after another, their questions sounded like collective head-scratching.

    “Do you have a large percentage of officers that get hurt with this policing model?” asked Theresa Shortell, an assistant chief of the New York Police Department and the commanding officer of its training academy, where several hundred officers graduate each year.

    “How many officers in Scotland have been killed in the last year or two years?” Chief Shortell added.

    Bernard Higgins, an assistant chief constable who is Scotland’s use-of-force expert, stood and answered. Yes, his officers routinely take punches, he said, but the last time one was killed on duty through criminal violence was 1994, in a stabbing.

    There is poverty, crime and a “pathological hatred of officers wearing our uniform” in pockets of Scotland, he said, but constables live where they work and embrace their role as “guardians of the community,” not warriors from a policing subculture.

    “The basic fundamental principle, even in the areas where there’s high levels of crime, high levels of social deprivation, is it’s community-based policing by unarmed officers,” Constable Higgins said. “We police from an absolute position of embracing democracy.”

    That model is pretty close to the Italian one.

    Posted on 12/23/15 at 07:50 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Justice systemsItalian systemOther systems
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    Sunday, December 20, 2015

    Latest Of The Documentaries That Make Us Focus On Psychopaths And Their Trails Of Wreckage

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    This is a one-hour YouTube video of an excellent BBC Channel 5 report aired several weeks ago.

    Our poster DavidB kindly drew our attention to it in a comment. There are increasingly more of these heads-up reports on YouTube, some of the most useful videos there.

    Posted on 12/20/15 at 08:05 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychology
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    Friday, December 18, 2015

    Knox Calunnia Trial #2: Judge Receives Arguments Of Prosecution And Knox; Verdict In New Year

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

    Court in session 7 September in Florence with Knox a no-show

    1. Latest Development

    We are informed that the final arguments to the judge by both sides have been submitted in writing.

    We will summarise and/or fully translate them, hopefully next week. Next step is the verdict from Judge Boninsegna, which may come early in the New Year.

    Below is a reposting of the background to this unusual case, and Machiavelli’s reports from the court on 7 September.

    Such trials are very rare. Usually it is only organized crime figures that in the course of a trial impugn police and prosecutors who in Italy are much respected. Defendants rarely even get on the stand, and if they do so, they invariably follow the advice of defence counsel to not dig themselves in any deeper. 

    In contrast, Knox pretty well went haywire. NOBODY in Italy has ever believed her. Not her own lawyers, nor multiple hearings & trial judges, or the skeptical media, or the watching population, or Hellmann & Zanetti, or even Marasca & Bruno…  Not even Curt Knox! He failed to turn up to give scheduled defense testimony that could have helped Amanda Knox last September.

    Gee, thanks, Curt….

    And she has left her own lawyers handicapped, as they had publicly counseled Knox to stop escalating her claims about illegal coercion at her “interrogation” on 5-6 November 2007.

    Their filing probably needs to be especially careful to avoid their own liability. 

    2. Background To Calunnia Trial

    This trial focuses on the claims of Amanda Knox at trial in 2009. Charges for malicious claims in her book will fall to another court, probably also in Florence. Oggi is already on trial for republishing some of them.

    There seems no parallel in US or UK legal history to this - to a defendant testifying prolifically for two days to crimes by investigators, in spite of even more days of prior testimony which all pointed the other way.

    Seemingly under strong pressure from her own family Knox willingly took a huge legal risk which her own lawyers had warned her about again and again, sometimes publicly, over nearly two years.

    They never ever lodged even one complaint. Nor did the US Embassy in Rome, which monitored all sessions in court, and often checked her out (as did Italian MP Rocco Girlanda) in prison at Capanne.

    The Massei court and the watching audience in Italy (read here and here) bought none of it. Knox still served three years for framing Patrick. Not even Judge Hellmann bought into her claims. Certainly not the Supreme Court.

    The current trial in Florence was preceded by an investigation by Florence prosecutors, who bring the charges and argue them because Knox impugned officers of the justice system in their official roles. 

    Prior to today the prosecutors’ investigation report had only been released to Knox’s defense. So we don’t yet know if the charges extend beyond Knox’s claims of having been abused into a false “confession” on 5-6 November 2007.

    Post #1 of our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series points toward what investigators testified to at trial.

    Four months later Knox contradicted them at length as summarised in our two posts here and here: “The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About”

    3. Machiavelli Reports From Trial 7 September

    1. Tweets from the Florence court:

    16. Zugarini was present throughout the interrogation and described when #amandaknox started to cry, remembered her peculiar hand-ear gestures.

    15. Napoleoni testified #amandaknox was brought a chamomille when she started crying at 01:45, the interrogation was immediately stopped.

    14. Napoleoni and Zugarini said they “cuddled” Knox because she was a 20-year old girl.

    13. Both Mignini and Zugarini described having had impression that #amandaknox was feeling “relieved of a burden” after accusing Lumumba.

    12. Mignini said Knox was not clearly a suspect to him by the 05:45 interrogation.

    11. Witnesses had inaccurate memory on some details, but were convergent on some peculiar details.

    10. Napoleoni said she did not enter interrogation room, she called Rita Ficarra out to talk to her.

    9. Zugarini said, as for her knowledge, Knox was not told that Sollecito withdrew her alibi.

    8. Zugarini said called interpreter only to ask #amandaknox more precise questions about people in her phone contact list.

    7. Zugarini said #amandaknox was able to explain herself in Italian. They called an interpreter to translate what police had to say.

    6. Testimony of Mignini was descriptive and framed thing in law. Mostly talked at length explaining alone, prosecutor listened.

    5. In today’s hearing, Mignini talked 2 hours, confirmed arrived at 3am, police interview was over, he asked no questions of AK.

    4. Napoleoni was precise and synthetic. Zugarini longer and IMO more interesting on many details.

    3. Mignini and Judge Boninsegna appeared irritated by Dalla Vedova’s remarks.

    2. Long hearing of Mignini at trial against Amanda Knox for calunnia. Napoleoni & Gubbiotti followed, then Zugarini

    1. Testimony of some of the investigators accused by Knox and the lead prosecutor Dr Mignini [image above] is being taken in court.

    [Reporting from the Florence court sometimes requires a wait to get to a place where mobile phones can connect to the outside.]

    2. Emailed report following day (8 September):

    No Knox calunnia session required today as last Friday and yesterday both sides completed their witness list.

    Amanda Knox and Curt Knox chose not to testify.

    Now Judge Boninsegna has ordered each side to prepare their arguments within three months (7 December).

    The verdict is likely to arrive in the New Year.


    Posted on 12/18/15 at 04:25 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Wednesday, December 16, 2015

    “Spotlight” Movie About Fine Example Of Investigative Journalism Is Oscar Best-Picture Favorite

    Posted by Peter Quennell

    Hollywood has rewarded movies about investigations many times over the years.

    Maybe not such a bad thing when media are under such internet and political pressure - and too often prone now to propagating dishonest PR and misleading their audiences, as we have seen.

    “Spotlight” portrays an investigation by a Boston Globe newspaper team in 2001 and 2002 into myriad sexual abuses by priests in that very catholic city.

    This was the first-ever such investigation into the sexual abuses. It started very small - less than 10 priests were initially suspected - and ran into roadblocks and was nearly shut down several times.

    it eventually cascaded into the exposure of hundreds of priests in the US and many more worldwide. Numbers of victims are unknown but worldwide are numbered at minimum in the hundreds of thousands.

    The pace of the film is phenomenal. There is jolt after jolt as the reporters - most of whom are themselves catholic or lapsed-catholic and take some heat - in repeated disbelief find the numbers of priests and victims growing and growing.

    Pope Francis himself is reported as in favor of investigations continuing.  The various support groups representing the numerous “survivors” have welcomed the film.

    Some American priests have raised some objections. They dont seem to fault the movie for honesty though.

    Prophet’s Prey is a similarly gripping and unflinching movie, about children abused by fundamentalists. It is a documentary, and may be nominated for an Oscar in that category.

    Posted on 12/16/15 at 06:09 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    Traitor? How Sollecito Extensively Smeared Italy In English To Save His Own Skin #1

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

    1. Overview Of “Sollecito As Traitor” Series

    By way for example of his new Italian book, Sollecito is trying hard to make himself liked in Italy.

    An uphill task at best. Most Italians, who could follow the case a lot closer than most people outside Italy, know about all of this.

      (1) At his central-police-station interview 5-6 November 2007 and his first Matteini hearing two days later he dumped very heavily on Knox.

      (2) Throughout trial he gave Knox no help with her current alibi (that she was at his place all night) and again and again pulled out the rug from under her.

      (3) After the Hellmann outcome late 2011 Sollecito took off like a rabbit for the US (with his family soon in hot pursuit) and after Knox stiffed him tried very hard to get someone - anyone - to marry him so he could stay.

      (4) Before the Nencini verdict came out in early 2014, a panicked Sollecito took off to the north in a car and got cold feet (or was warned to stop) at the Austrian border and ignominiously came back.

      (5) Before the Fifth Chambers verdict came out in early 2015 a panicked Sollecito took off for Bari rather than remaining at the Supreme Court to find out what the verdict would be.

      What Italians mostly dont know is this. In late 2013 Sollecito’s first book - only in English - came out, and he was soon all over American TV once again sticking it to Knox.

      In the book his self-serving strategy was threefold: (1) Despite the title, point hard to Knox; (2) Point harder to Dr Mignini and the supposedly bungling, mean police; and (3) Point hardest to the official mechanisms, by lying on a grand scale, to make them out to be brutal and highly archaic at best.

      This series will lay out how Sollecito, lying and lying from what he thought would be a safe distance across the Atlantic, tried hard to make Italy look bad in the eyes of the world.

      A lot of posters contributed to the analysis of Sollecito’s 2012 English-language book on which much of the series will be based. Thanks especially to Sara, Kermit, Cardiol MD, and James Raper, who did the most work. 

      1. Sollecito’s First 20 False Claims

      We first posted a version of this analysis in May 2014. These twenty examples of felony claims all appear in the book’s preface which is only seven pages.

      Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate and they will be examined in future posts. 

      1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

      This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

      No advantage was taken of them. The two stood out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

      They were interrogated quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

      A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

      2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

      On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

      Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

      All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

      Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

      3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

      In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

      In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

      The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

      4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

      By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

      “We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

      On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

      5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

      Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

      An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets. What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

      Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

      6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

      We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do—and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed—was murder Meredith Kercher.

      Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

      Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her drugs and one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle pretty straight.

      Remember, Meredith enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

      Seemingly unable to reverse herself, she was headed to being among the least popular of students in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

      7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

      Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

      There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

      And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

      And how many burglars break into an occupied home between 8:00pm and 9:00pm at night? Approximately none. So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

      8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

      But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she—not Meredith—might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us—Amanda especially—as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

      There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

      How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

      9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

      This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

      This is laughable. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted by the Supreme Court.

      Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Also Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had rather credibly fingered Patrick.

      There is no proof Guede was an intruder. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

      The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

      10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

      Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

      Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

      The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

      Four more untrue remarks. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

      Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was falsified.

      Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was taking a year off.

      11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

      Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

      Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.

      Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

      But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

      12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

      It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution—“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”—it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

      Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury has to arrive at a scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

      Gumble and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.

      13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

      It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm—the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita—could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

      This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

      Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system is seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

      14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

      The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

      WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.

      15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

      The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

      Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

      The legal process could have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

      And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

      The Constitution and judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports and all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

      This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.

      16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

      For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

      So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

      There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

      1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

      2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

      Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

      What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

      Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

      17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

      Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

      Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

      The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

      All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

      18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

      Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts—tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays—are the most reviled institution in the country.

      As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

      And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

      Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

      For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

      In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

      Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

      However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

      The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

      Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

      19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

      Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

      Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

      There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

      Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

      And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

      Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

      Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

      There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

      And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

      Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

      20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

      Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

      Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

      Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

      You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

      Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

      Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.


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