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Monday, May 23, 2016

Carlo Dalla Vedova, Is ECHR Made Aware Italian Law REQUIRES Lawyers To First File Local Complaints?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





Carlo Dalla Vedova,

You are aware of this, right? It is not optional: if Italian clients credibly claim police abuse, their lawyers MUST lodge a complaint.

This is a serious requirement in Italian law, which looks to protect the client while heading off innuendo and frivolous appeals years down the road.  Under the principle of infedele patrocinio (betrayal of the interest of the client), if you really believed Knox’s varying claims that she was abused, it seems you’d have no choice but to lodge a formal complaint. 

Not only was no formal complaint that we know of ever filed by you, and so no investigation ever begun, summaries of your ECHR case by Cassazione and by ECHR itself make no mention of any process having been followed. They specifically ask you about this. 

The ECHR quotes in full a letter to you from Amanda Knox dated 9 November 2007 claiming at length that police abuse explained why she was “confused” at the so-called “interrogation” of 5-6 November 2007.

But the ECHR seems to have not been made aware that you never passed this letter on to any prosecutor or any judge.  In fact, you provide it as evidence only now. Why was this not made clear?

And even more daunting for your appeal, your legal colleague Luciano Ghirga at Rudy Guede’s trial late in 2008 specifically said this - in effect, the exact opposite of your current claim.

“There were pressures from the police but we never said she was hit.”

Now the ECHR in its first response to your submission is asking some questions of fact. It has addressed this first question to you.

1. Has the applicant exhausted the domestic remedies available to her to complain about the violation of Article 3 of the Convention, concerning the slaps (scappellotti) allegedly suffered, and under Articles 6 §§ 1 and 3 a), c) and e) and 8 of the Convention?

It appears that no, Knox the applicant never did initiate the formal process to seek a remedy through Italian law. The point is one that ends the ECHR appeal process all by itself if the answer is no.

    (1) because of the obvious status of inadmissibility of the application under the ECHR rules (no domestic remedy was first attempted),

    (2) because of its damaging probative value for assessing the credibility of the version of facts provided by the applicant.

You will of course know of the legal provisions under Italian law about which the ECHR may not yet be aware:

    (1) the crimes of beating (cp 581), or physical violence or threat (cp. 610-612) require the victim to file a complaint in order to allow prosecution of the charge, otherwise investigation cannot be initiated;

    (2) the Ethics Code of lawyers requires a defence attorney to file a charge if he/she collects a claim by a client under detention, and to properly inform the client about the necessity to file a complaint;

    (3) if a lawyer is informed by a client under detention that the same client suffered violence or offence by authorities, and does not take proper legal steps, the lawyer would commit the extremely serious criminal offence of infedele patrocinio (betrayal of the interest of client) besides breaching the Ethics Code;

    (4) a defence attorney is also required to object any irregularity of breach of the code that could be suffered by the client, namely, in any particular case, if the applicant’s current claims had been made at the time, the lawyers should have denounced the breach of Procedure Code claiming that a prosecution interrogation had taken place (thus, that would mean breaching the Procedure code that prevents prosecution from questioning a suspect prior to his/her appearance before a judge)

So, in summary, no formal complaint ever seems to have been filed allowing local investigations to begin. And the failure to initiate the procedure for domestic remedy by the applicant on this claim could be a crime under Italian law if Knox had insisted on it.

And it would seem to render the request inadmissible on this point. It also undermines any possible credibility of the claim itself. Regardless of whoever dropped the ball here, lawyer or client, it does not bode well.


Monday, May 02, 2016

Revenge “On” The Knox: Bruno And Marasca Strike Back

Posted by Chimera



Judge Bruno the drafter of the seriously bizarre Fifth Chambers report “Who, me?!!!”

1. Overview Of The Post

We have posted both multi-part analyses of the Amanda Knox book (extended 2015 edition) and also multi-part analyses of the 2015 Supreme Court verdict attempting to apply closure to the case.

Primarily because they both make so much up and leave so much out, both efforts appear to Italian lawyers and observers and our own team to have fallen far short.

Worse, as I demonstrate here, Knox and the Supreme Court were not even on the same page. They used different arguments which tend to cancel one another out.

In effect the report of Judges Bruno and Marasca late in 2015 pulled the rug out from under Knox’s book published a few months before.   

2. Arguments Of The Supreme Court

The final report from the 5th Chambers of Cassation was released in September 2015, several months late, with rumors swirling in Rome that it was proving a tough task. 

Our five critique series were put together by (1) the Perugia prosecution, (2) Machiavelli, (3) Catnip, (4) James Raper (the longest of those four), and (5) in draft by Olleosnep.

From James Raper critique Part 1

The Fifth Chambers argued as follows:

1.  The standard of “beyond any reasonable doubt” was not met due to insufficient and/or contradictory evidence - pursuant to Article 530, section 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.

2.  Multiple attackers upheld. Guede was guilty with others unknown.

3.  The break-in in Romanelli’s room was staged.

4.  Amanda Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but there is insufficient evidence that she played a participatory role.

5.  The DNA profile of Meredith Kercher on the knife and the DNA profile of Raffaele Sollecito on the bra clasp have “no probative or circumstantial relevance”

6.  “Motive is not irrelevant” and motive was not established.

7.  No selective cleaning.

8.  No purpose would be served in remanding the case back to the 1st instance court of appeal (as had occurred on appeal against acquittal)

From James Raper Critique Part 5

The Fifth Chambers argued as follows:

1.  Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but in a non-participatory role. Very probably (if this is not a held fact) she had scrubbed Meredith’s blood off her hands in the small bathroom.

2.  Sollecito was very probably there as well, but it cannot be known when.

3.  There was certainly an assailant (and perhaps more than one) in addition to Guede.

4.  There was a staging of the break-in in Filomena’s room.

While this seems (in a very tortuous way), to assert an “insufficient evidence” finding rather than an “innocence” finding, the findings of the 5th Chambers are now considered final, unless they are overturned.

That being said, these findings directly refute the bulk of Knox’s book “Waiting to be Heard”

3. Arguments of Amanda Knox

Our 12-part series taking apart the claims in Knox’s book can be found here.

(1) Chapter 5, 6: The Evening and Morning After Meredith Died

Knox Version (A): AK/RS were at his apartment, watching Amelie, smoking pot, reading Harry Potter and f***ing.  AK returned to her home late the next morning.

Knox Version (B): AK was in the kitchen while PL was murdering Meredith

Knox Version (C): AK was in the kitchen while PL was murdering Meredith, and RS was probably there

Knox Version (D): AK has no clue what was going on, and doesn’t remember anything.

Version (A) is the story AK told in her book and on television—though the details are flexible.  Versions (B), (C), and (D) are the 3 statements she made November 5th/6th.

However, the truth Bruno and Marasca think is closest to the truth (pun intended), is version (C), with Guede as the killer instead of PL.

Other courts: Pre-Trial Judge Micheli (October 2008), Trial Judge Massei (2009), Appeal Judge Nencini (2014) all found that Knox was not only involved, but that she personally killed Meredith.  Even if you accept the Cassation ruling that AK wasn’t actually involved, the final ruling did place her at the crime scene, and RS probably so.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(2) Chapters 7, 8, 9: The Ensuing Investigation

AK goes on and on in WTBH about how she was trying to help the police.  She complains about how she was subjected to repeated and very lengthy interviews.  However, she never shared any of the insider information she had about that night.  The police officers involved noted that she and RS seemed particularly unhelpful.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(3) Chapters 10, 11: The Knox Interrogation Hoax

AK goes on in great detail especially in Chapter 10 about how she was lured to the police station, and brutally interrogated.  In her December 2013 email to Judge Nencini, she refers to it as “torture”.

Interesting how she remembers it with such lurid detail.

  As AK points out, there is no recording or video
  All of the officers involved give “very” different accounts
  AK claims to be traumatized and have her memory go blank

AK’s performance was convincing enough to make Judge Claudia Matteini (November 2007) believe PL was the killer.  But since then ....

(a) the 3 judge panel headed by Judge Massimo Ricciarelli (November 2007);

(b) the 5 judge Cassation panel headed by Judge Torquato Gemelli (April 2008);

(c) pre-trial Judge Paolo Micheli (October 2008);

(d) trial jury headed by Judge Giancarlo Massei (December 2009);

(e) appellate jury headed by Hellmann/Zanetti (October 2011);

(f) Cassation panel headed by Judge Chieffi (March 2013);

(g) appellate jury headed by Judge Alessandro Nencini (January 2014);

(h) Cassation panel headed by Bruno/Marasca (March 2015)

.... have ALL ruled that AK framed PL, and that she did it willingly, and wasn’t tricked or coerced.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(4) The Afterword: Everything After Hellmann’s Ruling

AK triumphantly declares that Cassation (2015) found her and RS innocent.  But once again, AK releases her book prior to the Cassation report.  Idiot.

Se especially here.

AK does misrepresent far more than just the 2015 Cassation findings in the Afterword.  More on that later.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(5) Understanding the Bruno/Marasca Ruling

At a minimum, Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and the Afterword of “Waiting to be Heard” are complete bullshit.

Considering that these bogus claims are repeated throughout the book, it can reasonably be inferred that much of the rest is made up as well. 

This is not me talking.  This is referencing the Bruno/Marasca ruling, which as it stands, is final.

(6) Author’s Note

This is a lot of speculation on my part, (as Andrew Gumbel would say “hearsay and speculation abound”), but feel free to comment

The B/M report can be understood in one word: finality.  They don’t want any one else looking at it.

(A) B/M rule “insufficient evidence” rather than “innocent” hoping to placate the Italian public.

(B) B/M sabotage AK’s ECHR appeal chances, as they don’t want another court looking to carefully at it

(C) B/M ruling essentially says “just short of guilty” to stop AK/RS from crowing about their innocence.

(D) B/M ruling claims AK/RS lied and obstructed to ward off any potential wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.

(E) B/M do strongly imply AK/RS are guilty to try to give a “moral win” to the Kerchers.

(F) B/M appear to bend over backwards to acquit, trying to look “incompetent, at worst”, rather than corrupt.

(6) The problem is: Bruno and Marasca haven’t taken into account the personalities of everyone involved

(a) The Hellmann/Zanetti ruling (October 2011) stunk of corruption, so Italy would be immediately suspicious of anything remotely similar.

(b) AK’s ECHR appeal seems to warded off for now, but AK seems hell bent on going ahead anyway.

(c) AK/RS did start parading around again, and AK re-released her book

(d) RS and Papa Sollecito sued anyway.

(e) Far from giving a “moral win”, this ruling and the accompanying report just leave a bad taste.

(7) Bullshit in WTBH (Beyond Bruno/Marasca)

Chapter 1: Before Leaving Italy

Questions For Knox: Why The Huge Lie About Your ZERO Academic Intentions In Europe?

Chapter 2: Federico Martini (a.k.a. Cristiano)

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

Multiple: Capanne Chapters

The Amanda Knox Book: Good Reporters Start To Surface Amanda Knox’s False Claims In Droves

Chapter 31-35: The Hellmann Appeal

A Summary Of The Cassazione Ruling On Annulment Of The Knox-Sollecito Appeal

4. Final Thoughts

I stand by my claim that WTBH is 90-95% bullshit.

Fair to say, Bruno and Marasca would likely agree.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Another Effective Innovation By New York Police Is Being Duplicated By Others

Posted by Peter Quennell



Police horses, up to a dozen stroked and photographed each evening in the Times Square area


In national US news any innovation of the New York police gets a lot of coverage.

Those crowd-calming police horses seen nightly in the Times Square area go way back, and their presence was never reduced back when some other cities did so - often to their later regret.

There is endemic pressure (especially after 9/11) to keep the city as safe as possible.

From that sustained effort at systems improvement, other American police forces, some very besieged at the moment, attempt to learn something.

New York police both themselves innovate and also adopt good ideas from elsewhere - not least from the brave, popular and effective police forces of Italy.

We posted in January 2013 on New York’s adoption of an Italian approach to policing.

One approach which seems a natural for Italy with all of its art is proving successful in New York now.

Described in the NY Times today is this ongoing exercise in staring at artworks. The point being to sharpen the perceptions of investigators, and to put them all on the same page objectively.

To teach people how to notice details they might otherwise miss, Amy E. Herman, an expert in visual perception, likes to take them to museums and get them to look at the art. Recently she escorted a group of New York City police officers to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and asked them to describe some of the things they saw.

They did their best. “This seems to be a painting of some males with horses,” one officer said of Rosa Bonheur’s mid-19th-century work “The Horse Fair,” a scene of semi-chaos as horses are driven to market. He tried to abide by Ms. Herman’s admonishment to avoid words like “obviously.” “It appears to be daytime, and the horses appear to be traveling from left to right.”

Another pair of officers tackled Picasso’s 1905 “At the Lapin Agile,” which depicts a wilted-looking couple sitting at a French bar after what might have been a long night out. “They appear to have had an altercation,” one observed. The other said, “The male and female look like they’re together, but the male looks like he’ll be sleeping on the couch.”

The officers asked that their names not be used because they were not authorized to speak to reporters. They said that they did not know much about art — their jobs allow little opportunity for recreational museumgoing — and Ms. Herman said she preferred it that way.

“I’ve had people say, ‘I hate art,’ and I say, ‘That’s not relevant,’” she said. “This is not a class about Pollock versus Picasso. I’m not teaching you about art today; I’m using art as a new set of data, to help you clear the slate and use the skills you use on the job. My goal when you walk out the door is that you’re thinking differently about the job.”

A painting has many functions. It’s a cultural artifact, an aesthetic object, an insight into a time and a place, a piece of commerce. To Ms. Herman, it’s also an invaluable repository of visual detail that can help shed light on, say, how to approach a murder scene. “It’s extremely evocative and perfect for critical inquiry,” she said in an interview. “What am I seeing here? How do I attach a narrative to it?”

One of the processes:

Before unleashing the officers in the galleries, she talked to them in a classroom in the Met’s basement. She put up a slide of “Mrs. John Winthrop,” a 1773 portrait by John Singleton Copley. The painting, showing a woman sitting at a table holding little pieces of fruit, is considered a masterpiece of fine detail — the intricacy of the lace trim on the lady’s gown, the rich decorations on her hat. But there’s a detail that’s so obvious, or maybe so seemingly irrelevant, that most people fail to mention it in their description.

“Everyone sees that this is a woman with fruit, and 80 percent miss the mahogany table,” she said. (They also miss the woman’s reflection in the veneer.)

Ms. Herman also displayed a pair of slides featuring reclining nudes: Goya’s “The Nude Maja” (1797-1800) and Lucian Freud’s 1995 “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping,” who is very fat. Ms. Herman asked the group to compare the pictures. “Most cops, when I ask this question, say it shows someone before and after marriage,” she said.

Several officers raised their hands.

“Uh, the woman at the bottom is more generously proportioned,” one said.

“She is morbidly obese,” said another.

“Right!” Ms. Herman said. “Don’t make poor word choices. Think about every word in your communication.”

Ms. Herman, who has a new book out, “Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life,” came to her vocation in a roundabout way. She worked first as a lawyer, did not like it, took a job in the development office at the Brooklyn Museum and then moved to the Frick Collection. Earning a master’s degree in art history at night at Hunter College, she eventually became head of the Frick’s education department.

There, inspired by a program in which Yale medical students studied works of art to better observe their patients, she helped devise a similar program for the Frick. Eventually she moved beyond medicine. She has been offering the courses full time as her own business since 2011; her clients include federal and local law enforcement agencies across the country, as well as medical students and business executives.

Also successful elsewhere:

Steve Dye, chief of police at the Grand Prairie Police Department in Texas, brought in Ms. Herman recently to talk to a group of officers from the region. He said her presentation was invaluable in showing the officers how to better observe and document their findings accurately and free from bias.

“Some of the works of art she showed us, we wouldn’t notice the finer details,” he said. “And we’re supposed to be professional observers.”

When forced to deconstruct paintings in group settings, people from different professions tend to respond differently.

For cops it’s a natural.

“The law enforcement community is much more forthcoming,” Ms. Herman said. “Cops will outtalk you every time. Doctors and medical students are much more inhibited. They don’t want to be wrong, and they never want to show that they are ignorant about anything.”

The New York Police Department is one of Ms. Herman’s most important clients. She tailors her presentations to her audiences, and they are on the regular training curriculum at the detective bureau and the training bureau at the Police Academy; other divisions use her services from time to time. In general, her program is voluntary rather than mandatory.

“Amy reminds officers to explore outside the box,” said Police Officer Heather Totoro, who added that the program helped officers in training because of its “uniqueness and power.”

“She taps into officers’ unique sixth sense, teaching them to tell her what they see, not what they think.”

Law enforcement officials tend to view the works through the lens of the job: Who has done what to whom? Where is the perp?

“Sometimes they’ll say, ‘We have an E.D.P. here’ — an emotionally disturbed person,” Ms. Herman said. Once she showed some officers El Greco’s “The Purification of the Temple,” which depicts Jesus expelling the traders and money-changers amid turmoil and mayhem.

“One cop said, ‘I’d collar the guy in pink’” — that would be Jesus — ‘“because it’s clear that he’s causing all the trouble.’”

Among the works she finds most interesting as a learning tool is Vermeer’s exquisitely ambiguous “Mistress and Maid,” a 1666-7 portrait of a lady seated at a table, handing over (or being handed) a mysterious piece of paper. “There are so many different narratives,” she said. “The analysts come away asking more questions than answers — ‘Who’s asking the question? Who’s doing the talking? Who’s listening?’ The cops will say, ‘It’s a servant asking for the day off.’”

She also likes “House of Fire,” a 1981 painting by James Rosenquist that has three absurdist parts: an upside-down bag of groceries, a bucket under a window shade, and a group of aggressively thrusting lipsticks. “It’s really conducive to good dialogue,” she said. “How many times do officers have to make order out of chaos? So many times in our work we come across things that don’t have a coherent narrative.”

The officers in the class seemed impressed, both by Ms. Herman and by their grand surroundings.

One officer said that she had learned “how to sit down with colleagues and deal with the fact that you can perceive things so differently from each other.” It was her first trip to the Met, or indeed to any art museum.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “It’s very Thomas Crown-ish, isn’t it?”

Below: the Vermeer painting referred to, in the Frick Museum in New York

Posted on 04/25/16 at 11:52 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Justice systems Italy etc Those officially involvedPolice and CSIThe wider contextsN America context
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why Guede’s Ex-Lawyers Really Bailed On Him? The Italian Perception

Posted by Peter Quennell





Way too much is being made of this in the US in a wrong way.

Biscotti and Gentile of Perugia are not Italy’s winningest team. They have had precisely two cases of national significance in Italy. And both of their clients are serving long terms in prison.

  • Rudy Guede is serving 16 years in Viterbo Prison awarded by the Perugia court and confirmed by Cassation and another three years awarded by the Milan court for stolen property.

  • Salvatore Parolisi (seen above with the lawyers) was sentenced to 20 years for killing his wife Melania Rea with 35 stab wounds, and is appealing for a sentence reduction (really).

We posted a lot on Melania’s case starting even before it was clear that her soldier-husband killed her, in a very elaborate premeditated staging so he could continue life with his girlfriend.

Salvatore and Melania had a little daughter. Melania’s parents not only washed their hands of him after initially defending him, believing his tale that he was innocent.

They ran a blowtorch of a media campaign against him, the sort of thing Knox & Sollecito escaped, and for a while there he was the most hated man in Italy.

To their considerable credit, Biscotti and Gentile do accept to try to defend these low-income clients. But their fees cannot be remotely like those of the Sollecito and Knox teams.

And they do need to win some cases, and to attract more cases, and it is hard to see how they can help Guede to win anything at all in the law courts.

In fact, they never have won anything, ever, for Guede.

He chose the short-form trial in Perugia and the sentence was eventually set by Judge Massei at 16 years under the formula. The three years he was awarded in Milan was to code also.

Ten to one against this, but if the Sollecitos DO sue Rudy Guede as they are threatening for fingering RS as one of Meredith’s killers he is likely to spill the beans entirely.

That wont require any lawyers.

Posted on 01/27/16 at 09:38 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedRudy GuedeThose officially involvedThe defensesHoaxes GuedeGuede bad guy hoax
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is Francesco Sollecito Forced Into Legal Aggression He Didnt Want & Which Could Rebound?

Posted by Peter Quennell




Legal Development

Francesco Sollecito is being reported as denouncing Guede and initiating actions against him - and the Republic of Italy.

What must have looked to him nicely wound up by the Fifth Chambers at the end of March last year does seem to have a pesky tendency to become unwound.

It was unwound a bit by the continuance of Sollecito’s book trial in which RS lawyer Bongiorno refused to become involved. It was unwound a bit by the charges Dr Mignini requested against the RS lawyer Maori mid-year. It was unwound a bit by the Fifth Chambers with the poisoned sting at the end of its Report.

That Motavazione as phrased could open the way to a wrongful death suit against Sollecito (and Knox) or a petition to the President. A “guilty” verdict on the numerous false claims in Sollecito’s book could open the way to civil suits.

The petition was filed today at the Court of Appeal of Florence by their lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori. The lawyers decided to turn to the last trial court that dealt with the process. In particular, they demanded compensation of 516,000 Euros for the detention to which Sollecito was submitted from 6 November 2007 to 4 October 2011.

The computer engineer from Puglia has always proclaimed he was not involved in the murder and was finally acquitted along with Amanda Knox.  “I can not spend my life defending myself from something I have not done ...”: Raffaele Sollecito commented on the interview… 

He was followed by his father Francesco in transmitting a statement from their home in Puglia. “Raffaele is shocked and outraged,” said Francesco Sollecito. “I am also deeply outraged. I did not even sleep last night.” The father of Raffaele - finally acquitted for a murder he always proclaimed he was outside of - criticized in particular “Guede’s attitude towards the brutally murdered girl. Guede is refuted by the procedural documents, many of which are omitted in the interview. It was denied, among other things, by Raffaele’s friends that there was a random meeting with Meredith Kercher.”

“Guede still has to explain why he was in that house and why he went to the disco after finding the body. Let us remember, Francesco Sollecito empahsized again, that he is a person definitively convicted of murder. “

No mention at all of Knox? She was the one Guede really nailed, though Raffaele was pretty firmly placed at the crime scene too.

Last year, a bombastic Raffaele Sollecito had threatened to file a suit against Italy, but his father and lawyers had wound him back. Presumably because way, way, way too much could come out. “Take care about what you wish for.” “Let sleeping dogs lie.” “Discretion is the better part of valor.” Take your choice.

But such a suit is normal and expected. It would look suspicious if it was never filed. Now the Florence prosecution may get the chance to make the case in full the Fifth Chambers never heard.

Storms In The Past

Francesco Sollecito and Raffaele Sollecito and Vanessa Sollecito are all notorious for loosing their cool.

Francesco lost it here toward Raffaele, and especially here. Vanessa lost it here and again here. Everybody lost it toward Amanda Knox. Sollecito’s own book describes that rage.

And take a look. Despite supposed “honor bound” there are dozens of examples there.

Francesco Sollecito lost it after the Hellmann acquittal when Raffaele said he and Knox were still a thing, and again when RS took off to Seattle after Knox. He lost it again when a false felony claim in Sollecito’s book was unveiled on national TV.

Bongiorno also often seems in a rage. Hmmm. A group of people in a rage, and then things go too far. Where have we heard that before?


Friday, January 15, 2016

Beyond The Italian And UK Media Reports That Knox Was Found Not Guilty Of Calunnia II

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Knox with Rita Ficarra who Knox accused of hitting her.


UK media are reporting that the case was about slander, in effect a civil case by those who consider themselves damaged.

But in fact this was calunnia, which is more serious, a false accusation of a crime to a justice official, in this case the claim Knox made on the stand that she was forced to finger Patrick.

We are told this is key context which the UK reporting leaves out. 

    1. The original complaint was made (the rules required it) by those who were accused before the 2009 trial ended with a verdict of Knox’s guilt.

    2. Preceding Knox on the stand had been all of those she accused. So to court-watchers in Italy her testimony was not a convincing show.

    3. Knox was thereafter found guilty for essentially the same crime, with a sentence set at three years by Judge Hellmann and endorsed by the Fifth Chambers of the Supreme Court.

In effect, justice had been served for the false claims. Italian justice officials still have a big shot at worse claims in Knox’s book.

Under the Statute Of Limitations, as the book was added-to and re-issued in 2015, that opportunity exists for another five years.

Posted on 01/15/16 at 04:21 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxThose officially involvedPolice and CSIOther legal processesKnox diffamazioneThe wider contextsItalian context
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #5

Posted by James Raper



Image is of busy Rome at night

The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

I conclude my critique of the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

The four previous posts can be read here and here and here and here. A full translation of the Marasca-Bruno Report can be read or downloaded here.

The Critique Part 5

So, let’s do a brief recap now

1. The Report starts with sensationalized general slurs on the competence and motives of the investigators and judges.

2.  Marasca and Bruno misunderstand the relevance of motive. Nencini was not in error. It is not relevant, or of less relevance, if the evidentiary framework of guilt is by itself sufficient to establish guilt. In such circumstances the normal formula is to attribute futile and trivial motives that require no further definition. Conversely motive does acquire importance, an element in itself, if that framework is insufficient.

3. Their section on TOD produces nothing that is relevant.

4.  Having failed to establish a convincing connection between “the primacy” of rules of evidence and a guarantee of the repeatability of DNA analysis, such that the latter is required by the former, or at least can be tolerated by it for some specific reason, they assert that the latter must prevail anyway. It requires numerous inconsistencies, a failure to follow the ground rules of evidence, and the illogicality of failing to follow their own argument, such as it is, to assert that Meredith’s DNA on the blade of the knife, and Sollecito’s DNA in a mixed sample from the bra clasp, have no probative or circumstantial value simply because they were not capable of repetition. That is simply a dogmatic assertion and one, as we shall see, that has no connection with the permitted grounds for appeal.

5.  As if the foregoing was not enough, and perhaps conscious of it, they bring up the matter of contamination again. Which would not be relevant if the foregoing were true. The contamination argument has long been shown to have no mileage in it. The cardboard box (from the police station) is a stupid reference and that there was pre-existing dirt on a latex glove mere speculation, without context.

6. The section on luminol hits and removal of blood traces is characterized by many misrepresentations and a chronic misunderstanding of the evidence and the inferences that can be drawn from it.

7.  On the simulated break-in, which they accept, they declare that they are then stymied in the necessary inference by the feeblest of anomalies.

8.  Now up to this point we have encountered few, if any, mistakes, inconsistencies and contradictions, of any significance, other than those that Marasca-Bruno are making, or making up, themselves. 


———————————————————————


Remember this?  -

“that fact finding is a task pertaining exclusively to the fact-finding judge, and not up to the Court of Legitimacy. The Supreme Court has to limit itself to whether the fact-finding judge’s reasoning is compatible with common sense and within the limits of an acceptable latitude (law cited) as well as compliant with the limits of evidence.”

In fact appeals to the Supreme Court can only be made under the precise circumstances provided for by the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.

These are governed by Article 606. Of the provisions in this Article, only section 1, para (e) is applicable, as follows -

“(e)  defect, contradictoriness or manifest illogicality of the judgement reasoning, when the error results from the text of the provisioning appealed, or from other documents in the proceedings specifically noted in the reasons of encumberment.”

Therefore, although fact finding is the preserve of the lower courts, the Supreme Court can enter into the merits of the judgement appealed against on this ground.

The question arises as to what constitutes a fact to which para (e) would not relate.

There are probably not many, for most facts determined would require an element of reasoning. For instance, to hold that a particular witness was reliable, or otherwise, would require explanation, that is, reasoning, and so on.

To be clear, “defect“, “contradictoriness” and “illogicality” all relate to the judgement reasoning.

For instance, a failure to take into account contradictory evidence in the judgement reasoning must obviously be included as a defect.

Another defect would, of course, be misapplication or misinterpretation of the law in the judgement reasoning, an error to which the 5th Chambers have already shown themselves prone.

I am not quite sure how “contradictoriness” in the judgement reasoning is to be construed, but I suspect that there would be contradictoriness in asserting something contrary to the weight of the evidence, or indeed in the absence of any evidence in support. Another case might be in making a point which is then undermined elsewhere in the reasoning

In any event a clear restriction on the Supreme Court entering into the merits of the judgement appealed against, apart from the foregoing, would appear to be that in the case of illogicality, that it has to be manifest.

However, no particular instance of manifest illogicality is likely, on it’s own, to invalidate a verdict, unless it amounts to a serious defect from which the reasoning, as a whole, on the verdict, cannot recover.

Effectively, there have to be numerous manifest illogicalities in the reasoning of the judgement appealed against, for this to happen. Under those circumstances one might actually describe the judgement as “perverse” at one end of the scale, and “unsafe“ at the other. Setting aside a conviction for such reasons I would understand.  Usually, at least in the UK, an unsafe conviction would result in a re-trial if the prosecution requested it.

However even the Supreme Court has to motivate it’s decision making process, free from such defects. Clearly that has not been the case.

The banal peppering of the Report with references to “manifest illogicality” and “intrinsically contradictory”, and so on, may impress the undiscerning reader, but the repetition and context are, frankly, “manifestly” unconvincing to the discerning reader.

What we find, on analyzing the 5th Chambers’ motivation, is that when it enters into the merit, it does not do so in a balanced way, and without logical inconsistency on it’s own part, but simply by making dogmatic assertions on the merit. That is hardly extending an acceptable latitude to the fact-finding judge nor is it explaining why his reasoning is incompatible with common sense.

In particular, I do not see how one can make the assertion that the DNA on the knife and the bra clasp has no probative or circumstantial relevance, because the tests were not repeated, when this can scarcely be described as a product of the application of section 1 (e) of Article 606.


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Furthermore, one also has to consider the effect of Article 628. The 2nd paragraph states that -

“In any event a verdict issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand may be appealed only on the reasons that do not concern those that had already been decided by Cassation on the order of remand….”

At the very least this should have served as a warning to the 5th Chambers.

The Chieffi ruling annulling Hellmann was not intended as a foray into the merit but it was a criticism of the procedural defects and reasoning methodology of the Hellmann court, which errors we can see repeated in the Marasca-Bruno Report.

The most obvious and most frequent error is the use of dogmatic assertion, the starkest example of the deployment of self-contained circular reasoning it is possible to have. Indeed, it does not warrant the description “reasoning”.

Another important error was the “atomizing” or “parceling out” of the circumstantial evidence in an attempt to exclude items prior to assessing it in an overall evaluation. This error underwrites the 5th Chambers’ approach to the case, manifestly in it’s use of dogmatic assertion to achieve the aim of eliminating or reducing the evidence.

Abstract hypothesizing on contamination is another.

The reprise of Hellmann’s reasoning as to the reliability of the witness Curatolo is another, and most objectionable, one.

Interestingly, the “validity” of the DNA testing was not an aspect raised by Galati and consequently not touched upon by Chieffi. The only conclusion has to be that the State (subsequently confirmed by Nencini) deemed the reliability of the results as perfectly safe.


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Article 530, Section 2 and Conclusions


I now turn to the matter of the sufficiency of the evidence.

There is no formula as such.

The evidence is sufficient if the bar of culpable beyond a reasonable doubt is met, insufficient if it is not.

The starting point is clearly the evidence itself, and then the inferences that are drawn logically from it.

As to the evidence and inferences, we are assisted by the fact, under the Italian system, that all verdicts, whether at trial or appeal stage, are required to be motivated in writing. 

The final motivation, prior to the 5th Chambers, is, of course, the Nencini report. It seemed to me that Nencini, despite a few flaws, did an excellent job in unifying the evidence in a global way, as is required of what is essentially circumstantial evidence, fully in accordance with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court on the matter, and with all the arrows pointing in the same direction and substantially corroborating each other. It left no reasonable doubt, in my humble submission, that the Florence court’s affirmation of the guilty verdicts was correct.

Now, we have already discussed the grounds on which an appeal can be made to the Supreme Court. The sufficiency of the evidence is not one of the stated grounds.That is a matter for the fact-finding judges of the lower courts. The 5th Chambers therefore knowingly exceeded their remit.

We also find, having gone through the Marasca-Bruno criticism of the Nencini Report, in some detail, that many, if not most, of these criticisms lack substance and lack logical consistency in their own right.

The overall effect has been to produce an improper, if not fraudulent, weighting (for want of a better word) on the matter of sufficiency, which should not have even been considered anyway.

In addition the result of the Report has been to produce an interesting scenario based on the following conclusions.

1.  Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but in a non-participatory role. Very probably (if this is not a held fact) she had scrubbed Meredith’s blood off her hands in the small bathroom.

2.  Sollecito was very probably there as well, but it cannot be known when.

3.  There was certainly an assailant (and perhaps more than one) in addition to Guede.

4.  There was a staging of the break-in in Filomena’s room.

As to Knox having blood on her hands (literally rather than metaphorically) there are inconsistencies to be derived from this because, according to the Report, this would have been as a result of contact with blood outside Meredith’s room. Why? Where is that blood? Such blood could, of course, have been there prior to it being removed. However, to affirm that would be to prejudice a number of assertions they have already made. More likely is that Knox had been in Meredith’s room, during or after the event and without, we would have to observe with some interest, leaving any trace of herself there. That would also be the logical explanation for her lamp being on the floor there.

Guede was not charged with, and hence was neither acquitted nor convicted of, the offence of staging, but in any event Marasca-Bruno did not attempt to attribute the staging to him. This leaves either Knox, an unknown person, or Sollecito. As to an unknown person it is manifestly difficult to see how he would be “a qualified person” for the purpose of the inference that only someone with an interest in removing suspicion from himself would do this. Knox and Sollecito qualify whether there is an anomaly or not.

As to who Guede’s unknown accomplices may have been, Marasca and Bruno are silent. This is not surprising as there was no forensic trace of them. There were, in fairness, unidentified genetic profiles, male and female, obtained from cigarette stubs taken from the ashtray in the lounge/kitchen, but as with the mixed genetic profile of Knox and Sollecito on one of these, they cannot be dated and therefore cannot be placed within the time frame for the murder. For all we know they could belong to Romanelli and her boyfriend Marco Zaroli, both of whom were at the cottage earlier on the day of the 1st Nov, with Knox and Sollecito.

More pertinently, however, is this scenario regarding Knox.  It is not one that her defence team, even in their wildest dreams, would have considered advancing on her behalf. She had, throughout the proceedings, maintained that she was not there, whether or not in a non-participatory role.

That is not surprising. The scenario we have is that Knox and perhaps Sollecito were at the cottage with Guede, and at least one other, and that Guede and this other saw fit to commit a horrendous murder in their presence, without encouragement nor opposition from either of them it would seem, but certainly in the knowledge that such action, even if it met with cowed submission from them in the first instance, would meet with the utmost reprobation, and then they leave, trusting to Knox and Sollecito not spilling the beans. That really is stretching credulity well beyond the bounds of breaking point. Even more so if there was no unknown accomplice.

Furthermore, and if that is nevertheless so, then Knox has had more than enough chances to put the record straight, particularly since her return to Seattle. She still has the opportunity to do so.

What we have, therefore, is a fact that neither the defence nor the prosecution has ever advanced in the entire history of the proceedings, and not one that any previous judge has drawn.

Now it may be something that can be justified by a fact-finding judge, on remand, and in the light of the Marasca-Bruno Report.  Not.  But it is surely beyond the remit of the 5th Chambers to hold that as a fact and without even permitting prosecution and defence submissions on it. That runs counter to the principle of natural justice, a violation inherent in the final appeal and in the decision not to permit a remand to a 1st instance court of appeal.

It would have been interesting to have seen the defence submissions.


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I said at the beginning that the Marasca-Bruno Report was a desperate attempt to bring home an incomprehensible verdict. It has been described elsewhere (by a reputable american reporter who had been present throughout the proceedings) as superficial and intellectually dishonest. It is not only that, it is a charade that sullies the good name of Italian justice.

A question to arise is what truly motivated the verdict? It seems to me that the only “glaring investigative omission” in the case, is this. However that is a murky world of connections and undue influence about which we can only speculate at this stage.

Had it been incompetence and had the five Supreme Court judges held up their hands and simply admitted that they had made a mistake, I might have had some sympathy for them. Instead they have persisted with a charade which is essentially corrupt.

By “corrupt” I mean that they have knowingly acted in bad faith. They cannot otherwise have been such simpletons. It is also abundantly obvious why they did not dare risk remanding the case to another appeal court.

As for Knox and Sollecito, sadly for them, they are anything but exonerated.

Posted on 11/17/15 at 05:59 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, November 13, 2015

A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #4

Posted by James Raper



Image is of busy Rome at night

The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

I continue critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

The three previous posts can be read here and here and here. A full translation of the Marasca-Bruno Report can be read or downloaded here.

The Critique Part 4

The Simulated Break In

This is all too briefly treated by Marasca-Bruno (whom by now I am beginning to think of as Zaphod Beeblebrox from The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy) and by way of a sidetrack really.

They in fact affirm the circumstances of simulation without actually having the gumpf to explicitly say so.

They are more concerned to turn their attention to the inference that only a “qualified” person would have an interest in a simulation so as to remove suspicion from him/herself.

Marasca-Bruno are not interested in Guede.

They acknowledge that Knox and Sollecito are “qualified” persons…………

“Yet this element is also substantially equivocal, especially in the light of the fact that, when the postal police arrived it was….Sollecito - whose trial position is inextricably bound to Knox’s - who pointed out the anomaly to the police officers, that nothing had been stolen from Romanelli’s room.”

And that’s it? The smoking gun, the bull in the appellants’ china shop, brushed aside - because of an anomaly? Pathetic.

It was staged but sadly not staged to perfection, by way of something actually being stolen. A stager, knowing this, would not countenance revealing this information to the police, although it may have been an inadvertent slip due to Sollecito being an idiot.

An inadvertent slip aside, he would have no reason to mention that nothing had been stolen, unless he was as aware as others were that the staging had it’s flaws in other respects as well, in which case he could have thought that his comment had the appearance (Marasca and Bruno fall for it) of innocence.

And how did he know that nothing had been stolen - which only subsequently turned out to be true when Filomena checked the contents of her room-  unless he was involved in the staging?

Even if one accepts the anomaly and extremely dubious reasoning above, it only applies to Sollecito. There is nothing equivocal about the logical inference applying to Knox. That is so despite the illogical connection in asserting that their trial positions are inextricably linked.

Is Knox a ventriloquist and Sollecito her dummy?

Curatolo & Quintavalle

“Nevertheless, the presence of intrinsic contradiction and poor reliability of witnesses [ ed: ie the above named] do not allow unreserved credit to be attributed to (their) respective versions, to the extent of proving with reasonable certainty the failure, and therefore the falsity, of the accused’s alibi, who insisted she stayed in her boyfriend’s home from late afternoon on the 1st November until the following morning.”

Here Marasca-Bruno effectively reprise the reasoning of Hellmann.

Curatolo was a tramp, a drug addict and pusher, and a prosecution witness stooge. The same evening he had seen Knox and Sollecito together in Piazza Grimana (1st Nov) he had seen revellers wearing Halloween masks, and the special buses to take them to discos and nightclubs, referenced by the witness, were not running that night.

Marasca -Bruno overlook the improbability that Curatolo could have seen the two together on Halloween, given that it was established as a trial fact that on that evening Sollecito was attending a friend’s anniversary dinner outside Perugia, and Knox was meeting up with her friend Spiros.

Perugia is a student town. There are numerous discos and nightclubs catering to this market. The defence did produce nightclub owners testifying to their clubs not being open the day after Halloween, and shuttle bus operators testifying that they were not running special buses to them, though these witnesses did not exclude the possibility that other nightclubs had some, or that other buses could have been hired for a private party.

There were indeed still a good few discos and nightclubs open (these can be listed if required), with a normal bus service for Perugia as well. Guede, himself, was seen dancing at the Domus hours after the murder.

[ Halloween is a relatively new festivity in Italy. All Saints Day (Nov 1st) and All Souls Day (Nov 2nd ) are holidays in Italy.]

“This contradicts the balanced assessment - but always in a context of uncertainty and ambiguity - of the witness referring (regarding the context of when he saw the two accused together) to the day before he saw (in the afternoon) unusual movements of police and Carabinieri and, in particular, men wearing white overalls and headgear (they looked almost like aliens) enter the house on via della Pergola.”

As regards Quintavalle, Marasca-Bruno are brief and equally dismissive. This is all they have to say -

“Quintavalle - apart from the lateness of his statements, initially reticent and generic - offered no contribution to certainty, not even as to the product bought by the young woman he noted on the morning after the murder, when his shop opened. The fact he recognized Knox is worthless as her image had appeared in every newspaper and television news broadcast.”

There was no evidence that the young woman had bought, or had tried to buy, a product.

No, his identification testimony was not worthless on that account. If it was worthless for that reason then a lot of ID witness testimony would go by the board in today’s world of rapid 24 by 7 news coverage.

Quintavalle was able to describe the clothes that the young woman was wearing, which description, blue jeans, grey jacket and scarf, was a match for the articles of clothing that the crime scene investigators had photographed scattered on the top of Knox’s bed at the cottage and which had immediately became material evidence along with everything else.

Since Knox was wearing different clothes, including a long white skirt, when she and Sollecito were photographed outside of the cottage by the press, it is difficult to gauge how Quintavalle might have been influenced in his description.

Raffaele Sollecito At House

“In Sollecito’s case too the evidentiary frame work which emerges from the judgement under appeal is marked by inherent and irreducible contradiction…………………However, the strong suspicion remains that he was present in the house on via della Pergola on the night of the murder, albeit it has not been possible to determine when. On the other hand, if Knox’s presence in the home was certain, it would hardly be credible that he was not with her.”

And More On Other Matters

Marasca-Bruno return to the question of the knife again despite the fact that they have excluded it as having any “probative value or circumstantial relevance”.

This is an inconsistent element in their own reasoning, such as their reasoning is.

They remind us that no trace of blood was found on it, and assert that it was a questionable choice to go for a DNA test rather than establish the nature of the biological trace.

“An extremely questionable option, given that the finding of blood traces, coming from Kercher, would have given the trial an element of strong evidentiary value, showing for certain that the weapon had been used to commit the murder.”

One begins to wonder whether they are mentally fatigued at this point. But no, that can’t be it. They have had over 130 days to write 34 pages of reasons, and that wouldn‘t be particularly taxing, provided that there had been reasons for the verdict in the first place, and that they had remembered them.

They are waffling, padding and turning to risible argument. Particularly given that they should know exactly why Dr Stefanoni had only one sensible option available to her. They had even referred to this in the preceding paragraph.

Even if it had been blood in sample 36b then, without establishing whose blood it was, the knowledge that it was blood would be totally useless as a piece of evidence, as the blood could have come from anywhere, at anytime.

“What is certain is that no traces of blood were found on the knife. Lack of which cannot be traced to meticulous cleaning. As noted by the defence, the knife showed traces of starch, a sign of ordinary domestic use and of cleaning that was anything but meticulous. Not only this, but starch is famous as a substance with a high absorbance rate, thus it is highly likely that, in the event of a stabbing, it would have retained blood traces.”

As we come towards the end of their reasoning the dogmatic assertions start to pop up thick and fast out of nowhere.

Why can lack of blood traces not be connected to meticulous cleaning? Isn’t that, by definition, what meticulous cleaning does?  Was there any expert evidence to the contrary? How can Maresca and Bruno be so sure that their version of common sense is shared universally?

Yes, starch does absorb liquids. However, how do they know that the starch was there on the knife at the time of the murder? It is not improbable that having cleaned the knife it was used again for ordinary domestic use. The starch could also have got there as a consequence of the investigators handling it with latex gloves, which contain traces of starch, and this was pointed out at the Hellmann appeal.

“Finally, the footprints found at the murder scene can in no way be traced to the appellant.”

Another dogmatic assertion. They are, I should point out talking about Sollecito at this point, not Knox.

The bloody footprint on the bathmat and a luminol enhanced footprint in the corridor were useful for negative comparison purposes and both were attributed by the prosecution experts to Raffaele Sollecito because of points of comparison with his foot and because neither had similar points of comparison with Knox and Guede.

Their evidence was disputed by a defence expert witness.

Massei and Nencini agreed with the prosecution experts, Hellmann did not.

However, remember the bit about fact-finding being for the fact-finding judge and not the Court of Legitimacy?

Not only do Marasca-Bruno break the rules at to their remit but they do not even give reasons for their assertion.

“The computers of Amanda Knox and Kercher, which might have been useful to the investigation were, incredibly, burned by the careless actions of the investigators.”

Another unjustified and dogmatic assertion. 

Four computers were found to have sustained damage - probably an electrical burn-out - but it is not in evidence that they were damaged by the investigators.

Indeed, I do not recall any trial evidence that they were working before they were recovered by the investigators. Certainly Sollecito’s Asus was not. That had been damaged for months. Filomena’s computer was found to have been already damaged when it was switched on in her presence at the police station.

It may be the case that Knox, somewhere in her testimony, asserted that her computer was in working order when she last used it, or something like that. But then she would say that, wouldn’t she?

Of all the computers that had problems, the data was ultimately recovered from all but Knox’s Toshiba.

And realistically, what potential information relevant to the investigation did Marasca-Bruno think could be found? Photos of Knox together with Meredith? If there were such photographs, had they been deleted from the camera?

Knox communicated with her family at home by means of an internet café because it had skype available.

E-mail communication is recoverable whether or not the user’s computer is broken.

Marasca-Bruno also opine that in respect of their alibis, what we are talking about is a failed alibi rather than a false alibi. Is this a necessary and relevant distinction?

They both maintained, for trial purposes, that they had been together at Sollecito’s flat from about 9 pm onwards on the 1st November, that both had slept and that Knox had been the first to rise at about 10.30 am the next morning. Of course, Sollecito had contradicted this in his statement to the police. He said that Knox had gone out and not returned until 1 am. However this was not admissible as trial evidence.

In relation to the crucial period of time in which TOD is ascertained to have occurred there is no independent corroboration of their alibi. In that sense it is a failed alibi.

However the reliability of their alibi can certainly be assessed from the trial evidence. Sollecito’s phone was switched on at 6.03 am and earlier heavy music had been played on his computer for half an hour at 5.30 am, on the 2nd November. That manifestly contradicts the alibi. In short the pair were lying when they said that they had slept and that neither had risen until 10.30 am.  Accordingly, it is a reasonable inference that their alibi is not to be trusted.

There is, in addition, the evidence of Curatolo and Quintavalle.

What In Part Marasca-Bruno Left Out

Finally Marasca and Bruno declare that -

“The panorama of the declared evidence is complete.”

Except that this is not true.

They have not for example mentioned the following, which are certainly part of the declared evidence, and which certainly have to be taken into account if we are to consider the sufficiency of the evidence -

1. The presence of Knox’s table lamp on the floor in Meredith’s room.

2.  The police photograph of Knox’s throat and the statement of Laura Mezetti that what is seen in the photograph, as she had noticed at the Police Station, is a scratch.

3.  Knox’s dried and congealed blood on the tap in the small bathroom next to Meredith’s room.

4.  Knox’s e-mail to the world with it’s implausible aspects and which exposes crucial contradictions in the respective accounts of the appellants.

5.  The phone records which expose a suspicious pattern of behaviour on their part and which show that the cell phones of both the appellants had been switched off, or rendered inoperative, between 8.42 pm on the 1st November and 6.03 am on the 2nd November.

6. The luminol enhanced mixed DNA trace for Knox and Meredith on the floor in Filomena’s room, certainly requiring an explanation.

***

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Posted on 11/13/15 at 02:00 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #3

Posted by James Raper



Image is of busy Rome at night

The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

I continue critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

My first post can be read here and the second read here.  A full translation of the Report can be read here.

Traces in the Murder Room, the Small Bathroom and the Corridor

A selection of quotes from the Report -

“Total absence of biological traces attributable with certainty to the two defendants in the murder room.”

“An insurmountable monolithic barrier on the path taken by the fact finding judge.”

Selective cleaning - “an hypothesis that is patently illogical”

“Selective cleaning not capable of escaping detection by luminol is, for sure, impossible”

It follows, of course, that if the knife and bra clasp have no probative or circumstantial value (effectively rendered inadmissible as far as the incriminating traces on them are concerned) then there are no biological traces attributable to Knox and Sollecito in Meredith’s room. However it is an exaggeration to present this as an insurmountable monolithic barrier to the fact finding path.

Marasca-Bruno misrepresent and trivialise what was undoubtedly a manipulation of the crime scene (i.e the cottage) by the removal of traces of blood, and in this limited sense “selective”, by insisting on using the word “selective” across the board, and in the main to refer to removal of DNA, in both a derogatory and confusing manner and to sidestep the real issue.

The removal of traces of blood, whether selective or not, is not capable of escaping detection by luminol, as they appear to explicitly acknowledge.

Therefore the comment that “selective cleaning” is an hypothesis that is patently illogical is patently deceitful and unworthy of their station as Supreme Court judges.

Having just done a bit of misrepresenting themselves Mascara-Bruno then claim to have unearthed “an obvious misrepresentation of evidence” - presumably by judges previously involved in the case. They say that the SAL had excluded (because of the TMB test) that the luminol enhanced traces were of an haematic nature.

This, of course, is a manifest misrepresentation. TMB is a specific presumptive test for blood. However, that the TMB testing was negative (no result) does not exclude that the traces were haematic in nature, even if the presumption must be that they were not.

They then criticise Nencini -

“Not only that, but it is patently illogical, in this context, the reasoning of the fact finding judge, who reckons being able to overcome the defensive objection that the luminescent bluish reaction generated by luminol can be produced by substances different from blood (for instance leftovers of cleaning detergents, fruit juice and many others), by arguing that the reasoning, while theoretically correct, has however to be contextualised, meaning that if the fluorescence occurs at a place where a murder occurred, the reaction cannot but be connected with haematic traces.

The weakness of the argument is such, already at first sight, that it does not require any confutation, since to reason in that way one should also surmise that the house on via della Pergola was never the object of cleanings nor was a lived in location.

This observation hence allows us to categorically exclude that those traces were made of blood and wilfully removed in that circumstance.”

Oh dear. What is this Court of Legitimacy doing?  Cherry picking, misrepresenting the evidence, entering into a discussion of the merits in line with desperate defence submissions, and drawing conclusions on that basis, that’s what.

I have refrained so far from bringing under discussion glaring omissions of evidence for the reason that I am responding to argument.

However it’s time for the gloves to come off because the above is simply unacceptable.

Reading through this report one gets the impression that Marasca-Bruno think it is sufficient that they are only responding to the Nencini Report and that it is sufficient to pick holes here and there, as if they were marking a student‘s exam paper, and with the defence submissions as a model answer. That is manifestly inappropriate, even for a Court of Legitimacy.

So here are other reasons to support Nencini‘s contextualising.

1.  If the luminol fluorescence was due to non-haematic substances such as bleach, fruit juice etc ( due to the fact that the cottage was lived in) then it is remarkable indeed, since the investigators could not see what they were looking for, and therefore where to spray, and therefore sprayed everywhere in the corridor and elsewhere (but not in Meredith’s room, it seems), that fluorescent patches did not appear in smears all over the place but instead were limited to and grouped in specific places, and in a specific way, that is, in the shape of footprints.

2.  There were 4 obvious bare footprints located by the luminol and 3 of these were of a shape and size attributable to a woman - compatible with Knox in fact. One was in Knox’s bedroom, the other two in the corridor, that is, between Knox‘s room and Meredith‘s room. The two in the corridor contained Meredith’s DNA.  It is not possible to obtain DNA from bleach or fruit juice etc.

3. The 4th was compatible with Sollecito and the bloody print on the bathmat in the small bathroom.

4. The luminol hits took place on the 18th December whereas the murder occurred on the 1st Nov. The hypochlorite in bleach responsible for luminol emitting light evaporates naturally after just a few days and therefore bleach as a source for the fluorescence can be excluded.

5.  If the fluorescence was due to the peradoxise in fruit juice or other vegetable matter then there should at least be some rational explanation as to why Knox had such substances on the sole of her foot, and why does the peradoxise not show up where she had not stepped in it? What would be the source for these substances and how would they have got there? No explanation has ever been advanced.

6.  As already mentioned the TMB tests on the luminol hits do not categorically exclude blood. Indeed TMB applied after luminol is less likely to bring up a positive result because the chemical reaction for both applications is the same, and luminol is far more sensitive than TMB. That was made clear by, amongst others, Dr Gino who was in fact an expert witness for the defence.

All in all, given the considerable quantity of blood in Meredith’s room, and the fact that it had certainly been tracked outside of her room, visually obvious in the small bathroom, Nencini’s “contextualizing” is not at all illogical. It is plain common sense.

Indeed relevant observations here - before I leave the topic - are that there were no visible connecting bloody footprints between Meredith’s room and the bloody footprint on the bathmat in the small bathroom, and whilst there was blood on the inside handle of her door, there was none on the outside handle, although the door was closed and locked.

When discussing the relative merit of presumptions arising from the luminol and TMB tests, context and the trial evidence are everything. If Marasca-Bruno are relying on some other source of information, then they should - if they are acting in good faith - have disclosed this.

I will leave the last word on this to Nencini, who opined that the defence attempts to argue that the luminol hits were the consequence of a non-haematic source were “from an objective point of view a remarkable exercise in dialectical sophistry rather than trial evidence on which any judge might base reasoning that would be beyond criticism.”

The Selective Search for Other Logical Inconsistencies

“Another big logical inconsistency” is the explanation for why Meredith’s cell phones were removed; if to prevent them ringing, then the goal could have been achieved by switching them off or removing the battery.

OK, point taken, but if that goal could have been achieved simply by switching them off or removing the battery, then why take them with them? The answer, if the perpetrators were thinking straight, would be that in switching them off or removing the battery, the perpetrator could have left his fingerprints on them.  So they would have had to take them anyway. So why bother with the manipulation? A logical inconsistency?

Marasca-Bruno return to the Prosecution’s argument on motive at the Nencini appeal. We can recall that Crini had suggested that there could possibly have been an argument between Meredith and Knox over Guede’s use of the large bathroom. M-B say that the reason for a quarrel could certainly not have been this, as such an incident is not referred to in Guede’s evidence.

Marasca-Bruno argue that the hypothesis of the theft of the money and credit cards that Meredith would have blamed Knox for is illogical and contradictory, given that Knox (and Sollecito) were acquitted of the charge.

OK, but Nencini was not seeking to re-convict them. The hypothesis was based on trial facts and has a high degree of probability even if it did not reach the bar of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Meredith’s credit cards and rent money were never recovered.  He was simply looking for a plausible reason for a quarrel - on the basis of what Meredith would have thought – whether or not Knox was the responsible party. Nothing illogical or contradictory in that.

Marasca-Bruno maintain that it is arbitrary to argue, just because Knox and Sollecito were at Sollecito’s flat viewing a movie, taking light drugs and having sex, that they were later at the cottage for a reason which included a sexual motive and destabilized by drugs.

Marasca-Bruno maintain that there was another investigative omission in the failure to analyze the content of the cigarette stubs (presumably for drugs?) or to ascertain the biological nature of the trace, but just to go for a DNA test, on the basis that such tests would render the sample unusable.

OK, but I am not sure that was the basis for not conducting the further tests. Establishing whether or not Knox and Sollecito had smoked a reefer, or a cigarette whilst under the influence of drugs, at the cottage, at some time, is really not that important. The biological nature of the trace was obviously saliva whether or not it contained drugs.

“And all this was done with the brilliant result of delivering to the trial a totally irrelevant piece of information”  ……[given that the cottage was where Knox lived and where Sollecito “hung out”.]

Irrelevant as it turned out, I agree. It seems a bit harsh to criticise the DNA test though. I am sure that M-B would have been ecstatic if the mixed trace had turned out to be Guede and an unknown, rather than Knox and Sollecito. And wasn’t the trace postulated as a source for contamination of the bra clasp?

A Few General Remarks

Get a load of this -

“It is, surely, undeniable the interpretative effort displayed by the fact finding judge in order to remedy the unbridgeable investigative gaps and the significant shortfalls of evidence with shrewd speculations and suggestive logical arguments, even if merely assertive and apodictic.”

As we are discovering, “shrewd speculations and suggestive logical arguments, even if merely assertive and apodictic” is exactly what Marasca-Bruno are up to.

What investigative gaps and significant shortfalls of evidence are they talking about? Have we come across any yet? Anyway I will come to discuss this and other matters raised by the Report when I discuss the sufficiency of the evidence at the end of this critique.

Marasca-Bruno then assert (to paraphrase) that fact finding is a task pertaining exclusively to the fact-finding judge, and not up to the Court of Legitimacy. The Supreme Court has to limit itself to whether the fact-finding judge’s reasoning is compatible with common sense and within the limits of an acceptable latitude (law cited) as well as compliant with the limits of evidence.

That’s right. Remember that.

“Faced with missing, insufficient or contradictory evidence, the judge should simply accept it and issue a verdict of acquittal, according to Article 530, section 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure, even if he is really convinced of the guilt of the defendant.”

Note the surprising inclusion of “missing” evidence, although M-B have merely been speculating wistfully about that and, for obvious reasons, it is not referenced in the wording of Article 530.

Marasca-Bruno then spend far more words than is necessary on Nencini’s mistake of referring to Sollecito’s DNA being found on the knife blade.

There is then a bit of sense but a lot of pompous waffle about the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard.

“It is certainly useful to remember that, taking for granted that the murder occurred in via della Pergola, the alleged presence at the house of the defendants cannot, in itself, be considered as proof of guilt”

This is the precursor for what comes a bit later.

Marasca-Bruno note that there is a difference between “passive behaviour” and “positive participation”.

“It is indisputedly impossible that traces attributable to the appellants would not have been found at the crime scene [ed: by which they mean “the murder room”] had they taken part in Kercher’s murder.”

This is not a remark but a dogmatic assertion which is patently unconvincing. Had Knox and Sollecito been -

    (a) egging Guede on to a sexual assault
    (b) exhorting him to finish her off
    (c) whether with his own knife or one that was handed to him,

then it is improbable in the aforesaid scenarios under (a),(b) and (c) that they would have left traces, but in the event of any one of the aforesaid (a),(b), and (c) they would be participating positively in the commission of the crime, and hence as guilty as Guede.

So, the assertion is not just dogmatic but manifestly illogical.

The Presence of Amanda Knox

“With this premise, with regards to Amanda Knox’s position, it can now be observed that her presence in the house at the scene of the crime is considered an established fact from the trial, in accord with her own admissions…………….on this point the reliability of the judge a quo is certainly to be subscribed to.”

Developing this affirmation, Marasca-Bruno hold that she was there at the time of the murder but in a different room.

“Another element regarding her (presence) is represented by traces of mixed DNA, her’s and the victim’s, in the small bathroom; an eloquent confirmation that she had come into contact with the latter’s blood, while the biological traces belonging to her are a result of epithelial rubbing.”

Also:

“Nevertheless, even if attribution is certain, the trial element would not be unequivocal as a demonstration of posthumous contact with the blood in circumstances where she would be attempting to remove the most blatant traces of what had happened, perhaps to help someone or deflect suspicion from herself, and thus entailing her certain direct involvement in the murder…….her contact with the victim’s blood would have occurred after the crime and in another part of the house.”

I will comment on this later.

As regards the false accusation against Patrick Lumumba - 

“It is not understood what pushed the young American to make this serious accusation. The hypothesis that she did so to escape the psychological pressure of the investigators appears extremely fragile……………….nevertheless the calumny in question also represents circumstantial evidence against her in so much as it could be considered as an initiative to cover for Guede, against whom she would have had an interest to protect herself due to retaliatory accusations against her. All is underpinned by the fact that Lumumba, like Guede, is black, hence the reliable reference to the former, in case the other was seen by someone, coming into or going out of the flat”

Yes, indeed, but despite a clear run in to the try line M-B still manage to drop the ball. Nencini had no doubt that it was not just an initiative to cover for Guede, but also an opportunity to deflect the investigators from ascertaining her active participation in the murder. Lumumba, after all, would not be able to provide the investigators with any information on that score, or indeed about any others that might have been involved. M-B fail to mention that.

***

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Posted on 11/10/15 at 06:21 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Saturday, November 07, 2015

A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #2

Posted by James Raper



Image is of busy Rome at night

The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

I continue critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

My first post can be read here. A full translation of the Report can be read here.

Time of Death

“Another judicial error is the finding that the establishment of Kercher’s exact time of death was irrelevant, in the belief that the approximate timing offered by the expert investigators was sufficient, for all that this may have been correct at the trial stage…………….time of death is an unavoidable factual pre-requisite for the verification of the defendants‘ alibis.”

Once again, this is to entirely misrepresent Nencini.  He did not say that the TOD was irrelevant, and as for an exact TOD this would be impossible, even if the temperature of the body had been taken by the pathologist as soon as he arrived at the scene of the crime, which I am sure any intelligent and informed observer would understand. That would have narrowed the time frame very probably, but it was not a “judicial error”.

We could go on and delve into the evidence, particularly the expert and other evidence which became available over time and which conditioned Nencini’s observations, but Marasca-Bruno do not, instead resorting to a banal statement that does not take account of any of the foregoing.

“Deplorable carelessness in the preliminary investigative phase……[ ed: not taking body temperature, yes, but other forensic considerations had to apply as well]…....a banal arithmetic mean between a possible earliest time and a possible latest time (from around 6.50 pm on the 1st Nov to 4.50 am of the following day), thus fixing the time at about 11 -11.30pm”

At the time of the Massei trial the pathologist, Dr Lalli had concluded that death may have occurred between 8 pm on the 1st Nov and 4.00 am the next day. This was based on calculating temperature decrease in the cadaver, taking the Henssge nomogram into account, rigor mortis, hypostatic marks etc. The Henssge nomogram also allows one to calculate back a specific number of hours from the time of first measurement and this permitted an intermediate valuation of about 11 pm. It was not simply an arithmetic mean.

But in any event, the decision not to take the body temperature but rather preserve the scene for forensics for about 11 hours had no detrimental impact upon the defendants’ alibis. It is accepted that Meredith was certainly alive at 9 pm on the 1st Nov and there is nothing to corroborate an alibi for the accused from 9.15 pm onwards on the 1st Nov until 5. 30 am the following day.  Body temperature taken, and rigor mortis observed, earlier, would not have been able to narrow TOD down to a period of 15 minutes ( 9 to 9.15 pm), and hence prior to the last temporal reference point for a credible alibi, the interaction on Sollecito’s computer, or anything like that.

On The Scientific Evidence

Marasca-Bruno observe that there is a debate to be had here as to -

“The legal value attributable to scientific evidence, with particular reference to the genetic investigations, acquired in violation of the rules established by international protocols.”

The terms of the debate therefore define it‘s conclusion.

There are, they say, two theories which have to be balanced -

(1) “that which puts an increasing amount of weight on the contribution of science, even if not validated by the scientific community,” 

and

(2)  “that which insists on the primacy of law and postulates that, in deference to the rules of criminal procedure, only those scientific experiments validated according to commonly accepted methodological canons may be allowed to enter.”

No cigars for guessing which self- formulated option they prefer. It is, of course, (2), but still they have already both begged and loaded the question with their insistence on “validation“ (which in this context means repeating the scientific test to obtain the same result) according to “international protocols”

Then, to disguise that selection, we have this -

“The court concedes that this delicate problem…..must find a solution in the general rules that inform our legal system….and not….in an abstract insistence on the primacy of science over law or vice versa…………………. Scientific proof cannot, in fact, aspire to an unconditional credit of self-referential trustworthiness in the trial setting, by the very fact that a criminal trial renounces all notion of legal proof.”

Marasca-Bruno would not be so stupid as to insist that science has primacy over law in a trial setting.  Would they? The law, having primacy, must find the means to accommodate the maxims of science, but within the general rules that inform the legal system.

They continue -

“The reference co-ordinates will have to be those attaching to the principle of cross examination and to the judge’s control over the process of formation of evidence, which must respect preordained guarantees, the observance of which must strictly govern the judgement of the relevant results’ reliability.”

Interesting. “Cross-examination”? Perhaps they are reminded of the decisive inadmissibility of the previously discussed section of Guede’s letter. Can the DNA traces on the knife and the bra clasp fall into the same category? Can “validity according to international protocols” be a preordained guarantee, in the same manner as the rights of an accused not to be incriminated by a witness who refuses cross-examination is guaranteed by Article 526 of the ICCP?

If so, then some compelling reason will have to be advanced - abiding by the rules of evidence that inform the legal system. They cannot refer to an Article on the point in the ICCP. There is none, and if there were, and if it stated that the repeatability of a scientific test was a guarantee for the test to be reliable and/or admissible, then sample 36b from the knife would not even have made it into the trial. And this is not the fault of the ICCP. There is no other body of law in the world that I am aware of that embodies any such guarantee, even for Low Copy DNA. And the reason for that, in part, is that there is no internationally recognized protocol, and precisely because there is no agreement in the scientific community as to this as yet.

Marasca-Bruno tend to treat “reliability” and “admissibility” as interchangeable concepts, and indeed, given the manner in which they consider these concepts, in the context of the topic under discussion, there is some logic to this, for surely if a piece of evidence is pre-ordained as unreliable then it must be inadmissible as well.

There then follows a lot more pompous waffle that need not detain us, other than to comment that none of this advances, and indeed does not even consider, any compelling reason for regarding repeatability as a pre-ordained guarantee from the point of view of admissible, or reliable, evidence.

Indeed, the ICCP does specifically take into account non-repeatable tests for we can find in Article 360 that provided the conditions therein are complied with then the results of non-repeatable technical tests are admissible.

Why the insistence on repeatability despite Article 360?

Does the testimony of an eye witness to a crime have to be corroborated by a video of the incident, or other eye witness testimony, before his testimony can be considered reliable and admissible?

Why is the result of a scientific test, conducted in accordance with a method which has already been repeatedly used in the scientific community to establish the validity of the method, be treated any differently?

The eye witness, of course, does not have a video of the incident by which to check his memory, whereas a biological trace may well be sufficient to allow for repeated tests. However in such cases, if there is no repeat, the result is not automatically ruled unreliable or invalid. It is for the defence to request a repeat and if they do not, then it does not happen.

There would, of course, be a capacity for repeat, which Low Copy Number might not have, but if repeats do not occur when the capacity exists, then this is because the result is unambiguous, as the results were, for the judge a quo, in the case of Meredith’s profile on the knife and Sollecito’s profile on the bra clasp.

However, Marasca-Bruno move on to declare that they do not share Nencini’s lack of hesitation in attributing evidentiary value to the knife and bra clasp results.

They quote the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, in genetic investigations, about it’s degree of reliability -

“full value of proof, and not merely as an element of circumstantial evidence according to Article 192.…”

adding that

“in cases where the genetic investigation doesn’t provide absolutely certain findings, circumstantial value can be attributed to it’s results (section 2,n. 8434 of 05/02/2013, etc……)……which mean that where identity is established, the findings of the genetic investigation assume significant evidence, while in the case of mere compatibility with a specific genetic profile, they only have circumstantial importance.”

It is at this point that I had to pause and consider the very real possibility that Marasca-Bruno may have the combined denseness of two planks of wood nailed together. 

The compatibility of trace B on the knife with the genetic profile of Meredith Kercher is such that it is full proof of the “identity” of the trace, certainly established, and that by any scientific protocol. That was acknowledged by all the trial experts and even, though with some reluctance, by Vecchiotti.

Even if not full proof of ID it certainly has significant circumstantial relevance, according to the above and pursuant to Article 190 (which is mentioned later).

With that uncomfortable thought perhaps lurking in the back of their minds, they seek to obfuscate matters -

“As a general rule it is possible to adhere to these conclusions, on the condition, though, that the activity of collecting samples, storage and analysis of the exhibits has respected the regulations approved by the protocols of the profession.”

They then, rather bizarrely, go on to aver that that the correct methods, to preserve authenticity, were stated by the Supreme Court…..“even if only on the subject of information technology evidence” 

Eh ?!

They refer to Article 192, section 2 -

“The existence of a fact cannot be deduced from pieces of circumstantial evidence unless they are serious, precise and consistent.”

They opine -

“Taking into account such considerations [ed: “such considerations” need not concern us - they were just preceding waffle] one really cannot see how the results of the genetic analysis - that were performed in violation of recommendations for the protocols regarding the collection and storage - can be endowed with the characteristics of seriousness and preciseness.”

John McEnroe and “You cannot be serious!“ springs to mind.

They are also confusing the information obtained from the electropherogram with sample collection methods.

It is, of course, important to maintain clarity of thought by keeping the issue of the value of the evidence [ed: it’s seriousness, precision and consistency] apart from the issue of contamination. As Nencini and others were able to do. Marasca-Bruno are running these issues together.

“It is absolutely certain that these methods were not complied with [cites the C-V Report] -

(a) The knife collected and then preserved in a cardboard box, of the sort used to package Xmas gadgets, agendas ……….

(b) The bra clasp [collected 46 days after] …………..the photographic documentation demonstrating that at the time of collection, the clasp was passed from hand to hand…. In addition wearing dirty latex gloves.”

Shall I comment? Oh, alright. What is the relevance of the cardboard box unless it was a conduit for contamination?  That was not even hypothetically plausible.

Yes, as we all know the bra clasp was recovered after 46 days. But where are these collection protocols that are internationally recognized and are a pre-ordained guarantee recognized by law?

As for dirty gloves the only evidence of this that I have seen is a photograph of the bra clasp being held in one gloved hand whilst the glove on another hand, patently belonging to the same operative, shows spots of some substance on it, which spots are most probably, in the circumstances, blood derived from the clasp the operative is holding.

Where is the common sense of the 5th Chambers?

What exactly was wrong with the in-depth common sense analysis of Massei and Nencini?

And so we swing back to the conclusion that was their premise.

“In essence, it is nothing less than a procedure of validation or falsification typical of the scientific method, of which we have talked before. And it is significant, in this regard, that the experts Berti-Berni, officials of the R.I.S Roma, carried out two amplifications of the trace (ed: 36I) retrieved from the knife blade.

In the absence of verification by repetition of the investigative data, it is questionable what could be the relevant value to the proceedings, even if detached from the scientific theoretical debate, of the relevance of outcomes carried out on such scarce or complex samples in situations not allowing repetition.”

Let us recall what actually happened with sample 36I. In 2013 this sample, which had not been analyzed by the Independent Experts, was analyzed by Berti-Berni. The sample was Low Copy Number and the quantum of DNA present was significantly less than was present with sample 36B. However they were able to carry out the test with a repeat because since 2007 there had been further technical advances in the equipment.

The repeat confirmed the evidential value of the first test (Knox) despite the low level of DNA. Low Copy Number, as an inherent problem per se, and as evidence of contamination per se, as argued in the case of 36B (Meredith), was shown not to be an issue. That was what was truly significant about the test, and it underscores that the result of the test on 36B had significant evidential value.

The knife and the bra clasp -

“….cannot take on either probative or circumstantial relevance precisely because, according to the aforementioned laws of science, they necessitated validation and falsification.”

The primacy of the rules of evidence has just been jettisoned with this dogmatic assertion, which is not even derived from the logic of the argument they have presented in support. Indeed much of the argument (or rather, the waffle) is merely this dogmatic assertion in numerous different guises and tediously extended formulations of itself.

Not only that but Guede was also convicted on the basis of DNA tests that were not repeated!

One wonders what criminal judges in Italy will make of this, and of the fact that judges from the 5th Chambers, who deal primarily in matters other than criminal law, have presumed to lay down law to them in this field.

The reality is that despite this nothing will change as to the rules of evidence and how forensic evidence is evaluated in the criminal courts. The system, understandably, will not countenance that. That will leave this case, as it pertains to Knox and Sollecito, as an exception, a bizarre anomaly in the judicial record.

Perhaps, in the future it will not present a practical problem, given that developments in technology are able to detect even smaller amounts of DNA, thus allowing for repeats.

***

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Posted on 11/07/15 at 05:00 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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Thursday, November 05, 2015

A Critique In Five Parts Of The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report By Judges Marasca And Bruno #1

Posted by James Raper



Image is of busy Rome at night

The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

I will be critiquing the final 34 pages of the Motivation Report, the decisions and verdict parts.

This is the 54 page report released by the Fifth Chambers of the Italian Supreme Court late in September. For a full translation of the Report which can be referred to or downloaded please click here.

Key Decisions Of The Court

These are the eight main decisions I found In The Report -

    1.  The standard of “beyond any reasonable doubt” was not met due to insufficient and/or contradictory evidence - pursuant to Article 530, section 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.

    2.  Multiple attackers upheld. Guede was guilty with others unknown.

    3.  The break-in in Romanelli’s room was staged.

    4.  Amanda Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but there is insufficient evidence that she played a participatory role.

    5.  The DNA profile of Meredith Kercher on the knife and the DNA profile of Raffaele Sollecito on the bra clasp have “no probative or circumstantial relevance”

    6.  “Motive is not irrelevant” and motive was not established.

    7.  No selective cleaning.

    8.  No purpose would be served in remanding the case back to the 1st instance court of appeal (as had occurred on appeal against acquittal)

I am going to examine the 34 pages in which Marasca-Bruno present their rationale for the above. These pages also include reasons for the dismissal of various appeal submissions, which are of no interest to this critique.

Central to the acquittals is of course the claim that that the evidence was insufficient and/or contradictory and I shall look closely at how the Report sets out to demonstrate this.

We shall discover that a number of these co-called contradictions are not plausibly inherent in the trial evidence or in previous reports but are in fact the result of illogical reasoning, dogmatic assertion, indeed simply plucked from the air, by the 5th Chambers itself.

My Own Overall Reaction To The Report

My overall reaction to the Report is that it is quite unlike any other reasoning I have seen produced by a court of law. 

It smacks of a desperate attempt to bring home an incomprehensible verdict.

The language and the dogmatic assertions, unsupported by any evidence, are quite startling.

The competence of the investigators, the forensic service and the judges who have adjudicated previously in the case, is called into question, frequently in a preposterous way. 

I suspect that the Report was written with a view to the media being able to lift headlines from it, and many such potential headlines are to be found loaded towards the front of the Report. The busy tabloid editors dream.

Indeed the Report (when it actually has anything to say) is akin to opinion based journalism; inadequately researched and ill-considered.

There is a substantial amount of ponderous, self indulgent, and obfuscatory “scholastic” waffle in the Report. It forms a turgid barrier (like thick treacle) for the reader and, of course, the Courts’ affirmation that Knox was present when the murder was committed is only to be found deep into the Report.

Remove this waffle and padding however and the illogical and self -defeating nature of the reasoning stands out.

It is odd that some of the lengthy legal citations appear to conflict with the point that the Court is trying to make.

The Report challenges, if not overturns, some settled and well understood legal concepts in criminal law and natural justice and violates aspects of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure. This must be of some concern to the Italian judiciary in general.

If ever there was a Supreme Court judgement that needed to be referred by the Italian President to the Council of Magistrates for review, this is it.

My Critique Of The Decisions Part #1

On The Nencini Appeal

So, let’s start. We begin with Marasca-Bruno setting the stage for their play (which as it progresses, bears a marked resemblance to Hamlet).

The Report claims that the Nencini appeal was -

“conditioned by the prospect of the factual profile unexpectedly included in the sentence of annulment ( i.e annulling Hellmann); such that the stringent and analytical evaluation of the Supreme Court might unavoidably force one towards affirming the guilt of the two accused. Misguided by this basic misunderstanding, the same judge is drawn into logical inconsistencies and obvious errors of judgement that are here reported.”

The Report refers to “the troubled and intrinsically contradictory path” of the history of the trial, by which, of course, they mean the acquittals at the Hellmann appeal.

“An objectively wavering process, whose oscillations, however, are also the result of clamorous failures, or investigative “amnesia” and culpable omissions of investigative activity. Had they been carried out these would, in all probability, have led to a picture, if not of certainty, to at least of tranquil reliability, pointing to either the guilt or innocence of today’s accused. Such a scenario, intrinsically contradictory, constitutes in itself, already, a first and eloquent signal of an investigation that was never capable of reaching a conclusion that was beyond any reasonable doubt.”

There are many carefully crafted layers of deception, supposition and “begging the question” in the above two quotes.

The first is that there was a factual profile (without stating what this was) emerging from the sentence of annulment.

That would not be true since all that the Supreme Court 1st Chambers did was annul Hellmann’s verdicts having accepted the prosecution’s grounds of appeal, one of which, incidentally, was that Hellmann was riddled with examples of “begging the question“, a trait which Marasca and Bruno are by no means averse to themselves.

That left the judicial process with the factual profile that emerged from the Massei trial, modified, if at all, by trial evidence from Hellmann.

Marasca-Bruno also quite arbitrarily assert that Nencini was “conditioned” and “misguided” by the terms of the annulment.

Whatever errors Nencini may have made in his Report (and there were a few) I can only find one (see later) that could have been potentially significant, an error in law, that is certainly censurable, but it is highly subjective and offensive to assert that these were conditioned by and a consequence of the annulment, or imply that they had an impact on the verdict. That assertion is simply begging the question and is clearly an affront to the appeal judge.

It is, of course, perfectly true that the Hellmann annulment came with a request from the 1st Chambers of the Supreme Court for the Florence appeal court to consider, (to paraphrase), “within it’s broadest discretion, the possibility of determining the subjective positions of Guede’s co-conspirators within a range of hypothetical situations, from premeditated intent to kill to an unwanted sex game that got out of control“.

To be clear, being asked to consider someone’s subjective position is not just an invitation to consider motive but more broadly an invitation to consider that person’s understanding of the nature and consequences of his interaction, or non-interaction, with a situation.

As it happened Nencini demonstrated latitude and independence in considering an entirely different and just as likely, if not more so, hypothesis. The hypothesis was not an affirmation of guilt, let alone proof, but was an element in the picture, and was certainly not forced upon the court by the terms of the annulment.

Marasca-Bruno may not have cared much for Nencini’s hypothesis (see later) but they can hardly, to be consistent, deplore the motivation given that they come up with (be it on little evidence) a subjective and puzzling scenario of their own for Knox (see the end of this critique) that leaves a lot of questions begging.

Equally begging the question is that the Hellmann acquittals were the consequence of an investigation that was never capable of reaching a conclusion that was beyond reasonable doubt. Marasca-Bruno also seem to accept, they certainly imply, that even an annulled verdict is evidence of reasonable doubt. Again there is no logical connection for that given that the verdict - they accept this - was correctly annulled..

All these assertions require to be demonstrated. Are they?

On The Claimed Media Impact

Next the Report claims that the media impacted on the conduct of the investigation and the judicial proceedings. There was “an unusual media clamour” of an international nature that -

“led to a sudden acceleration of the investigation, in the frantic search for one or more guilty people to placate international opinion, and certainly did not help lead to the truth……………………media attention led to “prejudicial reflexes”, “procedural deviations”, generating “illicit noise” in the provision of information. This is not so much from the late discovery of witnesses, as of the raiding of the trial by the impromptu propulsion of detainees with proven criminal records, who are certainly not people averse to moments of pathological lying…”

The media, take note. But it is the investigators that are once again being called to account here.

Marasca-Bruno do not identify the point at which the aforesaid sudden acceleration is supposed to occur but I would hazard a guess that it was when the investigators discovered the body of a girl who had been brutally murdered. The only propulsion required would be the perfectly natural need to identify and detain the perpetrators, and not what the media was saying about the case.

Marasca-Bruno do not produce one convincing iota of evidence that the investigators were unduly influenced by the media attention rather than the evidence they were obtaining.

There is, of course, more than a nod to the defence PR myth of a Rush to Judgement about the above. However it is overlooked that there was a period of 7 months between the arrest of Knox and Sollecito and the prosecution notifying all concerned that they were ready to press charges.

Marasca-Bruno are, of course, perfectly right about Alessi and Aviello but omit to mention their names and that these were witnesses called by the defence. The media had nothing to do with that, but rather the evidence of multiple attackers.

Thus ends the setting of the stage for a play within a play.

We should now be aware that there is something rotten in the State of Denmark, with which a theatrical Marasca-Bruno, the personifications of Hamlet, are about to grapple. Nencini becomes Claudius who, as revealed by a supernatural apparition, had murdered Hamlet’s father (Hellmann).

On Multiple Attackers

We now come to a clear and unequivocal endorsement of multiple attackers. Well done.

And then, and here I somewhat reluctantly have to agree, Marasca-Bruno identify an error in law in the Nencini Report.

Nencini referred to Guede’s appearance at the Hellmann appeal when Guede was questioned as to the letter he wrote in response to the allegation concerning him made by Alessi. In this letter, read out to the court, Guede wrote “I hope that sooner or later the judges realize my complete lack of involvement in what was a horrible murder of Meredith a lovely wonderful young woman, by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox.”

Guede had not specifically said as much before and when cross-examined on the matter he declined to answer, referring the court to his previous statements. Nencini’s error was to treat the letter and those previous statements, in as much as they contained accusations placing Knox and Sollecito at the cottage at the time of the murder, as admissible circumstantial evidence.

That, however, is expressly excluded by the rule that states that incriminatory statements made by a witness of another are inadmissible unless the witness submits to cross-examination on them.

It should, however, be remembered that Guede did not give evidence at the Massei trial (nor were his previous statements admitted) and so it cannot be said that the error was that significant in the context of the evidence as a whole.

On The Trial Process

Having set the stage and dealt with points of law Marasca-Bruno now turn to the “merit of the trial process” which, of course they have already, and without merit, managed to sully.

Particularly this involves looking at the “Motivational structure of the ruling under appeal”.

“Discrepancies, inconsistencies and errors in judgement do not escape notice.”

They then proceed to set these out.

1. The Issue Of Motive

“Erroneous, in the first place, is the assertion regarding the substantive irrelevance of ascertaining the motive for the murderous act. This cannot be accepted in the light of the unquestioned doctrine of this regulating court, relating to the relevance of motive as the glue that links the various elements of which proof is made, especially in circumstantial cases such as the one at hand”

Well, Nencini did not maintain that motive was irrelevant, or even substantially irrelevant, per se. What he did say was this -

“Regarding motive, first it is necessary to quote the teaching of the Court of Legitimacy on whose opinion the precise indication of a motive for the crime of murder loses relevance when the attribution of responsibility to a defendant derives from a precise and concordant evidentiary framework (see Supreme Court, section 1 Criminal Sentence No. 11807, 12th February 2009).”

Marasca-Bruno ignore the above but quote another bit of law which, to paraphrase it,  because it becomes complicated in translation, states that motive, whilst capable of constituting an element, has to be congruent with and capable of pointing all the elements of the evidence in a single direction, in a clear, precise and convergent manner, failing which any motive so postulated attains an air of ambiguity unable to fulfill it’s purpose.

Marasca-Bruno continue -

“…..which as we shall see shortly, (such purpose) cannot be maintained in the case at hand, in the face of a body of evidence which is ambiguous and intrinsically contradictory.”

If my paraphrasing is correct, then this does not contradict Nencini. Indeed the quotes, taken together, are complimentary and encapsulate what just about every criminal lawyer understands to be correct about the relevance of a motive in criminal proceedings. Nencini is not erroneous. Motive is not central. It is an element which may be useful. Futile and trivial motives are difficult to pin down to a specific cause. There are, indeed, glues other than motive, which fulfill the same purpose, such as the behaviour, lies, inconsistencies and contradictions referable to the words and actions of the accused themselves.

Finally, on motive, Marasca-Bruno make another point.

Guede had a sexual motive but this cannot be extended to others. To demonstrate the point they present the following argument, but here, again, I encounter a difficulty with the translation into English, and so I paraphrase:

“If it would be manifestly illogical (ed: as it would be) to hypothesize the involvement of Romanelli and Mezetti in the murder, and in complicity with a complete stranger, then it is equally illogical not to extend the same argument to Sollecito who had never met Guede.”

According to M-B, Nencini’s failure to advance this argument is a judicial error.

However I can quite understand why he did not advance it.

Firstly, the argument is based on Guede’s sexual motive and the implied premise that gender and sexual assault are related, which does render the involvement of Romanelli and Mezetti unlikely but does not help Sollecito.

Secondly, the lack of a link to Guede, in either case but particularly in Sollecito’s case, has nothing to do with whether or not the hypothesized perpetrator would in fact possess such a motive. Thirdly there is a link anyway, Knox,

The argument might conceivably operate on another plane, leaving aside sexual motive. Would anyone commit murder with a stranger?  Well it happens in fact, particularly if there is a party who can link the strangers together.

The reason, of course, why one cannot hypothesize the involvement of Romanelli and Mezetti in the murder is that they both had proven alibis, whereas Sollecito did not, and that would seem to be the more pertinent fact.

It is a suggestive argument but one that is flawed. In any event it is not significant and Marasca-Bruno are not averse from making significant judicial errors themselves, as we shall see.

***

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Posted on 11/05/15 at 05:39 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #7 Of 7: Attempt At Why Court Blinked At Guilt

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Cassation mural by Cesare Maccari 19th century, on the theme of justice

Overview Of The Post and the Series

This represents pages 41 to 46 of the original, which is 53 pages in total. Machiavelli posted the final few quite damning pages several weeks ago.

The four part series by the lawyer James Raper that follows next concentrates on the analysis and conclusions in the second half. We have already carried a four part analysis by Catnip.

We also posted these charges against defense lawyer Maori which also explain at length how the Fifth Chambers (which handles no murder cases normally) among numerous errors of its own broke two laws.

Apart from questions as to why it wandered from its narrow mandate, that court should not have one-upped the First Chambers findings in 2013 or the Nencini findings in 2015 without referring the case back down to him.

Those charges are now lodged with the Florence court, and the archaic “political-track” route to their questionable seats on the Supreme Court of Judge Marasca and Judge Bruno as opposed to career-track has already been sealed off by the Council of Magistrates.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final.

Attempt to Explain Why The Court Blinked At Guilt

8. Now, in fluid succession, the points of clear logical disparity in the appealed motivation should be positioned.

8.1 A process element of incontrovertible value – as will be explained further – is represented by the asserted absence, in the room of the homicide or on the victim’s body, of biological traces attributable with certainty to the two defendant, when, in contrast, there copious traces have been detected firmly referable to Guede.

This was an insurmountable roadblock on the road taken by the trial judge to arrive at an affirmation of guilt of the current appellants, who were already absolved of the homicide by the Hellmann Appeal Court.

To overcome the inconvenience of such negative element - unequivocally favorable to the current appellants – it has been sustained, in vain, that, after the theft simulation the perpetrators of the crime carried out a “selective” cleaning of the environment, in order to remove only the traces referable to them, while still leaving those attributable to others.

The assumption is manifestly illogical. To appreciate, in full, the amount of disparity it is not necessary to carry out an expert investigation ad hoc, even if requested by the defense. Such a cleanup would be impossible according to common-sense rules of ordinary experience, an activity of targeted cleaning capable of avoiding luminol examinations which are in commonplace use by investigators (also used to highlight different traces, not just hematic ones).

After all, the same assumption of an asserted precision in the cleaning is shown to be wrong in point of fact, considering that “in the little bathroom” hematic traces on the bathmat, on the bidet, on the faucet, on the cotton buds box, and on the light switch were found. And also, in a case of guilt of the current appellants, certainly they would have had enough time for an accurate cleaning, in the sense that there wouldn’t be any reasons for hurry that would have animated any other perpetrator of the crime who would probably be worried about the possible arrival of other persons. In fact, Knox, was well aware of the absence of Romanelli and Mezzetti from the house and she knew that they would have not returned home that night, therefore there would have been all the necessary time for an accurate cleaning of the house.

With reference to the asserted hematic traces in the other environments, especially in the corridor, there’s also an obvious misrepresentation of the proof. In fact, the progress-of-works reports of the Scientific Police had excluded, consequent to the use of a particular chemical reagent, that, in the examined environments, the traces highlighted by the luminol were of hematic nature. Those -of-works certificates, despite being regularly compiled and registered in evidence, were not considered.

Also manifestly illogical, in this regard, is the argument of the trial judge who (at f.186) assumes that he could overrule the defense objection in relation to circumstances in which the luminescent bluish reaction caused by the luminol is also produced in the presence of substances different from blood (for example, detergent residues, fruit juices and others), on the assumption that that, even if theoretically exact, would have to be “contextualized” in the sense that if the fluorescence manifests itself in an environment involving a homicide, the luminol reaction can only be attributed to hematic traces.

The weakness of this, even at first sight, doesn’t require any notation, and it would furthermore require the assumptions that the house in via della Pergola was never subject to cleaning or that it was not ever lived in.

This analysis permits us therefore to exclude, categorically, that hematic traces were removed on that particular occasion.

There’s another clear logical disparity regarding the explanations given by the trial about the theft of the cellphones of Kercher,  which the unknown perpetrator or perpetrators, while moving away from via della Pergola, got rid of, after the homicide, tossing them into a plot next to the road which in the dark could appear like open country (while was a private garden instead).

Far from plausible further more is the judge’s justification that the cellphones would have been taken to avoid their eventual ringing leading to discovery of the corpse of the young English woman before the hypothetic time, without considering that such an outcome could have more easily been achieved by shutting the telephones off or removing the batteries.

It is also clearly illogical – and also little respectful of the trial’s body of facts – to reconstruct the motivation of the homicide on the basis of supposed disagreements between Kercher and Knox, enhanced by the irritation of the young English woman toward her housemate for having allowed Guede in the house, who had thereupon made an irregular use of the bathroom (f. 312). The explanation offered by the Ivorian in one of his declarations during the proceeding against him (and usable, according to what stated before, only in the parts which don’t involve responsibilities of third parties) is, instead, a different one. The young man in fact was in the bathroom, when he heard Kercher arguing with another person, who he perceived had a female voice, so that the motivation for the arguing could have not be constituted by his use of the bathroom.

Also illogical and contradictory is the judge’s statement that, attempting to provide a cause for that disagreement (which was moreover denied in other declarations) doesn’t hesitate to retrieve the hypothesis of the money and credit card theft which Kercher was said to have attributed to Knox, despite the fact that, in a definitive finding, Knox, and Sollecito too, would be absolved because “there is no hard fact” on the crime of thievery in relation to the aforementioned goods (f.316).

It is also arbitrary in the absence of any accepted confirmation to transfer to the house at via della Pergola the situations that Knox, in one of her declarations, had described and contextualized in a different timeframe and circumstance, which was in via Garibaldi n. 130, in Sollecito’s house: viewing of a movie, light consuming of drugs, sexual intercourse, and nocturnal rest lasting until the late morning of the 2nd of November, in a period before, during and after the homicide. This was introduced as a dynamic of the murder, the possible destabilizing effect of drugs.

This also was done in the absence of any verification, and also because – among the multiple omissions or disputable investigative strategies – the police teams, even after collecting a cigarette butt from the ashtray in the living room containing biological traces of a mixed genetic profile (Knox and Sollecito), didn’t carry out any analysis on the nature of the cigarette’s substance because that investigation would have resulted in an impossibility to verify the genetic profile, making the sample “unusable”. And all of this with the brilliant [sic] result of submitting to the trial an absolutely irrelevant data, considered that it is certain that Sollecito frequented the house in via della Pergola, because he was sentimentally bound to the American girl; while in contrast the verification of the nature of the cigarette sample might have offered investigative leads of particular interest.

What is underlined above is emblematic of the whole body of the appealed findings related to the reconstruction of the relevant event, reported in par.10 with the title: conclusive evaluations.

It is undeniably a faulty interpretation attempt of the judge in order to compensate for some investigative lacks and obvious proof shortfalls with acute speculative activity and suggestive logical argumentations, being merely assertive and dogmatic.

Now it is unquestionable that the factual reconstruction is an exclusive task of the trial judge and it is not the responsibility of the Court of Cassation to establish if the proposed assessment is actually the best possible reconstruction of the facts, nor to approve his justifications, requiring this court only to address verification if such justification is compatible - according to the basic jurisprudence formula – “with common sense and with the limits of a plausible appreciation of opinion” (among others, Section 5, n. 1004 of 30 November 1999, dep. 2000, Moro G, Rv. 215745), and also according to the probative requirements in the light of the text of article 606 lett. e) of the code of criminal procedure; it is also true that the chosen reconstructive version, even if in compliance with the standards of ordinary logic, has to adhere to the reality of the body of facts and be presented as the result of a process of critical evaluation of the points of proof acquired. Therefore the use of logic and intuition cannot compensate for shortfalls in proofs or investigative inefficiency. In the face of a missing, insufficient or contradictory proof, the judge must limit himself to accepting that and deliver an acquittal sentence, according to article 530, chapter 2, of the code of criminal procedure, even if driven by an authentic moral conviction of the guilt of the accused.

Also, there is no shortage of errors in the motivation text of the examined sentence. Accordingly the assumption is totally erroneous in f. 321, according to which in the almost imperceptible grooves of the knife which was considered the weapon of the crime (item 36) DNA samples were attributable to Sollecito and also Kercher. The assumption is, in fact, in conflict with the lengthy exposition in the part concerning the aforementioned item (ff. 208 ss), where the outcomes of the genetic investigations which had attributed trace A to Amanda Knox, trace B to Kercher, a finally, trace I – the examination of which was unjustifiably passed over in the Conte-Vecchiotti survey – attributed after a new test to Knox. As will be stated further, given the attribution of the traces A and I to the current appellant, the reference of the trace B to Kercher cannot have – for the reasons stated above – any possibility of certainty being a low copy number sample meaning a scarce-quantity sample which could allow only one amplification (f.124). It doesn’t appear anywhere that the knife carried biological traces related to the genetic profile of Sollecito.

9. The noted errors in judgment and the logical inconsistencies conflict fundamentally with the appealed sentence which therefore deserves to be annulled.

The aforementioned invalidating reasons mount up in the absence of a possible framework of proof that could really be accepted as able to support a verdict of guilt beyond reasonable doubt as required by article 533 of the code of criminal procedure, in the recent text of article 5 of law n. 46 of 2006.

Regarding the discussion of the range of meaning of that rule and its possible reflection on the evaluation of the evidence, this Court of Cassation has more than once had occasion to restate that “the normative prevision of the judgmental rule of beyond reasonable doubt which is based on the constitutional principle of presumed innocence, has not led to a different and more restrictive criteria of evaluation of the proof, but has coded the jurisprudential principle according to which the declaration of the sentence has to be based on certainty with regard to the accused ( Section 2, n. 7035 of 09 November 2012, dep. 2013, De Bartolomei, Rv. 254025; Section 2, n. 16357 of 2 April 2008, Crisiglione¸ Rv. 239795).

It is not in essence an innovative or “revolutionary” principle, but the mere formal recognition of a judgment rule already existing in the judiciary experience of our Country and therefore already in firm force regarding the conditions for a sentence, given the preexistent rule of article 530, second chapter, of the code of criminal procedure, according to which, in case of insufficiency or contradiction of the evidence, the accused has to be acquitted. (Section 1, n. 30402 of 28/062006, Volpon, Rv.234374).

On the basis of such premises the principle was enhanced according to which “the judgmental rule contained in the formula for beyond any reasonable doubt requires the pronouncing of a guilty sentence only when the acquired proofs excludes all but the remotest eventualities, even if supposable in theory and considered possible in the nature of things, but it is obvious that in this concrete case, the investigation results lacked any verification during the trial, unless outside the natural order of things and normal human rationality” (Section 2, n. 2548 of 19/12/2014, dep. 2015, Segura, Rv. 262280); together with the enunciation that alternative reconstructions of the crime have to be based on reliable probative elements, because the doubt which inspires them cannot be founded on merely conjectural hypothesis, even if plausible, but has to be characterized by rationality (cfr Section 4, n. 22257 of the 25/03/2014, Guernelli, Rv. 259204; Section 1, n. 17921 of the 03/03/2010, Giampà, Rv. 247449; Section 1, n. 23813 of 08/05/2009, Manikam, Rv. 243801).

9.1 The intrinsically contradictory quality of the body of proof, the objective uncertainty of which is emphasized by the highlighted irregular progression of the proceeding, doesn’t allow us to consider it as having passed the standard of no reasonable doubt, the consecration of which is a milestone in juridical civilization which has to be protected for always as an expression of fundamental constitutional values clustered around the central role of the person in the legal system, whose protection is effected at trial by the principle of presumption of innocence until there is definitive verification, according to article 27, chapter 2, of the Constitution.

9.2. The terms of objective contradictions in the proof here can be illustrated for each appellant, in a synoptic examination of the elements favorable to the hypothesis of guilt and the elements to the contrary in the text of the appeal and the defense declarations.

9.3. It is useful to the side by side examination of these profiles to consider that, given the committing of the homicide in via della Pergola, the supposed presence in the house of the current appellants cannot, in itself be considered as a demonstrative element of guilt. In the evaluative approach to the problematic compendium of proof offered by the appellate judge, we cannot ignore the juridical categories of “non-punishable connivance” and “participation of persons in the crime committed by others” and the distinction between them as accepted by indisputables decision of the Court of Cassation.

In this regard, it is well understood that the distinction resides “in the fact that the first postulates that the agent maintain a merely passive behavior, of no contribution to the effecting of the crime, while the second requires a positive participatory contribution - moral or material – to the other’s criminal conduct in ways that aid or strengthen the criminal purpose of the appellant” (Section 4, n. 1055 of 12/12/2013, dep. 2014, Benocci, Rv. 258186; Section 6, n. 44633 of 31/102013, Dioum, Rv. 257810; Section 5, n. 2895 of 22/03/2013, dep. 2014, Grosu, Rv. 258953). Equally certain is the effect of this specific distinction in the subjectivity consideration, since in the actual participation by persons in the crime the subjective element can be identified in the conscious representations and will of the participant in cooperating with other subjects in the common realization of the criminal conduct (Section 1, n 40248 of 26/09/2012, Mazzotta, Rv. 254735).

9.4 Now, a fact of assured relevance in favor of the current appellants, in the sense of excluding their material participation to the homicide, even assuming the hypothesis of their presence in the house of via della Pergola, lies in the absolute absence of biological traces referable to them (apart from the hook of which we will discuss later) in the room of the homicide or on the victim’s body, where in contrast multiple traces attributable to Guede were found.

It is incontrovertibly impossible that that in the crime scene (constituted by a room of little dimensions: ml 2,91x3,36, as indicated by the blueprint reproduced at f. 76) no traces would be retrieved referable to the current appellants had they participated in the murder of Kercher.

No trace assignable to them has been, in particular, observed on the sweatshirt worn by the victim at the moment of the aggression and nor on the underlying shirt, as it should have been in case of participation in the homicide (instead, on the sleeve of the aforementioned sweater traces of Guede were retrieved: ff. 179-180).

The aforementioned negative circumstance works as a counterbalance to the data, already highlighted, on the absolute impracticality of the hypothesis of a posthumous selective cleaning capable of removing specific biological traces while leaving others.

Posted on 11/04/15 at 05:41 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #4 Their Findings - Ambivalent In Spades

Posted by catnip



Sollecito & Bongiorno: reported as very un-thrilled at the findings RS was at crime scene and lied

Overview

This is my dissection of Part 9, the final 10 pages of the report.

My previous dissections of the Fifth Chambers explanation can be read here and here and here.

Dissections

Each sentence in the paraphrased gist of the repoirt below corresponds to one paragraph in the text.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Errors in law and logical inconsistencies mean that the impugned judgment merits being cassated [quashed]. The evidential picture does not reach the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s not an innovative or “revolutionary” principle and is already present in Italian law, implicitly in Article 530 para 2. Remote possibilities are not ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’(Segura case, 2014) and mere conjecture, even though plausible, cannot found alternative reconstructions (Gurenelli case, 2014, etc) (9).


COMMENT: Citing from cases is a good technique, even to including their names, à la common law systems. Not reaching the BARD standard is the crux of the matter.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The contradictory evidence as illustrated by the up-and-down nature of the proceedings through the courts does not reach the BARD standard (9.1)


COMMENT: This is disingenuous. The Perugia Court of Appeal judgment was annulled (except for the calunnia), so calling it into play again as one of the, presumably, “up” side of the ‘swings-and-roundabouts’ of the case as if it were a valid judgment is misleading.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: An overview of the for-and-against positions can be given (9.2)


COMMENT: Given the appearance of a balanced handling of the matter is a good technique. The assumption that there are for-and-against positions is not clarified or explained, though, merely asserted.

That is, a reading of the evidence as ‘not guilty’, to stand and be opposed to and contrasted with a reading of the evidence as ‘guilty’, involves a circularity of reasoning: it is the ultimate contradiction for the same evidence to support both positions simultaneously.

The result of a ‘not guilty’ conclusion is that the evidence leads there, and away from a conclusion of ‘guilty’. A for-and-against view begins with the conclusion, in order to prove the conclusion: circularity.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Presence does not equate with guilt. Passive participation is different to active participation (Benocci case, 2013 etc). The subjective element can be found in voluntary participation and cooperation (Mazzotta case, 2012) (9.3)


COMMENT: Absence of evidence does not equate with innocence (meaning evidence of absence). Quoting from cases is good: it gives the impression something legal is going.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Even given their presence, FOR the accused is the absence of their traces in the room or on the body (excluding the bra-clasp, of which more later), and likewise FOR the accused is the presence of Rudy’s evidence. The room is so small that is impossible not to leave any traces if they were murderers. Nothing of theirs was found on the victim’s top or the piece of clothing underneath, whereas Rudy’s trace was found on a sleeve of the top. This makes a clean-up impossible. (9.4)


COMMENT: Declarations of certainty about the consequences of the size of the room are not evidence, no matter how close such declarations seem to be in going ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. Given an erroneous starting point, impeccable reasoning can be applied, and a conclusion reached.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Amanda’s self-described presence is credible in that she described, for the first time, a possible sexual motive for the murder, and the piercing scream. In her calunnia she puts herself on the scene which no-one else (other than those others present, obviously) would have known. According to the calunnia, the scream and the murder is due to Patrick Lumumba. AGAINST: the mixed traces (dilute blood, skin cells) in the small bathroom.

Suspicion is not decisive. The trace is not equivocal – there could have been posthumous contact with the blood.  There was no trace in the murder zone or on the body. The reason why she accused is incomprehensible – the psychological pressure theory is weak (fragile). She couldn’t think it would stand up, since she knew well that Patrick had no relationship with Meredith, or that Patrick wouldn’t have a cast-iron alibi. Maybe to cover for Rudy (both men being black), perhaps hypothesising that Rudy had been seen.

The staged burglary scene, for the prosecution, pointed to somebody who knew the victim, but this is ambiguous because it was Raffaele who pointed out to the police that nothing had been carried off. Lies revealed by SMS and Curatolo and Quintavalle are suspicious, but they are scarcely credible witnesses. The enigmatic drug-dealer Curatolo, coming late to the case and no stranger to cases with a strong media presence, is contradicted by the lack of buses, and the masks and joking around of Halloween, apparently counterbalanced by seeing the accused the day before forensic spacemen arrived. Quintavalle, another tardy witness, has nothing specific to add, not even what purchases were made, and identifying in Amanda in the courtroom has no relevance since her image had appeared on all the newspapers and TV news.

The “A” and “I” traces on the knife are neutral, given she lived with Raffaele, and (as said) there were no traces of Ms Kercher on the knife, contrasting with the prosecution hypothesis that it was the murder weapon. It was an arguable choice to test the trace for DNA rather than for what substance it was. Attributing the trace to Amanda is not unequivocal, and is indifferent, since she lived with Raffaele. Even attributing trace “B” to Meredith is not decisive (not being blood), since, with students, it’s plausible that convivial gatherings and other events would require the transport of a knife for domestic use. Starch implies ordinary use; lack of blood cannot lead to a cleaning action since starch is well-known to be absorbent and would have absorbed blood if it had been there.

It’s implausible that Amanda would carry the kitchen knife for protection in her big bag, rather than carry a small flick knife like knife-collector and knife-fan Raffaele certainly had in his possession. Attributing the print in the homicide location to her is, finally, anything but certain. (9.4.1)


COMMENT:  ‘All over the place like a dog’s breakfast’. Where to begin? The strong suspicion, reinforced with every statement made, is that Bruno is one sandwich short of a picnic. The main cause is due to taking the defence claims in their appeal papers as if they were the factual basis of a new trial. Which makes Bruno two sandwiches short of a picnic. For a Cassation judge, the picnic hamper and its contents is a serious matter. This whole section, and the following one, are destined to become a classic example.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: For Raffaele, the picture is likewise. The bra-clasp, the only trace of his, has no certainty, since there is no 2nd amplification, there is no probative value. There is a strong suspicion he was there on the night, but when is not possible to determine. Given Amanda was present, it’s scarcely believable he wouldn’t be with her. Amanda had versions of the “something strange” story and other versions of being present, it’s strange she wouldn’t have called her boyfriend, presumably being ignorant of Italian emergency procedures and having her boyfriend close by. No call, there was no phone record, implies he was with her.

But presence at the scene is not certain proof. Defence arguments are insufficient to remove doubt. Even if Raffaele watched everything, it does not rule out his presence – he could have been at the house, it’s a short distance away, ten or so minutes. Amanda’s claims to have been at Raffaele’s house, countered by Curatalo’s and Quintavalle’s testimony, raises strong suspicion against Raffaele. But their strongly approximative and ambiguous statements cannot, reasonably, lead to certainty, notwithstanding the appeal court’s problematic subjective view on the matter. Suspicions rise from the substantive failure of the alibi about the computers, although it’s not a case of speaking about failed alibis, but rather alibis that didn’t make it. No certainty either about Raffaele’s prints, with their “probable identity”, rather than certainty. (9.4.2)


COMMENT: Reasonable minds can (and often do) come to different conclusions on the same facts. But: Highly trained professional lawyers applied the incorrect methodology?! If Bruno thinks Florence did that, then what’s to stop anyone thinking that Bruno has done the same thing? Curatolo is an enigmatic drug-dealer (and again the media get a look-in), but the enigmatic drug-taking Raffaele isn’t, even with his knife-fetish?

Luckily, enigmas, according to common experience, are not generally the convivial party-going kind, whereof large kitchen knives for domestic use are easily transported. Bruno, and the Bruno Cafe-and-Bar Specials, are ripe for satire (which may be the underlying ulterior intention, subconsciously-speaking: to make a mark, or a stain or a trace, no matter how indeterminate, or, keyword, indecisive.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Since the main charge is unsupported, the subsidiary charges also fall. (9.4.3)


COMMENT: True, as a principle.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Contradictory probative elements must compel an acquittal. One last question remains to be resolved. Remand of the case to another court is logically linked to the objective possibility of further tests. The response is definitely negative. The traces are so small they cannot guarantee reliability. Amanda’s and Meredith’s computer were burned by the investigators, probably through the wrong electric current causing irreversible damage. The declaratory evidence is exhaustive. Rudy refused and cannot be compelled to testify.

Defence technical requests cannot guarantee clarity, not only because of the amount of time, but the problematic testing (possibility of selective clean-up); obvious irrelevance (tests on Raffaele’s computer), given the possibility, no matter what the interaction, of going over to Meredith’s house; or clearly superfluous, given the completeness of the examination undertaken (for example, the autopsy and subsequent medico-legal tests). Remand of the case would be useless. Annulment of the conviction under charge (A)  [=aggravated murder] implies a redetermination of the sentence imposed, which will be set as the same one handed down by the Court of Appeal of Perugia, adequate and just.

And so all other defence submissions petitions requests are to be considered denied, while any lines of argumentation, including those not examined, are inadmissible as being, clearly, related to the mertis. (10)


COMMENT: Repeating of the same wallpaper pattern starting to occur. Which means, there is nothing more to say. Literally.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: It only remains to dispose the case (11):

Charge (B): extinction of the charge by prescription
The impugned judgment, excluding aggravated calunnia, annulled without remand on charges (A), (D)and (E) on the grounds on not having committed the deed
Re-determine the sentence inflicted on Amanda for the crime of calunnia to three years of imprisonment.
So decided 27/03/2015
Signed
(Bruno, Recorder) (Marasca, President)


COMMENT: Only Bruno initialled each page; Marasca limited himself to signing at the end.

Observations

What have we learned on the first read-through of (the legal part of) the Cassation decision?

  • That the court is not slave to science, yet Bruno pronounces about repeatability and its scientific significance (which he mistakes for the significance of falsifiability). He makes repeatability a judicial truth. I expect Bruno will be surprised to “learn” that there are sciences where repeatability is not an option, yet they are still science.

  • That the court is not slave to the expert, yet when the defence claim that international standards have been breached in the collection of evidence, that is accepted as judicial truth.

  • That a person is not slave to their DNA: the presence of DNA (Raffaele’s on the cigarette butt) is proof of nothing since he was a visitor to the cottage, and the absence of DNA (in the room) is proof of everything since it “shows” (with certainty) that they weren’t there as murderers.

  • That the court is adept at applying common experience and associated physics, yet Bruno does not hesitate to declare what is and isn’t physically possible (in a small room, say; or with starch grains).

  • That the court applies logic and common sense and everyday knowledge, yet, in continuously describing the crime as senseless, incomprehensible, and indeed not of the everyday, Bruno looks for sense and rationality, and the not finding of it doesn’t alert him to the possibility that it isn’t there.

  • That the copy-paste function on junior judge’s computers should be switched off in cases of non compus mentus, or that at the least that copyright payments should be made to defence clerks for usage of the material, to offset their costs.

Others here will pick up the baton on this. I look forward to seeing them run.

Posted on 10/31/15 at 04:36 PM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesCatnip critique
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Friday, October 30, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #6 Of 7: Why The DNA Evidence Was All Useless

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Luca Giordano (Fa Pesto), Love and Vice Disarm Justice, 17th century

Overview Of The Post and the Series

This represents pages 37 to 41 of the original, which is 53 pages in total. Machiavelli already posted the final few pages so one more post of 5 pages will see the completion.

Following this 6th post will be a final brief analysis by Catnip, and following the 7th and final post will be a major analysis of the entire report by lawyer James Raper from legal and evidence standpoints.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final.

Why DNA Evidence Is All Rejected

7.1. With these general and abstract considerations, we now examine from a new particular perspective specific details of a broadly problematic case.

In this specific case, in fact, it is not a question of verifying the nature and admissibility of a scientific method that is not really new, as in the Franzoni sentence formerly mentioned, , on the admissibility of the “Blood Pattern Analysis” or B.P.A. (a procedure already accepted in the United States and Germany, combining scientific laws of different universally recognized disciplines) because the objects of examination are the outcomes of the one science, genetics, of well-known reliability and increasing use and utility in judicial investigations.

Furthermore, this Court on multiple occasions has already recognized the procedural value of genetic investigation into DNA, given the statistically great number of confirmative recurrences, making the possibility of an error infinitesimally small (Section 2, n. 8434 of 05 February 2013, Mariller, Rv. 255257; Section 1, n. 48349 of 30 June 2004, Rv.231182).

Here it is more a matter of verifying what kind of procedural value can be assigned in a trial to the results of a genetic investigation carried out in a context of verifying very small samples with very little respect for the rules included in international protocols by which, normally, such scientific research is inspired.

Implicitly referring to the jurisprudential interpretation of legitimacy, the judge has not hesitated to attribute to the aforementioned outcomes evidential relevance (f. 217).

The attribution cannot be shared.

Important to note that the case law of this Supreme Court, cited above, has acknowledged of genetic investigations – specifically their degree of reliability – full evidential value, and not a mere evidential element, according to article 192, chapter 2, of the code of criminal procedure; adding that, in cases where the genetic investigation doesn’t have absolutely certain outcomes, it can be attributed lesser evidential value (Section 2, n. 8434 of the 05 February 2013, Mariller, Rv. 255257; Section 1, n. 48349 of the 30 June 2004, Rv.231182). This means that, in the situation of placing suspects in terms of firm identity, the outcomes of the genetic investigation can have conclusive relevance, while in case of mere compatibility with a determined genetic profile, the outcomes have a mere circumstantial relevance.

This enunciation of principle needs a further clarification.

Generally, it is possible to accept the respective conclusions, provided the sampling activity, conservation and analysis of the sample were respectful of the requirements stated in the relevant protocols. This is true also in the less firm hypothesis, in which the outcomes of the analysis don’t arrive at a firm identity result, but merely a compatibility one.

The principle of necessary methodological correctness in the phases of collection, conservation and analysis of examined data to preserve their maximum integrity and validity has been stated by this Court in Section F, n. 44851 of 6 September 2012, Franchini, although that was in the area of IT evidence, on the basis that those principles have been included in the code of criminal procedure with the modification of the second chapter of article 244 of the code of criminal procedure and the new particular requirement of article 254 bis of the same code, introduced into law on 19 September 2008, n. 48.

Justifying reasoning resides, for this Court, in the same notion of evidence offered by the standard code of procedure, which in article 192 chapter 2 states that “the existence of a fact cannot be deduced from evidence, unless they are serious, precise and concordant”, so that a procedural element, to be elevated to firm evidence, has to present the characteristics of seriousness, precision and concordance, according to a configuration borrowed from the civil law (article 2729, first chapter, civil code).

This is all summarized in the so called “certainty” requirement of circumstantial, even if such a requisite is not expressly enunciated in article 192 of the code of criminal procedure, chapter 2. It’s about, in fact,  a further connotation considered non-failable in consolidated case law and intrinsically connected to the requirements for systematic evidential proof, through which, using a procedure of formal logic, a demonstration of the proof matter – a previously unknown fact - is achieved flowing from a confirmed fact and, therefore, considered true. It is well understood, in fact, that such a procedure would be, in short, fallacious and unreliable, in cases where it moves from non-precise to serious factual premises and therefore to certain. Given, obviously, the fact that the certainty, discussed here, is not to be understood in absolute terms, in an ontological sense; the certainty of the evidential data is, in fact, always a category of a procedural nature, falling within that species of certainty which takes form during the evidential procedure. (cfr. the Franzoni sentence).

In the light of such considerations it’s not clear how the data of the genetic analysis – carried out in violation of the prescriptions of the international protocols related to sampling and collection – could be considered endowed with the features of seriousness and precision.

And in fact, rules for crystallizing of the results from valid samples, strengthened through repeated experimentations and methodical statistical verifications of experimental data, promote the standards of reliability in the results of the analysis both in hypothesis and identity and simple compatibility with a particular genetic profile. Otherwise, no relevance could be attributed to the acquired data, not even of minor evidence (cfr. Section 2, n. 2476 of 27 November 2014, dep.2015, Santangelo, Rv. 261866, on the necessity of a correct conservation of the vessels containing the genetic imprints, for the purpose of “repeatability” of the technical verifications capable of duplicating the genetic profile; repeatability also is dependent on the quantity of the trace and the quality of the DNA present on the biological samples collected; id. n. 2476/14 cit. Rv. 261867).

In this case, it is certain that these methodological rules have not being fully observed (cfr, among others, ff. 206-207 and the outcomes of the Conte-Vecchiotti survey, acquired by the Court of Appeal of Perugia).

Just consider, in this regard, the modalities of retrieval, sampling and conservation of the two items of major investigative interest in the present judgment: the kitchen knife (item n. 36) and the brassiere hook of the victim (item n. 165/B), regarding to which, during the process, the conduct of the investigators was qualified as lacking in professionalism (f. 207).

The big knife or kitchen knife, retrieved in Sollecito’s house and considered as the weapon of the crime, had been kept in a common cardboard box, very similar to the ones used to pack Christmas gadgets, like the diaries normally given to local authorities by credit institutes.

More singular – and unsettling – is the fate of the brassiere hook.

Observed during the first inspection of the scientific police, the item had been ignored and left there, on the floor, for some time (46 days), until, during a new search, it was finally picked up and collected. It is sure that, during the period of time between the inspection in which it was observed and when it was collected, there had been other accesses by the investigators, who turned the room upside down in a search for elements of evidence useful to the investigation. The hook was maybe stepped on or moved (enough to be retrieved on the floor in a different place from where it was firstly noticed). And also, the photographic documentation produced by Sollecito’s defense demonstrates that, during the sampling, the hook was passed hand in hand between the operators who, furthermore, wore dirty latex gloves.

Questioned on the reasons for the absence of a prompt sampling, the official of the scientific police, doc. Patrizia Stefanoni, declared that, initially, the collection of the hook was not focused on because the team had already collected all the clothes of the victim. Therefore, no importance was attributed to that little detail, even if, in common perception, that fastening is the part of major investigative interest, being manually operable and, therefore, a potential carrier of biological traces useful for the investigation.

Also, the traces observed on the two items, which the analysis of has produced outcomes that will be discussed further, were very small (Low Copy Number; with reference to the hook cfr. ff. 222 and 248), so little that it didn’t allow a repetition of the amplification¸ that is the procedure aimed to “highlight the genetic traces of interest in the sample” (f. 238) and attribute the biological trace to a determined genetic profile. On the basis of the protocols of the matter, the repetition of the analysis (“at least for two times” testimony of Major CC Dr Andrea Berti, an expert nominated by the Appeal Court, f. 228; “three times” according to Professor Adriano Tagliabracci, technical adviser for Sollecito’s defense, f.126) is absolutely necessary for a reliable analysis result, in order to marginalize the risk of “false positive” within the statistical limits of insignificant relevance. 

In essence, it is nothing less than a procedure of validation or falsification typical of the scientific method, of which we have talked before. And it’s significant, in this regard, that the experts Berti-Berni, officials of the R.I.S. of Roma, carried out two amplifications of the trace retrieved from the knife blade (f. 229).

In absence of verification for repetition of the investigation data, it is questionable what could be the relevant value to the proceedings, even if detached from the scientific theoretical debate on the relevance of the outcomes of investigations carried out on such scarce or complex samples in situations not allowing repetition.

The Court is sure that the scientific truth, regardless of elaboration, cannot automatically be introduced in to the process to transform itself into procedural truth. As stated before, scientific proof requires a mandatory postulate, verification, so that the relevant outcome can take on relevance and be elevated to the rank of “certainty”; since otherwise it remains unreliable. But, independent of the scientific evaluation, an unverified datum, precisely because it is lacking in the necessary requirements of precision and seriousness, cannot be granted in the process any evidentiary relevance.

Certainly, in such a context, is not a zero, to be considered non-existant. In fact, it is still process data, which, although lacking in autonomous demonstrative relevance, is nevertheless susceptible to appreciation, at least as a mere confirmation, within a set of elements already equipped with such inclusive indicative value.

Therefore hidden here is the judicial error in which the trial judge committed in assigning evidential value to the outcome of the genetic investigation unsusceptible to amplification and resulting from an unorthodox procedure of collection and sampling.

7.2 In order to clarify any possible misunderstanding in this regard, it is worth considering that if it is impossible to attribute significant demonstrative relevance, in the court process, to outcomes of genetic investigations not repeated and made unsusceptible to repetition, because of scarceness or complexity of the sample,  it is not possible to compensate by way of claiming the efficacy and usability of the “unrepeatable” technical verifications, in case of, as in this circumstance, observance of the defensive guarantees accorded in article 360 of the code of criminal procedure. In fact, the technical investigations to which the procedural rule mentioned are those that – for crystal-clear positive formulation – are related to “persons, things or places the status of which is subject to modification”, in other words situations of any type or category which, according to their nature, are variable, therefore it is necessary to crystallize their status unequivocally even before the preliminary investigation phase, to avoid irreversible modifications with an outcome that under standard procedures is destined to be utilized during the court hearings. This is allowed because the verification to be carried out, especially in cases of impossibility of repetition because of modification of the item to be examined, is still capable of highlighting already-accepted realities or entities equipped with demonstrative value. In this case, despite the observance of the rules expressed in article 360 of the standard code of procedure, the acquired data – not repeated and not susceptible to repetition for any reason – cannot assume either probative or evidential relevance, precisely because, according to the aforementioned laws of science, it requires validation or falsification. So, in one instance the empiric data, when immediately “photographed”, acquires demonstrative significance; while in another instance it’s lacking such a feature, precisely because its indicative relevance is indissolubly bound to its repetition or repeatability.

Posted on 10/30/15 at 05:56 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #5 Of 7: Some “Incongruencies” By Previous Courts

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Painting by Paride Pascucci of Siena on the theme of justice

Overview Of The Post and the Series

This represents pages 32 to 37 of the original, which is 53 pages in total. Machiavelli already posted the final few pages so two posts of 5 pages will see the completion.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

On Further Appeal Grounds

6. The examination of the motivational structure of the appealed sentenced, the object of multiple claims by the defenses, can now be proceeded with.

Even from a very first reading, we can identify contradictions, incongruencies and errors in rulings which deeply permeate the whole argumentative structure.

6.1 Firstly, the judges’ statement is erroneous that the motive for homicide does not have to be determined with precision

The assumption is not acceptable in relation to the indisputable principle of this regulatory Court (from Section 1, n. 10841 of the 24 September 1992, Scupola, Rv. 192865) regarding the relevance of the motive as bond between multiple elements that the proof has constituted, during evidential procedures like the one examined here.

Furthermore, the value in this as one of the strengthening elements of the evidence is, obviously, contingent on verification of the reliability coefficient of the evidences, by way of clarity, precision and concordance, with analytic and resulting appreciation of these, individually considered and subsequently placed in a global and unitary perspective (Section 1, n. 17548 of 20 April 2012, Sorrentino, Rv. 252889 in the wake of Section U, n. 45276, Andreotti, Rv. 226094 according to which the “cause”, representing a confirming element of the involvement in the crime of the subject intent on the physical elimination of the victim as it converges in its specificity and exclusivity in an unequivocal direction, nevertheless, but still preserving a margin of ambiguity, in the meantime can work as a catalytic and strengthening element of the evidential value of the positive elements of proof of responsibility, from which can be logically deduced, on the basis of known and reliable experience rules, the existence of an uncertain fact (that is the possibility of attributing the crime to the instigator), when, after analytic examination of each one of them and in the framework of a global evaluation, the evidences in relation to the interpretation supplied by the motive reveal themselves as clear, precise and convergent in their univocal significance).

This, as will be stated below, cannot be confirmed in this case, because of an evidential compendium which is equivocal and intrinsically contradictory.

Specifically, none of the possible motives in the scenarios of the appealed sentence have been firmed up in this case.

The sexual motivation attributed to Guede during the separate procedure against him is not wholesale extensible to the supposed other attackers; for as has been stated before the hypothesis of a group erotic game has not been demonstrated; it is not possible to presume for each contestant a shared or combined motive assuming a sharing in the attack. Such an extension would have to postulate the existence of trusting interpersonal relationships between the contestants, which within the particular and sudden character of the criminal pact would lend verisimilitude to such a move.

Now, though the sentimental relationship between Sollecito and Knox was fact, and though the girl had occasion to know Guede to some extent, there is no proof that Sollecito would have known or hung out with the Ivorian. On this point it is contradictory and clearly illogical to assume (see f. 91) the unreasonable hypothesis of participation in such a brutal crime with an unfamiliar person by the housemates Filomena Romanelli and Laura Mezzetti (who certainly didn’t know Guede), but not extend this argument to Sollecito, who also seems to have never known the Ivorian.

6.2. Another error of judgment resides in the supposed irrelevance of the verification of the exact hour of Kercher’s death, considering sufficient the approximation offered by the examinations, even if assumed as correct during the trial pohase.

With regards to this, Sollecito’s defense has reasons to appeal, since they signaled the necessity of a concrete verification specifically in the evidential proceedings, every consequential implication. Furthermore, the exact determination of the time of Kercher’s death is an inescapable factual prerequisite for the verification of the alibi offered by the defendant in course of the investigation aiming to verify the possibility of his claimed presence in the house at via della Pergola at the time of the homicide. And for this reason an expert verification was requested.

So, specifically on this point, it is fair to note a despicable carelessness during the preliminary investigation phase. It is sufficient to consider, in this regard, that the investigations carried out by the CID had proposed a threadbare arithmetic mean between a possible initial time and a possible final time of death (from approximately 6:50 PM on 1st November to 4:50 AM on the next day) setting the hour of death approximately at 11-11:30 PM.

The examinations of the gastrointestinal tract of the victim, who, in the late evening, had consumed a a meal with her English friends, has allowed – once again only with approximation, adjusted during the trial hearings – to much further circumscribe the temporal range.

The Appeal Court further reduced the temporal range, placing it in the hours between 9 PM of the 1st of November (time of Kercher’s farewell to her friend) and 12:10:31 AM of the next day, on the basis of the recording (resulting from the acquired phone records) of a signal of one of the cellular phones of Kercher intercepted in a telephonic cell covering the area of via Sperandio, where the cellular phones had been abandoned by the perpetrators of the homicide.

But this observation also suffers from approximation, because at the last indicated time, Meredith Kercher was already dead, even if only for a little time, precisely because the signal was registered in the area where the telephones had been abandoned, after being stolen, shortly after the homicide, within the house in via della Pergola, some hundreds of meters from the place of their retrieval.

The contestant’s defense has offered, in this regard, a more reliable analysis, backed up by incontrovertible facts.

From the examination of the telephonic traffic has emerged that, after the departure from her English friend’s house at 9 PM, the young woman had, in vain, tried to call her parents in England, like she used to do every day, while a last contact was registered at 10:13 PM, so that the temporal range has been further reduced to approximately 9:30/10:13 PM.

7.  The second critical observation, relative to the appealed judgment, introduces the central matter of the judgment value attributable to the results of the scientific examinations, with particular reference to the genetic investigations, acquired in violation of the rules dictated by international protocols.

The specific question falls within the doctrinal debate on the relation between scientific proof and criminal procedure, in search for an equilibrium between the orientation – which is amenable to certain foreign schools of interpretation – which tends to recognize ever more weight to the science contribution, even if not validated by the scientific community; and the orientation which claims the supremacy of the laws and postulates that, according to the rules of criminal proceeding, only scientific results tested according to methodological standards which are routinely accepted could be considered as relevant here.

The present cultural debate, even if respecting the principle of free conviction of the judge, also tries to critically revisit the notion, by now obsolete and of dubious credibility, of the judge as a super-expert. In fact, the archaic rule of thumb reflects a cultural model that is not current anymore and instead is anachronistic, at least in the measure of what is supposed to be handled by the judge’s real capacity to manage the scientific knowledge flow that the parties would enter into the proceedings, where, instead, a more realistic configuration wants him completely unaware of that contribution of the knowhow,  the result of scientific knowledge that doesn’t belong to him and cannot – and has not to – belong to him. And this is truer in relation to genetic science, in which complex methods postulate a specific knowledge in the fields of forensic genetics, chemistry, and molecular biology, which are part of a knowledge patrimony very distant from the prevalently humanistic and juridical education of the magistrate.

But the consequence of the inescapable acknowledgment of such a state of legitimate ignorance of the judge, and therefore of his incapacity of managing “autonomously” the scientific evidence, cannot be his uncritical acceptance, which would be equivalent – maybe for a misunderstood sense of free convincement and maybe also of a misunderstood concept of “expert of experts” – to a substantial renouncement of his role, through totally uncritical acceptance of the expert contribution to which is delegated the resolution of the judgment and therefore the responsibility for the decision.

But also, in a situation of a one-sided scientific contribution coming from just one of the procedural parties, and thus standardly disposed of by the same judge, this can be welcomed as a paraphrasing in a more or less rational way of the technical argumentations presented to support the procedure, a problem dramatically arises when in a situation of conflicting scientific contributions, the same judge is called upon to settle upon a choice, and, in this case, the paraphrase is more complex, requiring a pertinent and valid motivation to explain the reasons for which an alternative scientific prospection would not be shareable. (cfr. Section 6, n. 5749 of 09 January 2014, Homm, Rv. 258630, according to which the judge who considers to adhere to the conclusions of the expert, in discordance with the ones presented by the defense adviser, even if not obliged to provide, as a reason, an autonomous demonstration of the scientific exactitude of the firstly cited, and the erroneousness, on the contrary, of the others, “he is however called to” demonstrate the fact that the expert conclusions have been valued “in terms of reliability and completeness”, and that the advisers’ argumentations have not been ignored).

The court considers that this delicate problem, with regard to the present judgment, requires a solution within the general rules which compose our procedural system, and not from elsewhere in an abstract claim of a supremacy of the science over the law or vice versa. The scientific evidence cannot, in fact, aspire to an unconditional endorsement of reliability during the trial proceeding because the criminal procedure rejects every idea of legal proof. Also, known to everyone is that there doesn’t exist a single science, a bringer of absolute truth and immutability throughout time, rather various sciences and pseudo-sciences, both the official ones and the ones not validated by the scientific community because they reflect research methods not universally recognized.

And therefore the solution to this problem must result from the consideration of principles and rules which regulate the acquisition and the formation of the evidence in the criminal procedure and, then, of criteria which support the relative evaluation.

The citation points must be ones relating to the adversarial principle and the judge’s control over the path of formation of the proof, which has to respect predetermined guarantees, the observance of which must be a rigorous parameter of the judging and reliability of the relevant outcomes.

So, a result of a scientific proof can be considered reliable only when examined by the judge, at least with reference to the subjective reliability of those who advance it, and the scientific method employed, and a more or less acceptable error margin, and the objective value and reliability of the obtained result.

Therefore, observing a method of critical approach not different, conceptually, from the one required for the appreciation of ordinary evidence, aiming to elevate as much as possible the degree of reliability of the legal truth, or alternatively, reduce to reasonable margins the inescapable gap between procedural truth and substantial truth.

Moreover, in procedures of inductive-inferential logic, which allow one to trace back from the known fact to the unknown one to be proved, the judge, in his full freedom of convincement, can use any element which would work as a bridge or bond between the two considered facts and allow one to trace back from the known one to the unknown one, according to parameters of reasonability and common sense.

The connection can, therefore, be of the most varied nature: the so called “experience rule”, legitimated by common knowledge or by direct observation of the reality of a phenomenon, which registers the repetitiveness of specific events in constant, identical, determined, conditions; a scientific law, of universal value or more narrowly statistical; a law based on logic, which presides and orients the mental paths of human rationality and anything else useful to the purpose.

The evidential reasoning which allows passing from the element of proof to the result of proof it is an element of the exclusive competence of the judge of merit, who has obviously to supply a concrete motivation and who, with regards to evidential proof, is required to apply a duplicable confirming scrutiny: a first verification concerning the so called “external justification” by way of which the same judge has to test the validity of the experience rule, or scientific-logic law, or any other rule observed; and a further verification related to the so called “internal justification” through which must be demonstrated, concretely, the validity of the result obtained through the application of the “bridge-rule” (Section 1, n. 31456 of 21 May 2008. Franzoni, Rv. 240764).

 

Posted on 10/28/15 at 06:25 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #3 Their Profound Evidence Muddle

Posted by catnip



Back of house, showing route in of 2 different burglars in 2009


My previous dissections of the Fifth Chambers explanation can be read here and here.

The next two sections (7 and 8) of the Bruno judgment span ten pages. Each sentence in the paraphrased gist below corresponds to one paragraph in the text.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: As to the forensic evidence, it was collected in violation of international standards. Science is receiving too much weight in the legal sphere, the scientific method does not equate to procedural rules. The judge is no longer the ‘expert of experts’, and genetics is light years from the sphere of the judge.

There is no confidence over science, in the sense that it is no longer to be trusted uncritically. Science is a choice, it must be reasoned. Legal rules are not trumped by science, the court does not automatically accept science, and there are many sciences. Evidentiary rules must be followed. Legal testing of evidence is done by cross-examination.

The court accepts evidence according to various factors, and this reduces the distance between ‘procedural truth’ and substantive truth. Inference is any method which bridges two facts in question, allowing the unknown fact to become known, according to reasonableness and good sense. This bridging can be common experience and direct observation through repeatability, scientific laws of universal application, and logic. Trial judges go from item of evidence to result, giving reasons, with external checks (the validity of experience or scientific law) and internal checks (consistency). (7)

COMMENT: Most of this section is bland platitude (not that there’s anything wrong with that).The ‘violation of international standards’ is accepted as a given, and the emphasis on repeatability (as diagnostic of the scientific method) is preparation of the ground for rejecting any tests that weren’t or couldn’t be repeated. Rudy’s forensic evidence is never referred to, as if it has been sealed off in a cardboard box somewhere.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: In the current case, there is no new scientific method to examine (like blood pattern analysis) but genetics. DNA is reliable. It is evaluated against international protocols, and their breach. The court below did not hesitate to consider the test results to be indicative evidence. This cannot be accepted by this court. Indicative evidence is not proof, genetic results which are not absolutely certain can be indicative. Identification is probative, compatibility can be indicative.

Collection, conservation and analysis of evidence must follow rules.  Criminal Procedure Code Articles 244 para 2, 254 bis. And Article 192 para 2: ‘weight, precision, consistency’, which translates as certainty; certainty cannot be assumed. It cannot be seen how genetic analysis – in breach of collection and preservation protocols – can be weighty and precise in an evidential sense.

There are standards, and there must be repeatability. “In the case at hand, it is certain that those methodological rules have not been absolutely observed (cf, amongst others, folios 206-207 and the results of the Conte-Vecchiotti [sic] tests, deposited with the Perugia Court of Appeal).”

It is enough to consider, in that respect, the knife and bra-clasp; there was a lapse in professional standards (f. 207). The coltellaccio [great big knife] was put in a cardboard box of the gift-organiser kind.

More worrying are the journeyings of the bra-clasp. 46 days, there were other accesses of the crime scene, it was stepped on or at least moved, and the video shows multiple handlings of it with dirty gloves. “Questioned on the reasons for the defective and hasty collection, Dr Stefanoni will say in testimony that, initially, it was not considered necessary to collect the bra-clasp because … [dots in original] the victim’s intimate garment as a whole had been collected.

Nothing of importance was attributed to that small particular, notwithstanding that, in the common perception, it is exactly that closure apparatus that would be of major investigative interest, being manually operated and, therefore, a potential carrier of biological traces useful for the investigation.”

The bra-clasp test is not repeatable (Law [sic] Copy Number), which repeatability is to avoid false positives. The validation/falsification method wasn’t applied; and, significantly, even the RIS of Rome did two amplifications of trace I on the knife-blade. Ask what value such a result is. Scientific truth is not transferable to procedural truth; science is not legal certainty; without precision and weight, it cannot be evidence in court.

An item of evidence can be considered. The court below erred in attributing probative value to genetic results incapable of amplification or which were the fruit of improper recovery and collection procedures. (7.1)

COMMENT: The term indiziario, which cross-maps to ‘item of circumstantial evidence’, I have rendered as ‘indicative’, to bring out how Bruno demotes it. The theme is transferability: transferability of methods, procedures, of truths is not possible; but transferability of DNA is.

The appeal court’s error was to give non-zero weight to zero-weight evidence. Evidence gains zero-weight by not being certain. Certainty is achieved by repeatability, or by following international standards. The three dots (…) are for dramatic anti-climactic effect: meaning Stefanoni is a nincompoop, in other words. Note the spelling of Conti, with an “e”.

And the Voyages of a Bra-Clasp idea is Bongiorno’s and too irresistible to leave out (as with much else).

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Article 360 of the Code only governs sources of evidence that are mutable; the laws of science involve falsification; probative value is linked to repeatability (7.2)

COMMENT: Interesting jurisprudence. It’s almost as if Bruno is living on another planet. The trope/canard about repeatability in science is an interesting psychological crutch. The accumulation of bizarro-concepts is starting to mount. Individual sentences in the text make sense (sort of), but stringing them together in a too-much-something-in-the-coffee way is starting to ring alarm bells.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The judgment below was obviously illogical (8).

COMMENT: A leitmotiv.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The missing traces of the accused on the victim have valency. This is a monolithic roadblock on the path taken by the court below in reaching an affirmation of guilt for the current appellants, “already acquitted of the homicide by the Perugia Court of Appeal”. The “selective clean-up” argument is useless and manifestly illogical: it didn’t clean-up the Luminol traces (Luminol is useful for revealing traces of material different to blood).

The clean-up hypothesis is also disproved by the traces in the small bathroom, and since Amanda knew that the other two were outside Perugia and wouldn’t be coming back that evening, there would have been plenty of time to do a proper clean-up.

As for the corridor traces, the SAL cards [work logs] ruled out, on the basis of the use of a particular chemical reagent, that the traces revealed by Luminol were blood – and there is nothing of this in the judgment. Not only that, it is manifestly illogical for the lower court to overrule the defence objection that the bluish Luminol reaction can be produced by substances that are not blood (for example, detergent residues, fruit juice and so on) and that the fluorescent reaction cannot be anything other than blood.

The fragility of the argument is such that, no question, the house at Via della Pergola had never been cleaned. Therefore, it can be categorically ruled out that blood was removed.

Another glaring logical hole is the theft of the phones. The posited reason that it was to prevent the ringtones of the phone being heard could have been accomplished by switching them off or removing the battery. Disrespectful to the proceedings and clearly illogical is the notion of ill-feeling, including the English woman blaming her flatmate for letting Rudy in to use the toilet; Rudy’s “truth” (and admissible insofar as it does not involve third parties) is that he was in the bathroom when he heard Mr Kercher have an altercation with another, female-voiced, person, so that the reason for the altercation cannot have been his use of the toilet.

It is illogical to posit that, in order to support the ill-feeling scenario, the stolen money and credit cards be used, when Amanda and Raffaele were cleared of that charge (f. 316).

It is arbitrary to translate to Via della Pergola a situation Amanda described in a different location, Raffaele’s house: watching a film, taking light drugs, having sex and a good long sleep until late morning the following day; there is no evidence of the influence of drugs, and finding a mixed DNA trace (Amanda and Raffaele) on a cigarette butt instead of doing a DNA-destroying drug test that might have offered useful insights was absolutely irrelevant, given that Raffaele was a visitor to the cottage because of his girlfriend.

The preceding picture is emblematic of the complex architecture of the impugned judgment relating to the substantive reconstruction, starting at paragraph 10, with the title “Conclusive Evaluations”. It is certainly undeniable that the court below required interpretative effort and speculation to fill the large evidentiary holes in the investigation.

Now, it is undoubted that it is the court of merit’s task to reconstruct what happened, not Cassation’s; common sense must be used; it can be logical but must stick to (legal) reality and be based on admitted evidence. Logic and intuition cannot be a substitute for lacking evidence and investigative inefficiencies. In the face of lacking, insufficient or contradictory evidence, the court must acquit under Article 530 paragraph 2, even if morally convinced of the culpability of the accused.

Further, there are holes in the court’s reasoning, for example in saying that Raffaele’s and Meredith’s DNA was found on the knife (f. 321) when elsewhere in the judgment (ff 208) Amanda is trace A, Meredith is trace B, and finally, trace I (unjustifiably ignored in the Conte-Vecchiotti [sic] report) is also Amanda’s. Trace B cannot carry any certainty, being unrepeatable, but nowhere on the knife is there any biological trace attributable to Raffaele (8.1)

COMMENT: Missing evidence is evidence of being missing. Something proves the opposite. What’s the Perugia Court of Appeal (=Hellmann) got to do with anything? The ‘clean-up’ refutation has the hallmarks of Bongiorno technique: to the prosecution suggestion that there might have been a party, her response was, “Where are the balloons, the corks and the champagne glasses?”

Obviously, “clean-up” has a specific meaning to Bruno. Switching a phone off or removing the battery needs fingers and will likely leave traces behind; better a sock and sling-throw into the dark. It’s common sense.

Can Bruno really be so obtuse: the bra-clasp is super-important exactly because it requires fingers, but the phones aren’t (in the hypothetical user’s mind). Drug-testing the cigarette butt is a good idea. Until you think about it: if Raffaele was at the cottage before, after, during, but not at the murder, how can a cigarette butt (with or without ice or cocaine on it) be tied to anything, time-wise?

Applying Bruno’s logic about the typo about Raffaele’s DNA being on the knife, then Bruno’s reference to Conte-Vecchiotti is also a “gaping hole”, because there’s no such people, and refers to a nothing; it’s Conti-Vecchiotti. Same with the nonsense phrase ‘Law Copy Number’ – what’s that? An obvious absurdity.

Therefore Bruno’s judgment is as void as its voids are. That’s logic. Obviously, if someone is stoned in Garibaldi Street, they can’t be stoned at a place two minutes’ walk away. That’s also ‘logic’.

Overall impression so far…

“Suddenly a strange madness took hold of him, a yearning to look once more off the end of the world. It would be his last chance, he thought; …”

—  George R R Martin, A Game of Thrones, [HarperCollins, 1996], p 176. ISBN 9780002246576

There was an episode of Doctor Who last year, where one character was explaining the scientific beliefs of another, and the Doctor asked, ‘Why does he think that? Is he an idiot?’

Good question.

I can’t quite help thinking the choice is between whether Bruno is an idiot, or whether he is merely writing a satire for a student magazine and pretending to be an idiot. Perhaps, in my ignorance, I have not read enough yet, or I have misunderstood what I have read.

There is some logical analysis going on, - and the example of there being no clean-up because if it was Amanda, she would have known she would have had all night, and therefore would have done a proper job of it (!), so because she didn’t, there wasn’t (!!), is a good one – but joining two or more sentences into a coherent thought, and things start to disappear into the mists.

Another leitmotiv: The translation into “certainty” of what characteristics items of evidence must have to be admissible (in common law terms), erases the concept of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ from the picture.

Since he’s had multiple months to ‘get it right’, and these gaps remain, it looks as if Bruno’s condition is not a temporary one.

Posted on 10/17/15 at 03:20 PM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #4 Of 7: Continuing Dismissal Of Various Claims

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Another Italian masterpiece on justice (in this case brutal justice, by Caravaggio)

Overview Of The Post and the Series

Only two more posts after this one (we promise!).

Machiavelli already posted what constitutes Part #7 and also the first few paras of this one.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Again this seems like a lot of furious backpedaling away from the imperial, magisterial announcement by Judge Marasca back in late March.

Our further critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts. Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

On Further Appeal Grounds

4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(…) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.

Well, so the “fact” that was ascertained within that verdict, indisputably, is Guede’s participation in the murder “concurring with other people, who remain unknown”. The invoking of the procedural norms indicated means that the usability of such fact-finding is subordinate to [depends on] the double conditions [possibility] to reconcile such fact within the scope of the “object of proof” which is relevant to the current judgement, and on the existence of further pieces of evidence to confirm its reliability.

Such double verification, in the current case, has an abundantly positive outcome. In fact it is manifestly evident that such fact, which was ascertained elsewhere [aliunde], relates to the object of cognition of the current judgement. The [court’s] assessment of it, in accord with other trial findings which are valuable to confirm its reliability, is equally correct. We refer to the multiple elements, linked to the overall reconstruction of events, which rule out that Guede could have acted alone.

Firstly, testifying in this direction are the two main wounds (actually three) observed on the victim’s neck, on each side, with a diversified path and features, attributable most likely (even if the data is contested by the defense) to two different cutting weapons. And also, the lack of signs of resistance by the young woman, since no traces of the assailant were found under her nails, and there is no evidence elsewhere [aliunde] of any desperate attempt to oppose the aggressor; the bruises on her upper limbs and those on mandibular area and lips (likely the result of forcible hand action of constraint meant to keep the victim’s mouth shut) found during the cadaver examination, and above all, the appalling modalities of the murder, which were not adequately pointed out in the appealed ruling.

And in fact, the same ruling (p. 323 and 325) reports of abundant blood spatters found on the right door of the wardrobe located inside Kercher’s room, about 50 cm above the floor. Such occurrence, given the location and direction of the drops, could probably lead to the conclusion that the young woman had her throat literally “slashed” likely as she was kneeling, while her head was being forcibly held [hold] tilted towards the floor, at a close distance from the wardrobe, when she was hit by multiple stab wounds at her neck, one of which – the one inflicted on the left side of her neck – caused her death, due to asphyxia following [to] the massive bleeding, which also filled the breathing ways preventing breathing activity, a situation aggravated by the rupture of the hyoid bone – this also linkable to the blade action – with consequent dyspnoea” (p. 48).

Such a mechanical action is hardly attributable to the conduct of one person alone.

On the other hand such factual finding, when adequately valued, could have been not devoid of meaning as for researching the motive, given that [27] the extreme violence of the criminal action could have been seen – because of its abnormal disproportion – not compatible with any of the explanations given in the verdict, such as mere simple grudges with Ms. Knox (also denied by testimonies presented, [even] by the victim’s mother);  with sexual urges of any of the participants, or maybe even with the theory of a sex game gone wrong, of which, by the way, no mark was found on the victim’s body, besides the violation of her sexuality by a hand action of Mr. Guede, because of the DNA that could be linked to him found inside the vagina of Ms. Kercher, the consent of whom, however, during a preliminary phase of physical approach possibly consensual at the beginning, could not be ruled out. 

Such finding is even less compatible with the theory of the intrusion of an unknown thief inside the house, if we consider that, within the course of ordinary events, while it is possible that a thief is taken by an uncontrollable sexual urge leading him to assail a young woman when he sees her,  it’s rather unlikely that after a physical and sexual aggression he would also commit a gratuitous murder, especially not with the fierce brutality of this case, rather than running away quickly instead. Unless, obviously, we think about the disturbed personality of a serial killer, but there is no trace of that in the trial findings, since there are no records that any other killings of young women with the same modus operandi were committed in Perugia at that time.

4.3.2.  With regard to the second matter, relative to the option of akkowing – as article 238 bis of the code of criminal procedure allows – declarations “against others” made by Guede in the context of his own procedures in absence of other defendants (with reference to declarations, not always coherent and consistent, during the preliminary investigations and noted in his sentencing reports, somehow involving Knox in the homicide, but never explicitly Sollecito, while continuing to plead innocence, despite the presence in the crime scene and on the victim’s body of multiple biological traces attributed to him), the ruling can only be negative. Such a mode of allowance would result in an evasion of the guarantees dictated by article 526 chapter 1- bis, of the code of criminal procedure, according to which “the defendant’s guilt cannot be proved on the basis of declarations produced by anyone who, in free will, had always voluntarily avoided the examination by the accused or his defense team”. And furthermore, it seems a clear violation of article 111, chapter four. of the Constitution, which dictates identical an prescription in order to harmonize judicial processes according to article 6 letter d) of the European Convention for Human Rights (Section F. n. 35729 of the 1st August 2013, Agrama, Rv 256576).

In this regard, it appears useful to refer to the principle of “non-substitutability”, accepted by the United Divisions of this Supreme Court under the category “legality of the proof”, meaning that, when the code establishes an evidentary prohibition or an expressed non-usability, it is forbidden to resort to other procedural instruments, typical or atypical, with the purpose of   surreptitiously avoid such obstacle (Section U, n. 36747 of the 28 May 2003, Torcasio, Rv. 225467; cfr,, also, Section U, n. 28997 of the 19 April 2012, Pasqua, Rv. 252893).

And also during this trial, Guede – asked to speak as contextual witness, following the accusative declarations of the convicted offender Mario Alessi (sentenced for the horrible homicide of a child) – after denying the accusations of the aforementioned, confirmed the content of a letter sent by him to his attorneys which was then, surprisingly, shared with a television news service, in which he accused the current contestants - has then, substantively, avoided cross-examination by the defendants. And in fact, after recognizing the authenticity of the missive, where he denied what was stated by Alessi, regarding some asserted confidences related to the innocence of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, he didn’t wanted to be cross-examined by the accused’s defense, claiming his presence (as contextual witness) was limited to the content of Alessi’s declarations, which was with regard to him. So, the non-usability of what he declared – in the part concerning the letter that related to the current contestants – that is not useable in a different procedural context because it was produced absent the prescribed guarantees.

Furthermore, facing such unmoving and non-cooperative behavior, the appeal judge [Hellmann] did automatically insist on cross-examination of the Ivorian, despite the final irrevocability of the sentence against him, and failed to resolve the incompatibility of speaking in the present proceeding, according to article 197 of the code of criminal procedure.

And in fact, according to article 197 bis chapter 4 of the same standard code of procedure, he could have not been obliged to depose on the facts for which he had received a sentence, having always denied, during the proceeding against him, his responsibility and, not being able, in any way, to depose on facts involving his responsibility regarding the crime for which he was accused.

4.4 Finally, continuing on the preliminaries, the matter of standards must be faced, as claimed by the defense, regarding the denial of the claim for renewed court hearings during the appellate trial, on the request of carrying out new external investigations as requested.

The appeal exception was founded upon the observance of the presumed obligatory nature of the request of evidential integration of article 627, chapter 2, second part, according to which “[….] if a sentence in appeal has been annulled and the parties request it, the judge can order a reviewing of the court hearings by obtaining proofs relevant to the decision”

Clearly, the letter of this norm is far from the discipline of the regular powers of the appellate judge regarding this matter under article 603 of the code of criminal procedure “non-decidability of the state of proceedings”,  in the hypothesis above in part 1, that the defense request referred to evidences already collected or new; referring to the criteria of article 495, chapter 1, on the hypothesis of new evidences found after the first instance ruling; there is “absolute necessity” of its integration with supplementary investigations, in case of review ex officio, beyond the special subject matter (originally in application and now canceled, according to article 11 law 28 April 2014, n. 67) of the requested review in favor of a defendant absent from the trial in the first instance.

The Supreme Court here states that the particular formulation of the aforementioned rule does not require the appellate judge, in the hypothesis of annulment of the first instance ruling, to be obliged to renew the court hearings just because the parties request it. A different interpretation would not have a rational basis and, instead, would introduce a dystonic element in the discipline of the institution.

In fact, the first part of the second chapter of article 627 of the code of criminal procedure highlights that the appellate judge decides with the same powers of the judge whose ruling has been annulled, except only for limitations originating in the law.

For a harmonic reconstruction that follows the code’s architecture it is imperative, then, to consider that the specific observance of the trial ruling renewed during the appeal judgment should not create an exception to the general requirement dictated in article 603 of the code of criminal procedure.

Furthermore it is clear that the reference, in chapter 2 of article 627 of the code of criminal procedure, to the assumption of “relevant” evidence for the decision constitutes a mere repetition, given that the trial judgment is, necessarily, central to the evaluation by the appeal judge charged with the requirement of evidentiary integration and the same appreciation of absolute necessity inspiring the appeal. And in fact, in case of renewing of the trial hearings on appeal no evidence that is not “relevant” to the decision may enter the proceeding; and the same thing applies, more generally, to the whole evidential section of the criminal proceeding, according to the fundamental principle stated in article 190 of the standard code of procedure, according to which the judge has to approve the evidence requested by the parties, excluding, beyond the instances prohibited by the law, any “manifestly irrelevant or unnecessary” evidence.
In this sense, with this clarification, it is worth, therefore, restating the orientation expressed, regarding this matter, by this Supreme Court on similar occasions

(Section 5, n. 52208 of 30 September 2014, Marino, Rv. 262116, according to which “the appellate judge, charged with the proceeding following the annulment declared by the Court of Cassation, is not obliged to reopen the court hearings every time the parties demand this, because his powers are identical to the ones of the judge whose sentence was annulled, and he has to accept assumption of the suggested new evidence only if it is necessary for the new decision” according to article 603 of the code of criminal procedure, and article 627, second chapter, of the code of criminal procedure; Section 1, n. 28225 of 09 May 2014, Dell’Utri, Rv. 260939; Section 4, n. 20422 of 21 June 2005, Poggi, Rv, 232020; Section 1, n. 16786 of 24 March 2004, De Falco, Rv. 227924)

Also, without question, the use of the powers conferred upon the appellate judge regarding new investigation, has as always to be concretely motivated and the relative motivation is, of course, again contestable by the Supreme Court.

In this specific case, the appeal judge [Nencini] has given a concrete reason for denying further evidentiary incorporation, considering it irrelevant for his decision purpose.

Furthermore the motivations for the denial of appeal implicitly emerged from the judge’s motivational construct, which declared complete the evidentiary compendium.

Furthermore, there is no reason to assumne, even within the specific appellate judgment, that the general principle of neutral expertise separated from the viewponts of the parties and remitted to the discretional power of the judge, was not observed because “it doe not come within the category of decisive proof and the consequent ruling of denial is not arguable according to article 606, chapter 1, let. d), of the code of criminal procedure, because it represents the result of a factual judgment which, if supported by adequate motivation, cannot be reversed by Cassation” (Section 6, n. 43526 of 3 October 2012, Ritorto, Rv. 253707).

5. Now having resolved, in the sections above, the defense’s prejudicial claims,  and the preliminary standard ones, the “merit” of the judgment can now be considered, in relation to the substance of the appealed matters

Firstly, it has to be assumed that, according to the loss of rights claimed under point b), relative to the charge of illegal carrying of the knife, this is now beyond the statute of limitations.

This has to be accepted, even in absence of more favorable reasons for acquittal on the merit, referring to article 129, second chapter, of the code of criminal procedure, and also the declarations of guilt in the trial sentence and the second appeal court.

Moreover, according to the undisputed decision of this Court of Cassation “the acquittal formula on the merit prevails on the statute of limitations in appeal cases where, with a mere analysis, the absolute absence of the proof of guilty against the defendant that is in fact positive proof of innocence can be observed, though not in the case of mere contradiction or insufficiency of the evidence which requires a pondered judgment between opposing conclusions, n.10284 of 22 January 2014, Culicchia, Rv. 259445).

Posted on 10/13/15 at 09:01 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, October 09, 2015

The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #2 The Strange Two Unrelated Tracks Approach

Posted by catnip



The Bruno demon in the cage…

Initial impressions of the legal reasoning

A closer reading, or later pages, may reveal a change in opinion might be required. If so, those changes in the post will be noted. Based on experience, the likelihood is that, how a thing starts, is how it will tend to continue. Changing horses in mid-stream, though theoretically possible, is not an everyday occurrence.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: A European Court of Human Rights decision in Amanda’s favour won’t affect the calunnia conviction, since the accusations were repeated to the Prosecutor (such interviews are institutionally immune to psychological pressure), and she confirmed them again when writing in her note, signed by her, in a moment when she was alone with herself and her conscience. (2.2)

COMMENT: To the defence allegation that it was police pressure that caused Amanda to falsely claim that Patrick was the murderer, the obvious and common sense response that the claim was repeated in situations where no pressure was possible, deflates the allegation.

However, note Bruno’s implicit assumption, that Amanda was behaving rationally, that is, not affected by drugs, impaired mental states, or delusional or incorrect beliefs, is not raised, let alone examined and a factual finding made. (Not that it is in the Court of Cassation’s general remit to make findings of fact, but that is another matter.

And Bruno specifically addresses that point later, so he is not unaware of it.)  This way of treating assumptions forms a characteristic pattern, and has implications later. Note that while the murder charges were dismissed, the calunnia conviction was confirmed. This would not be a matter that any PR push for Raffaele would need to be concerned about, as we indeed find.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The request is refused to have the Grand Chamber consider the probative value of evidence collected in breach of international forensic standards; witness statements made under a strong media spotlight; and the admissibility of accusatory statements made in the judgment of another court and received into evidence. (2.3)

COMMENT: Bruno can handle the forensics methodology question, Alessi’s bag-of-hot-air statements, and the legal implications of the explicit accusations made in the judgment reasons confirming Rudy’s conviction.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The appeal court did not follow Cassation’s ruling on the principles of law involved, namely that the court is not to rely on the original (annulled) reasoning, the court must not trespass into the merits of the case, the court retains the original scope of enquiry, all the facts must be looked at, and the action to take depends upon the type of annulment because there can be errors of law, and errors of logic. (3)

COMMENT: The Florence Court of Appeal did not follow the instructions set down for it by Cassation. This aspect of the rules of law and procedure will take some detail to examine fully, but suffice to say here that Bruno’s own methodology is not automatically immune from the same defects he is accusing Florence of having, merely because it is him saying so. How well does Bruno himself follow the rules?, in other words. Verbal gymnastics and semantic yoga poses are presaged.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: There were glaring errors. (3.1)

COMMENT: This becomes his leitmotiv, and he actually uses that word when talking of others.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: There is only one irrefutable certainty in this case: Amanda’s guilt as regards her criminal calumny (calunnia) against Patrick Lumumba; the investigator’s glaring errors and omissions – the intrinsically contradictory complex of evidence is anything but beyond a reasonable doubt (4).

COMMENT: Amanda’s crime against Patrick remains; the evidence is intricate and, due to errors, incomplete, therefore the standard of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ has not been met. How it is that the investigator’s actions were in actual error is not established: the implication is that the defence appeal claims are simply being taken on copy-paste trust.

A fair assessment would entail examining the basis of claims that there was forensic error, hearing any counter-arguments, weighing the significance and importance of any such error if it were found to exist, and deciding if it has a bearing and impact on the legal question to be decided – this is all trial-court matter.

People being driven by the media spotlight is another leitmotiv of Bruno’s. It’s almost as if he is embodying what he is saying that others have done.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The absurd and incomprehensible death of Meredith Kercher in mysterious circumstances and the international media spotlight forced an increase in the pace of the investigation and a knee-jerk search for someone guilty to display to the international media, and lack of regard for international protocols about possible contamination, led to hurried, incomplete and incorrect investigative activity. The lack of repeatability, breaking one of the most fundamental requirements of the scientific method as established by Galileo, was a flaw. (4.1)

COMMENT: Here is the first clue that the search for a rational motive is not going to be successful: the murder was senseless. The media spotlight provides the logical underpinning, the motive if you will, of why the police made errors: they needed a quick result, and so therefore cut corners. The ‘international standards’ (which are never named explicitly) provide the yardstick against which these cut corners can be measured.

(Which leads to a circular-logic paradox scenario: At the scriptwriters’ workshop for Detectives 101: Writer A: “I’ve got them on the scene now, ready to decide what to do. So how do I get them to cut corners? What are the corners, the international standards?” Writer B: “I don’t know. Make ‘em up. Or download something official-looking off the Internet.” Writer A: “What are their guidelines in real life, though? Surely they don’t go about breaching guidelines on every callout. How did they know about putting on gloves, for instance?” Writer B: “.”)

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The media and its associated “noise” (in it computer science sense) induced a mythomane seeking to break the long grey day of an incarceration regime, at least for a day; and Rudy the half-truth teller is key: definite traces of him were found in the room and on the victim. (4.2)

COMMENT: Alessi, believed to be a full-truth teller, wanted some fresh air for a couple of hours, so a trip to the courtroom was organised. The media’s fault. Rudy, the known half-truth teller, knows more, because actual traces of him were found in what can be referred to as the ‘murder zone’. Notwithstanding that a person’s traces can be found on a victim, and the person is not a murderer. Bruno is also performing some literary yoga poses in this passage.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Rudy’s finalised, definitive, judgment, and his statements, attract questions of admissibility. (4.3)

COMMENT: This is the crux of the legal use of the inferences available in terms of Bruno’s reasoning. Rudy’s trial and conviction are being treated by Bruno as separate and distinct from the trial of Amanda and Raffaele, rather than logically interlinked: if the forensics against Amanda and Raffaele are flawed, then those against Rudy are not, because his conviction has become definitive. That is an artificial way of looking at it. Inferences can go both ways: if Raffaele’s DNA is the result of contamination, then so could Rudy’s be, for exactly the same reasons; if a person has the victim’s blood on their hands, then that does not make them the (or a) murderer.

Indeed, Rudy explicitly stated he got blood on him while trying to help Meredith (implicitly, this must be the untrue part of one of Rudy’s half-truths). So then Rudy’s conviction becomes a legal fiction, not a representation of what actually happened, and Rudy’s definitive judgment voids itself into nothingness. Bruno avoids discussing this line of thought, for some reason. He also, conveniently, has somehow forgotten about the phrase “acting in company with” in the Criminal Code, again, for some reason (presumably).

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Rudy’s judgment: The search for a motive for the murder has yielded nothing, in proportion to what has been conjectured: mere disagreement among flatmates, sexual desires (an at least initial consensual act cannot be excluded); and even less for an unknown burglar who graduates from theft, to uncontrollable sexual assault, to gratuitous homicide with such brutal ferocity, unless there was a serial killer in action, which there is no evidence of in the documents that in Perugia, at that time, other homicides of other young women in identical circumstances were being committed. (4.3.1)

COMMENT: This counts as a straw man within a straw man. The Perugian Serial Killer angle almost qualifies as a laughable joke. And what are the chances of finding a traditional rational motive for an irrational (“senseless and absurd”) act? Close to zero, would be the statistician’s answer. The key word is “gratuitous”. Although, the lone-burglar scenario defence gambit gets a drubbing.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Rudy’s statements—made in the absence of the people whose rights are affected (a denial of rights), not always coherent and constant (a denial of logic), and somehow involving Amanda (but never Raffaele explicitly), while continuing to maintain his innocence notwithstanding his forensic presence at the scene and on the victim – can only be rejected as inadmissible, and in breach of the requirements for a fair trial. In fact, Rudy as a witness violates his right not to testify after finalisation of his sentence or undergo cross-examination. (4.3.2)

COMMENT: There’s legal yoga posing in this section. The interlinked nature of the trials works both ways: accusations made by the Amanda and Raffaele defence against Rudy in his absence can’t be responded to and cross-examined by him. The bit about ‘not always coherent and constant’ also applies to Amanda and Raffaele. And the bit about Rudy never mentioning Raffaele being on site and present does not sound like it came from Amanda’s defence. On the plus side, Bruno, as editor, did manage to condense the 600-and-more pages of the (Bongiorno) defence appeal down to a couple of dozen paragraphs.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The procedural rules were violated when the defence request to re-open argument was refused. The term “relevant”, as in relevant evidence as mentioned in the Code, is mere linguistic decoration (4.4)

COMMENT: There might be some merit in the idea that witnesses are recalled and argument re-opened only when it’s relevant, and not otherwise. The assertion of procedural violation remains just that, though, an assertion. In any case, opposing views are not examined. So how did Bruno reach his decision? A set of reasons without the actual reasons being given – is that what we are looking at?

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The charge relating to unlawful transport of a knife has exceeded the time limit set by the statute of limitations. (5)

COMMENT: The limitations period expiry gambit is a widely-used defence strategy. Lots of people, including very many in the media spotlight, have taken advantage of it and benefitted from it.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: The judgment appealed from, the subject of multiple censures by the parties, exhibits mistakes, incongruities and errors of law. (6)

COMMENT: The prosecution are strangely absent from all of this. Did Bruno only have the transcript of the second day’s hearing, after misplacing the prosecution’s or leaving it at the bus stop? In any case, he does not give any indication that he has read it.

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: In first place, the affirmation that determining the motive is substantively irrelevant is an error. Automatically transferring Rudy’s sexual motive to the others doesn’t hold up; the erotic game scenario finds no corroboration; extending a shared and definite set of interpersonal relationships amongst the co-participants is also a species of transfer.

The love-story between Amanda and Raffaele is obvious and even if it appears certain that she somehow, somewhen, knew Rudy, there is no evidence that Raffaele knew him or ever visited him. If Laura and Filomena didn’t know Rudy and are ruled out as murderers, not to do the same with Raffaele is illogical and irrational. (6.1)

COMMENT: The other judges got it wrong about the importance of motive. If motive is essential, then no motive means no crime. And if one person had motive, it doesn’t mean the others must have had the same motive. The love-story appears obvious, but appearing so doesn’t make it so. Calling it a love-story is an interpretation, in any case. How was the conclusion reached and alternative hypotheses rejected? And how does not knowing Rudy socially (beforehand) have a bearing on anything (even motives)? A straw straw-man being invoked?

Cassation (Bruno) – gist: Holding that the exact time of death was irrelevant was also an error. From the phone records, it emerges that the time of death can be set between 21:30 and 22:13. (6.2)

COMMENT: The exact time is needed for a fair trial so the accused can supply an alibi. The prosecution method of picking the middle of the estimated time range is ‘mere’ arithmetic, not science (including gastric).  Perhaps Bruno read along the line underneath by mistake on the phone call log printout (if he actually read anything)? Perhaps he just accepted the defence claim at their word? Who can tell?

Pause here and re-energize, before we continue in another post. Bruno’s pattern seems to be shaping up as:

Make assertions as if they are conclusions; show no reasoning for them; exhibit a predilection and fondness for posing (of which more, when we get to the detail); and embody what he alleges the prosecution (and Alessi) have done, namely hastening under pressure and influence of the media spotlight and not following international standards, in this case, of legal reasoning and fairness (plus the implicit backhanders to all those who “got it wrong”).

It’s almost as if this case has provided him with the opportunity of at least a small break from long grey days of unproductive solitude. If so, it’s no wonder his sympathy with Raffaele’s situation of watching mould growing on his cell wall shines through so brightly.

Posted on 10/09/15 at 02:38 PM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesCatnip critique
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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #3 Of 7: Dismissal Of Appeal Claims, Nencini Scope

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Overview Of The Post and the Series

The purpose of the series was summarised in Post #1.

With this post we are about 3/4 of the way through the judgment and here Marasca and Bruno push aside both some of Knox’s and Sollecito’s grounds of appeal and also Judge Nencini’s chosen scope.

This is done in a manner remarked on by Catnip as curiously pedantic and dogmatic. It is based largely on innuendo and a noticeably weak grasp of the real facts - for example the jailbirds Alessi and Aviello were DEFENSE witnesses and hardly a weakness of the prosecution case.

The evidence discussed is cherrypicked and the bar for “beyond a reasonable doubt” is set way higher than judges who normally handle murder cases (as the Fifth Chambers and these particular judges do not) would ever espouse. The exhaustive six-step review process prior to the 2009 trial is totally ignored.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

Our further critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts. Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

CONSIDERED THAT

1. Logical and exposition reasons call for an immediate examination of the preliminary matters advanced by the defenses.

In fact, these are issues of prejudicial relevance, since they are potentially capable of influencing the subsequent developments of decisions which, even if devoid of substantial definitiveness, could nevertheless have a decisive effect, at least in relation to the remand back to the lower court and postponement of the present consideration.

First of all, we will address the issue of constitutional legitimacy of the combined provisions of articles 627 par. 3, and 628 par. 2 of the code of criminal procedure, for supposed violation of the principle of reasonable length of the judicial process in light of article 111 of the Constitution; also the request to delay judgment until the decision of the European Court for Human Rights, subjected to an appeal submitted by the defense of Amanda Knox complaining about coercive treatment to which the aforementioned was supposed to have been exposed by the investigators during the preliminary investigations; also to the multiple requests of Raffaele Sollecito’s defense to refer examinations to the United Sections of this Supreme Court [a panel of all Chambers] about matters of particular relevance to their capability to generate interpretative alternatives in the case law of this Court.

2. All the requests are clearly unfounded.

2.1. Unfounded, first of all, is the restated issue of constitutional legitimacy of the laws that rule judgment by the courts after Supreme Court remand. And in fact, the motivating report of the previous [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.], who, with the preliminary court order dated 30 September 2013, has considered the matter as clearly unfounded, is irreproachable. To the arguments brought forward [by the judge] in relation to the first matter – an illustration of how the dynamics of the relationship between a judgment of annulment on legitimacy grounds, and a replacement judgment by the lower judge after remand, are guided by a progressive narrowing of the thema decidendum [matter], which, serves to preclude an extension ad infinitum of the trial process – this can be added: the effect of the progressive delimitation of the res iudicanda is followed by the judiciary as a possible result not only of the rescinding [annulling] judgment, but also of the requirements of article 628, par. 2, of the procedural code, according to which in all cases the sentence of the appellate judge can be challenged only in relation to reasons not concerning points already decided the Court of Cassation, or for failure to abide with the requirements of article 627, chapter 4 , of the code of criminal procedure, according to which “the appellate judgment by the court following Supreme Court remand cannot reopen the issue of nullity, even absolute, or inadmissibility, decided during previous trials or during preliminary investigations.”

Thus legitimacy jurisprudence is prohibited to extend as far as non-usability, since it is considered as an expression of a general principle of the decree which tends to confer definitive status to the decisions of the Court of Cassation (Section 5, n. 10624 dated on 12 February 2009, Barbara, Rv. 242980; Section 5, n. 36769 dated on 03 September 2006, Caruso, Rv 235015; Section 1, n. 22023 of the 18 April 2006,  Marine, Rv. 235274; and, about preliminary judicial review, Section 6, n. 47564 of the 14 November 2013, Tuccillo, Rv. 257470; contra, Section 3, n. 15828 of the 26 November 2014, Rv. 263343).

It is thus perfectly acceptable to affirm that the legislative [parliament] has designed a procedural module with a progressive foundation (principle of so-called “progressive ruling”), which can be viewed – in a slice of time – as “concentric circles”.

Furthermore, the previous court – in the instances described in the appeal document signed by the lawyers Ghirga and Della Vedova – had already had the opportunity to take care of this matter, declaring it inadmissible on the basis of argumentations that the current defensive explanations doesn’t seem capable of rebutting, since they do not proffer arguments that could possibly promote a different deciding conclusion.

It cannot be ignored that the criminal trial is, constitutionally, aimed at the acknowledgement of the material truth by means of a cognitive progression, excluding possible errors in procedendo or in iudicando, medio tempore occurring, to reach its final purpose, in terms of approximation as close as possible to that objective, [20] rendering back to the community a result commonly intended as “judicial truth”, that means truth found procedurally (rectius, the one which has been possible to verify by means of the ordinary gnostic and inferential instruments at disposal of the judge). All of this, within the ineluctible contexts of the procedural formalities, which represent, obviously, the maximum expression of juridical civility and the prestigious spirit of a centuries old process of advancement of procedural knowledge typical of the Italian juridical culture.

And when one deals with, as in this case, matters of particular evidence in absence of direct proof, or of reliable technical-scientific contribution, or of pertinent and usable declarative contributions – the judicial truth, detached from factual reality, ends up being a mere fictio iuris, considering the limits and the ordinary subjectivity of the instruments of human knowledge, commonly depending on a reconstructive and re-elaborative process a posteriori.

So, it is precisely in this circumstances that the respect of standards is most necessary, representing an unswerving parameter – objective and privileged – for the verification of correctness and adequacy of the cognitive process of the judge during the pragmatic approach to the material truth.

And the Judge of the legitimacy is, in fact, called to attend to the aforementioned verification with cognitive powers only ab extrinseco, meaning that they are limited to a mere external check of the formal correctness, congruency and logical coherence of the set of explanations justifying that cognitive progression, without any possibility to observe the real demonstrative importance of the evidential elements used in it.

And furthermore, such pursue of finalization will have to comply with the constitutional principle under article 111 of the Constitution about reasonable length of a trial process intended to develop through phases and predetermined sequenced articulations.

The pursue of that ultimate purpose (seeking of the material truth) – particularly in trials of particular delicacy like the one examined here, of such difficulty in carrying out of procedural activities, and technical investigations of particular complexity – has therefore to be related to the necessity of a judicial reply of a length as short as possible, for the obvious necessity of respect for the value of the subjects involved and of the ineluctible claim for justice both of the victims and the community.

2.2. The request of Amanda Knox’s defense aimed at the postponing of the present trial to wait for the decision of the European Court of Justice [sic] has no merit, due to the definitive status of the guilty verdict for the crime of calunnia, now protected as a partial final status, against a denouncement of arbitrary and coercive treatments allegedly carried out by the investigators against the accused to the point of coercing her will and damaging her moral freedom in violation of article 188 of penal procedure code. [21]

And also, a possible decision of the European Court in favor of Ms. Knox, in the sense of a desired recognition of non-orthodox treatment of her by investigators, could not in any way affect the final verdict, not even in the event of a possible review of the verdict, considering the slanderous accusations that the accused produced against Lumumba consequent to the asserted coercions, and confirmed by her before the Public Prosecutor during the subsequent session, in a context which, institutionally, is immune from anomalous psychological pressures; and also confirmed in her memoriale, at a moment when the same accuser was alone with herself and her conscience in conditions of objective peacefulness, sheltered from environmental influence; and were even restated, after some time, during the validation of the arrest of Lumumba, before the investigating judge in charge.

2.3. Finally, denied also is the request from Sollecito’s defense seeking to obtain referral to the United Sections of this Court of matters related to the evidential value of scientific results acquired in violation of international protocols which contain specific prescriptions meant to assure the genuineness of the sampling and the analysis; also related to the standards of evaluation of expert testimony during the trial process under strong media exposure; also related to the usability of accusative declarations reported in the verdict that had been acquired according to article 238–bis of the procedure code.

These are, clearly, matters of particular weight, of some agreed relevance for purposes of defining the present judgment, but of dubious capacity to generate potential jurisprudential contrasts. Anyway, interpretative tangles are checked out here which this Court could not ignore, with the pertinent conclusion having binding effectiveness within the purpose of defining the present proceeding.

3. Having thus stated, the main topic of the present proceeding can now be approached, the leitmotiv of the claims of the contestants, revolving around a prejudicial claim of inobservance, on the part of the [Florence] appeal judge, of the dictum of the [2013] annulment ruling by this Court and the principle of law established within it.

The investigation requested to this Court is only apparently simple, considered that the ratio decidendi of the annulment ruling is founded on the finding of a manifest illogicality of the rationale supporting the appealed judgement; a finding which consists – and specifies itself – in the observation of a violation of the principles of completeness and of non-contradiction.

It is an established jurisprudential rule that, in presence of such reasoning for an annulment, derived from a deficit in the reasoning, the new appeal judge [giudice di rinvio] is tasked with the comprehension of the whole body of evidence, which he is expected to revisit [22] in full freedom of conviction, without any bound, being only supposed to produce, as a result, a reasoning deprived of those flaws of manifest illogicality or manifest contradiction which caused the annulment of the first appeal verdict. In the case law of this Court of Cassation there is, in fact, the recurrent statement “following an annulment for incorrect reasoning, the new appeal judge is prohibited from basing the new decision on the same arguments considered illogic or inconsistent by the Court of Cassation, but he is however free to reach, on the basis of different argumentations from the ones claimed in the Supreme Court therefore integrating and completing the ones already issued, the same judicial result of the annulled ruling. This because it is an exclusive task of the courts of merit to reconstruct the resulting facts from the trial findings, and to assess the signification and value of the relative sources of evidence”. (among others, Sect 4, n. 30422 of 21 June 2005, Poggi, Rv. 232019; Section 4, n. 48352 of 29 April 2009, Savoretti, Rv 245775).

A problem – suggested with appreciable discretion within the new reasons [of appeal] in favor of Knox – appears when, as in this case, the Court of Cassation has entered in the merits, going beyond the institutional limits assigned to it, such as when for example it offers a range of causal alternatives for the murder and assigns to the judge the task of picking, within that predetermined numerous clausus, the one most appropriate to the case at bar. There’s no doubt, in the opinion of this panel, that in such peculiar event the new appellate court cannot consider itself either bound or influenced, because of the aforementioned clear problem of this institutional kind, that, for what was stated before, exists between cognizance of legitimacy and cognizance of the fact, the latter being the exclusive prerogative of the judge of merit. In this regard the Supreme Court has already given its contribution, stating that the new appellate judge cannot be influenced “by evaluations possibly over-stated by the Court of Cassation in its argumentations, since the spheres within which the respective evaluation are carried out are different, and it is not the task of the Court of Cassation to put its conviction before the judge of merits in regards to those matters. After all, in those cases where the Supreme Court possibly focus its attention over some specific aspects from which the lack or the contradiction of reasoning emerges, this doesn’t mean that the new appellate judge would be tasked with a new judgment only on the specified points, because the judge retains the same powers which originally belonged to him as a judge of merits in relation to the identification and evaluation of the trial data, regarding the point of the verdict affected by annulment” (Section 4 n.30422/2005 cit.). In the same sense it was stated that “… possible factual elements and assessments contained in the annulment ruling are not binding for the new appellate judge, but are considered exclusively as a reference point in order to position the complained-about error or errors, [23] and therefore not as data imposed for the decision requested of him; moreover, there’s no doubt that, after the ruling of annulment for incorrect reasoning through the indication of specific points of deficiency or contradiction, the powers of the new appellate judge cannot be restrained to the examination of the single specified points, as if they were isolated from the rest of the evidential material, but he must also carry out other acts of evidence-finding on which results his decision has to be based, providing the reason for this within the judgment report” (Section 4, n. 44644 of 18 October 2011, defendant F., Rv. 251660; Section 5, n. 41085 of 3 July 2009, defendant L., Rv. 245389; Section 1, n. 1397 of 10 December 1997 dep. 1998, Pace, Rv. 209692).

All of this is the background to a reiterated doctrine of this Court of Cassation, consolidated to the point of constituting a ius receptum, according to which “the powers of the new appeals judge are different depending on if the annulment has been ruled for violation or erroneous application of the criminal code, or for absence of manifested illogicality of reasoning, since, while, in the first hypothesis, the judge is bound to the law principle expressed by the Court, without changing the evaluation of the facts as they were found by the appealed verdict, in the second hypothesis, a new examination of the evidential compendium can be carried out, without repeating the same incorrect reasoning of the annulled order. (among the others, Section 3, n. 7882 of 10 January 2012, Montali, Rv. 252333).

3.1. As we will see, the appeals judge [Nencini] was influenced on many points by the suppositions of factual aspects emerging within the annulment judgment, as if the convincing and analytic evaluations of the Supreme Court were unavoidably converging in the direction of affirmation of guilt of the two defendants. Being misled by this error, the same judge encounters clear logic inconsistencies and obvious errors in iudicando, which need to be challenged here.

4. Meanwhile, it can’t be ignored, on a first summary overview, that the history of these proceedings is characterized by a troubled and intrinsically contradictory path, with the only fact of irrefutable certainty being the guilt of Amanda Knox regarding the slanderous accusations against Patrick Lumumba. On the concern of the murder of Kercher, the declaration of guilt of Knox and Sollecito, in first instance, was followed by a ruling of acquittal from the appeal Court of Assizes of Perugia, consequent to an articulated evidential integration [the Conti-Vecchiotti report, ed.]; the annulment by this Supreme Court, First Criminal Section; and finally the judgment, on appeal, of the Court of assizes of Florence, today considered under a new Cassation appeal.

An objectively wavering process, the oscillations of which are the result of glaring failures or investigative “amnesias” and of culpable omissions in [24] investigating activities, which, had they been carried out, would have, probably, allowed from the start the outline a framework, if not of certainty, at least of reassuring reliability, in direction of either the guilt or the non-involvement of the current appellants. Such scenario, intrinsically contradictory, constitutes a first, eloquent, representation of an evidential set of anything but “beyond reasonable doubt”.

4.1. Surely, an unusual media fuss about the crime, caused not just by the dramatic modalities of the death of a 22-year old woman, so absurd and incomprehensible in its genesis, but also by the nationality of the persons involved (a USA citizen, Knox, accused of participating in the murder of her housemate who was sharing a foreign study experience with her; an English citizen, Meredith Kercher, killed in mysterious circumstances in the place where she likely used to feel most safe, her home, and additionally the international implications of the case itself, prompted the investigation to suffer from a sudden acceleration, which, in the spasmodic search for one or more culprits to be delivered to international public opinion,  surely didn’t help the search for substantial truth, which, in complex murder cases like the one examined here, has an ineluctible requirement both for accurate timing, and also the completeness and accuracy of the investigation activity. Not only that, but also, when – as in this case – the result of the search is greatly based on the results of scientific examinations, the antiseptic sampling of all the elements useful to the investigation – in an environment provided of the appropriate sterilization, so to shield it from possible contaminations – constitutes, normally, the first cautionary strategy, itself the vital prelude to a correct analysis and “reading” of the retrieved samples. And if the key part of the activity of technical-scientific research consists in specific genetic investigations, whose contribution in the investigative activity emerges as more and more relevant, the reliable parameter of correctness can only be the respect of standards imposed by the international protocols which outline the fundamental rules of procedure of the scientific community, on the basis of statistic and epistemological observation.

The rigorous respect for such methodological standards provides a reliability, conventionally acceptable, in the assembled results, firstly related to their repeatability – that is the possibility that those findings, and those alone, would be reproduced by an identical investigative procedure 0in identical conditions, according to the fundamental laws of the empiric method and, more generally, of experimental science, that since Galileo has been based on the application of a “scientific method” (typical procedure meant to obtain knowledge of “objective” reality, reliable, verifiable and sharable; by common knowledge this consists, on one hand, in the collection of empiric data in relation to the hypothesis and theories to be confirmed; on the other hand, in the mathematical and rigorous analysis of such data, that is associating – as stated for the first time by aforementioned Galileo – “sensible experiences” with “necessary demonstrations” that is the experimentation with mathematics.

4.2. As we will see, all of this is basically missing in the current judgment.

Not only that but, the media attention, besides not helping the search for the truth, has produced further prejudicial feedback in terms of “procedural diseconomy”, generating undue “noise” (in the IT meaning) , not so much from the delay of the availability of witness testimony from certain persons (considering that from this point of view it is anyway just a matter of verifying the reliability of the corresponding declarative contributions), but because of the introduction into the trial of extemporary declarations by certain detained subjects, of solid criminal caliber [defense witnesses Alessi and Aviello], surely intent on self-serving mythomania and judicial attention-seeking behavior capable of assuring them a media stage, including on TV, so breaking at least for one day the grayness of their prison regime. And by the way this was a common instance of claims from “fetchers” of truths collecting within the prison environment unworthy confidences between co-inmates during the routine yard time. Clearly not commendable situations, which, also, had had the outcome of assuring – for the first time during the appeal – the active participation in this case of Rudy Guede (when he was summoned during the first instance judgment, he invoked his right to not respond; p. 3): [he’s] a key element in this case, even if unshakably reticent (and has never confessed), a bringer of half-truths differing from time to time.

Rudy Guede is the Ivorian citizen who was also himself involved in the Kercher case. Tried separately with a separate judgment, as a co-participant to the murder, he was sentenced, at the end of an abbreviated trial, to the penalty of thirty years imprisonment, reduced on appeal to sixteen years.

Our mention of him is to make it worth introducing the second, irrefutable, certainty of this trial (after the one concerning the responsibility of Knox for the crime of calunnia), that is the guilt now under irrevocable ruling, of the Ivorian as the author – participating with others – of the murder of the young English woman.

The finding of guilt of the aforementioned was reached on the basis of genetic traces, definitely attributable to him, collected in the house in via della Pergola, on the victim’s body and inside the room where the murder was committed.

4.3. The same reference [to Guede] also raises two relevant points of law, highlighted by the defense: one concerning the usability and the value of the aforementioned irrevocable verdict in this proceeding; the other related to the usability of the declarations - in terms less than coherent and constant – produced by Guede within his own trial, which may involve the current appellants in some way.

Posted on 10/06/15 at 02:36 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #2 Of 7: Summaries Five And Six

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



“Justice and Peace” by Corrado Giaquinto 1762. Click here to go straight to Comments.

Overview Of The Post and the Series

The purpose of the series was summarised in Post #1.

With this post we are 2/5 of the way through the judgment and summaries of the appeal grounds still continue. These are new grounds by Knox’s and Sollecito’s teams.

As previously, Sollecito’s team throw in everything but the kitchen sink. Knox’s new grounds are about 1/4 of that length, and mainly request that Knox’s appeal to ECHR Strasbourg be awaited before this verdict comes down.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.  Our own critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

1. Further Knox Appeal Grounds

4.1. In favor of Knox, two further reasons were submitted.

In the first one, objected to is the violation of article 606 lett. a), b) e) of the code of criminal procedure, criticizing the entire reasoning process of the appealed verdict, which exceeded the fixed standard of the - already exorbitant - annulment ruling , with violation of articles 627 par. 3, and 623 of the code of procedure. Criticized, particularly, is the anomalous examination of the merits within the annulment ruling.

In the second reason, objected to is the contradiction and manifest illogicality in the rationale according to article 533 of the code of criminal procedure.

And at the end, a delay of the judgment is proposed while waiting for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, following the presentation to the international judicial body on the appeal of 11.22.2013, for alleged violation of the right to an equal trial, according to the article 6 par. 3 lett. a/c ECHR; for alleged violation of defense rights, according to the article 48 par. 2 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; and for the violation of the prohibition on torturing, according to the articles 3 ECHR and 4 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

2. Further Sollecito Appeal Grounds

4.2 Also Sollecito’s defense proposed new reasons, listed as follows.

The first new reason challenges the incorrect reasoning on the time of Kercher’s death. As defense has stated a careful examination of objective elements would have allowed the setting the time of death in a period of time between 9-9:29 and 10:13 PM.

The exact determination of the time of death [exitus] was fundamental to proving the actual presence of the accused at the crime scene, at the time of the aggression.

In particularl the examination carried out on the victim’s cell phone revealed subsequent contacts between 9 and 9:13 PM, as reported in the Pellero report on the SMS and the aforementioned cellular phone. This would have allowed acquiring – if not the certainty of the young English woman being alive until 10:13 PM, considering the possibility of accidental phone connections – at least useful information in this regard.

More precisely, the following contacts took place during the considered period of time:

1) a first call, at 8:56, to her home number, in England, remained unanswered and not followed by a new call, strange considered the habits of the girl, who was used to calling her family every day;

2) another contact, maybe accidental, at 9:50 PM, on a voice mail, lasted a few seconds, without waiting for an answer;

3) a contact, at 10PM, with the English bank Abbey, which failed obviously because it was not preceded by the international prefix;

4) at 10:13, an SMS was received by the cellular phone, in the place where it was abandoned, in via Sperandio.

On the other hand, the examination carried out on Sollecito’s computer registered an interaction at 9:20 PM and a subsequent one at 9:26 PM, not found by the postal police, but discovered by the defense expert D’Ambrosio by means of a different operative system application (MAC), for the watching of an animated cartoon (Naruto) of the length of 20 minutes, demonstrating that Sollecito was at home until 9:46.

This helps to demonstrates the non-involvement of the accused, also evident from the Skype contact occurred between Guede and his friend Benedetti.

To be sure, a new IT analysis by judge-appointed experts would have been necessary, as requested in vain by the defense.

The previous [a quo] judge, then, also committed an obvious misrepresentation in the evaluation of Curatolo’s testimony, not realizing that the declarations of the witness were, actually, in favor of the accused, especially in the part where he states to have seen the couple in piazza Grimana at 21:30 PM until 12:00 AM. Therefore, there was an internal contradiction of the judging: it wasn’t true what was stated at p. 50 concerning the supposed absence of extrinsic elements confirming that the two accused, from 9:30 PM to 12:30 PM of the next day,  would have been in a different place than the one where the homicide took place.

Within the reconstruction of the crime, then, it was not taken in account that witnesses Capezzalie and Monachia located the harrowing scream that they heard at a time around 11 – 11.30 PM. However, Ms. Capezzali was contradicted by other witnesses, residents of the area, who declared they didn’t hear anything.

Furthermore, not examined was the video clip captured by the camera placed near the parking lot which had filmed the passing by of a person similar, in features and clothes, to Guede. The time of filming was 7:41 PM, though 7:39 PM effectively because of a clock error of 12 or 13 minutes.

Also the autopsy, in observing the gastric situation, allowed the fixation of the hour of death between 9:30 and 10 PM. Furthermore, during the cross-examination hearing, the forensic pathologist Dr. Lalli rectified an error contained in his technical report, pointing out that the time of death would have had to be set not at “not less than 2-3 hours from the last meal (that took place around 6 PM, with the English friends)” but at “not more than 2-3 hours from the last meal”.

Considered this uncertain conclusion, a new analysis by judge-appointed experts [perizia] was requested in vain, in the new reasons for appeal, dated 29 July 2013.[17]

So, in the light of the trial data, as stated by the defense, the time of death of the young English woman would have had to be approximately set between 9 and 10:13 PM.

The second new reason challenges the failure to order a judge appointed experts review [perizia] in order to verify or otherwise the possibility of a selective cleaning of the crime scene which would have removed only the traces referable to the two accused, leaving only Guede’s ones. In fact, in Kercher’s room multiple traces of Guede were found but none of Sollecito.

Incorrect reasoning is also suggested on the supposed alteration of the crime scene by the accused. It was not, however, considered that Sollecito had no interest in polluting [the scene].

The third reason challenges a flaw in rationale regarding the plantar imprints presumed as female footprints (size 37 EU) demonstrating a participation of more than one person in the crime.

With reference to the imprints, there was an obvious error in the judgment, also present in the judgment of annullment of Cassation (p. 21), considering that the only imprint retrieved in Kercher’s room belonged to Guede.

The fourth reason again claims violation of the law, with reference to the article 606 lett. c) and e) regarding the evidence on the participation to the crime and the violation of the articles 111 Const, 238, 513 and 526 of the code of penal procedure on the usability of the interrogation of Guede and the observance of the evaluation standards on a charge of complicity.

The fifth reason claims misrepresentation of the evidence and manifest illogicality, related to the results of the genetic investigation on the knife (item 36) and also on the supposed “non-incompatibility” of the instrument with the most serious wound observed on the victim’s neck. Claimed further is the violation of the evaluation standards of evidence according to article 192 of the code of criminal procedure.

The sixth reason claims lack of rationale, because there was no consideration of the violation of the international recommendations on the sampling and examination of traces of small entity and the interpretation of the results. Also claimed is misrepresentation of the evidence and manifest illogicality of reasoning on the results of the genetic examinations carried out on the kitchen knife and also violation of the proof evaluation standards, according to the article 192 of the code of procedure.

The seventh reason claims incorrect reasoning with reference to the violation of the international recommendations on the sampling and analysis related to the genetic examinations carried out on the brassiere hook (item 165 B) and the objected-to contamination of the item, after the inspections carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department.

The eighth reason challenges the violation of articles 192 and 533 of the code of criminal procedure on the interpretation of the genetic examination on the item 165 B and lack of rationale on the objected violation of the international recommendations in matter of interpretation of mixed DNA.[18]

The ninth reason challenges a violation of article 192 of the code of criminal procedure and manifest illogicality of evidence for misrepresentation of the scientific investigation, considering the failure of the DNA proof in this case.

The tenth reason challenges a manifest illogicality in the motivation in the luminol evidence related to the supposed presence of blood imprints in areas of the house of via della Pergola and also on the bathmat, and manifest illogicality of rationale related to the mixed traces of Knox and Kercher and the evaluation of the circumstantial evidence in relation to the participation of more than one person to the crime.

The eleventh reason challenges a manifest illogicality or contradictory nature in the motivations related to the evaluation of the motive of the murder.

The twelfth reason argues the same incorrect reasoning and misrepresentation of the evidence related to the time of the 112 call.

The thirteenth reason argues the same incorrect reasoning in relation with the alibi and the supposed tentative of Sollecito to cover for the supposed co-perpetrator Amanda Knox.

The fourteenth reason challenges the violation of the law principles stated by Cassation and the violation of the judicial standards of “beyond reasonable doubt” according to article 533 of the code of criminal procedure.

Posted on 09/29/15 at 03:44 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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Saturday, September 26, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #1 Of 7: The Four Opening Summaries

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



More judicial artwork in the Supreme Court. Click to go straight to Comments.

1. Overview Of The Post And Series

This is about one-quarter of the report. These sections summarize the crime against Meredith, the legal process, and the appeals Knox and Sollecito filed with Cassation in 2014.

This is our second translation post after this one which showed that Knox and Sollecito were NOT found innocent, far from it.

They were in fact confirmed as being at the scene of the crime, as were Guede and a presumed two others, and lying about it, though for supposed reasons not even the defenses had ever argued.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report. Resisted was any attempt to employ more fluent English because the Italian itself is far from fluent or coherent.

We’ll post critiques separately in Comments and other posts except for this one.

Notable for its absence is any attempt to explain why the Fifth Chambers pushed aside the First Chambers to handle this murder case, and why in that process at least two laws (bedrock articles of the judicial code) seem to have been broken.

They seem to have been tasked only to assess whether the appeal should be handled by a joint arrangement of all Supreme Court Chambers because of claims by defenses that the unusual amount of publicity and supposed legal complexity required that.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

2. The Four Opening Summaries

1. Summary Of The Crimes Against Meredith

This is the original language of Marasca and Bruno. It is their take on the prosecution.

1. Raffaele Sollecito and the United States citizen Amanda Marie Knox were called to account, before the Perugia Court of assize, for the following crimes:

A) within the meaning of Articles 110, 575, 576, first clause , number 5, in relation to the crime sub C) and 577, first clause number 4, in relation to article 61 n. 1 and 5 of the penal code, to have, in conjunction between them and with Guede Rudi Hermann, killed Kercher Meredith, by means of choking and subsequent breaking of the hyoid bone and profound lesion on the left anterolateral and right lateral neck region, caused by a piercing and cutting weapon mentioned in section B), and meta-hemorrhagic shock with observable asphyxical subsequent to the bleeding (caused by the puncture and cutting wounds present on the left anterolateral and right lateral region of the neck and the contextual aspiration of hematic material), and taking advantage of the nocturnal hour and the isolated location of the apartment inhabited by Kercher and the same Knox, as well by two other Italian girls (Romanelli Filomena and Mezzetti Laura), an apartment located in Perugia, in via della Pergola number 7, committing the act for futile reasons, while Guede, with the conjunction of the others, committed the crime of sexual violence;

B) within the meaning of Article 110 of the penal code and 4 law number 110/1975 to have, in conjunction between themselves, brought out of the house of Sollecito, without a justified reason, a big puncture and cutting knife with a total length of 31 cm (seized from Sollecito the 6th of November 2007, exhibit 36);

C) within the meaning of Article 110, 609 bis and ter no. 2 of the penal code to have, in conjunction between themselves and with Guede Rudi Hermann (Guede as material executioner, in conjunction with the co-accused) forced Kercher Meredith to endure sexual acts, with manual and/or genital penetration, by means of violence and threast, resulting in constraining maneuvers which produced lesions, particularly on the upper and lower limbs and on the vulvar region (ecchymotic suffusions on the fore side of the left thigh, lesions on the vestibular-vulvar area and ecchymotic areas on the fore side of the medial third of the right leg) as well as the use of the knife described in point B; 

D) within the meaning of Article 110, 624 of the penal code, acting together, acquiring an unjust profit, in the circumstances of time and place described in point A) and C), took possession of the sum of approximately € 300.00, two credit cards, of Abbey Bank and Nationwide, both from United Kingdom, and two cellular phones owned by Kercher Meredith, stolen from the aforementioned; fact to be qualified within the meaning of article 624 bis of the penal code,  the place of execution of the crime cited in point A) referred to here.;

E) within the meaning of article 110, 367 and 61 n. 2 of the penal code to have, acting together, simulated the attempted burglary and entering of the room of the apartment in via della Pergola, inhabited by Romanelli Filomena, breaking the window glass with a stone found in the vicinity of the house and subsequently dropped in the room, near the window, all of this to obtain impunity from the crimes of homicide and sexual violence, trying to ascribe them to unknown persons who broke in, for this purpose, into the apartment;

All this took place in Perugia, during the night between the 1st and 2nd of November 2007.

Knox only, furthermore, regarding the crime mentioned in point F), within the meaning of article 81 cpv, 368, clause 2, and 61 n. 2 of the penal code, because, with multiple actions within the same criminal plan, knowing that he was innocent, with statements filed during declaration to the Flying Squad and the Police of Perugia on the 6th of November 2007, she falsely blamed Diya Lumumba called “Patrick” for the murder of the young Meredith Kercher, all of this to obtain impunity for everyone and particularly for Guede Rudi Hermann, colored as is Lumumba; in Perugia, during the night between the 5th and the 6th of November 2007.

2. Summary of The Legal Process 2009-2014

This is the original language of Marasca and Bruno. It is their take on the 2009 trial, the 2011 Hellmann appeal, the 2013 Supreme Court appeal, and the 2013 Nencini appeal.

By judgment of 4-5 December 2009, the Court of assize declared Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty for the crimes mentioned in point A) – this including the crime mentioned in point C) – also in B) and D), regarding the cellular phones, and E) and, for what concerns Knox, also the crime mentioned in F); crimes which fulfill the prerequisite of continuity and, excluding the aggravating factor mentioned in article 577 and 61 n.5 of the penal code, conceded to both extenuating circumstances equivalent to the remaining aggravation circumstances, condemned them to the sentence of twenty-six years of prison for Knox and twenty-five years of prison for Sollecito, plus other consequential terms;

condemned, also, the same accused, jointly, to pay compensation for damages to the civil parties John Leslie Kercher, Arline Carol Lara Kercher, Lyle Kercher, John Ashley Kercher and Stephanie Arline Lara Kercher, damages to be compensated at a separate session, with the immediate payment of the amount of 1,000,000.00 € each in favor of John Leslie Kercher and Arline Carol Lara Kercher and 800,000.00 € each in favor of Lyle Kercher John, Ashley Kercher and Stephanie Arline Lara Kercher;

condemned, also, Amanda Marie Knox to pay compensation for damages to the civil party Patrik Lumumba, to be compensated at a separate session, with the immediate payment of the amount of 10,000.00 €, plus other consequential terms.

condemned, finally, the aforementioned Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to pay compensation for damages to the civil party Aldalia Tattanelli (owner of the apartment in via della Pergola), to be compensated at a separate session, and for Lyle Kercher, John Ashley Kercher and Stepanie Arline Lara Kercher, with immediate payment.

Regarding the appeals proposed by the accused, the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, by judgment of 3 October 2011, declared Knox Amanda Marie guilty for the crimes referenced in point F), excluding the aggravating factor mentioned in article 61 n.2 of the penal code and excluded the general extenuating circumstances equivalent to the aggravating factors within the means of article 368 of the penal code – condemned her to the sentence of three years of prison; confirming strictly for this sentence the civil damages.

absolved the accused from the crimes previously accredited to them on point A), B) and D), to have not committed the act, and from the crime described in point E) because there is no case to answer, rejecting the damages proposed against them by the civil party Aldalia Tattanelli.

regarding the appeals proposed by the Perugia prosecutor-general, by the accused Amanda Marie Knox and the civil parties, this Court of Cassation,  First Criminal Division, with sentence of 25 March 2013, cancelled the disputed sentence referring to the crimes mentioned in point A) – incorporated in point C) – B), D) and E) and the aggravating factor within article 61 n.2 of the penal code concerning point F) and referred the appeals to the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Florence for new examination.; denying Knox’s appeal, with subsequent circumstances.

During the review the Court of Assizes of Florence, with the trial sentence indicated above, confirming the exisistence of the aggravating factor within the meaning of article 61 n.2 of the penal code, with reference to the crime within the meaning of article 368, second paragraph of the penal code, point F), revises the sentence against Amanda Marie Knox to be twenty-eight years and six months of prison; confirming the trial sentence, with the consequential damages in favor of the constituted civil parties.

Against the aforementioned ruling, the accused’s defendants had proposed different Court of Cassation appeals, each one subject to the following critical reasons.

3. Summary of Amanda Knox appeal

This is Marasca and Bruno summarising the submission of Knox lawyers Dalla Vedova and Ghirga.

The appeal in favor of Amanda Marie Knox, before the presentation of the multiple reasons of which it was constituted, was preceded by a long premise which, on the one hand, anticipated the direction of the entire appeal and, on the other hand, proposed once again the same set of problems already discussed in the original grounds for appeal, such as the constitutional legitimacy issue of the conjunction of articles 627 chapter 3 and 628 chapter 2, regarding the application of a possible “indefinite repetitiveness” of an order of remand by the Cassation and corresponding options of indefinitely appealing a rescission order.

In first arguments the basis for contesting of the entire appeal was presented, represented by the pretentious avoidance of the dictum of the rescission order of this legitimacy Court and the divergent interpretation of the same probative material by two different courts of assizes, Perugia and Firenze, the last, however , based on mere paperwork exam.

Then, it continued into the analytical analysis of the procedural factual circumstances or evidences, which wouldn’t have been validly examined or, illegitimately, perceived in a partitioned way and not from a global and unitary perspective.

Taking into account this, various reasons for the appeal were deduced and reasons summarily presented, according to the terms of article 173, chapter 1, disp. att. code of penal procedure, that is in the terms strictly necessary to the decision.

The first reason challenged the violation and inobservance of the criminal law, according to article 606 lett. b) and c) of the code of criminal procedure and also the incorrect reasoning, according to the same article let. e), about the decisive matter of the asserted reason, of Knox for the commitment of the crime, in violation of article 110 of the penal code.

Contested, in this regard, was what previously assumed in the judgments as to the merits, regarding some claimed disagreements between the aforementioned Knox and Kercher, despite the occurred absolution, with definitive decision, of the finding for theft of the sum of three hundred euros and the collected depositions, including the one provided by Marco Zaroli, regarding the “idyllic” relationship between the two girls. From the records of proceedings there had not emerged any reason that could have induced Knox to mindfully concur in the murder act and, contrarily to the assumption of the judge, the verification of motive during the evidentiary process was absolutely necessary. In this regard, no indications have been offered by the [First Chambers] review judge, despite the specific indication of the rescission order, which had notified a triple possibility: 1) genetic acknowledgement on the death option; 2) changing of an initial program which only included the involvement of the English girl in a not shared sexual game; 3) mere forcing of an erotic group game.

Also, in a scenario of absolute uncertainty the review judges had elaborated an abnormal type of collusion in a crime, the fruit of a singular mixture of different impulses and reasons of the participants: Mr. Guede driven by a sexual motive; Ms. Knox by resentment towards the English woman; Mr. Sollecito by unknown intent.

The second reason highlights a problem of great relevance in the circumstance of the present judgment, that is the right interpretation of the scientific examination results from a perspective of respect of the evaluation standards according to article 192 of the criminal procedural code and the relevance of the genetic evaluation in the absence of repeatable amplification, as a consequence of the minimal amount of the sample and, more generally, the reliability coefficient of investigations carried out without following the regulations dictated by the international protocols, both during the collecting phase and the analysis.

Particularly, anomalies were challenged in the retrieval of the knife (item 36) and the victim’s brassiere hook, which do not exclude the possibility of contamination, as correctly outlined in the Conti-Vecchiotti report, ordered by the Perugian Court of assizes, which also notified the unreliability of the scientific data, precisely because it was not subject to a further examination.

It was also denied that the retrieved knife would have been the crime weapon.

The third reason challenged the law violation and incorrect reasoning, according to article 606 lett. b) and e), regarding the teleological nexus between the crime of calunnia and the homicide. In this regard, the psychological conditions of the accused during the issue of the calumnious declarations dated 11.06.2007 are outlined, her declarations were considered unusable by this Court (with ruling number 990/80); also challenged was a violation of article 188 of the code of criminal procedure, for infringement of the declarer’s moral freedom during the assumption of evidence.

The fourth reason challenged incorrect reasoning regarding the relevant circumstances of the happening, with reference to, firstly, the asserted simulation of theft in Romanelli’s room, without considering that Guede, at the moment of his arrest, presented wounds on his right hand compatible with the hypothesis of a previous breaking of the window’s glass and subsequent climb in order to enter the room, with shards of glass on the windowsill, also in the same way not considered was the criminal record of Guede, who wasn’t new to stealing in apartments, with identical modalities. Moreover, not considered was that not a single genetic imprint of the accused had being retrieved in the room of the murder, while fourteen imprints referable to Guede were retrieved in the same room.

The argument was totally illogical of a purported selective cleaning of the environment carried out by the accused, being almost impossible to remove specific genetic traces, leaving others intact.

The fifth reason denounces the incorrect reasoning in the evaluation of the Curatolo’s and Quintavalle’s declarations, non-adequately interpreted during the examination of the evidence. Also the illogical relevance given to the SMS received by Patrik Lumumba, due to uncertain of the site of the reception, and considering the well-known unreliability of localizations based on the triangulation of telephone cells.

The sixth reason challenged the law violation, in relation to the use of statements considered unusable by this Court, with particular reference to the declarations of the accused contra se at 5:45 AM of 11.6.2007.

Also, it was not considered that the defense report submitted by Knox suffered from the unstable psychological conditions in which she found herself, also from the stress consequent to the violation of her defense rights.

The seventh reason denounces the violation of articles 111 Cost., chapter 2 and 238 of the criminal procedure code, with reference to the irrevocable sentence issued against Guede and the inappropriate interpretation of the declarations produced by the aforementioned, via Skype, to his friend Giacomo Benedetti.

The eighth reason denounces the lack of assumption of decisive evidence, according to article 606 lett. d) of the criminal procedure code and in relation to articles 111 chapter 2 and 238 bis of the criminal procedure code, for failure to re-open court hearing evidentiary phase, denied with order of 09.30.2013, in order to examine Guede, after his accusations against the indicted woman.

The ninth reason signals inconsistency and contradictory nature of motivation and also great inaccuracy, such as the declaration at page 321 about the presence of genetic traces of Sollecito and Kercher on the retrieved knife.

It is argued, also, that the place where the cellular phones of the victim had been retrieved was compatible with Guede’s itinerary towards his house, situated in via del Canerino n. 26.

Inadequate, moreover, was the evaluation of the results of the report provided by Massimo Bernaschi about the computer damage, by suspected electric shock.

The tenth reason denounces the inobservance or erroneous application of articles 627 and 603 of the criminal procedure code referring to the preliminary order of 09.30.13 and 04.17.14.

Requested, also, is the correction of the material error presented in the order dated 04.17.13, referring to the erroneous indication of the place of birth of the accused, who was born in Seattle and not in Washington.

The eleventh reason denounces the violation and inobservance of article 606 lett b), in relation to the quantification of the punishment in point of aggravating circumstance according to article 61 n.2 of the penal code for the crime of calunnia placed on the accused assuming a teleological nexus.

The remand judge [Nencini] had considered the generic mitigating circumstances of minor value, previously considered equivalent, despite the final status of judgment [giudicato] on the point.

4. Summary of Raffaele Sollecito appeal

This is Marasca and Bruno summarising the submission of Sollecito lawyers Bongiorno and Maori.

3. The appeal on behalf of Raffaele Sollecito is explained in terms of twenty-two reasons, which will be also systematically summarised according to the requirements of article 173, chapter 1, of the code of penal procedure.

To this summary explanation has to be added the reference to the introductory part, containing specific requests.

The first concerns the ruling for referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel [Sezioni Unite] on matters asserted of being of maximum relevance and, potentially, capable of generating interpretative contrast:

a) Probative or evidential value of the results of the scientific evidence in case of violation of scientific community international protocols regarding the collection and reading of the data;

b) Usability of declarations produced by Guede during the appeal process. In relation to this, it is inappropriate to relate the review of this appealed sentence to what he has stated during interrogation, reported in the appealed sentence according to article 238 bis; if those declarations were usable, it would be a consent to include in the trial, in violation of the same procedural disposition, declarations produced in absence of cross-examination.

c) Range of explanation of the principle of beyond reasonable doubt, which, from what is stated by the current defense, would be violated in this specific case by the erroneous statement by the remand judge, according to which the lack of procedural collaboration of the accused has exempted the judge from analyzing the alternative hypothesis emerged from the trial papers or the defense perspectives.

d) Reliability limits in witnesses’ declarations (such as the ones from Dramis, Monacchia, Quintavalle and Curatolo), produced some time after the facts, after being solicited by journalists. The question is about the verification of the reliability of witnesses during the procedures who created strong media impact, with particular reference to Gioffredi and Kokomani claims and to the declaration of the former offender Luciano Aviello, who did not hesitate to produce slanderous declarations towards the prosecutor, the defence attorney, and Raffaele Sollecito’s father.

The intervention of the supreme jurisdictional assembly was necessary in order to fix the evaluation standards of oral evidence during trials with strong media exposure, aiming to preserve the credibility of the trial, protecting it from mythomaniac or judicial attention-seeking behavior.

In the introductive part also thoroughly examined is the position of Amanda Knox regarding the erroneous evaluation of the evidence against her, which had reflected negative effects also on the position of Sollecito, with the distorted conviction that the two substantial positions would be linked by an indissoluble bond, almost like a unique communication vessels system or an abnormal “mutual” extension of responsibility.  All of this in order to denounce the erroneous methodological position consisting in the lack of an “identifying” evaluation of the appellant’s role in the tragic happening subject to judgment. And the aforementioned assumption gave headway to a further denouncement of legitimacy, consisting in the remand judge avoiding the dictum of the cancellation judgment, which gave to the remand judge the task of “highlight the subjective position of Guede’s contestants in the light of all the supposable circumstances”, all specifically enunciated.

It is also pointed out that Ms. Knox had never placed, even in her noon report (erroneously considered of confessional nature), Sollecito at the crime scene. On the contrary, from the aforementioned report, it was possible to deduce that the foretold was not present in the house of via della Pergola.

In fact, no trace of Sollecito was found in the room of the murder. The only element of proof against him was represented by the DNA trace retrieved on the brassiere hook of the victim; trace of which relation with the indicted was actually denied by the Vecchiotti-Conti report, which, in this regard, had accepted the observations of the defense advisor Professor Tagliabracci, world-renowned geneticist.

Once this is considered, it is possible to proceed with a brief listing of the reasons for the appeal.

1) The first articulated reason challenged the violation of articles 627, chapter 3 and 628 of the code of criminal procedure for the nonobservance of the principles enounced in those articles, particularly referring to the necessity: a) to ascertain the presence of the suspects on the crime scene; 2) to outline the subjective positions of the Rudy Guede’s assumed co-attackers; 3) to establish the motive of Raffaele Sollecito in relation to the one asserted for Guede.

In strict connection with the aforementioned appeal, also, further reasons of complaint are advanced, specifically contexted within the logic of incorrect reasoning, with regard to the meaning of article 606 lett e) of the code of criminal procedure, connected with the challenged avoidance.

  • The first concerns the appealed denial of the evidentiary phase re-opening, also expressed in the order dated on 30th September 2013, also appealed. The request procedurally proposed by the defense (based on the new reasons of the 29th June 2013 and the minutes of the hearing dated 30th September 2013) was aimed to acknowledge the actual presence of the accused on the crime scene and the role carried out by each one of them on the occasion. It is advanced also:

  • the omitted evaluation of decisive elements regarding Sollecito’s alibi, with particular reference to the results of the integrative report submitted by the technical expert for one of the parties, D’Ambrosio, which demonstrates the interaction of the indicted with his computer;

  • manifest illogicality of the reason in relation to what is expressed by article 522 of the code of criminal procedure; in the absence of motivations capable to exceed the limit of beyond reasonable doubt with regards to supposed participation of Sollecito to the criminal act of murder and to the role he carried out in the crime;

  • lack of reasoning in the motivations report, in relation with articles 192 and 238 bis, with regards to the content of the irrevocable sentence against Guede in order to identify a reason for the murder.

The requested re-opening of the evidentiary phase, aimed to demonstrate the absence of the indicted on the crime scene and the inexistence of any reason,  was illogically denied, especially since the appealed sentence had already asserted an autonomous reason, of sexual nature, against Guede.

Furthermore, the denial of the re-opening of evidentiary phase also includes a law violation in regard to article 627, second paragraph, in accordance to which “if the appeal sentence is annulled and the parties issue a request, the judge orders the re-activation of the evidentiary phase in relation to the assumption of evidence found relevant for the decision”

Even if is not intended to follow the case law orientation in line with the renewing of the appealed preliminary hearing, as for the right to evidence, the appeal judge was, however, obliged to give reason for the denial of the request of re-opening of evidentiary discussion in a rational manner and consistent with the evidentiary framework.

It was, among other things, requested a genetic perizia [examination/investigation by judge-appointed experts] in relation to the stain (apparently of spermatic nature) present on the victim’s pillowcase, in order to verify its nature and possible attribution to an unknown third party; a perizia aimed to acknowledge the effective possibility to carry out a selective cleaning in order to remove only the traces connectable with the current appellants, inside the victim’s room, without removing the ones retrieved and correctly attributed to Mr. Guede; the carrying out of exams on the item 165 B, with previous acquisition from the criminal laboratory department, of the residual DNA sample extracted from the brassiere hook and further genetic exams on the same item, ordering for such purpose a supplementary investigation in order to cancel every reason of doubt on the matter; [11] exams on the stone retrieved inside Ms. Romanelli’s room, in order to identify the presence of DNA on the stone surface; audiometric test [perizia] aimed to acknowledge the possibility of hearing the supposed heart-rending scream coming from the house in via della Pergola and the footsteps with the windows closed, of the witness Capezzali; IT investigation [perizia] on Sollecito’s computer, in order to verify the existence of human interactions during the night between the 1st and 2nd November 2007; anthropometric perizia in relation to the build, height, gait and somatic features of the subject filmed by the parking facility camera, to be compared with the physical features of Guede and his clothes at the moment of the arrest; examination according to the ex-article 197 bis of Guede in regards to the facts happened the night of the murder.

The rejection of the aforementioned evidentiary discussion requests has been motivated by the appeal judge by illogical and off-topic reasoning.

2) Violation of article 606 lett. e), with reference to the wrong reading and interpretation of the content of Knox’s report.

3) Another incorrect reasoning has been deduced with reference to the considered irrelevance of the exact determination of the hour of death of Meredith Kercher (which according to the defense should have been placed between 9 and 10 PM, 10:15 PM at most), with special reference to the exam carried out on Ms. Kercher’s phone records.

4) The same flaw has been challenged regarding the supposed incompatibility of Mr. Curatolo’s declarations with the time of the scream, and the asserted irrelevance of [scientific] exams on the precise hour of death of the young English woman.

5) Also distorted was the interpretation of Capezzali’s declarations, of which has been attached the relative transcription.

6) In regards to flawed reasoning, interpreted according to the new wording of article 606 lett. e) of the code of criminal proceeding, the erroneous interpretation of Mr. Curatolo’s witness declarations is challenged.

7) The same for Mr. Quintavalle’s testimony and the omitted examination of the evidential contribution of inspector Volturno, who submitted the service note according to which the aforementioned Quintavalle had told of having seen Mr. Sollecito and Amanda always together.

8) With reference to the combined provisions of articles 606 lett. e) and 192 of the procedure code it is, then, challenged the erroneous evaluation of the proof in relation to the supposed participation of persons in the crime, with particular reference to the contested examination of the footprints and traces highlighted by luminol.[12]

9) Also challenged is the misrepresentation of the evidence related to the time of the 112 call, also based on the supposed error of the timer of the camera situated near the parking lot.

10) Identical violation is challenged with reference to the supposed alteration of the crime scene carried out by the two suspects.

11) Other case of motivational deficit, a sub-type of evidence misrepresentation, and also contradiction or manifest motivational illogicality, is challenged, according to article 192 of the code of criminal procedure, regarding the supposed falsehood of the provided alibi and the related violation of the principle nemo tenetur se detegere.

Moreover, it should have been considered as a “failed” alibi, not “false”, and as such not suitable to sustain an “evidential conclusion”, otherwise it would be subject to inadmissible inversion of the burden of proof.

12) Also erroneous was the interpretation of the results of the genetic evidence on item 36) and on the supposed compatibility of the seized weapon with the most serious wound observed on the victim’s neck. With regards to this, it was clear the misrepresentation in which the judge was involved, given that on the knife’s blade was not observed any mixed Kercher-Sollecito DNA. On the same instrument had been retrieved traces of starch, proof that it was not true that it had been properly washed in order to remove incriminating traces. Furthermore, the starch, found in plants, has a well-known absorbing capability, so it should have absorbed the blood in case it was used for the commitment of the crime.

Hence, the motivated request to refer the trial papers to a United Sections of Cassation panel.

Furthermore the assumption that the most serious wound on the left side of the victim’s neck would have been inflicted with a single strike was denied by unambiguous emerging proofs, such as the results of the examination submitted by pathologist Cingolani, and also the conclusions of the party’s expert Introna.

13) The motivation of the appealed sentenced was objectionable also in relation to the asserted availability of the kitchen knife for Amanda Knox at the time of the aggression. In this regard, it was illogical to state that the kitchen knife, used for the homicide, wouldn’t have been hidden, considering that the furniture and instruments of the apartment rented by Sollecito were listed in inventory, so that the lack of the knife would have generated suspecion, and according to this it was replaced in its place subsequent to cleaning.

Also clearly illogical was the motivation related to the carrying of the knife on the part of Ms. Knox, with asserted use of the capacious purse in her possession, for supposed reasons of personal defense, for this purpose induced by Sollecito who was familiar with knives. It was not considered that to be true this explanation would exclude the hypothesis of joint concurrence, since it would admit that the suspect woman was alone [13] and not able to take advantage of, in case of aggression by strangers, the supposed defense by her boyfriend.

However, there was no evidence on the supposed concurrence of the appellant in [a charge of] unjustified carrying of thee knife.

14) Obvious also was the flawed reasoning on the results of the genetic investigations on the bra hook, for which a referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel is requested.

With regard to the possible contamination of the item, the appeal judges overlooked the photographic material placed before the court, which clearly demonstrated the possible contamination, regarding the way the hook was treated, with a “hand to hand” passage carried out by persons who wore dirty latex gloves.

Furthermore, a second amplification was not carried out on the hook despite the fact that half of the sample was still available, and remained unused.

Also, the hook, though observed during the first inspection carried out by the scientific police,  was left on the ground, on the floor, and there it remained for some time. It wasn’t true, also, that between the first access and the one during which the hook was finally collected, only two inspections by the investigators took place, in reality there were more and in such occasions everything was put in disarray.

With regard to this, the objections by the defense and the contrary conclusions of the defense adviser professor Tagliabracci, were not considered.

15) A misrepresentation of the evidence also took place in relation to the actual delivery of the progress reports [SAL] on the examinations carried out by Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, of the scientific police.

16) Another reason for complaint with regard to the judge’s motivations context is related to the supposed theft simulation in Romanelli’s room and the absence of motivation in the new reasoning presented in the report of 29th July 2013.

In this regard, it is argued that it was Sollecito who notified the postal police, their having arrived in via della Pergola for other reasons (the retrieval of Kercher’s cellular phones, one of them with the sim card in the name of Romanelli), about the strangeness of the fact that from the room of the housemate of Kercher and Knox, the computer and valuable items were not missing; that the testimony declaration of lawyer Paolo Brocchi and of Matteo Palazzoli, presented in the new submiessions, regarding acts of thievery carried out by Guede with modalities similar to the ones that were supposed to be used for the breaking-into the apartment in via della Pergola, were not considered; nor were properly considered the defense reports about the wounds on the palm of the hand palm of Guede at time of his arrest in Germany; nor that the evidence had been misrepresented with reference to the collocation of the glass shards, given that from the collected testimony declarations [14] it resulted that the shards of glass were placed both under and over the objects present in Romanelli’s room; that, also, a glass fragment was retrieved in Meredith’s room, indicating that whoever unlawfully entered the room had brought that fragment with him. Therefore, it was clear that the sentence under appeal was based on mere speculations, totally detached from the trial’s reality.

17) Challenged also is the violation of article 238 bis of code of criminal procedure, on the fact that through the acquisition [in the trial against Knox and Sollecito] of the irrevocable sentences issued against Guede, it was intended to make use of declarations released contra alios in a different procedural context, although those declarations were issued in absence of the blamed persons. Beyond this point, for which a referral to United Sections of Cassation was solicited,  Guede’s declarations were erroneously evaluated, in violation of the standards dictated by article 192 of the code of criminal procedure and the indications of this Court (p. 57). It was true that those declarations were adopted as a mere confirmation element, but they were still unusable declarations. The sentences about him, after all, also the Supreme Court ones, demonstrated the absolute unreliability of Mr. Guede.

18) Another violation of the article 238 bis of the code of criminal procedure was challenged with reference to the supposed binding effectiveness of external final verdicts [giudicato esterno].

19) Also related to the declarations of Guede, their use constituted a violation of articles 111 Const., 526 chapter 1 bis of the code of criminal procedure, and 6 of the European Convention. And also on this matter, referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel was requested.’

20) In the event that such legal approach is not shared [by the Supreme Court], a question of constitutional illegitimacy was advanced of those laws which allowed bypassing the regulatory prohibitions in regards to the usability of declarations incriminating third parties in the absence of the accused persons, by means of the mere acquisition of irrevocable judgments against the declarant and containing the relative propagations contra alios.

21) Incorrect reasoning was also challenged in relation to the supposed possibility of contamination of the evidence during the appeal, independently from the doubting of sufficient quantity expressed on the point.

22) There was also a lack of rationale also related to the aggravating circumstance of sexual violence.

23) The same also applies with regard to the supposed theft of the victim’s cellular phones. 

24) Clear also is the violation of the principle of the beyond reasonable doubt, because of the omission of the examination of alternative solutions.

Finally, a rationale was omitted on a possible downgrading of the charge from voluntary murder to the less serious charges of aiding a crime or manslaughter, and also the application of mitigating circumstances.

Posted on 09/26/15 at 03:33 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Supreme Court Confirms All Three Were There And Lied, RS & AK Apologists Desperate To Downplay That

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Botticelli painting (actually it is “Calunnia”) dated 1494 among the artwork of the Supreme Court

1. Overview Of Several Coming Series

The language, logic and law of the Marasca/Bruno Report are about as odd as Rome courtwatchers have ever seen.

We will soon sign off on a translation which tries hard to preserve these oddities intact, so that impartial minds can arrive at a correct assessment of what it is worth. 

The Fifth Chambers normally handles appeals of verdicts for fraud, defamation, and other fairly mundane non-violent personal injuries. Their reports are almost invariably 1-3 pages long.

If this appeal by Knox and Sollecito against the Nencini court findings and guilty sentences had been handled without chicanery, it is the First Chambers which deals with murder cases and which annulled most of the Hellmann appeal outcome in 2013 which would have got this appeal.

Almost certainly those judges would have simply rejected the appeal and sent Knox and Sollecito back to jail. Despite the PR this was by any standards a very strong case.

But if the bizarre Marasca/Bruno report was intended as a whitewash, it should get very poor marks. Knox’s and Sollecito’s legal teams seem to realise that. Hence the lack of noise.

The report does nothing to help Knox and Sollecito to get beyond their calunnia, villiipendio and diffamazione trials, it makes a win against either or both in a wrongful-death suit more or less an assured thing, and it whacks the frivolous and dishonest ECHR appeal by Amanda Knox on the head.

2. Passages Noting Knox And Sollecito Were There

The report also makes Rome lawyers question why Knox and Sollecito were not at minimum found guilty of being accessories after the fact.

In chapters 4, 9 and 10 the report makes very clear that Knox and Sollecito were BOTH at the house on the night. The proof of that stands up. Key excerpts from our final translation below.   

Among many others, passages shown in bold have been deliberately garbled in an amateur translation done for Knox. See some of the corrections by Machiavelli underneath.

From Chapter 4

4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(…) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.



[Above: wrong Knox version]

Well, so the “fact” that was ascertained within that verdict, indisputably, is Guede’s participation in the murder “concurring with other people, who remain unknown”. The invoking of the procedural norms indicated means that the usability of such fact-finding is subordinate to [depends on] the double conditions [possibility] to reconcile such fact within the scope of the “object of proof” which is relevant to the current judgement, and on the existence of further pieces of evidence to confirm its reliability.

Such double verification, in the current case, has an abundantly positive outcome. In fact it is manifestly evident that such fact, which was ascertained elsewhere [aliunde], relates to the object of cognition of the current judgement. The [court’s] assessment of it, in accord with other trial findings which are valuable to confirm its reliability, is equally correct. We refer to the multiple elements, linked to the overall reconstruction of events, which rule out that Guede could have acted alone. Firstly, testifying in this direction are the two main wounds (actually three) observed on the victim’s neck, on each side, with a diversified path and features, attributable most likely (even if the data is contested by the defense) to two different cutting weapons. And also, the lack of signs of resistance by the young woman, since no traces of the assailant were found under her nails, and there is no evidence elsewhere [aliunde] of any desperate attempt to oppose the aggressor; the bruises on her upper limbs and those on mandibular area and lips (likely the result of forcible hand action of constraint meant to keep the victim’s mouth shut) found during the cadaver examination, and above all, the appalling modalities of the murder, which were not adequately pointed out in the appealed ruling.

And in fact, the same ruling (p. 323 and 325) reports of abundant blood spatters found on the right door of the wardrobe located inside Kercher’s room, about 50 cm above the floor. Such occurrence, given the location and direction of the drops, could probably lead to the conclusion that the young woman had her throat literally “slashed” likely as she was kneeling, while her head was being forcibly held [hold] tilted towards the floor, at a close distance from the wardrobe, when she was hit by multiple stab wounds at her neck, one of which – the one inflicted on the left side of her neck – caused her death, due to asphyxia following [to] the massive bleeding, which also filled the breathing ways preventing breathing activity, a situation aggravated by the rupture of the hyoid bone – this also linkable to the blade action – with consequent dyspnoea” (p. 48).

Such a mechanical action is hardly attributable to the conduct of one person alone.

On the other hand such factual finding, when adequately valued, could have been not devoid of meaning as for researching the motive, given that [27] the extreme violence of the criminal action could have been seen – because of its abnormal disproportion – not compatible with any of the explanations given in the verdict, such as mere simple grudges with Ms. Knox (also denied by testimonies presented, [even] by the victim’s mother);  with sexual urges of any of the participants, or maybe even with the theory of a sex game gone wrong, of which, by the way, no mark was found on the victim’s body, besides the violation of her sexuality by a hand action of Mr. Guede, because of the DNA that could be linked to him found inside the vagina of Ms. Kercher, the consent of whom, however, during a preliminary phase of physical approach possibly consensual at the beginning, could not be ruled out. 

Such finding is even less compatible with the theory of the intrusion of an unknown thief inside the house, if we consider that, within the course of ordinary events, while it is possible that a thief is taken by an uncontrollable sexual urge leading him to assail a young woman when he sees her,  it’s rather unlikely that after a physical and sexual aggression he would also commit a gratuitous murder, especially not with the fierce brutality of this case, rather than running away quickly instead. Unless, obviously, we think about the disturbed personality of a serial killer, but there is no trace of that in the trial findings, since there are no records that any other killings of young women with the same modus operandi were committed in Perugia at that time.

From Chapter 9

         

9.4.1 Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it. About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time [46] a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.  We make reference in particular to those declarations that the current appellant [Knox] produced on 11. 6. 2007 (p.96) inside the State Police headquarters. On the other hand, in the slanderous declarations against Lumumba, which earned her a conviction, the status of which is now protected as final judgement [giudicato], [they] had themselves exactly that premise in the narrative, that is: the presence of the young American woman inside the house in via della Pergola, a circumstance which nobody at that time – except obviously the other people present inside the house – could have known (quote p. 96).



[Correct Italian version]



[Above: wrong Knox version]



[Above: wrong Knox version]

According to the slanderous statements of Ms. Knox, she had returned home in the company of Lumumba, who she had met by chance in Piazza Grimana, and when Ms. Kercher arrived in the house, Knox’s companion directed sexual attentions toward the young English woman, then he went together with her in her room, from which the harrowing scream came. So, it was Lumumba who killed Meredith and she could affirm this since she was on the scene of crime herself, albeit in another room.

Another element against her is the mixed DNA traces, her and the victim’s one, in the “small bathroom”, an eloquent proof that anyway she had come into contact with the blood of the latter, which she tried to wash away from herself (it was, it seems, diluted blood, while the biological traces belonging to her would be the consequence of epithelial rubbing).

The fact is very suspicious, but it’s not decisive, besides the known considerations about the sure nature and attribution of the traces in question. 

Nonetheless, even if we deem the attribution certain, the trial element would not be unequivocal, since it may show also a posthumous touching of that blood, during the probable attempt of removing the most visible traces of what had happened, maybe to help cover up for someone or to steer away suspicion from herself, but not contributing to full certainty about her direct involvement in the murderous action. Any further and more pertaining interpretation in fact would be anyway resisted by the circumstance – this is decisive indeed – that no trace linkable to her was found on the scene of crime or on the victim’s body, so it follows – if we concede everything – that her contact with the victim’s blood happened in a subsequent moment and in another room of the house.

Another element against her is certainly constituted by the false accusations [calunnia] against Mr. Lumumba, afore-mentioned above.

It is not understandable, in fact, what reason could have driven the young woman to produce such serious accusations. The theory that she did so in order to escape psychological pressure from detectives seems extremely fragile, given that the woman [47] could not fail to realize that such accusations directed against her boss would turn out to be false very soon, given that, as she knew very well, Mr. Lumumba had no relationship with Ms. Kercher nor with the Via della Pergola house. Furthermore, the ability to present an ironclad alibi would have allowed Lumumba to obtain release and subsequently the dropping of charges.

However, the said calunnia is another circumstantial element against the current appellant, insofar as it can be considered a strategy in order to cover up for Mr. Guede, whom she had an interest to protect because of fear of retaliatory accusations against her. This is confirmed by the fact that Mr. Lumumba, like Mr. Guede, is a man of colour, hence the indication of the first one would be safe in the event that the latter could have been seen by someone while entering or exiting the apartment. 

And moreover, the staging of a theft in Romanelli’s room, which she is accused of,  is also a relevant point within an incriminating picture, considering the elements of strong suspicion (location of glass shards – apparently resulting from the breaking of a glass window pane caused by the throwing of a rock from the outside – on top of, but also under clothes and furniture), a staging, which can be linked to someone who – as an author of the murder and a flatmate [titolare] with a formal [“qualified”] connection to the dwelling – had an interest to steer suspicion away from himself/herself, while a third murderer in contrast would be motivated by a very different urge after the killing, that is to leave the apartment as quickly as possible. But also this element is substantially ambiguous, especially if we consider the fact that when the postal police arrived – they arrived in Via della Pergola for another reason: to search for Ms. Romanelli, the owner of the telephone SIM card found inside one of the phones retrieved in via Sperandio – the current appellants themselves, Sollecito specifically, were the ones who pointed out the anomalous situation to the officers, as nothing appeared to be stolen from Ms. Romanelli’s room. 

Elements of strong suspicion are also in the inconsistencies and lies which the suspect woman committed over the statements she released on various occasions, especially in the places where her narrative was contradicted by the telephone records showing different incoming SMS messages; by the testimonies of Antonio Curatolo about the presence of [the same] Amanda Knox in piazza Grimana in the company of Sollecito, and of Mario Quintavalle about her presence inside the supermarket the morning of the day after the murder, maybe to buy detergents. Despite this, the features of intrinsic inconsistency and poor reliability of the witnesses, which were objected to many times during the trial, do not allow to attribute unconditional trust to their versions, in order to prove with reassuring certainty the failure, and so the falsehood, of the alibi presented by the suspect woman, who claimed to have been at her boyfriend’s home since the late afternoon of November 1st until the morning of the following day. Mr. Curatolo (an enigmatic character: a clochard, drug addicted and dealer) [48] besides the fact that his declarations were late and the fact that he was not foreign to judiciary showing-off in judicial cases with a strong media impact, he was also contradicted about his reference to young people waiting for public buses to leave in the direction of disco clubs in the area, since it was asserted that the night of the murder the bus service was not operational; and also the reference to masks and jokes, which he says he witnessed that evening, would lead to believe that it was on Halloween night, on October 31., and not on Nov. 1. instead. The latter point apparently balances – still within a context of uncertainty and ambiguousness – the witness’ reference to (regarding the context where he reportedly noticed the two suspects together) the day before the one when he noticed (at an afternoon hour) an unusual movement of Police and Carabinieri, and in particular people wearing white suites and head covers (as if they were extra-terrestrials) entering the house in Via della Pergola (obviously on November 2., after the discovery of the body).

Mr. Quintavalle – apart from the lateness of his statements, initially reticent and generic – did not offer any contribute of certainty, not even about the goods bought by the young woman noticed on the morning subsequent to the murder, when he opened his store, while his recognizing Knox in the courtroom is not relevant, since her image had appeared on all newspapers and tv news.

Regarding the biological traces, signed with letters A and I (the latter analysed by the RIS) sampled from the knife seized in Sollecito’s house and yielding Knox’s genetic profile, they constitute a neutral element, given that the same suspect lived together with Mr. Sollecito in the same home in via Garibaldi, although she alternated with the via della Pergola home, and – as for what was said – the same instrument did not have blood traces from Ms. Kercher, a negative circumstance that contrasted the accusation hypotheses that it was the murder weapon.

On that point, it must be pointed out that – again following a disputable strategic choice by the scientific police genetic experts – it was decided that the investigation aimed at identifying the genetic profile should be privileged, rather than finding its biological nature, given that the quantity of the samples did not allow a double test: the quality test would in fact would have “used up” the sample or made it unusable for further tests. A very disputable option, since the detecting of blood traces, referable to Ms. Kercher, would have provided the trial with a datum of a formidable probative relevance, incontrovertibly certifying the use of the weapon for the committing of the crime. The verified presence of the same weapon inside Sollecito’s house, where Ms. Knox was living together with him, would have allowed then any possible deduction in this respect. Instead, the verified identification of the traces with genetic profiles of Ms. Knox resolves itself in a not unequivocal and rather indifferent datum, given that the young American woman was living together with Mr. Sollecito, sharing time between his dwelling and [49] the Via della Pergola one. Not only that, but even if it was possible to attribute with certainty trace B to the genetic profile of Ms. Kercher, the trial datum would have been not decisive (since it’s not a blood trace), given the promiscuity or commonality of inter-personal relations typical of out-of-town students, which make it plausible that a kitchen knife or any other tool could be transported from one house to the other and thus, the seized knife could have been brought by Ms. Knox in Via della Pergola for domestic use, in occasion of convivial meetings or other events, and therefore be used by Ms. Kercher.

What is certain is, that on the knife no blood traces were found, a lack which cannot be referred to an accurate cleaning. As was accurately pointed out by the defence attorneys, the knife had traces of starch, a sign of ordinary home use and of a washing anything but accurate. Not only, but starch is, notoriously, a substance with remarkable absorbing property, thus it is very likely that in the event of a stabbing, blood elements would be retained by it.

It is completely implausible the accusative assumption on the point, that the young woman would be used to carrying the bulky item with her for a self-defence purpose, using – it is said – the large bag she had for that purpose.  It wouldn’t be actually understandable why the woman, if warned by her boyfriend to pay attention during her night time movements, was not in possession of one of the small pocket knives surely owned by Sollecito, who apparently had the hobby of that kind of weapon and was a collector of a number of them.

Finally, the matching with the current appellant woman of the footprints found in the place location of the murder is far from being certain.             

9.4.2 Also the evidential picture about Mr. Sollecito, emerging from the impugned verdict, appears marked by intrinsic and irreducible contradictions.

His presence on the murder scene, and specifically inside the room where the murder was committed, is linked to only the biological trace found on the bra fastener hook (item 165/b), the attribution of which, however, cannot have any certainty, since such trace is insusceptible of a second amplification, given its scarce amount, for that it is – as we said – an element lacking of circumstantial evidentiary value.

It remains anyway strong the suspicion that he was actually in the Via della Pergola house the night of the murder, in a moment that, however, it was impossible to determine.     

On the other hand, since the presence of Ms. Knox inside the house is sure, it is hardly credible that he was not with her. 

And even following one of the versions released by the woman, that is the one in accord to which, returning home in the morning of November 2. after a night spent at her boyfriend’s place, she reports of having immediately noticed that something strange had happened (open door, blood traces everywhere); or even the other one, that she reports in her memorial, in accord to which she was present in the house at the time of the murder, but in a different room, not the one in which the violent aggression on Ms. Kercher was being committed, it is very strange that she did not call her boyfriend, since there is no record about a phone call from her, based on the phone records within the file. Even more if we consider that having being in Italy for a short time, she would be presumably uninformed about what to do in such emergency cases, therefore the first and maybe only person whom she could ask for help would have been her boyfriend himself, who lived only a few hundred meters away from her house. Not doing this signifies Sollecito was with her, unaffected, obviously, the procedural relevance of his mere presence in that house, in the absence of certain proof of his causal contribution to the murderous action. 

The defensive argument extending the computer interaction up to the visualization of a cartoon, downloaded from the internet, in a time that they claim compatible with the time of death of Ms. Kercher, is certainly not sufficient to dispel such strong suspicions. In fact, even following the reconstruction claimed by the defence and even if we assume as certain that the interaction was by Mr. Sollecito himself and that he watched the whole clip, still the time of ending of his computer activity wouldn’t be incompatible with his subsequent presence in Ms. Kercher’s house, given the short distance between the two houses, walkable in about ten [sic] minutes.

An element of strong suspicion, also, derives from his confirmation, during spontaneous declarations, the alibi presented by Ms. Knox about the presence of both inside the house of the current appellant the night of the murder,  a theory that is denied by the statements of Curatolo, who declared of having witnessed the two together from 21:30 until 24:00 in piazza Grimana; and by Quintavalle on the presence of a young woman, later identified as Ms. Knox, when he opened his store in the morning of November 2. But as it was previously noted, such witness statements appeared to have strong margins of ambiguity and approximation, so that could not reasonably constitute the foundation of any certainty, besides the problematic judgement of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge.

An umpteenth element of suspicion is the basic failure of the alibi linked to other, claimed human interactions in the computer of his belongings, albeit if we can’t talk about false alibi, since it’s more appropriate to speak about unsuccessful alibi. 

Finally, no certainty could be reached [was acquired] about the attribution to Mr. Sollecito of the footprints found in the via della Pergola house, about which the technical reports carried out have not gone beyond a judgement of “probable identity”, and not of certainty (p. 260/1).

9.4.3. It is just the case to observe, that the declaration of the lacking of a probative framework, coherent and sufficient to support the accusatory hypothesis regarding the more serious case of the homicide, reverberates on the residual, accessory charges referred in point d) (theft of the phones) and e) (simulation of crime).

From Chapter 10

10. The intrinsic contradiction of probative elements emerging from the text of the appealed sentence, undermines in nuce the connecting tissue of the same sentence, causing the annulment of it.

And in fact, when facing a picture marked by such contradiction, the appeal judge was not supposed to issue a conviction but rather – as we observed above – they were compelled to issue a ruling of acquittal with reference to art. 530 paragraph 2 of penal procedure code. 

At this point the last question remains, about the annulment formula – that is, whether it should be annulled with remand or without remand. The solving of such question is obviously related to the objective possibility of further tests, which could resolve the aspects of uncertainty, maybe through new technical investigations. 

The answer is certainly negative, because the biological traces on the items relevant to the investigation are of scarce entity, as such they can’t undergo amplification, and thus they won’t render answers of absolute reliability, neither in terms of identity nor in terms of compatibility.

The computers belonging to Amanda Knox and to Ms. Kercher, which maybe could have provided information useful to the investigation, were, incredibly, burned by hazardous operations by investigators, which caused electric shock following a probable error of power source; and they can’t render any further information anymore, since it’s an irreversible damage. 

The set of court testimonies is exhaustive, given the accuracy and completeness of the evidentiary trial phase, which had re-openings both times in the instances of appeal [rinvio; sic].

Mr. Guede, who was sure a co-participant to the murder, has always refused to cooperate, and for the already stated reasons he can’t be compelled to testify.

The technical tests requested by the defence cannot grant any contribution of clarity, not only because a long time has passed, but also because they regard aspects of problematic examination (such as the possibility of selective cleaning) or of manifest irrelevance (technical analysis on Sollecito’s computer) given that is was possible, as said, for him to go to Kercher’s house whatever the length of his interaction with the computer (even if one concedes that such interaction exists), or they are manifestly unnecessary, given that some unexceptionable technical analysis carried out are exhaustive (such are for example the cadaver inspection and the following medico-legal examinations).   

Following the considerations above, it is obvious that a remand [rinvio] would be useless, hence the declaration of annulment without remand, based on art. 620 L) of the procedure code, thus we apply an acquittal [proscioglimento *] formula [see note just below] which a further judge on remand would be anyway compelled to apply, to abide to the principles of law established in this current sentence.

[Translator’s note:  The Italian word for “acquittal” is actually “assoluzione”; while the term “proscioglimento” instead, by the Italian Procedure Code, actually refers only to non-definitive preliminary judgements during investigation phase, and it could be translated as “dropping of charges”. Note: as for investigation phase “proscioglimento” is normally meant as a not-binding decision, not subjected to double jeopardy, since it is not considered a judgement nor a court’s decision.]

The annulment of the verdict of conviction of Ms. Knox as for the crime written at letter A), implies the ruling out of the aggravation of teleological nexus as for the art. 61 par. 2 Penal Code. The ruling out of such aggravating circumstance makes it necessary to re-determine the penalty, which is to be quantified in the same length established by the Court of Appeals of Perugia, about the adequacy of which large and sufficient justification was given, based on determination parameters which are to be subscribed to entirely.

It is just worth to note that the outcome of the judgement allows to deem as absorbed, or implicitly ruled out, any other objection, deduction or request by the defences, while any other argumentative aspect among those not examined, should be deemed manifestly inadmissible since it obviously belongs to the merit.


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Court Filing Suggesting 5th Chambers Encroached Illegally On 1st Chambers & Florence Court Powers

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





This opinion was drafted by several of Italy’s most experienced lawyers and it was filed with the Florence court several months ago.

These passages quoted below raise issues of what the Fifth Chambers under the Penal Code legally can and can not do, with respect to prior rulings of (1) the Supreme Court (the First Chambers which mostly overturned Hellmann in 2013) and (2) the Florence appeal court.

According to this opinion, the Fifth Chambers has significantly overstepped its legal boundaries in brushing aside previous rulings and trying to fulfill the role of an appeal court, or a first-level trial court (the same stretch the First Chambers considered the Hellmann appeal court to have been indulging in). 

This is uncharted territory. Judges of the First Chambers and Florence court and the Council of Magistrates all seem likely to side with this seemingly watertight opinion, and so reactions could ripple on for years.

The Fifth Chambers judges might find themselves increasingly beleaguered. And their rulings on evidence items and the investigators and prosecutors and foreign media would all seem to be moot, if the perception grows that the Fifth Chambers should not even have gone there.

the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same…

the Court of Cassation cannot, therefore, ever adopt decisions on the merits and issue orders of acquittal under Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

...two chambers of the same Court of Cassation, the First (the one competent for proceedings in homicide matters, whose decision of annulment is definitive and who had identified and decided questions of law in a definitive and un-retractable manner) and the Fifth (who would have had to decide the appeals presented only on grounds of legitimacy of the defendants’, constrained by what had already been definitively decided by the First) have handed down two absolutely divergent decisions and the second had annulled the Florentine decision, positively excluding any remitting to another court and acquitting the defendants pursuant to Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same…

the Court of Cassation cannot, therefore, ever adopt decisions on the merits and issue orders of acquittal under Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

...two chambers of the same Court of Cassation, the First (the one competent for proceedings in homicide matters, whose decision of annulment is definitive and who had identified and decided questions of law in a definitive and un-retractable manner) and the Fifth (who would have had to decide the appeals presented only on grounds of legitimacy of the defendants’, constrained by what had already been definitively decided by the First) have handed down two absolutely divergent decisions and the second had annulled the Florentine decision, positively excluding any remitting to another court and acquitting the defendants pursuant to Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

from these starting points in fact and in law which are absolutely undeniable, it emerges that the course of proceedings in this case have been absolutely linear and respectful of the substance of the procedural rules up to and including the Florentine decision.

the Court of Cassation, on the appeal of the Prosecutor-General of [the Perugia] district Court, had in a radical and definitive manner annulled the acquitting pronouncement and had remitted it to the Florentine district court because the same would adopt the consequent decisions of merit in the line of reasoning of the principles of law laid down by the First Chamber of the Supreme Court and of the points decided by it.

These principles of law are by now unmodifiable and unarguable: the [Fifth Chambers] , called on to decide the matter, as a “second opinion”, concerning the appeal of the defendants from the [Florence] judgment below, would have had to hand down a judgment fully within the “railway tracks” of the law, as fixed by the First Chamber, like the Florentine district court did, principles from among which we may cite:

[Umodifiable principle] the principle, in fact the unfailing legal prerequisite of a Supreme Court decision, namely the fact that the Court is precluded from “trespassing into a re-evaluation of the compendium of evidence” (see the judgment of the First Chamber at page 40);

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle of law of the total and holistic evaluation of the probative material, as opposed to the “parcelled-up and atomistic evaluation of the pieces of circumstantial evidence, taking them into consideration one at a time and discarded in terms of their demonstrative potentiality”, which characterised instead, in the negative, the decision of the Court presided by Pratillo Hellmann (see the decision of the same First Chamber at pp. 40 and 41… ). The ancient brocard “Quae singula non probant, simul unita probant” [‘Those which alone do not prove, together do prove’], quoted on p 41 of the First Chamber’s judgment, consecrates in a definitive and unmodifiable manner this requirement of a global and holistic approach in which each individual piece of the jigsaw puzzle of reconstruction of the facts is considered together with all the others in their demonstrative synergy;

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle by which the [Hellmann] court had run afoul of grave shortcomings and contradictory lines of reasoning and in glaring misrepresentations of the outcome, even in the attempted decoupling of the calunnia, by now definitively attributed to Ms Knox, with the result of masking from view the responsibility of the same in the homicide;

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the testimony of the homeless person Mr Curatolo ought to have been evaluated on the basis of corroboration between his statements and the objective and unarguable circumstances emerging from the trial (such as the fact that the witness had with absolute decisiveness anchored the fact of having seen the two accused in the precincts of the basketball courts of Piazza Grimana, nowadays Piazza Fortebraccio, the evening before the arrival, the following day, at the Via della Pergola house of the men from Forensics in their white coveralls), rather than on the basis of Mr Curatolo’s social conditions and lifestyle (see the cited judgment of the First Chamber at page 50);

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the definitive conviction of accomplice Rudy Hermann Guede ought to have been taken into account (no. 7195/11, published on 16.12.2010, it also from the First Criminal Chamber of Cassation), Guede having been held to have been extraneous to the simulation of burglary of a house. [A] habitation that, on the night of the murder, was solely at the availability of the victim and of Amanda Knox and from the statements made by the same Rudy before the Perugian district court, according to which Meredith was killed by the two co-accused (see the judgment at pages 55 and 56).

[Unmodifiable principle] The principle by which contamination of the evidence is to be proved by the party invoking it and which, on the facts of the case, no evidence in support had been offered and which the [Hellmann} Court had seriously confused the abstract possibility of the fact with the averment of the fact (see the judgment at page 69).Umodifiable principle] The principle according to which it was a matter of a homicide committed by multiple persons, in concourse amongst themselves (see page 73 of the cited judgment).

Here is a translation of Article 530:

Article 530:

1. If the act does not subsist [541 2, 542], if the defendant has not commited it [541 2, 542], if the act is not an offence or it is not envisaged by law as an offence, that is, if the offence has been committed by a non-indictable person [c.p. 85] or by a not punishable person for other reasons, the judge issues a judgement of acquittal, stating the reason. 

2.The judge issues a judgement of acquittal also when there is lack of evidence or it is not sufficient, or there is contradictory evidence that the act subsists, that the defendant has comitted it, that the act constitutes an offence or that the offence has been committed by an indictable person.(1).

3. If there is evidence that the act has been committed in circumstances of a legal excuse or exemption from criminal liability, that is, there is doubt about them, the judge issues a judgement of acquittal pursuant to clause 1.

4. In the event of an acquittal the judge applies security measures, in the cases provided for by law.

And here is a translation of Article 628:

Impugnability of a ruling issued by a judge after remand

1. A verdict that had been issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand, may be impugned through a recourse at Supreme Court of Cassation if the ruling was issued on an appeal instance, and through the mean provided by law if was issued on a first instance level.

2. In any case a verdict issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand may be appealed only on the reasons that do not concern those that had already been decided by Cassation on the order of remand, or for not abiding to disposition of art. 627 paragraph 2.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Did Guede’s Separate Trial REALLY Impact Negatively On RS And AK As Knox Appeal To ECHR Etc Claim?

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”

And:

“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.
DEFENSE ATTORNEY DALLA VEDOVA—And so, it’s not true.
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.

Posted on 07/30/15 at 10:00 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxThose officially involvedThe defensesOther main hoaxersKnox-Mellas teamKnox ECHR hoax
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Updates: Sollecito’s Trial For Vilipendio And Diffamazione, Knox’s Trial For Calunnia #2

Posted by Peter Quennell





Knox and Sollecito have each been indicted in Florence BY PROSECUTORS on charges that bear no resemblance to UK or US slander or libel cases.

They are each essentially charged for lying to poison public opinion against officials, and Sollecito against the system, to try to win themselves illegal breaks at their murder trial and appeals. Knox in court in 2009, and Sollecito in his book in 2012.

The weekly magazine Oggi is also on trial for jubilantly publishing some of Knox’s numerous lies. 

Yesterday in a Florence court a new court translation of the passages from Sollecito’s book fully quoted here were accepted by the presiding judge. They differed little if at all from what the prosecutor filed last year and brought the defenses no joy. Right now both the defenses seem stuck.

And on June 9th the calunnia trial against Knox will start in a Florence court. It would be smart for her to be there, as Sollecito usually is. As mentioned above, Knox is already indicted.

It is not clear who her lawyers will be. Sollecito had to field a new team. Ghirga and Dalla Vedova both helped Knox with her defamatory book and with her defamatory email to Judge Nencini in December 2013 in which Knox ludicrously claimed she had been tortured (for the mundane truth read here) and like Bongiorno and Maori they could feel they have conflicts here.

On June 16 Dr Mignini will testify in the Oggi trial in Bergamo north-east of Milan where Oggi is based against the editor Umberto Brindani and the reporter Giangavino Sulas for publishing illegal claims made in Knox’s 2013 book.

At that hearing Knox’s book may finally become the subject of charges on the same lines as Sollecito’s book. Italian legal opinion is not supportive of the pair or the sleazy moves that led to Cassation giving them a break

That break looks increasingly temporary now. Sollecito could face big fines and Knox could face up to six years. Brighter bulbs would have realized it is best not to confront Italian courts.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #18: The Final Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Image of Judge Micheli who presided over the hearings that remanded Knox to trial.

1. Overview Of The Interrogation Hoax Series

In Post #1 there’s a long summary of what various courts concluded in sentencing Knox for calunnia to three years. 

All 17 posts prior to this one are linked-to there. The first twelve posts cover the key parts of the trial testimony and evidence from investigators for the events at Perugia’s central police station on 5-6 November 2007.

The next six including this show how Knox failed to convince numerous magistrates at many hearings that she was ever interrogated or abused or made to lie. For the most part in fact she did not even try. 

2. The Six Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked

The previous five posts and this one cover the six hearings from late 2007 to late 2008, any one of which was a big opportunity for Knox. She could have been released if the evidence was weaker and the arguments of herself and her legal team stronger.

Knox blew all six opportunities. The judges were Claudia Matteini, Massimo Ricciarelli and two others, Torquato Gemelli and four others, and Paolo Micheli (this post). A total of 10 judges, and Dr Mignini. After the first two, one of Knox’s lawyers walked off the job.

Those ignorant of the reports of these hearings (all but one newly translated for this series with the Micheli to come) often demonize the prosecutor, Dr Mignini, as somehow taking a harder line than all those judges.

Really?

Read all of the reports and in fact every one of those judges took a harder line than Dr Mignini who worked very hard to be fair. His early version of the attack on Meredith was of an almost accidental death with sexual humiliation in the course of a hazing.

This went out the window, and all of the judges without exception adopted a harder position - that Knox’s anger had spiraled over Meredith’s difficulties with her, and a barbaric 15-minute torture-attack resulted in Meredith’s death which may have been premeditated in a timespan between minutes and days.

Judge Matteini, Judge Ricciarelli, and Judge Micheli (see below) all flat-out warned that they considered RS and AK to be dangerous to others and that they needed to be kept locked up pending trial.  Judge Gemmelli and other Supreme Court judges endorsed this.

Typically Knox was constrained by her lawyers to say little or nothing.

They were already wrestling to try to wind back the three problematic statements she demanded to make on 5-6 November - mainly by changing the subject and aggressively attacking Guede. 

She was allowed to be questioned by Judge Ricciarelli and she herself volunteered to be questioned by Dr Mignini three times, but her performances were shaky and erratic and once she seemed to break down in tears.

There was little or no hint of the inflammatory claims which cost her three years which Knox came up with when she had to take the stand mid-2009 to try to defend her framing of Lumumba.

3. Micheli Hearings September and October 2008

This Sky News report describes how prior to the Micheli hearings Knox’s lawyers seemed pretty desperate to change the subject.

Valter Biscotti and Nicodemo Gentile said they wanted Guede’s trial to be separate from that of Knox and Sollecito because they feared a pact against their client. Mr Biscotti added: “We feel the urgent need to have our trial heard independently of the other two suspects.

In recent weeks a lot of poison has been spread by the defence teams and we feel the necessity to find some form of serenity in a separate hearing.  That’s why we have asked for a fast-track hearing just for our client and we want that hearing as quickly as possible.  At this hearing we will prove that our client has absolutely nothing to do with the tragic death of Meredith Kercher.”

On 16 Sept 2008 Judge Micheli accepted the Guede team’s request for a fast-track trial and as the rules require moved all of the hearings behind closed doors.

A fast-track proceeding is closed to the public, unlike a full trial. It will be held before the same judge, who is expected to issue the verdict at the time he decides whether to indict Knox and Sollecito. The rulings are expected next month.

Judge Micheli had mountains of investigative reports and physical evidence to plow through. He heard witnesses in four hearings (with Meredith’s family present at several) on the DNA collection, on the character of Rudy Guede, and also on the three defendants acting menacing outside their house, which he heavily discounted.

Late on 28 October Judge Micheli issued a 17-page ruling which includes almost no mention of Knox implicating Patrick. He convicted Guede of murder and sexual assault, and sentenced him to 30 years. He also ordered Knox and Sollecito to stand trial on charges of murder and sexual assault.

As the UK Guardian and many other media reported, Judge Micheli assessed Knox and Sollecito as being dangerous. 

The suspected killers of Meredith Kercher were refused transfer from jail to house arrest last night while awaiting trial for her murder, because of the danger that they might flee and kill again.

After 12 hours’ deliberation in Perugia, the judge, Paolo Micheli, said there was a “concrete possibility” that Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito would run off if freed from prison.

In a written ruling to lawyers, he said he believed the murder of the British student was not premeditated, but the likely “absolute disregard” shown by Knox and Sollecito for the victim’s life meant they would be capable of murdering again….

Turning down their request for house arrest yesterday, Micheli agreed with prosecutors that more than one person took part in the sexual assault and murder, dismissing claims that the 47 bruises and knife wounds on Kercher’s body could have been made by a single attacker.

He upheld the testimony of a neighbour who heard more than one person fleeing Kercher’s house, adding that while footprints there might not definitely belong to Knox and Sollecito, they did indicate more than one attacker.

He stood by forensic evidence indicating Kercher’s and Knox’s DNA on a knife found at Sollecito’s house which investigators suspect is the murder weapon, and ruled Sollecito’s DNA on Kercher’s bra strap as reliable evidence.

On 30 October Judge Micheli was interviewed. No sign in this that any claim of unfairness to Knox was on his radar.

4. Apparent False Claim Of A Statement By Knox

Bearing in mind that these hearings were all behind closed doors, none of the Italian and English-language media reports including those of the New York Times make any mention at all of Knox testifying or answering questions. Nor do the books of Sollecito or John Follain.  We are still checking with Italy to make sure.

To jump the gun on the series a bit, a probable non-statement by Knox morphed in Knox’s 2013 book into this heated claim below, which we have already been told, based on court transcripts and Judge Micheli’s immediate 17 page report, was definitely not what was said, if anything, in court.

On October 28, the final day, I got to speak for myself. Since the judge understood English, I stood up without my interpreter and tried to explain what had happened during my interrogation. I told the judge that I hadn’t meant to name Patrick or to cause confusion but that the interrogation had been the most brutish, terrifying experience of my life. I’d been exhausted to begin with, and I had gotten so scared and confused that it was as though I went out of my mind. My interrogators told me that they had evidence I’d been at the villa, that Raffaele was no longer vouching for my whereabouts that night, that I had been through such a horrible trauma, I had amnesia. “I believed them! I’m innocent!” I cried.

Posts #1 to #12 have shown that Knox experienced no “brutish, terrifying experience”. Trauma was inflicted only by Sollecito and then by Knox on herself. With high confidence, we can conclude that as so often in her book Knox was simply making this up. So much for Linda Kulman’s fact checking.

5. The Micheli Sentencing Report Of January 2009

Finally three months later Judge Micheli issued a sentencing report of about 100 pages. While it has still not been fully translated we did summarise it in four posts here.

In the Italian original (which is equally firm to harsh on all three defendants) it is quite graphic about what the physical evidence says of the callous role of Knox and Sollecito in the torture-attack.

Judge Micheli does note how often Knox and Sollecito help to destroy one another’s stories which numerous witnesses confirmed helped to spark Knox’s conniption and framing of Patrick.

There is no mention at all of Knox taking exception to her “interrogation”.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chambers May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #1

Posted by Cardiol MD



The Italian Supreme Court is in the background

1. How Overload Can Overwhelm The Checks And Balances

The Italian Supreme Court (SCC) has 396 Judges in Rome and elsewhere.

Because of the enormous pro-defendant tilt in the system, the SCC hears about 80,000 appeals a year - more than all other Supreme Courts in the rest of Europe combined.

The SCC operates in panels, typically of 5 justices; that scales to about 4 appeals/panel/workweek, or about 1 appeal/panel/workday. A huge workload impinging on carefulness and promoting distraction and exhaustion.

Even with a law-clerk infrastructure, and the most ingenious exploitation of human concentrated-attention-span, highly questionable outcomes such as that for Meredith’s case would seem inevitable.

The four SCC judges panels (2008, 2010, 2013, 2015) which have ruled on various issues arising as Meredith’s murder case inched its way through the Italian legal system have been composed of different judge-combinations, with different skills, different knowledge, different education, and different experiences.

In many cases high-tech issues are an integral part of the evidence before the courts. This requires the enlistment of expert opinions because the judges may not be versant in the relevant high-tech issues. All sides, the defence, the prosecution, other interested parties, and even the judges, can cherry-pick experts for hire, who often use brazen sophistry to persuade the judges in the experts’ favour.

These facts may help to explain if not justify the unexpected conclusion of this current SCC judges panel which is now drafting the Motivazione.

2. Circumstantial Evidence And The Italian Requirement For Certainty

Near the start of the 2015 SCC hearings Judge Bruno, one of the 5 members of the Marasca SCC-Panel, was quoted as having said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.”

As we await this particular Motivazione intended to explain its decision, we will review the Massei Motivazione, the Nencini Motivazione, and the several past SCC rulings to establish what do constitute the certainties - of which in fact as Italian law defines them there is actually a large number.

In order to be classified as Circumstantial Evidence in Italian Law an evidentiary circumstance or fact must be true to the level of being a certainty. Note that this rule does not supersede BARD, it applies only to the the acceptance of individual items of evidence as circumstantial, so it can mislead and confuse authors and readers.

As will be noted below, under this Italian requirement the unverifiable RS/AK broken water-pipe story can not be classified as pro-defense Circumstantial Evidence. Therefore it cannot legally be argued as corroboration of the excuses of Knox & Sollecito, including their mop claims.

Sollecito’s father, Dr. Francesco Sollecito, did say that RS had mentioned the alleged-leak of Nov. 1st, 2007, in the father’s 221 seconds, 20:42:56 call of Nov.1st, 2007.  Hellmann/Zanetti bought into this story, discussing it in their Motivazione.

AK is quoted by Nencini as referring to the alleged-leak in her testimony, but neither Galati nor the 2013 Hellmann/Zanetti-annulling SCC panel mentioned the alleged-leak. All seemed aware that there was no certainty.

3. An Explanation Of Why This Will Matter So Much In Future

In 2013 the SCC itself annulled most of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict in part because there was an obvious parceling-out of the pieces of circumstantial evidence and a lack of assessment of each piece of circumstantial evidence. Hellmann-Zanetti had failed to check whether the possible flaws and lacks in the logical value of each single piece of evidence could be resolved by cross-checking them and taking in account the whole.

Have the SCC judges themselves now made this same mistake? It is especially at this level that informed legal analysis in Italy of the pending SCC Motivazione will concentrate, future books on the case will concentrate, and the final degree of legitimacy will be established.

Given the peculiarity that the case was not referred back down to Florence for adjustment, worries at this level especially could be driving the very obvious nervousness of all of the defense counsels, shushing and restraining their clients in the presumed hope that the SCC judges really can square the circle and achieve legitimacy.

4. Certainties And Certainly-Nots In The Circumstantial Evidence

1. Fracture Of Hyoid Bone?

The SCC-Panel for Guede’s Sentencing (English Translation) wrote on Pages 4-5:

c) The body presented a very large number of bruising and superficial wounds – around 43 counting those caused by her falling – some due to a pointed and cutting weapon, others to strong pressure: on the limbs, the mouth, the nose, the left cheek, and some superficial grazing on the lower neck, a wound on the left hand, several superficial knife wounds or defence wounds on the palm and thumb of the right hand, bruises on the right elbow and forearm, ecchymosis on the lower limbs, on the front and inside of the left thigh, on the middle part of the right leg, and a deep knife wound which completely cut through the upper right thyroid artery fracturing the hyoid bone, a wound which caused a great deal of bleeding from the vessels of both lungs.

This caused a haemorrhagic shock and asphyxiation by the presence of blood in the respiratory passages, an exitus [decease] placed at around 23:00 of Nov. 1 by the forensic pathologist.

The emphases are mine. The knife cut through the hyoid bone rather than fractured it (in the English version it should say that it severed the hyoid bone; this is a translation issue). A Certainly-Not then.

The wound certainly did not cause any bleeding at all from the vessels of either lung; this is not a translation issue. This is a factual error in the original Italian Sentencing Report. A Certainly-Not then.

(This shows how the SCC-Panel Reports are not infallible. Unfortunately the Marasca Panel will have to dredge-up some past, fallible SCC-Panel Reports in order to explain its own reasoning.)

2. Two Knives?

Massei Translation p377: “There must necessarily have been [405] two knives at the scene of the crime.”

Certainly! There were 2 major, penetrating knife-wounds into Meredith’s neck; one entering on the left-side, and one entering on the right-side, which was made by a pocket-knife of the size Sollecito customarily carried. The latter wound could not have been made by whatever knife entered on the left-side. Therefore 2 knives were Certainly used.

3. Single Blow?

Massei Translation p 371 ”…a single blow was apparently halted by the jawbone…”

Certainly Not.

The statement that a blow could be “apparently halted” by Meredith’s jawbone is at best a figure of speech, and the quotes of Prof Cingolani on page 152 of the Massei Translation clearly indicate that any cause and effect inference from the phrase “apparently halted”, “did not…. have elements of certainty to establish” it was “stopped by the jawbone.” Prof Cingolani “did not, however, have elements of certainty to establish that the blade which had caused the wound 4 centimetres deep had stopped at the said depth because [it was] stopped by the jawbone.”

Maybe there is a Judicial, translational, or typographical glitch and “by” the jawbone should have been “near” the jawbone. Skin is soft and bone is harder but there is no way that the knife striking the jawbone or hyoid bone would halt the knife in this case, they would just roll with the blow, depending on the angle of attack.

Furthermore, contact between the knife and jawbone or hyoid bone would not mark the knife because living-bone is softer than the knife. When your pet gnaws on a non-living cow-bone, neither the bone nor your pet’s teeth can bend; both your pet’s teeth and the bone can be broken, and the bone gets scratches on it because it is still softer than the teeth, but your pet’s teeth do not get scratches on them, because they are harder even than the non-living bone.

If someone is stabbed in the back with a kitchen carving knife, penetrating ribs on its way to the heart, the knife may have no scratches at all, nor show any signs of damage caused by that action. Any implication in the statement quoted above that stabbing Meredith’s neck with enough force to penetrate the layers of her neck and then strike bone would have the effect of signs of damage to the knife-blade, is a mistaken implication.

It is an old rule of materials-physics that a softer substance cannot mark a harder substance. [To some people this may be counter to their intuition, so I have passed it by an eminent MIT physicist, and he agrees with me that the knife blade would certainly not show signs of damage caused by the stabbing in this case.]

4. SMS Message?

It is Certain that at 20:18:12 on Nov.1st, 2007 Amanda Knox’s mobile-phone received the SMS sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, which let her off from having to go to work at the ‚Le Chic? pub on the evening of 1 November.

Remember that mobile-phones are equivalent to convicts’ ankle-monitor bracelets, their use creates with Certainty a record of the Times of cell-phone activities, the Location of the corresponding transmitter-cell, and hence the general location of the mobile-phone, especially Ruling-Out particular Locations e.g. Proving whether the carrier of the phone was in or out of the range of their home transmitter-cell. Call Verbal-Content is not publicly available.

Here the mobile-phone Record proves that Knox’s mobile-phone was Certainly-Not in Sollecito’s lodging-house at 20:18:12 on Nov.1st, 2007:

At the time of reception, Knox’s phone connected to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, whose signal does not reach Raffaele Sollecito’s house. Amanda Knox’s mobile phone, and therefore Knox herself, was therefore far [i.e. absent] from Corso Garibaldi 30 when the SMS reached her, as she was walking in an area which was shown to be served by the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell.

This point of her route could correspond to Via U. Rocchi, to Piazza Cavallotti, to Piazza IV Novembre, bearing in mind that Lumumba’s pub is located in Via Alessi, and that Amanda Knox would have had to travel along the above-mentioned roads and the piazza in order to reach the pub.

Knox was therefore Certainly Not at Sollecito’s Corso Garibaldi Lodging at that time, contrary to the allegation that she was, and Knox Certainly-Could have been at her Cottage.

5. SMS Reply?

At 20.35.48 on Nov.1st, 2007, Amanda Knox Certainly sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723; the message was sent when her on Nov.1st, 2007 mobile phone was in Corso Garibaldi 30 or in the immediate neighbourhood. The cell used, in fact, was that of Via Berardi sector 7 - no other [use] was shown for the day of 1.11.07, noting that Amanda declared during hearings that she had switched her mobile phone off once she had returned 323 to Raffaele’s house, claiming she was more than happy she did not have to go to work and could spend the evening with her boyfriend.

(Knox may also have been LESS than happy that Lumumba preferred Meredith instead of Knox as an employee. This was perhaps humiliating enough to Knox for Knox to decide that the time to cut Meredith down-to-size was now.)

6. Bomb Threat?

Massei Translation page 25: On “the evening of November 1, 2007 at around 10:00 pm, someone called and warned Elisabetta Lana not to use the toilet of her dwelling because it contained a bomb which could explode. Mrs. Lana immediately notified the police of this phone call; and they came to the house but did not find anything….”

This call was Certainly received, the Police Certainly came to Mrs. Lana’s home, presumably not long after 10: pm on the evening of November 1, 2007 (Time & Duration of Police presence apparently not publicly-available).

The Courts must know those times accurately and precisely; reasonably assuming them to be after Meredith’s murder, and near the time of the Phone-Dump (Otherwise, the necessary combination of coincidences is too implausible).

It is most likely that the visible, and possibly audible, presence of Police triggered the panicked disposal of the Cell-Phones down the steep slope that falls sharply into the valley below.

There is no need to invoke any awareness by the phone-dumper[s] of the reason(the hoax-call) that the Police were near Mrs. Lana’s residence.

So if the killers saw flashing police-lights, or any other sign of police near Mrs. Lana’s place, that sign could be enough to explain panic phone-dumping - then and there (not considering whether the phones were switched-on or switched-off).

According to John Follain the slope is heavily overgrown with trees and bushes, an ideal place to dispose of evidence. If the phones had fallen just a few yards further, they would certainly have gone over the edge of the cliff, down into a 50m gully, straight into a thick scrub of nettles, and probably been lost forever….

7. Phone Dialings?

There were four dialings on Meredith’s mobile phones after her arrival home on the evening of 1 November ‘07:

    i. 20:56 hours on 1 November 07, attempted call to Meredith’s mother’s home in England.

  ii. 21:58 hours on 1 November 07, attempted call to mobile phone’s answering service, voicemail ‘901’.

  iii. 22:00 hours on 1 November 07, dial to Meredith’s London bank ‘ABBEY’.

  iv. 22:13:29 hours (9 seconds) on 1 November 07, attempted internet connection. Connection consistent with being attempted from cottage, but inconsistent with being attempted from Mrs.Lana’s.

These dialings are Certain with regard to Existence, Timings, and Location.

Massei Translation, page 331, attributes the above 4 dialings to Meredith absent-mindedly playing with the mobile phone in her hand, and her phone may well have still been in her hand when her attackers surprised her.

8. Phone Location?

Was Meredith’s Phone still in the cottage at Via della Pergola at 22:13:29 hours on 1 November 07? Yes. Certainly.

9. A Tow Truck?

At about 22:30 hours Car broken-down nearby. Tow-Truck called-for.

At about 23:00 hours Tow-Truck arrives to load car.

At about 23:13 hours Tow-Truck leaves with loaded car.

These events Certainly occurred, but those times are approximate.

10. Francesco Called?

@23:41:11 RS’s father attempts phone-call but makes no oral contact. Father leaves message which is not received until 06:02:59 on 2.11.07.

This 23:41:11 call was attempted during the very time-frame of the attack on Meredith, her murder, and the flight of her killers with her mobile telephones. Meredith’s Phone[s] were removed from her cottage by about Midnight, less than 20 minutes after this attempted call.

These phone calls are Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

11. Phone Location?

For 2.11.07 the first record is that of MKP - [0]0:10: 31, (i.e. Very early in the a.m. 10 minutes and 31 seconds after midnight) “when it has been established as an incontrovertible fact that Meredith’s English mobile phone was no longer in Via della Pergola, the mobile phone having received the contact under the coverage from Wind signal [cell] ..25622, which is incompatible with the cottage.”

Was Meredith’s Phone still in the cottage at Via della Pergola at 00:10: 31, 2.11.07? No!

Therefore Meredith’s English mobile phone had been removed from her cottage between 10.13.39 p.m. on 1.11.07 (more likely about 11.13 p.m.  when tow-truck departed) and 0:10:31 on 2:11:07; about 10 ½ minutes after midnight – say Meredith’s Phone[s] Removed By About Midnight, allowing for the time-elapse before being dumped near Mrs. Lana’s place. (Hellmann falsified this time-span on page 14 of his report, stating it to be more than 10 hours after midnight rather than about 10 ½ minutes after midnight.)

12. Phones Stolen?

At some time before Meredith’s attackers fled, they had seized her mobile telephones, probably near the beginning of the attack, having started their attack with a pre-emptive strike to intimidate Meredith, remove all hope, surround her, display knives, seal all possible escape-routes, and remove any possibility of phone-calling for help.

Immediately after Meredith’s scream her attackers had silenced her with the fatal stabbing, and then fled immediately.

They fled with her already-seized but still switched-on mobile telephones, probably without locking anything, including Meredith’s door.

Their over-riding and 1st imperative was not-to-be-caught-at-the-crime-scene.

See item 6. above.

13. Crimescene Meddling?

Having accomplished the Phone-Dump, Meredith’s killers next re-model the crime-scene, minimising the evidences of their identities, cleaning-up the evidences that it was ‘an inside job’, and simulating the appearances that it was ‘an outside job’.

One should bear in mind that these killers should have still been overwhelmed by their having actually committed a crime beyond their wildest imaginings.

Their panic impaired their thinking, and their ignorance, immaturity, inexperience, lack of technical resources and their arrogance precluded their selecting deceptions more effective against knowledgeable, experienced professional crime-investigators with a large fund of resources. They probably think that throwing the stone from inside Filomena’s room was a brilliant deception.

They wish it had never happened.

They wish they could make it unhappen (Hellmann/Zanetti got close to fulfilling this wish, but got themselves unhappened by Cassation)

They wish they could prevent the discovery of Meredith’s murder.

They cannot prevent the discovery of Meredith’s murder.

They may be able to postpone its discovery, but not longer than the inevitable return of the cottage-mates, later that day.

They believe that the person who ‘discovers’ a murder may become 1st-suspect.

They may be able to manouevre others-than-themselves into being the ones that make the discovery – quite a wily aim.

It is beyond reasonable doubt that:

Meredith’s killers seized her mobile telephones, and that

Her killers did not switch-off these mobile telephones, and that.

Her killers threw the telephones into an apparent ravine, landing in Mrs.Lana’s garden, and that

This phone-dump was accomplished before 00:10: 31, 2.11.07, and that

Amanda Knox caused:

    i. the English phone to ring at 12:07:12 (16 seconds) and be discovered by Mrs.Lana’s daughter only because it rang , and

    ii. the other phone, registered to Filomena Romanelli, to ring, very briefly, at 12:11:02 (3 seconds) and,

    iii. the English phone to ring again, also very briefly, at 12:11:54 (4 seconds), after being brought into Mrs.Lana’s house. 6. Sollecito had more than 5 days, from about 11.30 pm on November 1st, 2007 until November 6, 2007, to remove from the killing-knife the traces of Meredith’s DNA.

In the opinion of the Court of Assizes (Massei Translation p.325), Amanda Knox’s call to Meredith’s phone was

...the first indispensible step before putting the [348] planned staging into action. The lack of a reply, since the poor girl was obviously already dead, gave a reason for reassurance about the fact that the young woman’s phone had not somehow been retrieved, [and] was therefore safe in the spot where it had been thrown, which, according to the expectations [in the minds] of the murderers was a precipice or some other inaccessible spot, rather than in the garden of a villa located barely outside the city, where the vegetation concealed it from view.

Knox may well have expected that she was safe from phone-discovery, but these calls turned out to be the very instrument of a phone-discovery.

Had Knox not made these obfuscatory stabs, in the time-frame she made them Meredith’s phone would not have rung when it did ring and would therefore not have been discovered by Mrs. Lana’s daughter when she did discover it.

14. Phone Switched On?

For the day of 2.11.07, when Meredith was already dead, the traffic registered for the Vodafone number was shown to be the following:

00:10:31; duration and caller unspecified, but Wind signal [cell] incompatible with cottage, but compatible with Mrs. Lana’s place.

Therefore, Meredith’s mobile cell-phone had already been taken away from the cottage by her killers. It is not possible to determine from this phone-record whether the phone was switched on or off, but this phone was discovered at Mrs. Lana’s place because it was ringing, and therefore was “on”.

12:11:02 (duration of 3 seconds): Knox’s phone call reached the phone and was diverted to the answering service. The Vodafone cell used by Meredith’s service provider was situated in Strada Vicinale S. Maria della Collina sector 1.

12:11:54 (4 seconds): another call is made by Knox’s phone towards Meredith’s English mobile phone number (the cell used is the one in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, thus compatible with Sollecito’s house)

Three more phone-calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

15. Francesco SMS Received?

At 06:02:59 Raffaele Sollecito received the SMS from his father allegedly wishing Raffaelle a good night; from the evidence of the mobile phone record printouts of Dr. Francesco Sollecito, it was shown that the sending of the message occurred at, as has been said, 23:41:11 of 1.11.07. This was the last SMS sent from that mobile phone during the whole day of 1.11.07

3+ Hours after receiving his father’s message from 23:41:11 of 1.11.07:

At 09:24 Raffaele Sollecito received a phone call from his father lasting 248 seconds]

At this time RS’s consiousness would be dominated by his guilty knowledge, and probably far-advanced in the accomplishment of the 3rd imperative.

Did RS and father spend 4+ minutes discussing the weather?

This is the first father/son opportunity to formulate the two-pronged water-leak story.

Although AK had already been to the hardware store 2 hours before, they may well not have known the potential DNA problems with the knife, the need to scrub it vigorously, to clean-out, and repair the drain-pipes under the sink, and the need to return the knife to RS’s kitchen drawer.

As it turned-out, Sollecito had more than 5 days, from about 11.30 pm on November 1st, 2007 until November 6, 2007, to remove from the killing-knife the traces of Meredith’s DNA.

They probably did not know that incriminating stains could be invisible, but can be revealed by Luminol.

16. Francesco Calls Received?

At 09:29 another call was received lasting 38 seconds

At 09:30 (duration unspecified?) the father called Raffaele; the call connected to the Vial Belardi sector 7 cell.(the best server cell for Corso Garibaldi 30).]

These two calls, Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations, were probably spent dotting ‘i’s, crossing ‘t’s, and exchanging options, such as enlisting sister Vanessa’s skills and contacts.

17. More Calls Later?

Another 2+ Hours later:

At 12:07:12 (duration of 16 seconds) Amanda calls the English phone number 00447841131571belonging to Meredith Kercher. The mobile phone connects to the cell at [346] Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 9 (the signal from this cell is picked up at Sollecito’s house)

At 12.08.44 (lasted 68 seconds) Amanda calls Romanelli Filomena on number 347-1073006; the mobile phone connects to the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell (which covers Sollecito’s house)

Discovery will be inevitable when Filomena eventually arrives-back at the cottage.

AK/RS have accepted that they have to ‘stand-pat’ with their efforts so-far to accomplish not-to-be-the-“discoverers”-of-Meredith’s-body.

Amanda did not say a word in this phone-call to Filomena about Amanda’s phone call to Meredith, thereby withholding information that should have led Amanda to initiate discovery of Meredith’s body, and help Amanda to manouevre someone other than Amanda into being the one who ‘discovers’ Meredith’s body.

At 12:11:02 (3 seconds) the Vodafone number 348-4673711 belonging to Meredith (this is the one [i.e. SIM card] registered to Romanelli Filomena) is called and its answering service is activated (cell used: Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector3)

18. Yet More Calls?

For the day of 2.11.07, when Meredith was already dead, the traffic registered for the Vodafone number was shown to be the following 5 calls, Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations:

    i. 12:11:02 (duration of 3 seconds): Amanda’s phone call reached the phone and was diverted to the answering service. The Vodafone cell used by Meredith’s service provider was situated in Strada Vicinale S. Maria della Collina sector 1.

    ii. 12:11:54 (4 seconds): another call is made towards Meredith’s English mobile phone number (the cell used is the one in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, thus compatible with Sollecito’s house)

    iii. 12:12:35 (lasting 36 seconds) Romanelli Filomena calls Amanda Knox (No. 348-4673590); Amanda receives the call connecting to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 (still at Raffaele’s house)

    iv. 12:20:44 (lasting 65 seconds) Romanelli F. calls Amanda, who receives the call connecting to the cell in Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 9 (good for Corso Garibaldi 30)

    v. 12:34:56 (48 seconds): Filomena calls Amanda who receives it from the cottage on Via della Pergola 7 (the cell used is that on Piazza Lupattelli sector 7. As mentioned, Raffaele also used the same cell when he called the service centre at 12:35 hours to recharge [the credit of] his mobile phone)
19. RS Phone Location?

At 12:35: Raffaele’s mobile phone contacted a service centre for a phone [credit] recharge (the cell used was that of Piazza Lupattelli sector 7, which gives coverage to the little house on Via della Pergola 7. The signal in question does not reach Corso Garibaldi 30, which instead is served by the signal from Piazza Lupattelli sector 8)

At 12:38: Vodafone sent R.Sollecito a message of confirmation of phone [credit] recharge (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, good for Via della Pergola 7)

At 12:40: incoming call from RS’s father’s mobile phone (lasting 67 seconds; connection through Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, compatible with the Sollecito’s presence near the little house)]

At 12:47:23 (duration of 88 seconds): Amanda calls the American (USA) number 00120069326457, using the cell on Piazza Lupatetlli sector 7; the phone call takes place prior to the one which, at 12.51.40, Raffaele Sollecito will make to ‚112?, connecting to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1, which gives coverage to Via della Pergola 7]

In “Waiting To Be Heard” Knox can hardly deny having made this 1st call, acknowledges making the call, and purports, now, to recall its substance, providing the reader with her version of what was said.

At 13:24:18 (duration of 162 seconds): Amanda calls the same American number which corresponds to the home of her mother, Mrs Edda Mellas, using the same cell. It is obvious that the young woman is inside the cottage, where by this point, several minutes earlier, the Postal Police had shown up, [347] represented by Inspector Battistelli and Assistant Marzi, who were engaged in the task of tracking down Filomena Romanelli, who was the owner of the Vodafone phonecard contained in the mobile phone found earlier in the garden of the villa on Via Sperandio]

In “Waiting To Be Heard” Knox can hardly deny having made this 2nd call either, she acknowledges making the call, and provides the reader with her current version of what was said.

20. More Phone Locations?

At 12:50:34 outgoing call directed at mobile phone 347-1323774 belonging to Vanessa Sollecito, sister of the defendant; duration 39 seconds. Connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell 320

At 12:51:40 Raffaele Sollecito called ‚112? to inform the Carabinieri of the presumed theft in Romanelli’s room (duration 169 seconds; connection to Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell, which covers Via della Pergola 7)

At 12:54: a second call by Raffaele to ‚112? (57 sec.; connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)

Three more Sollecito calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

21. More Phone Locations?

At 13:17:10 (lasting 1 second) to Meredith’s phone: the cell used was located in the same place, sector 7

At 13:27:32 (duration of 26 seconds): Amanda calls the American number 0012069319350, still using the cell at Piazza Lupattelli sector 7.

At 13:29:00 (duration of 296 seconds) Amanda receives [a call] from No. 075/54247561 (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)

Three more Knox calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

22. Another Phone Location?

At 13:40:12: incoming call from his father to RS (94 sec.; Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell)

Another Sollecito call Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

23. More Knox Calls?

At 13:48:33 (1 second): this is an attempted call to AK’s mother’s number

At 13:58:33 (1 second): this is an attempted call to her mother’s number

The above item is a faithful translation from the Massei Motivazione section on Amanda Knox’s mobile phone traffic, but is listed out-of-time-sequence; the assigned-time is probably a ‘typo’ – “13:48:33” is much more likely correct.

Two more Knox calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

24. Francesco Call?

14:33: Sollecito’s father called Sollecito for 21 seconds (as above)]

Do RS and father exchange more caveats in their call Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations?

25. More Knox Locations?

At 14:46:14 (102 seconds) Amanda receives a call from the German number 494154794034, most likely belonging to her aunt Doroty Craft

Call to Meredith’s phone at 15:13:43 (5 seconds) cell not indicated.

At 15:31:51 (1 second): Knox receives an SMS sent from the number 389/1531078; at this point the cell being used is the one on Via Cappuccinelli 5/A sector 2, where the Questura [police headquarters] is located.

Two more Knox-related calls Certain wrt Existence, Timings, and Locations.

In the hours that followed the [mobile phone record] printouts show that the answering service of Amanda’s number 348-4673590 was activated due to a lack of signal coverage.

Massei Translation p.324:

Finally, the analyses of the [phone record] printouts highlight that the first phone call made by Amanda on the day of 2 November was to Meredith Kercher’s English number.

The American student called her English flatmate even before contacting Romanelli Filomena to whom she intended to express, as she testified in court, her fears about the strange things she had seen in the cottage, which she had returned to at about 11 o’clock in order to shower in preparation for the excursion to Gubbio which she and Raffaele had planned.

It is strange that Amanda did not say a word to Filomena about the phone call to their flatmate, when the call, not having been answered, would normally have caused anxiety and posed some questions as to why Meredith did not answer the phone at such an advanced hour of the day.

26. Sollecito Locations?

At 17:01: RS’s father called RS for 164 seconds; cell used is that of Via Cappucinelli 5/A sector 2, corresponding to the location of the Perugia Police Station

At 17:42: RS’s father called RS for 97 seconds (as above).

With regard to Raffaele Sollecito’s landline home phone (No. 075-9660789)

The above 2 calls presumably covered final agreements on the Father/son stories.

For the entire day of 1 November and then of 2 November, Raffaele Sollecito’s fixed line was not affected by any calls, either incoming or outgoing.


This series continues here.


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

In Big Complication For Cassation Guede Demands New Trial To Prove He Was Not “Accomplice Of Myself”

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above: Rudy Guede’s smart lead lawyer Walter Biscotti on another high profile case


The Fifth Chambers of the Supreme Court was the one that allowed Knox and Sollecito to walk free.

Sooner or later they must explain. Initial statements of their reasons has many Italian justice officials in strong disbelief.

If there were evidence problems (and we know of next to none and hundreds of evidence points suggesting guilt) the Florence appeal court was the correct court to put them to bed.  Cassation has no legal mandate for that.

It gets worse. Somehow the Fifth Chambers has to explain why the First Chambers ruled the other way on some very key points in 2010 and 2013 and why it confirmed Knox’s sentence for the felony of calunnia with no further possibility of appeal.

It gets worse. The five judges would seem to have to come down for either the highly discredited Lone Wolf Theory or for two other “missing killers” (for which there is zero evidence) to have attacked Meredith. 

From 2007 to 2015 two defense teams tried very hard but without conviction or success to do both of those things - even though Guede and his defense had no way to answer back as they were not even in court.

Those same two teams tiptoed away from much of the pesky evidence against all three which they were simply powerless to explain.

So Guede’s demand for a new trial reported today could not be timed worse from the Fifth Chambers judges’ point of view.

Chances are that this request will be ruled on by another Chambers of Cassation. It might take some time but they might have no compunction (especially if they are the First Chambers) about hanging the increasingly embattled Fifth Chambers out to dry.

No way Guede’s conviction ever gets reversed. He knows that. We all know that. The evidence is way too strong. But Guede could really rub it in that he was not the initiator of the 15-minute attack and could certainly not have done it alone. That he had no motive at all. That he was not a drug dealer or a burglar - no evidence for either exists.

That he was not the one who had a reason to clean up the house as his own trial ruled. And that he did not wield the final blow.

*****

Added to the top post on Thursday, and amended Friday.

It looked briefly like his lawyers contradicted Guede. But legally Guede is the one with much at stake and gets to call the final shots.

And Biscotti merely added that while he didn’t know exactly what Rudy said, his words should not be considered as a public statement, he did not intend for them to go public.

Of course, Biscotti would want to keep their powder dry, and keep Guede out of harms way, and keep all possible options open in Cassation.

Smart legal, safety and financial tactics.

Posted on 04/08/15 at 02:44 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Shaky Castle Of Cards At Best: The Long-Term Fight For Legitimacy Begins

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Current State Of Play

As we so often hear, true justice has to be SEEN to be done.

At the end of the day it’s the legitimacy that counts - whether most informed people buy in - and the fight for this could play out over years.

Maybe that was on the minds of the tense Sollecito lawyers seen above after the surprise outcome was announced. Can those five judges make what seemed like a shoot-from-the-hip decision stick?

Back in 2009 the prosecution put on a very fine case, after Knox and Sollecito had failed six great opportunities in 2007 and 2008 to be let out. Prosecutors touched all the bases fast and, including what was presented in closed court, offered a very legitimate case for guilt which a unanimous panel of judges bought into.

Defense attorneys were rumored to be despondent and they never really hit a high point. Sollecito talks in his book about Maori having little conviction in him. Bongiorno was said to feel the same way and to not like Sollecito very much. Several times she was a surprise no-show in court. Ghirga was affable but uncomfortable, and sometimes he dozed off.

Was there under UK and US common law a strong case for an appeal? Under UK and US law an appeal must be requested, and a judge must decide. We have yet to read one opinion by a UK or US judge (and yes, they do write) that a case for granting an appeal was very strong.

In other words, under UK and US common law, the unanimous verdict and sentence would almost certainly have been it. All three would be serving their terms, and five years ago the whole world would have moved on.

In 2010 a clear case of judge-shopping occurred.  Dont take our word for it - the senior and very experienced criminal-law Judge Chiari openly said he had been pushed aside as he resigned. He had been one of Italy’s finest prosecutors, and mentally and in terms of the law and grasp of the facts he was a giant compared to the bumbling ill-qualified Hellman, a business judge with only one other murder trial (a fiasco) in his past.

Throughout 2011 legitimacy swayed this way and that. The prosecutors began to smell a lot of rats and Prosecutor Comodi publicly said so. The chief prosecutor Dr Galati (who had just arrived from the Supreme Court) maintained that it didnt altogether matter, because he just knew the Supreme Court would throw a bum outcome out.

He was right. In March 2013 the elite First Section of the Supreme Court threw the bum outcome out, except for the part about Knox framing Patrick for which she had served three years.

The elite First Section handed the case back down to a new court, the Florence appeal court.

The Florence courts are staffed with very fine prosecutors and judges as they often handle national cases. Right now that court is handling a major investigation into national government corruption on a grand scale, Knox adulator Rocco Girlanda is one of those named.

National politicians under the gun like to knock chips off the courts given half a chance. Ex PM Berlusconi’s allies were said to have this as a fairly consistent aim. Any outcome ever in Rome which takes the Florence courts down a peg (as now) gets a lot of close looks.

Rumors abound in Rome that the president of the group of five judges and maybe one other felt the outcome of the Florence appeal court was the right one. If this is true, they may have never bought in and may now be only going through the motions with a forced grin.

The president of the court already issued an explanation of sorts. This has many in their peer group - the Council of Magistrates (which edged Hellmann out - refused him a promotion so he had nowhere to go) and all of the other judges and prosecutors in Italy - scratching their heads and wondering how in the Sentencing Report the circle can be squared.

Meanwhile on other fronts legitimacy is now on the line. Sollecito is due back in court in Florence on false claims in his book on 30 April. Knox’s calunnia trial is due to resume again shortly in Florence with expanded charges targeting false claims in her book. The Oggi trial for quoting false claims in Knox’s book has a testimony session 16 June.

The final verdict and sentence maybe cannot be wound back and their chances of serving more time for murder and a sex crime are remote. (Knox could be sentenced to more time at her second calunnia trial).

But the circumstances in which they are walking around may come to look very odd. The Supreme Court actually can be sued now for an inexplicable outcome, and made to take another look.

The President of the Italian Republic (who is the ultimate head of the justice system) can be petitioned to step in. Political parties like Beppe Grillo’s astonishingly popular Five Star Movement (said to be already snooping) have a lot of power to make things come unstuck. .

So, in the months and even years ahead, this is clearly going to be a long game, with legitimacy as the ultimate prize. Sorry, Sollecito and Knox, but it aint over till the fat lady sings.

2. New Developments Indicate Concern

Seven developments in this race for legitimacy points suggest that the RS and AK camps are very concerned about it, and are not at all sure what to do.

1) Francesco Sollecito is quoted as asking Guede to endorse the outcome. Guede already said the opposite although his main statement was in the annulled Hellmann appeal. Aviello is still on trial by the way, in 2011 he pointed at the Sollecitos as not playing by the rules.

2) Francesco can be sure Guede wont actually speak out, as he will have his own legal action in the works to get his case reviewed. That could go to another section of Cassation and if they rule differently really open a can of worms.

3) Sollecito has spoken out heatedly and vengefully on Italian TV in effect wanting the Italian state to pay him off in a big way and everybody else to believe him or shut up.

4) Bongiorno publicly disagreed with him and she said such actions need to be considered with a cool head down the road.

Report on the Il Tempo website.

Lawyer Bongiorno. “In the coming days we will evaluate request for compensation,” announced Raffaele’s lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, after the acquittal of the young man for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

“There are feelings of revenge in Sollecito’s soul,” added the lawyer today. “We will wait for the motivations. Not thrash/lambaste those who might have done [Sollecito] wrong.”

“We’ll see if there were errors and what measures and initiatives could be undertaken. Civil liability - she concluded - is a serious institution that should not be exercised in the spirit of revenge.” (Translation by Guermantes on Dot Net)

5) Barbie Nadeau quotes an Italian expert who says that because RS and AK both provably lied to the police and led them astray, any claim for compensation could be dead on arrival.

Bongiorno may already realise this. She may also realise that having a litany of lies read out hardly advances their quest for legitimacy points.

6) This is previous news. Bongiono passed on being the lead lawyer in Sollecito’s book case. Nothing could cost legitimacy points more than a loss at the Florence trial on the false claims in RS’s book.

Note that at the moment few Italians - including Cassation - know what is in the book. It is possible Bongiorno wants to make herself scarce before the legitimacy points just gained head down the tubes.

7) The Fischer disinformation group (see posts coming up) has moved from shrill to frantic harrassment mode.

Let’s guess. Bongiorno and the other Perugia lawyers would think that a really bad idea, as Knox and RS are still on trial and abuse wont make that go away. Legitimacy if any will come not from strongarming but from cool heads.

Here’s betting all 4 main lawyers and both families would like to keep RS and AK on a really short string. Nothing will screw them like yet another of their open spats.

Right up to last week RS was still distancing himself a mile from Knox.

Posted on 03/31/15 at 02:44 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedThe defensesSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015
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Friday, March 27, 2015

Supreme Court Appeal By RS And AK Against Florence Court Rejection Of Their First Appeal #2

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



This was in 2009, Meredith’s family, not in court, may hear things came full circle today

Tweets from the court

New tweets from the court if any (we may have to wait for breaks) are being added under the various author’s names below. Numbering flows from Wednesday’s post.

Any breaking news

22. Reason for delay in the announcement is paperwork we believe, there were dozens of reasons for an overturn in the two written appeals, and they would have to be responded to one by one if appeal is denied. The Telegraph seems to be planning a live website feed though it may be from outside. .

21. Here is where Sollecito is headed if he makes it before any guilty verdict and the 2 police cars in his rear mirrors him stop him and take him in:  41°14’37.80"N 16°29’2.50"E Put that into Google Earth search and then descend to street view. Thats the gate for the compound, chez Sollecito is a couple of houses down on the left. Francesco Sollecito has addressed crowds of reporters there. 

20. Video here of RS and his sister Vanessa leaving by side entrance, possibly for Bari. As Florence prosecutors are in court, this may be his way of ensuring he is not photographed being frogmarched out of there.

19. Knox undercut her own defence by stiffing Florence court. Could in new Florence trial face more years for criminal defamation. Moore & Burleigh & Fischer & other PR shills may face citations too, as their excesses outnumber those of Gumbel and Sforza already in court. Tweeting stalkers too. Communication Police looking now.

18. Italian ANSA report is calling RS lawyer Giulia Bongiorno’s address to the court “Bye Bye Amanda” as she says only questionable DNA relates RS to scene of crime. [Oh? Several footprints? Opposing knife wounds? Multi alibis? Computer? Cellphone?]

17. Media, please get it right: Amanda Knox was not “tried in absentia” at Florence “trial”. IT WAS HER OWN APPEAL and Italian lawyers argued with her for a week that she really needed to be there. Having abused so many in Italy, and put drug dealer in jail, was her no-show really such a surprise?

16. Strong-arming unethical Gogerty-Marriott PR firm closes down in Seattle with a final dishonest thump of the chest. Said to be freaked by potential legal liability. Maybe Knox herself should sue as they made her plight much worse.

15. So NYC Sollecito advisor John Q Kelly shows his face again. He was wildly wrong on the hard facts late 2009 and promptly disappeared.

Tweets from journalist Andrea Vogt

17. Heavy media & police presence at Italy’s high court this a.m. for final hearing in #amandaknox case. Sollecito’s defense at 9.

18. Raffaele Sollecito’s Italian and American lawyers Giulia Bongiorno & John Q Kelly just greeted in hall outside Aula Magna

19. Giulia Bongiorno on the lack of DNA from #amandaknox and sollecito in murder room: only a dragonfly leaves no trace.

20. Bongiorno casting doubt on forensic police dna interpretation. “Maybe, in science, does not exist. Either it is Raffaele ‘s dna or not.”

21. High court judges in #amandaknox case are going into deliberations now. They will alert all one hour before they announce decision.

22. Court can: 1) call appeal [outcome] inadmissable 2) accept it 3) reject it 4) annul convictions & back to appellate 5) annul convictions.

23. Members of Florence prosecutor’s office are at Rome court today for decision on #amandaknox / Sollecito appeal of their convictions.

24. #amandaknox convictions have been completely overturned. She is a free woman.

25. Both raffaelle Sollecito and #amandaknox convictions have been fully overturned. Cries of joy in courtroom from sollecito’s family

Tweets from main poster Kristeva

15. Follow @andreavogt as she has better phone reception than me. I apologize

16. Much larger crowd today attending the final hearing for #amandaknox & #RaffaeleSollecito

17. The general feeling among reporters is that #RaffeleSollecito might get a second appeal. no chance 4 #amandaknox

18. Several reporters interested in http://Themurderofmeredithkercher.com and will call me to have more info in the next days

19. I was asked how the #MeredithKercher support website started and I gave the whole history

20. Spoke to Maresca to thank him and in return he thanked our volunteer work for http://themurderofmeredithkercher.com 

21. Reporters were also interested in PR machine for #AmandaKnox and I referred them to http://TrueJustice.org

22. After Bongiorno, Maori will give his arguments and Judges with enter chambers to deliberate verdict

23. Timing of verdict for #amandaknox and #RaffeleSollecito unpredictable. May justice 4 #MeredithKercher prevail. My prayers for family

24. [6.15 am US east coast time] Maori finished. Judges have entered chambers to deliberate verdict.

25. No more appeals. Case over #amandaknox #RaffaeleSollecito acquitted for murder of #MeredithKercher #SHAME

26. I am shocked

Tweets from main poster Machiavelli

17. [no tweets yet]

Tweets from journalist Barbie Nadeau

4.  High court now deliberating fate of #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito in #MeredithKercher murder case.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Supreme Court Appeal By RS And AK Against Florence Court Rejection Of Their First Appeal

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Above: stock image on another day of the Supreme Court’s Great Hall

Tweets from the court

New tweets from the court are all being added under the various author’s names below. This will continue Friday for sure.

Any breaking news

13. Court is over for the day and will resume on Friday.

12. La Nazione reports: “The judgment of the Supreme Court on the murder of Meredith Kercher will not arrive before Friday 27, the day when the judges will meet in closed session. This was announced by the President of the Fifth Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, Gennaro Marasca, during today’s hearing.”

11. We dont know the local telephone network capacity there. But many cellphone transponders can handle only 24 calls at a time. Demand for “outside lines” could number in the hundreds from the entire court. Maybe there’s an open WAN but we doubt.

10. Regardless of outcome Knox legal problems could go on for years. Since 2009 she has faced calunnia charges for lying on the stand. Possible sentence six years. Now Florence court has added calunnia charges for lying in her book, in Oggi, on her website, and on American TV. Perception going back to Ricciarelli is she is dangerous and hurts people, even if final murder verdict is not in.

9. Popper says of Dr Pinelli: “In his late 50s (a young man ref Cassazione average), a career both in Abruzzo region (Avezzano where he was born in 1957) and L’ Aquila, and then Naples in the Procura Generale; then promoted to Cassazione. Very much acquainted with murders and organised crime.”

8. Popper says of Dr Marasca: “Section President of Cassation [one of the few] and member of Consiglio Direttivo, a sort of Executive Board of the Supreme Court ... one of the most experienced magistrates in Italy, born in 1944. Since 1970 a magistrate.”

7. News service ANSA: “The head judge is Gennaro Marasca. The lead prosecutor is Mario Pinelli. After the prosecutor has spoken it will be the turn of Maresca (for the Kerchers). Then they’ll hear from Bongiorno and Maori, Ghirga and Dalla Vedova”.

6. New report with today’s date from Barbie Nadeau on the CNN Website. Seems CNN like most US media no longer solidly in Knox camp.

5. The Court has placed a ban on live tweeting from inside the courtroom, where mobile phone reception is poor anyway. Reports will come during the breaks.

4. Best guess at timing of decision is late PM US East Coast time. In 2013 it came the next day.

3. As with previous court outcomes, expect long-form analyses of outcome by Machiavelli etc within the next few days.

2. New York Times’s Elisabetta Povoledo provides a good overview of today’s context.

1. See our own scenario for today and coming weeks in the event the Florence verdict and sentences is confirmed.

Tweets from journalist Andrea Vogt

1. Raffaele Sollecito is here in court, speaking with his lawyer Giulia Bongiorno. #amandaknox lawyers and Patrick Lumumba also present.

2. Cannot tell how the court is leaning. Reviewer made hurtful and helpful comments to both sides. Still could go either way. #amandaknox

3. Court pres Gennaro Marasca calls break until 2:30. PG Mauro Pinelli has another hour of arguments. Arguments & ruling could be Friday

[break for lunch]

4. There is a sense among some observers that the Court is differentiating between positions of amanda knox and raffaelle Sollecito.

5. Maresca: I am representing the Kercher family in court for the 8th time. I hope this will be the last arguments I give on their behalf.

6. Maresca: It is time for the Kercher family to finally be able to remove this poor victim from the law courts.

7. Ghirga: “its not that we want to blame the poor black guy, its that you cannot rule out a single aggressor.”

8. Lawyer Luciano Ghirga: The scientific evidence favors #amandaknox (no trace of her in the murder room).

9. Carlo dalla Vedova has launched a blistering attack on the state of Italian justice system and the problem of “the neverending trial.”

10. Dalla Vedova for #amandaknox: How can we tolerate in Italy that trials can go on forever?

11. Hearing over for the day. Raffaelle Sollecito’s defense will continue Friday, march 27.

12. Ghirga: “its not that we want to blame the poor black guy, its that you cannot rule out a single aggressor.”

13. Lawyer Luciano Ghirga: The scientific evidence favors #amandaknox (no trace of her in the murder room).

14. Carlo dalla Vedova has launched a blistering attack on the state of Italian justice system and the problem of “the neverending trial.”

15. Dalla Vedova for #amandaknox: How can we tolerate in Italy that trials can go on forever?

16. Hearing over for the day. Raffaelle Sollecito’s defense will continue Friday, march 27.

Tweets from main poster Kristeva

1. I have arrived outside Section V. Sollecito, father and Greta. Poor [cellphone] reception.

2. Spoke to Avv. Maori & asked him who general prosecutor is and he doesn’t know yet. there are 2.

3. Andrea Vogt has just arrived and speaking to Avv. Ghirga

4. American British Journalists are all talking to Avv Dalla Vedova now.

[court session starts]

5. Relator Judge P. A. Bruno laughs once and while getting names wrong such as Hallowo instead of Halloween.

6. Prosecutor finds Rudy’s climbing up wall 4 numerous times “crazy”

7. Paolo Antonio Bruno knows the case extremely well without ever looking at his notes.

[court breaks for lunch]

8. Prosecutor has ended. He asked without remand 28.3 yrs #amandaknox and 24.9 for #raffaelesollecito

9. Bongiorno has asked to speak on Friday so most likely verdict will be then.

10. Pacelli now on civil case for Patrick Lumumba

11. Maresca has now concluded. Confirms all points made by Nencini, the general prosecutor and Galati

12. Maresca was brief and concise and said that after 8 years he hopes this is the last time he has to make same arguments

13. Maresca says that everything asked by #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito has already been asked at Perugia and Florence trial.

14. Maresca makes a big point about pages re Conti & Vecchiotti and calls them on their lie.

Tweets from main poster Machiavelli

1. Reporting Judge at SC for the Meredith case is Antonio Paolo Bruno.

2. The Prosecutor General is Mario Pinelli. President Judge is Gennaro Marasca.

3. PG said the Florence sentence “respects the indications set by the Cassazione”

4. PG: says courts, based on findings “correctly established that the theft was staged”.

5. PG: court “pointed out correctly” that there was a staging “in order to side-track investigation”

6. PG: “3 people attacked the victim” and “there was no fight” unless you mean “attempts to defend herself by restrained victim”

7. PG: Florence decision not to repeat computer analysis on Sollecito’s laptop is “not censurable”

8. Sollecito reported nervous when PG observes computer data defence objections are irrelevant to alibi.

9. PG: Florence refusal to order anthropometric investigation on CCTV images is “adequately motivated”

10. Pinelli: phones removed because by “ringing in the home” may have caused early discovery of the crime.

11. Judge Bruno (like Zanetti) had said the trials had “not many certainties” beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.

12. PG Pinelli said some minor charges have expired, thus Florence should re-assess penalties with slight reduction due time limitation laws.

13. Antonio Paolo Bruno is the Supreme Judge who was accused of conspiracy with Mafia by prosecutor DeMagistris in 2006.

14. Pinelli asked 3 months cut from both penalties (weapon carrying). But this cut may technically require intervention by Florence court.

15. Maresca says that everything asked by #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito has already been asked at Perugia and Florence trial. Enough.

16. Maresca makes a big point about pages re Conti & Vecchiotti and calls them on their lie.

Tweets from journalist Barbie Nadeau

1. Judge confirms verdict will be Friday in #MeredithKercher case.

2. Prosecutor in #AmandaKnox case asks to trim 3 months off Knox’s 28 year 6 month sentence.

3. Reason for shaving 3 months off sentence in #AmandaKnox case is statute of limitations in theft charge.



Monday, March 16, 2015

Probable Final Cassation Ruling In 10 Days: Likely Scenario For The Immediate Future

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi


We reported previously that Prime Minister Renzi, the former mayor of Florence, has great trust in the court system there.

Cassation is expected to rule on Knox’s and Sollecito’s separate appeals against the Florence outcome (in which they yet again not-too-subtly edge one another between themselves and the flames) on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

We have something of a consensus here upon what happens then and thereafter, with main inputs here from Italian watchers Popper and Yummi.

1. Cassazione will probably merely announce that the affirmation of conviction by the Nencini appeal court is legitimate from the point of view of Italian law and there will be nothing significant said on the merits of the case.

2. In final appeals Supreme Court justices simply confirm a sentence or not based exclusively on law points. The Cassazione motivation reports due within three months are not too important as they cannot be appealed anyway. A report may not be needed for extradition, the Massei + Nencini sentencing reports could be explanatory and legally correct enough in this case.

3. The execution of this decision would then be over to the Florence courts. If the Nencini confirmation of verdict and sentence is affirmed it will probably then be over to Prosecutor Crini and Judge Nencini, and an arrest warrant for Sollecito would be immediate.

4. There is a slight chance, perhaps 5% to 10%, that Sollecito might try to escape, as he seemed set on doing when he made it to the border on the same day as Judge Nencini’s 2014 ruling. On Italian TV he has been sounding very aggrieved with Amanda while not really winding back the strong case against himself. He lacks his passport and probably the secret stash of money to stay on the run indefinitely.

5. An arrest warrant for Knox, the other defendant, would normally be issued as soon as possible. If she is still located in the US she could be rapidly arrested and put in a holding cell. Based on other examples it is possible that her physical return to Italy could take as long as nine months, though the treaty promotes a fast-track meaning not upward of three months.

6. There is normally 45 days for the extradition papers/request from Dr Andrea Orlando, the Italian Minister of Justice, to be handed over by the Italian Embassy in Washington DC to the State Department, though there is allowance for that request time to be extended.

7. The evidence of course really is overwhelming and no single proof of foul play has ever been proven. Italian justice officials have relevant information they could share privately, such as the corruption of the Hellmann appeal alleged by Judge Chiari, Prosecutor Comodi and others, and such as Knox’s unsavory drug record which is normally a big no-no for the State Department. 

8. Comments made by the host and a magistrate on Italy’s Porta a Porta show last week suggests vagueness on the part of the Italian media and public about the Italy/United States extradition treaty. This treaty, which has always been faithfully observed previously by both countries, with no exceptions, is stark and minimalist and focuses on the paperwork and whether the national law was followed, as explained by lawyers James Raper and TomM. 

9. Assuming their final conviction, Sollecito’s arrest and return to prison will drive Italian public opinion, dormant for years but stirring as the Porta a Porta show suggested, to demand a quick extradition of Knox, who was the flatmate of Meredith the victim and without whom no murder would have taken place.

10. Probably very unlikely, but if there is sustained political resistance despite American media finally getting the facts right, the powers demanding extradition will build up immense pressure, and it will be world-wide pressure from the point of view of the US, not just Italy. All countries will be watching to see how the US behaves, and if their treaties are reliable or not.

The US relies heavily on the Italian government, which is currently a very strong one, on many other matters, and it has other extradition cases worldwide in motion or anticipated (think Snowden in Moscow) so it will be almost certainly be faithful to legality and precedent.

Knox smeared prison authorities in her book and directly caused the imprisonment of a drug-dealer which might be reasons she fears going back. Conceivably a negotiated outcome could result in Knox serving the rest of her time in an American prison to get round this. American prison? This would be nice for her family, but probably a lot less nice for Knox herself.

Knox has long been the pawn of an ugly family and bunch of parasites. Dont totally rule out her simply hopping on a plane to pay her dues and get away from them.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rapidly Expanding Wiki Now Includes Precise Reasons For RS And Knox Arrest 6 Nov 2007

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



From the east. Foreground, Perugia’s main courts, background judges & prosecutors’ offices

1. The Events Prior To The Arrests

The ever-expanding Wiki can of course be found here.

The arrest statement in Part 2 below was signed by Dr Mignini at 8:40 am. It’s worth rehearsing all that had happened in the wee hours before this.

Knox had turned up at the central police station unannounced, apparently to keep tabs on RS. After a delay in finding something for her to do, and in getting the interpreter by her side, she sat with Rita Ficarra building a list of possible perps with phone numbers and residences on maps.

Having been told in a rather low-key way that Sollecito had just said she was not with him on the fateful night for several hours, and she had made him lie (see the post just below), there was a tension-filled pregnant pause while Knox apparently racked her brains for a Plan B.

By 1.45 AM, having explosively fingered Patrick when a message to him fortuitously showed up on her mobile phone, and after considerable spontaneous chatter, she had insisted on writing and signing this statement.

Three hours later Dr Mignini had arrived and discussed this development with others. Then he advised Knox of her rights, including the right to have her lawyer there.

Heedless of that advice, after more spontaneous chatter (actually referred to in the arrest warrant below), Knox insisted on writing and signing this statement while all the court officers sat idly by.

2. The Warrant For Three Arrests

This warrant was drafted and signed by Dr Mignini in the prosecutors’ offices in Perugia’s central courthouse (image at top) at 8:40 am. As already mentioned, it includes reference to Knox’s spontaneous chatter and her knowledge of the dynamics of the crime.

PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE, COURT OF PERUGIA

N. 19738/07 R.G. Mod. 44

DETENTION ORDER ISSUED BY THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

(artt. 384, comma 1 c.p.p)

TO THE JUDGE OF PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION OF THE COURT OF PERUGIA

The public prosecutor Dr. Giuliano Mignini

Based on the records of the above-mentioned proceeding;

Having found that there are serious indications of the crimes of complicity in aggravated murder Article 576 n.5 c.p.e. and sexual assault for which we are proceeding, against DIYA Lumumba, born in Kindu (Zaire) on 5.05.1969, KNOX Amanda Marie and SOLLECITO Raffaele, already identified, for the following reasons:

Regarding KNOX and DIYA, the first made glaringly contradictory and not credible statements during the investigation. In particular KNOX claimed to have spent the night between November 1st and 2nd in the company of SOLLECITO Raffaele whom she met a few days before the event while he, after initially confirming the statements made by KNOX, confessed to have lied instructed by KNOX and made clear that he separated from KNOX at 21.30 of November 1st 2007, remaining at his house where he received a phone call from his father on the land line at 23:30.

Furthermore from the data relating to the phone traffic of the number 3484673590 in use by KNOX there emerges a lack of phone traffic from 20:35 of November 1st to 12:00 November 2nd. Same lack of phone traffic from 20:42 of November 1st to 06:02 of November 2nd is found in the phone traffic of 3403574303 in use by SOLLECITO Raffaele.

At 20:35 of November 1st it was found an outgoing text message from the number 3484673509 belonging to KNOX sent to 3387195723 belonging to the co-defendant PATRICK to whom she communicates “see you later” which confirms that in the following hours KNOX was together with DIYA in the apartment where the victim was.

KNOX, in the statement made today has, in the end, confessed the dynamics of the committed crimes against KERCHER: the accused, in fact, first claimed to have met with DIYA, as communicated to him with the text message found in the phone memory of her cell phone by the operating Postal Police, text message sent at 20:35 in reply to a text message from DIYA sent at 20:18, detected thanks to the analysis of the phone traffic related to KNOX.

This last text message is not present in the cell phone memory.

KNOX in her witness statement from today has then confessed that, meeting DIYA in the basketball court of Piazza Grimana, she went together with DIYA to Meredith’s house, where DIYA, after having sex with the victim, killed her.

The sexual intercourse must be deemed violent in nature considering the particularly threatening context in which it took place and in which KNOX has surely aided DIYA.

In addition to this it should be pointed out that KNOX, in her spontaneous declarations from today, has consistently confirmed to have contacted DIYA, to have met with him on the night between November 1st and 2nd and to have gone with him to the apartment where the victim lived. She then said that she stayed outside of Meredith’s room while DIYA set apart with her and also added that she heard the girl’s screams.

KNOX reported details that confirm her own and Sollecito Raffaele’s involvement in the events, like the fact that after the events she woke up in the bed of the latter.

As far as the essential facts against SOLLECITO there are numerous verifiable inconsistencies in his first declarations, in respect to the last ones and the fact that, from a first inspection, the print of the shoe found on SOLLECITO appears to be compatible in its shape with the one found on the crime scene.

Moreover, there is the fact that KNOX claimed to not remember what happened between the victim’s screams up until she woke up in the morning in SOLLECITO’s bed, who was also found in possession of a flick knife that could abstractly be compatible for dimension and type (general length of 18cm, of which 8,5 blade), with the object that must have produced the most serious injury to the victim’s neck.

Having considered all the elements described and all converging findings of the intense and detailed investigations conducted after the discovery of Kercher’s body and culminating with the confession and indicated complicity of DIYA, also known as “Patrick” by KNOX, there is substantial serious evidence of the crimes for which we are proceeding to allow the detention, given the limits of the sentence.

Likewise there must be considered a founded and valid danger of flight especially for DIYA since he is a non-EU citizen and in consideration of the specific seriousness and brutality of the crimes, especially that of sexual violence and the possibility of the infliction of a particularly heavy sentence.

In regards to KNOX she has shown a particular ruthlessness in lying repeatedly to the investigators and in involving in such a serious event the young SOLLECITO.

Having regard to Art.384 comma 1 c.p.p.

ORDERS

The detention of DIYA Lumumba, KNOX Amanda Marie and SOLLECITO Raffaele, already identified, and to be taken to the local District Prison.

We proceed to request validation of the detention in the separate document.

Forward to the Secretary area of authority with regard to recognition of Diya Lumumba and Amanda Marie Knox, born in Washington (USA) on 07/09/1987, based in Perugia, Via della Pergola 7, and Raffaele Sollecito, also already identified.

Perugia, November 6th 2007, h.8,40

PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

(DR. GIULIANO MIGNINI)


Monday, March 09, 2015

The Meredith Case Wiki Now Has The Key Sollecito Statement 6 Nov 2007 In Full

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Perugia’s central police station where Sollecito made the statement posted here


The ever-expanding Wiki can of course be found here.

A post follows soon with guidance to the numerous new documents it contains. This was an extremely well documented case with discussions carefully recorded and decisions explained every step of the way.

We have frequently noted for example that RS and AK were provided with an extraordinary total of SIX opportunities in 2007 and 2008 to head off a trial and to be released.

Each opportunity is very well documented (Matteini hearings, Ricciarelli hearings, Mignini hearings, Supreme Court rulings, and the two Micheli rulings) and the transcripts and reports make very clear why RS and AK failed each time.

Not one of those transcripts or rulings has been “explained” or rebutted by the RS and AK apologists. It is very clear now that their falsifying efforts are being left way back there in the dust.

Document after document after document proving the case is going live in English for which they have been able to create no response.  For example, the “brutal” Knox “interrogation” on 6 November is absolutely vital to their body of claims.

But document after document has shown that to be simply a huge hoax.  Dumb silence is the only response.

This new translation of Sollecito’s statement of 6 November 2007 in the central police station, complete for the first time, has just gone live on the Wiki here. As always, we sure appreciate the translation help.

It is also now a part of our Interrogation Hoax series.

Posted on 03/09/15 at 02:45 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedPolice and CSIPublic evidenceKnox persona hoaxSollecito's alibisSollecito book hoaxes
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



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

1. Bringing The News Up To Date

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Smart Rules For Ghost Writers To Avoid Trouble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Flashing Warning Lights In Italy In 2012

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

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

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

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

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


4. Warning Lights About A Hasty Gumbel Contract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Gumbel’s Shrill Record Of Sliming Italy

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

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

The 1990s were a pretty good time in Italy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


6. Conclusion And Next Posts

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

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


Thursday, January 22, 2015

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

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Above: “Neutral ghostwriter” Andrew Gumbel tweets…

1, Today In The Florence Court

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

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

2. Signs Gumbel Really Is A Shill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3. How Gumbel Got It Wrong

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

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

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

To the Guardian:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #4: 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?


Monday, January 19, 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 16, 2015

The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #2: False Accusations From The First Few Pages

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Suggested cover for a followup book due to multiple attempted malicious framings in first books

Examples: 20 False Claims In Seven Pages

We count several hundred malicious claims throughout that can easily be proved wrong. These twenty examples all appear in the book’s preface, which is only seven pages long.

Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate. Many sharp eyes here set about identifying them and are credited in the TJMK Liewatch page for Sollecito which will be switched on again when the secrecy requirement described in Part #12 below is relaxed by the court next week. 

1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

No advantage was taken of them. The two stood themselves out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

They were questioned quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the bent and annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

“We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the bent and annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed.

The list of lies by omission is extremely long. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from, both in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets.

What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she slept with a drug wholesaler up to the day of her arrest and cost him a stint in prison? That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do—and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed—was murder Meredith Kercher.

Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle of Knox pretty straight.

Remember, Meredith had enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks, nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

Seemingly unable to reverse herself, Knox was headed to being among the least popular of students (or part-time students) in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night around 8:00 pm. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first and entered hours later.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she—not Meredith—might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us—Amanda especially—as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

This is laughable. The room itself could not be checked for DNA as the choice was to fingerprint-check it instead. Sollecito’s footprint on the bathroom mat is a smoking gun all by itself. Crack national investigators demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was endorsed by the Supreme Court.

Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had extremely credibly again and again on 5-6 Nov fingered Patrick.

There is no proof Guede intruded anywhere. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

Four more untrue claims. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element, and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was proven falsified, no item at all.

Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was in reality taking a year off.

11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.  Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution—“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”—it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury seeks to zero in on a viable scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. Hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

Gumbel and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes of those. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does, less than 1/6 of the US rate.

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

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

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

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

14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

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

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

15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

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

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

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

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

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

This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even one Italian lawyer. They would all know it is wrong.

16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

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

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

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

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

18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.


The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #1: History Of How This Ill-Fated Saga Began

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



The “supertanker” the PR forces worked hard to turn has become a Titanic for them now

1. The Latest Legal Developments

A new phase of the Florence trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Andrew Gumbel is scheduled to start on Thursday of next week.

Why is this the iceberg in the Titanic’s path? Because Sollecito and later Knox made numerous demonstrably false and damaging claims that so many others then made, most usually worse.

See Sollecito go down here, or withdraw his claims, for lack of any proof, and the legal liabilities of all those others stretch to the horizon and beyond.

This trial puts Knox herself and her parents with her wild book and their wild claims at more risk. 

For reasons explained below, the investigation of the myriad claims by an Italian, beamed only at Americans, of official crimes and alternative “facts” couched in a jeering, sneering anti-Italy tone was taken behind the scenes by the Florence prosecution early in 2013.

The charges and target defamatory passages selected out of numerous passages falsely describing facts of the case and falsely accusing officials of crimes have not been formally reported even in Italy yet, except for a website update last October by the indefatigable journalist Andrea Vogt.

2. Chronology 2009-2011: The Trial And Appeal

In 2011 what is widely known in Italy to have been a bent Hellmann appeal court ran a cartoonish and illegal retrial of Sollecito and AK.

This illegal retrial, mostly annulled by the Supreme Court in March 2013, was lacking a few things. Such as most evidence, most witnesses, and all of the 2009 prosecution case and the compelling prosecution summations at the end. An illegal DNA consultancy which should never have occurred at appeal is also believed to have been bent.

3. Various Flashing Warning Lights

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

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

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

4. Chronology 2012-2013 The United States Track

Knox quickly headed back to the US West Coast and Sollecito soon came after her there.

After three-plus years of Sollecito and his camp being very iffy about Knox he suddenly - to his father’s open frustration - could not get enough of her.

Very quickly Sollecito found a book agent, Sharlene Martin,  who lives just a couple of miles from the Mellases and Knoxes, and she lined up a shadow writer, Andrew Gumbel, who lives in LA and had been based in Italy in the 1990s.

Both Sharlene Martin and Andrew Gumbel soon revealed that their “knowledge” of the case was paper-thin and dangerously biased.

Sollecito’s Italian lawyers seemingly did not have a clue what was going on on this book front - lately an angry Giulia Bongiorno made that plain enough.

Sollecito’s father and sister did have growing concerns (among much fallout in Italy of their own such as Vanessa losing a plum Carabinieri job) and in March they hopped on a flight to Seattle to try to ditch Knox and presumably the book and drag Sollecito home.

Even Knox at times seemed to want the clingy nuisance gone, and she produced a claimed new love-interest to help to keep him at bay.

Throughout 2012 the hubris of the Knox camp within which Sollecito had embedded himself was immense. David Marriott and Bruce Fischer both posted that it was their efforts that had got the two released, making no mention of a court the defenses had bent.

On 18 September Honor Bound hit the shelves. If Sharlene Martin or Andrew Gumbel or Simon & Schuster had done any due diligence on the book, such as reading court documents, or even run it in final draft in Italian past Sollecito’s lawyers in Italy, that due diligence sure did not show. (A legal case for the Sollecito family to pursue?)

Seemingly irresponsible or incompetent and not caring who in Italy they hurt, Sharlene Martin and Andrew Gumbel then assisted Sollecito in a triumphalist but mostly unconvincing sweep of the US crime shows.

The flagship interview was with Katie Couric on ABC right before the book came out. It really hurt. She had an advance copy and had done her homework. See our suggested questions and report and posts and Kermit’s great spoof here , here , here , here , and here.  The book promotion tour ended in Seattle thus..

Late April 2013 Knox’s book came out. Strong differences with Sollecito emerged both in the books and publicly in the media as described here and here.

Sharlene Martin later set up a panel of the useful idiots Michael Heavey and John Douglas and Steve Moore in a Congressional room for hire, an odd role for an agent of a book, which nobody of importance attended. Just as well. Truth was scarce.

Sollecito repeatedly visited the United States (and the Caribbean) though he was provisionally a convicted felon, not least in a desperate, cynical and hurtful attempt, after the sharp rebuff by Amanda Knox, to find an American wife.

You can read the rest of Sollecito’s US saga in the top posts here. His last visit to the United States was in late 2013.

5. Chronology 2012-2013 The Italy Track

The book was written and published only in English; Francesco Sollecito said no Italian publisher would touch it (surprise, surprise).

In Italy, from our post of 27 September 2012, this media explosion is what happened next.

In Italy Sollecito’s wildly inaccurate and hyper-aggressive book has already set himself up for two kinds of trouble

The Gumbel and Sollecito book was released in English on 18 September 2012 and within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.

Sollecito’s own father and own lawyer Maori have already been forced to admit the book contains serious lies. Prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges

Sollecito’s own father Francesco was made to concede by the host and all other guests on the popular Porta a Porta TV show last week that Sollecito lied in claiming that the prosecution had sought a deal under which Sollecito would frame Amanda.

Such a deal would be illegal so Sollecito was falsely accusing prosecutors of a very serious crime. Francesco Sollecito backed down even more in some interviews later. One of Sollecito’s own lawyers, Luca Maori, also had to deny in frustration that the offer of any deal either way ever happened.

Now the prosecution has announced that they are weighing whether there should be new charges lodged against Sollecito.

Sollecito has suddenly claimed in the book, nearly five years after he said it happened, in face of vast evidence including his own writings to the contrary, that police interrogated him over 10 hours, and abused and threatened him.

But he was demonstrably not ever interrogated over 10 hours, and he folded fast when they showed him his phone records, which contradicted his earlier alibis, and so he promptly laid the blame on Amanda.

Prosecutors and police have all already stated that he simply lied here too, and again prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges

Thereafter we posted a number of times about false claims others and we ourselves identified in the book -  one of three (with Preston’s and Knox’s) probably the most defamatory ever written about any justice system or justice officials anywhere. Our next posts will pick up that thread.

5. Italy Officially Reacts

Finally for now, we posted on 18 February 2013 on a formal move against the book by the Florence Courts, with a Breaking News addendum that (very unusually) the prosecution and supervising magistrate had taken the investigation behind closed doors.

That secrecy order to counter the toxic PR still persists, right up to now, and it will only be next Thursday that the results of the investigation and the charges against Sollecito and Gumbel become widely know.

Next post: selected examples of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims.


Sunday, January 04, 2015

That Supposed Tsunami Of Leaks That Supposedly Hurt The Alleged Perps: Who REALLY Leaked?

Posted by Peter Quennell



Curt Knox spins the day in court; prosecutors are forbidden to correct him or explain “their side”

1. How The Supposed Leaks Began

On 6 November 2007 investigators into Meredith’s death thought they had caught a big break.

That was when Knox herself snapped and claimed to be an eyewitness to Meredith’s killing on the night. From 1:30 am to about noon on 6 November Knox repeated that claim and staged her huge fright of Patrick Lumumba again and again. She proved hard to shut up though police did gently try.

Three times in those ten or so hours Knox herself insisted on writing her claims down, including a claim that she did go out alone. She was repeatedly warned she should have a lawyer present first but pressed on.

False claims to have witnessed a murder are rare, but not entirely unknown - there can be fame and big bucks in it, played right.

But in Knox’s case this did not seem to apply - she snapped explosively under no pressure except that just placed upon her by Sollecito who had claimed she made him lie and she had gone out alone from Sollecito’s on the night Meredith died.

And she had to some extent implicated herself - she said she saw a crime she did not report.

On 8 November supervising magistrate Claudia Matteini reviewed police and psychology reports and what Knox and Sollecito had claimed (including Sollecito’s writing that he never wanted to see Knox again).

Judge Matteini declared them both to be bad news. She ordered them to remain locked up. Judge Ricciarelli confirmed that that was all correct.

In coming months Knox was given repeated opportunities to clear herself, to put the evil genie back in the bottle, but she failed every time. In April 2008 Cassation ruled there was plenty of prima facie evidence, and that Judge Matteini had done the right thing.

Knox herself inspired these events of 6 to 8 November. They are what caused the voracious UK media and relatively mild Italian media to get their paid snoops to Perugia fast.

All of them were lobbying to get an edge. Investigators had some difficulty performing their tasks because they were getting so many calls and being crowded in the streets.

2. Did The Police Or Prosecution Ever Leak?

The Italian rules are quite clear. Unlike the US, cases for and against the accused must be fought only in court, and when the prosecutor or judge speaks, it will mostly be in a document that has been cleared.

How many proven examples do you think there are of police and prosecutors slipping reporters leaks and tips and inside tracks to advance their case?

In fact NONE. Not one.

Among the frustrations we picked up from the excellent Italian-speaking reporters who were actually there was how under Italian rules there was so little that police and prosecutors were allowed to share.

In the UK it is also a bit like this. But in contrast in the US there would typically be daily press conferences and prosecutors (85% of them are elected in the US) appearing on the cable-news crime shows like that of Nancy Grace.

And Dr Mignini himself famously never leaks. The few things he ever says are on the record and they always prove accurate, low-key, and very fair. From 2007 right up to today he continues to maintain that Knox had no advance intention to kill. A softer line than some of the judges settled upon.

3. Did The Defenses And Families Leak?

Sure. This case must have broken all records for defense-biased leaks. Finding themselves in a vacuum of police and prosecution information and pushback, the Knox PR grew to an angry and often abusive and dishonest roar.

The sharp-elbowed Knox-Mellas presence was constantly “available” in Perugia and Burleigh and Dempsey among others got totally taken in. Ann Bremner and Judge Heavey and Paul Ciolino became more and more shrill. Heavey wrote to the president of the Italian Republic on his official letterhead. Senator Cantwell issued many unfounded claims. 

And through 2008 and 2009 one can spot increasing leaks from each defense team, often to try to advantage their client against the other two. We were offered some of those leaks, among others “the truth” about the autopsy and “the knife”.

The Perugia Shock blog by PR shill Francesco Sfarzo (now on trial in Florence for making things up, and wanted by police in the US) came to be a main conduit for defense lies and misleading information, possibly some from a disgruntled cop. 

Here is one easily proven leak from the Knox defense that was intended to hurt the police and prosecution in the case.

But putting police so overtly on the spot was a dangerous game. More often each perp and their defense team took whacks at the other two as a Rome lawyer showed here and we showed here.  In the past few posts we have been showing how many things about Rudy Guede were made up (more to come).

4. Making Things Up For Profit And Fame

In 2007 and 2008 various unsavory characters surfaced in Perugia, to try to win fame and make a buck. This quote is from our post directly below.

Christian Tramontano, who had claimed someone threatened him in his house in the dark with a knife who looked like a shot of Guede in the papers two months later, was not even called, perhaps because at a hearing in October 2008 Judge Micheli denounced him as having made things up.

Tramontano is right now a jobless bouncer, as the mafia was found to have some involvement in his club. Judge Micheli scathingly repudiated his tale as his story did not ring true - he made no police report about it at the time.

But worse, he looked like one of quite a few around Perugia (and later in the US) who were seeking global fame and big bucks from the media for “inside knowledge” and claimed close connections to one or other of the alleged perps.

Despite this Tremontano’s self-serving claims are repeated as gospel by the PR shills all over the place. Those claims appear as gospel in every one of their books.

This is from Tom Kington of the Guardian in a report posted 27 September 2008:

The trial in Italy of Rudy Guede, one of the three suspects accused of sexually assaulting and murdering British student Meredith Kercher, was thrown into disarray yesterday when a judge stopped proceedings after learning that one of the main character witnesses had allegedly tried to sell his story to Italian television.

Abuker Barro, known as Momi, a Somalian acquaintance of Guede, was due in court in Perugia yesterday to repeat claims made to investigators that he had seen Guede rifling through women’s handbags in clubs in Perugia and making aggressive advances to women when drunk.

But the judge, Paolo Micheli, blocked him from completing his testimony after lawyers for Guede showed a video of Barro meeting journalists to allegedly negotiate payment of €2,000 (£1,588) for revealing his testimony on Italian television. Micheli will ask magistrates to decide whether Barro should be prosecuted for abusing his role as a witness, which could exclude his testimony.

The incident, described by Guede’s lawyer, Walter Biscotti, as ‘an assault by the media’, follows a series of leaks to the press of evidence and even jail diaries by suspects during the investigation into the brutal slaying of Kercher, 21… [bold added]

Few real reporters were unethical or incompetent enough to accept and report biased and unconfirmed claims like Tramontano’s or Barro’s. But you can find those false claims hyped pervasively throughout the pro-Knox books as if they were gospel.

Among others Dempsey’s, Burleigh’s, Moore’s, Preston’s, Hendry’s, Waterbury’s, and Fischer’s books come to mind.

Posted on 01/04/15 at 08:30 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedThe prosecutorsThe defensesThe wider contextsItalian contextN America contextReporting, media, moviesMedia newsKnox-Mellas teamSollecito team
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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. 


Friday, December 19, 2014

The Dangers Of Not Extraditing Convicted Felons Labeled An Explosive Threat To Other People

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above: Sydney moslems leaving wreaths- for the non-moslems killed

1. Lessons From Australia

It looks like several Australian judges may have wrecked their careers for allowing Man Haron Monis to be at large even though police said he should be denied bail.

Man Haron Monis was the former Iranian who took 17 hostages in downtown Sydney and caused the death of two others and himself. Coming to light is how many times previously the Australian justice system had treated him with kid gloves for major crimes.

Reporting from NBC:

Iran tried to extradite the gunman behind Sydney’s deadly hostage crisis years ago, Tehran’s top cop said, amid questions over how the self-styled cleric had found his way to Australia but not onto a watch list…

Monis grew up in Iran as Mohammad Hassan Manteghi. In 1996, he established a travel agency, but took his clients’ money and fled, Iran’s police chief, Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, told the country’s official IRNA news agency Tuesday.

Australia accepted him as a refugee around that time. The police chief said Iran tried to have Monis extradited from Australia in 2000, but that it didn’t happen because Iran and Australia don’t have an extradition agreement.

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he wanted to know how Monis had been granted permanent residency and why he had been receiving welfare benefits for years, despite being able-bodied “if not necessarily of sound mind.”

Monis had a gun licence, a rarity in Australia - and he walked free after being charged for writing letters of hate to families of dead Australian soldiers, and for having a hand in the killing of his wife.


2. The Relevance Of This To Knox

Regardless of extradition treaty situations, countries almost universally extradite convicted murderers. They dont want dangerous people to have another chance to cause deadly havoc in their own midst.

Knox is already a felon for life. If Knox is confirmed guilty of murder next March she will be a DANGEROUS felon for life.

The Italian-US extradition treaty gives a US judge no wiggle room other than to check if the paperwork is in order and then send her on her way.

But another bent judge could again throw a spanner in the works.

How dangerous is Knox?  Our psychologists generally think that, untreated,  she is not good news. Not a latent serial killer, or one who sits around and plots, but one who could again explosively hit back when she imagines or exaggerates slights.

More than anyone in Perugia, Meredith tried to get along with Knox. But Knox showed no sign of a learning curve. The very heavy drug use went on, the sleeping with a drug dealer went on, the dirtiness and laziness around the house went on, and the noisy sex episodes with strangers through paper-thin walls went on.

She really was the housemate from hell.

For a month or two after Meredith died, Knox was highly erratic about her role in that death, and showed an extreme eagerness to talk with the prosecution which resulted in the long session with Dr Mignini on 17 Dec.

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.

In her book, Knox describes how the family and lawyers worked hard on Knox to destroy all elements of trust. By the summer of 2008 she was in a mood of full-blown paranoid mistrust, and all chances of a lesser charge were gone.

At trial in 2009 Knox was daffy and uncomprehending, making irrelevant interventions and really shooting herself in the foot when she took the stand. Raffaele Sollecito and Patrick Lumumba, almost the last two in Perugia to still give her the time of day, both said she was very odd.

Knox was mentally tested in Capanne Prison and apparently scored high on the psychopathic chart. The four courts hardest on Knox all knew this - the Matteini court, the Ricciarelli court, Cassation, and the Nencini court - which was a major reason why Cassation did not allow bail in April 2008.

Assuming she killed once, in what was an exceptionally barbaric attack, Knox may or may not kill again. She is certainly inciting or condoning a massive amount of dangerous hate toward Meredith’s family and toward the Italian officials of the court.

One unhinged attack has already occured - that of the disturbed Michele Moore against Dr Mignini in the Perugia court - and the British resident David Anderson has screamed at meetings and runs an incessant campaign to stir up hate. Court officials have received messages of hate, and there is a small mountain of false and dangerous accusations against them on the web.

Left untreated and unpunished, a convicted but not extradited Knox would be a killer walking loose on American streets and could continue to condone or incite violence for the rest of her life.

If Knox killed and remains loose, could she kill again or cause others to kill? Any extradition judge needs to ask as the Australian judges did not:

Do we REALLY want to find out?















Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #17: Sollecito April 2008 Before Supreme Court Again Coldsholdered Knox

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Media outside the Cassation back entrance waiting for news of the ruling

1. Where This Series Stands

Dozens of people have very aggressively gone to bat for Knox over her “interrogation” and still do.

They trust that one or other of her versions of the 5-6 November 2007 police-station session is right.

We have been demonstrating the rock-solid evidence that Knox and her supporters have lied and lied and there will be more evidence of this to come.

We’ve shown in this series that Knox insisted on being there; she was merely helping to build a list; she was treated kindly and taken for refreshments; she was the only one overheard by anyone to raise her voice, when she screamed about Lumumba “He did it!”; it was Sollecito not the police saying that she had been lying and had made him lie; and there is documentary evidence that the police investigators who sat with Knox told the truth.

Coming soon, we are going to post hundreds of very nasty claims by Knox shills, all sparked by and never reigned in by Knox.

2. The Pre-Trial Hurdles Knox Failed

Do you know how many major opportunities before her 2009 trial started Knox was given to get the murder charges dropped? This is not something Knox supporters trumpet about, if they even know.

In fact there were six, and Knox dismally failed them all.

In 2007 there were (1) the Matteini hearing and (2) the Ricciarelli hearing in November and (3) the Mignini interview in December.  And in 2008 there were (4) the separate Knox appeal and Sollecito appeal to the Supreme Court in April, and (5) the first Micheli hearings in September, and (6) the second Micheli hearings in October, which dispatched Knox and Sollecito for trial.

In all six instances Knox’s team also had the opportunity to get the charges against Knox for calunnia against Lumumba dropped.

3. Sollecito’s appeal to the Supreme Court

In Knox Interrogation Hoax #16 we described the fourth pre-trial hurdle Knox failed to make. That was her appeal to the Supreme Court against the Matteini and Ricciarelli rulings that much evidence pointed to her and for the safety of others she needed to be kept locked up.

Knox hadnt really lifted a finger to deflect suspicion away from Sollecito and the same thing applied in reverse from 2007 right through to 2014 with the one bizarre exception of Sollecito’s book.

Catnip kindly provided this translation below of Cassation’s ruling on Sollecito’s appeal in April 2008 that much evidence pointed to him too and for the safety of others he also needed to be kept locked up.

If Sollecito had not fingered Knox at his own interrogation on 5-6 November 2007 which set her fireworks off, here was his second chance after his memo to Judge Matteini to set things straight and get her off the hook. 

So did he? No. He again left Knox dangling in the wind. 

Summary: Held: the decision to continue pre-trial prison detention for the suspect was reasonable.

THE REPUBLIC OF ITALY
IN THE NAME OF THE ITALIAN PEOPLE
THE SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION
SECTION 1 CRIMINAL DIVISION

Comprised of the most Honourable Justices:
Dr Torquato GEMELLI - President -
Dr Emilio Giovanni GIRONI - Member -
Dr Maria Cristina SIOTTO - Member -
Dr Umberto ZAMPETTI - Member -
Dr Margherita CASSANO - Member -

have pronounced the following

JUDGMENT

on the appeal lodged by:

(1) RS, born on X, against Order of 30/11/2007 Liberty Court of Perugia;

having heard the relation made by Member Emilio Giovanni Gironi;

having heard the conclusions of the Prosecutor-General Dr Consolo for its rejection;

having heard the defence advocates G and T (substituting for advocate M).

REASONS FOR THE DECISION

The order referred to in opening confirmed, at the Re-examination stage, the one by which the GIP [the Preliminary Investigation Magistrate] had applied pre-trial prison detention of RS for participation in the murder of MSCK, the which occurring in Perugia on the evening of the 1st of November 2007 by means of a cutting weapon, in an alleged context of sexual assault by a group, in which there would have taken part, in addition to S, his girlfriend AK and a RHG, who had left behind a palm print on the bloodied pillow on which the victim’s body was resting and whose DNA was found on the vaginal swab taken from the body of the same and on faecal traces found in a bathroom of the house that the victim was sharing with Ms AK and two Italian students.

The picture of circumstantial evidence specifically concerning S consists of the identification of a print left in haematic material present at the scene of the crime of a sports shoe held to be compatible, because its dimensions and configuration of the sole, with the type of footwear, “N” brand size 42.5, used by the suspect; of the recovery – in the kitchen of his house – of a kitchen knife bearing traces of Ms AK’s DNA on the handle and on the blade traces of Ms MK’s DNA; and of the collapse of the alibi put up by the young man (having been disproven by technical investigations carried out), in which, as asserted by him, he had interacted with his computer during the hours in which, according to the forensic pathologist’s reconstruction, the criminal fact would have occurred, that is between 22:00 and 23:00 of the 1st November 2007; from the investigations carried out up until now it would appear, in fact, that the last interaction with the machine on 1 November occurred at 21:10 and that the subsequent one took place at 5:32 the day after, when S also reactivated his mobile phone, acts witnessing thereby an agitated and sleepless night. Equally disproven was that the young man had received a phone call from his father at 23:00 on the night of the murder, it resulting, instead, that said call had happened at 20:40.

Against S, caught at the time of arrest with a switchblade initially considered compatible with the wounds found on the neck of the victim, would line up, in addition, the mutability of the stories given to the investigators by the same and by his girlfriend, having initially maintained they had remained the whole evening and night in the young man’s house, later to state, instead, that at a certain point Ms AK would have left to meet the Ivorian [sic] citizen PDL, manager of a pub in which Ms AK was undertaking casual employment, she making a returning to her boyfriend’s house only around one in the morning.

It must, finally, be added that the same Ms AK had, amongst other things, initially referred (not confirming, in any case, the thesis in confused and contradictory subsequent versions) to having taken herself to her own house with L, where this latter (he also was struck with a custody order, later revoked after the previously mentioned identification of G’s DNA) had had sexual relations with Ms MK, and to having, while she herself was in the kitchen, heard her friend scream, without, further, remembering anything else of the subsequent events, up until the occurrences of the day after, marked by the discovery of traces of blood in the small bathroom next to Ms MK’s room and culminating in the discovery of the body, after the intervention of the forces of law and order (the police appear, in particular, to have intervened prior to the call to 112 effected by S); in particular, the young woman was specifically pointing out not being able to remember whether S were also present in the victim’s house on the occasion of the events just described.

The Re-examination Court concluded recognizing, for the purposes of maintaining pre-trial detention, the persistence of all the types of pre-trial exigencies mentioned by Article 274 Criminal Procedure Code.

The S defence has indicated an appeal, on the grounds of, with new reasons as well:

– reference to Ms AK alone of the circumstantial evidence constituted by the presence of biological traces from her and from the victim on the knife found at S’s house;

– absence, at the scene of the crime, of biological traces attributable to the suspect [ndr: note, this was before the bra-clasp tests had been done];

– arbitrary transference onto S of the weighty circumstantial evidence against Ms AK, on the unfounded assumption that the pair could not have been anything but together at the moment of the homicidal fact;

– inexistent evidential value of the phases relative to the discovery of the body;

– absence of blood traces from the soles of the “N” shoes worn by the suspect even at the moment of his arrest;

– absence of any evidential value of merit, alleged failure of the alibi, constituting the use of his computer, of which the falsity has not in any case been ascertained, of the lack of interaction by the subject with the machine after the last operation at 21:10 not permitting the inference that the computer was not, however, engaged in downloading files (being, to be specific, films);

– irrelevancy of the mistake revealed between the indicated time of the phone call to the father furnished by S and the actual time of the call, given the uncertainty of the time of death of the victim, depending on the time, otherwise uncertain, of the consumption of the dinner (according to various witness statements coinciding with 18:00), it being well able, therefore, for the time indicated by the forensic pathologist (23:00) to be revised backwards to 21:00, a little before which time the witness P had referred to having made a visit to S, finding him at home and not on the verge of going out;

– interpretability of the so-called unlikelihood of the versions supplied by the suspect as attempts to cover for (aid and abet) another subject;

– attribution of the victim’s biological traces found on the knife seized at S’s house to chance contamination not related to the homicidal fact;

– insufficiency of the pre-trial exigencies, having diminished in a probative sense after the return to Italy of G; those relating to risk of flight lacking in specificity and concreteness; and with reference to the conventional content of blogs posted on the internet by the suspect, those relating to danger to society illogically reasoned;

– missing appearance of the young man’s walk, via security cameras installed along the route that the aforesaid would have had to traverse to go from his house to that of the victim’s.

THE APPEAL IS UNFOUNDED

As regards what this Court is permitted to appreciate, not being able here to proceed with a re-reading of the investigative results nor with an alternative interpretation of the factual data referred to in the custody order, the appellant defence substantially contests the recognition, as against S, of the necessary requisite of grave indicia of culpability. The question thus posed and submitted for scrutiny by this bench of the well-known limits of the competence of the court of merit, it must be held that the finding expressed by the Re-examination judges concerning the gravity of the frame of circumstantial evidence is not susceptible to censure.

Not upheld, in the first place, is the defence submission according to which the knife bearing the genetic prints of Ms AK and of Ms MK found in S’s house would constitute a piece of evidence relevant solely as against the young woman, even if privy of traces attributable to the suspect, the utensil has as always been found in the young man’s house, and the testimony acquired up until now has led to the exclusion that it formed part of the inventory of the house inhabited by the victim, and which, at the time, and until proved to the contrary, must be held to be the same available for use by the suspect and which had been used in MK’s house, there being contested no access by her to S’s house.

Given the multitude of group contributive possibilities, the fact is not significative, then, in itself being a neutral element, that on the scene of the crime there are no biological traces attributable to S, to which, in any case, is attributable the “N” brand shoe print considered compatible, by dimensions and sole configuration, with the footwear worn by the suspect at the time of arrest. Although having the same impugned order excluded, at the time, the certainty of the identification constitutes as, in any case, a certain datum that the print in question had been made in haematic material found in Ms MK’s room by a shoe of the kind and of the dimensions of those possessed by the appellant, while it remains to be excluded that this could have originated from G’s shoe, who wore a size 45 and, therefore, dimensions notably larger. The revealed coincidence, notwithstanding the residual uncertainty on the identification, assumes particular valency in relation to the restricted circle of subjects gravitating to the scene of the homicide, with not even Ms AK, who made admissions about her presence on site at the same time as the execution of the offence, excluding the presence of her boyfriend in the victim’s house in the same circumstance; nor can it be held that the print could have been left by S the following morning, he never having claimed to have entered into the room wherein the body was lying.

It does not answer, therefore, to verity that, as against the young man, there had been recognized, by a phenomenon of transference, items of circumstantial evidence in reality pointing solely to Ms AK.

The last finding held unfavourable to S is constituted by the failed proof of the alibi constituted by the argument of the suspect as having remained at home on the computer until late at night; it being a matter of, properly speaking, an alibi failing up till now and not of a false alibi and the defence, correctly, does not refute the technico-judicial valency of the circumstantial evidence, but it remains, in any case, acquired into the case file that the accused had not been able to prove his absence from the locus of the crime at the same time. An item up until now assumed as certain is, instead, the fact that S had interacted with his computer at 5:32 the morning following the murder, at around the same time reactivating his own mobile phone, a contradiction of the assumption of a waking up only at 10:00 and a symptomatic tell-tale of a more or less sleepless night; likewise as symptomatic was held to be the nearly simultaneous cessation of telephonic traffic as much by Ms AK, in his company the evening of 1 November 2007.

The proof of a permanent stay in his house by the suspect can, all told, be considered as acquired up until 20:40 – coincident with P’s visit – who confirmed his presence, or up until 21:10, the last interaction time on the computer, but this does not cover the time of the homicide, located between 22:00 and 23:00.

As for the proposed argument that S’s conduct were interpreted as aiding and abetting, this does not result, in the event, as being supported by anything emerging from the investigations and its plausibility cannot be verified by the judges of merit.

In conclusion, the Re-examination Court’s evaluation as to the gravity of the circumstantial evidence picture are removed from the audit of this court.

There remains, finally, the finding that for what concerns the pre-trial exigencies, those of a probative nature are not able to be considered as ceasing from the sole fact of G’s re-entry into Italy (amongst other things significantly never invoked in the statements by the suspect and by his girlfriend, who instead co-involved L in the proceedings), given the existence of an investigative picture in continual evolution, in which the positions of the various protagonists so far remain unclear, the changing versions of which are marked by reticence and mendaciousness (the same suspect had, in truth, admitted to having, at least initially, told ‘a load of balls’); but the permanence of pre-trial exigencies had been held reasonablely even under the aspect of flight risk, in relation to the gravity of the charges and of the potential sanctions, not to mention danger to society, given the revealed fragility of character and the specific personal traits of the subject, – which would narrowly evaluate as innocuous youthful stereotypes –, in a context the more connoted by the noted habitual use of drugs.

FOR THESE REASONS

Rejects the appeal and sentences the appellant to payment of costs of the proceedings. Article 94 para 1 ter, and activating provisions, Criminal Procedure Code, applies.
Rome, 1.4.2008.

DEPOSITED IN THE REGISTRY ON 21 APRIL 2008


Friday, December 12, 2014

Even More Reasons Why NOBODY In Italy Now Is Claiming Innocence Of RS And AK

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.

Posted on 12/12/14 at 06:52 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Justice systems Italy etc Those officially involvedRudy GuedeKnox book hoaxesSollecito book hoaxesItalian justice hoaxGuede good guy hoax
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #16: The Fourth Opportunity Knox Flunked: The Supreme Court

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Media outside the Cassation back entrance waiting for news of the ruling

1. Where This Series Stands

Dozens of people have very aggressively gone to bat for Knox over her “interrogation” and still do.

They trust that one or other of her versions of the 5-6 November 2007 police-station session is right.

We have been demonstrating the rock-solid evidence that Knox and her supporters have lied and lied and there will be more evidence of this to come.

We’ve shown in this series that Knox insisted on being there; she was merely helping to build a list; she was treated kindly and taken for refreshments; she was the only one overheard by anyone to raise her voice, when she screamed about Lumumba “He did it!”; it was Sollecito not the police saying that she had been lying and had made him lie; and there is documentary evidence that the police investigators who sat with Knox told the truth.

Coming soon, we are going to post hundreds of false claims made by Knox shills, all sparked by and never reigned in by Knox.

2. The Pre-Trial Hurdles Knox Failed

Do you know how many major opportunities before her 2009 trial started Knox was given to get the murder charges dropped? This is not something Knox supporters trumpet about, if they even know.

In fact there were six, and Knox dismally failed them all.

In 2007 there were (1) the Matteini hearing and (2) the Ricciarelli hearing in November and (3) the Mignini interview in December.  And in 2008 there were (4) the separate Knox appeal and Sollecito appeal to the Supreme Court in April, and (5) the first Micheli hearings in September, and (6) the second Micheli hearings in October, which dispatched Knox and Sollecito for trial.

In all six instances Knox’s team also had the opportunity to get the charges against Knox for calunnia against Lumumba dropped.

As you will have seen in previous posts, Knox’s team pussyfooted about without conviction in the few brief instances when the 5-6 November session was discussed. In the Mignini hearing of 17 December 2007 they eventually advised her it would be in her best interests to shut up.

This post covers the third hurdle, specifically why in April 2008 the First Criminal Section of the Supreme Court ruled that for reasons of evidence and psychology Knox and Sollecito should remain locked up and the judicial process against them should go forward.

Please consider this meticulous (and for the pair, damning) statement, which denied their release, in light of a couple of explanations which follow in Part 4 below.

3. Catnip Translation: Gemelli Report On Knox

The Judgment

REPUBLIC OF ITALY
IN THE NAME OF THE ITALIAN PEOPLE
THE SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION
FIRST CRIMINAL DIVISION

Comprised of the Most Honorable Justices
Dr Torquato GEMELLI – President
Dr Emilio Giovanni GIRONI – Member
Dr Maria Cristina SIOTTO – Member
Dr Umberto Zampetti – Member
Dr Margherita CASSANO – Member

has pronounced the following

JUDGMENT

on the appeal lodged by AMK born on X

against the Order of 30/11/2007 Liberty Tribunal of Perugia

having heard the relation [legal analysis] made by the Counsellor [Judge] Margherita Cassano

having heard the conclusions of the Prosecutor-General Dr S Consolo who has prayed the rejection of the appeal

HAVING FOUND IN FACT

1. With the order of 30 November 2007 the Perugia Court, as constituted under Article 309 Criminal Procedure Code, rejected the submission to review lodged by AMK and, as a consequence, confirmed the precautionary prison custody measures disposed in her matter on the 9th November 2007 by the GIP of the same Court in relation to the offences of aggravated wilful homicide in company and in sexual assault by a group, committed on the day of 1 November 2007 against MSCK.

2. According to the reconstruction put forward by the judges of merit, on the 2nd November 2007, around 12:35, the State Police, to whom had been signalled the discovery in the garden of a house of two mobile phones, both resulting to be in the service of the American [sic] citizen MSCK, intervened at an apartment in Via della Pergola in use by Ms K and AMK and two Italian women. At the place were found AMK and her boyfriend RS, the which declared they were expecting the arrival of the Carabinieri, called by them after having discovered that the window of one of the rooms of the habitation presented with broken glass.

The crime scene inspection immediately carried out inside the apartment led to the discovery in the bedroom occupied by Ms K, locked under key, of the body of the woman, which, at the level of the head, was immersed in a lake of blood, was dressed only in two tops pulled above the breast and was covered with a blanket. Beneath this latter was found the print of a shoe in haematic material, collected, besides in the room of the offence, also in a small bathroom adjacent to the same. In a second bathroom, used by the two Italian lessees of the apartment, were found faeces and other natural biological residues. The autopsy immediately carried out permitted the establishment of the cause of death, collocatable around 22 hours of the day of 1st November 2007, to have been due to a haemorrhagic shock from vascular lesions to the neck from an edged blade and that the instrument used to restrain her was constituted of a pointed instrument capable of penetration and with a sharpened profile capable of cutting tissue.

The victim’s body did not present unequivocal signs of sexual assault even though there were found things of some medico-legal interest, in the sense of the observed anal dilation of two-three centimetres, the discovery of minute ecchimoses on the posterior part of the anal ring (otherwise compatible with situations of constipation) and, above all, mauvish marks on the inner face of the labia minore, suggestive of a sexual rapport carried out with haste and occurring a little before the death.

3. The Court had found that grave indicia of guilt as against the suspect were constituted by the following elements:

(a) the autopsy results and the medico-legal report;

(b) the discovery of a knife with dimensions of 14cm for the handle and of about 17 for the blade, seized from inside a drawer of cutlery located in the kitchen of the home of S, carrying, on the handle, traces of DNA referable to Ms K and, on the blade, traces of DNA ascribable to the victim;

(c) statements made by persons informed of the facts, FR and LM, housemates of the victim, who without contradiction excluded that the seized knife were part of the their apartment’s endowment and made mention that Ms K, on the day of the fact, was wearing a top, which has not yet been found;

(d) outcome of the technical tests carried out on a pair of shoes, N brand, size 42.5, property of S, evidencing a perfect correspondence between the aforesaid footwear and the print found at the location of the homicide, as well as on the door of the Via della P apartment which did not present signs of forced entry;

(e) results of technical tests carried out on the palm print found on the pillow on which the victim had been placed and resulting as belonging to RHG, a citizen of the Ivory Coast, nicknamed ‘the Baron’, known to AMK;

(f) presence of RHG’s DNA on the vaginal swab taken from the cadaver during the autopsy and on the fragment of toilet paper taken from inside the larger bathroom of the apartment, where faeces had been found, resulting as being from G;

(g) outcome of biological tests carried out on the blood found in the apartment’s small bathroom, in use by the victim and Ms K, which permitted the establishment that to the victim were attributable the bloodstains present on the mat, to Ms K those found on the washbasin, and to both of the women the blood traces found on the bidet;

(h) statements made by the American [sic] citizen RCB, the which, having returned home to her country a few days after the fact, referred to the Authorities that Ms K, while waiting to be interviewed by the Police on the morning of the 2nd November 2007, had told her of having seen M’s body on a wardrobe (or reflected on a wardrobe) with a blanket on top of her and of having seen her friend’s foot after a police officer had opened the door, circumstances conflicting with the modality of intervention at the apartment;

(i) statements made by the friends of MSCK, the which without contradiction said that the woman had spent the afternoon of the 1st November 2007 in their company and had left their house in the company of SP, who, reaching her own domicile in Via del L around 20:55, had parted from the victim, whose apartment in Via della P was less than 10 minutes’ distance from Via del L;

(l) statements made by FR and PG, contacted by A after ascertaining that the front door of their house was open, that there were blood stains and that the window of MSCK’s room presented with broken glass

(m) statements made by S on the 2nd, 5th and 6th November regarding his movements both alone and with AMK between the day of 1 November 2007 and the following 2 November, in regards to what was found inside the Via della P apartment, to the call for help to law enforcement, not to mention the reference to the search for strong emotion contained in various of his writings posted on his blog;

(n) statements made on 6 November 2007 at 1:45 by Ms K which indicated L, entranced by M, as the author of the murder after a sexual relation with the victim;

(o) spontaneous statements made by Ms K on 6 November 2007 at 5:45 from which it emerged that L and M had gone to her room, that, at a certain point, M had started to scream, such that A, so as not to hear, had put her hands on her ears, that maybe S was also present in the house;

(p) contents of the account written by Ms K which repeated having heard M scream, to having removed herself into the kitchen and of having blocked her ears with her hands so as not to hear her friend’s scream and of having seen blood on S’s hand during the dinner that had taken place around 23:00 hours on the day of 1 November 2007 in S’s apartment;

(q) contents of a recorded conversation in prison on 17 November 2007 relating to a discussion between Ms K and her parents in the course of which the woman, amongst other things, said “It’s stupid, because I can’t say anything different, I was there and I can’t lie about this, there is no reason to do it”;

(r) tests carried out on the computer and on the mobile phone used by S, from which it emerged that, contrary to the defensive stance of the suspect, his computer had not been used during the night and had been activated only at 5:32 on 2 November 2007 and that, likewise, his mobile phone also had been off during the night and had been first used at dawn on 2 November 2007.

The Re-examination judges concluded recognizing, for continuing the precautionary custody measure, the continuance of all the typologies of precautionary requirements mentioned under Article 274 Criminal Procedure Code.

4. Against the cited order there has been submitted an appeal to Cassation, through her lawyers, by AMK, the which, also by means of a defence memorandum, alleges:

(a) violation of Article 309 paragraph five Criminal Procedure Code with reference to the omitted transmission to the Re-examination Court of the statements made by the suspect RHG arrested in Germany in the execution of a European Arrest Warrant, constituting, contrary to what was adopted by the Re-examination Court, an element favourable to the suspect, relevant for the indication of the author of the offence, identified as an individual of the male gender and, contrary to what as held by the Court, fully usable, given the basis of their acquisition into evidence under Articles 22 and 28 of the law on international judicial representation in criminal matters of 23 December 1982;

(b) Violation of Article 250 paragraph seven, and 357 paragraph two, Criminal Procedure Code, being placed at the foundation of the custody order and of the subsequent provisioning by the Re-examination Court, which indicative elements, the statements made by Ms K on 6 November at 1:45, without defence safeguards, the “spontaneous statements” made at the time of 5:45 hours, are not classifiable as such, given the procedural status invested on her in the meantime, all acts fully non-usable inasmuch acquired in patent violation of Article 63 Criminal Procedure Code;

(c) Violation of law, deficiency and manifest lack of logic in the reasoning with reference to the picture of circumstantial gravity, having regard: (a) to the personality of the suspect, a young foreigner with unblemished record, with a perception of reality altered by cannabis use, a substance which also may have been influencing her excessive and dreamlike behaviours; (b) to the seriously lacunose character of the translation of passages of the suspect’s hand-written account, analysed in a partial manner; (c) to the not unambiguous reading of the contents of the recorded conversation of 17 November 2007 between the suspect and her parents in prison; (d) to the non-probative nature of the DNA traces found on the seized knife, of the suspect’s blood stains on the mat and basin in the small bathroom of the apartment occupied by, amongst others, the victim and Ms K;

(d) Lack and manifest illogicality in the reasoning with reference to the considered circumstantial value, as against the suspect, of the results of tests carried out on the vaginal swab and on the knife in custody, with an un-reasoned devaluation of the considerations put forward by the defence;

(e) lack and manifest illogicality of the reasoning, distortion of the fact with reference to the considered presence of the suspect on the location of the fact and to her contribution purportedly made to the consummation of the offence;

(f) violation of law, deficiency and illogicality of reasoning as to the configurability of the precautionary requirements, given: (1) the absence of a specific danger in evidentiary acquisition even in the light of investigative developments which have evidenced Ms K’s extraneity to the commission of the offence and have allowed the acquisition of statements by fellow-suspect G; (2) the lack of an objective risk of flight in the light of international cooperation between Italy and the USA which would permit, once the suspect’s responsibility has been definitively ascertained, full judicial cooperation; (3) the lack of danger of repetition of the offences.

Observes as of law.
The Appeal Is Unfounded.

1. With reference to the deduced violation of Article 308 paragraph five for omitted transmission to the Re-examination Court of elements appearing favourable to the person placed under investigation (in the type of statements made by G to the German Judicial Authority in the ambit of European Arrest Warrant procedure), this Bench observes as follows.

For “elements in favour of the person placed under investigation” must be understood to mean those objective results, of probative value, suitable for being of positive influence in the evaluative complex of the custody picture (Cass., Sez. IV, 22 giugno 2005, rv. 231749) and in the concrete usable for exculpating the suspect (Cass., Sez. I, 26 settembre 2000, Corrente, rv. 217611) and not information that resolves itself into mere reformulations of the prosecutorial hypothesis or in the advancing of alternative hypotheses (Cass., Sez. Un. 26 settembre 2000, Mennuni).

In line with this interpretative stage there are to be excluded from the enumerated elements appearing favourable and as a consequence obligated to be transmitted to the Re-examination Court, under Article 309 paragraph five Criminal Procedure Code, statements made, as in the case under examination, in the ambit of an extradition procedure against the fellow-suspect who limits himself to giving his own defensive version and to affirm his own extraneity to the facts, without however releasing the other accused subjects from the same crime. It is, therefore, under this profile that the defence petition does not merit granting, it is rejected, rather, by the Re-examination Court on the basis of the erroneous assumption that RHG’s statements were unusable through omission with respect to due process, in reality assured by the German Judicial Authority, which – in conformity with the principles contained in the decision-framework of the Council of Ministers of the Union of 13 June 2002, relating to European arrest warrants and the handover procedure between member States (2002/584/GAI) – have, amongst other things, pre-emptively made the suspect informed: (1) of the European arrest warrant and its contents, even to the ends of allowing him to consent, if necessary, to the handover; (2) of the right to legal and interpretive assistance during the procedure.

2. With reference to the second appeal ground by the defence, the Court observes that circumstantial statements are characterized by a different usability regime under a subjective aspect. In the case in which these originate from a person against whom there already is sustained circumstantial evidence as regards the same crime, that is to a crime connected with or tied to the one attributed to a third party, the same cannot be used not only against themselves, but neither in relation to co-accused in the same crime (or of those accused of connected or related crimes).

The regime of absolute unusability under Article 63 paragraph two Criminal Procedure Code is, instead, to be excluded in the case in which the declarant, whether called to respond, in the same or another matter, for a crime or for crimes attributed to others, which have no procedural ties with the one for which they are being proceeded against, with respect to which the person assumes the character of witness.

In fact, in the first case, due to the close connection and interdependence between the fact itself and the other one, there arises the necessity to also safeguard the declarant’s right to silence; in the second case, the declarant’s extraneity and indifference with respect to the facts in cause renders them immune to possible sanctions carried out by the investigative bodies (Cass., Sez. Un. 13 febbraio 1997, Carpanelli).

On a par with these principles, the statements made by AMK at 1:45 on 6 November 2007, – at the end of which the interview was suspended and the woman was placed at the disposition of the relevant judicial Authority, revealing circumstantial evidence against herself –, are usable only contra alios, while the “spontaneous statements” from 5:45 are not usable, neither against the suspect nor against other subjects accused of participation in the same crime, inasmuch as they were made without due process safeguards by a person who had formally assumed the status of suspect.

On the contrary, the account written in English by Ms K and translated into Italian is fully usable, under Article 237 Criminal Procedure Code, since it is a document originating from the suspect, who had been its spontaneous material author for a defence purpose. The disposition under examination allows attribution of probative relevance to the document not only as regards it and its representative contents, but also in the strength of its particular ties, which tie it to the suspect (or accused), thereby illuminating the review of admissibility which the judge had held to be in operation.

3. The fourth, fifth and sixth grounds of the petition also lack merit. The circumstantial evidence picture specifically concerning AMK is based, in the first place, on the autopsy results, evidencing multiple contusions and ecchimotic areas on various parts of the body (nose, lip, oral cavity, cheek, mandibular and sub-mandibular region, upper and lower limbs, inner face of labia minore, abdomen, dextral latero-cervical region), an ample dilation, in the order of two to three centimetres, of the anal ring with the presence of small ecchimoses, a large wound, disposed obliquely, in the caudal-lateral sense, fully diastased, with sections of underlying tissue right to the cartiliginous layer in the left latero-cervical region, the complete sectioning of the upper right thyroidal artery, the fracture of the hyoid bone in proximity of the left median. The medico-legal tests, carried out after the necroscopic examination of the body of the victim, permitted the confirmation that the cause of death, around 22:00 hours on 1 November 2007, is ascribable to meta-haemorrhagic shock from the vascular lesion on the neck from an edged blade, occasioned by a pointed implement, capable of penetration, and with a sharpened edge able to cut tissues. The anal dilation, the observation of minute ecchimoses on the posterior part of the anal ring and, above all, the mauvish marks on the inner face of the labia minore, are suggestive of a sexual rapport carried out hastily, before the victim had had time to produce adequate lubrication, occurring in a time period proximate to that of the observation, but in any case before death, by reason of the ecchimotic lesions and their colour.

The impugned provision highlights that the complex of these medico-legal conclusions assumes a particular evidential value, in the event that place in correlation with other elements: (a) the statements made by the friends of MSCK, who without contradiction stated that the woman had spent the evening of [1] November 2007 in their company, had started to dine with them from 18:00 hours onwards and had left the house in company with SP, who, reaching her home in Via del L around 20:55, had parted from the victim, whose apartment in Via della P was less than ten minutes’ walk from Via del L; (b) the outcome of the search effected at the house of RS, romantically linked to AMK, which permitted the discovery and seizure in the apartment’s kitchen, from the cutlery drawer, of a knife, having an approx. 14cm long blade and 17cm handle. The knife, not forming part of the inventory of the house occupied by AMK, MSCK and two Italian women (cf on the matter, the statements made, as persons informed of the facts, by FR and LM), presented traces of DNA on the handle attributable to AMK and on the blade traces of DNA ascribable to the victim.

Weighing against the suspect, in the opinion of the judges, there are, in addition, even in their mutability, statements by RS, who, after firstly having claimed to have remained home all evening and night with his girlfriend, stated, afterwards (cf. Interviews of 5 and 6 November 2007) that, at a certain time, Ms K had left and had come back to his house at only around one in the morning.

The judges of merit have underlined the strict correlation found between the interviews given by S on 5 and 6 November 2007, and the following further elements: (a) statements made by citizen RCB, who, returning to her country of origin, referred to the relevant Authorities the confidence received on 2 November 2007 from AMK regarding the position of the victim’s body and its condition, circumstances that, contrary to the stance of the suspect, she could not have been able to perceive on the occasion of the intervention by the police at the apartment, an intervention that unfolded in a way irreconcilable with the version furnished by Ms K to the friend; (b) statements made by persons informed of the facts FR and LM, who said that Ms K, the day of the fact, was wearing a top, which has not been found since.

The impugned provision, with logically reasoned argumentation, observes that the content of these declarative acts appears even more significant when evaluated also in the light of the written account produced by the suspect, containing relevant references to M’s scream on the night of the fact, to her reactions, consisting of huddling in the kitchen with her hands over her ears, to the presence of a man, to traces of blood noted by her on RS’s hand during the dinner that took placed at 23:00 on 1 November 2007.

Under the same lens appearing imbued with unequivocal circumstantial value is the contents of the recording, effected on 17 November 2007 inside the prison where Ms K found herself restricted to and between the woman and her parents, in the course of which there was pronounced by the accused the following words: “It’s stupid, because I cannot say anything else, I was there and I cannot lie about this, there is no reason to do so”;

These elements must, in their turn, be inserted into a larger circumstantial evidence context, cross-correlated by the identification of a print left in haematic matter present on the scene of the crime from a sports shoe, held to be compatible, by its dimensions and configuration of the sole, with the type of footwear brand “N” used by the suspect and by the failure of the alibi put forward by the young man, being demolished by the technical investigations that were carried out, by which, as he asserted, he had interacted with his computer in the hours in which, according the medico-legal reconstruction, the criminal fact would have occurred, just as also remained demolished that the young man had received a phone call from his father at 23:00, it resulting, instead, said call had occurred at 20:40.

From the same perspective, light has been shone, with precise and logical reasoning, on the circumstance that in the course of the evening of 1 November 2007, almost at the same time, telephonic traffic for AMK and RS ceased, after the latter had received a call on his mobile phone from his father at 20:40, of which reference has been made earlier and, in addition, that S, contrary to what was by him stated, did not spend the night of 1 and 2 November 2007 sleeping, it having been ascertained that the computer and mobile phone at his disposal were reactivated at dawn on 2 November 2007.

The judgment reasons, further, on the concourse aspect of the consummation of the homicide and sexual assault, on the basis: (1) of the outcome of the technical tests carried out on the palm print found on the pillow on which the victim had been placed, and it results as belonging to RHG, known to AMK; (b) of the presence of RHG’s DNA on the vaginal swab taken from the cadaver during the autopsy and on the fragment of toilet paper collected from inside the larger bathroom in the apartment, where there had been found faeces, resulting to have been G’s; (c) of the outcome of biological tests carried out on the blood found in the smaller bathroom of the apartment in use by the victim and by Ms K, which permitted the finding that the blood stains on the mat were referable to the victim, those found on the basin to Ms K, and to both the women the blood traces found in the bidet.

The Court, with thorough and logical reasoning, has illustrated, with full reference to the factual circumstances – inasmuch such are unreviewable in this seat of legitimacy – the reasons for the attribution of pregnant circumstantial value to the elements above recalled, proving the presence on the scene of the consummation of the homicide and sexual assault of AMK, RS, RHG (these last two both known to Ms K), has explained, with articulate and logically correct reasoning, the reasons for which they cannot find agreement with the defence deductions in terms of erroneous interpretation and reading of the recorded conversation of 17 November 2007, of the account written by Ms K on 6 November 2007, of the results of biological and medico-legal tests, of the unreliability of the technical investigations carried out on the computer and mobile phone belonging to S, and has at length examined, including in the light of aspects formulated by the defence, the entire case file, explaining the reasons of its unequivocal value.

So, the argumentative development of the judgment reasoning is founded on a coherent critical analysis of the circumstantial evidence and on its cohesion in an organic interpretative framework, in the light of which the attribution to said elements of the requisite of gravity appears supplied with adequate logical and judicial plausibility, in the sense that they have been considered drivers, with a high level of probability, with respect to the theme of investigations concerning the responsibility, amongst others, of AMK, as to the crimes put against her.

From which, given the evaluation carried out the Re-examination Court on the level of inference of the circumstantial evidence and, therefore, on the more or less demonstrative character of the same in terms of probabilistic qualification of guilt even if not of certainty, it has to be highlighted that the impugned order exceeds the threshold of legitimacy demanded by this Court, whose bench cannot hold itself back from a checking of the respect of rules of logic and of conformity with legal canons which govern the appreciation of grave indicia of guilt, as prescribed by Article 273 Criminal Procedure Code for the ordering of provisions restricting personal liberty, without being able to draw on the intrinsic consistency of the evaluations reserved to the judges of merit.

4. Unfounded, finally, are the censures formulated by AMK’s defence, on the matter of custody requirements, the Re-examination Court having correctly evaluated them, with reference to the parameters to which letters (a), (b), (c) of Article 274 Criminal Procedure Code apply the extreme gravity of the crimes carried out, having had regard to their nature and their method of consummation, the negative personality of the suspect, which emerges from the outcomes of the investigations and from the served case conduct, the specific and binding requirements relevant to the investigations in relation to the clear and present danger for [evidence] acquisition and probative genuineness, considering the necessity for completing the testing and of proceeding with the gathering of other means of declarative proof, the outcome of the handover to Italian authorities, of RHG, as well as allowing corroborations to be made, also permeates the current contrast between the different versions so far furnished of what happened, the clear danger of flight, taking into account the foreign citizenship aspect of the suspect and of the penalty of more than two years’ imprisonment, impacting on the outcome of the recognition of her criminal responsibility.

5. Refusal of the appeal leads in law to the appellant ordered to pay procedural costs.

The Registry will provide for its carrying out as prescribed by Article 94 paragraph 1-ter, and actuating provisions Criminal Procedure Code.

FOR THESE REASONS

Rejects the appeal and orders the appellant to pay procedural costs. Disposes transmission via the Registry a copy of the provision to the Director of the penitentiary institution per Article 94 paragraph 1-ter, and actuating provisions Criminal Procedure Code.

So decided in Rome, in Chambers, 1 April 2008.

DEPOSITED IN THE REGISTRY 21 APRIL 2008


4. Catnip Translation: Gemelli Report On Sollecito

Summary

Held: the decision to continue pre-trial prison detention for the suspect was reasonable.


THE REPUBLIC OF ITALY

IN THE NAME OF THE ITALIAN PEOPLE

THE SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION

SECTION 1 CRIMINAL DIVISION


Comprised of the most Honourable Justices:

Dr Torquato GEMELLI - President -

Dr Emilio Giovanni GIRONI - Member -

Dr Maria Cristina SIOTTO - Member -

Dr Umberto ZAMPETTI - Member -

Dr Margherita CASSANO - Member -

have pronounced the following


JUDGMENT

on the appeal lodged by:

(1) RS, born on X, against Order of 30/11/2007 Liberty Court of Perugia;

having heard the relation made by Member Emilio Giovanni Gironi;

having heard the conclusions of the Prosecutor-General Dr Consolo for its rejection;

having heard the defence advocates G and T (substituting for advocate M).


REASONS FOR THE DECISION


The order referred to in opening confirmed, at the Re-examination stage, the one by which the GIP [the Preliminary Investigation Magistrate] had applied pre-trial prison detention of RS for participation in the murder of MSCK, the which occurring in Perugia on the evening of the 1st of November 2007 by means of a cutting weapon, in an alleged context of sexual assault by a group, in which there would have taken part, in addition to S, his girlfriend AK and a RHG, who had left behind a palm print on the bloodied pillow on which the victim’s body was resting and whose DNA was found on the vaginal swab taken from the body of the same and on faecal traces found in a bathroom of the house that the victim was sharing with Ms AK and two Italian students.

The picture of circumstantial evidence specifically concerning S consists of the identification of a print left in haematic material present at the scene of the crime of a sports shoe held to be compatible, because its dimensions and configuration of the sole, with the type of footwear, “N” brand size 42.5, used by the suspect; of the recovery – in the kitchen of his house – of a kitchen knife bearing traces of Ms AK’s DNA on the handle and on the blade traces of Ms MK’s DNA; and of the collapse of the alibi put up by the young man (having been disproven by technical investigations carried out), in which, as asserted by him, he had interacted with his computer during the hours in which, according to the forensic pathologist’s reconstruction, the criminal fact would have occurred, that is between 22:00 and 23:00 of the 1st November 2007; from the investigations carried out up until now it would appear, in fact, that the last interaction with the machine on 1 November occurred at 21:10 and that the subsequent one took place at 5:32 the day after, when S also reactivated his mobile phone, acts witnessing thereby an agitated and sleepless night. Equally disproven was that the young man had received a phone call from his father at 23:00 on the night of the murder, it resulting, instead, that said call had happened at 20:40.

Against S, caught at the time of arrest with a switchblade initially considered compatible with the wounds found on the neck of the victim, would line up, in addition, the mutability of the stories given to the investigators by the same and by his girlfriend, having initially maintained they had remained the whole evening and night in the young man’s house, later to state, instead, that at a certain point Ms AK would have left to meet the Ivorian [sic] citizen PDL, manager of a pub in which Ms AK was undertaking casual employment, she making a returning to her boyfriend’s house only around one in the morning.

It must, finally, be added that the same Ms AK had, amongst other things, initially referred (not confirming, in any case, the thesis in confused and contradictory subsequent versions) to having taken herself to her own house with L, where this latter (he also was struck with a custody order, later revoked after the previously mentioned identification of G’s DNA) had had sexual relations with Ms MK, and to having, while she herself was in the kitchen, heard her friend scream, without, further, remembering anything else of the subsequent events, up until the occurrences of the day after, marked by the discovery of traces of blood in the small bathroom next to Ms MK’s room and culminating in the discovery of the body, after the intervention of the forces of law and order (the police appear, in particular, to have intervened prior to the call to 112 effected by S); in particular, the young woman was specifically pointing out not being able to remember whether S were also present in the victim’s house on the occasion of the events just described.

The Re-examination Court concluded recognizing, for the purposes of maintaining pre-trial detention, the persistence of all the types of pre-trial exigencies mentioned by Article 274 Criminal Procedure Code.

The S defence has indicated an appeal, on the grounds of, with new reasons as well:

  reference to Ms AK alone of the circumstantial evidence constituted by the presence of biological traces from her and from the victim on the knife found at S’s house;

  absence, at the scene of the crime, of biological traces attributable to the suspect [ndr: note, this was before the bra-clasp tests had been done];

  arbitrary transference onto S of the weighty circumstantial evidence against Ms AK, on the unfounded assumption that the pair could not have been anything but together at the moment of the homicidal fact;

  inexistent evidential value of the phases relative to the discovery of the body;

  absence of blood traces from the soles of the “N” shoes worn by the suspect even at the moment of his arrest;

  absence of any evidential value of merit, alleged failure of the alibi, constituting the use of his computer, of which the falsity has not in any case been ascertained, of the lack of interaction by the subject with the machine after the last operation at 21:10 not permitting the inference that the computer was not, however, engaged in downloading files (being, to be specific, films);

  irrelevancy of the mistake revealed between the indicated time of the phone call to the father furnished by S and the actual time of the call, given the uncertainty of the time of death of the victim, depending on the time, otherwise uncertain, of the consumption of the dinner (according to various witness statements coinciding with 18:00), it being well able, therefore, for the time indicated by the forensic pathologist (23:00) to be revised backwards to 21:00, a little before which time the witness P had referred to having made a visit to S, finding him at home and not on the verge of going out;

  interpretability of the so-called unlikelihood of the versions supplied by the suspect as attempts to cover for (aid and abet) another subject;

  attribution of the victim’s biological traces found on the knife seized at S’s house to chance contamination not related to the homicidal fact;

  insufficiency of the pre-trial exigencies, having diminished in a probative sense after the return to Italy of G; those relating to risk of flight lacking in specificity and concreteness; and with reference to the conventional content of blogs posted on the internet by the suspect, those relating to danger to society illogically reasoned;

  missing appearance of the young man’s walk, via security cameras installed along the route that the aforesaid would have had to traverse to go from his house to that of the victim’s.

The appeal is unfounded.

As regards what this Court is permitted to appreciate, not being able here to proceed with a re-reading of the investigative results nor with an alternative interpretation of the factual data referred to in the custody order, the appellant defence substantially contests the recognition, as against S, of the necessary requisite of grave indicia of culpability. The question thus posed and submitted for scrutiny by this bench of the well-known limits of the competence of the court of merit, it must be held that the finding expressed by the Re-examination judges concerning the gravity of the frame of circumstantial evidence is not susceptible to censure.

Not upheld, in the first place, is the defence submission according to which the knife bearing the genetic prints of Ms AK and of Ms MK found in S’s house would constitute a piece of evidence relevant solely as against the young woman, even if privy of traces attributable to the suspect, the utensil has as always been found in the young man’s house, and the testimony acquired up until now has led to the exclusion that it formed part of the inventory of the house inhabited by the victim, and which, at the time, and until proved to the contrary, must be held to be the same available for use by the suspect and which had been used in MK’s house, there being contested no access by her to S’s house.

Given the multitude of group contributive possibilities, the fact is not significative, then, in itself being a neutral element, that on the scene of the crime there are no biological traces attributable to S, to which, in any case, is attributable the “N” brand shoe print considered compatible, by dimensions and sole configuration, with the footwear worn by the suspect at the time of arrest. Although having the same impugned order excluded, at the time, the certainty of the identification constitutes as, in any case, a certain datum that the print in question had been made in haematic material found in Ms MK’s room by a shoe of the kind and of the dimensions of those possessed by the appellant, while it remains to be excluded that this could have originated from G’s shoe, who wore a size 45 and, therefore, dimensions notably larger. The revealed coincidence, notwithstanding the residual uncertainty on the identification, assumes particular valency in relation to the restricted circle of subjects gravitating to the scene of the homicide, with not even Ms AK, who made admissions about her presence on site at the same time as the execution of the offence, excluding the presence of her boyfriend in the victim’s house in the same circumstance; nor can it be held that the print could have been left by S the following morning, he never having claimed to have entered into the room wherein the body was lying.

It does not answer, therefore, to verity that, as against the young man, there had been recognized, by a phenomenon of transference, items of circumstantial evidence in reality pointing solely to Ms AK.

The last finding held unfavourable to S is constituted by the failed proof of the alibi constituted by the argument of the suspect as having remained at home on the computer until late at night; it being a matter of, properly speaking, an alibi failing up till now and not of a false alibi and the defence, correctly, does not refute the technico-judicial valency of the circumstantial evidence, but it remains, in any case, acquired into the case file that the accused had not been able to prove his absence from the locus of the crime at the same time. An item up until now assumed as certain is, instead, the fact that S had interacted with his computer at 5:32 the morning following the murder, at around the same time reactivating his own mobile phone, a contradiction of the assumption of a waking up only at 10:00 and a symptomatic tell-tale of a more or less sleepless night; likewise as symptomatic was held to be the nearly simultaneous cessation of telephonic traffic as much by Ms AK, in his company the evening of 1 November 2007.

The proof of a permanent stay in his house by the suspect can, all told, be considered as acquired up until 20:40 – coincident with P’s visit – who confirmed his presence, or up until 21:10, the last interaction time on the computer, but this does not cover the time of the homicide, located between 22:00 and 23:00.

As for the proposed argument that S’s conduct were interpreted as aiding and abetting, this does not result, in the event, as being supported by anything emerging from the investigations and its plausibility cannot be verified by the judges of merit.

In conclusion, the Re-examination Court’s evaluation as to the gravity of the circumstantial evidence picture are removed from the audit of this court.

There remains, finally, the finding that for what concerns the pre-trial exigencies, those of a probative nature are not able to be considered as ceasing from the sole fact of G’s re-entry into Italy (amongst other things significantly never invoked in the statements by the suspect and by his girlfriend, who instead co-involved L in the proceedings), given the existence of an investigative picture in continual evolution, in which the positions of the various protagonists so far remain unclear, the changing versions of which are marked by reticence and mendaciousness (the same suspect had, in truth, admitted to having, at least initially, told ‘a load of balls’); but the permanence of pre-trial exigencies had been held reasonablely even under the aspect of flight risk, in relation to the gravity of the charges and of the potential sanctions, not to mention danger to society, given the revealed fragility of character and the specific personal traits of the subject, – which would narrowly evaluate as innocuous youthful stereotypes –, in a context the more connoted by the noted habitual use of drugs.

FOR THESE REASONS

Rejects the appeal and sentences the appellant to payment of costs of the proceedings. Article 94 para 1 ter, and activating provisions, Criminal Procedure Code, applies.

Rome, 1.4.2008.

DEPOSITED IN THE REGISTRY ON 21 APRIL 2008

5. Highlighting Of Relevant Hoax Points

Shown in bold in the statement on Knox are:

(1) the defense appeal against the use of Knox’s 5-6 November statements framing Lumumba (reason given was ONLY no lawyer being present - a need which Knox herself had shrugged off when she herself insisted on writing out the 1:45 am and 5:45 am and noon statements) and there is zero mention of abuse;

(2) Cassation’s reasoning why the first 2 Knox statements (the 1:45 and 5:45) can indeed be used, in the “sub-trial” addressing the calunnia against Patrick, and the third (scribbled around noon) can be used in the main trial.

In neither statement is there any ruling of “illegal” regarding any actions by any interrogators. The Knox shills often falsely claim there was.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Status Of The Various Computers In The Case #2 New Developments

Posted by Sallyoo





Please first see my previous post and my several updates in the Comments thread.

There has been a new flurry of interest in Raffaele’s computers following the publication, on iip, of a report prepared by Prof. Alfredo Milani. It is available in both in Italian and English, (translation prepared by iip.)

The report isn’t dated, but it was prepared after the Massei report had been published, and it was taken into evidence at the Hellmann appeal. Milani credits another defence computer expert, D’Ambrosio, with a lot of the content.

There have been (to my knowledge) three ‘defence computer expert reports’ prepared. The first, signed by Angelucci in March 2008, is concerned primarily with the damaged hard disks of the Asus of Sollecito, and the computers of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. This report was commissioned by Dalla Vedova and has not (as far as I can determine) ever been taken into evidence, or even mentioned in court.

The salient point in this document is that the data was recovered from the disks of Sollecito’s Asus and Meredith Kercher’s computer.

Then we have D’Ambrosio testifying at Massei (available), accompanied by a report written by D’Ambrosio and Gigli taken into evidence (not available).

At Hellmann we have the Milani report. Raffaele mentions Alfredo Milani in his book as one of his professors.

There isn’t a lot of (strictly computer) information in it which goes beyond D’Ambrosio’s testimony, although the tone is very different. While D’Ambrosio was relatively generous to the police computer analysts, appreciating the procedural retrictions which they worked under, Milani gets close to being offensively insulting to those tehnicians. (Compare with the Conti/Vecchiotti tactics…)

Milani attempts to make us believe that two ‘grave methodological errors’ committed by the postal police have concealed data which would provide an alibi.

Firstly he spends much time outlining the MacOS, in every release, and tells us that because the postal police used an ‘analogous but not identical’ MacBook a tiny difference in the release number of the operating system renders their analysis unreliable. This is impossible to acept for two reasons - firstly that the OS employed resided on the cloned disk from Sollecito’s own MacBook, but more importantly the precise OS release would not affect in any way the reading of the log files.

Secondly, he unwisely reminds us of inodes (log files). These files are regularly archived, in compressed form, and this archive is not overwritten. The archive isn’t very simple for an ordinary user to search, but such a search is certainly within the capabilities of an ‘expert computer consultant’. If Milani had discovered anything - such as a use of the Samba utility via the Asus which would have been recorded - he would have told us about it.

He also includes some gratuitous comments - which are rather fun - so we can move onto those now!

Milani has trawled up a keyboard interaction (on Sollecito’s Mac), at 22.04 on November 5, when he assures us that Sollecito was in the questura. Well, every other piece of evidence has Sollecito not arriving at the questura that evening until at least 22.30 - but Raffaele has always claimed to have been eating with a friend when he received the phone call at 21.30 asking him to attend the questura. Was Sollecito at Riccardo’s? Did he nip home (why) before going to the questura? We shall never know, but Milani has given us reason to speculate.

He also offers us the playlist of the music tracks both listened to and skipped between 05.40 and 06.20 (approx) on the morning of Nov 2 - which for some reason he erroneously asserts that the postal police failed to identify as an interaction. You can form your own opinion on the musical taste of the listeners, Nirvana and Bon Jovi feature.

Additionally we learn that one of the films ‘recently viewed’ was Suicide Club, a Japanese cult movie, which can charitably be described as Extreme Fantasy. We also discover that in the CD drive was music from Blind Guardian - a German heavy metal band who used fiction/fantasy themes in their lyrics. (I am left with the impression that Sollecito and Knox were determined not to live in the real world during this period).

A further couple of snippets, the first from an intercepted conversation in prison between Raffaele, his father and his stepmother, Marisa Papigni:

FS:....have nothing to do with [rude in italian] ... and they understood ... now this morning or Monday there will be also the checking of your computer ... they have already cloned the hard disk .. ”

RS: “… my concern of the computer is basically that if I came ...”

Marisa Papagni: “Hey ... there is a monster on your computer ... there is a monster ... ”

RS: “Forget it ... the fact about the computer is if I have spent much time with Amanda ... there is not all this time I have spent with the computer ...”

FS: “If Amanda was home ... if she was out, wtf were you doing? ... were you at the computer?” .....

And from Honor Bound:

Papà told him about the data from my computer….but still Maori was skeptical. “Why don’t you let me see it?” he asked.

My father didn’t have the data with him, but he said his brother, Giuseppe, could fax it over.



Below: Professor Milani; Perugia University School of Mathematics & Computers


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #15: Dr Mignini’s Account Of Knox “Interrogation” Explained To The World

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Dr Mignini examines Knox July 2009 on the “interrogation” at her own initiative

1. Overview Of This Post

Post #1 includes an overview of the entire series and links to all posts up to this one.

Knox has repeatedly claimed that Dr Mignini was present at the informal summary/recap session led by Inspector Rita Ficarra, the actual purpose of which was merely for Knox to suggest a few possible leads the police might interview.

He wasn’t there, though. And he has repeatedly explained that at the second session ending with a second insisted-upon statement by Knox at 5:45 AM, his entire role was to read Knox her rights, and to advise her to say no more until she had appointed lawyers. (Regardless, she then insisted on dictating that second statement.)

Dr Mignini more than anyone else at the central police station that night developed a complete overview of how the two sessions had proceeded.

THREE TIMES Knox willingly put herself under his questioning (December 2007, January 2008, July 2009) to attempt to shake this. While his questioning was formal, polite and quite mild, Knox’s recollection of 5-6 November was scrambled or devious (some think she and RS were both high on hard drugs).

So by the end of those sessions Knox seems to have made a complete disbeliever of Dr Mignini, swayed few if any in Italy, and certainly did not sway the judges of the trial court or any appeal court.

But few English-language reporters other than Andrea Vogt, John Follain and Barbie Nadeau have interviewed and reported Dr Mignini in depth fairly, and there are a number of English-language reporters to whom he kindly gave time who mangled what he lucidly and fairly explained to them.

In July 2009 Dr Mignini wrote an acerbic email to Linda Byron of Seattle TV to attempt to straighten out her own understanding, and although she seemingly tried to hide it, we captured it and translated and posted in full his explanation.

Highly worth reading.

In mid 2011 a similar thing happened. Drew Griffen of CNN was given a three-hour on-camera interview - and sarcastically broadcast cherrypicked and mangled responses from Dr Mignini. Again we obtained Dr Mignini’s full statement, and Skeptical Bystander posted the whole thing in three long parts, with translation by Clander, Yummi, Jools, Thoughtful, TomM and Catnip.

Again, highly worth reading.

In the first 20 minutes of the second hour of the interview, Drew Griffen tried to give Dr Mignini a hard time over the so-called Knox interrogation. Drew Griffen was abysmally informed of the testimony at trial we have been posting and had no idea of the substance of Knox’s one interview on 5-6 November or the fact that this was merely a recap/summary session not ever requiring recording.

Dr Mignini had not himself testified at trial, and he led the testimony of others present on 5-6 November very fairly and without defense protests about any bias. And Dr Mignini is not under oath here. However this 20-minute segment is important, for it reinforces that Knox was treated extremely fairly and she had no genuine reason for complaint about it.

2. From Mid-2011 Interview By CNN With Dr Mignini

0’40’’ English question [Translator’s note: These words are in English in the Italian transcript of which this document is a translation.]

0’48’’ CNN: You didn’t interrogate Amanda?

0’50’’ Mignini: Oh, the police interrogated her. I was told about it. I wanted to explain this. I remember that I had gone to sleep and the director of the flying squad, Dr. Profazio, called me, because he tells me: “There are developments; Raffaele in fact has denied what he had said before”. So I went down and the head of the flying squad told me what had happened. At some point they tell us that Amanda has made this statement.

And thus her interrogation as a person informed of the facts was suspended by the police in compliance with Article 63 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure [c.p.p. - Codice di Procedura Penale], because if evidence appears that incriminates the person, the person being questioned as a person informed of the facts can no longer be heard, and we must stop. “Everyone stop! There must be a defense attorney [present]”. And thus the police stopped and informed Amanda, who had placed herself on the scene of the crime and who said that she had accompanied Lumumba and let him in and that then Lumumba, in the other room, allegedly committed a sexual act and killed Meredith. This is what she said.

2’11’’ Then I was called, I was informed about this, I went to Amanda who, I remember how she was, what she looked like, I remember her very well, she remained imprinted in my memory, I still remember then two things about Amanda that struck me at the time: first, she looked like she was relieved of a burden and second, she was like, and this is another detail that was impressive, it seemed as if she was terrified of Lumumba.

20’48’’ Then I, as I had in some way to, let’s say… this police interrogation had been suspended. At that point I remember that… they made me notice that Amanda, because she wanted to go on talking, I remember she had, like a need to. So I told her: “you can make statements to me; I will not ask questions, since if you make a spontaneous statement and I collect it, I will collect your statement as if I were in fact a notary”. She then repeated [her story] to the interpreter, who was Mrs. Donnino, I remember there was a police woman officer who wrote the statement down [verbalizzava], I did not ask questions. She basically repeated what she had told the police and she signed the statement. Basically I didn’t ask Amanda questions. Not before, since the police asked them and I was not there, and not after, since she made spontaneous statements. Had I been asking her questions, a defense attorney should have been there. This is the procedure.

05’24 CNN: She had an interpreter during the whole time?

05’26’’ Mignini: Yes.

05’29’’ CNN: She says no.

05’32’’ Mignini: Look the interpreter was there, when I heard her there was the interpreter. The interpreter Anna Donnino, who is an interpreter for the police; she was hired by the police.

Just like I believe that there was [before], I do not have the minutes now, but yet now this is a fact, it is undisputed that there was an interpreter.

06’02’’ CNN: Amanda Knox says she was interrogated for 14 hours…

06’11’’ Mignini: No, look, absolutely not. At 1 a.m., the minutes of Nov 6th has started at 1 a.m. and I arrived, 14 hours that cannot be, we are really… that’s absolutely impossible. So the minutes were done at one o’clock, then the minutes of the spontaneous declaration was taken at 5.45, it maybe lasted half an hour because no questions were asked. She made her statements; they were translated; then at around 8 a.m., I think, at approximately 8, I drew up the detention order. Thus it is… well, she had been heard earlier, so she had been questioned as a person informed of the facts at around one forty-five a.m. She had previously been heard by a female police officer, but [that’s] because she had gone voluntarily to the police and she reported that, she said things quite relevant to the investigation of Raffaele and was heard by the inspector [Rita] Ficarra. However this [event] ... I was not there, I do not know [about it]. But remember, there are the minutes. Then the minutes in which she was questioned as a person informed of the facts starts at 1:45 of November 6, and cannot have lasted 14 hours ... in no way whatsoever. Then she was arrested at around 8 a.m. or at about 9 a.m. or so.

08’16’’ Mignini: Look, I remember what I saw when I saw her personally, because she said, I told her: “you can make, if you deem it [necessary], a spontaneous statement, because Italian law provides for this. If a person is aware that he/she is suspected [under investigation], may request to speak before a magistrate, it happened many times, they came also to me, and they say “I want to make a statement”. Very well, I listen. If I listen, I wanted this to be highlighted…. to be clear, I listen and that’s all, and I ask no questions, the defense attorney may be not present. But if I ask questions and I object to the facts [of your answers], it is like an interrogation and thus we would need a defense attorney.

09’10’’ CNN: was [Amanda Knox] scared?

09’11’’ Mignini: Well, I recall this feeling that I had in that moment which, [as] I am explaining to you, in the spirit in which I am doing this interview, to explain to you the acceptance [adozione] of our requests [provvedimenti], what was, why the trial went in a certain way. [Translator’s note: The Italian in the CNN transcript is nearly incomprehensible. We have provided the foregoing on a best effort basis.]

09’36’’ She was, she seemed to me like she was uplifted, freed of a weight, and terrified of Lumumba. That’s an impression that has stayed with me, yet I don’t understand. I remember that there was a policeman who was called, from the SCO [Servizio Centrale Operativo] in Rome, who made an impression on me because he was very fatherly. She was crying as though freed of a great weight, and he was trying to console her. I remember there was also a policewoman who, well, she…[missing word?] and I’m sure that.. [missing word?] .. well, all that picture how it was described later… at that moment it wasn’t like that. Right then, there was a situation in which I was trying to console her, to encourage her, because actually we believed that she had told the truth.

11’03’’ CNN: No one hit her?

11’06’’ Mignini: No, look, absolutely not. I can state this in the most positive way, and then, let’s say… I wasn’t there when she was being questioned by police, the rooms are quite far away… you don’t know but I was… it’s quite far, there’s a corridor, and I was with the director, Dr. Porfazio, and she was being questioned in a different place. I also remember that passing through, I also saw Sollecito who was alone in a different room; he was also being questioned, as I recall. I don’t exclude…well…it’s clear that I wasn’t there, but I don’t believe that anything whatsoever happened, and in my presence absolutely not.

11’55’’ On the contrary, there was an attitude of… I mean they gave her [some] ... [missing word?] then she was like, you know, like someone crying from a sense of liberation, as though she had been freed. That was the attitude.

12’51’’ CNN: Why wasn’t there any video or transcript of those hours?

13’00’’ Mignini: Look, that’s, I was at the police station, and all the…let’s say…when I made investigations in my own office, I taped them. I taped them, we have an apparatus for that, and I transcribed them. For example, there’s the interrogation of the English girls, Meredith’s friends, it was all taped. The interrogations of Amanda in prison were taped, and then transcribed, and we have the transcripts of… But in a police station, at the very moment of the investigation it isn’t done, not with respect to Amanda or anyone else. Also because, I can tell you, today, even then, but today in particular, we have budget problems, budget problems that are not insignificant, which do not allow us to transcribe. Video is very important…I completely agree with you that videotaping is extremely important, we should be able to have a video recording of every statement [verbale di assunzione di informazioni] made Because what is said is very important, but it’s maybe even more important how it is said, the non-verbal language. Because from the non-verbal language you can [missing words].

15’14’’ Mignini: It isn’t only Amanda, it’s always like that. But I wanted to say that I agree with him that it’s fundamental, only there’s a problem, especially when the witnesses are so numerous, and in fact just recording, I mean recording the sound, isn’t enough according to me.

15’38’’ CNN: It doesn’t cost much, he says.

15’40’’ Mignini: Well we have significant budget problems, that’s what it is.

15’38’’ CNN: So in the end, you did get a confession. But then, everything that was written in the confession became a lie?

16’16’’ Mignini: But then, there was the fact that she placed herself at the scene of the crime, and Lumumba wasn’t there, together with the three of them, the two of them, but Rudy was there, according to the facts that emerged later. But the fact of having accused…and she’s even accused of calumny in regard to Lumumba, was an element that was very important from the point of view of her legal position at the trial. Why accuse someone of participating in a crime, placing yourself at the scene of a crime? Because with those declarations, she placed herself at the scene, at the place of the crime. And she placed someone there who was a complete stranger to it. Why did she do that? There is one detail that’s particularly significant. Above all when Lumumba was arrested and no one – if it hadn’t been for the Public Prosecutor’s Office that conducted the investigation, and that is mandated to seek elements in favor of the accused, Lumumba would have stayed in prison. But we investigated, and we saw that Lumumba wasn’t involved, that he was the object of calumny and so he was freed and the case against him was archived.

18’15’’ CNN: Was she asked to imagine what might have happened?

18’24’’ Mignini: No, absolutely not. Either you saw a person or you didn’t. I can’t ask someone what they imagine because it would be a question that doesn’t mean anything, that I even don’t understand.

This really does finish our posting of the case for the prosecution on this “interrogation” issue, though at least half a dozen other investigators provided supportive testimony which we have not yet quoted.

Next, how all of the Italian courts up to Cassation concluded that Knox’s claims were unsupported, contradictory, and damaging, and how her three-year prison sentence served was well justified.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Why They Also Damn: The Hundreds Of DNA Samples Taken And Analyses Done, Shown In Table Form

Posted by Olleosnep




1. Even Excluding DNA, There’s Massive Evidence

Contrary to foolish claims elsewhere, there’s a great deal of evidence implicating not only Guede but also Knox and Sollecito in the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher. 

The bulk of the evidence is circumstantial, and encompasses different categories of evidence, such as: wounds sustained by Ms. Kercher;  ear and eye witnesses;  footprints; shoeprints; fingerprints and lack thereof; blood patterns; evidence that Ms. Kercher was moved after she died; misplaced items in her room and in the cottage; evidence of partial clean-up; cellphone records; computer evidence; evidence of staged break-in; lack of evidence of actual break-in; statements by all three defendants; lack of alibis; lies by Knox and Sollecito; etc.

A lot of the most critical evidence has been repeatedly reviewed by many different judges involved in the case, from Judge Micheli to Judge Nencini, and led to the unanimous verdict at trial now confirmed by Appeal Judge Nencini. 

2. The Massive DNA Evidence Is Equally Conclusive

We have carried nearly five dozen DNA posts previously on the Scientific Labs work in 2007-09, the discredited judges’ consultants work in 2011, and the Carabinieri Labs work in 2013.

They go to prove that some of the most damning evidence comes from the DNA traces found on hundreds of samples tested by the Forensic Genetics department of the Italian Scientific Police squadron in Rome. The department was presided over by the biologist Dr. Stefanoni at the time [seen above left with Prosecutor Comodi] who acted as the department’s principal technical director.

The results of Dr. Stefanoni’s work were collected in several reports issued by her lab during the 2008-2009 investigation and trial phases. Of these reports, two reports in particular comprise a ‘survey’ of the work performed by her lab at the time: the “Genetic Tests” report (GT), and the “Stato Avanzamento Laboratorio” report (SAL). Both reports are available on the Meredith Kercher Wiki.

These two reports are notable for highlighting the large quantity of testing done and the significant number of objects and items sampled. In addition, the reports not only look at items with blood traces, but also traces of skin cells, feces, semen, and above all, hair traces, an aspect of the evidence that has been largely glossed over in the testimony and in the motivation reports.

3. For The First Time A Complete DNA Roadmap

The DNA Spreadsheet will open using Microsoft Excel or alternatives such as the free OpenOffice. Please note the table is very wide.

In order to better understand the extent of the work and types of the tests performed, I have taken the data that can be gleaned from these two reports and placed them into a single spreadsheet, in order to create a kind of ‘database’ of the testing and analyses done.

This spreadsheet uses the GT report as a basis, followed by additional information obtainable from the SAL report.

The spreadsheet is basically a list of each sample, object and/or test done by Dr. Stefanoni’s team. These include tests done for DNA analysis, testing done for Y haplotype analysis and hair sample analysis. In the SAL report, it is shown that a few samples were tested multiple times. The list also includes some objects which were not analyzed at all, or were only analyzed up to a point.

It should be noted that there are a few difficulties with the reports. The GT report references an associated photographic report that has not been made available. The GT report is also missing a couple of pages and the descriptions of the results are at times inconsistent. Other times it can be tricky to follow exactly what tests were done. Because the report is a black and white scan of an original likely printed in color, some of the information in the tables is difficult or impossible to read. And some traces are missing result tables altogether.

The SAL report is also incomplete. The luminol samples at the cottage and all the samples taken at Guede’s apartment are missing, as are other samples. The scanned pages in the PDF are out of order, making cross-checking with the GT report tedious. The SAL report does not have all the test data indicated in the GT report. For instance, the human antibody tests noted in the GT report are not indicated in the SAL report. The data in the SAL report is often not as complete as one might think. As an example, all hair samples were logged and assigned a sample number. But those hairs that had no DNA extracted, do not have a date of when they were analyzed. Presumably they were all analyzed as a set for each item, given that the sample number is frequently numerically sequential (i.e. 47084, 47085, 47086, etc.). But it’s not possible to say with certainty when the hairs were reviewed from the report.

Nevertheless the GT and SAL reports do have significant information that is of interest to the case. Hence the spreadsheet.

4. Some Guidance For The Use Of The Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets can be useful for presenting various pieces of data together ‘at a glance’. But the real power of spreadsheets for this type of data is that rows can be sorted in order to group similar pieces of data together, allowing one to get a overview of subsets of data.

So, for instance, if one wanted to order all the rows by ‘sample number’ to see the sequence of how they were processed in the lab, one need only highlight all the rows (done by clicking on row number 5, holding down the ‘Shift key’ and paging down to the bottommost row), then go to menu option ‘Data’ and then ‘Sort’ and select the column or columns to sort by- ‘AF’ in the case.

Or perhaps one wants to sort by ‘DNA yielded’ and ‘building’ to see where someone’s DNA was found. Simply select all the rows again, select the menu option ‘Data’ and then ‘Sort’, and select the first column as ‘DNA yielded’ (or column AD), then select as the second column as ‘building (or column F).

To return to the original order, select all rows again and sort on column A.

Note that the first four rows in the spreadsheet are ‘locked’, in order to allow the column headers to be always visible.  If one wants to unlock these rows, select the whole spreadsheet by clicking on the upper left corner of the window where the column header labels and row numbers meet. Once the whole spreadsheet is selected, go to ‘View’ option and select ‘Unfreeze panes’. For Excel version 2007 and higher, click on the little arrow to the right of ‘freeze panes’ button on the menu bar, and there will be the option to unfreeze panes.

If one is handy with Access, or any other database program, it should be possible to import the spreadsheet into that database program, allowing one to perform more powerful ‘queries’.



The Rome headquarters of the Scientific Police which work closely with the FBI

5. Explanations Of Some Of The DNA Data

The data in each column was obtained directly or indirectly obtainable from the two reports by Dr. Stefanoni’s team.

1) Column ‘A’ allows one to resort rows to their original order, which is based on the order of the ‘item number’ noted in the GT report.

2) ‘Item number’ refers to the actual piece of evidence, whether an object sampled onsite or an object that was bagged and taken to the lab, as noted in the GT report.

3) ‘Original item label’ is data provided in the first pages of the GT report, as a way to tie the evidence item back to evidence markers used at the crime scene, and visible in some of the crime scene photos.

4) ‘Page in attached photo report’ indicates that there is an adjunct ‘photo report’ Dr. Stefanoni provided that has not yet been released, and likely has photos of the evidence items ‘in situ’. This information is also noted in the beginning item lists in the GT report.

5) ‘Sample date’ is based on the dates noted in the beginning list in the GT report, indicating when the evidence item was sampled or taken from the crime scene. This is sometimes difficult to read, due to the fact that the report was apparently printed in color and the black and white scan hides or obscures some text and graphics.

6) Columns F-K are location and object data, obtainable from the descriptions in the GT report, especially the first pages that provide a list of where evidence samples were obtained. I broke this data down into various categories to allow different possibilities of grouping the data.

7) ‘Sample obtained’ indicates the type of biological substance that was assumed to contain DNA. This was first obtained from the GT report, and later corrected with the data from the SAL report, which has a more consistent description of what the sample was assumed to be.

8) Columns M through AC list data either directly reported in the GT and SAL reports, or interpretable from them. Column M notes if an item was analyzed or not. In the GT report, unanalyzed items are noted in the beginning list as ‘not analyzed’ though not consistently. In the SAL report, they are noted as having 0 samples.

9) ‘Trace number’ was obtained from GT report, though on a few occasions, the actual number is not clear. Note that the number ‘starts over’ for each evidence item. Sometimes the trace number is sequential, independent of whether it is blood or hair or skin cells. Items having the most traces are those that were ‘heavily’ sampled, including Sollecito’s sneakers, the duvet, Ms. Kercher’s sweat jacket, her jeans, the kitchen knife, the kitchen sponge, etc.

10) ‘Additional trace info’ is additional information noted from both reports about a specific sample.

11) Column P ‘revealed in luminol?’ indicates with a ‘yes’ those samples obtained during luminol analysis. What often gets overlooked is that luminol analysis was performed not only at the cottage, but in Sollecito’s car, Sollecito’s apartment and Guede’s apartment. Notable here is that 14 different samples were obtained from luminol analysis at Sollecito’s apartment. While the DNA data yielded was meager, what is important is not the actual data yielded, but the number and location of samples investigated, including samples from door handles, and different locations like the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. There was certainly a suspicious amount of blood, bleach or turnip juice at Sollecito’s place!

12) ‘Date of extraction’ comes from the SAL report, though, as mentioned above, it is not consistently reported for every trace or sample analyzed. This indicates when DNA processing occurred on a sample. This column is important to look at when discussing the issue of lab contamination. If one performs a sort on this column and on the ‘sample number’ column, one can clearly see that samples were processed in batches, often a week or two weeks apart. So for instance, claims that the sample 36B happened due to contamination at the lab is really not possible, given that Ms. Kercher’s DNA was analyzed one week earlier (11/5/07 and 11/6/07) and sample 36B is the only sample to contain Ms. Kercher’s DNA from all the samples analyzed on 11/13/07. Similarly, Sollecito’s DNA and Guede’s DNA are only found once each of all the items analyzed on 12/29/07, yet the last time Sollecito’s DNA had been analyzed was on 12/17/07, 12 days earlier. So the likelihood of lab contamination seems extraordinarily small, just from the dates of when samples were analyzed.

13) ‘TMB test positive’ was originally obtained from the GT report. Again because that report is likely in color, a number of tables have either missing graphics or are missing tables altogether. Fortunately the SAL report has duplicated this data consistently.

14) ‘Human antibody test positive?’ is obtained from other tables in the GT report, almost always paired with the TMB table. In some cases where the table data is illegible, I’ve placed a “?” in front of an assumed result. Curiously, this test is not shown in the SAL report.

15) ‘Cat antibody positive?’ is from the GT report, shows that the basement apartment blood samples were all made a by cat, which Dr. Stefanoni comments on in her Massei testimony.

16) Apparently they also ran ‘dog antibody’ testing as well, as is noted in the GT report.

17) ‘DNA extraction done?’ indicates if a decision was made to extract DNA. This was inferred from the GT report. Notable here is that even with samples having cat antibodies, Dr. Stefanoni does the DNA extraction anyway to make sure no human DNA is in the sample.

18) ‘Quantity extracted’ comes from the SAL report. This refers not to the amount of DNA extracted, but specifically to the amount of liquid (50, 100 or 150 microliters) filtered through the Qiagen Bio Robot EZ1 machine. This machine actually filters or purifies the sample, removing all other biological materials like cells, bacteria, etc. leaving only actual DNA molecules which can then be processed. This extraction process is also the quantification process, where from a 50 microliter sample a certain amount of DNA is found and quantified.

19) ‘Human DNA found during quantification’ was inferred from the GT report. It should be noted that for Dr. Stefanoni’s team, DNA analysis involved finding DNA useful for comparison. This means that Dr. Stefanoni was not looking for a sample of any human DNA, but a sample sufficiently ‘complete’ to be able to compare it with others samples. So it was likely often the case that a trace might have snippets and pieces of DNA, but these pieces were either too small or too fragmented to be useful for any profile comparisons. So ‘No’ in this column means not so much that no DNA was found at all, but that no DNA was found that could be useful for comparison.

20) ‘Decision to amplify and analyze’ was obtained from the GT report. Sometimes it is explicitly mentioned in the description of the results in the GT report. Other times, it can be inferred from the lack of tables.

21) ‘Concentrate sample with Speed VAC 110’ means that where “no human DNA was found” (i.e. when no DNA was found sufficiently complete or in sufficient amounts useful for comparison), Dr. Stefanoni decided to process the sample further in an effort to ‘bring out’ whatever DNA there might be. This was done using a ‘concentrator’, which dries the samples and vacuums them, thereby reducing sample fluid to make any DNA present more easily found by the subsequent DNA processing equipment.

22) ‘STR amplification’ is the DNA copying process whereby any DNA found is copied millions of times to obtain samples that can be adequately rendered by capillary electrophoresis. The process Dr. Stefanoni used is described specifically in the GT report for evidence items 12 and 13.

23) In some cases ‘Y chromosome amplification’ is also done. While this may be done at the same time by the same machine, I took any Y chromosome amplification to be a separate test, since per the GT report, it sometimes yielded different results. In a few cases, it is not clear from the GT report if Y chromosome amplification was done on only one sample, or on all the samples of an evidence item. In those cases, I assumed all the samples.

24) ‘Capillary electrophoresis’ is where DNA is rendered through a chemical/electrical process that tags DNA particles with fluorescence. These fluoresced particles are then read by the software of the machine and mapped onto a graph that shows DNA particles as ‘peaks’, which are an indicator of quantity of DNA found. The software of the machine then produced graphs of the peaks obtained and it is these graphs that Dr. Stefanoni and her team used for profile comparison.

25) ‘DNA yielded’ is what is indicated in the GT report and is based on Dr. Stefanoni’s comparison of the DNA profile(s) shown by capillary electrophoresis to index DNA samples she had of Sollecito, Lumumba, Guede, Knox and Ms. Kercher.

26) ‘Egram number’ is taken from the GT report.

27) The ‘sample number’ was taken from the GT and further completed by the SAL report, which has the sample numbers for all samples, whether they were analyzed for DNA or not. The sample numbers are useful for indicating what was happening at the Dr. Stefanoni’s lab. As an example, if one does a sort on column Q (Date of extraction) and column AF (sample number) one can see that between 11/5/07 and 11/6/07, there is gap of 129 samples that were likely performed for another case. The last sample analyzed on 11/5/07 was 47082, and on 11/6/07, the next sample number is 47211. So presumably her lab ran 129 additional DNA tests on samples related to other cases between these two runs. Generally the sample numbers increase sequentially by date, but there are a few exceptions. One in particular is sample 47821, which appears as the last sample on 11/23/07, though samples starting on 11/26/07, three days later, start with sample number 47711. This implies that samples were probably numbered in batches (by sticking numbered labels on tubes or bags) and not necessarily right before extraction or other machine processing was done.

28) ‘Compatibility notes’ are extra comments noted by Dr. Stefanoni in the GT report.

29) ‘Likely substance containing DNA’ is interpretable from the GT and SAL report and the results of the testing done.

30) Finally there are columns related to hair analysis. ‘Type of hair’ comes from the SAL report, and it is sometimes, but not consistently or legibly, noted in the GT report.

31) ‘Hair color’ provides a description of the hair color. Notable is that the hair description is quite consistent, with black, blonde, chestnut, light chestnut, red chestnut being the more significant categories. This is available in both the GT and SAL report and both reports match.

32) ‘Hair length;’ is obviously the length of hair analyzed. I’m not sure how this was done since the machinery used is not indicated in either report. Again, this is in both reports, and again the data matches in both reports.

33) ‘Hair width’ is the diameter of the hair in micrometers, and is available in both reports.

34) ‘Hair marrow’ is found only in the SAL report, and presumably describes the condition of the very core of the hair.

35) ‘Hair end condition’ indicates whether the end of the hair is ‘cut’, a ‘point’, frayed or otherwise.  This is found in both reports.

36) ‘Bulb phase’ relates to the particular phase of hair growth, with DNA apparently present in the hair bulb only during the initial growth phases of the hair. This too is found in both reports.

37) ‘Hair remarks’ are any comments related to hair samples.

38) Lastly, the ‘remarks’ column contains my notes on a particular sample or test, indicating discrepancies or explanations of what I was able to understand.

As noted above, the SAL report does not contain data for all the samples. Per Dr. Gino’s testimony in the Massei trial on 9/26/09, additional SAL sheets were apparently released that indicate that TMB tests were done on the luminol samples at the cottage and that these tests were negative. However it should be noted that TMB is less sensitive than luminol, so it is possible that a luminol sample could be in blood, which however is too diluted to be registered by a TMB test.




6. More Commentary On the DNA Extracted From Blood

1) DNA is only found in white blood cells, not red blood cells

2) The luminol reacts with the iron in red blood cells, not white blood cells

3) Red blood cells outnumber white blood cells by roughly 600 to 1

4) Even if DNA is found it may be not usable for comparison

So just because there is a positive luminol or TMB result does not mean that DNA can be found.

7. More Commentary On The Resulting Statistics

At the bottom of the spreadsheet are some interesting statistics, which I won’t reiterate here, except to note a few things.

a) 227 different objects or site objects were sampled/ obtained for analysis. 30 of these were not analyzed at all. From the remaining 197 objects and site objects sampled, 484 separate tests were set up for analysis, with 93 of these consisting of hair analysis. Of these 484 tests, 193 of them yield DNA data useful for comparison (40%).

b) Of the 193 tests that were ‘successful’, 100 tests yielded DNA compatible only with Ms. Kercher’s DNA (over 50%- again keep in mind their may have been other DNA but it may have been too small or too fragmented to be useful for comparison). Nine additional tests (comprising seven samples) yielded DNA compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA mixed with either Knox’s, Guede’s or Sollecito’s DNA. 27 tests had DNA compatible with Guede’s DNA; 18 tests had DNA compatible with Knox’s DNA; 11 more tests had DNA compatible with Sollecito’s DNA. Nine other tests yielded DNA compatible with a mixture of Knox’s and Sollecito’s DNA. 17 tests yielded DNA of unknown men and women (i.e. unmatchable by Dr. Stefanoni), and two tests were of samples obtained from Lumumba.

c) Of the nine tests yielding Ms. Kercher’s DNA mixed with others, five of these yielded DNA compatible with a mixture of Kercher’s and Knox’s DNA. They were all samples found in blood or potential blood- notably: three in the bathroom, one on the corridor floor in a luminol revealed bloody footprint, one in a luminol revealed blood stain in Romanelli’s room.

d) Returning to the discussions about contamination, it is notable that, whether the contamination occurred during site collection or in the lab, one might expect to find bits of contamination occurring here and there over 193 tests. Yet nearly all the arguments involve contamination about two samples, out of 193 tests. Over 50% of the tests that had useful DNA yielded Ms. Kercher’s DNA. If site collection, transport and/or lab procedures were so poor, one would expect to find Ms. Kercher’s DNA in other places as well. Yet very few samples have her DNA mixed with others, and conversely, very few other samples have other mixed DNA. Only nine samples have mixes of Sollecito and Knox’s DNA, eight of which were all obtained at Sollecito’s apartment or from Sollecito’s things (including a pocket knife), and one was obtained from a cigarette butt at the cottage. If contamination was so rampant, why does it occur on only two samples out of 193, (and curiously only on the two most damning samples)?

e) Continuing along the same lines, 118 samples were obtained from Sollecito’s apartment. Of these, 49 were not analyzed, (many were hairs not having bulbs in the right phase). Of the remaining 66 samples that were analyzed, only one, the one the blade of the kitchen knife, had Ms. Kercher’s DNA. And 41 yielded no usable DNA. So if there was contamination, or worse, direct framing of evidence by the lab, certainly there would be more of Ms. Kercher’s DNA amongst those 66 samples, in order to achieve an ironclad case. Yet there is only one sample out of 66 that had Ms. Kercher’s DNA.

f) Similarly, 224 tests were done on objects taken from the upper apartment. Of these 56 were not analyzed for DNA and an additional 61 that were analyzed, did not yield anything useful. Of the remaining 107 tests, only 3 had Sollecito’s DNA (a trace on the cigarette butt, and a trace on the bra clasp having Sollecito’s DNA as well as his Y chromosome.) Surely if there was rampant contamination or worse, direct framing of evidence, one would expect to find more of Sollecito’s DNA in Ms. Kercher’s room. Yet only one sample had his DNA and Y chromosome- the bra clasp.

g) Conversely, it is rather odd that Sollecito’s car was sampled in 16 locations (actually 19 samples were taken but only 16 analyzed), and none of those samples revealed his DNA. Did he ever drive his car?

8. And Finally More Commentary About The Hairs

Guede had black hair. From photos of Nov 2, 2007, Knox had blonde hair and Sollecito had chestnut to light chestnut hair. Meredith Kercher had chestnut to reddish chestnut hair.

93 hairs were found and analyzed. Seven of these were either animal hair or fibers. The remaining 86 hairs were, per the SAL report, all human. Seven of these hairs were black in color. Of the seven, six were short (4 cm or less) and one was long. Of the six short black hairs, four were found on the duvet covering Ms. Kercher, one was found on her mattress cover, and one was found on a sponge (containing fourteen other hairs) at Sollecito’s apartment. It is very likely these short black hairs were Guede’s, and if so, how it one of his hairs get on a sponge at Sollecito’s apartment.

Similarly, 21 blonde hairs were found, ranging from 4 cm to 20 cm. Of these, fifteen were found at Sollecito’s apartment, either on a sponge in the kitchen, or on a sweater. The other six were found at the cottage, with three being found on the duvet, one found inside the small bathroom sink, one found on a mop, one found on Ms. Kercher’s purse and one found on Ms. Kercher’s mattress cover.

Assuming the blonde hairs were Knox’s hair, it is difficult to imagine how they might wind up on Ms. Kercher’s purse and mattress cover.

There were four light chestnut hairs found. One, measuring 9 cm, was found on the kitchen sponge at Sollecito’s apartment. The other three light chestnut hairs were found on Ms. Kercher’s bra (2 cm), sweat jacket (7.5 cm) and the towel found under Ms. Kercher’s body (20 cm).

35 chestnut colored hairs were found, ranging from 1.5 to 30 cm in length. The vast majority were in Ms. Kercher’s bedroom. Two chestnut colored hairs (5 cm and 8 cm) were on the kitchen sponge at Sollecito’s house. It should be noted that three chestnut colored hairs yielded Ms. Kercher’s DNA, measuring 15, 18 and 23 cms.

So even from the hair evidence, it seems that hair having Knox and Sollecito’s color were on Ms. Kercher’s more intimate objects, while Guede’s and Ms. Kercher’s hair apparently were on a sponge in the kitchen at Sollecito’s apartment. In other words, an object used in a clean-up, and in a room that also had five luminol revealed samples.

Even the hair evidence points to Guede, Sollecito and Knox having acted together in the murder of Ms. Kercher.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Knox, Tied In Knots By Her Own Tongue: Translation Of The 17 Dec 2007 Interview With Dr Mignini #4

Posted by Yummi, Catnip and Kristeva



Inmate-chefs at Capanne Prison, from which Knox was making a bid for release

1. Getting Up To Speed On This Fourth Post

How much serious questioning was Knox subjected to prior to this voluntary interview six weeks after her arrest?

In fact, none. In the early days of November, after Meredith was found dead, she had several less-formal “recap/summary” sessions with investigators on possible leads (as did many others), which the defenses conceded without argument at trial were simply that and no more.

So these were the first serious questions put to Knox - politely, and Knox is essentially not argumentative throughout

The transcript was in the evidence pile and all judges except Hellmann seem to have studied it hard. This was also the first-ever interview of Knox by Dr Mignini, as prosecutor appointed to the case. He had seen her twice at the house and heard her at her strong insistence early on 6 November.

But they had never before really talked.

Prior to this, Knox had already emanated over a dozen differing versions of what she wanted to claim took place and the police and prosecutors and Supervising Magistrate Claudia Matteini had tried to make sense of those. 

2. Our Translation Of Approximately The Fourth 40 Minutes

This is the fourth 40 minutes of the voluntary interview which lasted in total about three hours. For a full understanding it would really be best to read (1) our first post and comment thread and (2) our second post and comment thread. and (3) third post and comment thread.

Transcript of Interview 17 December 2007: Statement of Interview Of Ms Amanda Knox (cont)

PM Mignini: After having talked, after you were heard at the Questura, did you go away or did you wait?

Knox: The first day I was questioned I was there for hours… maybe 14…

Interpreter: The first time it seems to her that she had been there a very long time, 14 hours

PM Mignini: But questioned

Knox: No, maybe they questioned me for 6 hours but I stayed at the Questura a very long time…

Interpreter: It must have been more or less 6 hours that Amanda was questioned but staying in the Questura must have been about…

PM Mignini: But was there… were you in the waiting room?

Knox: Yes the whole time together with everyone else we were there in the waiting room…

Interpreter Yes, yes together with the other ones

PM Mignini: And who were the other people?

[82]

Knox: The housemates, and later others arrived… After quite a long time our neighbors arrived, after a while some people Meredith knew arrived, her friends

Interpreter: Her housemates and then other people who arrived later, the neighbors after a while… and after, Meredith’s friends arrived, the people Meredith knew…

PM Mignini: But did you speak to them? Did you exchange any confidences?

Knox: Yes we were all there and I said “it appears that Meredith’s body was found in a closet”

PM Mignini: Who said that?

Knox: I remember talking to her friends and I remember telling them that it appeared the body had been found inside a closet…

Interpreter: She remembers having said it to Meredith’s friends

PM Mignini: But friends, who? You must tell us the name… a name even just the name…

Knox: I remember having talked to Sophie… But I don’t know the name of the other friends

PM Mignini: A certain Natalie? From London

Knox: The name sounds familiar but I don’t think I could recognize her face

Interpreter: She can’t tie the name to her face but…

PM Mignini: And what were you saying? What kind of comments were you making?

[83]

Knox: I told them what I knew, I told them that I had arrived home and found the door open, and told them what I knew…

Interpreter: She told what she knew that she had arrived home and found the door open

PM Mignini: Did you ever see, did you see in those moments the wound on Meredith’s neck?

Interpreter: Up to the moment?

PM Mignini: In that moment.

Knox: I never saw Meredith dead, I never saw her dead body…

Interpreter: No, she never saw her dead

PM Mignini: Ok, but was there anyone that night who said, anyone who said that she had died quickly? Did someone else say that she must have suffered for a long time… was there anyone who said this?

Knox: Nobody of the people I talked to knew what had happened…

Interpreter: No, none of the people she talked to said something… knew what had happened

PM Mignini: Did you come to know, did you ever come to know, and if yes, when, in what moment, Meredith had died… that is, if Meredith’s death was immediate or if it was prolonged, if there was a death agony… if yes, when did you find that out?

Knox: The only time when I heard of this was when Luciano [Ghirga] was describing the wound and how deep it was… What kind of wound it was and he said “maybe she died slowly because no big vein had been struck”

Interpreter: So, the first time you had heard talking about the wound and how she died… when was it with Luciano?

Lawyer: The morning of the 8th

[84]

PM Mignini: So, after the 6th…

Lawyer: The morning of the 8th

PM Mignini: The morning of November 8th

Lawyer: After the arrest validation [hearing]

Interpreter: And there she found out that no vital vein was directly struck and therefore…

PM Mignini: You say that she came to know on the 8th from the lawyer.

Lawyer: From the lawyers.

PM Mignini: From the lawyers, sorry.

Lawyer: We always came all together

PM Mignini: Either one or the other [of you] could have told her… so… [talking to Knox] I formally notify [for the record, a contradiction] that an Erasmus student and a colleague of this student, they said, on this past December 10th that on the night of the second in the Questura, while having… a girl called Natalie, I won’t tell you her last name but she… she was a friend of Meredith, she had noticed that you were talking at length with Sollecito, and at a certain point, in response to a comment made by one of these girls that they hoped Meredith had died without suffering, you instead said “ with those kind of wounds the death would not have come fast and that therefore Meredith must have died after a certain period of time”. I’ll reread it to you if you’d like, ok?

Knox: The police told me that her throat was cut, and what I know about that topic, I mean when they cut your throat, it is terrible and I heard that it’s a horrible way to die…

Interpreter: Yes the police had told her that Meredith’s throat was cut and what Amanda knew is that it’s an agonizing way to die…

[85]

PM Mignini: But this is something we found out after, we too found it out only later… not right away…

Knox: The police told me that her throat had been cut.

Interpreter: The police had told her that her throat had been cut.

PM Mignini: Who from the police? Excuse me I’d like to know… cutting the neck, it can happen in many ways, vital veins can be struck and might also not be struck, therefore one thing is about cutting the throat, and another is about the way how to cut it and therefore make it so that the death occurs instantaneously, or cause a death with agony. On the evening of the second, if it’s true, according to these results, on the evening of the second you knew that, with those kind of wounds, she must have suffered an agony… and the police didn’t know that…

Knox: I thought that a death by cutting the throat was always slow and terrible…

PM Mignini: The autopsy was made on the fourth, two days later

Interpreter: What she thought was that cutting the throat was always a slow death in general

PM Mignini: It’s not like that…not necessarily… anyway, who from the police told you about the neck wound? Tell us.

Knox: It was probably the interpreter…the first interpreter was the person I talked to the most… all information I had came more or less from him…

Interpreter: Probably the translator/interpreter

PM Mignini: Therefore, therefore he told you while you were being heard…

Lawyer: She was in there 12 hours

[86]

Knox: When I was in there I was talking to the police and they told me that her throat was cut… the whole conversation was between me and the interpreter. It was him who must have told me, a long time has passed but I think it was like that…

Interpreter: Directly from the interpreter, indirectly from the police

PM Mignini: So [it was] when you were questioned. Not before.

Interpreter: No, before she was questioned she didn’t know how she was…

Knox: No, when I was home the way she died…

PM Mignini: Before being questioned… you were questioned until 15:30, until what time have you been heard? You were being heard since 15:30, until what time were you being heard?

Knox: I don’t know it was a long questioning…

Lawyer: She had been heard in the presence of an interpreter, maybe the interpreter…

PM Mignini: It was D’Astolto… Fabio D’Astolto

Lawyer: The interpreter was present from the beginning or only from the questioning onwards?

PM Mignini: Yes, well he was a policeman acting as an interpreter, translating. Fabio D’Astolto. Assistant D’Astolto. When and how, in what terms did D’Astolto express himself, this translator what did he tell you?

Lawyer: When?

PM Mignini: When and what did he tell you

Knox: I don’t remember when but I asked him how she died

Interpreter: She doesn’t remember when but she asked him how she was killed…

PM Mignini: And he pointed out to you the wound on the neck. The wound on the neck and that’s all. Fine. This translator.

[87]

Lawyer: [to the Prosecutor] You referred to an Erasmus student who had said that on December 10th.  Ms. Natalie would have said this.

PM Mignini: Yes

Lawyer: And is the Erasmus student indicated [in the records]?

PM Mignini: It is indicated

Lawyer: Do we have a name?

PM Mignini: Capruzzi, Filippo and the other one is a certain, a colleague of his, Chiara, Maioli.

Lawyer: So it was two Erasmus students

PM Mignini: Two Erasmus students who confirmed this confidentiality from this English girl. Some… this is the December 10th hearing report… ok

Lawyer G. She clarified if she had talked with the interpreter, with someone before…

Lawyer C. We have clarified that the interpreter was not an interpreter but was a police officer who speaks English and that apparently was present from the beginning and therefore at this point…

PM Mignini: Wait.. one moment… did you, did you… did you see this person who was translating at the house?

Knox: No

Interpreter: No

PM Mignini: Perfect

Lawyer: She was approximately 12 hours in the Questura and at some time she heard the first… let’s call it questioning but it was a long time, and before the questioning she heard of this wound on the neck, is that right?

[88]

PM Mignini: During the questioning, you said before, during the questioning so much as this policeman translator was present, therefore… no I’m very sorry, who did you hear this from? The translator? The policeman

Interpreter: About the wound? The first time?

PM Mignini: The wound

Knox: I think so

Knox: The first time?

PM Mignini: Yeah

Interpreter: I think the interpreter the first time

PM Mignini: And it would be this D’Astolto… so this D’Astolto told you, please excuse me you told me this “it was D’Astolto” now… therefore this D’Astolto told you this during the course of the questioning?

Knox: I think so…

Interpreter: Yes, she thinks so

PM Mignini: Ok, one more thing, so the… you did, the morning of the… actually no, the night between the fifth and the sixth of November, you did, let’s say partially modify your previous declarations, so then you modified your previous declarations and you made a specific accusation against Patrick Dia Lumumba known as Patrick. You said that you were supposed to meet with Patrick, that you met with Patrick at the basketball court of Piazza Grimana, that you went to Meredith’s house, to your house, and then he had sex with Meredith, then you heard a scream and you accused him even if in terms you say “confusedly” of killing Meredith. Isn’t that so? Why did you make this accusation? … Now remember, I was hearing you, I was present, you were crying, you were

[89]

profoundly upset, and you were as if relieved when you made this statement.

Lawyer: Maybe she was stressed?

PM Mignini: Well, stressed or not, in any case she was very   she made these declarations

Lawyer: You asked her a question “Why did you make these declarations”?

PM Mignini: Well I also have to…

Lawyer: Eh these are opinions

PM Mignini: I am saying that you made a declaration not in a detached way, in other words in a very involved manner, why did you make these statements?

Knox: I was scared, I was confused, it had been hours that the police that I thought were protecting me, and instead they were putting me under pressure and were threatening me.

Interpreter: She was scared, she was confused, it had been hours that the police were threatening and pressuring her.

PM Mignini: Yes, tell me, go on

Knox: The reason why I thought of Patrick was because the police were yelling at me about Patrick… they kept saying about this message, that I had sent a message to Patrick…

Interpreter: The reason why she thought of Patrick was because the police was asking her who was this Patrick to whom she sent, with whom there was this exchange of messages, they were asking her insistently.

Knox: That was the worse experience of my life

Interpreter: The worse experience of her life

[90]

Knox: I had never been more confused than then

Interpreter: She had been so confused or scared

PM Mignini: But in the following memoriale [spontaneous statement around noon 6 November] that you wrote before going to prison, basically you don’t retract this accusation. Even if in terms, still in terms let’s say of uncertainty, between dream and reality, in other words in such a way … still you didn’t … I believe that in this memoriale you say “I still see this image in front of me” and then you see yourself while hearing it, you say that in that first memoriale you wrote “you hear Meredith’s screams and you put your hands over your ears”. Why do you have this image? Your ears… the scream… it’s not like it’s changing much after all isn’t that so?

Lawyer: No, but she says she was very confused… she was under a lot of stress

PM Mignini: Yes, but why does it basically remain the same, this one…

Knox: Yes, I imagined these things…

Interpreter: Imagined this scene

Knox: I was so scared and confused

Interpreter: I was so scared and confused

Knox: that I tried to imagine what could have happened. The police told me that I was probably not remembering well. So I thought of what could be another answer and therefore I imagined it…

Interpreter: She tried to think of what could have happened since the police was saying that probably she didn’t remember well. And therefore she imagined this scene, trying to think how it could have happened

PM Mignini: Well, you, I just tell you, I tell you only that this Dia Lumumba, this Patrick, only comes up in your statements, he wasn’t, he has never been indicated previously in the slightest, I mean why did you, why did you almost feel…

[91]

...forced to, so you say, to give this name? While this name had never been, you had never mentioned him previously… in the statements of the 2nd, the 3rd…. Why only at a certain point di this Patrick pop up? I’m telling you, do you realize… excuse me, eh? … excuse me….

Knox: They were telling me “why did you send this message to Patrick, this message to Patrick!”

Interpreter: Because they were always insisting about this message to Patrick and because…

PM Mignini: Well because there’s the message so [it’s] the message but it’s just that, it’s not that there was an attitude, I mean it’s not like there was any reference to a message according to what emerges from the statements. In fact there was a message that you… since there had been an exchange of messages right before the time of the murder between you and this person it’s normal that the police would want to know why, what this message meant, this… therefore it’s not something… why did you threw yourself in this kind of… ? While you had, you had the possibility to…?

Knox: Because I thought that it could have been true

Interpreter: Because she thought it could have been true…

PM Mignini: It could have been true?

Lawyer: Why?

Knox: When I was there, I was confused…

PM Mignini: [to the lawyers, ed.] No, no, excuse me, at this point no, I’m sorry. Not the lawyers. The defense can intervene against me but against the person investigated…?

Lawyer Ghirga: But there was no question… Prosecutor there was no question

PM Mignini: It could be true. What does it mean?

[92]

Lawyer Ghirga: There was no question

PM Mignini: What? I am asking the question.

Lawyer Ghirga: Then ask it.

PM Mignini: What does it mean, how ‘could it be true’? What?

Lawyer Ghirga: What could be true?

PM Mignini: Excuse me, lawyer

Lawyer Ghirga: It’s like the phone call with her parents

PM Mignini: What could be true

Lawyer Ghirga: It’s like the phone call with her parents

PM Mignini: …Lawyer Ghirga… what…?

Lawyer Ghirga: [seems to Knox] What do you want to say then? Let’s ask her…

PM Mignini: Excuse me, I am asking the questions, I am asking them now

Lawyer Ghirga Yes of course

PM Mignini: Then after you can… I am asking her…

Lawyer Ghirga: Yes of course, we will ask them too…

PM Mignini: Lawyer… she is saying “it could have been true”…

Lawyer: What?

PM Mignini: “it could have been true”. She was telling me why did she accuse Lumumba of this fact? “It could have been true” is what she answered. Gentlemen, here…

Knox: I said it because I imagined it and I thought that it could have been true…

Interpreter: She said because she had imagined it and therefore she thought it could have been true.

[93]

PM Mignini: Look, listen… listen, why did you imagine it?

Knox Why?... Because I was stressed

PM Mignini: Why didn’t you imagine…

Lawyer: No she was answering

PM Mignini: Yes; what did you want to say?

Interpreter: Because she was under stress…

Knox: Knox: Why? I was stressed, I was scared, it was after long hours in the middle of the night, I was innocent and they were telling me that I was guilty

Interpreter: Because they were saying that she was guilty

PM Mignini: Who was saying it? Guilty who’….

Interpreter: After hours…

Lawyer: Excuse me, prosecutor, if we can correctly compile this translation, these words that were said in English at the right moment

PM Mignini: She is crying, we acknowledge, I’m sorry, we acknowledge that the… investigated is crying.

Interpreter: Because she was stressed, scared under pressure after many hours, she was… in the middle of the night, they had reached the middle of the night and because they were saying that Amanda was guilty.

PM Mignini: Who was saying that she was guilty?

Interpreter: The police

Lawyer: The police was accusing her

Interpreter: The police was accusing Amanda

[94]

PM Mignini: Why… why did you accuse Lumumba and not others? How many people did you know who could…

Knox: Because they were yelling Patrick’s name…

Interpreter: She accused Patrick and not others because they were always talking about Patrick, suggesting…

PM Mignini: The police, the police couldn’t suggest…

Interpreter: Yelling Patrick’s name

PM Mignini: Excuse me, what was the police saying?

Interpreter: What did the police tell you?

Knox: The police were telling me that ‘we know that you were at the house, we know that you left the house’, and the moment before I said Patrick’s name they put.. someone was showing me the message that I had sent on the phone

Interpreter: The police said that they knew that Amanda was inside the house, and when she went in, when she went out, that she was inside the house, and while they were asking her this someone showed her Patrick’s message on the phone.

PM Mignini: But this is… But this is normal. You… there was this message… I’m sorry, I’m very sorry. There’s a murder here. There’s a girl whose throat is slit, there was a phone number, there was a call that had been made, you were being heard. There was a call that had been made to you on the night of the murder from this person, you replied to this call in a way that could have been interpreted, according to the meaning in Italian “will see you”. Eh, so what is more normal than to insist? The police are doing their job. They insist to know, what did that mean, what was the, what relationship was there between you and Lumumba. This is normal.

[95]

Knox: I didn’t understand why they were insisting that I was lying… they kept telling me that I was lying…

Interpreter: She didn’t understand why they were insisting that she was lying.

PM Mignini: Why are you…?

Interpreter: The police was insisting that she was lying.

PM Mignini: But why did you accuse, then if it was like this….  Again you are, you are crying again, for a long while since you started, I put in the record, I put in the record that… it’s been ten minutes that you have been crying. Why did you accuse a person that, today, you’re telling us he is innocent, but earlier you just told us “it could be true” what does “it could be true” mean? You have told me “it could be true”.

Lawyer: The subject is missing

PM Mignini: No the subject is there, because I asked the question. Why did you accuse Lumumba?

Lawyer: Can we suspend a moment please?

PM Mignini: What reason?

Knox: It means that in the moment when I told Patrick’s name, I thought that it could have been true.

Interpreter: In the moment in which she said Patrick’s name, in that moment, she thought it could have been true.

Lawyer Ghirga: We ask for a suspension… she is calm, you say she is crying, and we think she’s not.

PM Mignini: I put that in the record it because I could see the tears, she was crying and I could hear her too.

[96]

Lawyer: It was not ten minutes long

PM Mignini: Well, even more, maybe

Lawyer: maybe, no less

PM Mignini: Let’s interrupt, break off.

Lawyer: You asked her six times…

PM Mignini: For Heaven’s sake, let’s interrupt, break off.

(interruption)

[from this point on Amanda declares her right to remain silent]

PM Mignini: So, at 15:12 lawyer Luciano Ghirga resumes the interrogation

Lawyer Ghirga: In the name of the defensive collegium we submit a reason to confer personally, privately, we mean alone together with our client, for a time not longer than ten minutes.

PM Mignini: So, the Public Prosecutor is pointing out that the interrogation had already been suspended and it’s 15: 13 now, pointing out that the interrogation was suspended several times, and the last time for, how long? Ten minutes on request of the defence, and the defence will be allowed to fully have counsel with the person under investigation at the end of the interrogation. [The Public Prosecutor] orders to proceed, orders to go forward with the investigation procedure. So now I would like…

Lawyer Ghirga: If you may, ask to the suspect, to the person under investigation, whether she intends to go on or to invoke her right not to answer…?

PM Mignini: This is a… it’s a… it’s a… she decided to answer questions at the beginning. Now if she decides to make a statement where she says “I don’t want to answer any more” she’ll be the one who says it, and it’s not that I must ask now, that question was done at the beginning of the interrogation. If now she wants to say…

Knox: I prefer not to answer any more…

[97]

Lawyer Ghirga: What did she say?

Interpreter: She doesn’t want to answer anymore.

PM Mignini: So, at this point, at 15: 15, on a question asked by the defence lawyers, about whether the person under investigation intends to go on answering or not…

Lawyer Ghirga: To your questions

PM Mignini: To a question by lawyer Ghirga… yes, well, Lawyer Ghirga asked her that

Lawyer: He didn’t first ask the question

Lawyer Ghirga: But what question did I ask?

Lawyer: We told you to ask her…

PM Mignini: Yes, you asked me, and I did follow the request. But…

Lawyer Ghirga: She made a declaration, and we took note, unfortunately, about forbidden suggestions… but on what request…?

PM Mignini: Now at this point, at 15: 15 the defence lawyers… Let’s put like this, the defence lawyers ask this Prosecutor about whether he intends to ask the person under investigation if she intends to go on answering questions, but then, after my decision, Lawyer Ghirga said…

Lawyer Ghirga: Who said? You said

PM Mignini: You asked her, I put in the record what happened, it’s recorded anyway, this is what I perceived you asked her, and she answered “I do not intend to answer”, she said, and then the interpreter…

Lawyer Ghirga: I asked whether she intended to make a statement, and she made a statement

PM Mignini: You indicated that to her, it changes nothing, doesn’t change… I must only put in the record what happened. The public prosecutor points out that…

[98]

...the warning about the right not to answer was explained to the person under investigation at the beginning of the interrogation, as provided by the Code, and that same [person under investigation] declared she wanted to answer. It is not possible now to invoke the duty to inform the suspect about her right, because such requirement has been already fulfilled. Anyway the person under investigation can, if she decides to, declare that she doesn’t want to answer any more. Such option has been shown to the person under investigation by lawyer Ghirga.

Lawyer: ...by the defence lawyers

PM Mignini: By the defence lawyers, to the person under investigation. What do you want to do?

Lawyer: What do you mean by “It was shown?”

PM Mignini: It was shown, because you said… I need to put in the record what happened. The lawyer… Facing my warrant which I described, the notice was provided at the beginning of the interrogation as the code requires. She said “I want to answer, I do not intend to invoke my right not to answer”. That answer had been given already, I informed her, and she answered. Now to this, at this point, however, I said nothing prevents her from wanting, from declaring “at this point I do not intend to answer any more”. I put it in the record and I don’t ask why, at that point, at that point.

Lawyer: You should not put in the record “the defence lawyers have shown…”

PM Mignini: “at that point”

Lawyer: We did not show anything, we asked to be allowed to, well… and you said no.

PM Mignini: So… lawyer, lawyer?

Lawyer: And you said no, and we didn’t have the possibility to show her…

[99]

PM Mignini: Lawyer Ghirga… Lawyer Ghirga…

Lawyer: that she might invoke her right to not answer. It’s not that it’s we who’ve shown this possibility this is what I want to explain…

PM Mignini: Lawyer Ghirga told her something, so…?

Lawyer Ghirga: No, no, I only said, if you could give us a ten minutes suspension

PM Mignini: You told her something, now come on… I need to put that on record

Lawyer Ghirga: what did I say…

PM Mignini: You have shown, I don’t know if the other lawyer did too, you told, Lawyer Ghirga, you told the person under investigation about… You said, if you can, if I remember correctly,  we’ll hear her again…

Lawyer Costa: It was me who told her, Mr. Prosecutor

PM Mignini: So I understood Lawyer Ghirga… Lawyer Giancarlo Costa declares he explained that, I didn’t say anything else

Lawyer Costa: ... To Ms. Amanda Knox to use her right to invoke her right not to answer

PM Mignini: ... And she herself declares so, she is supposed to declare what she wants

Lawyer: She has already said that

PM Mignini: Let’s repeat it since with this superimposition of voices… the interpreter will translate faithfully word-by-word what you say.

Knox: At this point I don’t want to answer any more

Interpreter: At this point she doesn’t want to answer any more

PM Mignini: So “at this point I don’t want to answer any more”. We put on record that the current transcript was recorded entirely.

[100]

Lawyer Costa: Mr Public Prosecutor, we lawyers may renounce to our own time terms of deposit if Your Honour would give us a copy

PM Mignini: Yes, no problem… at 15: 22. The parties demand a transcription, I mean the defence lawyers request the transcription of the recording.


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