Thursday, August 28, 2014

The “Special” Agent Man – A Post-by-Post Review Of Steve Moore’s Surely Unique Blog #1

Posted by Jeff Friend



Pepperdine University north of LA which gave the illustrious Mr Moore the boot

Why This Recognition?

Greatness is not always recognized when it is among us. How many artists have been appreciated only after their death? How many authors become famous posthumously? John Kennedy Toole, for example, didn’t have any of his novels published until 11 years after he died.


Nowadays A Confederacy of Dunces is considered a classic.  And when one thinks of the book’s main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, it is not hard to also think of Steve Moore.


Whereas Ignatius stumbled about New Orleans wielding his delusional, hubristic opinions and poisoning the air around him with acid reflux, Steve Moore performs this very same trick on his blog and in his media appearances.


In my opinion, Mr. Moore’s performance is underappreciated. His online oeuvre far too unnoticed. A courageous and learned man is standing in the gap girded with an unquestionable intellect and wielding a delightfully pugnacious spirit. We mere mortals cannot afford to let this man pass through our lives without the proper appreciation.


Therefore, I will review Mr. Moore’s blog post-by-post from its very beginning. (I am a completest; especially where genius is concerned.) During this project, we will travel arm-in-arm through the on-the-spot reactionary flourishes and the make-it-up –as-you-go-along assertions and interpretations that only Mr. Moore would dare to offer up for public consumption.


I hope you will take this journey with me.

June 21, 2011: The Perils of the Presumptive Headline


In the beginning, there were words. And those words were: “According to the dictionary, to presume is:..”


Can you guess what comes next? That’s right, the definition of “presume”:


1. To act overconfidently; take liberties.
2. To take unwarranted advantage of something; go beyond the proper limits:
3. To take for granted that something is true or factual


Do I need to remind you that this man is a published author and you most likely are not?


This never-before-used preamble to an essay establishes the theme of Mr. Moore’s subsequent discourse on presumption by the media, specifically The Daily Beast.  After a brief lesson on the little known “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline published in error by the Chicago Daily Tribune (a lesson infused by deft overstatement that would later become one of Mr. Moore’s favorite arrows in his quiver), Mr. Moore launches into a bold attack on The Daily Beast.


Mr. Moore’s courage comes to the forefront when describing the Daily Beast as “well-funded and poorly regarded” and “the site displays every bit of the integrity and nobility of purpose that its title would have you believe. It appears to feed on sensationalism and makes its bones off of others (sic) misery.”


Well, then.


You can clearly see that sensationalism and stories of other people’s misery would indeed differentiate The Daily Beast from all other news organizations throughout the history of journalism.


Note to The Daily Beast: You might want to refrain from being the only news journal on the internet to contain sensationalist stories. “Jerusalem More Divided Than Ever”? I mean, come on!


Also, if you’re going to go to The Daily Beast and read a story at a website just mentioned in the blog you were currently reading, then Mr. Moore declares “You’re not going to ‘get’ this article, or even care if you did.”


Attaching yourself to the Meredith Kercher case, then insulting any reader of your very first blog post that may be interested in reading about Casey Anthony or Anthony Weiner? Genius.


It’s like Picasso just painted a portrait of a middle finger. That, my friends, is art.


A lengthy diatribe about The Daily Beast follows with the nuanced argument that the journal may have a reporter on the ground in Perugia who speaks Italian and attends court “every day” (as Mr. Moore mockingly highlights) but the whole thing is just a front for The Daily Beast to make a profit by promoting Amanda Knox’s guilt; because that obviously sells better than the story of an innocent, young damsel in distress being railroaded by a corrupt foreign judicial system that’s out to prosecute Americans (USA!USA!USA!).


Exposing The Daily Beast for doing journalism takes courage.


Condemning The Daily Beast for profiting from Amanda Knox’s predicament while at the same time you are taking advantage of the death of an innocent college coed to build a career for yourself by publicly supporting her murderer with the use of misinformation takes courage.


Testifying before Congress that Amanda Knox had been exonerated when she hadn’t yet, while being the exact kind of presumption that Mr. Moore condemns in his initial blog entry takes an epic amount of courage.


Mr. Moore has courage in spades.

Other Notes

The humor Mr. Moore derives from discussing the title “The Daily Beast” as if he doesn’t know where the name came from is priceless.


He will certainly NOT be accused of reading an Evelyn Waugh novel!


Final Rating: Three out of five zebras.

Posted on 08/28/14 at 07:33 AM by Jeff Friend. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Monday, August 25, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #12: Why Prosecution And Defenses Never Believed Knox’s Version

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Famous criminal lawyer Dr Giancarlo Costa - did he depart Knox’s team with doubts about her?

Recapitulating Our Purpose

In Post #11 below we hinted at two items - in fact, they are two documents - that resulted in a sharp drop in Knox’s credibility.

We said this about how Knox’s Perugia lawyers were affected.

It seems impossible to know about these items, and yet still believe that Knox was telling the truth.  Lawyers often encourage their clients to tell the truth and good lawyers never encourage their clients to lie. And yet here Ghirga, Dalla Vedova, Bongiorno and Maori would have known from latest early 2008 that Knox’s claims on the “interrogations” were in fact made up.

And if so, they must have asked themselves, why? Why did Knox have to lie?  In all the legitimate legal processes, meaning all those except the Hellmann appeal, the defense lawyers were seen by close observers to be dispirited and lacking the full punch that the certainty of innocence can bring.

Knox was lying. And they all knew. No hard proof, but it explains the timid cross-examinations. And it was the buzz around Perugia maybe put out by the Sollecito faction for which there is a sort of soft proof.

The one heavyweight among Knox’s lawyers, a prominent criminal lawyer from Rome called Dr Giancarlo Costa, who was with her at the 6-hour 17 December 2007 questioning (which we turn to next) inexplicably departed from her team early-on, leaving her with the much less experienced Ghirga and Dalla Vedova.

Sharp-eyed Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau both noticed that no mention of Dr Costa was made in Knox’s book. Late in 2009 and again late in 2011 Andrea Vogt interviewed him, and he seemingly suggested that Knox might have been better served at the end of the process by a negotiated plea, in effect similar to Guede’s. (If so, he is now proved right, and the remaining Knox lawyers or her family made a very bad call.)

We said this about how all the prosecutors and all the judges were affected. 

In the years that followed since, these two items helped to changed legal mindsets, from Prosecutor Mignini, to Judge Matteini, to Judge Micheli, to Judge Massei, to even Judge Hellmann, and so on to Cassation and the Nencini appeal.


Describing The Two Incriminating Items

Now we turn to the two items, the two documents, the two elephants in the room. They are rock-solid confirmation of all the testimony by investigators in Posts #2 to #9, and in days of defense cross-examination they were not argued with. They were correctly guessed by several emailers. They are of course:

(1) Rita Ficarra’s notes of the 12:45 session

Inspector Ficarra wrote up these notes at 8:00 pm on the evening of 6 November, about six hours after Knox and Sollecito were carted off to Capanne Prison.

This was long before she knew she would be contradicted and years before she knew she would be accused of criminal actions. The notes were in evidence, and it was clear during cross-examination that the defense teams had studied them.

She recorded a description of the session identical in all points to her testimony in Hoax Post #2 and Hoax Post #3 and Hoax Post #4. It anticipated perfectly the scenario that emerged from other investigators present.

(2) Knox’s hand-written list of seven names

She wrote these out along with maps and annotations. The list had very obviously been created over a prolonged period of time. This must have occupied all but the final minutes of the session, at which point she lost her cool, had her first conniption, and fingered Patrick.

Here again from Post #2 is the testimony about it by Rita Ficarra. GCM stands for Judge Massei and GM stands for Dr Mignini.

RF: At that point I say to her: “for me it is important then that we write these [names etc down], that therefore, since you are waiting [NdT. i.e. for Raffaele], let’s go do a follow-up to the recap that you have already given me, have already submitted to me”. So I go to the office, that is to say, I go into the office room, and we begin to write.

GM: Listen: before continuing, she wrote a note?

RF: Yes.

GM: The note: you can, I believe you can consult/examine/refer to it.

GCM: Yes, certainly, it is permitted to consult/examine/refer to her records.

GM: I am referring to everything that that note reported.

RF: Yes, I’ve already said that, in effect… The note of 6 November, at 2000 hours, I made it in the evening because having then not slept for two days, I went [straight] to bed in morning when I finished. Morning and afternoon.

The first part I’ve already related and it gives me indications about these boys, about non-Italians, about a certain PJ Peter Svizzero, who had seemingly been several times in their home and who lived nearby the area of via della Pergola 7.

Patrick, of the [sic] owner of the pub, Le Chique [sic], where she herself worked, I’ve already said, she gives me the mobile-phone information.

Then she speaks of a certain Ardak, a North African citizen, and gives me the mobile-phone information.

A certain Juve, an Algerian citizen, who worked occasionally at the Le Chique [sic] pub and who apparently lived in the vicinity of the home of another of the victim’s friends.

Sofie [sic]; also for him she gives me the mobile information.

Spiros, a young lad of Greek nationality, for whom she givers me only the mobile-phone information.

Shaki [Hicham Khiri], a Moroccan citizen who works in a pizzeria, frequents the [same] pubs [as those] frequented by all the girls of the victim’s group, and [is] also friends with Sofie [sic].

She furthermore reports about a black South African boy, short, who plays basketball in the Piazza Grimana court, [and] who on one occasion had apparently visited the home of the boys who lived underneath the apartment.

So Knox eagerly devoted considerable time to recalling and explaining who Peter Svizzero, Patrick, Ardak, Juve, Spiros, Shaki and a South African [Guede, disguised] were, with maps to some of their places and phone numbers thrown in. She was talking and writing at the same time. The four investigators needed to do little more than sit watching.

Contrast The “Explanation” In Knox’s Book

In her book Knox makes no mention of any of the above.

Fom 2007 to 2013 when her book came out, Knox’s tendency was to expand upon and embellish her own explanation for her conniption and fingering of Patrick.

This was despite the fact that her two-day stint on the stand in July 2009 focussed exclusively on this was disbelieved by the Massei judges and by most Italians who watched.

It was also despite the fact that she served three years for this with her guilty verdict confirmed even by Judge Hellmann labeling her a felon for life.

It was also despite the fact that after the 2009 trial those investigators she had impugned at trial sparked new charges still to be faced in a Florence court.

It was also despite the fact that more charges for her 2013 book and her Oggi interview are expected to be added by the chief prosecutor in Bergamo.

Amazingly, she was still digging herself in deeper as late as 2014. By far her longest, most self-serving and most surreal version of the session appeared as Chapter 10 of her book.

This chapter is 20 pages long and consists of page after page after page of invented dialogue. Everybody has long known that the last few pages were Knox’s malicious invention.

That the rest of the pages are too is also dead-certain.

Neither Rita Ficarra’s notes nor Knox’s list of names with maps and notes,one of which she created and both of which were repeatedly testified to right in front of her, are even mentioned anywhere in Knox’s book.

This dishonest dialogue and mass accusation of crimes is what Knox and Linda Kulman give us instead: 

Police officer Rita Ficarra slapped her palm against the back of my head, but the shock of the blow, even more than the force, left me dazed. I hadn’t expected to be slapped. I was turning around to yell, “Stop!”—my mouth halfway open—but before I even realized what had happened, I felt another whack, this one above my ear. She was right next to me, leaning over me, her voice as hard as her hand had been. “Stop lying, stop lying,” she insisted.

Stunned, I cried out, “Why are you hitting me?”

“To get your attention,” she said.

I have no idea how many cops were stuffed into the cramped, narrow room. Sometimes there were two, sometimes eight—police coming in and going out, always closing the door behind them. They loomed over me, each yelling the same thing: “You need to remember. You’re lying. Stop lying!”

“I’m telling the truth,” I insisted. “I’m not lying.” I felt like I was suffocating. There was no way out. And still they kept yelling, insinuating.

The authorities I trusted thought I was a liar. But I wasn’t lying. I was using the little energy I still had to show them I was telling the truth. Yet I couldn’t get them to believe me.

Huh? Really? In fact only four were involved. The conversation was low-key. The list of names did emerge. Knox was never yelled at or hit, as her own lawyers publicly confirmed. And Rita Ficarra and others describe some exceptional kindnesses shown to Knox, before and after she spontaneously became disturbed, which at trial Knox confirmed.

Knox and Linda Kulman give us twenty more pages of this mass accusation of crimes, which not one witness confirmed or any court believed, more than enough to occupy the entire session, leaving no time for all the work on that list of names which was the sole point of the session and undeniably exists.

Posted on 08/25/14 at 10:44 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #11: ChallengeTo Readers: Spot The Two Landmines For Lawyers & Knox?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





American supporters of Knox argue that the “interrogation” is a “she said/they said” situation. One in which it is Knox that tells the world the truth.

And that the police had closed ranks to hide a brutal hours-long session resulting in Knox framing Patrick and that the “lost” recording of the “interrogation” would prove that she is the one that is right.

There is, of course, no recording, as it was an impromptu recap/summary session, with someone who might or might not have relevant information for the police. No legal system in the world requires the taping of that.

But there is in fact hard evidence the other way, that the investigators told the world the truth. Two items. Each mentioned often and assumed as givens in Posts #2 to #9.

Even if the days of crushing testimony left undented by cross-examination which we have posted was not enough, these items prove that the first scenario here is the truth and Knox has ever since lied.

Because several defense lawyers remarked on them without debating them, in cross-examining all the investigators who had any encounter with Knox on 5-6 November, all the defense counsel unquestionably knew that the items lurked there in the evidence pile in plain sight.

It seems impossible to know about these items, and yet still believe that Knox was telling the truth.

Lawyers often encourage their clients to tell the truth and good lawyers never encourage their clients to lie. And yet here Ghirga, Dalla Vedova, Bongiorno and Maori would have known from latest early 2008 that Knox’s claims on the “interrogations” were in fact made up.

And if so, they must have asked themselves, why? Why did Knox have to lie?

In all the legitimate legal processes, meaning all those except the Hellmann appeal, the defense lawyers were seen by close observers to be dispirited and lacking the full punch that the certainty of innocence can bring.

In the years that followed since, these two items helped to changed legal mindsets, from Prosecutor Mignini, to Judge Matteini, to Judge Micheli, to Judge Massei, to even Judge Hellmann, and so on to Cassation and the Nencini appeal.

If they are landmines, in the legal process they long ago went off. 

And all along Knox should have known that the items exist, they were repeatedly talked about right in front of her in the court. But Knox makes no mention in her book, or in her appeals, or in her email to Judge Nencini, or in her appeal to the ECHR (we presume). How odd.

What were these items? Answers on Monday if nobody drops to them before. Good luck.

Posted on 08/21/14 at 06:31 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #10: The Guiding Magistrate’s Reasoning Three Days After 5-6 November

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Judge Claudia Matteini, the key decision maker in the emerging case for 12+ months 2007-08

1. Previously In This Series

Post #1 sets out the two versions of Knox’s sessions at the central police station on 5-6 November 2007.

The first version has in total about two dozen eye witnesses, and it is the one that prevailed at the Massei trail and throughout all of the appeals -  Hellmann in 2011 (this part was not annulled), Casssation in 2013, and Nencini in 2014. Cassation in 2013 made Knox’s verdict and sentence of three years for the false accusation against Patrick final.

The second version lacks any independent witness, although Sollecito makes some claims in his book that could be assumed to help Knox. There seems no sign that Knox’s own lawyers in Perugia have ever bought into any part of it, they have never lodged a complaint, they did not pursue it in cross-examination, and they have even cautioned against it.

Knox’s lawyers seemed jumpy when Knox pursued elements of it (unconvincingly to the court) in her two days of testimony in July 2009.  Despite this, it is still sustained by Knox herself (in several contradictory versions) and by a number of PR campaigners.

Posts #2 to #9 quote the relevant trial testimony of the six investigators (scroll down) who had the major roles in the 6-7 November sessions. 

2. Judge Matteini’s Report 9 November

The image at top is of Judge Claudia Matteini.

This key post by Nicki describes how every one of the numerous hoops Italian police and prosecutors must jump through is presided over by a guiding magistrate.

Finally, in this ultra-cautious process, if the investigation has not been dropped and the guiding magistrate is confident that the police and prosecutors have made a case, they can then order it submitted directly for short-form trial (as with Guede) or for a trial judge (like Judge Micheli) to decide if there is a case for a long-form trial.

At this point, 9 November 2007, the police investigations were far from done, and the existence of Guede was not yet known (though Knox hinted at him on 6 November) let alone the role he is serving 16 years for.

The investigations continued through the summer of 2008 with Judge Matteini re-entering the process repeatedly. Even after the summer of 2008 additional witnesses were being sought and several including Kokomani and Quintavalle only came forward later.

On 9 November 2007 Judge Matteini had before her the police summaries of evidence and witness and suspect statements. Knox and Sollecito were placed under arrest on 6 November and she had held separate hearings with Knox, Sollecito and Patrick with their lawyers present on the day before (8 November)

Sollecito had seen his lawyers on 7 November in Capanne Prison. Sollecito submitted a new statement for his own 8 November hearing which famously starts off “I wish to not see Amanda ever again.”

On 8 November Knox’s lawyers had just been appointed. Knox and her lawyers were perhaps at a disadvantage in the hearing, having just met. But Judge Matteini was not fact-finding and her only decision was to remand the three (including Patrick) in prison. Knox’s opportunity to talk came on 17 December 2007 in Capanne before Dr Mignini (see Post #11 onward).

On 6 November Amanda Knox had submitted three statements all linked to in Part 1 here and all written at her own insistence. Judge Matteini disallows these for use against Knox but allows them for use against others, later confirmed in a Cassation ruling which oddly was claimed as a new victory by Knox forces. The statements were never ruled illegally obtained.

Click here for the rest

Posted on 08/19/14 at 07:59 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Fine Report On One Of Numerous Cases Much Harder To Explain Than Poor Meredith’s

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





Strange case indeed. Please click above and then scroll down for a smart presentation by the BBC.

It shows how difficult police work can be, and how there really can be false confessions. Unfortunately, police work is not helped when there are false claims to false confessions.

The 2009 trial transcripts show that Knox was definitely not pressed (in less than two hours, during which she was mostly making a list of seven possible leads) into a false confession (actually a false accusation of Patrick) like the examples here. 

The capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, is to the west (in the position of eight o’clock on a map of Iceland) and the peninsula here is south-west of Reykjavik, in the United States direction.

The BBC is a regular peruser of TJMK. To their great credit they recently aired the excellent, highly objective documentary by Andreas Vogt and Paul Russell on Meredith’s case.

Posted on 08/19/14 at 07:36 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Legal Timeline Of The Main Case, On Which The Next Ruling By Supreme Court Could Be Final

Posted by catnip



Cassazione (Supreme Court of Italy) seen from the east across the Tiber River


Todays Status

The Supreme Court is due to rule, possibly in the autumn, on what might be the final appeal by Sollecito and Knox on grounds which have not been published. Main steps prior to this:

November 2007

Meredith Kercher is found violently killed in her home while studying abroad in Italy. Her housemate, Amanda Knox, and Amanda’s friend Raffaele Sollecito, as well as Amanda’s boss, Patrick Lumumba, are arrested. A fourth person, Rudy Guede, is tracked down and also arrested. Patrick Lumumba’s alibi is confirmed and he is released.

December 2007, January 2008

Due process hearings authorise the continuation of preventative custody for the suspects, on the grounds of flight risk and possibility of tampering with the evidence.

October 2008

Preliminary Hearing Court, Perugia, Micheli presiding – after investigations have completed, the committal hearing finds there is a case to answer and remands Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to stand trial on the charges of :

    (A) aggravated murder in company of Meredith Kercher
    (B) illegal transport of a knife from Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment
    (C) aggravated sexual assault in company of Meredith Kercher (later folded into charge (A), on the grounds of being part of the same criminal event)
    (D) illegal profiting by possession, to wit: of a sum of money approx. €300 and of credit cards belonging to the victim, and her mobile phones
    (E) simulation of a crime, to wit: staging a break-in in Filomena Romanelli’s room
    (F) Amanda Knox, in addition, calunnia, for falsely claiming, knowing him to be innocent, Diya Lumumba also called “Patrick”, of being the author of the murder

Rudy Guede is tried summarily “on the papers”, as he has requested the expedited trial procedure (“fast-track” trial) and is found guilty of charges (A) and (C), and not guilty of the theft, charge (D), and sentenced to life, automatically discounted to 30 years for choosing the expedited trial procedure.

December 2009

On appeal to the Court of Appeals, Perugia (4/2009, on 22 December 2009), his sentence is reduced to 24 years, automatically discounted to 16 years, the aggravating factors of the charges not being found by the court. His final appeal, to the Supreme Court of Cassation, First Criminal Section, is rejected (7195/11, hearing of 16 December 2010, reasons handed down 24 February 2011).

December 2009

Court of Assizes, Perugia, presided over by Massei – finds Amanda and Raffaele guilty of all charges (except the theft of the money and credit cards) but without the aggravating factors applying, and sentences them, with mitigating factors included, to 26 years for Amanda, and 25 years for Raffaele (the extra year for Amanda being for the calunnia).

October 2011

Court of Appeals of the Court of Assizes, Perugia, presided over by Hellmann (after a last-minute replacement) – trial convictions quashed, except for the calunnia charge against Amanda (charge (F)), where sentence was increased to time served (3 years); both prisoners released (4/2011, decision 3 October 2011, reasons handed down 5 December 2011).

March 2013

The Supreme Court of Cassation (25/3/2013) found the acquittals on charges A&C, B, D, and E to be unsafe, and annulled that part of the decision, remanding the matter to the Florentine jurisdiction, as per the usual cascade rules, for a fresh determination, and rejected Amanda Knox’s appeal on the charge (F) conviction and sentence.

January 2014

Court of Appeals, Second Chamber, Florence, presided over by Nencini – trial convictions on the non-calunnia charges upheld, therefore sentence increased to 28 years and 6 months for Amanda (11/13, decision 30 January 2014, reasons handed down 29 April 2014). All convicted parties to pay the relevant compensation to the various injured parties. Appeals to the Supreme Court of Cassation have been lodged.

Associated Timelines

See the posts here and here on the timing of events arrived at by the trial judges.

Posted on 08/15/14 at 06:49 AM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Knox Advisor Ted Simon Gone? With Legal And Financial Woes, Will The Rest Of Her Paid Help Hang On?

Posted by Peter Quennell



Paid help Robert Barnett, Linda Kulman, Carlo Dalla Vedova, and Luciano Ghirga


We have always argued that Knox needs several kinds of professional help.

But Ted Simon simply parroting the foolish Steve Moore and the foolish Bruce Fischer was not really what we had in mind. If Ted Simon really is Knox’s ex-lawyer what a legal and financial mess he leaves behind.

In America there is a common legal remark on TV: that the coverup is often worse than the crime. It is often for the coverup that perps get sentenced to the longest time - often that is the only sentence they get.

Had the Knox and Sollecito forces been smart enough to take the route Dr Mignini hinted at in 2007 - that this was a hazing with sexual humiliation that spiraled out of control - and shown remorse as Guede to some extent did - the two might have faced lesser charges, been out early, and brought to an early end some of the terrible agony inflicted on Meredith’s ailing family over nearly seven years.

The paid and unpaid help might now be doing just fine.

But of course the smart route was ignored. The coverup for Knox seems totally on the rocks. Italy holds all the cards. As described in the past several posts, legal and financial nightmares for the Knox and Sollecito paid and unpaid help could be ahead. For one thing, they could all end up unpaid.

  • Remember, the prosecution case presented at trial in 2009 was powerful and decisive, and the defenses were so demoralised in the summer and fall that two defense lawyers were said to have nearly walked.

  • Remember, the Knox forces never tell you this, as Steve Moore etc make inane charges about corruption on the prosecution side, but the ONLY known corruption in the case was on the defense side.

It is openly known in Italy that the judicial appointments to the 2011 appeal court were corrupt. It was a hijacked court.

Judge Chiari and Prosecutor Comodi both publicly made this quite plain, Dr Galati said Cassation would set things right, the CSM edged Judge Hellmann into retirement (where he still waffles on with trademark incompetence) and the Supreme Court did set things right, with the unique ferocity that we saw.

Knox’s serial lying in her own coverup was very well known (after all, it was for lying that she served three years) but the flashmob attempts at coverup based on her invented claims went on regardless, even escalated in the past several years with the arrival of new dupes. Saul Kassin and John Douglas and the seriously out-to-lunch Jim Clemente come to mind.

The Knox book bizarrely parrots Steve Moore and Bruce Fischer, presumably with Ted Simon’s okay. Now it has put her paid help’s problems on steroids. All of them including Ted Simon could be legally and financially liable in several different ways. The past several posts described some of those.

Take for example this statement Knox puts into the public domain about her Perugia lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova, in which she is accusing him of all people of falsely accusing police and prosecutors of crimes:

Carlo [Dalla Vedova], who’d never sugarcoated my situation, said, “These are small-town detectives. They chase after local drug dealers and foreigners without visas. They don’t know how to conduct a murder investigation correctly. Plus, they’re bullies. To admit fault is to admit that they’re not good at their jobs. They suspected you because you behaved differently than the others. They stuck with it because they couldn’t afford to be wrong.”

Really? He said that?

Read all the transcripts at trial and Mr Dalla Vedova’s public statements nowhere near resemble that. They were careful, honest and respectful, to say the least. He had numerous opportunities to complain. But he didnt, not once.

As we’ve remarked in the posts just below, back in 2008 he and Mr Ghirga had to publicly advise Knox to please not keep inventing things. So to this claim of Knox, when her book comes up for trial, what can Mr Dalla Vedova say?

Either he committed a new crime or his client did?

There is a good reason Giulia Bongiorno is not defending Sollecito for his own radioactive book. On that, she has already jumped ship.

Last one out the door, please turn off the lights.

Posted on 08/14/14 at 09:24 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP FOA; Could The Adults Soon Decide To Encourage AK To Head To Italy Without Argument?

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above Italian Ministry of Justice, below American Department of Justice


The post just below described in part how the twin justice systems are stacking up against the perps.

For Amanda Knox there are not one but three more ways in which the legal landscape is more tilted against her.

First, Bongiorno and Sollecito are clearly going for a “get-out-of-jail-early” tactic coupled with a “I-never-bought-into-a-murder” tactic. They dont seem to be maliciously dropping Amanda Knox in it, but they are sure signaling that it’s every perp for themselves now, and that fighting a legitimate system and process is going nowhere.

Second, even before filing a request for extradition, Italy can request Interpol to issue a worldwide Red Notice for her capture. A Red Notice instigated by Italy is what got the CIA operative Robert Lady scampering out of Panama and experiencing a miserable life on the run thereafter - so much so that he has actually talked about suing the United States government (unlike Knox he had a contract).

Third, working through the United Nations body in Vienna that advances and harmonizes national justice systems, Italy and the United States and other closely aligned countries have arrived at these supportive legal arrangements for the enforcement of verdicts in one another’s countries.

In effect, upon Italy’s Ministry of Justice filing the application, the American Department of Justice (with the FBI, just across Pennsylvania Avenue, and the Federal Marshals as its enforcement arms) would pick up the responsibility for tracking down the $10 million Knox would seem to owe

Enforcing Order to Seize Criminal Proceeds:

Under U.S. law (Title 28 United States Code Section 2467), the United States has the ability to enforce foreign restraining and forfeiture orders pursuant to an MLAT request or pursuant to requests made under certain multilateral conventions, including the 1988 Vienna Convention, the U.N. Convention against Corruption, and the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The crime for which the property is to be restrained and ultimately forfeited must be one that would subject the property to forfeiture under U.S. law, had the underlying acts been committed in the United States. To restrain the assets, the requesting country must provide in the MLAT/convention request a copy of the restraining order from the requesting country’s court that specifically identifies the assets in the United States to be restrained, or in the alternative, an order which restrains all of the assets belonging to the accused…

Freezing all of her assets till her dues are paid would mean no credit cards, no cash, no way to pay lawyers, no way to buy food or clothes or pay rent, no way to pay for internet use and a cellphone and trips, and no way to present a clean credit record to any prospective employer so no income coming in. 

If it doesn’t come to that, it will be because those who can guide Knox step in now to break it gently and get her to do the right thing.


Posted on 08/11/14 at 10:32 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, August 08, 2014

Dear Knox Book Team: You Do Realize Costs To Knox & Team May End Up North Of $10 Million?

Posted by Peter Quennell

Oops! Robert Barnett forgets to exult about his amazingness in selling the Amanda Knox book

The Costs Of A Runaway Hubris-Driven Bandwagon

Not solely for crimes of her own making, but the $10-million-plus bills that Knox & co (you included) may soon be stuck with is a no-brainer calculation.

  • $5-plus million in costs and damages awarded against her by the Massei trial court and confirmed by the Nencini appeal court, incuding unpaid damages of nearly $100,000 to Patrick which Cassation already rendered final.

  • $4 million for the book payment you arranged in defiance of Italian and American bloodmoney laws (called Son of Sam laws in the US), big bucks in financial donations from numerous other misleading fundraisings (see the Knox website), and yet more big bucks for civil damages (see one criminal defamation described in the post under this one.)


Exactly How Many Red Flags Do You Guys Need?

Ahem. This also is a no-brainer. It’s not like Knox’s public lying was a huge secret. Her Waiting To Be Heard surely breaks the Guiness Book record for ludicrous title for a book.

Back in 2008 Knox’s own Perugia lawyers had to ask her publicly, via the media, to please shut up and stop inventing things.

In fact, Amanda Knox can be extremely hard to shut up. After her conniption at Perugia’s central police station on 6 November 2007 she not only insisted on writing out three statements, she also babbled on for large parts of the next five hours.  That was despite attempts to knock her out - okay, calm her down - with camomile tea and carbohydrates.

Then came her two calamitous days in mid 2009 on the witness stand (see more below) and her leaked diaries (which actually did nail one malicious lie not her own), and her bizarre video, and multiple reports of her other doings in Capanne, and multiple interviews ever since.

One of which has entrapped Italy’s Oggi as you can see here and here.

Knox’s own lawyers (who surely never read her book in draft - hello?!) also never backed up any of her claims at trial.

If you had read the transcripts you would have seen that they were very very careful not to do so - in fact even the defense lawyers were very very careful not to do so.

Even the partisan Judge Hellmann concluded Knox was lying and both he and Cassation confirmed Knox’s three-year prison sentence. To that there is no further appeal, and of course the time was served.

And the precise timing of the Knox book’s release represents another legal millstone.

It came out AFTER Sollecito’s book was sent to Florence prosecutors for investigations and AFTER British and Italian editions were cancelled by HarperCollins’s own lawyers and AFTER the Italian Supreme Court reverted Knox’s status to “guilty pending any final appeal” leading to HER appeal which failed last January.

Red flags were up all over the place. Even other American publishers were warning you.

Consider This Possible Legal Scenario

Absent Knox’s team getting good advice (the good advice here is for free) and withdrawing, settling, and apologizing, these cards in the hands of the Republic of Italy and those Knox impugned could set all of this scenario in motion.

  • Knox and HarperCollins are targeted for zillions by the Republic of Italy and those Knox defamed. Then HarperCollins targets Mr Barnett and Ms Kulman. Mr Barnett and Ms Kulman then target Mr Knox and Mr Marriott and Mr Simon.

  • And Italian and American prosecutors target the lot of them for bloodmoney (a Son of Sam felony at federal and state levels) and for enabling via a wildly false book the serial harrassment of Meredith Kercher’s family (also a serious felony).

There you go. The road to $10 million being clawed back by the authorities. Sadly, finding fault with Knox’s book is like shooting fish in a barrel. See our previous post. Here are ten further examples.

Instances Of Knox’s False Claims About Her Legal Process

1. False Claim: Knox On The Framing Of Her Kindly Employer

This is the lie that was universally disbelieved and for which Knox served three years for. See our still-emerging Interrogation Hox series. The objective Italy-based reporter Andrea Vogt is ahead of us on this one.

[Knox] writes that she had a flashback to the interrogation, when she felt coerced into a false accusation. “I was weak and terrified that the police would carry out their threats to put me in prison for 30 years, so I broke down and spoke the words they convinced me to say. I said: ‘Patrick - it was Patrick.’”

In her memoir, she describes in detail the morning that she put that accusation in writing, and says the prison guard told her to write it down fast.

Yet in a letter to her lawyers she gave no hint of being rushed or pressured. “I tried writing what I could remember for the police, because I’ve always been better at thinking when I was writing. They gave me time to do this. In this message I wrote about my doubts, my questions and what I knew to be true.”

2. False Claim: Dr Mignini Portrayed Knox As A She-Devil

During the rebuttals, on December 3, each lawyer was given a half hour to counter the closing arguments made over the past two weeks. Speaking for me, Maria criticized Mignini for portraying Meredith as a saint and me as a devil

Really? Prosecutor Mignini said that? So why did the entire media corps report that it was said by Patrick Lumumba’s lawyer Carlo Pacelli? As the BBC reported:

[Mr Pacelli] added: “Who is the real Amanda Knox? Is it the one we see before us here, simple water and soap, the angelic St Maria Goretti?”

“Or is she really a she-devil, a diabolical person focused on sex, drugs and alcohol, living life to the extreme and borderline - is this the Amanda Knox of 1 November 2007?”

So even Mr Pacelli didnt compare Knox to Meredith, or simply call Knox a she-devil to her face. He asked rhetorically if she was a she-devil or a saint. Not exactly unheard of in American courts.

And remember he was addressing someone who would have been quite happy to see Patrick put away for life, cost him two weeks in a cell, entangled her own mother in a cover-up, destroyed Patrick’s business and reputation world-wide, still hasnt paid him money owed, and for lying about him served three years.

Prosecutor Mignini in fact never called Knox anything at all. We can find no record that he did. Again and again he has denied it. And he had no personal need to prosecute Knox, and certainly no need to frame her, despite many pages Knox devotes to trying to prove the reckless claim that he did.

3. False Claim: Dr Mignini Ascribes Crimes To Satanic Cults

Actually Dr Mignini has been repeatedly seen on Italian national TV saying satanic cults are rare and he has never originated even one such claim.

Dozens of others had suspected and talked about a satanic cult behind the Monster of Florence murders for many years before he investigated one loose end in the case. He did correctly not ascribe those murders to the work of a single serial killer - the man Doug Preston and Mario Spezi seemed to be framing to create for themselves worldwide adulation, only to end up bitter and mean when caught red-handed.

A Sollecito defense lawyer (Maori) emerged from a closed meeting with Judge Matteini and among other heated remarks originated the malicious claim that Dr Mignini was seeing something satanic.

4. False Claim: Knox Portrays Her Success On The Witness Stand

No success to anyone present. Knox devotes many pages to trying to make herself look good on the witness stand at the trial in mid-2009.

But Italians who could follow in Italian in real-time ended up trashing her phony performance up there. Read what they saw here and here.

It didnt convince the Massei court judges or Nencini court judges or the Supreme Court judges - or even the Hellmann court judges, those of the annulled appeal. Knox served three years.

5. False Claim: About Knox’s Medical Examination After Arrest

The objective Italy-based reporter Andrea Vogt reporting.

“After my arrest, I was taken downstairs to a room where, in front of a male doctor, female nurse, and a few female police officers, I was told to strip naked and spread my legs. I was embarrassed because of my nudity, my period - I felt frustrated and helpless.”

The doctor inspected, measured and photographed her private parts, she writes - “the most dehumanising, degrading experience I had ever been through”.

But in the 9 November letter to her lawyers, she described a far more routine experience.

“During this time I was checked out by medics. I had my picture taken as well as more copies of my fingerprints. They took my shoes and my phone. I wanted to go home but they told me to wait. And that eventually I was to be arrested. Then I was taken here, to the prison, in the last car of three that carried Patrick, then Raffaele, then me to prison.”





Amanda Knox (arms up) at one of various concerts she attended in Capanne prison

Instances Of Knox’s False Claims About Her Time In Prison

6. False Claim: Capanne Prison was A Hellhole Of Sin And Debauchery

That opening remark of a book review by the National Enquirer was widely parroted in other American media reports.

Over half of the Knox book is devoted to hammering home this theme. Maybe in a longshot hope that it will help to encourage the U.S. to refuse her extradition.

Italian prison conditions and treatment, Knox claims, were so bad that they made her life miserable. She says that at times she became very despondent, and even claims to have imagined doing away with herself. 

However, Italian prison conditions except for occasional overcrowding are widely considered among the most humane, caring and rehabilitating in the world. Compared to US prison conditions, they are like night and day.

And this almost universal claim of every prisoner everywhere is contradicted by the media on which she and her family worked so hard; by prison staff and official visitors, and even by the US Federal Government itself.

(1) Contradicted by the extensive media reporting

Occasional despondency is not all uncommon among those paying their debt to society. And there is scads of reporting that Knox had adjusted well to prison.

Read all of this BBC report dated 2013 by the objective Italy-based reporter Andrea Vogt. And read this by ABC News after Knox was found guilty in 2009.

Knox said that she felt “horrendous” the night that the verdict was delivered. “She said the prison guards did come in to hold her and make her feel better. She said the other prisoners were good to her,” Thomas said.

The reporter said the prison is “extremely clean.” Knox’s cell, which she shares with another American who has been sentenced on drug charges, is small. “It had a little bathroom with a door, a bidet, a sink, a shower…. better than some of the things I’ve seen at summer camp or boarding school.”

The women inmates are allowed to go to a hairdresser once a week.

The prison is a new facility, just opened in 2005. The women’s ward has an infirmary, an entertainment room with a pool table and ping-pong table, and a library. There is also a small chapel. Outside there is a little playground for children with benches and toys because there are cells specifically for women with children. Currently there are two women in Capanne with children.

It was very widely reported over four years that Knox was given the opportunity to do all these many things rarely encountered in American prisons: Learn the guitar. Read a lot. Watch TV. Study foreign languages.

Do artwork (colored pictures of hands). Attend rock concerts where she was seen leaping up and down (images here). Attend classical concerts. Attend Christmas parties.

Knox even played a major part in the creation of a rock video with a rock group. Unfortunately for her, that video appeared to many to come close to a taunting murder confession.

And on various occasions Knox was quoted as saying prison guards were kind to her.

(2) Contradicted by the US Embassy and State Department

American officials monitored Knox in court and prison and never saw anything that would back up Knox’s claim.

The objective Italy-based reporter Andrea Vogt reporting.

State department cables, released through the Freedom of Information Act, show that between 2007 and 2009, three different high-level diplomats from Rome (Ambassador Ronald Spogli, Deputy Chief Elizabeth Dibble and Ambassador David Thorne) were among those reviewing Knox’s case.

Embassy officials visited regularly. Records show one consular official visited Knox on 12 November, soon after her arrest.  A few weeks later she wrote in her diary how the visits of embassy officials improved her experience….

In 2008 and 2009, she was visited by two embassy officials at a time, six times. Ambassador David Thorne, whose name appears at the bottom of cables in August, November and December of 2009, is the brother- in-law of US Secretary of State John Kerry (at that time chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee).

If the diplomats knew anything of the “harrowing prison hell” Knox was going through (as one paper put it), they are keeping those reports under wraps. Neither Kerry nor any other prominent US politician has made any public complaints. Even today, her Italian lawyers maintain she was not mistreated.

This matters incredibly to Knox because it constitutes the official take of the US Federal Government. It will be front and center of State Department and Justice Department considerations when an arrest warrant for Knox is issued and extradition is requested.

(3) Contradicted by Member of Parliament Rocco Girlanda

Mr Girlanda visited Amanda Knox in prison approximately 20 times for the specific purpose (or so he claimed) of checking her prison conditions. In fact that was the only way he could legally visit her, although oddly enough a book and a number of other pro-Knox actions emerged - even a complaint to the President about the Perugia prosecutors.

After Knox was released late in 2011 Mr Girlanda specifically praised the prison staff in this statement.

Perugia Prison Police The Example of Professionalism.

The PdL Party member of parliament Rocco Girlanda praises the officers of the Perugia prison.

“I’ve had the opportunity to describe to the Minister of Justice, Nitto Palma, the great professional behaviour shown by the Perugia Penitentiary Police with regards to the court case that saw Amanda Knox as protagonist, a behaviour that I had always observed during the course of my visits to the Capanne prison in the last two years.”  So says Rocco Girlanda, Umbrian deputy of the PdL, after the conclusion of the appeal trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

“In recent months I have had the opportunity to make dozens of visits to the prison, which also included some of the petitions presented by the senior management of the premises and my commitment in this regard, always finding, that starting from the director Bernardina Di Mario, continuing with the Penitentiary Police commander Fulvio Brillo, up to the entire personnel employed, the helpfulness, the courtesy and their professionalism which allows me to say that Perugia is a model structure on the national landscape, managed and directed in the best way and with a large dose of humanity on the part of the staff employed.”


(4) Contradicted by Knox’s own Italian lawyers

Knox’s lawyers Mr Dalla Vedova and Mr Ghirga visited her again and again during the 2009 trial and 2010 hiatus and 2011 appeal. Knox once again had dozens of opportunities to lodge complaints with them - lawyers who could have initiated Supreme Court action in response.

When Knox was released late in 2011 Mr Dalla Vedova and Mr Ghirga were interviewed by the TV station Umbria 24:

The lawyers: “she never complained about the prison”.

Amanda Knox “has never complained about the conduct/behavior of the prison police supervisor” and “she has never mentioned his name”: to say so are the defenders of the American woman, lawyers Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga, commenting on what was reported by the tabloid The Sun. “

Ghirga said: “In the diary Amanda never makes the name.”

Della vedova said: “We are grateful to the management staff of Capanne prison for their cooperation even given to the family’s requirements. Amanda has never reported violations against her.”

“She absolutely has received the correct treatment and the outmost solidarity, within compliance, especially in the prison’s female section.”


(5) Contradicted by prison guards and other inmates

In some interviews, the reporter Sharon Feinstein captures a view of a difficult, narcissistic, uncaring Amanda Knox which is very commonplace around Perugia. The real faults lie with Knox, in effect.

7. False Claim: About Knox’s Persona And Mood Swings In Prison

The objective Italy-based reporter Andrea Vogt reporting.

She says she was often suicidal, but recollections of prison staff and other inmates differ. Flores Innocenzia de Jesus, a woman incarcerated with Amanda in 2010 described Knox as sunny and popular among the children who were in Capanne with their mothers, and recalled her avid participation in music and theatrical events. She also held a sought-after job taking orders and delivering goods to inmates from the prison dispensary.

“Most of the time when we spoke during our exercise break, the kids would call her and she would go and play with them,” de Jesus told me.

American officials monitored Knox in court and prison and never saw anything that would back up Knox’s claim.

8. False Claim: Negative Attitudes Displayed By The Prison Staff

Agian, the objective Italy-based reporter Andrea Vogt reporting.

“The prison staff are really nice,” wrote Knox in her personal prison diary, which was eventually published in Italy under the title Amanda and the Others.

“They check in to make sure I’m okay very often and are very gentle with me. I don’t like the police as much, though they were nice to me in the end, but only because I had named someone for them, when I was very scared and confused.”

She described Italian prisons as “pretty swell”, with a library, a television in her room, a bathroom and a reading lamp. No-one had beaten her up, she wrote, and one guard gave her a pep talk when she was crying in her cell.

Unlike the heavily-edited memoir, these are phrases she handwrote herself, complete with strike-outs, flowery doodles, peace signs and Beatles lyrics.

9. False Claim: The Positive HIV Result At Capanne Was Malicious

The objective Italy-based reporter Andrea Vogt reporting.

Both accounts also refer to the devastating but erroneous news from the prison doctor that she had tested positive for HIV, although her diary presents a more relaxed person at this point. “First of all, the guy told me not to worry, it could be a mistake, they’re going to take a second test next week.”

We also know that it was Knox’s own team who leaked the HIV report and list of sex partners she herslf chose to create. Not the doctor or anyone else. No malice was intended, that is clear, despite her claims.

10. False Claim? Knox Was Pressured For Sex By A Prison Guard

One of Knox’s prison claims actually names a now-retired senior prison guard who Knox claimed often asked her for sex. There are no witnesses, but he is now suing Knox for libel and Knox herself seems to have wrecked any defense..

Knox made the claim but in a far weaker form in 2011. Then as CBS reported she had in fact concluded the guard was not even serious about sex. He was seeking to understand her.

Investigative journalist and CBS News Consultant Bob Graham, reading from Amanda’s letter to him: “‘He was fixated on the topic of sex, with whom I’d done it, how I liked it, if I would like to do it with him. When I realized that he really wanted to talk to me about sex I would try to change the subject.’”

Correspondent Peter Van Sant: “What does this letter say to you about what she’s been going through?”

Graham: “It says in a time when she was clearly traumatized by the events of the death, the murder of her flatmate, that there she was, an innocent abroad, because she was innocent, she is innocent… and here she was being pressured, further pressured in a prison system, a system that at least she should have had some degree of safety.”

Graham, reading Amanda’s letter: “I realize that he was testing me to see if I reacted badly, to understand me personally. He wanted to get a reaction or some information from me. I did not get the seriousness of the situation.’”

Knox’s claim about pressure for sex seems to have left Italians contemptuous. Yet more lies from knox, the Italian Il Giornale labeled it.

Have a good weekend, guys. Hit the law books.

Posted on 08/08/14 at 11:00 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Why Does The Knox Book Smear Others Part #2 While Seriously Mischaracterizing Her Own Doings?

Posted by Peter Quennell



HarperCollin’s Jonathan Burnham and Claire Wachtell who edited and published Knox’s book

Dear Mr Burnham, HarperCollins CEO And Publisher

Presumably you remember this jubilant (and to Italy pretty insulting) book announcement below.

It was made on the day when you agreed to pay Amanda Knox a rumored $4 million, for a “full and unflinching”  account” of “her struggle to cope with a nightmarish ordeal” and you set out your hopes and intentions.

NEW YORK (AP)—Amanda Knox has a book deal.

The young exchange student whose conviction in Italy and eventual acquittal on murder charges made headlines worldwide has an agreement with HarperCollins to tell her story. The 24-year-old Seattle resident, imprisoned for four years in Perugia, Italy, has not publicly discussed her ordeal beyond a brief expression of gratitude upon her release last October.

Knox will give a full and unflinching account of the events that led to her arrest in Perugia and her struggles with the complexities of the Italian judicial system,” HarperCollins said in a statement Thursday.

“Aided by journals she kept during her imprisonment, Knox will talk about her harrowing experience at the hands of the Italian police and later prison guards and inmates. She will reveal never before-told details surrounding her case, and describe how she used her inner strength and strong family ties to cope with the most challenging time of her young life.”

The book, currently untitled, is tentatively scheduled for early 2013.

“Many accounts have been written of the Amanda Knox case, and countless writers and reporters have speculated on what role, if any, was played by Knox in that tragic and terrifying sequence of events,” HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham said in a statement.

“No one has yet heard Amanda Knox’s own account of what happened, and this book will give Knox an opportunity to tell the story in full detail, for the first time. It will be the story of a crime and a trial, but also a moving account of a young woman’s struggle to cope with a nightmarish ordeal that placed her at the center of a media storm, and led to her imprisonment.


Why Are There Multiple False Accusations Like This One?

May we ask? Was truth too was in the contract, as Knox had just served three years for lying? Was due diligence on Knox’s claims done before the book deal was done and the book shadow-written? What was expurgated at the last moment and why were UK and Italian editions halted?

Did your shadow-writer Linda Kulman and your editor Claire Wachtell got in touch with at least some of the mentioned people in Perugia?  And where there were multiple accusations of crimes against Italian officials, did you give all the targets, or at least some of them, any chance at all to explain their side?

The Knox book has been out for nearly 18 months now. You have paperback and Kindle and audio editions. This very serious accusation of Dr Mignini in the box below has gone globally viral.

It is unique in the ferocity of an accusation that could wreck a prosecutor’s career, even send him to prison. And it could cost Knox serious additional prison time if proved wrong - as it already has been. See below the quote for the truth. Not only was Knox not interrogated at all - Dr Mignini was not even there.

[This is from pages 90 to 92 on the voluntary recap/summary session.

Eventually they told me the pubblico ministero would be coming in.

I didn’t know this translated as prosecutor, or that this was the magistrate that Rita Ficarra had been referring to a few days earlier when she said they’d have to wait to see what he said, to see if I could go to Germany.

I thought the “public minister” was the mayor or someone in a similarly high “public” position in the town and that somehow he would help me.

They said, “You need to talk to the pubblico ministero about what you remember.”

I told them, “I don’t feel like this is remembering. I’m really confused right now.” I even told them, “I don’t remember this. I can imagine this happening, and I’m not sure if it’s a memory or if I’m making this up, but this is what’s coming to mind and I don’t know. I just don’t know.”

They said, “Your memories will come back. It’s the truth. Just wait and your memories will come back.”

The pubblico ministero came in.

Before he started questioning me, I said, “Look, I’m really confused, and I don’t know what I’m remembering, and it doesn’t seem right.”

One of the other police officers said, “We’ll work through it.”

Despite the emotional sieve I’d just been squeezed through, it occurred to me that I was a witness and this was official testimony, that maybe I should have a lawyer. “Do I need a lawyer?” I asked.

He said, “No, no, that will only make it worse. It will make it seem like you don’t want to help us.”

It was a much more solemn, official affair than my earlier questioning had been, though the pubblico ministero was asking me the same questions as before: “What happened? What did you see?”

I said, “I didn’t see anything.”

“What do you mean you didn’t see anything? When did you meet him?”

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Where did you meet him?”

“I think by the basketball court.” I had imagined the basketball court in Piazza Grimana, just across the street from the University for Foreigners.

“I have an image of the basketball court in Piazza Grimana near my house.”

“What was he wearing?”

“I don’t know.”

“Was he wearing a jacket?”

“I think so.”

“What color was it?”

“I think it was brown.”

“What did he do?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“I’m confused!”

“Are you scared of him?”

“I guess.”

I felt as if I were almost in a trance. The pubblico ministero led me through the scenario, and I meekly agreed to his suggestions.

“This is what happened, right? You met him?”

“I guess so.”

“Where did you meet?”

“I don’t know. I guess at the basketball court.”

“You went to the house?”

“I guess so.”

“Was Meredith in the house?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Did Patrick go in there?”

“I don’t know, I guess so.”

“Where were you?”

“I don’t know. I guess in the kitchen.”

“Did you hear Meredith screaming?”

“I don’t know.”

“How could you not hear Meredith screaming?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I covered my ears. I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m just imagining this. I’m trying to remember, and you’re telling me I need to remember, but I don’t know. This doesn’t feel right.”

He said, “No, remember. Remember what happened.”

“I don’t know.”

At that moment, with the pubblico ministero raining questions down on me, I covered my ears so I could drown him out.

He said, “Did you hear her scream?”

I said, “I think so.”

My account was written up in Italian and he said, “This is what we wrote down. Sign it.”


This False Accusation In Knox’s Book, Challenged

In multiple pages of testimony at trial four years prior to the book it was made crystal-clear that Dr Mignini was not even there then at the central police station.

See the hard facts summarised below. He was only called in later, after Knox insisted in writing her first false accusation, and his only roles were to warn Knox she needed a lawyer and to observe while she insisted on writing a second accusation.

    (1) Amanda Knox turned up at the Perugia central police station late at night, unwanted and grumpy, and was advised to go home and get some sleep.

    (2) Inspector Ficarra later said if she really wanted, she could help, she could build a list of possible perps, in a recap/summary session (not an interrogation).

    (3) For maybe 45 minutes, starting at 12:30 am (when the interpreter arrived), Knox quite calmly listed seven names along with maps drawn.

    (4) Knox had a wailing conniption, which really startled the four others present, when Knox saw an outgoing text to her boss she had just said wasnt there.

    (5) Police did what they could to calm her down, and she insisted on writing out three statements in supposed elaboration in less than 12 hours.

    (6) She was warned she should have a lawyer each time, the second warning by Dr Mignini, but each time she shrugged off this advice and pressed on.

    (7) Cassation ruled the first two statements could not be used to indict Knox at the murder trial, but all three could be used to argue her framing of Patrick.

Who believes this? The defense teams! Do read the numerous court transcripts of testimony describing events on that night. Not one defense lawyer challenged even one word of the above.

Legal Prospects For HarperCollins Of The False Accusations

Have you ever had any book out, ever, which slimes an American prosecutor? Which contains malicious lies long pointed out? Which you still heedlessly propagate?

Your prospects and Knox’s are not pretty. This is what some of our own lawyers are suggesting.  Italian obstruction-of-justice laws could be applied to HarperCollins and those party to it - note the legal fate of Andrew Gumbel the equivalent of Linda Kulman for Raffaele Sollecito.

So could the federal and state American Son of Sam laws requiring the forfeiting of all of that world-record $4 million in bloodmoney plus any fees paid to helpers like Linda Kulman and profits for HarperCollins.

Also there could be the invoking of Italian and American laws against the harassment of victims’ families, a horrific ongoing crime against the Kerchers perpetrated by many (Knox included) which the misleading book certainly helps to stir up.

Posted on 08/06/14 at 12:57 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Saturday, August 02, 2014

Why Does The Knox Book Smear Others On Drug Use While Seriously Mischaracterizing Her Own Doings?

Posted by Peter Quennell



Once-effusive Knox book team Robert Barnett, Linda Kulman (shadow writer) and Ted Simon

Dear Mr Barnett, Ms Kulman and Mr Simon:

That hot potato of a book you put together and marketed for a rumored $4 million… did you exercise any due-diligence fact-checking?

What exactly did you tell the publishers to assure them? Hard truths or truthiness? Especially as the UK and Italian publishings were halted, for legal reasons, at the very last moment. And as Knox had already served three years for lying.

Hmm?

That Knox had been consorting with a dangerous drug kingpin and sleeping with him (as she herself admitted in the diary her own team circulated) quite possibly in return for free drugs was right out in the open in court and in the Italian media way back in January 2009.

That was even before her trial really got under way and a full four years before you put together her book deal.

See our past three posts. Now new proof of Knox’s dangerous doings has emerged with a first published police report, and the Italian media are now all over this.

The release in Italy of police wire-tap transcripts of conversations between Knox and this drug kingpin she was instrumental in imprisoning is said to be only a matter of time.

So are Italian TV crimeshows featuring persons with personal knowledge of Knox’s shenanigans.

Please take a look at these key passages in Knox’s book - your book - where she drops a small army of others in it for drug use and for unsavory measures to hide it.

Knox heavily disguises here that her own drug doings were way, way worse. You were surely not a party to this serial misleading?

Hmmmmm??

If not, this could be just the right time to put real distance between yourself and Knox. She will unquestionably be charged with other false claims soon, and you would surely not want to be called to court as a person of interest.

It seems only fair to warn, if you dont already know, that these Knox fibs are only a very, very, very small fraction.

Twenty Book Quotes That Hide The Real Story

They said I wasn’t the first roommate they’d interviewed. A guy they called “totally uptight” was interested in renting, until he found out they smoked—¬cigarettes and marijuana. “Are you okay with that?” Filomena asked. “I’m from Seattle. I’m laid back,” I answered. “I don’t smoke cigarettes, but I’ll share a joint.” A few minutes later they rolled one and passed it around. I inhaled deeply and relaxed.

Around our house, marijuana was as common as pasta. I never purchased it myself, but we all chipped in. For me, it was purely social, not something I’d ever do alone. I didn’t even know how to roll a joint and once spent an entire evening trying. I’d seen it done plenty of times in both Seattle and Perugia, but it was trickier than I thought it would be. Laura babysat my efforts, giving me pointers as I measured out the tobacco and pot and tried rolling the mixture into a smokable package. I never got it right that night, but I won a round of applause for trying. Either Filomena or Laura took a picture of me posing with it between my index and middle finger, as if it were a cigarette, and I a pouty 1950s pinup.

What I didn’t know when I arrived was that the city had the highest concentration of heroin addicts in Italy. I never heard about the high level of trafficking and drug use until I was in prison, bunking with drug dealers.

“Do you like marijuana?” I blurted. “It is my vice,” Raffaele said. “It’s my vice, too,” I said. I loved the phrase in Italian. Raffaele looked surprised, then pleased. “Do you want to come to my apartment and smoke a joint?”  I hesitated. He was basically a stranger, but I trusted him. I saw him as a gentle, modest person. I felt safe. “I’d love to,” I said.

When I first saw [flatmate] Laura, she was dry-eyed. She came up and hugged me and said, “I can’t believe it. I’m so sorry. I know Meredith was your friend.” Then she sat me down and said, “Amanda, this is really serious. You need to remember: do not say anything to the police about us smoking marijuana in our house.” I was thinking, You can’t lie to the police, but I considered this anxiously a moment and then said, “Okay, I haven’t yet. I won’t.

When we finished, a detective put me through a second round of questioning, this time in Italian. Did we ever smoke marijuana at No. 7, Via della Pergola? “No, we don’t smoke,” I lied, squirming inwardly as I did. I didn’t see that [flatmate] Laura had left me with any choice, and I felt completely trapped by her demand. I could barely breathe until the detective moved on to a new topic, and when he did, I was hugely relieved. I thought that was the end of it.  Aside from what I said about our villa’s drug habits, I told him everything I could possibly think of.

I didn’t think I could take any more surprises, but they kept coming. Next, the police opened up a closet to reveal five thriving marijuana plants. “Does this look familiar?” they asked. “No,” I said. Despite my earlier lie about not smoking in our house, I was now telling the truth. I was stunned that the guys were growing a mini-plantation of pot. I couldn’t believe I had talked to them every day since I’d moved in six weeks earlier and they’d never mentioned it.

She led me through the waiting room and into the same office with the two desks where I’d spent so much time. As we were walking, she looked at me, narrowing her eyes. “You said you guys don’t smoke marijuana. Are you sure you’re being honest?”  “I’m really sorry I said that.” I grimaced. “I was afraid to tell you that all of us smoked marijuana occasionally, including Meredith. We’d sometimes pass a joint around when we were chilling out with the guys or with Filomena and Laura. But Meredith and I never bought any pot; we didn’t know any drug dealers.”

I replied to the message telling him that we’d see each other right away. Then I left the house, saying to my boyfriend that I had to go to work. Given that during the afternoon with Raffaele I had smoked a joint, I felt confused because I do not make frequent use of drugs that strong.

It was during this conversation that Raffaele told me about his past. How he had a horrible experience with drugs and alcohol. He told me that he drove his friends to a concert and that they were using cocaine, marijuana, he was drinking rum, and how, after the concert, when he was driving his passed-out friends home, how he had realized what a bad thing he had done and had decided to change.

We talked about his friends, how they hadn’t changed from drug-using video game players, and how he was sad for them.

That night I smoked a lot of marijuana and I fell asleep at my boyfriend’s house. I don’t remember anything. But I think it’s possible that Raffaele went to Meredith’s house, raped her and then killed her.

Their theory seemed to be that I knew Guede from the time Meredith and I had met with the guys downstairs in front of the fountain in Piazza IV Novembre—the night Guede told the guys I was cute. He hadn’t made an impression on me at all then. The prosecution hypothesized that, after that night, he’d gotten in touch with me, perhaps about buying drugs.

The prosecution’s simple story was absolutely false, but it apparently rang true for the authorities. They added flourishes in the course of the trial—Meredith was smarter, prettier, more popular, neater, and less into drugs and sex than I was. For some of or all these reasons, she was a better person, and I, unable to compete, had hated her for it.

Laura and Filomena had always bought the marijuana for the villa’s personal use. But when Filomena shrugged her shoulders helplessly on the stand, she made it seem that the only reason marijuana was in the house was because of me.

When Mignini brought up names of guys who’d come over, Laura replied, “Those are my friends.” When he asked if anyone in the villa smoked marijuana, she said, “Everyone.”

Carlo [Dalla Vedova], who’d never sugarcoated my situation, said, “These are small-town detectives. They chase after local drug dealers and foreigners without visas. They don’t know how to conduct a murder investigation correctly. Plus, they’re bullies. To admit fault is to admit that they’re not good at their jobs. They suspected you because you behaved differently than the others. They stuck with it because they couldn’t afford to be wrong.”

In Quito, where she lived, Laura [another Laura, in Capanne, not flatmate Laura] had dated an Italian who invited her to Naples for vacation and bought her a new suitcase. When she landed at the Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli, it was not her boyfriend who met her plane but the customs police. They arrested her for the cocaine they found sewn into the luggage’s lining. The boyfriend, it turned out, had not only turned her into a drug mule, but had lied about his name. He was untraceable. She was sentenced to nearly five years in prison.

Curatolo was recalled as a witness, but he came under different circumstances. The onetime homeless man was now in prison himself, on drug charges.... He confirmed that he was now in prison, adding, “I haven’t quite understood why yet.” Asked if he’d used heroin in 2007, he answered, “I have always used drugs. I want to clarify that heroin is not a hallucinogen.

Curatolo didn’t know what he was talking about, poor guy. If my life didn’t depend on his being wrong, I’d just feel bad for him,” I reported. ““The broadcasts here are saying that he’s a confused drug addict!” someone cried.

Posted on 08/02/14 at 05:57 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Knox-Camp Denial Of Drug-Ring Link Results In Shot Across Knox’s Bows; Many Now Digging

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. The New Response To The Knox Camp By Giallo

A denial of any links with the drug ring on what may be one of Chris Mellas’s numerous websites has resulted in a second, tougher, report from Giallo.

Also (see part 2 below) it has resulted in the posting by Giallo of some hard police evidence (images above) of Knox’s very unsavory associations. This translation of a news-agency summary of the new Giallo story is by Miriam.

Mez Case: Amanda Knox hung out with a pusher and had sex with him

Amanda hung out with a pusher and was intimate with him, so reveals an article of the magazine GIALLO, which publishes documentation of the relationship between the two. This information is contained in an informational note of Perugia’s police, written on the 19th January 2008, two months after the Meredith Kercher murder.

The name of the guy is Federico, a young man from Rome, who ended up in jail for dealing drugs in 2011. As reported by the magazine, the guy “was arrested with two pushers, Luciano and Lorenzo, during an investigation starting from the wire tapping of Amanda Knox’s cell phone”.

The young Roman , according to the informational note, was the pusher for Amanda, and her lover. In fact Federico, according to the document, “ would have occasionally supplied drugs to Amanda Knox and they probably had sexual intercourse.”

It seems that Amanda cited Federico in one of her notebooks that were confiscated after the homicide. He was on the list of Italian guys which she had sex with. On her Myspace profile she had written about him, even including a nude picture of him.

“I met Federico on the train with my sister, while I was going from Milan to Florence. We smoked (pot?), my first smoke in Italy” writes Amanda. “ After we put to bed my little sister, we went into his hotel room. I told my friends I could not imagine myself in bed with somebody I just met, but for Cristiano (??) I changed my mind” writes Amanda.

As GIALLO reports, in the informational note there are many more details on the people she hung out with; “even cited is one of Fedrico’s friends, Luciano A., Napolitan, a person with a criminal record for drug and weapons trafficking and also for attempted murder of his brother with a knife.

Luciano ended up in jail on April 4th 2008 a few months after the informative note.  He was found in Perugia at Fontivegge train station with 20 grams of cocaine.


2. Translation Of The January 2008 Police Report

See the image of a police report at the top here. Giallo posted this Perugia Flying Squad report of 19 January 2008 which notes an association between Amanda Knox and a drug ring uncovered by way of her mobile phone. Translation is by Jools.

QUESTURA DI PERUGIA - SQUADRA MOBILE 3RD SECTION

Perugia 19.01.2008

SUBJECT: Annotation [Brief summary]

[Page1]

We the undersigned Officers and Agents of the Judicial Police of P.G. Chief Superintendent Stefano xxxx and Chief Assistants Lorena xxxx, Andrea xxxx, hereby report as follows:

In the course of the investigation in relation to criminal proceedings 9066/07 [crime case number of Meredith Kercher murder] it was verified that an Italian person with the name of “Federico” would from time to time supply drugs to the [person] known as Amanda KNOX, and also allegedly had relations with her of a sexual nature.

The technical task was then activated of tapping the calls of telephone number xxxxx being used by the same person [Knox].

During this period of phone tapping it was possible to ascertain by the telephone file records of the “Wind” company that [the other phone] was in the name of xxxxxx (still in process of identification) but was being used by Federico xxxx, born in Rome on 18/04/1975, resident in xxxxxx (PG), in fact domiciled in Perugia, address: Via xxxxxxx, Ground Floor. The same [F.] also has frequent contacts with transsexuals, to whom he sells drugs.

By means of the technical activities it was established that xxxx is contacted by phone with the presumed clients “ordering” from him the quantity of drugs they want to buy, and in turn according to the demands he contacts various Maghrebie [north African] individuals ordering the desired amount.

[Page 2]

Federico moves around by car using a model Citroen C1 Tg xxxx. From the investigations carried out the car appears to be in his father’s name identified as Andrea xxxx.

It was also ascertained that xxxxxx associates with habitual criminal characters with multiple criminal records for serious crimes in the matter of drugs and personal grievous harm such as Luciano xxxx, born in xxxx xxxxxxxxxx on 17/11/80, with whom he maintains frequent contacts aimed at drug dealing using the phone line xxxxxxx which users name is assigned to his brother Giuseppe xxxx.

The aforementioned Luciano on 28/07/06 was arrested by the Carabinieri in Foligno on account of being responsible of the ATTEMPTED MURDER of his brother Antonio to whom he inflicted 16 stab wounds with a kitchen knife.

We also note that through verifications on the SDI [the State Police automatic palmprint and fingerprint identification system] Federico xxxx has been several times stopped and checked along with Luciano xxxx and other people from southern [Italy] all convicted habitual criminals in matters of drugs, weapons and more.

Finally we report that Federico occasionally seeks help for the distribution of the narcotic substance from a transsexual, (in course of identification) who used the telephone xxxxxxx.

The above as per duty of office.

Signed…


3. January 2009 Reports Of The Drug Ring Trial

The Giornale Dell’Umbria carried the longest report of the trial, but it is no longer online. In January 2009 Catnip posted these translations of shorter versions.

Terni Magazine

The cocaine traffickers trial(s)

(ASCA) - Perugia, 14 Jan – The murder of Meredith Kercher and the context from which it flowed forth, one tied to the “youthful world of standardised behaviours, values and deviances”, continues to generate discussion. Evidencing this, this morning, is the local daily Il giornale dell’Umbria (always attentive to the investigative and procedural phases of cases) which, in telling the news of the sentence of 2 years and 8 months’ imprisonment of a cocaine drug dealer who would have known and visited Amanda Knox, asks itself whether this circumstance would have had considerations in the inquest into the murder and, above all whether, now, it could have implications in the appeal case in regard to the American and to Raffaele Sollecito.

The police arrived at the pusher through the mobile phone numbers found in the list stored on Amanda’s phone. The calls between the two handsets would have taken place [intercorse] in the days prior to and following the murder of Mez, giving rise, therefore, to a deeper understanding that led to the discovery of a drug ring for university students and professionals. A trafficking for which a case file was opened, involving three young men as the main leads (one being hypothesized as the American’s supplier and lover).

In particular, there is a police note [informativa] appended to the file in which it is emphasised “during the course of investigative activity relating to criminal proceedings 9066/07 (that for the homicide of Kercher – editor) it was ascertained that an Italian person … [ellipsis in original] had occasionally supplied Amanda Knox with stupefying substance [i.e., narcotics ], as well as presumably having had relations of a sexual nature with her”.

The police action, effected also by means of phone intercepts, ascertained that the three supplied the acropolis [= the hill top city centre] of the capital as well as part of the periphery with cocaine, in response to client orders and also to satisfy the request of the North Africans [maghrebini].

The defendants (represented by the lawyers Maria Laura Antonini, Aurelio Pugliese and Angelo Frioni), have opted for different strategies: one a request for judgement in continuation [in continuazione] with other penal positions suspended; one request of plea bargain [patteggiamento], rejected by the judge, and one fast-track, concluded, as mentioned, with the 2 year and 8 month sentence.

Umbria24 Report

Amanda Knox’s “lover” on trial for dealing cocaine: A 35-year-old sentenced who was supplying another two drug dealers.

A young Italian man is on trial who would have given drugs to Amanda Knox and who would have had a sexual relationship with her. So writes the Giornale dell’Umbria today, which in its article cites a passage from a police note that would have been appended to the case file against the young man and two other persons who, according to the prosecution, would have been at the centre of a cocaine drug ring in Perugia. The three were in fact found through intercepts effected during the course of investigations into the murder of Meredith Kercher.

One of the three, a 35-year-old who would have supplied drugs to the other two, defended by lawyer Aurelio Pugliese, was sentenced via fast-track trial to 2 years and 8 months. One of the other two (defended by lawyers Maria Laura Antonini and Angelo Frioni and who are following different paths in proceedings) would have been identified as “Knox’s lover”. The daily cites a police note in support:

«During the course of investigative activity in relation to criminal proceedings 9066/07 (the Kercher murder – editor) – one can read in the passage reported by the Giornale dell’Umbria – it was ascertained that an Italian person…[ellipsis in original] would have occasionally supplied stupefying substances to Amanda Knox, as well as having had, presumably, relations with her of a sexual kind«.


4. Likely Billiard-Ball Reverberations

Knox was never charged with drug use or drug dealing.  As Tuesday’s post noted, it was for the defenses to make something of it at Meredith’s murder trial if they wanted to.

Maybe seek a reduced charge arguing diminished responsibility. But they didn’t.

It is clear that neither the police or prosecution put a foot wrong, and by the end of 2009 they had put away both Knox and the drug dealers. And it is clear that it is not they who are now pushing this story. 

However Knox will take a lot of hits if she can not come up with better answers - preferably some answers involving the full truth.

  • This grim new story, still unfolding, might next result in the publishing of the police intercepts of Knox’s phone-calls and the appearance of informed people on national TV.

  • The reporting does activate State Department rules about not intervening in foreign trials for crimes with drug components, though via Andrea Vogt’s excellent digging we know that interest was at zero anyway.

  • The much-touted appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is now a non-starter, though what we know of it so mangled the facts and the law that it was probably already in a Strasbourg waste-paper basket.

  • And once again it helps to undermine the Knox-as-timid-nice-naive-girl image which many in Seattle and all in Perugia who encountered her have always known to be more or less opposite of the real Knox.


5. The Picture of Knox Now Coming To Dominate

As our posters Stilicho, Michael and Nell have all noted, Knox’s 2013 book carries plenty of effusive claims about her own extreme naivety, and how all around her were harder and brasher, and pushing drugs, while she participated only occasionally and very reluctantly.

In Italy the timid-nice-girl persona was severely dinged at trial when the viewing population witnessed a loud, hectoring, pushy callous Knox on the witness stand trying to make out she was weak and silly. See our reports of Knox on the stand at the time here and here. 

Now, finally, the increasingly dominant picture in the US is one of a highly aggressive risk-taking drug user who may have repeatedly connected with unsavory drug sources long before she ever encountered Sollecito.

Already a heavy drug user, who was quite treacherous enough to publish drug-use accusations about her Perugia room-mates and friends, and put them between herself and the fire.

Maybe the drug reporting will drive home that this was never a good idea



Posted on 07/31/14 at 09:32 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

US And UK Media Wrongly Attribute Italian Report Of Knox/Cocaine-Dealer Link To Trial Prosecutors

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. How Drug Use Was Addressed At Trial

The story of Knox’s drug use clearly has legs. But whoever is driving it, the trial prosecution is not - they are simply sitting back and watching.

Police and prosecutors have never driven the perception that Knox and Sollecito were stoned on the night when they attacked Meredith. They have never had a reason to.

It was in fact the defenses who drove the drug-use argument. Knox admitted to police on 5-6 November 2007 to marijuana use, and so did Sollecito. He already had a minor record of cocaine possession. Both tried to use the argument at trial that they were indeed stoned. But that was only to explain major discrepancies in their statements, not to say that drugs helped to fuel the attack on Meredith.

The defenses had an opportunity with Judge Matteini, the guiding magistrate from late 2007 though to Judge Micheli’s arraignment in October 2008, to try to seek lesser charges due to impaired capacities. But either they did not want to, or they were prevented by the families from doing so.

At trial in 2009 the prosecution remarked that the two were suspected to have been using cocaine (the symptoms seem to us pretty obvious) but the defence simply shrugged at this and did not contend it.

Judge Massei never mentions amphetamines. Two defense experts were brought in to try to convince the Massei court that the admitted drug use had fogged their clients’ brains. Judge Massei simply recorded this doubtful claim in his sentencing report. He gave the perps no breaks based on this reasoning.

]page 393] On the effects of drugs of the type used by Amanda and by Raffaele, such as hashish and marijuana, [we] heard the testimony of Professor Taglialatela who, while underlining the great subjective variability (page 211, hearing of 17 July 2009) specified that the use of such substances has a negative influence on the cognitive capacity and causes alterations of perception (pages 201 and 207) and of the capacity to comprehend a situation (page 218).

In his turn, Professor Cingolani, who together with Professor Umani Ronchi and Professor Aprile, had also dealt with the toxicological aspect (see witness report lodged on 15 April 2008, pages 26 and following), responding to the question he had been asked as to whether the use of drugs lowers inhibitions replied: ‚That is beyond doubt‛ (page 163 hearing of 19 September 2009), while correlating that effect to the habits of the person [on] taking the drugs. Raffaele Sollecito’s friends had furthermore stated that such substances had an effect of relaxation and stupor.

2. New Reporting On Knox/Drug-Dealer Connection

Below is the new Giallo report on a connection between Knox and drug-dealers kindly translated by our main poster Jools. Note that the drug dealers were convicted back in 2011 and the connection to Knox was reported then in the Italian press, though not in the UK and US press.

The main new fact here is that Giallo has the dealers’ names. Giallo makes clear it obtained the names legitimately from open police records, not from the prosecutors back at trial.  Dr Mignini merely takes note of the names which Giallo itself provided and he doubted that Knox would now become truth-prone.

Clamorous [Sensational/Scoop]

The American woman already convicted to 28 years for the murder of her friend Meredith.

A NEW LEAD, LINKED TO DRUGS, PUTS AMANDA KNOX IN TROUBLE

The woman was hanging around a circle of hashish and cocaine traffickers. One of them had intimate relation with her. Another, a dangerous criminal offender, had attempted to kill his brother with a knife. Are they implicated?

“During the course of the investigation into the murder of Meredith Kercher we have confirmed that a person whose initial is F. would occasionally supply drugs to Amanda Knox, as well as having a relationship with her supposedly of a sexual nature.” So begins an [official note] annotation of the Flying Squad police in Perugia dated January 19, 2008, two and half months after the terrible murder of the young British student Meredith Kercher. An annotation that could open a new, worst-case scenario on the Perugia murder and on one of its most talked-about protagonists, Amanda Knox, besides making it possible to convince the USA to send her back to Italy for a new trial.

But why is this annotation so important? And who is this mysterious F. that is now entering the scene? Let’s see. When Amanda came to our country to study, in September 2007, did not yet know Raffaele Sollecito, the guy from Giovinazzo who will be accused together with her and Rudy Guede, a thief and drug dealer, of the murder of Meredith. But she soon started to hang around characters implicated in a drug ring for university students in Perugia. A particularly disturbing entourage of whose members included dangerous multi-convicted felons. The first one is precisely F. We will not disclose his full name or F’s last name, for reasons of discretion, but GIALLO knows them.

In 2007, F. is a student of psychology from Rome, much older than Amanda. The two meet on a Milano-Florence train and decide to visit the city together in the evening, Knox having gotten rid of [her sister] she and F. smoke a joint together. “My first smoke in Italy,” says the same Amanda on MySpace, a social network site that was popular seven years ago. The two end the Florentine evening in his hotel room. Photo evidence of this new friendship was formerly on Myspace, because Amanda publishes a photo of F., half naked. An aunt commented: “Do not date strange Italian guys.”

Once she settled in Perugia, Amanda continues to have contact with F. His number is in Amanda’s phone book, and they both frequently called each other, before and after the murder.

F., also appears in a “list” of Italian guys she slept with which was compiled by Amanda on one of her big school notebooks and also in her autobiographical book Waiting to be heard. In the book Amanda talks about F. but changes his name and calls him Cristiano. Maybe to protect their privacy, maybe to obfuscate opinions. She writes of him: “I promised my friends that I would not end up sleeping with the first guy that comes by, but F. was a change of plans.” Further adding that in Italy smoking joints is simply normal, “like eating a plate of pasta.”

On the other hand Amanda spends a lot of money in the several months she’s in Perugia. In September, she draws out $ 2,452 from her bank account, that’s 1,691 euros. How did she spend it? No one has ever investigated this, and she does not explain it. She says she used the cash for living [expenses], but considering that the rent she had to pay was only 300 euros, and that twice a week she worked as a waitress in the bar of Patrick Lumumba, Le Chic, putting more cash in her pocket, the [living] expenses seem really excessive.

What does Amanda do with all that money? For sure she does not buy only hashish, which is not so expensive. Was she, then, using cocaine? The [police] annotation makes you think of it. And this could explain both the state of alteration of the girl on the night of the murder as well as a possible motive. Amanda that evening returned home to get some money to pay for the drugs, and she encountered Meredith? The girls had a fight, as Rudy Guede says in his reconstruction of that night, why, did Amanda steal Meredith’s money? Was Amanda on her own, or maybe she made sure she was accompanied by Rudy or other drug dealing friends?

No one has ever investigated this, or Amanda’s dangerous acquaintances. So dangerous that the same F., in 2011, was arrested. To be precise that started from the analysis of Amanda’s mobile phone, police investigators found that in fact F. and two of his close friends, Luciano and Lorenzo, were part of a major drug ring: all three ended up on trial for selling cocaine.

On January 14, 2011 they were all sentenced. The court judges established that Luciano was the one that supplied the other two: He was to serve two years and eight months in prison.

But let’s read the rest of the police annotation because what this reveals is really disturbing: “F. is contacted by phone by the presumable clients placing an “order” with him of the quantity of drugs they want to buy and in turn he contacts various Maghrebi characters ordering. It is also established that F. associates with multiple-convicted offenders of very serious crimes in the matter of drugs, and with persons such as A. Luciano, with whom he maintains frequent contacts aimed at drug trafficking.”

And precisely in this way Luciano, linked to F., a friend of Amanda, has a terrible past. The cops wrote this about him: “The above-cited Luciano on the 28/7/2006 was arrested by the carabinieri in Foligno because he was responsible for the murder attempt of his brother, who gave him 16 stab wounds inflicted with a kitchen knife.”

Luciano, therefore, who sells drugs in Perugia and provides supply to F., with whom he is often in touch, is an unsuccessful killer. Only a year before the murder in Perugia, under the influence of drugs, he tried to kill his brother during an argument over money and drug dealing. Luciano, out of his head that evening, grabbed the knife with which he was slicing a melon in the kitchen and stabbed his brother’s body 16 times.

A scene not so different from what the judges think happened in Meredith’s house, and even from what was described by the same Amanda on the 5 November 2007 when, at the end of a night of contradictions and anguish, confessed giving culpability of the murder to Patrick Lumumba, the owner of the bar Le Chic, who later proved to be unconnected with the facts of the case. Amanda said: “Patrick and Meredith went to Meredith’s room, while I think that I stayed in the kitchen. I heard screams and was scared, I covered my ears.”

Where were, F. and Luciano the night of the murder? And who was there that night, instead of Patrick? Questions still unanswered. What seems likely, however, is that Amanda was not with Raffaele, who was at his home on his computer. The judiciary may now decide to open a new file on her. Will the USA grant extradition?

Here is the translation of Dr Mignini’s interview with Giallo translated by Kristeva.

Luciano [Giuliano] Mignini, the judge leading the investigation, talks “Amanda knows how to lie very well: she seems sincere and credible ...”

[GM] The magistrate has directed all investigations: it is she [Judge Matteini] who had Amanda, Raffaele, Patrick Lumumba and Rudy Guede arrested.

[GM] “In the Supreme Court of Cassation new revelations don’t count” Giuliano Mignini, deputy prosecutor of the Attorney General Office of Perugia and public prosecutor of the first trial for the murder of Meredith [Kercher], goes straight to the point.

Mr. Mignini, pending the Supreme Court, Raffaele Sollecito seems to have distanced himself from Amanda Knox. He claims he is not certain that the American girl has spent the whole night with Sollecito ...

[GM] “All this is irrelevant. In Court of Cassation only questions of laws can be raised. They do not take into account the new elements of reconstruction of the facts. Trials are based on the acts of the proceeding. Sustaining now a different reconstruction of what happened is a question of merit that does not in any way interest cassation.”

Amanda has repeatedly argued that her version of the facts had been affected by heavy pressures from the prosecutor’s office.

[GM] “Nothing could be more false. The process of investigation and trial proceeding of Kercher’s murder has had from the beginning an unprecedented media pressure, which has confused some ideas in public opinion. The trial should take place with the guarantee of an adversarial process, with equality of prosecution and defense. When one steps out of these parameters one ends up with a trial through the media. In this scenario, the foreign press, especially the American one, not taking into account our legal system, has given its input. They created a discourse that sounds a bit like this:she is one our fellow citizens and therefore she must be innocent. “

And if today even Amanda was to change her version?

[GM] “I would be astonished. She had plenty of occasions to tell her truth”

What was your impression of Amanda?

[GM] Amanda is very intelligent. She cleverly tried to divert suspects from her, as in the case of the staged burglary, a huge lie. Amanda is shrewd like when she accused Patrick Lumumba. On that occasion she appeared credible, she was crying. She looked as if terrified. I believe she’s a very theatrical girl and in a certain way even anti conformist: while everyone was crying and were worried, she was doing cartwheels.

What was her relationship with Meredith?

[GM] “Amanda did not like to be contradicted and had a conflictual relationship with Meredith. There were constant arguments regarding Amanda’s behaviour that Meredith could not tolerate. She believed that Amanda stole her money.”

And what type was Sollecito?

[GM] Raffaele is an enigmatic character. He is a shy young man who was subjected to Amanda’s strong personality. He was very attracted to Knox who in the meantime did not disdain the company of other acquaintances.

About acquaintances, Amanda knew some drug dealers. Could they have had a role in the murder?

[GM] “I cannot answer this” But then writes down their names.

[By] Gian Pietro Fiore

3. Our Comments On The Giallo Report

As observed above, for Italians most of this is actually not new news. The new news is that Giallo now has all the dealers’ names, from the open records of the police.

Giallo’s mention of a possible new trial is presumably connected to this drug-dealing, as the trial for Meredith’s murder and Knox’s and Sollecito’s failed appeal have both concluded, and only Cassation’s endorsement of the verdict is awaited.

Giallo’s references to Guede as a drug dealer and thief are both unproven. He had no criminal record prior to final conviction by Cassation. He was never a police source, and got zero breaks, ever. He was unknown to Dr Mignini until some days after Meredith was attacked and forensics identified him.

4. UK and US Media Get Key Fact Wrong

The UK’s Daily Mail has wrongly claimed that Italy’s Giallo magazine had reported as follows: “Italian prosecutor from Amanda Knox trial gave newspaper list of drug-dealer names associated with American student”.

In their headlines the US’s National Enquirer and Radar Online make the same wrong claim, though they quote enough from Giallo to show how that magazine really re-surfaced the report.

So for now UK and US media get that key fact wrong.  This surely wont be the end of it though. The story finally has legs of its own, and clearly the media in all three countries have a willingness to pursue it more.

In the interview also posted on Giallo Dr Mignini doubted that even now Knox will tell the truth - in fact it is hard to see what she can say. We will wait and see.

5. Ground Report Also Gets It Wrong

This shrill report from “Grace Moore” about Guede and Dr Mignini in Ground Report is both seriously wrong on the facts and defamatory - she should try saying that sort of thing about any American prosecutor.  “Grace Moore” should find out what the roles of Judge Matteini and Prosecutor Comodi were, and why after a malicious prosecution against him Prosecutor Mignini is riding high on Italian TV - and pouring cold water on satanic claims about any crimes.

Paul and Rachel Sterne, the father and daughter owners of Ground Report which carries well over 100 similarly inflammatory posts, could in theory be charged by both Italian and American prosecutors, as they are an eager party to bloodmoney (a felony), harrassment of the victim’s family (a felony) and obstruction of justice under Italian law for poisoning opinion out of court (another felony).

They need to clean up their site and make some amends.   


Click to enlarge

Posted on 07/29/14 at 04:34 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Why It Will Be Republic Of Italy v Knox And Sollecito For The Myriad False Claims They Have Made

Posted by Peter Quennell



Bergamo in the foothills of the Alps where the journal Oggi is published


Yesterday’s post quotes some statements that Sollecito has already started winding back.

For Raffaele Sollecito that marks a significant first. Amanda Knox still seems headed the other way, pouring yet more gasoline on the flames.

Yesterday’s post also mentioned the growing pressure the Italian system is asserting to surface and adhere to the truth. When Cassation rules as widely expected, that Knox’s and Sollecito’s appeals did fail in Florence, and off back to prison they must go, Italy probably wont stop there.

It needs a single truth to stand at the end of the day, and in the courts is how its inquiry-based system arrives at that truth. More prison time is probably ruled out, but there should be some big fines. And that truth.

Sollecito wrote those claims quoted yesterday only in English, of course, exclusively for English-speaking audiences. There are no editions in any other language, certainly not Italian.

The only claim of those quoted yesterday that is widely known in Italy is Sollecito’s false charge, challenged on national TV, that the prosecution offered him a deal for his turning on Knox. That was one of his many claims accusing Italian officials of crimes. All his other claims are still sleepers in Italy.

Sollecito’s father Francesco was asked on national Italian TV why the book was not written or published in Italian. He awkwardly replied that no Italian publisher was interested; he didnt name even one that refused.

He didnt explain why it was written on the US west coast with the help of a British-born shadow writer (an unfortunate choice: Gumbel himself seems to have a big chip on his shoulder about Italy after his stay there, like Peter Popham and Nina Burleigh; unusual but it happens).

So, with no Italian version, what passages in what language were those Italian publishers if any shown?

Not much liked in Italy, Sollecito has been trying to burnish his image there since 2008 when he began writing diary-type reports on several websites.

Passages from the book put into Italian by the Republic of Italy for his book trial in Florence could come to irritate many Italians, and really rain on his parade in the months coming up.

Good reporters should perhaps press Knox to release the Italian version of her own book and let Italy have a close look.

It was yanked from publication at the last moment (like the UK version) when the US edition came out. Some excerpts were put into Italian by Oggi. See our own rebuttals here.

Their publication along with some other articles has resulted in both Oggi and Knox facing a trial in Bergamo. The statute of limitations on the entire book itself expires in 2017. If and when Italy targets all of Knox’s malicious claims she could find her parade rained on too. 

Both books are available globally in the Kindle edition and so a few English-speaking Italians have read them that way. The only version of Knox’s book that was officially sold in Europe was in German. There’ve been no others so far though a Spanish translation may exist.

None of the other English-language pro-Knox books have been put into Italian either. In fact the only book translated into Italian that takes Italy to task is The Monster of Florence by Spezi and Preston - and that one is quite different (very toned down) from the edition in the UK and US.

Back here on Planet Earth, various objective books on the case have been written and published in Italian, which kinda shoots Francesco’s claim in the foot that there is no interest among publishers there.

Those books are mostly quite classy affairs, carefully researched. All the books (like TJMK) essentially concentrate on explaining the prosecution’s case in depth, and those from late 2009 all saw “case proven” after the Knox and Sollecito lawyers put on an ineffective defense.  There isn’t even one which says Italian officials maybe got it wrong.

The Knox people sued Corriere for damages over the Sarzanini book and in the third round won, but that was only because the book published excerpts from Knox’s prison diaries - which her own people had put around - which invaded the privacy of others she mentioned.

The Sarzanini book is still on sale in Italy and was not ordered withdrawn, so Knox at most won half a loaf via her case.

Our main poster Yummi has at various times pointed out that over 100 prosecutors and judges have been assasinated in the anti-mafia fight.  Hate stirred up in the US for Italian officials is of real concern, because it could have a nut with a gun headed to Italy to “even the score”. Hate messages have been received.

Hate is still being perpetually beamed at the real victim’s suffering family as well. That started way back in 2008. There is zero precedent for that - in fact the US and UK and Italy all have strong anti-harrassment laws.

So Knox and Sollecito, and by extension Sforza and Fischer and Moore and so on, will face put-up-or-shut-up time in court on a whole row of claims which appear to Italy malicious and wrong.

Italy wants a searchlight cast on those.  It is for this reason above all that the book trials will take place. To wind back the hate, and to cast light.

This whole publishing scene (really two parallel publishing scenes) is absolutely unique in the world. It shows in stark terms the cowardice of the “public relations” wave of defamation which Curt Knox brought alive in 2007 and beamed away from Italian speakers.

No wonder Amanda Knox could not bear to head for Florence late last year for her own appeal - or “new trial” as she still seems to suppose. Her team has burned too many boats.

Gee thanks dad for that….

Posted on 07/25/14 at 04:16 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nervous Of Cassation, Sollecito Backpedals On Foolish Rome Press Conference & Foolish Masters Thesis

Posted by Peter Quennell



Ball is now in in the court of Cassation, which is visible at top-right here

1. Sollecito Backpedals On Recent Claims

Wait long enough, and all the lawyer-mandated backpedaling may come to look like the Tour de France in reverse.

If this really was Amanda Knox on the ABC website in the last day or two, and not a hoax threat against Sollecito, Knox referring to the Nencini appeal court as “corrupt” and Cassation as “not as corrupt” with a favorable mention of the Hellmann court (which really was corrupt) is not something her lawyers would want on the public record.

If R. was accusing me of something, I would defend myself and he would lose everything and he knows it. We are working side by side. The Italian court made a mistake last time, that was not a fair trial, the judge was unfair. There is no evidence against us, we are both innocent I believe we will get a fair trial and a fair judgement this time. I am certain that the Italian Supreme court is not as corrupt as the previous court.

For the record (and it really is time Knox understood this) there has only been one trial and that was very fairly and efficiently run in 2009. Then she and Sollecito chose to appeal, the Hellmann appeal was annulled for bad law and extreme bias, and the Florence appeal (which Knox stiffed from afar) was a repeat of her own appeal fairly and efficiently run in Florence at her own request.

There will be no new trial, ever. And how does Knox know the Nencini court was corrupt? She was skulking on the other side of the planet.

Today the Italian media are reporting that the new edition of Oggi (which does not put major stories online) is carrying an interview with Sollecito, backpedaling on what are being seen in Italy as two attempts to lean on the Supreme Court. 

One attempt was his foolish study of social media as a component of his belated masters degree at the University of Verona, in which he magically concluded it “proved” he was innocent. From Oggi.

It’s hurtful to me and to the judges to think that its intent can be taken as to influence them. I wanted to make an academic experiment after discovering that, on the day when I was sentenced in Florence and in the following days, the interest in my story on social networks surged. All I did was make an analysis of site traffic, generated by the news of the sentence, including the study of the flow of comments and balance between colpevolisti and innocentisti.

Okay, except for the missing bits about the actual hard evidence, and the absence at that point of the Nencini sentencing report, and the million-dollar public relations campaign, and the raging anti-Italianism stoked by the American campaign and by the dozens of American wannabees eager to jump-start new careers off the back of this.

And the fact that maybe 95% of Italy are convinced that he and Knox are guilty. Maybe the University of Verona just couldn’t wait to see the back of him.

The other attempt was his foolish press conference in Rome three weeks ago. See this excellent post by our posting lawyer SomeAlibi showing how Sollecito trampled on his own past claims. This is the kind of thing that sharp-eyed Italian judges always notice. SomeAlibi concluded as follows:

So what was the point? Face-saving for Raffaele? Hoping to key up populist support? Fat chance in Italy, where the case has been properly reported.

An opportunity to allude to a “truth” (the best one he can think of for now – other truths are available) and say that he and his family believe Knox is innocent? Pull the other one Raffaele!

It is quite clear that several members of the Sollecito clan think that Knox absolutely is guilty and their Raffaele is still too “honourable” to tell the truth. He merely aided the clean-up perhaps. Well in that case, why hasn’t he said exactly when she came back? Was it 11pm? 1am? Was it at 5am when the music starts playing. Why won’t he or you say?

Or… was it face-saving for Bongiorno, as she faces defeat and seeks to protect her valued public persona?  Well, as much as I’ve tried, I have no idea what they thought they were doing.


2. Many Other Candidates For Backpedaling

Like Knox, Sollecito has an exceptionally damaging paper trail, all of it available online and quite obvious to sharp-eyed Italian judges. In posts and a book written exclusively for an English speaking audience, it heavy-handedly impugns the Italian justice system and those in it and how it actually works.

Here’s one example. Last January the Florence appeal court placed the 2009 trial sentencing report back at front and center. Take a look at what Sollecito thinks of its author.

Here’s another example. When his book first came out late in 2012 his father Francesco had to distance himself on Italian national TV from a claim that prosecutors wanted Sollecito to frame Knox.

And here are seven more examples from Sollecito’s book, most of them identified by our posting lawyer James Raper, of Sollecito impuging the Italian justice system. All of these come from the first few pages of the book; there are dozens more later.

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

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

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

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

That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That the prosecutors office and media are in a grim embrace.

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

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

That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

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

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

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

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

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

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

That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 07/24/14 at 10:59 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Knox Camp Illusions: Multiple Examples Of How RS And AK Have Tried To Apply More Blame To The Other

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Not a very accurate report (“drifter”?) but it IS CNN and the main point comes across

How Sollecito and Knox So Threaten One Another

The other day, a claim was posted that claimed sources had said Knox would soon accuse Sollecito.

This inspired quite an outcry, and the claim’s heavy-handed suppression. Can you believe: by legal means? That claim really rattled a few cages.

Why was the claim so dangerous? Because for nearly seven years Sollecito and Knox have repeatedly cycled between occasional chummy hugs and numerous aggrieved potshots. And for the most part the more-aggrieved Sollecito has come out ahead.

  • In 2007 (see below) Sollecito really dropped Knox in the drink and both fired off a lot of potshots.

  • From 2008 right through 2011, desperate for confirmation of an alibi, an anxious Knox beamed pleas at a sullen Sollecito, for example in the form of love letters she wrote, and a public request to have a private chat.

  • From 2012 upon provisional release it was Knox being sullen and hard to get and Sollecito in puppy-dog mode. He might have been driven by a genuine desire for a renewed relationship, but a bid to set himself up safely in the United States might have made Knox wonder if this was true love.

  • And from mid 2013 public potshots have been fast and furious, many now on Twitter, and Italy in particular is closely watching the show and waits agog as the justice system applies more and more pressure.

Our main posts tracking this dont (for now) include the numerous veiled potshots in the RS and AK books, the reason being that we are waiting for the Florence and Bergamo prosecutors’ new charges for what they identify as the defamatory claims in each book to be made public. As usual we are tracking them closely, rather than jumping the gun, to avoid confusion.

Some of the potshots were active-aggressive (as in: they actually complain about one another) and some are passive-aggressive (as in: they try to help themselves but conspicuously ignore the other.)

You can sample both flavors below. 

1. The year 2007

Our emerging Interrogation Hoax series quotes multiple witnesses testifying how quickly and decisively Knox and Sollecito got off to a fast start in dropping the other in the drink. Too many posts of relevance to include all here, but see this.

From 6 November 2007 Knox and Sollecito were kept separated, and were not allowed to talk. (That continued to late 2011.) Sollecito was pretty easy to read: he had little interest in talk. A sulky silence was his norm.

1. On 6 November Sollecito’s statement to Inspectors Moscatelli and Napoleoni included this about Knox :

I know Amanda for two weeks. From the evening I first met her she started sleeping at my house.

The first of November I woke up about 11.00, I had breakfast with Amanda, then she went out and I went back to bed. I then met up with her at her house around 13.00-14.00. In there was Meredith who left in a hurry about 16.00 without saying where she was going.

Amanda and I went to the [town] centre about 18.00 but I don’t remember what we did. We remained in the centre till 20.30 or 21.00.

I went to my house alone at 21.00, while Amanda said that she was going to the pub Le Chic because she wanted to meet with her friends.

At this point we said goodbye. I went home, I made a joint. Had dinner, but I don’t remember what I ate. About 23.00 my father called me on my house phone line.

I recall Amanda was not back yet.

I web surfed on the computer for two more hours after my father’s phone call and I only stopped when Amanda came back in, presumably about 01.00…

In my previous statement I told a load of rubbish because Amanda had convinced me of her version of the facts and I didn’t think about the inconsistencies.

2. Yikes. Knox finds her best alibi yanked.  Not so long after, possibly knowing about this, Knox comes out with a statement which points at Sollecito in turn.

I don’t know for sure if Raffaele was there that night [during the attack on Meredith] but I do remember very well waking up at my boyfriend’s house, in his bed, and I went back to my house in the morning where I found the door open.

3. Then on 8 November 2007 Sollecito submitted a statement to Judge Matteini which began “I never want to see Amanda again. Above all, it is her fault we are here.”

4. There were multiple further instances throughout the rest of 2007, quotes of which will be included soon in the Knox Interrogation Hoax series.

2. The Year 2008

1. Click here for Sollecito Turns On Knox? This Is Extraordinary…

In October toward the end of Guede’s trial and RS’s and AK’s remand for trial Sollecito’s DNA expert testifies to Judge Micheli that he found Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra and bra-clasp.

2. Click here for Sollecito Family Trial: On The Component About Their Alleged Attempt At Political Interference

Francesco Sollecito phone conversation in March 2008 with Vanessa captured by the Carabinieri in which he shows his extreme distrust and dislike of Knox who he blames for RS’s plight.

3. The Year 2009

1. Click here for Trial: Defendant Noticeably Bubblier Than Meredith’s Sad Friends

This kind of callous, flippant behavior by Knox had the entire court backed off, not least the Sollecito team which had no desire to be chained to this seeming dangerous nut.

2. Click here for Sollecito Not To Be Trumped By Knox Antics In The Female Wing Of Capanne

While RS and AK didnt have access to one another they sure had access to the media and in the Italian media a competitive Sollecito posted a steady stream of stories

3. Click here for Trial: Knox Claimed Not To Have Been At The House On The Night

Knox suddenly claims this, despite contrary 2007 claims by both Knox & Sollecito, which messes with Sollecito’s alibi that he was at home alone on the computer.

4. Click here for Seems Sollecito Is Feeling Really Sorry - For Himself (So What’s New?)

Sollecito tries to give himself an edge over AK by being extra-whiny about how awful he finds prison, and the distasteful little people he was being made to mix with.

4. The Year 2010

1. Click here for How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire

The Knox team avoided this popular Porta a Porta TV series, maybe too scared of hard questions, while the Sollecito lawyers and family used it to promote suspicion of AK and Guede.

2. Click here for Newsweek Report From Italy On Damage Shrill Campaign Is Doing To Knox’s Interests & America’s Image

The shrill Knox campaign was irritating Italians and so hurting Sollecito’s image and prospects and it was not shoring up his own story. Bongiorno especially disliked the campaign. 

3. Click here for Rocco Girlanda’s Strutting Manic Grinning Intrusion Seems A Major Danger To Sollecito/Knox Harmony

The strange kinky Member of Parliament (now voted out) paid numerous visits to Knox (“monitoring conditions”) and tried some nasty (though ineffective) political tricks - but not for Sollecito.

4. Click here for The Knox Movie: Sollecito Reported Angry - Real Risk That His Defense Could Break Away From Knox’s

The Sollecito camp had a strong belief that the Knox camp was behind this TV movie and so they fought it, though it turned out quite even-handed and the RS role was minor.

5. The Year 2011

1. Click here for Sollecito Defense Team Breaking From Knox Defense Team On Legal Measures To Stop Lifetime Movie

Further differences reported here between the two camps on the Lifetime movie which until it was aired was believed to favor Knox and build a case for her innocence.

2. Click here for Tenth Appeal Court Session: Might Today’s Testimony Give Sollecito More Of An Advantage Than Knox?

After his team’s (attempted) discounting of the main evidence at Meredith’s house against Sollecito, Knox’s position looks way worse, as she has motives both for killing and cover-up.

6. The Year 2012

1. Click here for In Desperation A Council Of War? All Of The Sollecito Family Suddenly Hop On Flights To Seattle

Sollecito is the one now in puppy-dog mode, though his father has said publicly that the relationship with Knox is at an end; here the RS family sets out for Seattle to try to make it so. 

2. Click here for Sollecito’s Book Honor Bound Hits Italy And Already Scathing Reactions And Legal Trouble

Sollecito’s book, which subtly promotes Knox’s guilt, runs into legal trouble for false claims, which could also impact Knox’s claims and legal future. His seeming sticking with Knox damages Bongiorno’s defense strategy.

3. Click here for Will Sollecito Drop Amanda Knox In It Further In A Public Seattle Interview At 7:00 PM Tonight?

Sollecito’s American book promotion tour often went badly and he seemed unaware of what was in his own book; though once again he was making out Knox was guiltier. His defense team despise the book.

7. The Year 2013

1. Click here for Knox & Sollecito Meet - To Attempt To Bury The Hatchet Other Than In Each Other?

The second public Sollecito attempt to end up with Knox, who already had chips on her shoulders about him but went through this charade. Soon, they were back to whacking one another.

2. Click here for Seeds Of Betrayal: Sollecito Twice More Implies Evidence Against Knox Much Stronger Than Against Him

Sollecito sustains this steady drum-beat of putting Knox down, highlighting the evidence against her, repeatedly saying he stuck with her despite no evidence against him (no deal helping RS was ever offered).

3. Click here for Seeds Of Betrayal: In Interview Knox Reveals To Italy Her Considerable Irritation With Sollecito

Knox does an extended interview with Oggi (for which she and Oggi are being charged) lying about officials and the evidence, but also uttering her angriest blast yet against Sollecito.

8. The Year 2014

1. Click here for Rejected Yet Again By Knox, Sollecito Seems Frantic To Avoid What Might Be A Final Return To Italy

Sollecito (like Sforza) was desperately looking for someone to marry him, to keep him in the US. Kelsey Kay was briefly interested, but he dumped her; he had told her Knox had recently turned him down.

2. Click here for As Knox & Sollecito Try To Separate Themselves, Each Is Digging The Other In Deeper

Sollecito is clearly trying to distance himself from Knox now, claiming that there is far more evidence against her than against him. Knox’s irritation with him is growing.

3. Click here for What We Might Read Into Sollecito Lawyer Giulia Bongiornos Final Arguments To The Appeal Judges

Bongiorno shows contempt for Knox; she effectively conveys the sense of the RS family that a crazed Knox dragged RS into this. She see the RS book as a pro-Knox con job by her team.

4. Click here for Spitting In the Wind: Sollecito News Conference Backfires On Him AND Knox - What The Media Missed

Really irritated at the US-written RS book, Bongiorno goes a long way to separating the two perps in the minds of Italians; however RS hedges a little though, after having said the evidence points only to Knox.

Knox As Present Big Loser; Where Next For Her?

These are not all of our posts which include talk of this pushing and pulling, and it happened so frequently that often we simply passed on posting for fear of monotony.

The war by other means continues on Twitter and briefly it hit the crazy-for-Knox Ground Report website. Much damage to Knox is already done, and Italians adamantly want her in prison.

Even in the US the media have cooled on Knox, and as her dwindling supporters become wilder and wilder they too do harm to her paid-for nice-girl image.

A brighter family and paid team would now be saying “It is time for a Plan B and doing something to warm up Italy”. 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crazed Overkill Of Knox PR Causes Not Only A Sollecito-Camp Reaction But Hurt To Knox Herself

Posted by Peter Quennell



Seattle, generally such a huge plus in the world, embarrased by the river of slime

Act 1. Hubris Of The Knox Public Relations Described

A long report on Marriott’s PR appeared late in 2011 after Knox was provisionally released.

David Marriott never visited Amanda Knox during her four years in an Italian prison.  He met her this month, when she stepped off a plane in Seattle.

Yet for Knox and her family, Marriott was as important a player in her ordeal as anyone in the courtroom. As Knox’s publicist, beginning three days after her arrest, Marriott worked to convince the international public that she did not murder her British roommate while studying in Perugia.

“Hiring him was one of the smartest things we ever did,” said Curt Knox, Amanda’s father.

The article goes on to describe how family and friends were pushed into the limelight and specific big TV networks targeted.  It talks about great financial opportunities for Knox.

Marriott himself demonstrates no understanding of the case - in fact. he sounds proud of his ignorance and his reflexively anti-Italy stance. To a smarter Curt Knox those might have been red flags.

Act 2: Brutal Overkill Of A Flailing Campaign Described

In October 2013 our main poster Media Watcher laid the blame for the slow-moving Knox media cooling at David Marriott’s door.

Now The Examiner is only one of many preparing to take another retaliatory whack.

Public relations is perfectly understandable for celebrities, politicians, or executives, but murder suspects too? At first this aggressive proliferation of pro-Knox articles, tweets and commentary were justified as a defense against the European media’s negative portrayal of her. However, as time wore on, the overpowering presence of Knox’s media campaign has reached outlandish proportions.

Nowadays no blogger is safe to write a factual article about the Meredith Kercher Murder Case without contemptuous comments filling up their Disqus community. Patient webmasters at CNN.com must brace themselves for the onslaught of tens of thousands of interjections cluttering up each and every news article concerning the Meredith Kercher cum Amanda Knox murder case. Mob mentality seems to have taken over Knox’s PR initiative. Knox’s advocates have gone so far as to aim their crosshairs on the victim’s family.

The article, very well researched so far as it goes (it omits the third act below) goes on to describe how Sollecito’s camp has had to open a PR front to unchain Sollecito from Knox. 

Act 3: How Knox Herself Is Losing Big Described

Know your enemy. Dont go about attacking the king unless you can kill him dead. Italy’s Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote about it in The Prince:

If one is striking out at an opponent, one should make sure that the fatal blow is struck, successfully ending the confrontation. Machiavelli wrote that “the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.”

Wise words for Marriott and Curt Knox. They have remained steadfastly ignorant of the enemy. The attack has clearly failed. Wall-to-wall Italy now has the upper hand. And the PR is a millstone around Knox’s neck.

Here are seven of the ways the Knox-Marriott campaign has fallen short and has actually done real harm.

    1) The real case for conviction remains rock-solid with many times the number of evidence points that a US or UK court would require for guilt.

    2) No paper trail helpful to Knox exists between the American Embassy and the State Department, and the extradition agreement is precise and firm. 

    3)  Knox’s bedrock claim, that she was pressured into a false accusation, not only cost her three years for calunnia but will cost her a defamation trial.

    4) The defamatory Knox book that was the windfall David Marriott so jubilantly talks about is turning into an albatross around Knox’s neck.

    5) The bloodmoney windfall will not remain Knox’s to keep, under Italian and American laws, and even Marriott’s fees could be at risk.

    6) The PR is being unresponsive to ANY damaging claims, such as Knox’s attempted framing of Mignini, and its output is increasingly surreal junk.

    7) The PR is making the Sollecito camp hostile, Italian media too; at the same time, since the failed appeal, the US media have chilled.

And so we see the slow death of a campaign built on xenophobia, racism, personal abuse, zero understanding of the details of the case, and zero understanding of the real Italy and its law.

Italy is actually rather a sucker for confession and penitence. Against a famously impervious justice system, the hard line was a terrible, terrible mistake.

Coming soon? “Firing him was one of the smartest things we ever did” says Curt Knox.


Below: From the Examiner, David Marriott and Seattle TV reporter Linda Byron


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