Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Netflixhoax 20: Longer, Better Interviews With Dr Mignini Show Clearly How Netflix Cherrypicked Him

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1 How Netflix Cherrypicked

First please check our previous post Dr Mignini Responds To A Reporter Misrepresenting Him About The Report.

Other British and American reporters have also tried to play “gotcha” with Dr Mignini by cherrypicking his replies when the English version comes out. The exact same trick the Netflix team played on Dr Mignini was played by KOMO TV in Seattle, CNN, CBS, and the Guardian. To all of those he later replied.

Dr Mignini was led to understand that the Netflix production team was a respected Danish group. He was not told that it consisted of several American crackpots notorious over the years for harassing reporters and justice officials around Perugia and online.

Dr Mignini was seated in front of a camera by interviewers who knew no Italian and seemingly knew very little about the case or about the version of Knox Italy saw in 2007 and 2008 before the play-acting cut in. They appeared to want only light simple titillating stuff, aimed at about 12-year-olds.

The team didn’t happen to mention that half his interview would end up on the cutting room floor - or that Amanda Knox would be given more than twice the time, to spin a number of long-rebutted lies all unchallenged.

2. Netflix’s Dishonest Takeaway

The takeway of well over 100 reviewers (we will soon be posting quotes from all of them) was that (1) Dr Mignini invented a sex crime and (2) next thing Knox was convicted, based pretty well solely on that.

In the interview below, mirrored by others, Dr Mignini explains how very much more complicated than that it was to narrow down to Knox’s definite involvement. His team took into account dozens of factors and put them all in evidence.

And our interrogation hoax series shows how he handed over control of the investigation almost instantly after Knox’s arrest to Judge Matteini (never mentioned by Netflix) and numerous other judges (never mentioned by Netflix) including Supreme Court judges in 2008 who in fact took a harder line rather than releasing Knox as they could have.

3. The Long-Form Mignini Interview

This interview came to us almost by accident. It is the full transcript of Drew Griffin of CNN and Dr Mignini. Griffin, who speaks no Italian, later tried to hide almost all of what was on the recording, and instead cherrypicked and disparaged Dr Mignini despite his courtesy in doing the interview.

Skeptical Bystander of Perugia Murder File obtained the recording. Translation was by Clander, Yummi, Jools, Thoughtful, TomM and Catnip.

4’09’’ CNN: There have been many stories about this crime, about what people think happened. What do you think really happened?

4’20’’ Mignini: Well, I am a magistrate for the Public Prosecutor’s Office who found himself ... I was on duty at the time and thus I happened to be dealing with this matter randomly. For me it is a criminal proceeding that I dealt with, and I am currently working on it today at the appeal level.

4’49’’ What happened was that a crime was committed for which we conducted an investigation in the best way considering the situation. And there was a trial which, in the first instance, resulted in conviction with full acknowledgement of the theory of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. I know there have been books, there were also films on the subject, but this is something for which I have limited interest. My job is to be a prosecutor for the Public Prosecutor’s Office who dealt with this case. I am interested in it from this point of view, nothing else.

6’30’’ CNN: But exactly how was the crime like, what you and your assistants, I do not say [missing words: *what happened?] ... but [what] you understood, who are the murderers, and the reason for this murder?

6’46’’ Mignini: I can tell you our impression when I arrived on the scene. I arrived basically, I believe, I think around 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 2, and I found myself facing a crime that obviously looked like - this is the impression I got in the first place and it was subsequently confirmed by the investigations and the proceeding - a murder of a sexual nature, in which there was this girl who was undressed or nearly so, a young woman who was covered with this, with this quilt. And the other thing which struck us, which was of immediate interest, I said this on other occasions and I repeat it because I’ve said it also at the first trial, was the break-in. And it appeared immediately – the climbing, the simulation of climbing, with a stone thrown through the window, through two shutters that were there, that left open quite a narrow space, rather limited room between them – immediately that appeared to us to be a simulation.

8’38’’ So there was this crime of a sexual nature and a simulated burglary. That is, the perpetrators or perpetrator, at that moment we were making a preliminary assessment, was someone who attempted, that appeared to be the situation to us, he had attempted [missing words] So that appeared to be the situation, an investigation of unknown persons; whereas instead the house, the house door was completely intact, there had not been a been a breaking open, and this made us think, then, as the investigations progressed, because as investigations go, by approximation you slowly get closer to it, to the ascertaining of the facts, it was, we thought it was someone who knew the victim and had an interest in orienting the investigation toward strangers.

09’44’’ Then the investigation went on. There were other important issues ... [missing word: *facts?] that have occurred [missing words]; they remained as key aspects of ... of what is called the basis of the charge. Which, by the way, for us is not the side of the accusation; we are an office that also has the task of ascertaining facts in favor of the suspect during the investigation.

10’19’’ What struck us besides the issue of the simulation was a series of endless contradictions, of inconsistencies, in the story of the two young people, the two young people who later became suspects and then defendants. And then, in particular, the calunnia [false accusation], then, what turned out to be such, a false accusation, made by the accused against her employer, a black man, Lumumba, Patrick D. Lumumba.

10’53” Here it is, this is it. Then, the elements of which there is much talk today, the elements which consist of forensic evidence, there was also evidence. There are the fingerprints, the [foot] prints, the phone cell records. These elements are ..., especially the forensics, they arose at a later time. This means, from the beginning what oriented the investigations toward these people, and later toward the black subject, Rudy, Rudy Herman Guede, who ... [missing word?] they were, that of Herman Guede was identified through the forensic material that was found.

The two youths were, let’s say they became objects of…[missing words?] the perpetrators of the murder, based on the findings that emerged at the beginning of the investigation, namely the simulation, the contradictions found especially in Amanda’s story, especially when she tells of having spent some time in the house, having taken a shower, in spite of everything. And then the call, the behavior that they maintained, especially the girl, upon the arrival of the postal police. And then the accusation, which was obviously a false accusation against Lumumba. So all these factors then they have, they led to the formulation of these accusations against them, which were later substantiated by the results of forensic tests, scientific evidence, were made by the scientific police, that is, the scientific police, which is that at the top of the national scientific police, which operates directly under the department of Public Security of the Ministry of the Interior. We also had the local scientific police, but the one which operated was the scientific police placed under the command of Public Safety, thus at the central level.

16’34’’ CNN: Before there was the evidence from the forensic police, did you arrive at your conclusions with respect to Amanda Knox by instinct?

17’00’’ Mignini: The scientific elements were coming in, as I recall, they were coming in gradually. Now, I would not be able to tell you [missing words] ... I think, for example, that the issue of the knife, and then the sample, the genetic profile of the victim on the blade and the genetic profile of the defendant on a spot where the handle of the knife is close to the insertion of the blade, I think that was entered quite later compared to the initial investigation. But in fact the order of detention, ... which I ... which is the act by which, under which the two young people and, at the time, also Lumumba who was later released, were taken to the house of preventive detention, that is in prison. In this detention order, there was no mention of any DNA analysis [indagini genetiche], obviously.

18’08’’ There is, in the detention order and in the hearing before the Judge of the Preliminary Investigation [GIP] on the validity of the detention and then in the first months, the first weeks of investigation, that is our belief, mine and the flying squad, that the behavior of two young people and in particular, this actually is [missing words]... it was a detail that was even more obvious regarding Amanda, [we thought] was such that the two were considered involved in the crime. Thus before that, it was an initial assessment of those elements that we had at the beginning to orient the investigation toward them. Then confirmations came. And there were many elements of corroboration at the end; they were very significant, very numerous. But at the beginning we had these elements, again, in particular the issue of simulation.

20’13’’ CNN: And what was the proof, because from what we understand the scientific evidence does not point to them ... the two of them?

20’25’’ Mignini: Well, then: so now I,  to list all the evidence [elementi] that was found, it would be [missing words] on the other hand they have been mentioned in the First Instance sentence report by the Court of Assize. Mmm, then ...

20’50’’ The issue of the simulation ... The issue of the simulation, in that house just in those days, i.e. 1, 2 November, the second was a Friday, the third was a Saturday, the fourth was a Sunday, on that weekend in 2007 there was only Meredith and Amanda in the house in Via della Pergola. Since the two Italian girls were away from home: Filomena Romanelli was with her boyfriend in another part of town, she was staying there overnight, while Laura Mezzetti was in the province of Viterbo.

21’36’’ So in the house that night there was only Amanda and the victim. Amanda said she was in Sollecito’s house, which is actually a five-minute walk from the house of Meredith. Because of the distance, we must take into account the distance, you shall go to see these places, you see that the distances are very short, very limited. So who might have an interest in simulating intrusion by a stranger? Only a person who might be worried about being implicated in the crime.

There was no sign of forced entry through the front door, so this is an extremely significant element. Then we have again the inconsistencies that can be detected in the statements. There is the fact, then during the investigation the homeless man, the homeless man came in, who very precisely identified the two young people, he said he saw the two basically the night between the 1st and 2nd, a few meters from the house where the crime happened, in which it was committed, presumably at a time compatible with the crime. While instead the two young people stated they had remained all the time at Raffaele’s home. There is another detail which at the beginning of the investigation [was] something that has, let’s say, intensified the elements for us; it was the fact that Raffaele at the beginning had attempted, let’s say he attempted to state that he stayed at home while Amanda had been out and she returned to Raffaele’s house I think at about two a.m.

Then this approach has been kept by Raffaele during the hearing for validation of arrest, and afterwards was abandoned as Sollecito’s defense line became more, let’s say, supportive of Amanda. But at an earlier stage Raffaele stated this position of separation between the two.

Then other elements are given by the fact, were given by the fact that the homeless man saw them on the night of the crime in a location a few steps, a few meters away from the crime and at a time shortly before the murder occurred.

There is a statement of the neighbor lady who lived nearby, who heard a scream at a time compatible with that specified, with what we thought could be the time of death of Meredith, that is between 23.30 and midnight. And this, this lady, heard footsteps, there is a whole description that now I will not repeat because it has been explained ... rather, it was described at length in the first trial, she heard the footsteps of some people who are moving, running, along the clear ground facing the house of the crime, others were running up the stairs, almost simultaneously, running on the metal stairs which are above the garage and basically end up in via Pinturicchio. I do not know if you are familiar with the city of Perugia, but I guess not. So this scream the lady heard, a terrible scream and also another neighbor heard it, at a consistent time, I repeat, and this simultaneous running of subjects on opposite sides, from different, distant areas, basically corroborated the fact that there were multiple murderers.

26’09’’ Rudy himself, in his questioning has, while remaining vague, more or less vague with respect to Sollecito, however later during the various interviews he more or less indicated quite clearly that Amanda was present.
Then [we had] the questioning, then there were questionings that were done. I remember one of them, that of Amanda in prison which was an interrogation that has made me… you asked what elements did I use to let’s say support the charge, saying in quotes the prosecution, there was also an interrogation in prison, Amanda, in inverted commas let’s say the accusation in the presence of the defense attorneys of course, and which confirmed the profound shock in which she always fell every time she had to tell what happened that night.

And then there were the results… well, fingerprints ... footprints, the footprints on the rug of the bare foot stained with blood, an especially important detail which I see many have not talked about but which is extremely important, is the mixed stains of blood in the small bathroom close the scene of crime, those of the defendant and the victim.

31’00’’ CNN: In the room [missing words]

31’05’’ Mignini: But let’s say I may reverse the issue: how do you explain the DNA, the genetic profile of the victim on the knife found in Sollecito’s house, together with the genetic profile of the defendant located at the area of the blade [possibly meaning: handle] where force is applied, not where you cut…

31’40’’ CNN: Are you sure that one was the knife?

31’44’’ Mignini: That it was for us, I can say this: first you have to start from a premise: Amanda and Sollecito knew each other only since October 25. That is, we think, because this detail is very significant with respect to the relevance of this finding, since we [may just] think it was a relationship, usually we don’t think of the fact that actually they had known each other for a week. And thus this knife was never touched in conditions ... I tell you what we found in the investigation, I am talking about what we ascertained during the investigation - this knife was never touched by Meredith under normal circumstances. It was never brought to Meredith’s home, this is what the two Italian housemates say, and so why, [since] Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s house, why was Meredith’s genetic material found on the blade by the forensic police, and the genetic profile of the defendant on the spot of the handle that is where the hand would press not as you apply pressure from top down, but from back to the front, that is in a condition similar to that when you strike a blow, like this. So this…

And I have… during the first trial I tried to show very clearly that this knife, the witness, the inspector I think whose name was Armando Finzi, he’s the one who conducted the search at Sollecito’s and found this knife. And I asked: did you put on your gloves at the time, was it the first pair of gloves you were using, in that search that was the first pair of gloves, he went [there], he started the inspection, he had not touched anything else, he opened the… the cupboard where this knife was. I do not remember if he took away several, but he picked up this knife that was immediately - and thus with the gloves that he was wearing in that moment – it was immediately closed and sealed, was brought to the flying squad, where another police officer, the superintendent, I think, Gubbiotti, using the same technique, put it into a sealed container which was then carried to… was then analyzed. So this was, let’s say because I wanted this to be highlighted and I think the Assize Court says so, I wanted to show that there was no possibility of contamination by the police, by the flying squad, with regard to this item.

35’04’’ Also because, I would like this to be noted, from the perspective of Italian law, evidence of contamination must be given by the person who invokes it. This means: I found the genetic profile, you as defense attorney say ‘there could be contamination’, you must prove it. That is, the burden of proof is reversed: it is you, the one who invokes the contamination, the one who has to give evidence of it. And this evidence was never given and cannot, I think, it cannot be given. That is, the one who claims a fact must prove it, onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat. [Translator’s note: This sentence was spoken in Latin and translates as “the burden of proof is on those who assert something, not on those who deny it”.]

36’50’’ CNN: Was it certain the genetic material was that of Meredith, and not genetic material that might be consistent with that of Meredith?

37’01’’ Mignini: No, no, it was like that. It was ascertained as such by the scientific police.

37 ‘20’’ CNN: So your detectives went into the apartment ...

37’28’’ Mignini: No, the knife was collected, then it was brought to the scientific police, it was sent to the scientific police in Rome.

37’ 40’’ CNN: Yes but your detectives entered the apartment and they selected right this very knife…

37’49’’ Mignini: I believe samples were taken from several, that is, not only that particular knife. I think, if I’m not mistaken. I think more knives were tested; however, one of those was definitely exhibit 36, the famous exhibit 36. And on this exhibit is where [a sample] was recovered from, and here it’s the scientific police that did the evaluation of that evidence and I retain, I digress. About [case] aspects, at the end of the investigation phase I asked, given the complexity of the case, the resonance of the case, I felt it was appropriate to have a colleague join me, a deputy [public prosecutor] like myself. Let me clarify, I’m not the chief prosecutor; I am a deputy prosecutor, since I’ve been presented as the chief prosecutor, but I am not the chief prosecutor. Then I requested the assistance of a colleague, Manuela Comodi, and we divided up the tasks. She has remarkable aptitude for these aspects of a genetic nature.

And so in this regard, I don’t know if you notice it in the first instance trial, my colleague did the questioning regarding the genetic aspects. I instead handled the more generic aspects of the case and aspects of a more investigative nature. This is why I remember all the details of the investigation, because I carried out the investigations of people. But for these aspects of genetics and scientific nature, we rely on the scientific police and we retain that the scientific police acted with utmost professionalism. I can recall, for example, going to the crime scene, I was at the place, and I also had to wear overalls, shoe-covers and a kind of cap, not just once but several times, at the same time when we did the inspections, ... I remember having worn many times, for example, the shoe-covers. And I had to… also because, those who worked on the scene did have their DNA samples taken as well, so there is also my DNA [sample]. Dr. Stefanoni took DNA samples of everyone to rule out in case, there could be DNA discovered belonging to some operator who had nothing to do with this matter.

40’38’’ Therefore, I have the utmost confidence in the scientific police because the top of the scientific police in Italy, especially Dr. Stefanoni who acted with great professionalism and these findings on the biological material were carried out in cross-examination with consultants for the defense team, always. The defense consultants, as I recall, and I was present, as far as I can remember, they had no objections if not in later analysis; they had no objection to anything at all at the time. For example, when the famous bra clasp was discovered, the defense consultants were there, for Sollecito there was a consultant who afterwards was replaced, I don’t remember his name, he was quite good, and I remember that he did not make any objections. Therefore, all these findings were carried out in cross-examination and the other parties had the opportunity to challenge what the scientific police biologist was doing, the scientific police expert in forensic genetics.

42’06’’ So I think. I distinctly remember that, in the first trial, I tried to prove that the knife had been collected with the utmost correctness. And I believe that afterwards the same thing happened in the scientific police laboratory when it was analyzed.

44’16’’ CNN: I still have trouble understanding how you can have a crime so horrendous and so bloody without two of the suspects leaving any trace.

44’30’’ Mignini: Look I should then add, it must be also said, at the time. In the bathroom of the two foreign girls, that is Meredith and Amanda, which is attached, next to the room of the murder, blood material was discovered of Amanda and Meredith, mixed. Why is this material important? It is important because in her own account told, in her own deposition Amanda makes in, I think, in early June of 2009, during the first instance trial, she says that when she left the house on the afternoon of November 1st, those spots were not there. She says so herself. So she returns in the morning, says she went back in the morning and sees those spots of blood. Those spots of blood are mixed Amanda and victim.

Also, in the small bathroom, there is a blood stained footprint, which the scientific police attributed to Raffaele, on the bath mat next to the murder room. On the corridor leading to the murder room, [and] leading to Amanda’s room, there are footprints, I’m not sure now, there are even in Amanda’s room, I think, there are footprints that were attributed to the two youngsters by the scientific police, of feet stained in blood. And, by elements, there is also a print of shoe and that one, was inside the murder room. Elements there are, that is, how to explain the presence of these elements if the two youngsters were not involved in the murder, [and] stayed at home? And another detail: it is a crime, this was established at the time by the Supreme Court, then we can no longer put into question at this point, it is a crime committed by several persons. I have, during the first instance trial, I heard this line of approach, and I also opposed this approach, which extended to holding that Rudy was the only one responsible.

The “only one responsible” is not one person, but [transcription error] they are several persons and Rudy is among them. This is now procedurally beyond dispute.

48’48’’ CNN: He also wants to know if you also found [missing words], that is, Sollecito perhaps, had a few cuts, did you check to see if he had any cuts?

48’56’’ Mignini: The…yes. Well, now: Laura Mazzetti, that is the Italian girl from Viterbo, [said] that it was a scratch, however, she remembers having seen on Amanda’s neck, she told this account and afterwards was also heard [as a person informed], it’s sort of a scratch just few days later, I think it was three or four days, she remembers seeing this scratch on Amanda’s neck that had been also seen, I think, by one of the boys from the Marches region. And in one of the photos taken during the house search by police, I think it shows something. Nevertheless, Laura Mazzetti indicates the presence of a scratch or something like a scratch. That is, she remembers seeing that Amanda had this little injury to the neck.

50’20’’ CNN: None of your investigators noticed it?

50’25’’ Mignini: The investigators did not notice it, because at the time, Amanda kept herself covered, she was, as described by the shopkeeper Quintavalle, covered up. However, Laura Mazzetti saw it and it was also seen, I think if I’m not mistaken or was said, by the young guy from the Marches who was living downstairs.

This girl saw it [the scratch/mark] and she stated this later in the courtroom. Moreover there is even a photo.

51’44’’ CNN: Knox was in contact with the police for several days after the murder. She was interrogated. Was she always wearing something that covered her neck?

52’00’’ Mignini: I think so, to be fair, this was a mark that it was not very visible. Laura Mazzetti said she saw it well. Keep in mind also that we did not focus on it automatically, because it was not like a visually striking mark. She was questioned like Raffaele Sollecito and like all the people who were more or less, that had to be questioned in those days, after the murder, a long series of people were questioned, among which the [girl] friends of Meredith, the English girls she was with the evening of Nov 1 and the night before Oct 31. And, among these people who had been questioned, also several times, Amanda and Sollecito were questioned, Amanda in particular was questioned several times: the evening of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and then on the evening of 5th and the morning, or early hours of the 6th. But look, what I wanted that [??], just for the purposes of explanation, that under Italian law, we must take into account the totality of the findings.

Therefore there is the scientific evidence, there are statements made by people, examination of witnesses, there is the formal interrogation, there’s the conduct of the accused. All of these elements, it is not only the genetic aspect that comes into consideration. The genetic aspect [is], together with many others, must be altogether; it is a whole spectrum of various findings, which should converge towards an affirmation of a reality that is undisputable. This is how it should be, this is important from a judicial point of view. So it is not that the proof consists of the genetic evidence; it is not like that. There are items of proof from witnesses, there is the fact that there couldn’t be only one perpetrator, and this is now indisputable, and one of the positions of the defense of the two suspects always tended to say there was only one murderer who committed the deed, who climbed through in that totally absurd way, [that’s] not credible.

56’10’’ CNN: About Amanda’s interrogation, on the fifth day, what was it is that triggered you, made you begin to feel suspicious, and led you to conduct a more aggressive interrogation?

56’26’’ Mignini: I see you don’t… so, I’ll repeat to you what happened. On the evening of November 5th, the police were going to question Sollecito, and on the evening of the 5th, as I was saying before, the attitude of Sollecito at the beginning was an attitude of, let’s say, different than the one he would assume later, meaning a defense line supportive with Amanda’s; at that moment, he had a different position. That is, on the evening of Nov 5th. Sollecito made a statement saying “I was at home, Amanda wasn’t”. Amanda at that time had followed; she had accompanied Sollecito to the police station and she waited outside [of the room]. As the police heard this version of Sollecito’s, who basically, Sollecito ... with that statement, also this approach by him in practice more or less had become part of the process too, as Sollecito made this statement, the police became suspicious.

That is: why did Sollecito tell us this, and why is he now telling us that Amanda was not home with him? So then they called Amanda, and Amanda was heard by the police as a person not under investigation, thus with no defense attorney, because the person… the witness, the person informed of the facts during the investigation – is not called a witness, he is called a person informed of the facts - she was heard by the police who pointed out to her, they confronted her with this question: why is Raffaele saying something else? Now you say you were with him and Raffaele says you were not there, that he was at home and you were not there? This is the point.

58’44’’ So she did, she was heard in a way, let’s say for long enough, I cannot remember for how long, in the earliest morning hours of November 6, 2007. I was not there when Amanda was interviewed by the police. I was, perhaps I was coming, because I had been called by the director of the flying squad that night. I do not remember what time I arrived at the flying squad, but I think that… I think I got there, maybe I arrived when Amanda’s questioning had already started. But the flying squad is pretty big; I was not in the room where Amanda was being questioned, but rather in the office of the director of the flying squad. We were talking about the investigation and were trying to plan the investigation for the coming days. So now, at some point, they call me, if I remember correctly, they inform me that Amanda had given the name of Lumumba, she had basically confessed that she was at the crime scene in the company of, with Lumumba, whom she had let into the house, that is it. Now I go on, I wanted to explain how I operate. So it’s not me, I did not do the questioning.

Further posts of the CNN interview which then moved on to later events can be read here and here. There is another significant interview here.

As Netflix “forgot” to tell you what actually happened at Knox’s session ending at 1:45 am which Knox lied about see here.

And as Netflix “forgot” to tell you what actually happened at Knox’s session ending at 5:45 am which Knox lied about see here.

Put this long-form interview about the first few days up against what you may have seen on Netflix, and tell us if the impression gained is the same, or like night and day?

Posted on 09/19/17 at 10:59 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Thursday, September 07, 2017

Being Reported: Significant Developments In The Sollecito Crime Family

Posted by Peter Quennell





That photo above was taken in a Montreal court in January of last year. 

Rocco’s son Stefano was being charged with a number of crimes, and Rocco was there to manage and observe. Five months later, Rocco was dead, gunned down by a hitman still not identified, and Stefano was temporarily free on bail but still facing numerous charges and soon to go back inside.

Rocco was believed to have muscled his way to the leadership of the Rizutto mafia clan, then possibly the largest mafia family in the world, not too long after this happened back in 2010.

On November 10, 2010, [crime boss Nicolo] Rizzuto was killed at his residence in the Cartierville borough of Montreal when a single bullet from a sniper’s rifle punched through two layers of glass in the rear patio doors of his Montreal mansion. His death is believed to be the final blow against the Rizzuto crime family.

Nice shooting. But it was not quite the final blow to the Rizutto crime family.  Today Stefano Sollecito and Leonardo Ri‎zzuto, grandson of Nicolo are believed to be the joint heads of the mafia clan.

The relevance to our case becomes apparent if you know that the Dominican Republic is considered by the FBI etc to be the playground of various mafias.

The Dominican Republic is a very useful waypoint for drugs headed to the United States and Canada - and even Italy.  The Rizutto/Sollecito clan pretty well dominate the eastern town there, and they have unsavory gambling interests there. The country has few extradition treaties, so it’s tempting as a mafia retirement abode.

Quite ostentatiously - sending a threatening signal? - Raffaele Sollecito visited there twice in 2013.

First he arrived some months before the Nencini appeal in Florence, and then again right in the middle of that appeal, when it may have appeared to him (rightly) that the outcome would go against Knox and himself.

What was said between Rocco and Raffaele has not yet been leaked to the public. What favor if any did Raffaele ask of Rocco, and how did he make out? A job? Safe retirement? Muscling the Italian courts?

Well, it was observed among other things by those who do observing professionally that Amanda Knox and Sollecito and his lawyer Bongiorno became exceptionally macho upon his return and for the next 12 months

Sollecito was downbeat only briefly twice in 2014, first when he and his Italian girfriend scampered northward before Nencini’s verdict, and second when he was trying and failing to get American girls to marry him. Remember this and also this about the macho press conference in mid 2014?

Mostly the pair were exceptionally macho right through to the Fifth Chambers “mysteriously” being assigned the final appeal, and two judges inexperienced in murder cases mangling the evidence and breaking Italian law in the written judgement which sort-of cleared RS and AK.

That’s some of what is out in broad daylight so far. There is much more under official wraps for now. That both the Hellmann appeal and the Marasca/Bruno appeal were bent seem dead-certs to officialdom.

Meanwhile, back in Montreal, Leonardo Ri‎zzuto and Stefano Sollecito remain locked up awaiting trial. Bail was denied them - no surprise there, the state does need its witnesses.

Here as of a week ago is their trial status.

The last of the leaders accused of the mafia in Montreal, Stefano Sollecito and Leonardo Rizzuto, will be entitled to a mega-trial, which will be specially reserved [for them alone].

The judge Eric Downs has just confirmed that the two men, charged with gangsterism and conspiracy to traffic cocaine, will be judged separately from the 15 other accused in the operation Nest Egg… The dates of this trial will be held before a judge and jury, in Montreal, will be fixed within two weeks.

Stefano Sollecito, whose father Rocco has already led the clan Rizzuto, before his murder by a professional killer… had long sought a trial as early as possible since he is fighting a serious illness.

Note “fighting a serious illness”.  Hmmm. The presumed end of that branch of the family as a fighting force. There is also another development of the maybe-not-good-news variety for Raffaele.

Events described above might have evolved quite differently if Sammy Nicolucci had not been put away a few year ago by the Canadians.

Both Sammy Nicolucci and Rocco Sollecito had once been on a career path to head the Rizzuto crime family. But Sammy was put away in prison, opening a clear way forward for Rocco.

As Rocco was gunned down, while Sammy walks free, maybe Sammy thinks he has the last laugh? Could he have Raffaele Sollecito looking over his shoulder these days, or at least not vacationing in Canada any time soon?

Rocco’s silencing by death was clearly to Raff’s and Amanda’s advantage, even assuming they had no hand in it. It is likely if Rocco had managed to stay alive that the Italians would have figured out a way to nab him.

It’s their experience-based and effective way with the mafias: dont ever talk about it, just do it: keep up a relentless pursuit without ceasing until there are clear grounds to isolate and take down some bad guys. See this latest example and also this one here.

If you think about it, it’s a great pity for our case that Rocco did get gunned down. He got off easy and our case remains messy. Damn you Rocco!

The silencing of Rocco does close off the easiest way forward, of extraditing him to Italy and putting the screws on him. But it does not close off ALL roads forward. Work goes on. Someone will talk.

Stay tuned. It may take a while, but it ain’t yet over.

Posted on 09/07/17 at 01:20 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Cynical Vilification Of Public Institutions By Politicians Has Cut In Half Italy’s Growth Prospects

Posted by Peter Quennell



In Meredith’s case, not only are the forces of Italian justice up against the mafia. They are up against much of the elected layer of government.

This article explains how those same groups that have bent Italian justice to give breaks to the mafioso and other corrupt elements - to the advantage of Knox and Sollecito - have done much to damage Italy’s economic prospects, and especially job opportunities for young people.

First, there have been implications for the checks and balances that exist within the Italian political system. Populist parties have repeatedly attacked the work of judges, notably in the case of Silvio Berlusconi. They have also had a sizeable impact on the role of the media in Italian politics. This is true both of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the Five Star Movement, who have both posed a threat to the freedom and autonomy of media organisations.

Second, there has been a general oversimplification of political discourse in Italy. The debate about the cost of politics is a good example. Initially introduced by the Northern League and Forza Italia in the 1990s, complaints over the cost of politics have also become one of the most successful topics for Beppe Grillo to mobilise support around. Yet despite the presence of this debate for two decades in Italian politics, the political attention it has received has failed to produce significant savings (as shown, for instance, by several expensive and incomplete attempts to abolish provincial councils). There is cross-party consensus among the main political parties on the need to reduce the number of MPs. This implies a certain reduction of political representation, while the reduction in terms of the cost of politics is rather uncertain.

Third, Italy has experienced the spread of populist themes and frames even among non-populist parties. In the last few years, the success of populist campaigning among citizens has pushed even mainstream parties to react using populist rhetoric, styles and sometimes also populist content of their own. An example would be a much-shared Facebook post produced by Matteo Renzi on migration, which stated that ‘we need to free ourselves from a sense of guilt. We do not have the moral duty to welcome into Italy people who are worse off than ourselves’.

Finally, Italian populism illustrates the so called ‘cultivation theory’. To paraphrase George Gerbner and his colleagues, instead of ‘growing up with television’ we might address the issue of ‘growing up with populism’. Italy is now characterised by general discontent among citizens and strong political disaffection.

 

Read this book by the World Bank and you will see that two things really mattered for the continuing very fast growth in Asia.

    (1) The governments were not vilified or shoved aside. Instead they played very key roles and continue to do so.

    (2) Emphasis was on system transfer and development - from the US to Japan to the Little Dragons to China and India.

So Asia goes one way, while Italy among other “advanced” countries goes another.

For 30 years since the end of the Cold War the US and increasingly some other Europeans have largely ignored lessons (1) and (2) above and headed in a self-destructive direction.

Now they all wonder what happened to half of their growth potential. While Asian countries have growing reserves, the US and Europe have growing revenue gaps and aging populations.

The United States is not as a whole quite where Italy is.

But in certain areas the folks sure love to demonize government and sure hate to pay any taxes - the same areas that large investments tend to steer clear from, and from where the best and the brightest make their exits.

Here is an article in today’s New York Times explaining how cynical, opportunistic distrust of government has made things much worse in the flooded and largely unregulated Houston area.

It has now directly caused anti-government Texans to require many tens of billions from that same government for rebuilding.

This is revenue that will largely come from the far less cynical East and West Coasts, which already transfer several hundred billions annually to the lackadaisical and mistrustful interior.

Enlightened conspiracy-theory-free attitudes in Texas could help all of us and may happen now. May it take a disaster to re-point Italy similarly?

***

The NY Times has another big article on the chemical plants and refineries around Houston and their weak safety systems (actually being made weaker this year) which among other things led to serial explosions last week - the one in the shot here was one of half a dozen.

Interesting to see populations wisening up. Maybe companies too. The largest oil refinery in the US is owned by the Saudis. They were planning to spend billions to expand and modernize it, but after the flood they and other companies might think a move to higher ground could be smart.

Posted on 09/05/17 at 11:25 AM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Justice Systems Comparisons #7: Common Law (US Etc) V. Civil (Italian) On Self-Represented Litigants

Posted by Chimera

One Of Many Self-Help Videos Now Springing Up Online

1. The Series Context

Several posts since my previous one drew attention to an estimated 200,000 or more poor Americans wrongly sitting in prison.

They are there because trial outcomes differ widely according to how much those charged can afford to pay or can handle their defense on their own, and there are pressures (political and economic) to keep the partly privatised prisons full to capacity.

Oh, those who have been slamming Italian justice forgot to tell you that?! 

Italian perps remain MUCH better off, but this post explains progress elsewhere now being made.

Here are my previous six posts. I use the Canadian system as the common law example. But as the posts explain, the US and UK systems are pretty close. 

Click here for post: Justice System Comparisons #1: Had Meredith’s Murder Taken Place In Canada 

Click here for post: Justice System Comparisons #2: Canada’s Tough Penalties For Slander, False Accusations, Perjury 

Click here for post: Justice System Comparisons #3: Bail, Extradition, and More Crimes In Canadian Law 

Click here for post: Justice System Comparisons #4: How Canada And Italy Shape Up Against The US 

Click here for post: Justice Systems Comparisons #5: How Appeals Differ in Italy and Common Law Countries 

Click here for post: Justice Systems Comparisons #6: Common Law (US Etc) V. Civil (Italian) On Double Jeopardy

2. Rights And Protections Of Self Represented Litigants

In 2006, the Canadian Judicial Counsel released their STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES ON SELF REPRESENTED LITIGANTS AND ACCUSED PERSONS.  Here is a direct link to that article.

Among some of those well intentioned principles are:

(a) Self-represented persons should not be denied relief on the basis of a minor or easily rectified deficiency in their case.

(b) Judges should ensure that procedural and evidentiary rules are not used to unjustly hinder the legal interests of self-represented persons.

(c) Judges and court administrators should do whatever is possible to provide a fair and impartial process and prevent an unfair disadvantage to self-represented persons.

(d) Judges, the courts and other participants in the justice system have a responsibility to promote access to the justice system for all persons on an equal basis, regardless of representation.

The Alberta Court of Appeal (May 2, 2016) allowed the appeal.

Now, the Supreme Court of Canada has endorsed the document and from this point, all Judges/Justices/JP will be obligated to follow it when one or more parties before them is self-represented.

Pintea v. Johns, 2017 SCC 23 (CanLII)

Pintea v. Johns

Valentin Pintea v. Dale Johns, et al.

In laymen’s terms, the gross imbalance between represented/unrepresented litigants will shrink.

The Courts will now be obligated to go the extra mile to ensure that the proceedings are done fairly, and in the overall interests of justice.  The ruling goes even further than what may be expected.

“Judges have a responsibility to inquire whether self-represented persons are aware of their procedural options, and to direct them to available information if they are not. Depending on the circumstances and nature of the case, judges may explain the relevant law in the case and its implications, before the self-represented person makes critical choices.”

So Canada, and to a degree the United States, is trending towards self representation.

Litigants already represent themselves in small claims court, family court, traffic, landlord/tenant disputes, and occasionally in criminal court.

To be fair though, routine self-representation in criminal court is a long ways off.  However, the pattern seems to be moving away from using lawyers, which many people believe to be expensive and largely ineffectual.

Also noteworthy is that in the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, paralegals are becoming more common as an alternative to lawyers. 

Again, the price involved deters most people from hiring lawyers.  Why pay 10 times as much for the same service?  Why pay for a lawyer when many farm their work out to paralegals? Other Provinces have something similar, as do many U.S. States.

Ontario: How Can a Paralegal Help?

British Columbia Paralegal Assoc

3. A Final Thought

Justice should be available to everyone, not just those who can dig deep for a lawyer.  The options of lower cost legal help, and the new requirements of Judges to ensure fairness, will likely go a long way to seeing this happen.

Posted on 08/26/17 at 10:25 PM by ChimeraClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Kercher Lawyer Dr Maresca Slams Tin-Eared Knox Over “Inopportune Plans” To Visit Perugia

Posted by Hopeful



Dr Maresca welcoming Meredith’s family to trial court in 2009

1. Today’s Reporting

The Daily Mail headline today 8/18/17 says this:

Murdered Meredith Kercher’s family condemn Amanda Knox over ‘inopportune plans’ to revisit Italian town where the British student was killed

Subheading: Ms. Knox, 30, wants to return so she can overcome the trauma of imprisonment

The Kercher family lawyer, our dear Francesco Maresca, the lion of Perugia who never wastes words, condemns the nutter Knox, the eternal troublemaker that she is.

Knox told People magazine of her evil plans: “The only way that I’m going to come full circle is by physically, literally, coming full circle.”

Knox said, “I know that Perugia is probably the least welcome place for me in the entire world. And that’s scary, but it also means a lot to me, not to be afraid of a place and see Perugia through my family’s eyes.” (can you believe it, she uses her family as an excuse to return to the scene of the crime, unrivalled ingrate)

“My family lived in Perugia for years to support me and they made relationships. I made a relationship with the priest at the prison, and those things still matter to me.” (what gall, has she been to see a priest in Seattle since 2015?)

Francesco Maresca the Kercher family lawyer said that Ms. Knox is NOT WELCOME in Perugia. Amen to that.

Maresca told The Telegraph:  “I believe Amanda Knox’s choice to return is totally inopportune because the death of Meredith was very painful for Perugia and people there feel they have never had a satisfactory response from the Italian justice system.”

Maresca said, “That is why Knox should think about her life without continuing to return to this sad affair from which she has been the only one to profit, both in terms of fame and money.”

2. My Commentary

What Insolence and Unbridled Triumphalism of Evil

The criminal always returns to the scene of the crime. Why? because he has so much invested in it of himself and his moment of power.

Knox is a moth to a flame, she can never learn.

The valiant Attorney Maresca condemns her motives and tells her in gentler words than mine to “GET A LIFE” and to not parade her sorry self through the streets she tormented and flout the Perugians who she ripped off of so much money to investigate her crime.

Perugia had to pay judges and police and lab techs and a myriad of costs, thousands and millions$ of euro to give that young imposter and troublemaker and promiscuous idiot her courtrooms and to house her and feed her in Capanne prison only then to be made the brunt of street riots and shouting mobs at doors of courthouse after verdicts were announced.

More importantly Perugia suffered the heartless loss of lovely Meredith in their formerly happy village. They suffered the jaundiced eye of the American PR steamroller trying to find fault with their sincere and earnest investigation. Perugia had endless patience with the animal known as Knox whose father and loudmouth mother paraded in and out of their decent streets while paying PR firms to paint Knox a misunderstood Madonna instead of the kicking goat they had raised.

Perugia got the awful reputation of the beautiful Meredith’s murder and the seamy underbelly of drug crime that Knox the dopehead brought to light.

Then the Sollecito family rose up to condemn the Perugian police and justice officials as country clowns, and after all the Perugians’ costly hard work to give Meredith peace and a just outcome to punish those who destroyed her, the American PR hydrogen bomb blasted over them like an evil Goliath before David put him down. I hope she meets a David in Perugia, the arrogant twerp.

I hope Knox gets more than she bargains for, much much more and worse if she sashays her shameless self once again in the town that she used as a platform to show her tail, and as Maresca says, to profit from all the fallout of her own evil, her ill gotten fame and some money with it. She still owes Lumumba, pay him if you walk by the crumbled Le Chic on your drunken journey with your foolish compatriot Robinson, a blind man if there ever were one.

She adds insult to injury and proves to the world she is an absolute moron yet a cunning and deceitful enemy who revels in the triumph of her will over others, her daring over what is right.

Maresca tells the beast to ‘GET A LIFE’ and stop cruelly dancing at the scene of the crime.

She was given mercy, not justice. Now she lies about the motive for her visit to Perugia, shielding herself by suggesting her family’s friends and the priest there mean so very much to her. Right. Has she been to mass twice since her release? Has she donated to Seattle Prep? Has she donated to the Catholic Church? let me guess…but now the tenuous relationship with the Priest of Capanne is the ruse she uses to excuse her return to Perugia to further slap them in the face.

Liar liar, don’t trust a word she says.

Posted on 08/18/17 at 03:16 PM by HopefulClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Netflixhoax 19(c) - Yet More On A Genuine, Huge Justice Problem In The US Dishonest Netflix Ignored

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Netflix enabled Knox to sustain her myth of how awful Italian prison life was for her.

First, do notice that Netflix ignored that Knox was in prison for three of her four years quite validly for a felony conviction: her attempt (sustained over several weeks) to try to frame Patrick for Meredith’s murder.

Even now, she still owes Patrick damages of around $100,000 irrevocably confirmed by the Supreme Court. Netflix ignored that also.

Second, do notice that Netflix ignored that that Knox quite provably made up a lot about her prison stay in Capanne and how she was actually treated.

In this post challenging all those claims, we observed that Knox did not have a single witness confirming her accounts.

In fact both the US Embassy which monitored her and the Italian MP Rocco Girlanda who “monitored” her confirmed her treatment was kindly, and her lawyers confirmed that she never ever asked that a complaint be filed. 

And third, not only is no Italian prison the hellhole that Netflix watchers were led to believe. Though there has been temporary overcrowding due to immigrant crime, they are in general among the most humane prisons anywhere on the planet.

That post 18 months ago drew upon a New York Times report. Today the New York Times posts an editorial which shows the gap in humanity between Italian and American prisons is actually deliberately worsening. 

Another contrast in Italy’s favor, ignored of course by Netflix.

Criminal justice officials across the country are struggling to break the recidivism cycle in which prisoners are released only to land right back behind bars. These prisoners are among the most poorly educated people in the country, and that fact holds the key to a solution. Decades of research has shown that inmates who participate in prison education programs — even if they fail to earn degrees — are far more likely to stay out of prison once they are freed.

That prison education programs are highly cost effective is confirmed by a 2013 RAND Corporation study that covered 30 years of prison education research. Among other things, the study found that every dollar spent on prison education translated into savings of $4 to $5 on imprisonment costs down the line.

Other studies suggest that prisons with education programs have fewer violent incidents, making it easier for officials to keep order, and that the children of people who complete college are more likely to do so themselves, disrupting the typical pattern of poverty and incarceration.

Findings like these have persuaded corrections officials in both Democratic and Republican states to embrace education as a cost-effective way of cutting recidivism. But Republican legislators in New York — which spends about $60,000 per inmate per year — remain mired in know-nothingism and argue that spending public money on inmates insults taxpayers. They have steadfastly resisted Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s common-sense proposal for making a modest investment in prison education programs that have already proved highly successful on a small scale in New York’s prisons.

The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., stepped into the void left by the Legislature when he agreed l to pay for Governor Cuomo’s prison education plan with more than $7 million in criminal forfeiture money secured from banks. Lauding what he described as a public safety measure, Mr. Vance said, “It makes no sense to send someone to prison with no pathway for them to succeed.”

The goal of the program is to expand the number of inmates taking college courses to about 3,500 across much of the system from 1,000. The curriculum will be broad, covering science, math, philosophy, the social sciences and art. Among the schools that will participate are Cornell University, New York University, Mercy College and Bard College, which has run a highly regarded program since 2001. The recidivism rate is 4 percent for inmates who participate in the program and a mere 2 percent for those who earn degrees in prison, compared with about 40 percent for the New York State prison system as a whole.

Prison education programs were largely dismantled during the “tough on crime” 1990s, when Congress stripped inmates of the right to get the federal Pell grants that were used to pay tuition. The decision bankrupted many prison education programs across the country and left private donors and foundations to foot the bill for those that survived.

Despite limited and unreliable funding, these programs have more than proved their value. New York lawmakers who continue to block funding for them are putting ideology ahead of the public interest.

Posted on 08/16/17 at 11:58 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Friday, August 11, 2017

Netflixhoax 19(b) - More On A Genuine, Huge Justice Problem In The US Dishonest Netflix Ignored

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Is the US actually worse than North Korea of all places? In one respect yes.

Our first post a couple of weeks ago on false incarcerations concluded this way: 

The American prison population is proportionally six times the Italian prison population (why did Netflix omit that?). Mental illness among that population is rife, and few inmates have above average IQs.

Election-driven prosecutors plea-bargaining with threats may have wrongly put many of them there. Maybe 10 per cent.

That is over 200,000 Americans in the wrong place. Funny how Netflix (and the FOA fanatics) forgot to tell us about that.

“Over 200,000” could in fact be a considerable UNDER estimate. An estimated 177,624 innocent Americans pleaded guilty in one year (2013) alone.

Here is The New York Times on this subject this past Tuesday.

By Marc Morje Howard

The American criminal justice system is exceptional, in the worst way possible: It combines exceptionally coercive plea bargaining, exceptionally long sentences, exceptionally brutal prison conditions and exceptionally difficult obstacles to societal re-entry.

This punitiveness makes us stand out as uniquely inhumane in comparison with other industrialized countries…. There’s widespread agreement that current practices are unsustainable.

The United States is home to 5 percent of the world’s population, yet has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. The grim reality of American justice is that there are 2.3 million people behind bars, five million on parole or probation, 20 million with felony convictions and over 70 million with a criminal record.

Though mafia-tool Netflix ignored them all in its crazed rush to defame the Italian system, every day in the US new reports on this world-beating iniquity are being televised or published.

Why does it happen? In large part because THERE IS PROFIT IN IT. Profits for private prisons and bail-sharks. 

The video at top is a trailer for a new documentary just being released: A Deal With The Devil Devil’ Takes On Unjust Bail System

By Susie Madrak

A plea deal is an arrangement to resolve a case without going to trial. This is an option most often taken by those who cannot afford bail and want to go home instead of wait days, months, even years locked up in jail. An estimated 177,624 innocent Americans pleaded guilty in 2013 alone. Does this sound like a just system to you?

The money bail system is broken: private companies achieve exorbitant profits by scavenging off of communities (primarily of color) living in poverty. Low-income Americans are sitting in jails for days, months, and even years for the most minor of infractions simply because they can’t afford to pay high bond amounts. The reality is that the majority of people in jails – over 70% - are there for one simple reason: their income status. This is both morally and legally wrong.

And from now until August 21, 2017, Brave New Films will be campaigning to #EndMoneyBail this summer in the state of California.

Premiere events around the state are scheduled in key legislative districts, with audiences ranging from Bay Area activists and advocates to Los Angeles poets and politicians. Social media launches will coincide each week, with new videos from Brave New Films and other partners in the California Bail Coalition. People who can’t attend premiere events and screenings can host their own in-home events with all of our films before they’re released publicly and everybody should call their Assembly members demanding they #EndMoneyBail this summer.

Posted on 08/11/17 at 12:21 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Sunday, August 06, 2017

Meredith’s Perugia #36: Popular Beaches In Italy’s Deep South She Will Never See

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted on 08/06/17 at 02:20 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Yet More American Lawyers Get Duped By Knox: Now Los Angeles’s Westside Bar Association

Posted by Hopeful



Duped? WBA founder and Beverley Hills lawyer Daniel Forouzan



The previous instance of this - in front of the Kentucky Bar Association - occurred only one month ago.

We shot Knox’s anticipated false claims down very extensively.

There may have been an effort to have this one fly under the radar - there was no advance media notice that we could see, only this Facebook notice which may soon scroll (or be deleted) away.

This new instance is reported by Ann Schmidt in the Daily Mail today 7/29/17. Headline: ‘Prison changed me forever’: Amanda Knox speaks about how the murder trial and four years in prison defined her

Knox spoke Thursday in Los Angeles to the Westside Bar Association, about her “two wrongful convictions” for the 2007 murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, before she was acquitted. She spoke about the pain she went through.

Knox: “I went into prison as not yet a woman and I came out an adult woman, and that period defined me, ” she told KTLA Thursday.

In her appearance the Seattle native was also promoting her memoir and the Netflix documentary about her trial. “I realized the courtroom was actually a battleground for storytelling where the most compelling story and not necessarily the most truthful wins, ” she said.

Zohreen Adamjee of Fox 11 reported her saying,

Amanda Knox, sharing her story of how two wrongful convictions for the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher in Italy have changed her.

“I realized the courtroom was actually a battleground for storytelling. Where the most compelling story and not necessarily the most truthful wins,” said Knox.

In a rare L.A. appearance, Knox confronted the image the world has painted of her - addressing a room full of lawyers who fight for the wrongly convicted.

“The truth doesn’t fit in a headline or a tweet or a fairytale format,

At one point, she says prosecutors lied, telling her she tested positive for AIDS, making her make a list of every person she had ever slept with.”

“The unfortunate thing about this case is that the prosecution decided before the evidence came in, that I had to be guilty,” she said.

“Everyone in my family suffered, and the worst thing of all—they didn’t feel like they could share that with me, because I was in trouble.”

She told the L.A. law panel that she wants to use her experience to help the wrongly convicted and the Innocence Project. From the Daily Mail:

“I have to tell my story so that the echo of it can reach people.”

“I just want to show that it’s not this distant, difficult to understand thing. It’s a human thing that can happen to anyone at anytime. No one is safe, but we can understand it.”

The article is accompanied by a photo of Curt Knox wearing a black leather jacket inside the courtroom in 2009; a selfie of Knox and new beau Chris Robinson wearing matching gray felt hats during their recent trip to the Black Forest in a quaint European tourist town, I think.

There’s a stock photo of Rudy being escorted by four blue beret wearing Italian policemen in dark navy blue uniforms.

The Daily Mail comments are vitriolic, with only a few fans rooting for Knox.

“Guilty as H…”

“I get really bad vibes from this woman.”

“I am still not sure about her. I suspect she was involved but I’m not clear how.”

“no, committing murder changed her forever.”

The current photo of her assuming it was taken at the Los Angeles Westside Bar Association speech, was grainy and small.

It appeared she had teased her hair into a more sophisticate upswept style for the event, seemed to wear a white collared blouse, was hard to tell from bad tiny photo or maybe just my laptop distortion.

My main reaction to the blah blah blah Foxy usual speech, is that she is so wrong to condemn the prosecution for what amounts to criminal bias against her before evidence came in.

She’s a branded liar as the duped lawyers could very easily have found out. Click on the link at the top for our disparagement.

Posted on 07/29/17 at 04:25 PM by HopefulClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Where Should You Have Invested This Year? The US Or Italy?

Posted by Peter Quennell





Where should you have put your nestegg at the start of this year for maximum gains?

Sorry to those who picked the US (and Trumponomics).

(1) The chart above shows a bundle of Italian stocks (EWI) against a bundle of US stocks (DOW).

As of today US stocks have gone up around 10 percent - but Italian stocks (green curve) have gone up 12 percent above that.

(2) The chart below shows the dollar against the Euro (Italy’s currency).

As of today, the Euro is about 10 percent up on the dollar for the year.

So you would have been much better off in Italy. It wins hands down - it has gained overall about 20 percent compared to the US.

The overall value of the US - stocks and currency combined - is actually under water.


Posted on 07/26/17 at 12:52 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Friday, July 21, 2017

Netflixhoax 19 - Omitted The Vital Context Of A Genuine, Huge Justice Problem In The US

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


1. Series Overview

The 18 past posts can be read here. In the light of the Netflix report’s nomination for a major award we resume. Full speed ahead.

2. Italian Justice: What Netflix Left Out

In the United States outrage is, well, all the rage… A clear Netflix intent was to horrify and outrage viewers about the Italian justice system itself.

Read the numerous reviews and thousands of comments that imply the system is dangerous and corrupt. Including the very common “I would never send my kid to college there” and “I will never risk traveling there” and “we should boycott Italian goods”. 

Show it as it really is - an extremely fair system from the perps’ point of view that allows ZERO wrongful convictions at the end of the day - and the whole Netflix thesis falls apart.

In Post 6 we described the almost unique carefulness of the Italian system.

How prosecutors can explain their case only in court. How the system allows perps two automatic appeals. How appeals often feature new juries - which never get to hear the full prosecution case.

How the same defense teams get to argue in court all the way up to the Supreme Court while the trial prosecution gets to present its full case just the once.

How the REAL justice system requires that many judgments should be written out at costly length. How prison time is almost never served for sentences under three years.

How most of the prisons are very nice and all perps receive mental treatment if prescribed, and taught a trade so they dont have to commit new crimes to pay their way when out.

The plea-bargain possibility does not exist in the uniquely open and transparent Italian system at all. No furtive shortcuts. No extreme pressure on suspected perps.

Judges, prosectors and especially police must go the extra mile, often over many years, to ever finally win a case.

3. American Justice: What Netflix Left Out

Netflix left out A LOT. See the numerous for-comparison posts here.

Sadly judges and lawyers in the American system can be among the eagerly gullible about both the Italian system and their own.

But there ARE American judges and lawyers who FULLY understand the Italian system and wish some of that could be applied in the US.

In the video at top Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is quoted as saying this.

“We treat poor people and minority people much worse in the United States by our criminal justice system than they do in Italy, so we really have no standing to tell other countries that their system is unfair.

And based on [the evidence against Knox], in America, if she were not an attractive young woman — if she were an ordinary person — charged on the basis of this evidence, she would be convicted and would be serving life imprisonment, or even worse, the death penalty in the United States.”

In the United States pervasive plea-bargaining is making juries obsolete.

Trial by jury has become so rare in modern American criminal jurisprudence that the chance of being convicted at trial is little more than one in one hundred.

That doesn’t mean that people are not getting convicted. They are—in record number. America’s prisons are literally filled to capacity.

In today’s criminal justice system, convictions come by agreement. The tradition of being tried by one’s peers, established centuries ago and affirmed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has all but disappeared.

The plea bargain has made jury trials obsolete.

The GOOD aspect is that it can get convictions fast. That is the BAD aspect too.

Very few cases end in acquittal - vastly fewer than in Italy. Tough sentences and even the death penalty are often used as a threat.

“We now have an incredible concentration of power in the hands of prosecutors,” said Richard E. Myers II, a former assistant United States attorney who is now an associate professor of law at the University of North Carolina. He said that so much influence now resides with prosecutors that “in the wrong hands, the criminal justice system can be held hostage.

In effect judges and juries are being sidelined and defense lawyers are faced with strong odds.

A case in Pennsylvania has suddenly put such plea-bargaining in the national news - not because the accused perp didnt do it, but actually because the threat of death penalty was said to have been too lightly used.

In so swiftly wrapping up the case, which transfixed the Philadelphia region, the district attorney of Bucks County, Matthew D. Weintraub, faced questions about whether he had made the right call in taking the most severe punishment for horrible crimes off the table.

Experts in death penalty law said the agreement was especially notable for its speed. But the father of one of the young men found dead said on Monday that family members of all of the victims supported it.

There was no judicial review. Oh and he was mentally deranged.

The American prison population is proportionally six times the Italian prison population (why did Netflix omit that?). Mental illness among that population is rife, and few inmates have above average IQs.

Election-driven prosecutors plea-bargaining with threats may have wrongly put many of them there. Maybe 10 per cent.

That is over 200,000 Americans in the wrong place. Funny how Netflix forgot to tell us about that.

Posted on 07/21/17 at 10:00 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Justice Systems Comparisons #6: Common Law (US Etc) V. Civil (Italian) On Double Jeopardy

Posted by Chimera



Palazzo Giustizia above in Reggio Calabria, below in Naples

1. The Series Context

You’d think there’d be lots of comparisons at national level between the two great justice systems of the world. But really there are not.

The dishonest Knox and Sollecito PR often uses disparities between the Italian and US/UK systems to confuse, and to try to make the excellent Italian system look bad. 

The common-law lawyers from the US and UK who post here on Italy sometimes say they have to study quite a bit to get things straight. UK lawyer James Raper’s excellent book translates some of the key concepts that can be confused as he did here.

These are my previous five posts. I use the Canadian system as the common law example. But as the posts explain, the US and UK systems are pretty close. 

Click here for post:  Justice System Comparisons #1: Had Meredith’s Murder Taken Place In Canada 

Click here for post:  Justice System Comparisons #2: Canada’s Tough Penalties For Slander, False Accusations, Perjury 

Click here for post:  Justice System Comparisons #3: Bail, Extradition, and More Crimes In Canadian Law 

Click here for post:  Justice System Comparisons #4: How Canada And Italy Shape Up Against The USJustice System Comparisons #4: How Canada And Italy Shape Up Against The US 

Click here for post:  Justice Systems Comparisons #5: How Appeals Differ in Italy and Common Law Countries 

2. Double Jeopardy

Much angry noise has been made about the October 2011 “acquittal” of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito by the Hellmann appeal court in the murder of Meredith Kercher.  The claim was been made that an acquittal at trial means that under American law, it would be “double jeopardy” and hence, illegal, under American law.

While the “appellate trial” differs considerably from appeals in Common Law countries, it is still an appeal.  Portions of the case can be reopened, but the Trial Court’s original findings are the starting point.  It is not meant to be a “new trial”, nor to re-try the case.

“If” an Appeals Court releases a defendant, it is not double jeopardy, as it is not a Trial Court.  They do not try the case, but rather examine it for errors.  Further if a 1st level appeal releases someone, the prosecution can still seek a higher level of appeal.

Read Harvard Law School’s Alan Dershowitz here.

3. Legal Outcomes 2007-09

  • November 6, 2007—AK and RS were charged for rape and murder of MK, alongside PL, whom Knox has accused as the actual killer

  • November 9, 2007—AK/RS faced Judge Claudia Matteini, to see if they could be released conditionally (their 1st Court hearing), and to get a brief assessment of the Prosecution case.  While FoAK crow about there being no bail in Italy, this hearing seems eerily similar to a bail hearing.

  • November 30, 2007—AK/RS challenged Judge Matteini’s decisions (their 2nd Court hearing), and Judge Massimo Ricciarelli presided over a 3 Judge panel which confirmed the detention, but with Rudy Guede as the 3rd person, as opposed to PL.

  • April 1, 2008—AK/RS tried to get released again (their 3rd Court hearing on the matter), and the 5 Judge Cassation panel headed by Judge Torquato Gemelli denied the request, and even the lesser request of house arrest

  • September/October 2008—Pretrial (and Guede’s short form trial) presided over by Judge Paolo Micheli.  Judge Micheli convicted RG, and sent AK/RS to trial.

  • December 2009—AK and RS were convicted at trial by the Court of Judge Giancarlo Massei.


4. Legal Outcomes 2010-15

In 2010 AK/RS then chose to APPEAL those convictions and filed such an appeal.

  • October 2011—AK/RS were “acquitted” of murder by the Appellate Court headed by Hellmann and Zanetti, though the Calunnia conviction was upheld.

The Prosecution then filed a SECONDARY APPEAL to the Court of Cassation

  • March 2013—AK/RS had their “acquittal” by H/Z annulled, while the calunnia conviction was upheld, with aggravating factors added back on.

AK/RS chose to file ANOTHER APPEAL of the 2009 Trial Conviction, this time it went to Florence.  Not a new trial, but another appeal.  Knox didn’t show up.

  • January 2014—AK/RS had their 2009 conviction “confirmed” by the Court of Judge Nencini, with a small sentence increase for AK.

AK/RS then filed a SECONDARY APPEAL to the Court of Cassation.  The 5th Chambers took the case.

  • March 2015—AK/RS had their convictions thrown out by the panel of Bruno/Marasca.  However, the report released in September 2015 didn’t actually say they were innocent.  in fact, the report placed AK at the crime scene, and RS probably so.  The Court found both had lied repeatedly.


5. These Damning Posts Relate

Click here for post:  The Knox Interrogation Hoax #13: The First Two Opportunities Knox Flunked: Matteini & Ricciarelli

Click here for post:  Tape ‘puts Knox at Meredith murder scene’

Click here for post:  The Knox Interrogation Hoax #14: The Third Opportunity Knox Flunked: The Mignini Interview

Click here for post:  The Knox Interrogation Hoax #15: Dr Mignini’s Account Of Formal Warning Session Ending 5:45 AM

Click here for post:  The Knox Interrogation Hoax #16: The Fourth Opportunity Knox Flunked: The Supreme Court

Click here for post:  The Knox Interrogation Hoax #18: The Final Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked

6. Two Constitutions Compared

(A) U.S. Constitution, 5th Amendment

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


(B) Canada Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Part 11(h)

11. Any person charged with an offence has the right…. (h) if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again;....

Notes: Both the U.S and Canadian Justice systems prohibit a person from being punished twice for the same offence.  The main distinction is the word “finally” in the Canadian system.  In the American system, an acquittal is the end of the matter, barring some obscene act, such as bribing a judge.  Is the Canadian system, an acquittal “may” be appealed in extremely limited cases, such as gross misconduct, or clearly inappropriate handling by the Trial Court.

7. Standard for Review

(A) U.S. Appeals

Click here for post:  Definitions: legal concepts for appeal

Matters of Fact—May be challenged if the they are reviewed in a clearly erroneous manner

Matters of Law—Must be considered “de novo” as if there was no finding before

Matters of Discretion—Judges are given wide discretion and it is usually accepted, unless there are clear errors, or the conclusion is illogical


(B) Canadian Appeals

The standard is set by Housen v. Nikolaisen

Click here for post:  Housen v. Nikolaisen Supreme Court Judgment

Factual Findings—These are typically “given deference”, unless the Appellant can show “overriding, palpable error”.

Legal Findings—The Standard is whether the law was “correctly” applied.

In layman’s terms, Appeals Courts “defer” to the Trial Court on the fact findings.  They assume that the Trial Court is in a better position to see and to examine the case.  They will not interfere unless there is a clear, and provable error that effected the outcome.  Surprisingly, it is a much higher standard than challenging the law.

Notes: In both US and Canadian appeals, the Courts tend to accept factual findings unless there is very clearly an error.  Both also tend to view potential legal matters as needing to be consistently applied.  Both Courts also tend to accept the Trial Court’s discretionary decisions unless something is obviously off.  Although the language used varies, the standards quite similar.

8. Cases of “Double Jeopardy”

(A) “Double Jeopardy” U.S.A.

Harry Aleman

This involved a man who was “acquitted” in a murder case.  However, it was later found that the trial judge, Frank Wilson had been bribed to the tune of $10,000, and that the trial had been rigged.  Prosecutors appealed, successfully, that since the case had been pre-arranged, the defendant had never been in jeopardy, and hence there was no “double jeopardy”.  Eventually this was confirmed by the US Supreme Court.

Click here for post:  Wikipedia: Harry Aleman

Click here for post:  Aleman v Cook County

Click here for post:  Man Faces 2d Trial on Murder Charge

Click here for post:  Exception To Double Jeopardy


(B) CANADA

Most of the cases which involved an acquittal being appealed were cases of sexual assault where the Trial Judge grossly mishandled the manner

Here is a particularly harsh appeal review:

Click here for post:  Reasons for judgment:  underage sexual attacker

Some media reports on the topic

Click here for post:  Crown appealing sex assault acquittal of taxi driver

Click here for post:  Judge asked complainant why she couldn’t just keep knees together

Click here for post:  Chief judge launches review of Edmonton judge

Click here for post:  Third Alberta judge faces review

Click here for post:  4 Alberta judges under scrutiny

Note: To a degree, this is comparing apples and oranges.  The US case of Harry Aleman was a case where a defendant literally “bought” a murder acquittal for a mere $10,000.  The Canadian cases listed were ones where the Trial Judge was grossly incompetent, and either unable or unwilling to handle a sexual assault case properly.  However, in both sets of circumstances, justice is not served at the trial court level, so it has to be “redone”.

Note: Also, in the cases of mistrials, re-trials of defendants are often permitted, depending on the circumstances.

9. How This Compares to Italy

(Some additional input from knowledgeable people appreciated)

1. The trial (the one and only trial), took place throughout 2009—the Massei Court—and it was to try the facts, and to hear testimony.

2. The 1st level appeal, an appellate trial (requested by AK/RS) was to determine if any major errors had been committed that would have changed the outcome.  And, unlike in the Common Law, the Defense could reopen portions of the case.

3. The 2nd level appeal—to the Court of Cassation—is to determine if there were any serious legal errors, or if the Lower Court rulings were based on illogical or contradictory thoughts.  It is not to retry the case, or rehear the evidence.

4. The “Appellate Trial” doesn’t exist in the Common Law systems, rather there is a clear distinction between “trial” and “appeal”.  Italy allows this step in a benefit to Defendants which would not otherwise be available.

5. Another benefit for Italian Defendants: those 2 appeals are available upon request.  Under the Canadian/US laws, defendants can immediately file notice of appeal on the 1st instance, though it can be dismissed before the hearing.  For 2nd level appeals, leave is required (“leave” is legalese for “permission”), which is difficult to get.

6. Acquittals in Italian Courts can be overturned if it was based on clear errors in law, or illogical conclusions, just as Canadian cases can.  That is what happened with the Hellmann ruling.

7. Acquittals in Italian Courts can be overturned if there was clear misconduct or illegal action which altered the outcome.

10. Footnote

The Italian appeal standard seems to be closer to the Canadian model.  The American system (so far) requires blatant criminal behaviour, not just incompetence.


Posted on 07/13/17 at 02:22 PM by ChimeraClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Why The Italian Court System Is Very Unlikely To Do Any Favors For Sollecito & Knox Ever Again

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. Context

By any standards the ruling by the Supreme Court’s Fifth Chambers in 2015 springing RS and AK was a confusing bit of legal work.

The statement from the Bench in March was unquivocal but the written report six months later was a lot less so.

We have taken it apart in numerous posts, for example here and here. Also here and here and here.

The other day we corrected the Kentucky Bar Association when, in promoting a talk by Knox, they stated that Knox was “definitively acquitted”.

No she wasn’t.

Read here. The Fifth Chambers was assigned the case through quite open defense manipulation. It does not normally handle murder cases, and neither the lead judge nor the writer of the sentencing report had previously handled murder cases. Their reasoning was torturous, evidence was cherry-picked, and it seems certain any experienced and trained murder-case judges would have found for guilt here.

Read here  Knox was in fact found to have been at the scene of the crime, and with blood on her hands. The Supreme Court’s Fifth Chambers in fact handed down the weakest possible “not guilty” sentence, not guilty due to “insufficient evidence” (though see below; most of it they ignored, and the trial prosecution was not even at the Supreme Court) which allows an appeal if the prosecution or victim’s family wish to take up that option.

So the 2015 report was not THAT confusing, and really only gave RS and AK half a break.

2. New Development

So why is the Italian Court System unlikely to do any favors for Sollecito & Knox ever again?

In a nutshell: too many lies. In fact it is a crime in Italy to lie about a court outcome. Judgements are only ever issued in non-editable photocopies so they cannot be monkeyed with.

Knox and Sollecito and their foolish lawyers and apologists have been very publicly lying about the true outcome for two years. They have mangled a translation, cherrypicked repeatedly, and ignored half of the truth.  They have made numerous claims like “definitively acquitted” which the report itself does not support.

This lying on a grand scale is believed to have finally touched a real nerve in the Italian courts. Just way too many lies.  Already the defamations by Sollecito in his book had been ruled against by the Florence court, and some negative outcome seems to be in the works.

Now we see Sollecito’s appeal seeking major damages for having been locked up so very sharply shot down.

Any past mafia influence seems to have waned. And it looks like the incessant very public lying by Sollecito and Knox and their lawyers and apologists will cost them in future in court.

Amanda Knox’s numerous defamations and toxic PR are expected to cost her big soon too. Wise move? Mislead no more.

Posted on 07/05/17 at 11:16 AM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Monday, July 03, 2017

Here’s Something Important That Factors Into Our Interest In Cool-Headed Rational Communities.

Posted by Peter Quennell

Simple walking is rather startlingly proving to have health benefits beyond the obvious, and also major community benefits.

The main new finding for important health benefits is that the balancing required in walking adds neuron capacity to the hippocampus - a hybrid brain gland which also handles key components of memory, diminishment of which is behind memory loss and dementia.

Now there is also a new finding for the positive effects on community building and by extension better environmental and economic-growth prospects, as for both teamwork is vital.

The anti-twitter… !!

Cruising the US one can see in large areas decaying towns and failing communities. In places stark poverty. Often little mingling, and other than the local Walmart, no very enticing walking, either for locals or to entice any visitors.

Get walks going, guys? 

Already there’s begun a big push in the US to open up many more trails for walking. New York city, one of the world’s most walkable, is still adding or enhancing walks like the elevated Highline Park and the paths around the edge of Manhattan.

Trails hundreds even thousands of miles long are being created - by way of the Hudson River and the Erie Canal one can already walk or bicycle from NYC to Toronto or vice versa (think about it Ergon!).

The economic effect all along the way of these trails is becoming obvious.

Italy probably remains a very smart and creative country not least because places like Rome and Florence and Perugia become more walkable even as they become less drivable.

Posted on 07/03/17 at 09:38 AM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sollecito Loses Supreme Court Appeal Against Florence Court Ruling Refusing $0.55M Damages Claim

Posted by Peter Quennell



Our previous posts on this can be seen here and here and here.

UK reporter Krissy Allen of Blasting News kindly summarises the Italian reporting.

Here are some excerpts. Emphasis is added to key sentences confirming a rebuttal of Knox claiming “vindication” in the post just below and in those earlier posts.

Raffaele Sollecito has today been denied any compensation for the four years he spent in prison, one year on remand, and three years until the final Supreme Court Appeal decision in March 2015.

The problem is, although acquitted, it was on the grounds of ‘insufficient evidence’ and not a straightforward exoneration.

After having to wait six months for the written reasons, in Sept 2015, Sollecito then had the way clear to put in a claim for compensation, which Italian law allows for wrongful imprisonment

However the statute that allows compensation for wrongful imprisonment specifically excludes defendants who lie to the police, described as ‘gross misconduct’.

In other words, the Florence Appeal Court in January this year dismissed Sollecito’s claim for this reason.

It deemed that Sollecito had committed ‘willful misconduct’ or ‘at the very least, gravely negligent or imprudent.’

It found it ‘implausible’ that he could not account for the movements of his then-girlfriend, Amanda Knox. It states that both he and Amanda Knox lied many times and that it was an ‘indisputable fact of absolute certainty’ that Knox was at the murder scene ‘when the young Meredith Kercher was murdered’.

Sollecito through his lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno immediately appealed to the Supreme Court, citing the fact of Rudy Guede’s shoeprint being mistaken for his. However, this was never the point of law for which Sollecito was refused his demand for the maximum €517,000 compensation….

It means the written reasons of the Florence Court of 10 Feb 2017, stands. It is damning and scathing of the pair’s behaviour throughout the investigation.

In effect, it blocks any compensation claim Amanda Knox might have had her eye on from Italy….

Sollecito’s lawyer, Bongiorno has made a statement that he now plans to take it to the European Court of Human Rights. This would not be an appeal as the ECHR has no jurisdiction to overturn the verdict. Rather, it can make an award should it decide there was unfairness in the procedure.

The average award of the ECHR is circa €3,500 - a far cry from the €517K Sollecito was demanding.

Also in La Republica the increasingly hapless Sollecito claims that he is near broke and he is unable to find a job because of the cloud hanging over him.

Maybe we’ll see yet another burst of anger against Knox for dropping him in this. It may actually gain him some sympathy, though it is hard to see that paying any bills.

In his ongoing Florence book trial he is going to have to admit publicly that he lied and defamed - defamed both numerous people and Italy and its justice system - the felony crimes of diffamazione and vilipendio.

Either that or end up with a huge award against him, maybe leaving him deeply in debt. 

Posted on 06/29/17 at 09:38 AM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Friday, June 23, 2017

Dear Kentucky Bar Association: Amanda Knox Was NOT Definitively Acquitted By Italy’s Supreme Court

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Kentucky Bar Assoc President Sullivan and President-Elect Garmer


Dear Kentucky Lawyers:

Amanda Knox is scheduled to address your conference late in the afternoon Friday. She is guaranteed to mislead you.

If your Association’s due diligence process had examined the mountain of hard facts, it is doubtful Knox would ever have been invited. Your online notice of today’s talk by Knox at your conference itself suggests a lack of due diligence. It wrongly reads as follows

On Friday 23 June the programming will be packed with fun and interesting sessions.. Topping off Friday’s schedule will be the featured presentation; AMANDA KNOX will share her story. She is the American exchange student who spent almost four years in an Italian prison, following her conviction for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, a fellow exchange student who shared her apartment. In 2015, Knox was definitively acquitted.

No she wasn’t.

Read here. The Fifth Chambers was assigned the case through quite open defense manipulation. It does not normally handle murder cases, and neither the lead judge nor the writer of the sentencing report had previously handled murder cases. Their reasoning was torturous, evidence was cherry-picked, and it seems certain any experienced and trained murder-case judges would have found for guilt here.

Read here  Knox was in fact found to have been at the scene of the crime, and with blood on her hands. The Supreme Court’s Fifth Chambers in fact handed down the weakest possible “not guilty” sentence, not guilty due to “insufficient evidence” (though see below; most of it they ignored, and the trial prosecution was not even at the Supreme Court) which allows an appeal if the prosecution or victim’s family wish to take up that option.

Read here. Knox was definitively found guilty of calunnia (criminal defamation) against her boss, Patrick Lumumba. The Supreme Court in her final appeal confirmed that she falsely accused Patrick Lumumba, a black man, of murder. She served three years in prison, and is a convicted felon for life. (To date she has refused to pay compensation of about $100,000, placing her in contempt of the Supreme Court. So much for Knox “helping” the wrongfully imprisoned.)

Read here. That book by Knox - in an expanded but unrevised 2nd edition - is one of the most dishonest ever written. It contains an estimated 400-plus provable lies and up to 100 possible defamations. See this example. For those Knox still faces multiple possibilities of prosecution.

Read here. Also read here. The evidence against Knox and her co-defendant Sollecito was in fact massive, and when correctly seen as a whole (as only the 2009 trial jury saw, not the several appeal juries) absolutely damning. Read also here. Thereafter the gaming of the system began, starting with the defense procuring ANOTHER judge not qualified for murder trials (Judge Hellmann, now edged into early retirement) for their first (2011) appeal. 

Read here. If true to form Knox will again try to claim to your audience that police interrogators forced a false confession out of her. Again untrue. She was not interrogated on that night or any other night. In fact she was only ever interrogated twice, BOTH TIMES at her own request by Dr Mignini, in December 2007 and July 2009. She was given SIX court opportunities to get herself off before the 2009 trial - and she failed all of them.

Read here. The supremely fair Italian justice system comes out pretty well against other systems including the American system. Italy’s rate of incarceration is 1/6 that of the United States, and among Italians the system polls very positively.

There’s much more if your members are inclined to set up a task force. For the protection from fraud of bar associations everywhere, we would welcome that.

Posted on 06/23/17 at 12:00 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Meredith’s Perugia #36: Aerial Perugia With High Definition Drone Photography

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Posted on 05/28/17 at 10:17 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Monday, May 22, 2017

See Taormina In Sicily, Host Town For The G7 Summit This Next Weekend

Posted by Peter Quennell

This was of course the G8 group prior to Mr Putin being disinvited. Sorry about that Vlad. Mr Trump is being welcomed, sort of, though security is intense and satires in the media ever moreso. Sorry about that Don. Mr Obama is also in Italy, cycling around somewhere further north, with what seems like zero security detail.

Posted on 05/22/17 at 04:54 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Saturday, May 13, 2017

One Special Kind Of Journalism On the Grand Scale Italy Uniquely Inspires

Posted by Peter Quennell

MILANO from Davide on Vimeo.



If you keep a watchful eye on reporting on Italy, every few weeks you’ll see a report like this.

Jay Nordlinger went to Italy as a student - specifically to Milan - and just revisited it. He once again found a LOT to like.

There are many beautiful things in Milan, of course. Many beautiful works of art. But the city itself is a beautiful thing: a work of art. In my music criticism — concerning both compositions and performances — I often say, “Beauty isn’t everything. But it’s not nothing either.” The same is true of cities, I think. Beauty is not the be-all, end-all. But a little beauty … can make a nice difference. I recall what Ed Koch said about cities: Paris, the most beautiful. London, the most interesting. New York — his own — the most exciting, or dynamic.

The Milanese have style. For heaven’s sake, they’re Italian: The Italians have style. There is often a casual formality about them. And, among the older people, a certain courtliness. Can they be drama queens? Well, they wouldn’t want to betray their nationality, would they? Many of the women look and act as though they consider themselves to be works of art — and they are. Men in suits and ties, riding motor scooters, are a sight. I hear a dog not barking: I see just about no one wearing short sleeves, on a warm day.

Mirabile dictu, the window in my hotel room opens. How civilized. Unlike in America. Hang on, I will soon find out this is a mistake. The window is not supposed to open. Someone locks it. And I prevail on someone else to reopen it. Ah, civilization again. (I have promised not to jump out of this window.) (Much to the disappointment of my severest critics.)

Out my window, and all around the city, you hear the squeal of trams. It is a kind of music in Milan. Milanese risotto is a famous dish, yellow in color. I’m not sure what it is, exactly. But, when it’s good, it’ll bring tears to your eyes (not because it’s spicy). When I was a student, I practically lived on stracciatella — not the soup, but the ice-cream flavor (which, in short, is their chocolate chip). It hasn’t gotten any worse …

Posted on 05/13/17 at 07:49 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Multiple Attackers and the Compatibility of the Double DNA Knife (Exhibit 36)

Posted by James Raper

Our YouTube whiz DelPergola’s video of November 2010

Ed note: This evidence area is enormously compelling - but also emotionally difficult. It is why initially we did not publish our translation of the Micheli Report. And why a quarter of the trial was behind closed doors with the media excluded. That well-meaning decision has bedeviled the case ever since, because only the jury and others in court then - including the white-faced and tongue-tied accused pair - were exposed to the full power of the prosecution testimony.

Material from some of my previous posts on TJMK (link at bottom here) was incorporated into my Justice on Trial book. From Chapter 15, this is the second of several posts setting out further material.

Before looking at the forensic evidence, which is the final theme I identified earlier, it will be helpful to take into account the wounds suffered by Meredith, and whether these suggest anything as to the dynamics of the murder, and whether any of them were compatible with the knife recovered from Sollecito’s kitchen, Exhibit 36, called the Double DNA knife because the DNA of Meredith was found on the blade and the DNA of Knox on the handle.

As mentioned earlier the autopsy was carried out by Dr Lalli.

It was observed that there were no significant injuries to the chest, abdomen or lower limbs.

The significant elements in the examination were described as follows :

A fine pattern of petechiae on the internal eyelid conjunctive.

The presence of tiny areas of contusion at the level of the nose, localised around the nostrils and at the limen nasi [threshold of the nose].

Inside the mucous membranes of the lips, there were injuries compatible with a traumatic action localised in the inner surface of the lower lip and the inner surface of the upper lip, reaching up to the gum ridge.

Also found on the lower side of the jaw were some bruising injuries, and in the posterior region of the cheek as well, in proximity to the ear.

Three bruising injuries were present on the level of the lower edge of the right jaw with a roughly round shape. In the region under the jaw an area with a deep abrasion was observed, localised in the lower region of the middle part at the left of the jaw.

Once the neck had been cleaned it was possible to observe wounds that Dr Lalli attributed to the action of the point of a cutting instrument.

The main wound was located in the left lateral region of the neck. A knife would be compatible provided it had one cutting edge only which was not serrated. The wound was 8 cms in length and 8 cms deep. The width could not be measured because the edges had separated due to the elasticity of the tissues both in relation to the region and to the position of the head, which could have modified the width. The wound had a small “tail” at the posterior end. The wound penetrated into the interior structure of the neck in a slightly oblique direction, upwards and also to the right.

Underneath this large wound, another wound was visible, rather small and superficial, with not particularly clear edges, “becoming increasingly superficial until they disappeared”, in a reddish area of abrasions. The knife had penetrated both Meredith’s larynx and the cartilage of the epiglottis, and had broken her hyoid bone. A consequence of that damage is that Meredith would be unable to vocalise, let alone scream.

There was also a wound in the right lateral region of the neck, also attributed to a pointed cutting instrument. This was 4 cms deep and 1.5 cms wide (or long). It had not caused significant structural damage.

The presence of two relatively slight areas of bruising, with scarce colouring and barely noticeable, were detected in the region of the elbows.

On Meredith’s hands were small wounds showing a very slight defensive response. A small, very slight patch of colour was noticed on the “anterior inner surface of the left thigh”. Another bruise was noticed on the anterior surface, in the middle third of the right leg.

The results of the toxicological analyses revealed the absence of psychotropic drugs and a blood alcohol level of 0.43 grams per litre.

Tests of histological preparations of fragments of the organs taken during the autopsy were also performed. They revealed the presence of “pools of blood” in the lungs.

The cause of death was attributed to asphixiation and loss of blood, the former being caused by the latter.

There was nothing in the pathology which confirmed that Meredith had been raped, though we should recall that Guede’s DNA was found on the vaginal swab, though not of a spermatic nature. For Massei this was confirmation that she had been subjected to a sexual assault.


—————————————


There was argument in court as to whether Exhibit 36 was compatible with the main wound. There was no dispute amongst the experts that it could not have been responsible for the wound on the right. The knife had an overall length of 31 cms and the length of the blade from the point to the handle was 17.5 cms. The width of the blade, 4cms from the point, exceeded the width of the right hand wound. The wound on the right was more akin to a pocket knife, or perhaps a flick-knife.

I shall look at the arguments advanced by the defence as to why the knife would not be compatible in a moment, but before that there is a simple logical point as to incompatibility based on measurements.

A knife would only be incompatible if the length of the wound was greater than the length of the blade of the knife, or if the width of the wound was less than the width of the blade. Exhibit 36 was therefore a priori compatible.

On this basis I would also have to concede that a pocket or flick-knife is not a priori incompatible with the main wound, unless (though we would not know) the length of it‘s blade did not exceed 8 cms.

It should however be recalled that the width of the left side wound was also 8 cms. That is over 5 times the width of the wound on the other side of the neck. The width of the blade on Exhibit 36, 8 cms from it’s tip - and being approximately 3.5 cms wide- was over twice the width of the blade on the “pocket knife”. This fact, and the robustness of the larger weapon, particularly with regard to the observed butchering at the base of the left-sided cut, makes Exhibit 36 a far more likely candidate, in my submission, than a “pocket knife“, and that’s without taking into account Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

We can also enter into a numbers game as regards the experts (8 of them) who opined on compatibility. Massei tells us that Dr Liviero concluded “definite compatibility“, Dr Lalli and Professors Bacci and Norelli “compatibility” whilst “non- incompatibility” came from the 3 GIP experts nominated at a preliminary hearing. The latter were Professors Aprile, Cingolani and Ronchi.

As far as I am concerned “non-incompatability” is not hard to understand. It simply means compatible.

Professors Introna, Torre, and Dr Patumi, for the defence, opined that Exhibit 36 could be ruled out. Their argument was twofold. First, the length of the blade was incompatible with the depth of the wound had the knife truly been used with homicidal intent. Indeed, if it had been thrust in up to the hilt then the point would have exited on the other side of the neck. Secondly, they said that the smaller wound or the abrasions beneath the main wound, mentioned earlier, were in fact caused by the hilt of a knife striking the surface of the neck. Obviously if that were so then the main wound was not caused by Exhibit 36.

Their argument does not consider, because we do not know, what may have been the actual dynamics of the knife strike. We cannot know what was the cause of the underlying wound or the reddish area of abrasions. As to that wound it may have been the result of the knife edge being run across the surface of the skin and the abrasions may have had a different cause in the prior struggle for which there is ample evidence. Hence their argument seems very weak. 

We cannot leave the topic without considering that there may have been more than two knives involved. This possibility arises from the evidence of Professor Vinci, for the defence. He considered blood stains that were on the bed sheet in Meredith’s room. These stains very much resembled the outline of a knife, or knives, laid to rest on the bed sheet.

It was Professor Vinci’s contention that the bloody outlines (a dual outline from the same knife he said) was left by a knife with a blade 11.3 cms long, or a knife with a blade 9.6 cms long with a congruent blooded section of handle 1.7 cms long (9.6 + 1.7 = 11.3), and having a blade width of 1.3 to 1.4 cms.

Taking these measurements as read they may seem incompatible with a pocket knife (such as Sollecito had a proclivity to carry) and they certainly are as regards Exhibit 36. It follows, he argued, that one has to infer the presence of a third knife in any hypothesis and if a pocket knife and Exhibit 36 are already accounted for by Knox and Sollecito then a reasonable inference is that the third knife would have to be Guede’s. Professor Vinci’s blade is not incompatible a priori with either of the two wounds.

The problem, and without going into detail on the matter, is that Professor Vinci’s contention and measurements are somewhat speculative depending on what one thinks one sees in the stains. It is rather like reading tea leaves. One could just as well superimpose Exhibit 36 over the stains and conclude that it was responsible for them.

Massei only briefly commented about the bloody outlines on the bed sheet. He opined that the blood stains were certainly “suggestive” but insufficient to establish any clear outlines from which reliable measurements could be established. Clearly then he did not accord any reliability to Professor Vinci’s measurements.


—————————————————-


We can now turn to the issue of whether Meredith’s injuries tell us anything about whether her attacker was a “lone wolf” or not.

Massei believed that Meredith’s injuries lay at the heart of the matter. It seemed inconceivable to him that she would first be stabbed twice and that she would then be strangled. The amount of blood, being very slippery, would make maintaining pressure on her throat difficult. So Meredith was forcibly restrained and throttled first. The hypothesis of a single attacker requires that he continually modify his actions, first by exercising a strong restraining pressure on her, producing significant bruising, and then for some reason switching to life threatening actions with a knife, thereby changing the very nature of the attack from that of subjugation to that of intimidation with a deadly weapon, and finally to extreme violence, striking with the knife to one side of the neck and then to the other side of the neck.

Massei described the first knife blow, landing on the right side of her neck, as being halted by the jawbone, preventing it from going any deeper than the 4 cms penetration. The court considered that this was an action to force Meredith to submit to actions against her will. The same hypothesis could also, of course, in view of the injuries to the jaw, apply as to the lack of penetration with Exhibit 36 on the other side

What surprised Massei about Meredith’s wounds was that in spite of all the changes in approach during the attack she somehow remained in the same vulnerable position, leaving her neck exposed to attack.

Massei paid particular attention to the paucity and lack of what can be regarded as defensive wounds on her hands by comparison with the number, distribution and diversity of the impressive wounds to her face and neck. He found this disproportion to be significant, particularly with regard to what was known about Meredith’s physicality and personality.

Meredith was slim and strong, possessing a physicality that would have allowed her to move around with agility. She liked sports, and practiced boxing and karate. In fact she had a medium belt in karate. She would, had she been able to, have fought with all her strength. How then would a single attacker have been able to change hands with a knife to strike to both sides of her neck, let alone switch from one knife to another? He would have had to release his grip on the victim to do that, unless she had wriggled free and changed position, in which case he would have to subdue her all over again, but this time, if not before, she would be ready.

Since the attack was also sexual in nature, at least initially, how could a single attacker have removed the clothes she was wearing (a sweater, jeans, knickers and shoes) and inflicted the sexual violence revealed by the vaginal swab, without, again releasing his grip? It might be suggested, as the defence did, that Meredith was already undressed when the attack began, but for this to be the case one of three possible alternative hypotheses has to be accepted.

The first is that Guede was already in the flat, uninvited, and un-noticed by Meredith, which can only mean that the break -in was genuine but un-noticed by her. The second is that Guede was there by invitation and that their relationship had proceeded by agreement to the contemplation of sexual intercourse when Meredith suddenly changed her mind, unleashing a violent reaction from Guede. The third is that, having been invited in Meredith then thought that he had left, although he had not.

Having looked at the staging we can surely rule out the first hypothesis. As to the second, it does not fit with what is known about Meredith’s personality and the relationship she had been developing with Giacomo. As to the third it is difficult to imagine that in a small flat Meredith would not have checked before securing the front door and preparing for bed.

Massei found it was highly unlikely that one person could have caused all the resulting bruises and wounds by doing the above, including cutting off and bending the hooks on the bra clasp. The actions on the bra clasp alone would necessitate someone standing behind her and using a knife to cut the straps, requiring the attention of both hands from her attacker, during which time Meredith would have had the opportunity to apply some self-defence. It has to be conceded though that this could have happened when she was concussed, though there is no persuasive physical evidence of a concussive blow, or during or after she had been mortally wounded.

Massei concluded that there was little evidence of defensive manoeuvers on Meredith’s part, which to him meant that several attackers were present, each with a distribution of tasks and roles: either holding her and preventing her from making any significant defensive reaction, or actually performing the violent actions. He concluded that the rest of the body of evidence, both circumstantial and forensic, came in full support of such a scenario. He concluded that two separate knives had been used and that one was from Sollecito‘s bedsit.

Although, at the trial, the defence had attempted to explain a scenario whereby a single attacker might have been responsible for the injuries, that there had been multiple attackers was not a scenario with which any court, other than the first appeal court presided over by Hellmann, demurred.

 

Posted on 04/27/17 at 12:58 PM by James RaperClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Friday, April 21, 2017

The Suspicious Behaviour And Evidence Contradicting the Mutual Alibis Of RS And AK

Posted by James Raper





Material from some of my previous posts on TJMK was incorporated into my Justice on Trial. From Chapter 11, this is the first of several posts setting out further material.

Suspicious behaviour is not proof of guilt but it is an addition to the mix and, if there is enough of it, it can be weighty. I have already mentioned in Chapter 6 reservations as to the motive for Knox’x E-mail in view of certain things that did not make much sense.

Now we can consider what else arises from the testimony of witnesses, from what Knox and Sollecito had to say for themselves in their own words, and from the evidence concerning the phone records and computer analyses.

I have included the Court Exhibit log of calls made and received on the mobile phones for Knox and Sollecito, for the days the 1st and 2nd November 2007, in Appendix C. I did consider whether I should have done this given the telephone numbers referred to. However it is now eight years since the murder and I think it very unlikely that these numbers have not since been changed. In addition, Knox herself has had for some time, and may still have, a similar log for her mobile, covering the period from the beginning of October until a few days after Meredith’s death, on her website.

The relevant behaviour to be covered is from the day before the discovery of the murder up to the time of their arrest and we will discuss how this reflects upon their mutual alibi. As to that alibi we have in evidence Knox’s Memorial but not Sollecito’s statement to the police.

We also have the testimony of Antonio Curatolo and Marco Quintavalle.

Curatolo was a tramp who says that he saw Knox and Sollecito in the square at Piazza Grimana after 9.30 pm on the 1st November, having, as it appeared to him, an argument. They were at the end of the square from which the gates leading to the cottage could be seen.

Quintaville was the owner of a store who said that he saw Knox there at 7.45 am on the morning of the 2nd November.

Both were amongst witnesses unearthed by an enterprising local reporter, Antioco Fois, who stole a march on the police’s own investigation.

I will look more closely at their evidence in the next Chapter.

Knox and Sollecito would certainly have an alibi up until 8.40 pm on the 1st November, and later as it happens. That is because a witness, Jovana Popovic, knocked on Sollecito’s door at that time and spoke to Knox.

We need, however, to backtrack a bit. Popovic had knocked at Sollecito’s door between 5.30 and 5.45 pm. She wanted to ask Sollecito for a favour. Would he be kind enough to drive her to the train station in his Audi to collect some luggage that would arrive for her there later that night? Knox answered the door and invited her in and she spoke to Sollecito. He agreed he would do that.

Sollecito then started to play a film, Amelie, on his computer at 6.27 pm, which he says he and Knox watched. It would appear (See Chapter 30) that Knox then went out (whether with or without Sollecito is not clear) and that before returning to Sollecito’s flat, she (at 8.18 pm) received the text from Lumumba saying that she did not have to go to work that evening. She replied by text at 8.35 - “Sure. See you later. Have a good evening”.

Sollecito‘s varying versions, be it in his statements to the police, was (in the first version) that after leaving the cottage, he and Knox returned to his flat between 8.30 and 9 pm to eat, watch the movie and smoke some pot. That version then changed, of course, during his interview with the police on the 5th November, when he told them that before he got home Knox had left him to go to go and see friends at Le Chic and did not return until 1 am.

Popovic returned to Sollecito’s flat at 8.40 because she had been told that the luggage was not in fact being sent that evening. Knox, whom she described as being in a very good mood, told her that she would pass the message to Raffaele.

From this point on, of course, both Knox and Sollecito had an evening free to themselves.

At 8.42 pm Sollecito received a call from his father on his mobile. That this call was within 7 minutes of Knox’s text to Lumumba, and that there was no further activity on their mobiles until the following morning, is what had sparked the interest of the police and had resulted in Sollecito being called to the Questura on the 5th.

As mentioned Curatolo claimed to have first seen Knox and Sollecito in Piazza Grimana shortly after 9.30 pm. However that was contradicted by Knox’s trial testimony as to when she and Sollecito had eaten a meal at his flat.

From Knox’s trial testimony on the 12th June 2009 -

GCM:  Can you say what time this was?

AK:  umm, around, umm, we ate around 9.30 or 10, and then after we had eaten, and he was washing the dishes, well, as I said, I don’t look at the clock much, but it was around 10. And…he…umm…well, he was washing the dishes and, umm, the water was coming out and he was very bummed, displeased, he told me he had just had that thing repaired. He was annoyed that           it had broken again. So…umm

LG:  Yes, so you talked a bit. Then what did you do?

AK:  Then we smoked a joint together……we made love…..then we fell asleep.


The next day, on the 13th , on cross-examination by Mignini, Knox testified -

GM:  So, I wanted to know something else. At what time did the water leak?

AK:  After dinner, I don’t know what time it was.

GM:  Towards 21, 21.30?

AK:  21, that’s 9? No, it was much later than that.

GM:  A bit later? How much?

AK:  We had dinner around……10.30, so that must have happened a bit later than that. Maybe around 11 [slow voice as if thinking it out]


The alibi also now covers the prosecution’s first indication of the likely time of death at around 11 pm, but which was then moved to around 11.30 pm during the prosecution summing up at the trial.

Unfortunately Sollecito’s father himself torpedoed this dodge by telling the court that when he phoned his son at 8.42 pm Sollecito had told him that there had been a water leak while he was washing the dishes. Taking into account Knox’s testimony that they had eaten before the dish washing, this places the meal and dish washing before that call.

Sollecito told the police that at about 11 pm he had received a call from his father on his land line. Not only is that not confirmed by his father but there is no log of such a call. There were no landline calls at all for the relevant period of an alibi.

There is no log of a call to his mobile at that time either though his father had sent a text message then but which Sollecito did not receive until 6. 03 am the following morning. We know that he had received it at that time because that is the time at which it is logged in the phone records. Sollecito had just turned his phone on and clearly the phone had been off when the text message was sent.

There is no record of any phone activity for either of them from after the 8.42 pm call until, in Sollecito’s case, receipt of that text message at 6.03 am, and in Knox’s case her call to Meredith’s English phone at 12.07 pm the next day.

A word about this here because, as mentioned, Knox released her phone records on her web site. In her case it has to be said that this is not so unusual. Up until the 30th October there is no regular pattern of late or early morning phone activity.

Sollecito is different as his father was in the habit of calling at all hours just to find out what his son was doing. This is backed up by his phone records.

In the case of Knox she said that her phone had been switched off so as not to be disturbed and to save the battery.

——————————————————

We can now consider Sollecito’s computer, a “MacBook - PRO” - model Apple Laptop. This had been seized by the police on the 6th November and was then handed over to the Postal Police on the 13th November. They cloned the hard disk which is standard practice.

Massei -

“Of the 124 files (or “reports”) with “last accessed” in the referenced time period (from 18:00 on 1/11/07 to 08:00 on 2/11/07) only two were “human interaction”; the remaining 122 reports were actions carried out automatically by the Mac OS X operating system installed on the Apple MacBook PRO.

In particular the evidenced human interaction occurred at :

21:10:32 [ 9.10 pm] on the 1/11/07
and at
05:32:09 [ 5.32 am ] on the 2/11/07

Furthermore at 18:27:15 [6.27 pm]  on the 1/11/07, there was human interaction via the “VLC” application, software used to play a multimedia file for a film “Il Favolso Mondo Di Amelie.avi”, already downloaded onto Sollecito’s computer laptop via P2P (peer to peer) some days earlier.”


There is thus no record of any human interaction with Sollecito’s computer from 9.10 pm on the 1st November until 5.32 am the next morning, when music was played on the computer for half an hour.

There was computer evidence for the defence at the trial and further attempts were made to try and force an alibi from his computer later on appeal. I think it would be appropriate, and convenient, to include a discussion of all this here. 

At first Sollecito had maintained that he had been sending e-mails and surfing the web but that account was quickly demolished. However, a defence expert called Antonio D’Ambrosio did give very clear testimony at the trial. He was generous enough to acknowledge that the investigations carried out by the postal police were accurate, and well interpreted, but he said he had been able to uncover a bit more information about the computer because he was not limited by forensic protocols (and could therefore reveal information not visible to the Encase software used by the police) when he examined a copy of the cloned disk. This information was an interaction with the Apple website at 00.58 on the 2/11/07 which he did believe was a human interaction.

Unfortunately, whether there was or was not a human interaction with the computer at that time, does not provide Sollecito with an alibi.

D’Ambrosio also said that he noticed an interaction at 9.26 pm on the 1/11/07 but was unable to be certain whether a human interaction had occurred or whether a pre-requested download of a film, Naruto, had commenced.

The first defence expert report was in fact one prepared by Angelucci, in March 2008, at the request of Knox’s lawyer, Dalla Vedova. It does not appear to have been submitted in evidence but the salient point from this was that the data from both Sollecito’s Asus computer (he said he had another which was broken) and Meredith’s computer, was recovered.

Then there was the D’Ambrosio report followed at the first appeal by another report from Professor Alfredo Milani. In his book Sollecito mentions Milani as one of his professors at the college at which he was studying computer science. Milani credits D’Ambrosio with a lot of the content but his report was gratuitously offensive as regards the work of the postal police and he said that they had made “grave methodological errors” which had resulted in the concealment of information and which led him to conclude that it could not be excluded that there had been an overwriting of the time data was stored.

Firstly he spends much time outlining the Mac OS, in every release, and tells us that because the postal police used an “analogous but not identical” MacBook a tiny difference in the release number in the operating system renders their analysis unreliable. This is impossible to accept for two reasons - firstly, that the OS employed resided on the cloned disk from Sollecito’s own MacBook, but more importantly the precise OS release would not affect in any way the reading of the log files.

Secondly, he unwisely reminds us of inodes (log files). These files are regularly archived, in compressed form, and the archive is not over written. The archive is not very easy for an ordinary user to search but it is certainly not beyond the capabilities of “an expert computer consultant”.

He also unwisely provides a play list of the music which Sollecito had been playing when he opened his ITunes app: at 5.32 am in the morning.






The Report was in evidence but it is unlikely that the Court had before it an analysis of the music. The music app featured, amongst others, songs by the Seattle based punk rock band Nirvana, but more interestingly the app opens with the head banging introductory music (entitled “Stealing Fat”) to “The Fight Club” cult movie: with it’s own rendition of the iconic stabbing sound from the Hitchcock movie “Psycho” and introducing a background wailing sound. An interesting choice of music at 5.32 am in the morning and within hours of Meredith‘s brutal murder. There is clear evidence of manual interaction as some tracks are paused and then clicked through to the next.

One track on the app was not given any play time. This was “Polly” by Nirvanna based on the true story of the abduction, torture and rape of a 14 year old girl. The culprit is still serving time in jail.

Knox and Sollecito claimed that neither woke until Knox rose at 10.30 am. Not only are the two of them trapped by a blatant lie but if one’s choice of music is a reflection of mood, or to facilitate a change of mood, then their choice of music (and some of the lyrics, such as “I killed you, I’m not gonna crack”) is disturbing.

In the event the defence reports seem to have done little to impress the appeal judges. Perhaps Sollecito knew that they never would. In his prison diary on the 11th November 2007 he wrote -

“I have been very anxious and nervous in the last few days, but to see my father who tells me “do not worry, we will get you out”, makes me feel better. My real concerns are now two:  the first one derives from the fact that if that night Amanda remained with me all night long, we could have (and this is a very remote possibility) made love all evening and night only stopping to eat…. It would be a real problem because there would be no connections from my computer to servers in those hours.”


———————————————-

Knox falsely claims in her book that having had her shower at the cottage she called her mother on her way back to Sollecito’s apartment (a 5 minute journey) as she was beginning to have concerns as to what she had seen at the cottage. She writes that her mother tells her to raise her concerns with Raffaele and the other flatmates and Knox says that she then immediately called Filomena Romanelli. Romanelli tells her to get hold of Meredith by phone which she tries to do by calling Meredith’s English phone first, then her Italian one.

(a) How does this correlate to the contents of her e-mail of the 4th Nov?

(b) How does this correlate to Knox’s phone records?

(a) There is no mention of a call to her mother at all in the e-mail. This from her e-mail -

“….and I returned to Raffaele’s place. After we had used the mop to clean up the kitchen I told Raffaele about what I had seen in the house over breakfast. The strange blood in the bathroom, the door wide open, the shit in the toilet. He suggested I call one of my roommates, so I called Filomena………..
Filomena seemed really worried so I told her I’d call Meredith and then call her back. I called both of Meredith’s phones the English one first and last and the Italian one in between. The first time I called the English phone it rang and then sounded as if there was disturbance, but no one answered. I then called the Italian phone and it just kept ringing, no answer. I called the English phone again and this time an English voice told me the phone was out of service.”


(b) the phone records are as follows -

02/11/2007


Ist call @  12.07.12 (to Meredith’s English phone)  - 16 seconds

2nd call @  12.08.44 (to Romanelli)                  - 68 seconds

3rd call   @  12.11.02 (to Meredith’s Italian phone)  - 3 seconds

4th call   @  12.11.54 (to Meredith’s English phone) - 4 seconds

          (The 5th, 6th and 7th calls are by Romanelli)

8th call @  12..47.23 (first call to her mother)      - 88 seconds


© the discrepancies are as follows -

1. The accounts in the book and the e-mail differ materially but at least the phone records enable us to establish facts. The first call to her mother was not just after leaving the cottage but 40 minutes after the call to Romanelli, and the call to Romanelli had been placed (on the basis of the e-mail) after she had returned to Raffaele’s place and after they had used the mop and had breakfast. If we add on 20 minutes for that activity then we can say that she called her mother at least an hour after she had left the cottage.

2.  The first call to Meredith’s English phone (and it rang for an appreciable time - 16 seconds) was placed before the call to Romanelli, and not after as Knox would have it in her e-mail and in her book. A minute before, but Knox did not mention this to Romanelli, as confirmed by the e-mail and Romanelli’s testimony.
         
3.  The call to the Italian phone did not just keep ringing (See 5 below). The connection was for 3 seconds and this was followed by a connection to the English phone for 4 seconds.

4.  The English phone was not switched off, nor (as Knox has claimed -see email) out of service. Mrs Lana’s daughter had found it. She said that she would not have done so but for it ringing (the 12.07 call for 16 seconds?). She picked it up and took it into the house where it rang again (the 12.11 call - 4 seconds?). A name appeared on the screen as it rang : “Amanda”.

5.  The 3 and 4 second calls are highly suspicious. The Italian phone was already in the possession of the postal police. Because of it’s discovery before the English phone the postal police had been dispatched to the cottage at about midday. According to Massei it’s answering service was activated, accounting for the log. Clearly Knox did not even bother to leave a message for Meredith as it would take longer than 3 seconds just to listen to the answering service. This is not the behaviour of someone genuinely concerned about another. By contrast Romanelli had called Knox three times, spending no less than half a minute on each call, and on the last one being informed by Knox that her room had been burgled and ransacked.

Observations -

In her e-mail, and repeated in her trial testimony, Knox says that she woke up around 10.30 am, grabbed a few things and walked the 5 minutes back to the cottage. If the first call to her mother (at 12.47) was about an hour after she left the cottage (see before) then she left the cottage at about 11.47 am, which means that she spent over an hour there. Either that or she spent much more than 20 minutes at Raffaele’s place before calling Romanelli. One might think that the latter would be more likely as it is difficult to conceive that she spent over an hour at the cottage just showering and blow drying her hair, is it not? She did not (Knox’s testimony) have the heating on when she was there. If that were the case then one has to wonder why she dallied, without any concern for her flatmates, in an empty and cold cottage, the front door to which she had found open.

Either way there is a period of up to about an hour and a half between when she might have tried to contact Meredith (if she believed she was there, by knocking on or trying her bedroom door or by calling her phone) and her calling Romanelli, effectively to raise the alarm.

That we are right to be incredulous about this is borne out by the false claim in Knox‘s book. That false claim is significant and can only be because Knox is acutely aware that the phone records show that her original story does not stack up.

That it is incredible is even belatedly acknowledged by Sollecito’s feeble but revealing attempt to distance himself from Knox in a CNN interview on the 28 Feb 2014. “Certainly I asked her questions” he said. “Why did you take a shower? Why did you spend so much time there?”

That she makes that false claim and has constantly stonewalled and/or misplaced the 16 second call to Meredith’s English phone is indicative of a guilty knowledge. Her guilty knowledge with respect to the 16 second call was that it was made to ascertain whether or not the phones had been located before she called Romanelli, and hence for her it was not (incredulous though this is without such explanation) a pertinent fact for her to bring up with Romanelli. More than that though she also sidestepped the specific question put to her by Romanelli -

Massei -

“Amanda called Romanelli, to whom she started to detail what she had noticed in the house without, however, telling her a single word about the unanswered call made to Meredith despite the question expressly put to her by Romanelli.”


As to the 12.47 call to her mother (4.47 am Seattle time and prior to the discovery of Meredith‘s body) Knox not only did not mention that in her e-mail but in taped conversation with her mother and in her trial testimony she steadfastly declined to recall that it had occurred. Ostensibly the call would have been, of course, to report the break in. So what would be the problem with that? However she clearly did not want, or could not be trusted, to discuss her motive for the call and what had transpired in conversation with her mother (and stepfather) before the discovery of Meredith’s body.

Not only was the timing of the 12.47 call inconvenient to her mother but I found it interesting to note from Knox’s phone records (covering 2nd Oct - 3rd November) that mother and daughter do not appear to have called or texted each other once by phone up until that 12.47 call. It would appear then that in so far as they remained in direct communication with each other for that period it must have been by e-mail or Skype. Indeed Knox has referred to such communication being via internet café. One can therefore imagine that her mother was very surprised to receive that call. It is also very difficult to accept that Knox could not recall a phone call she was not in the habit of making.

Until Knox published her book the only information that was available about the 12.47 call (apart from the phone log which showed that it lasted 88 seconds) came from her mother (who reported that her daughter was concerned about the break in) and her stepfather Chris Mellas. Mellas says that he interrupted the conversation between mother and daughter to tell Amanda to get out of the cottage. In her book Knox tells us (her memory now having returned) that he yelled at her but that she was “spooked” enough without that. But what had really happened to spook her? Readers will already know where I am coming from, and may think I am pushing at bit hard here, but I believe that the call to her mother was both a comfort and a rehearsal call, not simply because there had been a burglary, but because she knew a set of events was about to unfold on Romanelli’s arrival at the cottage. Would her explanation about having been there earlier for a shower be credible? Would Romanelli and subsequently the police, detect anything suspicious? The fact that her mother and stepfather already had the jitters was not a good omen.

The testimony of Edda Mellas was as follows –

“Yes, in the first call she said that she knew that it was really early in the morning but she had called because she felt that someone had been in the house. She had spent the night at Raffaele’s and she had returned to take a shower at her house, and the main door was open. That had seemed strange to her, but the door had a strange lock and sometimes the door didn’t close properly, and when she entered the house everything seemed to be in place. Then she went to take the shower, and when she came out of the shower she noticed that there was a bit of blood but she thought that perhaps someone was having their period and had not cleaned up properly after themselves. She then went to her room and dressed and then went into the other bathroom to blow dry her hair and realized that someone had not flushed the toilet., and she thought it was strange because usually the girls flushed. Then she had to go to meet Raffaele, and she told him of these strange things in the house. Thern she tried to call one of the others who lived with them to find out something,, and had the number of another Italian roommate that was in the town, the others were there no longer and she tried to call Meredith several times but there was no response, They returned to the house, and she showed Raffaele what she had found and they realized that there was a broken window, Then at this point they began to knock on Meredith’s door trying to wake her up and when there was no answer they tried to enter her room.”

This is a lot of information to cram in to an 88 second phone call when surely Knox’s mother must have been feeling confused, concerned, and with questions of her own. At what point did Chris interrupt and yell at her to get out of the house? Edda’s testimony is very much a reprise of Knox’s e-mail. How could Knox not have remembered such a detail packed conversation, a prelude to her e-mail, and triggered by, on the face of it, a burglary?

Knox’s phone records also correct a previous misapprehension of mine. I had regarded it as rather unlikely that Knox would have tried to contact Meredith first on her English phone rather than the Italian phone which she knew Meredith had and used for local calls. However the records show that it was not at all unusual for Knox to call Meredith’s English phone. In fact she did this most of the time. But also, if the purpose of the first call to Meredith (after midday on the 2nd) was to check as to whether or not the phones had been located by anyone, then calling Meredith’s English, rather than her Italian, phone would make sense, because of course Knox would know that was the phone by which Meredith and her parents remained in frequent contact with each other, and that the parents would surely have raised the alarm had the phone been discovered and a call by Meredith’s parents been answered by some diligent but confused citizen in Italian. This, of course, could have happened and the alarm could have been raised by Meredith’s parents well prior to Meredith’s phone being called by Knox the first time, but such an eventuality would not have been a matter of concern to Knox in the event that she had not been to the cottage earlier.

At the cottage, and prior to the above call, Sollecito received a call from his father at 12.40 am. Do we know what they discussed? It would in any event have been after the discovery of Romanelli’s broken window and (allegedly) Sollecito’s (rather feeble) attempt to break down Meredith’s door. Did the responsible adult advise his son to do the obvious and call the police? One would think so, but then why was there a 10 minute delay before he called his sister in the Carabinieri at 12.50 am? Indeed, why call his sister at all? Why substitute the formality of calling the police to report a break in with a personal call? They are not the same thing - clearly, as immediately afterwards he did call the 112 emergency services to report the break in. Romanelli had also urged Knox to call the police when she called at 12.35.The 16 minute delay from that call might be accounted for by the unexpected arrival of the postal police and if this was the case then it was before Sollecito called the 112 emergency services.

The issue of whether Sollecito was lying when he told the postal police that he had already called 112 is an interesting one. It would take up too much time and space to discuss in detail here. See Chapter 13. Suffice to say that the prosecution set out to demonstrate that the postal police had arrived before the call and the defence set out to demonstrate the contrary.

Neither Knox nor Sollecito saw into Meredith’s room when the door was broken down and her body discovered on the floor under a quilt. Yet in the immediate aftermath it is as if they have wanted others to believe that it was they who discovered her body and in the bragging about this there have been disclosures, not only as to what they should not have been aware but also suggestive of disturbed personalities. This behaviour was remarkable for all the wrong reasons.

(a)  The police were suspicious about the fact that Knox had alluded to Meredith having had her throat cut at the Questura, but we now know from Luca Altieri‘s testimony that Knox and Sollecito had heard about this directly from him during the car ride to the police station.. However her bizarre and grotesque allusion in the early moments of the investigation to the body being found stuffed into the closet (wardrobe) is not just factually incorrect (it was lying to the side of the closet) but bears a striking correlation to later forensic findings based on blood splatter in front of and on the closet door, that Meredith had been thrust up against the closet after having been stabbed in the throat.

(b)  The behaviour of Knox and Sollecito at the police station is documented in the testimony of Meredith’s English girlfriends and of the police. Whilst it is true that people react to grief in different ways it is difficult to ascribe grief or a reaction to shock to some of Knox’s behaviour. Emotionally she was cold towards Meredith’s friends and occasionally went out of her way to upset them with barbed and callous remarks. The fact that Knox was not observed to cry and wanted to talk about what had happened is not of itself indicative of anything but remarks like “What the fuck do you think, she bled to death” (Knox acknowledged a similar comment to this in her tv interview with Diane Sawyer - See Chapter 27) and her kissing and canoodling with Raffaele (including them making smacking noises with their lips when they blew kisses to each other) in front of the others was not normal. Rather chilling in retrospect was a scene between the pair of them when Knox found the word “minaccia” (in english - threat) amusing and made a play of it with Sollecito in front of witnesses.

© Grief is in any event reserved for friends and relations, or people one much admires. The evidence is that the initial short friendship between the two had cooled to the extent that Meredith was studiously, if politely, avoiding being around Knox. For the narcissistic and attention seeking american girl this would have been difficult to ignore and may well have offended her.

(d)  The next day Sollecito was willingly collared by a reporter from the Sunday Mirror and told her about the horror of finding the body.

“Yes I knew her. I found her body.”

“It is something I never hope to see again,” he said. “There was blood everywhere and I couldn’t take it all in.”

“My girlfriend was her flatmate and she was crying and screaming, ‘How could anyone do this?’”

Sollecito went on the tell the reporter (with reference to the night of the murder) that -

“It was a normal night. Meredith had gone out with one of her English friends and Amanda and I went to a party with one of my friends. The next day, around lunchtime, Amanda went back to their apartment to have a shower.”


This was not in evidence which is as well because about the only thing that is true here is that he knew Meredith.

Posted on 04/21/17 at 12:09 AM by James RaperClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Monday, April 10, 2017

Open Letter To The American Psychology Law Society Re False Claims By Kassin & Knox

Posted by Ergon



Knox and Kassin at the American Psychology Law Society Conference 2017


Dear APLS

Serial misrepresenter of the Knox “interrogation” Saul Kassin has made yet another false claim, once again to a large audience - yours.

This time it was to your American Psychology Law Society Conference in Seattle, Washington, March 16th-18th, and it suggests he simply cannot count.

First, some prior context to this rebuttal: SIX prior posts correcting numerous other Kassin “mistakes” and EIGHTEEN prior posts on the Knox interrogation hoax.

It is very important to understand that as the defenses conceded in court under the strict Italian legal definition of “interrogation” Knox was really only ever interrogated twice.

Both times this was by Dr Mignini (Dec 2007 and June 2009) and both times it was at Knox’s own request.

All of her other discussions with investigators early in November 2007 were merely “verbale di sommarie informazioni” or written-up discussion with a person with possible useful information. Notes exist in the record of all these discussions - none remotely coercive - and they were summarised by prosecution witnesses at trial.

See my quote below of the defense lawyers in Italian, where they use the correct Italian legal term. These written-up discussions with Knox carry precisely the same status as the “verbale di sommarie informazioni” with Sophie Purton and numerous others in the records of the case.

Accordingly I use “interrogation” a couple of times in quotes below in rebutting Kassin’s wrong claims.

Amanda Knox and Saul Kassin at the American Psychology Law Society Conference March 2017

Kassin: “Knox was questioned for over 50 hours but none was recorded”.

Kassin: “I’ve never seen a case more steeped in misinformation than Amanda Knox’s”.

So, where did the magical 50 hrs interrogation in 5 days that ‘inevitably lead to false confessions’ first appear?

Professor Kassin will not say, or provide background information to the crowded rooms of trainee law psychologists to which he and Amanda Knox have been repeating this claim.

So, here’s some vital background Kassin seems to have missed which spirals in to the truth.

Injustice in Perugia

Steve Moore: “In the five days after the murder of Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox was interrogated by detectives for 43 hours.

CBS News-48 Hrs

Amanda’s focus was the appeal - and she soon had a world-renown ally.

“This case horrifies me. I’d like to say it shocks me. But I’ve seen others like it,” said psychologist and professor Saul Kassin, an expert on police interrogations.

On his own initiative, Kassin filed a report with the Italian (appeals) court on Amanda’s behalf. It outlines some of the psychological reasons why Amanda could have confessed to a murder she did not commit.

“Amanda Knox, like everybody, has a breaking point. She reached her breaking point,” he explained. “Eight or 10 or 12 police officials in a tag team-manner come in and interrogate her… Their goal is a confession and they’re not leaving that room without it.”

Er no, there’s no record of Kassin’s report in the Hellmann court files, and Amanda Knox never released it either. But Judge Hellmann ruled she should have known Patrick Lumumba was innocent and upheld her 3 year conviction for criminal defamation (calunnia) anyway.

American Psychologist/Innocence Project

From “Why Confessions Trump Innocence” by Saul M. Kassin, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, April 2012

Armed with a prejudgment of Knox’s guilt, several police officials interrogated the girl on and off for four days. Her final interrogation started on November 5 at 10 p.m. and lasted until November 6 at 6 a.m., during which time she was alone, without an attorney, tag-teamed by a dozen police, and did not break for food or sleep.

CNN Transcripts

CNN May 8, 2011

CURT KNOX, FATHER: Between the time that they actually found Meredith and when Amanda was arrested, there was roughly a 90-hour timeframe. And I’m ball parking the numbers there. During that time, Amanda was in the police station for questioning for—I believe it was 52 hours.

Now we’re getting a little closer to the truth. Knox was at the station for maybe 52 hours, but actually wasn’t ‘interrogated’ for that long. Then going back to when those figures first came out:

King 5 News

Amanda Knox’s family says confession coerced

By LINDA BYRON / KING 5 News

Posted on November 13, 2009 at 12:16 PM

She was just flat scared to be alone,” Curt said. “So she went down to the police station with him and they were split into two rooms and then they started going at them.

With physical and mental abuse for 14 hours. No food, water, no official interpreter.”

Prosecutors say Amanda’s accounts swung wildly: She wasn’t at the cottage the night of the murder. She was there, but drunk in another room.

But her parents say she was coerced by police.

“(They said) you know, you’re never going to see your family again,” Curt said. “You’re going to jail for 30 years. You need to come up with something for us, you’re a liar. Come up with something for us. Envision something; throw something out there.”

Della Vedova/Ghirga appeal to Hellmann

There’s a summary of a defense analysis of the discussions here - note the “verbale di sommarie informazioni” which is NOT the Italian for “interrogation”.

(p.12) Amanda Knox è stata sottoposta ad esame ed attività investigative e tra il 2 e il 6 novembre 2007, fino al momento del fermo, ha fornito sommarie informazioni e risposto a domande della A.G. come segue:
l 2 novembre 2007, ore 15.30 VENERDI’: totale ore …………..
12,00
Verbale di sommarie informazioni della Knox, senza indicazione della chiusura.
Testimoni fino alle 3.00 am del 3 novembre 2007
l 3 novembre 2007, ore 14.45 SABATO totale ore ………………
8,00
Verbale di sommarie informazioni della Knox, senza indicazione della chiusura.
Testimoni indicano fino alle 22,00.
l 4 novembre 2007, ore 14.45 DOMENICA: totale ore ………….
12,00
Verbale di sommarie informazioni della Knox, ed accesso alla villetta di Via
della Pergola dalle ore 14.45 alle ore 21. Telefonata di Amanda alla zia dice 5 ore
di interrogatorio in questura
l 5/6 novembre 2007, ore 01.45 LUNEDI’/MARTEDI’: totale ore ……..
5,00
Verbale di sommarie informazioni della Knox inizio alle ore 22.00 del 5
novembre 2009.
l 6 novembre 2007, ore 05.45 MARTEDI’: totale ore ……………….
3,45
Verbale di “spontanee dichiarazioni” della Knox con successivo breve
memoriale. Dalle ore 1,45 alle 5,45 e memoriale alle ore 14,00.

In 5 giorni la Knox è stata sentita per un totale di circa 53,45 h.

Except, here above I count a total of 40.45 hrs, hmm, not all of which was spent being “interrogated”.

She was in the waiting room with the others, as confirmed by her own phone records, e-mails home, texts, etc. Not to forget headstands, cartwheels, yoga poses and general faffing around with Sollecito.

The defense realized their math was off so they included an additional 13.0 hrs. to the time of her memoriale though they counted their own figures twice, Lol. (see attachment below).

Keep in mind her attorneys never argued the time was unreasonable, only that the accusation should not be considered for the calunnia charge.

Their summary was only to show how long she had been ‘present for examination’ in that time she was at the Questura till her arrest. And even then, their figures were wrong..

From Rita Ficarra’s Testimony

Knox was let go by the evening of the first day so the 12 hours interrogation figure is incorrect. She also had an official interpreter by 12:30, was fed and allowed to rest in between, wasn’t slapped, and there were only two detectives present.

Twitter user Soletrader4U analyzed her phone records and case files and came up with a more realistic figure of 17.45 hrs of actual “interrogation”.

Given that to be the case, I invite Professor Kassin to correct his figures and explain how, according to his research, Amanda Knox could have produced a “False Confession” over the span of 17.45 hours of “interrogation” over 5 days?



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Italian Police Again Work Hard On A Murder Where Victim And Main Suspect (Her Husband) Are Foreign

Posted by Peter Quennell



This case is getting a lot of coverage in Italy, Ireland and the UK.

Mrs Belling and her family boarded a cruise ship February 9 at the cruise port west of Rome, and seem to have been in Italy itself for only a few hours. Several days later, after a scene with her husband, she disappeared off the ship.

This wasn’t reported, and the family continued their meals in the dining room.

Then the German-born husband was arrested before he could return to Ireland. He remains locked up in Rome and can be held for a year to check if there is a case against him. 

Now a body in a suitcase has washed up. A “suitcase murder” in her case now seems to be ruled out though as Barbie Nadeau explains.

The short-lived label “suitcase murder” notion has resonated in the New York area. The reason being that an attractive and successful local woman, Melanie McGuire, who had her share of fans during trial, was found guilty of chopping up her husband, essentially for being a bore, and stuffing his remains in suitcases.

They then washed up in Chesapeake Bay about 1/2 a day south. She was found guilty and despite a strenuous defense and an appeal she is inside for life without parole. There are a number of long-form reports on YouTube, and this is perhaps the most-watched.

Posted on 03/30/17 at 11:48 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Running On A Mudslide, The Seemingly Freaked Sollecito Team Tries Again Not To Be Overwhelmed

Posted by Peter Quennell





Sollecito just lost big in a way we are asked not to post about just yet. Italian media has made no mention of it.

This request, rare from the open Italian system, has been made a few times before in this case, to try to block corruption and dishonest PR before they can get up to speed.

Meanwhile, it is safe to assume that a great unraveling of the huge body of lies must be freaking the Sollecito and Knox team’s minds.  A new development that the Italian media IS reporting suggests this is so.

By way of context, Guede is now out on parole but has some time still to serve, including three years awarded by the Florence court for possession of stolen property, a notebook computer taken by two persons still unknown from a law-firm in Perugia, late in 2007.

(There is zero hard evidence that Guede ever did any break-and-entering, ever, and he has never been charged or convicted of that.)

His Rome team has filed a Supreme Court appeal against the Florence court’s decision not to grant him a retrial for grounds based on the 2015 Supreme Court outcome of the Sollecito and Knox appeal which said in part (1) Guede did not act alone and (2) Knox and Sollecito were both there.

And his interview broadcast nationally by RAI could be followed up by a book damning to RS and AK. 

Okay. Now the Italian news service ANSA reports this.

“Once he has finished his full term in prison, Rudy Guede must be expelled from Italy” the lawyer Luca Maori, one of the defenders of Raffaele Sollecito, has asked.

The Ivorian these days is in Perugia, at the home of his former elementary school teacher where he is taking advantage of a possible reversal of the condemned’s sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment, which he is serving for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Sollecito was finally acquitted for the same crime.    “I will ask the police headquarters in Perugia - said Maori - to take steps to undertake the removal procedures of Guede, who is not an Italian citizen, who is now finishing serving his sentence (in prison in Viterbo - Ed.)

Many foreigners are expelled from our country for far less serious offenses to murder for which the Ivorian was sentenced” he said.

Any such expulsion order, considered unlikely, would be put on hold while Guede appeals - and presumably does maximum harm.

Posted on 03/18/17 at 12:01 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Meredith’s Perugia #36: Versions Of The 24-Hour Happy-Song By Students Happy To Be There

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted on 03/11/17 at 09:45 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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