Bestselling True Crime writer and South African photojournalist Nick van der Leek writes about the many flashbulb moments he experienced writing about the Meredith Kercher case. We're impressed with this state-of-the-art way to dig and reveal in face of dishonest PR. If you'd review Deceit or Dark Matter on Amazon or other sites please email us, and we'll gift a Kindle copy by return.
Sunday, July 05, 2015
Our Conclusions In “Deceit” & “Dark Matter” And How Our Journey Took Us To Them
Posted by Nick van der Leek
One of the tremendously rewarding experiences we [my co-author Lisa Wilson and I] have as authors is our research forces us to set up camp around questions. We spend time: mornings, afternoons, days, weeks, even months asking questions and pursuing answers. The amazing thing when it comes to True Crime, especially popular crime, is those answers are out there. One merely needs to go out and make the effort to look for them. And keeping looking. Seek and we do find!
What makes our narratives distinctive, I think, is that Lisa Wilson and I more often than not work as a team. How many other narratives have two authors, working from opposite sides of the Atlantic? While Lisa provides a US perspective as a juror and a True Crime buff, I am more interested in the intuitive subtleties that underlie these cases. The psychology, the economics, the motives. Human behaviour is fascinating, especially when it drives people to the extreme. I’m also intrigued by what these intuitions reveals about us, and society.
I wasn’t always into True Crime, in fact like Ann Rule I sort of fell into it by accident. While Rule worked with Ted Bundy, I was facebook friends with the model Oscar Pistorius shot dead in his bathroom. I didn’t intend to write a novel, I simply started asking questions, and then penned a 12 000 word magazine article [intended as a 4 part series]. That narrative eventually became my first bestseller.
Although I studied law and economics, I left the corporate environment to freelance fulltime as a photographer and writer. My great grandfather was a famous South African artist, and my brother and aunt are also both well regarded artists [and yes, freelancers] in their own rights too. I guess there is something restless in my blood that makes we want to dig beneath the surface, to see expanded perspectives than what the media serves us.
I need to not only explore the world beyond my door, but represent it to myself and others in a constructive and meaningful way. I feel passionate about meaning above all, and it’s gratifying to find so much in so grim a setting where someone has lost their life. When we honour them, when we remember them honestly, something unexpected happens: we also set ourselves straight, we also get ourselves [and society to some extent] back on track.
In terms of the Amanda Knox case, I stepped into the bullring for the first time in April this year. I knew virtually nothing about the case other than it had been newsworthy around the world. I knew ‘something’ had happened in Italy, and that Amanda Knox was somehow involved [or not] because she was a housemate of a murdered British girl [also a student]. Before I started studying the case I had no bias either way – I didn’t know whether she was guilty or not. Based on the little media that came my way, there seemed to me to be equal parts bias that she was innocent and…suspicion.
As soon as I started examining the case, literally within a few minutes, my interest was aroused. It was along the lines of: she’s hiding something. It was also along the lines that I thought Amanda might be involved in some way, complicit in some way, but probably not involved in the actual murder. How could she? Why would she?
Again, it is easy to ask these questions and then walk away from them without investing time in their answers. And when they do come they’re…well…stupefying.
While Lisa travelled to Italy to investigate this case first-hand, I started working behind-the-scenes on a narrative Lisa and I designed a framework for called DOUBT. The plan was that Lisa would return and then we would work on the narrative together. I got so caught up in my own research I started on the narrative and by the time Lisa returned from Italy DOUBT was done. Interestingly, Lisa still wasn’t convinced of Amanda’s guilt when she got back, and we had one or two heated Skype calls while Lisa was still in Italy, where Lisa’s position was set to the default setting of most outsiders to the Amanda Knox case: “but there was no DNA.”
A lie repeated often enough eventually becomes if not the truth, then a kind of truism, doesn’t it? A truism isn’t the truth, it’s a platitude. It’s something you say to get rid of enquiring minds.
No DNA? Well, of course there is – at least five instances of it, mixed with Meredith’s blood. What’s perhaps more bizarre, for example, is the lack of Amanda’s fingerprints in her own home. A single print? How many of us could say the same about fingerprints in our own homes? Our computers, door handles, kitchen areas ought to be splattered with prints. Coming back to DNA, not only is Amanda’s DNA present, but so is Raffaele’s in Meredith’s bloody bedroom.
What is the chance that Raffaele was at the villa, in Meredith’s room, but not Amanda? What was he doing there if Amanda wasn’t with him? And is it any surprise that Meredith’s bra, cut with a knife after the murder also had Raffaele’s DNA on the bra clasp? This is a guy who had a knife fetish, and who was carrying a knife at the time of his arrest?
In DOUBT [which was banned at first by strident Pro Knoxers and then resurrected as DECEIT] I identified 28 Red Flags. These were singular signals that seem to show patterns of inconsistency. Things just didn’t add up. Indeed Amanda did seem to be [and still is?] hiding something. In DARK MATTER Lisa and I joined forces. We brought a binocular lazer-like narrative focus to the four days of intense police investigation following the discovery of Kercher’s body at midday November 2nd, 2007.
In DARK MATTER we identified an additional 100 plus Red Flags [we distinguished these from the first 28 by calling them ‘Black Asterisks’]. In addition to these we listed several other Highly Suspicious Events amongst other increasingly odd behaviours – not only from Amanda, but Raffaele as well. It is when we pool all of these clues together that a picture begins to emerge. Patterns emerge. And suddenly the mystery becomes…less mysterious.
If my initial ‘gut feel’ was that Amanda was simply ‘hiding something’, by the end of DECEIT there was little doubt that there was a lot more going on than that. In fact, I’ve suggested to Lisa that based on forensic evidence alone [if one threw away all the circumstantial evidence], Amanda would still a have a major case to answer to. Conversely, if one took the entirety of circumstantial evidence, including the on-again-off-again alibi, and simultaneously threw out [ie ignored] the totality of forensic evidence, Amanda would still have a major case to answer to. That’s my opinion. Lisa’s too, now that she’s gone beneath the surface of this case herself.
The irony is this case is so large, so convoluted, so filled with spin and counterspin, that it is easy to get lost in the details. As we see so often in court cases, it is not a lack of evidence that is a problem, it is the volume of it that gets disconcerting, and frequently confusing. Confusion and doubt [and ‘reasonable doubt’] go hand in hand. Of course being confused by a lot of information is not the same as uncertainty based on a lack of evidence, or based on ambiguous evidence. The evidence isn’t ambiguous.
As such it is Lisa’s and my mission to demystify the eight years culminating in Amanda’s and Raffaele’s ultimate acquittal. Our narratives, especially the first two or three in the series are probably better suited to newbies [people like us]. In THE IVORIAN, and the many narratives to come after that, Lisa and I expect to be as well versed as some folks on forums and resources like the incredibly valuable True Justice.org.
Before wrapping up, I’d like to share a final insight based on our experience writing another true crime series. It may seem like Amanda Knox, Jodi Arias and Oscar Pistorius are three distinct individuals, with nothing in common. But when we look closer we don’t simply see matches in certain defense schemes, we see entire patterns of conduct [including motive] overlapping, and doing so perfectly.
In South Africa we have a similar situation where the media profit out of stories on Oscar Pistorius. They are reluctant to declare him guilty as that would be slaying a potential ‘cash cow’, and with book deals hanging in the balance [an acquittal is literally worth millions], the media are hedging their bets.
As a person involved in the media I am appalled at this, hence our eight narratives on Oscar, two detailing his motive and the method of what we speculate was premeditated murder. In terms of Amanda Knox, we suspect a similar game play between the media and Knox. Both seem to be involved in a kind of PR waltz which both stand to benefit from, if they can dance consistently to their own music.
It was once said of Lance Armstrong that one shouldn’t make Lance Armstrong angry. Anger is what motivates Lance to win. And then the punch line: ‘Beating Lance makes him angry.’ Lisa and I have been astonished at the level of organisation and aggressive militancy [and dirty tricks] employed by Amanda’s supporters. If this was intended to dissuade us from writing, these folks couldn’t be more wrong.
We are not out to make money, Lisa and I, although we care that our narratives resonate and are successful. What we really care about is justice. The bottom line, whether one is a criminal, or the supporter of a criminal is you never look good trying to make someone else look bad. The venom and personal insults Lisa and I have endured in our reviews is impressive. The strategy is clear – attack the credibility of the messenger [since the message itself is problematic].
Our credibility is simple to establish. For my part, I am a professional writer. I did not gain a twitter following of almost 14 000 based on bad writing. I write in partnership with Lisa because her research is often deeper and even more thorough than mine. For me our credibility is based on just two tests: our personal standards and our level of honesty towards ourselves and others. What distinguishes our narratives from all the others out there is the level of honesty – including self disclosure – both of us bring to our work.
This is because we care about something beyond justice. Besides wanting our readers to have a meaningful and genuine experience reading about these tragic crimes, we – as authors – also want to be enriched. When we make it a personal journey, the insights and intuitions are truly rewarding. We find how these folks – not only the victim but also the perpetrators – are not so very different from us. In this sense, if when we genuinely learn something from these true stories, Meredith Kercher’s death need not be in vain.
Follow Nick van der Leek on twitter @HiRezLife and Lisa Wilson at @lisawJ13
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Friday, July 03, 2015
Rome Shocked - Seems Drafting Of Fifth Chambers Report With Poss Illegalities Not Even At First Base
Posted by Peter Quennell
In summary, Judge Marasca in his 27 March court ruling and 29 March Corriere interview illegally threw out the March 2013 First Chambers rulings. Plus he illegally accepted the appeal arguments on the evidence which he should not have.
He cannot do that in the sentencing report itself without reprisals being guaranteed.
Our first alert today was this tweet by the most reliable Italy-based reporter on the case.
Andrea Vogt @andreavogt: Italian legal code (Art. 617) requires Cassation court to issue reasoning after 30 days. #AmandaKnox case due April 27. Why the delay?
On checking, word appears to be spreading in Rome that the Fifth Chambers may not even have got to first base.
On April 27 a draft of the report should have been filed with the Cassation Registry. But it apparently isnt even there yet.
Here are the relevant rules for the Supreme Court.
1. The Original
Art. 628 CPP
1. Conclusa la deliberazione, il presidente o il consigliere da lui designato redige la motivazione. Si osservano le disposizioni concernenti la sentenza nel giudizio di primo grado, in quanto applicabili.
2. La sentenza, sottoscritta dal presidente e dall’estensore, è depositata in cancelleria non oltre il trentesimo giorno dalla deliberazione.
3. Qualora il presidente lo disponga, la corte si riunisce in camera di consiglio per la lettura e l’approvazione del testo della motivazione. Sulle proposte di rettifica, integrazione o cancellazione la corte delibera senza formalità.
2. The Translation
1. Subsequent to the deliberation, the president or the director appointed by him draws up the motivation report. They observe the provisions concerning the judgment in the first instance, as applicable.
2. The judgment, signed by the President and by the writer, is lodged at the Registry no later than the thirtieth day after the deliberation.
3. If the president has done this, the court will meet in closed session for the reading and approval of the text of the motivation. On the proposed rectification, integration or cancellation the court shall act without formalities.
What To Expect?
The only legal and face-saving way out? Admit error, and if there are real grounds, refer the appeal back down to the Florence court.
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Big Shot Across Bows Of Fifth Chambers Could Be Cause Of Delay And Possible Infighting
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. The Unexplained Delay Of The Sentencing Report
Judge Marasca and President Mattarella, a former judge, have similar reputations: they have both fought mightily to prevent bent outcomes.
It has been put about in Italian legal circles that Judge Marasca is not exactly in love with his panel’s verdict. We reported talk in Rome that he held out for several hours on 25 March against a majority faction led by Judge Bruno.
Perhaps he remains a captive of the majority in what might be a tainted court - if it is, it would not be the first tainted court in this case. The Hellmann court is considered as such, as quotes below indicate.
Almost with no exceptions, Cassation routinely reports its appeal verdicts both fast and briefly. Often the reports are presented within several weeks. and most of them come in at under 50 pages.
In Meredith’s case all of the previous Cassation reports came in well before their deadlines. The one that took the longest was the 74-page report of the First Chambers in 2013, annulling most of the Hellmann verdict.
That took 85 days. We are already 10 days beyond that. It will not be very long before the delay in the report really raises red flags.
2. Judge Marasca’s Post-Verdict Interview
Judge Marasca is well known for not giving interviews and for letting his court statements speak for themselves.
Seemingly aware that his court statement on 27 March was already being questioned, and by some ridiculed, he did give this interview to the reporter Fiorenza Sarzanini for Corriere. Key quotes from it.
A further process could not ascertain the truth about the murder of Meredith Kercher. The “proof used was so contradictory “it is impossible to overcome the doubts and inconsistencies…
The judges of the fifth section of the Court of Cassation were all agreed on canceling the sentence to 28 years and six months for Amanda Knox and Raffaele 25 years “without referral” [back down to the Florence court].
The panel chaired by Dr Marasca also considered “non-binding” the earlier ruling of the Supreme Court that in March two years ago ordered a new appeal trial [in Florence and annulled the Hellmann verdict]
3. The Complaint In The Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Hands
On 28 May the criminal complaint was filed by the Perugia prosecutor Dr Mignini and two lead investigators against one of Sollecito’s lawyers, Luca Maori, together with a reporter and an editor of the Perugia weekly Settegiorni Umbria.
The interview and editorial comments sliming the prosecution and the investigators were published back in January, two months before the Fifth Chambers ruled. They might be seen as one of many attempts to poison public opinion and to lean on the courts - in this case, the Fifth Chambers, which had the appeal.
The narrative describes some nasty lies of commission and omission by Maori and the magazine staff. We wont repeat them here. Impactful on a much wider plane is how the complaint characterizes the investigation and the prosecution of the case, and the various attempts to bend courts and so bend outcomes of the case.
It is highly significant that this complaint was filed by a Florence lawyer and with the Florence court. The chief prosecutor for Florence and its region Tuscany has been quoted as scathing of the Fifth Chambers verdict, presumably seeing it as a slap in the face to his own team which contended the Knox-Sollecito appeal, and perhaps an attempt to take the powerful Florence court down a peg.
The Florence court had made a large number of documents available to the Fifth Chambers. As this narrative is highly relevant, the law would have required the Florence Chief prosecutor to forward it. We can presume then that all the Fifth Chambers judges have the document available and, as it sets up a polarity, quite possibly the First Chambers judges as well.
4. The Significance Of The Complaint’s Various Phrasings
If we notionally divide the document into five parts, part (1) explains the people named in the rest of the document and their respective roles, parts (2) and (3) describe the main elements of the very complex legal process and mistakes that were made by the Hellmann court and the Fifth Chambers; and parts (4) and (5) go into detail about the case against Maori and his interviewer and editor.
The excerpts below are from parts (2) and (3). Anyone involved in the legal process would see rather rapidly that parts (2) and (3) could constitute a blueprint for legal action against the Fifth Chambers (such legal action is now allowed) and could also constitute a petition to President Sergio Mattarella, the head of the Italian justice system, who has the power to overrule a Cassation outcome.
 it appears necessary to highlight the circumstances, in fact and in law, left in the shadows by the interview and which render even more serious, frankly incomprehensible and above all without any justification on the basis of the complex course of proceedings, the defamatory statements contained in the article and the very grave and intolerable accusations launched with so much superficiality against the investigators and the 34 magistrates who had upheld the prosecution’s case against the 11 who had doubted it.
Noted above are the many lies of omission (some are listed below; we have a long list pending) that tend to be typical when the defenses and those who were in the dock and their supporters describe the case. Also noted are the 34 magistrates who handled elements of the case and did not abort the process. See the examples here and here.
 The two accused Knox and Sollecito had been arrested on the morning of 6 November 2007, under an arrest warrant issued by Dr Mignini, as the Public Prosecutor in charge, a decree promptly validated by the GIP Dr Claudia Matteini who had issued a precautionary custody order for imprisonment. The appeals of the suspects against this latter, as issued by the GIP on the request of the same Dr Mignini, had then been timely rejected by the Re-examination Court for Perugia and by the First Chamber of the Court of Cassation.
Noted above is one area subjected to numerous lies of omission. In fact many magistrates were guiding the process and the prosecution had no opportunity for independent initiative prior to trial. Dr Mignini did not have to do that interview with Knox, he did it at Knox’s own request, to give her another fair shot at clearing herself - which she failed miserably.
 As a consequence, the two remained in a state of preventative imprisonment until the decision of the Court of Assizes Appeal Court presided over by Dr Pratillo Hellmann, that is for almost four years and there had never been, by their defence, any application of revocation or substitution of the orders against the accused, Knox and Sollecito…
A legal omission by the defenses which might be considered an incompetent blunder, which contrasts strongly with Maori’s claim that the two were in effect being railroaded. The lawyers did not go the extra mile.
 the Court of Assizes at first instance, presided over by Dr Giancarlo Massei, with Dr Beatrice Cristiani as Recorder, at the end of a very long and thorough trial phase, had sentenced Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox for murder and the connected offences and Ms Knox, in addition, for calunnia against Patrick Diya Lumumba.
The trial was indeed long and thorough. Some of the most compelling evidence was behind closed doors - another area for lies of omission. Knox did herself great harm on the stand, sounding flippant and callous and not at all consistent or convincing, which ultimately cost her three years for calunnia. During the defense phase the lawyers had little to present and sessions were shortened or cancelled. There was much railing against Rudy Guede, who was not in court to answer back to it.
 At appeal level, the Court of Assizes Appeal Court - inexplicably composed of the President of the Social Security [Welfare] Chamber [Hellmann] and of an advisor specialised in the Civil Chamber [Zanetti]—despite it being that the President of the Criminal Chamber, Dr Sergio Matteini Chiari, was presiding over a bench; in any case there not being present a magistrate from the competent criminal chamber —had acquitted the two but had upheld the conviction of Ms Knox for calunnia, setting the penalty as a good three years of imprisonment.
This is still being investigated - did the defenses request of Chief Judge De Nunzio that the president of the criminal chamber Judge Chiari be replaced by the wrongly qualified Judge Hellmann? Judge Chiari (who resigned over this) has himself claimed so. And why was the wrongly qualified Judge Zanetti there?
 In the course of the proceedings there had been two experts nominated [by the Court] who, amongst other things, had submitted their report ignoring the documents attesting to the negative result of controls on the presumed contamination of the knife and of the bra-clasp, documents adduced instead by the Public Prosecutor. This should have entailed the sweeping away of [=the complete rejection of] the same expert report but the Court, presided by Pratillo Hellmann, with Advisor-Recorder Dr Massimo Zanetti, had ignored the grave error committed by the experts, an error which had been severely censured by the [Chieffi] Court of Cassation, First Criminal Chamber, in the decision handed down on 26 March 2013…
Investigation of Conti and Vecchiotti is also proceeding. They seem to have been bent and to have lied to the court - either that or remarkably incompetent. There is another quote strongly suggesting they were bent below.
 [Judge Chieffi] accepted almost all the grounds of appeals put forward by the Prosecutor-General and had annulled completely and definitively the acquittal decision, with remission (evidently upholding the grounds of appeal) to the Court of Assizes Court of Appeal of Florence which, in its turn, had fully confirmed the convictions of the Court of Assizes of Perugia.
There are many lies of omission about the annulment - one can find numerous quotes from the Hellmann court embedded in comments, articles and books - the Knox book goes on about how wonderful that appeal was without saying that none of it is of legal relevance now.
 the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same,—the latter constraint, as constituted by the jurisdiction of sole legitimacy, being understood—, for defect pursuant to Article 606 Criminal Procedure Code and limited to the grounds proposed by the appellants (Article 609 Criminal Procedure Code).
Here is a translation of Article 628 of the Penal Code:
Impugnability of a ruling issued by a judge after remand
1. A verdict that had been issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand, may be impugned through a recourse at Supreme Court of Cassation if the ruling was issued on an appeal instance, and through the mean provided by law if was issued on a first instance level.
2. In any case a verdict issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand may be appealed only on the reasons that do not concern those that had already been decided by Cassation on the order of remand, or for not abiding to disposition of art. 627 paragraph 2.
The second paragraph of Article 628 clearly indicates the Fifth Chambers of Cassazione should absolutely not have accepted requests of appeal from AK and RS against the Florence verdict on those points that had been already decided by the First Chambers (the Chieffi court). Those points decided by the Chieffi court, as per Article 628, cannot be appealed. Questions about them should be inadmissible.
 the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same…
the Court of Cassation cannot, therefore, ever adopt decisions on the merits and issue orders of acquittal under Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.
...two chambers of the same Court of Cassation, the First (the one competent for proceedings in homicide matters, whose decision of annulment is definitive and who had identified and decided questions of law in a definitive and un-retractable manner) and the Fifth (who would have had to decide the appeals presented only on grounds of legitimacy of the defendants’, constrained by what had already been definitively decided by the First) have handed down two absolutely divergent decisions and the second had annulled the Florentine decision, positively excluding any remitting to another court and acquitting the defendants pursuant to Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.
The Fifth Chambers seems to have clearly broken the law governing its allowed scope. It had no business getting into the evidence. If there was a perceived problem that should have been referred back down to Florence.
 from these starting points in fact and in law which are absolutely undeniable, it emerges that the course of proceedings in this case have been absolutely linear and respectful of the substance of the procedural rules up to and including the Florentine decision.
Well proven by the narrative. As we have frequently noted Knox was given six opportunities to liberate herself even before the 2009 trial began (try finding an equivalent of that in any other system) and failed all of them.
 the Court of Cassation, on the appeal of the Prosecutor-General of [the Perugia] district Court, had in a radical and definitive manner annulled the acquitting pronouncement and had remitted it to the Florentine district court because the same would adopt the consequent decisions of merit in the line of reasoning of the principles of law laid down by the First Chamber of the Supreme Court and of the points decided by it.
What the First Chambers said must stand. Surely all of the judges of the panel knew this very basic principle of Cassation. Be assured the First Chambers judges will be rubbing it in that this more junior panel has no right to reverse them.
 These principles of law are by now unmodifiable and unarguable: the [Fifth Chambers] , called on to decide the matter, as a “second opinion”, concerning the appeal of the defendants from the [Florence] judgment below, would have had to hand down a judgment fully within the “railway tracks” of the law, as fixed by the First Chamber, like the Florentine district court did, principles from among which we may cite:
Once again the emphasis is on how the First Chambers knew both the law and the case thoroughly, and the Fifth Chambers was seemingly adrift at sea.
 [Umodifiable principle] the principle, in fact the unfailing legal prerequisite of a Supreme Court decision, namely the fact that the Court is precluded from “trespassing into a re-evaluation of the compendium of evidence” (see the judgment of the First Chamber at page 40);
 [Unmodifiable principle] the principle of law of the total and holistic evaluation of the probative material, as opposed to the “parcelled-up and atomistic evaluation of the pieces of circumstantial evidence, taking them into consideration one at a time and discarded in terms of their demonstrative potentiality”, which characterised instead, in the negative, the decision of the Court presided by Pratillo Hellmann (see the decision of the same First Chamber at pp. 40 and 41… ). The ancient brocard “Quae singula non probant, simul unita probant” [‘Those which alone do not prove, together do prove’], quoted on p 41 of the First Chamber’s judgment, consecrates in a definitive and unmodifiable manner this requirement of a global and holistic approach in which each individual piece of the jigsaw puzzle of reconstruction of the facts is considered together with all the others in their demonstrative synergy;
 [Unmodifiable principle] the principle by which the [Hellmann] court had run afoul of grave shortcomings and contradictory lines of reasoning and in glaring misrepresentations of the outcome, even in the attempted decoupling of the calunnia, by now definitively attributed to Ms Knox, with the result of masking from view the responsibility of the same in the homicide;
 [Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the testimony of the homeless person Mr Curatolo ought to have been evaluated on the basis of corroboration between his statements and the objective and unarguable circumstances emerging from the trial (such as the fact that the witness had with absolute decisiveness anchored the fact of having seen the two accused in the precincts of the basketball courts of Piazza Grimana, nowadays Piazza Fortebraccio, the evening before the arrival, the following day, at the Via della Pergola house of the men from Forensics in their white coveralls), rather than on the basis of Mr Curatolo’s social conditions and lifestyle (see the cited judgment of the First Chamber at page 50);
 [Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the definitive conviction of accomplice Rudy Hermann Guede ought to have been taken into account (no. 7195/11, published on 16.12.2010, it also from the First Criminal Chamber of Cassation), Guede having been held to have been extraneous to the simulation of burglary of a house. [A] habitation that, on the night of the murder, was solely at the availability of the victim and of Amanda Knox and from the statements made by the same Rudy before the Perugian district court, according to which Meredith was killed by the two co-accused (see the judgment at pages 55 and 56).
 [Unmodifiable principle] The principle by which contamination of the evidence is to be proved by the party invoking it and which, on the facts of the case, no evidence in support had been offered and which the [Hellmann} Court had seriously confused the abstract possibility of the fact with the averment of the fact (see the judgment at page 69).Umodifiable principle] The principle according to which it was a matter of a homicide committed by multiple persons, in concourse amongst themselves (see page 73 of the cited judgment).
Some brilliant legal arguing. This seems to really make it impossible for the Fifth Chambers to override these firm ruling of the First Chambers .
 [Only by ignoring all of the above, in reading the misleading Maori interview, one could be] induced into thinking that errors upon errors had been committed by the officers and agents of the police taskforce and by magistrates convinced of the prosecution case against Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito, then in fact of a “conversion” of the error into a knowing arbitrary act… One would have been led to think of investigators who, incurable in terms of these continual “denials”, falling prey to a kind of accusatory delirium which was by now running unchecked, would have continued to “persecute by prosecuting” two poor youngsters, contrary to any probative evidence, for the sole purpose of not seeing their initial reconstruction denied.
But see how Lumumba was checked out and released by the same team. Plus the same team worked on other cases which drew no accusations at all. It is significant to note that the Bongiorno & Maori team and Sollecito himself again and again dropped Knox in it, even in remarks made after the Fifth Chambers ruling on 27 March.
 for the readers it would have been difficult to be able to learn the details of the Kercher proceedings, [Maori and Lagana] launched themselves into making unbelievable, irresponsible statements, defamatory beyond any limit, statements which express an inexplicable rancour and bitterness towards the investigators in the Kercher case, from which, for the rest, especially Advocate Maori had given proof of from the start itself of his defence of Raffaele Sollecito
Maori falsely ascribed the “satanism as motive claim” to Mignini and seems to have been a party to other dirty tricks and loaded statements. At this point of the complaint the Curatolo testimony and knife evidence is re-emphasized as valid for their purposes and never undermined by the innuendo of the defenses.
 Maori adds, repeating a singular idea repeated many times in the course of the proceedings and put to the Prosecution as the most significant expression of the error committed by the investigators: the guilty party, Rudy Hermann Guede, had already been secured by justice. Why continue to investigate the other contenders, when it had been found that it was Rudy who, no one knows why, would have been the sole killer and whose presence would have been incompatible with any accomplices?
As mentioned above, Guede was not at the trial in 2009 and so the defenses could freely rant on about him. Although some witnesses were devoted to trying to prove him a bad guy who must have acted alone, it went nowhere. The jury visit to the cottage showed them how ludicrous it was to argue that anyone would choose THAT window to break in.
 Laganà knows nothing about the proceedings and plainly ignores: the calunnia by Ms Knox against Lumumba, the mise-en-scene of the burglary (which could have been realised only by someone who would have been afraid of becoming involved in the investigations), the genetic material of Ms Knox found a little bit below the handle of the knife and that of the victim in proximity to the point of the blade, the genetic profile of Mr Sollecito found on the clasp of Meredith’s bra, the systematic lies of the two, the traces of mixed blood of Knox – Meredith and the print of Sollecito’s foot stained with blood on the small mat in the bathroom next to the room where the murder happened, the traces revealed with Luminol, of the bare feet of Amanda and Sollecito, the witness who sees the two between 21.30 and 23.30 in Piazza Grimana, a couple of dozen metres from the murder scene, and Rudy’s accusations, just to mention a few examples.
Once again we see the theme common throughout the narrative of noting copious lies of omission - vital things simply left out which dont suit Lagana’s apparent purpose.
 [Maori] launches accusations against the press [although] the accused were able to benefit from a systematic information process in their favour and without any contradiction. One can see the case of, for example, the programme “Porta a Porta” which, in the months immediately preceding the Fifth Chamber judgment, had interviewed only Sollecito or his family and consultants, blatantly ignoring any requirement of an even balance, which instead had occurred previously, and all this in a programme on the public network..
This describes how even some arms of the Italian media became tainted and partisan and how the court officers were forbidden by the code of conduct from offering the kind of contradiction and rebuttal very common on American TV.
 Unfortunately, this procedural matter has been marked by pressures (often accompanied by menaces) and defamations which the investigators, themselves as well, have suffered in the media, by a very serious activity of disinformation and from serious attacks on the personal and professional reputation of the investigators by numerous organs of information especially in the United States (like in fact CNN), [and] by the extremely challengeable behaviour of experts who, beyond having “forgottten” the existence of negative controls, had been seen by Dr Mignini (and, according to what has been said to him, also by the biologist at Scientific Police headquarters Dr Patrizia Stefanoni), to be having a long conversation and in a “private” manner, with the defence lawyers of the accused, in particular with Advocate Maori, before the hearing in which the experts were to be examined and cross-examined had started. This had happened in particular on two occasions, both in Piazza Matteotti, in front of the law courts building, one time in front of the main entrance and a second time, further back, in the direction of Via Oberdan, while [on a third occasion] Dr Stefanoni and Dr Comodi had seen them together, amongst the various defence lawyers for the accused, in a bar..
This illegal mingling of supposedly impartial court-appointed consultants with the defense teams, described in public writing here for the first time, should have been enough to see Conti and Vechiotti dismissed as consultants from the case, and further down the road facing charges.
 there are letters addressed to Dr Mignini, the first on paper with letterhead from the Supreme Court [sic] of the State of Washington (in which place is found Ms Knox’s city of residence, that is Seattle), on the part of judge Michael Heavey (now in retirement after having undergone a disciplinary proceeding for having used Washington State Supreme Court letterhead in a “private” letter addressed to his Italian counterparts) which turns out to have been written also to other magistrates involved, under various roles, in the proceedings and which claimed, with absolutely inconsistent reasoning, the innocence of Ms Knox, asking his Italian colleagues in a pressuring way to “acquit her”; or the highly contentious and clumsily inexpert comments of satisfaction concerning the judgment of the Court presided by Dr Pratillo Hellmann, by authority of the Government of the United States, as, to cite a couple of examples, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and, above all, with repeated interventions in the proceedings under way, Senator Maria Cantwell, of the State of Washington
Failures in fact checking shows up the very one-sided nature of American politics and media coverage. Judge Heavey even wrote to the Presidents of the US and Italy and copied those letters to Congress. Italian court officials are highly restrained from response to protect themselves. Even now many Italians officials dont even know what was being said in English about them and what they were being accused of.
 All this evidences the very particular climate in which the proceedings unfolded, especially that of the first appeal, introduced by a summary by the Recorder Dr Massimo Zanetti in which the latter was not at all worried about affirming that in the proceeding that was then being opened the only certain thing was the death of Meredith Kercher, a phrase matching the one that the Recorder of the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, Dr Paolo Antonio Bruno, pronounced according to what was referred to Dr Mignini by an advocate for the civil party.
What a remarkable coincidence. In the case of both statements this is not in accordance with the Italian appeals code. Frequent examples were quoted above of how the Fifth Chambers must accept the First Chambers rulings as givens, and the First Chambers in 2013 in effect ruled in annulling Hellmann that no appeal should be a whole new trial lacking the rather key prosecution part. Note that in March 2015 the Fifth Chambers heard at length from defense lawyers who had been seven years on the case - but no prosecutor from Perugia or Florence was even invited to be there.
5. And In Conclusion
This was a VERY solid case. As is said there, all the lists of evidence in the quotes above could have been longer. Here is a much longer list. Cardiol’s great four-part series on Certainties contains a long list. We have posted various other such lists of evidence, a list of hoaxes, and numerous lists of false claims, and many Powerpoints, and many questions for Sollecito and Knox. Plus even more lists via our right column here.
So it looks like the verdict could become unglued. Italian courts work to some extent on precedent and a tainted verdict could be a very bad precedent. Other prosecutors and judges will be getting similar messages to the judges, not least the judges of the First Chambers which normally handles the murder appeals.
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Friday, June 26, 2015
What No-Show Amanda Knox SHOULD Have Emailed Judge Nencini As Truthful Testimony in December 2013
Posted by Chimera
This was a defence appeal by Knox herself and Sollecito against the 2009 conviction by Judge Giancarlo Massei’s trial court. It was not a new trial, or a retrial, or even a prosecution appeal. It was an appeal DEMANDED by Knox and Sollecito.
While Knox refused to attend, she did send a long, rambling email to Lead Judge Nencini. Judge Nencini tartly read out the email in court, and remarked that she could have delivered this in person and answered questions if she wanted it credibly on the record - after all, Sollecito was sitting right there and not scared out of his wits.
Kudos to fellow main posters Finn MacCool and SeekingUnderstanding for their original and well done posts on this ‘‘submission’‘
With a bit of fact checking, Knox’s email could have looked to the court and the media more like this. Enjoy.
Court of Appeals of Florence section II Assise Proc. Pen, 11113
Letter sent to attorneys Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga via email Seattle, 15 December 2013
Attn: Honorable Court of Appeals of Florence
1. I have no doubt that my lawyers have explained and demonstrated the important facts of this case that prove my innocence and discredit the unjustified accusations of the prosecution and civil parties. I seek not to supplant their work; rather, even though I am not present to take part in this current phase of the judicial process, I feel compelled to share my own perspective as a six—year-long defendant and causation of Meredith’s injustice.
2. The Court has access to my previous declarations, and please disregard that whole ‘‘aggravated calunnia’’ in which Cassation says i framed Patrick to divert attention, or that pending calunnia charge claiming I falsely accused the police to sabotage the court proceedings. I trust you will not be blinded by these things to come to this verdict. I must repeat: I am innocent. Because repeating it will help dissuade you from studying my lies too carefully.
3. According to my lawyers: I am not a murderer, I am not a rapist, I am not a thief or a plotter or an instigator, at least not until Cassation signs off on it. I did not kill Meredith or take part in her murder or have any prior or special knowledge of what occurred that night, (other than screaming, slit throat, and that the body was moved). I was not there for part of the time, and had nothing to do with it.
4. I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid. Federico Martini is probably still pissed that I gave him up; the court and jail officials don’t like my book; and I think there is still an open warrant on me for calunnia. Also, without any employment or housing references, staying here may be tricky. I have faith in your judgement, but am worried you are so poor a judge you will be blinded my the Prosecution’s vehemence. I remember Judge Micheli: he was the wise Judge who found Guede guilty; he was the idiot Judge who ordered Raffaele and I to stand trial as accomplices.
5. My life being on the line, at least until I get parole, and having with others already suffered too much, I’ve rehearsed this story and attentively followed this process and gleaned the following facts that have emerged from the development of this case that I beg you not to dismiss when making your judgement:
6. No physical evidence places me in Meredith ‘s bedroom, the scene of the crime, because I define only that as the crime scene. My DNA mixed with Meredith’s was in the bathroom and Filomena’s room, not Meredith’s. Those bloody footprints cleaned away were in the hallway, not Meredith’s room. Raffaele had one knife, and this other was at his flat, neither of which is Meredith’s room. My lamp on Meredith’s floor had no fingerprints on it, and does not implicate me. That DNA on Merdith’s bra, and bloody footprint on the bathmat only implicates my alibi witness (who refuses to be questioned), not me. Those false alibis, false accusations, details I know about the crime, and phone records are not physical evidence, and did not happen in Meredith’s bedroom. Those ‘‘eyewitnesses’’ the Prosecution produced are not forensic evidence, and do not place me in Meredith’s room.
7. Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence of his presence in the brutal scenario, we made sure of that. Heck, the police couldn’t even find my fingerprints in my own bedroom.
8. No evidence places me in the same brutal scenario, again, which I restrict to Meredith’s bedroom, and only actual physical evidence. The prosecution has failed to explain how—with these restrictions—I could have participated in the aggression and murder—to have been the one to fatally wound Meredith—without leaving any genetic trace of myself. Just because i spend a lot of time talking about it, and am a C.S.I. fan, doesn’t mean I know how to remove evidence. That is because it is impossible. It is impossible to identify and destroy all genetic traces of myself in a crime scene and retain all genetic traces of another individual, or so C.S.I. has taught me. Either I was there, or I wasn’t. My analysis of the crime scene answers this question: I wasn’t there.
9. My interrogation was illegal and produced a false “confession” that demonstrated my non-knowledge of the crime- The subsequent memoriali, for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false “confession.” Yes, I wrote out a false ‘‘confession’’ that accuses someone else. Just as I testified to the prosecutor in prison and to my family members in prison when our conversations were being recorded without my knowledge. Dammit, give me some privacy.
10. My behavior after the discovery of the murder indicates my innocence, if you think creatively enough. I did not flee Italy when I had the chance, because (in my November 4th email), the police wouldn’t let me leave. I stayed in Perugia and was at the police’s beck and call trying to think of answers for over 50 hours in four days, convinced that I could help them find the murderer, or at least someone who was ‘‘close enough’‘. I never thought or imagined that repeatedly changing my story would fuel their suspicions. I did not hide myself or my feelings: when I needed sex, Rafael ‘‘embraced’’ me; when I was scared of being exposed, I cried; when I was angry that it wasn’t working, I swore and made insensitive remarks; when I was shocked, I paced or sat in silence, at least until I could find a new ‘‘best truth’‘; when I was trying to help, I evaded questions, consoled Meredith’s friends, especially her male friends, and tried to keep a positive attitude that this would blow over.
11. Upon entering the questura I had no understanding of my legal position, accompanying Raffaele to a witness summary session which I was not invited to. 20—years old and alone in a foreign country, I was, legally speaking, innocent and never expected to be suspected and subjugated to torture, and I wasn’t. I was told I was a witness, then after I placed myself at the crime scene I was told I was a suspect. I was questioned for a prolonged period in the middle of the night and in Italian, a language I barely knew, and that questioning includes the time I was sleeping or getting tea. I denied legal counsel- still The Court of Cassation deemed the interrogation and the statements produced from it was inadmissible. In my memoir, WTBH; I was lied to, yelled at, threatened, slapped twice on the back of the head. I told myself I had witnessed the murder and was suffering from amnesia. I told myself that if I didn’t succeed in ‘‘remembering’’ what happened to Meredith that night, I would never see my family again. I browbeat myself into confusion and despair, to sell to the media at a later date. When you berate, intimidate, lie to, threaten, confuse, and coerce someone in believing they are wrong, you are not going to find the truth, but again, that is not what happened here.
12. The police used tea and kindness to coerce me into signing a false “confession” that was without sense and should never have been considered a legitimate investigative lead. In this fragmentary and confused statement the police identified Patrick Lumumba as the murderer because we had exchanged text messages, the meaning of which I let the police wrongfully interpret (‘Civediamo piu tardi. Buona serata’). The statement lacked a clear sequence of events, corroboration with any physical evidence, and fundamental information like: how and why the murder took place, if anyone else was present or involved, what happened afterward—it supplied partial, contradictory information and as the investigators would discover a little later, when Patrick Lumumba’s defense lawyer produced proof of him incontestable alibi, it was obviously inaccurate and unreliable. After over 50 hours of rehearsing the questioning over four days, I was mentally exhausted and I was confused.
13. This coerced and illegitimate statement, which I dreamed up, was used by the police to arrest and detain a clearly innocent man with an iron-clad alibi with whom I had a friendly professional relationship, (at least until I destroyed his life). This coerced and illegitimate statement was used to convict me of slander. Judge Hellmann saw that this statement was coerced, and threw out my calunnia conviction .... I mean he increased the sentence .... never mind.The prosecution and civil parties are accusing and blaming me, a result of their own overreaching.
14. Experience, case studies, and the law recognize that one may be coerced into giving a false"confession” because of torture. I’m not sure why this applies to my case, but damn, it sure sounds impressive.
15. This is a universal problem. According to the National Registry of Exoneration, in the United States 78% of wrongful murder convictions that are eventually overturned because of exonerating forensic evidence involved false “confessions.” Almost 8 in 10 wrongfully convicted persons were coerced by police into implicating themselves and others in murder. I am not alone: Susan Smith and Casey Anthony ‘‘falsely confessed’’ that other people did it too. And exonerating forensic evidence is often as simple as no trace of the wrongfully convicted person at the scene of the crime, but rather the genetic and forensic traces of a different guilty party—just like every piece of forensic evidence identifies not me, but Rudy Guide.
16. In the brief time Meredith and I were roommates and friends we never fought. Roommates, not friends.
17. Meredith was my friend, not that I was her friend. She was kind to me, helpful, generous, fun, and in retrospect, I should have been more of the same. She never criticized me. She never gave me so much as a dirty look, even as I left the place a mess, and even when I flirted with her boyfriend, or she took my job at the bar.
18. But the prosecution claims that a rift was created between Meredith and I because of cleanliness. This is a distortion of the facts. Please refer to the testimonies of my housemaster and Meredith’s British friends. None of them ever witnessed or heard about Meredith and I fighting, arguing, disliking each other. None of them ever claimed Meredith was a confrontational clean-freak, or I a confrontational slob. Laura Masotho testified that both Meredith and I only occasionally cleaned, whereas she and Filament Romanal were more concerned with cleanliness. Meredith’s British friends testified that Meredith had once told them that she felt a little uncomfortable about finding the right words to kindly talk tome, her new roommate, about cleanliness in the bathroom we shared. The prosecution would have you believe this is motivation for murder. But this is a terrifying distortion of the facts, as proving motive it not necessary—anywhere.
19. I did not carry around Rafael’s kitchen knife. That’s what men are for, to do the lifting for me.
20. This claim by the prosecution, crucial to their theory, is uncorroborated by any physical evidence or witness testimony. I didn’t fear the streets of Perugia and didn’t need to carry around with me a large, cumbersome weapon which would have ripped my cloth book bag to shreds. My book bag showed no signs of having carried a bloody weapon. The claim that he would have insisted I carry a large chef’s knife is not just senseless, but a disturbing indication of how willing the prosecution is to defy objectivity and reason in order to sustain a mistaken and disproven theory. Yes, i can positively disprove a theory I know nothing about.
21. It is yet another piece of invented “evidence”, another circumstance of theory fabricated to order, because having discovered nothing else, the prosecution could only invent: phone records, false alibis, false statements, false accusations.
22. I had no Contact with Rudy Guide, even though I mention in my book having seen him twice, and a third time in the next paragraph.
23. Like many youth in Perugia, I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guide. He played basketball with the young men who lived in the apartment below us. Meredith and I had been introduced to him together. Perhaps I had seen him amongst the swarms of students who crowded the Perugian streets and pubs in the evenings, but that was it. We didn’t have each other’s phone number, we didn’t meet in private, we weren’t acquaintances. I never bought drugs from Rudy Guide or anyone else. I was having sex with Federico for drugs, which isn’t the same thing. The phone records show no connection. There are no witnesses who place us together, except my statement here. The prosecution claims I convinced Rudy Guide to commit rape and murder, completely ignoring the fact that we didn’t even speak the same language. He has lived in Perguia for 15 years, and I am a student of Italian. Once again, the prosecution is relying upon a disturbing and unacceptable pattern of distortion of the objective evidence.
24. I am not a psychopath. That evaluation in 2008 was unfair, as I didn’t get a chance to prepare my spontaneous answers.
25. There is no short list to the malicious and unfounded slanders I have enjoyed over the course of this legal process. In trial, in the media I have been called no less than:
“Conniving; manipulating; man—eater; narcissist; enchantress; duplicitous; adulterer; drug addict; an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol; dirty; witch; murderer; slanderer; demon; depraved; imposter; promiscuous; succubus; evil; dead inside; pervert; dissolute; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; rapist; thief; reeking of sex; Judas; she-devil;
26. I have never demonstrated anti-social, aggressive, violent, or behavior. Throwing rocks at cars, writing rape stories, and staging break ins are not violent or anti-social. I am not addicted to sex or drugs. In fact, Federico Martini hasn’t given me any since I was arrested. Upon my arrest I was tested for drugs and the results were negative. I am not a split-personality One does not adopt behavior spontaneously.
27. This is a fantasy. This is uncorroborated by any objective evidence or testimony. The prosecution and civil parties created and pursued this character assassination because they have nothing else to show you. They have neither proof, nor logic, nor the facts on their side. They only have their ‘‘evidence’’ against me, and my personal opinions about them. They want you to think I’m a monster because I am telling you they think I am a monster. it is easy to condemn a monster. It is easy to dismiss a monster’s defense as deception. But the prosecution and civil parties think I’m both severely mistaken and wrong. I have condemned them without proof of wrongdoing, and I seek to convince you to condemn them without proof of wrongdoing.
28. If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics. Never mind that this is my own appeal, and I ‘‘should’’ be demonstrating why the 2009 trial verdict is unjust. If I had a case, there would be no need for smoke and mirrors to distract you from the mountains of physical evidence against me. But because this evidence exists that proves my guilt, I would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements. Because I am not a murderer (yet), I would seek to mislead you into convicting me by charging your emotions, by painting me as an innocent until proven guilty, but not as a monster.
29. The prosecution and civil parties are committing injustices against the Kerchers because they cannot bring themselves to admit, even to themselves, that they’ve made a terrible mistake, namely, that the murder was premeditated. Again, it is my own appeal, but they are persecuting me.
30. The Court has seen that the prosecution and civil parties will not hear criticism of their mistakes, by people who won’t attend their appeal.
31. The Court has seen that the prosecution jumped to conclusions at the very start of their investigation: they interrogated and arrested innocent people and claimed “Case Closed"before any evidence could be analyzed, before bothering to check alibis. As proof of this, they called Raffaele to the police station (at his leisure), to clear up discrepencies in his alibi. Then when he claimed I lied, Rita Ficarra then asked me for an explanation. Those brutes! Then they hauled in Patrick just because in ‘‘confessed’’ several times that he did it.
32. The prosecutor and investigators were under tremendous pressure to solve the mystery of what happened to Meredith as soon as possible. The local and International media was breathing down the necks of these detectives. Their reputations and careers were to be made or broken. In spite of that, they still saw my mistakes. Under pressure, they admitted to as few mistakes as possible and committed themselves to a theory founded upon disproving my mistakes.
33. Had they not jumped to conclusions based on nothing but Raffaele’s changing alibi and my false accusations, they would have discovered definitive and undeniable evidence of not Patrick Lumumba, but of Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox. We would not be here over six years later debating clues my lawyers claim are inconclusive and unreliable. Had we plead guilty we would have been spared the cost, anguish and suffering, not only of Raffaele’s and my family, but especially of Meredith’s family as well.
34. My accusations are unworthy of judicial or public confidence. In over six years I have failed to provide a consistent, evidence-driven, corroborated theory of the crime, but would nevertheless argue that you should not take my life away. I beg you to see through the ‘‘facts’’ and ‘‘reason’’ of what I say. I am innocent. Raffaele is innocent. Meredith and her family deserve the ‘‘truth’‘. Please put an end to this great and prolonged injustice for them.
Amanda Marie Knox
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Monday, June 22, 2015
The Real Victim: Will The Cassation Report Promised Thursday Belatedly Suitably Acknowledge Her?
Posted by Slow Jane
I stepped out of the tube onto Tooting Broadway, with throngs of shoppers overflowing the pavements and schoolchildren milling around the bus stops in groups.
Now here at last, in Croydon Cemetery, fifteen bus stops later, I found Meredith’s grave, startling in its unexpectedness, after walking for quite a while, hopeless at following directions, having originally gone to the wrong graveyard altogether, the day before.
My heart pounded as her name suddenly leapt out at me.
The burial site is beautifully maintained, with miniature pink and red rose bushes and set in the peaceful landscaped grounds, with evergreens and lawns.
I stood for a while overcome with emotion, quite alone, with nobody in sight all around. I said a few prayers, including one pleading that Meredith’s murderers be brought to justice. I quietly sang Psalm 23 and pondered how this beautiful, funny, bright young student had lived a life that was all too short.
A feeling of pain - for her mother Arline and father John, and Stephanie, Lyle and John and for all her family and friends - contracted like a taut elastic band across my chest.
I recalled how at her funeral service at St John the Baptist Church many of the mourners, including sister Stephanie and friends from Leeds Uni had carried a single white rose each.
Stephanie read out a poem she wrote, “ Don’t Say Goodbye”. Her old school friends sang as a choir the requiem, In Paradisum. Two hymns sung at the service, on 14th December 2007, were ‘Abide with me” and “For the Beauty of the Earth”.
Meredith’s favourite record “With or without you” by U2 (below) was played.
As I sat on a creaky bench nearby under the shade of a gnarled old tree, I scribbled down the following lines:
- I came to pay my respects
To Meredith Kercher so dear
To all who knew her.
Go gently into that night
Enforced on you by the evil,
Those who walk in the darkness,
And you were in their path.
Your light shines
And the dark has not overcome it.
I write this article to reflect that this is about Meredith Kercher and her family and friends, and to reclaim the memory of her purity from the soiled agenda of the ex-defendants and the cruel IIP and FOA stalkers.
Stephanie Kercher had said, in response to Knox’s demand, on the launch of her “memoir”, that she be taken to visit Meredith’s grave, that Stephanie and her family just want a safe place for Meredith to rest in peace.
I cast my mind back to the news reports that broke in November 2013 that Raffaele Sollecito had nevertheless paid a “secret visit” to the spot. He had been in London in March 2013. He had the grace not to include pictures of the grave on his “London” Facebook page that he may have taken.
Newspaper reports reveal he was taken there by an “English friend” and left no flowers. The “friend” who was quick to betray Sollecito’s “secret” is speculated to be one Nigel Scott, ex-Lib Dem Councillor in Haringey, and a purported member of the Injustice in Perugia advisory board, the rather grand name of a lobby of aggressive pro-Knox advocates.
Scott put up a picture of the grave in a tweet – hastily taken down – as the news broke. He disparagingly refers to the grave as being in “poor condition”, with a temporary headstone marker.
His co-campaigner, Karen Pruett, maintains a Find A Grave webpage for Meredith and was forced by demand from enraged supporters of Meredith Kercher’s family to take down the picture of Meredith’s grave, most probably taken from the Daily Mail.
Notorious FOA poster Lyn Duncan - who tweets under the name of @Annella - and others, left “tributes” after the acquittal, despite one of their party, Doug Bremner Jr, having referred to the Kerchers as “Nazis” and another mocking Meredith’s grave lacking a headstone as late as 2011, when Knox was first acquitted by Hellmann, as shown in the Daily Mail.
Time has shown how Scott’s, Pruett’s and other Knox chums’ characters speak for themselves.
Meredith’s final resting place is beautiful, in a quietly understated way. The grave adjacent is of a Liverpool supporter aged 22, who died around about the same time as Mez, who was 21. It is very poignant to see.
Meredith’s headstone is fashioned out of marble and reads, “ We will always love you MEREDITH SUSANNA CARA KERCHER 28th Dec. 1985 – 1st Nov. 2007 Forever in our thoughts, always in our hearts.”
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Sunday, June 21, 2015
Due To Content Wars And Objective Editors Forced Out, Original Wikipedia Might Not Survive
Posted by Peter Quennell
1 The New York Times Report
The New York Times reports today that the original Wikipedia may not survive. Better resources may take its place.
2. The Hijacking We Observed
From 2010 onward, several of the relevant English-language Wikipedia entries were hijacked by the Marriott-paid thugs. No English-language entry we have read lately is reliable on the case.
Deliberate bias now appears again and again. What is simply left out - lies of omission - is now immense. In 2011 the founder of Wikipedia , Jimmy Wales, joined in - on the wrong side.
One of the effects of the deliberate bias he encouraged was to make many who read here no longer willing to contribute towards Wikipedia’s costs.
Another effect was that good objective editors downed tools and simply walked off.
In March 2011 one of the frustrated good objective editors, Gwaendar, arrived here and posted (first link below) a report about what he and his colleagues had faced.
A few days later (second link below) a translation by TomM and Skeptical Bystander of the main Italian Wikipedia page, still in very good shape, went up:
- Evolution Of The Wikipedia Article On The Murder Of Meredith Kercher
- The Precise And Accurate Italian Wikipedia Article On Meredith’s Case, Now Translated Into English
3. So The Meredith Wiki Stands
In May 2013, as Azoza describes in the post below, Edward McCall and a team of editors and translators began the Meredith Wiki as an effort that stands proudly on its own.
If anything, the Meredith-case Wiki has been gaining speed. What Azoza described represents a fast doubling in size. The volunteer team has grown too, with strong legal and Italian-language skills.
No bias in this freestanding Wiki has ever been proved. It simply carries dozens and dozens of the official trial and appeal documents, most of them now in English, for anyone to take away with them any meaning that they wish.
Our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series, on that huge and nasty hoax, which now has nervous publishers and Knox killer-groupies realizing they may have legal targets on their own backs, could not have happened if the hearing, trial and appeal transcripts had not been made available there first.
And there are many other truths lurking like landmines on the Wiki site.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Major Additions To Meredith Kercher Case Wiki To Provide Complete Impartial Overview in English
Posted by azoza
Origin and mission
The impartial Murder of Meredith Kercher Wiki began in 2013.
The seed was people discussing how to overcome the flawed Wikipedia article of the case. That article relied on sources like Candace Dempsey, Nina Burleigh and American media. In other words, biased or incomplete sources.
In May 2013, Edward McCall set up the website, with the help of volunteer editors from the Perugia Murder File community. Its mission statement was:
Were Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede responsible for the death of Meredith Kercher? This wiki style site was created by a group of volunteer editors to inform the public about the case, by providing translations of original documents and evidence presented at trial.
This continues to be the aim of the Wiki: to make available documents and translate them properly. Our interest is not selectively posting documents, like the Knox campaign has done. We want to make all the facts available, without bias or selecting. We believe all the facts support the notion that all three defendants are responsible for Meredith Kercher’s murder.
Purpose of this post
The purpose of the article here is to let people know of recent changes to the website.
The Wiki is revised when new documents and translations continue to be received. Existing webpages are tweaked when time allows. Webpages are sometimes changed so information can be better presented. Or the website structure is changed when a significant page is introduced.
For example, a new page listing a lot of evidence was added in November 2014. This page can be directly accessed from the main page. That evidence list page has links to other sections of the website, like ‘wikified’ testimony, for easier reference. More links will be added and more evidence noted as more documents become available.
The website had two major redesigns earlier this year. The main page was redesigned to provide clearer ‘at a glance’ updates. We did this primarily to keep everyone up-to-date with the March 2015 Cassazione decision. The boxes on the main page also note updates to other parts of the website. Also, we added buttons so any webpage on the site can be shared on various social media.
The other major redesign has been the addition of the ‘file library’.
Completing the picture
For those long familiar with the case, source material had been seriously lacking. There have been large gaps. The Knox campaign has posted some documents, but their ‘collection’ has always been incomplete. As examples:
1) The crime scene photos start at ‘dsc016’. What about photos 1 through 15?
2) No photos of Sollecito’s place, Guede’s place, via Sperandio or elsewhere
3) They posted many Massei transcripts, but not all. They never posted the 2nd day of Knox’s testimony, or the days when the Kercher family and consultants testified.
4) Some Massei transcripts they posted had pages missing.
5) They have posted many defense consultant reports, but few prosecution consultant reports.
6) They only posted a few Hellmann transcripts, but not all.
7) They only posted one Micheli transcript, but not the others.
8) Hardly any depositions.
9) A lot of police reports are still missing.
In the past six months, we have been trying to correct this. We have set up a file library, which will be the repository of as many case-related files as can be gotten. Files will ultimately include documents, photos, videos and audio- whatever is part of the public record of this tragic case. The files are made available as links for downloading. Eventually many will also be ‘wikified’ so anyone can do a word search through the documents. And when time allows, key documents will be translated.
There are thousands of files related to this case - too many to put on one page. A single file page would take forever to scroll and would be terribly confusing. So the library is structured into subsections. The basic idea is ‘nested boxes’. Once you select a section, you ‘drill down’ through pages to get to document links. Then you click ‘back up’ to the higher levels so you can move to other sections.
Some pages have a mixture of links to documents and links to subpages. These will eventually be simplified for clarity.
Not all file library pages have been created. More pages will be required as more files come in. Once the document files (PDFs) portion is nearly complete, pages will be reviewed and the library layout will be tweaked. At that point, when we’re comfortable with all the pages and their names, links will be added to allow browsing across sections or in sequential order. This hasn’t been done yet to avoid redoing a lot of work later.
A directory tree is a strong possibility too.
The seven sections
The library has over 900 PDFs and photos scattered across 7 major sections.
The 1st section
This section Context and people is empty for now. It will have photos of Perugia, the cottage, nearby locales and pictures of the people involved in the case. We are sifting through photos and erasing duplicates. Once that’s done, this section will quickly fill out.
The 2nd section
This section 2007 Investigations has files related to police investigations in 2007, the arrest and crime scene photos and videos. As mentioned, not all crime scene photos and videos have been made public. We hope to gather as complete a collection as possible. Of course, anything showing Meredith Kercher’s body will be censored, in line with the wishes of the Kercher family, and to maintain dignity. In the past 1.5 months, we’ve gotten over 80 depositions of witnesses and other documents related to early investigations. Things like preliminary police reports and police correspondence. Here you can also find phone and prison taps.
The 3rd section
This section Arrest trials has filed related to the cautionary arrest trials. This includes the Matteini court, the Ricciarelli court and the 2008 Cassazione court, presided by judges Gemelli & Gironi. Files include court hearing transcripts, motivation reports and other files pertinent to these hearings. This is missing quite a bit still, but we hope to correct that.
The 4th section
This section 2008 Investigations has files related to police investigations in 2008. While the murder was discovered on Nov 2, 2007, and arrests were made that month, the actual police investigation continued until the following year, finishing in June 2008. Files here include additional phone and prison taps, police reports from Rome and Perugia, additional depositions and other related documents.
The 5th section
This section Statements and writings contains writings and depositions of the three defendants. GKS = “Guede Knox Sollecito”.
The 6th section
This section Trials and Appeals and Reports is the largest section. We may revise or split this section further. Currently it contains all documents related to the main trials. All three defendants took part in the first main trial, the 2008 Micheli court. Micheli indicted Guede and found enough evidence against Knox and Sollecito. After the Micheli court, Guede’s trial path separated from the other two because he chose a fast-track option. So there are 3 subsections: Micheli, Guede trials and Knox + Sollecito trials. The Knox + Sollecito trials page has further subpages for the Massei court, the Hellmann appeals court, the Nencini appeals court. In this section, one can find court transcripts and reports, correspondence or depositions introduced during court proceedings. So a lot of files.
The 7th section
This section is extra material.This will contain documents, photos and videos indirectly related to the case. Things like interviews, documents on forensics, lab manuals, crime scene analyses, documentaries, related trials like the police calumnia trials, etc.
A few quick notes:
1. There are many versions of the Massei motivations report on the Internet. Most are missing two pages. Another version comes in four parts. We edited ours so this is a complete version with the ‘famous’ missing pages.
2. Similarly with the Borsini-Belardi motivation report. Many versions out there, most of them improperly OCR’ed, with sections missing. Our version is a scan version, not the OCRed one.
3. As noted before, recent additions include a lot of depositions of witnesses taken in the first week of police investigation. You can find these in the “2007 police work” page.
4. Police summaries of the crime scene surveys, and fingerprint reports, are at the bottom of that same page.
5. There’s a PDF containing a ‘5 volume’ police photo report. This PDF has photos of Via Sperandio currently not in the crime scene photos. But certainly those photos are part of the same Nov. 2007 crime scene photo survey. Anyway, you can find it in the Crime Scene page at the bottom. It’s called Photo-photographic-file-censored. We edited out pictures of the body, to preserve dignity of the victim.
6. Towards the bottom of the “2008 investigations” page, we recently added two police charts, and the first “shoeprint report” by Rinaldi & Boemia, which has more data on shoeprints. Their second report concentrated on the footprints.
7. We have the Cassazione March 2015 dispositivo. We will be posting that along with other documents shortly.
The file library is an ongoing thing. We hope to make real progress here, so everyone can look at all the facts of the case, not just a few picks. A bright light is needed on as much material as is possible to offer, in honor of Meredith Kercher, the victim.
When we post a new file batch, we add an update note on the Wiki home page.
The Meredith Kercher Wiki is committed to being the essential record of all publicly available documents and testimonies about the case, to benefit the general public and the media. Please circulate this widely, and check in regularly. There are more changes to come.
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Monday, June 15, 2015
Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chamber May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #4
Posted by Cardiol MD
1. SERIES OVERVIEW
This post continues a response to the March 27th, 2015 announcement of Cassation’s Fifth Chamber that it had decided that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were Not Guilty of the November 2007 Murder in Perugia of Meredith Kercher.
The Fifth Chamber’s Reporting Judge Antonio Paolo Bruno, was reported to have said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted”.
In fact Judge Bruno was wrong.
As previously noted, the Existence, Timings, Durations, and General-Locations of all the telephone calls are a very fertile source of Certains, or Certainly-Nots. This is because civil telephone time-keeping all over the Earth’s surface, including in Italy, the U.S. and the U.K, use, and specifically did use in November 2007’s Perugia, the Coordinated Universal Time Protocol (CUT).
Coordinated time-keeping assures that the time assigned to a telephone event is accurate and very precise, independent of where it occurs. It’s almost as if these November, 2007’s Perugia ‘phone users were wearing criminal-offender’s ankle bracelets. CUT records enable decisive challenge to the credibility of a false witness (impeachment).
(Uncoordinated Time-keeping could have resulted in wrong times being assigned to a telephone event)
2. MORE SUCH CERTAINTIES
(A) SOLLECITO’S PHONE
43. IT IS CERTAIN THAT SOLLECITO’S PHONE WAS EITHER AFFIRMATIVELY SWITCHED-ON, OR HAD-BEEN-MOVED, AT 6:02:59 AM, 2 NOVEMBER 2007
Therefore, contrary to the Defense “reasoning”, cited below, there is Certain proof that Sollecito’s phone was switched on or had been moved at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007, and that Sollecito &/or Knox were awake at that time, contrary to their assertions, which are Certainly false:
Nencini Page 158:
“If in fact one can agree with the Defense reasoning by which there is no certain proof that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 Raffaele Sollecito’s phone was switched on (by himself or by Amanda Marie Knox, the only two present in the apartment) allowing  reception of the SMS sent to him by his father a good six hours earlier, the only logical alternative is that someone obviously moved the phone inside the apartment from the location in which it was positioned, and where it was not receiving the “signal”, to a different location in the apartment, where the “signal” was received.What matters, and what the Court finds proved, is that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 in the apartment at 130 Via Garibaldi, they were not in fact asleep, as the defendants claim, but rather the occupants were well awake, so much as to switch on or move the phones.”
More in this case:
(B) WITNESS ANTONIO CURATOLO
Antonio Curatolo had testified at the Massei Trial that he had seen Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, from 9:30pm to around midnight of 1 November 2007 in Piazza Grimana”
However, the Hellmann Court of Appeal’s motivazione had rejected the reliability of Curatolo’s Testimony.
The SCC Panel, Annulling the Hellmann Court of Appeal’s motivazione had, in turn rejected and annulled Hellman’s Analysis of Curatolo’s Testimony, stating on pp 67-69:
“The Hellmann Court of Appeal rejected the reliability of the testimony of Antonio Curatolo which, in the reconstruction of the First Instance Court, had been taken as a basis of proof that the negative alibi offered by the two accused was false, and which constituted one of the tesserae of the mosaic which led to their being held to have been present at the scene of the crime. Incidentally, it is worth recalling that the First Instance Court held, via reasoning that was correct from both a legal and logical point of view, that the false alibi must be considered as evidence against [the accused], to be placed in relation to the other elements of proof in the context of the entire body of evidence.
This method of analysing the testimony, as observed by the Prosecutor General submitting the appeal, is absolutely subject to censure in that it displays a lack of the prerequisite thorough examination of the facts and circumstances, so that the conclusion that was reached [by the Hellman Court of Appeal] – that in indicating the two accused students as having been present in Piazza Grimana, he confused the evening of 31 October and the evening of 1 November – clashes with ascertained facts that seriously contradict such an absolutely certain assumption, so as to shed full light on the well‐foundedness of the charge that the justifying discourse is contradictory and thus manifestly lacking in logic (it was in fact proven by other facts that on the evening of 31 October that neither Knox nor Sollecito, who were both occupied, the former at Lumumba’s pub where she was preparing for the normal activity associated with the Halloween festival, the latter at a graduation party, could have been present in Piazza Grimana at around 11 PM).
The assertion that the sighting of the two young people by the witness should be shifted to 31 October (page 50 of the sentencing report) because the context described was more suitable to that day than the next day, since [the latter] did precede the arrival of the Scientific Police but  [was] taken out of context, is a manifestly illogical assertion, not only because it contradicts facts which unequivocally demonstrate that the two were not in the piazza on the evening of 31 October (a fact of fundamental importance in the context of the evaluations) and thus the impossibility of squaring the circle in the sense proposed, but also because it follows an utterly weak inferential rule.
Starting from the need to undo the knot of contradiction presented by the testimony (he saw the two young people the evening before the investigation of the Scientific Police and he saw them in the context of the Halloween festival), the Hellmann Court of Appeal, after having heard the witness testify a second time and after having verified that he erroneously placed Halloween on the night of 1‐2 November, they heard the witness reiterate that his temporal placement of the fact was anchored to the described presence of people who were all dressed in white and that, after midday on the day after he saw the two young people, he caught sight of the men in white in via della Pergola (a fact with a very high level of certainty, more than any other) together with the police: this notwithstanding, the Court reached the conclusion that his testimony could not be accepted due to the man’s deteriorating intellectual faculties and due to his lifestyle, since he was a detainee for drug dealing when he testified the second time and was a habitual heroin user.
Once again, the progression of the argument emerges as obviously illogical, in that the evaluation of the testimony should have been correlated (regardless of the conclusions, this being a discussion of evaluation methods) to the unique objective fact of absolute reliability (the presence of individuals wearing the white suits, the day after the sighting of the two in the piazza, at a time earlier than 11 PM‐midnight) because that is a fact whose existence is certain, which was a unique identifying circumstance, which could not but remain imprinted on the mind more than any other; while instead, once again, character issues were considered and asserted, furthermore, without any scientific examination that could ascertain whether the man’s intellectual faculties had deteriorated. Moreover, Curatolo showed up when called upon to testify, in both the first and second instance trials and, even well after the fact, he never had any difficulty recognizing the two accused as those whom he had seen in Piazza Grimana the evening before he noticed the men dressed in white (whom he called “extra‐terrestrials”) and the police in via della Pergola.
The fact that he had been a homeless man who spent all day in the piazza was not a reason for dismissing him as an unreliable witness out of hand, at the cost of colliding with the accepted principles on the matter of the reliability of testimony. In conclusion,  a contribution [that was] expressed with certainty and noted in the trial transcripts of the witness, and again during his second testimony (“as certain as I’m sitting here” he said of having seen the two accused the evening before the day in which he saw the men in white suits and the police), cannot be circumvented by merely referring to the character of the author of the contribution; this would have required a process of evaluation through facts with equally strong probative evidence.
Moreover, the opinion must be annulled and remanded, since the explanations of the reliability of the witness Curatolo are incomplete (as they did not take into consideration the facts that contradicted the conclusion reached by the Court), vitiated by an incorrect application of the laws governing the matter. The ‘precise and serious’ nature of the evidence provided by the testimony was dismissed in the [Appeal] opinion without testing its concordance with other evidence, on the basis of a conjecture (that the witness superimposed the evening of 31 October onto that of 1 November) that was not even confronted with the facts contradicting its conclusions”
In summary, this SCC Panel ruled that Hellmann’s Motivazione “must be annulled and remanded” because it ignored facts contradicting Hellmann’s conclusion, and incorrectly applied “the laws governing the matter”, “without testing its concordance with other evidence”, not even confronting Curatolo “with the facts contradicting (Hellmann’s) conclusions”.
44. IT IS CERTAIN THAT CURATOLO WAS PRESENT IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE EVENING OF NOV. 1st, 2007
45. IT IS CERTAIN THAT CURATOLO TESTIFIED THAT HE SAW MEN IN WHITE SUITS, AND POLICE PRESENT IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE MORNING AFTER HIS SIGHTING OF AMANDA KNOX AND RAFFAELE SOLLECITO IN PIAZZA GRIMANI.
3. AND MORE BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBTS
(A) WITNESS ANTONIO CURATOLO
The SCC Chamber’s reasons, given above, for Annulling And Remanding Hellmann’s conclusions re Curatelo’s misremembering the Date, in spite of his specifically remembering that it was the evening before he saw the Official Commotions relating to Meredith’s murder, justify the Conclusion that:
8. IT IS BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THAT CURATOLO SAW AMANDA KNOX AND RAFFAELE SOLLECITO IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE EVENING OF NOV.1st, 2007 ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS. A FEW YARDS FROM THE COTTAGE AT NO. 7, VIA DELLA PERGOLA, WHERE, IN THE SAME SPAN OF TIME, THE MURDER TOOK PLACE.
WITNESS MARCO QUINTAVALLE
Nencini p 156:
“Amanda Marie Knox went to Marco Quintavalle’s Conad shop around 7:45am on 2 November 2007, obviously in search of something to buy that she could not find. She was noticed by Mr. Quintavalle who, at the trial, identified her with certainty in the courtroom. So we are able to affirm that Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she claimed to have slept at Mr. Sollecito’s house in his company until 10am in the morning on 2 November 2007.
Having already been proven false by witness testimony, the alibi given by the accused is also proven false by comparing it with objective data, which tallies with the witness testimony referred to above.”
SCC. Annulling H/Z p 50
“In this case, [the Defence argues that] a re‐evaluation of the witness is not allowed, given that his testimony was correctly examined by the Hellmann Court of Appeal, knowing the lapse of time after which he offered his contribution to investigators. The witness’s statements were, for the rest, compared with those of his co‐workers, who referred to the doubts expressed by Quintavalle on the exactitude of his identification. There is therefore no lack of logic in the reasoning, since the lack of logic must be manifestly perceived, whereas minimal inconsistencies must have no influence”
SCC ANNULLING H/Z p 70-71
“In reality, the notice taken of the witness’s statements, as pointed out by the Prosecutor General, is absolutely biased, since the sighting out of the corner of the eye referred to the girl’s exit from the shop, whereas the witness specified having seen her at a close distance (between 70‐80 centimetres), adding that she remained imprinted on his mind “because of her very light blue eyes”, her “extremely pale face”, and “a very tired expression”.
Moreover, the witness clarified in his testimony that he became convinced that the girl who appeared in the newspapers was the one he saw in the early morning of 2 November 2007, given that the colour of her eyes could not be ascertained from the photo, but that he became certain once that he saw the girl in the courtroom. The selection made from the pool of information was absolutely one‐sided, which distorted the evidence to the point of making it appear uncertain, whereas the witness explained the reasons for his perplexity and the development of his conviction in terms of certainty.
As noted by the Prosecutor General in the appeal documents filed, this portion of the report assumed relevance within the framework of the reconstruction and required an explanation based on an examination of the entire testimony; instead, through a process of unacceptable selection, only some of the testimony was considered to be of value, indeed, only that portion considered to be consistent with a [specific] conclusion, one that in fact required rigorous demonstration.
The result, once again, is blatantly and manifestly illogical. What is at issue is not a re‐evaluation of the evidence – which is obviously prohibited by this Court, as the Defence for the accused has justly pointed out – but rather the need to point out a glaringly evident flaw that consists of an intolerable chasm between what is stated by the witness and what is acknowledged in the justifying arguments, on a point of significant importance, since it concerns the foundation of the alibi.
On this point also, the new judgment will have to be conducted in light of the preceding observations.”
Given the above:
9. IT IS BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THAT MARCO QUINTAVALLE SAW AMANDA KNOX IN HIS CONAD SHOP AT AROUND 7:45 am ON 2 NOVEMBER 2007.
Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she claimed to have slept at Mr. Sollecito’s house in his company until 10am in the morning on 2 November 2007.
To be continued, though we may need to wait until the end of June 2015 when SCC’s Motivazione is due.
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Saturday, June 13, 2015
Wide Concern In US At A Killer Groupie Who Helped Dangerous Killers To Escape
Posted by Peter Quennell
We have occasionally dwelled upon what drives killer groupies. The phenomenon is widespread and it has been around a long time.
A desperation for money and new jobs and status. Perversions, chips on shoulders, previous brushes with the law - that last driver actually accounts for about half.
Sheer besottedness is one quite common cause. Some people really do love dangerous jerks.
Now a killer groupie is responsible for a huge and expensive manhunt, and for hundreds of thousands 250 miles north of New York City and up into Canada locking their doors and buying guns.
They fear an attack, even death, from two dangerous killers on the loose.
The sole cause of their breaking out of a secure prison which had seen no prior breakouts in 150 years is a killer groupie, a woman married with children employed on the prison staff, who supplied them with power tools to cut their way out. and who was to drive the getway car.
Joyce Mitchell has been arrested and charged with a felony and may face eight years inside.
As she failed to turn up on the night - maybe cold feet, maybe a medical emergency as she seems to claim - the two killers are believed still to be close. Bloodhounds picked up a scent in marshes near the prison only a couple of days ago.
Nice going, Joyce, do call Amanda Knox. Oh, but wait…
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Thursday, June 11, 2015
Why This Offer Of Legal Funding To Amanda Knox May Not Be Such A Good Idea
Posted by Peter Quennell
Report on how hard it is in the US to get compensation - that could inspire a search for new markets
Wrongful convictions in Italy are extremely rare because of the multi-step process to final verdict mandated by law.
In the United States and other countries they are more common. It is not a given though for those innocents who do get released to be given a payment by the state. See the case in the video above.
Somebody on the staff - maybe Andrew Braithwaite - has issued this press release presumably aimed at a share of any proceeds. It does raises question in our minds about whether any due diligence was done, though it may be early days for that yet.
Cavalli Legal Finance Reports a Possible Wrongful Imprisonment Lawsuit
This press release was orginally distributed by ReleaseWire
Hamilton, NJ—(ReleaseWire)—05/28/2015—Settlement loans are now made available and applicable to wrongful imprisonment cases through Cavalli Legal Finance.
The Italian lawyer of Amanda Knox said a lawsuit is possible to be filed, although not certain, against Italy due to the wrongful detention of Knox, following her 7-year-old legal battle in Meredith Kercher’s murder.
In an email, Knox’s attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova said a lawsuit is possible, but they are not interested to make such move at the moment, and that he and his client have no discussion about it. Their option for a settlement loan was not also disclosed.
Italy’s highest court exonerated Amanda Knox, along with her Italian, former boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito in the November 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, Amanda’s British roommate.
Initially, both suspects were convicted in 2009. Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, while Knox received 26 years. In 2011, the convictions were overturned and Amanda returned to Seattle immediately. Under the personal injury cases, Amanda can file for a compensation claim, if the lawsuit has a good merit to win such legal battle, considering the incurred damages such as pain and suffering.
In 2013, their acquittals were both overturned, and just last year, their convictions were reinstated by a Florence court. Knox’s sentence was increased to 28 and half years. The recent ruling to exonerate both suspects was the criminal case’s final decision. Thus, a settlement funding could be availed by the convicts if they wish to.
According to the lawyer, the Italian Supreme Court should issue a written motivation by June 27, and if Knox pursues a lawsuit, the Italian law could provide a maximum of 517,000 euros as compensation, which is equivalent to $556,317. Knox can avail a lawsuit funding to pursue with the case.
Fortunately, Cavalli Legal Finance provides these services so as to help plaintiffs reach settled cases and compensation claims such as Knox’s case. The firm supports not only simple case, but also complex litigation like construction accidents and large complex litigation cases.
As they seem to have been blown some smoke, here are a few comments on the summary above of Knox’s legal history which Cavalli Legal Finance may find of help.
(1) Knox was released possibly illegally as her process was not done yet late in 2011 after an appeal trial which the Supreme Court in 2013 pretty well said straight-out was bent. The lead appeal judge was edged out and an investigation process still goes on.
(2) Knox was in prison for approximately four years. For three of those years she was imprisoned for the felony crime of calunnia for the false accusation of murder against Patrick Lumumba whose career she has pretty well destroyed. She still owes him approximately $100,000 in damages awarded him which she has still not paid.
(3) That sentence was signed-off on by ALL the courts - see the trial court ruling, the 2011 appeal court confirmation (which adjusted the sentence to three years), and the 2013 Supreme Court confirmation. End of the road. A felon for life. The 2015 Supreme Court ruling did not include this in its scope. No further route to appeal.
(4) That leaves one year in prison which in theory could be considered a candidate for a wrongful imprisonment suit. However the Italian Republic has a lot going for its side. For example, very careful process steps were followed and pre-trial Knox was given six opportunities to get the charges dropped. She failed at them all. The US Embassy in Rome had an observer in all courts and cables to Washington DC released reflect no complaints.
(5) The Italian Republic also has going for it that the terse Fifth Chambers verdict (which it still has to explain) actually can still be overturned if a fix was in or if it did not follow the law on what its role at final appeal should be. Questions about sufficient evidence are invariably referred back down to the appeal court; but that did not happen here. See explanations here and here.
(6) Knox is back on trial right now on a second calunnia charge which in theory, as a repeat offender, could carry a six-year term. This relates to her false accusations of crimes by interrogators which she made on the stand at trial in mid 2009 when trying to argue her way out of the first calunnia charge. Three court dates are in September of this year.
(7) Knox has a very dishonest book out in the US, and now Italy and the UK, for which she was said to have been paid millions, which is currently getting a very careful legal read in Italy. The book Waiting To Be Heard (an absurd title given how much she was heard - she has a long history of people trying to shut her up) actually repeats the same false accusations of crimes, with bells and whistles, which are the subject of the current calunnia trial #2. Excerpts from it in the Italian weekly Oggi already have that weekly publication on trial.
We could go on. After the Supreme Court ruling in March there was buzz, perhaps from the hard-pressed families, that lawsuits for false imprisonment would follow soon.
The Italian lawyers tamped that talk down fast, and Sollecito’s lawyers (one of whom is himself to go on trial) pretty well ruled it out entirely. They are said to see it as a slippery slope, an aggressive action, which could bring the castle of cards down fast.
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Monday, June 08, 2015
Why Desperation Sets In At The Pesky Similarities Between Amanda Knox And Jodi Arias
Posted by Chimera
1. The Incessant Comparisons
Google “Amanda Knox” along with “Jodi Arias” who was recently convicted of killing her ex-boyfriend and you will see what I mean.
Of comparisons between the two, there are many dozens. Some pieces damningly list the similarities, and then in numerous defensive comments the facts about the real Knox get mangled. Some pieces try to argue that there are differences, and in comments the writer’s numerous false claims get nailed.
To bring out quite forcefully the stark similarities, this post looks at the interrogations. At the time of this posting, Arias has been convicted of first degree murder, but sentenced to life without parole, since the jury would not hand down the death penalty.
Meanwhile, Knox has been provisionally found not guilty in a highly suspect Fifth Chambers action which might be overturned by an order of the President, or by a challenge by the Florence court, or by a challenge by another arm of the Supreme Court.
2. Similarities Under Interrogation
Below is all of Arias’s 2008 interrogation after her arrest (posted in 4 parts) with notes on some of the similarities. Knox was only ever interrogated once, on 17 December 2007 (at her own request), in a couple of hours, so I also draw on some of her other statements.
Most of what Jodi Arias says is just babbling and rambling, a trait common to Knox. But unlike Knox, Arias doesn’t have a media campaign going on to release her, and Arias hasn’t been able to bend or corrupt any courts.
Part 1 (2 hours 40 minutes)
Part 2 (2 hours)
Part 3 (2 hours)
Part 4 (2 hours)
My view from watching this: Arias is truly emotionally vulnerable here, but even so, her mind is constantly trying to get her out of this.
The problem is that she doesn’t seem to register just how much the contradictions ensnare her. Arias, like Knox, thinks she can talks her way out of anything. She seems stunned that her ‘‘little-girl routine’’ doesn’t win over the police.
Arias seems to think during the police questionings, she can simply make it all go away if she keeps denying. Problem is, her interview is riddled with partial admissions. Knox seems to think that she can win over the media if she keeps denying ‘‘she killed her friend’‘.
However, when Arias finally does testify, she is cold, sarcastic, and testy. (Sound familiar?)
I imagine if Amanda Knox ‘‘had’’ been formally questioned without lawyers, it would have looked something like this. Yes, it is segmented, but it would be mindnumbing to do a complete transcript. However, there were many gems from this questioning. It is chilling to watch, but if you can, do it, and ask yourself if that isn’t another ‘‘Knox’’ performing there.
Note these telling exchanges, all from Part 1
(5:46) Det. Flores: I travelled all the way up here to talk to you. Because, I’ve been working on Travis’ case ever since it happened. And I know exactly what happened, how he was killed. I know a lot of details. And just recently we found quite a bit of evidence, and I’ll discuss that with you. The main thing that I’m looking for though is answers, on why certain things happened, and also to get your statement.
(6:25) Arias: Okay.
(6:35) Det Flores: A lot of details in this case haven’t been released to the public or even to Travis’ family yet. And those details are known only to us, and to the person who did it. And that’s why we’re here. I believe you know some of those details, and you can help us.
(6:51) Arias: I would love to help you in any way that I can
One of the most laughable statements ever made in the case. 8 hours later, she still won’t give them a straight answer.
(8:45) Arias: Should we record this? (reaching for the remote).
Seriously? Arias has been arrested for murder, and her first act is pretend to be ‘‘helping the police’‘. A bit like Knox, who insisted she was helping the police, even after being charged with Meredith’s murder
(10:35) Arias: I know that people have been posting a lot of really nice things on Facebook, you know, memories, and I thought maybe I should do that. And I realized looking back in it is sounded immature, more like a ‘‘Dear Travis’’ kind of letter, so I took it down…
(10:53) Det Flores: Personal?
(10:55) Arias: Yeah, some of it was personal, not too personal, nothing inappropriate.
At least least Arias isn’t emailing people questions about whether Travis likes anal, or what he uses vasoline for. Give her some credit.
(12:00) Arias: I didn’t realize until I was speaking with Ryan Burns, the guy that’s in Utah. We’ve been talking, we try not to talk about that, because it’s kinda like ... ugh (makes disgusted face). And plus Travis is my ex-boyfriend, so, when you’re mourning your friend, how do you talk to to your new potential mating person? .... So, it’s kind of a grey area.
Yes, Jodi thinks dead bodies are ‘‘yucky’‘, and that mourning an ex, while talking to a new potential partner is a ‘‘grey area’‘. Did she go run off to buy any lingerie?
(12:15) Arias: I try not to talk about it too much, but he [Travis] comes up a lot
Your ex-boyfriend was stabbed 29 times and shot in the head. Annoying, how often ‘‘he’’ comes up.
(12:20) Arias: And it was though him [Ryan] that he thought things were really weird, and some think that you had a hand in it.
Maybe because you find the topic of your ex so annoying when you try to spend time with new boyfriend….
(12:28) Det. Flores: I’ve talked to a lot of people. And everyone is pointing the finger at you.
(12:35) Arias: I know.
(12:36) Det Flores: Everyone is saying - I don’t understand what happened to Travis. I don’t know who killed him, but you need to look at Jodi. And sometimes the simplest answers are the correct ones.
Something Knox found out (and soon Arias soon will), is that when you have suspicions about someone, you bring them up immediately. You don’t wait until you become a supect yourself.
(13:30) Det. Flores: I know that you still had a relationship of convenience, even though you were not boyfriend/girlfriend anymore, that you two were still having sexual relations with ...
(13:45) Arias: Does his family know? Just curious.
(13:50) Det. Flores: No, his family doesn’t know anything.
(13:54) Arias: I’m interested in protecting how he is remembered as well.
Another laughable claim. Jodi would later accuse him of everything from being abusive and controlling to pedophilia. Knox uses Meredith’s memory to cash in on a blood money book ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘, does dozens of interviews claiming to be a victim, and uses her website to raise money for her legal fees to get off on Meredith’s murder.
(16:10) Arias: Too much of my nightlife was about him [Travis]. He would text ‘‘hey I’m getting sleepy….. zzzz’‘. That was his code for ‘‘coast is clear, come on over’‘. (long, unrelated rambling).
Less than 3 minutes after saying she wants to protect how Travis is remembered, Jodi is already implying Travis is horny, and leaking unnecessary details. An attempt to smear him? Who else does that?
(19:20) Arias: I used to always joke, ‘‘that, regardless of what the Bible says, and yes I’m Christian, I just live my life by the 10 commandments, and that those are my rules,
‘’ .... so I always used to joke about that.
Your ‘‘friend’’ has been savagely stabbed to death, and after being arrested you are making jokes about fornication. Who else would make such jokes after the loss of a close one?
For the next 15 minutes Arias babbles on about unrelated things. Det. Flores has incredible patience, as most would have slit their wrists listening to her. But finally he tries to pull Jodi back to the topic at hand.
He makes several attempts, but Arias keeps trying to divert the topic away from Travis and his death. After about 1/2 hour of Jodi talking nonsense, Detective Flores tries to get Jodi to give a timeline and direction of her travels.
(52:20) Det. Flores: So, you took this trip and you left on Monday the 2nd until Thursday?
(52:44) Arias: I think so.
(52:50) Det. Flores: So, we have here about 48 hours…. this trip would take you a little over 48 hours…. I have a problem with this trip.
(53:06) Arias: Well I first went to ....
(53:30) Det. Flores: I’ve gone over this trip over and over in my mind. There’s still 20-some odd hours, even if you pull over to sleep, a couple of times ....
(53:42) Arias: Did I tell you I got stranded?
(53:46) Det. Flores: Yeah, you mentioned that. If you slept for 10 hours, here and here (pointing on map), it would still leave 18 some odd hours, for something else. This is the trip that people are focusing on. People are saying that she left .... Travis was killed on Wednesday.
(54:22) Arias: I did not go near his house.
(54:27) Det Flores: I pulled your cell records. Your cell phone was turned off, between here and here (indicates on map). What does that show me?
(54:45) Arias: No, no, no.
(54:50) Det. Flores: Is there plenty of time for you to do this? Yes. And do I believe that you had come to visit Travis? Yes. Did you have the opportunity? Yes, there were no other witnesses.
(55:10) Arias: Well, I didn’t turn it off physically, but it died.
(55:16) Det. Flores: And you magically found your charger here? (pointing on map)
(55:20) Arias: It was under the passenger side of the front seat.
(55:23) Det. Flores: When you were lost, you couldn’t have pulled over and found it?
(55:41) Det. Flores: I’ve been focusing on why your phone turns off here, outside of Los Angeles ... because the [Highway] 15 goes through Las Vegas. It never goes through Arizona.
Detective Flores zeroed in on a huge gap Arias’ timeline. Why did a 48 hour trip take more than 3 days? He also noted that her cell phone was not active for most of that trip.
In Peugia, the police had noted a discrepancy in Sollecito’s timeline. He claimed to have reported the burglarly then waited outside for the police. In fact phone records showed the Postal Police showed up about 15-20 minutes before he made the call. It was later discovered that Knox and Sollecito had turned off their cell phones (something they never did), during the time of the murder.
(58:25) Det. Flores: Were you at Travis’ house on Wednesday?
(58:28) Arias: Absolutely not. I was nowhere near Mesa.
She is very sure then, but with some more questioning, she will not only be there, but a witness to the actual murder.
(58:40) Det. Flores: What if I could show you proof you were? Would that change your mind?
(58:45) Arias: I was not there. (trying to look convincing)
(58:59) Det. Flores: You were at Travis’ house. You had a sexual encounter. Which, there’s pictures. And I know you know there’s pictures, because I have them. I will show them to you. So, I am asking you to be honest with me. I know you were there.
(59:30) Arias: Are you sure that those pictures aren’t from another time?
(59:35) Det. Flores: Absolutely positive.
(59:40) Arias: The last time I had any sexual contact with Travis was in May.
(59:55) Det Flores: You know how I told you about the camera? The camera was damaged. Someone put it in the washing machine, ran it through a wash cycle, with some clothes of Travis’, but the card is intact. You know how I told you the card was destroyed? I didn’t want to tell you the truth, because I wanted to make sure the photos were accurate. We can pull deleted photos, even from 6 months ago. And I have pictures of you and Travis.
(1:01:00) Arias: Are you sure it was me? Because I was not there.
(1:01:00) Det. Flores: Jodi, it’s you.
Arias is trying to look and sound convincing, but her denials come out weaker and weaker. But the stunned look shows through.
(1:01:55) Arias: I didn’t hurt Travis. He’s done so much for me.
But like your Seattle ‘‘colleague’’ you will soon trash the memory of the person you called a friend.
(1:02:00) Arias: I lived there. I lived there for months and months.
Pretty much the excuse Knox used to explain her DNA being everywhere.
(1:02:15) Det. Flores: I know you took pictures in the shower just before he died.
(1:02:29) Arias: I don’t think he would allow that
Either you did, or you didn’t.
(1:05:30) Det. Flores: our record indicate you reported a gun stolen, a .25 auto, which just happens to be the same caliber used to kill Travis.
(1:06:10) Arias: A .25 auto was used to kill Travis?
Using a ‘‘drop piece’‘, reported stolen, brought to the murder scene. Knox brought one of Raffaele’s knives.
(1:06:18) Det. Flores: Do you want to see pictures of him?
(1:06:25) Arias: Part of me does, part of me doesn’t.
(1:06:30) Det. Flores: Why, because you don’t want to remember?
(1:06:35) Arias: No, there’s a morbid curiosity.
Arias is curious to see photos of Travis. In fact, she asks several times to see photos of him (after the fact). The detectives wonder if it is to help her come up with a story, but it is possible she just wanted to see her handiwork
Knox had also made several public demands to visit Meredith’s grave. Creepy as hell.
(1:06:50) Det. Flores: I can’t deny this evidence. The trip you took doesn’t make any sense, the opportunity was there, the pictures on that date with him, your blood is in the house - mixed with his, not alongside, but mixed, your hair is there is blood, and your palm print is there, in blood. Your image is not important, saving the rest of your life is.
(1:07:30) Arias: Listen, if I’m found guilty, I won’t have a life. I’m not guilty.
To compare Det. Flores’ listings: Knox’s account of the night/morning made no sense; she had access and opportunity; she had 5 spots of mixed DNA with Meredith, and oddly, NO fingerprints were found in Knox’s own home.
Jodi’s denial is extremely weak, just like many of the ‘‘no evidence’’ denials that Knox makes.
(1:08:20) Arias: I’m not a murderer, but if I were to do something like that I’d wear gloves, or something.
Wow…. way to be convincing.
(1:09:35) Arias: Let’s say for a second that I did. Suppose I say I did. Why
(1:09:50) Det. Flores: The motive is there. Anger, jealousy ....
Knox frequently argued along the lines of ‘‘there is no motive for me to do this’‘.
(1:29:30) Arias: If I was ever going to try to kill someone, I would use gloves. I’ve got plenty of them.
This is the second time Jodi mentions this. Like Amanda, she knows a little something about C.S.I.
(1:29:55) Det. Flores: Would they see your car, or did you park it down the street?
(1:30:05) Arias: No, they would see it, I drove an Infinite.
(1:31:42) Det. Flores: You know that all rental cars have GPS on them? For us to use….
(1:42:15) Arias: Is it possible that my memory card was in his camera, and they are interchangeable?
(1:43:30) Det Flores: You’re saying that someone took your pictures and your memory card and was framing you?
Knox has written before that she thinks Raffaele planted her fingerprints on the knife used to kill Meredith. Everything is a conspiracy.
(2:01:00) Arias: I’m trying to put his death behind me.
So…. you just want to get on with your life?
3. Numerous Other Similarities
- Arias had cuts on her fingers which she said was from ‘‘dropping glass’‘. She claimed that happens regularly. Police believed it was from the knife slipping in her hand.
- Knox had a cut on her neck which she said was from a ‘‘hickey’‘.
- Arias claimed her phone died while on the road and that she found her charger later
- Knox claimed she turned her phone off so she would not receive a text in case Patrick wanted her to come in afterall. She previously claimed that it was to preserve the charge for her Gubbio trip
- Arias was asked if anyone else was present at the scene. She invented a story about 2 masked intruders.
- Knox was told Sollecito removed her alibi. She invented a story about Lumumba doing the crime.
- Arias has given prison interviews and basked in the limelight
- Knox has given interviews since being released from prison and basked in the limelight.
- Arias refused her own suggestion for a lie detector test since if it wouldn’t help her in court,
- Knox says she will take a lie detector test, but never has.
- Arias attempted to destroy evidence, including attempting to destroy a camera in the washing machine.
- Knox attempted to selectively clean the crime scene, and pin it all on Rudy Guede
- Arias had the foresight to clean her feet before, going to the washing machine to throw the camera in.
- Knox (or Sollecito), had the foresight to clean his/her feet before going into Amanda’s room to grab the lamp.
- Arias had the foresight to clean her hands before grabbing Clorex to put in the washing machine
- Knox had the foresight to leave Meredith’s lamp, but use her own and wipe it for prints
- Arias put her licence back on upside down (it was removed while at Travis’ house).
- Knox put the bathmat (with Sollecito’s footprint), back upside down
- Arias staged a prior break-in so she could report a gun stolen, which she would later use.
- Knox staged a prior break in and later used some techniques on Meredith.
- Arias planned it by using a ‘‘trip to Utah’’ as a way of explaining her time away.
- Knox planned it by waiting for a time when no one else was home.
- Arias tried to wash Travis’ body to destroy evidence.attempted to destroy evidence.
- Knox (and Sollecito), stripped Meredith down to make it look like a rape.
- Arias called Travis’ phone and left voicemails to make it look like she didn’t know he was dead.
- Knox called Meredith’s phone to make it look like she was trying to reach her.
- Arias had sex with Travis prior to killing him
- Knox had sex with a drug dealer (Federico Martini), before and after killing Meredith.
- Arias caused Travis to think she was dangerous and a stalker, leading to police suspicion after.
- Knox caused Meredith and others to think she was pushy and weird, leading to police suspicion after .
- Arias rented a car, bought cans of gas (to avoid stopping at gas stations), reported her gun stolen (so suspicion wouldn’t be aroused), and turned off her phone.
- Knox brought a knife from Raffaele’s flat, brought 2 ‘‘frame-able’’ accomplices, chose a night no one was home, and turned off her phone.
- Arias attempted to rain hostility down on prosecutor Juan Martinez.
- Knox attempted to rain hostility down on prosecutor Guiliano Mignini.
- Arias flirted with the police who arrested her.
- Knox flirted with court officers.
- Arias went to her current boyfriend as if nothing happened.
- Knox went back to her life, including missing Meredith’s memorial.
- Arias murdered her ex-boyfriend.
- Knox murdered her roommate.
- Arias called Travis repeatedly just to hear his voicemail. Stalker?
- Knox texted Meredith repeatedly the day before. Stalker?
- Arias was born July 9, 1980.
- Knox was born July 9, 1987.
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Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Relevance Of The Ship Which Has Sunk In The Yangtze To National Justice System Upgrades?
Posted by Peter Quennell
Regarding the ship which just sank in the Yangtze River with a probable 400-plus deaths, and its relevance to justice systems everywhere?
Well, small inland ships (which are those most prone to a high death-rate) and their rules and regulations are outside the scope of the international body which sets rules and upgrades systems for seagoing vessels.
That is the United Nations agency in London called the International Maritime Organization or IMO. Small inland ships are unregulated unless the relevant government has unilaterally acted.
The IMO sets safety rules including design elements and it advances better rules and systems through conferences and training. It runs a big school in Sweden.
The IMO is NOT part of a world government, or a top down organization; like all of the UN development agencies it is a horizontal network, in its case of all the national maritime agencies in the world.
Their administrators and experts are incessantly heading to London to advance maritime matters in working groups. (The US is a big and enthusiastic player in all of the UN agencies via the relevant Federal departments - agriculture, health, transport, and so on.)
So in China, watch out for a bunch of systems changes with regard to those small vessels. But watch out also for a bunch of systems changes via the IMO at the global level, to try to head off more such catastrophes and to get the best possible rescue efforts going much faster.
The relevancy here?
In justice systems also, many lives are in the balance. But as mentioned in previous posts, the UN doesnt have an agency for justice systems upgrades, or even for a static thumbnail view of each one. It only has a small public administration development unit within the “United Nations proper” in New York.
There is no way that that unit is appropriate to resolving the huge and complex problems in the videos in the post below.
A lesson learned maybe above all others in the UN is that major system change should NOT be attempted in national or local isolation. It is too costly, and way too inefficient, and participants soon tire themselves out or loose interest.
Ideally a few or many countries all set about systems upgrades in parallel processes and they watch and share with one another.
The justice-systems problems in the videos below have many things in common. They seem very ripe for a global effort on the lines of maritime systems. Maybe Italy and the US could each contribute greatly to getting that alive.
Its not beyond us to explain this and to try to push for it. This would kinda trump calling top justice officials of this or that national system corrupt or bungling or criminal.
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Thursday, May 28, 2015
Justice System Reform Is Suddenly Everywhere On The Front Burner
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. The Justice System In The US
2. The Justice System In Mexico
3. The Justice System In China
4. The Justice System In Turkey
5. The Justice System In Britain
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Saturday, May 23, 2015
When Not Itself Nefariously Influenced, Italy’s Supreme Court Usually Sustains A Hard Line
Posted by Peter Quennell
The President of Italy at the first of a planned series of anti-mafia rallies
If there are any jurists in Italy who think the Fifth Chambers respected the law and the huge evidence, they are sure not speaking up yet.
A bent outcome? Certainly there have been attempts by organized crime and other unsavory elements to bend all the Italian courts at all levels (think Hellmann) and even at the Supreme Court level there seem to have been instances of successful bending.
But whereas in the US the administration of most justice is highly localized and most jurists have to run to keep up with evolving cases and trends in their own states, justice in Italy is highly centralised and all judges and lawyers follow all main cases.
Routes are many to keep an outcome that stinks from being left that way.
We are told to expect a scathing outpouring from numerous jurists when the Fifth Chambers pushes its report out. Also almost certain legal action and possible retaliation against Judges Marasca and especially Bruno via the powerful Counsel of Magistrates.
As their nervous defense lawyers will know all too well, two things in particular are not auspicious for Knox’s and Sollecito’s final outcome.
First, a huge push is now starting to finally rid Italy of the mafias. Like it or not Sollecito is related to mafioso of the same name and the seaside town in the Dominican Republic which he visited several times in recent months is said to be a thriving mafia hangout.
Now President Mattarella (himself a judge and mafia fighter) has kicked off a series of rallies throughout Italy to give all of the population courage and positive expectations. If he is appealed-to to reverse the Fifth Chambers verdict in Meredith’s case and he suspects organized crime had a vested interest in humiliating the Florence courts he may side with that appeal.
Second, if Cassation finds a way to revert to form on Meredith’s case it can be expected to reflect the hard line it demonstrated against the Hellmann-appeal outcome in 2013 and the hard line in for example this case among many similar.
Partners who manifest extreme jealous behaviour towards their other half are guilty of mistreatment, Italy’s highest court of appeal has said.
Italy’s Court of Cassation on Thursday overturned the acquittal of a Sicilian man for mistreating his wife.
The husband, who is from Sicily, allegedly suffered from “morbid jealousy”, also known as “delusional jealousy”, a psychological disorder in which a person wrongly believes their spouse or sexual partner is being unfaithful without having any real proof to back up their claim.
His jealous behaviour included constantly accusing his wife of being unfaithful, reading her text messages and even demanding that their daughter get a DNA test.
According to the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, his behaviour was so extreme that his wife even quit her job as a flight attendant because he said the job was “not suited to a respectable woman”.
In May 2014 an appeal’s court in Palermo, Sicily, acquitted the man of mistreating his wife.
But on Thursday Italy’s highest court overturned the acquittal, stating that such behaviour amounted to “psychological harassment”, a crime punishable by law.
“Constantly hassling the spouse with continuous manic and obsessive behaviour inspired by morbid jealousy constitutes mistreatment,” the court said, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano.
His behaviour caused “significant imitations and constraints in her daily life and choices, as well as an intolerable state of anxiety,” according to the court.
The case has now been reopened and the woman’s claims will be evaluated in another hearing, the paper said.
Jealousy a crime? Isn’t jealousy widely seen as a Knox trademark?
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chamber May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #3
Posted by Cardiol MD
1. This Series’ Foreboding Context
On March 27th, 2015 Cassation’s Fifth Chamber announced that it had decided that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were not guilty of the November 2007 Murder in Perugia of Meredith Kercher.
The Fifth Chamber is but one of Cassation’s more than 75 Panels. It’s reporting Judge is Antonio Paolo Bruno. He mas dismissive of the massive evidence. He was quoted as having said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.”
Posts #1-#2 addressed the fact that, contrary to Judge Bruno’s pronouncement, the trials had Many Certainties, listing them under 30 enumerated Headings, but in total, there were many more Certainties and Certainly-Nots, listed in sub-headings.
The existence, timings, durations, and general locations of All the telephone calls are Certains, or Certainly-Nots. They bring the Total up to Many; Many more than 30; Certainly Not “not many”, as Judge Bruno asserted, Inappropriately, Deceptively, and Prejudicially.
Note the distinctions between when, and where Message-Received, and -Sent, versus When, Where and Whether Message-Read, e.g. Knox was near the Women’s Villa when her Telephone received Lumumba’s crucial message, but allegedly at Sollecito’s Flat when she First-Read his message. In Knox’s officially reported Q&A Testimony there was Confusion and Ambiguity over this issue, exploited to Knox’s advantage
2. Certainties 31 to 42
31 THE FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
Details of the Fatal Sequence have been masked, over the years, apparently for humanitarian considerations, but such details should be available to readers who wish to more-objectively assess culpability. Here is what we have deduced:
Massei disagreed with the Reconstruction proposed by the Prosecution, which depicted Meredith on her knees, facing the floor:
a. Massei concluded that Meredith was in a standing position, facing her attackers:
MASSEI PAGE372-373: “…considering the neck wounds sustained, it must be believed that Meredith remained in the same position, in a standing position, while continuously exposing her neck to the action of the person striking her now on the right and now on the left. Such a situation seems inexplicable if one does not accept the presence of more than one attacker who, holding the girl, strongly restrained her movements and struck her on the right and on the left because of the position of each of the attackers with respect to her, by which it was easier to strike her from that [ End of p372; Start of p373: ] side. …”
b. Meredith’s autopsy was performed by Dr. Luca Lalli, but his detailed findings are not included in Massei’s report, they await their Translation into English.The Massei report includes only a limited paraphrase of Lalli’s findings.
32 CERTAINTY ONE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
In “Darkness Descending - the Murder of Meredith Kercher” Paul Russell (Author), Graham Johnson (Author), and Luciano Garofano (Author) give clearer, more detailed descriptions of Dr. Lalli’s findings than Massei does.
On pages 72-74 of DD it emerges that the cut (Stab A) made by A large knife in Meredith’s neck was on the left-side, ran obliquely from left-to-right, almost parallel to her jaw, and slightly Upwards.
33 CERTAINTY TWO re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
DD does state that the knife entered 8cm vertically below her left ear, 1.5cm horizontally towards the front of her neck, but does not specify the cut’s length.
34 CERTAINTY THREE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
A large knife created a gaping wound, visible only through the opened-skin of the Left-Side, continuing its travel under the skin, traveling across the mid-line plane, towards the right-side, exposing the oral cavity, fatty tissues and throat glands. Important jaw muscles were also severed.
35 CERTAINTY FOUR re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
As DD states, there was another stab wound (Stab B) on the right-hand side of Meredith’s neck, 1.5 cm long, penetrating 4 cm subcutaneously.
36 CERTAINTY FIVE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
Stab B was made by a Knife smaller than the above large knife.
37 CERTAINTY SIX re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
The wound was shallow, did not create a gaping wound, did not cut important subcutaneous structures, but did create a route to the exterior through which blood from Stab A, then created by the large knife on Meredith’s left side could also exit to Meredith’s right side.
38 CERTAINTY SEVEN re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
g. The large knife had damaged no significant vessels of the Left-Side.
39 CERTAINTY EIGHT re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
i. Blood also flooded the subcutaneous tissues around the breech in the right-hand side of Meredith’s airway caused by the knife-stab on the left-side of her neck.
40 CERTAINTY NINE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
j. This resulted in Meredith’s inhalation of her own blood.
41 CERTAINTY TEN re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
k. Meredith stops screaming, but now her blood seems to be everywhere, including over her attackers, and they quickly abandon her, already evading the accountability they are fully aware is theirs.
42 CERTAINTY ELEVEN re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
l. As DD comments, during Meredith’s Autopsy surprise was expressed that the Jugular Veins and Carotid Arteries (of both right and left sides) were intact.
Others who read about this murder, had concluded-then that the killers must have known about the major blood vessels (MBVs), but not about branches-of-Carotid-branches such as little RSTA.
3. Plus Beyond Reasonable Doubts
BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT ONE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
c. Accepting Massei’s conclusion, Knox and Sollecito were standing-up and facing Meredith in Meredith’s room. Knox, Sollecito and/or Guede, were participating in the restraining of Meredith.
BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT TWO re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
d. Sollecito (or Guede) was holding the smaller Knife, probably in his right hand. This smaller knife made Stab B.
BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT THREE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
Stab B preceded Stab A, and caused Meredith’s scream.
f. When Meredith screams Knox plunges Knife36 into Meredith’s neck in the above long-axis direction, from left to right, transecting Meredith’s Hyoid bone, first opening Meredith’s airway to the atmosphere, then transecting Meredith’s Right Superior Thyroid Artery.
BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT FOUR re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
e. Knox was holding Knife36, probably in Knox’s right hand, holding Knife36 against the left side of Meredith’s neck with Knife36’s point directed slightly upwards the right side of Meredith’s neck, the blade-label facing towards Knox, the palm of Knox’s right hand also facing towards Knox and the long-axis of Knife36 angled a few degrees above horizontal.
BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT FIVE re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
f. When Meredith screams Knox plunges Knife36 into Meredith’s neck in the above long-axis direction, from left to right, transecting Meredith’s Hyoid bone, first opening Meredith’s airway to the atmosphere, then transecting Meredith’s Right Superior Thyroid Artery.
BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT SIX re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
h. A thin stream of bright-red blood spurted from this artery to its exterior environment, probably through the cuts made in her skin to the outside by both knives.
(Consistent with bleeding from both cuts, Follain, in his book “A Death In Italy” states that Guede saw that blood was coming out of the left side of Meredith’s neck. Follain also states that Francesco Camana of the Rome forensic police, in Camana’s written report, that spurts of blood in the middle of Meredith’s chest made her sweatshirt more bloody on the right side than on the left side)
BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT SEVEN re FINAL FATAL SEQUENCE
i. The large knife was Knife-36, which had been brought to the murder room from Sollecito’s kitchen.
This series continues here.
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Monday, May 18, 2015
“What It Feels Like To Be Wrongly Accused” Could This Be Amanda Knox’s More Truthful First Draft?
Posted by Chimera
What finally was published. You may decide if this was a scrapped first draft, with due caution!
I wanted to get it all out now, so I don’t have to keep explaining it a a hundred times, like I have been on CNN, ABC, NBC, Daybreak, or my memoir, or anyone else who would listen.
I have this dream in my head that when you accuse someone of a horrific act they didn’t do, they inevitably experience shock, disorientation, confusion. They will likely get their name and photo in the paper, and forever be associated with a vile deed. The emotional scars will remain, and their families and friends will abandon them or at least lose trust. However, they did not suffer nearly as bad as you have, as some trauma, such as being slapped in the head, broke you down emotionally.
In all honesty, I know this is as strange to me as it is to everyone else. Since most people don’t angrily deny false accusations, they just let the pressure squeeze their temples, and they let it become hard to concentrate. But they are clearly acting suspiciously, if they don’t remember a fact correctly. But even when they are locked up for that vicious crime, it has to be considered that they are still trying to help the police.
Truthfully, when you falsely accuse someone of murder, police strangely wonder why you did not bring this knowledge up before. You try to keep a straight face, but there is tension in your right eyebrow, and below your right nostril and sometimes triggers you to twitch uncontrollably, making you self conscious about looking people in the face. There’s a pinpoint knot that spasms between your heart making it hard to sit still, as your lies are crumbling around you.
But the truth is, this is still much easier than being outside a murder room with your hands over your ears, while your ‘‘friend’’ is being murdered. After all, it could have been you. The stress is causing you to vaguely remember things, about obscure texts, and to forget if your boyfriend is with you. The stress causes you to smell, even after taking a shower, and to wake up first thing in the morning to buy bleach, as a sudden urge for housecleaning is therapeutic.
Honestly, it can be incredibly stressful to have to release this sudden burst of energy. You yell, are anxious, and hit yourself in the head. The police try to calm you down with food and drinks, but the visions and dreams are tormenting you, as you imagine that you have witnessed something horrific. Yes, your friend let out a huge scream as she died, but you are not really lying when you tell the police who did it. After all, your 2 hour police interview, or was is 14, 35 or 50? Or 150?... was tantamount to torture, and you should not have to be subjected to the stress of having to explain yourself a hundred times while the police investigate the murder of your friend. You suffered too.
My best truth is that when people don’t trust you after making these false accusations, the anxiety arrives even at the most safe and casual of circumstances. You’re hypersensitive to what people say, and how they say it. They seem skeptical when you refer to things constantly as your best truth, or the truth you remember, or the truth you think is closest to the truth. There is an accumulation of primal anger and grief that can give no satisfactory expression when you start talking about visions you had, or how you vaguely remembered something happening. There is always this thought: how can you reconcile with significant parts of society whose trust you have abused?
I have nothing but lies to be afraid of. But people take things out of context. Saying someone had their f***ing throat slit is a way of explaining how a person died (even if I didn’t ‘‘officially’’ know it). That person was my friend. People can’t admit they were wrong when I make gurgling sounds and call blood ‘‘yucky’‘. The can’t admit their mistakes when I say I only knew someone for a month, and want to get on with my life. That person was my friend. They find fault with everything when I say ‘‘shit happens’‘, and miss the memorial, because someone else made the decision for me. That person was my friend. They come up with speculation, and twist things around, and they are haters, when they complain about me wearing Beatles T-shirts in court.
In my head, the trauma felt by the victim of a wrongful accusation is foreign and unimaginable to the majority of people, that’s why I am here to help. By that I mean write this story, not just make up (more) false accusations.
But, in the closest version of the truth, these are the questions that need answered: Why is the person I falsely accused angry with me? Why is he not angry with the police for arresting him? And why are the police now suspicious of me after making a false accusation? Can they not see that I am a good person? Why are people angry when I give interviews of get a million dollar book deal? Can they not see I’ve suffered? I mean, my friend (whose name I forget), was murdered, but it could just as easily have been me. Why are people persecuting me? (loud sigh)
Honestly, I am a victim here. Why can you not see that?
Anyway, that’s all for now. Just need to get on with my life.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Updates: Sollecito’s Trial For Vilipendio And Diffamazione, Knox’s Trial For Calunnia #2
Posted by Peter Quennell
They are each essentially charged for lying to poison public opinion against officials, and Sollecito against the system, to try to win themselves illegal breaks at their murder trial and appeals. Knox in court in 2009, and Sollecito in his book in 2012.
The weekly magazine Oggi is also on trial for jubilantly publishing some of Knox’s numerous lies.
Yesterday in a Florence court a new court translation of the passages from Sollecito’s book fully quoted here were accepted by the presiding judge. They differed little if at all from what the prosecutor filed last year and brought the defenses no joy. Right now both the defenses seem stuck.
And on June 9th the calunnia trial against Knox will start in a Florence court. It would be smart for her to be there, as Sollecito usually is. As mentioned above, Knox is already indicted.
It is not clear who her lawyers will be. Sollecito had to field a new team. Ghirga and Dalla Vedova both helped Knox with her defamatory book and with her defamatory email to Judge Nencini in December 2013 in which Knox ludicrously claimed she had been tortured (for the mundane truth read here) and like Bongiorno and Maori they could feel they have conflicts here.
On June 16 Dr Mignini will testify in the Oggi trial in Bergamo north-east of Milan where Oggi is based against the editor Umberto Brindani and the reporter Giangavino Sulas for publishing illegal claims made in Knox’s 2013 book.
At that hearing Knox’s book may finally become the subject of charges on the same lines as Sollecito’s book. Italian legal opinion is not supportive of the pair or the sleazy moves that led to Cassation giving them a break
That break looks increasingly temporary now. Sollecito could face big fines and Knox could face up to six years. Brighter bulbs would have realized it is best not to confront Italian courts.
Archived in The former defendants, Amanda Knox, Officially involved, Police and CSI, The prosecutors, Trials 2008 & 2009, Massei defense, The Massei Report, Other legal processes, Knox calunnia, The main hoaxers, The Knox-Mellases, Knox's book
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