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Series 5 No pack attack hoax

Monday, August 10, 2015

Problems With Fred Davies #2: His Claims On Knives, Wounds And Stains Also Highly Mislead

Posted by James Raper

Several of the numerous scientific witnesses; some evidence was behind closed doors

Overview Of This Post

Remember that Amanda Knox, a felon for life, served three years for framing Patrick for murder.

In my previous post I dismissed the claim which the British barrister FG (Fred) Davies pervasively made in Parts 1 to 20 of his mammoth series in Criminal Law and Justice Weekly that it was actually Guede and his team who had somehow framed Knox and Sollecito for a crime he alone committed and left all of Italian law enforcement bamboozled.

I now have Parts 21 to 26 as well, all of the series, and I wish to examine one more large area of cherrypicked facts and misinterpretations, along with Davies’s final conclusion.

First, Fred Davies’s Final Scenario

As anticipated,  Davies concludes that Knox and Sollecito should only have been convicted of the charge of simulating a burglary. He presents his own synopsis of what happened on the night of the murder which has both Knox and Guede present at the cottage for the murder, but not Sollecito.

Davies says it is Guede who sexually assaults and stabs Meredith. Knox, unaware of what was going to happen is horrified and scared out of her wits, retreating to her bedroom and locking herself in.

Davies says Guede flees, ignoring or unable to do anything about the fact there is/was a witness to his horrific crime. When it’s safe to do so Knox emerges and meets up with Sollecito.

Davies says that Knox, fearing that if she went to the police she would only end up being accused of involvement in the murder, persuades Sollecito to be her alibi, and to stage the scene to point to a burglar, and Sollecito, being the Honour Bound sort of chap he is, agrees to go along with this. Once they both embark on this course of action there us no turning back.

I trust that you are all duly intrigued with Davies’s scenario and panting to learn how and why he arrives at it. Unfortunately this will have to wait until another day if it is to be from me.

He has, after all, taken 26 Chapters in half a year to get to this point and I am not yet ready to deal with them comprehensively. Others here may contribute posts and discuss implications with the Criminal Law editor.

Fred Davies On Knife Or Knives

Whilst I guess most comments are going to be about the above synopsis, I am going to deal with his thoughts regarding the knives, these being quite central to his synopsis.

My argument below is supported by numerous previous posters none of whom differed markedly from Massei or Nencini. 

Davies in contrast is sharply critical of Massei. He simply excludes the Double DNA knife (Exhibit 36) as the murder weapon.

He is also critical….nay, I would have to say that he is outraged…. at Massei holding that Sollecito was responsible for the lesser of the two wounds, that on the right side of Meredith’s neck. He is critical of Micheli for not finding, as a matter of fact, that Guede was the one responsible for the wounds, using his own knife which has yet to be recovered.

Without more ado I will proceed to Mr Davies’ evaluation:

“The finding against Sollecito that it was he who inflicted two of the three wounds to Meredith Kercher using a pocket knife which was in his possession at the material time is deeply flawed, offensive and wrong in law”

Well, I was unaware that Massei had found that Sollecito inflicted two of the three wounds. In fact I am not aware of three wounds (unless he includes what is effectively a nick) , but if there were then Massei only attempted to attribute two, the one to the right of the neck, 4 cms deep and with a width of 1.5 cms, being attributed to Sollecito’s “pocket knife“.

It did not cause any significant structural damage, unlike the wound to the left, 8 cms deep and 8 cms wide which had penetrated both Meredith’s larynx and the cartilage of the epiglottis, and had broken the hyoid bone. 

Is the rest “deeply flawed, offensive and wrong in law”?

“It could not have been part of the prosecution case that Sollecito used a pocket knife to subdue and stab Meredith Kercher. If it had why was Sollecito and/or Knox not charged with carrying the said pocket knife without justified reason? To recapitulate,, the charge alleged that the killing was achieved by means of………….and deep lesions to the left anterior-lateral and right lateral regions of the neck, caused by a bladed weapon (Exhibit 36).

The Massei Court’s finding strikes against basic principles of fairness which applies to all criminal proceedings. Put another way, a criminal court is not generally entitled to bring in a verdict which differs markedly from the basis on which the prosecution puts it’s case. This is because the defence would not be able to adequately prepare and meet such an unexpected contingency. In plain English the defence would be ambushed or taken by surprise. In this case the defence was ambushed and the defendants’ rights (Knox and Sollecito) were fundamentally infringed.”

Oh come on! Ambushed? Really?

OK, so the charge did indeed indicate that that both the right and left sided wounds were caused by “a bladed weapon to which Chapter B applies” (Exhibit 36) but the reality is that the defence always knew that Exhibit 36 (because of it’s dimensions and in particular it’s width 4cms from the tip) could not have been the cause of the wound to the left anterior lateral. That’s a matter of simple logic and in any event every expert and all the lawyers in the case agreed on that.

So the way the charge was erroneously framed in fact misled no-one.

Indeed had the defence thought so then they could have raised the matter. Mr Davies does not claim that Massei did not have the power to amend the indictment. If the court was unable to, or the defence chose not to raise it, either way thinking it was a clever appeal point, then it did not become one.

Indeed, Mr Davies will know anyway that in English law, by virtue of The Indictments Act 1915, courts can (and frequently do) order an amendment to an indictment at any stage (which includes during a trial) provided the amendment does not result in an injustice to the accused.  This is a practical necessity as it would be an affront to the concept of justice if defendants were to be acquitted on the basis of a mere technicality.

One might consider what amendment might have been made.

A possibility is that reference to the right-sided wound might have been excluded. It was the left-sided wound that was fatal, after all, and caused, as the prosecution would endeavour to prove, by a weapon which, as it happened, belonged to Sollecito.

The prosecution did, of course, maintain that it was Knox who wielded the weapon, but might, as an alternative, have also asserted that it was Sollecito. Indeed the framing of the charge leaves it an open question as to which of them did. They were charged jointly with having caused Meredith’s death.

The evidence that it may have been either (AK or RS) is a common feature of cases to which the English legal doctrine of joint criminal enterprise applies.

The doctrine applies particularly to a case such as this in that no matter who actually wields the weapon the other participant in the common enterprise is deemed to possess the same level of criminal liability even if he did not know that there was a knife or that it would be so used. Being reckless as to that possibility is sufficient.

It is surprising how often how little is required to establish joint enterprise. Frequently the mere fact that the participants know each other and were there, and that the situation was a combustible one of the group’s making, is enough. The doctrine has come in for a great deal of justified criticism but despite this remains firm law.

My preference would have been to amend the indictment to refer to the right sided wound being caused by a bladed weapon, the blade being of indeterminate length but with a width of approximately 1.5 cms. It is the width of the wound that is salient because it is indicative of the width of the blade on the knife being used which, whilst also being indicative of the likely length of the blade, but without being sure, could be either a pocket knife (4 cms or more) or a flick knife (which could also be a pocket knife). 1.5 cms is about the width of the tip of one’s index finger, by the way.

Massei, and others, always refer to this knife as a pocket knife. However henceforth I am going to write “pocket knife“ to refer to the options of a pocket knife with a blade of 4cms or more, or a flick knife.

As to Mr Davies other point as to why Sollecito was not specifically charged with carrying a “pocket knife” without justified reason, I do not know, but since the framing of charges is a matter for the prosecution, one might as well leave the matter there.

In any event the lack of a specific charge does not in any way preclude a court from inferring the nature of a weapon from the pathology of the wound nor from identifying the probable assailant (as distinct from having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the culpability of a single perpetrator named in a specific charge of “carrying“).

Guede did not ever face a specific charge of carrying a weapon but that does not prevent Mr Davis from concluding that Guede had a knife and had stabbed Meredith. It seems that Mr Davies would have been quite happy for Guede to have been so charged and convicted on Professor Vinci’s (see later) dubious testimony.

In this last respect, however, Mr Davies could have more telling argument. Lets see.

“To infer that Sollecito had a pocket knife at Via della Pergola 7 on the fateful evening of November 1-2, based on the character evidence of four witnesses called for the defence, was to say the least highly unusual..”

I think the operative words here are “witnesses called for the defence”, amongst whom was Sollecito’s own father. Yes, highly unusual but then that is what happens when you do not vet your own character witnesses before cross-examination.

Sollecito’s proclivity for carrying a knife (usually a pocket knife) at all times (and indeed he had one on him at the time of his arrest in the Police Station) is highly relevant. These witnesses referred to a knife with a blade of about 4 cms, or perhaps 6 cms.

In addition Sollecito was something of a knife aficionado. The police found two specialist knives, a Spiderco and a 2004 model Brian Tighe. Neither of these can be connected to Meredith’s wounds but they are indicative of his affinity to weapons specifically designed to be used in a fight to maim or kill. Clearly a flick knife falls into the same category.

As to proclivity evidence against Guede one can refer to his brief possession of a kitchen knife acquired at and belonging to the Milan nursery (which he did not break into, he had been given a key).

There is, of course, Tramontano’s dubious claim (angrily dismissed by Micheli even though Guede was never given the chance to challenge this in court) that a black man broke into his property and, confronted by Tramontano, had pulled out a flick knife as he exited. Tramontano tried to claim the burglar was probably Guede based on a photo of him he had seen in a newspaper. If it really was Guede he was not carrying that knife with him at the Milan nursery 8 weeks later.

“Even if Sollecito was present at the scene of the crime (as distinct from being complicit), the court could not have been sure that any “pocket knife” in his possession, which incidentally was never recovered, had inflicted all or some of the injuries, the most cogent rationale being:

1. The prosecution could not prove the dimensions and the character of the knife were consistent with the injuries inflicted upon Meredith Kercher.

2. The Court paid scant regard to the totality of expert opinion as to the type of bladed weapon (or weapons) which had been used to stab the victim

3. The Court paid scant regard to the dimensions of a bloody outline of a knife found on Meredith’s pillow

4. Consequently the Court could not have been sure that any pocket knife and, a fortiori, exhibit 36 had been used to stab Meredith that fateful night.”

As to 1 above, we know that no suitable weapon was ever recovered but if the indictment had been amended in accordance with my preference then the prosecution would easily have proved that part of the indictment, relating as it does to the wound on the right side of the neck.

It is a reasonable inference on the balance of probabilities that the wound was caused by a “pocket knife” and if one accepts the presence of multiple attackers (which I understand is a judicial truth in the case even following the latest acquittal of Knox and Sollecito) then, again on the balance of probabilities, and taking into account all the other circumstantial evidence in the case, I submit that it is a reasonable inference that it was Sollecito’s “pocket knife“.

The bar of “beyond a reasonable doubt” applies to culpability re the specified charge and is not to be confused with the elements.

As to 2, this simply is not true. I shall look at the totality of the expert opinion in a moment but suffice it to say that Massei spent a considerable amount of time in his Motivation detailing with and discussing the defence experts’ opinions.

As to 3, (and it was not on the pillow but the bedsheet) it was Professor Vinci’s contention that the bloody outline (there was a dual outline, he said) was left by a knife with a blade 11.3 cms long or a knife with a blade 9.6 cms long with a congruent section of handle 1.7 cms long (9.6 + 1.7 = 11.3). Davies does not mention a blade width but in fact Professor Vinci actually says 1.3 to 1.4 cms wide.

Taking these measurements as read, Davies points out that they are incompatible with either a pocket knife (such as Sollecito had a proclivity to carry) and Exhibit 36. I have no argument with that observation. It follows, he then argues, that one has to infer the presence of a third knife in any hypothesis and if a pocket knife and Exhibit 36 are already accounted for by Knox and Sollecito then a reasonable inference is that the third knife would have to be Guede’s. Indeed (Davies does not say this, but I will) Professor Vinci’s blade is not incompatible a priori with either of the two wounds.

This is worth looking at seriously as so far it is the only worthwhile point Davies has made.

First of all I have to say that I have searched for but have not found any rebuttal evidence or comment from the prosecution amongst the documents on the Wiki.  I do not even see a question on the matter in the cross-examination of Professor Vinci.

Massei only briefly commented about the bloody outline on the bed sheet.  He opined that the blood stains were certainly “suggestive” but insufficient to establish any clear outlines from which reliable measurements could be established. Clearly then he did not accord any reliability to Professor Vinci’s measurements. But is Massei right? One does not have to be an expert to consider this.

First of all, here are images of the blood stains.

In the picture below the stained section of sheet is cut out for analysis the day after the discovery of the murder.

Did the prosecution overlook their own analysis of the stains? Did they deliberately do so after Exhibit 36 was found, 9 days later on the 12th November, to have Meredith’s DNA on it? Or did they always know that the stains established nothing?

The next question to be asked is whether we can see the outline of a knife, or rather a blade. I think the honest answer to that is, on balance, yes. We think we see the tip of a blade, do we not? Maybe two, maybe even three.

It is fairly clear that Professor Vinci takes the largest of the stains to be the hilt of the handle to the knife. Lining that up with what is perhaps the likely clearest possible perceived blade tip (being the middle out of a possible three I believe I see) then the distance to the perceived hilt is indeed something like the 9.6 cms which Professor Vinci has measured.

But there are problems. Here are two of Ergon’s photos from his posts here and here with Exhibit 36 superimposed on the stains in two different positions to reflect the supposed dual outlines.

The blob of blood in the bottom left of the pictures and it’s lesser moon at 1, or 2, o’clock are regarded as having come from the same position on the blade and so with that reference point the blade is positioned accordingly in each photo.

We can surely take it that Professor Vinci also sees the same duality. But if the bloody hilt is aligned to fit with “the moon” stain in order to get the 9.6 cms measurement, then what has happened to that large hilt stain when the knife is moved further to the left, and then dropped a bit, to align to the moon’s planet (the blob)?

It has either disappeared or become an edge. That doesn’t make sense if “the moon” is the lesser version of the blob. The blob has to come from the first positioning of the knife. Despite this, in the knife’s later position the volume of blood at the hilt has actually increased comparative to the knife’s first position. That doesn’t make sense either.

So maybe the largest stain pre-exists, even for perhaps a moment, the stains suggesting the blade outlines, but in that case we can throw Professor Vinci’s measurements out of the window.

Can we do without the blob and it’s moon? It’s all a lot less convincing without them. But in truth we cannot even be sure that they are related. Nor that the largest stain has anything to do with the hilt of a knife.

A further connected observation concerns Professor Vinci’s claim that the blade of the knife is 1.3/1.4 cms wide. Like the rest of his evidence I do not find this very convincing. I suspect that he has deduced this from the largest stain which has a length, he says, of 1.7 cms. It’s width could then be something like 1.3/1.4 cms.

If the width of the knife is represented by approximately 1.4 cms then, given the position of the bloody hilt relative to the tip of it’s blade, what are we to make of the two spots of blood in a horizontal line above? They look like the upper (or lower) edge of a knife but they can’t be without making the blade wider.

Why does it have to be the same knife anyway? The stains could be the result of two different knives collected and laid to rest in the same spot.

The blood stains are certainly bewitching - rather like seeing patterns in tea leaves at the bottom of one’s cup - but on the balance of probabilities I would not totally rely on anyone’s perception of them even, with all due respect, Ergon’s but his analysis is as good as anyone’s, and that for me is the point of it.

In short I think that Massei was probably right. These stains are suggestive but basically useless and the police/prosecution ignored them for that reason.

“Consistent with English law the Massei Court’s findings should be struck down as Wednesbury unreasonable. Where there is no evidence to support a finding of a court or the court has reached a conclusion which is irrational or perverse, in the light of the evidence adduced at trial, a conviction based on that part of the evidence cannot be sustained……….The Massei Court also appears to have violated Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to a fair trial),”

Yeah, right.  The case to which he refers, Associated Provincial Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1KB 223, is an odd and unnecessary one to pray in aid.  It was a civil case where the appellant sought judicial review in respect of a licencing decision. As a formulation of a first principle of natural justice it is, of course, unquestionable. However the claim that Massei reached a conclusion that was irrational or perverse is laughable.

It is at this point that one does begin to wonder whether Davies is indeed connected in some way with the daffy Nigel Scott (Sollecito‘s ex Lib Dem Haringey Councillor groupie) who similarly emerges with bizarre arguments.

Next, in his evaluation, we come to a numbers game as to who was for and against the incompatibility of Exhibit 36 with the fatal wound on the left side, but before I enter into that game I want to make a point about incompatibility.

A knife blade is only incompatible with a wound if the depth of the wound is longer than the length of the blade or if the width of the wound is shorter than the width of the blade at the relevant depth.

We can therefore establish that Exhibit 36 was not incompatible, a priori, with the depth of the wound.  The blade on Exhibit 36 was 17. 5 cms long and the depth of the wound was 8 cms.

Yes, I know that other arguments as to incompatibility were advanced based, in the main, on these measurements. These Massei logically deconstructed. In fairness to Mr Davies he did not advance them in his evaluation and so neither shall I.

I would also have to concede that Sollecito’s “pocket knife” is not incompatible a priori with the wound on the left side nor, even if it‘s length of blade was over 4 cms, with the wound on the right. Nor Professor Vinci’s knife either.

The same is true of the width of these knives.

It should however be recalled that the width of the right-sided wound was also 8 cms. That is over 5 times the width of the “pocket knife”. The width of the blade on Exhibit 36 - 8 cms from it’s tip - was twice the width of the blade on the “pocket knife”.

This fact, and the robustness of the larger weapon, particularly with regard to the observed butchering at the base of the right-sided cut, makes Exhibit 36 a far more likely candidate, in my submission, than a “pocket knife“, and that’s without taking into account Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

Returning to our numbers game, Mr Davies puts it slightly differently from Massei. He says -

“And if that were not enough, of the 8 experts who gave evidence on the point, two (Dr Liviero and Professor Bacci) opined that Exhibit 36 could have caused the fatal wound to Meredith’s left side. Professor Norelli could not rule out Exhibit 36. Professor Ronchi’s opinion is not clear due to the use of the “double negative” (non-incompatibility)  - it will be assumed that he supported the prosecution contention, but in any event al the remaining four experts, Professors Introna, Torre, Cingolani and Dr Patumi) opined that Exhibit 36 could be ruled out.”

In other words a draw but one of the prosecution experts is a bit “iffy”.

Massei tells us that Dr Liviero concluded “definite compatibility“, Dr Lalli and Professors Bacci and Norelli “compatibility” whilst “non- incompatibility” came from the 3 GIP experts nominated at a preliminary hearing. The latter were Professors Aprile, Cingolani and Ronchi.

“Non-incompatibility” is not hard to understand. It simply means not incompatible or rather, compatible.

Note that Mr Davies has Professor Cingolani lining up to exclude Exhibit 36. Massei disagrees and I agree with Massei. So, for what it is worth (and this is a bit childish I know) Mr Davies loses the game 7 - 3.

“And one final thought. If the defendants (Knox and Sollecito) were sufficiently compos mentis to dispose of the pocket knife …. Why did they not dispose of Exhibit 36?  By a process of deduction and logical synthesis the answer is plain for all to see: Exhibit 36 never left Corso Garibaldi and was not the murder weapon ”

Because it was on his landlord’s inventory of kitchen items? Indeed we don’t know for sure that the “pocket knife “was actually disposed of. All we know is that it was not identified and recovered by the police.

And In Conclusion

This is the second of my posts involving Mr Davies. I may not be disposed to do any more. I have to say that although he certainly provided some food for thought on this one, I have not been impressed with his analysis in the topics I have covered so far.

Others here have been tabulating other factual errors and forced arguments and as I mentioned at the start we may see them carry this a bit further.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Problems With Fred Davies #1: Did Guede’s Separate Trial REALLY Impact Negatively On RS And AK?

Posted by James Raper

1. Summary Of The Complaints

I want to write about the separate trials of Guede on the one hand and Knox and Sollecito on the other.

This feature has often been criticized by the apologists for Knox and Sollecito, and I was surprised to learn just recently that their gripe seems to have some support in learned establishments in the UK! Ahem.

The gripe concerns the Fast Track trial of Rudy Guede, and the consequent Supreme Court confirmation of his conviction, with the apologists arguing that these had an adverse and unfair effect upon the proceedings in which Knox and Sollecito were involved. It is based on the simple fact that Guede chose to be tried separately, this being seen as an unfair complication for the administration of justice in the Italian justice system.

There are a number of complaints that the usual apologists have regarding the separate trial of Guede. Most of these are in fact fantasies as I will address.

These complaints, or constant refrains, which some apologists fondly thought could form the basis of a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in due course, can be summarised as follows -

    1.  That the proceedings concerning Guede established various tenets the most important one of which was the multiple attacker scenario, and that this unfairly affected Knox and Sollecito bearing in mind that their defence was based on the Lone-Wolf scenario.

    2.  That the evidence in the Guede proceedings could never be effectively challenged by the Knox and Sollecito camps.

    3.  That, in consequence of which, Knox and Sollecito had virtually already been convicted by the judiciary by the time of their own trial.

    4.  That Guede was allowed to give evidence against Knox and Sollecito at both his own trial and at the Hellmann appeal hearing without effective cross-examination. Had this been the case the defence would likely have exposed and demonstrated his sole responsibility for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Indeed had he been tried together with Knox and Sollecito this could well have happened at the Massei trial.

    5.  That Hellmann was right to give no probity value to the content of Guede’s sentencing and the subsequent annulment unfairly allowed material that was prejudicial for the aforesaid reasons into the Nencini Appeal.

    6.  That Guede was induced into electing for a separate trial with the promise of a reduced sentence should he be convicted - this being to prosecution’s advantage re the case against Knox and Sollecito.

2. How Overall The Complaints Are Wrong

I think that we know what fast-track is by now, so I will not dwell on that. Guede’s trial was over relatively quickly. It lasted a month and likely consisted of about 3-4 hearings. There were just a few witnesses called.

The judge, Micheli, in addition, dwelt on all the evidence in the investigative file including witness statements and forensics. This was because Guede was charged with murder “in complicity with others” and because Micheli also had to make the decision whether or not to commit Knox and Sollecito to stand trial as the other accomplices.

Before I address whether or not there could be any justification at all for the apologists’ above complaints I would like to mention that learned quarter to which I referred at the outset.

I recently stumbled (with the help of the apologists’ website) across the Criminal Law and Justice Weekly website.

I was surprised to learn that various articles had been appearing on it under the heading of “The Brutal Killing of Meredith Kercher - A critical examination of the trials and subsequent appeal hearings of Rudy Hermann Guede, Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.”

Lexis Nexis ( publishers and distributors of legal material to the legal profession in the UK)  describe Criminal Law and Justice as….”the leading weekly resource for criminal law practitioners and all those working within the courts and criminal justice areas.”

The articles are by an F. G Davies, described as a Barrister and listed in Anthony and Berryman’s Magistrates Court Guide as a Deputy Justices Clerk, North Cambridgeshire, in England. He is also a contributor and specialist editor to Justices of the Peace Law Reports.

Online image associated with an annual legal-fees guide which FG Davies edits

Here are two quotes I picked out relevant to this post about separate trials.

“This supports the writer’s contention made earlier that the holding of separate trials for co-accused was wrong in principle and law because the prosecution were alleging that at all three defendants committed the crime acting in concert”


“It provided Guede with a golden opportunity to minimize his part in the attack upon and murder of Meredith Kercher, loading the blame on to Knox and Sollecito who, by this time were suspected to be chief architects of the attack.”

It is of course perfectly true that in the anglo-saxon world Guede would not have had the choice to elect for trial separately from his co-accused. It might have made for a very interesting trial for everyone concerned if he had stood trial together with Knox and Sollecito, but for reasons I will explain later I doubt it, or that Knox and Sollecito would have gained any advantage from it.

Indeed separate trials had rendered a very specific advantage to the Knox and Sollecito camps in that Guede had already been convicted when Knox and Sollecito stood trial, a fact that their PR campaign and followers have drilled home at every conceivable opportunity.

But what on earth does it mean to say that “the holding of a separate trial [for Guede] was wrong in principle and law”?  .

Whose law? Whose principles? Just how deeply does the Deputy Justices Clerk delve into the respective systems of justice (and particularly the Italian one) for a comparative evaluation?

Certainly on the basis of a quick read of his articles I would say that he hasn’t delved very far at all. In fact I will go further and say that despite that he is capable of a detailed review of various aspects of the case he pretty much shares the same hostility and concerns based upon parochialism and ignorance to be found on the usual apologists’ websites.

So I will try to put him and the apologists right on how the Italians cope, as a matter of law, with any evidential difficulties that separate trials can throw up.

However, let’s start first with the assertion that the fast-track trial “provided Guede with a golden opportunity to minimize his part in the attack upon and murder of Meredith Kercher, loading the blame on to Knox and Sollecito”? Is that true?

Guede admitted that he was present at the scene of the murder and he has always minimized his part in the attack, in fact denying that he had any part. This is all to be found in his statements pre trial. He would have minimized his part even if he had been tried with his co-accused and had given evidence. Given that he was not believed anyway, it is difficult to detect wherein lies the golden opportunity of a fast track trial.

It is also difficult to envisage what cross examination formula (and the point of it) would have been available to the Knox and Sollecito defence teams as to Guede’s minimal role or otherwise given that Knox and Sollecito maintain that they were not there and thus are hardly in a position to dispute Guede‘s version.

Did Guede load the blame onto Knox and Sollecito?  The answer to that is that he did directly implicate Knox but not Sollecito. Again this is all to be found in his pre-trial statements and interviews with the police and investigating magistrates. Whilst on the toilet he had heard the doorbell ring, Meredith call out “Who is it?“ and later say “We need to talk” followed by another woman’s voice, which he thought was Amanda, replying “What’s happening?“ He had also claimed to have seen, through Filomena’s bedroom window, a female figure with flowing hair and had recognised the shape as being that of Amanda Knox.

It might be useful at this point just to pause and remember when Guede could have been cross-examined on this by the Knox and Sollecito defence teams.

Guede was called to give evidence during the Massei trial but declined to give evidence. Not surprising given that he was appealing his own conviction at the time. This was heard two weeks after the conclusion of the Massei trial.

He then appeared at the Hellmann trial by which time he already had a definitive conviction. On this occasion he did respond to questioning and I shall look at this a little later.

3. The Specific Mistakes In Each Complaint

Let us return now to the apologists standard refrains as I listed them at the beginning.

1.  That the proceedings concerning Guede established various tenets the most important one of which was the multiple attacker scenario, and that this unfairly affected Knox and Sollecito bearing in mind that their defence was based on the Lone-Wolf scenario.

One might also add the staged break in and some others as well which were all considered by Micheli and endorsed by Massei.

However as at the conclusion of the Massei trial Guede’s first appeal was still extant and the Supreme Court’s definitive reflections on the multiple attacker scenario were still a year off. Nothing had been written in stone at that point. If the multiple attacker scenario became a tenet of the case then it would be more accurate to say that it became so because of Massei joining up with Micheli.

But let’s also take in the second refrain to consider alongside the first at this point.

2.  That the evidence in the Guede proceedings could never be effectively challenged by the Knox and Sollecito camps.

This really is pretty rich. So what? Knox and Sollecito were not on trial there. And what to make of the Massei trial which of course is when Knox and Sollecito then wheeled out their big guns; the expensive lawyers and experts in telecommunications, forensic pathology, forensic DNA, ballistics and footprint analysis?

The Massei trial may have taken its time but it was nevertheless (unlike Guede’s trial) a full blooded adversarial trial of first instance, lasting a year, with the prosecution producing each and every one of it’s witnesses for rigorous cross-examination by the defence.

It was Massei that confirmed the multiple attacker scenario on the basis solely of that evidence and with scarce a mention of Guede’s sentencing report. It is lame to argue that Massei was in any way constrained by Micheli’s reasoning on the matter though his judgement was indeed available.

However Massei did make the following observation -

“……the reconstruction of the facts leads to the unavoidable conclusion that he (Guede) was one of the main protagonists (writer’s note: no concession to Guede’s chances on appeal, then?); thus it is not possible to avoid speaking of Guede in relation to the hypothesised criminal facts. The defence of the accused in particular have requested the examination of texts concerning only Rudy, and have demanded the results, specifically concerning Guede of the investigative activities carried out by the police in particular. In fact they have expressly indicated Guede as being the author, and the sole author, of the criminal acts perpetrated on the person of Meredith Kercher.”

So here we see the defence making the running on Guede (without Guede being present as a co-accused to dispute anything) to include any and all evidence as to his alleged criminal background with the precise purpose of bolstering the Lone Wolf scenario, all of which was duly evaluated by Massei.

[One might think, in addition to the above, that Guede would have had cause to complain about the indictments for Knox and Sollecito, in that both were indicted, and subsequently convicted, with the crime of murder “in complicity with Rudy Hermann Guede”, although he still had two appeals left and theoretically (though not realistically) it was still possible for him to be acquitted of the crime. However the drawing up of indictments in separate trials, and how the judiciary would deal with an outcome such as above (which I don’t think would be difficult) would be a topic for another discussion.]

3.  That, in consequence of which, Knox and Sollecito had virtually already been convicted by the judiciary by the time of their own trial.

This is so lame by any objective standard, but it is amazing just how often this particular drum is beaten. However our Deputy Justices Clerk would probably subscribe to this. He develops an argument akin to this which he terms the Forbidden Reasoning (echoes of Preston’s “The Forbidden Killer”?) which is basically that Micheli made a number of errors which were then compounded in subsequent hearings.

4.  That Guede was allowed to give evidence against Knox and Sollecito at both his own trial and at the Hellmann appeal hearing without effective cross-examination. Had this been the case the defence would likely have exposed and demonstrated his sole responsibility for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Indeed had he been tried together with Knox and Sollecito this could well have happened at the Massei trial.

The evidence that implicated Knox I have already mentioned. It is not entirely decisive in that it is not a solid ID of Knox at the crime scene. At the Hellmann appeal Guede added this in an exchange with Knox‘s lawyer -

DEFENSE ATTORNEY DALLA VEDOVA—And therefore, Mr. Guede, when you wrote verbatim that it was a “horrible murder of Meredith a lovely wonderful young woman, by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox” what do you mean exactly? Have you ever said this?
WITNESS—Well, I… this, I’ve never said it explicitly, in this way, but I’ve always thought it.
WITNESS—No, it’s very true………………………………..............  So if I wrote those words it’s because I’ve always had them inside of me. It’s not up to me to decide who it was who killed Meredith, in the statement that I made in my trial, I always said who was there in that home that damned night, so, I think I’m not saying anything new……

In another exchange, this time with Bongiorno, Guede makes it clear that he is not planning to answer any further questions about what happened that night but this is because he has already stated (statements and recorded interviews etc), and stands by, all that he has to say about it.  Thus all that is taken into evidence perfectly properly. The matter is then left to rest by the defence.

Indeed it is difficult to conceive what further effective cross-examination could have occurred in this situation because clearly Guede would have responded with exactly the same answer each time.

The above exchanges also show just why it is unlikely that there would have been any fireworks had Guede been tried with his co-accused.

Guede would not have been obliged to give oral testimony any more than were Knox and Sollecito and in the event that he had done so (and I think it would have been in his interests to do so) his evidence would not only have been the same but it would have been subject to the same limitations, which would have been zealously protected by his lawyers, that had protected Knox when she gave oral evidence.

On due consideration it might have been a somewhat tetchy affair for the lawyers but it would not have been in the interests of any of the respective teams of lawyers for there to have been any surprises such as Guede moving from beyond what he had already said in pre-trial statements to a solid ID of Knox from the witness box. That wouldn’t have particularly helped Guede as it would have affected his credibility even further. They all had prepared positions to protect and Guede’s presence would be neither that much of an added threat nor an advantage for Knox and Sollecito.

5.  That Hellmann was right to give no probity value to the content of Guede’s sentencing and the subsequent annulment unfairly allowed material that was prejudicial for the aforesaid reasons into the Nencini Appeal.

Now we are into the law, Italian law that is, and how it coped with separate trials of co-accused.

By this time Guede’s conviction, remember, had been ruled as definitive by the Supreme Court.

This is what Hellmann said about that -

“……. in truth, this judgement, acquired pursuant to article 238 and so utilisable under the probative framework only as one of it’s evaluative elements pursuant to article 192.…………….. already appears in itself a particularly weak element, from the moment that this judgement related to Rudy Guede had been carried out under the fast track procedure.”

It will be useful to consider some of Prosecutor-General Galati’s observations in the prosecution’s appeal submission and we can do this because the Supreme Court agreed with him.

This is what the Supreme Court said -

“The submission on the violation of article 238 …….is correct. Even though (Hellmann) obtained the final judgement pronounced by this court against Rudy Guede, after properly considering that the judgement was not binding, it has completely “snubbed” the content of the same, also neutralizing it’s undeniable value as circumstantial evidence on the presupposition that it’s profile was particularly weak, since the judgement was based at the state of proceedings without the enrichment acquired as a result of the renewal of the investigations hearing arranged on appeal, In reality, the court was not authorised at all, for this reason alone, to ignore the content of the definitive judgement.”

The enrichment referred to would of course have been the Independent Expert’s evidence (subsequently debunked by Nencini) and the Supreme Court also added that in any event article 238 was not impaired at all by the fact that the first instance trial was fast track.

At the end of the day this was just poor argument by Hellmann but it was symptomatic of the many flaws that underlay much if not all of his reasoning for acquittal.

More importantly for me and in addition to the foregoing the Supreme Court delivered a withering criticism of Hellmann’s understanding of circumstantial evidence and how to evaluate and treat it in its broad spectrum.

However, how can and what elements contained in the separate trial of one co-accused have any probative weight in the trial of the others?

Prosecutor-General Galati puts it like this. The Supreme Court’s rulings -

“have now settled definitively regarding the interpretation according to which finalised judgements can be acquired by the proceedings, as provided for by the indicated law, but they do not constitute full proof of the facts ascertained by them, but necessitate corroborations not differing from the declarations of the co-accused in the same proceedings or in a connected proceeding………………………………......
Naturally this confirmation is not directly used for the purpose of proof but as corroboration of other circumstantial pieces of evidence or of evidence already acquired, not very different from what happens when declarations of collaborators with justice corroborate each other.”

In the event the only material from Guede that really seems to me to have hitherto been extraneous to the first instance trial of Knox and Sollecito was the inclusion at the Nencini appeal of Guede’s partial ID of Knox at the scene and his evidence as to Meredith’s missing money, which were corroborative of elements of evidence that had appeared at the Massei trial; in the case of the missing money for instance, the missing credit cards and Filomena’s testimony that at a meeting shortly before both the murder and the day the rent was due Meredith had told her that she had the cash to hand and was prepared to hand it over there and then.

No such money was found at the crime scene. One suspects that these two elements would have been more prominent at the Massei trial, and have been motivated more attentively, had the three been tried together. In the event Guede’s partial ID of Knox was not even mentioned by Massei and Knox and Sollecito, in the absence of any evaluation of Guede’s evidence, were acquitted (not even motivated at all in fact) of the charge of theft in relation to the money and the credit cards.

Given the foregoing I would argue that Knox and Sollecito derived an advantage rather than a disadvantage from the separate trials.

Furthermore I would argue that the material from Guede’s separate proceedings was not particularly damaging given the overall context of the evidence already directly available from the trial of Knox and Sollecito (which received some but in truth did not require much corroborative confirmation from Guede’s separate trial) and which in itself was sufficient to found a verdict of “beyond reasonable doubt”, but it did supply some useful insight into a motive when of course Hellmann had found none and Massei had supplied a rather improbable one.

6.  That Guede was induced into electing for a separate trial with the promise of a reduced sentence should he be convicted - this being to prosecution’s advantage re the case against Knox and Sollecito.

Needless to say this is what you get from desperate and deluded minds. Guede’s lawyer has explained why his client took his advice and the decision was perfectly rational and in Guede’s interests. Guede was entitled to a third off his sentence from choosing fast track though I am no fan of that. Furthermore I have explained why no particular advantage accrued to the prosecution from this choice other than that it probably foreshortened the time that a full trial of the three would have taken.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sollecito v Italy & Guede: My Subtitled YouTubes Of Rudy Guede’s Interview with Leosini

Posted by Eric Paroissien

Thursday, January 22, 2015

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

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Above: “Neutral ghostwriter” Andrew Gumbel tweets…

1, Today In The Florence Court

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

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

2. Signs Gumbel Really Is A Shill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. How Gumbel Got It Wrong

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

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

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

To the Guardian:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #4: Chimera Examines The Most Inflammatory Angles

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

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

1. Overview Of This Series And Post

Tomorrow is the day when the wraps come off the prosecutions’ targets in the book.

This is also when Sollecito & Gumbel might try to justify themselves though they have a tough task ahead of them. For Sollecito and Gumbel (and also Knox and Kulman) their books actually constitute four kinds of problems;

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

As mentioned in the previous post, a separate new TJMK pasge will soon take the book apart definitively. To this many posters have contributed.

Also we will have a new TJMK page on all of the lies of omission and who tends to avoid what area of evidence. .

2. Examination By Chimera Of Sollecito Book

In Part 1 Chimera addrresses problem (4) the truths and half-truths.

In Part 2 Chimera comes up with an alternative synopsis of the book.

In Part 3 Chimera Suggests why there could have been pre-meditation.

1. Examination Of RS’s Truthfulness

[page xv] ‘’....Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting….’‘

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

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

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

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

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

This only makes sense if and only if:

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

A failure on those parameters points to an inside job.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[page 27 contains the following lines:]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what does Sollecito list in just this paragraph?

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

Can’t see why this would attract police attention…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The night of November first.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This section is almost 100% true

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

Also true, and great police work.

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

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

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

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

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

At Raffaele’s first hearing:

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

Why would Judge Matteini have reason to doubt his story?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sounds very likely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most rational people would come to the same conclusions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are 3 possibilities here, all bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do I really need to explain this one?

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

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

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

This sounds disturbingly like another attempt to subvert justice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why would you need ‘luck’ from a judge?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No kidding.

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

Amanda puts her foot in her mouth? Yup.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Synopsis Of “Honor Bound”

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

(22) My cellphone was turned off.

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

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

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

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

(27) The following dialogue:

‘’ ....Don’t do anything stupid.’‘

‘’ ....Now what do we do?’‘

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

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

‘’ .... Nothing has been taken.’‘

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(46) Vanessa made inquiries on my behalf.

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

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

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

(50) I like to carry knives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(83) Amanda made admissions she tried to retract.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(112) I decline to answer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(125) I am at peace with everything.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Premeditation And Why RS Goes No Further

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

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

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

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

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

This makes sense if:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So. What will the judges of Cassation be seeing?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

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

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

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

1. The Court Contenders

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

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

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

2. The Specific Charges

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

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

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

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

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


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

3. Nature Of The Claims

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Example Claim One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Example Claim 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mignini’s volley of lawsuits had an unmistakable chilling effect, especially on the Italian press, and played a clear role in tipping public opinion against us. We weren’t the only ones mounting the fight of our lives in court, and it was difficult not to interpret this legal onslaught as part of Mignini’s campaign to beat back the abuse-of-office charges. His approach seemed singularly vindictive. Not only did we have to sit in prison while the murder trial dragged on; it seemed he wanted to throw our friends and supporters - anyone who voiced a sympathetic opinion in public - into prison right alongside us.

6. Example Claim 3

Our brief response to this for now is that this was long ago revealed to be a hoax (an example of a key fact left out). Neither the police nor the prosecution were in any way involved. A fake positive for HIV turned up, Knox was warned not to be concerned, and she was soon told that a new test showed her fine. Her list of recent sex partners was her idea, and its leaking to the media was demonstrably a family and defense-team thing (an example of a key fact left out).

[Page 101-102] The prosecution’s tactics grew nastier, never more so than when Amanda was taken to the prison infirmary the day after Patrick’s release and told she had tested positive for HIV.

She was devastated. She wrote in her diary, “I don’t want to die. I want to get married and have children. I want to create something good. I want to get old. I want my time. I want my life. Why why why? I can’t believe this.”

For a week she was tormented with the idea that she would contract AIDS in prison, serving time for a crime she did not commit. But the whole thing was a ruse, designed to frighten her into admitting how many men she had slept with. When asked, she provided a list of her sexual partners, and the contraceptive method she had used with each. Only then was she told the test was a false positive

To the prosecution, the information must have been a disappointment: seven partners in all, of whom four were boyfriends she had never made a secret of, and three she qualified as one-night stands. Rudy Guede was not on the list, and neither was anyone else who might prove useful in the case. She hadn’t been handing herself around like candy at Le Chic, as Patrick now alleged. She’d fooled around with two guys soon after arriving in Italy, neither of them at Patrick’s bar, and then she had been with me. Okay, so she was no Mother Teresa. But neither was she the whore of Babylon.

To compound the nastiness, the list was eventually leaked to the media, with the erroneous twist that the seven partners on the list were just the men she’d had since arriving in Perugia. Whatever one thought of Amanda and her free-spirited American attitude toward sex, this callous disregard for her privacy and her feelings was the behavior of savages.

7. Looking Forward

More posts to come.  We are going to open the floodgates on our own analysis of the book if the court on thursday takes a significant step forward.

Note that Sollecito has to contend with negative Italian public opinion as his claims bitterly disparaging to Italy itself (see the post below) are finally repeated in translation by the media and so become better known - at a disastrous time for him and Knox, two months before Cassation decides on their failed appeal.

In late 2012 after the book came out the TV crime show Porta a Porta gave Dr Sollecito quite a roasting on the first claim here and anger continued for some days more. He and Sollecito’s sister may be in court but no surprises if they are not. Knox could also react - the second and third claims above also appear in her book. 

Friday, January 02, 2015

The Serial-Burglar Arm Of The Rudy Guede Hoax: Testimony 2009 In Court Provided ZERO Proof

Posted by Peter Quennell

Maria Del Prato in the inner courtyard in Milan from which her pre-school opens off

1. Summary Of The Hoax

To the present day no UK or US media have ever reported properly this key segment of the 2009 trial.

Had they ever done so the now-pervasive notion of Guede as sole perp - lone wolf - would never have gained the ground that it has. UK and US followers would understand why ALL courts said three were at the scene and the breakin was faked. 

2. 2009 Trial Attempts To Incriminate Guede

All the testimony about supposed break-ins by Guede was presented by the defense on 26 July and 27 July 2009.  These were two lackluster half-days for the defense. 

3. Summary Of What It Amounted To

That trial testimony fell far short of providing the numerous Rudy Guede demonizers with all they now claim. Here are the witnesses the defenses called. 

1. Pre-school principal Maria Del Prato

She came across as understanding and fair. Maria Del Prato conceded that Guede probably had a key loaned to him by one of her staff which explained why no break-in charges were lodged.  Milan police did not just let him go, they checked his record with Perugia police (he had none and police knew little or nothing of him) and knew where he was for a possible later charge.

2. Christian Tramontano

Tramontano was a security guard and bouncer. There is a noted tendencies in those occupations to claim acts of bravery which in many cases never happened. This looked to cops like one such instance. His one-page police report filed late said he called the cops; there is no record.

He had claimed someone threatened him in his house in the dark with a knife who he much later said looked like a shot of Guede in the papers.He was never called to court. At a hearing in October 2008 Judge Micheli sharply denounced him in his absence as having made things up and wasted police and court time.

3. Lawyers Matteo Palazzoli and Brocchi

Matteo Palazzoli had first encountered the break-in scene during a Sunday night visit to his office and found his computer gone. He did not elaborate very much, and seemed glad to be gone.

His colleague Lawyer Brocchi who had the least involvement talked the most - but he could be read as pointing a finger away from what he believed really happened for brownie points with the court.

Here courtesy of Miriam’s translations is the key 2009 trial testimony

Click for Post:  Guede Hoax: Translation Of Lawyers Testimony #1 On Breakin Shows No Concrete Connection To Guede

Click for Post:  Guede Hoax: Translation Of Lawyers Testimony #2 On Breakin Shows No Concrete Connection To Guede

4. A Major Unfairness To Guede

We have knocked chips off Guede in the past, but how this testimony (albeit mild) opened the gates to a wave of innuendo was simply unfair. HE WAS NOT EVEN IN COURT.

Neither he nor his lawyers were there to cross-examine the witnesses or call more witnesses of their own and the prosecution did not ask even one question. Nobody asked what legal documents may have been involved.

This has allowed supposition to grow unchallenged, though it looked like a red-herring by the defenses at the time.

5. What Guede’s Team Could Have Brought Out

Note what Guede if his team had been present could have brought out:

1. Nobody in Italy is given precautionary custody simply for possessing several items none of which were reported as stolen which conceivably could have been passed to him by another perp. When those were later proven stolen Guede was charged and he was recently sentenced in Milan to another 16 months.

2. The French window one floor above the ground in the dark around the back would have been easy to break into on a Saturday night according to Matteo Palazzoli by simply climbing up the grill over the French window below and then using the balcony to break through.

This is very far from the supposed scenario for Guede breaking into Filomena’s window

    (1) during Perugia’s late rush-hour on a weekday evening with a lot of cars and people still around,

    (2) under a great deal of light both from the street lights and the carpark lights above,

    (3) bypassing several other much easier entrances all of them in deep dark,

    (4) while leaving no prints and no DNA anywhere outside the window or in the room,

    (5) on a day when as far as he knew all four girls were in town (in fact three of them still were).

3. Zero fingerprints were found in the lawyers’ offices though a great many items had been touched.

4. What appear to be the tools of a habitual burglar were left at the scene.

5. The burglar alarm dial-out had been disabled by someone who knew the special trick to doing that.

6. The copier was switched on and some quantity of copy paper and several USB drives with legal data were gone.

7. A front window had been opened and then not fully closed, seemingly to pass things through to someone waiting with a car.

Payback or warning by a legal opponent? Such things are not unknown. Neither lawyer ever systematically reported a theft to the police. No comprehensive investigation was ever begun.

Paolo Brocchi claimed he didnt even know that one of his cellphones was gone. Matteo Palazzoli never gave the serial number of his computer to the police. Palazzoli could only weakly testify that Guede came by - to say he was not the real thief.

Each seemed embarrassed to be put on the stand by a flailing defense and simply anxious to move on.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Guede Hoax: Translation Of Lawyers Testimony #1 On Breakin Shows No Concrete Connection To Guede

Posted by Peter Quennell

Christmas in Milan where Rudy had an ambiguous encounter in a pre-school in October 2007

Our previous post showed the giant scale and surreal flavor, and the hard facts left out of the innuendo, of the crackpots of the Knox-Mellas campaign.

Innuendo will get them precisely nowhere. All the courts that have processed the case have warned about this, except for the hapless Judge Hellmann’s, and in March 2013 Cassation was especially sharp in warning that unless there is EVIDENCE to the contrary the hard facts presented to the panels of judges must be respected.

For evidentiary reasons exclusively, Rudy Guede has never been charged with breaking and entering. Guede got no breaks, ever, contrary to myriad claims.

The one questionable location where he was found was the nursery school in Milan. As he apparently used a key from one of the staff, any breakin trial would have been dead on arrival. No law required that he be detained. (He was however later charged with being in possession of stolen property,  and just a few days ago his sentence was extended by 16 months.)

The previous post in this series showed how similar to the BACK BALCONY route to a forced break-in of Meredith’s house was the supposed route into the Perugia lawyers’ offices. It had nothing in common with Filomena’s window, contrary to myriad claims.

This post and the next in this series show how the evidentiary proof that it was Guede (and not someone with a grudge or a trial opponent) who broke into the Perugia lawyers’ office is ambiguous and contradictory. Some signs point away from Guede, not least that photocopies apparently made of legal documentation (the copier was on and copy paper missing) would have required the use of a car.

This post is on the testimony of the lawyer Brocchi (owner of the cellphone) and the third post is on the testimony of the lawyer Palazolli (owner of the Sony Vaio computer). Brocchi was quite talkative, despite his minor role, and so we will hold our highlights and interpretation for the next post.

The extensive translation of the difficult language here and in the post still to come was kindly provided by Miriam.

The witness, admonished pursuant to Article 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code, reads the oath.

General Information: Paolo Brocchi born in Rome, March 2, 1968

GCM: Please proceed.

LM:  Good Morning, lawyer Maori, for the defense of Sollecito.

PB: Good morning.

LM: It is an unnecessary question, but I must ask it. The first question is this: what profession do you hold?

PB: Lawyer.

LM: Where is your legal office?

PB: In via del Roscetto no.3 in Perugia.

LM: Did your office undergo a burglary in 2007, in October 2007?

PB: Yes.

LM: Can you tell us how this burglary took place, how the thieves got in, and what was taken?

PB: Certainly, the burglary was discovered by my colleague lawyer Palazzoli, the owner of the office, he told me about it on a Sunday afternoon, because the theft took place….. It was done between the night of 13th and 14th of October 2007, a night between Saturday and Sunday. The burglary was discovered by my colleague, the lawyer Palazzoli, on Sunday afternoon, because he entered the office to look for a professional file, and upon entering he discovered the burglary. The person or persons that entered inside the office, from what we were able to reconstruct together with members of the Squadra Mobile that intervened for us at the office, they entered through a window situated in the secretary’s office that was subjected to broken glass, the glass of this window was broken with the aid of a piece of porphyry, a big rock that we found there at the spot. The window was broken, then these persons or person turned the handle. The glass clearly was spread everywhere, because it was a rather thick glass. After which, on top of these pieces of glass we found our clothes. For the most part the glass was scattered on the floor and on top of the glass were our jackets, mine and my colleague’s Palazzoli, that had been hanging on the clothes hanger in the corridor right in front of the window.

LM: Excuse me if I interrupt you, to reconstruct the dynamics of the event exactly . It would seem   that the 13th of October was a Saturday.

PB:  From what I remember, yes.

LM: Your colleague had remained in the office until….........

PB: No, I stayed in the office. Saturday I remained in the office because I had a client on Saturday   afternoon, that was something anomalous, but it was for an urgent discussion. I called for a meeting that Saturday morning, then he arrived in the afternoon, and I left the office at 8.30 pm that Saturday.

LM: 8.30 pm that Saturday and after, the following Sunday, the evening…...

PB: The day after, Sunday, I was called on the telephone by lawyer Palazzoli, who told me “Look somebody came into the office, I have already called the Carabinieri”, who then because of the jurisdiction of the old town center, as we found out, alerted the Squadra Mobile of the State Police.

LM: Does your office have an alarm?

PB:  The office was fitted out with an alarm, but that evening it was not activated, because, as I reconstruct the event, it had just been installed. That evening I left at 8.30 pm. I remember perfectly that I did not activate the alarm system. The strange thing that I can highlight in connection here is that I noticed the alarm system the next day, when we entered, was not damaged, the bright light was functioning even if it was dis-activated, and the person or persons that entered did not damage the alarm, they only dis-activated the telephonic combination, thus with this they manifested a minimum confidence, a certain competence in the subject matter of alarms, of electronics, because to dis-activate a telephonic combination without damaging the alarm, I would not be capable, even being the owner, thus I would not have this competence.

LM:  One other thing. You spoke then about a window that …..

PB:  Yes, apparently

LM:  Was that the only break in?

BB:  Yes

LM:  Is it a window that gives onto the main street or onto a private court yard?

PB:  No, this window gives out to a private court yard that is than protected from the public street by an exterior gate. So it is probable…. I don’t know if can be possible…. because close to that window there are other windows of other apartments, there are… there is a window that is about one meter from the balcony of my office, so everything is possible. But this person or persons if they came from the public street would have to open a gate that gives on private property and then, with the help of I don’t know which tools, climb up for three, four meters on a vertical wall to then arrive to the terrace ,where was located my office, where it is still located, first up to this window and then through this window enter inside my office, if this was the way in.

LM:  However this break in took place in this window, three/four meters high.

PB:  More or less

LM:  Did you find a ladder close by?

PB:  No

LM:  Did you find other tools?

PB:  No. I remember that we inspected with the Squadra Mobile crew. I should say that the property below us has a door, an armored mesh and a particularly able person could have climbed up. Could have, I don’t know, this is just an assumption.

LM:  Anyhow it was not easy to climb up.

PB:  Absolutely not.

LM:  Before, you spoke about this rock, this porphyry..

PB:  Yes

LM:  Where was it found, inside or outside?

PB:  Strangely, right on the little terrace, evidently the person or persons that entered with the help of this very heavy porphyry because a double glass had to be broken, it was not a thin glass, but it was that type of glass utilized mainly for thermal insulation, certainly not for security reasons, evidently it needed a heavy impact in order to somehow succeed in the intent, otherwise a small piece of rock would evidently have been sufficient.

LM:  What was taken from inside the office?

PB:  So, at first we noticed that the office was in a state of general disarray : all the archive was turned upside down, all the files of the offices were piled up in a heap. But from the first inventory that we did there at the moment, this was missing: a new computer belonging to the lawyer Palazzoli, a note book the brand of which I absolutely do not remember [actually a Sony], a USB flash drive used to save data, a portable Canon printer which was mine, and then a few days later, when I was contacted by a crew of the Police of Milan, agent Spesi Rita, I realized that they had also stolen a cell phone, that anyhow was not working properly, that furthermore was included in the process of investigation (SDI) of the Police Force. Therefore there was also this cell phone, that beforehad I had quit using and didn’t even remember about, that was in the drawer of my desk.

LM:  Lawyer, were money and checks stolen too?

PB: No, there were none.

LM: On this I have to challenge, that you on the complaint of the burglary indicated also checks from the Banca delle Marche [were stolen].

PB: No I will explain the reasoning. Those checks at the first moment appeared to us not present. There was a block that was finished, but then after checking with the bank, those checks had been annulled, so in reality they hadn’t been stolen. The verification that we did at the bank the Monday after, highlighted that I had annulled those checks and the bank had trace of it, so nobody took anything.

LM:  Another thing before speaking of the recovery of the computer, you told us of the small havoc done inside your office.

PB:  Yes.

LM:  You spoke of the ransacking, in addition to, as you said before, of the broken glass with your clothes on top. Was also the photo-copy machine utilized?

PB:  I am not able to say that. It was easily usable because it was not code protected, but this I am not able to…

LM:  Did they turn on the heating?

PB:  Yes, when we entered the heating system was on, as matter of fact there was a torrid temperature inside the office, because it remained on, I think, more than 24 hours, in a month, October, that was not particularly cold. Furthermore I noticed that this person or persons that entered inside my office even made use of drinks that were in a cabinet, leaving…. they even opened the cabinet of the first aid meticulously looking for everything that was inside, but more than anything else disinfectants and blood pressure gauge, this type of things, but they really did an accurate selection of the material present inside the first aid cabinet.

LM: Returning to the computer, the property of…..

PB: Of the lawyer Palazzoli, yes.

LM: Was it discovered at a later date?

PB: Well, we never saw it. I say, that the 27th of October 2007, around noon, it was a Saturday, I was in the office in a anomalous way because generally I had the first 3 hours at school and the last 3 hours are normally always….. making 6 hours Saturday morning. But that morning I left early and I was in the office. A telephone call came in on the land line, a call from the police station Venezia Garibaldi from the Milan Police, the agent Rita Spesi, who told me that they had found an individual, of whom I was not given general information, nor the gender, I was only told that certain goods were on this individual, that if I remember correctly they were found inside a kindergarten, a school, an institute of learning, and in this instance, among goods that were in possession of this individual or better held by this individual, this person also had this cellphone. Turning it on, my name appeared, and from here the police officer by way of a search of the SDI system of investigation, saw my complaint of theft of October 15th 2007, and so she asked me if proveably those goods were my property.

LM:  Therefore the telephone and computer?

PB:  Telephone without doubt, the computer was described to me, it was not mine, I manifested doubts in the sense that…... well I had never seen it, or used it, because it was my colleague’s, who had just bought it, a short time ago he had just bought it. On the computer I manifested doubts. On the telephone, on the telephone however by way of the names of the address menu, the clients and friends of mine, I was able to confirm with certainty that at least my SIM card was on that phone.

LM:  It is a Sony model…..no excuse me…..

PB: No, the telephone is a Nokia.

LM: It is a Nokia, model 6310.

PB: Nokia, for sure, the model now not….....

LM: Like this one, so to….....

PB: Yes, exactly.

LM: 6310.

PB: It is the same color, if I remember correctly.

LM: However this is not yours, it is mine.

PB: No, fine.

LM:  Was the name of the person that was stopped given to you by agent Rita Spessi?

PB:  No, absolutely not.

LM:  Did you then find out the name of this person?

PB:  No, this happened on October 27th when the police officer calls me. All ends with this telephone call in which I stated I recognized at least the cell phone. On October 29th, a Monday afternoon I am in the office and on the phone with some clients. October 29th, I may be mistaken, but I believe I mentally reconstructed the facts in this way, I did not take notes, I must be honest. October 29th my attention - I was on the phone - my attention was drawn by a commotion in the lobby, the common reception area outside the office. I hear voices in the corridor, I am still on the phone, afterward I get closer to see that an assistant of the office, Dott. Luciano Morini, is speaking with someone. Before I can realize what is happening, he tells me “Look Paolo, here is a person that says that he was found with merchandise, goods, objects that were reported stolen by you and your colleague Palazzoli, but that he bought them in Milan close to the train station in central Milan”. At which I go to the corridor and I see, at the entrance of the lobby, a colored person that has a basketball in his hands and is dressed in sport clothes. These things surprised me, because we were at the end of October and it was kind of cold, it struck me quite a bit seeing this person in sport clothes, a tank top like those used by basketball players, and a basketball. I recognized the basketball because I played basketball for twenty years, so I know how to recognize one.  At that point I say: “Look I don’t know who you are”, he answered: “I don’t know who you are either”, I replied: “ Look we are only interested in having our belongings returned” and that was all. At that point I went back to the office. I don’t know if the person stayed in front of the office, and anyhow I close the door and there it ended. A few weeks later, may be a month later, I’m not sure, some time later I see on the newspapers photographs of a person that was associated with the matters of this proceeding, from which I recognized the person that presented himself that afternoon on October 29th, before the matters that brought to this proceeding, at the office to say that, yes he was found at that location in Milan by the crew of the Squadra Mobile, of the police station Venezia Garibaldi, that he did not…. tell me but tell to my colleague Morini, that he did not take anything from anybody but those things he obtained by purchasing them.

LM:  Who is this person? Can you give us a name and surname?

PB: Doctor Luciano Morini that…....

LM: No, no, I say…....you told us of your assistant. You said that this colored person that you did not know, that you saw for the first time October 29th 2007, then at a later stage had the means to see by the newspaper who it was.

PB: Yes.

LM:  Can you give us the name and surname of this person?

PB: I believe that I recognized in that person this Mr. Rudy Hermann Guede, that is not a defendant   in this proceeding, but is involved in the other one…..

LM: Always in reference to October 29th , at the moment this person came to your studio, you said : “This person arrived , and spoke with my colleague Morini”.

PB:  Yes.

LM: And he told you: “I do not know you”. These are the exact words that you said before?

PB: When I was on the landing, I said….....

LM: That which Guede said to you.

PB: That which I said to him, because I spoke first and said: “Look I do not know who you are”. He responds: “ I don’t know who you are either”, furthermore in a perfect Italian, with a Perugian accent, something that surprised me, because been a person…… but everything is possible. To which I told him, “look let’s cut it short we are not interested. We are only interested in getting our goods back ”, end.

LM:  But naturally you knew the subject of the discussion between….

PB:  Because a moment before Dr. Morini related to me “look there is a person outside that says that he bought goods that you and your colleague reported stolen, he bought them in Milan”.

LM:  One last thing. Concerning the computer of your colleague Pazzoli, do you remember the brand, the model?

PB:  No, I’m not able to answer.

LM:  Thank you.

GCM:  Please proceed.

LG:  Excuse me Lawyer Brocchi, I am Ghirga. Your office is on which street?

PB:  Via del Roscetto, 3.

LG:  First…. You already told us the height, can you repeat it?

PB:  The office is on a raised floor, technically, it is not a first floor, is a raised ground floor, that means that from the entrance of the building you go up ten steps to enter the condominium, then on the left end side there is the entrance to the office.

LG:  An what about this terrace window?

PB:  It is on the other side of the building.

LG:  From the outside how much can it…

PB:  Let’s say that are a few meters, may be three, four, but I am not able …..because I never measured it.

LG:  But you were speaking of an access from another street that intersects Via del Roscetto?

PB:  Exactly there is an intersection, Via del Lupo, going downhill.

LG:  Via del Lupo

PB:  Via del Lupo, if I remember correctly, it goes down till you reach a dead end, it comes to a courtyard behind the building and then there is another courtyard that is private property enclosed by a gate. If these person or persons entered through here they would have had to open that gate to get inside to what I described before to get into the office.

LG:  Thank you, I wanted to clarify that.

GCM:  Mr. Prosecutor, please proceed.

PM:  (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

PB:  In effect I don’t know. Seeing as I was alerted to these happenings by agent Rita Spessi of the police station Venezia Garibaldi, sometime later, together with my colleague, we filed an application for the repossession of these goods at the central penal record office of the Procura di Milano, via Manara. After 24 hours an agent, an operator, or a clerk of the central penal record office, calls me on the telephone and tells me: “Look, Lawyer, we saw the application of release, but to us form 21, does not result in any procedure”. To which I said: “How can it be that no form 21 procedure shows up ? The agents would have done a CNR, or not? At least by the end of their duty, having found a person in possession of stolen goods should have reported…”, “Look , there are no results of this procedure”

PM:  (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

PB:  Form 21, subject known, in the sense that in the Procura della Repubblica there are various forms, 21, 45, 44, relative documents, etc.

PM:  (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

PB:  No, I looked for it as a form 21, but even then they…..I even asked: “Be patient, I will look for it on the other forms”, to which he said: “We cannot find it”. Given that some time had passed this caused me some surprise. That’s it.

PM:  But they notified you (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

PB:  No, never.

PM:  So then this procedure in any case is not a charge (inaudible - outside the microphone)?

PB:  This I don’t know. I only say that the application of release, I filed it, and that the central penal record office of the Procura called telling me that they could not find the application filed by me and my colleague as the offended parties and no other relative documents regarding this procedure.

PM:  When did this happen?

PB:  2008, last year in the spring, months and months after…..

PM:  Did you by any chance verify if there was (unintelligible audible-outside the microphone)?

PB:  No, no.

PM:  (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

LM:  I oppose this question by the Public Prosecutor because I would like to make it known to the court that we know that there is a penal proceeding, the Public Prosecutor D’Amico in Milan even has it. We asked for the acquisition, and we have right here……

GCM:  Excuse me lawyer, what is the motive for your opposition?

LM:  Because the Public Prosecutor is asking if there is a penal proceeding, when in reality……

GMC:  Excuse me Lawyer, but the Public prosecutor is asking questions to the witness on what he knows. That if evidences comes out from other sources, they will be acquired. The objection is rejected. Please Public Prosecutor.

PM:  (unintelligible - no microphone) ?

PB:  Yes, it is a palace of the 15 century

PM:  Do you know, by chance, which was the path (unintelligible – no microphone)?

PB:  I can presume it, having found the glasses in the inside, that….

Note: in this moment the PM microphone is turned on

PM:  Therefore before I could not be heard.

GCM:  The answers have been…

PM:  The answers were…

GCM:  Yes.

PM:  I understand.

GCM:  The other questions… excuse me, the Public Prosecutor was asking if something to you results…

PM:  If there is a proceeding, and you say there is not one.

PB:  No, I don’t say there isn’t one, It does not result from me because the the central penal record office of the Procura di Milan, calling me on the telephone, referred to me the day after, that up to that date there was no registration. Now, everything is possible, that they it registered it later, I don’t know.

PM:  You did not have any news, in any case…

PB:  Never, never.

PM:  Did you receive an extension of the investigation?

PB:  Never, never.

PM:  Let’s go back to the position of this… then this office is on the ground floor…

PB:  Raised ground floor.

PM:  … raised ground floor. From what point do you arrive?

PB:  On via della Roscetto there are 2 windows on the raised ground floor, on the street front, that are the rooms of my colleague Palazzoli and mine. Then there are…

PM:  What is the distance from the ground?

PB:  From via della Roscetto it is minimum 3 meters, yes 3 meters, because I am tall… well it’s 2 or 3 meters. Then going down via del Lupo, there is a slope, until this public courtyard, because via del Lupo is a dead end. Thereafter, from this side the height increases, let’s say, it increases slightly after this small slope, therefore the ground goes up and there is an internal court yard that is accessible from the public courtyard through an iron gate. Going through this gate you arrive at this private courtyard, than there is an armored door with a mesh, so that one with the mesh is on the ground floor, looking up you see this balcony, this little terrace that is outside is my office, that is situated ….. more than three meters, between three and four meters from ground level.

PM:  So, this door with the mesh is a door and not a window.

PB:  No, it is a door

PM:  Therefore all the way to the ground.

PB:  Yes

PM:  How high is it?

PB:  More than two meters for sure.

PM:  So after this door, there is another meter to arrive… or a meter and a half, two meters?

PB:  I presume at least another meter.

PM:  Another meter to arrive to the balcony.

PB:  At least.

PM:  Where was the porphyry rock found?

PB:  On the balcony, on the outside.

PM:  You said that inside … can you describe what you found? How was the…..

PB:  The situation.

PM:  So the rock was outside.

PB:  The rock was outside, the glass was inside, the glass of the window in part on the corridor and they were covered with our clothes, mine and those of Lawyer Palazzoli, placed right on top of the glass.

PM:  They were on top of the glass.

PB:  On top of the glass, and the thing surprised us, “maybe” we said “to not make noise passing over them”, I don’t know, it is only a supposition. After which they were in the room of the photocopier other pieces of fragments of glass always coming from that window, the only one broken, they were situated on a small rug that was right in front of a workplace, a computer. Then right in front of this there were drinks, real close, open, partially consumed. Then we went into the other room, where the filing cabinet is, it was completely turned upside down. All the drawers were open, all the files were taken and the papers all mixed up on the floor, there were a mountain of paper, an entire archive practically mixed up, that many things we were never able to find, some later, some first, others later. Therefore this was the situation. Then inside my room, on my desk, there was a leather suitcase belonging to me, on top of this suitcase in a very orderly way were placed some screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer, facing the window, all perfectly aligned and facing the window. Even here all the papers in disarray. A chest of drawers was opened, inside were files, all the records of the law practice funds, all the annual quotas of the inscriptions, all things that we found eventually with a lot of effort, mixed one on top of the other. Even here was another filing cabinet of my dossiers that was opened and all the papers mixed up. Then inside of the administrative office there were, there are all the folders with the contracts of the intensity bills, with the deed to the office, all upside down. There was the placement of the [printer] that was… let’s say there had been activity, because we found receipts scattered close to the machine, so there had been…at the least this person or persons had gone to satisfy themselves of what that instrument was. This was…

PM:  Listen, was the cell phone given back to you?

PB:  No, I asked for the release, I deposited …

PM:  So it is in possession of the police or the procura?

PB:  Office of the body of evidence, I presume.

PM:  Fine. I don’t have any other questions.

GCM:  Questions from the civil parties? None, President. The defense can complete it’s questioning.

LM:  I would like to deposit a record that naturally is in the dossier of the Public Prosecutor and on the basis of this record then ask questions of the witness.

GCM:  Maybe put this record at…

LM:  It’s about.. this can be useful to the lawyer because the number of the penal procedure that charges Rudy Guede is indicated and a warning effected on February 1, 2008 by the Procuratore della Repubblica, the assistant D’Amico, that is carrying out the investigation with regard on Rudy Guede for the crime of theft, receiving stolen good, and for the crime of carrying an illegal weapon, law 110 of ’75. This information was also given to the Procura della Repubblica of Peruga, to Dr Mignini, with communication via fax.

PB:  When was the procedure registered? Ah excuse me,I can’t…

GCM:  Let’s see the document. So the parties have seen this document?

LM:  There is an error in the writing of Dr Mignini (“Dr Minnini”) but it can be understood that it is his fax and and it was even addressed …

GCM:  Even the defense of Knox knows this…?

LG:  (unintelligible no microphone) ?

GCM:  The question in relation to this document?

LM:  The question is this, Doctor D’ Amico makes aware that all of the confiscated material and thus the computer and the Nokia cell phone, had already on the date of February 1, 2008, prior to February 1, 2008, been passed on to the police station of Perugia.

PB:  So it is in Perugia.

LM:  The question is this, I would like to know, did you request in the first days of the year 2008 to the police station the return of…

PB:  No, I did so to the Procura di Milan, believing that it was held in the body of evidence of the Procura di Milano, because those people told me they were found in Milan and that it was probable evidence of a criminal activity. Therefore, I thought to make a request of release to the Procura di Milano.

LM:  Reading the letter sent by Dr D’ Amico , for the Procura di Perugia, both the computer and the cell phone are indicated. Can you recognize the computer, property of your colleague?

PB:  I say that the cell phone without doubt was a Nokia; the 27th of October 2007 is true because it was Saturday; the Sony Vaio I cannot be certain of the brand, because I absolutely don’t remember it, because it was not even mine, , therefore I don’t know. The attempted aggravated theft, 56, 624, 625, 648…

GCM:  Only on the objects.

PB:  Yes. No, the objects… I can only say about the cell phone.

GCM:  So only the cell phone.

LM:  I ask for the acquisition so as to demonstrate that, indeed, there is a penal proceeding.

GCM:  Agreed. Other questions?

PB:  So it is pending in Milan. The strange thing that I can say to the president is this…  I see that it includes the form 21/2007. So I don’t understand why the Penal Central Record Office told me that it was not pending…

GCM:  Excuse me layer, let’s go back to the testimonial questioning, therefore on the circumstantial facts.

LM:  Let’s go back to the reconstruction of the entry path in your office by the thief. To the question by the Public prosecutor you explained, as you explained to me, that this window is at the height of about 3/4meters from the ground floor.

PB:  From via del Lupo, yes

LM:  Then you refer to a door, an iron door which is close…

PB:  Yes, I confirm.

LM:  And this iron door at what distance is from the window?

PB:  It is perpendicular just under the window.

LM:  So therefore there were, let’s say, coarseness on this door that could allow an eventual…

PB:  A fit person, not I; a fit person, not someone like me, could have climbed up with the risk of plummeting to the ground, because there is clearly no protection, there is nothing but a vertical wall.

LM:  I do understand. One last thing, the window from which the thieves entered as you indicated, is higher than the other windows?

PB:  No, because the office is on the same level and it is exactly…you mean compared to the office or as per the window height?

LM:  Compared to the street level and the other windows.

PB:  No, at this point, when you get to little terrace you are practically at the level of the other windows.

LM:  One last thing, when that man on the 29th of October that man, Rudy Guede, came to your office…

PB:  No, not in the office, he was on…

LM:  On the landing?

PB:  Not even, he was in the entrance… on the steps between the street and the entrance of the office…part of the lobby. He did not enter the office.

LM:  His intention was to come inside the office, to come to you?

PB:  I don’t know. As a matter of fact he didn’t know who I was, because, when he rang he rang on Legal Office, because evidently somebody had told him that those goods had been… but I repeat, I did not speak with him, therefore no… they are all things told to me by Dott. Morini, so they are not of my direct knowledge.

LM:  Thank you.

GCM:  When did this take place?

PB:  This happened Monday afternoon around 5, late afternoon on October 29th 2007

GCM:  So how many days after the theft?

PB:  The theft was October 13th, this on the 29th .

GCM:  If there no other question the witness is excused.

There are no other questions; the witness is dismissed.

GCM:  The communication from the Procura della Repubblica, Tribunale Ordinario of Milano dated the 1st of February 2008 is acquired in order to be used. Who is next?

LM:  Lawyer Palazzoli

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Calling Planet Knox: Maybe Chris Mellas And Bruce Fischer Need To Rein In Their Crackpot Brigade

Posted by Peter Quennell

Above is Chris Mellas with Curt Knox, who we are told maybe thinks the way-too-rabid Mellases now damage the prospects of Knox. 

Here is some chest-thumping babble on the reliably dishonest website GroundReport by one of Chris Mellas’s crackpot gang, the singularly foolish crackpot Jay.

Today I examine the role of the Italian judiciary in the framing of Amanda Knox and Raffaelle Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher, the skillful way Giuliano Mignini used the Italian media to hold the entire judiciary hostage to his career ambitions, and why I believe the Italian judiciary may finally be ready to fully exonerate Amanda and Raffaelle of any involvement in the murder of Ms Kercher.

This case has been out of the hands of Dr Mignini for over five years - if it ever was fully in his hands. He initially took a decidedly mild stance against Knox, who he thought, through drugs and mental problems, had got in over her head and Meredith’s death was not planned.

In fact from the day after Knox’s arrest the no-nonsense Judge Matteini and Judge Ricciarelli led the case all the way to trial. They got all their information directly from THE POLICE. In light of hard evidence and a psychological report they insisted a potentially dangerous Knox be kept locked up. In April 2008 Cassation very strongly agreed.

Pretty bizarre to see a Mignini witchunt in this, or a judiciary about to reverse itself on years of meticulous work.

At the time of the Meredith Kercher murder on November 1, 2007, the Italian judiciary was was locked in a struggle with the Perugian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini. Mignini was facing charges for abuse of office, relating to his ‘Narducci Trail’ investigations.

This is more chest-thumping babble by the crackpot Jay. Dr Mignini rarely even talks to the media and he is regarded by good reporters as especially careful with the truth. The Italian justice system is not only one of the world’s most careful and most pro-victim-rights, it is very popular and trusted in Italy second only to the President who is also the Justice System’s top dog.

Dr Mignini’s past caseload as a prosecutor was quite mundane as Kermit’s meticulous and powerful Powerpoint showed. Perugia and its region of Umbria are among the most prosperous and least crime-ridden in Italy toward which the very popular Dr Mignini contributed a great deal over the years.

Dr Mignini rose to his present seniority of Deputy Prosecutor-General in Umbria because on his merits he consistently excelled. He is often on national TV (among other things ridiculing conspiracy theories and the too-ready blaming of crimes on satanism) and has high-level professional friends and supporters throughout Italy, not least in Florence where he has known senior colleagues since law-school.   

Mignini and his colleague Michele Giutarri had both been indicted after Mignini had Mario Spezi arrested and briefly imprisoned, in connection with the Monster of Florence crimes. Spezi was released just three weeks later, after an intense media campaign by his writing partner the American author Douglas Preston.

But rather than back off of his satanic sect Narducci trail investigations, Mignini instead plowed ahead with still more satanic sect cases. At the time of the Kercher murder, Mignini had a case unravelling in Florence against a pharmacist and friend of Spezi’s named Francesco Calamandrei.

When the Calamandrei case was dismissed in 2008, Mignini pressed his next ‘satanic sect’ case against the 20 innocent people in Florence, including Spezi and members of the Narducci family. Mignini had also tried at first to link the Kercher murder to “rites related to Halloween”.... It is these two convictions, these two false convictions, which the Italian judiciary is in my view trying so desperately to protect.

More chest-thumping babble by the crackpot Jay. The vast majority of Italians believe the truth of the Monster of Florence case is as set out in the exceptional book Il Mostro by Michele Giuttari in which there really was and is a shadowy group. It was for proving this that a desperate Florence prosecutor took Mignini and Giuttari to court.

We have shown repeatedly that the fading fiction-writer Preston often does not tell the truth. After his near-arrest for falsifying evidence to seek to make Spezi and himself world-famous for “solving” the MOF case,  Preston took off out of Italy like a terrified rabbit and has tried to prove he actually has a backbone ever since.

Italians know that in his one brief formal interview with Dr Mignini Preston melted down. He blubbered and wailed while he lied and lied, and was considered so incompetent and naive he might as well be given a break.

Here from a public document arguing for custody of Mario Spezi (the “brains” of the two, if that is not a stretch) is a conversation between the publicity-hungry Inspector Clouseaus (through public sources we have also obtained the tapes) thinking here that they have made the cops look like foolish dupes:

[The word “passeggiata” (leisure walk) in the context of these statements makes little sense literally; in fact, it is a code word by which both Spezi and Preston mean the police visit to Villa Bibbiani that Spezi and Zaccaria are plotting to trigger by way of a letter they wrote reporting false incriminating testimony, and by way of which they expect the police to find the false pieces of evidence contained in six boxes that they are going to place in the villa. Preston is aware of this intended fraud, and he is happy about it, because he presumably expects that from such an operation their “Sardinian track” theory would gain visibility as a media scoop and he and Spezi would become world-famous from it, sell a lot of books, and make a lot of money out of it. So “passeggiata” is really the police eating their bait, going there, and finding their forged false evidence in the house.]

In conversation n. 17077 of Feb. 18. 2006, PRESTON calls Mr. SPEZI, who informs him, expressing satisfaction:

“We have done everything.. I mean… we went and we did it…  you know my telephone is ugly [sic]…”

and Mr. PRESTON, still in a chummy and allusive tone:

“Oh yes, I understand perfectly, yes, hey… the… the… the ‘passeggiata’ isn’t that… isn’t that… we have …  someone has done the ‘passeggiata’?”

and the journalist pointed out, interspersing that with chuckles of satisfaction: “No, no, no, but… they are going to do it!!”

and Mr. PRESTON: “Yes, yes… but… isn’t that interesting wow….”

and Mr. SPEZI: “…. We told them to do it !”

At PRESTON’s question about when they would be going to do the ‘passeggiata’, SPEZI answers: “Well… I don’t know but I hope soon” and at a further question by PRESTON, he says: “In.. within.. within the 24th”

SPEZI again answers: “I hope yes”, laughing.

Then, Mr. Preston adds: “It’s fantastic!... Oh the end maybe, I don’t know but…”

and Mr. SPEZI: “That would be beautiful!” still sniggering, and Mr. PRESTON agrees enthusiastically.

After his charging, in conversation n. 17231, Mr. PRESTON calls SPEZI and tells him that they need to speak about it in person.

The criminal operation stands out even more egregiously in conversation n. 16950 of February 13. 2006, between Mr. SPEZI, the deviser of the plot, and his right hand man Nando Zaccaria; and when RUOCCO gives Mr. SPEZI “information” about the name of the person who allegedly attended the villa, Mr. SPEZI himself calls Mr. ZACCARIA, and, while making him understand that Mr. Gianfranco Bernabei had already been contacted and the report-complaint had been given to him, he adds: “So he called me.. not him Gianfranco… the other guy, we have an appointment at 2:30pm, because he knew about the name”; and ZACCARIA cries out: “Beautifullllll!” with satisfaction.

In conversation n. 17095 of February 19. 2006, Mr. SPEZI calls Mr. ZACCARIA again and urges him to explain him (to the Flying Squad chief) thoroughly about the “six small boxes”, that is to convince him that the objects are related to the murders. Mr. ZACCARIA tells him that he already explained it to the other guy and says: “If they go there they must look very well.. at everything…”, and Mr. SPEZI: “What I mean to say… if he finds a hairpin this doesn’t mean anything to him…”, making him understand that he will need to “work” him out.

Mr. ZACCARIA adds in the end: “Then I told him, well while we go… when it’s… when you are going… he says anyway he advises us”. Mr. SPEZI says he agrees and Mr. ZACCARIA reassures him saying he [Bernabei] doesn’t know anything about the case and never dealt with it, then he complains about that the nowadays officers are incapable of doing their job. Thus the chief of the Flying Squad, Dr. Fillippo Ferri, will need to be led by “malicious” Mr. ZACCARIA. Then Mr. SPEZI asks Mr. ZACCARIA to advise him when he goes there (to the Villa). Anyway we remand to the unequivocal content of the conversation, at pages 6, 7 and 8 of request n. 114/06 G.I.De.S.

Back to analysing more from the crackpot Jay.

And Mignini, by continuing to file ‘Narducci trail’ cases, and invoking the same ‘satanic sect’ conspiracy theory, was holding the judiciary hostage to his unprincipled career ambitions.  The challenge Mignini presented to the Italian judiciary, was how to stop Mignini’s witch hunt of innocent citizens, without also discrediting the ‘satanic sect’ convictions of Vanni and Lotti in the Monster of Florence cases.

The task of acting as a kind of judicial baby-sitter to Mignini, fell to Judge Paolo Micheli [who] presided over Rudy Guede’s fast track trial in 2008 – which was also the pre-trial hearing against Amanda Knox and Raffaelle Sollecito, to certify the case against them as warranting a full trial. The challenge for Judge Micheli, was to walk Mignini back from the edge, but without so completely devastating Mignini’s reputation, that the public might begin to question the validity of the satanic sect theory which had been used in the convictions in the Monster of Florence murders.

This is 180 degrees wrong. Judge Micheli is believed to have been leaned on but ultimately the courts at all levels came round to confirming that Dr Mignini had no choice but to act and he acted quite right. The notion of a satanic sect goes way back and Dr Mignini was more doubtful about it than most.

Judge Micheli’s ruling was scathingly overturned by Cassation, and some of the cases against malicious meddlers were resumed. Spezi has been in court after court - just a couple of weeks ago, he lost yet another defamation case brought by Michele Giuttari.

But Judge Micheli allowed Mignini’s case against Knox and Sollecito to go forward to trial. Had Judge Micheli simply done his job, properly heard and investigated Mignini’s case, the only fair outcome would be full dismissal. What Mignini has pulled off is a kind of blackmail. Mignini wanted his promotion at all costs, and was willing to convict and imprison dozens of innocent people to get his way. Amanda and Raffaele are only two of Mignini’s more recent victims, but there are scores of damaged lives left behind in the wake of Mignini’s lust for career advancement.

The crackpot Jay has defamed American prosecutors too? Probably not. Typical of the cowardly Mellas-Fischer gang he writes in English in the United States in a language and from a distance which makes him feel safe. Dr Mignini has zero record of overzealous or wrongful prosecution, and very, very few cases reversed on appeal, and nobody at all in Italy would buy this defamatory crap.

After Michelli dismissed the case against the Florence 20 in 2010, Judge Hellman’s appeal court fully acquitted Amanda Knox and Raffaelle Sollecito for any involvement if the murder of Meredith Kercher in October of 2011.

Hello?! Hellman’s verdict was ANNULED for terrible law, and for illegally trying to repeat the complete trial (absent the witnesses, who he ridiculed) instead of sticking to the few points that had been appealed. Cassation annuls very, very few cases, and reversing this corrupted overstretch was universally seen in Italian law circles as right.

Extraordinarily, Judge Micheli waited over one year to release his motivation report, only doing so about two months after the Hellman court released its motivation report in favor of acquittal. Motivation reports in Italy, are normally due in 90 days. I believe Judge Micheli’s delay in releasing his motivation report, was to allow him the opportunity to conform his report to that of Judge Hellman.

Good grief. What is the crackpot Jay on about here? Judge Micheli was leaned on, and he knew he had got the law wrong, and he presumably expected to be overturned - which Cassation very scathingly did. No wonder his homework was not handed in on time; he feared losing his job and serving time.

The Narducci trail case of the Florence 20, was sent back down absent the element of criminal conspiracy among the defendants. In essence, the case was rigged for dismissal, a fact confirmed by Michele Giutarri in a magazine interview earlier this year. Whereas the case against Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito was rigged for conviction.

A previous cassation ruling against Rudy Guede in his fast track process where Guede’s defense waived the right to challenge the evidence, determined that Guede had killed Meredith along with others. Cassation ruled that Knox and Sollecito’s trials should be bound by that finding, which is grossly and patently unfair.

There was nothing unfair. This is a foolish meme. Cassation simply ruled that two others had been involved and that had been proved. It was proved in the 1/4 of the trial that was held behind closed doors where two recreations connected all the dots of the vicious 15-minute taunting attack on Meredith. Both defenses without argument accepted this.

As irrational as the cassation ruling overturning the Hellman acquittal may seem, there may be a deeper reason behind it. In an article from CBS news earlier this year, Doug Longhini writes: “Following the verdict, judge Hellmann didn’t pull punches.  He declared: “the evidence was nonsense.”  Suddenly, several prosecutors and judges became the targets of criticism claiming they had mishandled the case from the beginning.” ...

For his part, Berlusconi and his party were at war with Italy’s prosecutors and judges.  The Prime Minister was trying to reign in their investigative powers.  Prosecutors, for their part, were trying to put Berlusconi in jail.”  Seen in this light, the court of cassation reversing the acquittal of judge Hellman is not an act of judicial wisdom, but one of self preservation. To avert a political investigation among their own members, Italy’s court of cassation had to reverse Judge Hellman’s acquittal.

The addled Doug Longhini is consistently out to lunch both on the excellent Italian system and the Perugia case as have been the entire CBS team - no wonder they have said very little for several years.

The courts at all points have simply done the right thing and public opinion has been very solidly behind them. Almost every Italian knows that RS and AK carried out the attack. The courts are not in self-preservation and charges against the toothless Berlusconi still stand.

One can sense the political pendulum swinging first in favor of conviction, then back towards acquittal, then back again towards conviction. And events that unfolded just this year, cause me to believe that the Italian judicial-political pendulum is once again swinging back in favor of acquittal. Giuliano Mignini has received his promotion. In his new role, he will never again prosecute a case or lead an investigation, he is only allowed to sit with other judges on appeals courts. So the judiciary can be confidant there will be no more Mignini led witch hunts.

Only recently in the past few weeks, the last of the criminal charges against Mignini have been allowed to languish, due to statute of limitations. So Mignini is out of legal jeopardy.  Despite the fact that the only trial on the merits resulted in a conviction and jail sentences for both Mignini and Giutarri, neither will be going to jail, or being held accountable for the crimes they were found to have committed at their first level trial. In the end, it may be said that the Italian judiciary found it easier to promote Mignini, then to jail him

More babble. Dr Mignini was NEVER in legal jeopardy as everyone in Perugia knew - a judge had signed the wiretap of the prosecutor who unwittingly confirmed a Florence cabal and Dr Mignini and his boss and all his colleagues KNEW he would overturn the spurious conviction on appeal.

Dr Mignini did overturn the verdict in Florence on appeal - the appeal judge’s ruling was the hardest-line “there is no case” - and as with ex-Judge Hellmann, both the rogue prosecutor and the rogue trial judge are now out.

Dr Mignini commendably kept pushing back and he won and won and won against the malicious meddlers in the MOF case. On 3 December the great reporter Andrea Vogt posted this:

Those following the side trials that have spun off or become entangled in the Amanda Knox trial might be interested to know that the now infamous and often-cited abuse of office investigation against Perugia prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, which once made such big headlines in the U.S. and UK media, has officially resulted in no charges, and the investigation has been closed.

An initial conviction stemming from 2006 wiretaps and the Monster of Florence investigation was overturned and annulled in Florence on appeal [in 2011]. The court ordered that the case be transferred to Turin for any future investigation. Earlier this year he was acquitted of nearly all the accusations.  The Turin court on Tuesday chose to shelve the last remaining question regarding the wiretapping of a La Stampa journalist earlier this week, ruling it was time barred.

The court’s ruling finally settles the long debated question of Mignini’s record: He has no abuse of office conviction, and there is no longer any active investigation into such allegations.

The other protagonist, Mario Spezi, on the other hand, still has quite a few problems on his hands. His 2006 arrest eventually resulted in the high court (cassation) ruling No. 865/2013 deeming that the following crimes occurred: aggravated interfering with public investigation from Febuary 2004 to summer 2006, aggravated attempted judicial fraud between February and May 2004 and aggravated slander and defamation for naming Antonio Vinci as linked to the Monster of Florence homicides in 2006.

For this last charge, Spezi could be held liable in civil court. But he will never be sentenced for any of these crimes, because after the cassation sent it back down for trial at the appeal level, the appeals court in Perugia shelved the case, ruling that the statute of limitations had passed for any further prosecution. And once again, true justice grinds to a halt, caught up in the gears of Italy’s slow and messy system.

In the meantime, Spezi’s faulty thesis on the Monster of Florence case has landed him in court in several other jurisdictions, where ex-Florence homicide cop Michele Giuttari has been pressing forward with slander and defamation charges related to accusations made about him in his now discredited Monster of Florence yarn that Spezi and his American co-author, Douglas Preston made into a bestseller, pinning the blame on an innocent man in the process. [Bold added here]

And so the plot thickens.  Giuliano Mignini was made into a convenient media villain when a high-profile American was being tried across the courtroom from him . . . on trumped up allegations that have since fallen unceremoniously to the wayside. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who Mignini initially prosecuted, await the decision of their final appeal before the court of cassation in March 2015.

Back to analysing more from the crackpot Jay.

In short and to sum things up: Mignini has gotten his promotion which he valued above the liberty of the innocent; Mignini’s Narducci Trail investigations are over for good; the Monster of Florence convictions against Vanni and Lotti claiming their participation in a non-existent satanic sect are safely in the past; and the war between the Italian judiciary and Burlesconi is in a state of a truce.

For all of these reasons, I believe the pendulum of Italian politics has again swung in the direction of acquittal, and the Italian judiciary is once again in a position to finally recognize, and exonerate, Amanda Knox and Raffaelle Sollecito.

It may be a good idea for the crackpot Jay to not hold his breath on this. Cassation and the Florence appeal court have been the most hardline on this. And it was Judge Matteini with the police not Dr Mignini who drove the case forward in 2007 and 2008. As explained above, Dr Mignini had almost no guiding hand, and on 17 December 2007 gave Knox a real break. A shot to get herself off - which she herself tanked.

Prior to that long conversation with Knox on 17 December at her request, where Dr Mignini played eminently fair and she had to be stopped as she was incriminating herself, they had barely spoken any words. Once briefly at the house on the day of the crime, once briefly when Knox was shown the knives, and once briefly when Dr Mignini presided over the reading of her rights on 6 Nov. That was it. From the post directly below, see also this:

In a move serially misinterpreted by the dimwits of the Knox brigade, the prosecution, suspecting she was both mixed up and high on hard drugs, in effect offered Knox and her team a way to a lesser count, when they said that the murder could have been a taunting attack which spun out of control.

As explained near the top here, from 7 November it was Judge Matteini and Judge Ricciarelli, not Dr Mignini, in the saddle, and they got all of their information directly from the police. Prior to the Guede and Knox/Sollecito trials Dr Mignini did not guide the process, impossible though that seems for the Mellas/Fischer crackpots to believe.

These facts, and in conjunction with the ECHR soon to take up the conviction of Ms. Knox for Calumnia in the European Court of Human Rights, provides the Italian Court of Cassation, in March of 2015 when they hear the appeal from conviction of Knox and Sollecito, with the opportunity and incentive to quietly discharge the case, and reinstate the verdict of Judge Hellman, finding that Knox and Sollecito are innocent of any involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher, and innocent of the crime of ‘staging a crime scene’ because the crime does not exist.

Reinstate Judge Hellmann?! He is being investigated for his suspect role in bending the 2011 appeal right now! Again, it may be a good idea for the crackpot Jay to not hold his breath on this.

The appeal to the ECHR in Strasbourg is dead in the water because Knox herself made up all the claims of the supposed violations of her human rights. She has ZERO case. Read this series here.

By the way, for his wild defamations and his contempt of court, Crackpot Jay opens himself to the exact-same charges Knox and Sollecito and Knox’s parents and Sforza all still face. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why All The Desperate Attempts To Prove Rudy Guede Was A Burglar Have Fallen Flat

Posted by Peter Quennell

1. The Knox-Sollecito State Of Play

On average we get an email or two from readers in Italy every day.

Maybe half are from Italians and half are from foreigners who are resident there. This is from an appreciative American who is married to an Italian and now lives in Milan.

I go back to Perugia and my friends there as often as I can - everything there is very special to me. Perhaps this sounds a little strange but, to me, the city seems to have lost it’s innocence with Meredith’s murder. I still haven’t met anybody in Italy - from North to South (or from Switzerland either) who believes that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent.

No-one in Italy any longer seems to believe that AK and RS or of course Guede were not involved. The courts have made their case.

There has simply been too much documentation, too much commentary broadcast on TV, too many disturbing facts coming to light like Knox having sex for drugs with a drug kingpin right up to the night of her arrest.

The incessant bickering of the two has become a bore. Trials against Sforza, Aviello, and Sollecito proceed and more charges against Amanda Knox and Curt and Edda Mellas remain.  Since this time last year neither of the two has won even one point.

2. More Proof Undermines The Guede Hoax

Can you figure out what the image at the top depicts?

This is the north end of the massif from the east. Right at the center is the law office of Dr Paolo Brocchi, whose office was burgled and whose laptop turned up in the possession of Rudy Guede in Milan. Meredith’s house is visible at top-right and Patrick’s bar, the English girl’s house and the courts are all off to the left.

At the bottom of the image below in the center is a narrow dark ally. Whoever broke in seems to have done so via that ally and a narrow balcony on the second floor of the law offices. 

The killer-groupies refer to Rudy Guede as the FORGOTTEN killer though there is no logical reason why. He doesnt hog the limelight but he is convicted and he is doing his time.

The killer-groupies claim Guede was a drug dealer (untrue), a petty thief (unproven), a knife wielder (untrue), who threatened a man (untrue), a police snitch (untrue) who killed Meredith alone during a burglary which went wrong (untrue). Quite a list of false claims. 

There is in fact zero evidence proving Guede acted alone. Meredith’s missing money was equivalent to money Knox could not explain.  Read the 45 posts here for all the proof the killer-groupies ignore.

Absolutely key to the verdict of the trial court were the TWO recreations of the attack on Meredith. Each pointed to three attackers. Both were presented in closed court. 

Please follow the images below to see how a burglar broke into Dr Brocchi’s office two and a half weeks before Meredith was killed.

The front door of the law office is at street level. Because the ground slopes down at the rear, the law office is one level above ground level. That is where the glass in the French doors was broken and the break-in may have occurred. 

Above and below: images of law office at the street level from the front,

Whether it was Guede or not (there are good reasons for thinking it was not) he or she broke in around the back, up that alley, in the dark, where there is a quite easy reach up to the floor of a narrow balcony outside the French doors.

Above and below, law office from back, balcony is at hard left not visible here

Above and below, law office from back, balcony is visible one floor up from ground level

Above law office from back, balcony is visible one floor up from ground level

What does that climb resemble? See the final image below. It fairly precisely resembles the climb in the dark onto Meredith’s balcony, also at the back, a route which two separate sets of burglars used in 2009.

It does NOT resemble at all the climb into Filomena’s room, much higher, in bright light, which to this day not one person has been able to emulate, and which would actually resemble a climb to the office windows at the front in bright streetlight . 

Those who claim that climbing into Filomena’s window was anyone’s known “modus operandi” are not telling the truth.

Above, Meredith’s house from the east with balcony used by burglars at the back

There were no fingerprints in the office and to this day nobody can say for certain what the burglary was really about.

Only that certain legal papers had been accessed and it is held probable in Perugia that someone was trying to interfere with a legal case. Two other offices at the back were bypassed. 

Neither Dr Brocchi nor Ms Maria Del Prato who encountered Guede in her nursery school in Milan pressed charges against him for assault or theft. Their testimonies at trial were low-key and puzzling but certainly did not leave Guede in a worse light. Neither had an axe to grind with him.

So the Milan police and courts finally acted against Guede merely for being in possession of a couple of items of stolen property. Nothing more.

If Guede had no already been convicted he would have served no prison time.

But as we recently reported he gets an additional 16 months in prison and his work-release is denied.  Guede’s final appeal to Cassation has just been turned down.

The killer-groupies should move along. Demonizing Guede with false claims and lying to justice departments (their new angle) will never ensure Knox remains free.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Analysis #3 Of Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera, Organized Crime Section: Contradictions Between RS & AK

Posted by Cardiol MD

1. Overview Of This Series

In 2007 Dr Chiacchiera was the Director of the Organized Crime Section and the Deputy Director of the Flying Squad.

He was one of the most senior and experienced law enforcement officers to testify at the trial. His testimony and his cross examination by the defenses occupied a lot of time of the court late in February 2009. He covered the following ground.

(1) He found Knox and Sollecito uncooperative when he asked them questions.

(2) Saw evidence contradicting any lone burglar theory and indicating that the “break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

(3) Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

(4) Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house.

(5) Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife.

Dr Chiacchiera was submitted to cross-examination on the above 5 items by 4 Attorneys for the Defence of Knox and Sollecito, by 2 Civil Party Attorneys, and to Re-examination by the Prosecution. He had a gruelling time as a witness.

All the translation is by the ever-dedicated main poster ZiaK. This series is highlighting some key portions. Here is the full 50-page transcript which will be posted in the trial testimony area of McCall’s great Wiki.

(GCM=Giancarlo Massei; MC=Manuela Comodi; MaCh=Marco Chiacchiera; GB=Giulia Bongiorno; DD=Donatella Donati; CP=Carlo Pacelli; LG=Luciano Ghirga; CDV=Carlo Dalla Vedova; FM=Francesco Maresca)

Continuation of Dr Chiacchiera’s Evidence-in-Chief:

MaCh: It emerged that normally Sollecito kept his cellphones, and also Amanda Knox, they kept their cellphones on until a late hour, evening, [sic] there is no telephone traffic from 20:40 hours. A thing of this …

{Witness begins Testimony re cellphones and is interrupted}

MC: But did this emerge from the declarations or did it emerge from the analysis of the [phone] records in the preceding days?

{Examiner interrupts witness with good Q re source of telephone-usage information}

MaCh: It emerged from the analysis of the [phone] records in the preceding days.

{Witness answers clearly}

GCM: Excuse me. Let me understand. In other words you say: the cellphone was switched off and there was no telephone traffic, these are two different things.

{Court asks good clarifying Q}

MaCh: I’m saying, Mr President. Two things. The first, normally Sollecito’s telephone and the telephone of Amanda, were switched on until the late hours. The fatal evening, they were switched off from 20:42 hours until … one [of the phones] from 20:42 onwards and the other from about 20:50 onwards. One. Two, the traffic …

{Witness is Answering Court's Q in 2 parts. When he gets to his part #2, Court interrupts}

GCM: Before going on to “Two”, excuse me: “normally” – what does that mean? You had …

{Court is asking good Q re witness's Part #1, but is interrupted}

MaCh: We had done a comparative analysis of the telephone traffic of that evening with the telephone traffic of the preceding evenings. Shall we say the habits ...

{Witness interrupts Court with narrative response, and is also interrupted}

GCM: And so the “normally” emerges from this?

{Court interrupts witness's response with good Q}

MC: How many evenings? If you recall, or not?

{Examiner asks witness relevant Q, adding redundant Q}

MaCh: Months, no … honestly, I don’t remember how many [evenings], but months.

{Witness stumbles, seeming uncertain re 'evenings' vs 'months'}

MC: I mean to say, not …

{Examiner preambles re her redundant Q but is interrupted}

MaCh: Not three days, no. The telephone traffic habits were evaluated. [This is point] one. [Point] Two, the element that emerged, that contradicted the declarations, I can’t report on the declarations but I can report on the element that contradicted [sic. i.e. provided the contradiction], that in effect no telephone call had arrived at 23:00 hours, as had been declared: on the phone line that was declared to have received that … the recipient of that very phone-call. Another element: no interaction with the computer emerged, unlike what was declared. So there were a few objective elements of comparison from the analysis and from the technical checks that contradicted what had previously been revealed.

{Witness interrupts Examiner with narrative response to Examiner's Q, witness indicating contradiction between suspects' declarations and objective records of telephone and computer activity}

MC: For Amanda Knox, were there incongruities of this type?

{Examiner asks if incongruities/contradictions existed for Amanda Knox}

MaCh: Yes, there were incongruities because Amanda Knox was, how to say, contradicted by Sollectio, and then she contradicted herself, if I may …

{Witness answers affirmatively, amplifying applicability both to Sollecito & Knox, but is interrupted}

GB: President, if we continue in this way, then we might as well do the old [trial] procedure.

{Giulia Bongiorno, Sollecito's lawyer interjects, objecting-subjectively to Court, but submitting no legal basis for her objection}

GCM: Excuse me, please.

{Court seems to politely rule GB out-of-order}

MaCh: The elements, these are [sic], Mr President, I don’t know how to do.

{Witness communicates uncertainty to Court}

MC: But it is so difficult, however.

{Examiner chimes-in apparently commiserating with her witness's uncertainty}

MaCh: Mr President, I really don’t know what to do.

{Witness seems to repeat statement addressed to Court, who possibly interrupts}}

GCM: Excuse me…

{Court seems to begin response to Witness, but is possibly interrupted}

MaCh: If I have to describe the investigation activity …

{Witness may be interrupting Court or is continuing Witness's unfinished statement to Court}

MC: He’s not referring to declarations.

{Examiner chimes-in with his opinion re Witness's reference to Defendants' contradictions/incongruities - GB's interjection seems to have side-tracked court procedure}

GCM: Regarding these declarations, you can report on this [sic. i.e. in this instance?], and with regard to Raffaele Sollecito, you reported – citing the telephone traffic and citing the use of the computer. There now, and this is one point. With regard to Amanda Knox, you cannot report the declarations. But you may, however, say – following these declarations – what type of investigations you carried out, and the outcome of these. So, following the declarations given by Amanda Knox, did you do similar investigations, as [those you did] for Sollecito Raffaele on the [phone] records? Or was there nothing to do, except to …?

{Court rules on subject of testimony re Defendants' declarations, seeming to rule admissibility of Sollecito's declarations re telephone traffic and computer usage, but inadmissibility of Knox's declarations. Court does seem to permit description of investigations that followed Knox's declarations, without describing Knox's actual declarations, and Court asks whether phone-record investigations similar to those done for Sollecito were done for Knox.}

MaCh: Mr President, all the necessary checks were made, but in that immediate moment the most important element … that is to say, in [this] place [NdT: i.e. “in this Court”], in this moment, in this place, that is to say, when they were … I said [that] when the arrests were made, I don’t, I don’t know how to do, however, the incongruity of the declarations with the facts that we had found, and with the declarations that Sollecito had previously given us, [this] was the most important element. I don’t know if I have managed to …

{Witness seemingly responding to Court that he doesn't know how to deal with the declarations, is interrupted.}

GCM: No, excuse me (overlapping voices). So, with regard to Raffaele Sollecito, we have
understood these checking activities were carried out on the declarations made, the verification activities carried out, and [that’s all] very well. With regard to Amanda Knox, if you also carried out … maybe there were no objective elements for possible checking, there were no … or else, there were activities carried out of …

{Court, interrupting over witness's testimony, seems to be explaining his Q to witness, but is interrupted by witness}

MaCh: Later, there emerged a series of further elements.

{Witness interrupts with statement re unspecified further elements}

GCM: Not evaluations on the congruity, incongruity, likelihood, these are evaluations and will be done, there you go, comparably. I’m thinking of the [phone] records, of the use, if she had given indications on the basis of which [you] could carry out investigative activity …

{Court seems to want evidence in Knox's phone records justifying further investigation.}

Here ends the Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera covering the relevant Phone Records, elicited by the Prosecution.

Next comes the Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera elicited by the Prosecution, covering Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house, Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Analysis #2 Of Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera, Organized Crime Section: Discounting Any Lone Wolf

Posted by Cardiol MD

Dr Chiacchiera (talking) with his team explaining reason for charges in another case

Overview Of This Series

In 2007 Dr Chiacchiera was the Director of the Organized Crime Section and the Deputy Director of the Flying Squad.

He was one of the most senior and experienced law enforcement officers to testify at the trial.  His testimony and his cross examination by the defenses occupied a lot of time of the court late in February 2009. He covered the following ground.

    (1) He found Knox and Sollecito uncooperative when he asked them questions.

    (2) Saw evidence contradicting any lone burglar theory and indicating that the “break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

    (3) Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

    (4) Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house.

    (5) Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife.

All the translation is by the ever-dedicated main poster ZiaK. This series is highlighting some key portions. Here is the full 50-page transcript which will be posted in the trial testimony area of McCall’s great Wiki.

This post continues analysis of the evidence that the lone burglar/lone wolf theory was not credible to those that were first on the crime scene and that the “break-In” to Filomena Romanelli’s room was to them obviously faked.

(GCM=Giancarlo Massei; MC=Manuela Comodi; MaCh=Marco Chiacchiera; GB=Giulia Bongiorno; DD=Donatella Donati; CP=Carlo Pacelli; LG=Luciano Ghirga; CDV=Carlo Dalla Vedova; FM=Francesco Maresca)

Public Prosecutor Comodi [MC] Leads Testimony

Judge Massei [GCM}:  Excuse me a moment, just to give some guidelines, but of the evaluations that the witness is expressing, obviously it’s not that they can be taken account of, however we will acquire them [for the trial files] in order to understand the investigation activities, the appropriateness of the investigations that were carried out, directed in one way or in another, there you go. However, maybe, … there you go, yes, maybe if we can manage to keep with the bare essentials this will help everybody.

{Court proceedings seem to have been diverted into a free-for-all colloquy, with multiple participants chiming-in, and creating confusion. Court-President, GCM, now politely intervenes, apparently trying to restore order, ruling that the professional evaluations made by the witness, testified-to by the witness, should be admitted for the trial files. The appropriateness of the witness's evaluations can be dealt with separately and later.}

Manuela Comodi [MC}:  Well, in short, they were called … they are the only ones who can describe the whole progression of the investigations - Dr Profazio and Dr Chiacciera – because they are directors, they are the only ones who will come to describe for me, thus, what was the progression of the investigations. Clearly, in order to pass from one investigative act to another rather than … and the choice of the subsequent investigative acts. It’s clear that they have to describe, in order to make a complete reasoning, even the lines of thought that, as Dr Chiacchiera said, it sometimes happens that they make. However, one point: apart from the break-in, apart from the broken window, there are … did you acquire further elements that corroborated the idea that there had been a burglary? Nothing from Romanelli’s room had been carried off? Valuable things had been taken?

{Examiner acknowledges Court's admonition, argues importance of her witness's testimony, and segués into triple-Q addressed to witness re elements corroborating idea of burglary.}

Dr Chiacchiera [MaCh]:  This ... in fact, in the progress ...

{Witness begins to answer, but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:  Was a declaration/complaint of theft made then, with a list of the things taken?

{Examiner interrupts witness with new double-Q}

MaCh:  In the logical progression, if I may in some way still, in summary, say what ….

{Witness begins narrative response but is interrupted by Court}

GCM:  Say the objective facts, if you have ….

{Court interrupts witness, beginning to admonish him to respond by testifying to objective facts, but is itself interrupted by witness}

MaCh:  Nothing disappeared, so a burglar would have had difficulty …

{Witness answers 3rd Q of Examiner's above triple Q, but then launches into a narrative beginning: "so…", but Court interrupts}

GCM:  Excuse me, nothing had disappeared? Before all else, what thing .... you knew what things were in that room that did not disappear?

{Court interrupts, questioning basis for witness's statement that "Nothing disappeared"}

MaCh:  Yes, because, shall we say, the investigation elements that then subsequently emerged, allowed us to deduce that from Romanelli’s room absolutely nothing disappeared. There was a complete mess/chaos, but nothing disappeared from Romanelli’s room. And this is another element to [lead us] to obviously deduce that the desired hypothesis of a burglar and of a theft was objectively … But then the burglar does not [sic] close the door and throw away the key. The burglar does not cover the victim. The burglar …

{Witness answers Court's Q, with narrative explanation including reference to "the key", and Court interrupts}

GCM:  Excuse me. They key. What is this detail about the key? What is it?

{Court asks Q simple Q re "the key" - with apparent transcriptional error: "They key"}

MaCh:  There was no key.

{Witness answers Court's Q}

GCM:  There was no key where?

{Court asks simple Q}

MaCh:  Those who entered into the inside of the house first found the door closed. A closed door that then aroused the suspicions and that then gave concern and then it was decided to … to break [it] down.

{Witness responds to Court's Q with narrative explanation}

GCM:  Excuse me, on [sic] Romanelli’s room there was no key?

{Court asks another simple Q}

MaCh:  No, I’m talking of Meredith’s room, Mr President; Meredith’s room was locked by key.
This is another … how to say, the investigative deductions that we drew from these details that emerged, also from the declarations that we gathered.

{Witness responds to Court's Q, and informatively amplifies A}

MC:  Was it normal that Meredith closed herself [sic. i.e. her room] by key?

{Examiner asks witness a simple Q}

MaCh:  No.

{Witness gives simple A}

MC:  And did you find the key of Meredith’s room?

{Examiner asks witness a simple Q}

MaCh:  No.

{Witness gives simple A}

MC:  So it was closed by key, but there was no key inside?

{Examiner summarises witness's testimony re key and poses a simple Q}

MaCh:  But there was no key inside, so that it was necessary to break down the door in order to enter. Also the almost inexplicable detail of the presence of two cellphones in a garden of a house, doesn’t tend to favour the thesis of someone who enters and who accidentally, so to speak, finds a person and then kills them, because [he] is forced to kill them because they have seen [his] face.

{Witness responds to Q in form of confirming-repetition and amplifies A in expanded narrative-form}

MC:  But is via Sperandio far from via della Pergola?

{Examiner poses vague Q re proximity of 2 streets}

MaCh:  No. And there we tried to deduce. And via Sperandio, as I said earlier, Doctoressa, is not far from the house. We discussed [this] to understand why these telephones went and ended up there …

{Witness answers simply, and respectfully, introducing " the house" on one of the streets, seguéing into subject of the mobile telephones and is interrupted by the Court}

GCM:  Excuse me. When you say it is not far from the house, can you specify at what distance? How one reaches it?

{The Court's interruption is also vague, with double-Q, referring to an unspecified "it"}

MaCh:  Not far from the house means that, by following a route that any Perugian knows, Mr President, one passes through a park and one arrives, let’s say, near the gateway of Porta Sant’Angelo. So for this reason, as the crow flies, how much would it be, but less [sic] … three hundred, four hundred metres. But to reach it by foot from via della Pergola to via Sperandio I think that it doesn’t take more than 5, [or] 7 minutes.

{Witness responds to Court in explanatory narrative form

MC: But do you have to pass by via Garibaldi?

{Examiner asks simple Q}

MaCh:  Yes. But you can also pass through the park – there’s a park that then comes out right in front.

{Witness answers Q, and amplifies his response}

MC:  Of the villa?

{Examiner seeks clarification of witness's response}

MaCh:  In front of the villa, at the entry to the villa. Looking from the street that crosses with the provincial [road], the one that, shall we say, borders the villa, whoever is looking at it, I repeat, I – who am 44 years old, am Perugian – I did not know that there was a garden behind there.

{Witness clarifies his response, amplifying further}

MC:  And how far away is via Sperandio from via Garibaldi, corso Garibaldi?

{Examiner asks apparently simple Q}

MaCh:  it’s parallel. It’s very close, very very close. It’s 200 metres away, as the crow flies. I think even much less, because they are almost parallel, let’s say. Even that is something that in some way made us understand that there was an interest in getting rid of those cellphones, clearly, by whoever did that thing there.

{Witness gives detailed response;
See: "Just seeing police could panic the killers into instant dumping of the telephones, without even needing to know why the police were where the police were (There is no need to invoke any awareness by the phone-dumper[s] of the reason the Police were near Mrs. Lana’s place - the hoax-call.). So if the killers saw flashing police-lights, or any other sign of police near Mrs. Lana’s place, that sign could be enough to explain panic phone-dumping - then and there (not considering whether the phones were switched-on or switched-off)." In TJMK: "Updating Our Scenarios And Timelines #2: An Integrated Comparison Of The Timing of the Phone-Events." 6/28/2013}

MC:  When you arrived for the first time in via della Pergola, did you enter the room of the crime?

{Examiner asks simple Q}

MaCh:  Immediately, no. I went in afterwards, when Dr Mignini also arrived; and later with Dr Lalli. Then I had, how to say, occasionally entered when the crime-scene inspection of the Forensic Police, of the colleagues arrived from Rome, was already begun, so late. I didn’t stop long inside the house, I say the truth, also because the measures/orders that I issued immediately were those, yes, of deducing, [of] drawing out all the investigative elements that might emerge in the immediate surroundings [and/or immediately after the facts] to seek to immediately direct the investigation activity, but also to “freeze” [sic. i.e. to solidify, or to make concrete] another aspect, which was that of hearing/questioning all the people who might tell us details on Meredith’s stay in Perugia, in general, but above all on her final hours, on her visits/visitors, everything about those who Meredith had known in some way and … This was the thing that we considered logical to do precisely in relation to this, to these first investigative deductions that we drew from the [above]-described crime-scene.

{Witness gives detailed narrative reply}

MC:  And so that same day you were present when they began to hear/question…

{Examiner begins preamble to presumed Q, but is interrupted}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness interrupts Examiner with witness's answer to assumed Q}

MC:  … the people [who were] acquainted with the facts.

{Examiner completes interrupted Q-in-the-form-of-a-statement, which omits Q-mark}

MaCh:  I was present. I did not participate personally in the examination [of witnesses], but I was present, in the sense that both with [my] colleague Profazio and with [my] other colleague from the central operative service…

{Witness responds with narrative description of circumstances, but is interrupted}

MC:  from Rome.

{Examiner interrupts with her assumed next part of witness's response}

MaCh:  from Rome. We began to put the pieces together, excuse my [use of] the expression; that is to say all the … all the elements that emerged from the examination of witnesses, were checked, were gradually verified/cross-checked.  Both with cross-checks that enlarged the group of witnesses, of the people to be heard/questioned, and with the checking of the alibis of many people, [as well as] with a technical activity that was carried out.

{Witness confirms Examiner's assumption, and completes his narrative description of circumstances}

MC:  That is to say?

{Examiner enquires as to witness's reference to indefinite "technical activity"}

MaCh:  A technical activity. A bugging activity was carried out. There was also an activity carried out also for the cross-checking of the phone [activity] printouts. There was an activity to understand also the cross-checking of the [phone] cells. There was a very wide-range activity carried out. Without excluding, I repeat, all also [sic] ... shall we say, the minor hypotheses. For example, the news arrived of a Maghrebi who had been in a rush to wash his own clothes in a launderette, not too far from the scene of the crime. This piece of information was excluded for a very simple reason, because from the first results of the investigative inquiries, he had arrived there in the early afternoon, but instead, in the early afternoon of the day before her death, Meredith was still alive [sic]. Because from the witness examinations we had determined that the last person who had seen her alive, saw her in the late afternoon. After which, we also did another series of checks relative to the one [sic] that there was a strange telephone call that the people who found the cellphones in the famous villa, the beautiful one on via Sperandio, had received in the evening. However, we had, how to say, understood that it was a case of a boy who had made a call from Terni and of a strange coincidence, but absolutely irrelevant for the investigation activity. Indeed, we made checks on all the hospitals in order to evaluate, to check, whether maybe there were [patients] who had presented blade/cutting wounds that in some way might have been compatible with a wound, let’s say, or at any rate with a reaction by the victim. Only one had presented, it was a [person] from Foligno who, [while] cutting salami, had cut their hand during the trip back from an away-game with Foligno – he was a football fan. Nothing else. So no investigative hypothesis was rejected. It was, obviously, because this is how it is done, and thus I believe that it is logic, we began to discuss/think in a certain way, because we had deduced from all this scen, another series of further elements, that is to say that the person ….

{Witness responds with prolonged narrative re "technical activity" and seems to pause}

MC:  Speak. Don’t be afraid to say it.

{Examiner urges witness to continue}

MaCh:  No, no. I’m not afraid.

{Witness argues with Examiner}

MC:  That is, let’s say, when was it that the investigations turned to, [started] to focus on today’s defendants?

{Examiner asks simple Q}

MaCh:  When on the evening of … they did not focus on today’s defendants, that is to say, progressively the analysis of the investigative elements made us … made us start, even us, to suspect. Because going into a house, finding a [sic] door of Meredith’s room closed, a [sic] door of the apartment opened, faeces in the toilet [bowl], while I take a shower, a series of bloody prints…

{Witness responds in narrative form and is interrupted}

MC:  However the faeces were in which of the two bathrooms?

{Examiner interrupts witness with clarifying Q}

MaCh:  Of the bathrooms. Me, if I take a shower in a bathroom where there are faeces, instinctively I flush the toilet, in short.

{Witness makes non-responsive subjective statement and is interrupted}

MC:  Yes, but the faeces were in the other bathroom.

{Examiner engages witness in argument}

MaCh:  Yes, yes, I understood. However, in short, in some way it comes instinctively, no?, to flush the toilet? The fact is that ….

{Witness joins argument and is interrupted}

GCM:  Excuse me, do you know how many bathrooms there were in the house?

{Court interrupts argument with simple Q}

MaCh:  Two.

{Witness ignores actual Q and responds with answer to assumed follow-up Q}

GCM:  Two bathrooms. Excuse me, please. Do you know that a shower was taken?

{Court asks another simple Q, using vernacular ref. to whether a person used the shower, rather than that the the shower device was taken away.}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness answers Court's actual Q}

GCM:  How do you know?

{Court asks simple follow-on Q}

MaCh:  I know because it is a thing that I cannot, I believe, report because it was ….

{Witness seems to answer in non-responsive, subjective narrative form, and is interrupted}

GCM:  But you checked…?

{Court seeks objective answer to his simple Q}

MaCh:  I am trying to be very very careful.

{Witness hints that he has reasons for apparent evasion}

Giulia Bongiorno [GB]:  Mr President, we are talking of nothing.

{Sollecito's lawyer chimes in with distracting comment}

GCM:  Excuse me, Attorney.

{Court appears to admonish GCM not to chime-in without specified legal-objection}

MaCh:  Well, the main point [is] that very slowly we began to understand that there were strong inconsistencies in the revelations that were made. And there were behaviours that on the part of above all, indeed exclusively, of Sollecito and Knox, appeared to us as [being], at the very least, particular. Behaviours both immediately after the event – a sort of impatience/irritability shown [with regard to] the investigation activity that we were carrying out, and obviously we could not but ask [NdT: i.e. “we had to ask”] those who were close to Meredith [about] elements that we considered useful, even necessary, in order to continue the investigation activity.

{Witness launches into apparent justification for his evasiveness}

MC:  Excuse me if I interrupt you. I’ll just make a few precise questions, thus: you checked, let’s say, let’s call them alibis, even if it’s a term that’s very so [sic] from American TV films, but in any case [it’s] understandable… Did you check the alibis of the people closest, let’s say, to Meredith?

{Examiner, after preamble, asks relatively simple Q}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness answers Q as phrased}

MC:  In particular, did you check the alibis of the young men from the [apartment on] the floor below?

{Examiner asks simple Q}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness answers Q as phrased}

MC:  Results?

{Examiner poses Q in casual form}

MaCh:  Positive for them, in the sense that they were at home, in their own home, that is to say their respective houses, because they were here for reasons of study, so they were not present in Perugia during the days when …

{Witness responds with allusive casual A, begins to amplify, but is interrupted}

MC:  Because they had left for …

{Examiner interrupts with suggestion for next part of witness's response}

MaCh:  Yes, for the All Souls’ Day long-weekend, let’s call it that.

{Withess reacts to Examiner's suggestion by stating reason for upcoming week-end absence, but not stating week-end destination}

MC:  Did you check the alibi of Mezzetti and of Romanelli?

{Examiner asks double Q}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness answers for both Qs}

MC:  Results?

{Examiner poses Q in casual form}

MaCh:  The result in this case also [is that] Mezzetti and Romanelli were not there, so …

{Witness gives clear Answer, apparently begins explanation, but is interrupted}

GCM:  Excuse me, can you say what checks you did?

{Court interrupts witness's testimony to ask Q re witness's method}

MaCh:  We carried out a whole series of checks that brought us to evaluate, establish, that these persons were not present in the premises that evening.

{Witness ignores Court's Q as phrased and answers anticipated next Q}

MC:  Let’s say, I imagine that you heard/questioned them.

{Examiner makes statement-in-form-of-Q with ?-mark omitted}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness answers presumed Q}

MC:  Did they tell you where they were that evening, what they did that evening…?

{Examiner seems to interrupt and asks double-Q}

MaCh:  And in effect, we assessed/considered that …

{Witness ignores Q-as-phrased and is apparently interrupted}

MC:  And you ascertained that in effect …

{Examiner apparently interrupts A and continues his interrupted multiple Q}

MaCh:  That it was true what they had told us. I can report on the circumstance.

{Witness seems to continue his interrupted answer and offers to expand his narrative.
Q &A cycle is confused and confusing because of repeated multiple Qs, instead of orderly single Q & A}

MC:  Did you check the alibi of Amanda Knox and of Raffaele Sollecito? Was there a comparison between the declarations of Amanda Knox and of Raffaele Sollecito with regard to the night of the murder, and what you were able to compare, shall we say, objectively, through the other declarations, through the phone records?

{Examiner asks multiple Qs}

MaCh:  Through the phone records and through the checks [that were], shall we say, objective, it was found that what Sollecito had declared was not truthful because there was a phone call that was never received [i.e. answered] by Sollecito at 23:00 hours. Because it turned out that there was no interaction with the computer, but I believe that this … as declared [sic]. But above all there was an absolute incongruity of the ….

{Witness summarizing findings wrt phone records, is interrupted}

GCM:  There now. Excuse me. Maybe we will not ask the question in these terms: following the declarations, on which you cannot report, that you got from and that were given by Amanda Knox and Sollecito Raffaele, what type of investigations you carried out…

{Court interrupts to restrict Qs but is interrupted}

MaCh:  We carried out ...

{Witness interrupts Court's interruption and is interrupted}

GCM:  ... and the outcome of these investigations. There now. This is where we’re at.

{Court completes it's interruption, seeming to believe he has made himself clear, but confusion still reigns}

MaCh:  Well, in summary ...

{Witness begins a summary, but is interrupted}

GCM:  Following the declarations given by them, you had … With regard to Sollecito Raffaele, what did you do and what [information] emerged?

{Court interrupts witness with double-Q}

MaCh:  It emerged that, unlike …

{Witness begins to answer Court's 2nd Q, but Court interrupts}

GCM:  What did you do, first?

{Court repeats1st Q}

MaCh:  We did an analysis of the telephone traffic, and from the analysis of the telephone traffic it emerged that Sollecito had absolutely not received/answered the 23:00 hours phone call as he had declared. From the analysis of the telephone traffic, there then emerged a very strange detail, in the sense that the cellphones …

{Witness answers 1st Q, begins answering 2nd Q, and is interrupted by Sollecito's lawyer}

GB:  (overlapping voices) … continue with the opinions/judgements, with all the opinions/judgements.

{Sollecito's lawyer seems to demand comprehensive testimony}

GCM:  That which emerged.

{Court makes seemingly cryptic statement which is probably a Q relating to witness's interrupted A to Court's 2nd Q above: "It emerged that, unlike …" }

MaCh:  A detail/particular emerged ... unlike what …. (overlapped voices).

{Witness resumes testimony but is interrupted, multiple voices are heard}

GCM:  Excuse me. What emerged?

{Court asks witness to clarify what witness was saying}

Here ends the Analysis of the Evidence #2, discussing that the lone burglar theory is not credible, and that “Break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

The next Post:  Analysis of the Evidence #3, will Analyse the Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Analysis #1 Of Testimony Of Marco Chiacchiera, Director, Organized Crime Section, Flying Squad

Posted by Cardiol MD

Dr Chiacchiera with Dr Comodi explaining reason for charges in another case

Overview Of This Series

Yet another vital translation which will be posted in the trial testimony areaof McCall’s great Wiki. This again is translated by the ever-dedicated main posterr ZiaK.

Although I graduated as a medical doctor I also graduated as a lawyer, and was often in courtrooms. For this post and the rest of the Chiacchiera series I am wearing my lawyer’s hat to point out what strikes me in Prosecutor Comodi’s questions,  Marco Chiacchiera’s testimony, and the cross-examinations by defense lawyers.

Prior Preparations And Procedures

Under the Italian Code, before the beginning of the trial phase in Italy, the parties file a brief, detailing all evidence they want to present – the parties have to indicate by name every witness and precisely what these will be asked. The aims include creation of a Record of Admissible Facts.

Also under the Italian Code, both the defendant and the prosecutor can cross-examine each other’s witnesses. The Judge may choose not to admit any testimony that appears patently superfluous, reject irrelevant or improper or irregular questions – such as leading questions, and Inadmissible Hearsay – and also ask questions to the witnesses and experts.

Ground Covered In Dr Chiacchiera’s Testimony

    (1) He found Knox and Sollecito uncooperative when he asked them questions.

    (2) Saw evidence contradicting any lone burglar theory and indicating that the “break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

    (3) Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

    (4) Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house.

    (5) Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife.

My Assessment Of This Court Exchange

It is immediately obvious to me that this witness is a skilled witness; as such, and given his deep hands-on involvement in the immediate investigation this witness’s testimony is credible.  My assessment therefore is that this was a very good and unflinching witness and that Dr Comodi shows no signs of leading the witness or seeking other than a truthful record.

I have seen prosecutors examine witnesses differently but dont believe the resultant record would have been superior. This would have stood up well in any American court.

(GCM=Giancarlo Massei; MC=Manuela Comodi; MaCh=Marco Chiacchiera; GB=Giulia Bongiorno; DD=Donatella Donati; CP=Carlo Pacelli; LG=Luciano Ghirga; CDV=Carlo Dalla Vedova; FM=Francesco Maresca)

Public Prosecutor Comodi [MC]

MC:  Dr Chiacchiera, you carried out your duties where, when, at what moment of the events?

MaCh:  I was and am the director of the Organized Crime Section of the Flying Squad and I am the vice-director of the Flying Squad. The Organized Crime Section is a branch of the Flying Squad that deals with … the term, I think that in this place [i.e. the court] it is enough to say that it deals with organized crime. However, I am also the vice-director of the Flying Squad, for which [reason] I deal with, in the case of need, everything that is necessary [for] the various aspects.

{Witness supplies 5 items of relevant information that Examiner should elicit at beginning of examination.}

MC:  Can you tell the Court how you became aware of events, who called you, when you became involved?

{Examiner asks another triple-question}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness simply answers question as worded by Examiner}

MC:  For now, start to tell us, then maybe I will intervene [NdT: i.e. interrupt with further questions] if necessary.

{Examiner, asking no Q, instructs witness, suggesting provisional forbearance if witness does not make interruptions necessary.}

MaCh:  On the fateful day, at around 12:33, I had gone to the cemetery with my mother. The operations room called me immediately after the discovery of the body.

{Witness begins appropriate narrative response, but Examiner interrupts}

MC:  So the 113? [NdT: 113 is the Italian State Police emergency number]

{Examiner interrupts witness with a Q, suggesting witness's receipt of call from an emergency number, but suggests wrong source-number}

MaCh:  110. The operations room of the Questura called me, and informed me of the happenings in an initially obviously very summarized manner. They said to me that there was a suspicious death, a young woman who lived in via della Pergola. I rushed to the place directly in my mother’s car. I didn’t stop by at the Questura, I didn’t go to get the service [i.e. police] car. I got myself taken to via della Pergola. We took about 15 minutes from the cemetery to there, ten fifteen minutes. In the meantime, I phoned the deputy Commissioner Napoleoni, in the temporary absence of the director, Dr Profazio, who arrived later, who was … he was enjoying a period of leave, and with deputy Commissioner Napoleoni we arrived almost at the same time. We arrived almost simultaneously at the premises. Forensics, too, arrived almost at the same time at the premises.

{Witness supplies correct source-number and resumes interrupted narrative response}

MC:  The Perugia Forensics?

{Examiner questions witness's correction, as if to verify and to ensure accuracy of court's record}

MaCh:  The Perugia Forensics, I highlight, yes.

{Witness emphatically agrees with Examiner's question}

MC:​[They were] alerted by you, or ...?

{Examiner pauses mid-Q, inviting witness to guess complete Q, or is interrupted}

MaCh:​Alerted by the operations room, and also alerted by me.
{Witness responds to invitation, or interrupts with A to assumed complete Q}

MC:​So you arrive, and who do you find?

{Examiner's 1st simple Q.}

MaCh: ​I found there ... there was already deputy Commissioner Napoleoni, there were also a few of Meredith’s co-tenants. There was Amanda Knox, there was Raffaele Sollecito. There were two young men who were, I believe, the friend of the boyfriend of one of the co-tenants. In short, there were a few people who had already been inside the house. There was the Postal Police.

{Witness answers Q in reasonable detail}

MC:​In the person of…?

{Examiner seeks more detail re specific Postal Police Personnel}

MaCh: ​Battistelli and another of Battistelli’s colleagues. Inspector Battistelli, with whom there was immediately a discussion in order to understand what were the reasons for his intervention there, because it is not normal to find the Postal [police] in a crime of this sort. And he explained to me immediately what was the reason for his intervention. The origin of the, shall we way of his intervention, was due to the discovery of a pair of cellphones in a period of time, I believe, of an hour, [or] two, I don’t recall clearly, that were one in the name of one of Meredith’s co-tenants and one in the name of, later it [sic] … I mean the SIM [card], obviously, the cellphones’ SIMs, the cards, they were in the name of a co-tenant and the other in Meredith’s [name]. The co-tenant, however, then told us, we then ascertained that both of the cellphones in fact were used by Meredith. And already that was, how shall we say, a first detail on which we began to reflect because, in fact, that was an element than in some way made us [become] immediately occupied/involved from an investigative point of view.

{Witness responds to Q and includes relevant amplifying narrative, anticipating probable future Qs re cellphones}

MC: ​So, excuse me, also if the Court already, shall we say, knows this, because others have reported it, on this point however, where were the cellphones found?

{Examiner seems to interrupt with simple Q to clarify specific relevant fact not yet reached}

MaCh:​Inside the garden of a villa that is in via Sperandio.

{Witness responds appropriately}

MC:​In via Sperandio.

{Probably a Q, but implicitly inviting more specificity}

MaCh: ​A villa that ... I am Perugian, [and] honestly, I didn’t even know there was a villa there. I’m Perugian, and I swear that I would have sworn [sic] that behind there was a wood.

{Witness flounders, seems unable to be more specific}

MC:​A field

{Probably a Q, but implicitly inviting more specificity}

MaCh: ​It [was] the first time that I went in behind there. Instead, I see a marvelous old mansion with an enormous garden that gives ... that is almost adjacent to the street – the street that leads towards Ponte Rio. Anyone from Perugia understands me maybe.

{Witness seems to be in informal conversational mode}

MC: ​From the structure of the fencing/enclosure, could you tell, shall we say, whether it was possible to throw these cellphones from the street, or whether it was necessary to enter the garden itself?

{Examiner engages witness, and asks Q to clarify how cellphones got into that garden}

MaCh: ​Yes, obviously, we checked that. In fact, immediately, in short, the detail that seemed, how shall we say, of great investigative interest was that [very point], besides other details that I will go [into] a bit [sic], so to speak, also to give the impression of what the immediate impact was that we saw in the moment when we found ourselves in a situation of this type. So, deputy Napoleoni immediately entered inside the house in order to check it for herself. I did it [entered] shortly afterwards, also because [as] you will imagine that in that moment whoever was there had to notify all those who [sic], amongst whom Dr Mignini who was the Public Prosecutor on duty, and immediately give orders so that the correct checks are carried out. Because it was not just a crime scene that had to be analysed immediately: there also had to be, how shall we say, correlated with the information that we had got from via Sperandio – because the entry of the Postal [police in the case] originated with via Sperandio. And so we immediately asked ourselves: “Ah, what are these cellphones belonging to poor Meredith doing inside the garden of a villa?” And then And then immediately after, we asked ourselves, obviously, what might be the profile of the possible, or probable, murderer, and we discussed/talked about the crime scene. The crime scene immediately seemed fairly strange to us, if you wish [NdT: literally “if we wish” in Italian, but meaning the same as “shall we say”, “if you wish”, “so to speak” etc.]

{Witness responds to Q with detailed narrative}


{Examiner asks ambiguous Q, probably wrt crime scene seeming "fairly strange "}

MaCh:​Because the door did not show… the entry door to the villa did not show signs of break-in. The we checked …

{Witness seems to decipher ambiguity correctly, begins narrative response, but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:​We are not talking about the villa on via Sperandio obviously?

{Examiner interrupts with Q, apparently not comprehending Witness's narratives}

MaCh: ​For the love of god! It was called a “villa” … (overlap of voices), let’s say the house, of the house on via della Pergola there was no forcing/break-in. We found a forcing on the window. The window is this one, on the side of the house. I don’t know if you’ve seen the house? Anyhow, it is this one on the side of the house that can be seen immediately when you come down the slope from the gate. Logically reconstructing the thing, a hypothetical prowler [NdT: literally “ill-intentioned person”] who entered the house, breaking the glass with a rock - because inside the room, which was Romanelli’s room, which was the, shall we say, hypothetical arena of the entry, was completely in utter chaos. For that reason, what should we have hypothesized? That the hypothetical prowler took a rock, managed to throw the rock; the shutters, the external ones, the external shutters were not …

{Witness is exasperated at Examiner's apparent incomprehension, is repeating his previous testimony, but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:​The dark-green wooden ones?

{Examiner interrupts with Leading Q re colour of external shutters. Now begins a confused and confusing colloquy. The arrangement of Filomena Romanelli’s window, with Outside, and Inside Shutters, the Broken-Glass-Frame in-between, and the glass-splinters on the window-sill is complicated and needs a picture-exhibit that the witness can refer-to; this is apparently not provided, leading to the confusions}

MaCh:​The dark-green wooden ones were half shut, for which reason [he] must have had an aim like “Pecos Bill” [NdT: a cartoon Wild West cowboy], takes aim and throws that rock, smashes the window. After, he climbs up and does a turn on the little slope, and has to clamber up towards the window on the smooth surface, it seems to me, that from the ground up to the window there are two and a half metres-three [metres]. And then would have said: “bah, in short” [sic]. Yeah, well, the thing seemed to us…. in short, the first hypothesis that the investigator normally does, finds a level of unlikelihood of this kind of happening. After which, we looked at the house and we saw that an entry of a potential prowler [ill-intentioned person], still reasoning on the hypothesis…

{Witness amplifies narrative response but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:​Of theft.

{Examiner inappropriately interrupts, incorrectly guessing what witness was about to say}

MaCh: ​Of theft ending badly. Of theft that then degenerates because the burglar in some way thinks that he will find no-one in the house and instead finds a person, and then it degenerates … We saw that there were easier means of entry, without wishing to bore you, but behind the house there was the possibility of climbing in a much easier way, without being seen by people that might have passed in the road. Let’s remember that, in short, it was not very late; quite the contrary. Normally people passed there, for which reason, if [he] had done it, the thing would probably have been seen. That thing there, as an hypothesis, we didn’t immediately discount it, that’s clear, because it’s a good rule to never discount any hypothesis. But we immediately considered that it was not a priority.

{Witness corrects Examiner's wrong guess, amplifies and seems to end narrative response}

MC:​Dr Chiacchiera, I interrupt you. (The witness is shown an exhibit.)

{Examiner, seems to acknowledge her habit of interruptions without actually interrupting, while introducing an unspecified exhibit. This introduction seems very informal, because Exhibits are normally identified by an assigned title.}

MaCh:​Ah! I didn’t remember it as being so big.

{Witness recognizes unspecified exhibit}

MC:​Precisely! You saw it? This is the rock that ...

{Examiner engages witness, stating it is "the rock".}

MaCh:​Yes, but it has been some time I have not, how shall we say, yes, I saw it. Absolutely.
However, it’s big, it’s huge.

{Witness engages Examiner, commenting on how large the rock exhibit is}

MC:​Do you consider that it could be this?

{Examiner ambiguously (what are "it" & "this "?) asks witness's opinion}

MaCh:​I believe so.

{Witness seems to overlook ambiguity of Q with vague A)

MC:​I try …

{Examiner begins to speak but is interrupted}

Judge Massei [GCM]:​How?

{Court interrupts as if to ask Q how Examiner 'tries'}

MC:​It is this. Yes, it is this one that was collected, yes, that was found.

{Witness seems to confirm that exhibited rock is the rock found in Filomena’s room}

GCM:​So the rock is shown. [NdT: an “aside” for the court records?]

{Court formally announces admission of rock-exhibit, seemingly trying to reduce confusion caused by informal dialogue}

MaCh:​Inside the room where we then found the rock…
??:​But what was the question about the rock?

{Witness amplifies that rock had been found in a room, but enquires re rock Q, exposing confusion caused by informal dialogue}

GCM:​If this was the rock. And the witness said ...

{Court begins explanation to confused witness}

MaCh:​I said yes. Yes.

{Witness interrupts Court - confusion reigns}

GCM:​You saw it? You saw the rock?

{Court asks witness 2 Qs, trying to clarify that 'it' refers to 'the rock' that witness saw.}


{Witness confirms that witness had previously seen the rock introduced into court as an unlisted exhibit.}

GCM:​When you saw it, where was it?

{Court proceeds to clarify confusion re where the rock was when witness originally saw the rock}

MaCh:​The rock [was] in the room of Romanelli.

{Witness specifically testifies, for witness's first time, that when witness originally saw the rock, the rock was in Filomena Romanelli’s room}

GCM:​How far from the window? Can you say?

{Court continues to seek clarification using double-Q.}

MaCh: ​A few centimetres [NdT: “un palmo” = “a hand’s width”] from the window sill, under the window, from the wall where the window is.

{Witness testifies clearly in answer to Court's 1st Q of above double-Q.}

GCM:​So from the internal perimeter wall, from where the window gives onto it, a “hand’s breadth”. So 20 centimetres…

{Court apparently begins to seek verification of witness's testimony, but is interrupted}

MaCh:​Mr President ....

{Witness begins to Interrupt Court}

GCM:​... away from it approximately.

{Court finishes his interrupted statement}


{Witness agrees with Court's completed statement}

GCM:​And this is the rock. You remember it.

{Court states his understanding in form of Qs.}

MaCh:​Yes, yes, yes, yes. That is the rock.

{Witness impatiently agrees with Court's understanding}

MC:​At least as far as size and colour [are concerned], it corresponds thus to the one that was collected [as evidence].

{Examiner makes statements in form of Q, seeking verification of resemblance of exhibit-rock to original rock}

MaCh:​At least as far as size and colour [are concerned], it absolutely corresponds. If it was collected, I think that ...

{Witness begins narrative agreement with statements of Examiner, but is apparently interrupted by Examiner}

MC: ​Very well. WITNESS [sic? Should be MaCh?] and Romanelli’s room was a complete shambles. The clothes were on the floor, the glass was strangely on top of the clothes, the [glass] shards were strangely on top of the … on the windowsill, let’s put it that way.

{Apparent Transcriptional confusion attributing to interrupted witness narrative the interrupting .statement of Examiner}

MC:​The outside one.

{Examiner seems to amplify statement of Examiner wrt which window-shutter witness had been referring-to}

MaCh: ​The outside one, precisely. The one that is between the shutters and the shutters [sic. NdT: “imposte” in Italian, but this can also mean shutters, or flap, as in the inner “scuri” shutters, or he may mean the window-frame itself, with the window-panes, given his following description], the green shutters and the shutters, the broken ones in short, where the glass is. The shutters – the wooden ones. The rock was a bit too close with regard to the wall if I [were to] throw it from least two metres. Unless it was lobbed [i.e. thrown in a high arc]. But in that case it’s rather unlikely that it would smash the glass. For that reason, I repeat, in the context of immediate likelihood, this one …

{Witness agrees with Examiner that he was referring to "The outside one", continuing with narrative of reasoning, but is interrupted by Examiner…}

MC:​Yes, it’s true. These are considerations. However they are considerations, shall we say, that refer [sic], because they are reasoning/lines of thought that are formed in the “immediacy” of the events [NdT: i.e. “in the immediate aftermath”. NOTE: throughout the text, a number of speakers use “immediatezza” (lit. “immediacy”) to convey a number of meanings, from “in the immediate aftermath”, or “in the immediate surroundings”, or “very soon after”, etc. I will translate them appropriately according to the context, without further explanation of the use of “immediatezza”], in order to proceed in one direction rather than another.

{Examiner, interrupting witness, apparently agreeing with witness's reasoning. While Examiner is apparently stating his own argumentative reservations re the possible evolution-in-time of witness's changing lines of reasoning, he is interrupted by Giulia Bongiorno, Sollecito defense lawyer:}

Giulia Bongiorno [GB]: ​I never like to interrupt an examination [of a witness], however if one wanted, between the Public Prosecutor’s hypotheses, to do that [sic] of demonstrating that from a ballistic point of view it is not possible, then the ballistic expert should be called.

{GB interrupts Examiner to comment that Witness and Examiner are expressing opinions on Ballistics that require the testimony of a Ballistic Expert.}

MC:​But in fact, his considerations are not the considerations of an expert: they are the considerations of an investigator who made certain deductions in the immediacy of the events.

{Examiner argues that witness's testimony is that of an investigator's temporal train of thought.}

MaCh:​It happens to us too, at times, to reason/think rationally …

{Witness joins colloquy, amplifying Examiner's argument.}

GCM:​These reasonings/deductions, then determined your investigative activity in one direction rather than in an …?

{Court seems to invite further amplification by witness}

MaCh: ​Yes, obviously, Mr President. I was trying to ... (overlap of voices) it is a premiss/basis to be able to then, how shall we say, reach – I won’t say conclusions – but in order to try to understand what our way of broaching the thing was, there and then. We had, I reassert, reasoned immediately also on via Sperandio. So the first thing, I may say, [was] the unlikelihood, or at any rate it was not the top priority hypothesis, the one of a prowler/ill-intentioned person entering. The open door without signs of break-in. But above all, a young woman who is [sic] probably killed in her own room, nude or almost nude, with a wound of that type, in a lake of blood, covered with a duvet. I repeat, the door was not smashed/wrecked, there’s a broken … a window broken with a thrown rock, how can I say, it’s obvious that we immediately found this situation as … (overlap of voices).

MaCh:​… particular.

{Witness further amplifies narrative}

GCM:​You formed these considerations, and what did they lead you to?

{Court asks simple Q.}

MaCh: ​That very probably the author or authors knew the person, or at any rate that the author or authors did not enter … did not enter from the window-pane of that window.

{Witness responds with his conclusion that the authors of the faked break-in did not enter from the window-pane of that window.}

GCM: ​Excuse me a moment, just to give some guidelines, but of the evaluations that the witness is expressing, obviously it’s not that they can be taken account of, however we will acquire them [for the trial files] in order to understand the investigation activities, the appropriateness of the investigations that were carried out, directed in one way or in another, there you go. However, maybe, … there you go, yes, maybe if we can manage to keep with the bare essentials this will help everybody.

{Court proceedings seem to have been diverted into a free-for-all colloquy, with multiple participants chiming-in, and creating confusion. Court-President, GCM, now politely intervenes, apparently trying to restore order, ruling that the professional evaluations made by the witness, testified-to by the witness, should be admitted for the trial files. The appropriateness of the witness's evaluations can be dealt with separately and later.}

This segment of Chiacchiera’s Testimony re the Crime Scene, which he believed had been remodeled by the criminals to dupe Investigators into believing that there had been a burglary, committed by a single criminal, is paused here because it is so prolonged.

Analysis of Chiacchiera’s Testimony will continue in a future post.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why Final RS & AK Appeal Against Guilty Verdict May Fail: Multiple Wounds = Multiple Attackers

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Reports From Italy On Why AK & RS Appeal Failed

The Nencini Report has been released and we are seeing to its translation right now.

Meanwhile journalists in Italy have these reports which convey the very implacable, damning tone. There was nothing accidental about Meredith’s death; Knox premeditated it all along.

First report

From Il Messagero kindly translated by Miriam:.

FLORENCE -  The knife that was seized at Raffaele Sollecito house is the knife that killed Meredith Kercher, and the blow was delivered by Amanda Knox.  So writes the President of the Court of Appeal of Florence, Alessandro Nencini, in the motivation report of the sentence that was passed on Jan. 30th that saw Amanda Knox sentenced to 28 and a half years and Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years.

Over 330 pages in which the court covers the appeal and explains the conviction. Starting with the knife considered “not incompatible with the wound that was carried out on Meredith Kercher. “In the present case, writes Nencini what counts is the accessibility of the weapon by the accused, it’s concrete portability from house to house, it’s compatibility with the wound, and the presence of Meredith’s DNA on the blade. All of these elements ascertained by the court lead to the conclusion that the knifed evidenced as no. 36 was one of the knifes used in the attack, and was the knife that Knox used to strike the fatal blow to Meredith’s throat.”

The court retains to have sufficient evidence of “certain reliability” of Rudy Guede (convicted to 16 years) Amanda and Raffaele in the house where Mez was killed, on the night between the 1st and November 2, 2007 in 7 Via della Pergola “in the immediate phases following the murder.” The Court then tells how she was immobilized and Mez “was not able to put up some valid resistance because she was dominated by multiple assailants and cut at the same time with the blades of several knives.”

Rejected therefore is the defense’s strategy of both of the convicted, that have always maintained that the killer was only one.: the Ivorian Rudy Guede.

Second report

Bullet points from various Italian media.

  • The big knife from Sollecito’s house held by Amanda Knox caused the fatal wound to Meredith while the other was held by Raffaele Sollecito.

  • There is strong “multiple and consistent” evidence of all three in the house immediately following the murder.  All three worked to suppress Meredith.

  • There was an escalating quarrel between Knox and Meredith leading to a progressive aggression and murder with sexual components.

  • Between Amanda and Meredith there was no mutual sympathy and Meredith harbored serious reservations about the behavior of AK.

  • The biological trace found on the bra clasp that Meredith Kercher was wearing the night she was murdered was left by Raffaele Sollecito
Third report

No especially accurate reports in English have appeared yet and the erroneous “new trial” is still surfacing. Andrea Vogt tweets that she will be posting an analysis soon.

The mischievous defense-inspired “sex game gone wrong” and “satanic theory” mantras are still widely showing up in the duped media, but are nailed hopefully finally in this new report.

Judge Nencini has closely followed and endorsed the “from all angles” Massei trial analysis, but with the inclusion of some more credible explanations from Prosecutor Crini which Judge Micheli had also espoused back in 2008.

In particular, Rudy Guede is not now highly improbably seen as the one initiating the attack on Meredith, and sex was not at all the primary driving force for the attack (the prosecution never ever said it was). Knox carried the big knife from Sollecito’s for a purpose.

The bad blood between the girls resulting from Knox’s crude, brash, very lazy, drug-oriented behavior was well known in Meredith’s circle. All of them had backed away from her, as also had her employer and the patrons in his bar.

There was a probable theft of money by Knox who was unable to account for a sum similar to what Meredith would have stashed away for the rent and that is seen as the probable spark for the explosive argument and attack.

Fourth report

Barbie Nadeau in The Daily Beast

Amanda Knox apparently did not kill Meredith Kercher in a “sex game gone wrong,” as had been previously decided by a lower court in Perugia, according to a Florentine appellate judge who released today a 337-page document explaining his decision to convict Knox and her erstwhile Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, for Kercher’s murder. Rather, the judge claims, Knox allegedly killed Kercher, her 21-year-old British roommate, because she didn’t like her.

All Italian courts require judges to explain the reasoning behind their rulings, and it likely represents the penultimate step in a seven-year case that has seen Knox and Sollecito first convicted in 2009 then acquitted in 2011 then convicted again in January 2014. Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast native who was also convicted for his role in the murder back in 2008, is serving a 16-year jail sentence. He is currently eligible to apply for work furloughs from prison.

Judge Alessandro Nencini, along with a second judge and six lay jurors, were tasked with hearing a second appeal that began in September 2013 after Italy’s high court threw out the acquittal that set Knox and Sollecito free in 2011. Italy’s high court cited “inconsistencies” and “legal mistakes” and tasked Nencini’s court with hearing the appeal again. It was not a retrial per se, but rather a fresh look at the appeal process that freed Knox.

Nencini decided that the appellate court that set Knox free erred in evidentiary and legal matters. That court will now have to rule definitively on the case, using Nencini’s reasoning and whatever appeal Knox and Sollecito file for their final judgment. If the high court accepts Nencini’s verdicts, the two will be required to serve their prison sentences in Italy. Knox has vowed she will not return to Europe, but Sollecito, unless he escapes, won’t be as lucky.

The court’s explanation of its decision comes down hard on the first appellate court that overturned Knox’s guilty verdict, at times seemingly scolding them for misapplication of penal codes and for throwing out witness testimony without explanation. “It was an operation of evaluating evidence with using logic,” Nencini wrote, accusing the first appellate court of essentially throwing out testimony that allegedly proved Knox’s involvement, but keeping testimony that supposedly supported her innocence.

He used Knox’s prison diary as a prime example. “Look at the contradictions in the evaluation of the diary written in English by Amanda Knox,” he wrote, referring to a handwritten prison diary taken fromKnox’s cell as part of the investigation to determine why she accused her pub boss Patrick Lumumba of Kercher’s murder during early interrogations. “On one hand, the appellate court of Perugia completely devalued the writings when she admitted wrongdoing by accusing Patrick Lumumba. On the other side, they valued it when she defended herself.”

Nencini also ruled that there was plenty of forensic evidence tying Knox and Sollecito to the crime scene, writing “they left their tracks in the victim’s blood” more than once in the document. He accepted testimony that supported the theory that a knife found in Sollecito’s apartment was one of the primary murder weapons, and he reasoned that a second knife was also used that matched a blood stain left on Kercher’s mattress.

The first knife in question was the only hard evidence reexamined in the second appeal, and forensic experts ruled that a previously untested spot on the knife’s handle consisted of 100 percent Knox’s DNA. An earlier court heard testimony that a tiny smidgeon of DNA on the groove of the blade was Kercher’s, but the first appellate court agreed with witnesses who testified that the sample was too small to be considered a perfect match. The second appellate court not only considered the knife to be the murder weapon, it also ruled that Knox “plunged the knife into the left side of Kercher’s neck, causing the fatal wound.”

The second appellate court also reasoned that Kercher’s bra clasp, which had been cut from her body after she was killed, had Sollecito’s DNA on the tiny metal clasp. “The biological trace found on the bra clasp that Meredith Kercher was wearing when she was assassinated belonged to RaffaeleSollecito,” Nencini wrote, agreeing with the judge in the original murder conviction. “The clasp was manipulated by the accused on the night of the murder.”

The court also scoffed at certain rulings laid out by the first appellate court, saying that the court’s reasoning that it would have been easy for “a young athlete” like Rudy Guede to scale the wall and enter the apartment, was borderline racist.

Nencini also ruled that with regard to motive in the murder, it was subjective and personal. “It is not necessary for all the assailants to share the same motive.”

The court picked out small details of Knox’s presumably errant testimony, including how she told police the morning Kercher’s body was found that Kercher always locked her door “even when she takes a shower,” which was later contested by the girls’ other roommates.

Nencini also clearly believed ample forensic testimony, presented by experts examining the original autopsy, that Kercher was killed by more than one person. “”She was completely immobilized when she was murdered,” he said, reasoning that Guede could not have acted alone, and instead likely held her back as Sollecito and Knox knifed her.

The judge also pointed out incongruences in Knox’s testimony about the night of the murder, but noted problems with the other witnesses, which included a homeless man, an elderly woman who said she heard screams. Still, he ruled that Knox’s accusation of Lumumba is vital evidence against her. “It is impossible to separate the two acts,” he wrote.

Using Nencini’s reasoning, Knox’s lawyers now have the roadmap for planning their final appeal to Italy’s high court, likely later this year or in early 2015. However, this same high court threw out the acquittal in the first place, so Knox may need more than luck to walk free. If she is definitively convicted, she will likely face an extradition order to come back to Italy to serve out her sentence. There are very few legal loopholes that would allow an American citizen to escape a court decision by a country, like Italy, that shares extradition treaties with the U.S.

[Judge Massei at crime scene; report says why Knox & Sollecito appeal against his 2009 verdict has failed]

[The Supreme Court in Rome is expected later this year to confirm this outcome]

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Knox & Sollecito Actions In The Week Prior To Arrest: An Incriminating Behavior Pattern For Sure

Posted by James Raper

[Video above: Sollecito slams Knox’s weird behavior, while not explaining numerous examples of his own ]

1. Today’s Context To This Post

A very strong case for guilt has been made at trial and endorsed at the first-level appeal.

This series hammers home the growing hundreds of incriminating stark differences between the official evidence record, Sollecito’s and Knox’s two books, and Sollecito’s and Knox’s multiple conflicting claims since.

The focus of this post as with the one immediately below is upon the described behaviours of Knox and Sollecito, from the very beginning to this very day. This pattern has more than contributed to the certainty of their involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher.

2. How The Behavior Speaks To Guilt

The early pointer of the staged break-in aside this behaviour gave investigators an insight into the pair’s possible involvement back on Day One: Behavioral pointers have continued on a par with corroborated developments in the case.

It has even continued, incredibly, since their release from prison. For me it is the thread that runs through this case having as much to do with the overall picture of culpability as the other elements .

This behaviour - to include what they have to say for themselves - is a catalogue of the inappropriate, of the implausible, of inconsistencies and contradictions, of evasions and obfuscations, to be gleaned from the accounts of Knox and Sollecito themselves and highlighted in the accounts of other witnesses. It is also to be gleaned from phone and computer records.

Taken together it is a formidable body of evidence which goes to character and culpability. It cannot be attributed to a railroading job, the machinations of a corrupt and evil prosecutor or character assassination by the media. It is also implausible if not impossible to explain it as being due to naivety, confusion or some quirkiness of character.

It amounts to the pair of them concocting stories, telling lies and misleading investigators and the general public.

3. Physical Evidence Array Is Already Substantial

There are numerous items of evidence which are building blocks in the prosecution case and with which we are all familiar.

    1. The staged break-in via Filomena’s window with pointers to this outside, on the windows and shutters, and throughout the bedroom.

    2. The evident partial clean up proved by footprint trails with footprints missing and what was behind the locked door.

    3. Amanda Knox’s lamp on the floor behind Meredith’s locked door which she only conceded was her own at trial, under pressure.

    4. Knox’s dried and congealed blood on the tap in the small bathroom that Amanda Knox and Meredith shared.

    5. The bloody footprint on the mat in that bathroom definitively attributed to Sollecito rather than Guede

    6.  The mixed DNA of Knox and Meredith Kercher found in blood in the basin, the bidet and on the box of Q tips in that bathroom

    7. Two luminol enhanced mixed traces containing DNA belonging to Knox and Meredith Kercher, one in the corridor and the other in Filomena’s room

    8. Two luminol enhanced footprints of Knox in the corridor and one of Sollecito immediately outside Meredith’s room.

    9. The knife taken from Sollecito’s apartment with Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade and Knox’s DNA on the handle and on the blade

    10. Meredith Kercher’s bra clasp with Sollecito’s DNA on a hook and contamination possibilities definitively ruled out.

4. Behaviors In The First Week Of November 2007

I don’t want to make this an unduly long post. Accordingly I am going to concentrate on the period up to that famous police interrogation analysed just below. As to that critical period I will be selective but it should be enough.

The Lady With The Mop?

The story (in Knox’s e-mail) that she had visited the cottage to collect a mop, have a shower and get a change of clothing, earlier on the morning of the 2nd November, but did not notice that Filomena’s window had been broken and her room trashed is just that - a made up story. It is entirely implausible and the account unreliable for a number of reasons including-

    (a) it is hard to believe that she did not notice the hard to miss fact that the shutters to Filomena’s window were (as they were found) open - this would have alerted her to the likelihood that Filomena was back home which she would, of course, have checked out of curiosity if nothing else given that she found no one home.

    (b) her claim that Filomena’s door was shut is contradicted by Sollecito who wrote (prison diary) that when he later entered the cottage with Knox   Filomena’s door was wide open.

    (c) it is hard to believe that she took a shower without noticing until after her shower (as she claimed) that there was blood on the bathroom mat, including a bloody footprint. In fact she didn’t even claim to notice that it was a footprint despite the fact that it was obviously so.

    (d) it is hard to believe that having found the front door wide open and having found blood, and having opted for a shower and to blow dry her hair, she never got round to checking for any sign of Meredith’s presence. Any one else would have tried her door to check whether or not she was home.

    (e) from her appearance at the cottage that morning it is hard to believe that she took a shower at all (let alone blow dried her hair) and the cops remarked that she reeked of body odour.

    (f)  less problematic but nevertheless still somewhat surprising is that as she is drying her hair she makes a fuss over shit (left by Guede) in the toilet,  describes herself as being “uncomfortable” about it but does not flush it away before grabbing the mop and leaving.
The Two Stayed At Home?

The story that Knox and Sollecito had spent the previous night (the night of Meredith’s murder) indoors, critically from 9 pm onwards, that both had slept and that Knox had been the first to rise at about 10.30 am the next morning is implausible and uncorroborated, not only because this alibi is directly contradicted by the testimony of Curatolo and Quintavalle, and Sollecito’s statement to the police that Knox had gone out and not returned until about 1 am, but also in view of the following facts.

    (a) Curatolo claimed to have first seen the Knox and Sollecito in Piazza Grimana shortly after 9.30 pm but Knox claimed in her trial testimony that she and Raffaele had cooked and eaten a meal between 9.30 and 10 pm.
    GCM:  Can you say what time this was?

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

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

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

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

    (b) Sollecito told the police that at about 11 pm he had received a call from his father on his land line. Not only is that not confirmed by his father but there is no log of such a call.

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

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

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

    It is interesting to note, however, that as of the 30th October there is a spate of texts and calls between her and a young Greek known to us as Spiros.  Communication between them had in fact been going on since the beginning of October but there are 5 texts in the afternoon of the 30th, two telephone calls in the afternoon and a call at 11.38 pm on Halloween.

    In the early hours of the following morning there are a couple of calls between the two. In fact we know that the two met up together for Halloween as Knox was at a loose end.  Meredith had shrugged her off and Raffaele was attending a friend’s graduation dinner out of town.

    Sollecito is different as his father was in the habit of calling at all hours just to find out what his son was doing and, as we know, he had called late only to find that his son’s phone was switched off.

    In the case of Knox she admitted in any event that her phone had been switched off, “to save the battery”.

    (e) There is no record of any activity on Sollecito’s computer after 9.15 pm and until 5.32 am the following morning when music was played for half an hour.  This contradicts the claim that Sollecito had smoked pot and interacted with his computer until midnight and that they had both slept until late the following morning.

    (f) The fact that the next morning, outside the cottage, both Knox and Sollecito looked utterly exhausted. This belies the alibi that they had spent a quiet night indoors and had only risen late that morning.
The Fake Call To Knox’s Mum in Seattle?

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

    (a) How does this correlate to the contents of her e-mail of the 11/04/07?

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

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

    (d) the phone records are as follows for 2 November 2007:

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

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

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

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

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

    (e) The discrepancies are numerous, see these examples:

    1. The first call to her mother was not just after leaving the cottage but 40 minutes after the call to Filomena, and the call to Filomena had been placed after she had returned to Raffaele’s place and after they had used the mop and had breakfast. In fact, say about an hour after she left the cottage.

    2.  The first call to Meredith’s English phone was placed before the call to Filomena, and not after as Knox would have it in her e-mail. A minute before,  but Knox did not mention this to Filomena, as confirmed by the e-mail and Filomena’s testimony.

    3. The first call to Meredith’s English phone disappears entirely in Knox’s book.

    4.  The call to the Italian phone did not just keep ringing. The connection was for 3 seconds and this was followed by a connection to the English phone for 4 seconds.

    5.  The English phone was not switched off or out of service. Mrs Lana’s daughter had found it. She said that she would not have done so but for it ringing (the 12.07 call for 16 seconds?). She picked it up and took it into the house where it rang again (the 12.11 call - 4 seconds?). A name appeared on the screen as it rang : “Amanda”.

    6.  The 3 and 4 second calls are highly suspicious. The Italian phone was undoubtedly in the possession of the postal police. According to Massei it’s answering service was activated, accounting for the log. Clearly Knox did not even bother to leave a message for Meredith as it would take longer than 3 seconds just to listen to the answering service. This is not the behaviour of someone genuinely concerned about another.


      1.  In her e-mail, and repeated in her trial testimony, Knox says that she woke up around 10.30 am, grabbed a few things and walked the 5 minutes back to the cottage. If the first call to her mother was about an hour after she left the cottage (see before), then she left the cottage at about 11.47 am, which means that she spent over an hour there. Either that or she spent more (a lot more)  than 20 minutes at Raffaele’s place before calling Filomena. The latter would be more likely as it is difficult to conceive that she spent over an hour at the cottage. She didn’t have the heating on when she was there. Either way there is a period of about an hour and a half between when she might have tried to contact Meredith or raise the alarm and actually doing so.

      2.  That we are right to be incredulous about this is borne out by the false claim in Knox‘s book. That false claim is significant and can only be because Knox is aware of the problem and feels she needs to add some support to her implausible story of the mop/shower visit and to conceal the real reasons for the inactivity and delay connected with it.

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

      4.  That she makes that false claim and has constantly stonewalled and/or misplaced the 16 second call to Meredith’s English phone is indicative of her guilty knowledge. Her guilty knowledge with respect to the 16 second call was that it was made to ascertain whether or not the phones had been located before she called Filomena, and hence for her it was not (incredulous though this is without such explanation) a pertinent fact for her to bring up with Filomena.
The Real Call To Knox’s Mum In Seattle?

As to the 12.47 call to her mother itself (4.47 am Seattle time and prior to the discovery of Meredith‘s body) Knox not only did not mention that in her e-mail but in her trial testimony she steadfastly declined to recall that it had occurred.

She clearly did not want, or could not be trusted, to discuss why the call had occurred and what had transpired in conversation with her mother before the discovery of Meredith’s body.

Not only was the timing of the 12.47 call inconvenient to her mother but I found it interesting to note from Knox’s phone records (covering 2nd Oct - 3rd November) that mother and daughter do not appear to have called or texted each other once up until that 12.47 call.

It would appear then that in so far as they remained in direct communication with each other for that period it must have been by e-mail. One can therefore imagine that her mother was very surprised to receive that call.

It is also very difficult to accept that Knox could not recall a phone call she was not in the habit of making. (On the other hand the same records show that it was not at all unusual for Knox and Meredith to communicate with other on Meredith’s English phone.)

Sollecito’s Call From His Dad?

At the cottage, and prior to the above call, Sollecito received a call from his father at 12.40 am. Do we know what they discussed? It would in any event have been after the discovery of Filomena’s broken window and (allegedly) Sollecito’s (rather feeble) attempt to beak down Meredith’s door.

Did the responsible adult advise his son to do the obvious and call the police? One would think so, but then why was there a 10 minute delay before he called his sister in the Carabinieri at 12.50 am? Indeed, why call his sister at all? Filomena had also urged Knox to call the police when she called at 12.35.The delay might be explained by the unexpected arrival of the postal police and if this was the case then it was before Sollecito called the 112 emergency services.

The Claims Of Finding Meredith’s Body?

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

    (a)  Luca Altieri‘s testimony makes it clear that Knox and Sollecito had heard about Meredith‘s cut throat directly from him during the car ride to the police station.

    However her bizarre and grotesque allusion in the early moments of the investigation to the body being found stuffed into the closet (wardrobe) is not just factually incorrect (it was lying to the side of the closet) but bears correlation to the later forensic findings based on blood splatter in front of and on the closet door, that Meredith had been thrust up against the closet after having been stabbed in the throat.

    (b)  The behaviour of Knox and Sollecito at the police station is documented in the testimony of Meredith’s English girlfriends and of the police. Whilst it is true that people react to grief in different ways it is difficult to ascribe grief to Knox’s behaviour. Emotionally she was cold towards Meredith’s friends and occasionally went out of her way to upset them with barbed and callous remarks.

    The fact that Knox was not observed to cry and wanted to talk about what had happened is not of itself indicative of anything but remarks like “What the fuck do you think, she bled to death” and her kissing and canoodling with Raffaele (including them making smacking noises with their lips when they blew kisses to each other) in front of the others was not normal.

    Rather chilling in retrospect was a scene between the pair of them when Knox found the word “minaccia” ( in english - threat) amusing and made a play of it with Sollecito in front of witnesses.

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

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

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

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

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

    About the only thing that is true here is that he knew Meredith.

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