Thursday, April 30, 2015
Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chamber May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #2
Posted by Cardiol MD
1. This Series’ Ominous Context
On Friday, 27th March, 2015 a Panel of five Court of Cassation judges of the Fifth Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court in Rome, found Amanda Knox, and Raffaelle Sollecito, Not Guilty of the Murder of Meredith Kercher.
The President Judge of the Fifth Criminal Chamber of this Supreme Court Panel is Gennaro Marasca, The Prosecutor General is Mario Pinelli, and the Reporting Judge for the Meredith Panel is Antonio Paolo Bruno.
Near the start of the above SCC hearings Judge Bruno was quoted as having said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.”
We consider that to be flat-out wrong. Absurd in fact, as the hapless Hellmann & Zanetti could testify. So do numerous professionals well-briefed on the case in Italy. We expect soon articles in Italian similar to this one.
In fact if the forthcoming Marasca Sentencing Report attempts to brush the numerous real factual certainties under the table there is a near-certainty that the perverse verdict can be overturned by way of a lawsuit or a petition to the President of the Italian Republic.
Post #1 of 10 April described some 26 of the factual headaches facing the SCC under the strict Italian Legal Requirements for classification of Evidence as Circumstantial-Evidence.
The fact that the trials actually had very many certainties was demonstrated in Post #1, and continues in this Post.
2. Note On Circumstantial Evidence
Defendants typically trivialize Circumstantial-Evidence as “Only Circumstantial-Evidence”.
Actually, Circumstantial-Evidence is often the most potent evidence leading Finders-of-Fact to their Verdict. This is even more true in Italian Law because its Circumstantial-Evidence classification-requirement provides that an evidentiary circumstance or fact must be true to the level of being a Certainty. Therefore, for example, the unverifiable RS/AK broken water-pipe story can not be classified as Circumstantial Evidence and cannot legally be admitted as Evidence at all.
Continuing the review of the Massei Motivazione, the Nencini Motivazione, and the several past SCC rulings, demonstrating the large number of Certainties:
3. Certainties 27 To 30
27. THE SIMULATED BURGLARY
This Subject has already been commented-upon in Pesky #1, under the Heading “13. Crimescene Meddling?”:
“Having accomplished the Phone-Dump, Meredith’s killers next re-model the crime-scene, minimising the evidences of their identities, cleaning-up the evidences that it was ‘an inside job’, and simulating the appearances that it was ‘an outside job’.”
According to the Massei Summary, Part 3:
“8. The staged break-in
The Massei Report examined the evidence surrounding the broken window and disarray in Filomena Romanelli’s bedroom in order to determine whether a real break-in had occurred or the appearance of one had been staged….....
The court concluded that the disorder in Romanelli’s room and the breaking of the window pane constituted an artificial representation created in order to misdirect the investigations towards a person who, not having the key to the front door, was supposed to have entered through the previously broken window and then effected the violent acts on Meredith which caused her death.”
So Massei, having carefully analysed all the Evidence, and the Arguments on both sides Concluded that there was No Burglary at all, and that Meredith’s killers had deliberately created the appearance of a Burglary, in order to misdirect the Investigators of Meredith’s death.
According to the Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel wrt the Simulated Burglary:
“The compartmentalisation of the single pieces of evidence thus weakened their value and their depth, since a piecemeal evaluation of their relationship and of the required synthesis inevitably followed, ignoring the increase in value that the pieces of the mosaic of circumstantial evidence assume when synergistically evaluated.”
The Panel begins its justification for Annulling Hellmann/Zanetti.
The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 66:
“.....the simulation of the burglary should have been evaluated in light of the investigative data collected immediately after the event, such as Rudy’s shoeprints (along the path of his flight) and the traces of the victim’s blood detected in many spots in the bathroom used by Ms Knox and  Ms Kercher, surely carried there by third parties present in the house after the murder.”
The Panel takes-for-granted that the “Burglary” was Simulated by the Perps, and focuses on its improper evaluation by H/Z.
The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 82-83:
“The Hellmann Court of Appeal preferred – in full agreement with the defence pleadings – to favour the information the unreliable Rudy Guede had conveyed in his chat with his friend Benedetti, i.e., that he was in via della Pergola around 9.00/9.30 PM on the first of November 2007; this information was correlated with the victim’s telephone records which registered:
a) an unanswered call at 8.56 PM
b) the dialling of the number 901, corresponding to an answering service at 9.58 PM, immediately after which the call was blocked
c) at 10.00 PM the dialling of the first number in the list of phone numbers for the Abbey bank, without however the dialling of the required dialling code
d) at 10.13 PM a GRPS connection of the length of nine seconds, most probably linkedto a multimedia message, without the necessity of human interaction.
On the basis of these facts, the Hellmann Court reached the conclusion that Miss Kercher had not called her family again in the period of time between 8.56 and 11.00 PM, since shortly after the first attempt an unexpected event may have occurred, such as for example the attack, and the dialling of the number at 10.00 PM could have been done  by another person, who was not familiar with that mobile phone, while attempting to silence it, a fact which would place the time of death at before 10.13 PM.
The reconstructive path is permeated with factual deductions deriving from a series of conjectures and baseless suppositions, without any reliable, demonstrative basis, in spite of [other] findings of significant value which conflict with those [deductions] and have a greater probative value, which were reduced in their importance on the basis of an unsatisfactory reasoning, which stands out because multiple passages contradict other passages of the statement of reasons, and because of manifest illogicality which must be rightfully censured in this venue. “
The Panel implicitly includes H/Z’s failure to recognize the “Burglary"as simulated, as part of its “unsatisfactory” and improperly “baseless” reasoning.
NENCINI Page 175:
“In the cottage at 7 Via Della Pergola, on the day of 2 November 2007, in the early hours of the day and up until approximately 12.00 pm, nobody had a shower, just as no burglar had gottenin through the window of Filomena Romanelli’s room; more simply the totality of the circumstantial evidence examined to this point gives us a plain picture of how the defendants put into action a clean-up of the traces of the murder committed and activity to “derail” the investigations that involved a series of actions, a number of which are still to be described.”
So, having stated at length “the totality of the circumstantial evidence examined” Nencini concludes, that the defendants (Knox and Sollecito) had faked the “Burglary” and,
Nencini Page 335:
“...we exclude, for the reasons already expressed, that the murder was committed by a burglar caught in the act of entering the flat after breaking Filomena Romanelli’s window…”
The Nencini Appellate Court Judges, presumably recognise that their conclusion Knox and Sollecito had faked a burglary didnot implicitly exclude the co-existence of a real burglar.
So now they explicitly “exclude” the conclusion that the murder was committed by any burglar.
What will the Marasca Panel make of that?
28: THE SCREAM
Amanda Knox is herself the very first person to refer to the Scream, in her voluntarily insistent Written-Note of November 6th, 2007.
This allegation is generally accepted to be so factually Certain that its factual existence has never been plausibly disputed.
Massei Pages 98-99:
“.....it can thus be held that, in fact, towards 23:30 pm on November 1, 2007 there was a loud, long scream from a woman which came from  the house at 7 Via della Pergola.
After this scream, Nara Capezzali heard running on the metal stairs located below her residence in the S. Antonio car park towards the section used as the exit for the cars, and straight afterwards she heard running on the path situated in front of the house in Via della Pergola.
The harrowing scream heard a little before must have caused a strong agitation in Mrs. Capezzali, who was rendered particularly sensitive and attentive to what might happen and who knows the area; therefore, it is to be held that she referred to noises on the metal steps and on the path because there actually were such noises and she was able to hear them.
Furthermore, the deposition of the witness Dramis, who referred to ‚running steps‛ heard about 23:30 pm on that same November 1st in Via del Melo, which is very close, almost a continuation of the path of the houseIp in Via della Pergola, could constitute some confirmation of this.
The running on the path in front of the house at 7 Via della Pergola shortly after the heart-rending scream leads this Court to hold that the heart-rending scream came from the house at 7 Via della Pergola; likewise, whoever’s running steps were heard on the metal steps and whoever’s running steps were heard a little later on the gravel path and leaves in front of the house at 7 Via della Pergola lead the Court to hold that more than one person came out of that house.”
So Massei “held” as a specific “fact” that the scream, came from the 7 Via Della Pergola cottage, rented by Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox, among others, at about 23:30 pm on November 1st, 2007.
However, Hellmann/Zanettii, and the miscellaneous FOA systematically trivialized the Scream, e.g.: the Police made AK invent it; the Police suggested it to AK; the Police tricked AK into writing it down; there are so many Screams-in-the-Perugia-Night that the scream the Witnesses testified to having heard was not Meredith’s Scream; the scream the Witnesses testified to having heard was at some other time; and Meredith’s Scream was at yet another time. So-many imagined doubts were marshaled that Hellmann/Zanettii argued that there was too much Reasonable Doubt.
The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 86:
“Before concordant pieces of data convergent towards a time necessarily later than the one established by the court, back to which the heart‐rending scream of the unfortunate Meredith needs to be tracked, the appeals court preferred to draw the threads from Guede’s presentation of facts, [which he] delivered in a context outside the court, and anyway absolutely false (given that the accused declared himself to be uninvolved in the murder).
The conclusions drawn appear even more jarring if one only considers that the heart‐rending scream was mentioned even by Amanda herself in her handwritten letter when the fact was not yet in the public domain. Not only this, but the reconstruction made by the Hellmann Court of Appeal is not even in line with the relevant post-mortem findings, which indicated a time of death range from 6.50 PM to 4.50 AM on 2 November, thus at a time around 11.00 to 11.30 PM according to the calculated average, so as the First Instance Court had argued, with greater adherence to the available evidence.
Thus, the statement of reasons suffers from a grave lack of logic and from inconsistency with other available evidence also on this point, openly showing an obvious explanatory inadequacy to which the judge of remand will have to bring remedy.”
So this SCC Panel Excoriates Hellmann/Zanetti’s biased and illogical reasoning wrt the scream, constructively ordering the judge of remand “to bring remedy”.
NENCINI stated on pages 117-118:
“.....from her very first statements, Amanda Marie Knox provides the picture that, at some point during the attack, Meredith was screaming. Indeed, it was only because of the poor girl’s scream  that the defendant imagined “what might have happened”. This scream, so excruciating that it caused her to move her hands to her ears to block it out, is introduced in the written statement on the same morning at the offices of the Perugia police. Significantly, this is the scream that was clearly heard by the witnesses Nara Capezzali and Antonella Monacchia. It was so “excruciating” that Nara Capezzali was beside herself, something that she told the First Instance Court hearing on 27 March 2009, having previously only spoken about it to the police, about a year after that night of November 2007.”
Thus does “the judge of remand” bring remedy, expressing no doubt that the scream Knox claims to have imagined “might have happened”, Certainly Did-Happen.
It will be interesting to see Bruno’s take if his SCC Panel submits its Motivazione.
29. THE KNIFE COLLECTED IN SOLLECITO’‘S FLAT
This Knife was mentioned in Post #1, in which the use of at least 2 knives in Meredith’s murder was established.
Massei Page 194:
“Seven samples were taken from the exhibit [reperto] acquired by the Flying Squad of Perugia (i.e, Exhibit [reperto] 36) and consisting of a large knife, 31 centimetres long; on the handle, from the trace indicated as ‚trace A‛, the genetic profile of Amanda Knox was found and in a point on the blade, the genetic profile of the victim was found. All of the other samples gave negative results. “
Here, calling this knife Exhibit 36, Massei reports that Meredith’s DNA was found on this knife (In spite of the fact, corroborated by Knox herself, that Meredith had never been in Sollecito’s flat), as well as Knox’s DNA.
Massei Page 264:
“EXHIBIT 36 (THE DOUBLE-DNA KNIFE)
 On November 6, 2007, during the search carried out in the apartment in Perugia where Raffaele Sollecito lived, the 31cm-long knife was found.”
Here, Massei refers-back to when and where this knife was found.
Massei Pages 373-375:
“Of Raffaele Sollecito’s habit of carrying a pocket knife, Corrado De Candia also made reference, recalling that the blade of Raffaele Sollecito’s pocket knife had a length around 6-7cm and a width of 1cm or less.
In relation to the preceding (Raffaele Sollecito actively present at the scene of the murder, finding himself behind Meredith, pulling on the bra with violence, finally deciding to cut it), it must be affirmed that Raffaele Sollecito not only found himself at the scene of the murder and pursuing, with violence, the same objective as RudyGuede, but he is there with a well-sharpened knife (dangerous and thus capable of cutting a resistant material, such as that of a bra,  especially in the part that was cut, which may be seen in photos 117 and 119 in the second volume of photographic evidence) and having a blade probably around 4cm long, as De Martino and Binetti have referred to (the length of this, 4cm, appears more consonant with the type of pocket knife described, and Raffaele Sollecito’s habit of always carrying a pocket knife attached with a clip to his trousers, and therefore to be considered rather short and manageable, with respect to a blade of 6 or 7 cm, as indicated by Candia).
Elements which lead one to consider that the 4cm in depth wound was inflicted by Raffaele Sollecito with the pocket knife that he was always carrying around with him, and was inflicted immediately after having cut the bra, while Rudy penetrated the unfortunate victim – who had been almost completely stripped naked – probably with his fingers because the biological trace on the vaginal swab did not present anything of a spermatic nature.
That the knife used by Raffaele Sollecito on that occasion, according to what has been said, has not been found, is an irrelevant circumstance when it is a case of blade weapons [arma bianca] of easy availability and easy enough to conceal (cf. on this specific point, Cassation 30 June 2004, no 48349).
This progression of violence, from advances to gripping, from which derive the numerous bruises, to ultimately injuring the girl with a knife, finds a possible explanation in the fact that Meredith, it must be held, continued to put up the resistance that she could (there are in fact no signs of yielding, of any acquiescence occurring and, as a matter of fact, the scream that Nara Capezzali and Maria Ilaria
Dramis have declared to having heard confirm this behaviour of the young lady), and, to the end of completely subduing her, even to her will as well, probably, as an angry and almost punitive reaction against a girl continuing in this behaviour, there was the blow inflicted upon the neck producing the 4cm deep wound (corresponding to about the length of the blade described by Binetti and De Martino), a blow that, as observed above, is to be held to have been inflicted with the same pocket knife used to cut off the bra and therefore by the  same person who had sliced the bra itself and who had the use of this pocket knife, and this is Raffaele Sollecito.
The very loud scream (as described by Maria Ilaria Dramis) of pain and, at this point, also of terror, made by Meredith and of which it was said, not causing any repentance among the attackers, but the final definitive progression of violence, and while her already-cut bra was being removed (the bra that, coming into contact with the part of the body that had begun to be covered in blood from the wound in the neck, itself became partially stained with blood), the hand of one of the attackers sealed Meredith’s mouth, so that she could not scream again, and another of her attackers struck her again on the neck, but on the left side because, probably, they were on the other side with respect to the person who had inflicted the 4cm deep wound, causing [in their turn] a lesion 8cm deep. Meredith tried to withdraw the part of her body that was once again and more deeply attainted but, held by the hand of whoever was holding her mouth shut and countered by the presence of the one who had caused the 4cm-deep wound, she ended up being driven back towards the knife that still remained in the wound itself, and occasioned a second incision on the epiglottis, as has been seen, almost as if it were [a case of] a second blow being inflicted upon her.
This dynamic requires the presence of a second attacker, of a second knife. This Court holds that the second attacker is Amanda Knox and the second knife is Exhibit 36. The outcome of the genetic investigation with a quantity of DNA indicated as ‚too low‛ was placed under censure and doubts about reliability. Equally, the incompatibility of this knife with the wounds suffered by Meredith was affirmed.
On these matters, the considerations already made must be recalled, which led this Court to evaluate the outcome of the genetic investigation as reliable, and this knife as absolutely compatible with the most serious wound. The inquiry elements allow, still, further observations.
This knife, which attracted the attention of Inspector Finzi during the search in Raffaele Sollecito’s house such that it was taken, unlike the other knives that were in the same drawer, must have presented itself as different from the others, with  its own individuality with respect to the other knives present in the Corso Garibaldi house. The owner of this house, were this knife not to be found in the Corso Garibaldi house, would have been able to remember its presence and note the absence of this utensil, and this circumstance would have been able to constitute a trace, an investigative hypothesis upon which Raffaele Sollecito may have been called in to supply an explanation for. In relation to this, it is to be held that Amanda and Raffaele would have evaluated as opportune to carry the knife back to the house from which it had been removed, considering also that its cleaning (it was in fact found extremely clean, as has been noted) would have ensured the non-traceability of the wounds suffered by Meredith to it itself.”
Massei here explains the sequence of events at the murder-scene, the knives used, who used them, the wounds inflicted, the scream, why there must have been at least one more attacker additional to Guede, and why it is Certain that 2 knives were used, one of which was Exhibit 36, and why the Court concludes the second attacker to be Amanda Knox and the killing-knife to be Exhibit 36.
Massei also discusses the transport, cleaning and return of Exhibit 36 to Sollecito’s rented flat.
The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Pages 88-90:8
“In the course of their investigation, the appointed experts found a third trace on the blade of the knife taken from Sollecito’s flat (Exhibit 36), apart from the one attributed without objection to Knox and the one attributed with strong objections to the victim, right near the trace from which the DNA attributed to the victim was extracted. This [third] trace was not submitted for genetic analysis due to a decision made unilaterally by one of the experts, Prof. Vecchiotti, without written authorisation from the Court, which had in fact precisely charged her with the task of attributing the DNA found on the knife and bra clasp, because the previous traces] were deemed to be of insufficient quantity to yield a reliable result, being low copy number. Her decision was later approved by the [Hellmann Court of Appeal] on the assumption that the [new] quantity was [also] too small to permit the two amplifications needed to ensure reliability of the result (page 84 of the [appeal] judgment).
Therefore,  when the Prosecutor General and the Counsel for the Civil Partiessubmitted a request to complete the analysis on the basis of the scientific explanation provided by Prof. Novelli, a geneticist of undisputed repute recognized by the [appeal] court itself (page 79 statement of reasons), regarding the availability of instrumentscapable of reliably analysing quantities even smaller than ten picograms in diagnostic fields (such as embryology) in which the need for certainty is no less important than in thecourts, the Hellmann Court of Appeal refused on the assumption that the methods mentioned by Prof. Novelli were “in an experimental phase” (page 84), thereby freely interpreting and misrepresenting the testimony of the professor, who on the contrary mentioned the use of such techniques in diagnostic domains in which the certainty of the Presult is essential.
All in all, the modus operandi of the Hellmann Court of Appeal which, unacceptably delegating its own function, entrusted to the unquestioned evaluation of the expert the decision of whether or not to submit the new trace for analysis, is open to understandable and justified censure, considering that the test requested by the Court should have been done, lying as it did within the scope of the expert’s mission, subject to a discussion of the results if they were not deemed reliable. In any case, a member of the panel of experts could not assume responsibility for unilaterally narrowing the scope of the mission, which was to be carried out without hesitation or reservation, in full intellectual honesty, giving a complete account of the possible insufficiency of the material or unreliability of the result.
All the more so as the repeat of the genetic tests was requested in 2011, four years after the initial tests; a lapse of time during which significant progress had been made in the instruments and techniques of analysis, as Prof. Novelli, a consultant to the Prosecutor General, stressed. Precisely on receiving the information from this consultant, who spoke of cutting‐edge techniques while under oath – the Court fell into another gross misinterpretation, in a significant argument concerning the reliability of the results of the analyses made, by assuming the impossibility of repeating the tests even on traces found at a later time, thereby affecting the logic of the statement of reasons (Section I, 25.6.2007, n. 24667).
The Hellmann Court of Appeal also completely ignored the authoritative points offered by Professor Torricelli, who shed serious doubt on the fact that a very small quantity was found; she quantified the useful material in the new trace as 120 picograms (hearing of 6 September 2011, page 91 of transcript), which is sufficient to execute a double amplification, and she opposed the methodology by which Prof. Vecchiotti reached the decision not to proceed, in a report obviously not endorsed by the Prosecutor General and the Civil Parties. The authoritative nature of the observations of the two consultants of the parties  would have required that the Court deal with their points, which irremediably conflicted with the assumptions of Prof. Vecchiotti, whose points could indeed be accepted by the Court, but only after evaluation of the opposing points, which were of equal scientific value.
It must be concluded that when it rejected the request of the Prosecutor General and of the Counsel to the Civil Parties to complete the expert investigations by analysing the new traces found on the blade of the knife collected in Sollecito’s flat, as initially mandated to the experts ‐‐ a request that was supported by more than adequate scientific knowledge ‐‐ the Court made a flawed decision, by reason of its failure to comply with the relevant laws which mandate the safeguarding of all parties in their access to evidence (article 190 of the Criminal Procedure Code), especially in an area in which the expert report (as a means of seeking evidence) was requested by the Defence, and was arranged, but was not completed regarding the new trace, even though it demanded a response more than any other.”
The Panel Excoriates both Hellmann, and it’s appointed expert, Prof. Vecchiotti. The latter for not examining Exhibit 36 as ordered-to by Hellmann, and Hellmann for letting Vechiotti get away with her dis-obedience.
Finally the Panel Criticised Hellman for “failure to comply with the relevant laws”.(Referring specifically to “laws which mandate the safeguarding of all parties in their access to evidence”)
Nencini Pages 337-338 :
“The Court believes that the other blade, the one that caused the wound on the left side of the neck from which most of the blood came out and that caused the death of Meredith Kercher was held by Amanda Marie Knox. It is the knife that was seized from the flat of Raffaele Sollecito by the State Police and labeled as Exhibit 36, on which it is now appropriate to make some considerations.The knife with the blade of 31cm was seized by the State Police from Raffaele Sollecito’s flatduring the first search performed there. The State Police officer who physically took it from the cutlery drawer declared in testimonygiven during the First Instance trial that his attention was caught by this knife, and not others in the drawer, as it was much cleaner than the rest of the cutlery, so as to imagine that it had beencarefully and recently washed. This circumstance, which might appear to be an irrelevantpersonal perception, brought important conclusions to the trial. The Scientific Police analyzedBthe knife and found, on the blade, inside a series of streaks almost invisible to the naked eye, themixed DNA of two contributors: Meredith Kercher and Raffaele Sollecito [sic].[see Footnote 28 below]
This evidence, strongly contested by the Defense, was analyzed by this Court in the section related to the genetic analyses and there is no reason to repeat those arguments. Surely it is an attribution that cannot be considered definite evidence, for the reasons reported above related to the failed repetition of the analysis of the trace, but it remains a strong piece of circumstantial evidence of the fact that this weapon is the second one used in the murder of Meredith Kercher.
On the knife there was a second different trace with sufficient DNA for an analysis, carried out by Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, who attributed this trace to the DNA of Amanda Marie Knox. This attribution was not challenged by the Defense and can be taken as conclusive evidence.
Furthermore, after having ordered in this remand trial an analysis of the trace (I) extracted during the course of the expert analysis performed at the behest of the Judges of the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, the Carabinieri of R.I.S. [Reparto Investigazioni Scientifiche, Scientific Investigative Unit] of Rome highlighted DNA that could be analyzed and alsoattributed it to Amanda Marie Knox, without any particular challenge.
[Footnote 28:This is certainly an oversight of the Court, as everywhere else in the report they mention the DNA of Meredith Kercher on the streaks, as is widely known. The DNA of Raffaele Sollecito on the knife is never mentioned anywhere else and is not part of the case documentationScientific Investigative Unit of Rome highlighted DNA that could be analyzed and also attributed it to Amanda Marie Knox, without any particular challenge.]
Both traces attributed to Amanda Marie Knox were extracted from the handle of the knife, from the part closer to the blade.
The evaluation of all the elements extracted from the seized knife leads this Court to believe that it is one of the two weapons used in the murder and that it was held by Amanda Marie Knox, who therefore struck Meredith Kercher on the left side of the neck, thus causing the only mortal wound. “
Nencini rebuts the Defence arguments and concludes that Knox stabbed Meredith on the Left side of Meredith’s neck, using Knife Exhibit 36, causing Meredith’s death.
Nencini Page 339:
“...Whoever struck Meredith Kercher on the left side of the neck with a stab that penetrated 8cm (the entire length of the cut) caused violent and abundant bleeding, as shown by the quantity of blood that came out and the splashes of blood on the furniture, so as to hide completely the surface of entry of the blade, thus making  impossible the reintroduction of the weapon in the same cut where it was introduced with the first blow.
It must be stated therefore that whoever struck Meredith Kercher on the left side of her neck did so only once, causing a devastating wound from which, pushed by arterial pressure, a great gush of blood came out, as shown by the splashes of blood on the furniture near the spot where the young woman was struck.
Thus, it must be concluded that the weapon seized is not incompatible with the wound on the left side of Meredith Kercher’s neck, certainly a mortal wound, and that the finding of Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade of the knife is evidence fully compatible both with the nature of the weapon and with its use.”
Nencini summarizes-finally its conclusions, rejecting Defence arguments that the Knife, Exhibit 36, is “incompatible” with the wound on the left side of Meredith Kercher’s neck, but is certainly “fully compatible both with the nature of the weapon and with its use.”
Here is the Wiki Site opinion:
Given there is no doubt that the profile discovered on the knife is Meredith Kercher’s profile and that both contamination and secondary transfer have been excluded the only possible conclusion is that the DNA got on the knife because it was used in the murder of Meredith. That Sollecito would so quickly fabricate a lie to explain why Meredith’s DNA would have been expected on the knife rather than protest that it is impossible just adds support to a position that needs no support. Sollecito’s knife was used to kill Meredith.”
30. THE ANALYSIS OF FOOTPRINTS AND OTHER TRACES
[Note the difference between Footprints/Soleprints and Shoeprints; this difference is crucial]
Micheli post-trial interview 2008, according to the Guardian:
“while footprints there might not definitely belong to Knox and Sollecito, they did indicate more than one attacker.”
Excellent example of how Facts may not indicate “Who?”, but Do indicate, with Certainty, “How Many” (“more than one”)°
Massei Pages 352-353 :
“Professor Vinci stressed the value of some particularly individualising details of the right foot of Raffaele Sollecito, revealed by the said examination, consisting of: the fact that his second toe does not touch the ground (the so-called “hammer” position of the distal phalange) connected to a slight case of valgus on the right big toe, and the fact that the distal phalange of the big toe also does not touch the ground, (meaning that there is a distinct separation between the print of the ball of the foot and the print of the big toe in the footprint of the accused). Given these two features which make Sollecito’s foot morphologically distinctive, Professor Vinci’s study basically arrives at the assertion that, while the second toe of Raffaele Sollecito’s right foot is entirely absent from the footprints known to be made by him, on the contrary the footprint on the bathmat does contain the imprint of the second toe.  Professor Vinci reached these conclusions based on a close examination of the weave of the bathmat, and also by varying the colours of the footprint, as shown in the photograph album of the Scientific Police, so that via the use of different filtres it could be viewed in black and white or in a more intense red colour which emphasised the traces of blood.
A morphological examination of the footprint alone led the professor to consider it as irreconcilable, due to its general shape and size, with the footprint taken directly from Sollecito’s right foot. Indeed, the consultant hypothesised that the measurement calculated by the Scientific Police of the width of the big toe of the bathmat footprint was to be reconsidered: he rejected the measurement of about 30mm in favour of a much smaller measurement of 24.8mm, which he obtained by detaching a mark of haematic substance which he did not consider to be a mark from the surface of the big toe, but from a separate body, namely the imprint of the second toe, which is totally absent from the print taken from Sollecito’s right foot.”
In standard English-Language medical terminology, Sollecito’s Right Foot has a distinctive “Hammer Toe”.
It is certain that None of the other suspects have this abnormality.
This Fact is key to the Certainty that Sollecito was barefoot-at-the-crime-scene!
Note missing 2nd toe-print on Sollecito’s Right Footprint:
The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 96-98:
“13 – Analysis of footprints and other traces
The criticisms expressed on the subject of the obvious lack of logic of the reasoning Oconcerning the evaluation of the genetic evidence are well‐founded.
The [appeal] court evaluated two technical consultancies on the footprint in the victim’s blood left by a bare foot on the bathmat of the small bathroom of the flat where the crime was committed, with [identification] capacity limited to negative comparisons. As a matter of evaluation, this in itself is not subject to censure, however the court of second degree has again fallen into [the error of making] a statement in open contradiction with the available evidence, ending by attributing the contested footprint to Guede, by making an assumption contrary to all the evidence that “after having left a print on the pillow”, he slipped out of his right shoe “in the course of the violent aggressive manoeuvres to which he subjected Ms Kercher” and stained his foot with blood, which he supposedly then washed in the small bathroom, since if it had not happened this way, his right shoe would have also left some bloody traces in the corridor (compare page 100 of the statement of reasons).
Not only is this assumption deeply implausible, considering that the print left by Guede on the pillow was made by his hand, which is easily explained by the dynamics of the event, but it is much harder to explain how he might have lost his Adidas sneaker, given a situation in which Guede, jointly with others, as stated in the verdict that convicted him, overpowered the young Englishwoman so as to immobilise her. Not only that, but the above assumption also clashes with the available evidence regarding the bloody shoe prints which indicate that he left the room where the crime was committed to proceed directly to the exit door of the flat.The fact that only the left shoe was stained does not that his right foot was unshod, since at most it proves that only his right (sic) shoe signify stepped in the pool of blood which formed due to the numerous wounds inflicted on the unfortunate victim, very probably with two knives.
Just as deficient is the logic adopted in a further step of the statement of reasons, relating to the discovery of the presence of traces revealed by luminol (not visible to the naked eye), which yielded Knox’s profile and the mixed profiles of Knox and Kercher, found in Romanelliʹs room, in Knoxʹs room and in the corridor. These traces could not be attributedto footprints left on other occasions, as the appeal court implausibly accepted [them to be], since luminol reveals traces of blood and it is not really conceivable that Knoxʹs feet might have been stained with Kercherʹs blood on some other occasion.
As pointed out by the party submitting the appeal, no justification is given for the coincidence of the presence of Knoxʹs DNA in every trace mixed with the blood of the victim, whereas  the hypothesis formulated by the judgment of first degree is much more plausible: it emphasized the mixed nature of the traces (including those found in the small bathroom) which, via adequate inductive logic, led to the conclusion that with feet washed of the victimʹs blood but still bearing some residue, Knox went into her own room and Romanelliʹs room passing through the corridor during the staging operation as assumed in the initial reconstruction, which is based on the objective fact that only after midnight did the victim’s telephones stop connecting to the cell tower of via della Pergola and connect instead with the one on via Sperandio, where they were eventually found; this meant that only after midnight were they removed by unknown hands from the flat in via della Pergola.
While according to the prosecution’s hypothesis, the mixed traces found in the small bathroom suggested a cleaning activity by Knox, who transferred the victim’s blood from the crime room to various points in the small bathroom (on the sink faucet, on the cotton swabs box, the toilet seat, the bidet, the light switch, the bathroom door) where the traces were collected, the Hellmann Court of Appeal entrenched itself behind a position of absolute certainty, without acknowledging what the First Instance Court had observed in disagreement with the defence arguments espoused by the Hellmann Court of Appeal, which decided, in essence, that if the two defendants had remained in the flat of via della Pergola to clean themselves up from the victim’s blood traces, thus functioning as vehicles carrying blood to the small bathroom, then some trace of Sollecito would have been found, whereas in response to this objection the First Instance Court plausibly noted that Sollecito could have washed himself in the shower stall with an abundance of water, so as to eliminate traces, perhaps without even any rubbing, leaving to Knox the task of cleaning the sink and bidet with the traces of the victim’s blood.
The alternative explanation offered in the first instance judgment to the Defence’s objections was not taken into consideration, and thus the Hellmann Court of Appeal fell into another error of reasoning, having neglected various circumstances which, in the course of their analysis, they should have examined and if necessary refuted with more weighty arguments. As pointed out by the party submitting the appeal, no justification is given for the coincidence of the presence of Knoxʹs DNA in every trace mixed with the blood of the victim, whereas  the hypothesis formulated by the judgment of first degree is much more plausible:
It emphasized the mixed nature of the traces (including those found in the small bathroom) which, via adequate inductive logic, led to the conclusion that with feet washed of the victimʹs blood but still bearing some residue, Knox went into her own room and Romanelliʹs room passing through the corridor during the staging operation as assumed in the initial reconstruction, which is based on the objective fact that only after midnight did the victim’s telephones stop connecting to the cell tower of via della Pergola and connect instead with the one on via Sperandio, where they were eventually found; this meant that only after midnight were they removed by unknown hands from the flat in via della Pergola.
While according to the prosecution’s hypothesis, the mixed traces found in the small bathroom suggested a cleaning activity by Knox, who transferred the victim’s blood from the crime room to various points in the small bathroom (on the sink faucet, on the cotton swabs box, the toilet seat, the bidet, the light switch, the bathroom door) where the traces were collected, the Hellmann Court of Appeal entrenched itself behind a position of absolute certainty, without acknowledging what the First Instance Court had observed in disagreement with the defence arguments espoused by the Hellmann Court of Appeal, which decided, in essence, that if the two defendants had remained in the flat of via della Pergola to clean themselves up from the victim’s blood traces, thus functioning as vehicles carrying blood to the small bathroom, then some trace of Sollecito would have been found,
Whereas in response to this objection the First Instance Court plausibly noted that Sollecito could have washed himself in the shower stall with an abundance of water, so as to eliminate traces, perhaps without even any rubbing, leaving to Knox the task of cleaning the sink and bidet with the in the moments immediately after the murdertraces of the victim’s blood.The alternative explanation offered in the first instance judgment to the Defence’s objections was not taken into consideration, and thus the Hellmann Court of Appeal fell into another error of reasoning, having neglected various circumstances which, in the course of their analysis, they should have examined and if necessary refuted with more weighty arguments.”
Hellmann’s Annulment is here not only fully justified, but is essential to avoid a gross miscarriage of justice.
Nencini Pages 328-329 :
“We know with certainty that, on the evening of 1 November 2007, Rudy Hermann Guede was present inside the Via della Pergola cottage, not only because he said so and it is reported in thefinal verdict that convicted him, but also on the basis of investigations and analyses carried out by the State Police inside the cottage contained in the case file. We also know with certainty that Rudy Hermann Guede could remain inside  the flat with absolute ease… [for] considerable time, as he left his “traces” in the large bathroom [of the flat].
We know with certainty, as this is shown by the evidence, that immediately after the homicide inside the Via della Pergola cottage three people were present, surely two men and a woman. This can be observed from the genetic investigations and the results of the traces highlighted using luminol. We can also say that one of the men who walked over Meredith’s blood left a very visible trace of his foot on a blue bathmat found inside the small bathroom of the flat. This footprint was attributed by investigators to the right bare foot of Raffaele Sollecito, with an analysis this Court finds correct on the basis of the considerations already made. One of the footprints detected using luminol was then attributed to a woman’s foot compatible, in size, to that of Amanda Marie Knox; in addition, mixed DNA traces found in the small bathroom of the flat (washbasin, bidet and cotton-swab box) were attributed to Amanda Marie Knox.
We have, in substance, pieces of circumstantial evidence of certain reliability, multiple and concordant, that place Rudy Hermann Guede, Amanda Marie Knox, and Raffaele Sollecito inside the Via della Pergola flat on the evening of the murder of Meredith Kercher, in the moments immediately after the murder, when the three left traces of their passage by depositing [marks in] the victim’s blood, abundantly released from wounds.”
Emphasizing the Certainty of its knowledge regarding “traces”, blood, luminol, genetic investigations, DNA, and footprints, Nencini rules Guede, Knox, and Sollecito to have been at the crime-scene “in the moments immediately after the murder” of Meredith Kercher.
4. Other Worries For Judge Marasca
However far-fetched the Motivazione of this SCC Panel turns-out to be, it can hardly have-been unaware of the facts that Sollecito is scheduled to be back in a Lower-Court in Florence on 30th April, 2015, facing his first-set of charges in the Sollecito & Gumbel trial for diffamazione and vilipendio (slander of officials and of the system), nor that Knox is scheduled to be back in a Lower-Court in Florence on 9th June, 2015, facing her new, expanded-set of Calunnia charges.
5. Where Next In The Series
There will be one more post at least plus critiques of Marasca/Bruno soon from other sources.
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (30)
Monday, April 27, 2015
Justice System Comparisons #3: Bail, Extradition, and More Crimes In Canadian Law
Posted by Chimera
1. Overview Of My Multi-Part Series
Italian justice has become very slanted toward the defendant, often at the considerable cost of the victim.
Canadian justice does not do that as much. It tries harder than most systems, including the Italian, to be equally fair to both, to balance their interests to the maximum that is possible. So it makes for a good comparison. Although, to be fair, it is still frequently criticised as ‘‘soft on crime’‘.
-First degree murder falls under a number of categories. In many cases, the police and prosecutors do not even have to prove intent. Section 231 defines first and second degree murder, and under cc 231(5)(b) (sexual assault), cc 231(5)(c) (sexual assault with a weapon), 231(5)(d) (aggravated sexual assault), and cc 231(5)(e) (kidnapping and forcible confinement), the trio would face 1st degree for either one of those circumstances. The penalty is an automatic life sentence, with no chance of parole for 25 years. No spontaneous declarations for defendants, lying on the witness stand is not allowed, no automatic appeals.
-There are a number of laws, including those enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to ensure fair criminal proceedings.
-Public Mischief (cc 140), is usually an indictable (felony) offence, and it is when someone falsely accuses another of committing a crime, does does something to divert attention from their own crime, or falsely reports someone has died. Punishment can be up to 5 years. In Italy, it is called ‘‘calunnia’‘. It is something Knox has been convicted of, and others, including Sollecito, remain accused of.
-Perjury (cc 131), is lying under oath, or in judicial proceedings, or falsely making sworn statements. It is an indictable (felony) offence. Punishment can be up 14 years in prison. Unlike in Italy, defendants CANNOT do it at their own trials. Knox, Edda Mellas, Sollecito, and Guede, could all have been charged.
2. Some Background On The Case
Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and (at the time Lumumba), were arrest November 6th, 2007, for the sexual assault and murder of Meredith Kercher. They went before Judge Claudia Matteini, who saw enough probable cause to detain the 3 of them. Lumumba was cleared and released a few weeks later, and Rudy Guede implicated instead. See this post. Judge Matteini, even without complete information was able to see enough cause for concern to keep them detained.
Knox and Sollecito tried to have the Italian Supreme Court (Cassation), overturn those decisions, but Italy’s High Court found that the decisions to keep AK and RS in prison, and away from house arrest. Psychologically tested earlier, the results were disturbing enough to keep the paired detained until trial. See here. Also see here.
In 2008, Judge Paolo Micheli presided over Rudy Guede’s ‘‘short form’’ trial. Guede was found guilty, and given 30 years, the maximum allowed under the ‘‘short-form trial’’ rules Judge Micheli also ruled there was enough evidence to send Knox and Sollecito to trial, as Guede’s accomplices. Guede was denied house arrest prior to trial, and has been in custody ever since his arrest in late November 2007, and was denied day release recently.
The 2009 trial of Knox and Sollecito took almost the entire year of 2009, and was presided over by Judge Giancarlo Massei. In December, the Massei Court found AK and RS guilty. The pair received 24 years for murder with sexual violence, an additional year for staging a crime scene and transporting a knife, and Knox one more year for her false accusation of Patrick. The sentence was originally 30 years for murder, transport and staging, but 5 years were cut off for ‘‘mitigating factors’‘. While AK and RS lawyers planned to appeal, the Court found no reason to let them out prior to the appeal.
The unintended consequence of the 24 years for the murder (with sexual violence), is that Guede, who took the short form trial, ended up receiving 1/3 less than AK and RS, effectively cutting his sentence in half, from 30 years to 16.
The appeal of AK and RS in 2011, before Judge Claudio Hellmann stunned Italy. Hellmann acquitted the pair on appeal, despite the following:
-He said in his ruling, the truth may very well be otherwise
-His report only added confusion, it did not help clarify anything
-Knox still had outstanding charges for falsely accusing police officers of assault
-The appeal effectively was a new trial, but only with the defence presenting
-He said Knox’s false accusation was due to duress, not malicious intent—and then INCREASED her calunnia sentence
-The defence had cherry-picked a few pieces of evidence, but left huge amounts unchallenged
-Rudy Guede was apparently a total liar, EXCEPT for the time of death
Knox and Sollecito were released, and AK immediately returned to the U.S. Sollecito stayed in Italy. However, the Supreme Court annulled Hellmann’s ruling in March 2013. See here.
A new appeal was to be held in Florence, the fall of 2013.
Knox refused to attend.
AK did, however, send an email to Appeal Court Judge Nencini, which repeats many of the false accusations. See here.
She claimed, among other things, financial hardship, despite receiveing a $3.8 million book deal with HarperCollins. See here.
Although refusing to return to Italy, AK has repeated tried to contact the Kercher family, and creepily demanded to visit Meredith’s grave. RS has also admitted to trying to contact the Kerchers, and claimed he has visited the grave.
And Knox lets this bombshell out See here.
Sollecito also received a book deal, from Simon and Schuster, and it also stunk of blood money, just like Knox’s. See here.
Sollecito attended sporadically, visiting the Dominican Republic in between court dates, and apparently shopping for an American bride to help him get around extradition. See here.
January 30th, 2014, the date Nencini confirmed the Massei conviction, RS was caught near the Austrian border. He denies he was trying to flee, but still had his passport confiscated, and was barred from leaving Italy. Judge Nencini was also not the least bit amused by the goings on of the FOA See here.
And of course, the defence, in the spirit of fairness and sportsmanship, pulls this stunt: See here.
AK, on the other hand, hit the talk shows, fake-crying about how scared she is, and how she’ll remain a fugitive if necessary.
3. Canadian Law on Bail
Section 11 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms deals with criminal matters and procedures
11. Any person charged with an offence has the right
(a) to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence;
(b) to be tried within a reasonable time;
(c) not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence;
(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;
(e) not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause;
(f) except in the case of an offence under military law tried before a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment;
(g) not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the time of the act or omission, it constituted an offence under Canadian or international law or was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations;
(h) if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again; and
(i) if found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment.
Marginal note:Treatment or punishment
12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
13. A witness who testifies in any proceedings has the right not to have any incriminating evidence so given used to incriminate that witness in any other proceedings, except in a prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.
14. A party or witness in any proceedings who does not understand or speak the language in which the proceedings are conducted or who is deaf has the right to the assistance of an interpreter.
Section 11(e) refers to the topic of bail, and states that reasonable bail should not be denied without just cause
Actually getting to trial can take a long time. Depending on the nature of the offence(s) charged, it may or may not be in the public interest. Canada actually has pretty strict requirements about how soon an accused must be brought for a bail review.
In fact, the police don’t have to take the person into custody. There is discretion to charge the person, and then release him/her on a promise to appear. Here is a direct quote from cc 503(2), dealing with conditional release.
(2) If a peace officer or an officer in charge is satisfied that a person described in subsection (1) should be released from custody conditionally, the officer may, unless the person is detained in custody for an offence mentioned in section 522, release that person on the person’s giving a promise to appear or entering into a recognizance in accordance with paragraphs 498(1)(b) to (d) and subsection (2.1).
Here is a quote from a practicing Toronto lawyer on why you would be denied bail. See here.
Why would I be denied bail?
Detention is justified only if deemed necessary on one or more of the following grounds:
to ensure that you attend court; e.g., if you have a history of failing to attend court or abide by other court orders
to protect the public; e.g., you could be detained if you have a criminal record for similar offences; in the case of an assault or threatening charge, a history of violence against the same complainant works in favor of detention
to maintain confidence in the administration of justice; the court will consider the apparent strength of the prosecution’s case, the gravity of the offence, the circumstances surrounding its commission and the potential for a lengthy jail term
Normally, police or prosecutors have to justify why a person should remain locked up. There are however, circumstances in which the accused has the ‘’‘reverse onus’‘. In other words, circumstances which the person has to justify why he or she should be released. These include circumstances like being released (while accused) of a similar offence, and certain gun, drug and gang offences.
4. Contacting Victims or Their Families
This is a quote directly from section cc 515(2) of the Canadian Criminal Code:
(2.1) In addition to the conditions referred to in subsection (2), the peace officer or officer in charge may, in order to release the person, require the person to enter into an undertaking in Form 11.1 in which the person undertakes to do one or more of the following things:
(a) to remain within a territorial jurisdiction specified in the undertaking;
(b) to notify the peace officer or another person mentioned in the undertaking of any change in his or her address, employment or occupation;
(c) to abstain from communicating, directly or indirectly, with any victim, witness or other person identified in the undertaking, or from going to a place specified in the undertaking, except in accordance with the conditions specified in the undertaking;
(d) to deposit the person’s passport with the peace officer or other person mentioned in the undertaking;
(e) to abstain from possessing a firearm and to surrender any firearm in the possession of the person and any authorization, licence or registration certificate or other document enabling that person to acquire or possess a firearm;
(f) to report at the times specified in the undertaking to a peace officer or other person designated in the undertaking;
(g) to abstain from
(i) the consumption of alcohol or other intoxicating substances, or
(ii) the consumption of drugs except in accordance with a medical prescription; or
(h) to comply with any other condition specified in the undertaking that the peace officer or officer in charge considers necessary to ensure the safety and security of any victim of or witness to the offence.
Clause (c) specifically states to avoid communicating directly or indirectly with any victim or witness in the case. This would obviously extend to avoid any contact with the Kercher family. Also, it would include having friends and family attempt to contact a witness or victim. This prohibition extends to telephone calls or emails, everything from asking for a private meeting, to asking to visit your alleged victim’s grave. This would also seem to violate clause (h), which is to ensure the safety and security of any victim or witness. There are reasons for this.
1) To avoid any possible threats or intimidation, which would cause the integrity of the system to be questioned
2) To avoid any type of underhanded tactic, such as appealing for mercy, underneath the court
3) To promote fairness in the trial process.
5. Harassing and Stalking of Victims
This is a quote directly from section cc 264 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
264. (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.
Marginal note:Prohibited conduct
(2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of
(a) repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;
(b) repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;
(c) besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
(d) engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.
(3) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Marginal note:Factors to be considered
(4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court imposing the sentence on the person shall consider as an aggravating factor that, at the time the offence was committed, the person contravened
(a) the terms or conditions of an order made pursuant to section 161 or a recognizance entered into pursuant to section 810, 810.1 or 810.2; or
Not only would it be a cc 215(2)2.1(c) of the criminal code, which refers to conduct while released on an undertaking, harassment and stalking themselves are serious crimes. Note that cc 264(4) considers it to be an aggravating factor if this harassing occurred while the subject was under a court order not to contact the person anyway. In any Canadian proceedings, defendants would be barred from contacting family members of the victim, as well as the actual victim.
It is reasonable to assume that the Kerchers want nothing to do with Knox. After all, this woman allegedly sexually assaulted and stabbed to death their daughter/sister, and then made a mockery of the court process, all while pretending to be the victim. Yet Knox has repeatedly tried to make contact with them.
A court sketch, common in media back in pre-camera days
6. Contempt of Court
This is a quote directly from section cc 708 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
708. (1) A person who, being required by law to attend or remain in attendance for the purpose of giving evidence, fails, without lawful excuse, to attend or remain in attendance accordingly is guilty of contempt of court.
(2) A court, judge, justice or provincial court judge may deal summarily with a person who is guilty of contempt of court under this section and that person is liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ninety days or to both, and may be ordered to pay the costs that are incident to the service of any process under this Part and to his detention, if any.
(3) A conviction under this section may be in Form 38 and a warrant of committal in respect of a conviction under this section may be in Form 25.
Knox refused to attend her 2013/2014 appeal in Florence, the one she keeps referring to as a ‘‘new trial’‘. This would not be tolerated under Canadian law. Her bail would have been forfeited, and she would have been arrested.
She would have remained in custody for the duration of the appeal. And should the appeal have confirmed her guilt, she would most likely have remained in custody while it was being appealed further.
Skipping out on your criminal proceedings without valid grounds is contempt. Sollecito did it as well when he took a vacation in the Dominican Republic. Not only is it disrespectful, but it shows a lack of maturity.
Also note, from c.c. 515(2)2.1 of the Criminal Code—see section on harassing—these actions certainly would have violated clause (a), which is to remain in the jurisdiction while the proceedings are ongoing.
7. Cashing in on the Notoriety of a Crime (Son of Sam laws)
In September 2012, Simon & Schuster released Sollecito’s book, ‘‘Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back With Amanda Knox’‘. In May 2013, HarperCollins released Knox’s book ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘.
What was particularly disturbing was that both Knox and Sollecito were still accused of murder when these books came out. Knox was in the worse situation, as it came after the March 2013 Cassation ruling, which confirmed her calunnia against Patrick Lumumba, and annulled Judge Hellmann’s appeal acquittal. However, since Cassation left the Massei trial verdict intact, their legal status was ‘‘guilty, pending further appeals’‘.
Setting aside the sheer idiocy of releasing a book while still accused, it is still illegal to do. Right now, Canadian provinces seem to be writing their own laws. Here are 4 of them.
This is from the website, Victimsofviolence.on.ca See here.
The Province of Alberta: See here.
The Province of Saskatchewan: See here.
The Province of Ontario: See here.
The Province of Nova Scotia: See here.
The provinces do have some small differences in the laws, but the point to be taken here is that you can’t cash in on the notoriety of your crime. In America, this is referred to the ‘‘Son of Sam Laws’’ after serial killer David Berkowitz, who called himself the Son-of-Sam.
8. Laundering the Proceeds of Crime
This is a quote directly from section cc 462.31 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
Laundering proceeds of crime
462.31 (1) Every one commits an offence who uses, transfers the possession of, sends or delivers to any person or place, transports, transmits, alters, disposes of or otherwise deals with, in any manner and by any means, any property or any proceeds of any property with intent to conceal or convert that property or those proceeds, knowing or believing that all or a part of that property or of those proceeds was obtained or derived directly or indirectly as a result of
(a) the commission in Canada of a designated offence; or
(b) an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted a designated offence.
(2) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(3) A peace officer or a person acting under the direction of a peace officer is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) if the peace officer or person does any of the things mentioned in that subsection for the purposes of an investigation or otherwise in the execution of the peace officer’s duties.
Raffaele Sollecito and Andrew Gumbel wrote ‘‘Honor Bound’’ (although they now blame each other). Amanda Knox wrote ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘, which was ghostwritten by Linda Kuhlman. Knox claims that she used her $3.8 million advance (less the taxes), to pay her lawyers, and her family.
The problem is that the books themselves are bloodmoney, cashing in on a crime they committed. That is illegal to do. The million dollar advances were (if Knox is truthful here), essentially converted into legal payments for her lawyers, and to her family.
Unless Knox’s family really did spend a million or more to visit her, the money Amanda claims went to them could be seen as ‘‘gifts’’ or ways to hold onto such funds. Even if the Knoxes/Mellas did spend that much money, Amanda is paying those debts off with illegally obtained money.
Sollecito has not been nearly as open about where his book advance went (rumoured to be $950,000). However, he would have the same legal issues facing him as Knox.
9. Prostitution and Soliciting of Prostitution
This is a quote directly from section cc 213 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
Offences in Relation to Offering, Providing or Obtaining Sexual Services for Consideration
Marginal note:Stopping or impeding traffic
213. (1) Everyone is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who, in a public place or in any place open to public view, for the purpose of offering, providing or obtaining sexual services for consideration,
(a) stops or attempts to stop any motor vehicle; or
(b) impedes the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic or ingress to or egress from premises adjacent to that place.
(c) [Repealed, 2014, c. 25, s. 15]
Marginal note:Communicating to provide sexual services for consideration
(1.1) Everyone is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who communicates with any person — for the purpose of offering or providing sexual services for consideration — in a public place, or in any place open to public view, that is or is next to a school ground, playground or daycare centre.
Definition of “public place”
(2) In this section, “public place” includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied, and any motor vehicle located in a public place or in any place open to public view.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 213; R.S., 1985, c. 51 (1st Supp.), s. 1; 2014, c. 25, s. 15.
In Canada, the prostitution laws are constantly being challenged. Due to lobbying efforts, the punishments are actually becoming much harsher for soliciting than for providing.
Knox met Federico Martini (the man she calls ‘‘Cristiano’’ in her book), on a train in Italy. She had been providing sex, and getting drugs, and it kept happening up to the night she was arrested. It had been known for years in Italy, but only released to the American media in the summer of 2014.
The thing is: this would actually be considered prostitution. It doesn’t matter if he offered cash, or a bag of coke. Martini, the client (a.k.a the John), was providing material goods in return for sex. In Canada, legally speaking , Amanda Knox was prostituting herself (a.k.a. hooking).
10. Fraud Over $5,000
This is a quote directly from section cc 380 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
380. (1) Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service,
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding fourteen years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a testamentary instrument or the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds five thousand dollars; or
(b) is guilty
(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction,
where the value of the subject-matter of the offence does not exceed five thousand dollars.
Marginal note:Minimum punishment
(1.1) When a person is prosecuted on indictment and convicted of one or more offences referred to in subsection (1), the court that imposes the sentence shall impose a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of two years if the total value of the subject-matter of the offences exceeds one million dollars.
Knox wrote her book ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’’ for a reported $3.8 million. Sollecito (or was it Gumbel?) wrote ‘‘Honor Bound’’ for a reported nearly $1 million. Problem here, is that both of these book deals were obtained under false pretences.
Due to the spike in publicity of white-collar crime, the Canadian government imposed a 2 year minimum jail term for fraud that exceeds one million dollars. Considering that the books are fake, the payoff (at least for Knox), exceeds that amount, she would be facing at least 2 years for that.
Also, I have no idea how much money Knox or Sollecito have raised via their websites, or Twitter accounts, or via PayPal. But they could face additional charges of either fraud over $5,000, or fraud UNDER $5,000, which carries lower maximum.
11. Carrying a Concealed Weapon
This is a quote directly from section cc 88 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
Possession of weapon for dangerous purpose
88. (1) Every person commits an offence who carries or possesses a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence.
(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
It was one of the charges Knox and Sollecito faced. Guess what? Can’t do it here either
12. Fabricating Evidence
This is a quote directly from section cc 137 of the Canadian Criminal Code:
137. Every one who, with intent to mislead, fabricates anything with intent that it shall be used as evidence in a judicial proceeding, existing or proposed, by any means other than perjury or incitement to perjury is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 125.
Knox and Sollecito were alleged to have staged the crime scene at the house to make to look like someone had broken in through Filomena’s window, ransacked the place, killed Meredith during a bungled robbery, then fled. The Courts (Micheli, Massei, Nencini, 2 Cassation panels), also believed that Knox and Sollecito had attempted—albeit unsuccessfully—to selectively clean the house, making it look like Rudy Guede was the sole killer.
Knox was a resident in the upstairs part of the house, and therefore had a reason to make it look like an outsider did it. If there were no obvious signs of a burglar, the police would immediately zero in on the other 3 women who lived in the house.
13. Jurors Speaking out During (or After) Criminal Proceedings
Quoted directly from the Canadian Criminal Code:
Disclosure of jury proceedings
649. Every member of a jury, and every person providing technical, personal, interpretative or other support services to a juror with a physical disability, who, except for the purposes of
(a) an investigation of an alleged offence under subsection 139(2) in relation to a juror, or
(b) giving evidence in criminal proceedings in relation to such an offence,
discloses any information relating to the proceedings of the jury when it was absent from the courtroom that was not subsequently disclosed in open court is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
The secrecy that jurors are sworn to survives even after the trial. In the case of Ms. Ballerini talking to the media about the 2013/2014 Florence appeal just before the March 2015 Cassation ruling, it would not be allowed here either. Financial need would not be considered an acceptable defence.
While summary offences carry a maximum of 2 years in prison, in reality, jurors would not see the inside of a cell. A fine and/or probation would be much more likely.
14. Canadian Law on Extradition
Amanda Knox has made it known publicly (and idiotically) that she will never return to Italy, even if it means remaining a fugitive. She claimed that she skipped her last appeal out of fear of a wrongful conviction, even though she claimed she had faith in the Italian Courts. Yes, she’s a hypocrite. Well, Italy does request extradition of convicted criminals, which is what Knox is (pending confirmation by Cassation).
Amusingly, she claims again to have faith in the Supreme Court, while remaining in the U.S. out of fear.
However, many countries extradite both suspected and convicted criminals. Knox’s situation is even weaker, as she will not only be ‘‘convicted’‘, but will be ‘‘convicted, with all appeals exhausted.’’ Considering she has not attended court once since Hellmann released her (she missed Cassation 1, Nencini, Cassation 2), she is not likely to garner much sympathy.
Canada both requests and complies with requests for extradition.
There are a few exceptions however:
(a) Canada generally refuses to extradite if they death penalty is sought
(b) Canada generally refuses to extradite if the person faces inhumane treatment at home.
Note: This article was originally submitted just prior to the Cassation hearing. We will see what happens now.
Note: Almost all options to block extradition are not available if the person has received a sentence of at least 6 months. (This was 2 years, but recently lowered). Knox’s 28.5 years is definitely above that threshold. See section 3 of the Extradition Act, and note 3(3) in particular.
Marginal note:General principle
3. (1) A person may be extradited from Canada in accordance with this Act and a relevant extradition agreement on the request of an extradition partner for the purpose of prosecuting the person or imposing a sentence on — or enforcing a sentence imposed on — the person if
(a) subject to a relevant extradition agreement, the offence in respect of which the extradition is requested is punishable by the extradition partner, by imprisoning or otherwise depriving the person of their liberty for a maximum term of two years or more, or by a more severe punishment; and
(b) the conduct of the person, had it occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence that is punishable in Canada,
(i) in the case of a request based on a specific agreement, by imprisonment for a maximum term of five years or more, or by a more severe punishment, and
(ii) in any other case, by imprisonment for a maximum term of two years or more, or by a more severe punishment, subject to a relevant extradition agreement.
Marginal note:Conduct determinative
(2) For greater certainty, it is not relevant whether the conduct referred to in subsection (1) is named, defined or characterized by the extradition partner in the same way as it is in Canada.
Marginal note:Extradition of a person who has been sentenced
(3) Subject to a relevant extradition agreement, the extradition of a person who has been sentenced to imprisonment or another deprivation of liberty may only be granted if the portion of the term remaining is at least six months long or a more severe punishment remains to be carried out.
15. What Was Allowed In Italy But Would Not Be In Canada?
Here is a section copied directly from the Law Society of Upper Canada’s website. This is the regulatory body with licences and is able to remove lawyers in the province of Ontario. It covers the relationship between lawyers and the administration of justice.
[Amended – October 2014]
5.1-2 When acting as an advocate, a lawyer shall not
(a) abuse the process of the tribunal by instituting or prosecuting proceedings which, although legal in themselves, are clearly motivated by malice on the part of the client and are brought solely for the purpose of injuring the other party,
(b) knowingly assist or permit the client to do anything that the lawyer considers to be dishonest or dishonourable,
(c) appear before a judicial officer when the lawyer, the lawyer’s associates or the client have business or personal relationships with the officer that give rise to or might reasonably appear to give rise to pressure, influence, or inducement affecting the impartiality of the officer, unless all parties consent and it is in the interests of justice,
(d) endeavour or allow anyone else to endeavour, directly or indirectly, to influence the decision or action of a tribunal or any of its officials in any case or matter by any means other than open persuasion as an advocate,
(e) knowingly attempt to deceive a tribunal or influence the course of justice by offering false evidence, misstating facts or law, presenting or relying upon a false or deceptive affidavit, suppressing what ought to be disclosed, or otherwise assisting in any fraud, crime, or illegal conduct,
(f) knowingly misstate the contents of a document, the testimony of a witness, the substance of an argument, or the provisions of a statute or like authority,
(g) knowingly assert as true a fact when its truth cannot reasonably be supported by the evidence or as a matter of which notice may be taken by the tribunal,
(h) make suggestions to a witness recklessly or knowing them to be false;
(i) deliberately refrain from informing the tribunal of any binding authority that the lawyer considers to be directly on point and that has not been mentioned by an opponent,
(j) improperly dissuade a witness from giving evidence or advise a witness to be absent,
(k) knowingly permit a witness or party to be presented in a false or misleading way or to impersonate another,
(l) knowingly misrepresent the client’s position in the litigation or the issues to be determined in the litigation;
(m) needlessly abuse, hector, or harass a witness,
(n) when representing a complainant or potential complainant, attempt to gain a benefit for the complainant by threatening the laying of a criminal charge or by offering to seek or to procure the withdrawal of a criminal charge,
(o) needlessly inconvenience a witness; or
(p) appear before a court or tribunal while under the influence of alcohol or a drug. [Amended – October 2014]
The problem here, is although there are rules of conduct, the rules of conduct also state that lawyers must take every avenue available to help out their clients. So, it seems that the line between zealous advocacy and professional misconduct gets rather blurry. While not necessarily criminal offences, these things would throw the law into disrespute, and could cause problems for lawyers. Cases in point:
i) After the Florence Appeals Court ruled against Knox and Sollecito in January 2014, defense lawyer Guilia Bongiorno tried to have Judge Nencini disciplined for making some rather innocuous remarks to reporters. This was baseless and vindictive. If you lose an appeal, you don’t maliciously try to take down the lead judge. It is a clear violation of clause (a).
ii) Judge Hellmann was installed as lead judge for Knox and Sollecito’s original first appeal. Hellmann was a business judge, and the much more qualified Judge Chairi was forced off the case. There was no legitimate reason for doing this—Hellmann was there as the result of ‘‘judge-shopping’‘. He then proceeded to make a complete mess of that appeal, so much so that Cassation completely annulled it in March 2013. Putting him on the bench in this case is a conflict of interest and violation of clause (c)
iii) Judge Hellmann also went out of his way to twist and distort much of what the prosectors had presented in the 2009 trial, including witness testimony and evidence. Few believe this was accidental. If intentional, it would be violations of clause (d),allowing influence other than as an advocate; and clause (f), distorting evidence and testimony.
iv) Judge Hellmann dragged out the appeal by holding it only a few times each month, which caused enormous burdens on both prosecutors, and the Kercher family. Not only is this rude, it could be seen as a violation of clause (o).
v) Knox’s lawyers, Luciano Ghirga and Carlos Dalla Vedova allowed Knox to make many accusations on the witness stand in June 2009. Among the most serious is Knox’s claim she was physically assualted November 5th/6th. Ghirga himself had said publicly Knox wasn’t hit. These lawyers also passed along Knox’s false email to Judge Nencini, and Vedova filed a bogus claim to the European Court of Human Rights. This is knowingly letting Knox do dishonest things, and repeated violations of clause (b).
vi) Knox and Sollecito’s defence has been shown to be relying many times on false facts and pretences. Although lawyers are obligated to defend their clients, deep down they have to know that the defences they are making is true. These are violations of clause (e), but are prime examples of duty to the court directly conflicting with duty to the clients.
vii) Ted Simon, Knox’s now (absent) U.S. lawyer, has changed his tune. He spoke out publicly in 2008 saying that there actually was a strong case against Knox (motive notwithstanding). However, when he came on board, he ‘‘adjusted’’ his views, and now claims that there is no evidence, never was, and never will be. Although not present at the trial or appeals, Simon has made claims that he himself knows to be false, violating clause (g).
viii) Bob Barnett helped Knox land her book deal with HarperCollins, even though proceedings were still underway, knowing that Knox made false claims, knowing that Knox had been convicted of making false accusations, and knowing that Son-of-Sam laws prohibited such actions. He helped Knox do something dishonourable, violating clause (b). Or, if Mr. Barnett didn’t know, then he is far too incompetent to be a lawyer.
While lawyers are obligated to advocate on behalf of their client, the line seems rather fuzzy as to what actually constitutes ‘‘advocacy’’ and what constitutes ‘‘misconduct’‘. I believe the examples above are all professional misconduct. They were done with the intention of helping AK/RS, but step far, FAR over the line. While this is quoted from the Ontario site, other Provincial and Territorial Law Societies have very similar rules.
16. Where This Series Is Headed Next:
This concludes the part of Canadian laws that would have applied to Knox, Sollecito and Guede, had they committed the crime here. #9, which Knox bragged about to her friends, wrote about in her book, and told to police, would be considered prostitution, when you realize she got drugs for it. And #13 was added after the juror from the Florence appeal, Genny Ballerini, decided to talk to the media. All of the crimes listed in the first 3 parts are all crimes under Italian law, even if they are called something different. These 3 parts were kind of a Canada v.s. Italy perspective.
The next pieces will cover other common law nations, and contrast their varying decisions. Peter suggested giving an even wider context for crime and punishment across the globe. The final piece will be some loose ends, and requests for content are encouraged. If there is a topic I missed, or something that needs more depth, ask.
1st post appears here: An Overview.
2nd post appears here: Public Mischief and Perjury
3rd post appears here: Bail, Extradition & Other Crimes
4th post coming soon: Canada v.s. the U.S.A.
5th post coming soon: Canada and our Family
6th post coming soon: Loose Ends, and Reader Request
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (4)
Thursday, April 23, 2015
The Knox Interrogation Hoax #18: The Final Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. Overview Of The Interrogation Hoax Series
In Post #1 there is a summary of what various courts concluded in sentencing Knox for calunnia
The 17 posts prior to this one are also listed. The first twelve posts cover the key parts of the trial testimony and evidence from investigators for the events at Perugia’s central police station on 5-6 November 2007.
2. The Six Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked
The previous five posts and this one cover the six hearings from late 2007 to late 2008, any one of which was a big opportunity for Knox. She could have been released if the evidence was weaker and the arguments of herself and her legal team stronger.
Knox blew all six opportunities. The judges were Claudia Matteini, Massimo Ricciarelli and two others, Torquato Gemelli and four others, and Paolo Micheli (this post). A total of 10 judges, and Dr Mignini. After the first two, one of Knox’s lawyers walked off the job.
Those ignorant of the reports of these hearings (all but one newly translated for this series with the Micheli to come) often demonize the prosecutor, Dr Mignini, as somehow taking a harder line than all those judges.
Read all of the reports and in fact every one of those judges took a harder line than Dr Mignini who worked very hard to be fair. His early version of the attack on Meredith was of an almost accidental death with sexual humiliation in the course of a hazing.
This went out the window, and all of the judges without exception adopted a harder position - that Knox’s anger had spiraled over Meredith’s difficulties with her, and a barbaric 15-minute torture-attack resulted in Meredith’s death which may have been premeditated in a timespan between minutes and days.
Judge Matteini, Judge Ricciarelli, and Judge Micheli (see below) all flat-out warned that they considered RS and AK to be dangerous to others and that they needed to be kept locked up pending trial. Judge Gemmelli and other Supreme Court judges endorsed this.
Typically Knox was constrained by her lawyers to say little or nothing.
They were already wrestling to try to wind back the three problematic statements she demanded to make on 5-6 November - mainly by changing the subject and aggressively attacking Guede.
She was allowed to be questioned by Judge Ricciarelli and she herself volunteered to be questioned by Dr Mignini three times, but her performances were shaky and erratic and once she seemed to break down in tears.
There was little or no hint of the inflammatory claims which cost her three years which Knox came up with when she had to take the stand mid-2009 to try to defend her framing of Lumumba.
3. Micheli Hearings September and October 2008
This Sky News report describes how prior to the Micheli hearings Knox’s lawyers seemed pretty desperate to change the subject.
Valter Biscotti and Nicodemo Gentile said they wanted Guede’s trial to be separate from that of Knox and Sollecito because they feared a pact against their client. Mr Biscotti added: “We feel the urgent need to have our trial heard independently of the other two suspects.
In recent weeks a lot of poison has been spread by the defence teams and we feel the necessity to find some form of serenity in a separate hearing. That’s why we have asked for a fast-track hearing just for our client and we want that hearing as quickly as possible. At this hearing we will prove that our client has absolutely nothing to do with the tragic death of Meredith Kercher.”
On 16 Sept 2008 Judge Micheli accepted the Guede team’s request for a fast-track trial and as the rules require moved all of the hearings behind closed doors.
A fast-track proceeding is closed to the public, unlike a full trial. It will be held before the same judge, who is expected to issue the verdict at the time he decides whether to indict Knox and Sollecito. The rulings are expected next month.
Judge Micheli had mountains of investigative reports and physical evidence to plow through. He heard witnesses in four hearings (with Meredith’s family present at several) on the DNA collection, on the character of Rudy Guede, and also on the three defendants acting menacing outside their house, which he heavily discounted.
Late on 28 October Judge Micheli issued a 17-page ruling which includes almost no mention of Knox implicating Patrick. He convicted Guede of murder and sexual assault, and sentenced him to 30 years. He also ordered Knox and Sollecito to stand trial on charges of murder and sexual assault.
As the UK Guardian and many other media reported, Judge Micheli assessed Knox and Sollecito as being dangerous.
The suspected killers of Meredith Kercher were refused transfer from jail to house arrest last night while awaiting trial for her murder, because of the danger that they might flee and kill again.
After 12 hours’ deliberation in Perugia, the judge, Paolo Micheli, said there was a “concrete possibility” that Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito would run off if freed from prison.
In a written ruling to lawyers, he said he believed the murder of the British student was not premeditated, but the likely “absolute disregard” shown by Knox and Sollecito for the victim’s life meant they would be capable of murdering again….
Turning down their request for house arrest yesterday, Micheli agreed with prosecutors that more than one person took part in the sexual assault and murder, dismissing claims that the 47 bruises and knife wounds on Kercher’s body could have been made by a single attacker.
He upheld the testimony of a neighbour who heard more than one person fleeing Kercher’s house, adding that while footprints there might not definitely belong to Knox and Sollecito, they did indicate more than one attacker.
He stood by forensic evidence indicating Kercher’s and Knox’s DNA on a knife found at Sollecito’s house which investigators suspect is the murder weapon, and ruled Sollecito’s DNA on Kercher’s bra strap as reliable evidence.
On 30 October Judge Micheli was interviewed. No sign in this that any claim of unfairness to Knox was on his radar.
4. Apparent False Claim Of A Statement By Knox
Bearing in mind that these hearings were all behind closed doors, none of the Italian and English-language media reports including those of the New York Times make any mention at all of Knox testifying or answering questions. Nor do the books of Sollecito or John Follain. We are still checking with Italy to make sure.
To jump the gun on the series a bit, a probable non-statement by Knox morphed in Knox’s 2013 book into this heated claim below, which we have already been told, based on court transcripts and Judge Micheli’s immediate 17 page report, was definitely not what was said, if anything, in court.
On October 28, the final day, I got to speak for myself. Since the judge understood English, I stood up without my interpreter and tried to explain what had happened during my interrogation. I told the judge that I hadn’t meant to name Patrick or to cause confusion but that the interrogation had been the most brutish, terrifying experience of my life. I’d been exhausted to begin with, and I had gotten so scared and confused that it was as though I went out of my mind. My interrogators told me that they had evidence I’d been at the villa, that Raffaele was no longer vouching for my whereabouts that night, that I had been through such a horrible trauma, I had amnesia. “I believed them! I’m innocent!” I cried.
Posts #1 to #12 have shown that Knox experienced no “brutish, terrifying experience”. Trauma was inflicted only by Sollecito and then by Knox on herself. With high confidence, we can conclude that as so often in her book Knox was simply making this up. So much for Linda Kulman’s fact checking.
5. The Micheli Sentencing Report Of January 2009
Finally three months later Judge Micheli issued a sentencing report of about 100 pages. While it has still not been fully translated we did summarise it in four posts here.
In the Italian original (which is equally firm to harsh on all three defendants) it is quite graphic about what the physical evidence says of the callous role of Knox and Sollecito in the torture-attack.
Judge Micheli does note how often Knox and Sollecito help to destroy one another’s stories which numerous witnesses confirmed helped to spark Knox’s conniption and framing of Patrick.
There is no mention at all of Knox taking exception to her “interrogation”.
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (26)
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
The Certainties And Open Questions In The Amanda Knox Trial Starting In Florence On 9 June
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. A Bizarre Crime
What Knox will soon be on trial for is one of the most bizarre crimes conceivable.
If you followed all the links in the post directly below this (with more to come soon) you will see that the evidence is overwhelming that Knox maliciously and self-servingly invented the Interrogation Hoax of 5-6 November 2007 for very little likelihood of benefit and with massive damage done to good people and the proud image of Italy.
So what does Knox do? Learn anything? No. She serves three years for framing Patrick - and comes right out of prison to repeat more or less the self-same crime but this time on steroids. Passages in her book and claims in interviews were almost hysterically insistent, and the email she sent to Judge Nencini in December 2013 even more-so. In that email she actually ranted on about torture.
And dozens of others in the US picked up on the false claims and, as Steve Moore and John Douglas and Bruce Fischer did, heavily embellished them. What Knox was convicted for is still right there on a dozen YouTubes all “helpfully” uploaded by Bruce Fischer.
Some few in Italy might have been undecided a month ago whether Sollecito was really there when Meredith was murdered. But nobody at all in Italy likes the dangerous and inflammatory campaign Knox has spearheaded.
This really could be Knox’s OJ Simpson moment. This time she could face as much as six years, and the US would seem to have zero grounds to resist extradition.
And as Knox was finally confirmed as sentenced for calunnia to the detriment of Lumumba by Cassation in 2013, left unaffacted by Cassation in 2015, Knox can no longer make any claim to have been induced to do so by the police and prosecution.
If she has a viable defense nobody, repeat nobody, right now seems able to imagine it.
2. The Certainties
The trial will begin on 9 June in the Florence courthouse in front of Judge Anna Liguori. The lead prosecutor will be Dr Giuliano Giambartolomei who is also the chief prosecutor in the Sollecito & Gumbel book trial which convenes next on 30 April.
While charges in the Sollecito & Gumbel trial are for diffamazione and vilipendio (slander of officials and of the system) the anticipated charges in the Knox case are for the more serious crime of calunnia (for accusing justice officials of crimes in court).
For a very good reason, diffamazione and vilipendio and especially calunnia are taken more seriously in Italy than equivalent contempts in some other systems.
This is because of a long-running (if declining) tendency for “connected” defendants to try to take the justice system down a peg in the hope of an unfair break in trials they or their unsavory buddies are in the midst of.
3. The Open Questions
The Knox book and email to Judge Nencini and TV claims cannot be a part of a calunnia case but certainly can be used as evidence of Knox’s disingenuousness and malice. To what extent this will happen is not clear yet, but signs are a lot of online evidence on these lines is being captured.
Nor is it clear yet who will represent Knox. Possibly Ghirga and Dalla Vedova, but they may not be the “best” team for her as they are credited in Knox’s book for its content and they handed over as a court document the inflammatory Knox email to Judge Nencini. (Remember, Sollecito is not being defended in his trial by Bongiorno or Maori.)
Nor is it clear yet what line Knox’s defense may take. It is quite out of the question that she again simply repeats the claims that already cost her three years signed off on twice by Cassation. If Sollecito seems seriously stuck for a defense, Knox seems even more-so.
Nor is it clear yet if the defense team will make an immediate bid to Cassation for dismissal. The Fifth Chambers which overturned the murder conviction is already deeply entangled and under scrutiny, and judges there may already be wondering if they have committed career suicide to very little real benefit for anyone.
Also it is not clear yet how this will impact the pending trial of Curt Knox and Edda Mellas for diffamazione for repeating as gospel Knox’s false claims to a British reporter, and we dont know how this will impact Oggi’s trial for enthusiastically publishing some of Knox’s false claims.
It is not clear yet how the Knox PR (if it is still active) or the pro-Knox opportunists or the highly confused US media will handle this - but to repeat as gospel any of Knox’s claims could from now on be legally radioactive.
it is not clear yet how the Obama Administration will (if at all) react to this. Whether there will again be covert intervention, or whether they will finally concede that Italy did get it right and crimes should be paid for and not given a free pass.
Finally, will Knox again be a no-show in Florence, as she was (against her lawyers best advice) at her own appeal? And if so, will she and her forces again falsely claim that she is being tried in absentia? That wouldnt win her points in Italy.
4. Further Background
Click here: 1. Could The Italian Authorities Be Starting A Wave Of Libel + Slander Investigations?
Click here: 2. Interrogation Hoax: Knox Hearing On Calunnia Charges, Then Trial To Resume June 16
Click here: 3. Calunnia Claims At The Core Of The Problem For Amanda Knox - And Her Parents
Click here: 4. Knox Calunnia Hearing: Amanda Knox Enters Court Via The Underground Entrance
Click here: 5. Another In Seeming Never-Ending Disasters For Hapless Knox Campaign
Click here: 6. A Perugian Media Report (Neutral As Usual) In Italian On Knox’s Calunnia Hearing
Click here: 7. Curt Knox And Edda Mellas Defamation Trial To Go Ahead On July 4
Click here: 8. Umbria’s Chief Prosecutor Will Proceed Against Knox And Sollecito And Also Aviello
Click here: 9. The Curt Knox And Edda Mellas Diffamazione Trial Will Resume In Perugia 30 March.
Click here: 10. False Allegations Against Italian Officialdom Sparking Increasingly Tough Legal Reaction
Click here: 11. An Overview From Italy #2: Current Perceptions In Italy, Sollecito Case, Mignini’s Full Vindication
Click here: 12. With Diffamazione Complaint Against False Claims In Oggi Knox’s Legal Prospects Continue To Slide
Click here: 13. Expected Calunnia And Diffamazione Trials Could Reverse Another Attempt To Take Justice Down A Peg
Click here: 14. Questions For Knox: Did You Undergo An Illegal Interrogation By Mignini Or Did You Try To Frame Him?
Click here: 15. Desperate Ghirga Urges Amanda Knox To Show At Florence Appeal, But She’s Created More Problems
Click here: 16. Pushback Against Mafia Playbook Gathers Speed With Denial Of False Accusation of “Satanic Theory
Click here: 17. Why It Will Be Republic Of Italy v Knox And Sollecito For The Myriad False Claims They Have Made
Click here: 18. False Claims By Amanda Knox & The Book Team May End Up Costing $10 Million
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (15)
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Dupe Watch: Professional Hoax Exposer Benjamin Radford Himself Gets Seriously Duped
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. Who Is Benjamin Radford?
Benjamin Radford is the deputy editor of the popular Skeptical Inquirer which has very active Twitter and Facebook presences.
In normal cool-minded mode, he is an effective and useful exposer of hoaxers and dupes and a good entertainer. He himself has seemed fairly impervious to hoaxes. From his website here are his career highlights.
Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and a Research Fellow with the non-profit educational organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has written over a thousand articles on a wide variety of topics, including urban legends, the paranormal, critical thinking, and media literacy.
He is author of six books [including]: Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking; and Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us; and The Martians Have Landed! A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes…
Just our kind of guy, right? In this case, so badly needed. Such a huge opportunity for him. And yet…
2. Radford Swallows The Interrogation Hoax
A dozen deliberate PR-inspired hoaxes (there are also others) to the advantage of Knox and Sollecito are taken apart on TJMk under this right-column heading.
Radford would seem to have very fertile territory there. But instead, Radford himself becomes the latest dupe of the Knox Interogation Hoax.
Instead of actually doing any checking, Radford simply quotes one of Knox’s numerous dishonest and easily disprovable accounts which have already cost her three years in prison and the prospect of more court action ahead for her.
This false statement appeared yesterday in an article by Radford on the Discovery Channel website titled NYC Murder Trial: The Problem With Confessions
The Amanda Knox Confession
False confessions can, of course, have serious consequences for the person who wrongly confesses, but can also pose a real threat to innocent people. That’s what happened in the case of Amanda Knox, the American woman arrested for the 2007 murder of student Meredith Kercher in Italy.
After an extended interrogation Knox confessed to police that she was there during the time of the murder. She implicated not only herself but also Patrick Lumumba, the owner of a bar she worked at, saying she was present when Lumumba murdered Kercher and could hear her screams. Lumumba, however, was cleared weeks later when a university professor came forward to report that he was with Lumumba in his bar at the time of the murder.
Knox later claimed that her confession had been false and coerced: “In regards to this ‘confession’ that I made last night, 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. Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly…. it was under this pressure and after many hours of confusion that my mind came up with these answers.”
Based in part on that confession, Knox was found guilty in 2009 and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Appeals and retrials lasted years, and last month the Italian Supreme Court overturned the previous guilty verdicts, effectively ending the case.
Confessions don’t need to be beaten or tortured out of a person; sometimes they can come after hours of psychological pressure and exhaustion. When someone is put under sustained pressure, they may tell their interrogator whatever they want to hear to make it stop, whether truthful or not.
There was no “hours of psychological pressure and exhaustion”. Nor was there any confession - only a false accusation. In fact (see below) there was not even an interrogation.
And the Supreme Court did not overturn all previous guilty verdicts. That court had no power to overturn the guilty sentence and the three years Knox served for lying about the interrogation, and for falsely blaming Lumumba.
3. Hard Realities Of The Interrogation Hoax
Based on numerous court transcripts (see Part 4 below) this is a TRUTHFUL account of what happened at Perugia’s central police station on 5-6 November 2007.
This sequence led into her arrest and eventually to her three years in prison for calunnia, a sentence confirmed by the Supreme Court - a well-known fact which the avid researcher Benjamin Radford appears to have ignored, misunderstood, or been unaware of.
Prior to the night of 5 November Knox, Sollecito and many others had sat voluntarily with police officers to help them to build a complete picture. None were suspects and none were put through interrogation.
Knox’s claimed hours associated with this questioning included a lot of time spent waiting around - in Knox’s and Sollecito’s cases the hours mounted because they were conspicuoslu eager to be there.
Senior Inspector Rita Ficarra testified that she arrived back at the police station late on 5 November, and finds her way blocked by a cartwheeling Knox.
She rebukes Knox, who testily responds that she is tired of the investigation. Rita Ficarra tells Knox to go home and get some sleep. Knox refuses.
Shortly after, Ficarra suggests to Knox that if she really wants to help, she could add to the list of possible perps - men who Meredith knew and who might have visited the house.
As the defenses acknowledge during their cross-examinations of key investigators present on the night, this was merely a recap/summary, a simple checking of facts with someone who might be helpful which could have been done on a street corner. It was not a witness or suspect interrogation.
Knox eagerly agrees. So they begin on the list.
This goes slowly because of language problems, until an interpreter, Anna Donnino, arrives. In total Knox and four others (three of them women) are present. Knox builds a list of seven people and adds maps and phone numbers (in evidence) in a calm proceeding. These were the names: Peter Svizzero, Patrick, Ardak, Juve, Spiros, Shaki and “a South African [Guede]” who played basketball near the house.
At several points in the evening Knox is provided with refreshments. No voices are ever raised, no bathroom breaks are refused. A number of efforts are made to help Knox to keep calm.
Inspector Napoleoni and a couple of colleagues are seeking facts from Sollecito in a separate wing. Shown conflicts between what he has said and what his phone records show, Sollecito backtracks and declares that Knox made him lie. Knox is gently asked about this, and nobody reports any reaction. Knox defense lawyers in cross examination do not go there at all.
Suddenly, to the considerable surprise of all present, Knox has a yelling, head-clutching conniption (the first of several that night) when they observe a text she had denied sending, saying she would see that person later. Knox explains that it was Patrick, along with a torrent of accusations.
Warned she should not do so without a lawyer, Knox insists on a recorded statement which says she headed out to meet Patrick that night after he texted and she accuses Patrick of killing Meredith.
Knox is put on hold, given more refreshments, and made comfortable on some chairs so she might try to get some sleep.
A second session ending at 5:45 is intended as merely a reading of Knox’s legal rights, with Dr Mignini presiding. No questions are asked.
Having just been warned she should not do so without a lawyer present, Knox insists on a second recorded statement which also says she went out to meet Patrick that night and also accuses Patrick of killing Meredith.
Just before noon, now under arrest and about to be taken to Capanne Prison, a third statement this time in English, and seemingly gleefully hands it to Rita Ficcara. She yet again accuses Patrick but also ponts some suspicion toward Sollecito.
Knox’s lawyers never substantially challenge this version, leave standing that she insisted on all three statements, and they dont pursue any claims that she was pressed.
In July Knox herself tried to challenge the scenario but was disbelieved and for the calunnia framing of Patrick Lumumba Judge Massei sentenced her to a year more than Sollecito, later amended by Judge Hellmann to three years served.
4. Trial Transcripts And Other Evidence Against Knox
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #1: Overview Of The Series - The Two Version of the 5-6 Nov 2007 Events
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #2: Trial Testimony From Rita Ficcara On Realities 5-6 Nov
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #3: More Defense Pussyfooting Toward Rita Ficcara, Key Witness
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #4: More Hard Realities Fron Rita Ficcara, More Nervousness From Defense
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #5: Key Witness Monica Napoleoni Confirms Knox Self-Imploded 5-6 Nov
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #6: Sollecito Transcript & Actions Further Damage Knox Version
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #7: Testimony Of Witness Lorena Zugarini On The Knox Conniption 5-6 Nov
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #8: Testimony Of Interpreter Anna Donnino On Events Night Of 5 November
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #9: Officer Moscatelli’s Recap/Summary Session With Sollecito 5-6 Nov
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #10: Challenge To Readers: Spot The Two Landmines For Lawyers & Knox
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #11: Why Prosecution And Defenses Never Believed Knox’s Version
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #12: Proof Released That In 5-6 Nov Session Knox Worked On Names List
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #13: The First Two Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #14: The Third Pre-Trial Opportunitty Which Knox Flunked
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #15: Dr Mignini’s Knowledge Of Knox “Interrogation” Explained To Media
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #16: The Fourth Pre-Trial Opportunity Which Knox Flunked
Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #17: Sollecito April 2008 Before Supreme Court Again Coldsholders Knox
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (37)
Friday, April 10, 2015
Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chambers May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With
Posted by Cardiol MD
1. How Overload Can Overwhelm The Checks And Balances
The Italian Supreme Court (SCC) has 396 Judges in Rome and elsewhere.
Because of the enormous pro-defendant tilt in the system, the SCC hears about 80,000 appeals a year - more than all other Supreme Courts in the rest of Europe combined.
The SCC operates in panels, typically of 5 justices; that scales to about 4 appeals/panel/workweek, or about 1 appeal/panel/workday. A huge workload impinging on carefulness and promoting distraction and exhaustion.
Even with a law-clerk infrastructure, and the most ingenious exploitation of human concentrated-attention-span, highly questionable outcomes such as that for Meredith’s case would seem inevitable.
The four SCC judges panels (2008, 2010, 2013, 2015) which have ruled on various issues arising as Meredith’s murder case inched its way through the Italian legal system have been composed of different judge-combinations, with different skills, different knowledge, different education, and different experiences.
In many cases high-tech issues are an integral part of the evidence before the courts. This requires the enlistment of expert opinions because the judges may not be versant in the relevant high-tech issues. All sides, the defence, the prosecution, other interested parties, and even the judges, can cherry-pick experts for hire, who often use brazen sophistry to persuade the judges in the experts’ favour.
These facts may help to explain if not justify the unexpected conclusion of this current SCC judges panel which is now drafting the Motivazione.
2. Circumstantial Evidence And The Italian Requirement For Certainty
Near the start of the 2015 SCC hearings Judge Bruno, one of the 5 members of the Marasca SCC-Panel, was quoted as having said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.”
As we await this particular Motivazione intended to explain its decision, we will review the Massei Motivazione, the Nencini Motivazione, and the several past SCC rulings to establish what do constitute the certainties - of which in fact as Italian law defines them there is actually a large number.
In order to be classified as Circumstantial Evidence in Italian Law an evidentiary circumstance or fact must be true to the level of being a certainty. Note that this rule does not supersede BARD, it applies only to the the acceptance of individual items of evidence as circumstantial, so it can mislead and confuse authors and readers.
As will be noted below, under this Italian requirement the unverifiable RS/AK broken water-pipe story can not be classified as pro-defense Circumstantial Evidence. Therefore it cannot legally be argued as corroboration of the excuses of Knox & Sollecito, including their mop claims.
Sollecito’s father, Dr. Francesco Sollecito, did say that RS had mentioned the alleged-leak of Nov. 1st, 2007, in the father’s 221 seconds, 20:42:56 call of Nov.1st, 2007. Hellmann/Zanetti bought into this story, discussing it in their Motivazione.
AK is quoted by Nencini as referring to the alleged-leak in her testimony, but neither Galati nor the 2013 Hellmann/Zanetti-annulling SCC panel mentioned the alleged-leak. All seemed aware that there was no certainty.
3. An Explanation Of Why This Will Matter So Much In Future
In 2013 the SCC itself annulled most of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict in part because there was an obvious parceling-out of the pieces of circumstantial evidence and a lack of assessment of each piece of circumstantial evidence. Hellmann-Zanetti had failed to check whether the possible flaws and lacks in the logical value of each single piece of evidence could be resolved by cross-checking them and taking in account the whole.
Have the SCC judges themselves now made this same mistake? It is especially at this level that informed legal analysis in Italy of the pending SCC Motivazione will concentrate, future books on the case will concentrate, and the final degree of legitimacy will be established.
Given the peculiarity that the case was not referred back down to Florence for adjustment, worries at this level especially could be driving the very obvious nervousness of all of the defense counsels, shushing and restraining their clients in the presumed hope that the SCC judges really can square the circle and achieve legitimacy.
4. Certainties And Certainly-Nots In The Circumstantial Evidence
1. Fracture Of Hyoid Bone?
The SCC-Panel for Guede’s Sentencing (English Translation) wrote on Pages 4-5:
c) The body presented a very large number of bruising and superficial wounds – around 43 counting those caused by her falling – some due to a pointed and cutting weapon, others to strong pressure: on the limbs, the mouth, the nose, the left cheek, and some superficial grazing on the lower neck, a wound on the left hand, several superficial knife wounds or defence wounds on the palm and thumb of the right hand, bruises on the right elbow and forearm, ecchymosis on the lower limbs, on the front and inside of the left thigh, on the middle part of the right leg, and a deep knife wound which completely cut through the upper right thyroid artery fracturing the hyoid bone, a wound which caused a great deal of bleeding from the vessels of both lungs.
This caused a haemorrhagic shock and asphyxiation by the presence of blood in the respiratory passages, an exitus [decease] placed at around 23:00 of Nov. 1 by the forensic pathologist.
The emphases are mine. The knife cut through the hyoid bone rather than fractured it (in the English version it should say that it severed the hyoid bone; this is a translation issue). A Certainly-Not then.
The wound certainly did not cause any bleeding at all from the vessels of either lung; this is not a translation issue. This is a factual error in the original Italian Sentencing Report. A Certainly-Not then.
(This shows how the SCC-Panel Reports are not infallible. Unfortunately the Marasca Panel will have to dredge-up some past, fallible SCC-Panel Reports in order to explain its own reasoning.)
2. Two Knives?
Massei Translation p377: “There must necessarily have been  two knives at the scene of the crime.”
Certainly! There were 2 major, penetrating knife-wounds into Meredith’s neck; one entering on the left-side, and one entering on the right-side, which was made by a pocket-knife of the size Sollecito customarily carried. The latter wound could not have been made by whatever knife entered on the left-side. Therefore 2 knives were Certainly used.
3. Single Blow?
Massei Translation p 371 ”…a single blow was apparently halted by the jawbone…”
The statement that a blow could be “apparently halted” by Meredith’s jawbone is at best a figure of speech, and the quotes of Prof Cingolani on page 152 of the Massei Translation clearly indicate that any cause and effect inference from the phrase “apparently halted”, “did not…. have elements of certainty to establish” it was “stopped by the jawbone.” Prof Cingolani “did not, however, have elements of certainty to establish that the blade which had caused the wound 4 centimetres deep had stopped at the said depth because [it was] stopped by the jawbone.”
Maybe there is a Judicial, translational, or typographical glitch and “by” the jawbone should have been “near” the jawbone. Skin is soft and bone is harder but there is no way that the knife striking the jawbone or hyoid bone would halt the knife in this case, they would just roll with the blow, depending on the angle of attack.
Furthermore, contact between the knife and jawbone or hyoid bone would not mark the knife because living-bone is softer than the knife. When your pet gnaws on a non-living cow-bone, neither the bone nor your pet’s teeth can bend; both your pet’s teeth and the bone can be broken, and the bone gets scratches on it because it is still softer than the teeth, but your pet’s teeth do not get scratches on them, because they are harder even than the non-living bone.
If someone is stabbed in the back with a kitchen carving knife, penetrating ribs on its way to the heart, the knife may have no scratches at all, nor show any signs of damage caused by that action. Any implication in the statement quoted above that stabbing Meredith’s neck with enough force to penetrate the layers of her neck and then strike bone would have the effect of signs of damage to the knife-blade, is a mistaken implication.
It is an old rule of materials-physics that a softer substance cannot mark a harder substance. [To some people this may be counter to their intuition, so I have passed it by an eminent MIT physicist, and he agrees with me that the knife blade would Certainly Not not show signs of damage caused by the stabbing in this case.]
4. SMS Message?
It is Certain that at 20:18:12 on Nov.1st, 2007 Amanda Knox’s mobile-phone received the SMS sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, which let her off from having to go to work at the ‚Le Chic? pub on the evening of 1 November.
Remember that mobile-phones are equivalent to convicts’ ankle-monitor bracelets, their use creates with Certainty a record of the Times of cell-phone activities, the Location of the corresponding transmitter-cell, and hence the general location of the mobile-phone, especially Ruling-Out particular Locations e.g. Proving whether the carrier of the phone was in or out of the range of their home transmitter-cell. Call Verbal-Content is not publicly available.
Here the mobile-phone Record proves that Knox’s mobile-phone was Certainly-Not in Sollecito’s lodging-house at 20:18:12 on Nov.1st, 2007:
At the time of reception, Knox’s phone connected to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, whose signal does not reach Raffaele Sollecito’s house. Amanda Knox’s mobile phone, and therefore Knox herself, was therefore far [i.e. absent] from Corso Garibaldi 30 when the SMS reached her, as she was walking in an area which was shown to be served by the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell.
This point of her route could correspond to Via U. Rocchi, to Piazza Cavallotti, to Piazza IV Novembre, bearing in mind that Lumumba’s pub is located in Via Alessi, and that Amanda Knox would have had to travel along the above-mentioned roads and the piazza in order to reach the pub.
Knox was therefore Certainly Not at Sollecito’s Corso Garibaldi Lodging at that time, contrary to the allegation that she was, and Knox Certainly-Could have been at her Cottage.
5. SMS Reply?
At 20.35.48 on Nov.1st, 2007, Amanda Knox Certainly sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723; the message was sent when her on Nov.1st, 2007 mobile phone was in Corso Garibaldi 30 or in the immediate neighbourhood. The cell used, in fact, was that of Via Berardi sector 7 - no other [use] was shown for the day of 1.11.07, noting that Amanda declared during hearings that she had switched her mobile phone off once she had returned 323 to Raffaele’s house, claiming she was more than happy she did not have to go to work and could spend the evening with her boyfriend.
(Knox may also have been LESS than happy that Lumumba preferred Meredith instead of Knox as an employee. This was perhaps humiliating enough to Knox for Knox to decide that the time to cut Meredith down-to-size was now.)
6. Bomb Threat?
Massei Translation page 25: On “the evening of November 1, 2007 at around 10:00 pm, someone called and warned Elisabetta Lana not to use the toilet of her dwelling because it contained a bomb which could explode. Mrs. Lana immediately notified the police of this phone call; and they came to the house but did not find anything….”
This call was Certainly received, the Police Certainly came to Mrs. Lana’s home, presumably not long after 10: pm on the evening of November 1, 2007 (Time & Duration of Police presence apparently not publicly-available).
The Courts must know those times accurately and precisely; reasonably assuming them to be after Meredith’s murder, and near the time of the Phone-Dump (Otherwise, the necessary combination of coincidences is too implausible).
It is most likely that the visible, and possibly audible, presence of Police triggered the panicked disposal of the Cell-Phones down the steep slope that falls sharply into the valley below.
There is no need to invoke any awareness by the phone-dumper[s] of the reason(the hoax-call) that the Police were near Mrs. Lana’s residence.
So if the killers saw flashing police-lights, or any other sign of police near Mrs. Lana’s place, that sign could be enough to explain panic phone-dumping - then and there (not considering whether the phones were switched-on or switched-off).
According to John Follain the slope is heavily overgrown with trees and bushes, an ideal place to dispose of evidence. If the phones had fallen just a few yards further, they would certainly have gone over the edge of the cliff, down into a 50m gully, straight into a thick scrub of nettles, and probably been lost forever….
7. Phone Dialings?
There were four dialings on Meredith’s mobile phones after her arrival home on the evening of 1 November ‘07:
i. 20:56 hours on 1 November 07, attempted call to Meredith’s mother’s home in England.
ii. 21:58 hours on 1 November 07, attempted call to mobile phone’s answering service, voicemail ‘901’.
iii. 22:00 hours on 1 November 07, dial to Meredith’s London bank ‘ABBEY’.
iv. 22:13:29 hours (9 seconds) on 1 November 07, attempted internet connection. Connection consistent with being attempted from cottage, but inconsistent with being attempted from Mrs.Lana’s.
These dialings are Certain with regard to Existence, Timings, and Location.
Massei Translation, page 331, attributes the above 4 dialings to Meredith absent-mindedly playing with the mobile phone in her hand, and her phone may well have still been in her hand when her attackers surprised her.
8. Phone Location?
Was Meredith’s Phone still in the cottage at Via della Pergola at 22:13:29 hours on 1 November 07? Yes. Certainly.
9. A Tow Truck?
At about 22:30 hours Car broken-down nearby. Tow-Truck called-for.
At about 23:00 hours Tow-Truck arrives to load car.
At about 23:13 hours Tow-Truck leaves with loaded car.
These events Certainly occurred, but those times are approximate.
10. Francesco Called?
@23:41:11 RS’s father attempts phone-call but makes no oral contact. Father leaves message which is not received until 06:02:59 on 2.11.07.
This 23:41:11 call was attempted during the very time-frame of the attack on Meredith, her murder, and the flight of her killers with her mobile telephones. Meredith’s Phone[s] were removed from her cottage by about Midnight, less than 20 minutes after this attempted call.
These phone calls are Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.
11. Phone Location?
For 2.11.07 the first record is that of MKP - 0:10: 31, (i.e. Very early in the a.m. 10 minutes and 31 seconds after midnight) “when it has been established as an incontrovertible fact that Meredith’s English mobile phone was no longer in Via della Pergola, the mobile phone having received the contact under the coverage from Wind signal [cell] ..25622, which is incompatible with the cottage.”
Was Meredith’s Phone still in the cottage at Via della Pergola at 00:10: 31, 2.11.07? No!
Therefore Meredith’s English mobile phone had been removed from her cottage between 10.13.39 p.m. on 1.11.07 (more likely about 11.13 p.m. when tow-truck departed) and 0:10:31 on 2:11:07; about 10 ½ minutes after midnight – say Meredith’s Phone[s] Removed By About Midnight, allowing for the time-elapse before being dumped near Mrs. Lana’s place. (Hellmann falsified this time-span on page 14 of his report, stating it to be more than 10 hours after midnight rather than about 10 ½ minutes after midnight.)
12. Phones Stolen?
At some time before Meredith’s attackers fled, they had seized her mobile telephones, probably near the beginning of the attack, having started their attack with a pre-emptive strike to intimidate Meredith, remove all hope, surround her, display knives, seal all possible escape-routes, and remove any possibility of phone-calling for help.
Immediately after Meredith’s scream her attackers had silenced her with the fatal stabbing, and then fled immediately.
They fled with her already-seized but still switched-on mobile telephones, probably without locking anything, including Meredith’s door.
Their over-riding and 1st imperative was not-to-be-caught-at-the-crime-scene.
See item 6. above.
13. Crimescene Meddling?
Having accomplished the Phone-Dump, Meredith’s killers next re-model the crime-scene, minimising the evidences of their identities, cleaning-up the evidences that it was ‘an inside job’, and simulating the appearances that it was ‘an outside job’.
One should bear in mind that these killers should have still been overwhelmed by their having actually committed a crime beyond their wildest imaginings.
Their panic impaired their thinking, and their ignorance, immaturity, inexperience, lack of technical resources and their arrogance precluded their selecting deceptions more effective against knowledgeable, experienced professional crime-investigators with a large fund of resources. They probably think that throwing the stone from inside Filomena’s room was a brilliant deception.
They wish it had never happened.
They wish they could make it unhappen (Hellmann/Zanetti got close to fulfilling this wish, but got themselves unhappened by Cassation)
They wish they could prevent the discovery of Meredith’s murder.
They cannot prevent the discovery of Meredith’s murder.
They may be able to postpone its discovery, but not longer than the inevitable return of the cottage-mates, later that day.
They believe that the person who ‘discovers’ a murder may become 1st-suspect.
They may be able to manouevre others-than-themselves into being the ones that make the discovery – quite a wily aim.
It is beyond reasonable doubt that:
Meredith’s killers seized her mobile telephones, and that
Her killers did not switch-off these mobile telephones, and that.
Her killers threw the telephones into an apparent ravine, landing in Mrs.Lana’s garden, and that
This phone-dump was accomplished before 00:10: 31, 2.11.07, and that
Amanda Knox caused:
- i. the English phone to ring at 12:07:12 (16 seconds) and be discovered by Mrs.Lana’s daughter only because it rang , and
ii. the other phone, registered to Filomena Romanelli, to ring, very briefly, at 12:11:02 (3 seconds) and,
iii. the English phone to ring again, also very briefly, at 12:11:54 (4 seconds), after being brought into Mrs.Lana’s house. 6. Sollecito had more than 5 days, from about 11.30 pm on November 1st, 2007 until November 6, 2007, to remove from the killing-knife the traces of Meredith’s DNA.
In the opinion of the Court of Assizes (Massei Translation p.325), Amanda Knox’s call to Meredith’s phone was
...the first indispensible step before putting the  planned staging into action. The lack of a reply, since the poor girl was obviously already dead, gave a reason for reassurance about the fact that the young woman’s phone had not somehow been retrieved, [and] was therefore safe in the spot where it had been thrown, which, according to the expectations [in the minds] of the murderers was a precipice or some other inaccessible spot, rather than in the garden of a villa located barely outside the city, where the vegetation concealed it from view.
Knox may well have expected that she was safe from phone-discovery, but these calls turned out to be the very instrument of a phone-discovery.
Had Knox not made these obfuscatory stabs, in the time-frame she made them Meredith’s phone would not have rung when it did ring and would therefore not have been discovered by Mrs. Lana’s daughter when she did discover it.
14. Phone Switched On?
For the day of 2.11.07, when Meredith was already dead, the traffic registered for the Vodafone number was shown to be the following:
00:10:31; duration and caller unspecified, but Wind signal [cell] incompatible with cottage, but compatible with Mrs. Lana’s place.
Therefore, Meredith’s mobile cell-phone had already been taken away from the cottage by her killers. It is not possible to determine from this phone-record whether the phone was switched on or off, but this phone was discovered at Mrs. Lana’s place because it was ringing, and therefore was “on”.
12:11:02 (duration of 3 seconds): Knox’s phone call reached the phone and was diverted to the answering service. The Vodafone cell used by Meredith’s service provider was situated in Strada Vicinale S. Maria della Collina sector 1.
12:11:54 (4 seconds): another call is made by Knox’s phone towards Meredith’s English mobile phone number (the cell used is the one in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, thus compatible with Sollecito’s house)
Three more phone-calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.
15. Francesco SMS Received?
At 06:02:59 Raffaele Sollecito received the SMS from his father allegedly wishing Raffaelle a good night; from the evidence of the mobile phone record printouts of Dr. Francesco Sollecito, it was shown that the sending of the message occurred at, as has been said, 23:41:11 of 1.11.07. This was the last SMS sent from that mobile phone during the whole day of 1.11.07
3+ Hours after receiving his father’s message from 23:41:11 of 1.11.07:
At 09:24 Raffaele Sollecito received a phone call from his father lasting 248 seconds]
At this time RS’s consiousness would be dominated by his guilty knowledge, and probably far-advanced in the accomplishment of the 3rd imperative.
Did RS and father spend 4+ minutes discussing the weather?
This is the first father/son opportunity to formulate the two-pronged water-leak story.
Although AK had already been to the hardware store 2 hours before, they may well not have known the potential DNA problems with the knife, the need to scrub it vigorously, to clean-out, and repair the drain-pipes under the sink, and the need to return the knife to RS’s kitchen drawer.
As it turned-out, Sollecito had more than 5 days, from about 11.30 pm on November 1st, 2007 until November 6, 2007, to remove from the killing-knife the traces of Meredith’s DNA.
They probably did not know that incriminating stains could be invisible, but can be revealed by Luminol.
16. Francesco Calls Received?
At 09:29 another call was received lasting 38 seconds
At 09:30 (duration unspecified?) the father called Raffaele; the call connected to the Vial Belardi sector 7 cell.(the best server cell for Corso Garibaldi 30).]
These two calls, Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations, were probably spent dotting ‘i’s, crossing ‘t’s, and exchanging options, such as enlisting sister Vanessa’s skills and contacts.
17. More Calls Later?
Another 2+ Hours later:
At 12:07:12 (duration of 16 seconds) Amanda calls the English phone number 00447841131571belonging to Meredith Kercher. The mobile phone connects to the cell at  Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 9 (the signal from this cell is picked up at Sollecito’s house)
At 12.08.44 (lasted 68 seconds) Amanda calls Romanelli Filomena on number 347-1073006; the mobile phone connects to the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell (which covers Sollecito’s house)
Discovery will be inevitable when Filomena eventually arrives-back at the cottage.
AK/RS have accepted that they have to ‘stand-pat’ with their efforts so-far to accomplish not-to-be-the-“discoverers”-of-Meredith’s-body.
Amanda did not say a word in this phone-call to Filomena about Amanda’s phone call to Meredith, thereby withholding information that should have led Amanda to initiate discovery of Meredith’s body, and help Amanda to manouevre someone other than Amanda into being the one who ‘discovers’ Meredith’s body.
At 12:11:02 (3 seconds) the Vodafone number 348-4673711 belonging to Meredith (this is the one [i.e. SIM card] registered to Romanelli Filomena) is called and its answering service is activated (cell used: Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector3)
18. Yet More Calls?
For the day of 2.11.07, when Meredith was already dead, the traffic registered for the Vodafone number was shown to be the following 5 calls, Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations:
- i. 12:11:02 (duration of 3 seconds): Amanda’s phone call reached the phone and was diverted to the answering service. The Vodafone cell used by Meredith’s service provider was situated in Strada Vicinale S. Maria della Collina sector 1.
ii. 12:11:54 (4 seconds): another call is made towards Meredith’s English mobile phone number (the cell used is the one in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, thus compatible with Sollecito’s house)
iii. 12:12:35 (lasting 36 seconds) Romanelli Filomena calls Amanda Knox (No. 348-4673590); Amanda receives the call connecting to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 (still at Raffaele’s house)
iv. 12:20:44 (lasting 65 seconds) Romanelli F. calls Amanda, who receives the call connecting to the cell in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 9 (good for Corso Garibaldi 30)
v. 12:34:56 (48 seconds): Filomena calls Amanda who receives it from the cottage on Via della Pergola 7 (the cell used is that on Piazza Lupattelli sector 7. As mentioned, Raffaele also used the same cell when he called the service centre at 12:35 hours to recharge [the credit of] his mobile phone)
19. RS Phone Location?
At 12:35: Raffaele’s mobile phone contacted a service centre for a phone [credit] recharge (the cell used was that of Piazza Lupattelli sector 7, which gives coverage to the little house on Via della Pergola 7. The signal in question does not reach Corso Garibaldi 30, which instead is served by the signal from Piazza Lupattelli sector 8)
At 12:38: Vodafone sent R.Sollecito a message of confirmation of phone [credit] recharge (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, good for Via della Pergola 7)
At 12:40: incoming call from RS’s father’s mobile phone (lasting 67 seconds; connection through Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, compatible with the Sollecito’s presence near the little house)]
At 12:47:23 (duration of 88 seconds): Amanda calls the American (USA) number 00120069326457, using the cell on Piazza Lupatetlli sector 7; the phone call takes place prior to the one which, at 12.51.40, Raffaele Sollecito will make to ‚112?, connecting to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1, which gives coverage to Via della Pergola 7]
In “Waiting To Be Heard” Knox can hardly deny having made this 1st call, acknowledges making the call, and purports, now, to recall its substance, providing the reader with her version of what was said.
At 13:24:18 (duration of 162 seconds): Amanda calls the same American number which corresponds to the home of her mother, Mrs Edda Mellas, using the same cell. It is obvious that the young woman is inside the cottage, where by this point, several minutes earlier, the Postal Police had shown up,  represented by Inspector Battistelli and Assistant Marzi, who were engaged in the task of tracking down Filomena Romanelli, who was the owner of the Vodafone phonecard contained in the mobile phone found earlier in the garden of the villa on Via Sperandio]
In “Waiting To Be Heard” Knox can hardly deny having made this 2nd call either, she acknowledges making the call, and provides the reader with her current version of what was said.
20. More Phone Locations?
At 12:50:34 outgoing call directed at mobile phone 347-1323774 belonging to Vanessa Sollecito, sister of the defendant; duration 39 seconds. Connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell 320
At 12:51:40 Raffaele Sollecito called ‚112? to inform the Carabinieri of the presumed theft in Romanelli’s room (duration 169 seconds; connection to Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell, which covers Via della Pergola 7)
At 12:54: a second call by Raffaele to ‚112? (57 sec.; connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)
Three more Sollecito calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.
21. More Phone Locations?
At 13:17:10 (lasting 1 second) to Meredith’s phone: the cell used was located in the same place, sector 7
At 13:27:32 (duration of 26 seconds): Amanda calls the American number 0012069319350, still using the cell at Piazza Lupattelli sector 7.
At 13:29:00 (duration of 296 seconds) Amanda receives [a call] from No. 075/54247561 (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)
Three more Knox calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.
22. Another Phone Location?
At 13:40:12: incoming call from his father to RS (94 sec.; Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell)
Another Sollecito call Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.
23. More Knox Calls?
At 13:48:33 (1 second): this is an attempted call to AK’s mother’s number
At 13:58:33 (1 second): this is an attempted call to her mother’s number
The above item is a faithful translation from the Massei Motivazione section on Amanda Knox’s mobile phone traffic, but is listed out-of-time-sequence; the assigned-time is probably a ‘typo’ – “13:48:33” is much more likely correct.
Two more Knox calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.
24. Francesco Call?
14:33: Sollecito’s father called Sollecito for 21 seconds (as above)]
Do RS and father exchange more caveats in their call Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations?
25. More Knox Locations?
At 14:46:14 (102 seconds) Amanda receives a call from the German number 494154794034, most likely belonging to her aunt Doroty Craft
Call to Meredith’s phone at 15:13:43 (5 seconds) cell not indicated.
At 15:31:51 (1 second): Knox receives an SMS sent from the number 389/1531078; at this point the cell being used is the one on Via Cappuccinelli 5/A sector 2, where the Questura [police headquarters] is located.
Two more Knox-related calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.
In the hours that followed the [mobile phone record] printouts show that the answering service of Amanda’s number 348-4673590 was activated due to a lack of signal coverage.
Massei Translation p.324:
Finally, the analyses of the [phone record] printouts highlight that the first phone call made by Amanda on the day of 2 November was to Meredith Kercher’s English number.
The American student called her English flatmate even before contacting Romanelli Filomena to whom she intended to express, as she testified in court, her fears about the strange things she had seen in the cottage, which she had returned to at about 11 o’clock in order to shower in preparation for the excursion to Gubbio which she and Raffaele had planned.
It is strange that Amanda did not say a word to Filomena about the phone call to their flatmate, when the call, not having been answered, would normally have caused anxiety and posed some questions as to why Meredith did not answer the phone at such an advanced hour of the day.
26. Sollecito Locations?
At 17:01: RS’s father called RS for 164 seconds; cell used is that of Via Cappucinelli 5/A sector 2, corresponding to the location of the Perugia Police Station
At 17:42: RS’s father called RS for 97 seconds (as above).
With regard to Raffaele Sollecito’s landline home phone (No. 075-9660789)
The above 2 calls presumably covered final agreements on the Father/son stories.
For the entire day of 1 November and then of 2 November, Raffaele Sollecito’s fixed line was not affected by any calls, either incoming or outgoing.
5. More Definite Evidence Points Constituting The Circumstantial Evidence
This is the first of several posts. As mentioned in Part 2 above there is a large number of these undisputed certainties.
Archived in Posts to read first, Officially involved, Supreme Court, Public evidence, The locations, The timelines, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, The two knives, Other physical, Cellphone activity, Trials 2008 & 2009, Massei prosecution, Appeals 2009-2015, Cassation appeal 2
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (26)
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
In Big Complication For Cassation Guede Demands New Trial To Prove He Was Not “Accomplice Of Myself”
Posted by Peter Quennell
Sooner or later they must explain. Initial statements of their reasons has many Italian justice officials in strong disbelief.
If there were evidence problems (and we know of next to none and hundreds of evidence points suggesting guilt) the Florence appeal court was the correct court to put them to bed. Cassation has no legal mandate for that.
It gets worse. Somehow the Fifth Chambers has to explain why the First Chambers ruled the other way on some very key points in 2010 and 2013 and why it confirmed Knox’s sentence for the felony of calunnia with no further possibility of appeal.
It gets worse. The five judges would seem to have to come down for either the highly discredited Lone Wolf Theory or for two other “missing killers” (for which there is zero evidence) to have attacked Meredith.
From 2007 to 2015 two defense teams tried very hard but without conviction or success to do both of those things - even though Guede and his defense had no way to answer back as they were not even in court.
Those same two teams tiptoed away from much of the pesky evidence against all three which they were simply powerless to explain.
So Guede’s demand for a new trial reported today could not be timed worse from the Fifth Chambers judges’ point of view.
Chances are that this request will be ruled on by another Chambers of Cassation. It might take some time but they might have no compunction (especially if they are the First Chambers) about hanging the increasingly embattled Fifth Chambers out to dry.
No way Guede’s conviction ever gets reversed. He knows that. We all know that. The evidence is way too strong. But Guede could really rub it in that he was not the initiator of the 15-minute attack and could certainly not have done it alone. That he had no motive at all. That he was not a drug dealer or a burglar - no evidence for either exists.
That he was not the one who had a reason to clean up the house as his own trial ruled. And that he did not wield the final blow.
Added to the top post on Thursday, and amended Friday.
It looked briefly like his lawyers contradicted Guede. But legally Guede is the one with much at stake and gets to call the final shots.
And Biscotti merely added that while he didn’t know exactly what Rudy said, his words should not be considered as a public statement, he did not intend for them to go public.
Of course, Biscotti would want to keep their powder dry, and keep Guede out of harms way, and keep all possible options open in Cassation.
Smart legal, safety and financial tactics.
Archived in The former defendants, Rudy Guede, Officially involved, Supreme Court, Crime hypotheses, Various scenarios, Appeals 2009-2015, Guede appeals, The many hoaxes, The Guede hoax
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (23)
Monday, April 06, 2015
Columbia University Journalism School Blasts Fabricated Story - But What Of Hundreds In Our Case?
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. The Damage From False Media Reports
Once a false meme is put out there it can do immense harm and be almost impossible to turn around.
Public relations houses try to propagate memes, and if they are false that is sleazy and unethical but usually does not contravene criminal law.
But serious media spreading such memes have a very strong moral mandate and at times a legal mandate to check, double-check, and check again.
Often the real damage extends way beyond immediate victims and witnesses and families and friends. It can chill and distort right across law enforcement and the justice system and deeply affect paranoia-prone minds.
2. The Rolling Stone Article Report
What was misreported in the fortnightly Rolling Stone is described chronologically today by Rolling Stone itself here.
Essentially, an experienced reporter with a valid story did not go the extra mile to check if her highly inflammatory flagship claim was true.
There seems no question now that it was not.
A few days later Rolling Stone itself cautiously began to ‘fess up. The story was indeed untrue. Neither the reporter nor the editor had checked, double-checked, and checked again.
Its owner Jann Renner contracted with the Columbia University Graduate Journalism School to publish an in-depth report. The supposed victim was increasingly contradicted by her own friends and shown to have changed stories a lot. On 23 March local police reported that their investigation turned up no sign of a crime.
Yesterday the journalism school published their conclusions on “What Went Wrong” and they will make available and summarise the full version of their report on April 8th.
Damage has rippled on and on not least to women who have a huge interest in being taken seriously when they have a complaint.
The University of Virgina is in full damage control mode (that campus is about one hour’s drive southwest of Washington). Who could now be charged or sued is discussed here in the Washington Post. Many reputations have come out looking worse.
3. Relevance To Meredith’s Case?
On 27 June 2011 (right in the middle of the Hellmann appeal) Rolling Stone published one of the least accurate and most damaging and defamatory of literally hundreds of inaccurate reports.
Nathaniel Rich reported only in English, of course, from safely across the Atlantic, and there was zero due diligence by the editor at Rolling Stone (the same editor as today). His false claims were very widely quoted elsewhere. See here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.
Rolling Stone inflamed public opinion through false claims. It added to the perception that an extradition battle could drop two governments in the soup. That may have impacted the Supreme Court.
Yes, this case of mass misreporting seems every bit as bad.
Archived in Reporting on the case, V bad reporting, The wider contexts, American context
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (10)
Thursday, April 02, 2015
The Psychology Of The Human Race Puts Us On A Rising Curve Toward True Justice For All
Posted by SeekingUnderstanding
1. The “Just-World” Is Built
When we were children, we listened to fairy tales. Most cultures have a library of myths.
They frequently had ‘happy ever after’ endings, where everything worked out well, after many scares, struggles and deep sorrows. Rarely did the ‘bad people’ win, in the very end, although there were often sacrifices along the way required by those who were true to themselves, and cared for others and the world. The ruthless, selfish, greedy people often appeared in disguise - their ugly and scheming natures only revealed by chance at The End.
We often asked our fathers to read us these stories, before we were tucked up safely in bed. Usually we went to sleep reassured. This is because such tales reinforce a concept known as ‘the just-world’. In this just world, good thoughts and deeds are rewarded, eventually, and the bad and cruel actions will reap the punishment they deserve, even if patience is required until this comes about.
Our belief in this concept helps us, as we begin to go out in the world and face its stresses and dangers. It gives us hope and courage, in our tiny childhood bodies.
Our parents are our caretakers, there to guide us and protect us from harm. Good parents, who are teachers too, show us right from wrong, good from bad. We grow, and begin to form a sense of Self, a core self that finds meaning and values, experiences beauty and ugliness, joy and pain.
At least one of our caretakers will empathize with us, and give us what is known as validation. Gradually, we learn to be self-reliant and do this for ourselves, although we will always still turn towards the caretaker for this reassurance at certain times.
2. When Our Just-World is Broken
And then, suddenly, one day, something else happens. (Hopefully, this day doesn’t come when we are so very young - if it does, it is frequently disastrous).
Our belief in the Just World is fractured. It cracks, and comes crumbling down around us, terrifying us as it does. Life goes into slow motion, and we remember the colours, shapes, smells, words, for the rest of our lives. Someone who has done wrong is praised and rewarded, and the little person who is ‘me’, who was being as good as we knew how to be, is scolded, teased, taunted, hurt (perhaps physically), neglected, ignored, humiliated, punished. We suffer when we do not deserve to, sometimes when we least deserve to.
Most of all, our ‘caretaker’, whose function it is to protect us, now reprimands us, withdraws their love or approval and, worst of all, refuses to believe us. We are telling it as it is, telling the truth as we have been taught to do, and the very person we have entrusted with truth, rejects us, and believes the one who is lying. We feel despair,and we feel isolated. We panic inside, and experience fear as we have not known it.
Our adrenalin and other endocrine reactions are set in motion. Our heart thumps. We don’t know what to do, we feel numb, confused, it is hard to concentrate. We are unlikely to be able to say, at that point, - but what we are feeling is betrayal. All our inner security has temporarily dissolved.
Not only has the person insulted and harmed us with their wrong-doing, but they compounded this by sanctimoniously pretending that they were ‘put upon’, a victim no less, while simultaneously the true victim is blamed and derogated. It is outrageous, and moreover it is disempowering (at first).
It is our first experience of injustice.
3. The Experience of Acute Distress
If our psyche is healthy, we will recover, both physically and emotionally within a short period. Human beings have innate coping mechanisms, and we learn gradually to activate these. Different personalities develop different ways.
But the period of stress and distress does need to be of a short duration. This is important. If it is not, we now know that very real damage occurs. This is not something vague, but is actual, biological, involving the Hippocampus and other specific areas in the brain.
When we talk about ‘healing’, this is not just a fancy word for getting into a better mood : real healing and correction need to occur in the cell tissues. Stress really does damage your health, and if we need to take time out to recover from it, - this is a real need. The greater and more prolonged the distress, the longer the time needed to rebuild, to adapt and adjust. Music, and being in nature, often have an important role to play here. People find their own ways, in their own time.
The other thing of prime importance is contact and talking, sharing, with others to whom we feel bonded. It may seem like saying the obvious - but it has been shown that victims of trauma heal very much more quickly when their contact with their loved ones in the aftermath had been immediate.
What is needed is the opposite of isolation, which would simply increase the undermining of the sense of self and our own identity, which has been hurt, or sometimes splintered.
People are isolated in cases of torture - the perpetrators of it know this isolating alone is punishing, fragmenting, weakening and eroding to the self.
We need the validation of our true friends. Perhaps this is the origin of the saying, ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’.
To recap slightly : our first experience of having our illusion of a totally Just World challenged probably first occurs as we are growing up, perhaps at school or similarly.
I will not, here, address the very serious cases where child abuse happens in the home, where the damage may never be repairable (although a certain amount can be done, miraculously, with professional and skilled help). Neither is this the place to describe terrible trauma caused by murder and terrorism. Extreme experience of injustice, especially continuous, leads to severe trauma, which at the extreme end leads to PTSD.
Needless to say, those who survive need the utmost sensitivity and skill to help them deal with the sheer inhumanity of their situations.
4. The Caretaker in the Wider World
As we go out into the world, ‘the family’ and with it, the head of the family or the main caretaker extends onto a more macro scale. The head of an institution becomes the caretaker. The headmaster or headmistress has a duty of care and protection : they are ‘in loco parentis’.
And so on upwards - the head of a large company where we may work has to duty of care that his employees are kept safe; we have local heads of government, police commissioners etc., whose responsibility includes the safety and protection of the citizens - this is achieved through law and order. And so we finally go to the top, and have the governments of countries, and their judiciary and courts, and the Head of State.
Governments carry the ‘caretaker’ role for the people, the citizens. They are entrusted with our ultimate safety, security and defence - against violence, against terror, unreason, and the break-down of law and order into chaos and tyranny. We entrust them to save us from barbarism.
It is because they have this extension of the caretaker role (a leader will sometimes be called ‘The Father of the Nation’), that when something goes badly wrong, we can feel betrayed. Our own personal memories of betrayal, which may exist in layers of many chapters, can suddenly be triggered. It matters not that physically, personally, we may not be anything like in proximity or involved in what has just happened.
A feeling of insecurity, of being totally let down, indeed of being betrayed, is experienced in the collective, the caretaker of which is the top of government and judiciary.
The shockwaves in the collective trigger our personal memories of our own past trauma. Just as happens when someone we know is bereaved, and we then suddenly recall our own bereavements, as clear as day. Our own memories are re-experienced within the present, integrated into the collective event.
When a member of the Royal Family (in Britain) for whom there is much affection, dies, one can see an outpouring of collective sentiment. Some may disparage it (as in, ‘well, how could they possibly have known her!’ etc), but the phenonomen of collective sentiment is very real, and contains more than the sum of its parts. As all collective moods, it will operate as a wave - a wave that may sweep reason aside.
5. Injustice Is So Like Bereavement
Injustice affects us as bereavement does. When we are bereaved, and perhaps especially when we lose a parent (our original ‘caretaker’), we are affected physiologically as well as emotionally.
Our fear responses are heightened, (sometimes called heightened arousal), our heart rate changes, our concentration and memory are affected, as too our ability to regulate our emotions (be overwhelmed by them); our perception itself is affected, including our perception of who we are ourselves, our very core identity.
It is very common to feel we have lost a part of ourself with the loss of the one we loved, or, importantly, who loved us. Their love for us was part of what made us feel valid. How many feel, when bereaved, lost themselves, - rudderless, as it were? We have to re-learn, and validate ourselves.
Why, you may wonder, are we discussing bereavement here? Because the responses that we go through (and it happens involuntarily) are the same as when experiencing the distress of injustice, or injustice trauma where it is extreme.
The same shattering of world-view is involved, and the same loss of security, which affects us fundamentally.
We need ‘safe-holding’ - first our parents provide this, then gradually other people and other structures out in society provide this keeping of us safe and secure. Being able to dependably rely on the administrators of just law to do exactly that is a very important part of our security. We trust them. We trust our government to use their powers judiciously, to look after our best interests, or at least to try.
If suddenly justice itself appears from every logical perspective to be in fact injustice, it is a great threat to our psychological security, for reasons I’ve tried to explain.
If the collective has been subject to such stress, then the process of repair or healing is required to happen in the collective, exactly as it is when the injustice stress or trauma has occurred on a personal level. It is just as essential. As one of our commentators said, ‘Silence is not an option’.
But fortunately, humanity is resourceful. We can all think of ways and times when people of every diversity have come together in adversity, and pulled together, in generosity, kindness and strength. There is the dual instinct in most people (who are not dysfunctional, damaged or disturbed) which is for both justice and compassion - civilized, just action - .. and when we recover from the adrenalin state, where one feels temporarily stunned in disbelief, we slowly regain our ability to creatively engage in the present.
6. How The Healing Process Works
Many people come and seek out counselling when they are recovering from extended periods of stress and distress, caused by a wide variety of reasons, and within a wide spectrum of severity. There are a number of effective techniques to aid the self-therapy.
These include understanding one’s own fear responses and calming these; recognizing personal triggers, and having a method to deal with flashbacks when they occur; working on acceptance, and being ‘grounded’ or anchored; and learning to create a feeling of safety and security for yourself in the present, and recalling the stressful time but placing it carefully in the past.
7. Narrative Therapy For RS And AK
Sollecito admitted to lies, Knox served three years for lies, and both are still on trial in Florence for many more. Even their best friends know that.
In order to make progress in recovery, with counselling, some sort of ‘narrative therapy’ is needed, where what has been so distressing can be processed and talked about from the perspective of the present, looking back and making sense - but not talking as if one is still there in the experience.
To be able to arrive at this narrative is an important healing step. But if instead, the story is made of fragmented flashbacks, and the talk slips back into the present tense, as if the person is there again at the scene…really this is not good news. (cf AK was doing this in one of her last interviews last year - the one where she talked about ‘the corpse’).
There is avoidance, where the person can’t bear to think about the stress, and there are intense flashbacks, re-lived, - which can re-traumatise.
The narrative that we seek, and that helps bring calm and the ability to move forward, is neither of these. But to reach the good narrative the person will have to go through the detail of the traumatic event, and face the pain it causes them. They will have to be truthful. The therapist helps them do this incrementally, within a very safe environment. It does work, but it takes time - the greater the trauma, the greater the time.
This knowledge is useful to anyone recovering from a major stressful life event, but the reason I mention it here is in thinking about our two ex-defendants. Stepping aside for the moment from the flip-flopping judgement delivered, - what concerns me is whether and how healing is possible - for everyone.
There are so very many deeply disturbing aspects to this dreadfully drawn-out case, - most have been noted. But one that disturbs me most is that the ex-defendants have wound themselves up to delivering false narratives to the media circuses - to the point where they can’t now recant them without getting their respective knickers in a complete twist, knots that can’t be unravelled, nor make any sense.
As it is, it seems we have two ghosts who held down Meredith, where Guede was the third man.
My serious point here being that, for their own sakes if no-one else’s, the ex-defendants will need to tell a truthful narrative, in order to find any kind of reasonable and balanced functioning in their lives.
Quite simply, healing will not be possible unless they arrive at telling a truthful narrative in the way I touched on above - even if this is in confidentiality, to a therapist, - it will need to be done. It cannot be done in fiction.
If they do not go through the necessary steps in the process as outlined - instability, gross insecurity, and states of fear and anxiety will persist, and the trauma can and will always re-emerge unpredictably, and haunt and shadow their lives with flashbacks.
This process is well-known, and well-documented.
This site is primarily to support the Kercher family, who are the genuine, innocent victims of the most appalling trauma - one that has been selfishly drawn out by ruthless external forces, thus putting their own recovery in jeopardy, and causing great suffering.
They should always have been put first, but now, at this point in time, it is more vital than ever.
They will need, as all victims in recovery, to be able to make their ‘good narrative’. But they cannot fully do so without the truth - even if it has to remain just a sketch of the truth. I wish with all my heart they can find the whole narrative that they need - I do not know how at this point, with so much obfuscation abounding.
But I do not give up hope : healing can always arrive, for those with good will, and good hearts…so however long it takes, I have faith that it can, and it will.
Archived in The former defendants, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Pondering motive, The many hoaxes, RS AK normal hoax
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (37)
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
A Shaky Castle Of Cards At Best: The Long-Term Fight For Legitimacy Begins
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. Current State Of Play
As we so often hear, true justice has to be SEEN to be done.
At the end of the day it’s the legitimacy that counts - whether most informed people buy in - and the fight for this could play out over years.
Maybe that was on the minds of the tense Sollecito lawyers seen above after the surprise outcome was announced. Can those five judges make what seemed like a shoot-from-the-hip decision stick?
Back in 2009 the prosecution put on a very fine case, after Knox and Sollecito had failed six great opportunities in 2007 and 2008 to be let out. Prosecutors touched all the bases fast and, including what was presented in closed court, offered a very legitimate case for guilt which a unanimous panel of judges bought into.
Defense attorneys were rumored to be despondent and they never really hit a high point. Sollecito talks in his book about Maori having little conviction in him. Bongiorno was said to feel the same way and to not like Sollecito very much. Several times she was a surprise no-show in court. Ghirga was affable but uncomfortable, and sometimes he dozed off.
Was there under UK and US common law a strong case for an appeal? Under UK and US law an appeal must be requested, and a judge must decide. We have yet to read one opinion by a UK or US judge (and yes, they do write) that a case for granting an appeal was very strong.
In other words, under UK and US common law, the unanimous verdict and sentence would almost certainly have been it. All three would be serving their terms, and five years ago the whole world would have moved on.
In 2010 a clear case of judge-shopping occurred. Dont take our word for it - the senior and very experienced criminal-law Judge Chiari openly said he had been pushed aside as he resigned. He had been one of Italy’s finest prosecutors, and mentally and in terms of the law and grasp of the facts he was a giant compared to the bumbling ill-qualified Hellman, a business judge with only one other murder trial (a fiasco) in his past.
Throughout 2011 legitimacy swayed this way and that. The prosecutors began to smell a lot of rats and Prosecutor Comodi publicly said so. The chief prosecutor Dr Galati (who had just arrived from the Supreme Court) maintained that it didnt altogether matter, because he just knew the Supreme Court would throw a bum outcome out.
He was right. In March 2013 the elite First Section of the Supreme Court threw the bum outcome out, except for the part about Knox framing Patrick for which she had served three years.
The elite First Section handed the case back down to a new court, the Florence appeal court.
The Florence courts are staffed with very fine prosecutors and judges as they often handle national cases. Right now that court is handling a major investigation into national government corruption on a grand scale, Knox adulator Rocco Girlanda is one of those named.
National politicians under the gun like to knock chips off the courts given half a chance. Ex PM Berlusconi’s allies were said to have this as a fairly consistent aim. Any outcome ever in Rome which takes the Florence courts down a peg (as now) gets a lot of close looks.
Rumors abound in Rome that the president of the group of five judges and maybe one other felt the outcome of the Florence appeal court was the right one. If this is true, they may have never bought in and may now be only going through the motions with a forced grin.
The president of the court already issued an explanation of sorts. This has many in their peer group - the Council of Magistrates (which edged Hellmann out - refused him a promotion so he had nowhere to go) and all of the other judges and prosecutors in Italy - scratching their heads and wondering how in the Sentencing Report the circle can be squared.
Meanwhile on other fronts legitimacy is now on the line. Sollecito is due back in court in Florence on false claims in his book on 30 April. Knox’s calunnia trial is due to resume again shortly in Florence with expanded charges targeting false claims in her book. The Oggi trial for quoting false claims in Knox’s book has a testimony session 16 June.
The final verdict and sentence maybe cannot be wound back and their chances of serving more time for murder and a sex crime are remote. (Knox could be sentenced to more time at her second calunnia trial).
But the circumstances in which they are walking around may come to look very odd. The Supreme Court actually can be sued now for an inexplicable outcome, and made to take another look.
The President of the Italian Republic (who is the ultimate head of the justice system) can be petitioned to step in. Political parties like Beppe Grillo’s astonishingly popular Five Star Movement (said to be already snooping) have a lot of power to make things come unstuck. .
So, in the months and even years ahead, this is clearly going to be a long game, with legitimacy as the ultimate prize. Sorry, Sollecito and Knox, but it aint over till the fat lady sings.
2. New Developments Indicate Concern
Seven developments in this race for legitimacy points suggest that the RS and AK camps are very concerned about it, and are not at all sure what to do.
1) Francesco Sollecito is quoted as asking Guede to endorse the outcome. Guede already said the opposite although his main statement was in the annulled Hellmann appeal. Aviello is still on trial by the way, in 2011 he pointed at the Sollecitos as not playing by the rules.
2) Francesco can be sure Guede wont actually speak out, as he will have his own legal action in the works to get his case reviewed. That could go to another section of Cassation and if they rule differently really open a can of worms.
3) Sollecito has spoken out heatedly and vengefully on Italian TV in effect wanting the Italian state to pay him off in a big way and everybody else to believe him or shut up.
4) Bongiorno publicly disagreed with him and she said such actions need to be considered with a cool head down the road.
Report on the Il Tempo website.
Lawyer Bongiorno. “In the coming days we will evaluate request for compensation,” announced Raffaele’s lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, after the acquittal of the young man for the murder of Meredith Kercher.
“There are feelings of revenge in Sollecito’s soul,” added the lawyer today. “We will wait for the motivations. Not thrash/lambaste those who might have done [Sollecito] wrong.”
“We’ll see if there were errors and what measures and initiatives could be undertaken. Civil liability - she concluded - is a serious institution that should not be exercised in the spirit of revenge.” (Translation by Guermantes on Dot Net)
5) Barbie Nadeau quotes an Italian expert who says that because RS and AK both provably lied to the police and led them astray, any claim for compensation could be dead on arrival.
Bongiorno may already realise this. She may also realise that having a litany of lies read out hardly advances their quest for legitimacy points.
6) This is previous news. Bongiono passed on being the lead lawyer in Sollecito’s book case. Nothing could cost legitimacy points more than a loss at the Florence trial on the false claims in RS’s book.
Note that at the moment few Italians - including Cassation - know what is in the book. It is possible Bongiorno wants to make herself scarce before the legitimacy points just gained head down the tubes.
7) The Fischer disinformation group (see posts coming up) has moved from shrill to frantic harrassment mode.
Let’s guess. Bongiorno and the other Perugia lawyers would think that a really bad idea, as Knox and RS are still on trial and abuse wont make that go away. Legitimacy if any will come not from strongarming but from cool heads.
Here’s betting all 4 main lawyers and both families would like to keep RS and AK on a really short string. Nothing will screw them like yet another of their open spats.
Right up to last week RS was still distancing himself a mile from Knox.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Supreme Court, Appeals 2009-2015, Cassation appeal 2
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (45)
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Meredith May Not See Justice (Yet) But She Will Leave At Least Three Legacies
Posted by Peter Quennell
So much of human organization is messy and very hard to make better. She would have found that. But somehow, often in a terrifying lurch, systems do sometimes tend to get better.
These better systems between them benefiting millions may all be attributed to Meredith. More than 99% of humanity can achieve in a lifetime.
1) Perugia is a safer more thriving place now
This is a repeat of our post of 9 April 2010 - there has been a mayor-change, but the broad safety and economic trends continue.
Meet Wladimiro Boccali. The mayor of Perugia.
A year ago when Mr Boccali ran for office (video above) it was in the context of a city-wide desire for prosperity, public safety, support for the police and the court system, the enhancement of Perugia’s reputation, and the clamping down on drug dealing and student excesses.
A mood that very much flowed from the shock of Meredith’s passing. A sense that certain things had gone too far.
Since then, Mr Boccali has been in the Italian national news almost daily, and he is coming to be seen as the kind of political leader Italy could really use in a turbulent future.
He is in the news again right now, because there was a riot in the main piazza of the old city by some drunks late last saturday night.
In part inspired and encouraged by good town leadership, Perugia’s economy is now one of the more thriving city economies in Italy. Perugia’s median IQ is extremely high (Perugia is probably one of the smartest cities in Europe) and a lot of very advanced research goes on there.
Perugia’s town administration does many caring things, such as the special city council meeting for Sonia Marra.
And seemingly attracted by all of this, people are moving to Perugia in droves - its population is increasing at double the national growth rate.
So. Meet the new Perugia. Meredith’s own qualities, writ large.
Since that post Perugia and the university have recognised Meredith by way of a scholarship and a one-day seminar.
2) American universities acted to stop future Knoxes
Knox behaved grossly irresponsibly in heading to Perugia under-funded, intent on drug-doing, and with zero intention of seriously studying.
The University of Washington and many others realised they could have huge liabilities if they did not distance themselves a lot from such loose cannons in future.
In October 2009 we reposted this report by Andrea Vogt which described the initiation of measures many American universities have now come to implement.
Mirroring a nationwide trend, the University of Washington is overhauling how its students and professors interface with foreign countries….
The UW study abroad experience today involves much more oversight than it did two years ago when Amanda Knox left on an unsupervised European adventure that quickly degenerated into a nightmare.
When Knox, who is on trial for murder in Italy, left her familiar U-district environs in late summer 2007, she embarked on her own independent study in Umbria with very few guidelines or institutional oversight.
She arrived in the tolerant student melange of Perugia, a vibrant college town with temptation at every turn and many paradoxes (drug deals and party plans are often made on the steps of the cathedral).
A month later, the honor student’s pub-crawling, pot-smoking college shenanigans had taken a very serious turn and she was being hauled off to the Capanne penitentiary, where she remains today, pleading her innocence as the trial and controversial accusations against her plod forward.
Once her troubles began, the university tried to offer support, but had very few official guidelines to follow for responding to the kind of complicated legal-judicial matter Knox faced.
It’s different now….
In the wake of several negative overseas episodes, officials are busy raising awareness about the positive impact the UW is having worldwide and taking steps to improve communications, regulation and emergency preparedness for its students abroad.
Compared with two years ago, international education officials are more closely tracking who, where and what study-abroad programs involve. The university has new rules:. The department chair has to sign off on the program. Insurance is required. So is a cell phone. No program money can be used to buy alcohol, just for starters.
“There’s a much more formal process now,” said Taso Lagos, a UW professor who teaches international communication and manages a study-abroad program in Greece. “With administrators that are very aware, with lines of communication open and policies in place if something happens.”...
The UW’s growing commitment to international education—- even in a budget crisis—is reflected in some developments. [UW Vice Provost for Global Affairs Stephen Hanson] was named a vice provost in January, and in the spring, the UW dedicated an entire wing of the Gerberding Hall administration building to growing an international mission and profile.
This year, a travel security and information officer is coming on board to oversee emergency response and preparedness, as is Peter Moran, a new director of international programs and exchanges who previously worked at the Fulbright Commission office in Katmandu, Nepal.
New guidelines are being put in place to streamline communications, ease financial transactions and institute mandatory training for faculty taking students abroad. The Global Support Project, a rapid-response team with one person from each branch of the central administration, takes on cross-disciplinary international challenges.
Such reforms aren’t unique to UW.
Universities across the country are examining how better to organize study abroad to meet blossoming demand from students (and prospective employers) for foreign experience. Many are turning to independent service providers whose business it is to contract housing, health care or niche risk management services dealing with legal, financial or public relations crises when things go haywire abroad…..
Though the university bore no responsibility for any of the events Knox became entangled in, media across the world continued to mention the University of Washington—whether it was because of character witnesses who were her college buddies, reports of wild off-campus parties Knox attended in Seattle or her studies while in prison.
3) Italy’s justice reforms will be nudged hard
Polls have show that though Italians admire and trust their justice system and especially the brave people within it (over 100 have died fighting mafia) a majority would like some rebalancing toward victims and families.
Justice reforms are now on the national agenda. What happened in Rome yesterday to deny Meredith justice is stirring Italy and seems certain to impact them.’
Court days to flow continuously? Some backing off from automatic appeals? No juries at the second level? Prosecutors and judges to be allowed to speak out more? Maybe in lieu of some of those onerous sentencing reports? Limits to defendants talking without cross-examination in the courtroom?
These are not extreme, they are mainstream in the common-law system, and they would speed Italy’s up, make it fairer, and cost less (a lot less!).
All incredibly worthwhile. For one so young, in death Meredith may come to help millions for the better.
Archived in Concerning Meredith, Her memory, Italian justice v others, The wider contexts, Perugia context, Italian context, American context
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (94)
Friday, March 27, 2015
Supreme Court Appeal By RS And AK Against Florence Court Rejection Of Their First Appeal #2
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Tweets from the court
New tweets from the court if any (we may have to wait for breaks) are being added under the various author’s names below. Numbering flows from Wednesday’s post.
Any breaking news
22. Reason for delay in the announcement is paperwork we believe, there were dozens of reasons for an overturn in the two written appeals, and they would have to be responded to one by one if appeal is denied. The Telegraph seems to be planning a live website feed though it may be from outside. .
21. Here is where Sollecito is headed if he makes it before any guilty verdict and the 2 police cars in his rear mirrors him stop him and take him in: 41°14’37.80"N 16°29’2.50"E Put that into Google Earth search and then descend to street view. Thats the gate for the compound, chez Sollecito is a couple of houses down on the left. Francesco Sollecito has addressed crowds of reporters there.
20. Video here of RS and his sister Vanessa leaving by side entrance, possibly for Bari. As Florence prosecutors are in court, this may be his way of ensuring he is not photographed being frogmarched out of there.
19. Knox undercut her own defence by stiffing Florence court. Could in new Florence trial face more years for criminal defamation. Moore & Burleigh & Fischer & other PR shills may face citations too, as their excesses outnumber those of Gumbel and Sforza already in court. Tweeting stalkers too. Communication Police looking now.
18. Italian ANSA report is calling RS lawyer Giulia Bongiorno’s address to the court “Bye Bye Amanda” as she says only questionable DNA relates RS to scene of crime. [Oh? Several footprints? Opposing knife wounds? Multi alibis? Computer? Cellphone?]
17. Media, please get it right: Amanda Knox was not “tried in absentia” at Florence “trial”. IT WAS HER OWN APPEAL and Italian lawyers argued with her for a week that she really needed to be there. Having abused so many in Italy, and put drug dealer in jail, was her no-show really such a surprise?
16. Strong-arming unethical Gogerty-Marriott PR firm closes down in Seattle with a final dishonest thump of the chest. Said to be freaked by potential legal liability. Maybe Knox herself should sue as they made her plight much worse.
15. So NYC Sollecito advisor John Q Kelly shows his face again. He was wildly wrong on the hard facts late 2009 and promptly disappeared.
Tweets from journalist Andrea Vogt
17. Heavy media & police presence at Italy’s high court this a.m. for final hearing in #amandaknox case. Sollecito’s defense at 9.
18. Raffaele Sollecito’s Italian and American lawyers Giulia Bongiorno & John Q Kelly just greeted in hall outside Aula Magna
19. Giulia Bongiorno on the lack of DNA from #amandaknox and sollecito in murder room: only a dragonfly leaves no trace.
20. Bongiorno casting doubt on forensic police dna interpretation. “Maybe, in science, does not exist. Either it is Raffaele ‘s dna or not.”
21. High court judges in #amandaknox case are going into deliberations now. They will alert all one hour before they announce decision.
22. Court can: 1) call appeal [outcome] inadmissable 2) accept it 3) reject it 4) annul convictions & back to appellate 5) annul convictions.
23. Members of Florence prosecutor’s office are at Rome court today for decision on #amandaknox / Sollecito appeal of their convictions.
24. #amandaknox convictions have been completely overturned. She is a free woman.
25. Both raffaelle Sollecito and #amandaknox convictions have been fully overturned. Cries of joy in courtroom from sollecito’s family
Tweets from main poster Kristeva
15. Follow @andreavogt as she has better phone reception than me. I apologize
16. Much larger crowd today attending the final hearing for #amandaknox & #RaffaeleSollecito
17. The general feeling among reporters is that #RaffeleSollecito might get a second appeal. no chance 4 #amandaknox
18. Several reporters interested in http://Themurderofmeredithkercher.com and will call me to have more info in the next days
19. I was asked how the #MeredithKercher support website started and I gave the whole history
20. Spoke to Maresca to thank him and in return he thanked our volunteer work for http://themurderofmeredithkercher.com
21. Reporters were also interested in PR machine for #AmandaKnox and I referred them to http://TrueJustice.org
22. After Bongiorno, Maori will give his arguments and Judges with enter chambers to deliberate verdict
23. Timing of verdict for #amandaknox and #RaffeleSollecito unpredictable. May justice 4 #MeredithKercher prevail. My prayers for family
24. [6.15 am US east coast time] Maori finished. Judges have entered chambers to deliberate verdict.
25. No more appeals. Case over #amandaknox #RaffaeleSollecito acquitted for murder of #MeredithKercher #SHAME
26. I am shocked
Tweets from main poster Machiavelli
17. [no tweets yet]
Tweets from journalist Barbie Nadeau
4. High court now deliberating fate of #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito in #MeredithKercher murder case.
Archived in The former defendants, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Officially involved, Supreme Court, Appeals 2009-2015, Florence appeal, The Nencini Report, Cassation appeal 2, Knox extradition
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (66)
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Supreme Court Appeal By RS And AK Against Florence Court Rejection Of Their First Appeal
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Tweets from the court
New tweets from the court are all being added under the various author’s names below. This will continue Friday for sure.
Any breaking news
13. Court is over for the day and will resume on Friday.
12. La Nazione reports: “The judgment of the Supreme Court on the murder of Meredith Kercher will not arrive before Friday 27, the day when the judges will meet in closed session. This was announced by the President of the Fifth Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, Gennaro Marasca, during today’s hearing.”
11. We dont know the local telephone network capacity there. But many cellphone transponders can handle only 24 calls at a time. Demand for “outside lines” could number in the hundreds from the entire court. Maybe there’s an open WAN but we doubt.
10. Regardless of outcome Knox legal problems could go on for years. Since 2009 she has faced calunnia charges for lying on the stand. Possible sentence six years. Now Florence court has added calunnia charges for lying in her book, in Oggi, on her website, and on American TV. Perception going back to Ricciarelli is she is dangerous and hurts people, even if final murder verdict is not in.
9. Popper says of Dr Pinelli: “In his late 50s (a young man ref Cassazione average), a career both in Abruzzo region (Avezzano where he was born in 1957) and L’ Aquila, and then Naples in the Procura Generale; then promoted to Cassazione. Very much acquainted with murders and organised crime.”
8. Popper says of Dr Marasca: “Section President of Cassation [one of the few] and member of Consiglio Direttivo, a sort of Executive Board of the Supreme Court ... one of the most experienced magistrates in Italy, born in 1944. Since 1970 a magistrate.”
7. News service ANSA: “The head judge is Gennaro Marasca. The lead prosecutor is Mario Pinelli. After the prosecutor has spoken it will be the turn of Maresca (for the Kerchers). Then they’ll hear from Bongiorno and Maori, Ghirga and Dalla Vedova”.
6. New report with today’s date from Barbie Nadeau on the CNN Website. Seems CNN like most US media no longer solidly in Knox camp.
5. The Court has placed a ban on live tweeting from inside the courtroom, where mobile phone reception is poor anyway. Reports will come during the breaks.
4. Best guess at timing of decision is late PM US East Coast time. In 2013 it came the next day.
3. As with previous court outcomes, expect long-form analyses of outcome by Machiavelli etc within the next few days.
2. New York Times’s Elisabetta Povoledo provides a good overview of today’s context.
1. See our own scenario for today and coming weeks in the event the Florence verdict and sentences is confirmed.
Tweets from journalist Andrea Vogt
1. Raffaele Sollecito is here in court, speaking with his lawyer Giulia Bongiorno. #amandaknox lawyers and Patrick Lumumba also present.
2. Cannot tell how the court is leaning. Reviewer made hurtful and helpful comments to both sides. Still could go either way. #amandaknox
3. Court pres Gennaro Marasca calls break until 2:30. PG Mauro Pinelli has another hour of arguments. Arguments & ruling could be Friday
[break for lunch]
4. There is a sense among some observers that the Court is differentiating between positions of amanda knox and raffaelle Sollecito.
5. Maresca: I am representing the Kercher family in court for the 8th time. I hope this will be the last arguments I give on their behalf.
6. Maresca: It is time for the Kercher family to finally be able to remove this poor victim from the law courts.
7. Ghirga: “its not that we want to blame the poor black guy, its that you cannot rule out a single aggressor.”
8. Lawyer Luciano Ghirga: The scientific evidence favors #amandaknox (no trace of her in the murder room).
9. Carlo dalla Vedova has launched a blistering attack on the state of Italian justice system and the problem of “the neverending trial.”
10. Dalla Vedova for #amandaknox: How can we tolerate in Italy that trials can go on forever?
11. Hearing over for the day. Raffaelle Sollecito’s defense will continue Friday, march 27.
12. Ghirga: “its not that we want to blame the poor black guy, its that you cannot rule out a single aggressor.”
13. Lawyer Luciano Ghirga: The scientific evidence favors #amandaknox (no trace of her in the murder room).
14. Carlo dalla Vedova has launched a blistering attack on the state of Italian justice system and the problem of “the neverending trial.”
15. Dalla Vedova for #amandaknox: How can we tolerate in Italy that trials can go on forever?
16. Hearing over for the day. Raffaelle Sollecito’s defense will continue Friday, march 27.
Tweets from main poster Kristeva
1. I have arrived outside Section V. Sollecito, father and Greta. Poor [cellphone] reception.
2. Spoke to Avv. Maori & asked him who general prosecutor is and he doesn’t know yet. there are 2.
3. Andrea Vogt has just arrived and speaking to Avv. Ghirga
4. American British Journalists are all talking to Avv Dalla Vedova now.
[court session starts]
5. Relator Judge P. A. Bruno laughs once and while getting names wrong such as Hallowo instead of Halloween.
6. Prosecutor finds Rudy’s climbing up wall 4 numerous times “crazy”
7. Paolo Antonio Bruno knows the case extremely well without ever looking at his notes.
[court breaks for lunch]
8. Prosecutor has ended. He asked without remand 28.3 yrs #amandaknox and 24.9 for #raffaelesollecito
9. Bongiorno has asked to speak on Friday so most likely verdict will be then.
10. Pacelli now on civil case for Patrick Lumumba
11. Maresca has now concluded. Confirms all points made by Nencini, the general prosecutor and Galati
12. Maresca was brief and concise and said that after 8 years he hopes this is the last time he has to make same arguments
13. Maresca says that everything asked by #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito has already been asked at Perugia and Florence trial.
14. Maresca makes a big point about pages re Conti & Vecchiotti and calls them on their lie.
Tweets from main poster Machiavelli
1. Reporting Judge at SC for the Meredith case is Antonio Paolo Bruno.
2. The Prosecutor General is Mario Pinelli. President Judge is Gennaro Marasca.
3. PG said the Florence sentence “respects the indications set by the Cassazione”
4. PG: says courts, based on findings “correctly established that the theft was staged”.
5. PG: court “pointed out correctly” that there was a staging “in order to side-track investigation”
6. PG: “3 people attacked the victim” and “there was no fight” unless you mean “attempts to defend herself by restrained victim”
7. PG: Florence decision not to repeat computer analysis on Sollecito’s laptop is “not censurable”
8. Sollecito reported nervous when PG observes computer data defence objections are irrelevant to alibi.
9. PG: Florence refusal to order anthropometric investigation on CCTV images is “adequately motivated”
10. Pinelli: phones removed because by “ringing in the home” may have caused early discovery of the crime.
11. Judge Bruno (like Zanetti) had said the trials had “not many certainties” beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.
12. PG Pinelli said some minor charges have expired, thus Florence should re-assess penalties with slight reduction due time limitation laws.
13. Antonio Paolo Bruno is the Supreme Judge who was accused of conspiracy with Mafia by prosecutor DeMagistris in 2006.
14. Pinelli asked 3 months cut from both penalties (weapon carrying). But this cut may technically require intervention by Florence court.
15. Maresca says that everything asked by #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito has already been asked at Perugia and Florence trial. Enough.
16. Maresca makes a big point about pages re Conti & Vecchiotti and calls them on their lie.
Tweets from journalist Barbie Nadeau
1. Judge confirms verdict will be Friday in #MeredithKercher case.
2. Prosecutor in #AmandaKnox case asks to trim 3 months off Knox’s 28 year 6 month sentence.
3. Reason for shaving 3 months off sentence in #AmandaKnox case is statute of limitations in theft charge.
Archived in The former defendants, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Officially involved, Supreme Court, Appeals 2009-2015, Florence appeal, The Nencini Report, Cassation appeal 2, Knox extradition
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (32)
Monday, March 23, 2015
So Is James Moninger The One Moonlighting As Anonymous Spokesman For Dept Of State?
Posted by Ergon
Above: the unfavorable context which persuades Sec of State John Kerry to stick most carefully to the rules
ThIs morning’s report noted an increasing flow of anonymous claims that Knox’s extradition is not in the cards
Also there is a certain sameness in all of the news reports of secret State Department agreements and assurances alleged to save Amanda Knox from extradition. This is a very typical one.
Paul Thompson in The UK Express for Sunday 22 March 2015 2015
US officials: Amanda Knox will never go back to Italian jail
AMANDA KNOX will never be extradited from America, even if an Italian court this week upholds her conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, according to US sources.
“Lawyers for Knox, 28, are confident she will remain free even if Italy asks for her to be sent back to resume a 28-year jail sentence.
US State Department sources say the uncertainty of the case against Knox means they will not agree to any extradition request.
Knox also has a huge amount of public sympathy in the US where she is seen as a victim of a miscarriage of justice by a foreign court.
A source at the State Department said: “There is a feeling that the whole case is flawed and that a US citizen should not have to go to jail because of that. If there is an extradition request from Italy it will be denied.”
This question, who is the State Department source (Burleigh calls him ‘American diplomat’), came up in my previous post.
- Former US Ambassador David Thorne?
- Some low level employee at State or Justice?
- Completely made up by Anne Bremner and co?
So I reached out to my sources and this is what they told me informally for general background.
They considered it extremely unlikely that Ambassador Thorne or any one in Rome would pass on such assurances to Anne Bremner or even the likes of Nina Burleigh. While they could not confirm whether high level talks had taken place they did point out that John Kerry, as Secretary of State would respond differently now than when he was in the Senate and pointed to his statement “he would do his duty”.
And Italy had a new government and foreign secretary, so the latest news reports seemed entirely made up. State and Justice had been following the case quite closely and they were not going to risk offense to Italy for this case. Not to say they hadn’t been nervous when Knox went back to the US and got such heavy hitters in the media go to bat for her, but, also duly noted that public support for her was really paper thin.
This left either a made up story or some low level civil servant speaking out of turn with personal opinions … we know that The FOA lie, but also, they sometimes seize on a wisp of rumour, or some ‘source’ whose importance they tend to exaggerate.
We know about retired Justice Department lawyer J. Michael Scadron who’s been saying State and DOJ would never allow extradition. There’s even a photo of him at the Vashon Island gathering, in all his fan boy glory.
But then another person showed up on my radar. Take a look.
I’m so tired of debating with the kooks, but when some members asked me to help them out on a closed Facebook Page (275 members) Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito Roundtable which was run and overrun by FOA I joined to help out.
It turned out one of the admins was a State Department employee called James Moninger who is indeed, a ‘diplomat’, working in some role for State in Hawaii. Consular, maybe.
His Facebook friends are the entirety of the FOA it would seem (see some below), and he is an active member and admin of several other pro Knox groups. Quite the fan boy too, it seems.
He hemmed and hawed about my inclusion but within the course of a few hours I was bounced out of the group twice. He wrote to me:
“I am writing to confirm that I removed you from the Amanda Knox Roundtable group. This was my decision, and I have advised the other administrators accordingly.
Earlier in the day I received a plea from one of the group members who claimed that you have harassed her in the past and contacted her employer. I have no opinions on this issue, but as site owner I am unwilling to take on a potentially significant liability.
Please don’t feel that this action was in any way predicated on the opinions you expressed in the forum.”
Here is my reply:
“It’s your group and you’re welcome to do as you wish. That you didn’t give a chance to respond to the (false) allegation is par for the course and no loss for me. As you know, I have far bigger platforms to present my views; it was YOUR group that invited me to participate in the first place.
I already know the source of that slander from other forums and will respond appropriately.
You should also know I’d contacted the State Department previously concerning the Daily Mail and Express articles that “sources in the State Department” have said “Amanda Knox will never be extradited to Italy”.
Imagine my surprise to see you are the owner of this pro-Knox debate site, and membership in several others, which you have every right to. However, since your bio says you are a State Dept. employee, and your rather lengthy list of friends and followers have been actively advocating that Knox would never be extradited, with all sorts of references to internal department sources it is my responsibility to ask for comment:
1. Have you in any way told them the State Department would deny an extradition request?
2. Have you advised the Amanda Knox campaign in any way how to lobby the State Department or how it would respond to an extradition request?
3. Please explain the following comment on the Amanda Knox blog on February 7, 2014 at 20:38.
“Concerns about this case would more appropriately be directed to the US Department of State; not to Congress. There is little or nothing the legislative branch of the government can do to affect treaties that are already in place. (Senate hearings, etc. are not the way the federal process works.) Using profanity with senior members of Congress can never be helpful.
I am hopeful that the State Department is watching this case carefully and is prepared to choose the correct path, whatever that may eventually entail, to protect a US citizen from any further violations of human and legal rights.”
Are you, as a State Department employee, stating that Amanda Knox’s human and legal rights were violated? In a G7 country? Would you like to retract it?
I will be writing my story in 48 hours or so. Please reply at your earliest”.
He never replied, and it’s been a while though he did agree with someone else who called us “haters” ?
Conclusion: I will end with this. PMf/TJMK member Odysseus wrote to UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, expressing his concerns. He got a reply from the North America Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:
“If the Italian authorities were to make an extradition request to the US Government, we would expect that it would be considered in accordance with US laws.”
Funny sort of a coincidence, but. I sent a list of questions three days ago to the Kerchers through an intermediary. Q. 4 was “Will they call for extradition Amanda Knox if she’s convicted?”
I know they haven’t received it yet, but, in The Sunday Times the Kercher family say Knox must be extradited
Tom Kington Rome
March 23 2015
“Amanda Knox must be extradited from the US if her conviction for murdering Meredith Kercher is upheld by Italy’s supreme court this week, the family of the British student have urged.”
“Meredith’s family hope that the sentence is upheld and the law is carried out to its fullest extent,” said Francesco Maresca, a lawyer representing the family. “If that means extradition for Knox, that’s what they want.”
Archived in Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, More sockpuppets, The many hoaxes, No-extradition hoax, The wider contexts, American context
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (36)
Did The State Department Really Offer Assurances To Amanda Knox She Never Would Be Extradited?
Posted by Ergon
1. The Current Italy/US Extradition Treaty
As repeatedly explained here by posting lawyers the Italy/US treaty is deliberately written to exclude any politics.
If either nation has arrived at a guilty verdict of someone currently in the other nation by following its own laws, then the other nation deliberately has no legal option but to extradite them to serve their term.
So far neither nation has ever refused to do what the treaty says and so far politics has never intervened. That helps both nations in pursuing other extradition cases around the world.
2. Claims By An Anonymous Source
“Will Amanda Knox Be Dragged Back to Italy in Murder Case?” This was by Nina Burleigh in a cover story in Newsweek on March 19, 2015 quoting an anonymous source.
A State Department source tells Newsweek that diplomats in both Italy and the U.S. expect an extradition request to be denied: “I don’t think either Italy or the U.S. wants a major burr under our saddle in terms of relationships between our countries, and this would be that, if the Italians pushed it.” If they do, the source adds, there “is not any way” the U.S. will arrest Knox, nor will it have her declared a fugitive.
The elected Italian government in Rome is separate from the judiciary, and traditionally the two branches do not have warm relations. “I know the Italian government was rolling its eyes” over the prospect of the case reaching this phase, the State Department source says, adding that Rome faces “a real political problem” if the judiciary requests extradition. The American diplomat predicts the Italian court won’t ask to extradite.
It seems that ever since Amanda Knox was wrongfully acquitted by the Hellmann appeals court of Perugia in 2011 we have been inundated with unsourced reports that “the United States would never extradite Amanda Knox.
Going back several years to the Daily Mail, Guardian, The Express and various American media, they all seemed to be reading from the same script:
- She hadn’t received a fair trial.
- American public opinion would ‘never allow her to be sent back’.
- The Secretary of State would quietly prevail upon his counterpart in Italy to not request extradition.
And, as the final appeal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito came up to the last stretch it seemed that these same hacks were repeating the same talking points, even though much has changed since 2011.
These were the basic points, reported over and over in the main stream media till it almost seemed like a guarantee. So I have been looking for the last three years to verify the truth of that. And, who made that promise, if any were made? These were the basic parameters of my search, and I had to tune out the background noise of ‘double jeopardy’ and ‘dueling extradition experts’.
Then I had to look for the ‘unnamed source’ quoted in all the news reports.
These possibilities came up:
- WA US Senator Maria Cantwell spoke to her colleague Sen. John Kerry of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who spoke to his brother in law David Thorne, the former US Ambassador to Rome, who passed on a quiet message to the Italian Foreign minister. But would they ever speak on or off the record to reporters or like it very much if it was going to be bruited about?
- Mid-level Friends Of Amanda Knox like Anne Bremner and Judge Heavey had received vague assurances from Senator Cantwell; somehow extrapolated as iron clad guarantee that Knox would never be extradited, never mind there has not been any precedent I can find that would apply to a similar case like this.
- Someone in the Department of Justice and/ or State is feeding them shite.
- The FOA are making it all up. That last was my favourite, given that they are led around by people like Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, and J. Michael Scadron.
3. My Search For The Truth
This has been an interesting journey, and as always, things seem to just come together at the last moment. It has helped that I have been watching diplomatic activity up-close all my life.
My father was in the Pakistani Foreign Service stationed in London, so, shortly after I was born, lived in the UK from age 0-3, then with the Pakistan Embassy in Tokyo from age 3-8. We were a cosmopolitan group of embassy brats going to St. Mary’s International School. My friends were American, Iranian, Turk, Indian, East German, Canadian, New Zealand, points all over. Their parents were all diplomats and I made lifelong friends. My father could have received a posting as assistant to the ambassador to Washington D.C. after that but fate prevailed as he’d been stationed out 8 years and had to be rotated back to Pakistan.
Since that time I kept in touch with my friends and also developed this passion for International Relations and Geopolitics. Travelling to the US and other countries but also meeting over the internet, made many more friends at various levels of the State Department. Saw the changes there as respected career diplomats got replaced by interest groups and major donors to political parties. Such only went to choice postings, of course, but not second or third world countries, so I had many interesting discussions with them over the years.
The Wikileaks cables were a revelation as Embassy intercepts showed the thousand different ways diplomacy led to but also tried to prevent, war. I’d been reading them ever since they first came out so started searching for links to secret discussions with Amb. Thorne. Couldn’t find anything except what already was reported, so reporter Andrea Vogt’s FOI request find was a goldmine:
NEWLY RELEASED EMBASSY CABLES SHED LIGHT ON STATE DEPT HANDLING OF AMANDA KNOX CASE
By Andrea Vogt
FEBRUARY 13 “Newly released state department documents show the U.S. Embassy in Rome declared the Amanda Knox matter “Case Closed” in a cable to Washington just days after the American’s clamorous 2011 acquittal. The memo reveals wishful thinking on the part of some U.S. diplomats, who were only too eager to see the thorny case come to a clean close.”
In Update March 23, 2015 posted today, Andrea Vogt says this:
In a 2011 Italian embassy cable released as part of several Freedom of Information Act requests I’ve filed on this case (first published Oct 11, 2011) [US] diplomats in Italy mistakenly thought Knox’s acquittal in 2011 would bring to a close this complex and divisive international case. Italy’s Court of Cassation would prove them wrong, overturning her Perugia acquittal and ordering a second appeal in a different venue (Florence) which ended last year with a guilty verdict.
So is a political fix being attempted or already in? See my Conclusion, Part II to be posted tonight.
Archived in Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Knox's book, More sockpuppets, The many hoaxes, No-extradition hoax, Reporting on the case, V bad reporting
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (18)
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Rogue Juror Genny Ballerini, Translated: She Misled, Oggi Misled More, UK Media Misled Even More
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. Interpretations Of The Interview
In reading the translation by Miriram these points may be worth bearing in mind. They are largely based on advice from Yummi in Italy.
Genny Ballerini comes across to Italians as someone not especially educated who is more than a bit lost on the law and the case. She herself admits she may be naive and had not followed Meredith’s case. She was surprised to end up on the jury for Knox’s and Sollecito’s “trial”. She voices no concern for Meredith or her family.
A former factory worker, she had been unemployed for some months, and she appreciated the small fee the court paid her for jury duty and apparently also a fee that Oggi paid her for the interview. She had to be persuaded by Oggi to do the interview, and she seems unaware that it may have been illegal.
The lead judge and side judge, the professionals, remained neutral and impartial and promoted no particular outcome. There were no arguments among the jury. She seems to be drawn toward Sollecito without any very logical reason. (Hmmm. Sollecito had addressed her and the others directly and he was standing right in front of her looking at her.)
She repeatedly refers to a “trial” and to previous “trials” for example “when the trial started” and “I formed my beliefs studying the three files of the previous trials. Not only. During the trial I kept a diary for every hearing”. She never once uses the word for “appeal” or wonders why there were no prosecution exhibits and witnesses.
The Oggi headline is misleading. Almost of her doubts are described in the past tense and she admits she voiced them to the other jurors early in the “trial” because things were not clear to her. She had folders of evidence to poke though; these may have related only to the appeal points the defenses had filed.
At one point she says “we discussed to reach an agreement” and at another point she says she voted against the verdict. It is not clear in what order, and she may finally have joined in a total consensus. She seems to connect the punishment to the supposed amount of evidence rather than the barbaric nature of the attack.
Please see Part 3 below for how the UK media has managed to report this even more confusingly.
2. The New Translation By Miriam
Miriam has carefully translated the original interview in Oggi for us.
“Not Enough Evidence For Such A Heavy Sentence”
On January 30th of last year, the appeal Court of Florence sentenced Amanda Knox to 28 years and 6 months of imprisonment and Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years for the murder of Meredith Kercher. 12 hours of deliberation were needed for the eight judges - two professional judges (the President Alessandro Nencini and Doctor Liliana Cicerchia) and six Lay Judges - to wrap up that decision. Among the lay judges was Genny Ballarini, a 48 year old, worker from Prato. After long negotiations and courteous refusals, on the eve of the decision by Corte di Cassazione, she accepted to speak to Oggi.
Twelve hours, half a day: a lifetime for who judges and for who is judged. Without entering into detail, as not to violate the secrets of the “camera del consiglio”, what can you tell us?
We went through all the documents, drew the conclusions, in order to arrive at an agreement.
I certainly had many doubts about the guilt of the two young people. I wasn’t an upholder the defendant’s innocence, but I thought and said to the others: “The evidence we have is not enough to inflict all these years of prison. Where is the evidence to send them to prison? Maybe I was naïve, but before pronouncing such a heavy sentence I wanted to see clearly. There was not enough, according to me, to justify a such a heavy sentence: questionable proof, odd testimony and uncertain evidence”.
And of the motive, what ideas did you arrive at?
“That of the inadequate cleaning of the house? Nonsense. You do not massacre a girl because she complained about a bit of a smell in the bathroom. Anyway, at the end of every hearing we would sit down and discuss, we would reconstruct the facts on the basis of the timing, the cell phones, the statements of the accused that indicated how Amanda and Raffaele could be at the scene of the crime. I would ask “ But is it enough to convict them?” Against Raffaele, beyond the hypothesis, remained the discussed trace on Meredith’s bra clasp. How could you not have doubts? “What was the motive that could have pushed Raffaele to participate in the massacre of that poor girl”? I asked.
The prosecutor in the first trial described Sollecito as “depraved”, putting him inside of the erotic game ending in a tragedy and he was depraved, argued the prosecutor, because he was a fanatic of Manga, the Japanese comics that mix eroticism and violence.
“But if he is a murderer you need to prove it!” I noted. “It is not enough to read comics or watch cartoons. And then it was the same prosecutors that reminded that Amanda was not a tranquil young lady because she once received a fine for nocturnal racket. It seemed to be, excuse me, more nonsense”.
One of the controversial points is that in that small room in which Meredith was murdered, there was not even one trace of Knox. How do you explain that?
“They claimed that Knox had removed her traces by cleaning. Who knows! Today when I think about it again I have even more doubts”, she said. When the trial started the atmosphere in the “camera del consiglio” was accusatory. Maybe I am naïve, but I had doubts. I thought: what we have in our hands it’s not enough to send them to prison for all those years. May be Amanda was there, but she didn’t participate. I listened to Raffaele and he seem to me a fine young man, he seemed to me sincere… At the beginning I had no opinion: I have never liked crime news and I had read just a bit on the case. I formed my beliefs studying the three files of the previous trials. Not only. During the trial I kept a diary for every hearing. I wrote down everything that was happening and at the end I would add my impressions.
How did you interact with the Court’s President?
He and the side Judge did not express an opinion till the end. During all those months I never managed to understand what they thought about the case.
So they did not influenced the Lay Judges?
Absolutely not. They would explain only the things that we could not understand. I understood what they thought only when the verdict was decided, but my doubts remained. At a certain point, I stressed that Rudy Guede left on the crime scene more traces than Raffaele and Amanda and yet he was given 16 years instead of 25. They explained to me that he was judged through a fast track trial, that provides a reduction of the sentence.
And what do you think of Guede?
I think that he gave three different versions of the facts and he never said that Amanda and Raffaele were with him. How can you take into consideration Rudy to establish the guilt of the other two?
What did you think when the verdict was decided?
Right away I said that I did not agree and it was noted. On the increasing on the sentence even other Lay Judges did not agree, but it was explained to us that it could not be any different.
Did you ever fight among yourselves?
You said that you do not like crime news and the speculations on blood related crimes? Why than did you accept to became part of the Lay Judges of a trial so complicated and a such media driven event?
I was drawn. I could only refuse only for health reasons. I accepted even for economic reasons since at that time I was on unemployment check. On the other hand they had told me that in that session, from July to September, usually the “Corte d’Assise” has scheduled trials of less importance. I would have never imagined that we were going to end up with Meredith’s murder.
You implied to economic reasons. You worked seven months from July to January with burdensome hearings. How much did you received?
In all 1.500 Euro: 200 Euro a month! I received them from the Department of Justice seven months after the conclusion of the trial. Not much, but needed: I spent them for a sensitive surgery.
3. How The UK Press Reported This
In effect they leave out almost all of the context in Par 1 above, dont explain why Italians are unmoved, and omit the essential point that this was NOT a new trial and the jury did NOT hear the case presented in depth with exhibits and witnesses as the trial jury did.
Archived in Appeals 2009-2015, Florence appeal, The many hoaxes, Italian justice hoax, No-evidence hoax, Reporting on the case, V bad reporting
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (9)
Friday, March 20, 2015
Rogue Juror Genny Ballerini: A Sign Oggi Sees Its Conviction For Parroting Knox As Inevitable?
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. Explaining The Broad Context
A rogue juror has mischaracterized the outcome of the Nencini appeal in Oggi.
Very odd, as the consequence of this very unusual action is that she could be charged with vilipendio, with an illegal action to poison public opinion to lean upon a court process to affect its outcome. To help explain what may be going on here, think of Italy as two factions.
- A very large faction which is comparatively very law-abiding and very forgiving and which greatly admires Italian law enforcement and judges and prosecutors.
- A relatively tiny faction consisting of such unsavory elements as corrupt politicians and businessmen, the mafias, rogue masons, satanists (yes there are some) and others who, by any means fair or foul, seek unfair breaks for themselves and their associates.
The Perugia courts, being close to Rome, and the Florence courts, being very large and very competently staffed, have particular roles in matters of national-level justice. Anyone who manages to throw sand in the wheels of those court systems may have won one for some in the small and unsavory faction at the cost of the very large pro-justice faction.
MP Rocco Girlanda is a great example of how this works. The member from Gubbio once of Berlusconi’s party used his parliamentary privilege to “check Knox’s conditions” in Capanne dozens of times. Apparently even the Knox-Mellases found Girlanda’s advances pretty creepy, and someone from the family is said to have headed for Italy in a hurry.
Girlanda not only wrote a creepy book about Knox and took a creepy position on panels of the Italian-American Society in Rome which he once headed. He also tried to monkey with Meredith’s case by petitioning the President, and by attempting to reduce the national Department Of Justice budget. But some of his closest political colleagues from Gubbio are on trial now and may entangle him, and see Andrea Vogt’s tweet the other day that Florence prosecutors are investigating Girlanda, for corruption at a national level.
The Sollecitos also incline toward murky incitement outside the courtroom. Think of the bag of cash the witness Aviello said was offered. Think of conversations caught on tape discussing the capturing of politicians who might lean on the Perugia justice officials. For this Vanessa lost her job and the Sollecitos may still face charges.
The Sollecitos seem to have made a beeline in 2008 for Giulia Bongiorno, a longtime defender of some of those in the smaller faction, for her political clout, although some of her actions in handling the case, such as shrieking at Judge Nencini with a knife in her hand (the same judge who will execute Cassations decisions) seem daft in the extreme.
The Sollecitos may - may - now be a party to some strange media developments in Italy, such as the fawning Porta a Porta show of a few days ago.
2. The Court Pressure Oggi Faces
The editor of Oggi Umberto Brindani seems to take malicious glee in Oggi’s reports to its weekly readership that put Italian justice in a bad light, perhaps to bring Italian justice down a peg and win one for some in the small faction.
Now although no other Italian media would risk repeating in Italian the lurid conspiracy theories of the Knox PR in English in the United States, Oggi did choose to go there - and was slapped with charges as a result.
Our posts here and here explain how Brindani’s taunting has bitten him in the tail. Oggi quoted defamatory and inaccurate claims from Knox’s book which are a magnet for diffamazione and vilipendio charges, as Brindani found out.
If Brindani goes down against the Bergamo prosecutor for this, as seem inevitable, both the Oggi house of cards and the Knox-Mellas-Sollecito house of cards are put at risk. Oggi may face fines and civil damages for a lot of Euros. More especially, Oggi’s credibility and future would take a knock.
3. Enter The Rogue Juror
This Daily Mail report is in fact 100% quoting the latest edition of Oggi. (Gee, thanks, Daily Mail; for obvious reasons Oggi try hard never to put their own scurrilous stories online.)
Essentially Genny Ballerini is complaining that it was an unfair “trial” and she didnt see a case being made or a motive explained.
On the face of it, this makes absolutely zero sense.
What happened in Florence just over a year ago was an APPEAL by RS and AK, not a new trial, and it was tightly focused on a couple of points the defenses wanted to quibble about (unsuccessfully, as it happened).
The prosecution presented next to nothing of its own case as already presented in great detail in 2009. There were no similar summations, no recreations of the attack on Meredith, no witnesses of its own examined in court, and almost no exhibits.
And guess what? Genny Ballerini didnt even set eyes on Amanda Knox or Rudy Guede!!
Working under strict instructions from Cassation, Judge Nencini guided his lay judges to examine and vote on ONLY the points the defense had tried to prove to their advantage. They all knew, or should have known, even this rogue juror Genny Ballerini, that any attempt to act as a second trial jury on the lines of the Hellmann appeal jury would be illegal, and was not why they were sitting there.
Unless she is seriously daffy the surprise surfacing of Genny Ballerini in Oggi of all places only makes sense in the light of what Part 1 above explained. Genny Ballerini seems to be being used to muddy the waters to the hoped-for advantage of some in the smaller faction.
4. The Guts Of Ballerini’s Claims
Our main poster Chimera checked out Genny Ballerini’s individual claims, and at that level also shows that Genny Ballerini is either out to lunch or working as a tool for Oggi and by extension some in the small faction.
(1) The juror did not ‘‘help convict’’ Knox/Sollecito at the 2013/2014 Florence appeal. The court merely confirmed the trial verdict of Giancarlo Massei (2009).
(2) ‘‘She slams the prosecution’s case, citing questionable proof, flimsy evidence, and bizarre testimony’‘. This was only a defence appeal, which is a HUGE detail to omit.
When the defense files an appeal, essentially they are saying there is something wrong with the prosecution’s case as presented back at trial. The prosecution PROVED their case, they don’t have to again. So yes, the burden is on the defense.
If she does not know this (and these comments may be deliberately misquoted), then Ms. Ballerini doesn’t understand the purpose of an appeal or her role in it.
(3) Knox was 20 at the time of the murder, not 19.
(4) The article says they served 4 years before being freed on appeal, but it leaves out the fact that they had been convicted at trial. While technically correct, it implies something that is not the case.
(5) The article says that Knox rebuilt her life finding love with Colin Sutherland, and working as a journalist. While true, they were only recent developments (late 2014). Knox had been released 3 years prior to that.
(6) The appeal court reinstated the guilty verdict? Wrong. Again, the March 2013 Cassation ruling annulled Hellmann’s ruling, but it left Massei’s trial conviction intact. The appeal court actually confirmed it.
In other words, AK and RS weren’t forced back to Florence for a new trial. They themselves chose to redo their own appeal, rather than accept the 26 and 25 year sentences. Big difference.
(7) ‘‘The evidence is not there to inflict all these years in prison’‘? Frightening, if she actually made these statements. The appeals court is ONLY to look at errors, not to retry the case. Did she not read her job description?
(8) Ms. Ballerini says of Sollecito: What possible motive could he have for participating in that murder?
A better question would be: why he did refuse Judge Nencini’s invitation to testify? Come on, he just did a freaking book tour. And Ms. Ballerini was there in court ... did she not have an urge to ask him questions?
(9) ‘‘She insisted that the 2 professional judges had not tried to sway the jury.’’ Can you think of why that may have done so? Perhaps back in late 2011?
Part of me thinks this story is a plant, her words and conclusions sound almost verbatim from the FOAK crap that has been coming out for years.
If it is true (a big if) it is frightening that someone so limited could be on a appeal jury. Either she does not understand the purpose of an appeal, or she is being used as a sockpuppet.
5. Present Conclusions
This aint over. Investigators will already be checking out Genny Ballerini to see what makes her tick and decide if she should face charges. We will keep you posted.
Genny Ballerini is the lay-judge on the left
Archived in Appeals 2009-2015, Florence appeal, The many hoaxes, Italian justice hoax, No-evidence hoax, Reporting on the case, V bad reporting
Permalink for this post • Tell-a-Friend • Case Wiki • PMF Org Forum • PMF Net Forum • Comments here (36)