Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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

Posted by Ergon




1. An Overview

We’ve been following for many years how the friends of Amanda Knox had been encouraging Frank Sforza and Raffaele Sollecito to obtain green cards by any means necessary.

That was in the mistaken belief it would somehow grant them immunity from criminal prosecution and extradition for their crimes. They certainly seemed to believe that, and it is especially ironic considering the recent news of Knox’s most recent “engagement”.

Just a year ago Radar Online broke the story of Kelsey Kaypernick, the young American woman who was pursued for a while by Raffaele Sollecito with offers of marriage.

When this came out she was attacked by the usual suspects, with harassment continuing until recently. Ironically, she was told NOT to speak to Ergon smile

I spoke to her then and offered a voice. That I was more interested in the human side. She was intrigued except she had to wait for her contractual obligation to end, then was affected by concerns for her safety.

I held off on writing anything for that reason, but kept in touch with her for a year. Having spoken to her by phone and through e-mails, I found her very intelligent and believable. She contacted me recently, agreeing to do the interview. It is presented here, in its entirety.

2. Part One Of The Interview

E: How are you? Have you been able to put this behind you? Why have you agreed to speak with us now?

KK: “I’m doing great, thank you so much for asking. After doing much research and watching the chips fall where they may with Raffaele post my article with Radar I realized a lot. I was truly a small amount of collateral damage. I think it would be stupid of me to continue to be hurt by someone like him.

Especially when I’m equally responsible for allowing him into my life in the first place. I’ve agreed to speak to you now because I am no longer afraid. It took me some time to realize that all the threats being made towards me were unfounded. I’m a mother, so I had much more than myself to consider. However, by allowing those threats to control me, I was letting him win. I’m done with that now.”

E: Many of Raffaele and Amanda Knox’s supporters have questioned your motives, and posted personal information about your past. Do you have anything to say to them?

KK:  “You know my name, not my story. Choose to fill in the blanks in whatever way is pleasing to you.”

E: Veronica Drake (in Australia) was told Raffaele Sollecito would be suing her. Have you ever been told legal action would be taken against you for speaking out?

KK: “Oh yes. Michelle Moore and Eve Applebaum made direct contact to threaten me. I also read threats made through his father and his lawyer. I had lots of contact with Noel Dalberth. She was mostly kind to me however.”

E: How did Michelle Moore and Eve Applebaum contact you and what threats did they make?

KK: “Eve emailed me directly, clearly she had gotten my personal email from Raffaele as I don’t hand it out. I give out my work email only. Michelle tweeted at me and I suspect called me from a blocked number.”

E: What is your impression of Raffaele’s relationship with Amanda Knox now?

KK: “What relationship? It seems non-existent to me.”

E: He did meet Amanda Knox in Seattle (in 2012). So, too, did his father and sister? Was it about their books only, for the publicity, or was their relationship soured already? Do you know why?

KK: “Sorry, I know nothing about that instance unfortunately.”

E: Have you ever met or spoken with a member of the Knox/Mellas family? Amanda Knox herself?”

KK: “I suspect I have had a conversation with Chris Mellas. I say suspect because my attacker hid behind a fake twitter. I was not allowed to speak with Amanda. Raffaele must have had his reasoning.”

E: What ID was used on Twitter by the person you suspect is Chris Mellas? What specific threat? Embarrassment, your past history, or?

KK: “@guilterwatchin or something along those lines. He threatened me in every way he could think of. Intimidation tactics, petulance, foul language and threats via twitter came my way for a few days after the article was published until someone advised me to block him. I have to say though, of all the people who have attacked me I found @guilterwatchin laughable. I mean really? A twitter attack.”

E: Were you surprised when you heard the news Raffaele Sollecito had been picked up by police close to the Austrian border?

KK: “Not at all. After all I found out firsthand that his intentions were to flee Italy. This goes right back to your inquiry about people questioning my motives. I’ve read some entertaining tales. In some of them I’m 17. In some of them I’m already married. In some of them I’m a money hungry whore. In some of them I was fat before my plastic surgery that I clearly got. I just laugh. You want to know my motives?

Well… ask yourself a few questions and infer what you want from the answers. Did any other women come out that the same thing had happened to them? Is it possible other women were spared the same fate? Did he get his passport taken away? Was he able to leave Italy? Well, there you go. I’ve said what I wanted. People can draw their own conclusions on my motives…. as is their right.”

E: Do you know why Raffaele Sollecito didn’t attend Amanda Knox’s big Vashon Island get together on July 26, 2013? Was he invited?

KK: “I have no knowledge of why. I do know that around that time their relationship had soured. He flew to Seattle when I called off the marriage and she refused to respond to his requests to see him. That’s what he told me anyways. I was extremely irritated when the first thing he did when I was having doubts was to flee to where Amanda lived but he assured me they were not on good terms and that she had refused to see him and was doing him an injustice. He described her as selfish. It’s actually comical to compare the relationship the media and their books paint that they have compared to what little I saw.”

E: Have you read the available court documents and pro-guilt arguments, and if yes, when and where?

KK: “I’ve read so many blogs on both sides I couldn’t begin to start telling you all the sources.”

E: After meeting Raffaele do you feel he could have written the book or was it mostly written by his co-writer?

KK: “There is no way Raffaele mostly wrote that book. He spends too much of his time contradicting it in reality. He was coached and took a back seat. In my opinion.”

E: After all you’ve learned about Raffaele, do you still believe him to be innocent?”

KK: “I’ve come to know Raffaele as a wolf disguised as a sheep. A liar. A fraud. A master manipulator with powerful resources. So do I still think he’s innocent? No. I wanted to believe he was. I no longer feel that way. I’ve been able to separate my emotions from common sense.”

E: After all you’ve learned about Amanda, do you still believe her to be innocent?

KK: “Again, No. But I didn’t get to know her like I did Raffaele. All I know is that it seems both of their stories are quite contradictory. There can only be one truth. If I was fighting for my life and I hadn’t committed the crime I was accused of I would remember everything like it had happened only a second ago. Neither of them seem to be on the same page. So therefore neither of them are believable to me.”

[Part two will follow in the next post]

Posted on 02/17/15 at 10:37 AM by Ergon. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Monday, February 16, 2015

See The Amazing Shrinking Raffaele Sollecito Live On National Italian TV

Posted by Peter Quennell





In this post of 7 February we quoted Italian sources on how Sollecito had yet again sold out Knox.

Now ericparoissien of PMF dot Org has added English subtitles for the full one hour. They show Sollecito progressively making things worse and worse for himself as well.

Clander has embedded six videos here (sign in) and (vital to read) a number of gotcha comments down below.

Months ago Knox was incriminating herself live on national TV as well. She has not appeared since. Maybe this is the last time we see Sollecito live as well.

Posted on 02/16/15 at 07:17 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Journalist Andrea Vogt Encounters Two Case-Related Oddities Of Interest In Official Washington

Posted by Peter Quennell



Ambassador to Italy David Thorne with Secretary of State John Kerry

1. US Freedom Of Official Information And Politics

Since 1967 the US Federal Government has had to provide certain official information to requesting citizens and organizations.

Most of those are watchdog groups and reporters. The relevant rules are quite elaborate, and can be read here and here.

About half of all information requested is handed over fully, about 3/8 is handed over with excisions and withholdings, and about 1/8 is not handed over at all, with summary reasons for the refusal. This can then be appealed or alternately brought to the attention of someone in Congress.

If a powerful congressman or committee staffer picks up the ball then the information can flow quite magically.

If the information can embarrass the presidential administration the other party can gleefully extract the information, if necessary with the issuing of a subpoena. The news media will usually pick this up and run with it, especially if a Congressional committee decides to ask questions or hold hearings.

We reckon that our readership and the case-watchers in general extend right across the political spectrum from left to right. No easy trick and we have always been quite pleased with this. It is usually impossible to tell what the political position of any poster or emailer is.

Same with the US media. Fox News cable news is generally thought to be right-wing and MSNBC left-wing and CNN tries to make it in the middle. But all three have had left-wingers and right-wingers on their shows supporting either Italy and justice or the anti-justice anti-Italy misinformation Knox campaign.

In other words support by Americans for Italian justice or for giving Knox a pass has had nothing to do with party lines. But that could change some.

Right now the presidential administration is on its back foot, as the other party controls both the houses of Congress. The Secretary of State and the Ambassador in Rome both work for the administration, and can be called to account by that Congress.

Knox happens to live in a city and state which largely goes along with the presidential party and administration. Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell are in the presidential party as is Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle.

Senator Cantwell is STILL the only influential politician who has taken a public stance anti-Italy; nobody from the opposite party ever has.

In 2009 Cantwell was sharply rebuffed and her facts corrected by the State Department and CNN’s legal analyst and even by some pro-justice Seattle voters..

In October 2013 Cantwell flashed in and out of a bizarre misinformation panel perhaps embarrassed to be associated with it.

Bottom line? The presidential administration and party does not seem in a strong position to refuse to hand over any documents, or without very strong reason to take a pro-Knox anti-Italy position.

We are not guaranteeing that this case will become a political football. But it could. If it does, the Knox gang will have only weak political allies (if any) and what the Rome Embassy reported to the State Department 2007-2015 is really going to matter.

How does all this relate to what Andrea Vogt has recently encountered?

2. Andrea Vogt And The Cables From The Rome Embassy

Andrea Vogt in effect holds a giant lever. She has long pursued her right as an American journalist to surface what the consular officers in the Rome Embassy who watchdogged the 2009 trial and 2011 and 2013 appeals and Knox’s stint in prison had been reporting back to the State Department in Washington.

Releases of copies of cables in 2010 showed “no cause for concern” over Knox’s treatment and copies of cables in 2011 showed likewise.

There was zero official paper trail helpful to a Knox fight against extradition. That was despite a very nasty effort by Knox forces to lean on the Embassy and the State Department by complaining directly to President Obama.

Now Andrea Vogt is reporting on the Freelance Desk in “Update Feb 13 2015” on her experience with a new batch of cables.

Oddities to our eyes are that (1) in this batch, some requested cables were not released; and (2) a cable in October 2011 at the end of the Hellmann appeal wrongly declared “case closed”.

Passages of special interest have been highlighted here by us.

Many may view the cables as just routine bureaucracy, which in large part they are, but I believe they are important documents to add to the public record for two reasons.

First, they show insight into how American citizens in trouble abroad are supported (or not, depending on your viewpoint) by their government.

Second, they contribute transparently to the established written government record, clarifying diplomatic aspects of the case that until now have remained hidden while the saga played out solely in Italian courtrooms and the media.

The results of this second batch of FOIA requests were of particular importance due to the grave accusations being launched against the Italian police and members of its judiciary by members of Knox’s family, supporters and public relations team during the period of her incarceration.

The question at hand: was Amanda Knox abused, mistreated or robbed of a fair trail in Italy? How closely was the state department monitoring the case and what did embassy officials do, or not do, as it evolved?

The answer, first revealed in this first batch of embassy cables released to me in 2012 and dating back from 2007-2009, is that embassy and state department personnel actively monitored the case and provided aid from the very first days after her arrest. Other state and federal documents that I published back in 2010 ... show how Washington State’s congressional delegation, namely Sen. Maria Cantwell, was also involved.

This second batch of FOIA-requested embassy cables was released to me in late 2014 in response to another more extensive FOIA request made in 2012 (a two-year lag time is not unusual for broad requests)...

In brief, these new cables shows that the trend of close state department monitoring of the case was constant, with consular involvement up until the day (Oct 11, 2011) that the U.S. Ambassador Thorne in Rome sent a cable to the secretary of state in Washington D.C., officially declaring the matter “case closed.”

The communications are noteworthy because they bust a number of media myths about Amanda Knox’s release and immediate departure from Italy after her release in 2011, namely that the U.S. embassy did not receive her in the hours immediately post release for consular services, as she was traveling on a valid U.S. passport.

The other interesting point is that though the case was far from over in Italy,  once Amanda Knox was off Italian soil, it no longer considered the case to be of interest. “With the verdict of Oct. 3 overturning Amanda Knox’s prior conviction, her immediate release from prison and her subsequent departure from Italy today, Post considers this case closed. THORNE.”

For American citizens abroad, it is a welcome reminder that the embassy works on citizens’ behalf, as are the four documents released with excisions that show Knox was regularly visited by consular officials every six weeks and brought reading materials.

It is worth noting that the only persons to publicly report to have regularly visited Knox in prison to bring her reading materials were those associated with the Fondazione Italia USA, namely Italian parliamentarian Rocco Girlanda and Corrado Maria Daclon, the two men also present with her in the car that drove Knox out of prison the night she was acquitted.

Coincidence or are these the consular visits the cables refer to?

As soon as Knox was out of the country, the embassy declared “case closed,” perhaps not expecting that her trials would continue. Those who have followed the case know that the acquittal that prompted her release was later annulled in its entirety by Italy’s Supreme Court, which called for a second appeal trial to be held in a separate venue: Florence….

For the British and Italian authorities, and family members of Meredith Kercher who have patiently waited out the Italian legal system, perhaps the “case closed” cable jumped the gun. Once an American citizen is out of the country where he or she is in trouble, what duty does the embassy have to keep following legal developments that involve an American not physically in the country?

Did the embassy re-open the case later once the Supreme Court quashed the acquittal or is it “out of sight, out of mind,” and once an American in trouble abroad is no longer abroad, the embassy in that country can effectively wash its hands of the matter? Is it still considered “Case Closed”?

As the possibility of an extradition process hangs in the balance with the upcoming March 25 supreme court decision, the documents may provide some additional material for legal scholars to consider.

As the State Department letter points out, there are still 11 documents that fall under the umbrella of my initial FOIA request that have not been released that require further coordination.

Based on the content of my 2012 request, I believe these may be documents relating to then Sen. John Kerry and the U.S. Committee on Foreign Relations, of which he was chairman from 2009-2013 [ed note: and Senator Cantwell was a committee member] and to which specific FOIA requests were made, and for which I have not yet received response.

I have scanned and uploaded the 2-page FOIA response and 5 released cables (Oct 2011, June 2011, March 2011, November 2010, September 2010) below…

Andrea Vogt included images of those six seemingly mundane documents she received below the report, praises the Embassy and State, and voices no suspicions.

Amazingly, not one other American reporter has pursued this obvious angle. Still, in a political fuss, all those many others described in Part 1 above could also choose to do so.

Posted on 02/15/15 at 12:11 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, February 13, 2015

Why The Sollecito + Gumbel Meltdown In Court For Lying To The US Public Threatens Knox

Posted by Peter Quennell



Cover of the New York Post (owned by a probably gleeful Rupert Murdoch) this week


We will soon be posting several hundred easy-to-disprove lies we have identified by Knox. 

Late March Cassation will probably rule that Knox needs to go back and serve her time, and if so between then and late-year there will probably be an attempt at a big media fuss.

But lying to the US media and public in the next few months is going to be a more-than-normally dangerous game.

Brian Williams is the news anchor for the NBC network’s nightly news, who was often a guest on late-night comedy TV, where he made himself look super-sized.

William was just outed by soldiers who had complained that he lied when he said a helicopter he was in in Iraq took shots and was forced down. That was another helicopter in a companion group out of sight.

He’s now suspended, without pay, and his contract does not let him talk. Death by 1000 cuts and (like Sollecito and Gumbel) without making things worse he cannot talk back.

Williams was long suspected of lying about his experiences when Hurricane Katrina hit new Orleans in 2005.

Williams had made several questionable claims in interviews and a documentary: He witnessed a suicide at the Superdome in New Orleans, saw a body floating by his hotel in the French Quarter and had contracted dysentery from accidentally ingesting floodwater.

Throughout Thursday, Williams was pounded by bloggers and newspaper columnists, who noted that he hadn’t reported the suicide when he was on assignment in New Orleans, that the French Quarter had largely remained dry during the hurricane and that there were no reported outbreaks of dysentery.

Today the reports get worse: it seems Williams also lied about being on a flight with some Navy SEALS as well. And there is said to be worse to come.

And who is entangled in this bad news? Bob Barnett, Williams’ lawyer, who brokered Williams’ $10 million a year contract a few weeks ago.  He also brokered Amanda Knox’s book full of lies to the US.

Bob Barnett will not want to see Knox and her dishonest team draw attention to this by telling the US media and public yet more easy-to-disprove lies. Defending one big-time liar will be more than enough.

By the way, the big expose of Gumbel’s lies is still ahead. Those by Preston, Heavey, Fischer, Moore, etc, too. Knox should maybe dump them all, and give up her foolish fight.

When one is in a deep hole, the best advice is to stop digging, right now.

Posted on 02/13/15 at 09:11 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #6: Examining Gumbel’s Role In Biasing The Book

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Andrew Gumbel seen in a shrill 2014 CNN report, perhaps the least balanced so far 

1. Bringing The News Up To Date

On 5 March the Florence court will replace the prosecution’s translation of the target claims in the book with its own translation.

And Sollecito and Gumbel will probably be ordered to stand public trial then.

Both the prosecution and the guiding magistrate have as usual in Italy played immensely fair in this case. Each gave Sollecito and Gumbel numerous opportunities over more than a year to try to explain and justify certain target passages in a way that gets them off the hook. In further fairness the hearings have all been closed.

What leaked out after the last hearing in Florence a couple of weeks ago suggested that Sollecito has yet to come up with any justification at all. He was said to look dazed and depressed.

Gumbel was not in court. But his lawyer apparently claimed that Gumbel was merely a sort of well-meaning sheep: Sollecito’s ghost writer, nothing more, who faithfully took down only what he heard from his client.

This has apparently not gone down at all well in the Sollecito camp.

The Sollecito family and legal team has long hinted rather publicly that Gumbel did a number on them, an end-run. Francesco Sollecito and the family and Sollecito’s lawyers Giula Bongiorno and Luca Maori had all claimed within several weeks of the book coming out that numerous passages in the book were malicious and untrue. Sollecito himself denied that he put them in.

The Sollecito family and legal team have also hinted ever since that Gumbel and some American Knox cronies with self-serving agendas (suggested on pro-Knox websites to have been Steve and Michele Moore, Frank Sforza, Bruce Fischer, maybe some more) had recklessly put dangerous unfounded claims in the final draft of the book.

Those claims (now the main subjects of the Florence trial) were seemingly never put into Italian and run carefully by them. No proper due diligence was done, and as a result they have been left holding the can. And all this under the cold eyes of the Supreme Court, which must rule in six weeks whether Sollecito makes things up. 

2. Smart Rules For Ghost Writers To Avoid Trouble

This is hardly the first time a ghost writer and their client have fallen out. It is a touchy trouble-prone profession not governed by formalised training or an established code of ethics, where getting sued or not getting paid is quite a frequent thing.

Some of those who do it full-time and have had their share of trouble and want no more of it and want to alert others have posted their own suggested groundrules online.

For example, both client and ghost writer are well served by spending a few days checking out each other. Then they make a contract where literally everything needs to be spelled out.

Ghost writers need to take extreme care with clients in legal trouble who might drag them in or who they might drag in further. They need to be clear whether they are to research on their own, and to whom they are permitted to talk.

They need to know whether their name will be on the cover or anywhere inside the book. They need to know whether they have a licence from the client to do related TV and print articles, especially if those pay a separate fee, and what they are allowed to say.

They need to try to capture honestly the client’s voice and not turn them into someone they are not. They need to know what facts to put in and to be clear what facts are consciously left out. They need to do due diligence on the drafts with the agent and publisher and lawyers, and if allowed check out dynamite claims with “the other side”.

And if any accusations of crimes are to be made they REALLY need to check those legal hot potatoes with the client and the lawyers and the publishers, line by line. 

Gumbel seems to have ignored pretty well all of these groundrules, and dug Sollecito in much deeper.

Knox’s ghost writer Linda Kulman (more experienced than Gumbel at this and with no axe to grind) seems to have followed some but not all of these guidelines. Her name is only in the Knox book once, in a short thankyou note by Knox at the back, and she remained low-key and made no separate statements.

Nevertheless, Linda Kulman had the Sollecito book as a (then) largely unchallenged model. She included in the book a number of false accusation of crimes and malicious ridicules of others, none of them properly checked out, which will have Knox in court for sure before too long. (Oggi is already in court for repeating some of her claims.)

Linda Kulman also included an entire chapter about Knox’s “interrogation” where every detail is made up. She included a lengthy claim that Mignini did an illegal interrogation of Knox, when in fact he wasn’t even there. And she left out numerous key facts, such as that Knox was having sex with a major drug dealer almost to the day of her arrest, and most of the evidence.

Linda Kulman certainly dd not capture Knox’s real voice or mode of behavior, which are notoriously brash and possibly the root cause of Meredith’s murder.

3. Flashing Warning Lights In Italy In 2012

If the Sollecito family and team did not know all of the above, it would seem to be Sharlene Martin’s fiduciary duty as book agent for Sollecito to make sure both they and any ghost writer they hired did know.

For their part, the Sollecito team should have done their own due diligence in Italy, and perhaps looked around for an experienced ghost writer in Italy who could converse with all of them and show them in Italian what would be in the book. And in particular known about and been respectful of this which was in our first post.

On 3 October 2011 Judge Hellmann told RS and AK they were free to go, despite the fact that no legal process for murder and some other crimes is considered final in Italy until no party pursues any further appeals or the Supreme Court signs off. Most still accused of serious crimes (as in the UK and US) remain locked up. Hellmann, pathetically trying to justify this fiasco ever since, was firmly edged out and still the target of a possible charge.

Other flashing warnings should have made Sollecito’s family and legal team and book writers very wary. They included the immediate strong warning of a tough prosecution appeal to the Supreme Court. They also included the pending calunnia trials of Knox and her parents, the pending trial of the Sollecitos for attempting to use politics to subvert justice, the pending trials of Spezi, Aviello, and Sforza, and so on. 

A major flashing warning was right there in Italian law. Trials are meant to be conducted in the courtroom and attempts to poison public opinion are illegal. They can be illegal in the US and UK too but, for historical reasons to do with the mafias and crooked politicians, Italian laws in this area are among the world’s toughest. So mid-process, normally no books are ever published


4. Warning Lights About A Hasty Gumbel Contract

Many of the problems in the book are associated with a strident anti-Italy tone.  Well over half the false claims taken apart in this May 2014 post are FACTUALLY wrong in areas where Sollecito has no known knowledge or point of view.

For example, it was claimed that the Italian justice institutions are both very unpopular and corrupt. Neither is true, and almost no Italians believe that.

Sharlene Martin was first mentioned as Sollecito’s agent in the NY Times on 5 December 2011 when Sollecito had been swanning around the US west coast in an apparent attempt to, well, get her back in the sack. He was in a weak mode.

On 10 January 2012 Francesco Sollecito was reported in the Journal of Umbria as saying this about the purpose of the book 

“I have not done the math [the lawyers etc costs]. For good luck. I will do it after the ruling of the Supreme Court. It will be painful because the figure of one million euro of which one speaks is not far from reality.” This was stated to the weekly Today, on newsstands tomorrow, by Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele.
According to [Francesco] Sollecito, in case of confirmation of absolution, then there will be 250-300,000 euro compensation provided for the unjust detention of his son, this money will be enough only to pay the fees of the 12 consultants “that we had to appoint to succeed to refute the allegations.”

In the interview with the weekly, Francesco Sollecito denies that Raffaele has a girlfriend, as reported after the publishing of photos while kissing a girl: “Annie, the girl who appears with him in photos on Facebook is just a friend, in fact a sorta of cousin… “The priorities of my son right now are otherise.” What? “Raffaele has signed a contract with the American literary manager Sharlene Martin for a book, it is a definite undertaking “.

Apparently at this point Sharlene Martin had not been to Italy or spoken face-to-face with Francesco or the legal team. Whether she had briefed herself on the warning lights described above so that she could properly warn the US team of writer, editors, publishers and publicists is not known. 

5. Gumbel’s Shrill Record Of Sliming Italy

On 12 February 2012 Andrew Gumbel is reported in the NY Times as having got the co-writer job. During that period due diligence (if any) on his background would have been done, seemingly mainly by Sharlene Martin (if any) as a complaint of Sollecito’s team is that they could not look him over before he came on board.

Andrew Gumbel is not a lawyer, and in fact our own lawyers have repeatedly found silly his pretentious and inaccurate legal claims. Nor as far as we know does he have a track record as a ghost writer. His main claim to the job seems to have been based on his having been based in Italy with the UK Independent for nearly five years in the 1990s.

The 1990s were a pretty good time in Italy.

There was okay growth and jobs availability, record tourism, relative political calm before Berlusconi grabbed political and media power, many successful farms and firms, and a really push against the mafias - for which many brave judges and prosecutors had died.  The Italian food and wine were great, the cars and luxury goods were great, and Italy was home to about half of the finest medieval art in the world.

We checked it out: foreign reporters in Italy at the time did a fair and balanced job reflecting all of this. With seemingly only one notorious exception: the British reporter Andrew Gumbel for the UK Independent.

Apparently Gumbel could find almost nothing to like about Italy. In 5 years almost nothing to write a positive report on.

Brits relying only on his shrill reporting in the Independent may have thought Italy to be a very corrupt, lawless, politically and economically dysfunctional place, with nothing about it to like and no reason to visit. If they were bigoted, this could have made them more-so. Nasty stuff, and for foreign reporters in any country anywhere very unusual.

Below are the headers for most or all of Andrew Gumbel’s shrill reports from Italy.

Fair and balanced? The right guy for a delicate project with his client in a delicate legal bind? You decide.  We have highlighted in yellow all the reports with a negative bias, maybe true, maybe not. Of the total of 62 reports only 4 seem to us neutral or nice. Were the Sollecitos or their Italian lawyers or HarperCollins made aware by Gumbel or Sharlene Martin of Gumbel’s emotional negative bias?

    1. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Government + History (25)
  • A sick economy shakes out the fake invalids. (growing economic problems in Italy make corruption less acceptable)
  • Bickering while Venice sinks.
  • Can Italy survive Dini’s fall? (prime minister Lamberto Dini)
  • Chirac consigns Italy to Europe’s second division. (French president Jacques Chirac)
  • Corruption on an Olympian scale.(Rome, Italy, seeks to host Olympic Games)
  • Facing up to Italy’s crisis. (Italy’s economic problems)
  • Glitz takes a back seat on road to Rome. (Romano Prodi begins electoral campaign in Italy) (Interview)
  • How the kidnap and rape of Dario Fo’s wife was ordered by Italy’s right-wing rulers.
  • Illegal migrants reach EU havens via Italy.
  • Italy waits for the gravy train to be derailed. (problems facing Italian railway system)
  • Italy ready for mission impossible: intervention in Albania could bring instability to Rome.
  • Italy heads back into a political void.
  • Italy struggles to shake off the legacy of Mussolini.
  • Italy’s Olive Tree fails to bear fruit.
  • Italy’s rich city prays for fall of nation state. (citizens of Bologna, Italy, strongly in favour of European Union)
  • New wave of state corruption stuns the Italians.
  • Past demons threaten Italy’s bid for change. (Italy fails to move towards a SEcond Republic)
  • Prodi’s dilemma: let the left win or surrender Italy’s drive towards Emu. (Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi)
  • Rome’s magic circle. (deterioration of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy)
  • Scholars in a spin over Churchill link to the death of Mussolini. (claims that Mussolini was shot by British secret services)
  • Shouting could drown out Italian democracy. (serious political clashes damage reputation of Italian parliament)
  • So, were there offers he should have refused? (trial of Giulio Andreotti)
  • The Nazi and the protection racket. (controversy over trial of former Nazi Erich Priebke in Italy)
  • Venice’s grand opera descends to farce. (dispute hampers rebuilding of La Fenice opera house)
  • Why Italy cannot bring war criminals to justice.
  • 2. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Scenery, Art, Music, Fashion, Culture (2)
  • Il Papa brings on Dylan for a taste of the devil’s rhythms. (Bob Dylan to perform for Pope)
  • Inside the Assisi basilica, a sight to make saints weep. (challenges involved in restoration of art treasures from Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, Italy)
  • 3. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Economy + Business (8)
  • A nation that brings its style to the track. (many changes to Italian rail network)
  • All is not bene among the united colours. (problems facing Benetton)
  • Berlusconi consolidates his rule over the Italian air waves. (former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi)
  • Ciao Gianni, but now what? (Gianni Agnelli resigns as chairman of Fiat)
  • Climax of Italy’s TV war. (referendum on whether Silvio Berlusconi should sell his television channels)
  • Italy’s new crop stifled in the shadow of a paradise lost.(problems affecting the Italian motion picture industry)
  • Murdoch pursues Italian television. (News Corp seeks stake in Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire).
  • The dark world behind Versace’s life of glamour. (murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace)
  • 4. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Justice, Crime, Corruption,  Mafias (24)
  • Accidental death of an anarchist comes back to scandalise Italy. (three men convicted of murder of police commissioner Luigi Calabresi in 1972)
  • A fashion label that really is to die for .... (murder of fashion designer Maurizio Gucci may have been instigated by his former wife)(Column)
  • After the suicide, a wall of silence. (new type of Mafia activity in Sicily)
  • Amnesty offers Italy chance to forget its years of terror. (Italian government pardons six people involved in Red Brigades terrorist group in 1970s)
  • Andreotti to face trial on Mob links. (former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti to stand trial for consorting with the Mafia)
  • Another black mark against Italy’s judges. (Italy’s anti-corruption magistrates lose their credibility)
  • Arrest us, but we’ll be back next week. (three Italians with Aids use legal loophole to rob banks)
  • Backlash threatens to silence informers. (controversy in Italy over Mafia informers)
  • Bloody end of a fashionable affair. (murder of Maurizio Gucci)
  • Fake invalids at heart of Italy’s postal scandal. (postal service employs many invalids, but some are fakes)
  • Fear and loathing in the Alto Adige. (serial killer murders six people in Merano, Italy)
  • Godfather’ village baffled by murders. (Sicilian town of Corleone)
  • God’s Banker: ‘He was given Mafia money and he made poor use of it.’ (investigation into death of Italian banker Roberto Calvi in 1982 may soon be concluded)
  • Gucci: hell for leather. (Patrizia Gucci convicted for contract killing of former husband Maurizio Gucci)
  • How Cosa Nostra’s cunning outfoxed the Italian state. (Mafia’s criminal network still operating in Italy)
  • How Italy failed to trap its Monster. (failure to bring serial killer in Florence, Italy, to justice)
  • Italy’s men of violence throw off the state’s chains. (revival of the Mafia in Italy)(includes details of murder of magistrate Giovanni Falcone)
  • Mafia trawls Venice’s dark lagoon. (organised crime in Venice, Italy)
  • Mysteries unravel as mafiosi spill secrets. (Italian gangsters make confessions)
  • One woman’s dangerous and lonely battle to break the Cosa Nostra. (challenges facing Maria Maniscalco, mayor of San Giuseppe Jato, Italy)
  • Rome turns a blind eye to Mafia’s killing spree.
  • Secret of why the Mafia has never shot a soul. (code of silence about Mafia in Sicily)
  • Street wars in Italy’s wild south. (high crime levels in Naples, Italy)
  • Who killed Pasolini? (new film about the murder of Pier Paolo Pasolini)
  • 5. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Physical Disasters (3)
  • After the deluge (eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy will create chaos)
  • Assisi in mourning as quake shatters Basilica of St Francis.
  • Umbria shows the civilised way to cope with calamity. (effects of series of earthquakes in Italy)


6. Conclusion And Next Posts

This list was checked out with half a dozen posters resident in Italy at the time. All of their reactions were to the effect that, in lying by omission, Gumbel did not play fair with Italy back then. A trivial mind. One which should have been fought off with a stick.

The next posts seek to identify what Gumbel and the Knox misrepresenters (said to be primarily the Moores, Sforza and Fischer) were responsible for putting in the Sollecito book, and to describe Andrew Gumbel’s vigorous public media campaign. Whether authorized or not authorized, he made around 20 shrill damaging interventions.


Saturday, February 07, 2015

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

Posted by Peter Quennell





Nearly 30 instances of Knox and Sollecito selling out one another since 2007 were described here.

In addition to those,  their two books also took some subtle whacks, and also there have been some other media instances since. Sollecito took several more whacks at Knox on the national crime show Porta a Porta last night.

That and his bland evasive, nervous manner seems to have done himself harm too. Italy has watched this tired show too often now, and it was Porta a Porta back in 2012 which first surfaced false accusations of crimes in his book for which he is now on trial in a Florence court.

Amazingly, Sollecito admits to stalking and harassing Meredith’s family, which under Italian law (and UK law and US law) for the protection of victims and their families is itself a felony crime. There should be no attempts at communication with them at all. Knox too has been harassing and stalking the family, and dangerously encouraging the more unstable of her followers to follow suit.

Our main poster Jools kindly translated this from the newspaper for Sollecito’s home town. Note the passages in bold.

Raffaele’s Truth

Sollecito guest of “Porta a Porta” told his side of the story about the murder of Meredith Kercher

“Yes, I have thought I could be going to prison, for me this is astonishing. I done nothing, I have nothing to do with it and there is nothing that places me on the crime scene in a factual manner.” Words pronounced by Raffaele Sollecito during the Rai 1 program “Porta a Porta”, hosted by Bruno Vespa. The computer engineer from Giovinazzo is accused of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, which occurred in Perugia the night between 1 and 2 November 2007.

In seven years there have been four trials. Convicted in first instance trial with Amanda Knox, Sollecito was acquitted on appeal court. But that appeal court decision has been annulled at the Court of Cassation, leading to a new conviction sentence of 25-years. In March, exactly on the 25th, Raffaele Sollecito will face the final instance of the process. In prison for the time being there is only the Ivory Coast national Rudy Guede, who is serving a definitive 16-year sentence. “My life did not changed on the night of the 1st and 2nd November – said Sollecito pressed by Bruno Vespa - but when the investigators took me to jail. Knowing, meeting, making the acquaintance of Amanda fatally brought me into this hell.”

Raffaele’s life is suspended pending the final verdict, while Amanda Knox lives in the United States where she works writing theater reviews for a local newspaper in Seattle and is considered a victim of the Italian judicial system. “I can not answer for Amanda,” Sollecito reminded Vespa and then retraced the events of that night: “From around the hours of 20:30/21:00 I was home - said the accused - and I did not go out to Via della Pergola with Amanda when she went back. I stayed behind sleeping. At that time of my life I was smoking a joint every now and then, especially if I was in company - he admitted - and that night I smoked a very small amount present in my drawer. In fact, the investigators did not find anything because it was a little amount totally smoked.”

This would justify the sketchy memories in relation to those hours. Raffaele Sollecito does not remember when Amanda came back to the apartment but he is certain, “Amanda did not sleep at my place” [Ed note: mistake here, he said Knox did sleep at his place.] About the strange way the American woman behaved in the hours immediately after the murder, Sollecito reiterated that, “Amanda explained during the court hearings of being frightened during the interrogation.”

Just like the American student at the time, Sollecito wanted to stress of having suffered “relentless pressure from the investigators. They told me I would never be released from prison. They kept me 15 hours under interrogation. I fell into contradiction for not understanding what day they referred. They took off my shoes, leaving me barefoot, thinking that those shoes were the ones I was wearing during the murder. Then they admitted my consultant was right after eight months – he stressed - about the shoeprint found in Meredith’s room, while we had already provided that proof after 2 months. It was my consultant to find the inconsistencies of the prosecution.”

The morning the body of the poor British girl was found, Sollecito recounts, “Amanda told me that she saw the shattered window [panes] and the door to her house wide open and that she thought her roommates had gone to take out the garbage. There were a few drops of blood when I arrived. Meredith’s door was key locked and I told Amanda to call her roommates and Meredith.” In any case, following a question by Vespa he specified, “I don’t think Amanda killed her. It doesn’t seem possible. I would have noticed something. This argument seems to me unlikely. But she must respond herself to these allegations, not me.”

Things did not go well and then came the judicial ordeal that still continues and that rather involves him personally. Raffaele is certainly different, now an IT graduate who struggles to find work, but who still wants to shout to the world his innocence after 7 years. He watched the images of his fellow citizens and friends defending him during a broadcast report and recounts of having tried to contact the victim’s family, “I have tried several times to talk to Meredith’s parents - he said -. If the facts are looked at in an impersonal way one understands that a lot of mistakes were made. I sent a letter to Dr. Maresca their legal representative, with not getting any replies. Even my family has tried to contact them, without them ever coming to approach.”

The question mark with which Sollecito will be arriving on March 25, the date of the trial before the Supreme Court, remains the same for a long time: “What motive did I have to hurt Meredith? This is about having justice on what is the truth.” One truth and a justice that now are in the hands of the Roman judges.

In fact as most Italians know Sollecito was interrogated quite briefly that night and the only pressure was from his own phone records, showing he had lied. Knox was not formally interrogated at all. Her ONLY pressure came directly from him.

Our main poster Yummi suggests that what was going on here could be this:

The purpose of his show seems to me to be to point out the “difference of positions” between Sollecito and Knox. I think it is obvious that this is the main “message” of the Porta a Porta show; and I talk not just about the content of his interview, but also the whole setting, the framework including the journalist’s report on the show about the Florence trials in which the “main points” of his defence were described..

Sollecito does not make explicit statements to put more distance between him and Amanda, not more than he already had. But the theme of “difference of positions” is highlighted, and he even draws attention to some known inconsistencies such as the open/closed Filomena’s door.

Indeed he himself makes a declaration contradicting his own statements to the police and to Judge Matteini, and in his own diaries (in the show he says “socchiusa”, but he wrote “spalancata” in his prison diary and this is what he stated to the investigators too); but what he tries to do in the show is to point out himself the inconsistency as something that is responsibility of Amanda, one of the things “she should explain”.

The report - to which his attorneys may well have contributed - points out that the “main defence points” at the Florence trial were:

1) that “Raffaele is not Amanda” (he happens to be implicated because of evidence against Amanda), and

2) that Amanda herself does not place Raffaele Sollecito on the scene of crime in her statements; it is remarkable that Sollecito highlights the content of Knox’s statements from Nov. 5-7 rather than her subsequent claims; and the same defence arguments even imply that Knox does not place herself in the company of Sollecito at all..

Another point that I found remarkable, was when Sollecito points out how it was “a judges’ finding” that he was a “collateral effect” [sic]; I mean it is glaring that he quotes the courts as a source that adds credibility to his theory.

So by the end I thought the setting of this show included “help” given to the journalist Vanni by Sollecito’s attorneys, and I think the purpose is obvious, if we want to see it as a kind of message-in-a-bottle to the Supreme Court on approaching the March 25th hearing.

It is basically a point of law, that is that the evidence against Amanda Knox should not be transferred onto him. This is the aspect he really wants the Supreme Court to review. Amanda Knox has “things to explain” and he should not be demanded to answer for them.

As Knox might now want to point out, there is of course very extensive evidence tying Sollecito to the crime. Consider this and in particular this.

Posted on 02/07/15 at 05:51 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Canadian Perspective #2: Tough Penalties For RS’s And AK’s Slander, False Accusations, Perjury

Posted by Chimera



Supreme Court Of Canada in the capital Ottawa

1. Overview Of My Multi-Part Series

My first piece on the ‘‘Canadian Perspective’’ of criminal law appears here.

That first article focused on an overview of Canadian law, and the punishments that would have been forthcoming coming for murder.  In the case of Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede, they would have been tried for first degree murder, as it happened during a sexual assault, and while the victim was restrained. 

Here are some key differences between Canada and Italy for such a murder case. In Canada:

  • First degree murder would be the charge, in this case no need to prove intent
  • The sentence for 1st degree is life, with the possibility of parole (which is for life), after 25 years
  • Unlike Italy, plea bargaining is possible, and happens frequently
  • During the trial, accused could only make statements under oath (and face cross examination)
  • An appeal to the Provincial Court of Appeals could be filed, but if baseless, would not be heard
  • A Supreme Court of Canada appeal would certainly not be heard if the first appeal was so weak
  • Skipping out on your trials (or appeals), would likely get your bail revoked
  • Leaving the country to go sunbathing, would likely get bail revoked on ‘‘risk of flight’’ grounds

And Canada would have been similar to Italy on these measures:

  • Bail, or ‘‘house-arrest’’ prior to trial would have been extremely unlikely
  • Giving interviews or media appearances while the case is open is VERY unwise
  • If convicted, they could make open statements at sentencing
  • Writing books or getting movie deals (cashing in), would not be permitted

This second post addresses all the other crimes and alleged crimes of Sollecito and Knox mostly to inflame public opinion to lean on the court.

I list first all of the crimes, then the relevant Canadian law, and finally the penalties Sollecito could have faced under that fairminded but firm law.

2. Slander, and False Accusations, and Perjury by AK and RS

1) Much has been made of the false accusation Amanda Knox made against Patrick Lumumba November 5th/6th, 2007.  The American media reported it as a false confession.  In one context they are correct, it was a confession in that it placed her at the scene, at the time of the murder.  However, since she claimed to witness someone else murdering Meredith Kercher, it was in fact a false accusation.  She knew all along Lumumba was innocent. That calunnia got Knox an additional year in prison from Judge Massei.

2) Not content with accusing a man decent enough to give her a job (despite her lack of a European work permit), Knox went further, and claimed she only said that she signed those statements because some officer (whom Knox much later names as Rita Ficarra), smacked her around.

3) In her December 2013 email to the Florence Appeal Court Judge Nencini, Knox goes so far as to refer to her mild questioning as ‘‘torture’‘.  This woman really doesn’t learn.

4) Knox still faces separate charges for the accusations against the police, operative when Judge Hellmann stunningly let AK and RS out.  Although, in a totally inexplicable move (one of many), Hellmann said the accusation was made under duress, not to mislead police—and then increased her calunnia sentence from 1 year to 3.

5) Knox and Solleito each published ‘‘memoirs’‘, Sollecito in September 2012 by Simon and Schuster, and Knox by HarperCollins in April 2013. The books made many claims of corruption, verbal and physical assault, incompetence, judicial fraud, and abuse of due process.  Too numerous to detail here, but TJMK has posted may times on them.  Again, Knox really doesn’t learn from her mistakes.

6) And her ‘‘Knife-Boy’’ drug/fuck-buddy doesn’t seem to learn either.  Both are facing new charges, and at the time of writing, Sollecito and his co-author (now mere ghost-writer??), Andrew Gumbel are facing hearings. Sollecito’s Dad Francesco admits the ‘‘deal’’ with prosecutors to turn on Knox never happened.

7) Knox appeals to the European Court of Human Rights, which will prove amusing as her own lawyers have publicly denied she was assaulted by police.  Again, does she ever learn?

8) Knox made numerous false accusations in her book, some of the worst of which were published in the Italian magazine ‘Oggi’

9) Knox made false accusations of an illegal interrogation which have zero grounding in facts.

10) Knox and Sollecito make many accusations on television interviews too.  To repeat myself: these two really don’t learn.

Although to be complete, Edda Mellas (Amanda’s Mother) doesn’t seem to learn either.

3. Canadian Law For These Kinds Of Crimes

If you level accusations against police officers, officers of the court, or prison officials, by law they must be investigated.  These types of accusations can destroy careers, but even for the ‘‘lucky’’ ones, they are never the same.  This extends to people such as teachers, who have been forced out of teaching due to malicious students.

It really doesn’t matter if you file a formal complaint, post it on the internet, write about it in a book or magazine article, or on television.  Complaints, such as the ones listed above, have to be investigated, in fact it is the same in Italy, the U.S., U.K., or Canada.

Falsely accusing someone of a crime in Italy in a court or to the police is referred to as ‘‘CALUNNIA’‘, which is not quite the same thing as slander, it is worse, with prison terms.

Falsely accusing someone as a crime in the United States is ‘‘OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE’‘.  Different name, same crime.

Guess what, Folks?  You can’t do that in Canada either.  It is called ‘‘PUBLIC MISCHIEF’‘.  Different name, same crime.

If you level accusations against police officers, officers of the court, or prison officials, by law they must be looked into.

Quoted directly from the Canadian Criminal Code:

140 Public mischief

(1) Every one commits public mischief who, with intent to mislead, causes a peace officer to enter on or continue an investigation by

    (a) making a false statement that accuses some other person of having committed an offence;
    (b) doing anything intended to cause some other person to be suspected of having committed an offence that the other person has not committed, or to divert suspicion from himself;
    (c) reporting that an offence has been committed when it has not been committed; or
    (d) reporting or in any other way making it known or causing it to be made known that he or some other person has died when he or that other person has not died.

(2) [Punishment] Every one who commits public mischief

    (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
    (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    Had Amanda Knox been in Canada when she levelled her false accusation against Lumumba, she would be guilty of cc. 140.  This is something that Judge Massei (2009), Judge Hellmann (2011), and Cassation (2013), all agreed that she did.

    But look at 140.(1)(b)  ‘’ ... Doing anything to cause some other person to be suspected of having committed an offence that the other person had not commited .... ‘’‘.  Yes, all the Courts agreed that happened.  However, consider those last 6 words….

      ’‘.... OR TO DIVERT SUSPICION FROM HIMSELF….’‘

    This was a key difference between Hellmann (2011), and Cassation (2013).  Hellman said that Knox levelled the accusation against Lumumba out of duress, while Cassation said, no, it was ‘‘to divert suspicion from herself.’’  This difference is what resulted in having the aggravating factors attached to Knox’s (now final) calunnia conviction.

    While the fallout from falsely accusing police officers is not over, Knox will likely still have to face those same aggravating factors ahead.  The Courts will reasonably believe that she made up those lies (such as about Migini and Ficarra), to divert suspicion from herself, or to obstruct the process for her murder charge of Meredith Kercher.  After all, Cassation has already ruled that Knox framed Patrick Lumumba to divert suspicion.

    Regarding punishment, public mischief is a ‘‘hybrid offence’‘, meaning the Crown Prosecutors could proceed summarily (lesser) or by indictment (felony).  Since it was to cover up her involvement in a murder, the Prosecutors would certainly have gone by indictment, and Knox would be facing up to 5 years.

    Facing 5 years in Canada, or 6 years in Italy…?  Hardly a significant difference.

    And, if you don’t think that people go to jail in Canada for levelling false accusations, think again.  See the examples here:

    CanLII Website

    Bonnie Ann-Ambrose (of Alberta), 1998, received a 2 year sentence for falsely accusing a police officer of sexual assault.  On appeal, however, the sentence was reduced, she got time served plus 1 additional year in the form of a ‘‘conditional sentence.’‘

    CanLII Website

    Stacy Little (of British Columbia) in 2001, received a 9 month jail sentence for making false accusations of being sexually assaulted while in custody.  She actually got her boyfriend to call and get the investigation launched.  However, it was reduced to 3 months on appeal.

    CanLII Website

    Tina Brun (of New Brunswick), in 2004, reported that she was the victim of a robbery, and it led to 4 youths being arrested.  Brun later admitted it was all a lie.  She received a 3 month jail sentence for the false accusation, and the New Brunswick Court of Appeals confirmed the sentence.

    CanLII Website

    Steven Mankala-Proulx (of Quebec), in 2013, received a 90 day intermittent (weekend) jail sentence, for getting his mother to make a false complaint against a police officer attempting to make a routine stop.  The allegations were for following him, dangerous driving, and fleeing the scene.  The mother did not know the accusations were false, and Steven had not wanted his mother to be angry with him.  The accusations triggered a mandatory investigation, and resulted in the officer being transferred.

    CanLII Website

    Martin John Zeek (in British Columbia) was found guilty of public mischief (cc 140), and fraud (cc 380(1)).  He received 1 year in prison for reporting his refrigeration trailer stolen.  The sentence was confirmed on appeal.”>

    While these sentences are lighter than what Amanda Knox had received, none of the above falsely accused anyone of murder.

    The ‘‘Friends of Amanda’’ frequently criticise Italy’s ‘‘Stone-Age slander laws’‘, but Commonwealth countries like the U.S. and Canada do not allow people to make false criminal accusation either.  Nor does the U.K.

    Canada will not protect such people for the simple reason that we Canadians don’t tolerate such acts either. And while this article covers criminal penalties—a conviction can form the basis of a VERY expensive civil lawsuit.

    Just something to think about—it is NOT free speech.  Nor is a related action: PERJURY.

    Quoted directly from the Canadian Criminal Code:

    Misleading Justice

    [Marginal Note Perjury]

    131. (1) Subject to subsection (3), every one commits perjury who, with intent to mislead, makes before a person who is authorized by law to permit it to be made before him a false statement under oath or solemn affirmation, by affidavit, solemn declaration or deposition or orally, knowing that the statement is false.

    [Marginal Note Video links, etc.]

    (1.1) Subject to subsection (3), every person who gives evidence under subsection 46(2) of the Canada Evidence Act, or gives evidence or a statement pursuant to an order made under section 22.2 of the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, commits perjury who, with intent to mislead, makes a false statement knowing that it is false, whether or not the false statement was made under oath or solemn affirmation in accordance with subsection (1), so long as the false statement was made in accordance with any formalities required by the law of the place outside Canada in which the person is virtually present or heard.

    [Marginal Note Idem]

    (2) Subsection (1) applies, whether or not a statement referred to in that subsection is made in a judicial proceeding.

    [Marginal Note Application]

    (3) Subsections (1) and (1.1) do not apply to a statement referred to in either of those subsections that is made by a person who is not specially permitted, authorized or required by law to make that statement.

    [R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 131;  R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 17; 1999, c. 18, s. 92.]

    [Marginal note:Punishment]

    132. Every one who commits perjury is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

    R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 132; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 17; 1998, c. 35, s. 119.

    [Marginal note:Corroboration]

    133. No person shall be convicted of an offence under section 132 on the evidence of only one witness unless the evidence of that witness is corroborated in a material particular by evidence that implicates the accused.

    R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 133; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 17.

    [Marginal note:Idem]

    134. (1) Subject to subsection (2), every one who, not being specially permitted, authorized or required by law to make a statement under oath or solemn affirmation, makes such a statement, by affidavit, solemn declaration or deposition or orally before a person who is authorized by law to permit it to be made before him, knowing that the statement is false, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    [Marginal note:Application]

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a statement referred to in that subsection that is made in the course of a criminal investigation.

    Those free statements Knox, Sollecito and Guede could stand up and make in court…. they would have to be sworn in.  Under oath.

    And if they said anything provably false, they could face a perjury charge as well.

    As these defendants would likely be lying to clear themselves of murder, it would be an indictable offence, and they could get 14 years each just for that.

    And ... Canada puts perjurers in prison as well. See the examples here:

    CanLII Website

    James John Jack (of British Columbia) in 2008 was arrested on drug charges, and convinced a female friend to lie, to get him off the hook.  When it was proven, he received a 2 year jail sentence for perjury.  The original drug charges were dealt with separately.

    CanLII Website

    Victor Akinyemi (of Ontario), in 2011, falsely reported his vehicle stolen in order to fraudulently obtain insurance money.  He signed sworn statements.  He received 3 months.  The Judge noted that the principles of denunciation would not be met with house arrest.”>

    CanLII Website

    Grant Henry Johnson (of British Columbia) received a 3 year jail sentence for falsely testifying that he had done an armed robbery in order to protect another person from being convicted.  He tried to claim Charter of Rights Protections within the Canada Evidence Act, but that defence failed.  Sentence was upheld on appeal.

    CanLII Website

    Waverly Kendall (of Newfoundland), in 2007, received a 3 month jail sentence after she signed a false statement claiming that she sold a car for $1000 (when it was actually for $6000), to lower the tax bill of the person who bought it.  She lied under oath at a judicial proceeding.



    4. Possible Penalties Under Canadian Law

    These are what Sollecito and Knox could have incurred.

    • Knox would have been charged with public mischief (cc 140) for falsely accusing Patrick of attacking Meredith.  Jail time for certain.
    • Knox would have been charged with public mischief (cc 140) for falsely accusing police of assaulting her.  Jail time very likely.
    • Given how contradictory Knox’s June 2009 testimony was, Mignini could probably have gone for perjury (cc 131). Jail time very likely.
    • Edda Mellas, if it could be proven she lied about Amanda’s phone call, could face perjury charges (cc 131). Jail time possible.
    • Sollecito, in 2011 appeal, said Amanda was at his apartment, but gave conflicting statements to police.  Perjury and jail time quite likely.
    • Rudy Guede, as his testimony changed, could have been charged with perjury (cc 131). Jail time very likely.
    • All of the claims of AK, RS and their supporters, if they sparked official investigations, could lead to additional charges of public mischief (cc 140).  Jail sentences possible for some.  Too numerous to list, but you get the idea

    Again, it really isn’t free speech ....

     

    Complete Listings

    1st post appears here:  An Overview.

    2nd post appears here:  Public Mischief and Perjury

    3rd post coming soon:  Bail and Extradition

    4th post coming soon:  Other Laws

    5th post coming soon:  Punishments

    6th post coming soon:  Canadian Notoriety

    7th post coming soon:  Hearsay and Speculation Running Amok

    Posted on 02/05/15 at 09:59 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Tuesday, February 03, 2015

    To Create Points With More Traction For His Yawnfests, Mr Heavey Convenes A Mock Court…

    Posted by Grahame Rhodes





    “Right” said Mr Heavey “I have convened this mock court to replace some of our failing arguments against the mountain of pesky evidence implicating our little cherub, Amanda Knox”

    “Amanda of course is innocent. We all know that. Guede was the sole attacker, and Amanda and Sollecito were not there and all of Italy has got it wrong. Let’s begin with some of the pesky items we have not yet shaken, and see if we can explain them away.”

    (1) The numerous DNA traces in the cottage itself that were a mix of Meredith and Amanda.

    (2) The DNA of Sollecito strongly showing on the bra clasp.

    (3) The imprint of the murder weapon in blood on the bed sheet that matched exactly the knife found in Sollecitos kitchen carrying Merediths and Amandas DNA. The same knife Sollecito claimed that Meredith cut her finger on even though she had never been to his apartment.

    (4) Sollecito small knife matching the small wounds on Meredith neck.

    (5) The shoe imprint under Merediths body which matched Amanda’s shoe size.

    (6) The bloody imprint on the bathmat which was proven to be Sollecitos.

    (7) Knox’s lamp in Meredith’s bedroom with no fingerprints, and only one fingerprint of Amanda’s in the entire cottage, which proved once again that there had been a cleanup

    (8) The break-in with the glass on top of the clothes in the bedroom proving that the room was ransacked before the window was broken.

    (9) The break-in through the window even though it was an impossible wall to climb and the soil outside had not been disturbed even though it had been raining.

    (10) The extensive cell phone evidence.

    (11) The extensive computer and internet evidence.

    (12) Sollecito saying nothing had been stolen even though he could not know for sure as the room been ransacked.

    (13) Amanda knowing the precise position of Meredith’s body even though she could not see into the room where Meredith died.

    (14) The many witnesses against Knox including the girls who lived with Meredith.

    (15) Amanda accused an innocent man, her kindly employer Patrick Lamumba, and let him languish for two weeks.

    (16) Amanda and Sollecito each change their stories three or four times.

    (17) Amanda voluntarily writes a list of other suspects for the police with no coercion.

    (18) Amanda writes several so-called confessions.

    (19) The autopsy definitively proves more than one attacker.

    (20) Our DNA contamination claim totally unsupported.

    (21) Amanda not actually interrogated for over 50 hours by teams of policemen, which she confirmed in her book.

    (22) The numerous lies about justice officials from Amanda and Sollecito which they repeated in their books.

    (23) Sollecito accused Amanda of making him lie and denying her alibi whereupon Amanda broke down and screamed and admitted she was there covering her ears.

    (24) Amanda’s and Sollecito’s pallid demeanor the next day.

    (25) Amanda has sex with a drug dealer in exchange for drugs up to day of arrest .

    (26) Amanda smells like rotten eggs the next morning indicating possible use of cocaine or crystal meth.”

    “Right! First, thanks to our audience which consists mostly of Michelle Sings Easterly Moore and Edda Knox. And now we hear from our experts, Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, Curt Knox, and Chris Mellas.

    “After we have these ones nailed there will be a couple of hundred more. I will be writing to the new Italian President again soon to set Italy right, as that worked so well for us before…”

    Posted on 02/03/15 at 09:33 AM by Grahame Rhodes. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Sunday, February 01, 2015

    Meet The New President Of The Republic Of Italy; Dr Mignini Was Also One Candidate Named

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    Constitutional court judge Sergio Mattarella (image above) has been elected the new President of the Republic of Italy.

    He follows President Giorgio Napolitano (shown below voting) who recently decided to step down. He becomes the ultimate head of the Italian justice system in addition to other functions.

    He was the firm favorite of the party of Prime Minister Renzi so his winning the final vote by more than 2/3 of the 1,009 parliamentarians and regional officials eligible to vote (see images of voting below) was not surprising.

    Dr Mignini’s name was also placed in the first round of the balloting, seen as a form of honor for him for his fine career work and especially his admired success in bringing the Monster Of Florence case to a conclusion with strong evidence pointing to Narducci as the killer - and strong evidence pointing to Spezi and Preston as having tried to pull off a despicable self-serving hoax.

    The AFP reports this about the career of President Mattarella.

    The president-elect is little known among the general public but is a respected figure in political circles after a 25-year parliamentary career and several stints as minister in governments of the left and right.

    He entered politics after his elder brother, who was president of the region of Sicily, was murdered by the Mafia in 1980.

    Renzi’s backing for Mattarella was interpreted as the end of the temporary alliance the premier had forged with his disgraced forerunner [Berlusconi] in order to drive labour market and electoral reforms through parliament.

    Mattarella is seen as an “anti-Berlusconi” figure, having switched sides from the political right to the left in the 1990s, partly because of his distaste for the media tycoon, who still heads the opposition Forza Italia party despite a tax fraud conviction.

    Berlusconi was reported to be feeling “betrayed” by Renzi.

    He had ordered his party to cast blank ballots in the vote, but 35 members out of 142 present for voting ignored his orders, signalling a rift within Forza Italia.

    “The PD had to show it was the backbone of the system and it did,” Ezio Mauro, editor-in-chief of Italian paper La Repubblica. “For Berlusconi it is certainly a major blow.”

    The Forza Italia leader was believed to be hoping for a sympathetic figure to be installed as president to increase his chances of winning a pardon over his criminal conviction which would allow him to return to parliament.

    With regard to Dr Mignini, the Italian Constitution says that any citizen above the age of 50 may be elected President of the Republic no matter if he is a candidate or not: there are no official candidates under the Constitution, and he/she may accept or refuse if elected.

    Reportedly the vote for Dr Mignini was cast by Elector Andrea Lignani Marchesani the influential political leader of Umbria. He had declared that he wanted to devote an inscription vote to Prosecutor General Mignini to honor “his honesty, his independence and his standing up to intimidation from meddlesome forces”.

    This mainly refers to Dr Mignini’s unyielding pushing ahead on the Narducci case, but he is also widely admired for refusing to be intimidated by the pro-Knox and pro-Sollecity forces. He is not active in politics.

    Former President Napolitano actually had a role in Meredith’s case, in that he chose to ignore a petition by some pro-Berlusconi parliamentarians to investigate the Perugia prosecutors for their roles.

    If the case crosses his desk President Mattarella can be expected to take the same pro-justice line.











    Posted on 02/01/15 at 12:12 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Friday, January 30, 2015

    Summaries Of The Nencini Report #1: The Attention Directed To Various Crucial Timings

    Posted by Cardiol MD



    [Florence Palace of Justice at night]

    1. Overview Of This Series

    The court-ordered repeat of Knox’s and Sollecito’s appeal concluded in Florence a year ago.

    On 25 March of this year Paolo Antonio Bruno, the Supreme Court lead reviewing judge, will present to his colleagues on the bench his findings and recommendations on Judge Nencini’s findings and verdict.

    Between now and then we will be posting on areas of the report which make the final conclusions firm and, we believe, have the defenses pretty stumped

    The Nencini version we use is the PMF translation introduced here. The full report can be read in HTML format on the Wiki and downloaded in Acrobat format from PMF.


    2 Approach To This Summation

    The Nencini reports builds on and essentially endorses the outcomes of three previous courts: Micheli 2008, Massei 2009, and Cassation 2013.

    Despite the lengths of those reports, no court described from all angles every piece of evidence, and the most persuasive 1/4 of the trial in closed court in 2009 (the autopsy and the recreation of the attack) have never been publicly fully reported upon. 

    TJMK has posted summaries of all of those reports: see the Micheli Report, the Massei Report. and the Cassation report.

    Summarizing requires selection, deciding what to include and what to omit. The aim here is to emphasize the points to which the Judges seemed to attach the most weight. What was in the minds of the Judges can be inferred only from the words of the report; their sequence tends to be chronological, rather than determined by relative importances they conclude.

    The Knox, Mellas and Sollecito misinformation campaigns dont wat you to know this, but with the exception of translations by Andrea Vogt, no main stream media in the US or UK has yet translated or summarized or even excerpted any of those reports. Most did not even mention them at all.

    3. Phone Records On Coordinated Universal Time Protocol

    The CUT protocol is used for civil telephone time-keeping all over the Earth’s surface, including in Italy, the U.S. and the U.K.

    Coordinated time-keeping assures that the time assigned to a telephone event is accurate and very precise, independent of where it occurs. Uncoordinated Time-keeping can result in a time being assigned to a telephone event even before it actually did occur.

    Although not explicitly pointed-out in the Nencini Report or other official reports and documents, CUT is the protocol used for all telephone-traffic times, mobile and landline, involving all users referred-to; they are precisely recorded, their very existence, their start, their end, their duration, and even their location. Only their content is protected.

    Therefore there is a wealth of information about which there is no doubt at all with regard to the existence and the time-sequence of ‘phone traffic, which is selected for inclusion in Nencini here:It’s almost as if the ‘phone users are wearing criminal-offender’s ankle bracelets. CUT records enable decisive challenge to the credibility of a false witness (impeachment).

    1. Timing of The Lumumba Text Traffic

    Nencini finds that Amanda Knox was not at Sollecito’s at 20:18 and 12 seconds when she received Patrick Lumumba’s text message,  but was at Sollecito’s at 20:35 and 48 seconds when she responded to Patrick Lumumba’s text message. and her claim that she was there both times is false.

    {Ed: Furthermore, although mentioned in TJMK but not mentioned by Nencini, Knox was not due at "Le Chic" until 10: pm, it is implausible that at 8:18 pm she was on her way to work. More than 17 minutes are left unaccounted-for. Given the local geography, those 17 minutes unaccounted-for provide ample time for Knox to go to her own apartment and, before Meredith's return at 9:pm, take the rent money never-otherwise accounted-for.}

    2. Timing of Meredith’s Murder #1

    The murder of Meredith Kercher was committed between 9:00 pm on 1 November 2007, when she returned to her rented apartment at the Via della Pergola cottage, and 00:10:31 am on 2 November 2007 when “her” stolen mobile phone was found by its receipt of CUT-timed call to have been located at the garden of the residence of Elisabetta Lana at no. 5\bis Via Sperandio, in Perugia.

    The phone had last been used to make an attempted internet connection from the cottage at 10:13:29 hours (9 seconds duration) on 1 November 07.

    3. Timing of Meredith’s Murder #2

    [63-64] “It is certain that at about 9:00 pm Meredith Kercher said goodbye to her friend before going home, and was therefore still alive at that time.

    Investigations of the phone records establish that the mobile phone containing the English SIM card issued a signal at 00:10:31 am on 2 November 2007 that was intercepted by the cell tower no. 25622, a cell tower that could not be affected by signals coming from Via della Pergola, but that intercepts signals coming from Via Sperandio, a road where the mobile phone had been abandoned after the murder by the homicide perpetrators.”

    Therefore at 00:10:31 am (ten and a half minutes past midnight) on 2 November 2007, Meredith’s murder had already occurred.

    4. Timing Of Alibis of AK And RS

    [140] “Thus, it can be affirmed at this point that, on the basis of the statements of both the witnesses, and on the basis of the picture emerging from the phone records previously noted, Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she was provided her second version of the events that occurred on the afternoon of 1 November and on the morning of 2 November 2007.

    The alibi provided by Amanda Marie Knox – of having returned to Raffaele Sollecito’s home in the late afternoon of 1 November 2007 and of having remained there, in the company of the co-accused, until 10:00am in the morning on 2 November 2007 – does not correspond to the truth.

    Based on the precise witness testimony of Antonio Curatolo and Marco Quintavalle, which this Court finds credible for the reasons expressed, Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, from 9:30pm to around midnight of 1 November 2007 were seen in Piazza Grimana on multiple occasions, a few yard from the cottage at no. 7, Via della Pergola, where, in the same span of time, the murder took place.

    Amanda Marie Knox went to Marco Quintavalle’s Conad shop around 7:45am on 2 November 2007, obviously in search of something to buy that she could not find. She was noticed by Mr. Quintavalle who, at the trial, identified her with certainty in the courtroom. So we are able to affirm that Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she claimed to have slept at Mr. Sollecito’s house in his company until 10am in the morning on 2 November 2007.

    Having already been proven false by witness testimony, the alibi given by the accused is also proven false by comparing it with objective data, which tallies with the witness testimony referred to above.

    [141] First of all, the examination of the phone records.

    From the phone records in the court file, it is apparent that Raffaele Sollecito’s mobile phone remained inactive from 8:42:56 pm on 1 November 2007 until 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007; switched off or in any case “out of range” of the signal.

    It emerges from the records that the last telephone contact engaging his device dated 1 November 2007 is the call at 8:42:56 pm received by the father, Francesco Sollecito, during which Raffaele spoke to the father about the broken pipe in the kitchen; the subsequent contact at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 was the SMS [text message] sent to him by the father, Francesco Sollecito, and which was generated by this latter’s telephone at 11:14 pm on 1 November 2007.

    Both contacts linked via the “cell” that serves number 130, Via Garibaldi, and so it must be concluded that the timings indicate that the mobile phone was present inside Raffaele Sollecito’s residence at number 130, Via Garibaldi.

    From the critical examination of what results from the phone records, it can objectively be held as proved not only that Raffaele Sollecito’s phone was not “active” from 8:42:56 pm on 1 November 2007 to 6:06:59 am [sic] on 2 November 2007, but that, reasonably, at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 Raffaele Sollecito was in fact not sleeping, as stated by Amanda Marie Knox and averred to by Mr. Sollecito; rather, he was wide awake, enough to switch on his own mobile phone and be able to receive the SMS sent to him by his father the night before.

    The Defense, supported by the conclusions of their technical consultants, argued that the fact of having received the SMS sent by Francesco Sollecito to his son on the evening of 1 November 2007 only at 6:02:59 am on the morning of 2 November 2007 would not necessarily be proof that the accused had switched his phone on at that time, since the phone, until that time, could have simply been positioned at a spot in the house where it was not able to receive the “signal”, on the assumption that special measurements had been made showing that not all points in the apartment at 130 Via Garibaldi were able to effectively receive the phone “signal”.

    This Court finds that the Defense argument is not justified.

    If in fact one can agree with the Defense reasoning by which there is no certain proof that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 Raffaele Sollecito’s phone was switched on (by himself or by Amanda Marie Knox, the only two present in the apartment) allowing [142] reception of the SMS sent to him by his father a good six hours earlier, the only logical alternative is that someone obviously moved the phone inside the apartment from the location in which it was positioned, and where it was not receiving the “signal”, to a different location in the apartment, where the “signal” was received.

    What matters, and what the Court finds proved, is that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 in the apartment at 130 Via Garibaldi, they were not in fact asleep, as the defendants claim, but rather the occupants were well awake, so much as to switch on or move the phones.

    And that the situation inside the apartment at 130 Via Garibaldi was not in fact that of a house in which the occupants spent a peaceful night also emerges from an examination effected on one of Raffaele Sollecito’s computers by the Postal Police.

    It appears that at 5:32 am on 2 November 2007 the computer connected to a “site” for listening to music, remaining connected for around half an hour. Therefore, at 5:32 am someone in the house occupied by Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito sat in front of the computer and listened to music for around half an hour and then, at 6:02:59 am, either switched on Raffaele Sollecito’s mobile phone or put it in a different place in the apartment.

    At the conclusion of the critical examination of the statements made by the defendants it can therefore be affirmed not only that the statements made to the investigating police at 1:45 am and to the Prosecutor at 5:45 am on 6 November 2007 by Amanda Marie Knox constitute a malicious incrimination as regards Patrick Lumumba, but also that the same was constructed for the specific purpose of distancing police suspicion from the defendants, offering the investigators a “guilty party” on which to focus their attention.”

    Here, Nencini is clearly summarizing his own conclusions regarding Knox’s statements re Patrick Lumumba.

    Posted on 01/30/15 at 01:31 PM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

    Why Knox’s Damning Last Live TV Interview Was Attacked And Labeled “Controversial”

    Posted by Chimera


    1. Overview Of This Post

    This is the complete 22 minute video of the interview Knox did with Chris Cuomo on 7 May 2014.

    Chris Cuomo asked some excellent questions. CNN itself quickly put online a video of some clips lasting 2 1/2 minutes. On 22 May Vivianna posted an analysis: “The Cuomo Interview: Why This May Be The Last Time Knox Tries To Argue Innocence On TV.”

    In her post Vivianna clarified the 2 types of innocence (factual v.s. legal), and found it bizarre that Knox focused exclusively on the ‘legal’ argument.  It was a wonderful piece, very sound scientifically, and very compelling.

    The full interview (see above and this transcript) makes more understandable why Cuomo was angrily attacked online for asking “unfair questions” on subjects normally made off-limits by the PR. It really rattled some cages.

    I will show here below why, and also how it could have rattled even more cages, by highlighting the insights that leaked out barely noticed, and the opportunities for many tougher questions.

    2. Analysis Of The Full Interview

    In the 2 1/2 minute clip Cuomo looked like a bit of a wimp. But in the full interview, he is actually pretty aggressive in pushing back against Knox’s attempts at convincing answers. 

    While I am still a bit disappointed that Cuomoe seems to back off from the really tough questions (see below) and like Diane Sawyer seems to be lacking in many of the hard facts (see below) this is definitely a more revealing picture than the short video.

    At no time, does Amanda ever say, ‘‘I DIDN’T KILL MEREDITH’‘.  And for someone giving a truthful answer, she has to pause and think far too often.

    Below are excerpts from the CNN with my own commentary:

    Chris Cuomo starts with a brief narrative about the case, and says the police immediately zeroed in on Knox. He cotinues:
     
    1) Not because of witnesses or forensics….

    2) She wasn’t distraught enough….

    3) She kissed her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito outside the crime scene….

    4) She did yoga in the police station….

    5) Soon the media would come up with a persona… Foxy Knoxy

    6) It was the stuff of tabloid headlines

    7) It was also, as many would argue, the prosecution’s entire case

    8) Despite this, Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009

    9) It was another 2 years before another court cited lack of objective evidence

    10) Last year, [2013] a new trial was ordered.

    11) The appeals court convicted Knox again, but based on a new motive

    12) There were multiple assailants, and 2 knives and Knox delivered the fatal blow

    13) All of this is based on the only person [Guede] whose DNA is all over the crime scene

    14) Due to a quirk in the Italian legal system, Guede is due to be released this year, after less than 6 years in jail

    An okay attempt, but something of a shortfall. Here is my corrected version of Chris Cuomo’s narrative.

      1a) Well, perhaps they zeroed in on her after she wrote statements placing herself at the scene

      2a) She wasn’t distraught? Well, her friend f***ing bled to death, but shit happens, let’s get on with life

      3a) She did a lot more than just kiss

      4a) She only did the splits, not the cartwheel, remember?

      5a) The name Foxy Knoxy was her childhood soccer name, which she kept for other reasons.

      6a) Yes, thanks dad, I needed the publicity

      7a) Actually, the prosecution spent time arguing a pattern of lying, no alibi, partial confession, forensic evidence ....

      8a) No, they were convicted in 2009, because of the exact opposite of what you argued.

      9a) While this is actually true, Chris neglects to explain why this first appeal was annulled.

      10a) It was not a new trial, but a redo of the appeal against the 2009 Massei conviction.

      11a) Nencini did not reconvict, he ‘‘confirmed’’ Massei, and motive had little to do with it.

      12a) Chris sees to be implying, as this came after ‘‘changed motive’’ that these facts changed as well. However, Massei believed as well there were multiple attackers, 2 knives, and Knox killed Meredith.

      13a) Judges and prosecutors believed next to nothing of what Guede said. Only Guede’s DNA? Amanda’s and Meredith’s DNA was mixed in several places. Raffaele’s DNA is on Meredith’s bra clasp

      14a) The ‘‘quirk’’ is the short form trial, which got Guede a reduced sentence. And while ‘‘eligible’’ for day release, it is not the same as ‘‘due for release’‘. November 2007 to late 2014 is 7 years, Chris, not 6.

    (2:45) Cuomo: What surprised you in the reasons?

    (2:55) Knox: I think what surprised me the most is how the court has attempted to account for exonerating evidence. That is really surprising to me. It’s not surprising that they place so much emphasis on circumstantial evidence, as opposed to objective forensic evidence.  And I’m really disappointed about that, because the circumstantial clues have all been equivical, have been unreliable, whereas forensic evidence that proves what happened that night in the room is there.  (odd smile) It is available to be understood.  And that continues to be an incredibly difficult obstacle that I’m having to confront, in proving my innocence.

    Is the court allowed to consider circumstantial evidence like phone records, lying, and no alibi?  No, they are circumstantial.

    What about bloody footprints and mixed blood? They are objective.  No they may be in the house, but they are not in the murder room.

    What about your shoeprint and Raffaele’s DNA in the murder room?  No, it is contaminated.

    But isn’t Rudy Guede’s handprints, shoeprints and DNA in the murder room?  Yes, and it proves my innocence.

    I actually think Amanda Knox would make a great lawyer (for all the wrong reasons).

    (3:50) Cuomo: Why do you think this judge goes further than any other, that only that you had it because of DNA around the hilt, but that he thinks that you are the one who actually killed Meredith Kercher?

    (4:08) Knox: (smiles) I believe, I mean, I can’t speculate what this judge’s motivations are, personal motivations or otherwise.  But what I can say is that, as this case has progressed, the evidence the prosecution has claimed exists against me has been proven less and less and less.  And all that has happened is that they fill these holes with speculation.

    Yes Judge Nencini holds some personal grudge….  Granted you have never actually met, but maybe he was just miffed you sent an email and hit the talk show circuit rather than attend your own appeal.

    Or maybe there is some hard truth in that 350 page report he wrote up.

    (4:47) Knox: I did not kill my friend.  I did not wield a knife. (for emphasis), I had no reason to.  In the month that we were living together we were becoming friends.  A week before the murder we went to a classical music concert together.  Like we had never fought.  And the idea .... I mean, he’s brought up lots of things, crazy motives,

    So it takes her a minute to deny killing ‘her friend’, who may or may not be Meredith. And she didn’t kill ‘her friend’ as she says she and Meredith were ‘becoming friends’  Um…. would you kill ‘your friend’ if you had ‘a reason to’?

    (5:15) Cuomo: He [Nencini] doesn’t agree with anything you’re saying with regard to the relationship.  (Amanda nods).  This judge believes that this fight was about money, and that you stole money from your roommate, and that this is what started this violent night.  Is there truth to that?

    You aren’t sure if you stole money from Meredith?

    (5:30) Knox: (pausing to think) Absolutely not.  He is getting this from Rudy Guede, who is coming up with these sorts of things for self interest.  And the truth of the matter is:... one, I had no criminal record, so I am not the type of person who is going to violently kill someone… (pauses) ... for any reason.  And furthermore, I had saved up to go to Italy, and was not in need of stealing any money, unlike Rudy Guede, who was a known thief, who is a known burglar, who did this on a regular basis to survive.  And why they would think I (points to herself) was a thief, when in Meredith’s own purse, there was Rudy Guede’s fingerprints…. it’s based on nothing.

    Amanda has to think to herself before denying it.  And she says that she is not the type to violently kill (is there another type?) but doesn’t say she didn’t do it.

    And you don’t have to be a career criminal to commit murder. Many killers are first timers.

    (6:18) Cuomo: To step through what he [Nencini] sees as the fact pattern for that night, and literally, it reads like a yes/no list.

    (6:30) Cuomo: Were you and your boyfriend hanging outside the piazza that night?
          Knox: No
          Cuomo: Did you let Rudy Guede into your apartment?
          Knox: No
          Cuomo: Were you with Rudy Guede in your apartment that night?
          Knox: No
          Cuomo: Was there a fight over money with Meredith Kercher, witnessed by Rudy Guede?
          Knox: No
         
    (7:00) Cuomo: The judge believes the only way he could have gotten in is with keys.  He throws out the possibility that there was a break in through the window, that was found in the home you shared.  Why do you think he dismisses that possibility as orchestrated?

    Chris, you could of course just read the report…

    (7:10) Knox: I mean again, why he [Nencini] thinks it?  What I can say is that Rudy Guede is a known burglar (pauses) who broke into houses and offices through second story windows, having thrown a rock, carrying a knife, and that these all resembled everything that happened in our apartment.  So, why this judge thinks it’s impossible just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Except the sexually assaulted and murdered woman ....  For my curiousity, where were all these other supposed burglaries?

    The judge may think the theory possible, if not for all the evidence that contradicts it.

    (7:38) Cuomo: Your roommate said you had a strained relationship.  Now that’s a bad fact as we call it in the law.  Why would your roommates lie about the relationship between you and Meredith?

    (7:49) Knox: They said that we weren’t hanging out as much at the time when the murder occurred.  But that was only because I had gotten a job. Meredith’s British friends suggested that maybe Meredith was a little uncomfortable about certain issues about hygiene, but (looks angry), these were not issues that were ever going to lead to any kind of violence.  They never ... led to any aggressive communication between us. That never happened.

    Sexually assaulting and stabbing is ‘‘aggressive communication’’ now? Wow, interesting use of the English language.  And yes you got a job,at Patrick’s bar. But wasn’t it about to go to Meredith?

    (8:22) Cuomo: The judge believes that there were 3 people who did this.  The said the blood is suggestive of it, that Rudy Guede had free hands.  And it he had free hands, he must not have been alone. That the DNA evidence from Raffaele Sollecito is there on the clasp, and that shows that he was trying to take off her clothes or manipulate her somehow. (Knox nods)  And that there had to be a third person.  And the DNA of footprints that he believes are yours and your boyfriend’s prove that there were three of you in the room that night. Why is he wrong?

    For someone who maintains the ‘‘no evidence’’ line, Knox is nodding through much of this.

    (8:53) Knox: Well, um, let’s break that down.  We have a bra clasp that independent court experts have claimed is not reliable because it was collected 46 days after the crime scene had been gone through by the CSI’s of Italy.  And after police had tromped through it and basically completely destroyed that scene.  That is not a reliable piece of evidence.  Then we have the idea that Rudy Guede would not have been able to attack Meredith because someone had to hold her down.

    Amanda, you didn’t address the footprints… And again C&V were not independent nor reliable….  And you know the CSIs compromised the scene how….

    (9:35) Knox: first of all, the weapon that they claimed is the murder weapon, is not the murder weapon.

    To ask the obvious question - how does she know more than her lawyers and the police?  You’d almost think she was there.

    (9:45) Knox: An athletic male, armed with a knife ... to overpower a young woman, that happens every day, in this world, and I don’t think that is impossible to be what happened to Meredith.

    True, it may not be ‘impossible to be what happened’, but she is not insisting that ‘is’ what happened.

    (10:00) Cuomo: and your saying to me tonight is that it is impossible that you were in the room that night, you had a knife in your hand, and that you helped Meredith Kercher?

    Odd for an investigative role.  He asks if it was impossible, but avoids directly asking if she did it

    (10:06) Knox: Absolutely, because my DNA, any trace of me, is not there…. when your talking about traces of me, that they’re attributing to the crime scene, they’re talking about DNA in my own bathroom

    Again, Knox goes straight for the ‘‘the evidence is not there’’ argument, rather than directly saying she was not involved in Meredith’s murder.  Also, this may be the first time she has acknowledged the bathroom is part of the crime scene.  Yay….?

    (10:30) Knox: ...or my footsteps which tested negative for blood, that had mine and Meredith’s DNA on the floor between our bedrooms and the bathrooms.  Of course our DNA was there, we lived there for a month, it was there.  It tested negative for blood, so it wasn’t blood.  And so it’s irrelevant to the crime.  But we’re talking about the crime that happened in Meredith’s bedroom.

    Here Knox is making a strawman argument, saying that the hallway is irrelevant.  Odd, considering that unless ‘‘Spiderman’’ Guede would have to have gone through the hallway unless he jumped out the window.

    Also curious that (if my understanding is right), it was the shape of the footprints the the hall, and not necessarily DNA itself which was introduced.

    Yes, the crime itself happened in Meredith’s room, but the luminol did reveal footprints in the hallway, and there was mixed blood in the bathroom.  Is Knox just scatterbrained in this interview, of being deliberately deceptive?

    (10:43) If Rudy Guede committed this crime, which he did, we know that because his DNA is there, on Meredith’s body, his handprints and footprints in her blood.  None of that exists for me.  And if I were there, I would have had traces of Meredith’s broken body on me, and I would have left traces of myself… around Meredith’s corpse.

    Wasn’t Sollecito’s bloody footprint on the bathroom mat a major piece against him?  Was there not Knox’s DNA (mixed with Meredith) in the bathroom and in Filomena’s room? Was a size 37 woman’s shoeprint not found in the room?

    Odd, that Knox’s DNA is in her apartment, which she lived in, but not a single fingerprint….  You know Rudy Guede committed the crime strictly because this DNA, handprints and footprints are there… but logically, the same types of evidence don’t count against you and Raffaele? “If Guede killed Meredith”?  You know something we don’t?

    (11:15) Knox: And I am not there, and that proves my innocence

    Yes, Amanda, but were you really there?

    (11;20) Cuomo: Those are the big points this judge makes.  There are others, and there is also another man who judged you before, he wants to weigh in, and we have a statement from him.

    (11:38) Cuomo: The appeals court judge who set Amanda free says the appellate court’s ruling against her is more worthy of a Hollywood movie set, than a courtroom.  In a statement obtained exclusively by CNN, retired judge Claudio Hellmann says:

    The Florence Appeals Court has written a script for a movie or thriller book while it should have considered only the facts and evidence. There is no evidence to condemn Knox and Sollecito.  It’s a verdict, that seems to me is the result of fantasy and has nothing to do with the evidence.

    Judge Hellmann, you were meant to be running a narrow appeal, not attempting a new trial with only the defense presenting. After the way your ruling was trashed by Cassation as perhaps the most incompetent, illegally wide, illogical, and obviously biased that Italy has seen, ever, and considering you were a business judge who caused a disaster on your one other murder case also, you are not really one to give a professional opinion on this. Judge Zanetti neither.

    (12:15) Cuomo: Obviously words of comfort to you. What does it mean to hear that from a now retired judge?

    Interesting, no complaints are made about Hellmann giving these statements, but Nencini gets a formal complaint for commenting about not severing the appeals?

    (12:19) Knox: It gives me a lot of hope.  He did the right thing.  He appointed independent experts, he looked at the forensic evidence, the objective evidence, he didn’t give more weight to equivocal and unreliable circumstantial clues than needed to be.

    Hope, but for the wrong reasons.  C&V were not really independent witnesses.  Appellate level judges were not supposed to hire experts. Cassation criticised just this action.

    Circumstantial evidence can very reliable, and very powerful.  Didn’t give more weight to ‘unreliable circumstantial clues’? A judge should not give ANY weight to unreliable clues.

    (12:46) Cuomo: However, the judge on top of him, Nencini, looked at what he did, dismisses it out of hand, almost as saying that is why he retired, just look at this decision, and he seems to believe, quote: ‘‘No alternative explanation is conceivable…. that is casting a tremendous amount of doubt on the story that you tell about what happened that night.

    Chris gets some basic facts wrong. It is Cassation, not Nencini, who is on top.  Nencini is simply another lower level appeal judge. It is not ‘‘almost as saying’’ why Hellmann retired, he WAS forced to retire

    (13:10) Knox: This is not a complex case. It’s only complex when you try to find explanations ....

    You are right. We should only explore simple solutions.

    (13:30) Cuomo: .... that Rudy Guede had to have entered from use of your keys.

    (13:34) Knox: That’s not true either.  He had a history of breaking and entering second story windows, with rocks, carrying knives. Like, how is that impossible?  There is a window below which he could have climbed up from.  He was perfectly capable of doing that.

    Technically, Knox is right. She could have just left the door unlocked. So Rudy has a type, second story, with rocks and knives?  Interesting…

    Wait, didn’t I just hear this identical argument just a few minutes earlier?  Rehearse much, Mandy?

    (13:55) Cuomo: ... [Nencini] believes the convicted killer more than you.  What does that mean to you?

    (14:02) Knox: (smiles) I don’t know. It’s definitely very disheartening.  Because I don’t know (another smile). I’m sitting here having to prove my innocence.  It is incredibly disheartening when Rudy Guede was found to be unreliable, when he found certainly to be Meredith’s rapist and killer, they would consider his testimony over mine.  There’s no explanation for it, in my mind.

    I can explain that.  Judge Nencini (and Massei, and Micheli, and Cassation), think more than 1 person was involved.

    (14:45) Cuomo: What does it lead you to believe that [Nencini] thinks about you, this judge, as a person?

    (14:52) Knox: As a person, well, he says in his report that when the prosecutor describes me as a person who is capable of not only disturbing not only everyone around me, but getting drugged up and .... (shakes head) ... but I am not that person. And the evidence doesn’t show that.

    Um…. didn’t your roommates and Meredith’s friends all testify to that being exactly the kind of person you are?  The testimony of many witnesses is not evidence?

    And while you may not be that person now, were you then?

    (15:25) Cuomo: Another thing Judge Hellman says: I THINK THAT THE HIGH COURT WILL BE OBLIGED TO CONFIRM THE FLORENCE RULING IF THEY DON’T WANT TO OPENLY CONTRADICT THEIR COLLEAGUES.

    This is idiotic, especially if Hellmann wanted to be taken seriously.  The entire point of appeals is so that fresh eyes will review the work of the trial (or lower appellate level) judges, and make sure their findings, facts, logic, and procedures are sound.  It would complete defeat the purpose of appeals if the higher court simply signed off on lower court rulings.

    (15:37) Knox: (indignant sigh) He was willing to do it.  So I have to believe there are authorities in Italy who will be sitting on that Supreme Court panel who will look at the facts of this case, and will do the same thing he did.

    So, you are going to corrupt Cassation as well? F*** my life.

    (16:00) Cuomo Do you believe you are haunted by first impressions? How you behaved in the aftermath, what they saw as antics….

    (16:18) Knox: I think I’m haunted more by people’s projections of their ideas onto me than my own impressions on others, because there’s been an absurd focus on the hours, the seconds I spent outside of my house, of police’s testimony about what did or didn’t happen in the police office.  I think it’s true that people seem to have had a kind of tunnel vision….  and that is something I’ve been having to fight against for a long time.

    Considering her email to judge Nencini, I am not convinced she knows what projecting really is.

    (17:08) Cuomo: Legally, there is only one more step [Cassation].  What do you plan to do to have this come out in your favour?

    I have an idea. Perhaps, attend your appeal this time.

    However, the answer was cut off by a commercial. Afterwards, it cuts to a clip of the interview of Knox and Cuomo from May 2013.  It shows a few clips of Amanda pretending to cry, and repeating how she is afraid.

    (18:02) Cuomo: Then you had the anticipation of what the ruling would be.  Which was worse: the anticipation of it, or now knowing what the ruling is?

    (18:15) Knox: I think it’s now knowing where it stands with the judges, because I had truly believed that this court was going to find me innocent.  No new evidence had been presented. I did not expect this, (grimaces) and I’m incredibly hurt and disappointed to read what they’re saying is true but so clearly not.  And I guess my only hope is that people are going to see all of the flaws that are throughout the entire document that justifies this verdict. This whole theory that I might somehow be involved in some way with Meredith’s murder is wrong.

    You truly believed Nencini would find you innocent?  But you skip the appeal and email saying you are afraid?!  The horribly flawed document… were you referring to Hellmann’s by any chance?

    You weren’t ‘somehow involved’ in ‘some way’. Judge Nencini ruled that you actually delivered the fatal blow

    (19:08) Cuomo: You will appeal
            Knox: Yes
            Cuomo: You will stay here in the United States for the duration of the appeal?
            Knox: Yes
            Cuomo: What happens if the Supreme Court confirms this ruling? The case is closed, and you are guilty.

    (19:25) Knox: (angry smile showing) from this whole experience, especially in prison, where you have to take everything day by day, now i’m having to take everything step by step. And if I think about everything that I could possibly be facing, it’s way to overwhelming for me to even conceive.

    (19:50) Cuomo: Are you able to be present, or are you trapped in 2007?

    (20:00) Knox: (smiles) it’s definitely a limbo (smiles again).  My entire adult life has been weighed down by and overtaken by this tremendous mess, this, this, (shuts her eyes and grins slightly).  On the one hand, I have my life in Seattle.  I get to go to school.  I get to be with my family and friends.  And I’m so grateful to have them.  They really helped me get through this.  And know there are people who believe me.  And on the other hand, there is this huge wait, this huge struggle, and trying to learn each step of the way, what’s so wrong and how I can fix it.  And I guess I’m just one of the luck ones? (confused look).

    (21:10) Knox: People have looked into my case. I’m not just a forgotten case.

    That is totally true.  Thanks to FOA and Dave Marriott, your case will never be forgotten.

    (21:18) Cuomo: If the case is affirmed, and you are found guilty in final fashion, but the United States decides not to extradite, your life goes on, you can live in the United States, but will you ever really be free?

    (21:35) Knox: Absolutely not. No, that is not a liveable ... especially since right now me and Raffaele are fighting together for our innocence.  And like I said, I truly believe that it can happen.  It’s only speculation that convicts us.  It’s evidence that acquits us.  And I’m holding firm in that what you’re suggesting might happen doesn’t.

    Good luck with that one. You need to not leave so much out if there is a next time.

    Posted on 01/27/15 at 11:22 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Thursday, January 22, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #5: Gumbel Really A Cowardly Defamatory Shill?

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Above: “Neutral ghostwriter” Andrew Gumbel tweets…

    1, Today In The Florence Court

    Lately many of the chest-thumping PR shills have whined a lot more about themselves as victims than done anything to boost Sollecito and Knox.

    Think of Preston, Burleigh, Dempsey, Sforza, Fisher, Moore, and a whole lot of other serial complainers. Now chest-thumper Andrew Gumbel seems to want to join their ranks. That is if the claim that he was ONLY a ghostwriter was made by his lawyer with his consent to the Florence judge.

    2. Signs Gumbel Really Is A Shill

    Note that Sollecito gave many signs during his US book promotion tour late in 2012 that he really didn’t know much about what was in his own book.

    So did Gumbel really only hang on Sollecito’s every word? Or did he talk to a lot more people than that, and get very invested in nasty, dishonest propaganda to deny justice for Meredith via the courts?

    Here’s Andrew Gumbel on 1 May 2014, providing the first media opinion in the UK on Judge Nencini’s appeal report. The nasty false claims highlighted suggest Gumbel has a very strong investment in Sollecito and Knox and not a little contempt for the Italian courts.

    One truth in Gumbel’s article which he must really regret? That sentence in the thitrd paragraph: “Disclosure: I am the co-author with Sollecito on his memoir about the case.”

    The longer the Italian courts consider the Meredith Kercher case – and we have now had three trials, six presiding judges, two hearings before the Italian high court and a third on the way – the more the country’s institutions of justice have covered themselves in shame.

    Judge after judge has twisted the available evidence into extraordinary contortions of logic to assert, at different times, that Kercher – a British exchange student stabbed to death in her room in Perugia in 2007 – was the victim of a premeditated attack; that her murder happened spontaneously; that the motive was sexual; that the motive was a dispute over housework with Amanda Knox, the star defendant; that the trigger for the murder was the unseemly appetite Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, had for sex and drugs; that the trigger for the murder was Rudy Guede, the Ivorian-born drifter everyone agrees was involved, knocking on the door to use the toilet.

    By now, Knox and Sollecito have been convicted, acquitted and convicted again, and the underlying forensic evidence has been both exposed as a sham and, mystifyingly, reinstated. (Disclosure: I am the co-author, with Sollecito, on his memoir about the case.)

    Still, the latest judicial document in the ongoing battle, a 337-page justification of the most recent convictions made public on Tuesday, marks a new low. Not only has Alessandro Nencini, the presiding judge of the Florence appeals court, apparently resorted to the same tortured logic as his predecessors; he has also stated things as fact that are manifestly and provably wrong.

    That may be more than even the Italian justice system can stomach; judges, after all, aren’t supposed to do things like that. And it may provide Knox and Sollecito with unexpected – if still slim – grounds for hope at the very moment when Kercher’s death had seemed settled, at last, according to the law.

    To read the new conviction report in detail is to enter a kind of alternate reality, where concrete facts appear ignored and alternate facts are seemingly plucked from the air. Kercher’s murder is reduced to a parlor game and all roads lead to the inevitable, if not also foregone, conclusion that Knox and Sollecito are guilty. For instance:

    • On page 63, Judge Nencini claims that a partial shoeprint found at the murder scene comes from a size 37 women’s shoe and must therefore belong to Amanda Knox. But this is not based on the available evidence. In the early days of the case, the prosecution sought to show that the shoeprint was from Sollecito’s Nikes; the pattern of concentric circles on the sole was later proven to come from a different pair of Nikes belonging to Guede.

    • On page 81, Nencini grapples with the question of how Knox and Sollecito could have participated in the murder but left no more than a single, hotly disputed trace of themselves at the scene. Extraordinarily, Nencini argues that Knox and Sollecito must have wiped the place clean of their DNA (but left an abundance of Guede’s) because no traces of Knox’s DNA were found anywhere in the apartment that she shared with the victim. But multiple samples of Knox’s DNA were found and presented at trial; they just weren’t found in the room where the murder took place.

    • Then, on page 321, Nencini writes that the blade of the purported murder weapon – a large kitchen knife found in Sollecito’s apartment – bore traces of both Kercher’s and Sollecito’s DNA. Again, this is at variance with the evidence. The most the prosecution ever asserted was that Kercher’s DNA was on the tip of the blade. Sollecito’s DNA has never been found.

    The defense teams have reacted with consternation: Knox issued a formal statement decrying the lack of “credible evidence or logic” in this latest document, which arrived just ahead of the three-month deadline following her latest conviction; Sollecito’s lead lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, denounced what she said were “at least ten clamorous mistakes per page”. (A Kercher family lawyer called the document “a version that we have always in some ways sustained”.)

    This being Italy, however, the judicial errors are not necessarily a bad thing for Knox and Sollecito, because they give the Italian high court an opening – should the justices choose to take it – to overturn the latest conviction, and either dismiss the case, send it back to get the mistakes fixed, or order yet another trial in another court.

    The high court justices will be aware, of course, that the longer the case drags on, the more suspect the process will look in the eyes of world opinion. Another trial would test the patience of even the most ardent believers in Knox and Sollecito’s guilt, and certainly of the Kercher family. But the process is starting to curdle – even without the spectacle of lawyers arguing, yet again, over the same controversies before a barrage of international TV cameras. That leaves the high court, which always has one eye on the integrity of the system, with a genuine dilemma.

    Much has been written about Italian justice’s desire to save face in this much written-about case. To admit a miscarriage of justice, the argument runs, has become too difficult, because it would expose the mistakes of too many people, from the primary investigators to the Rome forensic lab to the prosecutors and judges.

    However, as the case trudges toward the seven-year mark, one has to wonder how much appetite the institutions of justice still have to stand by what they have done. Will the high court really want to endorse Nencini’s report with all these evident flaws? Or will this finally be the moment when the justice system calls a halt to a travesty committed in its name and exonerates Knox and Sollecito, as it should have done years ago?


    3. How Gumbel Got It Wrong

    We responded by rebutting 20 of Gumbel’s malicious claims in just the first 7 pages of Honor Bound. And Pataz1, a TJMK main poster who also runs his own blog posted this rebuttal of Gumbel below

    This letter was sent to the Guardian’s Reader Editor on 4 May 2014, and again on 3 June, 2014. The Reader’s Editor did not respond to either of the email submissions.

    Gumbel’s May 1st, 2014 article in the Guardian is a thinly veiled advocacy piece for Sollecito and Knox. He left out a significant phrase from a Nencini passage he cites; this phrase he omitted undermines one of his main claims.

    To the Guardian:

    I’m writing to you about Andrew Gumbel’s “comment” on developments in the murder of Meredith Kercher case. Gumbel writes about the recently released Nencini court motivations document, which outlines the court’s reasoning for affirming Knox and Sollecito’s conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

    Gumbel waits until the end of the third paragraph in his article to provide his disclaimer: that he is a co-author of the book by one of the defendants. Its hard to understand why Gumbel waited so long to disclose his vested financial interest in the innocence of one of the defendants on trial. By this time, Gumbel has already levied allegations of impropriety upon the Italian courts and judges. For example, he alleges “the country’s institutions of justice have covered themselves in shame.” He continues specific allegations that “judge after judge has twisted the available evidence […]”.  If Gumbel had provided his disclaimer appropriately at the beginning of his letter, readers would have had a more appropriate understanding of Gumbel’s perspective and motivations for writing his letter.

    Despite being a co-author of a book by one of the two still on trial for Meredith’s murder, Gumbel’s statements on the court process are wrong. Gumbel pushes the perspective that Knox’s reps have pushed in the US; that Knox and Sollecito have been “convicted again” after an acquittal. Gumbel leaves out any mention of the Italian Supreme Court ruling that overturned Knox and Sollecito’s acquittal and sent the case back to the appellate level. After the acquittal was annulled, the original 2009 conviction remained in place. Gumbel is no doubt aware that the Florence court is an appellate court.  (Curiously, Sollecito’s co-defendant Knox also wrongly claims on her website that the Italian Supreme Court “annulled all previous verdicts”; ref: http://www.amandaknox.com/about-contact/?).

    Gumbel’s omission of the Italian Supreme Court ruling is odd, because the entire point of his article is the integrity of the judicial decisions. Gumbel left out that the Italian Supreme Court has already made one ruling regarding the integrity of a judicial decision in this case. The Supreme Court’s ruling wasn’t in favor of Gumbel’s co-author and defendant Raffaele Sollecito;  perhaps this is the reason that Gumbel failed to mention the actual outcome of the acquittal.

    Or perhaps Gumbel left out this information so he could present the evidence the way it is framed by supporters of Knox and Sollecito. Later in the the same paragraph, Gumbel expresses confusion about why evidence remains in the case. He states “the underlying forensic evidence has been both exposed as a sham and, mystifyingly, reinstated.” As the co-author of the book with Sollecito, Gumbel is again no doubt aware that after the appellate-level acquittal was thrown out, the original conviction (with all of the evidence) remained as a part of the case. Any decision made by Hellmann on the evidence was also thrown out of the case, including Hellmann’s conclusions on the knife DNA evidence and the Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp. Further, if Gumbel had indeed read the Nencini decision, he would have read the passage where Nencini takes to task the “independent experts” in the Hellmann trial (detailed here:http://thefreelancedesk.com/amanda-knox-trials-meredith-kercher-case/). Gumbel should be well aware after his reading of Nencini why the evidence still contributed to the Florence court upholding his co-author’s conviction.

    In his second point on the Nencini decision, Gumbel leaves out a key phrase that completely undermines his claim. By this time in his article, one is forced to wonder if this omission is deliberate. Gumbel’s claim is that Nencini contradicted himself by writing that Knox and Sollecito only left a “single, hotly disputed trace of themselves” despite the other evidence that Nencini also talks about. But the start of the passage Gumbel cites is:

    “Una peculiarità è, ad esempio, il rilievo che all’interno della villetta di via della Pergola quasi non sono state rinvenute tracce di Amanda Marie Knox – se non quelle di cui si dirà e riferibili all’omicidio – né di Raffaele Sollecito.”

    The phrase Gumbel deliberately left out is this: “se non quelle di cui si dirà e riferibili all’omicidio”, which, roughly translated, is “except those which will be discussed and related to the murder.”  The Nencini Motivations document explicitly contains a clause that accommodates the other traces related to the murder. Gumbel’s point is provably false. As someone who arguably puts himself forth as an expert on the case, this omission is highly concerning.

    In Gumbel’s third point he highlights what is a minor error in the Nencini report. Calling out one word in a longer passage, Gumbel points out the report states that Sollecito’s DNA was found on the knife that is alleged as a murder weapon. If Gumbel truly read the report, as he claimed in a twitter exchange with me, he would be aware that the rest of the section that is contained in makes it clear that the finding is Knox’s DNA on the knife, not Sollecito’s. This minor error is hardly cause to overturn the full conviction.

    I could continue, but the rest of Gumbel’s article is largely a diatribe against the length of the trial and the Italian justice system. Gumbel cites an article written by Douglas Preston, another author who has financially benefited by being openly critical of the prosecutor in Knox’s case. Knox and Sollecito’s case has gone through three levels of the Italian court system, and back to appeals. Cases in the US that follow a similar path have not happened any faster than the one in Italy. For example, in the Scott Peterson case in the US his defense still filed appeals eight years after his first-level conviction.

    That the Guardian has allowed itself to be used as a platform to push the defense’s perspective is not only a disservice to the family of the murder victim who lives in the UK, but is also a disservice to the victim of a violent, brutal murder.


    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #4: The Angles Most Hurtful Before The Supreme Court

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    [A far from joyful dad once again tries to knock sense into his loose-cannon offspring]

    1. Overview Of This Series And Post

    Tomorrow is the day when the wraps come off the prosecutions’ targets in the book - and when Sollecito & Gumbel might or might not try to justify themselves.

    For Sollecito and Knox their books actually constitute four kinds of problems; (1) their defamations of the Italian courts and justice system; (2) their defamations of many police, investigators and prosecutors who work within it, (3) their numerous lies by omission, the pesky facts they never mention; and (4) the unwitting truths and half-truths pointing to guilt, which Cassation may especially zero in on.

    As mentioned in the previous post, we will open the floodgates on our own analysis of problems (1) and (2) if the court takes a significant step forward. To this many posters have contributed. Also we will have some posts on problem (3) the pesky facts never to be mentioned.

    This extensive analysis below, by our main poster Chimera, addresses problem (4) the truths and half-truths in Sollecito’s book which could bite both of them in their tails.

    First Chimera presents the analysis, and then a whole other way that the book could be taken by Cassation.

    2. Chimera’s Examination Of RS’s “Truthiness”

    [page xv] ‘’....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….’‘

    A main criticism by the Supreme Court of Judge Hellmann was that he looked at the evidence piece by piece, rather than trying to make a story of all the evidence as a whole.

    [page xvi] ‘’....She was Amanda the heartless when she didn’t cry over Meredith’s death and Amanda the hysterical manipulator when she did. Whatever she did—practice yoga, play Beatles songs, buy underwear—it was held against her.

    Well, when someone does not seem upset that their ‘friend’ is murdered, and then behaves in this fashion, would police not at least have their curiosity piqued?

    [page 20] ‘’... First, Guede could reasonably assume that the occupants of the house were either out for the night or away for the long weekend. Second, he had previously stayed over in the boys’ apartment downstairs—he fell asleep on the toilet one night in early October and ended up sprawled on the couch—so he knew the lay of the land. He had even met Meredith and Amanda briefly. And, third, since it was the first of the month, chances were good that the accumulated rent money for November was sitting in a pile somewhere in the house.

    In the upstairs apartment, Filomena took responsibility for gathering everyone’s cash and handing it over to the landlady. And it was Filomena’s bedroom window that would soon be smashed with a large rock…’‘

    This only makes sense if and only if:

    (a) Rudy knew the schedules of all 8 people in the house
    (b) Rudy may have slept downstairs, but implies he must have been upstairs at some point
    (c) Rudy knew that Filomena had all the money (that she took charge of it)
    (d) That rent would be paid in cash, not a cheque or bank automatic withdrawl. Which suggests…

    A failure on those parameters points to an inside job.

    [page 22] ‘’... My father took her advice, but because my cell phone was turned off, I didn’t receive the message until six the next morning.

    It was a desperately unlucky combination of circumstances. If my father had tried my cell and then called me on the home line—which he would have done, because he’s persistent that way—I would have had incontrovertible proof from the phone records that I was home that night. And the nightmare that was about to engulf me might never have begun.’‘

    First, it is an admission that the cell phone was turned off

    Second, it is an admission that had Francesco called him, he would have an alibi, suggesting he did not…

    [page 24] ‘’ ... Many Italians, including most of my family, could not fathom how she could go ahead with her shower after finding blood on the tap, much less put her wet feet on the bath mat, which was also stained, and drag it across the floor.’‘

    So, Amanda showered, even with blood on the tap and on the bathmat, and no one, not even Raffaele, can make sense of it. Perhaps it is just an odd way of being quirky.

    [page 26] ‘’... Then I pushed open Filomena’s door, which had been left slightly ajar, and saw that the place was trashed. Clothes and belongings were strewn everywhere. The window had a large, roundish hole, and broken glass was spread all over the floor.

    Okay, we thought, so there’s been a break-in. What we couldn’t understand was why Filomena’s laptop was still propped upright in its case on the floor, or why her digital camera was still sitting out in the kitchen. As far as we could tell, nothing of value was missing anywhere….’‘

    And this would be found to be suspicious by the police. An apparent break in, but nothing seems to be missing. And we haven’t even gotten to the spiderman climb yet.

    [page 27] ‘’... Amanda went into the Italian women’s bathroom alone, only to run back out and grab on to me as though she had seen a ghost. “The shit’s not in the toilet anymore!” she said. “What if the intruder’s still here and he’s locked himself in Meredith’s room?”

    Interesting. Perhaps Raffaele instinctively leaves poop in the toilet as well. Why would he not flush to make sure?

    [page 27 contains the following lines:]

    ‘’ ....Don’t do anything stupid.’‘
    ‘’ ....Now what do we do?’‘
    ‘’ ....My sister is in the Carabinieri.’‘

    These were supposedly in reference to the frantic attempts to see in Meredith’s room. Does anyone think there is some innuendo/hidden meaning?

    [page 29] ‘’... “No, nothing’s been taken.” I didn’t know that for sure, of course, and I should have been more careful about my choice of words. At the time, though, I thought I was just performing my civic duty by passing the information along. The only reason I was on the line was because Amanda’s Italian was not good enough for her to make the call herself.’‘

    This sounds innocuous enough, with the qualifiers, but without them:  ‘‘No, nothing’s been taken… I should have been more careful about my choice of words.”

    [page 33] ‘’.... As things spiraled out of control over the next several days, a senior investigator with the carabinieri in Perugia took it upon himself to call my sister and apologize, colleague to colleague. “If we had arrived ten minutes earlier,” he told Vanessa, “the case would have been ours. And things would have gone very differently.”

    This sounds eerily like an admission that things could have been tampered with, or ‘saved’, if only the ‘right’ people had been there in time.

    [page 35] ‘’... Amanda didn’t understand the question, so I answered for her, explaining that she’d taken a shower and then come back to my house. “Really, you took a shower?” Paola said. She was incredulous…’‘

    However, the book does not clarify why Paola was incredulous. Take your pick.

    (a) Amanda didn’t look or smell like she had a shower
    (b) Amanda showered in a blood soaked bathroom
    (c) Both ‘a’ and ‘b’

    [page 39] ‘’... In the moment, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to make Amanda feel worse. The whole purpose of my being there was to comfort her. So I defended her, even beyond the point where I felt comfortable or could be said to be looking out for my own interests.’‘

    This is arguably the most true part of the book. He does have to comfort her, so she doesn’t talk. And it probably was uncomfortable.

    And ‘‘beyond the point where ... I could be said to be looking out for my own interests.’’ Notice that Raffaele does not say ‘‘beyond that point where I WAS looking out for my own interests. It only ‘looks’ like it, because it is very much in his interest - at that time - to pacify Amanda.

    [page 40] ‘’.... Italian newspapers reporting ‘Amanda could kill for a pizza’.’‘

    To most people, Raffaele could mean this signifies that killing and death did not affect her greatly, or that she is simply immature.

    It could also be an admission: Meredith’s death was over something extremely trivial, and Raffaele knew it.

    [page 40] ‘’...Why focus on her, and not on Meredith’s other friends? I wondered. She and Amanda were new acquaintances…’‘

    Exactly. Compared to what has been portrayed, they were not close friends, or even friends

    [page 41] ‘’... Amanda noticed the police’s sex obsession right away; they couldn’t stop asking her about the Vaseline pot and a vibrator they had found in the bathroom. The vibrator was a joke item, a little rubber bunny rabbit shaped to look like a vibrator and fashioned into a pendant, but the police seemed to find this difficult to accept. What about Meredith’s sex life? Amanda knew only that Meredith had left a boyfriend in England and was now involved with one of the men who lived downstairs, a twenty-two-year-old telecommunications student with a carefully sculpted beard and outsize earrings named Giacomo Silenzi. Amanda had helped Meredith out a couple times by giving her a condom from her supply. But Amanda had no idea how, or how often, Meredith had sex and didn’t feel comfortable fielding questions about it.’‘

    This is creepily ‘Knoxian’ in that Raffaele is deliberately leaking extremely personal details about Meredith. Is this a desire they share: to humiliate her deeper, in the public domain, far beyond what they already have done.

    [page 42] ‘’... A few days later, this episode would be distorted in the newspapers to make it seem as if the first thing we did after the murder was to buy sexy lingerie—specifically, a G-string—and tell each other how we couldn’t wait to try it out. The store owner, who did not speak English, corroborated the story in pursuit of his own brief moment in the spotlight. True, the surveillance video in the store showed us touching and kissing, but that was hardly a crime. I wasn’t making out with her in some vulgar or inappropriate way, just comforting her and letting her know I was there for her. Besides, there was nothing remotely sexy about Bubble. A much sexier underwear store was next door, and we didn’t set foot in…’‘

    Interesting. Raffaele says that this was blown out of proportion, yet his defense is that we didn’t do anything sexual, but if we did, it is not a crime, and besides, there was a better place next door.

    [page 43] ‘’... I realized I had not properly acknowledged my own discomfort with Amanda. I was not scandalized by her, in the way that so many others later said they were, but I shouldn’t have allowed her to climb all over me in the Questura, and I should have counseled her quietly not to complain so much. I understood the gallant side of being her boyfriend, but I could have given her better advice and protected myself in the process.’‘

    Translation: Amanda, quit whining so much. And while boning you in the police station may be fun, it is seriously jeopardizing my interests.

    [page 44] ‘’... She told them, quite openly, about a guy from Rome she went to bed with a few days before meeting me. She had no problem being open about her sex life, and that made her interrogators suspicious. How many men, they wondered, did she plan on getting through during her year in Perugia?

    Probably true, except for the conclusion. More likely they wondered: Why does she have to bring this up now?

    [page 46]’‘... My sister, Vanessa, made her own separate inquiries and felt much less reassured. The first time she called the Questura, they left her waiting on the line, even though she announced herself as a lieutenant in the carabinieri, and never took her call.
    The second time, she had herself put through from the carabinieri’s regional switchboard, to make it more official. This time she got through, but only to a junior policeman clearly her inferior. (In Italian law enforcement, protocol on such matters is followed scrupulously.) “Listen,” the man told her impatiently, “everything is fine.”

    “Is there someone I can talk to who is in charge of this case?” Vanessa insisted.

    This sounds like a very detailed (if true) attempt at subverting justice. Way to drop Vanessa in it, Raffy.

    [page 47] ‘’... The truth, though, was that the authorities were still clueless.’‘

    Don’t worry, they will get a clue soon enough.

    [page 48] ‘’... What did they have on us? Nothing of substance. But they did find our behavior odd, and we had no real alibi for the night of November 1 except each other, and we did not have lawyers to protect us, and we seemed to have a propensity for saying things without thinking them through. In other words, we were the lowest-hanging fruit, and the police simply reached out and grabbed us.’‘

    So, what does Sollecito list in just this paragraph?

    (a) Odd behaviour
    (b) No real alibi except each other
    (c) Saying things without thinking them through

    Can’t see why this would attract police attention…

    [page 49] ‘’... Not only did they have no physical evidence, they saw no need for any.’‘

    Well, odd behaviour, no real alibi,conflicting stories, and saying things through without thinking them through… oh, right, and that very detailed account of Patrik murdering Meredith, Sollecito ‘might’ be there, and Raffaele telling a pack of lies.

    I guess physical evidence would be overkill (pardon the pun). Sounds very Knoxian in the ‘there is no evidence’ denials.

    [page 50] ‘’... Carrying a small knife had been a habit of mine since I was a teenager—not for self-defense, mind you, just as an ornamental thing. I’d use one occasionally to peel apples or carve my name on tree trunks, but mostly I carried them around for the sake of it. Having a knife on me had become automatic, like carrying my wallet or my keys.’‘

    So the rumours of having a knife fetish are true? Thanks for confirming it.

    [page 50] ‘’... Besides, what kind of idiot killer would bring the murder weapon to the police station?’‘

    Wow - how to begin with this one…  Although, on a more manipulative level, was it not the other knife that actually delivered the fatal blow?

    [page 51] ‘’... My words in Italian—stai tranquillo—were the last my father would hear from me as a free man.’‘

    It could mean physically free. Could also mean not free as in forced to confront his actions.

    [page 51]  “You need to tell us what happened that night,” they began.

    “Which night?” I asked wearily. I was getting tired of the endless questioning. I don’t think they appreciated my attitude.

    “The night of November first.”

    I don’t think this is a drug haze. More just being arrogant and callous.

    [page 56] ‘’... I had been brought up to think the police were honest defenders of public safety. My sister was a member of the carabinieri, no less! Now it seemed to me they were behaving more like gangsters.’‘

    Another sign of entitlement showing. Surely, the little brother of a carabinieri officer should not have to be subjected to this nonsense.

    [page 56] ‘’... Something was exciting the police more than my pocketknife, and that was the pattern they had detected on the bottom of my shoes. By sheer bad luck, I was wearing Nikes that night, and the pattern of concentric circles on the soles instantly reminded my interrogators of the bloody shoe prints at the scene of the crime, which were made by Nikes too.

    I had no idea of any of this. All I knew was, the rest of the interrogation team piled back into the room and told me to take off my shoes.’‘

    Shoeprints placing a person at a crime scene? Why would that possibly be considered evidence?

    [page 59] ‘’... Then, at some point after midnight, an interpreter arrived. Amanda’s mood only worsened. She hadn’t remembered texting Patrick at all, so she was in no position to parse over the contents of her message. When it was suggested to her she had not only written to him but arranged a meeting, her composure crumbled; she burst into uncontrollable tears, and held her hands up to her ears as if to say, I don’t want to hear any more of this.’‘

    Depending on whether or not you believe Amanda’s ‘version’ of events, this could either be corroboration of her events, or corroboration she faked her fit.

    Minor detail: Sollecito was in a totally different part of the Questera, but hey, it’s just semantics.

    [page 61] ‘’...When I first found out what Amanda had signed her name to, I was furious. Okay, she was under a lot of pressure, as I had been, but how could she just invent stuff out of nowhere? Why would she drag me into something I had no part of? It soon transpired, of course, that she felt similarly about me. “What I don’t understand,” she wrote, as soon as she began to retract her statements, “is why Raffaele, who has always been so caring and gentle with me, would lie. . . . What does he have to hide?”

    It took us both a long time to understand how we had been manipulated and played against each other. It took me even longer to appreciate that the circumstances of our interrogations were designed expressly to extract statements we would otherwise never have made, and that I shouldn’t blame Amanda for going crazy and spouting dangerous nonsense…’‘

    -If Amanda got me locked up, I would be mad too
    -Yes, she did make stuff (about Patrik) out of nowhere
    -I was angry when Amanda asked ‘what I have to hide’
    -Yes, police tend to play suspects off each other
    -Yes, suspects try to avoid implicating each other
    -Yes, Amanda only spouted dangerous nonsense after you took her alibi

    This section is almost 100% true

    [page 62] ‘’... Even before dawn broke on November 6, the authorities had us where they wanted us. True, neither of us had confessed to murder. But what they had—a web of contradictions, witnesses pitted against each other, and a third suspect on whom to pin the crime—was an acceptable second best.’‘

    Also true, and great police work.

    [page 63] ‘’... I asked to talk to my family again. I said I needed at least to inform my thesis director where I was. “Where you’re going, a degree’s not going to do you any good,” came the answer.’‘

    Curious, he has just been arrested for murder and sexual assault, and among his first thoughts is his thesis. And didn’t he end up doing his Master’s thesis ... on himself?

    [page 64] ‘’... As soon as we walked into my apartment, a policeman named Armando Finzi said loudly that the place stank of bleach. That wasn’t correct. My cleaning lady had been through the day before and cleaned the tile floor with Lysoform, not bleach. Still, he insisted on mentioning the bleach a couple more times—the clear implication being that I’d needed something powerful to clean up a compromising mess.’‘

    Perhaps overanalysing this, but could Raffaele be flippantly thinking to himself: Nope, the cleaning lady used lysoform to clean up the mess. Wasn’t bleach, dudes.

    [page 77] ‘’... Even before Judge Matteini had finished reading the complaint against me, I blurted out that I didn’t know Patrick Lumumba and that any prints from my shoes found at Via della Pergola could only have been made before November 1. Immediately I ran into trouble because I had in fact met Patrick at his bar, on the night Amanda and I first got together. And I had no idea that the shoe prints in question were made in blood. In no time, I was flailing and suggesting, in response to the judge’s pointed questions, that maybe I picked up some of the blood on the floor when I walked around the house on November 2, the day the body was discovered. Even more unwisely, I speculated that someone might have stolen my shoes and committed the murder in them. It just did not occur to me that the shoe print evidence was wrong.

    At Raffaele’s first hearing:

    -He claims not to have met Patrick, (his co-accused), but admits later, that he has
    -He suggests that he may have picked up blood on the floor
    -He claims the shoes were stolen

    Why would Judge Matteini have reason to doubt his story?

    [page 78] ‘’... I felt like a fool describing my extensive knife collection and even described myself as a testa di cazzo, a dickhead, for having so many. My judgment and my self-confidence were sinking fast.

    “Perhaps the worst moment came when I was asked, for the umpteenth time, if Amanda had gone out on the night of the murder. I still had no clarity on this and could not answer the judge’s repeated questions without sounding evasive.”

    [page 80] ‘’... Matteini swallowed the prosecution’s story whole. The break-in was staged after the fact, she asserted—just as Mignini had. The murderer or murderers must therefore have got into the house with a set of keys, and Amanda was the only keyholder without a solid alibi for the night in question. Patrick Lumumba had the hots for.

    Meredith, Matteini theorized, and Amanda and I tagged along to experience something new and different. From my testimony at the hearing, Matteini concluded I was “bored by the same old evenings” and wanted to experience some “strong emotions.” (She moved my blog entry from October 2006, the date marked on the document, to October 2007, just weeks before the murder, which bolstered the argument.) She didn’t ascribe a specific motive to Amanda, assuming only that she must have felt the same way I did. The bloody footprints “proved” I was present at the scene of the murder, and my three-inch flick knife was “compatible with the possible murder weapon.” The house, she wrote, was “smeared with blood everywhere.”

    Substitute in Rudy Guede for Patrick, and this sounds somewhat plausible.

    [page 83] ‘’... Amanda recovered her lucidity faster than I did. The day we were arrested, she wrote a statement in English that all but retracted what she had signed the night before. “In regards to this ‘confession,’ ” she wrote, “I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.” She was still conjuring up images of Patrick as the murderer, but she added, “These things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or just dreams in my head.”

    The next day, she wrote a second, more confident statement: “I DID NOT KILL MY FRIEND . . . But I’m very confused, because the police tell me that they know I was at my house when she was murdered, which I don’t remember. They tell me a lot of things I don’t remember.” Then she gave a substantially more accurate account of the night of November 1 than I was coming up with at the time.’‘

    All this does is confirm that much of the confusing, manipulative statements from Amanda exist. Gee thanks Raffaele.

    [page 86] ‘’... short story about date rape that Amanda had submitted to a University of Washington creative-writing class was held up as evidence of her warped criminal mind. A Myspace video of her boasting about the number of shots she had downed at a party became an excuse to depict her as an alcohol-fueled harpy. I was described as “crazy,” based on a line I’d written in a blog entry, and held up to ridicule for a photograph, taken during a high-spirited moment of fun in my first year in Perugia, in which I was wrapped from head to foot in toilet paper, brandishing a machete in one hand and a bottle of pink alcohol in the other.’‘

    “Amanda does lots of alcohol, write rape stories, and I dress in toilet paper, wielding a machete. Nothing to see here, people.”

    [page 87] ‘’... I knew a lot of the coverage of the case itself was flawed. It was reported, for example, that the police had found bleach receipts at my house, strongly suggesting I had purchased materials to clean up the crime scene. But my cleaning lady didn’t use bleach, and the only receipts the police found from November 1 onward were for pizza. I wouldn’t have needed to buy bleach, anyway, because I had some left over from my previous cleaning lady. It had sat untouched for months.’‘

    “Nope, I didn’t need to buy bleach for the cleanup, I already had it.”

    [page 88] ‘’... Then came Maori. He told me that he too carried pocketknives from time to time. But he didn’t seem too interested in connecting with me beyond such superficial niceties. I felt he didn’t entirely trust me. His game plan, which became clear over a series of meetings, was to dissociate me as much as possible from Amanda. And that was it. He did not have a clear strategy to undermine the prosecution’s evidence on the knife and the shoe print, because—as he indicated to me—he believed there might be something to it. ‘’

    Which means: “I don’t really believe you are innocent, the evidence seems too strong. But for your sake, separate yourself from this mentally unstable woman.”

    Sounds very likely.

    [page 90] ‘’... I even allowed myself a little optimism: my computer, I decided, would show if I was connected to the Internet that night and, if so, when, and how often. Unless Amanda and I had somehow made love all night long, pausing only to make ourselves dinner and nod off to sleep, the full proof of our innocence would soon be out in the open.

    According to the police, it showed no activity from the time we finished watching Amélie at 9:10 p.m. until 5:30 the next morning.

    That sounded all wrong to me, and my defense team’s technical experts would later find reasons to doubt the reliability of this finding. But there would be no easy way out of the mess Amanda and I were now in.’‘

    Wishful thinking to form a coherent alibi or defense. Indeed, if only it was that simple.

    [page 91] ‘’...Still, there was something I could not fathom. How did Meredith’s DNA end up on my knife when she’d never visited my house? I was feeling so panicky I imagined for a moment that I had used the knife to cook lunch at Via della Pergola and accidentally jabbed Meredith in the hand. Something like that had in fact happened in the week before the murder. My hand slipped and the knife I was using made contact with her skin for the briefest of moments. Meredith was not hurt, I apologized, and that was that. But of course I wasn’t using my own knife at the time. There was no possible connection.’

    I imagined this happened? Is amnesia or hallucinating contagious? I’m surprised he did not have a vision that he saw Patrik attacking Meredith.

    On another note: giving a blatantly false account of how a victim’s DNA ended up on your knife seems a bit suspicious.

    [page 93] ‘’... The nuts and bolts of the investigation, the hard evidence, kept yielding good things for us. We were told that my Nikes had tested negative for blood and for Meredith’s DNA. So had my car, and everything else I had touched around the time of the murder. Even the mop Amanda and I carried back and forth on the morning of November 2, an object of particular suspicion, was reported to be clean.

    Well, I have no doubt that the AMERICAN media reported this to be the case….

    And ‘the mop Amanda and I carried back and forth…?’

    [page 94] ‘’... During a conversation with her mother in prison, they reported, Amanda had blurted out, “I was there, I cannot lie about that.” She seemed not to realize the conversation was being recorded, and the police picked up on it right away.’‘

    Amanda again places herself at the scene, but again, there is a simple explanation. Amanda being Amanda?

    [page 94] ‘’... his time the papers quoted what they said was an extract fromher diary. “I don’t remember anything,” the passage read, “but maybe Raffaele went to Meredith’s house, raped and killed her, and then put my fingerprints on the knife back at his house while I was asleep.”

    Of course, Amanda writes that someone planted her fingerprints. Odd, as I think that no one ever claimed her prints were on the knife. Why would she think they were?

    This needs to be said: What the hell is U of W teaching in their ‘creative writing’ program?

    [page 97] ‘’... I remember watching the news of Guede’s arrest on the small-screen TV in my cell and seeing the Perugia police all puffed up with pride about catching him. If anything, I felt happier than they did, because Guede was a complete stranger to me. The relief was palpable. All along I had worried the murderer would turn out to be someone I knew and that I’d be dragged into the plot by association. Now I had one less thing to worry about. Not that I wasn’t still wary: so much invented nonsense had been laid at my door I was still half-expecting the authorities to produce more.’

    The ‘real’ killer is caught, and you are worried more things may be invented? Interesting.

    [page 98] ‘’...Lumumba had every right to be angry; he had spent two weeks in lockup for no reason. He had been able to prove that Le Chic stayed open throughout the evening of November 1, producing an eyewitness, a Swiss university professor, who vouched for his presence that night. One would expect his anger to be directed as much toward Mignini, who threw him in prison without checking the facts, as it was toward Amanda. But Lumumba and his strikingly aggressive lawyer, Carlo Pacelli, could find only vicious things to say about Amanda from the moment he got out of jail—even though he had not, in fact, fired her and remained friendly with her for several days after the murder.’‘

    True, except why be mad at Mignini? It is Amanda who falsely accused him, not Mignini. But again, minor details.

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

    That first line is a bit disturbing. ‘Not everyone he hired was as helpful as he hoped.’ This can be easily interpretted as shopping around for an expert of ‘hired gun’.

    [page 110] ‘’... Amanda and I came in for what was by now a familiar drubbing. The judges said my account of events was “unpardonably implausible.” Indeed, I had a “rather complex and worrying personality” prone to all sorts of impulses. Amanda, for her part, was not shy about having “multiple sex partners” and had a “multifaceted personality, detached from reality.” Over and above the flight risk if we were released from prison, the judges foresaw a significant danger that we would make up new fantastical scenarios to throw off the investigation. In Amanda’s case, they said she might take advantage of her liberty to kill again.’‘

    Most rational people would come to the same conclusions.

    [page 112] ‘’... Since I had no such testimony to offer, I did the Italian equivalent of taking the Fifth: I availed myself, as we say, of the right not to respond.

    I found some satisfaction in that, but also frustration, because I had at last worked out why Amanda did not leave—could not have left—my house on the night of the murder. She didn’t have her own key, so if she’d gone out alone, she would have had to ring the doorbell and ask me to buzz her back in. Even if I’d been stoned or asleep when she rang, I would have remembered that. And it didn’t happen.’‘

    Hmm… I swear I am innocent, but plead the fifth ammendment. And I am not positive Amanda did not leave, but ad hoc have worked out that she must not have.

    [page 112] ‘’...Obviously, I wanted to shout the news to the world. But I also understood that telling Mignini now would have been a gift to him; it would only have bought him time to figure out a way around it.’‘

    “I could tell a certain version of events to the prosecutor, but if I did that now, he would only have time to discover the holes in that story.”

    [page 113] ‘’... I knew the Kerchers had hired an Italian lawyer, Francesco Maresca, whom they picked off a short list provided by the British embassy. I addressed my letter to him, saying how sorry I was for everything that had happened and expressing a wish that the full truth would soon come out.

    I was naive enough to believe that Maresca would be sympathetic.’‘

    Knox was criticised for fake attempts to reach out to the victim’s family, and had been told to act more like a defendant. Interesting that it started so much earlier.

    [page 115] ‘’... Regrettably, Guede’s shoes were not available, presumably because he ditched them; they were not at his apartment and they were not among his possessions when he was arrested in Germany.’‘

    Very interesting. Raffaele believes that the ‘murderer’s shoes’ were not available, and may have been ditched. This seems to be more than just speculation on his part.

    [page 117] ‘’... Mignini questioned Amanda again on December 17, and she, unlike me, agreed to answer his questions in the presence of her lawyers. She was more composed now and gave him nothing new to work with. She couldn’t have been present at the murder, she insisted, because she’d spent all night with me.’‘

    How does this not sound incredibly incriminating? I refused to talk, though Amanda agreed to, but only with lawyers. And does this not sound like Amanda was better able to stonewall the investigation?

    [page 121] ‘’... Instead, he tried to control the damage and talked to every reporter who called him. “The most plausible explanation,” he said to most of them, “is that the bra had been worn by Amanda as well, and Raffaele touched it when she was wearing it.”

    There were two problems with this statement. First, it was so speculative and far-fetched it did nothing to diminish the perception that I was guilty. And, second, it showed that my father—my dear, straight-arrow, ever-optimistic, overtrusting father—still couldn’t stop assuming that if the police or the prosecutor’s office was saying something, it must be so.

    There are 3 possibilities here, all bad.

    (a) This entire scenario was made up, and like the ‘my shoes were stolen’, only leaves everyone shaking their heads in disbelief.

    (b) Amanda actually had worn the bra BEFORE and returned it without washing it. Remember what this woman tends to think when she sees blood. Ew.

    (c) Amanda wore the bra AFTER Meredith was murdered, and that she and Raffaele fooled around after. Not too farfetched when you remember that Raffaele kept the murder weapon as a souvenir.

    [page 122] ‘’... Along with the Albanian, we had to contend with a seventy-six-year-old woman by the name of Nara Capezzali, who claimed she had heard a bloodcurdling scream coming from Meredith’s house at about 11:00 p.m. on the night of the murder, followed by sounds of people running through the streets.’‘

    Yes, this confirms at least part of Amanda’s account that night. Yes, she seemed to vaguely remember Patrik killing Meredith, and wasn’t sure if Raffaele was there, but the scream detail is corroborated.

    [page 125] ‘’... As my time alone stretched out into weeks and then months, I had to let go of everything that was happening and hold on to other, more permanent, more consoling thoughts: my family and friends, the memory of my mother, the simple pleasures I’d enjoyed with Amanda, the peace that came from knowing that neither of us had done anything wrong.

    If they want to kill me this way, I remember thinking, let them go ahead. I’m happy to have lived life as I did, and to have made the choices I made.’‘

    Hmm… so he finds peace being locked away for things he did not do?

    More likely, Raffaele is coming to terms with the inevitable consequences of life in prison.

    [page 129] ‘’... The one victory we eked out was a finding that we should have been told we were under criminal investigation before our long night of interrogations in the Questura. The statements we produced would not be admissible at trial.’‘

    Do I really need to explain this one?

    [page 150] ‘’... I talked about Amanda with Filippo, my cellmate, and he listened, just as I had listened to his problems. One day, though, he told me he was bisexual, and his eyes started to brighten visibly when he looked at me. Then he burst into tears and tried to caress my face.’‘

    Given the overlap between Waiting to be Heard and Honor Bound, did the ‘authors’ collaborate?

    [page 151] ‘’... My father hired a telecommunications expert to help resolve a few other mysteries from the night of the murder. The prosecution had given no adequate explanation for a series of calls registered on Meredith’s English cell phone after she’d returned from her friends’ house around 9:00 p.m., and many of them seemed baffling, assuming they were made—as the prosecution argued—by Meredith herself. We believed Meredith was dead by the time of the last two calls, and our expert Bruno Pellero intended to help us prove that.’‘

    This sounds disturbingly like another attempt to subvert justice.

    [page 154] ‘’... She also acknowledged that a contaminated or improperly analyzed DNA sample could, in theory, lead to an incorrect identification.’‘

    Wait, weren’t those same people involved in the finding the evidence against Guede? Right, that evidence is clean.

    [page 156] ‘’... Judge Micheli issued his ruling at the end of October. On the plus side, he found Guede guilty of murder and sentenced him to thirty years behind bars in an accelerated trial requested by Guede himself. Judge Micheli also accepted our evidence that it wouldn’t have been that difficult to throw a rock through Filomena’s window and climb the wall.

    But, Spider-Man or no Spider-Man, he still didn’t believe Guede got into the house that way. He argued that Filomena’s window was too exposed and that any intruder would have run too great a risk of discovery by climbing through it. Therefore, he concluded, Amanda and I must have let him in. There seemed to be no shaking the authorities out of their conviction that the break-in was staged.’‘

    So, Judge Micheli is a fine judge who saw Rudy Guede for who he is and convicted him, yet he is so poor a judge he ruled that Amanda and I had to be involved?

    Didn’t Knox say very similar things in her December 2013 email to Appeal Court Judge Nencini?

    [page 160] ‘’... Still, the prosecution jumped all over [Quintavalle] and later put him on the stand to bolster the argument that Amanda and I had spent that morning wiping the murder scene clean of our traces—but not, curiously, Guede’s. It was one of their more dishonest, not to mention absurd, arguments, because any forensics expert could have told them such a thing was physically impossible. Still, it was all they had, and they single-mindedly stuck to it.’‘

    Depending on how you view this, it could be an ad hoc admission that yes, selectively cleaning up wasn’t really possible, as the evidence was all intermingled.

    [page 167] ‘’... I was pushing for another sort of change, a single trial team to defend Amanda and me together. I was told right away that this was out of the question, but I don’t think my logic was wrong. The only way either of us would get out of this situation, I reasoned, was if we stuck together. If the prosecution drove a wedge between us, we would more than likely both be doomed.’‘

    This seems to justify Guede’s suspicions that his co-defendants would team up on him.

    [page 169] ‘’... Stefanoni and Mignini were holding out on that information, and we needed to pry it from them quickly before more damage was done. The shots would ultimately be called by the judge, and we hadn’t had a lot of luck with judges so far.’‘

    Why would you need ‘luck’ from a judge?

    [page 173] ‘’... No matter how much we demanded to be heard, no matter how much we sought to refute the grotesque cartoon images of ourselves and give calm, reasoned presentations of the truth, we never escaped the feeling that our words were tolerated rather than listened to; that the court was fundamentally uninterested in what we had to say.’‘

    That is probably true. No one cares why Amanda’s vibrator is on full display.

    And yes, you did demand to be heard. Perhaps, if you had agreed to full cross examination, you would know what the judges and prosecutors would be interested in hearing.

    [page 173] ‘’... A week later, Meredith’s English friends took the stand and testified with such uniform consistency it was hard to think of them as distinct individuals. Robyn Butterworth, Amy Frost, and Sophie Purton all said that Meredith had been unhappy with Amanda’s standards of hygiene, particularly her forgetfulness about flushing the toilet. It sounded almost as if they were reading from a prepared script. Meredith, they agreed, had found Amanda a little too forward for keeping her condoms and what looked like a vibrator in their shared bathroom. And, they said, Amanda had acted weirdly in the Questura.

    That was it. They mentioned nothing positive about the relationship. No word on Meredith and Amanda’s socializing together, or attending Perugia’s annual chocolate festival, or going to the concert on the night Amanda and I met.’‘

    Yes, the prosecution case does seem stronger when their witnesses are consistent. Absolutely right.

    Strangely, Meredith’s English friends also did not talk about how compassionate Amanda was at the memorial. Wait a minute….

    [page 174] ‘’... Amanda arrived in court wearing a T-shirt with the words ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE emblazoned in huge pink letters, to mark Valentine’s Day. It seemed she wanted to find a way to defuse the English girls’ ill will toward her, but it didn’t work.’‘

    No kidding.

    [page 186] ‘’... Meanwhile, we had to worry about Amanda taking the stand. Her lawyers decided that the best way to refute the stories about her wayward personality was to have the court take a good, hard look at her up close. But my lawyers were deeply concerned she would put her foot in her mouth, in ways that might prove enduringly harmful to both of us. If she deviated even one iota from the version of events we now broadly agreed on, it could mean a life sentence for both of us.’‘

    Amanda puts her foot in her mouth? Yup.

    “The truth we agreed on”?? Come on, you actually put this in the book?

    [page 193] ‘’... My father was all over the place. He knew exactly how bad the news was, but he wanted to shield me as best he could. “Whatever happens, don’t worry,” he told me. “There’s always the appeal. The work we’ve done won’t go to waste.”

    And indeed, the first (now annulled) appeal did ‘save’ them.

    [page 195] ‘’... Mignini had to scrabble around to explain how Amanda, Guede, and I could have formulated a murder plan together without any obvious indication that we knew each other. Guede, he postulated, could have offered himself as our drug pusher.’‘

    “I can explain that. Amanda and I are admitted drug users. We smeared Guede as a drug dealer. Reasonable people might believe that there is some connection to drugs.”

    [page 204] ‘’... The next piece of bad news came down within three weeks of our being found guilty. Rudy Guede’s sentence, we learned, had been cut down on appeal from thirty years to sixteen. The thinking of the appeals court was that if Amanda and I were guilty, then Guede couldn’t serve a sentence greater than ours. If I had supplied the knife and Amanda had wielded it, as Mignini and Comodi postulated and Judge Massei and his colleagues apparently accepted, we needed to receive the stiffer punishment.’‘

    Yes, the thinking of the courts, and those pesky short-form trial sentence deductions that are mandatory.

    ‘’[page 204] ...I didn’t think I could feel any worse, but this was an extra slap in the face and it knocked me flat. Not only were Amanda and I the victims of a grotesque miscarriage of justice, but Meredith’s real killer, the person everybody should have been afraid of, was inching closer to freedom. It wasn’t just outrageous; it was a menace to public safety.’‘

    Yes, it was a miscarriage in that Amanda and I didn’t get the life sentences Mignini called for, and that Meredith’s real killer, Amanda, would soon get her freedom via Hellmann.

    [page 219] ‘’... My family was not beating up on Amanda entirely without cause. What I did not know at the time, because they preferred not to fill me in, was that they were exploring what it would take for the prosecution to soften or drop the case against me. The advice they received was almost unanimous:’‘

    Although the deal itself is illegal, I have no doubt that the Sollecito family at least explored the option.

    [page 258] ‘’... Judge Hellmann’s sentencing report was magnificent: 143 pages of close argument that knocked down every piece of evidence against us and sided with our experts on just about every technical issue.’‘

    That is true, with one huge omission: the defense only cherry picked a few small pieces of evidence. Yes, it ‘knocked down every piece of evidence we chose to contest.’

    3. Chimera’s New Synopsis Of “Honor Bound”

    (20) The robbery that night was perfect, assuming the perp had the inside info.

    (22) My cellphone was turned off.

    (22) If my father called the land line I would have an alibi.

    (24) I cannot make sense of showering in a bloody bathroom.

    (26) Despite the break in, nothing had been taken.

    (27) Someone did not flush the toilet, and I won’t either.

    (27) The following dialogue:

    ‘’ ....Don’t do anything stupid.’‘

    ‘’ ....Now what do we do?’‘

    ‘’ ....My sister is in the Carabinieri.’‘

    (29) I should have been more careful about my choice of words when I said

    ‘’ .... Nothing has been taken.’‘

    (35) The police were shocked/disbelieving Amanda just took a shower.

    (39) Things would be okay if my Carabinieri sister had helped.

    (40) I defended Amanda, beyond the point of looking after my own interests.

    (40) Amanda could kill for something minimal, even a pizza.

    (40) Amanda and Meredith were not friends, despite living together.

    (41) Amanda and I share embarrassing sexual information about the victim.

    (42) We weren’t misbehaving in the lingerie shop, but if we were, it was taken out of context.

    (43) Amanda whined, and we fooled around in the police station. Maybe not a good idea.

    (44) Amanda does not shut up about her sex life.

    (46) Vanessa made inquiries on my behalf.

    (47) Prior to our arrest, the authorities were clueless.

    (48) We behaved oddly, had no real alibi, and said things without thinking.

    (49) We are not guilty only because there is no physical evidence.

    (50) I like to carry knives.

    (51) I had trouble remembering the date Meredith was killed.

    (56) My sister works for the carabinieri. Why am I even here?

    (56) My shoes are similar to ones found at the crime scene

    (59/60) Amanda gave the false statement regarding Patrik.

    (61) The police got Amanda and I to say things against each other.

    (62) Amanda and I spun a web of contradictions.

    (63) This is going to mess up my graduation.

    (64) The smell wasn’t bleach, it was lysoform

    (77) I never met Patrik, my co-accused (or did I)? 

    The shoes might have dragged blood, or might have been stolen.

    (78) I collect a lot of knives, and don’t remember if Amanda left.

    (83) Amanda made admissions she tried to retract.

    (86) Amanda and I engage in alarming behaviour, such as writing rape stories, and taking photos with weapons

    (87) I had access to bleach, receipts or not.

    (88) My lawyer thinks the evidence is strong, and wants me away from Amanda.

    (90) I hope there is evidence on my computer that clears me.

    (91) I imagined that the DNA on the knife came from a cooking accident.

    (93) Amanda and I carried a mop back and forth for some reason.

    (94) Amanda, in a jail recorded call, places herself at the scene.

    (94) Amanda writes that I may have planted her fingerprints on the knife.

    (97) Rudy Guede is caught, but I fear I may get named in other things.

    (98) Lumumba is released, angry at Amanda for false accusation.

    (107) Dad tried to cherrypick experts who would get me out.

    (110) The courts saw us as unstable and potential flight risks.

    (112) I decline to answer.

    (112) I don’t want the prosecutor checking my story

    (113) I creepily tried to reach out to the Kerchers, despite being accused, just like Amanda.

    (115) Rudy should have kept his shoes in order to exonerate Amanda and I.

    (117) I still refused to talk.  Amanda did, with lawyers.

    (121) Amanda has been wearing Meredith’s underwear and without washing it.

    (122) A witness heard Meredith scream, just as Amanda described.

    (125) I am at peace with everything.

    (129) The courts threw out our statements at the police station.

    (150) I had a memorable encounter with a bisexual inmate (same as Amanda)

    (151) My dad tried to find an alternate explanation for the phone evidence.

    (154) The evidence against Rudy Guede is rock solid. The evidence against me is contaminated.

    (156) Micheli is a great judge. He convicted Guede.

    (156) Micheli is an idiot judge.  He believes Amanda and I were involved.

    (160) It was foolish to think we could selectively clean the crime scene.

    (167) In order to save ourselves, Amanda and I teamed up against Rudy.

    (169) We weren’t getting the judges we wanted.

    (173) We did not shut up, but had nothing helpful to say.

    (173) Meredith’s English friends gave consistent testimony that did not help us.

    (174) the ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE t-shirt was a bad idea.

    (186) I worried about Amanda testifying, saying dumb things, and deviating from our ‘version’

    (193) We knew the trial was doomed, but there was the appeal. (Hellmann)?

    (195) For all the ‘drug dealer’ and ‘drug user’ name calling, prosecutors seemed to think this might be about drugs.

    (204) Guede’s sentence was cut from 30 years to 16.  What an injustice for us… I mean Meredith.

    (219) Legally speaking, it would be better to split from Amanda.

    (258) Hellmann’s report knocked down the evidence we chose to present.

    4. Chimera On Premeditation And Why RS Goes No Further

    The real reason Sollecito goes no further could be in as in the title ‘‘Honor Bound’‘.  Many altruistic people may interpret this as behaving, or conducting themselves honourably. 

    But take a more shallow and selfish view.  It could just refer to being SEEN as honourable.  I think everyone here would agree that RS and AK are quite narcissistic and arrogrant.  And how manly to be protecting the women in your life.

    The truth does set you free - except only when the truth is much worse than what the assumptions are. I repeat, the truth sets you free, except when it is actually worse.

    What could be worse? Premeditation. Far beyond what has been suggested.

    1) Raffaele himself suggests that doing a robbery at the house at that time would be ideal.

    This makes sense if:

    (a) Rudy knew that Filomena had all the money (that she took charge of it)
    (b) That rent would be paid in cash, not a cheque or bank automatic withdrawl.

    So, by this reasoning, there would be over 1000 Euros in cash at that time. Of course, the average household does not carry that much, and normally, there would be no reason to think so. The date had to be planned. It also lends credence to the theory that this really was about money, and he had help.

    2) The fact that Laura and Filomena were gone, as were the men downstairs. Really, how often does it happen, and how would an outsider know?

    3) The trip to Gubbio. Does anyone know if either AK or RS were heavily into travel, or was this a one time thing? My point being that it could have been to establish an alibi, they just didn’t expect to still be there when the police showed up.

    4) The fact that Rudy Guede was brought in, when he had no legitimate reason to be upstairs. RS could explain away DNA or prints, but not RG. Even if it really was just about stealing money, would there not be some trace of him left when the theft was reported.

    And if murder was the plan all along, there would still be some trace of him.

    5) Purchasing bleach. Everyone had assumed that it was done after the fact to clean up, but there is another thought. What if there already was bleach available in the home, and this purchase was merely a replacement as an afterthought?

    6) The knife in Raffaele’s home. What if Amanda chose to bring a knife that Raffaele would not be able to ditch, simply so that should suspicion fall on them, there would be a knife to implicate Raffy? Remember, Amanda already made statements that point to him. Maybe those weren’t her first attempts.

    Of course, I did make the suggestion that they were keeping the knives for trophies.

    7) The ‘alibi’ email home. Sure, it could have been written on the spot. However, it seems too long and detailed for that. Yes, some details would need to be added (like the poop), but who is to say she didn’t start working on it BEFORE the murder?

    8) Keeping the text to Patrik to say ‘see you later’. Amanda says she doesn’t keep messages on her phone, but she had this one, and several days after the murder. Could this have been saved as a ‘backup plan’ in case naming Rudy does not work for some reason. Besides, don’t all black guys look the same? (sarcasm).

    9) Yes, there was a bloody shoeprint (believed to be AK), but I don’t recall anyone saying her shoes were missing, or any other clothes she had. And she supposedly did not have many clothes. So, did she have ‘extras’ for that night?

    10) Wiping down the home (even if it was botched), would take time, and ‘supplies’. A chronic slob just happens to have all these cleaning supplies on hand, or were they acquired before?

    So, I suspect the real refusal to talk is that the full truth is a lot worse than any game or drugged up prank. The time and location is chosen, no clothes are ‘noticed’ missing, and Amanda has at least 3 potential patzies: Rudy, Raffaele, and Patrik. Remember, Guede and Lumumba are on ‘the list’ Knox ended up writing for Rita Ficarra. And AK and RS are scheduled to go on a trip that would take them away with a plausible alibi. Cleaning supplies may already be there.

    Call me cynical: but I see all the signs of staging, and premeditation. Yes, the act itself was messy, but there are very obvious marks of forethought.

    So. What will the judges of Cassation be seeing?


    Sunday, January 18, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #3: Targeted Claims On Which Sollecito & Gumbel May Fold

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Raffaele Sollecito retained Alfredo Brizioli after he burned his trial lawyers in his book

    1. The Court Contenders

    Judge Dolores Limongi will preside over Sollecito’s new trial in Florence this thursday and Dr Giuliano Bartolomei will prosecute.

    No word about whether the hapless bungler Andrew Gumbel will attend, but Sollecito has said he will be there.  Sollecito’s defense team seems rather weak. After Sollecito’s own lawyers for his murder trial publicly renounced the most damaging claims in his book (see below) his family turned to Alfredo Brizioli for help.

    Brizioli is a Perugia lawyer who was accused of being one of those trying to disguise the murdered Narducci’s involvement in the Monster of Florence killings. That shadowy group has just taken another hit in Italian eyes - a Milan court has ruled that Narducci, the probable murderer in the Monster of Florence crimes, was indeed himself murdered and there exists powerful evidence for this.

    2. The Specific Charges

    Charges against Sollecito are of two kinds: criminal defamation of both the justice system itself and of some of those who work within it. In US and UK terms criminal contempt of court comes close.

    Criminal contempt charges become separate charges from the underlying case. Unlike civil contempt sanctions, criminal contempt charges may live on after resolution of the underlying case.

    One charged with criminal contempt generally gets the constitutional rights guaranteed to criminal defendants, including the right to counsel, right to put on a defense, and the right to a jury trial in certain cases. Charges of criminal contempt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    However, incarceration for contempt may begin immediately, before the contempt charge is adjudicated and the sentence decided. Depending on the jurisdiction and the case, the same judge who decided to charge a person with contempt may end up presiding over the contempt proceedings.

    Criminal contempt can bring punishment including jail time and/or a fine.

     

    In this case a guilty verdict can open the tidal gates to criminal prosecutions and civil suits against Sharlene Martin and the Simon & Schuster team and all those many who repeated ANY of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims as gospel in their own books and online in the US and UK.

    3. Nature Of The Claims

    Typically the modus operandi of Knox and Sollecito and their factions in their US campaign (this falls flat in Italy) is to make some very damaging core claims, while leaving hundreds of pesky truths ignored.

    Pesky truths helpfully ignored by most of the US and UK media too who apart from freelance Andrea Vogt have still done almost zero translation of their own. The previous post below shows a good example of this. Sollecito makes 20 false claims in a few pages. Dozens of facts that would belie those claims are simply left out.

    The false claims continue (with considerable duplication for emphasis) throughout the 250-plus pages of the book.

    Sollecito’s claims were published only in English. That was in the apparent hope that things would be reversed by political pressure from the US. Perhaps the US would let Sollecito come and live and stiff the Italian courts.

    The Italian flagship crime show Porta a Porta wrecked that unusual and in-itself damaging strategy only 10 days out - with Francesco Sollecito’s and Luca Maori’s help.

    The three worst-case examples quoted here and some others became public when Andrea Vogt and Italian reporters pointed to them after an October hearing. Page numbers are for the hard-cover book. 



    Dr Giuliano Bartolomei of the chief prosecutor’s office of the Florence court brings the case

    4. Example Claim One

    Our brief response to this for now is that this felony attempt to frame the prosecutor for a serious crime was entirely made up. His own father and both his trial lawyers publicly said so. There was never a police or prosecution bias against Knox or toward Sollecito. As was very obvious at trial in 2009 the case against both was equally strong (an example of a key fact left out). Knox herself would seem to have a reason to get mad with Sollecito for this shafting - and in fact she did.

    [ Page 219-222] My family was not beating up on Amanda entirely without cause. What I did not know at the time, because they preferred not to fill me in, was that they were exploring what it would take for the prosecution to soften or drop the case against me. The advice they received was almost unanimous: the more I distanced myself from Amanda, the better. The legal community in Perugia was full of holes and leaks, and my family learned all sorts of things about the opinions being bandied about behind the scenes, including discussions within the prosecutor’s office. The bottom line: Mignini, they were told, was not all that interested in me except as a gateway to Amanda. He might indeed be willing to acknowledge I was innocent, but only if I gave him something in exchange, either by incriminating Amanda directly or by no longer vouching for her.

    I’m glad my family did not include me in these discussions because I would have lost it completely. First, my uncle Giuseppe approached a lawyer in private practice in Perugia - with half an idea in his head that this new attorney could replace Maori - and asked what I could do to mitigate my dauntingly long sentence. The lawyer said I should accept a plea deal and confess to some of the lesser charges. I could, for instance, agree that I had helped clean up the murder scene but otherwise played no part in it. “He’d get a sentence of six to twelve years,” the lawyer said, “but because he has no priors the sentence would be suspended and he’d serve no more jail time.”

    To their credit, my family knew I would never go for this. It made even them uncomfortable to contemplate me pleading guilty to something I had not done. It was, as my sister, Vanessa, put it, “not morally possible.”

    The next line of inquiry was through a different lawyer, who was on close terms with Mignini and was even invited to the baptism of Mignini’s youngest child that summer. (Among the other guests at the baptism was Francesco Maresca, the Kerchers’ lawyer, who had long since aligned himself with Mignini in court.) This lawyer said he believed I was innocent, but he was also convinced that Amanda was guilty. He gave my family the strong impression that Mignini felt the same way. If true - and there was no way to confirm that - it was a clamorous revelation. How could a prosecutor believe in the innocence of a defendant and at the same time ask the courts to sentence him to life imprisonment? The lawyer offered to intercede with Mignini, but made no firm promises. He wasn’t willing to plead my cause, he said, but he would listen to anything the prosecutor had to offer.

    Over the late spring and summer of 2010, my father used this lawyer as a back channel and maneuvered negotiations to a point where they believed Mignini and Comodi would be willing to meet with Giulia Bongiorno and hear what she had to say. When Papà  presented this to Bongiorno, however, she was horrified and said she might have to drop the case altogether because the back channel was a serious violation of the rules of procedure. A private lawyer has no business talking to a prosecutor about a case, she explained, unless he is acting with the express permission of the defendant. It would be bad enough if the lawyer doing this was on my defense team; for an outside party to undertake such discussions not only risked landing me in deeper legal trouble, it also warranted disciplinary action from the Ordine degli Avvocati, the Italian equivalent of the Bar Association.

    My father was mortified. He had no idea how dangerous a game he had been playing and wrote a letter to Bongiorno begging her to forgive him and stay on the case. He was at fault, he said, and it would be wrong to punish her client by withdrawing her services when I didn’t even know about the back channel, much less approve it. To his relief, Bongiorno relented.

    My family, though, did not. Whenever they came to visit they would suggest some form of compromise with the truth. Mostly they asked why I couldn’t say I was asleep on the night of the murder and had no idea what Amanda got up to.


    5. Example Claim 2

    Our brief response to this for now is that the case against Sollecito was being driven by Judge Matteini and Judge Ricciarelli and Judge Micheli, not Dr Mignini (an example of a key fact left out) and they got their information directly from the police. More than a year prior to Sollecito’s book coming out, a Florence appeal court had totally annulled a vengeance conviction against Dr Mignini [“there is no evidence”] and the Supreme Court had endorsed the result (an example of a key fact left out).

    [2. Page 176-177] One of the reasons our hearings were so spread out was that Mignini was fighting his own, separate legal battle to fend off criminal charges of prosecutorial misconduct. He and a police inspector working on the Monster of Florence case stood accused of intimidating public officials and journalists by opening legal proceedings against them and tapping their phones without proper justification.

    To Mignini, the case smacked of professional jealousy because the prosecutors in Florence resented his intrusion on a murder mystery they had struggled for so long to resolve. But Mignini’s behavior had already attracted international condemnation, never more so than when he threw the journalist most indefatigably devoted to following the Monster case, Mario Spezi, into jail for three weeks.

    Spezi had ridiculed Mignini’s theories about Francesco Narducci, the Perugian doctor whom Mignini suspected of being part of a satanic cult connected to the killings. In response, Mignini accused Spezi himself of involvement in Narducci’s murder - even though the death had been ruled a suicide. It was a staggering power play, and the international Committee to Protect Journalists was soon on the case. Spezi was not initially told why he was being arrested and, like me, was denied access to a lawyer for days. Even Mignini, though, could not press murder charges without proving first that a murder had taken place, and Spezi was eventually let out.

    I firmly believe that our trial was, among other things, a grand diversion intended to keep media attention away from Mignini’s legal battle in Florence and to provide him with the high-profile court victory he desperately needed to restore his reputation. Already in the pretrial hearing, Mignini had shown signs of hypersensitivity about his critics, in particular the handful of English-speaking investigators and reporters who had questioned his case against us early on. He issued an explicit warning that anyone hoping he would back off the Meredith Kercher case or resign should think again. “Nobody has left their post, and nobody will,” he said. “Let that be clear, in Perugia and beyond.”

    Just as he had in the Monster of Florence case, Mignini used every tool at his disposal against his critics and adversaries. He spied on my family and tapped their phones. He went after Amanda not just for murder, but also for defaming Patrick Lumumba - whom she had implicated under duress and at the police’s suggestion. He opened or threatened about a dozen other legal cases against his critics in Italy and beyond. He charged Amanda’s parents with criminal defamation for repeating the accusation that she had been hit in the head while in custody. And he sued or threatened to sue an assortment of reporters, writers, and newspapers, either because they said negative things about him or the police directly or because they quoted others saying such things.

    Mignini’s volley of lawsuits had an unmistakable chilling effect, especially on the Italian press, and played a clear role in tipping public opinion against us. We weren’t the only ones mounting the fight of our lives in court, and it was difficult not to interpret this legal onslaught as part of Mignini’s campaign to beat back the abuse-of-office charges. His approach seemed singularly vindictive. Not only did we have to sit in prison while the murder trial dragged on; it seemed he wanted to throw our friends and supporters - anyone who voiced a sympathetic opinion in public - into prison right alongside us.


    6. Example Claim 3

    Our brief response to this for now is that this was long ago revealed to be a hoax (an example of a key fact left out). Neither the police nor the prosecution were in any way involved. A fake positive for HIV turned up, Knox was warned not to be concerned, and she was soon told that a new test showed her fine. Her list of recent sex partners was her idea, and its leaking to the media was demonstrably a family and defense-team thing (an example of a key fact left out).

    [Page 101-102] The prosecution’s tactics grew nastier, never more so than when Amanda was taken to the prison infirmary the day after Patrick’s release and told she had tested positive for HIV.

    She was devastated. She wrote in her diary, “I don’t want to die. I want to get married and have children. I want to create something good. I want to get old. I want my time. I want my life. Why why why? I can’t believe this.”

    For a week she was tormented with the idea that she would contract AIDS in prison, serving time for a crime she did not commit. But the whole thing was a ruse, designed to frighten her into admitting how many men she had slept with. When asked, she provided a list of her sexual partners, and the contraceptive method she had used with each. Only then was she told the test was a false positive

    To the prosecution, the information must have been a disappointment: seven partners in all, of whom four were boyfriends she had never made a secret of, and three she qualified as one-night stands. Rudy Guede was not on the list, and neither was anyone else who might prove useful in the case. She hadn’t been handing herself around like candy at Le Chic, as Patrick now alleged. She’d fooled around with two guys soon after arriving in Italy, neither of them at Patrick’s bar, and then she had been with me. Okay, so she was no Mother Teresa. But neither was she the whore of Babylon.

    To compound the nastiness, the list was eventually leaked to the media, with the erroneous twist that the seven partners on the list were just the men she’d had since arriving in Perugia. Whatever one thought of Amanda and her free-spirited American attitude toward sex, this callous disregard for her privacy and her feelings was the behavior of savages.


    7. Looking Forward

    More posts to come.  We are going to open the floodgates on our own analysis of the book if the court on thursday takes a significant step forward.

    Note that Sollecito has to contend with negative Italian public opinion as his claims bitterly disparaging to Italy itself (see the post below) are finally repeated in translation by the media and so become better known - at a disastrous time for him and Knox, two months before Cassation decides on their failed appeal.

    In late 2012 after the book came out the TV crime show Porta a Porta gave Dr Sollecito quite a roasting on the first claim here and anger continued for some days more. He and Sollecito’s sister may be in court but no surprises if they are not. Knox could also react - the second and third claims above also appear in her book. 


    Friday, January 16, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #2: False Accusations From The First Few Pages

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Suggested cover for a followup book due to multiple attempted malicious framings in first books

    Examples: 20 False Claims In Seven Pages

    We count several hundred malicious claims throughout that can easily be proved wrong. These twenty examples all appear in the book’s preface, which is only seven pages long.

    Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate. Many sharp eyes here set about identifying them and are credited in the TJMK Liewatch page for Sollecito which will be switched on again when the secrecy requirement described in Part #12 below is relaxed by the court next week. 

    1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

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

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

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

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

    2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

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

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

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

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

    3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

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

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

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

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

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

    “We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the bent and annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed.

    The list of lies by omission is extremely long. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from, both in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

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

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

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

    An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets.

    What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she slept with a drug wholesaler up to the day of her arrest and cost him a stint in prison? That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night around 8:00 pm. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first and entered hours later.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

    So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This is laughable. The room itself could not be checked for DNA as the choice was to fingerprint-check it instead. Sollecito’s footprint on the bathroom mat is a smoking gun all by itself. Crack national investigators demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was endorsed by the Supreme Court.

    Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had extremely credibly again and again on 5-6 Nov fingered Patrick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was proven falsified, no item at all.

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

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

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

    Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.  Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

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

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

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

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

    Gumbel and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes of those. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does, less than 1/6 of the US rate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is citizens not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison system size 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 would 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 the 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 for 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 a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even one Italian lawyer. They would all know it is wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #1: History Of How This Ill-Fated Saga Began

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    The “supertanker” the PR forces worked hard to turn has become a Titanic for them now

    1. The Latest Legal Developments

    A new phase of the Florence trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Andrew Gumbel is scheduled to start on Thursday of next week.

    Why is this the iceberg in the Titanic’s path? Because Sollecito and later Knox made numerous demonstrably false and damaging claims that so many others then made, most usually worse.

    See Sollecito go down here, or withdraw his claims, for lack of any proof, and the legal liabilities of all those others stretch to the horizon and beyond.

    This trial puts Knox herself and her parents with her wild book and their wild claims at more risk. 

    For reasons explained below, the investigation of the myriad claims by an Italian, beamed only at Americans, of official crimes and alternative “facts” couched in a jeering, sneering anti-Italy tone was taken behind the scenes by the Florence prosecution early in 2013.

    The charges and target defamatory passages selected out of numerous passages falsely describing facts of the case and falsely accusing officials of crimes have not been formally reported even in Italy yet, except for a website update last October by the indefatigable journalist Andrea Vogt.

    2. Chronology 2009-2011: The Trial And Appeal

    In 2011 what is widely known in Italy to have been a bent Hellmann appeal court ran a cartoonish and illegal retrial of Sollecito and AK.

    This illegal retrial, mostly annulled by the Supreme Court in March 2013, was lacking a few things. Such as most evidence, most witnesses, and all of the 2009 prosecution case and the compelling prosecution summations at the end. An illegal DNA consultancy which should never have occurred at appeal is also believed to have been bent.

    3. Various Flashing Warning Lights

    On 3 October 2011 Judge Hellmann told RS and AK they were free to go, despite the fact that no legal process for murder and some other crimes is considered final in Italy until no party pursues any further appeals or the Supreme Court signs off. Most still accused of serious crimes (as in the UK and US) remain locked up. Hellmann, pathetically trying to justify this fiasco ever since, was firmly edged out and still the target of a possible charge.

    Other flashing warnings should have made Sollecito’s family and legal team and book writers very wary. They included the immediate strong warning of a tough prosecution appeal to the Supreme Court. They also included the pending calunnia trials of Knox and her parents, the pending trial of the Sollecitos for attempting to use politics to subvert justice, the pending trials of Spezi, Aviello, and Sforza, and so on. 

    A major flashing warning was right there in Italian law. Trials are meant to be conducted in the courtroom and attempts to poison public opinion are illegal. They can be illegal in the US and UK too but, for historical reasons to do with the mafias and crooked politicians, Italian laws in this area are among the world’s toughest. So mid-process, normally no books are ever published

    4. Chronology 2012-2013 The United States Track

    Knox quickly headed back to the US West Coast and Sollecito soon came after her there.

    After three-plus years of Sollecito and his camp being very iffy about Knox he suddenly - to his father’s open frustration - could not get enough of her.

    Very quickly Sollecito found a book agent, Sharlene Martin,  who lives just a couple of miles from the Mellases and Knoxes, and she lined up a shadow writer, Andrew Gumbel, who lives in LA and had been based in Italy in the 1990s.

    Both Sharlene Martin and Andrew Gumbel soon revealed that their “knowledge” of the case was paper-thin and dangerously biased.

    Sollecito’s Italian lawyers seemingly did not have a clue what was going on on this book front - lately an angry Giulia Bongiorno made that plain enough.

    Sollecito’s father and sister did have growing concerns (among much fallout in Italy of their own such as Vanessa losing a plum Carabinieri job) and in March they hopped on a flight to Seattle to try to ditch Knox and presumably the book and drag Sollecito home.

    Even Knox at times seemed to want the clingy nuisance gone, and she produced a claimed new love-interest to help to keep him at bay.

    Throughout 2012 the hubris of the Knox camp within which Sollecito had embedded himself was immense. David Marriott and Bruce Fischer both posted that it was their efforts that had got the two released, making no mention of a court the defenses had bent.

    On 18 September Honor Bound hit the shelves. If Sharlene Martin or Andrew Gumbel or Simon & Schuster had done any due diligence on the book, such as reading court documents, or even run it in final draft in Italian past Sollecito’s lawyers in Italy, that due diligence sure did not show. (A legal case for the Sollecito family to pursue?)

    Seemingly irresponsible or incompetent and not caring who in Italy they hurt, Sharlene Martin and Andrew Gumbel then assisted Sollecito in a triumphalist but mostly unconvincing sweep of the US crime shows.

    The flagship interview was with Katie Couric on ABC right before the book came out. It really hurt. She had an advance copy and had done her homework. See our suggested questions and report and posts and Kermit’s great spoof here , here , here , here , and here.  The book promotion tour ended in Seattle thus..

    Late April 2013 Knox’s book came out. Strong differences with Sollecito emerged both in the books and publicly in the media as described here and here.

    Sharlene Martin later set up a panel of the useful idiots Michael Heavey and John Douglas and Steve Moore in a Congressional room for hire, an odd role for an agent of a book, which nobody of importance attended. Just as well. Truth was scarce.

    Sollecito repeatedly visited the United States (and the Caribbean) though he was provisionally a convicted felon, not least in a desperate, cynical and hurtful attempt, after the sharp rebuff by Amanda Knox, to find an American wife.

    You can read the rest of Sollecito’s US saga in the top posts here. His last visit to the United States was in late 2013.

    5. Chronology 2012-2013 The Italy Track

    The book was written and published only in English; Francesco Sollecito said no Italian publisher would touch it (surprise, surprise).

    In Italy, from our post of 27 September 2012, this media explosion is what happened next.

    In Italy Sollecito’s wildly inaccurate and hyper-aggressive book has already set himself up for two kinds of trouble

    The Gumbel and Sollecito book was released in English on 18 September 2012 and within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.

    Sollecito’s own father and own lawyer Maori have already been forced to admit the book contains serious lies. Prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges

    Sollecito’s own father Francesco was made to concede by the host and all other guests on the popular Porta a Porta TV show last week that Sollecito lied in claiming that the prosecution had sought a deal under which Sollecito would frame Amanda.

    Such a deal would be illegal so Sollecito was falsely accusing prosecutors of a very serious crime. Francesco Sollecito backed down even more in some interviews later. One of Sollecito’s own lawyers, Luca Maori, also had to deny in frustration that the offer of any deal either way ever happened.

    Now the prosecution has announced that they are weighing whether there should be new charges lodged against Sollecito.

    Sollecito has suddenly claimed in the book, nearly five years after he said it happened, in face of vast evidence including his own writings to the contrary, that police interrogated him over 10 hours, and abused and threatened him.

    But he was demonstrably not ever interrogated over 10 hours, and he folded fast when they showed him his phone records, which contradicted his earlier alibis, and so he promptly laid the blame on Amanda.

    Prosecutors and police have all already stated that he simply lied here too, and again prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges

    Thereafter we posted a number of times about false claims others and we ourselves identified in the book -  one of three (with Preston’s and Knox’s) probably the most defamatory ever written about any justice system or justice officials anywhere. Our next posts will pick up that thread.

    5. Italy Officially Reacts

    Finally for now, we posted on 18 February 2013 on a formal move against the book by the Florence Courts, with a Breaking News addendum that (very unusually) the prosecution and supervising magistrate had taken the investigation behind closed doors.

    That secrecy order to counter the toxic PR still persists, right up to now, and it will only be next Thursday that the results of the investigation and the charges against Sollecito and Gumbel become widely know.

    Next post: selected examples of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims.


    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    Canadian Perspective #1: Had Meredith’s Murder Taken Place here

    Posted by Chimera



    Supreme Court Of Canada in the capital Ottawa

    Overview Of This Post

    Much has been made about the differences between the American and Italian criminal justice systems.

    This post offers some different perspectives, from the Canadian system, the one I know most about as I reside in Canada, as do many readers here. While I am not a lawyer, I do know a fair amount about the system here.  Enjoy this multi-part submission.

    I explain first the Canadian system, and then what would have happened to those accused of Meredith’s death under this system.  I am making no judgements as to which system is the best, as all have their pros and cons.  Please take this article as a source for broadening perspectives.

    Some History Of Our System

    a. Canada is part of the British Commonwealth.  Although the Queen of England is still our official head of state, and her representative, the governor general, the head of Canada’s military, the roles are largely figurative.

    b. Although most of Canada is governed by Common Law, from the British model, the province of Quebec uses its own regulations, based largely on the Civil Code from Napoleonic times. 

    c. Because of the differences in the Common Law and Civil Codes, by law, the Supreme Court of Canada MUST contain both judges from Quebec and from the other provinces.

    d. Although in the past cases settled in the Supreme Court of Canada could still be appealed to the UK, that is no longer the case.

    Is Criminal Law a Federal, Provincial, or Municipal matter?

    Criminal Law is made up, and amended exclusively by the federal government, however, administrating the courts, and trying cases is a provincial matter.  The rules spell out clearly what is a federal v.s. provincial responsibility.  Stepping outside these boundaries often leads to tension, and having the new rules struck down.

    Are prisons and probation/parole offices federal or provincial?

    It depends on the sentence.  A jail term of 2 years or more is a federal sentence, in which case federal corrections is put in charge of the person.  Naturally, these are for much more serious or repeat crimes.  A jail term (or conditional sentence) of under 2 years is a provincial sentence, and the respective province deals with the person.

    Probation and parole rules and regulations are set out differently, and it depends on what the person has received in terms of prison time.  If no prison time is given, then probation is the responsibility of the province.

    How Are Offences Classified?

    Offences in Canada are classified as such in the criminal code

    • 1. Summary Offences: Minor in nature, in America called a ‘‘misdemeanor’’
    • 2. Indictable Offences: Much more serious, in America called a ‘‘felony’‘
    • 3. Hybrid Offences: The prosecutor has discretion in how to proceed
    Who hears criminal appeals in Canada?

    The appeal will likely be heard in the province’s court of appeals, the provincal ‘‘top court’‘.  Please do not mistake ‘‘provincial supreme court’’ as being the top court, as it is not the same thing. 

    A trial court hears witnesses, while an appeals court is called a ‘paper court’.  It works from transcripts.

    1. Generally, there are 2 main trial courts, the lower court, and the higher (Superior or Supreme) court.  As the names imply, the lower courts generally take on less serious cases, while the higher courts take more serious cases, such as murder.

    2. If a case is tried summarily (a less designated case) and in the lower court, the case may be appealed to either the Provincial Court of Appeals, or to the High Court (Superior or Supreme)

    3. If a case is tried by indictment (felony), or in Superior/Supreme Court, then appeals MUST go to the Provincial Court of Appeals.

      (a) For example, a major case in Ontario will be tried in Ontario Superior Court, and if appealed, it will go to the Ontario Court of Appeals. 
      (b) For example, a major case in British Columbia will be tried in the BC Supreme Court, and if appealed, will go to the BC Court of Appeals.
      (c) Other provinces also have trial courts, then a court of appeals

    4 In any case, it may be further appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada

      For some perspective: Imagine Amanda Knox lived in Toronto, Ontario. 

      Her rock throwing riot in Seattle, if here would likely have landed her in the Ontario Court of Justice, and the prosecutors would likely have gone summarily against her, although a more serious charge (assault) would be a hybrid offence.  If she chose to appeal, the Superior Court (which is also a trial court), would likely hear her appeal.

      Her sexual assault and murder charges, if in Ontario, would automatically have been tried as indictable offences and she would be in Superior Court.  Her first appeal would be with the Ontario Court of Appeals

    5. A defendant has the right to appeal a criminal conviction to the provincial appeals court.  However, this is more like the U.S. than Italy, in that these appeals are not automatically granted.  The Court first has to determine that there is some merit to the appeal.  If it is baseless, it will be dismissed.  In the case of Knox and Sollecito, it would likely not be allowed to proceed.

    6. A defendant has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada after a Provincial Court of Appeals rules.  However, the S.C.C. usually declines to intervene, unless the facts are extremely controversial, or of significance.  This is especially true if it is just a rehash of the Provincial appeal.

    What are your rights if arrested in Canada?

    Section 10 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that you have the right to be informed of the reason, the right to retain a lawyer without delay, and have the validity of the detention challenged by way of habeas corpus.

    Are people’s name shielded from press?

    In some circumstances

    • The person was a minor at the time of the offence (though an adult sentence annuls that protection)
    • In sexual assault cases, the victim(s) name(s) CANNOT be released publicly
    • In highly sensitive cases (like treason or terrorism)
    • If it would put someone in danger or compromise a witness
    Can you give press conferences or talk to the media if accused of a crime?

    While possible, this is not recommended.  For example, and appeals about adverse publicity or not being able to get a fair trial will not be taken seriously.  Also, contempt charges will be quite likely. 

    While the media does cover serious cases, the coverage has generally been pretty neutral in Canada.

    Can you write a book or get a movie deal?

    No these deals would be considered profit or proceeds from crime.

    Can you be forced to take the stand in Canada?

    As a defendant, no.  11(c) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects against forced self incrimination (in America, it is called ‘‘taking the 5th’‘).

    Interestingly enough, there are no real protections for witnesses who just don’t want to testify.

    Does Canada grant bail to accused criminals?

    Usually. 11(e) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that reasonable bail should not be denied without just cause.  In practice, this means unless the person is a flight risk, a threat to the public, or the offence is extremely shocking to the public, they can get bail.

    However, if a person has a prior criminal record, it becomes harder to get bail each time.

    Note: Bail hearings are usually done by J.P.s (Justices of the Peace).  They are not judges, but can make some legal decisions.  Bail decisions can usually be appealed to a judge,

    Does Canada have the ‘Double Jeopardy’ law?

    Yes and no.  Refer to 11(h) in the Charter or Rights and Freedoms.  It says that if a person is finally acquitted of the offence, or finally found guilty and punished, not to be tried again for the same offence.

    The key word here is finally, as in, all appeals have been exhausted.

    The appeal will likely be heard in the province’s court of appeals, the provincal ‘‘top court’‘.  Please do not mistake ‘‘provincial supreme court’’ as being the top court.  That is an American naming.  For example, a major case in Ontario will be tried in Ontario Superior Court, and if appealed, it will go to the Ontario Court of Appeals.

    If a person is convicted, and chooses to appeal, that case will likely be heard by the provincial court of appeals.

    Note: Notice of an appeal must generally be filed within 30 days of the verdict.  If no notice is filed, then the acquittal/conviction is considered final.

    Note: It is possible, but very rare for a prosecution to appeal an acquittal, or to appeal a Provincial Appeal Court ruling.  Basically, the prosecution must prove that the trial court (or first appeal court) made fundamental and very serious legal errors.  It cannot just be a another shot at a conviction.  The Appeal Court can then do many things, including sending it back for a retrial, amending the sentence, or throwing out a conviction.  Or it can confirm the acquittal.

    Does Canada have a plea bargaining system?

    Yes, Crown Prosecutors and defence attorneys can sign what is called a ‘‘joint submission’‘, and give it to the judge.  This is an agreement of the facts and sentence.  While judges usually accept these submissions, they are not obligated to, and can reject them if far too lenient or harsh.

    Can defendants testify or make spontaneous declarations?

    They can testify (and must be sworn in), but they cannot make the kind of challenge free remarks like in Italy.

    Does the short form trial exist in Canada?

    As in the 1/3 deduction… No.  However, judges routinely give breaks for guilty pleas, or for some kind of remorse or contrition.

    There is a diversion program, which is an alternative to going through the trial process (essentially getting treatment), but reserved for minor offences.  Sexual offences, or serious violent ones are not eligible.

    Do defendants awaiting trial get psychologically assessed?

    Sometimes, and it can happen for a few reasons

      (1) The defendant is pleading not criminally responsible (insanity)
      (2) The defence has applied for bail, but the judge has reservations about granting it
      (3) The defence wants to use it as a mitigating factor, or in sentencing
      (4) Prosecutors can request it, but this is rare
    Can an Appeals Court increase a jail sentence?

    This is extremely rare, but yes they can, if the opinion is that the trial judge simply went too soft.  A couple cases in Canada are these:

      Paul Coffin who pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud, related to the previous Liberal government.  He originally got house arrest, but it was overturned on appeal, and substituted for 18 months of real jail time.

      Graham James a notorious pedophile and infamous hockey coach who sexually abused his players.  He got 2 years at one trial, which the prosecution appealed, and had increased to 5 years (still very light though)

    Much more common though, is that an appeal will either be dismissed, of the judges will knock some time off the sentence.  Full reversals are not the norm.

    Do judges have to justify a conviction/acquittal and a sentence?

    Yes, in a bench trial (trial by judge), the judge does have to explain how he/she came to these conclusions.

    Yes, there are fairly rigid sentencing guidelines to follow, and (cc 718), follow these:

      (a) to denounce unlawful conduct
      (b) to deter the offender and others from committing similar conduct
      (c) to separate offenders from society, where necessary
      (d) to assist in rehabilitating offenders
      (e) to provide reparations for harm done to the victims and the community
      (f) to promote a sense of responsibility in offenders, and acknowledgement of the harm done to victims and the community

    Note: Many serious offences have mandatory minimum jail sentences, which limit the discretion available to the judge.

    What is the punishment for killing someone in Canada?

    1. First degree murder:

    This is a premeditated murder, or happens during a sexual assault, or when the victim is restrained.

    Punishment: A life sentence, with no parole for 25 years (or 15 years under the ‘‘faint hope clause’‘)

    2. Second degree murder

    This is when the act is intentional, but not planned out

    Punishment: A life sentence, but the parole eligibility baseline ranges from 10 to 25 years.

    3. Manslaughter

    This is not an intentional killing, but happens while committing an illegal act

    Punishment: No mandatory minimum, but can get prison up to and including life.

    Note: There are other things, such as impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, criminal negligence causing death, and the punishments are severe, but they do not apply here.

    (Quoted directly from the Canadian Criminal Code)


    Classification of murder

    231. (1) Murder is first degree murder or second degree murder.
    Marginal note:Planned and deliberate murder

    (2) Murder is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate.
    Marginal note:Contracted murder

    (3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (2), murder is planned and deliberate when it is committed pursuant to an arrangement under which money or anything of value passes or is intended to pass from one person to another, or is promised by one person to another, as consideration for that other’s causing or assisting in causing the death of anyone or counselling another person to do any act causing or assisting in causing that death.
    Marginal note:Murder of peace officer, etc.

    (4) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder when the victim is
    (a) a police officer, police constable, constable, sheriff, deputy sheriff, sheriff’s officer or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace, acting in the course of his duties;
    (b) a warden, deputy warden, instructor, keeper, jailer, guard or other officer or a permanent employee of a prison, acting in the course of his duties; or
    (c) a person working in a prison with the permission of the prison authorities and acting in the course of his work therein.
    Marginal note:Hijacking, sexual assault or kidnapping

    (5) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder in respect of a person when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under one of the following sections:
    (a) section 76 (hijacking an aircraft);
    (b) section 271 (sexual assault);
    (c) section 272 (sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm);
    (d) section 273 (aggravated sexual assault);
    (e) section 279 (kidnapping and forcible confinement); or
    (f) section 279.1 (hostage taking).

      So, without even proving intent to commit murder, Knox, Sollecito and Guede would have been guilty of first degree murder.  Meredith’s death happened under cc 231(5)(c), which is sexual assault with a weapon, cc 231(5)(d), which is aggravated sexual assault, and cc 231(5)(e), which is forcible confinement.

      Note: While in the case of AK/RS/RG, the sexual assault charge was combined with the murder charge, in Canada, aggravated sexual assault, cc 273, is an indictable offence, punishable by up to life in prison, and those convicted are registered sex offenders for life upon release.

      Other Punishments

      While Canada no longer has the death penalty, we do have something called a dangerous offender designation.  The prosecution applies for it, after a conviction, and a judge may or may not grant it.  Essentially, it is a special title, saying that the person presents a high risk to the public and should be locked up indefinitely.

      Many killers have gone received life sentences without the dangerous offender title, but many (violent) criminals have gotten the dangerous offender title without killing anyone.

      We also have ‘‘long term offender’’ designations, which are meant to keep someone on probation for a long time (up to 10 years).  These are usually reserved for sex offenders.

      So To The Probable Scenario In Canada

      If Knox, Sollecito and Guede had committed this crime in Canada, all of the following conditions would probably apply:

      • They would be arrested, would have to be informed why, and could contact an attorney as soon as they reached the police station

      • Because the murder happened during a sexual assault, while Meredith was restrained, it would be 1st degree murder

      • Because of the sexual assault and restraint, premeditation would not be necessary to prove 1st degree murder

      • They could apply for bail (before a J.P.), but under the circumstances, would likely be denied

      • They could appeal to a judge for a review of the bail, but again, would likely be denied

      • Because of the serious nature, the trial would be in the provinces Supreme/Superior Court

      • There is no fixed time before a trial would start.  Murder trials have been known to start 2-5 years after arrest

      • Defendants could testify against each other, and prosecutors could make deals with them

      • The kind of antics that went on in the 2009 trial would not be tolerated

      • The defendants could testify under oath, and be cross examined, but free statements are not allowed

      • If found guilty, all 3 would receive life sentences, and MUST serve 25 years before parole eligibilty.

      • There is ‘‘faint hope’’ which is parole after 15 years, but a murder like this would definitely not qualify

      • Because of the sexual assault component, they would be registered sex offenders for life

      • They would be prohibited from owning weapons for life

      • If any chose to appeal, it would go to the province’s Court of Appeals

      • They could apply for ‘‘Appeal Bail’‘, but it would likely be denied

      • If the Hellmann Appeal is any indicator, the appeal grounds are so weak the appeal would be dismissed

      • They could try the Supreme Court of Canada, and likely get declined


      In Conclusion

      This a brief overview of how criminal law works in Canada and how it could have worked in Meredith’s case. Quite smilar to the U.S., but then both systems are based on English Common Law.


      Complete Listings

      1st post appears here:  An Overview.

      2nd post appears here:  Public Mischief and Perjury

      3rd post coming soon:  Bail and Extradition

      4th post coming soon:  Other Laws

      5th post coming soon:  Punishments

      6th post coming soon:  Canadian Notoriety

      7th post coming soon:  Hearsay and Speculation Running Amok

      Posted on 01/14/15 at 08:21 AM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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