Breaking news. Knox is widely claiming she was "exonerated". SHE WAS NOT. Final ruling put her right there with blood on her hands, and confirmed THREE attackers as final word. Only Supreme Court doubt: did she plunge in the knife? (Ludicrous - it just didnt matter in law.) She is still a convicted felon. No DNA was ever proved contaminated. "Independent" DNA experts were rejected by 3 courts, labs closed down, may be criminally charged soon.

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.

       


      Tuesday, December 08, 2015

      Counterterrorism: Another Way Italian Law Enforcement Is An Effective Model For Everywhere Else

      Posted by Peter Quennell





      We have often mentioned these major justice-system pluses:

      (1) That Italy has one of the industrialized world’s lowest crime rates and that US cities have been observing its model.

      (2) That it has a very prominent and much admired police presence, and a small and much admired court and penal system.

      Now Thomas Williams is reporting this third big plus from Rome in Breitbart Business News

      A leading military analyst is citing Italy as a model of counterterrorism done right, pointing out that despite many factors going against it, Islamic terrorists have failed to kill a single person on Italian soil.

      In the most recent issue of Nikkei Asian Review, Romanian born political scientist and military analyst Edward N. Luttwak lays out a persuasive theory explaining how Italy has been so successful in thwarting Islamic terror attempts. In a word: Italy is not afraid to deport those it considers to be a threat to national security.

      In his essay titled “Doing Counterterrorism Right,” Luttwak contrasts Italy with France and Belgium, noting that although Italy is much more vulnerable than they are, it has been far more effective at stopping would-be terrorists before they strike.

      So where France has been “caught by surprise again and again by terrorist attacks with many lives lost” and in Belgium “terrorists have been coming and going for years, buying military weapons with remarkable ease,” Italy has remained unscathed.

      It would seem that Italy doesn’t have much going for it. It has porous borders and a Muslim population that exceeds 2 million and has played an active role in military expeditions in Islamic territories. Moreover, the Vatican is the “most iconic target in Europe,” and tops the list of objectives of the Islamic State, Luttwak observes. And yet, “nobody has been killed by Muslim terrorists in Italy.”

      Italian counterterrorism has been on full alert since 9/11, Luttwak says, and its combined forces “have detected and interrupted hundreds of terrorist plots large and small, at every stage from mere verbal scheming to fully ready actions.”

      So where terrorists have successfully attacked in Madrid, London, Paris, Toulouse, Copenhagen, Brussels and elsewhere, in Italy they have been foiled time after time.

      Luttwak suggests that Italy’s success is all a question of method, based on the insight that the only thing that can be done to stop potential terrorists is to follow those who are suspected to be truly dangerous around the clock so that they can be arrested or killed at a moment’s notice. Since the numbers of probable suspects can be astronomical, Luttwak says, their numbers must be effectively reduced if this strategy is to bear fruit. And this is exactly what Italy has done.

      State intelligence agencies throughout Europe monitor suspects, filling out reports and keeping files, but they often fail to take the action needed. The Italians, however, immediately conduct an interrogation on credible suspects, and many are sent home or arrested, if their situation merits it. Italy currently has more than 180 radical imams in prison, Luttwak notes.

      Employing this method, Italian authorities are able to keep numbers of suspected potential terrorists within a reasonable range and thus are able to monitor them effectively.

      Earlier this month, Franco Roberti, the head of Italy’s anti-mafia and counterterrorism task force, said he intended to protect citizens from the danger of terrorism “by adopting all the preventive measures necessary,” and noted that “we must be prepared to give up some of our personal freedoms, in particular in the area of communication.”

      The fact that the Italians lump together anti-mafia operations with counterterrorism is also telling. Unlike other European states, with the exception perhaps of the UK, Italy has a long history fighting serious organized crime within its borders, coming from the different branches of the Italian mafia working in various parts of the peninsula.

      The Italian interior ministry has reportedly also increased its “targeted expulsions” of persons considered to be a risk to national security. So far this year, 55 individuals have been deported and the ministry has said the numbers will only grow.

      According to Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, intelligence and counterterrorism units are reevaluating information gathered in recent months on some 56,000 people, scouring case files to see whether anything could have been overlooked.

      Given Italy’s impressive counterterrorism track record, it may be about time for other European nations to sit up and take note.

      Posted on 12/08/15 at 12:51 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
      Archived in Justice systemsItalian systemOther systemsHoaxes Italy & the caseItalian justice hoaxThe wider contextsItalian contextEurope contextN America context
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      Thursday, December 03, 2015

      Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book #12: Finally, We Nail Knox’s Self-Serving 2015 Afterword

      Posted by Chimera



      Phew. The nasties do finally go down.  Click here to get to Comments fast.

      1. Overview Of This Series

      My opinion is that this book is essentially Amanda Knox’s way of getting back at everyone in Italy she ever encountered, while falsely making her notoriously brash, sharp-elbowed, frequently drugged-up persona look endearing, naive, and squeaky-clean.

      Knox includes numerous lies, smears, and stories to compromise literally dozens of others. None of them help clear up what happened to Meredith.  And given how rampant the lies are, it doesn’t really clarify anything about Amanda Knox either.

      One more quick post after this one, on the new Afterword, and the series will be done here. Then we will repost the final version on a new Knox Liewatch page with each of her false claim numbered, and draw the attention of the media. The ten posts before this one can all be read here.

      Page numbers are those of the expanded 2015 paperback.


      2. Overall How The Afterword Misleads

      1. Again Knox goes on and on about how there is no evidence against her or Raffaele in the ‘‘murder room’‘, or the ‘‘murder scene’‘.  This is false and seriously misleading for several reasons:

        (1) Knox’s bloody shoeprint was found on Meredith’s bed (even though the shoes were not recovered).

        (2) Knox’s lamp (wiped of prints), was found on the floor in Meredith’s room.

        (3) The bloody impression of a knife (which matches a knife taken from Sollecito’s flat), was found on the bed.

        (4) Sollecito’s DNA was found on Merdith’s bra clasp, in the room.  Defence screams ‘‘contamination’‘, but doesn’t suggest where it came from.

        (5) Knox defines the crime scene solely as Meredith’s room.  It does not take the rest of the house into account.

          (a) Mixed blood of Knox/Meredith in Filomena’s bedroom, the supposed ‘‘point of entry’’ for the burglar.  But no trace of Guede.
          (b) Mixed blood of Knox/Meredith in their bathroom.
          (c) Sollecito’s bloody bare footprint on the bathmat.
          (d) Bare footprints (wiped away, revealed by luminol), of Knox and Sollecito in the hallway


      2. While Knox predictably misconstrues the evidence against her, she doesn’t talk about the other things we would like to see addressed.

      Of course, in this new addition to her book, Knox doesn’t talk about any of the hard evidence (of a non forensic nature).  She doesn’t address any of the multiple false alibis that she and Sollecito gave.

      Amanda Knox… Trapped, In Her Own Words

      Raffaele Sollecito… Trapped, In His Own Words


      3. Knox does briefly mention the false accusation against Lumumba, but again reiterates that it only happened due to police pressure.  A stunningly stupid thing to say, as she is facing a calunnia trial over exactly this issue.  But that is not disclosed.

      Updates: Sollecito’s Trial For Vilipendio And Diffamazione, Knox’s Trial For Calunnia #2


      4. In this new afterword, Knox fails to mention that the Italian magazine, Oggi, got into legal trouble from publishing parts of her book.

      (1) The Oggi Article Which Conveys To Italy Knox’s Claims Of Crimes Oggi Is Now Charged For

      (2) The Oggi Article Which Conveys To Italy Knox’s Claims Of Crimes: Our Claim By Claim Rebuttals


      5. Knox also fails to mention Sollecito’s current legal troubles over his own book which also made many false claims.

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #1

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #2

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #3

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #4

      The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #5


      6. Knox leaves out that this may not be the end (probably to secure the next publishing at this time).

      A Shaky Castle Of Cards At Best: The Long-Term Fight For Legitimacy Begins

      A Shaky Castle Of Cards At Best: The Long-Term Fight For Legitimacy #2


      7. Knox writes positively about Sollecito, but leaves out his ‘‘bride-shopping’’ efforts and anger at her.

      Interview Part 1 With Kelsey Kay About Her Sad Experience With Serial Exploiter Sollecito

      Interview Part 2 With Kelsey Kay About Her Sad Experience With Serial Exploiter Sollecito


      8. Knox omits Sollecito’s various efforts to throw her under the bus (Mr. Honour Bound wants to save himself), most amusingly.  Sollecito’s line since the Florence appeal is that he doesn’t really know where Knox was that night.

      Sollecito Suddenly Remembers He Wasnt There But Cannot Speak For Knox Who (As She Said) Went Out

      Spitting In the Wind: Sollecito News Conference Backfires On Him AND Knox - What The Media Missed

      Sollecito On Italian TV: Seems RS And AK Selling Out One Another Is Gravitating To A Whole New Plane


      9. Knox leaves out the resentment and bitterness she herself feels toward ‘‘Mr. Honour Bound’‘.

      Seeds Of Betrayal: In Interview Knox Reveals To Italy Her Considerable Irritation With Sollecito


      10. Knox leaves out that Guede said after the March verdict that he will push for a new trial.

      In Big Complication For Cassation Guede Demands New Trial To Prove He Was Not “Accomplice Of Myself”


      11. Knox still spends more time talking about her sex life in the early chapters than Cassation 1, Florence, Cassation 2 combined.


      12. Knox lies, and distorts much of the body of facts.  Her recollections are totally unreliable despite all the malicious quotes.


      13. Knox leaves out any information on the upcoming adventures of her, Sollecito and Guede. She acts like this is settled.


      14. The paperback was released June 9th, the same day her 2nd calunnia trial started in Florence.  No coincidence I’m sure.


      15. Much of the ‘‘I love my family’’ feels fake and contrived.


      3. Dissection Of Specific Knox Claims

      Here are dissections of the new part of Knox’s book.  Not all of it is included, just the most blatant stuff.

      My friend and co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito are innocent, but the past 7 1/2 years have shown that innocent people can be wrongfully convicted.  And that some minds will not be changed by the truth.

      • Well, Patrick Lumumba came close to being wrongfully convicted, as a result of your statements, remember that?

      • Some minds will not be changed by the truth?  Well, maybe Edda and Madison, they noticeably backed away.

      We’d been through one lower court trial, two appellate trials, and a decision by Corti di Cassazione.  We had been found guilty, innocent, and guilty again.

      • Finally, Knox seems to understand the difference between a trial and an appeal. Those verdicts were all only provisional, under Italian law.

      My hopes had been high during my first trial, in 2009, but Raffaele and I were convicted amid a media circus.

      But our first appellate trial, in which ended in October 2011, resulted in a clear and unequivocal finding that we were innocent, setting me free, and allowing my immediate return to the United States.  The presiding judge, Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, had renewed my belief that innocent people are ultimately vindicated.

      • Hellmann also spoke the infamous and telling words: ‘‘The truth may be different.’‘

      • Hellmann released Knox even though she had a pending calunnia trial, for falsely accusing the police of brutality.

      • The prosecution didn’t get to present any evidence at all at this ‘‘new trial’‘, so it was very one sided.

      • Just to be clear, this was a defence appeal.  The prosecution did not ask for it.

      In Italy, every case is reviewed by the Corti di Cassazione before it is officially closed.  It seemed impossible that just seventeen months after we were found not just not guilty, but innocent, the justices would reverse the decision and send the case back for a retrial—especially since our appeal court-appointed experts rejected the prosecution’s handling of, and conclusions from, the DNA evidence.

      • Well, in this case the prosecution had valid reasons for asking Cassation to annul the Hellmann verdict.  More on that later.

      • The Massei trial court in 2009 saw all the evidence, and concluded guilt.  Hellmann only saw the cherrypicked pieces of evidence the defence contested, nothing else.

      • Cassation didn’t ‘‘send the case back for a retrial’‘.  They allowed you to file another appeal.  Big difference between the two.

      • C&V were not “independent” experts, they worked with the defense, and in fact were not really even experts as was later shown.  Consultants should not have been allowed at the appellate level.

      In fact, the DNA evidence cleared us conclusively.  It was straightforward: people leave DNA—lots of DNA—wherever they go.  None of my DNA was found in my friend, Meredith Kercher’s bedroom, where she was killed.  The only DNA, other than Meredith’s, belonged to the man convicted of her murder, Rudy Guede.  And his DNA was everywhere in the bedroom.  It is, of course, impossible to selectively clean DNA, which is invisible to the naked eye.

      • Very little usable DNA normally gets shed. There was even very little of Guede’s DNA in the room, in fact, and the entire room was not fully swabbed.

      • Knox’s DNA wasn’t found in Meredith’s bedroom, but your blood was found mixed with Meredith’s in Filomena’s room, (where the ‘‘burglar’’ broke in), and in the bathroom, where a killer cleaned up.

      • And while DNA might not be in the room, the alibi witness, Raffaele, has his on Meredith’s bra clasp.

      • It is also impossible to clean bloody footprints in the hallway, luminol brings them right out.

      • Even if defence claims about a few pieces of DNA had been valid, still it did not clear Knox conclusively.  It still doesn’t explain so many things: false alibis, false accusations, confusing accounts of your movements, shutting off your phones, and the other forensic evidence that was ‘‘not’’ in the appeal.

      We simply could not have cleaned our DNA and left Guede’s and Meredith’s behind.  Nor was any trace of me found at the murder scene: not a single fingerprint, footprint, piece of hair, drop of blood or saliva.  My innocence and Raffaele’s was irrefutable.  Like my legal team, I firmly believed that Corti di Cassazione would affirm the innocence finding.

      • First, Knox’s shoeprint (a woman’s size 37), WAS found in the room, so that is not true.

      • Knox’s lamp, wiped clean of prints, was also found in Meredith’s room and Knox was struck dumb trying to explain that.

      • Again, Sollecito’s DNA was found on Meredith’s bra clasp, which had been cut off.

      • Bloody footprints (matching Knox and Sollecito), had been in the hallway, and cleaned.  Luminol revealed them.

      • Sollecito’s footprint in Meredith’s blood was found on the bathmat. It was unquestionably his.

      • The Incriminating Bathroom Evidence: Visual Analysis shows the Footprint IS Sollecito’s

      • An imprint (a clear one), in blood, on Meredith’s bed, matched a knife found in Raffaele’s home.

      • Knox’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s and found in the bathroom and in Filomena’s room.

      • Knox associates only ‘‘forensic’’ evidence, but omits many other types of circumstantial evidence.

      • There was no trace of Guede in Filomena’s room, where the ‘‘break-in’’ took place, or on the ground or wall where he ‘‘climbed up’‘.

      • Again, Knox associates only ‘‘forensic’’ evidence with the guilty verdict , but omits many other types of circumstantial evidence.

      But in March 2013 the high court ordered yet another trial, directing the next appeals court to re-examine certain aspects of the case.  My world was shattered again.  The court gave 3 primary reasons.

      • Cassation didn’t order a new trial, but did give her the opportunity to appeal again.  Not the same thing.

      • Cassation gave many reasons, we’ll get to that.  But to focus on yours ....

      The first concerned the supposed murder weapon.  The independent experts had found there was no scientifically reliable proof that Meredith’s DNA was on it, but there was one micro-trace of DNA they deemed too small to test.  Based on the prosecution’s claim it could prove to be Meredith’s DNA, the justice’s said it should be tested in the new trial.

      • So, these experts deemed it too small to test, and therefore never actually did try to test it?  Some experts.

      • If a victim’s DNA could be on the murder weapon, that is a great reason to test it.

      • This is not a retrial.  It is Knox and Sollecito’s appeal.

      Second, during Guede’s appeal in 2009, the theory that there were multiple attackers worked in both the favour of the prosecution and Guede’s defence, which was aiming to reduce Guede’s sentence.  Neither Raffaele nor I could present evidence at that trial, so no evidence was presented that there was a single attacker.  In our hearing Corte di Cassazione said that Judge Hellmann had not properly factored in the findings of the court sentencing Guede that there had been—

      • Yes, strange that Knox can’t introduce evidence in the trial of someone she claims not to know.

      • It was more than just Guede’s appeal in 2009.  Judge Micheli in 2008 at the fast track trial, the 2009 appeal, and the 2010 Cassazione appeal all ruled that Guede was involved, but most likely was not alone.  Hellmann ‘‘should’’ have factored in the findings of the top court a year earlier.

      —this in spite of the fact that the only forensic at the murder scene belonged to Guede.  The court directed that the new trial must account for the other alleged attackers.

      • Knox repeats her 2 main lies:  (a) Forensic evidence is the only type that matters; (b) The ‘‘murder scene’’ is exclusively Meredith’s bedroom, not the whole house.

      • Again, it is not a new trial.  Knox and Sollecito have been allowed to redo their appeal.

      As for the third issue, the high court noted the Judge Hellmann looked at each piece of circumstantial evidence and found each to be unreliable.  The court directed that the circumstantial evidence should be reviewed ‘‘as a whole’’ in the new trial.

      • Again, it is not a new trial, it is an appeal. 

      • But otherwise, Knox is actually correct.  Cassation was very critical of how ‘‘piecemeal’’ and disjointed Hellmann seemed to view the evidence.  Cassation said that evidence should be considered in a way that best explains everything.

      • However, Knox seems to have preferred the disjointed method.

      My lawyers argued that this was like saying zero+zero+zero+zero=one.  Nonetheless the court ordered another trial.

      • This is getting repetitive, but Cassation did not order another trial.  It allowed Knox and Sollecito to redo their appeal.

      • 0+0+0+0=1 is a red herring.  Cassation thought that Hellmann considered everything to be unreliable because he viewed everything separately.  As a whole, the evidence makes sense, but only when trying to come up with (separate) explanations does Hellmann make sense.

      • Cassation was also critical as Judge Hellmann only considered a few pieces of evidence, rather than everything that was presented at trial.  Perhaps if a judge is to throw out the prosecution case, he/she should actually review it all.

      • Hellmann, while finding Guede unreliable, chose to reframe the time of death based solely on Guede’s statements.

      • Hellmann allowed Alessi and Aviello to testify for the defense, despite their history of making false claims.

      • Hellmann was critical of Antonio Curatolo, (who saw them together), and without cause found him to be unreliable.

      • Hellmann twisted parts of Marco Quintavalle’s testimony (who saw Knox in his shop the next morning).

      • Hellmann claimed Knox’s calunnia against Lumumba was due to duress, caused by a long interrogation.  This came despite the testimony in the 2009 Massei trial (and admitted by Knox herself), that she was treated well.  See, this is what happens when you have a one-sided trial.  Hellmann then increased Knox’s sentence for calunnia from 1 year to 3.

      • Speaking of the calunnia, Knox doesn’t mention this at all, but Cassation found that it was in fact done to divert attention from herself.  But this is left completely out of her ‘‘afterward’‘.

      • Cassation was critical of Hellmann for cherry-picking his facts.  Now, ironically, Knox does the same thing with her summary of Cassation’s verdict.

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

      No legal process was issued to request my return to Italy for the 2013 appellate trial in Florence.  My lawyers presented my defence in my absence.

      • It is expected that all accused will attend their own proceedings, especially when this is their own appeal.

      • Is this just a confusing way of saying she couldn’t be forced back?

      • Knox hit the talk shows claiming she is innocent, and afraid, and despite her $3.8 million book deal, can’t afford to go back.

      • Questions For Knox: How Do You Explain That Numerous Psychologists Now Observe You Skeptically?

      • Knox didn’t skip out of fear of prison officials, or the drug dealer, Federico Martini, that she got locked up, did she?

      • Yes, Knox’s lawyers did present in her absence.  Judge Nencini wrote it up as ‘‘FAILED TO APPEAR’‘.

      The new court-ordered test of the knife revealed the source of the trace DNA.  It was not Meredith’s, it was mine, likely left there when I used to cook in Raffaele’s kitchen, as I had in the days before the murder.  This reconfirmed the independent experts’ earlier finding that the knife was not the murder weapon.  I wasn’t surprised, but elated.  This was the only new material evidence the prosecution presented and it undermined their case.  Without new condemning evidence, everything was on track to clear us and finally end this nightmare.

      • Yes, it was Knox’s DNA, in a groove in the handle.  The issue wasn’t whether it was used on Meredith (her DNA was also on it), but whether it could definitively be linked to Knox.

      • Knox’s DNA on a knife used to kill Meredith is actually pretty strong evidence.

      • The only new material evidence?

      • On her May 2014 interview with Chris Cuomo, Knox claimed the evidence presented ‘’ has been proven less, and less, and less’‘.

      • The Cuomo Interview: Why This May Be The Last Time Knox Tries To Argue Innocence On TV

      • On her own website, Knox claims ‘‘NO’’ new evidence was introduced at this ‘‘trial’‘.

      It made what came next even harder to stomach.  On January 30, 2014, the Florence court found Raffaele and me guilty again.  The court fell back on the multiple-attacker theory, even though there was no evidence to support it.

      • Hard to stomach?  Perhaps this is why Knox skipped her own appeal.

      • Why Knox & Sollecito Appeal Against Guilty Trial Verdict Fails: Multiple Wounds = Multiple Attackers

      • Meredith had 47 injuries, with no defensive wounds.  Unless Guede is Spiderman ....

      • Guede climbed Filomena’s wall, and broke in without leaving a trace outside.  Spiderman could do it ....

      • Guede was able to hop on one foot (one was bare, one had a shoe on it.  Spiderman could do it ...

      • Guede telepathically caused Knox and Sollecito to give multiple false accounts.  Did Spiderman have telekinesis? 

      • Guede left Sollecito’s bloody footprint and DNA behind.  Did Spiderman even know him?

      • Okay, we get it…. Guede is Spiderman.

      • While the first prosecutor initially that the murder was the result of a bizarre sex game gone wrong, the court now speculated that Meredith and I had fought over Guede’s presence in the apartment or money. and that an argument between us had somehow led Guede, Raffaele, and me to kill her.

      • Prosecutors never said it was a sex game gone wrong.  (Well, it might have been for Knox), but rather that it was a hazing/humiliation.

      My original sentence was 26 years, 4 of which I had served.  The new sentence was 28.5 years.  The extra time was for ‘‘aggravating circumstances’‘, meaning I’d purposely slandered Patrick Lumumba (when I’d been pressured into falsely implicating him—and implication I’d quickly recanted), in order to undermine the police investigation.

      Judge Hellmann, who had retired from the bench, did a rare and welcome thing—he publicly responded to the verdict, calling its decision ‘’ the result of fantasy’‘.  he told CNN.  ‘‘The Florence Appeal Court has written a script for a movie or a thriller book when it should have considered only the facts and evidence.’‘

      • Knox is being partially true here.  Hellmann did publicly criticise the Nencini verdict.

      • Knox, however, omits the fact that Hellmann was forced to retire by the CSM after his bungling of the 2011 appeal.

      • Knox also fails to detail the full reasons why Cassation so completely rejected his verdict.

      Once again, our case had to go to the Corti di Cassazione.  But my confidence had dissipated.  If the Florence Court could find us guilty after incontrovertible proof that we had no connection to Meredith’s murder, I didn’t know what to expect from the high court.  I don’t know if I would survive if I were made to go back to prison with no hope of an appeal.

      If the guilty verdict was upheld, Raffaele’s word would shrink to the size of his cell.  And there would be nothing that his family, his lawyers, or I could do about it.  Neither of us deserved jail, but being free while he wasn’t would torment me.

      The book advance helped repay some of the money my parents and step-parents had borrowed—the maximum allowed against their homes and retirements—and the mounting legal fees I owed my Italian lawyers.

      My notoriety left me vulnerable at times I least expected.  A couple of students in one of my large lecture classes at UW posted pictures of me online saying they were in class with a murderer.

      I had read Raffaele’s book and was surprised that there were things I hadn’t heard before.  This was my chance to ask him.  In it he describes himself as ‘‘Mr. Nobody’‘.  Although he had been falsely imprisoned as long as I had, the prosecution and media portrayed him as a second fiddle, manipulated by me.  The prosecution always said he took orders from me.  The media referred to him as ‘‘Amanda’s ex-boyfriend’‘.

      • There are probably many things in the book Raffaele hadn’t heard before.  He claims Andrew Gumbel wrote it, in his latest court proceedings.

      • This is Knox’s chance to ask him?  To get your stories straight?

      • He was falsely imprisoned for as long as Knox had?  Sollecito got 3 years for calunnia as well?

      • Yes, the media did portray it as the ‘‘Amanda Knox Show’‘.  He was just a secondary actor.

      He also writes that the prosecution had contacted his defence unofficially to suggest cutting a deal if he testified against me.  His family was willing to consider it, but Raffaele resolutely refused.  ‘‘I had no idea.’’ I said.  ‘‘Thank you.’‘

      In April 2013, when my memoir was published, I did my own media tour in New York.  I did a Primetime special with Diane Sawyer and made an appearance on Good Morning America!  I was featured in articles in USA Today and People.  I spoke with reporters as far away as Australia.  I gave so many interviews in my publisher’s office—one person after another—that my picture was being taken for one media outlet when the next reporter and photographer were coming in.  It was exhausting, but their was a huge upside.  I was sure once people hear me tell my story, they will embrace my innocence.

      Unlike the previous high court hearing, the justices listened to all sides without interrupting the defence.

      • As Knox did not attend the 2013 Cassazione hearing, she would not know how often they were interrupted.

      • Knox did not attend the 2015 Cassazione hearing, so she would not know how attentively they listened.

      • In fact neither in 2013 or 2015 were the Perugia or Florence prosecutions even represented at the Supreme Court at all.
      Posted on 12/03/15 at 07:00 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
      Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxHoaxers - main peopleKnox-Mellas teamOther legal processesKnox followupKnox book hoaxes
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      Saturday, November 28, 2015

      Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book: We Get Down To Nailing ALL Her Invented Claims #11

      Posted by Chimera



      More implacable nastiness in Star Wars.  Click for Comments.

      1. Overview Of This Series

      My opinion is that this book is essentially Amanda Knox’s way of getting back at everyone in Italy she ever encountered, while falsely making her notoriously brash, sharp-elbowed, frequently drugged-up persona look endearing, naive, and squeaky-clean.

      Knox includes numerous lies, smears, and stories to compromise literally dozens of others. None of them help clear up what happened to Meredith.  And given how rampant the lies are, it doesn’t really clarify anything about Amanda Knox either.

      One more quick post after this one, on the new Afterword, and the series will be done here. Then we will repost the final version on a new Knox Liewatch page with each of her false claim numbered, and draw the attention of the media. The ten posts before this one can all be read here.

      Page numbers are those of the expanded 2015 paperback.

      2. Dissection Of Pages 403 to Afterword

      Chapter 31, Page 403 ]  To the Kerchers, I wrote,

      I’m sorry for your loss, and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to say so. Pm not the one who killed your daughter and sister. I’m a sister, too, and I can only attempt to imagine the extent of your grief. In the relatively brief time that Meredith was part of my life, she was always kind to me. I think about her every day.

      • Wow .... I was only kidding when I said Knox should send a ‘‘Sorry for your loss’’ letter.

      • You can only attempt to imagine the extent of your grief?  Right, you would have to care about Meredith.

      • You are charged with her death, and you think of her everyday?  Is that what you really meant?

      [Chapter 31, Page 403]  Disappointed and unsatisfied, I went back to my cell and came up with Plan B. I’d make a personal statement at the beginning of the trial. Unlike my declarations during the first trial, this one would be “spontaneous” in name only. I’d weave in Kassin’s work to explain why I’d reacted to my interrogation as I had. At the same time, I’d speak directly to Patrick and the Kerchers.I spent over a month writing drafts. Alone in my cell, I paced, muttering to myself as if I were speaking to the judges and jury.

      • So, you are allowed to address the court, and you try to get ‘‘scientific’’ information in by the backdoor?

      • You weren’t interrogated.  I get tired of saying that.

      • But at least since it is a defence appeal, prosecutors won’t be introducing any ‘‘evidence’’ in.

      • You come off as fake and rehearsed.  Now you admit you do rehearse.

      [Chapter 31, Page 404]  As I honed my statement, I decided it would be stronger to speak from my heart, without Kassin’s academic language. I’d tell the court about how I had been confused by the police and had lacked the courage to stand up to the authorities when they demanded that I name a murderer.  During the first trial, I believed my innocence would be obvious. It hadn’t saved me, and I might never again have the chance to approach Patrick and the Kerchers. This time I was determined to help myself.

      • Why are you honinh your statement if you are speaking from the heart?

      • Do you normally include ‘‘academic language’’ when speaking from the heart?

      • You’ll tell the police how you had been confused?  If you were confused 3 years ago, how do you remember now?

      • Which was it?  They demanded you name a killer, or they wanted to know who Patrick was?  It can’t be both.

      • You believed your innocence would be obvious?  Were you watching your trial, or someone else’s?

      [Chapter 32, Page 405]  0ne must necessarily begin with the only truly certain, undisputed, objective fact: on November 2, 2007, a little after one P.M., in the house of Via dells Pergola, Number Seven, in Perugia, the body of the British student Meredith Kercher was discovered.”

      Those were the opening words spoken at my appeal, by the assistant judge, Massimo Zanetti.

      • Yeah, screw that mixed blood, footprints, false alibis, false accusation double DNA knife, and no alibi.

      • Weren’t the closing words ‘‘the truth may be different’‘?  (meaning AK and RS may not be innocent).

      [Chapter 32, Page 406]  Rocco and Corrado had given Laura money to buy me appropriate court clothes. She turned out to be an excellent personal shopper.  My champagne-colored blouse and black pants told the judges and jury that I respected them and the law.

      • Not flirting and smirking would also tell the judges and jury you respect them.

      [Chapter 32, Page 406]  The judge’s opening statement gave us hope that the court wanted a trial grounded in facts, not theories. Will we finally get a fair trial? Will the judges and jury finally listen to what we have to say?

      • Judge Massei didn’t give you a fair trial?

      • Judge Micheli didn’t give you a fair pre-trial hearing?

      • Will the judges and jury listen to what you have to say?  Will you agree to an unrestricted cross examination?

      • Will Sollecito take the stand at all?  (and no, giving speeches doesn’t count).

      [Chapter 32, Page 406]  I stood to deliver my declaration, the one I’d worked on for weeks. Speaking in Italian, without an interpreter, I sensed my voice quavering, my hands trembling:

      • Yes, the ‘‘spontaneous declaration’’ that you spent weeks preparing ....

      • You could agree to answer questions about Meredith’s death, couldn’t you

      FOR A MORE DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE STATEMENT TO THE APPEALS COURT:

      http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/scientific_statement_analysis_4_amanda_knoxs_statement_to_the_appeal_c/

      [Chapter 32, Page 410]  My declaration left me feeling cleansed and relieved. I didn’t expect to change minds instantly—and I didn’t. Chris, Mom, and Madison told me later that the Kerchers’ lawyer, Francesco Maresca, had left the room at my first mention of Meredith’s family. “She bores me,”  the London Guardian reported him saying. “Her speech lacked substance, was designed to impress the court and was not genuine.”

      • Is he wrong?  You said that you rehearsed for weeks trying to impress.

      [Chapter 32, Page 410]  Maresca cared more about seeing me convicted than finding justice for Meredith. He always spoke of me as if I were a monster who must pay for Meredith’s death with my life.

      • So, someone who cashes in on the brutal killing of a ‘‘friend’’ is just quirky?

      • If you are guilty, then convicting you does mean justice for Meredith.

      [Chapter 32, Page 411]  Since court hearings were held only on Saturdays, an excruciatingly slow week would have to pass before we’d know Judge Hellmann’s mind. While we waited, Italy’s highest court signed the final paperwork on Rudy Guede’s verdict, approving his reduced sixteen-year sentence in the belief that he had not acted alone. Could that news influence Judge Hellmann’s decision? By pursuing our trial, he might seem to be contradicting the Supreme Court and make Italy look foolish.

      • It was slow for the Kerchers too.  One hearing every 2 weeks, it took almost as long as the Massei trial.

      • Guede’s sentence was reduced to 16 years because he chose the ‘‘fast-track option’’ that you referenced.  That means he gets 1/3 less than you for murder.  24 years - 1/3 = 16 years.

      • Hellmann would indeed make the Supreme Court and Italy look foolish, but not for the reasons you are suggesting. [Chapter 32, Page 411]  “I’m convinced the case is complex enough to warrant a review in the name of ‘reasonable doubt,”’ Judge Hellmann told the rapt courtroom. “If it is not possible to check the identity of the DNA, we will check on the reliability of the original tests.”

      • This sounds impressive, but bringing in of independent experts is meant for the ‘‘trial’’ phase, and not for the 1st level appeal.

      • Hellmann would later go on to say that he brought the experts: Stefano Conti and Carla Vecchiotti, since he didn’t understand much about DNA.

      • It would later be revealed that the 2 ‘‘independent’’ experts were not really independent.

      [Chapter 32, Page 411] I hadn’t wanted to admit to my lawyers or to myself how petrified I’d been. Only when the result came back did I realize how much fear I had had pent up. I brushed away tears. We might finally have a real chance to defend ourselves.

      Still, I was wary. The judge in the previous trial had granted our request for data and then sided with the prosecution’s interpretation.

      • You had many chances to defend yourself.  You went before Judge Claudia Matteini, November 8th, 2007.

      • http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/the_knox_interrogation_hoax_10_/

      • You went before a 3 judge panel chaired by Judge Massimo Ricciarelli, November 30, 2007.

      • You agreed to be questioned (with lawyers present), by Prosecutor Mignini,

      • http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/knox_tied_in_knots_by_her_own_tongue_translation_4/

      • You appealed to Cassation, headed by Judge Torquato Gemeli, in April 2008.

      • http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/the_knox_interrogation_hoax_16/

      • You attended pre-trial hearings in front of Judge Paolo Micheli in October and November 2008

      • http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/the_knox_interrogation_hoax_18_micheli/

      • You also had the opportunity to testify at your own trial in 2009.

      • http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/italy_shrugs_why_the_defendants_testimony_seems_to_have_been_a_real_fl/

        http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/this_testimony_does_not_seem_to_have_gained_much_traction_here_in_ital/

      • You seem unhappy that the expert opinion didn’t go your way?  Sollecito says the same thing in ‘‘Honor Bound’‘.

      • From page 107 [page 107] ‘’... Papà was spinning like a dervish to clear my name, but not everyone he hired was as helpful as he hoped. One consultant whom he asked to monitor the Polizia Scientifica demanded eight thousand euros up front, only to prove reluctant to make overt criticisms of the police’s work, the very thing for which he’d been hired. A forensic expert who also seemed a little too close to the police charged four thousand euros for his retainer with the boast, “I’m expensive, but I’m good.” He wasn’t. A computer expert recommended by Luca Maori didn’t know anything about Macs, only PC’s.”

      • [Chapter 32, Page 411]  After that, we were back to waiting again. The independent experts, Dr. Carla Vecchiotti and Dr. Stefano Conti, forensic medicine professors at Rome’s university, La Sapienza, were sworn in, and Judge Hellmann charged them with figuring out whether a new analysis of the DNA on the knife and bra clasp was possible. If not, he wanted to know if the original results of the prosecution’s forensic expert were reliable: Were the interpretations of the genetic profiles correct? Had there been risk of contamination? The experts were given three months from the day the prosecution turned over the evidence.
        • Vecchiotti and Conti would claim that there is too little DNA to do additional testing.  However, when the Carabinieri got the knife back, they ‘WERE’ able to do an additional test.

        • Therein lies part of the problem.  It is not enough to say ‘‘there might have been contamination’‘.  You have to at least show ‘‘how’’ it was likely to have happened.

        [Chapter 32, Page 411]  During the first trial, Prosecutor Mignini had called the witness Antonio Curatolo, a homeless man referred to as “the stepping-stone leading us up to the murder.” Curatolo had testified that he’d seen Raffaele and me arguing on the basketball court in Piazza Grimana. It was key evidence in our conviction, because it contradicted our alibi that we’d never left Raffaele’s apartment. But it had been left unclear which night Curatolo, was describing—Halloween or November 1?

        [Chapter 32, Page 413]  Under the judges’ questioning, Curatolo, talked about his personal history: “I was an anarchist, then I read the Bible and became a Christian anarchist,” he said.  He confirmed that he was now in prison, adding, “I haven’t quite understood why yet.” Asked if he’d used heroin in 2007, he answered, “I have always used drugs. I want to clarify that heroin is not a hallucinogen.”

        • This is a made up passage to smear Curatolo as being disconnected from reality, and hence unreliable.

        • Hellmann would go on to discredit the witness without any real basis, and would be criticized for it

        [Chapter 32, Page 414]  “Curatolo didn’t know what he was talking about, poor guy. If my life didn’t depend on his being wrong, I’d just feel bad for him,” I reported.

        “The broadcasts here are saying that he’s a confused drug addict!” someone cried.

        It was ironic that I learned from my family in Seattle what the journalists in the courtroom were thinking. “The media are really figuring it out this time,” my family reassured me. “It’s going to be okay.”

        The media, yes. But what about the judges and jury? I wondered. Curatolo hadn’t been convincing in the first trial, either, but his testimony had contributed to our conviction.

        • The media is really figuring it out this time?  God job, Dave Marriott.

        • Those broadcasts?  Were they in the courtroom, or just reporting a PR line?

        • Worried about the judge and jury?  Don’t worry, it was already decided.

        [Chapter 32, Page 414]  Before the first trial, the defense began requesting forensic data from the prosecution in the fall of 2008, but DNA analyst Patrizia Stefanoni dodged court orders from two different judges. She gave the defense some of, but never all, the information. Now it was Conti and Vecchiotti’s turn to try to get the raw data that Stefanoni had interpreted to draw conclusions about the genetic profiles on the knife and the bra clasp. Stefanoni continued to argue that the information was unnecessary. Not until May 11, under additional orders from Judge Hellmann, did she finally comply.

        • So, you are accusing the analyst Stefanoni of committing a contempt of court (dodging court orders)?

        • You are accusing her of withholding documents and sabotaging your right to a fair trial?

        • Pretty serious claims to make.

        • Interestingly though, these ‘‘experts’’ only chose to test 2 pieces of DNA (Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp, and the DNA on the big knife).  What about the other DNA evidence that had been introduced?  Did Judge Hellmann even know about them?

        [Chapter 32, Page 415]  Before the court withdrew to decide whether to approve the delay, I made a statement. “I’ve spent more than three and a half years in prison as an innocent person,” I told the court. “It’s both frustrating and mentally exhausting. I don’t want to remain in prison, unjustly, for the rest of my life. I recall the beginning of this whole thing, when I was free. I think of how young I was then, how I didn’t understand anything. But nothing is more important than finding the truth after so many prejudices and mistakes. I ask the court to grant the extra time, so that the experts may complete a thorough analysis. Thank you.”

        • For someone supposedly wrongfully imprisoned (in part) to junk DNA, you seem really calm about this.

        • Silly question, why did you lawyers never attend the DNA testing in 2008, when they had the chances to?

        [Chapter 32, Page 416]  When Luciano came to Capanne for our weekly Wednesday meeting, he told me that a special award had been given to officers in the Squadra Mobile for its work on Meredith’s murder investigation.  The citation read: “To recognize elevated professional capabilities, investigative acumen, and an uncommon operative determination. They conducted a complex investigation that concluded in the arrest of the authors of the murder of the British student that had taken place in the historic center of Perugia.”

        Four of the sixteen police officers receiving the Police Holiday award were named in the police’s slander charge against me.

        They included Vice Superintendent Marco Chiacchiera, whose “investigative instinct” led him to randomly select Raffaele’s kitchen knife from the drawer as the murder weapon; Substitute Commissioner and Homicide Chief Monica Napoleons; and Chief Inspector Rita Ficarra.

        The news infuriated me. I knew it was just another face-saving ploy. How could they commend the officer who had hit me during my interrogation and those who had done so much wrong?

        But I wasn’t surprised. It was completely in line with the prosecution’s tactics to discredit my supporters and me. Mignini had charged my parents with slander for an interview they gave to a British newspaper in which they told the story of my being slapped during the interrogation. He was the one who had charged me with slandering the police.

        • You accuse (again) Chiacchiera of randomly selecting a knife and then calling it evidence

        • You accuse a dark haired woman (who you now name as Ficarra), as assaulting you

        • You accuse PM Mignini of an illegal interrogation, and of pursuing this case for his own career.

        • You accuse PM Mignini of trying to ‘‘discredit you’’ for filing a complaint about false claims your parents made

        • You accuse the citations as being ‘‘politically motivated’‘.

        • Oh right, you falsely accuse Patrick of raping and murdering Meredith.

        • Amanda, has it yet sunk in that making false accusations is not a good idea?

        [Chapter 32, Page 417]  British journalist Bob Graham interviewed Mignini for an article in The Sun that came out on Police Holiday. Mignini confided in Graham that he chose the parts of my interrogation that suited his purposes. He also said that my interpreter at the questura that night was “more investigator than translator.” When Graham asked the prosecutor why there was no evidence of me in Meredith’s bedroom, Mignini told him, “Amanda might theoretically have instigated the murder while even staying in the other room.”

        • Which parts of your ‘‘interrogation’’ did ‘‘Mayor’’ Mignini choose if he asked no questions?

        • You accuse Anna Donnino of being a police plant, and not actually trying to be an interpreter.

        • No evidence of you in Meredith’s bedroom?  There is plenty just outside.

        • And what about your shoeprint and the DNA of your ‘‘alibi witness’‘?

        • To play devil’s advocate, you did write statements that you were in the kitchen, trying not to hear Meredith’s screams.

        [Chapter 32, Page 418] Mario Alessi was a brick mason given a life sentence for murdering an infant boy in 2006. He was in the same prison as Rudy Guede, and had written to Raffaele’s lawyers that he had information for our defense: Alessi said he went outside for exercise with other prisoners, including Rudy Guede, on November 9, 2009. “Guede told me he wanted to ask me for some confidential advice,” Alessi said in his court deposition. “There wasn’t a day that Guede and I didn’t spend time together ...

        “In this context, on November 9, 2009, Guede told me that in the following days, and in particular on November 18, 2009, he had his appeal and he was reflecting over whether to ... tell the truth about Meredith Kercher’s murder. In particular, he asked me what the consequences could be to his position if he gave statements that reconstructed a different truth about what happened the night of the murder.

        • Yes, jailhouse snitches are always reliable witnesses.

        [Chapter 32, Page 418]  Guede told Alessi that he and a friend had run into Meredith in a bar a few days before the murder.  On the night of November 1, Alessi said, the two men surprised Meredith at the villa and, “in an explicit manner,” asked her to have a threesome.

        • This is quite the revelation.  I thought Guede broke in to rob the place, and Meredith interrupted him.

        • Interestingly, this ‘‘other man’‘, is never identified.

        • Despite Guede leaving ‘‘vast amount of himself’’ at the crime scene, this unnamed accomplice apparently left none.

        • So ... if the intent ‘‘was’’ to have a 3-some, perhaps the burglary really was staged, and the police were correct.

        [Chapter 32, Page 418]  Alessi said that Meredith “rejected the request. She even got up and ordered Guede and his friend to leave the house. At this point Guede asked where the bathroom was, and he stayed in the bathroom for a little while, ten to fifteen minutes at most. Immediately after, reentering the room, he found a scene that was completely different—that is, Kercher was lying with her back to the floor and his friend held her by the arms. Rudy straddled her and started to masturbate. While Guede told me these things, he was upset and tears came to his eyes ...

        “The second part of his secret came out while we were in our respective cells ... at a certain point he and his friend changed positions, in the sense that his friend attempted to have oral sex with Meredith while Guede was behind. He specified in particular that his friend was in front of Meredith, who was on her knees, while Guede was behind Meredith, with his knee on her back. Kercher tried to wriggle out ...

        “Kercher tried to get away, and at this point Guede’s friend took a knife with an ivory-colored handle out of his pocket. While Kercher tried to get away, turning around, she was wounded by the blade. At this point, seeing as she began to bleed, Guede, finding his hands covered in blood, let her go. While Guede tried to staunch the wound with clothes, his friend reprimanded him, saying,

        ‘Let’s finish her. If not, this whore will have us rot in prison: At this point, his friend killed her, stabbing her various times while Guede gathered clothes to staunch the wounds. Then, realizing that she wasn’t breathing anymore, he left.”

        • Still wondering: why this other man left no traces in the murder room.  After all, Knox reminds us again and again and again that that is impossible.

        • Alessi seems to have a stunning memory.  He can recall precise details of a story he only heard.

        • However, he is a little vague: did Meredith greet them at the door, or does she just expect strange men in her home?

        • Alessi also remembers that Guede went to the bathroom.  Of course, it happens to be when ‘‘quirky’’ Knox refused to flush the toilet.

        • Also, is this a tacit admission that a ‘‘lone-wolf’’ attacker was just not possible?

        [Chapter 32, Page 419]  Listening to Alessi testify, I felt frozen in my chair, my limbs numb. Alessi was a calm, direct, convincing speaker. Is this possibly what happened the night of November 1 ? Is this the horror that Meredith experienced? For three and a half years, I’d tried to imagine Meredith’s murder and had to push it out of my mind. When the prosecutor had put Raffaele and me into the scene, it hadn’t bothered me nearly this much. We weren’t there, so Meredith’s murder couldn’t possibly have unfolded the way Mignini described. His story was so far-fetched, and it was so painful to hear myself described in bloodthirsty terms, that I couldn’t help but focus on the verbal attack on me rather than the physical attack on Meredith.

        • It is farfetched.  Why was there no trace of this ‘‘other man’‘?  You keep saying it is impossible to murder without leaving traces.

        • If you weren’t there, how could you know exactly how it could or couldn’t unfold?

        • What verbal attack?  The courts treated you fairly.  As for the media, thank Curt for that.

        • Why were you trying imagine Merediith’s murder if you were trying to put it out of your mind?

        [Chapter 32, Page 421]  Real or not, it forced me to focus on the torture that Meredith was put through. And it opened up a question I’d never seriously considered and could barely handle: Had there been someone with Guede?

        • Yeah, not that prosecutors were pushing a ‘‘multiple attacker’’ theory since November 2007.

        • It forced you to focus on the torture?  Why exactly?

        [Chapter 32, Page 421]  My lawyers once told me that investigators had found unidentified DNA at the crime scene, but I’d never dwelled on it. The prosecution had never presented it. Wouldn’t there have been signs of another person in the room and on Meredith’s body? I didn’t know. This is what I was sure of: Guede was there, Guede lied about us, Guede tried to escape his responsibility for the crime.  Guede would have to confess.

        • Well, your DNA is in your bathroom.  Oh, right, that only proves you lived there.

        • This ‘‘unidentified’’ DNA: was it blood, or something else?

        • Humour me, is an unflushed toilet part of the ‘‘crime scene’’ if it is not in the ‘‘murder room’‘?

        • Signs of another person?  Like DNA on the victim’s bra?  Oh, right Sollecito was at his home with you.

        • Signs of another person?  Such as lack of defensive wounds?

        • (1) Guede was there; (2) Guede lied about us; (3) Guede tried to escape responsibility.  Okay, let’s try this:

        • (1) You were there, your statements say you were, your blood mixed with Meredith’s.

        • (2) You lied about your alibi, according to Sollecito

        • (3) You tried to escape responsibility by framing Patrick.

        [Chapter 32, Page 421]  I desperately hoped he’d be honest when he took the witness stand. With the Supreme Court’s seal on his conviction, his sentence couldn’t be extended no matter how he incriminated himself. Since he truly had nothing to lose, I thought he might admit his crimes—and the fact that Raffaele and I weren’t there that night.

        • Actually, you desperately hoped he’d be silent.

        • Forget Guede, why don’t you simply testify (without restrictions), about what you were doing that night?

        [Chapter 32, Page 421]  In the meantime, I was agitated. I had no reason to expect that Guede would admit what had happened—anyone who can kill is already lacking a conscience. Even if Guede acknowledged Raffaele’s and my innocence, it still wouldn’t be enough on its own to free us—his statements were compromised since he’d lied before and wasn’t impartial. But it would be a huge step in the right direction—and an even bigger comfort to me.

        • Anyone who can kill lacks a conscience?  Amanda, I think we are making progress.

        • His statements were compromised?  Great, there isn’t any other evidence I assume.

        • It would be a comfort—that your frame job worked?!

        [Chapter 32, Page 423]  Twenty-four hours before the court-appointed experts were to present their findings on the DNA, only two words were going through my mind. What if? What if their review somehow - impossibly - confirmed Meredith’s DNA on the knife blade? What if they found that the bra clasp couldn’t have been contaminated?

        • What if they did confirm it?  What good is bleach then?

        • The bra clasp being contaminated how exactly?

        • Again, there are many other pieces of DNA evidence to tie you to the murder.  Why cherry-pick these two?

        [Chapter 32, Page 423] Or what if the experts risked telling the truth and sided with the defense?  I knew the prosecution’s DNA testing was flawed. But so little had gone right in this case, why would this go right?

        Science was on our side. The knife blade had tested negative for blood, and there was a high likelihood that the bra clasp had been contaminated while it sat on the floor for six weeks. But I had no faith in facts anymore. They hadn’t saved me before. It was terrifying to hope—and impossible not to.

        • This is a court.  People are not ‘‘punished’’ for telling the truth.

        • You knew the prosecutor’s DNA testing was flawed?  How much research have you done on the topic?

        • The bra clasp, in a sealed crime scene, was contaminated .... how?

        [Chapter 32, Page 423]  I had to hear the words myself. I went to the TV, madly changing channels until I found the news. “Svoltaa Giudiziaria” - “Judicial Turning Point” - the headline read, behind an announcer who was talking about my case. The crawl at the bottom read: “DNA damning Knox and Sollecito deemed unreliable by court-appointed experts. New hope arises for the defendants.”

        • Once again, why only test those 2 pieces of DNA evidence?  Do you not contest them?  Or not want Hellmann to consider them?

        • Why not get independent experts for the trial?  That is how things are normally done.
          Posted on 11/28/15 at 04:45 PM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxHoaxers - main peopleKnox-Mellas teamOther legal processesKnox followupKnox book hoaxes
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          Thursday, November 26, 2015

          Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book: We Get Down To Nailing ALL Her Invented Claims #10

          Posted by Chimera



          More implacable nastiness in Star Wars.  Click for Comments.

          1. Overview Of This Series

          My opinion is that this book is essentially Amanda Knox’s way of getting back at everyone in Italy she ever encountered, while falsely making her notoriously brash, sharp-elbowed, frequently drugged-up persona look endearing, naive, and squeaky-clean.

          Knox includes numerous lies, smears, and stories to compromise literally dozens of others. None of them help clear up what happened to Meredith.  And given how rampant the lies are, it doesn’t really clarify anything about Amanda Knox either.

          Two more quick posts after this one and the series will be done here. Then we will repost the final version on a new Knox Liewatch page with each of her false claim numbered, and draw the attention of the media. The nine posts before this one can all be read here.

          Page numbers are those of the expanded 2015 paperback.

          2. Dissection Of Pages 394 to 403

          [Chapter 31, Page 394] The questions and choices I made during the first trial ate at me. What if Id spoken up more, clarified more when other witnesses took the stand, pleaded my innocence more forcefully Would it have made a difference? I’d waited for the jury and the world to realize that there was no evidence against me. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.

          • What if you’d spoken up more?

          • You did speak up that you ‘‘vaguely remembered’’ Patrick murdering Meredith.  It got you 3 years for calunnia.

          • You did speak up in June 2009 that you were hit by police.  You have another calunnia trial pending.

          • You got you parents to speak up that you were being mistreated.  It got calunnia complaints against them.

          • You frequently spoke up that you were mistreated.  Your own lawyers told you publicly to shut up.

          • ’‘Not speaking up enough’’ is not the problem.  The opposite in fact.

          • You waited for the jury to realize their was no evidence?  So, what were Mignini/Comodi presenting to the court?

          • You were waiting?  Well, when the defence files an appeal, the prosecution won’t be presenting ‘‘any’’ evidence.  Hmm…..

          • You won’t make the same mistake twice?  You keep making the same mistakes.

          [Chapter 31, Page 395]  Though I trusted my lawyers completely, this time I wanted to be involved in every decision. I owed it to myself. I couldn’t survive another guilty verdict if my team and I overlooked a single speck of favorable evidence.

          • You trust them completely, but now want to start micromanaging? 

          • If you overlook a ‘‘single speck’’ of favourable evidence?  Are you reduced to looking for ‘‘specks’‘?

          [Chapter 31, Page 395]  Once I started thinking about what might be possible, nothing seemed out of reach. Should I write to the new judge? The U.S. secretary of state? Why not the president?

          • You later tried that with Judge Nencini, while skipping your Florence appeal.  Didn’t go over well.

          • The Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton at the time)?  Sure, she doesn’t have any pressing foreign matters to deal with.

          • The President (Barack Obama)?  Sure, running the free world is just a part time gig.

          • Why might U.S. oficials be reluctant to get involved in ongoing murder trials?  Don’t know.

          [Chapter 31, Page 395]  Rather than write, I read. The 407-page report from Judge Massei explained why we’d been convicted and how Raffaele, Guede, and I had murdered Meredith.  The supposed motive was as far-fetched as a soap opera plot. “Amanda and Raffaele suddenly found themselves without any commitments; they met Rudy Guede by chance and found themselves together with him at the house on the Via dells Pergola where ... Meredith was alone,”

          • You and Raffaele suddenly found yourselves without any commitments?  Well you did get that text not to come to work.

          • Sollecito doesn’t have a job, so he likely didn’t have any commitments either.

          • You met Guede by chance?  You do seem to know him.

          • Guede ended up at the house with you?  You mean he didn’t break in leaving your blood mixed with Meredith’s?

          • Meredith was alone?  Okay, that is actually true.

          [Chapter 31, Page 395] The judges and jury hypothesized that Raffaele and I were fooling around, and that Guede started raping Meredith because we turned him on. Instead of helping Meredith, we inexplicably and spontaneously joined Guede, because it was “an exciting stimulant that, although unexpected, had to be tried,” he wrote. “[The criminal acts were carried out on the force of pure chance. A motive, therefore, of an erotic, sexually violent nature which, arising from the choice of evil made by Rudy, found active collaboration from Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.”  The report rejected the prosecution’s claim that Meredith and I had had a contentious relationship.  The judge wrote “the crime that was carried out ... without any animosity or feelings of rancor against the victim. . .”

          • You have said you want the Kerchers to read your book, but you put information such as this in?

          • Judge Massei didn’t contradict the claim of a strained relationship.

          • Meredith took your job at Le Chic .... and no hard feelings?

          [Chapter 31, Page 395]  They allowed that there was no evidence of contact between Guede and me—no e-mails, phone calls, or eyewitnesses. They discounted the testimony of Hekuran Kokomani, the witness from the pretrial and the trial who said he threw olives at me and who “identified” me by the nonexistent gap between my teeth. And they conceded that Raffaele and I were not likely killers.  Rather we were “two young people, strongly interested in each other, with intellectual and cultural curiosity, he on the eve of his graduation and she full of interests . . .”

          • No evidence of contact between you and Guede?  You admit that he visited the men downstairs.

          • No contact?  You say that their was laughter when Guede was asking if you were available.

          • No contact?  You admit to taking his order at Le Chic.

          • No contact?  You admit to contact in THIS VERY BOOK.

          • Casual sex, drugs and alcohol are ‘‘cultural events’‘?  Wow, the travel brochure leaves all this out.

          • If drugs and sex are ‘‘cultural’‘, that might explain things with Federico Martini.

          • You were interested in hooking up with Harry Potter.  Is that ‘‘cultural’‘?

          • ’‘Strongly interested’‘?  You knew each other for a week.

          [Chapter 31, Page 396]  Another factor, the judge wrote, was that Raffaele and I read comic books and watched movies “in which sexuality is accompanied by violence and by situations of fear . . .”  He brought up the disputed theory that Raffaele’s kitchen knife was the murder weapon, in addition to a new theory that I’d carried the knife in my “very capacious bag.” Why would I? “It’s probable, considering Raffaele’s interest in knives, that Amanda was advised and convinced by her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, to carry a knife with her ... during the night along streets that could have seemed not very safe to pass through at night by a girl.”

          • Yes, you were convicted on the basis of Manga porn and Amelie..

          • The theory is disputed because your own lawyers dispute it.  Self fulfilling prophecy?

          • Raffaele is guilty because he collects knives .... not the bloody footprint, DNA on Meredith’s bra, or false alibis.

          • Perugia is not safe?  Right, it’s a deathtrap that hadn’t seen a murder in 20 years.

          [Chapter 31, Page 397]  The lining of my bag wasn’t cut. The police found no blood in my bag. How can I prove what Ididn’t do?

          • The knife could also have been wrapped in something else.

          • The knife could still have been transported ‘‘to’’ the scene without blood.

          • Well, you can prove where you actually were when Meredith was killed.  That might help.

          [Chapter 31, Page 397]  The prosecution had based their case on misinterpreted and tainted forensic evidence and had relied heavily on speculation. But Judge Massei’s faith was blind. Patrizia Stefanoni would not “offer false interpretations and readings,” he wrote.

          • This all sounds impressive, but do you care to elaborate as to what evidence was misinterpreted or tainted?

          • Do you care to elaborate on what this ‘‘heavy reliance on speculation’’ is?

          • As for tainted evidence, why did your lawyers refuse to attend the testing?

          [Chapter 31, Page 397]  The appeal wouldn’t be a redo of the first trial. Italy, like the United States, has three levels of justice—the lower court, the Court of Appeals, and the highest court, the Corte Suprema di Cassazione, their version of our Supreme Court. The difference is that, in Italy, someone like me is required to go through all three levels, all the way to the Cassazione, whose verdict is final.  Cases often take turns and twists that would surprise and unsettle most Americans. Even if you’re acquitted at level one, the prosecution can ask the Court of Appeals to overturn the verdict. If the appeals court finds you guilty, it can raise your sentence. Or it can decide that a second look is unnecessary and send you on to the Cassazione for the final stamp on the lower court’s decision—in Raffaele’s and my cases, to serve out our twenty-five- and twenty-six-year sentences.  At each level, the verdict is official, and the sentence goes into immediate effect unless the next court overturns it.

          • The appeal wouldn’t be a redo if the first trial?  So Hellmann releasing you was not double jeopardy.

          • Since you seem to understand the 3-level trial process, why lie and say it was over?

          • Getting 2 automatic appeals would suprise and unsettle most Americans?  Surprise them at least.

          • Yes, appeals court (in the Common Law courts too), can increase sentences for frivilous appeals.

          • To quote Alan Dershowitz, being released by an appeals court is not double jeopardy.

          • With this paragraph, Knox throws out her claim of being ‘‘retried’’ again.

          [Chapter 31, Page 397]  In Italy’s lower and intermediate levels, judges and jurors decide the verdict. And instead of focusing on legal errors, as we do in the United States, the Italian appellate court will reopen the case, look at new evidence, and hear additional testimony—if they think it’s deserved.

          • So you get an automatic appeal that allows the case to be reopened?

          • And this appeal allows for additional witnesses and evidence to be called?  Not restricted as a Common Law appeal?

          • Many defendants in the U.S. would be envious of such a legal avenue.

          [Chapter 31, Page 398]  In our appeal request, we asked the court to appoint independent experts to review the DNA on the knife and the bra clasp, and to analyze a sperm stain on the pillow found underneath Meredith’s body that the prosecution had maintained was irrelevant. In their appeal request, the prosecution complained about what they thought was a lenient sentence and demanded life in prison for Raffaele and me.

          • You did ask for experts.  However, criminal procedure only allows for it to be done at the lower trial level.

          • If this stain wasn’t analysed, then how exactly do you know it’s semen?

          • You appealed your convicted, and the prosecution ‘‘cross-appealed’‘, asking for a sentence increase.  Makes sense.

          [Chapter 31, Page 398]  I read and reread the Massei report, looking for discrepancies and flawed reasoning. I’m not a lawyer, but I had an insider’s perspective on the case, three years in prison, and eleven months in court. In one of Guede’s depositions, he claimed I’d come home the night of the murder, rung the doorbell, and that Meredith had let me in. Obviously he didn’t know it was our household habit to knock, not buzz. It was a little catch, but it was something my former Via dells Pergola housemates, Laura and Filomena, could confirm.

          • You are reading a 400 page legal document in Italian?  Guess we can drop all pretence you are limited in the language.

          • Looking for discrepencies?  How about all your different stories and alibis?  And Sollecito’s?

          • Looking for flawed reasoning?  Plenty of it.  Oh, you mean the prosecution’s flawed reasoning?

          • You had an insider’s perspective on the case?  You mean a front row seat with a lead role?

          • So, if someone buzzes the doorbell, you would not answer?

          [Chapter 31, Page 398]  For example, Madison wrote, “Witnesses: the prosecution knowingly used unreliable witnesses.

          “Interrogation: the police were under enormous pressure to solve the murder quickly.
          “There’s a pattern of the police/prosecution ignoring indications of your innocence. This must be pointed out. You were called guilty a month before forensic results, you were still considered guilty even though what you said in your interrogation wasn’t true, obviously false witnesses were used against you.

          • So, Madison Paxton accuses the prosecution of suborning perjury?  Nice to drop her in it, Knox.

          • Police have a pattern of ignoring signs you are innocent?  What signs did they miss?

          • You were called guilty before forensic results?  What about those statements where you say you were there?

          • Knox claims to be a witness to someone committing the crime.  Why would anyone think she was there?

          • False witnesses were used against you?  Patrick could make that claim.

          [Chapter 31, Page 399]  I knew that the most critical point was to be able to say why I’d named Patrick during my interrogation.

          • Once again, you were not interrogated.  Raffaele was called to the police station, and you came along.

          • Since you insisted on being there, Rita Ficarra asked if you would help make a list of potential contacts

          • Sollecito revoked your alibi, and you named Patrick, thinking it would get you off the hook.  It backfired.

          • That about covers it.

          [Chapter 31, Page 399]  The prosecution and civil parties argued that I was a manipulative, lying criminal mastermind. My word meant nothing. The court would always presume I was a liar. If, in their mind, I was a liar, it was an easy leap to murderer.

          I had been done in by my own words. I’d told the judges and jury things like “I didn’t mean to do harm” and “You don’t know what it’s like to be manipulated, to think that you were wrong, to have so much doubt and pressure on you that you try to come up with answers other than those in your memory.”

          • To go out on a limb here: if you are a manipulative liar, your word probably means nothing.

          • To prove the point, you are manipulating words to make it seem like people assume you are a killer.

          • You were done in by your own words.  For once, ‘‘best truthing’’ didn’t work.

          • You false accuse Patrick of rape and murder, but you didn’t mean any harm?

          • The only pressure was having to come up with a new alibi on the spot.

          [Chapter 31, Page 399]  Thankfully Madison had researched the science on false confessions. She found Saul Kassin, a psychologist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. A specialist in wrongful convictions, he took the mystery out of what had happened to me.

          • Blaming an innocent person is not ‘‘falsely confessing’‘.  It is ‘‘falsely accusing’‘.

          • Saul doesn’t seem to be a very good psychologist if he can’t distinguish between ‘‘confessions’’ and ‘‘accusations’‘.

          • Saul also doesn’t seem to grasp any of the hard facts in the case, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

          • A specialist in wrongful convictions?  From the Susan Smith School of Criminal Justice?

          • What about Saul’s realization that ‘‘false confessions’’ generally happen to weak-willed people?  Something you are not.

          • Saul Kassin must be connected to Saul Goodman (scummy lawyer in Breaking Bad).  Mystery solved.

          [Chapter 31, Page 399]  Before my interrogation, I believed, like many people, that if someone were falsely accused, they wouldn’t, couldn’t, be swayed from the truth while under interrogation. I never would have believed that I could be pressured into confessing to something I hadn’t done. For three years I berated myself for not having been stronger. I’m an honest person.

          • You were not interrogated.  You were asked for a list of contacts, when Sollecito withdrew his alibi for you.

          • You were swayed by the loss of your alibi witness.

          • You didn’t ‘‘confess’‘. You ‘‘accused’’ Patrick of raping and murdering Meredith while you were in the kitchen cowering.

          • Of course, to false accuse, you have to claim to be present, and to be a witness.

          • For not being stronger?  Like not having a ‘‘better’’ backup alibi?

          • You are an honest person?  I just threw up in my mouth.

          [Chapter 31, Page 399]  During that interrogation, I had nothing to hide, and a stake in the truth-1 desperately wanted the police to solve Meredith’s murder. But now I know that innocent people often confess. The records kept of people convicted of a crime and later exonerated by DNA evidence show that the DNA of 25 percent of them didn’t match the DNA left at the scene. The DNA testing showed that one in four innocent people ended up confessing as I did.

          • Once more, you were not interrogated.

          • You wanted to solve Meredith’s murder?  Makes sense, you left Guede’s traces intact.

          • DNA testing shows that 1 in 4 innocents falsely accuse others of crimes?

          [Chapter 31, Page 400]  According to Kassin, there are different types of false confessions. The most common is “compliant,” which usually happens when the suspect is threatened with punishment or isolation. The encounter becomes so stressful, so unbearable, that suspects who know they’re innocent eventually give in just to make the uncomfortably harsh questioning stop. “You’ll get thirty years in prison if you don’t tell us,” says one interrogator. “I want to help you, but I can’t unless you help us,” says another.

          This was exactly the good cop/bad cop routine the police had used on me.

          • So which were you, the ‘‘compliant’’ false accusation, or the ‘‘internalized’’ false accusation?

          • Not having an alibi from Raffy was that stressful, unbearable, you just had to make it stop?

          • Patrick will be relieved to hear it was just those ‘‘Jedi mind tricks’‘.

          • Who were the good cop(s) and who were the bad cop(s)?

          [Chapter 31, Page 400]  Besides being compliant, I also showed signs of having made an “internalized” false confession.  Sitting in that airless interrogation room in the questura, surrounded by people shouting at me during forty- three hours of questioning over five days, I got to the point, in the middle of the night, where I was no longer sure what the truth was. I started believing the story the police were telling me. They took me into a state where I was so fatigued and stressed that I started to wonder if I had witnessed Meredith’s murder and just didn’t remember it. I began questioning my own memory.

          • You showed signs of?  I think the term is ‘‘malingering’‘.

          • 43 hours?  You told Judge Nencini is was over 50 hours.

          • You also said (in this book), everyone from the house was detained, and that you spent most of your time sitting around with Meredith’s British friends.

          • You went to class on Monday, and skipped Meredith’s memorial to go strum a ukulele.

          • You also went underwear shopping with Raffaele, and had some ‘‘fun’’ with him.

          • You were also with Federico Martini (a.k.a. Cristiano) and got more drugs in return for sex.

          • When were these 43+ hours?  You seemed to have a lot of free time.

          • Does an ‘‘internalized false accusation’’ make someone really bad at time and math?

          [Chapter 31, Page 400]  Kassin says that once suspects begin to distrust their own memory, they have almost no cognitive choice but to consider, possibly accept, and even mentally elaborate upon the interrogator’s narrative of what happened. That’s how beliefs are changed and false memories are formed.  That’s what had happened to me.

          • This sounds impressive, but the questions stopped at this point.  There was no narrative to elaborate on.

          • Beliefs are changed?  As in the police don’t believe you now, but maybe if you come up with something .....

          • False memories?  Like you cowering in the kitchen with your hands on your ears, WHILE SOMEONE ELSE killed Meredith?

          • That’s what happened to you?  Is that your ‘‘best truth’‘?

          [Chapter 31, Page 401]  Three years after my “confession,” I’d blocked out some of my interrogation. But the brain has ways of bringing up suppressed memories. My brain chooses flashbacks - sharp, painful flashes of memory that flicker, interrupting my conscious thoughts. My adrenaline responds as if it’s happening in that moment. I remember the shouting, the figures of looming police officers, their hands touching me, the feeling of panic and of being surrounded, the incoherent images my mind made up to try to explain what could have happened to Meredith and to legitimize why the police were pressuring me.

          • Did you also ‘‘block out’’ what happened to Meredith?

          • There was no shouting except from you, when you faked having a fit?

          • You ‘‘remember’‘?  This from the woman who writes about things her mind made up….?!

          • How were they pressuring you when they stopped asking questions?

          [Chapter 31, Page 401]  In my case they’d put several interrogators in a room with me. For hours they yelled, screamed, kept me on edge. When they exhausted themselves, a fresh team replaced them. But I wasn’t even allowed to leave to use the bathroom.

          • There were teams of interrogators waiting for you?  Why exactly?

          • You showed up unexpected that night, and Rita Ficarra told you to go home.

          • You weren’t allowed to use the bathroom?  Your own lawyers have publicly said you were not mistreated.

          [Chapter 31, Page 402] It had been the middle of the night. I’d already been questioned for hours at a time, days in a row. They tried to get me to contradict myself by homing in on what I’d done hour by hour, to confuse me, to cause me to lose track and get something wrong. They said I had no alibi. They lied, saying that Raffaele had told them I’d asked him to lie to the police. They wouldn’t let me call my mom. They wouldn’t let me leave the interrogation room. They were yelling at me in a language I didn’t understand. They hit me and suggested that I had trauma- induced amnesia. They encouraged me to imagine what could have happened, encouraged me to “remember” the truth because they said I had to know the truth. They threatened to imprison me for thirty years and restrict me from seeing my family. At the time, I couldn’t think of it as anything but terrifying and overwhelming.

          • How was this elaborate trap in place if it was night time, and you showed up unannounced? 

          • All they were asking was a list of potential men who might have visited the home.

          • That part was truthful.  Sollecito did say you asked him to lie, which left you without an alibi.

          • Why does a 20 year old need to call her mom, when being asked questions about a murder?  Never mind.

          • Actually, you were free to leave at that point.

          • You didn’t understand the language?  What was your interpreter, Anna Donnino there for?

          • If you didn’t understand the language, how did you know they thought you had trauma-induced amnesia?

          • Police are looking for a killer, and they ask you to ‘‘imagine’’ things?  Right.

          • Yeah, getting busted for murder can be pretty overwhelming.  No argument here.

          [Chapter 31, Page 402]  Number one, I would have written to the Kerchers. I wanted to tell them how much I liked their daughter. How lovingly she spoke of her family. Tell them that her death was a heartbreak to so many.

          • Well, you could help them by not publishing embarrassing details.

          • Please don’t tell them you like their daughter.  And please don’t ask to see the grave.

          • Her death was a heartbreak to so many.  Oh, right, I was one of them.

          [Chapter 31, Page 402]  Number two, I’d have written Patrick an apology. Naming him was unforgivable, and he didn’t deserve it, but I wanted to say that it wasn’t about him. I was pushed so hard that I’d have named anyone. I was sorry.

          • Yes, naming him was unforgivable.

          • No, it wasn’t about him, it was about saving your own ass.

          • You pushed yourself to come up with something once Sollecito said you went out—alone.

          • You did name anyone: Patrick, Rudy, Juve, Shaky, Spiros, Federico Martini ....

          • You were sorry that it didn’t work out?

          [Chapter 31, Page 403 ]  Dear Patrick,

          The explanation you’ve heard a number of times about my interrogation is true and I’m sure you understand well since you were arrested the same night without being told why.  Ifee1guilo and sorry for my part in it.

          • He was arrested ONLY because of you, but shit happens, right?
          Posted on 11/26/15 at 07:35 PM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas teamKnox book hoaxes
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          Wednesday, November 25, 2015

          Revenge Of The Knox, The Smear-All Book: We Get Down To Nailing ALL Her Invented Claims #9

          Posted by Chimera



          Implacable nastiness in Star Wars. Anakin is about to kill his wife here. Click for Comments.

          1. Overview Of This Series

          My opinion is that this book is essentially Amanda Knox’s way of getting back at everyone in Italy she ever encountered, while falsely making her notoriously brash, sharp-elbowed, frequently drugged-up persona look endearing, naive, and squeaky-clean.

          Knox includes numerous lies, smears, and stories to compromise literally dozens of others. None of them help clear up what happened to Meredith.  And given how rampant the lies are, it doesn’t really clarify anything about Amanda Knox either.

          Four more quick posts and the series will be done here. Then we will post everything on a new Knox Lies page with each of her false claim numbered, and draw the attention of the media. The eight posts before this one can all be read here.

          Page numbers are those of the expanded 2015 paperback.

          2. Dissection Of Pages 355 to 394

          [Chapter 28, Page 355]  “I’d like to show the court a visual prop we’ve constructed to demonstrate our theory of the murder,” Comodi said. This introduced the most surreal moment of my nightmarish trial: a 3-D computer-generated animation with avatars representing me, Raffaele, Rudy Guede, and Meredith.  Carlo and Luciano were apoplectic. They shouted their objections, insisting that the film was unnecessary and inflammatory. Judge Massei allowed it. I didn’t watch it, but my lawyers said the avatar of me was dressed in a striped shirt like one I often wore to court. Raffaele, Guede, and I were depicted sneering.  Meredith’s avatar had an expression of horror and pain. The cartoon used real crime scene photos to show the blood splatters in Meredith’s room.

          • Trying to use a video simulation to explain a crime?  Happens regularly in U.S. courts.

          • So, should Meredith be sneering, and Knox, Sollecito, Guede have horrified expressions?

          [Chapter 28, Page 356]  I kept my head down, my eyes on the table. My stomach was churning. The courtroom was suddenly hot. I was boiling with anger and near tears. How are they allowed to make up what happened? I tried to block out Comodi’s voice as she narrated the imagined event.

          • Angry, why?  For having the brutality of it finally shown?

          • Was she supposed to narrate you in the kitchen covering your ears while Lumumba kills Meredith?

          • Was she supposed to narrate the one where Guede uses his 6 arms and spider-strength to overpower Meredith?

          [Chapter 28, Page 356] The cartoon couldn’t be entered as evidence, so no one outside the courtroom saw it. But the prosecution had achieved their goal. They’d planted an image in the minds of the judges and jury.  When the lights came up, Comodi closed with a straightforward request: Give Amanda and Raffaele life imprisonment.

          • Nobody outside the courtroom saw the cartoon since it “couldn’t” be entered as evidence?  In fact it was purely a choice of the prosecution and judge to stop it leaking to the media.

          • The points of clearing the court are to protect the dignity of the victim, and to prevent word of it from inflaming the public via the media.

          • The point is not to ‘‘plant an image’‘.  It is to provide the best interpretation of what happened.

          • Finally a truthful statement.  Yes, they did ask for life in prison.

          [Chapter 28, Page 357]  Then he [Pacelli] descended on me as if I were a witch on trial in the Middle Ages. “So who is Amanda Knox? In my opinion, within her resides a double soul—the angelic and compassionate, gentle and naive one, of Saint Maria Goretti, and the satanic, diabolic Luciferina, who was brought to engage in extreme, borderline acts and to adopt dissolute behavior. This last was the Amanda of November 1, 2007 ... It must be spelled out clearly: Amanda was a girl who was clean on the outside because she was dirty within, spirit and soul.. .”

          • Pacelli didn’t descend on you as if it were the middle ages.  He descended on you for having committed heinous acts.

          • Extreme, borderline acts?  I guess sexual assault and murder, then framing someone are ‘‘mainstream’’ ....

          [Chapter 28, Page 357]  How can any girl defend herself against a guy armed with a knife? “It’s a very long list of lesions: to the face, neck, hands, forearms, thighs. Try to understand the terror, the fear, the pain this girl suffered in the last seconds of her life in the face of the multiple aggression, an aggression brought about by more than one person.” Maresca didn’t mention that the prosecution’s own coroner—the only person who’d analyzed Meredith’s body—had said it was impossible to determine whether one or more people attacked Meredith.

          • How can any woman defend herself against a guy armed with a knife?  Many have before.

          • This is disingenuous.  The coroner is NEVER able to make the determination of multiple attackers based solely on injuries.  They can make reasonable assumptions and say things are likely, but few things are 100% certain.

          • That said, that many injuries with so few defensive marks leads to two possibilities: (1) The victim had been restrained; or (2) Multiple attackers were present.

          [Chapter 28, Page 358]  Maresca, like Mignini, criticized any media that had questioned his work. But what most enraged me was the false contrast he set up between the Kerchers and my family. “You’ll remember Meredith’s family for their absolute composure. They taught the world the elegance of silence. We’ve never heard them on the television ... in the newspapers. They’ve never given an interview. There’s an abysmal difference between them and what has been defined as the Knox Clan and the Sollecito Clan, which give interviews on national television and in magazines every day.” Thank God for my “clan,” I thought. They’re the only ones on my side.

          • Meredith: likeable, ambitious, driven student.

          • Knox: crass, lazy, does drugs and brings home strange men.

          • Kercher family: kept a low profile during the trial.

          • Knox family: parents hired a PR firm to rail about how Knox was being railroaded by a corrupt prosecutor, and ancient judicial system

          [Chapter 28, Page 358]  Meredith’s family is grieving, but my family knows that Pm not the cause of the Kerchers’ grief. Just as Meredith’s family came to Perugia to seek justice for their daughter, mine have come to seek justice for me. Both families are good. Both families are doing the best they can, the best way they know how..

          • Meredith’s family is grieving?  So that’s what grief looks like?  Good to know.

          • Well, your mother knew you were the cause of PATRICK’S grief, and did nothing about it.

          • If your family were here to seek justice, they would have let things play out.

          • The way they know how?  Oh, Judge Hellmann .....

          [Chapter 28, Page 358]  “Raffaele and Rudy Guede never met, went out together, or saw each other,” Maori said. “The two young men belonged to completely different worlds and cultures. Raffaele comes from a big and healthy family. Rudy rejected his family. Raffaele has always been a model student. Rudy was never interested in school or work. Raffaele is timid and reserved. Rudy is uninhibited, arrogant, extroverted.” “Accomplices who don’t know each other . Bongiorno said, drawing out the words to emphasize the paradox that they couldn’t have been accomplices if they didn’t even know each other! Raffaele, she told the court, was “Mr. Nobody"—put in by the prosecution as an afterthought.  “There was no evidence of him at the scene.” The prosecution had contradicted themselves. “He’s there, but he’s not. He has a knife, but he doesn’t. He’s passive, he’s active.”

          • Vanessa losing her job while interfering with the case is ‘‘healthy’‘?

          • Since we are talking about ‘‘work ethic’‘, Sollecito is the only one of the 3 who never held a job.

          • Rudy is uninhibited, arrogant, extroverted?  Umm…. so is Knox.

          • People with different personalities can still know each other.  Sollecito knew Knox.

          • And despite the claim Sollecito didn’t know Guede, they both knew Knox.

          • Sollecito wasn’t put there as an afterthought.  He was Knox’s alibi witness, until he said she made him lie.

          [Chapter 28, Page 359] In defending Raffaele, she also defended me. “If the court doesn’t mind, and Amanda doesn’t mind, the innocence of my client depends on Amanda Knox,” she said. “A lot of people think that she doesn’t make sense. But Amanda just sees things her way. She reacts differently. She’s not a classic Italian woman. She has a naive perspective of life, or did when the events occurred. But just because she acted differently from other people doesn’t mean she killed someone….

          • Sollecito’s innocence depends on Knox?  Wasn’t his ‘‘official’’ position that she went out?

          • She reacts differently?  Yeah, shit happens.

          • Her reactions don’t mean it, but false alibis, false accusations, turning off phones, mixed blood, etc ... do mean it.

          [Chapter 28, Page 359]  “Amanda looked at the world with the eyes of Am6lie” she said, referring to the quirky waif in the movie that Raffaele and I watched the night of Meredith’s murder.  Amelie and I had traits in common, Bongiorno said. “The extravagant, bizarre personality, full of imagination. If there’s a personality who does cartwheels and who confesses something she imagined, it’s her. I believe that what happened is easy to guess. Amanda, being a little bizarre and naive, when she went into the questura, was truly trying to help the police and she was told, ‘Amanda, imagine. Help us, Amanda. Amanda, reconstruct it. Amanda, find the solution. Amanda, try.’ She tried to do so, she tried to help, because she wanted to help the police, because Amanda is precisely the Am6lie of Seattle.”

          • Knox looks at the world with the eyes of Amelie?  Are you arguing innocence or insanity?

          • Knox didn’t ‘‘confess’’ to anything.  She falsely ‘‘accused’’ Patrick of something.

          • Knox didn’t ‘‘imagine’’ anything, except a possible way out after Sollecito pulled his alibi.

          • She didn’t go to the Questura to ‘‘help the police’‘.  She claimed she went because she was scared to be alone, and told to go home.

          • Knox wasn’t told to ‘‘imagine’’ how anything went.  She started writing a list of possible males who visited.

          • Sorry to pick up an old topic, but Knox is remembering all this as it was said?  Or did she get the trial transcripts?

          [Chapter 28, Page 360]  “At lunch hour on November 2, 2007, a body was discovered,” Luciano began. “It was a disturbing fact that captured the hearts of everyone. Naturally there were those who investigated. Naturally there were testimonies. Naturally there was the initial investigative activity. Immediately, immediately, especially Amanda, but also Raffaele, were suspected, investigated, and heard for four days following the discovery of the body. There was demand for haste. There was demand for efficiency. There was demand.

          • Knox has frequently claimed she was ‘‘interrogated’’ for days, but this is the first time, I am hearing about it happening to Sollecito.

          • ’‘ALL’’ of the residents of the house were detained, as Knox admits earlier in the book.  She was not targeted.

          • There was no ‘‘demand for haste’‘.  On November 5, 2007, the police asked him to come in to clear up his alibi.  Knox was not invited, and when she did show up, was asked to leave.

          • Again, how does Knox remember this summation, more than 3 years before she would write her book?

          [Chapter 28, Page 360]  “Such demand and such haste led to the wrongful arrest of Patrick Lumumba—a grave mistake.”  Carlo picked up the thread. “There is a responsible party for this and it’s not Amanda Knox. Lumumba’s arrest was not executed by Amanda Knox. She gave information, false information. Now we know. But you couldn’t give credit to what Amanda said in that way, in that moment and in that way. A general principle for operating under such circumstances is maximum caution. In that awkward situation there was instead the maximum haste.”  Having heard what they wanted to hear and without checking further, the investigators and Prosecutor Mignini arrested Patrick—bringing him in “like a sack of potatoes,” Luciano said.

          • Knox admitted in her June 2009 testimony that she was the one to bring Patrick’s name up.

          • She did this because Sollecito revoked his alibi, and she was suddenly desperate for a new one.

          • Caution?  Knox claimed to be a witness to the rape and murder.

          • Lumumba’s arrest WAS executed by Knox.  Judge Massei (2009), Judge Hellmann (2011), and Cassation (2013) all said it was.

          • They did check the facts.  Patrick was released once they investigated.

          • You guys are taking pot shots at the cops in your summation?  Somehow I doubt it.

          [Chapter 28, Page 361]  Maria Del Grosso criticized Mignini for the fiction he’d invented. “What must be judged today is whether this girl committed murder by brutal means. To sustain this accusation you need very strong elements, and what element does the prosecution bring us? The flushing of the toilet. Amanda was an adulterer. l hope that not even Prosecutor Mignini believes in the improbable, unrealistic, imaginary contrast of the two figures of Amanda and Meredith.”

          • The prosecution brought hard evidence to the trial.  What did you bring?

          • [I haven’t seen the trial transcript on this. Defence lawyers spin and distort things, but this may actually have been said.]

          [Chapter 28, Page 362]  Then Raffaele and I made our final pleas. Raffaele talked about how he would never hurt anyone.  That he had no reason to. That he wouldn’t have done something just because I’d told him to.  I’d spent hours sitting on my bed making notes about what I wanted to say, but as soon as I stood up, every word emptied from my brain. I had to go with what came to me, on the few notes I had prepared.

          • Yes, Sollecito, gave speeches about how he had no reason to hurt her, but refused to actually testify.

          • Likewise at the Nencini appeal, Sollecito gave speeches, but wouldn’t answer questions.

          • You have to make notes?  I guess it just doesn’t come naturally.

          [Chapter 28, Page 362]  “People have asked me this question: how are you able to remain calm? First of all, I’m not calm.  I’m scared to lose myself. I’m scared to be defined as what I am not and by acts that don’t belong to me. I’m afraid to have the mask of a murderer forced on my skin.

          • You were VERY calm after Meredith’s murder

          • Scared to lose yourself?  You mean, yet your cold-blooded side slip out?  Okay, probably true here.

          • Scared to be defined as something?  This is a murder trial.

          • Mask of a murderer?  Sweetheart, it’s not a mask.

          [Chapter 28, Page 362]  “I feel more connected to you, more vulnerable before you, but also trusting and sure in my conscience. For this I thank you ... I thank the prosecution because they are trying to do their job, even if they don’t understand, even if they are not able to understand, because they are trying to bring justice to an act that tore a person from this world. So I thank them for what they do ... It is up to you now. So I thank you.”  My words were so inadequate. But at least I remembered to thank the court again. Now I had to put my faith in what my lawyers and our experts and I had said month after month. I had to believe that it was good enough.

          • While I’m at it, I’d like to thank the director, the producer, and the supporting cast.

          • One more time people.  I don’t yet have the feel of this character.

          • Dammit guys!  We are shooting this film just great.

          • Your words are inadequate?  You should have hired Linda Kuhlman to ‘‘ghostwrite’’ your speech.  No, it would still suck.

          [Chapter 28, Page 364]  My head pounded as I shot from excitement to terror and back again—and again. My brain bounced between Please, please, please and Finally, finally, finally—THE END.

          • Yes, sequels are lame.  Like the sequel (or paperback) of this book.

          [Chapter 28, Page 364]  After dinner Tanya turned on the TV. Every channel was talking about my case: The big day! The world is hanging on, waiting to see what the decision will be in the “Italian trial of the century.”  Raffaele and Amanda have been charged with six counts. Meredith’s family will be there to hear the verdict. Amanda’s family is waiting in the hotel. The Americans believe there’s no case, but the prosecution insists that Meredith’s DNA is on the murder weapon and Raffaele’s DNA is on Meredith’s bra clasp. The prosecution has condemned the American media for taking an incorrect view of the case.

          • Well, the whole world wasn’t watching until Dad hired a PR firm.

          • Americans believe there is no case.  Probably due to a biased media that doesn’t bother to check their facts

          • Meredith’s DNA on the knife and Raffaele’s DNA on the bra clasp were only just 2 pieces of evidence, yet you try to portray it as about the only evidence.

          • Actually the prosecution condemned the US media notion that he was framing 2 ‘‘kids’’ for his career.

          [Chapter 29, Page 370]  My life cleaved in two. Before the verdict, I’d been a wrongly accused college student about to walk free. I was about to start my life over after two years. Now everything I’d thought I’d been promised had been ripped away. I was a convicted murderer.

          • Well, before the conviction Marriott portrayed you as the ‘‘wrongly accused’’ college student.

          • You were only taking the one course, so is that really a college student?  Not a full time load.

          • Everything you had been promised?  What kind of deal did you make?

          [Chapter 29, Page 370]  Carlo stopped us just before we started down the stairs. He was breathless. “I’m so sorry! We’re going to win! We’re going to win. Amanda, we’re going to save you. Be strong.”

          • You’ve got the business judge directory?

          [Chapter 30, Page 377]  “Can you possibly put me on the list for a two-person cell instead of the five-person cell?” I asked, sniffling. “That would mean a lot to me.” It was all I had. Begging for a better cell. It had come to this. This was my new life. I was in a position to ask. Twenty-six-year sentences were uncommon in Italy, especially at Capanne, which usually housed petty criminals and drug dealers serving sentences of a few months to a few years. After twenty-five months, not only had I earned seniority—I’d been there longer than almost everyone else—but I had a reputation as a model prisoner.

          [Chapter 30, Page 384]  As Lupa said, my lawyers would obviously appeal my conviction. But I couldn’t count on the Court of Appeals to free me. My case, tried daily in the media, was too big and too notorious. It was awful to hear that strangers believed I had killed my friend. That feeling was compounded when, about three weeks after Raffaele and I were convicted, the appeals court cut Rudy Guede’s sentence nearly in half, from thirty years to sixteen. Meredith’s murderer was now serving less time than I was—by ten years! How can they do this?! I raged to myself. It doesn’t make sense! The unfairness of it burned in my throat.

          • Cases are tried by the courts, not the media.

          • It was awful to hear stranger thinking you killed your friend?  Why so obsessed with what people think?

          • Your friend?  Meredith I assume?

          • Didn’t make sense?  Did you read this quote from pages 273/274 of this book?  Fast track trial ... ?

          • “The first day of the pretrial was mostly procedural. Almost immediately Guede’s lawyers requested an abbreviated trial. I had no idea the Italian justice system offered this option. Carlo later told me that it saves the government money. With an abbreviated trial, the judge’s decision is based solely on evidence; no witnesses are called. The defendant benefits from this fast-track process because, if found guilty, he has his sentence cut by a third.”

          [Chapter 30, Page 384]  But when the emotionless guard pushed the paper across the desk, I saw, to my astonishment, and outrage, that it was a new indictment—for slander. For telling the truth about what had happened to me during my interrogation on November 5-6, 2007.  In June 2009, I testified that Rita Ficarra had hit me on the head to make me name Patrick.  I also testified that the police interpreter hadn’t translated my claims of innocence and that she’d suggested that I didn’t remember assisting Patrick Lumumba when he sexually assaulted Meredith.

          • Actually, it was a ‘‘long haired woman’’ you testified against.  Ficarra wasn’t named until this book came out.

          • You ‘‘didn’t remember assisting’‘?  Well, after days of lying, you admitted you were present.

          [Chapter 30, Page 385]  According to Prosecutor Mignini, truth was slander.  All told, the prosecution claimed that I’d slandered twelve police officers—everyone who was in the interrogation room with me that night—when I said they’d forced me to agree that Meredith had been raped and pushed me into saying Patrick’s name.  It was my word against theirs, because that day the police apparently hadn’t seen fit to flip the switch of the recording device that had been secretly bugging me every day in the same office of the questura leading up to the interrogation.

          [Chapter 30, Page 385] Mignini and his co-prosecutor, Manuela Comodi, had signed the document. The judge’s signature was also familiar: Claudia Matteini, the same woman who’d rejected me for house arrest two years earlier because she said I’d flee Italy.  I hadn’t expected this maneuver by the police and prosecution, but it now made sense. They couldn’t admit that one of their own had hit me or that the interpreter hadn’t done her job. Above all, they couldn’t admit that they’d manipulated me into a false admission of guilt. They had their reputations to uphold and their jobs to keep.

          • Judge Matteini was right.  You refused to attend the 2013 Cassation appeal, your own 2013/2014 Florence appeal, your own 2015 Cassation appeal, and are skipping the September 2015 calunnia trial.

          • So, the interpreter is refusing to translate properly .... to help frame you?

          • A police officer (whom you only now identify as Ficarra), assaults you, and everyone covers it up?

          • So, police and prosecutors are framing you to retains their jobs and reputations?

          [Chapter 30, Page 385]  I’d calculated that I could be released in twenty-one years for good behavior. Now this looked unlikely. If I were called to testify in the slander trial, I’d have to restate the truth: I had been pressured and hit. They’d say I was lying. If the judges and jury believed the police, that would wipe out my good behavior and add three years to my jail time.  Could Mignini, Comodi, and the whole questura keep going after me again and again? Would I be persecuted forever?

          • So which is it?  You will (a) Tell the truth; or (b) Restate that you had been hit?

          • Yes, ‘‘aggravated calunnia’’ has a tendency to add years to jail sentences.

          • Mignini, Comodi and the Questura are not ‘‘going after you again and again’‘.  They are obligated to report such complaints.

          • Not ‘‘persecuted’’ forever, but if you keep this pattern up, you may be ‘‘prosecuted’’ forever.

          [Chapter 30, Page 386] The indictment was a dark reminder of how completely vulnerable I was. Not only had the prosecution successfully had me convicted for something I hadn’t done, but also legally, my word meant nothing. I was trapped.

          • Yes, the word of someone convicted of making false accusations generally means nothing.  Quite true.

          [Chapter 30, Page 387] As I did for Mina’s mom, Gregora, I helped prisoners write letters, legal documents, grocery lists, and explain an ailment to the doctor. The Nigerian women treated me as an honored guest, setting me up at a table and offering tea and cake as they dictated to me. This was my way of being part of the prison community on my own terms, of trying to find a good balance between helping others and protecting myself. No matter how much I was hurting, I didn’t think it was right to ignore the fact that I could help other inmates with my ability to read and write in both Italian and English.  At bedtime each night, I made a schedule for the next day, organized task by task, hour by hour. If I didn’t cross off each item, I felt I’d let myself down. I wrote as much as I could—journals, stories, poems. I could spend hours crafting a single letter to my family.

          • The writing part is true.

          • The touching details about helping other inmates is not.  Knox kept to herself almost exclusively.

          [Chapter 30, Page 387]  The ways other prisoners had tried to kill themselves were well known—and I imagined myself trying them all.  There was poisoning, usually with bleach. Swallowing enough and holding it in long enough was painfully difficult. Usually the vomiting would attract the attention of the guards too soon, and then they’d pump your stomach. It seemed an agonizing way to go if success wasn’t guaranteed.  There was swallowing shards of glass from a compact mirror or a broken plastic pen, hitting your head against the wall until you beat yourself to death, and hanging yourself.  But the most common and fail-safe method of suicide in prison was suffocation by a garbage bag—two prisoners on the men’s side did this successfully while I was there. You could even buy the bags off the grocery list. You’d pull the bag over your head, stick an open gas canister meant for the camping stove inside, and tie the bag off around your neck. The gas would make you pass out almost instantaneously, and if someone didn’t untie the bag immediately, that was it.  Less effective but, I thought, more dignified was bleeding yourself to death. I imagined it would be possible to get away with enough time in the shower. The running water would deter cellmates from invading your privacy, and the steam would fog up the guard’s viewing window. I imagined cutting both my wrists and sinking into oblivion in a calm, quiet, hot mist.  I wondered which straw would need to break for me actually to do any of these. What would my family and friends think? How would the guards find my body?  I imagined myself as a corpse. It made me feel sick, not relieved, but it was a fantasy I had many times—terrible, desperate recurring thoughts that I never shared with a soul.

          • Not sure why Knox is telling us this.  Is it for shock value? Is she reveling in it?

          [Chapter 30, Page 387]  I thought about how much I wanted to get married and have kids. If I get released on good behavior when I’m forty-three, I can still adopt.

          • Yes, adoption agencies won’t have an issue with a 43 year old woman who spent nearly her entire adult in jail for rape and murder now adopting a child.

          [Chapter 30, Page 388] My mom couldn’t accept my sadness. She wrote, and talked to me, many times about how scared she was for me. “You’re changing, Amanda,” she said. “You’re not sunny anymore. I hope when you get out you can go back to being the happy person you were.  “Mom,” I wrote back, “good things don’t always work out for good people. Sometimes shit happens for no reason, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

          • You’re not sunny anymore?  Well, after Massei didn’t buy it, I’d be pessimistic too.

          • Shit happens for no reason?  Sorry, Meredith.

          [Chapter 30, Page 388]  I desperately didn’t want to be forgotten. But more than worrying about the logistics of such a life, I was terrified that we were coming to a point where we wouldn’t understand one another. They still had the right to choose what to do with their lives; they had freedom. I didn’t. I was at the mercy of my wardens. I worried that my new prison identity wouldn’t make sense to them, and my mom was evidence of that. If enough time passed, we’d be speaking two different languages—and it would have nothing and everything to do with their English and my Italian.

          • The first statement seems truthful, you really are desperate to not be forgotten.

          • But if you wanted to lessen the burden, you could have just come clean, and gotten a much lighter sentence.

          [Chapter 31, Page 393] Sitting beside me in the visitors’ room at Capanne, my friend Madison reached over and brushed my cheek. I flinched. “Baby, don’t worry. It’s just an eyelash,” she said.  My skittishness horrified me. “I guess I’m just not used to people touching me anymore!’

          • Too easy.  I won’t even try with this one.

          [Chapter 31, Page 394]  After I was convicted, my family, my lawyers, my friends, other prisoners—even, bizarrely, prison officials—tried to console me by telling me that I’d surely have my sentence reduced, if not overturned, on appeal. Rocco and Corrado assured me that in Italy about half the cases win on appeal.

          • Not true at all.  Very few cases are overturned on appeal.

          • You’d surely have your sentence reduced?  Are you working on those fake tears?

          [Chapter 31, Page 394]  But I’d been burned so often I was terrified. Why would the Court of Appeals make a different decision from the previous court? Or from the pretrial judge? Both had accepted the prosecution’s version. With my case, the Italian judicial system was also on trial. My story was well known, and the world was watching. It’d be difficult for the judicial authorities to back down now.

          • Good question.  Why would they make a different decision?

          • So, Mignini/Comodi’s case that you were involved in Meredith’s death was just a ‘‘version’‘?  Was it their version of the truth?

          • The judicial system is always on trial.  Judgements have to be able to withstand public and legal scrutiny.

          • You won’t get a fair appeal because their is media attention?

          [Chapter 31, Page 394] One thing had changed: me. I was different. In the year since my conviction I’d decided that being a victim wouldn’t help me. In prison there were a lot of women who blamed others for their bad circumstances. They lived lethargic, angry lives. I refused to be that person. I pulled myself out of the dark place into which I’d tumbled. I promised myself I’d live in a way that I could respect. I would love myself. And I would live as fully as I could in confinement.

          • Are you kidding?  Being a ‘‘victim’’ got you all this fame, I mean notoriety.

          • There are a lot of women who blame others for their circumstances?  Others like Mignini, Ficarra, Guede….

          • They lived lethargic, angry lives?  Your book is dripping with rage.

          • You refused to be that person?  How exactly?

          • Live in a way you can respect?  You seem to have pretty low standards.
          Posted on 11/25/15 at 01:00 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxHoaxers - main peopleKnox-Mellas teamNasty-prison hoaxKnox book hoaxes
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          Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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

          Posted by James Raper



          Image is of busy Rome at night

          The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

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

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

          The Critique Part 5

          So, let’s do a brief recap now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


          ———————————————————————


          Remember this?  -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


          ————————————————————————


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

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

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

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

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

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

          Abstract hypothesizing on contamination is another.

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

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


          ————————————————————————————


          Article 530, Section 2 and Conclusions


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

          There is no formula as such.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


          ————————————————————-


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

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

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

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

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

          Posted on 11/17/15 at 05:59 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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          Friday, November 13, 2015

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

          Posted by James Raper



          Image is of busy Rome at night

          The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

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

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

          The Critique Part 4

          The Simulated Break In

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

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

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

          Marasca-Bruno are not interested in Guede.

          They acknowledge that Knox and Sollecito are “qualified” persons…………

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Is Knox a ventriloquist and Sollecito her dummy?

          Curatolo & Quintavalle

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

          Here Marasca-Bruno effectively reprise the reasoning of Hellmann.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Raffaele Sollecito At House

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

          And More On Other Matters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Their evidence was disputed by a defence expert witness.

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

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

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

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

          Another unjustified and dogmatic assertion. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          What In Part Marasca-Bruno Left Out

          Finally Marasca and Bruno declare that -

          “The panorama of the declared evidence is complete.”

          Except that this is not true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          ***

          Please click here for the next post.

          Posted on 11/13/15 at 02:00 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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          Tuesday, November 10, 2015

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

          Posted by James Raper



          Image is of busy Rome at night

          The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

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

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

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

          A selection of quotes from the Report -

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

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

          Selective cleaning - “an hypothesis that is patently illogical”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          They then criticise Nencini -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          So here are other reasons to support Nencini‘s contextualising.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          The Selective Search for Other Logical Inconsistencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          A Few General Remarks

          Get a load of this -

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

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

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

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

          That’s right. Remember that.

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

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

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

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

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

          This is the precursor for what comes a bit later.

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

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

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

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

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

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

          The Presence of Amanda Knox

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

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

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

          Also:

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

          I will comment on this later.

          As regards the false accusation against Patrick Lumumba - 

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

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

          ***

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          Posted on 11/10/15 at 06:21 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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          Saturday, November 07, 2015

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

          Posted by James Raper



          Image is of busy Rome at night

          The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

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

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

          Time of Death

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

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

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

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

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

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

          On The Scientific Evidence

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

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

          The terms of the debate therefore define it‘s conclusion.

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

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

          and

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

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

          Then, to disguise that selection, we have this -

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

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

          They continue -

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Why the insistence on repeatability despite Article 360?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          adding that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Eh ?!

          They refer to Article 192, section 2 -

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

          They opine -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Where is the common sense of the 5th Chambers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

          The knife and the bra clasp -

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

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

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

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

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

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

          ***

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          Posted on 11/07/15 at 05:00 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
          Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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