Heads-up on Amanda Knox "luncheon" this Thursday at Loyola Law School. Organizer Laura Caldwell and Dean David Yellen should be aware of this if they did due diligence. There do seem to be vastly more deserving cases in the US and they dont come with the "baggage" of xenophobia, defamation, money-grubbing, the mafias, bent judges, and stalking of the victim's family. In Supreme Court rulings Knox remains a convicted felon, and at minimum an accessory to murder.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fifty Of The Most Common Myths Still Promoted Without Legal Restraint By The Knox PR Campaign

Posted by The Machine

Fooled ya! Knox’s parents have the mythmaking machine’s pedal to the floor, and arent slowing it


I’ve listed the 50 most common myths circulating in the media with regard to the Amanda Knox/Meredith Kercher case and refuted them using as far as possible the official court documents and court testimony.

1. Knox was called to the Perugia central police station on 5 November 2007.

Neither the police nor the prosecutors brought Knox in for questioning on 5 November 2007. She was there unwanted, and stayed after it was suggested she go home and sleep.

Amanda Knox herself testified in court that she wasn’t called to come to the police station on 5 November 2007.

Carlo Pacelli: “For what reason did you go to the Questura on November 5? Were you called?”

Amanda Knox: “No, I wasn’t called. I went with Raffaele because I didn’t want to be alone.”

Monica Napoleoni, the head of Perugia’s homicide squad, said they told Knox she should go home to rest, but Knox insisted on staying:

Amanda also came that evening, the evening of the 5th. We said to Amanda that she could go home to rest. Since, during those days, she was always saying, always complaining that she wanted to rest, wanted to eat, we said: ‘Look, you’ve eaten; you can go and rest yourself. If there’s a need, we’ll call you.’

Instead, she was very nervous, and insisted on staying there.

Inspector Rita Ficarra was the one who led the discussion on a list of possible perps with Knox.

Rita Ficarra: My astonishment was that I saw, I found her there, and I found her doing – demonstrating – her gymnastic abilities: she was doing a cartwheel; she had shown the back arch, she had done the splits, and it seemed to me, sincerely, a bit out of place, that is to say given the circumstances, the moment and the place. For which [reason] I admonished her, and I even asked her what she was doing there.

She, and my colleagues also confirmed this, said to me that she had come because they had called Raffaele Sollecito, he had been invited that evening to give another recap, and she had accompanied him.

Judge Massei [GCM]: You said this to her in English or in Italian?

RF: In Italian. I reiterate that she speaks Italian, with me she speaks only in Italian. I do not understand a word of English, so … My colleagues confirm that there was Sollecito who was there in another room and in that moment the Deputy Commissioner Napoleoni and other colleagues were listening to him.

And continuing to speak, the girl told me that she was rather shocked at the fact, annoyed at the fact that she had been called and recalled several times by the Police and [that] she was totally tired.

At that point, I also admonished her because I said: you’re tired, yet nonetheless you came this evening, when nobody has invited you: you could have gone to rest. And furthermore – I said – you don’t understand that we are talking about a murder, of a person that you say was your friend, [who] lived in the same house as you, it happened in your house. If the Police call you, put yourself in our shoes: we need useful information.

2. Knox was subjected to an all-night interrogation on 5/6 November.

According to Barbie Nadeau in The Daily Beast, Amanda Knox’s questioning began at about 11:00pm.

“Since Knox was already at the police station [in the company of Raffaele Sollecito], the head of the murder squad decided to ask her a few questions. Her interrogation started at about 11pm.”

After Amanda Knox had made her witness statement at 1:45am, she wasn’t questioned again that evening. She decided to made another witness statement at 5:45am, but she wasn’t asked any questions.

3. Knox wasn’t provided with an interpreter for her questioning on 5 November 2007.

This claim is completely false as shown through the trial testimony of Knox and her interpreter. Knox’s interpreter on 5 November 2007, Anna Donnino, testified at length at trial about Knox’s convesrsation that evening. And Amanda Knox herself spoke about her interpreter when she later gave testimony at the trial.

4. Knox wasn’t given anything to eat or drink.

Reported by Richard Owen, in The Times, 1 March 2009:

Ms Napoleoni told the court that while she was at the police station Ms Knox had been ‘treated very well. She was given water, chamomile tea and breakfast. She was given cakes from a vending machine and then taken to the canteen at the police station for something to eat.’

Also reported by Richard Owen, in The Times, 15 March 2009:

Ms Donnino said that Ms Knox had been ‘comforted’ by police, given food and drink, and had at no stage been hit or threatened.

John Follain in his book Death in Perugia, page 134, also reports that Knox was given food and drink during her questioning:

During the questioning, detectives repeatedly went to fetch her a snack, water, and hot drinks, including chamomile tea.

This is from the relevant court transcript:

Monica Napoleoni: Amanda was given something to drink several times. She was brought hot chamomile; she was taken to the bar of the Questura to eat. First she was given brioches from the little [vending] machine.

Carlo Pacelli: These methods of treatment, how did they translate into practice? With what behaviour/actions [were they carried out] in actual fact? Earlier, you recalled that they actually brought her something to eat…

MN: It’s true. That morning, I remember that Inspector Ficarra actually took her to the bar to eat as soon as it opened. But before [that], we have little [vending] machines on the ground floor, and she was brought water, she was brought hot drinks, she was brought a snack. But also Raffaele, he was given something to drink; it’s not as though they were kept … absolutely.

Giuliano Mignini:  Had types of comfort been offered to her?

Anna Donnino:  Well, during the evening, yes, in the sense that I remember that someone went down to the ground floor; it was the middle of the night, so in the station at that hour there are those automatic distributors; there’s nothing else; someone went to the ground floor and brought everybody something to drink, some hot drinks and something to eat. I myself had a coffee, so I believe that she also had something.

Above: Several of the myth inventors and disseminators: Sforza, Mellas, Preston

5. Knox was beaten by the police.

The witnesses who were present when Knox was questioned, including her interpreter, testified under oath at the trial in 2009 that she wasn’t hit. (Under Italian law, witnesses must testify under oath, while defendants do not, so are not required by law to be truthful on the stand.)

These are from the relevant court transcripts:

Giuliano Mignini: Do you recall, shall we say, that night between the 1st and then the spontaneous declarations and then the order for arrest, who and what was with her, other than you, whether there were other subjects that spoke with us, how they behaved? Did [she] undergo/experience violent [sic: NdT: “violente” in Italian, probably typo for “violenze” = “violence/force/assault”] by any chance?

Rita Ficarra: Absolutely not.

GM: Was she intimidated, threatened?

RF: No. I, as I said earlier, I came in that evening and there were some colleagues from the Rome SCO, I was with Inspector Fausto Passeri, then I saw come out, that is come out from the entry-door to the offices of the Flying [Squad] the Assistant Zugarini and Monica Napoleoni, who appeared for an instant just outside there, then we went back in calmly, because the discussion we had with her was quite calm.

Giuliano Mignini: ... violence, of …

Monica Napoleoni: But absolutely not!

Mignini:  You remember it… you’ve described it; however, I’ll ask it. Was she threatened? Did she suffer any beatings?

Anna Donnino: Absolutely not.

GM: She suffered maltreatments?

AD:  Absolutely not.

Carlo Pacelli:  In completing and consolidating in cross-examination the questions by the public prosecutor, I refer to the morning of the 6th of November, to the time when Miss Knox had made her summary information. In that circumstance, Miss Knox was struck on the head with punches and slaps?

Anna Donnino:  Absolutely not.

CP:  In particular, was she struck on the head by a police woman?

AD:  Absolutely not!

CP:  Miss Knox was, however, threatened?

AD:  No, I can exclude that categorically!

CP:  With thirty years of prison… ?

AD:  No, no, absolutely not.

CP:  Was she, however, sworn at, in the sense that she was told she was a liar?

AD:  I was in the room the whole night, and I saw nothing of all this.

CP:  So the statements that had been made had been made spontaneously, voluntarily?

AD:  Yes.

Carlo Della Valla:  This…

Giancarlo Massei:  Pardon, but let’s ask questions… if you please.

CP:  You were also present then during the summary informations made at 5:45?

AD:  Yes.

CP:  And were they done in the same way and methods as those of 1:45?

AD:  I would say yes. Absolutely yes.

CP:  To remove any shadow of doubt from this whole matter, as far as the summary information provided at 5:45 Miss Knox was struck on the head with punches and slaps?

AD:  No.

CP:  In particular, was she struck on the head by a policewoman?

AD:  No.

Even Amanda Knox’s lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, distanced himself in the Italian media from these allegations and never lodged any complaint:

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

6. Knox was refused a lawyer.

Rita Ficarra and Anna Donnino testified that Knox was several times advised to have a lawyer, but each she declined the offer:

Anna Donnino:  ...she was asked if she wanted a lawyer.

Giuliano Mignini:  And what was her response?

AD: She had answered no; I remember that she replied with no.

Before she insisted on drafting her 1:45 and 5:45 am accusations Knox was advised to have a lawyer advise her, but she declined and pressed on.

Dr Mignini has wondered if the Supreme Court really understood this in banning the two unprovoked accusations from Knox’s main trial.

7. Knox was tag-teamed by two police officers every hour.

According to Anna Donnino, who arrived at the police station at about 12:30am, there was a total of three people in the room with Knox:

Anna Donnino: “I had been made to enter a room where in fact there was Inspector Ficarra at a small table, another colleague from SCO (I only remember his first name; he was called Ivano), a police officer, and there was Miss Knox seated. I seated myself beside her.”

Above: Several of the main myth inventors and disseminators: Fischer, Sforza, Moore

8. Knox was asked to imagine what might have happened.

According to the corroborative testimony of the three others present, including Rita Ficarra and Anna Donnino, Amanda Knox voluntarily and spontaneously accused Patrick Lumumba of murdering Meredith.

Here is Rita Ficarra.

We found only that one [text message] sent by her. She was given the mobile into her hand, and it was said, who is this person, and did you go out later or not? She said the name of Patrick Lumumba, and gave the declaration that then ...

GM: And what behaviour did she then adopt/assume?

RF: She suddenly put her hands to her head, burst out crying and said to us “It’s him, it’s him, it was him, he killed her”. It was the only time that I saw her cry.

GM: This behaviour, did she then continue like that during the course of that morning, by now we were at what time?...

RF: No, she was as if she was giving vent in that moment, she cried, she began to say that he was crazy, he was crazy.

Here is Anna Donnino:

Judge Massei: This change, at what moment did it happen, and in what did it consist of?

Anna Donnono: The change had occurred right after this message, in the sense that the signorina said she hadn’t replied to the message from Patrick, when instead her reply message was shown to her she had a true and proper emotional shock. It’s a thing that has remained very strongly with me because the first thing that she did is that she immediately puts her hands on her ears, making this gesture rolling her head, curving in her shoulders also and saying “It’s him! It’s him! It was him! I can see/hear him or: I know it.[Lo sento]” and so on and so forth.

Carlo Pacelli:  So the statements that had been made had been made spontaneously, voluntarily?

Anna Donnino:  Yes.

Here is Judge Massei.

[After hearing and weighing up the testimony of these witnesses and Amanda Knox, Judge Massei stated that it couldn’t be claimed that] “Amanda Knox was persuaded by the investigators to accuse Diya Lumumba, aka Patrick, by means of various pressing requests which she could not resist.” (Massei report, page 388.)

[He noted that there had been] “no corroboration of the pressing requests which Amanda was seemingly subjected to in order to accuse Diya Lumumba of the crime committed to the detriment of Meredith.” (Massei report, page 389.)

Judge Massei concluded at trial in 2009 that Knox had freely accused Patrick Lumumba of Meredith’s murder and awarded her a prison sentence for calunnia confirmed in 2013 by the Supreme Court for which there is no further appeal.

9. Amanda Knox claimed she had had a “dream-like vision” in her witness statements.

Amanda Knox makes no mention of a dream or vision in her two witness statements. She categorically states that she met Diya Lumumba at Piazza Grimana and that they went to the cottage on Via della Pergola. In her first witness statement, she claims that Lumumba killed Meredith.

This is from the 1:45 am statement.

I responded to the message by telling him that we would see each other at once; I then left the house, telling my boyfriend that I had to go to work. In view of the fact that during the afternoon I had smoked a joint, I felt confused, since I do not frequently make use of mind-altering substances, nor of heavier substances.

I met Patrik immediately afterward, at the basketball court on Piazza Grimana, and together we went [to my] home. I do not recall whether Meredith was there or arrived afterward. I struggle to remember those moments, but Patrik had sex with Meredith, with whom he was infatuated, but I do not recall whether Meredith had been threatened beforehand. I recall confusedly that he killed her.

This is from the 5:45 am statement.

I wish to relate spontaneously what happened because these events have deeply bothered me and I am really afraid of Patrick…  I met him in the evening of November 1st 2007, after sending him a reply message saying “I will see you”. We met soon after at about 21.00 at the basketball court of Piazza Grimana. We went to my apartment in Via della Pergola n. 7.

I do not clearly remember if Meredith was already at home or if she came later, what I can say is that Patrick and Meredith went into Meredith’s room, while I think I stayed in the kitchen. I cannot remember how long they stayed together in the room but I can only say that at a certain point I heard Meredith screaming and as I was scared I plugged up my ears.

10. Amanda Knox was questioned in Italian

The police provided Amanda Knox with an interpreter, Anna Donnino, so that she could be questioned in English.

11. Dr Mignini questioned Knox on 5 November 2007.

Dr Mignini did not question Amanda Knox that evening. She wanted to make further declarations, and he came to the police station on the night only because he was on duty and had to witness Knox being cautioned. After Knox was cautioned that she need not say anything without a lawyer, Knox nevertheless insisted that she draft a second statement in front of him.

Mr Mignini explained what happened in his e-mail letter to Linda Byron, a journalist for King5 in Seattle:

All I did was to apply the Italian law to the proceedings. I really cannot understand any problem.

In the usual way, Knox was first heard by the police as a witness, but when some essential elements of her involvement with the murder surfaced, the police suspended the interview, according to article 63 of the penal-proceedings code.

But Knox then decided to render spontaneous declarations that I took up without any further questioning, which is entirely lawful.

According to article 374 of the penal-proceedings code, suspects must be assisted by a lawyer only during a formal interrogation, and when being notified of alleged crimes and questioned by a prosecutor or judge, not when they intend to render unsolicited declarations.

Since I didn’t do anything other than to apply the Italian law applicable to both matters, I am unable to understand the objections and reservations which you are talking about.”

In Amanda Knox’s written witness statement, she explicitly states that she’s making a spontaneous declaration:

I wish to relate spontaneously what happened because these events have deeply bothered me and I am really afraid of Patrick, the African boy who owns the pub called Le Chic located in Via Alessi, where I work periodically.

12. Knox didn’t confess until 6am.

Amanda Knox’s first written statement was made at 1:45am. It was not a confession, it was a false accusation.

13. Knox retracted her allegation against Lumumba immediately.

Amanda Knox didn’t retract her accusation immediately. In fact, she never did formally. Knox reiterated her allegation in her handwritten note to the police late morning of 6 November 2007, which was admitted in evidence: From the Massei report:

[Amanda] herself, furthermore, in the statement of 6 November 2007 (admitted into evidence ex. articles 234 and 237 of the Criminal Procedure Code and which was mentioned above) wrote, among other things, the following:

I stand by my [accusatory] statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrick…in these flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrick as the murderer…

This statement was that specified in the notes of 6 November 2007, at 20:00, by Police Chief Inspector Rita Ficarra, and was drawn up following the notification of the detention measure, by Amanda Knox, who “requested blank papers in order to produce a written statement to hand over” to the same Ficarra. (Massei report, page 389.)

Knox did not withdraw the false accusation at her first hearing in front of a magistrate on 8 November.

The Massei court took note of the fact that Amanda Knox didn’t recant her false and malicious allegation against Diya Lumumba during the entire time, two weeks, he was kept in prison.

14. In the days following Meredith’s murder, Knox voluntarily stayed in Perugia to help the police

This claim is contradicted by Amanda Knox herself. In the e-mail she wrote to her friends in Seattle on 4 November 2007 she categorically stated she was not allowed to leave Italy:

“i then bought some underwear because as it turns out i wont be able to leave italy for a while as well as enter my house”

Knox actually knew on 2 November 2007 that she couldn’t leave Italy. Amy Frost, a friend of Meredith, reported the following conversation (Massei report, page 37):

“I remember having heard Amanda speaking on the phone. I think that she was talking to a member of her family, and I heard her say, ‘No, they won’t let me go home; I can’t catch that flight.’ ”

15. All of Meredith’s friends left immediately.

The police also told Sophie Purton that they needed her to stay on in Perugia on precisely the same basis as Amanda Knox. Sophie had been counting on leaving Perugia to fly back home as soon as her parents arrived, but the police called to tell her they needed her to stay on; they would let her know when she could leave. Her father stayed on with her.

In chapter 19 of Death in Perugia John Follain states that Sophie Purton was questioned by Mignini and Napoleoni in the prosecutor’s office on 5 November 2007.

16. There were only two tiny pieces of DNA evidence that implicated her, but they were probably contaminated.

The Italian Supreme Court explained how DNA evidence should be assessed in court; i.e., contamination must be proven with certainty, not supposition. The Court stated that the theory “anything is possible” in genetic testing is not valid.

The burden of proof is on the person who asserts contamination, not the person who denies it.

In other words, if the defence lawyers claim the DNA evidence was contaminated, they must describe the specific place and time where it could have plausibly occurred. Nobody has ever proved that the bra clasp and knife evidence were contaminated. Even Conti and Vecchiotti excluded contamination in the laboratory:

“Laboratory contamination was also excluded by these experts [Conti and Vecchiotti].” (The Supreme Court report, page 92.)

(1) The bra clasp

The fact that the bra clasp was not collected immediately because defense witnesses were not available is irrelevant. The cottage was a sealed crime scene and nobody entered the room during this time:

...the flat had been sealed and nobody had had the opportunity to enter, as shown in the case file.” (The Italian Supreme Court report, page 92.)

Alberto Intini, the head of the Italian police forensic science unit, excluded environmental contamination because “DNA doesn’t fly.”

Even Conti and Vecchiotti excluded contamination in the laboratory because Dr Stefanoni last handled Sollecito’s DNA twelve days before she analysed the bra clasp.

Professor Francesca Torricelli testified that it was unlikely the clasp was contaminated because there was a significant amount of Sollecito’s DNA on it.  His DNA was identified by two separate DNA tests. Of the 17 loci tested in the sample, Sollecito’s profile matched 17 out of 17.

David Balding, a Professor of Statistical Genetics at University College London, analysed the DNA evidence against Sollecito and concluded that the evidence was strong”

“…because Sollecito is fully represented in the stain at 15 loci (we still only use 10 in the UK, so 15 is a lot), the evidence against him is strong…”

(2) The knife

Dr Stefanoni analysed the traces on the knife six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA. This means that contamination couldn’t have occurred in the laboratory. Meredith had never been to Sollecito’s apartment, so contamination away from the laboratory was impossible. 

The knife and bra clasp are not the only pieces of DNA evidence.

According to the prosecution’s experts, there were five samples of Knox’s DNA or blood mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage. After the trial in 2009, The Kerchers’ lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said the mixed-blood evidence was the most damning piece of evidence against Amanda Knox.

The Scientific Police experts concluded it proves that Meredith and Knox were bleeding at the same time.

17. The knife has essentially been thrown out.

The knife hasn’t been thrown out. A further DNA sample (36-I) was extracted from the blade last year and tested by the Carabinieri RIS DNA experts Major Berti and Captain Barni. The sample was attributed to Amanda Knox, the second. Judge Nencini stated in his report that Knox stabbed Meredith with the knife.

Above: Several of the myth inventors and disseminators: Hampikian, Burleigh, Heavey

18. The knife doesn’t match any of the wounds on Meredith’s body.

The prosecution experts, multiple defence experts and Judge Massei in his report have all agreed that the double DNA knife DID match the large wound on Meredith’s neck.

“On these matters, the considerations already made must be recalled which led this Court to evaluate the outcome of the genetic investigation as reliable, and this knife as absolutely compatible with the most serious wound.” (Massei report, page 375.)

Barbie Nadeau, an American journalist based in Rome, reported directly from the courtroom in Perugia that multiple witnesses for the defence, including Dr. Carlo Torre, conceded that the double DNA knife was compatible with the deep puncture wound in Meredith’s neck.

According to multiple witnesses for the defense, the knife is compatible with at least one of the three wounds on Kercher’s neck, but it was likely too large for the other two. (Barbie Nadeau, Newsweek.)

He (Dr. Carlo Torre, defence expert) conceded that a third larger wound could have been made with the knife, but said it was more likely it was made by twisting a smaller knife. (Barbie Nadeau, The Daily Beast.)

19. The DNA on the blade could match half the population of Italy.

Vieri Fabani, a lawyer for the Kerchers, pointed out that there is the possibility of 1 in 1 billion 300 million that the DNA on the blade does not belong to Meredith. 

20. Meredith’s DNA wasn’t found on the blade of the knife.

A number of independent forensic experts—Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, Dr. Renato Biondo, Professor Giuseppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli and Luciano Garofano—have all confirmed that sample 36B was Meredith’s DNA.

Even American experts Elizabeth Johnson, Greg Hampikian and Bruce Budowle, who have been critical of the Scientific Police’s work in this case, have conceded that the DNA was consistent with Meredith’s DNA profile.

It should be noted that none of these American experts testified at the trial or played any official role in the case. They became involved in the case after being approached by supporters of Amanda Knox. They had no bearing on the legal proceedings in Florence.

Judge Nencini accepted that Judge’s Massei and the prosecution’s assertions that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade of Sollecito’s kitchen knife and that it was the murder weapon.   

21. No other knives were taken from Sollecito’s apartment.

Judge Massei discusses a jack-knife that was 18cm long with an 8cm blade at some length and the results of the DNA tests that were carried out on it:

“He [Armando Finzi] recalled they found another knife whose total length was 18cm, with an 8cm blade…” (Massei report, page 106.)

“On the jack‑knife, four samples were taken, with negative results where blood-derived substances had been looked for; on the fourth sample, which involved the handle, the genetic profile was found to be of Sollecito plus Knox.” ( Massei report, page 194.)

22. The knife was chosen at random.

Armando Finzi was the police officer who bagged the knife. He testified that he thought it was the murder weapon because it was compatible with the wound on Meredith’s neck. Andrea Vogt explained this in the same article:

“Armando Finzi, an assistant in the Perugia police department’s organized crimes unit, first discovered the knife in Sollecito’s kitchen drawer. He said the first thing he noticed upon entering the place was a ‘strong smell of bleach.’ He opened the drawer and saw a ‘very shiny and clean’ knife lying on top of the silverware tray.

“ ‘It was the first knife I saw,’ he said. When pressed on cross-examination, he said his ‘investigative intuition’ led him to believe it was the murder weapon because it was compatible with the wound as it had been described to him. With gloved hands, he placed the knife in a new police envelope, taped it shut with Scotch tape, then placed it inside a folder, he said. There were smaller and bigger knives in the drawer, but no others were taken into evidence from the kitchen, he said.” (Andrea Vogt, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 28 February 2009.)

23. No control tests were done.

John Follain pointed out in Death in Perugia that the control tests had been filed with another judge:

“The tests had been filed with an earlier test, and Judge Pratillo Hellmann later admitted them as evidence.” (Death in Perugia, Kindle edition, page 409.)

The judges at the Supreme Court in Italy noted in their report that the negative controls had been carried out:

“…since all the negative controls to exclude it [contamination] had been done by Dr Stefanoni…” (Supreme Court report, page 93.)

The judges at the Italian Supreme Court criticised the court-appointed independent experts Conti and Vecchiotti for assuming they hadn’t been done.

24. There is no evidence of Amanda Knox at the actual crime scene.

The crime scene involves the whole cottage and isn’t limited to Meredith’s room. Knox and Sollecito were both convicted of staging the break-in in Filomena’s room. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence placing Amanda Knox in Meredith’s room on the night of the murder.

For example, her DNA was found on the handle of the murder weapon, her bare bloody footprints were revealed by Luminol in the hallway and her own room and, according to the Scientific Police, her blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood in different parts of the cottage. Knox’s lamp was found in Meredith’s room, and a shoeprint in her size of shoe.

25. None of the Luminol* stains contained Meredith’s DNA.

Two of the traces revealed by Luminol contained Meredith’s DNA:

“Amanda (with her feet stained with Meredith’s blood for having been present in her room when she was killed) had gone into Romanelli’s room and into her [own] room, leaving traces [which were highlighted] by Luminol, some of which (one in the corridor, the L8, and one, the L2, in Romanelli’s room) were mixed, that is, constituted of a biological trace attributable to [both] Meredith and Amanda…” (Massei report, page 380.)

[* Luminol is a substance used in crime-scene investigations to reveal blood that has been cleaned up. It reacts with the microscopic particles of iron in the blood and turns it fluorescent.]

26. Mignini is persecuting Amanda Knox.

As shown above Dr Mignini was absent when Knox made her false accusation. Because of checks and balances, prosecutors in Italy have far less power than their American counterparts. The decision to send Knox to trial was actually made by Judge Micheli in 2008, not by Dr Mignini.

Judge Massei, Judge Cristiani and six lay judges found Knox guilty of murder in Perugia in 2009, and Judge Nencini, Judge Cicerchia and six lay judges confirmed Knox guilty of murder at the appeal in Florence in January 2014. 

Dr Mignini is just one of several prosecutors who have been involved in the case. Manuela Comodi was Mignini’s co-prosecutor at the the trial in 2009.  Giancarlo Costagliola was the main prosecutor in the first appeal, which was annulled by the Italian Supreme Court. He and Giovanni Galati appealed against the 2011 acquittals. Dr Mignini played no part in the new appeal in Florence. Alessandro Crini was the prosecutor.

27. Mignini claimed Meredith was killed as part of a satanic ritual.

Mignini has never claimed that Meredith was killed during a satanic or sacrificial ritual, and that’s the reason why no one has been able to provide a verbatim quote from Mignini supporting this false accusation.

Mignini specifically denied claiming that Meredith was killed in a sacrificial rite, in his letter to the Seattle reporter Linda Byron:

“On the ‘sacrificial rite’ question, I have never said that Meredith Kercher was the victim of a ‘sacrificial rite.’ ”

Mignini also made it quite clear that he has never claimed that Meredith was killed as part of a satanic rite in his interview with Drew Griffin on CNN:

Drew Griffin: “You’ve never said that Meredith’s death was a satanic rite?”

Mignini: “I have never said that. I have never understood who has and continues to say that. I read, there was a reporter – I don’t know his name; I mention it because I noticed it – who continues to repeat this claim that, perhaps, knowing full well that it’s not like that.

“I have never said that there might have been a satanic rite. I’ve never said it, so I would like to know who made it up.”

Above: Several of the myth inventors and disseminators: Kassin, Dempsey, Douglas

28. Mignini claimed Meredith was killed in a sex game that went wrong.

Mignini didn’t say anything about there being a sex game that went wrong when he presented his timeline to the court at the trial. Please be warned that there is some extremely graphic content below:

[Timeline of the attack on Meredith]

23:21: Amanda and Raffaele go into the bedroom while Rudy goes to the bathroom.

23:25: A scuffle begins between Amanda, helped by Raffaele, and Meredith. The English girl is taken by the neck, then banged against a cupboard, as shown by wounds to the skull. She resists all this. Rudy Guede enters.

23:30: Meredith falls to the floor. The three try to undress her to overcome her; they only manage to take off her trousers. The girl manages to get up, she struggles. At this point, the two knives emerge from the pockets of Amanda and Raffaele: one with a blade of four to five centimetres, the other, however, a big kitchen knife. Meredith tries to fend off the blades with her right hand. She is wounded.

23:35: The assault continues. Sollecito tries to rip off the English girl’s bra.

23:40: Meredith is on her knees, threatened by Amanda with the knife while Rudy holds her with one hand and with the other hand carries out an assault on her vagina. There is first a knife blow on her face, then straight away another. However, these blows are not effective. The three become more violent. With the smaller knife, Sollecito strikes a blow: the blade penetrates 4 centimetres into the neck.

There is a harrowing cry, which some witnesses will talk about. Amanda decides to silence her, still according to the video brought to court by the prosecutors, and strikes a blow to the throat with the kitchen knife: it will be the fatal wound. Meredith collapses on the floor.

23:45: Meredith is helped up by Rudy and is coughing up blood. The English girl, dying, is dragged along so that she can continue to be undressed.

29. Mignini called Amanda Knox a “she-devil.”

It wasn’t Mignini who called Amanda Knox a “she-devil”;  it was Carlo Pacelli, the lawyer who represents Diya Lumumba, at the trial in 2009.

Carlo Pacelli’s comments were widely reported by numerous journalists who were present in the courtroom. Barbie Nadeau describes the moment he asked if Knox is a she-devil in some detail in Angel Face:

“‘Who is the real Amanda Knox?’ he asks, pounding his fist in the table. ‘Is she the one we see before us here, all angelic? Or is she really a she-devil focused on sex, drugs, and alcohol, living life on the edge?’

“She is the luciferina—she-devil.’” (Barbie Nadeau, Angel Face, Kindle edition, page 124.)

30. Dr Mignini was convicted of a felony and faced prison.

The Florence Appeal Court and Cassation scathingly threw out a malicious prosecution for which both the prosecutor and judge suffered. Dr Mignini has never faced the slightest risk of prison.  Often now seen on national TV, Dr Mignini is expected to be the next Prosecutor General of Umbria.

31. Rudy Guede was a drifter.

Rudy Guede lived in Perugia from the age of five, and he had his own apartment at the time of the murder.

32. Guede had a criminal record at the time of the murder.

Rudy Guede didn’t have any criminal convictions at the time of Meredith’s murder. He was not a drug dealer and not a police informant. As Judge Micheli scathingly noted, there is no proof that he committed any break-ins.

33. Guede left his DNA all over Meredith and all over the crime scene.

There was only one sample of Guede’s DNA on Meredith body and there were only five samples of his DNA at the cottage. His DNA was found on a vaginal swab, on the sleeve of Meredith’s tracksuit, on her bra, on the zip of her purse and on some toilet paper in the bathroom that Filomena and Laura shared. 

“…also a genetic profile, from the Y haplotype on the vaginal swab, in which no traces of semen were found; DNA on the toilet paper in the bathroom near the room of Mezzetti, where unflushed faeces were found; on the bag found on the bed; on the left cuff of the blue sweatshirt (described as a “zippered shirt” in the first inspection, discovered smeared with blood near the body and partly underneath it); and on the right side of the bra found by the foot of Kercher’s body…” ( Judge Giordano sentencing report, page 5.)

34. Guede left his semen at the crime scene.

Guede’s DNA semen wasn’t found at the crime scene.

“…also a genetic profile, from the Y haplotype on the vaginal swab, in which no traces of semen were found…” (Judge Giordano sentencing report, page 5.)

“In one of these swabs was found biological material belonging to a male subject identified as Rudy Hermann Guede. This material, which turned out not to be spermatic [158], could be from saliva or from epithelial cells from exfoliation…” (Massei report, page 158.)

35. Guede left his DNA inside Meredith’s bag.

According to the Micheli report, which was made available to the public in January 2009, Guede’s DNA was found on the zip of Meredith’s purse, and not inside it.

“…b) traces attributable to Guede: ...on the bag found on the bed…”  (Judge Giordano sentencing report, page 5.)

36. Guede left his bloody fingerprints all over the crime scene.

He left zero fingerprints. According to the Micheli report, the Massei report and Rudy Guede’s final sentencing report, Guede was identified by a single bloody palm print:

“…b) traces attributable to Guede: a palm print in blood found on the pillow case of a pillow lying under the victim’s body – attributed with absolute certainty to the defendant by its correspondence to papillary ridges as well as 16-17 characteristic points equal in shape and position…” (Judge Giordano sentencing report, page 5.)

It is confirmed that Guede was identified by a bloody palm print in the Micheli report (pages 10-11) and the Massei report (page 43). There was not a single fingerprint of his or Sollecito and almost none of Knox at the crime scene—which consists of the entire apartment.

37. Guede left his hair at the crime scene.

The Scientific Police didn’t find any hair that belonged to Rudy Guede at the crime scene. That’s why there’s no mention of this in any of the court documents.

38. Guede pleaded guilty or confessed.

Rudy Guede has never pleaded guilty or confessed to Meredith’s murder. He offered to testify against Knox and Sollecito at trial in 2009, but the prosecutors did not want to give him any breaks. 

39. Guede’s prison sentence was reduced because he made a deal with the prosecutors.

Guede was sentenced to 30 years in prison by Judge Micheli in 2008. However, his sentence was reduced because he opted for a fast-trial, which means he automatically received a third off the sentence of Knox and Sollecito. Generic mitigating circumstances—i.e., his young age—were also taken into consideration.

40. Guede didn’t implicate Knox and Sollecito until much later.

Rudy Guede first implicated Knox and Sollecito whilst on the run in Germany on 19 November 2007 in an intercepted Skype conversation with his friend Giacomo:

Giacomo: “So they [Knox and Sollecito] killed her while she was dressed.”

Guede: “Yes, here it says that they [clothes] were washed in the washing machine, but that’s not true. She was dressed.”

41. Amanda Knox didn’t know Rudy Guede.

Amanda Knox testified in court that she had met Rudy Guede on several occasions.

Here’s the court transcript:

Carlo Pacelli (CP), Patrick Lumumba’s lawyer: In what circumstances did you meet him (Rudy)?

Amanda Knox (AK): I was in the center, near the church. It was during an evening when I met the guys that lived underneath in the apartment underneath us, and while I was mingling with them, they introduced me to Rudy.

CP: So it was on the occasion of a party at the house of the neighbors downstairs?

AK: Yes. What we did is, they introduced me to him downtown just to say “This is Rudy, this is Amanda”, and then I spent most of my time with Meredith, but we all went back to the house together.

CP: Did you also know him, or at least see him, in the pub Le Chic, Rudy?

AK: I think I saw him there once.

CP: Listen, this party at the neighbors, it took place in the second half of October? What period? End of October 2007?

AK: I think it was more in the middle of October.

42. Raffaele Sollecito had never been in trouble with the police.

Raffaele Sollecito had a previous brush with the police in 2003.

“...Antonio Galizia, Carabinieri [C.ri] station commander in Giovinazzo, who testified that in September 2003 Raffaele Sollecito was found in possession of 2.67 grams of hashish.” (Massei report, page 62.)

43. Sollecito had an impeccable track record.

Sollecito was monitored at university after being caught watching hardcore pornography featuring bestiality:

“…and educators at the boy’s ONAOSI college were shocked by a film ‘very much hard-core…where there were scenes of sex with animals with animals,’ at which next they activated a monitoring on the boy to try to understand him. (Pages 130 and 131, hearing 27.3.2009, statements by Tavernesi Francesco).” (Massei report, page 61.)

44. Sollecito couldn’t confirm Knox’s alibi because he was sleeping.

The claim that Sollecito couldn’t confirm Knox’s alibi because he was sleeping is completely contradicted by Sollecito’s witness statement:

“Amanda and I went into town at around 6pm, but I don’t remember what we did. We stayed there until around 8:30 or 9pm.

“At 9pm I went home alone and Amanda said that she was going to Le Chic because she wanted to meet some friends. We said goodbye. I went home, I rolled myself a spliff and made some dinner.” (Aislinn Simpson, The Daily Telegraph, 7 November 2007.)

Police said Raffaele Sollecito had continued to claim he was not present on the evening of the murder. He said:

“I went home, smoked a joint, and had dinner, but I don’t remember what I ate. At around eleven my father phoned me on the house phone. I remember Amanda wasn’t back yet. I surfed on the Internet for a couple of hours after my father’s phone call, and I stopped only when Amanda came back, about one in the morning, I think. (The Times, 7 November 2007.)

Above: The two provisionally convicted who originated some of the cancerous myths.

45. Amanda Knox had never been in trouble with the police.

According to Andrew Malone in an article on the Mail Online website, Amanda Knox was charged with hosting a party that got seriously out of hand, with students high on drink and drugs, and throwing rocks into the road, forcing cars to swerve. He claimed the students then threw rocks at the windows of neighbours who had called the police. Knox was fined $269 (£135) at the Municipal Court after the incident (crime No: 071830624).

Barbie Nadeau also reported that Knox had had a previous brush with the law:

...and her only brush with the law was a disturbing-the-peace arrest for a house party she threw.” (Barbie Nadeau, Angel Face, Kindle edition, page 6.)

According to the police ticket written by Seattle Police officer Jason Bender, Knox was issued with an infraction for the noise violation and warned about the rock throwing:

I issued S1/Knox this infraction for the noise violation and a warning for the rock throwing. I explained how dangerous and juvenile that action was.

46. Amanda Knox was retried for the same crimes.

All criminal cases in Italy are subject to three levels of review. No verdict is final until it has been confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Amanda Knox was not retried. She simply appealed her provisional 2009 convictions. The first appeal was held in Perugia in 2011, where she was provisionally acquitted by Judge Hellmann.

However, the Italian Supreme Court annulled the acquittals because Hellmann was found to have made a series of grave legal errors, and ordered a new appeal in Florence.

47. The Italian Supreme Court ruled that Amanda Knox’s interrogation was illegal.

The Italian Supreme Court has never stated that Amanda Knox’s recap/summary session on 5 November 2007 for the building of a list of names was illegal.

Bruce Fischer, who runs the Injustice in Perugia website and had heatedly denied this, eventually admitted this was not true on Perugia Murder File.net website:

“When it comes to the admissibility of the written statements, you are technically correct. The interrogation itself was never ruled illegal.”

Note that as stated above it was not an interrogation.

48. The Supreme Court threw out Amanda Knox’s statements.

The Supreme Court ruled that the 1:45am and 5:45am statements Knox insisted upon couldn’t be used against her in the murder trial because she wasn’t represented by a lawyer when she made them, even though she declined the presence of a lawyer.

However, both her statements were used against her at the calunnia component of the trial.

49. Dr. Stefanoni and the forensic technicians broke international protocols.

There is no internationally accepted set of standards. DNA protocols vary from country to country, and in America they vary from state to state. For example, New York state accepts LCN DNA tests in criminal trials.

Conti and Vecchiotti cited obscure American publications such as the Missouri State Highway Patrol Handbook and the Wisconsin Crime Laboratory Physical Evidence Handbook, not international protocols.

50. Amanda Knox is being railroaded or framed.

It would be immensely difficult in the Italian system for police or prosecutors to frame anyone and sustain this through two levels of appeal. With all its checks and balances and its professional career paths, it may be the system least prone to false final convictions in the world.

A number of Knox’s supporters, including Judy Bachrach, Paul Ciolino and Steve Moore, have claimed in the US media that Amanda Knox is being railroaded or framed, but they mis-state multiple facts and provide no hard proof or any reason why. The Hellmann appeal was wiped off the books, but they wrongly still draw upon that.

The collection of the DNA and forensic evidence was videotaped by the Scientific Police and, as the judges at the Supreme Court noted, defence experts were actually in the police labs to observe the DNA tests and reported nothing wrong:

“…the probative facts revealed by the technical consultant [Stefanoni] were based on investigative activities that were adequately documented: sampling activity performed under the very eyes of the consultants of the parties, who raised no objection…” (The Supreme Court report, page 93.)

The legal proceedings against Sollecito and Knox have been monitored throughout by US officials from the Rome embassy, and they at no time have ever expressed any concerns about the fairness or legitimacy of the judicial process.


Court documents
The Micheli report
The Massei report
Judge Giordano sentencing report
The Supreme court report
The Nencini report

Court testimony
Amanda Knox
Anna Donnino
Monica Napoleoni

The Daily Mail
The Times
The Telegraph
The Daily Beast
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Death in Perugia, Kindle edition, John Follain
Angel Face, Kindle edition, Barbie Nadeau

Television programmes
Drew Griffins’ interview with Giuliano Mignini on CNN

The Freelance Desk: http://thefreelancedesk.com
Perugia Murder File.org: http://www.perugiamurderfile.org
Perugia Murder File.net: http://perugiamurderfile.net
CPS website: http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/prosecution/lcn_testing.html
Seattle-Post Intelligencer: http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/files/library/knoxincidentreport.pdf

Sunday, June 01, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #5: Key Witness Monica Napoleoni Confirms Knox Self-Imploded 5-6 Nov

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[Above: Deputy Police Commissioner Monica Napoleoni as a witness at trial in 2009]

1. Overview of our series on the Knox interrogation hoax

This is a brief summary. Please read the full series here.

Approximately 10 posts will be devoted to the 2009 trial testimony, including Amanda Knox’s, which did her no good, and then another 10 posts to the escalating hoax propagated by Knox and the conspiracy nuts.

Here is a new example just posted by fervid new conspiracy nut Lisa Marie Basile in the Huffington Post.

We should remember that Knox was interrogated for many hours without food or water. She was slapped and screamed at in Italian—a language she barely understood at the time. When the police found her text message (which said the English equivalent of “goodnight, see you another time”) with Lumumba, they psychologically tortured her and coerced her into confessing that he was involved in the murder.

If her text message was sent to anyone else of any race, the same would have occurred. She named him because they named him. More so, false confessions aren’t rare. According to the Innocence Project, “In about 25 percent of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or pled guilty.”

What total nonsense. None of Lisa Marie Basile’s “facts” here are correct. That leaves nothing of her absurd “she’s innocent but beautiful” theory still standing. This is what actually took place.

2. How Knox helped police with recap/summary 5-6 Nov

Late on 5 November 2007 Senior Inspector Rita Ficarra arrives back at the police station, to find her way blocked by a cartwheeling Knox. She mildly remonstrates. Knox testily responds that she has become sick and tired of the investigation, though she has really been little put-out.

Rita Ficarra suggests she go home and get some sleep. Knox refuses, and stays put.

After a short while Rita Ficarra suggests to Knox that if she really wants to help, she could add to the list of who Meredith knew and who might have visited the house. Knox happily agrees. So they begin on the list.

The entire official team is three often-commiserating ladies, and one man, who holds Knox’s hand.  As the defenses fully acknowledged, this was merely a recap/summary, a simple checking of facts with someone who might be helpful which could have been done on a street corner. It was not a witness or suspect interrogation. Claims that it was are a key part of the great hoax.

During the session, Inspector Napoleoni and a couple of colleagues are seeking facts from Sollecito in a separate wing. Shown conflicts between what he has said and what his phone records show, Sollecito backtracks in a heartbeat and throws Knox under the bus.

Meanwhile Knox calmly produces seven names. No voices were raised until, to the considerable surprise of all others present, Knox has a yelling, head-clutching conniption (the first of three that night). This happens when they come across a text she had sent to someone though she had said she sent no texts. This text said she would see this unnamed person later, at an indefinite time.

Knox in turn throws Patrick under the bus, and later Sollecito. A torrent of accusations against Patrick explodes. The discussion is brought to a halt. Several hours later, Dr Mignini arrives at the police station, and in a second session presides over a reading of Knox’s rights.

At both sessions Knox herself insists on keeping everyone captive while she writes it all out. See the first statement here and the second statement here.  Both times, she is warned she should have a lawyer by her side first. Both times she declines.

In the noon statement Knox included this without any mention of having been coerced: “The questions that need answering, at least for how I’m thinking are… 2. Why did I think of Patrik?”

Here is the relevant part of Inspector Monica Napoleoni’s testimony at the 2009 trial. It was kindly translated by ZiaK. GCM is Judge Massei, who often ensures focus and clarity.

Click here for more

Posted on 06/01/14 at 01:14 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in The former defendantsAmanda KnoxOfficially involvedPolice and CSIMeredith-case hoaxesKnox interrog hoaxFamily/defense hoaxersKnox-Mellas team
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Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #4: More Hard Realities From Rita Ficcara, More Nervousness From Defense

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

1. Overview of this hoax series

Knox turned up at the central police station unwanted late on 5-6 Nov 2007 and briefly helped police with a list of seven names. Her version of this has morphed into a gigantic hoax.

One highly consistent version of the brief chat was testified to by all those officials present, and accepted by all courts including the Italian Supreme Court. Knox has served three years in prison for it and the US Embassy saw nothing done wrong.

And then there is Knox’s endlessly shifting version, inflated opportunistically and erratically by herself and wannabee experts over nearly seven years now. Knox has done so in numerous interviews, in her 2013 book, on her website, in her email to Judge Nencini, and in her “appeal” to the European Court of Human Rights. And the PR shills have done so on websites, on TV, in books, and in attempts to lobby the US federal government.

This version was repudiated several times by her smart Italian lawyers (though not by her foolish American lawyers) and they did next to nothing to try to verify it when questioning those officials at trial.

See a longer summary in Post #1 here.

2. Continuing the cross-examination of Rita Ficarra

Below is the examination of Inspector Rita Ficarra by Carlo Pacelli, Patrick Lumumba’s lawyer. Very tough stuff. Chronologically, this preceded the defense cross-examinations in posts #2 and #3 and may well have dampened them.

Here “GCM” is Judge Massei. As the defenses fully acknowledged, this was merely a recap/summary, a simple checking of facts with someone who might be helpful which could have been done on a street corner. It was not a witness or suspect interrogation. Claims that it was are a key part of the great hoax.

This English translation of the relevant part of Rita Ficarra’s testimony on 28 February 2009 was by main poster and professional translator ZiaK. Her full translation will appear soon on the Meredith Case Wiki. 

Click here for more

Posted on 05/18/14 at 05:12 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in The former defendantsAmanda KnoxOfficially involvedPolice and CSIMeredith-case hoaxesKnox interrog hoaxFamily/defense hoaxersKnox-Mellas team
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Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #3: More Defense Pussyfooting Toward Rita Ficcara, Key Witness

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

([Amanda Knox’s lawyers Luciano Ghirga and Maria Del Grasso who questioned Rita Ficarra]

1. Overview of this hoax series

Knox turned up at the central police station unwanted late on 5-6 Nov 2007 and briefly helped police with a list of seven names. Her version of this has morphed into a gigantic hoax.

One highly consistent version of the brief chat was testified to by all those officials present, and accepted by all courts including the Italian Supreme Court. Knox has served three years in prison for it and the US Embassy saw nothing done wrong.

And then there is Knox’s endlessly shifting version, inflated opportunistically and erratically by herself and wannabee experts over nearly seven years now. Knox has done so in numerous interviews, in her 2013 book, on her website, in her email to Judge Nencini, and in her “appeal” to the European Court of Human Rights. And the PR shills have done so on websites, on TV, in books, and in attempts to lobby the US federal government.

This version was repudiated several times by her smart Italian lawyers (though not by her foolish American lawyers) and they did next to nothing to try to verify it when questioning those officials at trial.

See a longer summary in Post #1 here.

2. Continuing the cross-examination of Rita Ficarra

In our hoax series second post we quoted two cross-examinations of Rita Ficarra by Sollecito’s lead lawyers. Here we quote two more, by two of Knox’s lawyers, Luciano Ghirga, and Maria Del Grasso.

Here “GCM” is Judge Massei. As the defenses fully acknowledged, this was merely a recap/summary, a simple checking of facts with someone who might be helpful which could have been done on a street corner. It was not a witness or suspect interrogation. Claims that it was are a key part of the great hoax. 

This English translation of the relevant part of Rita Ficarra’s testimony on 28 February 2009 was by main poster and professional translator ZiaK. Her full translation will appear soon on the Meredith Case Wiki.

Click here for more

Posted on 05/15/14 at 02:29 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedPolice and CSIMeredith-case hoaxesKnox interrog hoaxFamily/defense hoaxersKnox-Mellas teamAmanda Knox
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #2: Trial Testimony From Rita Ficcara On Realities 5-6 Nov

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

1. Overview of this hoax series

Knox turned up at the central police station unwanted late on 5-6 Nov 2007 and briefly helped police with a list of seven names. Her version of this has morphed into a gigantic hoax.

One highly consistent version of the brief chat was testified to by all those officials present, and accepted by all courts including the Italian Supreme Court. Knox has served three years in prison for it and the US Embassy saw nothing done wrong.

And then there is Knox’s endlessly shifting version, inflated opportunistically and erratically by herself and wannabee experts over nearly seven years now. Knox has done so in numerous interviews, in her 2013 book, on her website, in her email to Judge Nencini, and in her “appeal” to the European Court of Human Rights. And the PR shills have done so on websites, on TV, in books, and in attempts to lobby the US federal government.

This version was repudiated several times by her smart Italian lawyers (though not by her foolish American lawyers) and they did next to nothing to try to verify it when questioning those officials at trial.

See a longer summary in Post #1 here.

2. The Testimony Of Inspector Rita Ficarra

Inspector Rita Ficarra was the one who initiated and led the discussion with Knox up to when Knox made her first statement, the first implicating Patrick Lumumba. 

What follows is the cross-examination of Inspector Ficarra by the prosecution and all four cross-examining defense lawyers.

It would have been a really huge gain for the defenses at trial - a not-guilty verdict would have been almost guaranteed - if they had rattled Rita Ficarra and had her admit to Knox’s coercion. Especially by the supposed alternating tag teams. Especially of a Knox without food, drink, sleep, or breaks for the bathroom.

But note that in their cross-examinations NOT ONE defense lawyer even tried to go there. In their questioning of Rita Ficarra, that mundane scenario of the two brief sessions we describe above seems a given - their own sticking point.

Here “GCM” is Judge Massei. As the defenses fully acknowledged, this was merely a recap/summary, a simple checking of facts with someone who might be helpful which could have been done on a street corner. It was not a witness or suspect interrogation. Claims that it was are a key part of the great hoax.

This English translation of the relevant part of Rita Ficarra’s testimony on 28 February 2009 was by main poster and professional translator ZiaK. Her full translation will appear soon on the Meredith Case Wiki.

Click here for more

Posted on 05/13/14 at 06:55 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedPolice and CSIMeredith-case hoaxesKnox interrog hoaxFamily/defense hoaxersKnox-Mellas teamAmanda Knox
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #1: Overview Of The Series - The Two Version of the 5-6 Nov 2007 Events

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[Amanda Knox at trial on 28 February, the day Inspector Rita Ficarra testified]

1. Court-Accepted Events Of 5-6 November 2007

This is an overview of Knox’s so-called “interrogation” at Perugia’s central police station, the subject of the first ten posts.

It led to her arrest and three years served. To make this picture really firm we will quote a lot of the testimony at trial. The Case Wiki carries all of these transcripts, many in English translation, and more. 

Senior Inspector Rita Ficarra testified that she arrived back at the police station late on 5 November, and finds her way blocked by a cartwheeling Knox.

She rebukes Knox, who testily responds that she is tired of the investigation. Rita Ficarra tells Knox to go home and get some sleep. Knox testily refuses, and remains there.

Shortly after, Ficarra suggests to Knox that if she really wants to help, she could add to the list of possible perps - men who Meredith knew and who might have visited the house.

As the defenses themselves acknowledge during their cross-examinations of key investigators present on the night, this was an informal recap/summary session, a simple checking of facts with someone who might or might not be of help.

This could have been done on a street corner or in a house by a single officer. It was not a witness or suspect interrogation.

Knox eagerly agrees. So they begin on the list.

This goes slowly because of language problems, until an interpreter, Anna Donnino, arrives. In total only Knox and four others (three of them women) are present.

Knox builds a list of seven people and adds maps and phone numbers (placed in evidence) in a calm proceeding. These were the names: Peter Svizzero, Patrick, Ardak, Juve, Spiros, Shaki and “a South African [Guede]” who played basketball near the house.

At several points in the evening Knox is provided with refreshments. No voices are ever raised, no bathroom breaks are refused.

Inspector Napoleoni and a couple of colleagues are seeking facts from Sollecito in a separate wing. Shown conflicts between what he has said and what his phone records show, Sollecito backtracks and declares that Knox went out alone, and made him lie.

Knox is gently informed of this, and nobody reports any immediate reaction. Knox defense lawyers in cross examination do not go there at all.

Suddenly, to the considerable surprise of all present, Knox has a yelling, head-clutching conniption (the first of several that night) when they observe a text she had denied sending, saying she would see that person later.

Knox explains that it was Patrick, who they had never heard of, along with a torrent of yelled accusations. As described at trial, various efforts are made to try to help Knox to calm down.

Despite warnings she should not do so without a lawyer, Knox insists on a recorded statement which says she headed out to meet Patrick that night after he texted her. She accuses Patrick of killing Meredith. 

Knox is put on hold, given more refreshments, and made comfortable on some chairs so she might try to get some sleep.

A second session ending at 5:45 is intended as merely a formal reading of Knox’s legal status and her right to a lawyer, with Dr Mignini presiding.

Having again been strongly warned that she should not do so without a lawyer present and no questions can be asked, Knox nevertheless insists on a spontaneous statement culminating in a second recorded statement.

This also says she went out to meet Patrick that night, also accuses Patrick of killing Meredith, and now also hints Sollecito may have been there. 

Just before noon, now under arrest and about to be taken to Capanne Prison, Knox insists on writing out at length a third statement this time in English.

She gleefully hands it to Rita Ficcara who of course cannot read it as she as no English. In the statement, Knox included this damning remark without any mention of having been coerced: “The questions that need answering, at least for how I’m thinking are… 2. Why did I think of Patrik?”

Knox’s lawyers have never ever substantially challenge this version. At trial they accept that there was no interrogation, leave standing that Knox insisted on all three statements, and dont ever pursue Knox’s claims that she was coerced.

In July 2009 at trial Knox herself tried to challenge this scenario in face of days and days of prior testimony. Of course she was disbelieved. For the calunnia framing of Patrick Lumumba Judge Massei sentenced her to a year more than Sollecito, later amended by Judge Hellmann to three years served.

The Supreme Court overruled her appeal. For her false claims she is a felon for life with the possibility of more years inside.

2. The Knox-Promoted Alternative Version

This will be the subject of many later posts. Though her precise claims vary and often contradict one another, Knox herself has on and off since November 2007 tried to portray otherwise the cause of her conniption and her false accusation of Patrick for the death of Meredith.

For example read this post of 11 February 2009 which was about two weeks before the Knox “interrogators” were cross-examined at trial, and several months before Knox herself took the stand.

Her defense team furthered this version in the annulled appeal in 2011, and she did so in for example her April 2013 book, her December 2013 email to Judge Nencini, her appeal to EHCR Strasbourg, some TV and newspaper interviews, including one with the Italian weekly Oggi and now her further appeal to the Supreme Court. 

This version has been blown up by a number of others in internet posts, articles, TV interviews, and books. Among others propagating it have been Raffaele Sollecito (in his book), Doug Preston, Saul Kassin, John Douglas, Jim Clemente, Paul Ciolino, Michael Heavey, Greg Hampikian, Chris Halkidis, Mark Waterbury, Doug Bremner, Candace Dempsey, Nina Burleigh, Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, and many posters on the Knox sites and on Ground Report.

  • Here is Steve Moore claiming that around a dozen cops in rotating tag teams of two assaulted a starving and sleepless Knox over 20/30/40 hours, threatened her, and refused her a lawyer throughout.

  • Here is Saul Kassin claiming that Knox was interrogated over the entire night of 5-6 November, until she was finally broken and a coerced “confession” emerged - even though the “false confession” actually framed Patrick and was in reality a false accusation. That Kassin ignores.

  • Here are several former profilers actually expanding upon the same claims in a book with (today) 60 five-star reviews.

And yet Knox’s own Italian lawyers specifically denied her accusations! No complaint against the police was ever lodged.

And of course Judge Massei, the discredited Judge Hellmann, and Cassation all disbelieved the claims and Knox served her three years.

But still the hoax keeps rolling on, on TV and books and websites.

3. The Intended Course Of Our Interrogation-Hoax Series

Hopefully we will get this done in 20 posts. Starting in the next post is trial testimony, the first from Inspector Ficarra, newly translated by the professional translator ZiaK.

Rita Ficarra presided over the first recap/summary with Knox (again, a recap/summary is not an interrogation) on 5-6 November and was later present when Knox was read her rights.

We’ll then post more newly-translated trial testimony of other police present at the central police station on the night, and what the magistrates in 2008 and 2008 and trial and appeal judges from 2009 to 2014 made of this.

Then we enter the alternative universe of the numerous conspiracy claims, extending to Sollecito’s 2012 book and Knox’s 2013 book, her lengthy email to Judge Nencini in 2014, and so to her appeal to Cassation, pending as of this date.

4 A Guide To Posts In The Series

This list of posts is updated each time a new post in the series is added.

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #1: Overview Of The Series - The Two Version of the 5-6 Nov 2007 Events

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #2: Trial Testimony From Rita Ficcara On Realities 5-6 Nov

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #3: More Defense Pussyfooting Toward Rita Ficcara, Key Witness

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #4: More Hard Realities Fron Rita Ficcara, More Nervousness From Defense

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #5: Key Witness Monica Napoleoni Confirms Knox Self-Imploded 5-6 Nov

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #6: Sollecito Transcript & Actions Further Damage Knox Version

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #7: Testimony Of Witness Lorena Zugarini On The Knox Conniption 5-6 Nov

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #8: Testimony Of Interpreter Anna Donnino On Events Night Of 5 November

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #9: Officer Moscatelli’s Recap/Summary Session With Sollecito 5-6 Nov

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #10: Challenge To Readers: Spot The Two Landmines For Lawyers & Knox

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #11: Why Prosecution And Defenses Never Believed Knox’s Version

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #12: Proof Released That In 5-6 Nov Session Knox Worked On Names List

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #13: The First Two Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #14: The Third Pre-Trial Opportunitty Which Knox Flunked

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #15: Dr Mignini’s Knowledge Of Knox “Interrogation” Explained To Media

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #16: The Fourth Pre-Trial Opportunity Which Knox Flunked

Click here: The Knox Interrogation Hoax #17: Sollecito April 2008 Before Supreme Court Again Coldsholders Knox

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How Saul Kassin Framed Many Fine Italian Justice Officials - And Then Played Victim When Corrected

Posted by Cardiol MD

Do Williams College President Dr Falk and head of psychology Dr Fein know that Kassin is a hot potato?

A Common Phenomenon

We take note of a common “they can’t take what they dish out” phenomenon among the Sollecito & Knox supporters.

If you show unequivocally that their FACTS are wrong and that they have illegally framed (in English) good Italian officials, they melt down with numerous shrill claims that the meanies ridiculed them - because their mission and the two perps they champion are so moral and so divine.

Doug Preston, Nina Burleigh, Greg Hampikian, Steve Moore, Doug Bremner and others have all exhibited this victimhood phenomenon. Doug Preston even wrote an entire book-long wail about his victimhood.

Foolishly perverse behavior. No police or prosecutors anywhere ever appreciate being framed. In the US it is rare indeed. In Italy a single official complaint can spark a prosecutor’s investigation, and probable felony charges against any or all of them for obstruction of justice. 

The Saul Kassin case surely has to be the worst of all cases, because his huge slam at Italy, with dozens of wrong facts and false accusations, was delivered as a keynote address at a John Jay College of Justice conference, to dozens of top justice officials from around the world - and to this day he perpetuates this massive academic fraud.

Presumably roughly 100% of that global audience, ignorant of the real story (a probable serious new felony by Knox), believe Knox was tortured by Italians into some kind of forced confession. 

A Historical Synopsis Of Kassin’s Role

Saul Kassin, an academic psychologist, established himself as an acknowledged authority-figure on the subject of prosecutor-induced false confession, describing a profile of such confessors.

Prosecutor-induced false confession is, of course, a real phenomenon, which has existed throughout recorded history, notoriously exemplified in modern history at the Moscow Show-Trials of the 1930’s.

Years ago supporters of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (FOA), claiming that the pair were wrongly convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher, alleged that their “wrongful” conviction was based on a prosecutor-induced false confession, among some other things.

FOA concocted a false description of the events surrounding the interrogation, using as many as 50 barefaced falsehoods to create a match to the characteristics of false-confessors described by Kassin.

This creation in turn resulted in the exposure of the numerous falsehoods and deceptions, in the course of which Kassin’s work was also criticised. Offended by such criticism, Kassin wrote a paper defending his work, but sustaining the multiple falsehoods and deceptions created by the FOA.

On April 30th 2012 The American Psychologist [AP] published an Advanced Online Paper titled “Why Confessions Trump Innocence” authored by Saul Kassin (final version here) see in which he “described” the case of Amanda Knox, an American college student who had been convicted of murder in Italy, arguing that Knox was not guilty, and had been induced by prosecutorial-oppression into making a False-Confession.

In June 2012 Kassin presented his misleading keynote address to the John Jay College global conference (see page 31 of the program). Soon after he made TV and radio appearances.

In September 2012 the American Psychologist journal published Kassin’s paper in print-form (AP Vol.67 (6) Sept. 2012, 431-445). When it did so, the paper was newly accompanied by Corrections and Updates, in which Kassin states that minor (sic) corrections “should be made in the description of the Amanda Knox case.” They are not minor in their effect on the meaning of his text.

The first change substitutes for one misleading false statement, a more clearly worded false statement; changes 4. and 5. modify the allegation that Guede had raped Meredith, and that Guede’s DNA had been found in sperm at the crime scene.  Not only are Kassin’s changes by no means “minor”, they are only a few of the many changes needed to acknowledge the true facts. They amply confirm the depth of Kassin’s fall into self-deception.

And in a ludicrously surreal development, Amanda Knox’s 2013 book Waiting to be Heard at great length parotted Kassin’s wrong claims about her wrong claims, the same ones for which she may face new charges.

The Pro-justice Community Takes Exception

TJMK and the two PMF forums and other pro-justice, pro-victim and pro-Italy websites have long explained in Posts and Comments that the Kassin paper containing the 50 or more false or deceptive statements is so contrary to the actual facts as to be sheer obfuscation.

The first TJMK reference to False Confession was a comment by Faustus on Jan. 13th 2009. The first TJMK post questioning Saul Kassin was written by the Machine and published on 10 July 2012.

Since then TJMK has published more than a dozen articles focusing on the false facts and false accusations in Kassin’s presentations, with scores of comments expanding the corrections further. This rebuttal and this one were particularly key.

Aspects of Saul Kassin’s Background

Saul Kassin is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Recently, he was listed as in a “phased retirement” as Massachusetts Professor of Psychology from Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut.

Kassin’s Resume’ also reveals that he was once very aware of the phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophecy, and very scornful of people to whom he attributed-it.

In 2004, C.U.P. published a book entitled “The Detection of Deception in Forensic Contexts”, defining ‘forensic context’ as any context in which legal questions are raised. Kassin was the author of chapter 8, entitled “True or False: ‘I’d know a false confession if I saw one’.”, in which Kassin repeats the well-known fact that Oppression-Induced False Confession is a real phenomenon, ridiculing other professionals with the quote ’ I’d know a false confession if I saw one’.

Then he describes his own recipe for ‘knowing one’, providing a profile ideal for use by Knox, and FOA, after Meredith’s murder in 2007.

Kassin’s ridicule relies upon what he, himself, describes variously as ‘self-fulfilling prophecy, interpersonal expectancy effect, and behavioral confirmation’. He provides the reader with 6 references to the phenomenon, the first 2 focusing on Pygmalion, as the classic exemplar of seeing what you want to see.

[Pygmalion was a Cypriot sculptor who carved a woman out of ivory. His statue was so realistic that he fell in love with it. Making offerings at the altar of Aphrodite, he quietly wished for a bride who would be “the living likeness of my ivory girl”. When he returned home, he kissed his ivory statue and found that its lips felt warm. He kissed it again, touched its breasts with his hand and found that the ivory had lost its hardness. Aphrodite had granted Pygmalion’s wish.  Shaw used this story as the subtext for his play ‘Pygmalion’, the musical version of which is ‘My Fair Lady’.]

Kassin’ s Resume’ also records that he served as a U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellow, working at the Federal Judicial Center .... Dr. Kassin is past president of Division 41 of APA (aka the American Psychology-Law Society).
Given these items from Dr.Kassin’s impressive resume’ a reader would expect Dr. Kassin to be professionally knowledgeable in the law relevant to his specialty; Kassin definitely OUGHT to be that knowledgeable.

In “Why Confessions Trump Innocence” readers are directed by Kassin to Dempsey, 2010, and Burleigh, 2011, noting “personal communications with Amanda Knox, Madison Paxton, and Nina Burleigh”. Consistent with Kassin seeing what he wants to see, his paper contains phrases such as “the case of Amanda Knox and others who are wrongfully convicted”. Kassin’s own self-deception seemingly promotes receptivity to deception by others.
In January the Nencini Appeal Court in Florence declared Knox and Sollecito to be Guilty-Beyond-Reasonable-Doubt. All that remains is the Supreme Court’s expected firm endorsement.

As we await the Nencini Motivazione report, the senior Florence prosecutor Dr Giuliano Giambartolomei has recently announced his findings that many claims in Sollecito’s “Honor Bound”are spurious and justify new charges being brought against Sollecito.

Shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel, who recently published a self-incriminatory rant in The Guardian, has also been named, so now seems a great time to refresh TJMK’s reader’s awareness of Kassin’s arguments. Kassin’s arguments were apparently communicated to Hellmann/Zanetti by Knox’s lawyers, and Kassin himself may be liable under Italian Law.

How Saul Kassin Now Plays The Victim

Here are some quotes from an article by the duped Scott Sleek excusing Kassin’s serial framings and obfuscations in “Why Confessions Trump Innocence”:

“…He noted [now begin Kassin’s obfuscations:] that Knox had been immediately identified as a suspect and presumed guilty, confessed after three days of denials and interrogations, and did not have any attorney present when undergoing questioning.”

TJMK readers know very well that the above précis is an outright falsehood. That is not what took place.

In his defence Kassin also claimed: “I used it as an example, not realizing the depth of a couple of Amanda Knox hate groups that track professionals who support Amanda Knox.”

WHAT mere example? Actually Kassin placed his framing and wrong facts front and center, again and again and again. WHAT professionals support Knox? And the real professionals posting and reading here handily exceed Kassin’s pay-grade.

Kassin also claimed that the hate emails he received, and the blog posts criticizing him, didn’t focus on the science itself, but on his motives for analyzing Knox’s case. In essence, the attacks were personal, he stated.

Kassin also claimed that some of the messages he received felt threatening, and included statements such as: “We know where you work” and that a few bloggers wrote posts lambasting Kassin’s integrity, in one case even calling him a “shill”.

Really? TJMK is as opposed as Kassin to hate-mail. We can correct wrong facts and serial defaming right here. But we also believe that Kassin’s adoption of Knox’s, Sollecito’s, Paxton’s, Dempsey’s, Burleigh’s, and other FOA&S’s falsehoods, deceptions, and serial framings of Italian officials was far more improper, biased, and compromising of his own integrity.

The attempt to do real damage begins and ends with Kassin.  And far from not focusing on Kassin’s “science” his TJMK critics have focused sharply on the falsehoods Kassin has used to support his self-fulfilling prophecies. Click on links to past posts above.

The historical trap Kassin has fallen into is that of “Experimenter Expectancy”, or seeing what you want to see [c.f. Chapter 6, pp107-108 Betrayers Of The Truth, OUP, 1982, By Broad & Wade]:

“Expectancy leads to self-deception, and self-deception leads to the propensity to be deceived by others.”

Having fallen into the very trap Kassin himself had described in great detail in 2004, and recited in his Resume’, a legal background that ought to inform him that he was entering a potential legal minefield, Kassin proceeded, in writing, to satisfy the common-law definition of Defamation-Malice [making false statements, knowing them to be false, or made so recklessly as to amount to willful disregard for the truth].

Under Italian law, if any of those he framed complains, Kassin may be chargeable with a felony.  Kassin’s MO does entail defaming the conduct of Italian Police, and Prosecutors. He has adopted many falsehoods. There is good reason to bring his integrity into question.

His best course now would be to publicly withdraw all the many versions of his false claims. And, finally, apologize to all those he framed and the real victim’s circle,

Posted on 04/23/14 at 09:26 AM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in The former defendantsAmanda KnoxOfficially involvedMeredith-case hoaxesKnox interrog hoaxFamily/defense hoaxersKnox-Mellas teamSaul Kassin
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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Sollecito Takes On A New Lawyer To Help Him Work His Way Past The Minefield That Is His Book

Posted by Peter Quennell

Both Sollecito’s book and Knox’s book seem to have the primary purpose of poisoning public opinion against the courts.

The serious charges Sollecito and Knox will probably face for those books are of three kinds: (1) the contempt-of-court misrepresentation of the Italian justice system itself; (2) the obstruction-of-justice twisting of the evidence in the case; and (3) the claims of crimes committed by numerous career police and prosecution officials.

If false, in effect a gigantic frame-up that leaves Knox’s framing of Patrick in the dust.

At the eighth session of the Florence appeal court back in January, Giulia Bongiorno engaged in a day-long summation which was peculiar, to say the least.

Like Sollecito and Knox in their books, Giulia Bongiorno seemed to be attempting to put the justice system and investigation and prosecution in the dock.

If false, another gigantic frame-up that leaves Knox’s framing of Patrick in the dust.

Bongiorno’s rant didnt seem to help Sollecito in undermining any of the hard evidence in the case, and it left the judges visibly unmoved. But it was notable how closely it resembled the rants on the justice system and its officials by Sollecito himself in his book. See the examples in the post below.

There are some complex later passages in Sollecito’s book and some recurring themes that we will analyse which would seem impossible for Sollecito to write about in such detail without the extensive help of a lawyer who was in the court.

Who precisely was that?

Reports from Italy now state that Alfredo Brizioli, not Giulia Bongiorno, will be the lawyer the Sollecitos choose to respond to the investigating prosecutor’s report on the book. Perhaps Mr Brizioli (who right now is himself on trial for obstruction of justice in another case) can try to negotiate a way for his client to spread the blame before the charges are set in stone.

The Sollecitos seem weak. Alfredo Brizioli seems weak. Giulia Bongiorno seems weak. And Knox also seems weak - if Sollecito is ever going to back away from Knox (perhaps to try to claim the final murderous stab of Meredith was solely Knox’s crazed idea) there is just this one last chance.

We in no way favor Sollecito getting off lightly without recanting. We do want to point to the potential fireworks a smart prosecution has engineered that might help achieve this.

Although there was a sort of bidding war for both books, not every publisher, having seen what was to be in them, was eager to join in. Some did sit on the sidelines. 

Withdrawing the two books ASAP might be the smart move. The mood in the book industry in New York, where both publishers have their HQ’s, seems to be that that move could be the wisest.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Council Of Magistrates In Effect Shrugs At Judge Nencini Answering Loaded Question Of A Reporter

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Cassation judge Antonio Esposito who just faced down a similar complaint to the CSM]

The only ones pushing for the CSM committee hearing today and maybe another one at Cassation were Giulia Bongiorno and a few political friends.

Everybody knows she has once again lost very big and once again is snakily trying to demonize the court rather than gracefully moving on.

The final vote of the full CSM will be announced next week, but it seems a foregone conclusion. The Council will shrug and move on.

Judge Nencini explained himself well for one hour (with his wife, also a judge, present) and probably no magistrate on the Council would have acted so differently, given that the michievous reporter had been asking if the killing of Meredith happened simply because the three had nothing better to do.

Maybe some of the magistrates were thinking “So Bongiorno didnt put Sollecito on the stand? Hmmm, she KNOWS of his guilt only too well”. There is no mood among them to to see the defiant Sollecito who has slimed the system and slimed a much admired judge use a loophole to get himself off.

Jools explained the context of today’s hearing several weeks ago and translated one of the media reports for us today.

Knox, Sollecito judge unlikely to be disciplined by CSM

Inquiry over post-conviction press statements

Rome, March 11 - The Italian judiciary’s self-governing body, the CSM, is likely to drop an inquiry into a Florence judge who broke Italian legal convention by giving press interviews after convicting Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in February, judicial sources said Tuesday.

In Italy, judges usually only talk about their verdicts via written explanations published at least a month after they are handed down. But Alessandro Nencini, the head of the panel that sentenced Sollecito to 25 years and American citizen Knox to 28 and a half years at the repeat of the appeals-level trial, gave three interviews to different newspapers that were published February 1.

As a result, Nencini was accused of being biased. One of the most controversial aspects is that in one of the interviews, Nencini seemed to suggest that the fact Sollecito had not allowed himself to be cross-examined had damaged his chances of getting off.

The judge told a CSM commission Wednesday that he did not give interviews, but rather spoke in passing to reporters at the courthouse. He also denied saying the murder was the result of ‘‘kid’s play’’ gone wrong, or expressing an opinion on Sollecito’s defense strategy.

The hearing transcript will be available within a week, when the CSM commission will make its opinion official. The consensus seems to be that Nencini’s statements to the press may have been ill-timed, but not enough to justify a transfer, judicial sources said.  Nencini is still not out of the woods, pending the result of justice ministry and Cassation Court inquiries that could lead to disciplinary action against him.

Posted on 03/11/14 at 09:38 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesThe judiciaryAppeals 2009-2015Florence appealFamily/defense hoaxersSollecito team
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

What We Might Read Into Sollecito Lawyer Giulia Bongiornos Final Arguments To The Appeal Judges

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)

Under the table & over the top

The picture of a serene-looking Giulia Bongiorno waving a couple of knives in court on 9 January may be visual inspiration to this reflection about what we can understand from the structure and content of her closing arguments.

A very peculiar feature of her arguments was the desperate opening, suggesting to put the investigation – and the whole justice proceedings – on trial.

The introductive topic of her speech is a quote from a book by Alessandro Satta, a narrative description of the riotous irruption of the mob inside the Revolutionary Tribunal hearing room on Sep. 2. 1792, the defendants are the some of the King’s Swiss guards.

The passage by Satta describes the “horrendous” vision of a hord of sanculots slowly gathering outside the court, Bongiorno compares that to the angry mob in Perugia after the first appeal verdict.

But if you read the same text by Satta a little further, a few lines beyond the snippet Bongiorno was reading, the narration goes on describing how sanculots manage to enter the courtroom, in a force of hundreds ready to lynch the defendants, but they are suddenly halted by an authoritative order of the Judge, and they unexpectedly obey.

Just after that, Satta drops in an explanatory quote from the book Le Tribunal révolutionnaire  (by historian Lenotre) saying: “the people understood that these highly educated individuals in black robes would have gone on with the action started by the hords, and they would accomplish it more perfectly”.

It seems like Bongiorno opened her speech with an implicit depiction of the judges and magistrates of Perugia as kind of Jacobin extremists whose task is to “legitimize” the vindictive fury of a pitchforks mob.

The quote she read did not include Satta’s conclusive lines, so that the consequent thought about the judges’ role remained unexpressed and in the background.

(Photo by Machiavelli_Aki)

A side note about Bongiorno’s arguments: in fact I had the feeling that allusion to implicit subtexts was something that belonged to her speech as a method or a style, it marked the whole of her arguments. You may recall Wittgenstein’s dictum “This work consists of two part, what is written in it, and what is not written in it. The latter is the most important part.”

Such a motto might be apt to address the major feature of Bongiorno’s defensive argument, insofar as she conveyed that something that “couldn’t be talked about openly” was there and that was probably a main argument.

(photo by Ansa)

At first, as I said, she went through a brief emotional recollection of her moments while in Perugia surrounded by a raging mob, and then she unfolded the rest of her introductive section.

The purpose of this bit of revolutionary narrative first juxtaposing the Perugian citizens to Sanculots and the judges to Jacobins, and then, immediately following, a series of accessory arguments all encompassed by an introductive function, all this was clearly intended to set a framework thesis meant to work as a basis for the structure of the whole defensive arguments.

It is in fact a peculiar structure, apparently entirely resting upon one, single elaborate premise.

The thesis she places at the foundation of the entire defensive argumentation is the following: the trial as a whole, as much as its outcome, had been somehow determined and “tainted” from the beginning by events which occurred within a very short framework of time, in the very early days of the investigation, the weeks around the time of the suspects’ arrests.

Bongiorno suggested that only this “short period” – the early days of November 2007 - is what matters and the only topic worth of a defence analysis; since this was the time frame within which - according to Bongiorno - everything was decided, this was the time when some “errors” in the investigation occurred, before the point when a veil of prejudice and hatred fell upon people’s hearts and minds like kind of black curtain, preventing from that moment on any fair or rational judgement. 

Aggressive Digressions

After the quoting of Satta’s speech, she develops her introduction for a while, branching out into some political-sociological speculations (such as that authorities chose the crime scenario that was most reassuring for the population) as well as some political-anthropological consideration (like the theory that free spirited women are seen as suspicious as a consequence of women empowerment movements). 

(Palace of Justice of Florence – photo by FrederickStudio)

A speech opening as did Bongiorno’s, that is, relying on a set of over-the-top considerations, and apparently so much depending upon one extreme premise, unavoidably conveys a perception of weakness, which is at risk to be transferred to the rest of the argumentation.

Thus, it would be a logical question to ask ourselves: why did Bongiorno chose such a setting and introduction, with several risky, over-shooting arguments?

A perception that the argument was unconvincing was palpable among the public as she was unfolding her theories about Perugian police opting for “political” scenarios and about sexy and free women seen as suspicious because of the women’s political movement.

Scepticism emerged even more openly when she described a scene with Amanda Knox releasing her false accusations while speaking under the hypnotic influence of interpreter Anna Donnino - whom she called “psychic” – which triggered some stifled laughs among the public.

Then her long introduction dealt with the unfolding of a rhetorical structure set around the concept of “half”.

I use the word “ rhetoric” in a most technical, non-derogatory sense, to mean the setting of a clear order and concepts designed to be easily remembered, anchored to multiple implicit suggestions, so as to remain impressed in the mind of listeners what is distinctive of the style of Giulia Bongiorno.

Introducing to ‘Halves’

In the previous trial instances she didn’t miss the opportunity to borrow characters such as Jessica Rabbit, Amelie and the Venus in a Fur. I thought she would mention at least a few characters of Disney or the Harry Potter saga this time too, and I was not disappointed as she met expectations on this matter (she did mention Harry Potter, the Eskimo kiss ‘Unca-Nunca’, the Bunga Bunga,  the Aladdin Lamp and 9½ Weeks). 

She entered the topical part of the introductive section saying ‘basta’ to always focusing on Amanda’s personality alone, while considering Raffaele just Knox’s other “half”, he is not half a character, he should not be seen as reflexion of Knox.

The curse of being “half” chases him also, meaning there are only “half pieces of evidence” against him.  And this is the rhetoric structure envigorating the arguments after the introduction, the concept of “half” .

Only half pieces of evidence, almost a half admission, or the clear suggestion that there is maybe one “other half” of something (of culprits?) somewhere else, something not to be said, something that is not here.

The concept of “half” recurs and somehow pervades her defence, we should say something more about later on because she picked it up also in the subsequent hours of speech. 

Some videos from the Florence trial available may still be available at the Sky site.

Primordial Fossils

Only after recollecting all these things in the ‘aggressive digressions’ over the introductive part, she goes on with a ponderous section which is the main part of her argumentation.

It’s a topic directly stemming from the introductive themes and premises, in the sense that this main part focuses on and blows up events of the first four days of investigation. It zeroes on few small details of the investigation history, the previous introductive part functionally working to justify the choice and to limit the argumentation to these topics.   

Something the listener would notice from this first and main part of the arguments, as everyone well understands, is that these arguments are arranged in a peculiar type of architecture. A choice that makes crystal clear the actual state of the defence’s options.   

The defence strategy is to focus attention on the supposed flaws in evidence collection at the beginning of the investigation, and not on the evidence set itself.

Bongiorno’s arguments do not map out the evidence set array. They do not devolve an effort of analysis in proportion to the actual weight of the of pieces of evidence.

The bulk of her speech in fact can be summarized as a criticism of some historical happenings – what she sees as such – which allegedly occurred within a very small time frame. She devoted hours to attacking the beginning of the investigation, early errors such as that the shoe print that had been wrongly attributed to Sollecito on a first assessment.

It appears this attack against the early procedures of the investigation was really considered to be the most effective weapon the defence had left.

The ‘topics’ Bongiorno addressed in this attack as ‘main points’ of evidence against Sollecito, are only three: the wrongly attribute shoeprint, Sollecito’s side-tracking the investigation, and ‘the knife’ (a topic which gets picked up again later, with a long discussion focused on the blade length). 

In the same ‘knife’ topic she included DNA discussion, in a connected digression she dealt with the bra claps, called all the scientific evidence collection ‘the mother of mistakes’ and offered again the known criticism of Stefanoni’s alleged “suspect-centred”.

Later in her speech, she dealt with the other evidence topics, parroted the ‘principles’ expressed in the Conti & Vecchiotti report, offered the known arguments about the bathmat print, etc.

But the bulk of her defence hinged around those ‘mistakes’ in the early investigation phase, this was the actual core of her argumentation, while the other pieces of evidence were dealt with summarily, I had the impression they were almost treated as accessories.

It was clear above all that the defence was not battling the structure of the evidence actually existing today, they were battling a minuscule part of it, or better they were battling something else, something which is not directly the evidence, but rather some historical foundations of the accusation building.

Basically what Bongiorno conveyed is, the fighting terrain was the ‘investigators’ errors’, their ‘excesses’. That is, they were not actively contending Raffaele’s innocence any more.

The implicit content was rather obvious to the listener: a direct claim of Sollecito’s innocence had been already abandoned, that territory was left beyond the lines and the defensive front had been drawn back.

The topic now was not innocence, but rather how the accusation had been unfair and excessive.

At her opening, the quote of Satta was a device to draw attention to the events at the “origin”, so as to prepare listeners for the fact that defence arguments will be focused on what happened during the moments before the “black curtain” came down.

Hence the a long introduction starting from an image of the fury of a mob of sanculots, a narrative on this theme: people were willing to convict the defendants immediately and judges were legitimizing people’s violence.

She oriented the discussion towards the topic of early prejudice and excesses, so to justify the fact that she will talk about the early phases rather than the evidence set, and then she introduced the leit-motiv of the “half”.

This means, rather than disputing the pieces of evidence, Bongiorno wanted to set a “trial of the investigation”, she zeroed on just a few details actually not having much relevance in the actual evidence set.

She talked at length about elements that are kind of fossils – like when she went on discussing about the number of circles in the sole of Guede’s shoeprint – putting the alleged “errors” in the course of the investigation on trial, and her speech at times sounded as if it was a lecture about dinosaurs, recalling curious things now extinct. 

The explicit function of her introduction was to justify her setting aside the evidence set, downplaying it by framing it into a historical moment, maintaining that it was collected and interpreted when investigators were already beyond the “black curtain” of bias, therefore tainted by prejudice, while judges were like sycophants before an angry mob.

The purpose behind the Black Curtain

The implicit, most important function of the introduction was accomplished via the concept of “half” and all the subliminal suggestions attached. 

We should ask ourselves: is it reasonable to believe Bongiorno was so naïve to expect that the court may accept a theory about a dismissal of evidence in limine?

The answer is no. Bongiorno knew perfectly well that her preliminary criticism of the investigation would not lead to a dismissal of the evidence. 

Bongiorno also knew that the series of preliminary arguments she would offer would be considered ineffective by judges. Such as that the knife DNA should be seen as unreliable preliminarily, that Stefanoni’s work lacked “transparency”, that Vecchiotti and Conti’s “method” should be taken at face value (Bongiorno knows C&V’s intellectual honesty was called manifestly questionable by the Supreme Court ), that this and that allele in the bra clasp DNA should not be considered because, etc.

She also knows that this court will not allow pieces of evidence to be considered separately from each other in a parcelled out way, and that imperfection of single pieces themselves do not work as a logical argument.  Even less could she dismiss the evidence based on political and anthropological theories.

From the fact that she was setting afoot on a trial of the investigation instead of battling the evidence,  the rational listener infers that she is well aware of the weakness of her position, since it implies that the evidence set as the battleground would be indefensible. She needs to search for another terrain of attack, a different structure, as the only possible move.

But there is also another implication. She does need to engage and draw attention to areas where she could “win” something, but this also means that her intent was to “soften” the accusation, to work it out at the flanks rather than face it frontally; to reduce the size of some fundamentals, the “excess” of the accusation.

In other words, to shorten the sentence. And if possible, to separate Sollecito’s position from that of Amanda Knox, albeit within the boundaries of her client’s plea.

Her strategy of attack had a reason, that was to try to soften the accusatory attitude against Sollecito. Besides being risky (may sound extremely unconvincing) the strategy was also loaded with implicit meanings.

What was most stunning to me – as it was a recurrent topic through her whole speech – was   the concept of “half”. She picked up this introductive theme several times, such as while speaking about the medical findings explaining that only “half” the length of the blade would be used, if a knife so large as Sollecito’s kitchen knife was used, saying that, in this event, this would mean the perpetrator did not intend to kill and killing was the effect of “mistake”, an involuntary movement. 

The importance of the length of the big blade and its “half” was emphasized by a waving of knifes, in a quite impressive theatrical performance: “Either the big wound was made by a smaller knife”  that was held by “someone else” or the knife was “plunged only by half” showing there was no intent to kill.

All this is to be coupled with the fact that, as said above, she devoted a main portion of her 6-hour speech to discussing things that are fossils, elements not existing any more.

She dealt later with other pieces of evidence too, though in a way that seemed somehow marginal, and she did not deal with some of them at all - the inconsistencies in Knox’s account, for example, were left completely out.

She was not that kind with Knox’s written memorials either, calling them “farneticanti”  (waffling, raving).

I noted her complaining about Raffaele being “halved”, as his character is portrayed as depending on Amanda’s and thus seen as equally guilty insofar he was Amanda’s half – and this effect is somehow transferred to pieces of evidence.

Bongiorno’s rhetoric emphasizes that Sollecito was accused on “half” pieces of evidence (you perceive that the metaphorical repeating of “half” implies that evidence actually exists,  “by half”, and at the same time this complaint about being seen as “half” of something is a subliminal suggestion that the defendants should be considered separately, and their charges as well, thus maybe their responsibilities if considered separately may be different;  and when it comes to discussing how the murderer used only half of the blade, the subliminal suggestion is bring down the charge by half, involuntary event/manslaughter versus voluntary murder). 

The Mark of Infamy

Giulia Bongiorno picked on the investigators and acted as if she was putting the investigation on trial not because she thought that this would lkead to the defendants being found innocent, but exactly for the opposite reason, because she expected them to be found guilty.

Insults against Prosecutor General Crini, against witnesses and and gratuitous accusations are a risky path but they are also an overt attempt to “soften” the investigation scenario, rather than fight it frontally.

She had no hope to make her client look innocent, her only hope was to soften the strength of the accusation, to make him look less guilty, not so bad as the investigators saw him.

She pursued this in two ways, by suggesting that he should not be seen as the “half” of another perp but rather his responsibility should be considered separately, only that evidence which proves directly against him (Bongiorno repeatedly pointed out that Knox did not utter his name in her interrogation and statement), his actual responsibility might be much lesser than the charge for which he is accused.

The other arm of the defence’s pincer move, the second way to try diminish the accusation, was to portray the investigators in bad light. The ‘excess’ of accusation was to lay blame on investigators for their bias and errors.

Bongiorno’s attack against the investigation might be intended to achieve a psychological effect due to comparative process.

If you consider how the police are responsible for ‘excesses’ and disputable behaviours, you may think the investigators have been prone to gross mistakes that lead to exaggerating Sollecito’s implication, thus the accusation should be not be taken at face value and should be corrected. Maybe the correct assessment of evidence proves he not as much implicated as they had thought.

This seemed to be Sollecito’s own defence strategy, albeit implicit, since Bongiorno must restrain her action within the boundaries of her client’s plea. 

In order to follow her strategy, however, Giulia Bongiorno decided to take a few steps which must be pointed out as particularly reprehensible and infamous.

I was surprised and stunned by those action because they qualify the character of Giulia Bongiorno as far worse than I thought, I really did not expect her to stoop so low. 
The infamous part of Bongiorno’s speech is her gratuitous name calling and defamatory attack against Anna Donnino, her attempt to smear her professional reputation and the rude insult in calling her a ‘psychic’. 
In real life Anna Donnino is a very respected professional, she has been working for the Questura on tasks of interpreter and language mediator (not as a ‘translator’).

She is also an intelligent person, she is precise and expresses herself with the utmost clarity as her lucid testimony shows.

She is known not only for having unquestionable professional ethics, but also she has an excellent reputation as a person; she is honest and humane and known by everybody for her extremely reassuring, protective temperament, and for her expertise and excellent performance of working with people.

She would help immigrants in difficulty to express themselves and understand their rights and was priceless helping the police to obtain precise information in their investigations.

As an expert in chuchotage and linguistic mediation from two foreign languages, the professional quality of her work is excellent. Her training and work is of interpreter and language mediator although sometimes shee is given translating tasks such as the translation of recordings and wiretappings.

The Questura of Perugia used to hire ‘language mediators’ at the time. You don’t know what a language mediator is? See a university course for a degree in Language Mediation.

The Questuras of some bigger cities also have ‘cultural mediators’ in addition. They are mother-tongue trained to deal with African or Chinese immigrants (one of the many young people having their internship as cultural mediator in a Questura is shown here.

To me, this defamatory attack against Donnino was most disturbing. By doing this Bongiorno came across as surprisingly mean, I’d say what she did was really infamous.

Indeed this was not the only virulent attack, it came after insults to the city of Perugia as she was comparing its citizens to a mob of blood-thirsty fanatics.

This attack too is also particularly vicious, since it exploits, inflames and is subtly synergic with the tones of lies and prejudices disseminated by a perfidious propaganda strategy.

But at a certain point, Bongiorno focused the defamation against one person. As she unfolded a narrative about Anna Donnino acting as a ‘psychic’ who managed to hypnotize, to gaslight Knox to the point of inducing a state of trance in which she mistook a dream for reality, some people couldn’t help laughing in the courtroom.

But even if we consider the surreal and comical rather than the convincing effect, the defamatory intent stands out as reprehensible and humanly vicious.

This is because, as I said above, these particular insults were directed against a person distinguishable for her being a most decent, honest and trustworthy character, and also – a further reason – because of the recent events for which this person experienced personal suffering: Anna Donnino, a mother of teenagers, has been struck with cancer, and has undergone surgery.

She is under treatment but still currently remains in very bad health. 

The attack against Anna Donnino is an action that rebounds as an ugly stain on the reputation of those who launched it.  A young man from Perugia created a Facebook group to express a the citizens’ “hate”  for those who lead a defamatory campaign of lies against the city. He collected over two thousand likes within three days.

Some of the comments were about Bongiorno’s insults against the city and against respected citizens, pointing out her outrageous hypocrisy since Giulia Bongiorno poses as a campaigner for the respect and dignity of women.

(a StripBit comment by a poster on a Facebook group)

Criticism of Giulia Bongriorno pointing out her hypocrisy is actually not a novelty, it has appeared long since in the press and on the internet.

But it’s hard to understand how someone like her, promoting   an image of herself as an advocate for women and for correctness and respect in language and culture, could take such a an egregiously visible false step, come out with such stupid stereotypical rants, only for what looks like an awkward and useless cause. 


A note for the record: we may recall Bongiorno has also attacked the Perugian police officers, citing the recording of some of their phone conversations in which they say bad words about the Sollecito family.

We can understand her outrage (at least we could, if only she were not the hypocrite she is) but at the same time we can’t fail to notice that she “forgot”  to mention another half of the phone call recordings.

Specifically those where the members of the Sollecito family were speaking about the police officers;  and the kind of language they were using, while attempting to plot ‘under the table’ help from some politician.

Expressing their intent to ‘scorch’ officers and ‘destroy’ magistrates, and one person even suggested that if he met Monica Napoleoni on the road, he would kill her by ‘running over her with the car’ then flee without telling anything, pretending that nothing happened.

Never mind.

After these last sparkles and the knife waving Bongiorno’s performance was over. In the following day’s hearing it was Maori’s turn. As a really last resort, he was taking on the task of disputing evidence in a more “traditional” way, objecting to points of evidence.

Possibly this revealed even more the extreme weakness of the defensive argument (a commenter called it ‘pathetic’).  I did not listen to his argument myself,  I only notice that he did not get much space neither in the press nor in the pro-Knox commenting sites; this might be a clue of how unconvincing he might have been.

One thing that however I could learn about it, is about the feeling, the perception that Maori pointed out even more the separation between the two positions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. 

A hint about this comes in the words of a journalist who was questioning Alessandro Nencini in the lounge immediately after the verdict: the journalist pointed out how Sollecito defence “tried to split the positions of the two accused”.

This mild attempt of a separation was the last act by the defence. As for Raffaele Sollecito himself, we were left with his rather different claim, his book where he described himself as sticking to a ‘honour bound’.

He reportedly bragged about this also with his ex-girlfriend Kelsey Kay, who described him as feeling very entitled because of his loyalty to Amanda Knox and believing she owes him a vital a favour; but Knox won’t even respond to his messages.

Then, we had his final admission in an interview that his friendship with Amanda Knox has ‘deteriorated’, because apparently Knox in practice no longer supports him as before. 

If his defence advisors understood that they needed to somehow ‘separate’  his position from Knox’s at any cost, despite his plea, to suggest he may be implicated but just ‘less’ guilty, we may only agree with them on this. It would also be convenient for him to confess even if he shared the same degree of guilt of Knox.

Sadly, instead he still felt compelled to offer further lies and changing stories such as‘I noticed no blood on the bathmat’ when questioned by Kate Couric; he offered again a story of pricking Meredith’s hand while cooking together at the cottage.

Other murderers, who committed even more heinous crimes, have recovered and rehabilitated themselves after time spent in prison; even some of those deemed among the worst serial killers managed to do this by expressing remorse – for example the rather psychopathic ‘Ludwig’ (Furlan & Abel) killers.

Sure after the years he will spend in jail for the gang-like crime he is found guilty of,  there would be a possibility for a ‘casual murderer’ such as he is to be perceived as rehabilitated.  But to see him as ‘less guilty’ or as ‘rehabilitated’ would be impossible as long as he remains silent or denies.   

Posted on 02/27/14 at 10:24 PM by Machiavelli (Yummi). Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesAppeals 2009-2015Florence appealFamily/defense hoaxersSollecito teamRaff Sollecito
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Friday, February 21, 2014

The US Lacks Legal Authority To Decline To Deliver A Guilty Knox To Italian Authorities

Posted by TomM

[Rome airport; exceedingly rare for those convicted of Italian crimes not to be sent back via here]

The reporting on this case has, with few exceptions, been poor.

Recent reporting on whether the US would extradite Amanda Knox continues that tradition, ranging from assertions that “sources” within the State Department say they would never extradite her, to claims that the risk of extradition is real, but that the Secretary of State has the discretion to refuse to extradite.

If the Secretary of State actually has this discretion, it must be grounded in the law.

That means it must be found in the Constitution, or in an act of Congress, or in a treaty—all of which constitute the “law of the land”.  Beyond authorizing the President to make treaties, with the consent of two thirds of the Senate, the Constitution sheds no further light.

The only act of Congress dealing with extradition of US citizens is Title 18, United States Code, section 3196; a bit of background first.

There is no uniform US extradition treaty.  Each treaty is separately negotiated with the other sovereign nation.  Historically, many of the treaties entered into by the US contained clauses providing that neither country was obligated to extradite its own citizens.

Notwithstanding this, the US had extradited US nationals on the basis of discretion to extradite even though extradition was not required by the language of the treaty.  But in 1936 the US Supreme Court held that if the treaty does not “obligate” the requested party to extradite its own citizens, the Secretary of State does not have the discretion to deliver the person sought to the requesting country.  [Valentine v. United States ex rel. Neidecker 299 U.S. 8]

In 1990, Congress passed 18 U.S.C § 3196, captioned “Extradition of United States citizens:”

“If the applicable treaty or convention does not obligate the United States to extradite its citizens to a foreign country, the Secretary of State may, nevertheless, order the surrender to that country of a United States citizen whose extradition has been requested by that country if the other requirements of that treaty or convention are met.”

That is the full extent of Congressional action on extradition of US citizens; there is no Congressional grant of discretion to the Secretary of State to decline extradition in the face of a treaty obligation.

Some US extradition treaties contain clauses that give the requested country the discretion not to extradite its own citizens; perhaps that is where the idea that the Secretary of State has discretion not to extradite Knox comes from.

Here, for example, is a clause from the US-Sweden treaty:

“There is no obligation upon the requested State to grant extradition of a person who is a national of the requested State, but the executive authority of the requested State shall, subject to the appropriate laws of that State, have the power to surrender a national of that State if, in its discretion, it be deemed proper to do so.”

The treaty with Italy is short (ten pages) and written in plain language.  The treaty has commences with Article I, captioned “Obligation to Extradite”:

“The Contracting Parties agree to extradite to each other, pursuant to the provisions of this Treaty, persons whom the authorities of the Requesting Party have charged with or found guilty of an extraditable offense.”

The cover letter of the Secretary of State to then-President Reagan explains:  “Article I obligates each State to extradite to the other, in accordance with the terms of the Treaty, any persons charged with or convicted…”. (emphasis added)

There are mandatory grounds for refusal, such as political or military acts, double jeopardy (if the person sought has already been tried by the requested State for the same offense), or if the prosecution or penalty is time-barred in the requesting State.

There is just one discretionary ground: if the country requested is also prosecuting the person sought for the same act.

Article 4 provides:

“A Requested Party shall not decline to extradite a person because such a person is a national of the Requested Party.”

Thus, any discretion to deny extradition implied by 18 USC 3196 has no application to requests made under this treaty.  Further, although some appellate cases have treated some issues regarding extradition of nationals differently, they fairly firmly hold to the difference in the meaning of mandatory words like “shall” and “obligate” on the one hand, and discretionary or permissive words like “may”.

Comments to the effect that the US has declined extradition to Italy in the past are superficial and uninformed.

The first illustration such commentators cite is that of the Air Force pilot who severed a ski lift cable, causing multiple deaths.  That was not an extraditable offense under the treaty because of double jeopardy; the pilot had been court martialed.  Although his acquittal enraged Italians, the pilot had already been tried by the US, and thus his case fell under the mandatory ground to denial of extradition specified in the treaty.

The other example mentioned is that of the CIA operatives who were prosecuted in absentia for the abduction of Abu Omar in Milan.  The Italian Minister of Justice refused, during both the Berlusconi and Prodi administrations, requests of the Milan court to commence extradition proceedings.  In Italy, the courts and the government are independent, and the courts lack power to compel government to make a request for extradition.

Even if the Italian government had made an extradition request, there is at least a colorable argument to be made that this was in the nature of a military act in the US war on terror, thus constituting a mandatory ground of refusal.

Thus, if Italy requests the extradition of Amanda Knox, the US lacks legal authority to decline to deliver her to Italian authorities.  If the US government wants to avoid extraditing her, it will have to rely on diplomacy rather than law.  In other words, it will need to convince the Italian government not to make an extradition request in the first place.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Italy’s Unpopular Politicians And Mafia Fellow Travelers Against Italy’s Popular Justice System

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Above and below: several of over 100 car bombings Italian police and prosecutors were killed in]

1. On The Pro-Justice Side…

This puts the faux Nencini “end-of-civilization-as-we-know” crisis into some sensible context.

The Italian system doesn’t exactly come out badly compared to say that of the US. Surprise, surprise: See here who agrees.

Comparatively speaking, Italy has a much lower crime rate than the US, a much lower murder rate, a highly professional un-elected police hierarchy, a much smaller court system, and a miniscule number of prison cells.

The mafias are now mostly backed into small pockets..

For reasons to do with Italian history pre-WW II the system keeps politicians very much at arms length.

Almost every other justice system in the world comes under the Prime Minister’s or equivalent’s control, and it his or her party that appoints the judges. The Italian system comes under the separately-elected and non-partisan President of the Republic.

All judges and all prosecutors follow a career path laden with checks and balances, learning exercises and tests. (At this the highly-competent and impartial Dr Mignini excels and he will soon be the attorney-general of a region.)

The system is extremely pro-defendant - probably the most pro-defendant in the whole world. See this article and this article for proof.

The number of Italians who are in prison at any one time is proportionally only about 1/5 that of the United States. Take a look.

It is not like everyone in Italy is impatiently waiting for the fatuous posse of Preston, Heavey, Fischer & Moore to turn up and save them from themselves. There is no problem there.

Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi) who reported for us on the Cassation and Nencini appeals has assembled these facts on what the Italian population actually thinks. 

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.

(My source is “Rapporto Italia 2012” by EURISPES). 

More evidence of this popularity.  And even more.

2. On the Anti-Justice Side

In the past decade both corrupt politicians and the mafias have been remorselessly rolled back.

The Perugia Prosecutor-General’s Office being close to Rome and notoriously hard to bend was given national jurisdiction over the corruption of the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2010 rebuilding following a huge earthquake.

The Florence Prosecutor-General’s Office being close to Rome and notoriously hard to bend was given national jurisdiction over the corruption of the contracts for the high-speed rail links that pass through Florence and on.

But attempts of corrupt politicians and others to meddle in this case go on and on and on.

Knox and Sollecito may think it is for pure love of them. Think again. There are unsavory parties on the anti-justice bandwagon who if it suited them would disappear Knox and Sollecito in the blink of an eye.

Politics played a part in ex-MP Rocco Girlanda, a Berlusconi poodle, accessing Capanne Prison multiple times to slobber over Knox. As a member of the Justice Committee under former Berlusconi-party MP Giulia Borngiorno’s sway (hows THAT for a conflict of interest?) Girlanda (1) petitioned the President for Knox, (2) tried to cut the national police wiretap budget, (3) tried to get Perugia prosecutors investigated, (4) repeatedly appeared on TV and in other media to make false allegations, and (5) chaired several US/Italy “liberation” meetings.

Sollecito lawyer Giulia Bongiorno has been wearing her member-of-parliament hat to stir up the (essentially toothless) Ministry of Justice against Judge Nencini. And to try to get the Council of Magistrates to give her client a break (Good luck with that - they wont move.)

The mafia backseat drivers (known about in Italy but not reported in the US) are there in a minor but pervasive way. Their roles were summarised in several places including this post here.

It is odd, to say the least, to see such self promoting reformers of the Italian system as Preston, Heavey, Fischer and Moore happily carrying water for the mafias.

So What We May Expect

Judge Nencini is a seasoned mafia fighter, and he is also a seasoned fighter of politicians who are corrupt and try to bend the system their way. But his record is very clear. Attack him for murky end - and he does not exactly back down.

From the point of view of Sollecito’s prospects, this faux storm looks like another huge wrong move.

Posted on 02/05/14 at 11:53 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Italian justice v othersOfficially involvedPolice and CSIThe prosecutorsThe judiciary
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Monday, February 03, 2014

Defense Dirty Tricks: Did We Just See Yet Another One, An Attempt To Compromise Judge Nencini?

Posted by Jools

Judge Nencini offers corrections

This is my translation of a statement from Judge Necini carried by the Florence GoNews website.

“In relation to the press articles that reported my statements on the trial for the death of Meredith Kercher I intend to point out that there has been no interview organized or pre-arranged.

I ran into some journalists in the corridors of the courthouse who told me of the rumors and speculations that were being circulated on the duration of the deliberation session.

I then had a brief talk with them meant, in my intention, to clarify possible misunderstandings. In this I accept responsibility, reaffirming that I did not agree to disclose in any way the reasons for the sentence.  In particular, I have not expressed any opinion on the strategy procedure followed by the defence of the accused.

In fact the only reference to that matter, reported in the article that appeared in Il Messaggero, is one in which I stated that the accused were defended in the process to a ‘very high standard.’

If my words have generated misunderstandings on this point and on the absolute legality of the choice of an accused to make spontaneous statements I regret it.

These explanations are dutybound for the respect I owe to the people who participated in the process with me and to the [Law] System of which I’m proud to be a part of; as well as for consistency in my professional history, with over thirty years of work carried out without spotlights and without interviews.”

Context for those corrections

This is in relation to the previous days articles claiming Judge Nencini supposedly gave an “inappropriate” interview to the press.

In very short order three or four lay members of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) laid a complaint about non-appropriate conduct (under Art. 6 of the CSM rules) for a presiding appeal court judge to give press interviews commenting on the motivations reached by the judges on any sentence before its official publication.

Not surprisingly, the first people to complain were Bongiorno and Maori (grasping at straws, much?!!) and then to follow were these three or four lay members of the CSM, who happen to be also members of the centre-right political party “Forza Italia” (Berlusconi’s party).

As a result of the complaint made by these people, the Justice Minister, Annamaria Cancelleri, ordered an inquest on the allegations against Judge Nencini which could have led to his reprimand for disclosing details of the verdict reached to the press.

Personally, I think this all results from the desperation of Sollelcito’s defense and they have erncourgaed the others to instigate it. Making a meal out of nothing, in the hope that the whole appeal trial gets thrown out.

And let’s face it, it wouldn’t be difficult for Bongiorno to find some of Berlusconi’s people that are always looking for ways to attack members of the judiciary given Berlusconi’s hatred for the system. Just my opinion…

In any case, the allegations seem to be false, Judge Nencini actually didn’t say much, and the inquest will prove it, but in the meantime the press is concentrating on this rather than the hopeless work the defense produced. This maybe is the whole objective.

The later, longer interview

The interview by Fiorenza Sarzanini with Judge Nencini the following morning is claimed to be quite legal, because the decision of the court had been published the previous evening.

Andre Vogt kindly posted a very accurate translation on The Freelance Desk, and as it will scroll down soon and be hard to find, we can repost the full interview here.

The Freelance Desk

Posted 1 February

Italy’s most influential newspaper, the Corriere Della Sera, this morning has published a fascinating long interview with Judge Alessandro Nencini about his reasons for convicting Amanda Knox. The interview was done by one of the newspaper’s most veteran crime and investigative reporters, Fiorenza Sarzanini. Click here to read the original.

HEADLINE: Amanda and Raffaele: The Judge Speaks

SUBHEAD: “I have children too; it was a huge burden.”

SUBHEAD2:  “The defense had asked to separate the positions of the two accused, but Raffaele would not allow himself to be questioned.”

By Fiorenza Sarzanini

“I feel relieved because the moment of the decision is the most difficult. I have children too, and handing down convictions of 25 and 28 years for two young people is a very hard thing, emotionally.”

It is 10 am the day after the verdict and Justice Alessandro Nencini is in his office. The President of the Florentine Court of Appeals, which two days ago found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher, knows that the decision will “open up new debate, especially in the media”, but that is exactly why he agreed to explain how the verdict was reached.

You deliberated in chambers for 12 hours. Was the judicial panel divided?

“The case files took up half of the room. There are 30 expert reports. The lay judges, who aren’t court staff, had to read all the documentation to reach a joint decision, as is expected in the appeals court.  You have to review all the documents, think about them, and reason.  We did that using all the time that was necessary, and taking into account the fact that the victim was also a young girl.

And then the decision was unanimous?

“I spoke of a joint decision. I can say that in all these months and in particular during the last session of deliberations, we carefully considered the gravity of a verdict that involves young people and their entire families. This is a case that has consumed many lives.”

Yours was a narrow path, the Court of Cassation had urged you to remedy the Perugia appeal decision that had acquitted the two accused.

“Not so, we had maximum flexibility. The only restriction was that in the case of acquittal, we would have to have give reasons based on logic. There was no other binding restriction.”

Not even with regard to the decision handed down in Rudy Guede’s case?

“Effectively the specifics of the case was this: there was a person already convicted via fast-track, and definitively, for concourse in the same homicide. The Court of Cassation was asking us to consider who participated and their roles.  We could have said that the two accused weren’t there, and then provided convincing reasoning, but we did not believe this to be the truth.”

Why didn’t you question Guede?

“For what purpose? He has never confessed and even if we had called him, he had the right to remain silent.  We didn’t think it was necessary.  Rather, we felt it was important to study the other aspects more in depth.  In fact we requested an expert report and heard witnesses about which there were doubts. That is the role of the appeal judges. In four months, we’ve been able to arrive at a result.”

Sollecito’s lawyers had asked you to split the defence.
“We’ll explain the point more in the reasonings, where we will explain why we rejected that request. In any case, Sollecito did not want to be questioned during the trial.”

And this influenced your choice to convict him?

“It is the defendant’s right, but certainly it removes a voice from the trial proceedings. He limited himself to making spontaneous declarations, saying only what he wanted to say, without being cross examined.”

Over the years, various motives have been speculated. What idea did you yourselves form?

“We convicted and we will explain it explicitly in our reasoning.  For now, I can say that up until 20:15 of that evening, these young people all had different plans, then their commitments fell through and the occasion for this to happen was created.  If Amanda had gone to work, we probably wouldn’t be here.”

Are you saying that the murder was just a coincidence?

“I’m saying this was something that unfolded between these young people. There may have been coincidences, and we’ve taken it into the reasoning. I’m aware this will be the most debatable part.”

Cassation demolished the acquittal. Will you as well?

“We are not going to mention it. We simply have to focus on the decision in the first instance (Massei) which we confirmed, on the facts.

And you don’t believe that there were errors?

“I didn’t say that. Some I believe there may have been and I’ll point them out.”

You convicted Amanda Knox, but didn’t issue any precautionary measures against her. Why?

“She is legally in the United States.  At the moment of the offence she was in Italy to study and she went home after having been acquitted. She is an American citizen. The problem will arise when it is time to carry out the sentence.  For now I don’t believe that such a measure wouuld have been necessary.”

So why then have you confiscated Raffaele Sollecito’s passport?

“It was the agreed minimum. In these cases such measures serve as prevention. We want to avoid that he makes himself impossible to find during the period of waiting for a definitive judgment.”

And you believe being forbidden to leave the country is enough?

“Yes, that seemed more than sufficient to us. If there are other developments later, we will consider them.”

Posted on 02/03/14 at 10:17 PM by Jools. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesThe judiciaryAppeals 2009-2015Florence appealFamily/defense hoaxersSollecito team
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Guide For Smart Media: Note Extensive Hard Evidence In Exceptionally Fair, Careful Legal Process

Posted by Media Watcher

[Accurate Italian media recreation of attack based on masses of closed court evidence 2009]

Vital media history in 2009

In Italy and Europe generally the guilt of the two is almost universally perceived.

One reason is that although about 1/4 of the trial in 2009 was behind closed doors (quite the opposite of the “tabloid storm” and “show trial” Americans have been told about)  Italians in particular got to find out about the long (15 minutes), remorseless, highly sadistic attack on Meredith.

Late in the attack, she let out a huge scream. It may have been then that Knox forced in the final stab. At the end Meredith was left lying on her back on the floor, in immense pain, with her hands clutching her neck, trying to stop the life-blood running out.

Meredith had been undressed post-attack, her phones had been removed to stop her calling for help, and her bedroom door was locked. Cruel and barbaric in the extreme.

US reporting from trial in 2009 was actually for the most part good. Andrea Vogt and John Follain and Barbie Nadeau and Ann Wise all did exceptional jobs. Even one of Seattle’s own newspapers (Hearst’s Seattle PI) ran many unflinching reports.

Italy’s foreign media portrayed a sharp and incisive prosecution, a defendant (Knox) who was a disaster in her two days on the stand, and a floundering, half-hearted defense, which was really spinning its wheels. 

Vital media history in 2010

It was only in 2010, after trial, with an automatic appeal coming up, that the defense campaigns (acting largely illegally under Italian law) took advantage of a number of quirks in the situation to try to dupe Americans into believing the conviction was flawed.

The Italian system speaks mostly through its public documents, not police or prosecutors or judges, and the 2009 trial judge (Massei) issued a superb, very long explanation of why guilt was found, in Italian, in Spring 2010.

This compelling Italian document was posted online in Italy by the Justice Ministry in Rome, and widely read and summarised in the media in Italy itself. And so the logic and legitimacy sunk in.

In the United States, in sharp contrast, not one media outlet translated that report. Not one.

The only accurate translation into English was prepared by the Italian speakers and lawyers on our sister website, PerugiaMurderFile dot Org.

With US and UK media news cutbacks around the world, and especially in Italy, the media since has largely accepted the spin straight from the defense campaign, as exceptionally propagated by the Associated Press and a couple of “tame” networks in the US. 

As a consequence, the coverage has become overwhelmingly biased in favor of Amanda Knox.

Today’s US media state of play

Misleading and false information about the prosecution case and the evidence presented has been repeated so often that many people now accept as fact outright lies.

This includes the absurd claim by defense attorney Ted Simon that “there is no evidence.”  (Which ironically even Ted Simon himself disputed - see post below - in an NBC Dateline report that was taped before he signed on to represent Amanda Knox.)

It didn’t have to be this way.  Reporters from the NYTimes, Rolling Stone, ABC, CNN, and others have done their readers/viewers a huge disservice, by distorting the factual record, and by supporting a false narrative in which it’s simply unthinkable that an attractive young woman could ever be caught up in a crime so heinous.

Which ignores the fact that shocking crimes have often been committed by people who seem incapable of such violence, which in this case means “too white, too young, too female, and with the types of connections - including to a King County Superior Court judge - that most criminals simply don’t have.”

Fortunately, Harvard’s formidable law professor Alan Dershowitz is among the many prominent attorneys who have reviewed the facts of the case more dispassionately and has said more than enough evidence was presented to support a guilty verdict.

Now the defense, with the complicity of much of American media, seems intent on fueling anti-foreigner bias in order to circumvent an extradition request from Italian authorities, which would come after the Court of Cassation finally signs off. 

Pointers for smart media

As someone who has read through all of the available court documents and much of the media, and who has more than 25 years’ experience helping national media to understand complex, technical stories, here’s my take on the issues the media should consider as they continue to write about this case:

One - Formidable Legal Experts Say the Evidence is Strong

First off, before ever repeating or suggesting that there is a lack of evidence, remember that renowned civil rights attorney and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has been on the winning side of 13 of 15 murder and attempted murder cases, has said that the evidence supports a guilty verdict and that none of this media frenzy would even be happening if Knox were not a young, attractive, white female.  (include link here to Dershowitz on CNN). 

Two - Italy’s Justice System Has Important Differences from the U.S.

As Dershowitz has explained, there is no “double jeopardy” because Italy has a three-stage process, and we are nearing the end of the second stage.

In this case, Knox was first found provisionally guilty by the trial court.  An appellate court decision to reverse that decision was set aside by the Supreme Court and a second appellate court has now weighed in.  Once this appellate court publishes its rationale, the decision is again subject to appeal.  If appealed, the appellate decision will not become final until the Supreme Court weighs in. 

Unlike in the U.S., at all levels of the three-stage judicial process (original trial, appeal, appeal to Supreme Court) in Italy, juries and judges are required to explain the rationale behind their decisions in legal documents.  These documents are important and anyone who reports on this case should read the underlying source documents.

It is an enormous benefit for defendants to understand how and why a jury convicted, because it makes the chances of filing a quality appeal much higher.  Italy does many things to protect the rights of defendants, and requiring juries to defend their decisions to convict are among them. 

Three - Amanda is a Convicted Felon for the False Accusation

Because the Supreme Court has already affirmed the calunnia verdict for her false accusation of Patrick Lumumba, Amanda is now a convicted felon.  Remember that Patrick Lumumba was a man she worked for and she stood by her accusation for several weeks, never formally withdrawing it.  Lumumba was only cleared when his alibi was independently verified. 

Four - The Questioning was Not Unusually Harsh

On the question of whether Amanda was treated unfairly and/or questioned harshly, in the aftermath of a murder, people are questioned fiercely here in the U.S. all the time.  Amanda was not considered a suspect until she put herself at the scene of the crime and until her alibi(s) clearly conflicted with those of Raffaele Sollecito.

She was not a reluctant witness.  In fact, she volunteered to answer questions on the night Sollecito was being questioned.  (The prosecution asked him to come in alone.)  Knox and Sollecito have each offered numerous, conflicting accounts of what they were doing on the night in question.

Five - Study the Cell Phone Evidence

The cell phone evidence is compelling.  Few American media have paid any attention to the cell phone evidence, but the original jury gave it significant weight and it was discussed at length in the original sentencing report.  You should read it.

Six - Look at the Photos of the Blood in the Bathroom

The DNA evidence is also compelling.  There is clear evidence of Amanda’s DNA mixed in with Meredith’s blood in multiple places in the bathroom.  The photos that show the amount of blood – all Meredith’s - in the bathroom Amanda and Meredith shared is compelling.  Amanda has said she assumed the large amounts of blood were from someone being messy after having a period.

Once you take a look at the blood on the faucets, you realize that given the sheer amount of blood, a woman having a period would have had to stand up over the sink and drip blood from the pelvis down onto the handles to make that scenario real. 

Instead, of course, given that Amanda herself said the bathroom did not have obvious blood earlier that evening, the blood had to have come from someone (and it couldn’t be Guede given that his footsteps led from the murder scene to outside) who was cleaning up after the murder and was covered in Meredith’s blood.

There is also mixed DNA of Meredith and Amanda in Filomena’s bedroom.  No one has offered a plausible “innocent” explanation for how a blood spot with mixed DNA from Meredith and Amanda could have ended up in Filomena’s bedroom.

Seven - What was the Lamp Doing in Meredith’s Locked Bedroom?

A lamp from Amanda’s room was found locked in the bedroom where the murder took place.  It’s difficult to imagine any scenario where a lamp would be taken from another room and locked into the scene of the crime other than that it was used to look for evidence during the cleanup and then inadvertently forgotten.

And again, keep in mind that Guede’s bloody footprints lead directly from the bedroom to the entrance of the flat.  He took off just after the murder happened and never returned.

Eight - Rudy Guede Did Not Act Alone

The break-in was clearly staged and there was no credible defense argument given to refute that.  Again, given that Guede’s footprints led directly from the scene of the murder to the front door, he clearly was not involved in any after-the-fact coverup/cleanup, which meant someone else was.

Nine - Consider Amanda’s Middle of the Night Call to Her Mom

Amanda called her mother in the middle of the night Seattle time before the murder was even discovered.  It was the first and only time she’d done this from Italy.  When asked about it, Amanda claims to not remember having made the call.

It defies credibility to suggest that it was mere happenstance that Amanda decided to call her mother after the murder, wake her up from a sound sleep, and then not remember she had done it.  Instead, the far, far more likely scenario is that she realized she was in serious trouble and reached out to her mother instinctively.

And this happened before a body was even discovered.

Ten - “Contamination” Resulting in Sollecito DNA - How Again?

The defense claimed that there was contamination of the bra clasp and that’s why the DNA from Sollecito was not reliable.  Contamination had to be the defense claim because there was no question that it was actually Sollecito’s DNA.  Keeping an open mind, how would Sollecito’s DNA get on the bra clasp even through contamination?

There was only one other spot of Sollecito’s DNA found in the apartment and that was a mixed DNA trace (Amanda and Raffaele) on a cigarette butt.  Sollecito’s DNA was never near the bra clasp or near the equipment that was used to do the testing on the bra clasp at the time the bra clasp was tested.

In fact, at the time the DNA on the bra clasp was tested, it had been more than seven days since any DNA testing from the crime had been done in that lab and everything had been thoroughly cleaned.  How did any DNA from Sollecito get transferred to the bra clasp?

And if you agree with the defense claim that “when it comes to contamination, anything is possible,” then you should consider whether that same standard should also be applied to the thousands of people in U.S. prisons who have been convicted of murder or rape in part on the basis of DNA evidence.

Eleven - DNA on Knife - Study the Analysis with an Open Mind

The DNA evidence from the knife was considered questionable because the method used was relatively new and frankly, some people didn’t seem to understand the underlying math/analysis that supported the conclusion that it was Meredith’s DNA.

Sollecito himself tried to create a plausible alternative scenario by claiming that Meredith’s DNA ended up on the knife when he accidentally pricked her on a night she had dinner at his flat.  Except that that dinner never happened.  He’d known Amanda only a week, and of course Meredith never went near Sollecito’s flat.

Twelve - Should the U.S. Abandon Its Treaty Obligations Because of Popular Opinion?

An Italian jury convicted Amanda Knox of murder in Italy, and that conviction has now been upheld by an Italian Appellate Court that reviewed all of the evidence.  The decision has now been supported by renowned legal experts here in the U.S. who have also closely examined the evidence presented.

If the U.S. is going to refuse to extradite Knox on the basis of popular opinion which has been inflamed by shoddy reporting, then we should acknowledge that the court of public opinion is the only one that matters and perhaps we should consider whether the U.S. or any country needs jury trials at all.

Perhaps we should just poll the public after highly publicized trials and let that verdict be the one that stands.

We are ready to help

There are multiple other pieces of evidence and issues linked to here to consider beyond my list above. They are all here on this site and the Wiki and the two PMFs (links in left column above).

Content on those 4 sites is for the most part presented by successful, highly qualified lawyers and experts i(including some who are Italian) in all of the relevant fields. 

If you are going to write on or report about this case, please consider starting by reading the actual court documents, beginning with the document that was written by the judge and jury involved in the original trial.

Relying on the defense PR team and on previously published media reports will not help you understand the case because so much of what has been reported is completely and wildly inaccurate.

Also you have a responsibility to get reporting on this case right because if and when Italy submits an extradition request for Amanda Knox, it’s important to not fan the flames of a potential international incident by blowing this case up into something it’s not.

It is is a murder trial where the weight of the of evidence is strong enough to convince a Harvard law professor who has worked on many murder cases that Knox’s guilt will likely be affirmed by Italy’s highest court.

Posted on 02/03/14 at 09:56 AM by Media Watcher. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedPublic evidenceThe timelinesKnox's alibisSollecito's alibisAppeals 2009-2015Florence appealMeredith-case hoaxesNo-evidence hoaxAmanda KnoxRudy Guede
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Friday, January 31, 2014

Appeal Session #10 Images: The Attorney General Of Tuscany Dr Tindari Baglione Breaks The News

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

This help with translation happened right after Judge Nencini finished reading the verdict and sentences yesterday

Below: images of Lyle and Stephanie earlier in the long tense day


Posted on 01/31/14 at 12:43 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe judiciaryAppeals 2009-2015Florence appealReporting on the caseMedia news
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Appeal Session #10 Images: The Two Judges And Six Lay Judges Deliver The Guilty Verdict

Posted by Peter Quennell

The statement is sharp and quite brief. Judge Nencini confirms that both Knox and Sollecito are confirmed guilty. The 2009 Massei verdict is upheld.

The sentences are 25 years in priosn for Raffaele Sollecito and 28.6 years in rpison for Amanda Knox including the 3.8 years for the calunnia already served. Each must also incur financial penalties.

Both may be locked in the sex offenders wings as both were confirmed convicted with a sex-crime component. Both may face further charges for false accusations of crimes in their books and in the media, as may some of their more strident “supporters”.

Few in the US and UK seem to realize, but the evidence presented at trial in the first half of 2009 was in fact overwhelming. In the US and UK it is probable no appeal would even have been allowed, as the appeal grounds were so flimsy.

Nothing was undermined at the Florence appeal. In fact the evidence became STRONGER as another trace of Knox was found on the big knife. Innuendo about DNA contamination was sharply rejected in face of zero evidence or even scenario.

Please read our case overview here which links to some vital posts and touches on several of the defense’s illegal tricks.

That includes the corrupting of the 2011 appeal, which is well understood in Italy but not registering with most US and UK media - Sndrea Vogt has begun reporting on part of it, the illegal meddling with the Hellmann DNA consultancy


Posted on 01/31/14 at 11:11 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe judiciaryAppeals 2009-2015Florence appealReporting on the caseMedia newsRaff Sollecito
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Appeal Session #10: After Defense Remarks Panel Of Judges Reaches Its Decision: BOTH GUILTY

Posted by Peter Quennell

Verdict: Both are confirmed guilty

The Massei verdict is upheld. The sentences are 25 years for Raffaerle Sollecito and 28.6 years for Amanda Knox. Sollecito is to have his passport taken away.

For Knox they could issue a worldwide Interpol Red Notice for immediate arrest around the world, even before going for extradition, to stop her dishonest self-serving blabberings. 

Take a look at our conjectures down the bottom of this post on the judges’ deliberations. Looks like we got One, Two and Four right and Knox will be named in the judges report as the prime instigator.

That will hardly help her resist extradition. And it will please Guede and Sollecito, who both always hint at that.

To CNN: yet again this is NOT double jeopardy. Read the extradition treaty. It was ONE valid trial (2009) and now ONE valid and failed appeal (2014). Not two trials.

Tweets from our main poster Machiavelli

26. All these many thanks are so warming and comforting; I’m glad my contribution was useful among the many others.

25. No measure taken for expatriation of Knox because she is a US citizen currently in her own country.

24.  Passport withdrawn for Sollecito and movement restriction within the boundaries of the state of Italy.  No restriction for Knox.

23.  Ruled that Knox’s royalties belong to Lumumba,

22.  Accessory penalties/settlements: established Knox stinks, ordered Dalla Vedova to change jobs… (!)

21.  Her calunnia sentencing has been increased from 3 years (Hellmann-Zanetti) to 3 years and 6 months.

20. To be more precise: Knox has been sentenced to 28 years and 6 months. (She has already served four years).

19. Massei sentence confirmed (25y), Knox sentence increased to 28 years because of calunnia aggravation

18. Bongiorno very agitated

17. Five minutes and a half from a verdict?

16. Judge declared the verdict will be 3D and distributed goggles [?]

15. Sollecito was in the courtroom. Appeared nervous.

14. Said because of the greatness of their power they should acknowledge reasonable doubt.

13. Ghirga emphasized discretional power of the court. Said they have big power to acquit.

12. In point of law: Ghirga said evidence must be considered as a whole in compliance with SC, but assessment should find reasonable doubt

11. Said no blood on knife because of negative TMB and blood confirmatory tests.

10. Ghirga: cited the claims about picograms, said amount is not the point, the problem is test repetition and other conditions

9. Says bruise at back of head is compatible with frotal fight against single aggerssor (disagreement with Introna on this too)

8. Ghirga: Meredith’s blue sweater was removed before fatal stabbing, as for Torre’s opinion. Admitas he disagrees with Sollecito’s defence.

7. Ghirga talked about: Meredith’s blue sweater, an echimosis at back of her head, DNA laboratories and Stefanoni’s quantization

6. Ghirga recalled a small number of details of physical evidence and autopsy.

5. Dalla Vedova asked acquittal, did not specify, whereas Ghirga instead, talking later, invoked reasonable doubt.

4. D.V. says believes there are other Supreme Court rulings in his favor.

3. D.V. emphasized the single pieces of evidence should be assessed each one in parceled out, atomized way before considering the whole

2. DV focused on evidence assessment procedure, quoted SC rulings.

1. Dalla Vedova’s talking lasted a short time, and not very orderly.

Tweets from reporter Barbie Latza Nadeau

28.  Court: Amanda Knox Is Guilty. See more in The Daily Beast.

27.  Kercher family members being briefed by lawyers and British consulate.

26.  Sollecito must surrender all documents, passports, identification,

25. Its 25 years for sollecito and 28.6 years for amanda knox

24.  Amanda Knox [2009] guilty verdict upheld,  sollecito [2009] guilty verdict upheld.

23. Judges and jury enter.22. Huge security presence ahead of verdict including riot police outside and in public area of courtroom amandaknox tense

21. meredithkercher sister stephany and brother lyle have arrived in court for verdict.

20 Prosecutor Crini has arrived in court for verdict in amandaknox appeal

19. Clerk says between 9-930 local time judges will return. Says judges want “utter silence no shouting or clapping”

18. Court clerk says verdict will be delivered between 9 and 9:30 tonight.

17. Amanda Knox ‘Afraid’ Of Today’s Court Verdict http://thebea.st/LeteHD  via @thedailybeast

16. Court clerk says at 8pm she will go back to judge to find out if and when they are ready to deliver verdict.

15. Court clerk says “presumably verdict at 8:00 but everyone come back at 7:00

15. Court clerk just announced that at 6pm local they will tell us when the verdict will be announced.

14. Mario Spezi, author of Monster of Florence, has come to court to hear amandaknox verdict.

13. Lawyers for amandaknox and sollecito, journalists already in courtroom ready for verdict that come come any time from 5pm Florence time.

12. Lunch has just been brought in to judges and lay jury deliberating amandaknox case. No wine.

11. Refreshments just delivered to jury members in amandaknox new appeal, espresso, cappucino and possibly a tea…

10. Judge in amandaknox new appeal says decision will not come before 5pm.

9. amandaknox lawyer asks court to absolve his client.

8. amandaknox lawyer says the dna on the knife attributed to meredithkercher can not be verified, can not be considered.

7. amandaknox lawyer Ghirga tells court they have to look at all the evidence to reach verdict, not value pieces here and there.

6. amandaknox lawyer says you can’t put two innocent people in jail to cover up mistakes of judicial system.

5. amandaknox lawyer tells judge: you cannot convict for murder in the name of Italy when evidence is ‘probably’ attributed to a defendant.

4. amandaknox lawyer says you can’t cancel out evidence, says Amanda’s rights were violated, she was in shock when she accused Lumumba.

3. sollecito in court by his dad who said they are all nervous for verdict over drinks with journalists at hotel bar last night.

2. amandaknox lawyer CDV says they are serene going into verdict because they believe in her innocence,

1. Court in session. One of the jurors wearing a shiny spangled skirt, rest dressed soberly.

Tweets from Freelance Reporter Andrea Vogt

13. Meredith Kercher’s brother: It was the best we could have hoped for, but amanda knox verdict not cause for celebration.

12. amanda knox guilty verdict upheld. Her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said he has called her. She did not cry. She was “petrified.”

11. amanda knox conviction upheld. sentenced to 28 years and six months. Sollecito to 25. Ordered passports to be taken.

10. Meredith’s sister and brother are accompanied by British consulate officials. A hush has come over the courtroom.

9. The family of meredith kercher has arrived in court to hear the verdict.

8. Even most experienced Italian court reporters not predicting what long wait for amanda knox verdict means. Could go either way

7. amanda knox verdict is expected at 9 or 9:30. Clerk reminds about the decorum expected:no applause, shouting, cheering, etc

6. Standing room only in Florence court as media, legal teams, public await amandaknox verdict (timing soon to be announced).

5. Judge and jury in amandaknox case have retreated for deliberations. Verdict not before 5 pm Italy time.

4. amandaknox Judge : we will not give a verdict before 17, after that,can come any time, but will announce with lots of advance notice.

3. Ghirga: We wait anxiously and seriously for justice for Meredith. But doing justice means doing it also for amandaknox and RS.

2. amandaknox lawyers are in court. Ghirga: “siamo fiduciosi, serene, emotionati.” (Roughly: “Trusting, calm, on edge”).

1. Verdict expected late today in amandaknox appeal….

Freelance Reporter Andrea Vogt On Website

From The Freelance Desk

Amanda Knox is expected to wait out the verdict in her appeal at her mother’s Seattle home (likely with American television news networks present) while Raffaele Sollecito was in court with his father and a friend. Sollecito made no remarks upon leaving for the courthouse in a taxi, surrounded by a pack of cameras.  Meredith Kercher’s sister, Stephanie, and brother, Lyle, are also expected in Florence today for the court’s decision, expected in the evening hours….

Conjectures on what the judges may be discussing

The panel of judges is in effect deciding now on positions that must be sustained in 2-3 months in a 100-400 page document that must be okayed by the Supreme Court.

This might be what the quite long (by Italian standards, they will have discussed the case intermittently) jury discussion today is focused upon. Here are four possible issues.

Possible issue one

As sharp Italian media are pointing out, Prosecutor Crini departed from the Massei scenario and suggested a different driver in one key respect.

Like Mignini and Micheli in 2008 he assigned the role of prime mover to Amanda Knox and not to Guede. (Nobody ever assigned it to Sollecito.)

Maybe hoping to give RS and AK a break the Massei jury (not neccessarily the judge himself) assigned to Guede the primary role in starting the attack, saying maybe he forced himself upon her.

Then maybe the other two came in from next door, and set about helping him to subdue Meredith.

They just happened to have two knives handy, and even Massei assigns the fatal blow to Knox.

Crini argued as more likely that Knox started to quarrel with Meredith over hygiene or drugs or money and the other two joined in and for 15 minutes the attack escalated.

In this Knox and not Guede is assigned the role of prime mover.

The judges may want to accept this and seek to assign Knox a harsher punishment accordingly.

(Neither court seems to have settled on a convincing reason for why the big knife was brought down from Sollecito’s house which looks to us at minimum forboding.)

Possible issue two

This relates to the scenario in the comment above. Judge Massei lopped five years off the routine sentences by conjuring up “mitigating factors”.

One such factor was the duvet placed over Meredith which Massei thought could be a sign of remorse, surely by a woman.

Many including psychologists never agreed with this. It could have been simply an aversion to all the blood, which Knox on the stand in 2009 chillingly described as “yucky”.

If so the sentences awarded could creep up beyond the durations decided on by Massei. Above 25 and 26 years.

Possible issue three

This is an alternative to One and Two above. The judges might think the crime was more like a manslaughter, an attack that ended in murder

But not intended as such and never agreed to by two of the attackers.  In which case sentences could be a lot lighter.

Possible issue four

There are financial award considerations. How much to award to whom, plus maybe ways to ensure their payment in light of Knox blatantly stiffing Patrick..

[Below: image of the judges and lay judges arriving this morning]

Posted on 01/30/14 at 09:20 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009Massei prosecutionAppeals 2009-2015Florence appealMeredith-case hoaxesNo-evidence hoaxAmanda KnoxRaff Sollecito
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Continuing Enormous Strength Of The Evidence Which Defenses Seem To Have Abysmally Failed To Shake

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[Above Judge Massei at Meredith’s house with panel-of-judges members early 2009]

What this Florence appeal is REALLY about

There is much confusion on this, sowed by various at-distance commentators who don’t read the Italian press or the excellent English-language reporters right there on the spot.

This is NOT a re-trial. This is a FIRST appeal by Sollecito and Knox against the guilty verdicts and sentences Judge Massei awarded them late in 2009. It is being repeated since their defense teams helped to bend the first (Hellmann court) iteration of the first appeal two years ago.

Since the end of 2009 they have been provisionally guilty of murder and other crimes, subject to final ratification by the Supreme Court, which has not yet occurred. Judge Hellmann decided to let them out and travel worldwide. Many think his decision on this was legally weak.

Was there prime-face justification for this appeal?

Under US and UK law many lawyers and judges think the judicial process could have stopped right there in the US and UK, because the grounds for appeal the defenses came up with in 2010 were essentially innuendo about DNA and little else.

But the pro-defendant Italian system unlike almost any other in the world allows appeals if any are filed to automatically go forward. So the bent, stretched-out and illegally wide-scope Hellmann appeal of 2011 was the first result.

Appointed apparently in illegal circumstances to replace the highly-qualified Judge Chiari (the lead-judge for criminal appeals, who then resigned) Judge Hellmann was ill-qualified at best - he was not a criminal judge and had handled only one other murder trial before, which he got wrong.

The annulment of the first first-appeal

The Supreme Court very rarely completely annuls any trial or appeal. But in this case in March 2013 it did just that, on a large number of grounds.

The 2013-2014 Nencini appeal court in Florence starts with the early-2010 Massei report plus new guidelines from the Supreme Court. Nothing else floated since early 2010 counts.

This case seems to break all records ever for (1) defamatory and dishonest PR; (2) dirty tricks, many illegal, by the defense; (3) dishonesty by those accused in two defamatory books and multiple statements to the press; and (4) greed and blood money while the process still goes on.

Contempt of court trials and investigations have commenced to push back, Amanda Knox is particularly at risk because her book contains false accusations of crimes (again) and she defies the Supreme Court in not paying Mr Lumumba his damages though she destroyed his business. 

Suggested Reading: Part One

Sooner or later (no necessarily now) read all the must-read posts in this group here, all the open questions for Sollecito in this group here, and all the open questions for Amanda Knox in this group here.

1. Getting up to speed on the 2008 RS and AK charges

Our four-part summary of Judge Micheli’s report is the best thing to read (scroll down) especially Micheli’s argument that ONLY Knox had any reason to re-arrange the crime scene - she lived there and needed to point evidence away from herself.

Also read Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s many mutually contradictory attempts to provide one alibi for both.

2. Getting up to speed on the 2009 RS and AK trial

The prosecution performed brilliantly and left the defenses despondent and out-classed (paving the way for more dirty tricks in 2010-13) and we were told that two defense lawyers nearly walked off.

To get a flavor of how badly the defenses did, read this post and this post on Knox’s absolutely disastrous stint on the stand. From there the defense portion of the trial really went downhill.

To get a flavor of how well the prosecution did read about the damning reconstruction (known about in all of Italy but not widely elsewhere) described here and here.

3. Getting up to speed on the Massei 2010 Report

The most vital read of all is the short-form version of the Massei Report by Skeptical Bystander and a team on PMF dot Org. If you have no time to read any posts, make sure to read that.

The other vital reads, not here but on the new “The Murder Of Meredith Kercher Wiki”, are the overview of the evidence and the chart of evidence synopsis.

We had a large number of posts starting in 2010 checking out whether in all details the Massei Report got it right. Read this first take.

4. Getting up to speed on the crime-scene scenario

Vital to understanding the Massei court’s crime-scene scenario which Prosecutor Crini espouses, wade through this excellent reconstruction of the crime in a long Powerpoint by our lawyer James Raper with the Powerpoint whizz Kermit.

About Part Two

The next part of our most-recommended reading from 2010 to 2014 will follow after the verdict to help correct the ill-informed debate over whether Knox goes back to jail.

It hardens the case and in our view leaves no holes for RS and AK to wiggle through. We will point the post to those arguments that anyone tries to raise.

Posted on 01/29/14 at 12:00 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Multiple Provably False Claims About “Forced Confession” Really Big Problem For Dalla Vedova & Knox

Posted by FinnMacCool

The Breaking News

This post goes live just as the news breaks that it was Knox lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova who filed these patently false claims against the justice system of Italy with the European Court.

1. “There would be no need for these theatrics.”

Amanda Knox has not been present for any part her latest appeal against her own murder conviction. Nevertheless, she has made two meretricious contributions to the proceedings.

First, on the day that the prosecution opened its presentation of the case against her, she announced that her lawyers had filed an appeal against her slander conviction to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). ECHR hears only allegations of human rights abuses, which must be reported within six months of the alleged incident (or within six months after all local avenues have been exhausted; in this case none has even been explored).

This out-of-date application to an inappropriate body in pursuit of a groundless allegation is therefore bound to fail.

Knox’s second publicity stunt came on the day that her own defense lawyers began their own presentation. She sent a five-page email in English and Italian, with grammatical mistakes in each language, protesting her innocence and affirming that the reason she is not present in the court is because she is afraid of it.

There are many comments that could be made about the email, but perhaps its most grievous legal error comes in the aside where she claims that the “subsequent memoriali (sic), for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false ‘confession’.”

That singular document does not recant her previous statements (“I stand by what I said last night…”), but does contain further accusations against Patrick Lumumba (“I see Patrik (sic) as the murderer”), as well as seeking to cast suspicion on Sollecito (“I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand”) and an unnamed “other person”.

However, by claiming that she has been “wrongfully found guilty” on that charge of calunnia, she is refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the Italian Supreme Court, which has definitively found against her on that count, and also of the Hellmann appeal court (the only court to date that has not found her guilty of the main charge of murdering Meredith Kercher).

Dr Alessandro Crini presented the prosecution’s case on November 25th/26th. It was not a particularly theatrical performance, but rather a very long summary of the many items of evidence against Sollecito and Knox.

The most theatrical element of the case so far has been when one of the defendants insisted that the judge should read out five vacuous pages of her email immediately before her own lawyers presented their case on her behalf.

This gives a certain dramatic irony to Knox’s claim, “If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics”.

Such ironies appear to be lost on Knox, however, since she seems incapable of reading back over her own work for solecisms or contradictions. (In the email itself, for example, in consecutive sentences she writes: “I had no contact with Rudy Guede. Like many youth in Perugia I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guede.”)

One of the many errors she makes in the email is to put in writing some of the wild claims that she and/or her supporters have previously made regarding the witness interview she gave on the night of November 5th/6th 2007.

The purpose of the current post is to consider that interview in greater detail, using as source material primarily Knox’s memoir “Waiting to be heard” (2013) and Raffaele Sollecito’s memoir, “Honor Bound” (2013), abbreviated here to WTBH and HB respectively.

2. “When we got there they said I couldn’t come inside.”

Amanda Knox was not even supposed to be at the police station on the evening of November 5th, 2007. She should have been attending a candlelit vigil, in which Meredith Kercher’s friends, classmates and supportive well-wishers met at eight o’clock at Corso Vannucci to process through to the Duomo, carrying candles and photographs of the victim.

A friend of Meredith’s – a young Polish student – texted Amanda Knox to invite her to this vigil, but Knox had better things to do. (WTBH: 82) She accompanied Sollecito to his friend Riccardo’s house for a bite to eat (HB: 29) where she absent-mindedly strummed a ukulele. (WTBH:82)

Knox writes of the vigil: “I wanted to be there but… the decision was made for me” because “Raffaele had somewhere else to be”. (WTBH: 82)

One consistent feature of her narrative is her refusal to accept responsibility for anything, including her failure to turn up for her murdered roommate’s vigil, but we should note also that the vigil (eight o’clock) and the dinner (nine o’clock) both take place within the timeframe of her supposed series of interrogations, which according to her email involved “over 50 hours in four days”.

By her own account, when she ignored the police’s request not to accompany Sollecito to the Questura and just came anyway, it was the first contact she had had with the police in well over 24 hours.

Let us consider what was happening in the early part of the evening of November 5th, 2007.

The police are at the station studying the evidence; Meredith’s friends are proceeding downtown with candles and photographs of the victim; and Knox is playing the ukulele at Riccardo’s house.

Far from taking part in a lengthy coercive interview, Amanda Knox had gone to her University classes as normal, had bumped into Patrick Lumumba, whom she would later accuse of Meredith’s murder, and had later skipped the vigil to have dinner with Sollecito. (WTBH:83)

Meanwhile, back at the Questura, the police could see that Raffaele Sollecito’s stories simply did not add up.

They therefore called Sollecito and asked him to come into the station for further questioning. They told him that the matter was urgent; that they wanted to talk to him alone; and that Amanda Knox should not accompany him. (HB: 29) 

Sollecito responded that he would prefer to finish eating first. (The same meal is used as an excuse for not attending the vigil at eight o’clock, and for delaying their response to the police request at around ten.) By his own account, Sollecito resented being ordered what to do by the police (HB: 29), and so he finished eating, they cleared the table together, and Amanda Knox then accompanied him to the station. (HB:30; WTBH: 83)

Naturally the police were both surprised and disappointed to see her. Their civilian interpreter, who had worked flat out through the weekend accompanying not only Amanda Knox but also the rest of Meredith’s English-speaking friends, had gone home. The only person they were planning to speak to that night was Sollecito, and even he was late. According to Knox, the police were not expecting their interview with Sollecito to take very long:

When we got there they said I couldn’t come inside, that I’d have to wait for Raffaele in the car. I begged them to change their minds. (WTBH: 83)

The police were not prepared for an interview with Amanda Knox. They had asked her not to come, and they tried to send her away when she got there. It was late on a Monday evening and there were no lawyers or interpreters hanging around on the off-chance that someone might walk into the police station and confess.

However, that’s what happened. And it is on that basis that Amanda Knox is now claiming that the interview which she herself instigated was improperly presented by the police:

I was interrogated as a suspect, but told I was a witness. (Knox email, December 15, 2013)

But she wasn’t a suspect. In fact, she wasn’t even supposed to be there.

3. “Who’s Patrick?”

We will now examine Knox’s claim that “the police were the ones who first brought forth Patrick’s name” (Knox blog, November 25th, 2013).

She has already admitted in court that this is not true. In fact, it is clear from her own book that the police did not even know who Patrick Lumumba was, at that point.

If they had suspected him or anybody else, they would have brought them in for questioning, just as they had already questioned everyone else they thought might be able to throw some light on the case.

The police plan that evening was to question Sollecito in order to establish once and for all what his story was. They would perhaps have brought Knox back the following day (together with the interpreter) to see how far Knox’s story matched Sollecito’s. In the event, their plan was disrupted first because Sollecito delayed coming in, and second because when he finally arrived, he had brought Knox with him.

“Did the police know I’d show up,” Knox asks rhetorically, “or were they purposefully separating Raffaele and me?” (WTBH: 83) She does not offer a solution to this conundrum, but the answer is (b), as the patient reader will have noticed.

She thus turned up to the police station despite being expressly asked not to come. The police asked her to wait in the car and she refused, complaining that she was afraid of the dark. They allowed her inside.

Today, she might complain that she “was denied legal counsel” (Knox email, December 15th 2013) as she entered the Questura, but there was absolutely no reason for a lawyer to be present, since by her own account, all the police were asking her to do is go home.

Knox did not go home. According to WTBH, while Sollecito is in the interview room, she sits by the elevator, doing grammar exercises, phones her roommates about where to live next, talks to “a silver-haired police officer” about any men who may have visited the house (she claims to have first mentioned Rudy Guede at this point, identifying him by description rather than name) and does some yoga-style exercises including cartwheels, touching her toes and the splits.

It is at this point – somewhere between 1130 and midnight – that Officer Rita Ficarra invites Knox to come into the office so that they can put on record Knox’s list of all the men she could think of who might have visited the house.

Knox takes several pages (WTBH 83-90) to explain how she went from doing the splits to making her false accusation against Patrick Lumumba. Like much of her writing, these pages are confused and self-contradictory.

One reason for the confusion is that Knox is making two false accusations against the police, but these accusations cannot co-exist. First, she attempts to demonstrate that the police made her give the name of Patrick Lumumba. Second, she wants us to believe that Officer Ficarra struck her on the head twice.

This is denied by all the other witnesses in the room, and Knox did not mention it in her latest story about applying to ECHR. In her memoriale (WTBH: 97), she claims she was hit because she could not remember a fact correctly.

But in her account of the interview (WTBH: 88), Knox explains that Ficarra hit her because, the fourth time she was asked, “Who’s Patrick?”, she was slow in replying, “He’s my boss.” This is the exact opposite of not remembering a fact correctly. Knox is so keen to make both false charges against the police stick that she fails to notice that one contradicts the other.

Knox at least provides us with two fixed times that allow us to verify the start and finish times of the formal interview. It began at 1230, when Anna Donnino arrived to interpret, and ended at 0145 when Knox signed her witness statement.

Bearing in mind that this statement would have needed to be typed up and printed before she signed it, the interview thus took little over an hour, and was not the “prolonged period in the middle of the night” that her recent blog post pretends. (We might also remember that Knox’s regular shift at Le Chic was from 9 pm to 1 am, meaning that the interview began during her normal working hours.) (WTBH:31)

WTBH also flatly contradicts Knox’s own claim that her accusation of Lumumba was coerced by the police.

According to her own account, she first mentions her boss (although not by name) in the less formal conversation, before the interpreter’s arrival, telling the police : “I got a text message from my boss telling me I didn’t have to work that night.” (WTBH: 84)

The police appear to pay no attention to the remark (which undermines Knox’s argument that the police were pressing her to name Lumumba) but instead keep questioning her on the timings and details of what she did on the night of the murder. And Knox finds those details difficult either to recall or to invent.

Donnino arrives at half past midnight, and the formal interview begins.

Again, the focus is on the timings of Amanda Knox’s movements on the night of the murder, and again she is having difficulty remembering or inventing them. Ficarra picks up Knox’s cell phones and observes: “You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?” and Knox answers, “My boss at Le Chic.” (WTBH: 86)

There is a short discussion about this text message, and then a second police officer asks her: “Who’s Patrick? What’s he like?” This time Knox answers: “He’s about this tall… with braids.” They then continue to discuss the text message, and then the police ask her a third time, “Who’s this person? Who’s Patrick?” Knox again replies: “Patrick is my boss.” (WTBH: 87)

Donnino then makes the intervention about how traumatic events can sometimes affect memory. Such events certainly seem to have an effect on the memory of the police, because one of them asks Knox a fourth time: “Who’s Patrick?” At this point, Knox claims in her memoir that Ficarra struck her on the head. (WTBH: 87)

This is nothing to do with failing to remember a fact correctly, because the fact is correct: Patrick Lumumba is indeed her boss.

The police continue to believe that she is hiding something, and they ask her who she is protecting. After a few minutes of questioning along those lines, Knox has an epiphany in which she claims that the face of Patrick Lumumba appeared before her and she gasps: “Patrick – it’s Patrick.”

If we believe one of Knox’s other stories, that the police were cunningly trying to get her to name Patrick Lumumba, we might expect them to be quite pleased to have succeeded at this point. But according to Knox, their response is to ask her a fifth time, “Who’s Patrick?” The whole room must have wanted to chorus at this point, “He’s her boss!”, but according to Knox, it is she herself who simply repeats: “He’s my boss.”

4. “I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly…”

Shortly after lunch on Tuesday November 6th, Knox wrote a piece of paper (known as her “memoriale”) in which she makes her first accusation that the police hit her. She hands this memoriale to Rita Ficarra, the very person she would later name as doing the hitting. We have noted above that in her account of the interview, the context Knox provides for this alleged blow is as follows:

This singularly repetitive catechism is supposed to have taken place at around one o’clock in the morning.

However, writing the following afternoon, Knox describes the event like this:

Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly. I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received. (WTBH: 97)

This makes no sense as a reflection on the interview as she has earlier described it. In her version of the interview, she claims that the police kept asking her the same simple question, to which she keeps replying with the same factual answer, and the blows to the head take place in the middle of all that. Yet in her “memoriale”, she claims that the blow was because she could not remember a fact correctly.

In case two mutually contradictory accounts of that false allegation are not enough, Knox also provides a couple more explanations for why she was hit. Her third bogus claim is that the police said they hit her to get her attention, which makes for a dramatic opening to Chapter 10 of WTBH:

Police officer Rita Ficarra slapped her palm against the back of my head, but the shock of the blow, even more than the force, left me dazed. I hadn’t expected to be slapped.

I was turning around to yell, “Stop!”—my mouth halfway open—but before I even realized what had happened, I felt another whack, this one above my ear. She was right next to me, leaning over me, her voice as hard as her hand had been. “Stop lying, stop lying,” she insisted.

Stunned, I cried out, “Why are you hitting me?”  “To get your attention,” she said. (WTBH: 80)

This is a direct allegation against a named police officer, and not surprisingly it has resulted in another libel charge against Amanda Knox. It is a strong piece of writing, too: on its own, isolated from context, it reads like a trailer for the movie version. The trouble is, that when Knox later tries to set it in context, it makes no more sense than “because I didn’t remember a fact correctly” as an explanation as for why the blow came.

They pushed my cell phone, with the message to Patrick, in my face and screamed,

“You’re lying. You sent a message to Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

That’s when Ficarra slapped me on my head.

“Why are you hitting me?” I cried.

“To get your attention,” she said.

“I’m trying to help,” I said. “I’m trying to help, I’m desperately trying to help.” (WTBH: 88)

This makes no sense. They already have Knox’s attention, and she is having no difficulty giving them a factual response to their repeated question, “Who’s Patrick?”

It is difficult to explain any logical motivation for that slap in terms of any of the three suggestions Knox has made so far: (1) because she couldn’t remember a fact correctly; (2) because she failed to answer the repeated question “Who’s Patrick?” quickly enough; or (3) to get her attention. She’d got the fact right, she’d answered the question, and they already had her attention.

Knox then provides us with a fourth version of possible reasons for the alleged slap. She describes the following encounter between herself and Rita Ficarra on their way to lunch at around two o’clock on Tuesday afternoon:

With my sneakers confiscated, I trailed [Ficarra] down the stairs wearing only my socks. She turned and said, “Sorry I hit you. I was just trying to help you remember the truth.” (WTBH: 94)

Once again, this makes no sense in the context of a blow to the head while waiting for a reply to the question, “Who’s Patrick?” It is perfectly true that Patrick Lumumba was Amanda Knox’s boss, and she had already correctly answered the same question twice, by her own account.

These are the four main WTBH versions of how Amanda Knox was struck on the head by Rita Ficarra. Perhaps she hopes that readers will choose the one they like best and will ignore its discrepancies with the others.

When testifying in court, however, Knox provided three further versions of the same alleged incident.

First, when asked to explain why she had stated in her witness account that Meredith Kercher had had sex before she died, Knox answered that the police had suggested this to her and that they hit her to make her says so in her statement (Knox testimony, June 12 2009).

Second, a few minutes later during the same testimony, she claimed that the police hit her twice before she gave the name of Patrick, to make her give a name she could not give. (WTBH: 227-8; Knox testimony, June 12 2009)

Third, later still, she tells her own lawyer that the police were screaming at her “You don’t remember”, she was struck from behind, and when she turned around she was struck again. (WTBH:227; Knox testimony, June 12 2009)

These are seven different stories Knox has told about how she was hit during her interview. Even her most generous supporters would have to admit that at least six of them must be false. Everyone else in the room at the time has testified that it did not happen.

When Knox published her fantasy claim about appealing to ECHR last month, she neglected to mention that she was hit. This essentially confirms what has been obvious for some time: Rita Ficarra did not hit Amanda Knox during the interview.

Nobody did. All seven stories are false. 

5. “She was screaming in Italian, ‘Aiuto! Aiuto!’”

However, Sollecito provides an ear-witness account of Knox’s traumatic interview, claiming that he could hear her shouting from where he was being interviewed in a nearby room. Here’s his version:

Then came a sound that chilled my bones: Amanda’s voice, yowling for help in the next room. She was screaming in Italian, “Aiuto! Aiuto!” I asked what was going on, and Moscatelli told me there was nothing to worry about. But that was absurd. I could hear police officers yelling, and Amanda sobbing and crying out another three or four times. (HB:33)

If Sollecito’s aim here is to invent a story even more ridiculous than Knox’s, he has succeeded.

For one thing, it does not match any of Knox’s seven stories about how her interview went. But even on its own terms, Sollecito’s story makes no sense. If we imagine for a moment an Italian witness or suspect being interrogated in Italian by Italian officers in an Italian police station, what possible motivation could such a woman have for shouting “Aiuto!”? Who could she be hoping might conceivably respond to her call?

How much more absurd, then, to suppose that an American woman accompanied by an interpreter would shout “Aiuto!” when by her own account she was trying to help the police with their inquiries at that point.

Perhaps Sollecito wants us to believe that Knox was offering to help the police with their inquiries, and Donnino was loudly translating it to “Aiuto!” at this point. Or perhaps, as is often the case with Sollecito, he has given so little thought to his lies that he has not made the slightest effort to make them believable.

There are other occasions when Sollecito is cavalier with the credibility of his explanations for the evidence against him. For example, when confronted with evidence that the victim’s DNA is on his kitchen knife, he suddenly remembers an occasion when he accidentally pricked her while cooking.

(Astonishingly, he repeats this absurd fiction on page 49 of Honor Bound, although he shifts the pricking to Via della Pergola and makes it a knife local to there, since it is obvious that the victim had never visited his own apartment.)

Or again, on being confronted with the (incorrect) evidence that his shoeprints have been found at the scene of the crime, he speculates to Judge Matteini that someone might have stolen his shoes and committed the murder in them. (HB:42)

Even today, Sollecito is currently making a public appeal for funds for his defense, pleading financial hardship, while taking lengthy vacations in the Caribbean, with photographs of his tropical lifestyle appearing in Oggi.

In his book, Sollecito also decides to make a claim of his own that the police struck him:

One of my interrogators opened the door noisily at one point, walked over, and slapped me. “Your father is a fine upstanding person,” he said. “He doesn’t even deserve a son like you, someone who would stand by a whore like Amanda.” (HB:36)

This is actually one of his more plausible stories. He has not named the officer, and he has created an incident to which there are no witnesses; he gives the impression that he was alone in the interview room when this officer came in.

Of course, he has made no formal complaint about this, nor has he mentioned it before publishing it in his book, nor has he named the officer or given any clue as to his identity. Nevertheless, these details simply stand in contrast to Knox’s libelous allegation, in which she named the officer, gives several contradictory accounts of how the blow occurred, and there are several witnesses all of whom deny that any such blow took place.

6. “Maybe a cappuccino would help.”

Finally, it seems only fair to speak up for Anna Donnino, the much-maligned interpreter who was given the task of accompanying Knox as she made her slanderous accusation of Patrick Lumumba.

Knox describes her arrival at the station like this:

The interpreter sat down behind me. She was irritated and impatient, as if I were the one who had rousted her from bed in the middle of the night. (WTBH:86)

While someone else must have done the rousting, by Knox’s own account it is indeed her fault that Donnino was called into the police station that night. Knox was the only English-speaker present, and she had ignored the police’s request that she stay home while they interviewed Sollecito.

Although Donnino must have had every right to feel irritable and impatient, Knox gives little evidence of it in her transcript of the interview. On the contrary, Donnino patiently volunteers an explanation that might attribute Knox’s self-contradictory stories to trauma and stress rather than deliberate lying.

Amanda Knox has often repeated her assertion that police called her a liar during that interview. For example, in the movie-trailer-type excerpt at the beginning of Chapter Ten, she writes:

They loomed over me, each yelling the same thing: “You need to remember. You’re lying. Stop lying!” (WTBH:80)

However, in the more detailed version that she gives on pages 83-90, she does not mention a single police officer calling her a liar. Only once do the police even ask her “Why are you lying?” (WTBH:88) The only person to call Knox a liar, in her account, is Anna Donnino, in the following passage:

“In English, ‘see you later’ means good-bye. It doesn’t mean we’re going to see each other now. It means see you eventually.”

In my beginner’s Italian, I had had no idea that I’d used the wrong phrase in my text to Patrick—the one that means you’re going to see someone. I’d merely translated it literally from the English.

The interpreter balked: “You’re a liar.” (WTBH:87)

The verb “balked” makes no sense here, and so let us charitably call it a printer’s error for “barked”. However, that is the only instance of Knox being called a liar her entire remembered account of the interview.

It seems that she is so reluctant to admit to having said anything that her readers might think sounds like a lie that she forgets this gives the police no context for calling her a liar. This in turn means that the only “lie” she can be accused of is her demotic interpretation of the English phrase “see you later”, in which she presents herself as correct and Anna Donnino getting it wrong.

Ironically, Anna Donnino’s next intervention, for which there are several witnesses including Amanda Knox herself, is clearly intended to suggest that failing to remember the details of a traumatic event properly may NOT be an indication of lying, but instead may be the result of the stress of the trauma:

The interpreter offered a solution, “Once, when I had an accident, I didn’t remember it. I had a broken leg and it was traumatizing and I woke up afterward and didn’t remember it. Maybe you just don’t remember. Maybe that’s why you can’t remember times really well.”

For a moment, she sounded almost kind. (WTBH:88)

“Kind” is a key word for Amanda Knox, and she continually judges people by whether they are kind to her. On this occasion, she is quite right: Anna Donnino does sound kind and helpful in volunteering this intervention. It is not a kindness that Knox would repay, however. On the contrary, in her later account of the trial, she is scathing of prosecutor Mignini’s description of Donnino as “very sweet”:

As for my interrogation at the questura, Mignini described the interpreter— the woman who had called me “a stupid liar” and had told me to “stop lying”—as “very sweet.” “I remember that evening how she behaved toward Amanda,” he said. (WTBH:244)

Knox has evidently forgotten that she has failed to mention anybody at all calling her a “stupid liar” during the interview, or that anybody told her to “stop lying”. Even her claim that Donnino called a liar over a translation error is illogical and is out of keeping with Donnino’s subsequent intervention.

Knox has also forgotten that the only other mention she makes of Donnino at the questura is in the following passage, from the day before the interview. While Knox is going over the events of the night of the murder in her mind, she reports: 

“…the interpreter walked by, looked at me, and said, ‘Oh my God, are you okay?... You’re pale… Maybe a cappuccino would help. Come with me.” (WTBH: 76-77)

Once again, Knox unwittingly provides evidence that supports Mignini’s description of Anna Donnino, and undermines her own. Once again, she unwittingly provides evidence that her human rights were perfectly safe at Perugia police station.

7. “What does this say about my memory?”

The accounts of all three defendants in this case are so obviously fictitious that the subject should no longer be open for discussion. Any level of reasonable doubt that might have been acceptable to the Hellman appeal court has been removed not only by the Italian Supreme Court but even more so by the self-penned accounts published by Knox and Sollecito themselves.

Their bizarre and delusional writings will appear incredible to any objective reader who troubles to read them. The physical evidence against them - the DNA, the footprints, the knife, the faked burglary, and so on - only serves to confirm the most likely explanation for their wildly unbelievable stories - namely that they are lying to cover up their involvement in a brutal murder.

Given that his own account was patently fictitious, Guede has been fairly well advised to opt for a fast track trial which offers a reduced sentence and an abbreviated process. (Better advice might have been to plead guilty, but that is for him to choose.)

As a result, he will be eligible for parole relatively soon, even as the longwinded trials of Knox and Sollecito grind toward their conclusions. Whether or not it is right and fair for Guede to be given that parole is a separate question that will be considered in due course - even his expressions of remorse sound false and are undermined by his continuing refusal to give a plausible and honest account of what happened that night.

However justice systems all over the world are obliged to balance the rights of victims against the rights of defendants, with resultant compromises that are often uneasy and unsatisfying. Victims’ families may want the truth, but the perpetrators don’t always want to tell it.

The situation for Knox and Sollecito is different because their preposterous stories have been shored up by a coterie of supporters who in the long run have done the two defendants no favors whatsoever.

The pair have chosen the full trial process which may have postponed the final decision for several years, but which is also likely to result in much lengthier prison sentences.

It is too late now for Knox and Sollecito to opt for a fast track process, and everyone, no matter how ill-informed, can surely agree at least that the path they have chosen has been painfully slow and longwinded.

But there were many other options that, although previously open to them, have now been closed down by their supporters’ stubborn insistence that the case against them was first concocted by a vindictive prosecutor who took an early dislike to them and was subsequently supported by a vast conspiratorial network of police, judges, journalists, shopkeepers, students, friends and relatives of the victim, and so on.

This conspiracy theory is not only daft, but it provides no help at all for the two people at its core whose words and actions remain delusional and psychotic.

Amanda Knox wrote in her memoriale,  “Is the evidence proving my pressance [sic] at the time and place of the crime reliable? If so, what does this say about my memory? Is it reliable?”(WTBH 98-9). These words are a clear cry for help.

Whether or not this cry was genuine, or was simply a cunning attempt to diminish punishment, is a matter that could and should have been determined at the time by a qualified psychiatrist. Instead, Knox was provided with a set of lawyers and a PR firm both of whom were set the task of claiming and proving their client’s innocence.

Her false allegation against an innocent man was then explained as resulting from a coercive police process - another ludicrous claim, contradicted by all the available evidence, including the self contradictory accounts published by the defendants themselves.

Knox and Sollecito are damaged individuals whose grip on reality is loose and whose delusional ramblings suggest that they need urgent psychiatric help. Instead, their fantasies have been cocooned by highly vocal supporters who have enabled the fantasists to maintain a series of fictions that, in the final analysis, will almost certainly fail to stand up to legal scrutiny.

Posted on 12/20/13 at 04:42 PM by FinnMacCool. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesOther legal processesOthers elsewhereFamily/defense hoaxersKnox-Mellas teamAmanda Knox
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Multiple Ways In Which Amanda Knox’s Email To Judge Nencini Is Quite Misleading

Posted by FinnMacCool

1. Email from Knox with paragraphs numbered

Court of Appeals of Florence section II Assise Proc. Pen, 11113

Letter sent to attorneys Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga via email Seattle, 15 December 2013

Attn: Honorable Court of Appeals of Florence

1. I have no doubt that my lawyers have explained and demonstrated the important facts of this case that prove my innocence and discredit the unjustified accusations of the prosecution and civil parties. I seek not to supplant their work; rather, because I am not present to take part in this current phase of the judicial process, I feel compelled to share my own perspective as a six—year-long defendant and victim of injustice.

2. The Court has access to my previous declarations and I trust will review them before coming to a verdict. I must repeat: I am innocent.

3. I am not a murderer. I am not a rapist. I am not a thief or a plotter or an instigator. I did not kill Meredith or take part in her murder or have any prior or special knowledge of what occurred that night. I was not there and had nothing to do with it.

4. I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid. I am afraid that the prosecution’s vehemence will leave an impression on you, that their smoke and mirrors will blind you. I’m afraid of the universal problem of wrongful conviction. This is not for lack of faith in your powers of discernment, but because the prosecution has succeeded before in convincing a perfectly sound court of concerned and discerning adults to convict innocent people-Rafael and me.

5. My life being on the line and having with others already suffered too much, I’ve attentively followed this process and gleaned the following facts that have emerged from the development of this case that I beg you not to dismiss when making your judgment:

6. No physical evidence places me in Meredith ‘s bedroom, the scene of the crime, because I was not there and didn’t take part in the crime.

7. Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence of his presence in the brutal scenario: handprints, footprints, shoe prints in Meredith’s blood; DNA in her purse, on her clothing, in her body.

8. No evidence places me in the same brutal scenario. The prosecution has failed to explain how I could have participated in the aggression and murder—to have been the one to fatally wound Meredith—without leaving any genetic trace of myself. That is because it is impossible. It is impossible to identify and destroy all genetic traces of myself in a crime scene and retain all genetic traces of another individual. Either I was there, or I wasn’t. The analysis of the crime scene answers this question: I wasn’t there.

9. My interrogation was illegal and produced a false “confession” that demonstrated my non-knowledge of the crime- The subsequent memoriali, for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false “confession.” Just as I testified to the prosecutor in prison and to my family members in prison when our conversations were being recorded without my knowledge.

10. My behavior after the discovery of the murder indicates my innocence. I did not flee Italy when I had the chance. I stayed in Perugia and was at the police’s beck and call for over 50hours in four days, convinced that I could help them find the murderer. I never thought or imagined that they would have used my openness and trust to fuel their suspicions. I did not hide myself or my feelings: when I needed comfort, Rafael embraced me; when I was sad and scared, I cried; when I was angry, I swore and made insensitive remarks; when I was shocked, I paced or sat in silence; when I was trying to help, I answered questions, consoled Meredith’s friends and tried to keep a positive attitude.

11. Upon entering the questura I had no understanding of my legal position. Twenty—years old and alone in a foreign country, I was innocent and never expected to be suspected and subjugated to torture. I was interrogated as a suspect, but told I was a witness. I was questioned for a prolonged period in the middle of the night and in Italian, a language I barely knew. I was denied legal counsel- The Court of Cassation deemed the interrogation and the statements produced from it illegal. I was lied to, yelled at, threatened, slapped twice on the back of the head. I was told I had witnessed the murder and was suffering from amnesia. I was told that if I didn’t succeed in remembering what happened to Meredith that night I would never see my family again. I was browbeaten into confusion and despair. When you berate, intimidate, lie to, threaten, confuse, and coerce someone in believing they are wrong, you are not going to find the truth.

12. The police coerced me into signing a false “confession” that was without sense and should never have been considered a legitimate investigative lead. In this fragmentary and confused statement the police identified Patrick Lumumba as the murderer because we had exchanged text messages, the meaning of which the police wrongfully interpreted (‘Civediamo piu tardi. Buona serata’). The statement lacked a clear sequence of events, corroboration with any physical evidence, and fundamental information like: how and why the murder took place, if anyone else was present or involved, what happened afterward—it supplied partial, contradictory information and as the investigators would discover a little later, when Patrick Lumumba’s defense lawyer produced proof of him incontestable alibi, it was obviously inaccurate and unreliable. I simply didn’t know what they were demanding me to know. After over 50 hours of questioning over four days, I was mentally exhausted and I was confused.

13. This coerced and illegitimate statement was used by the police to arrest and detain a clearly innocent man with an iron-clad alibi with whom I had a friendly professional relationship. This coerced and illegitimate statement was used to convict me of slander. The prosecution and civil parties would have you believe that this coerced and illegitimate statement is proof of my involvement in the murder. They are accusing and blaming me, a result of their own overreaching.

14. Experience, case studies, and the law recognize that one may be coerced into giving a false"confession” because of torture.

15. This is a universal problem. According to the National Registry of Exoneration, in the United States 78% of wrongful murder convictions that are eventually overturned because of exonerating forensic evidence involved false “confessions.” Almost 8 in 10 wrongfully convicted persons were coerced by police into implicating themselves and others in murder. I am not alone. And exonerating forensic evidence is often as simple as no trace of the wrongfully convicted person at the scene of the crime, but rather the genetic and forensic traces of a different guilty party—just like every piece of forensic evidence identifies not me, but Rudy Guide.

16. In the brief time Meredith and I were roommates and friends we never fought.

17. Meredith was my friend. She was kind to me, helpful, generous, fun. She never criticized me. She never gave me so much as a dirty look.

18. But the prosecution claims that a rift was created between Meredith and I because of cleanliness. This is a distortion of the facts. Please refer to the testimonies of my housemaster and Meredith’s British friends. None of them ever witnessed or heard about Meredith and I fighting, arguing, disliking each other. None of them ever claimed Meredith was a confrontational clean-freak, or I a confrontational slob. Laura Masotho testified that both Meredith and I only occasionally cleaned, whereas she and Filament Romanal were more concerned with cleanliness. Meredith’s British friends testified that Meredith had once told them that she felt a little uncomfortable about finding the right words to kindly talk tome, her new roommate, about cleanliness in the bathroom we shared. The prosecution would have you believe this is motivation for murder. But this is a terrifying distortion of the facts.

19. I did not carry around Rafael’s kitchen knife.

20. This claim by the prosecution, crucial to their theory, is uncorroborated by any physical evidence or witness testimony. I didn’t fear the streets of Perugia and didn’t need to carry around with me a large, cumbersome weapon which would have ripped my cloth book bag to shreds. My book bag showed no signs of having carried a bloody weapon. The claim that he would have insisted I carry a large chef’s knife is not just senseless, but a disturbing indication of how willing the prosecution is to defy objectivity and reason in order to sustain a mistaken and disproven theory.

21. It is yet another piece of invented “evidence”, another circumstance of theory fabricated to order, because having discovered nothing else, the prosecution could only invent.

22. I had no Contact with Rudy Guide.

23. Like many youth in Perugia, I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guide. He played basketball with the young men who lived in the apartment below us. Meredith and I had been introduced to him together. Perhaps I had seen him amongst the swarms of students who crowded the Perugian streets and pubs in the evenings, but that was it. We didn’t have each other’s phone number, we didn’t meet in private, we weren’t acquaintances. I never bought drugs from Rudy Guide or anyone else. The phone records show no connection. There are no witnesses who place us together. The prosecution claims I convinced Rudy Guide to commit rape and murder, completely ignoring the fact that we didn’t even speak the same language. Once again, the prosecution is relying upon a disturbing and unacceptable pattern of distortion of the objective evidence.

24. I am not a psychopath.

25. There is no short list to the malicious and unfounded slanders I have suffered over the course of this legal process. In trial I have been called no less than:

“Conniving; manipulating; man—eater; narcissist; enchantress; duplicitous; adulterer; drug addict; an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol; dirty; witch; murderer; slanderer; demon; depraved; imposter; promiscuous; succubus; evil; dead inside; pervert; dissolute; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; rapist; thief; reeking of sex; Judas; she-devil;

26. I have never demonstrated anti-social, aggressive, violent, or behavior. I am not addicted to sex or drugs. Upon my arrest I was tested for drugs and the results were negative. I am not a split-personality One does not adopt behavior spontaneously.

27. This is a fantasy. This is uncorroborated by any objective evidence or testimony. The prosecution and civil parties created and pursued this character assassination because they have nothing else to show you. They have neither proof, nor logic, nor the facts on their side. They only have their slanders against me, their personal opinions about me. They want you to think I’m a monster because it is easy to condemn a monster. It is easy to dismiss a monster’s defense as deception. But the prosecution and civil parties are both severely mistaken and wrong. They have condemned me without proof of guilt, and they seek to convince you to condemn me without proof of guilt.

28. If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics. There would be no need for smoke and mirrors to distract you from the lack of physical evidence against me. But because no evidence exists that proves my guilt, the prosecution would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements. Because I am not a murderer, they would seek to mislead you into convicting me by charging your emotions, by painting me not as an innocent until proven guilty, but as a monster.

29. The prosecution and civil parties are committing injustices against me because they cannot bring themselves to admit, even to themselves, that they’ve made a terrible mistake.

30. The Court has seen that the prosecution and civil parties will not hear criticism of their mistakes. Not by the experts of the defense, nor by the experts of the Court.

31. The Court has seen that the prosecution jumped to conclusions at the very start of their investigation: they interrogated and arrested innocent people and claimed “Case Closed"before any evidence could be analyzed, before bothering to check alibis.

32. The prosecutor and investigators were under tremendous pressure to solve the mystery of what happened to Meredith as soon as possible. The local and International media was breathing down the necks of these detectives. Their reputations and careers were to be made or broken. In their haste, they made mistakes. Under pressure, they admitted to as few mistakes as possible and committed themselves to a theory founded upon mistakes.

33. Had they not jumped to conclusions based on nothing but their personal and highly subjective feeling, they would have discovered definitive and undeniable evidence of not Patrick Lumumba, not Rafael Sollecito, not Amanda Knox, but of Rudy Guide. We would not be here over six years later debating inconclusive and unreliable “clues.” We would have been spared the cost, anguish and suffering, not only of Raffaele’s and my family, but especially of Meredith’s family as well.

34. The prosecution’s accusations are unworthy of judicial or public confidence. In over six years they have failed to provide a consistent, evidence-driven, corroborated theory of the crime, but would nevertheless argue that you should take my life away. I beg you to see the facts and reason of what I say. I am innocent. Rafael is innocent. Meredith and her family deserve the truth. Please put an end to this great and prolonged injustice.

in faith,

Amanda Marie Knox

2. Fact checking of Knox’s claims & aspersions

There are quite a lot of comments that could be made about Knox’s bizarre email to the court that is hearing her appeal.

One interesting point is that she claims “I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid.”  Her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, was not so afraid and he did present himself at an earlier stage of the proceedings.

He made a spontaneous statement and the judge assured him that he should feel to intervene to make further interventions whenever he wished. So far he hasn’t wished to - he preferred to head back to the Caribbean for his holiday.

But that event and that presence by Sollecito completely undermine the credibility of Knox’s claim that she feels afraid of the court proceedings. There would be nothing to stop her coming and going, at this stage, just as Sollecito did.

I have no doubt that my lawyers have explained and demonstrated the important facts of this case that prove my innocence and discredit the unjustified accusations of the prosecution and civil parties.

That’s what her lawyers were about to try to do. But instead they had to hand this email to the judge, showing their client’s complete contempt for the court process.

I seek not to supplant their work

She doesn’t want to supplant the work of her own lawyers? Most defendants don’t, nor do they feel the need to tell the court that using an archaic seventeenth-century grammatical construction (where modern English would have “I do not mean to…” or “I do not wish to…”)

Because I am not present to take part in [my own appeal], I feel compelled to share.

As Judge Nencini said, if anyone wants to talk to a court, come to court. Knox chose not to be present, which means that the word “because” is not a logical connector for why she feels compelled to share what she thinks. “Even though” would make more sense.

The Court has access to my previous declarations and I trust will review them…

The court has access to thousands of pages. Everybody trusts that courts will review the evidence before passing judgment – that’s how the legal process works.

I must repeat: I am innocent.

In fact she does not have to repeat that, which is simply a reiteration of her not guilty plea.

I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid.

The wording is reminiscent of a previous declaration, “I am very afraid of Patrik, the African boy who…” Also the court may remember the presence of her co-defendant, who made a brief presentation to the court (and was invited to intervene again at any time he saw fit) and who afterwards flew back to his extended vacation in the Dominican Republic. It is difficult to see what the defendants have to be afraid of from the court, except perhaps the truth.

I am afraid that the prosecution’s vehemence will leave an impression on you, that their smoke and mirrors will blind you.

The prosecution’s case has already been made; this was the opportunity for the defense to make their case. It is the court’s duty to consider the evidence without being overly swayed by the vehemence of lawyers from either side – they look at the facts, and pass judgment based on that, and this happens in literally millions of cases every year. (Cassazione alone reviews more than 80 thousand cases each year.)

This is not for lack of faith in your powers of discernment, but because the prosecution has succeeded before in convincing a perfectly sound court of concerned and discerning adults to convict innocent people – Raffaele and me.

The second half of the sentence contradicts the first. The writer is explicitly stating that she doubts that the court has sufficient powers of discernment to be able to see through the prosecution’s arguments. Her justification for saying this is simply that it has happened before, with a previous court.

I’ve attentively followed this process and gleaned the following facts…

This is a delusional statement. The writer is the defendant, who is the subject of the process, not an external observer to it. We can compare it with her statements following her arrest, in which she claimed still to be helping the police on an equal basis with them, despite being charged with the murder.

No physical evidence places me in Meredith’s bedroom, the scene of the crime…

The bedroom is where the murder took place, but the crime scene is much wider than that, and certainly encompasses the adjoining room where the burglary was faked, the bathroom where the killers cleaned up, and the corridor that connects those rooms. Knox’s blood, DNA, bare footprints are all found in those places. Within Meredith’s room itself, there is also a woman’s shoeprint that does not match the victim, and which Knox’s own lawyer was obliged to claim was caused by an unfortunate fold in the pillowcase.

Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence in the brutal scenario: handprints, footprints, shoe prints in Meredith’s blood, DNA in her purse, on her clothing, in her body.

The term “brutal scenario” makes no sense here, although she repeats it again a couple of lines later. Perhaps she means “crime scene” or “bedroom”. The only footprints found at the crime scene are those of Knox and Sollecito. A woman’s shoeprint in the room where the murder took place cannot be that of either Guede or the victim, and is most likely that of Knox.

The prosecution has failed to explain how I could have… been the one to fatally wound Meredith – without leaving any genetic trace of myself. That is because it is impossible.

Actually it is perfectly possible to do this – for example, simply by stabbing someone to death while wearing gloves. However, in this case the prosecution has in fact explained how several traces of Knox’s DNA have been found on the handle of the knife which had the victim’s DNA on the blade. That obviously fits a scenario in which Knox stabbed Meredith Kercher with that knife.

Either I was there, or I wasn’t.

The same thing applies to the appeal court. Either the defendants are there, or they are not. In this case, the defendant is not.

The analysis of the crime scene answers this question: I wasn’t there.

Knox’s footprints, blood and DNA, sometimes mixed with that of the victim, all place her at the crime scene, and so does her DNA on the handle of the murder weapon.

My interrogation was illegal and produced a false “confession” that demonstrated my non-knowledge of the crime.

“Non-knowledge” is a curious word. Knox’s witness interview was perfectly legal – it was only the unexpected confession from the witness that changed the status of that interview, so that its contents could no longer be used against her. But there is no question over its legality.

The subsequent memoriali, for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander…

This is an extraordinary aside. The defendant is here rejecting the legitimacy of the Italian Supreme Court, which has definitively found against her, and is also rejecting the findings of the Hellmann court that provisionally freed her, pending appeal. Every single court has found against her on this count.

. ...did not further accuse but rather recanted that false “confession”.

Let us reread some excerpts from this supposed recantation: “After dinner I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand… I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrik… In these flashbacks I’m having, I see Patrik as the murderer…Why did I think of Patrik?... Is there any other evidence condemning Patrik or any other person?” This is not a recantation, and it does in fact contain further accusations of Patrick Lumumba while also seeking to throw suspicion both on Sollecito and an unnamed “other person”.

My behavior after the discovery of the murder indicates my innocence.

As dozens of witnesses have testified in a series of trials and appeals, Knox’s post-murder behavior indicated the exact opposite, which is why suspicion fell on her in the first place.

I did not flee Italy when I had the chance.

On page 71 of her memoir, Knox recounts the following exchange with Officer Ficarra, on the day after the murder was discovered: “My parents want me to go to Germany to stay with relatives for a couple of weeks. Is that okay?” She said, “You can’t leave Perugia. You’re an important part of the investigation.”

I stayed in Perugia and was at the police’s beck and call for over 50 hours in four days.

Chapter Ten of her memoir gives her own account of what she did on Monday, November 5th. She went to a nine o’clock grammar class, at which she refused to discuss the case with her fellow students; she spoke on the phone with her Aunt Dolly, admitting that she had not yet contacted the US embassy; she bumped into Patrick Lumumba where she refused to talk to BBC reporters; she spent the afternoon with Sollecito and then accompanied him to a friend’s house where she played the ukulele. Far from being at the police’s beck and call, she ignored their request that she stay home while they interview Sollecito separately, and turned up to the Questura regardless, although not before they had finished their evening meal.

The police coerced me into signing a false “confession”….

Her false accusation of Patrick Lumumba, for which she was convicted and has already served four years in prison, was not a confession and was not coerced.

. …one may be coerced into giving a false “confession” because of psychological torture… This is a universal problem.

The US-based Innocence Project reports that there have been 244 exonerations since 2000, which is just over seventeen per year, which in turn means that currently in the USA, roughly 0.1% of cases are eventually overturned. Being wrongfully convicted might be devastating for the person concerned, but it is not a universal problem.

I did not carry around Raffaele’s kitchen knife.

The defendant has not been accused of carrying the knife around, but rather of stabbing Meredith Kercher to death with it. Forensic evidence supports that accusation, too.

I had no contact with Rudy Guede. Like many youth in Perugia, I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guede.

Very typical of Knox’s writing is this kind of self-contradiction, sometimes occurring within the same sentence, or as in this case, in consecutive sentences, seemingly with no self-awareness that any contradiction has even occurred.

If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics.

The prosecution is present in the court, having made its presentation in the usual way. The defense lawyers are about to do exactly the same thing. The only theatrics happening in the court at that moment is a bizarre email sent by one of the defendants, in lieu of attending her own appeal to her own murder conviction.

But because no evidence exists that proves my guilt, the prosecution would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements.

No further comments.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

With Sollecito’s First Plea For Mitigation Seen As A Flop, His Behavior Seems Increasingly Erratic

Posted by Peter Quennell

Sollecito has not ever taken the witness stand.

And given the minefield his foolish book and media claims amount to, don’t hold your breath expecting otherwise soon. However, last month Sollecito did use the Italian accuseds’ privilege of making an impromptu plea to the judges.

He was not under oath and not subject to cross-examination by the prosecutors. He did not address the copious evidence, and was seen as attempting to humanize himself to perhaps get some years knocked off a final sentence.

As always, Knox forces were left confused, thinking he had somehow helped both of them. But Sollecito repeatedly drew attention to his being an Italian and in effect to Knox and Guede not being Italians, thus once again separating himself from Knox on lines Barbie Nadeau also described here..

Our main poster Yummi was in the court and reported in part as follows:

One of the woman judges kept staring elsewhere and almost never watched Sollecito all the time he was talking. Sollecito’s speech itself was actually not that exciting. It was so overt that he was focused on portraying himself as a person who is so good and cannot hurt anyone, not the bad guy described in the media.  The real and only topic of Sollecito’s statement was himself, who he is, his “true” personality, he begged them to look at what a good and suffering a boy he is…

And believe me, Sollecito was just whiny. For a big part of his speech he was just putting distance between who he is today and the person he was when he was 20 years old. He talked about the impossibility of finding a job (the job he would like to have in a corporation, obviously, not just any job) and wanted the judge to project to his condition from that of young Italians who can’t hope to see a future.

Then 10 days ago the skilled senior prosecutor Dr Alessandro Crini fired back, and effectively demolished Sollecito’s premature statement. As we reported, Dr Crini took nearly two days to do that.

Sollecito was again in court on the first day, but was seemingly unable to face Dr Crini’s onslaught on the second day. He remained holed up at his hotel.

Although Dr Crini settled on a lowest-common-denominator motive - a Lord of the Flies flare-up which had escalated into mob violence and the fatal stab to Meredith - his recounting of the evidence and associated behavior of the pack was comprehensive and very hard.

Meredith was treated “as if she was an animal.” In this way Dr Crini defined the dynamics of the murder of Meredith Kercher during his indictment. According to Dr Crini, the attack escalated to the point where the attackers felt they “needed to get rid of a girl they had abused”. While Rudy Guede sexually abused Meredith Kercher, supine on the floor of her room, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, according to the reconstruction, were at each side of the body of the victim.

“The mouth and neck of the victim were contained in a fierce way to avoid Meredith going berserk and screaming, and when Meredith did in fact manage to scream, she received the final fierce stab to the throat.” Two knives were used in the crime at the house in Via della Pergola on the night between 1 and 2 November 2007”...

Dr Crini referring to the bra clasp of the victim, said that “the presence of the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito is quite certain” and explained at length why there was no “possibility of contamination”.

Amanda Knox was at the scene of the crime, according to the identification made ​​by the scientific police in Meredith’s room of an imprint of a shoe (female size 36-38 according to the results of the analysis)... On the pillowcase, the center of gravity of this bloody history, were found a palmprint of Rudy Guede and this print of the shoe.”

Dr Francesco Sollecito was reported as being shocked by the unrelenting tone of the indictment. However, Sollecito’s plight is not nearly as bad as the ever-stubborn Amanda Knox’s.

Knox has already served three years and was fined heavily for obstruction of justice. She could face another year for that if it is found to have been aggravating. And as the post below mentions, she could face as many as three more charges for aggravating obstruction of justice. 

Sollecito in contrast has respected the court by actually showing up, and, unlike Knox, has lately shown restraint in accusing his accusers.

However, the day after Dr Crini ‘s indictment, it looked like Sollecito was taking off out of Italy like a rabbit. 

La Nazione reported that police at Florence Airport had held back a fully loaded Air France flight to Paris while they checked with the prosecution that he was indeed allowed to leave the country.  La Nazione said the prosecutors have some concern that he might skip and not come back, but he did come back from Santo Domingo, and his family has always ensured a presence in court.

But next TGCom24 reported that Sollecito’s father had claimed that Sollecito had already gone home to Bisceglie, although he is a free citizen still in possession of a passport and can travel anywhere if he wishes.

But then TGCom24 reported that he had indeed flown to Paris, and had turned around and come straight back again, to stay with family friends.  And that on 8 December he will sit his final exams in computer science at the University of Verona.

However soon after that La Nazione reported that Sollecito’s father had been contradicted by his lawyers, and his erratic son had slipped through his fingers and flown “for his work” back to Santo Domingo. Translation by Jools:

1 December 2013 – SCOOP. Denials, lies, game by the defenders. But in the end it’s up to the lawyer Luca Maori to admit: “Raffaele Sollecito returned to Santo Domingo, as anticipated on Friday by La Nazione”

He embarked from Florence’s Peretola Airport and made a stop-over in Paris, from where he then flew to the Caribbean island where he spent the last few months that preceded the start of the new appeals process. “But there is nothing strange - minimizes the lawyer - Raffaele went back to pick up the things he left there, will be back in ten days for the final exams and to await the judgment. With anxiety, but self-assured.”

No escape, just a normal “work” trip. Permissible, since there is no measure that prevents the accused to leave Italy. But the departure of Sollecito, accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher along with former girlfriend Amanda Knox (already sheltered in the U.S.) caused some sneering. And even the agents of the Border Police, when they saw him in front of the [departure] gate, made a phone call to the Procura to be sure whether the journey in the midst of the appeal process was really “normal.”

IN FACT. Sollecito ‘s father, in an understandable effort to defend his already too overexposed son, slipped on the so-called banana peel, placing the young man within a few hours in various locations, but never in the true destination across the ocean: in Verona, preparing for the final exam in computer science in regard to the thesis, or in Paris, but just for a flash-stay from which he was back the day after. At Christmas, maintained the father, Raffaele will return from abroad. Maybe for the last break before the final rush of the Mark II process, which, according to calculations by the Assize Court of Appeal, could be concluded on January 15.

Meanwhile, the hearing on 16 December is for the remaining civil parties, then double date for the defence, (December 17 and January 9) and hearing on the 10 dedicated to counter-argument. With Sollecito in the courtroom, assures the lawyer.

More grief for Papa Doc…. In the movie Groundhog Day the obnoxious hero had to repeat a single day of his life again and again till he hit upon the right things to do and say. Judge Nencini did leave Sollecito an opening to address the judges again.

It is in Sollectto’s own best interests to go back to court, and try and try and try to look and sound chastened till he gets it right. Knox too. 

Posted on 12/04/13 at 07:07 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedPublic evidenceThe two knivesCrime hypothesesThe psychologyFamily/defense hoaxersSollecito teamLies Sollecito bookRaff Sollecito
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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Note For Strasbourg Court & State Department: Knox Herself Proves She Lies About Her Interrogation

Posted by James Raper

In our previous post Kermit nicely shows how, under the European Court of Human Rights’ own guidelines, Amanda Knox’s “appeal” won’t put her out of reach of the fair and painstaking Italians. 

If any of the busy, hard-pressed ECHR investigators do choose to press beyond the ECHR guidelines, they will almost instantly establish that in her voluntary interview on 5 November 2007 Knox was treated with complete fairness.

Also that her false accusation of Patrick (which she never retracted) was entirely of her own doing.

And also that she is not only trying to throw sand into the wheels of Italian justice during an ongoing judicial process (a felony in Italy) but she is trying to welsh out of paying Patrick his damages award of $100,000 (a contempt of the Supreme Court) thus foolishly risking two more charges of aggravated calunnia.

This post derives from a post of mine last May. In another post, we showed that Dr Mignini was not present for the interrogation that night, and Knox maliciously invented an illegal interrogation at risk of a third aggravated calunnia charge.

In fact Dr Mignini met with Amanda Knox only briefly, later, to charge her and to warn she should say no more without a lawyer. He asked her no questions.

I will compare the various accounts of the interrogation to demonstrate that Amanda Knox is indeed lying to the ECHR, just as she did repeatedly in her book this year and also on US and European television.

  • There are two main bodies of truth about the interrogation: (1) all of those present at various times on that night and (2) Knox’s own testimony on the witness stand in mid 2009.

  • There are two main bodies of lies about the interrogation (1) The Sollecito book and (2) the Knox book, which by the way not only contradict one another but also contradict such other accounts as those of Saul Kassin and John Douglas.

The police had called her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in to the station for questioning and Knox had accompanied him because she did not want to be alone. They had already eaten at the house of a friend of Sollecito’s.

Knox’s interrogation was not tape recorded and in that sense we have no truly independent account of what transpired. The police, including the interpreter, gave evidence at her trial, but we do not yet have transcripts for that evidence other than that of the interpreter. There are accounts in books that have been written about the case but these tend to differ in the detail. The police and the interpreter maintain that she was treated well. Apart from the evidence of the interpreter all we have is what Knox says happened, and our sources for this are transcripts of her trial evidence and what she wrote in her book. I shall deal with the evidence of the interpreter towards the end of this article.

I am going to compare what she said at trial with what she wrote in her book but also there was a letter she wrote on the 9th and a recording of a meeting with her mother on the 10th November which are relevant.. What she wrote in her book is fairly extensive and contains much dialogue. She has a prodigious memory for detail now which was almost entirely lacking before.  I am going to tell you to treat what she says in her book with extreme caution because she has already been found out for, well let us say, her creative writing if not outright distortion of facts. I shall paraphrase rather than quote most of it but a few direct quotes are necessary.

Knox arrived with Sollecito at the police station at about 10.30 pm (according to John Follain). The police started to question Sollecito at 10.40 pm (Follain).

In her book Knox describes being taken from the waiting area to a formal interview room in which she had already spent some time earlier. It is unclear when that formal questioning began. Probably getting on for about 11.30pm because she also refers to some questions being asked of her in the waiting room following which she did some stretches and splits. She then describes how she was questioned about the events over a period from about the time she and Sollecito left the cottage to about 9 pm on the 1st November.

Possibly there was a short break. She describes being exhausted and confused. The interpreter, Knox says, arrived at about 12.30 am. Until then she had been conversing with the police in Italian.

Almost immediately on the questioning resuming -

“Monica Napoleoni, who had been so abrupt with me about the poop and the mop at the villa, opened the door. “Raffaele says you left his apartment on Thursday night,” she said almost gleefully. “He says that you asked him to lie for you. He’s taken away your alibi.””

Knox describes how she was dumfounded and devastated by this news. She cannot believe that he would say that when they had been together all night. She feels all her reserves of energy draining away. Then -

“Where did you go? Who did you text?” Ficarra asked, sneering at me.

“I don’t remember texting anyone.”

They grabbed my cell phone up off the desk and scrolled quickly through its history.

“You need to stop lying. You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

“My boss at Le Chic.”

Stop right there.

How were the police able to name the recipient of the text? The text Patrick had sent her had already been deleted from Knox’s mobile phone by Knox herself and Knox hasn’t yet named Patrick. In fact she couldn’t remember texting anyone.

It is of course probable that the police already had a log of her calls and possibly had already traced and identified the owner of the receiving number for her text, though the last step would have been fast work.

In her trial testimony Knox did a lot of “the police suggested this and suggestd that” though it is never crystal clear whether she is accusing the police of having suggested his name. But she is doing it here in her book and of course the Knox groupies have always maintained that it was the police who suggested his name to her.

The following extract from her trial testimony should clear things up. GCM is Judge Giancarlo Massei.

GCM: In this message, was there the name of the person it was meant for?

AK: No, it was the message I wrote to my boss. The one that said “Va bene. Ci vediamo piu tardi. Buona serata.”

GCM: But it could have been a message to anyone. Could you see from the message to whom it was written?

AK: Actually, I don’t know if that information is in the telephone…………………..

GCM : But they didn’t literally say it was him!

AK : No. They didn’t say it was him, but they said “We know who it is, we know who it is. You were with him, you met him.”

GCM : Now what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?”

AK : Well, first I started to cry…....

And having implied that it was the police who suggested Patrick’s name to her, she adds….. that quote again -

“You need to stop lying. You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

“My boss at Le Chic.”

Here she is telling the Perugian cops straight out exactly to whom the text was sent. “My boss at Le Chic”.

But that does not quite gel with her trial testimony -

And they told me that I knew, and that I didn’t want to tell. And that I didn’t want to tell because I didn’t remember or because I was a stupid liar. Then they kept on about this message, that they were literally shoving in my face saying “Look what a stupid liar you are, you don’t even remember this!”

At first, I didn’t even remember writing that message. But there was this interpreter next to me who kept saying “Maybe you don’t remember, maybe you don’t remember, but try,” and other people were saying “Try, try, try to remember that you met someone, and I was there hearing “Remember, remember, remember…..

Doesn’t the above quote make it clear that the police were having considerable trouble getting Knox to tell them to whom her text message was sent? It would also explain their growing frustration with her.

But perhaps the above quote relates not to whom the text was sent but, that having been ascertained, whether Knox met up with that person later? Knox has a habit of conflating the two issues. However there is also the following quote from her trial testimony -

Well there were lots of people who were asking me questions, but the person who had started talking with me was a policewoman with long hair, chestnut brown hair, but I don’t know her. Then in the circle of people who were around me, certain people asked me questions, for example there was a man holding my telephone, and who was literally shoving the telephone into my face, shouting “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?”

Then there were others, for instance this woman who was leading, was the same person who at one point was standing behind me, because they kept moving, they were really surrounding me and on top of me. I was on a chair, then the interpreter was also sitting on a chair, and everyone else was standing around me, so I didn’t see who gave me the first blow because it was someone behind me, but then I turned around and saw that woman and she gave me another blow to the head.

The woman with the long hair, chestnut brown hair, Knox identifies in her book as Ficarra. Ficarra is the policewoman who started the questioning particularly, as Knox has confirmed, about the texted message. “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?” Again, surely this is to get Knox to identify the recipient of the text, not about whether she met up with him?

In the book though, it is all different.

In the book, the police having told her that the text is to someone called Patrick, Knox is a model of co-operation as, having already told them that he is her boss at Le Chic, she then gives a description of him and answers their questions as to whether he knew Meredith, whether he liked her etc. No reluctance to co-operate, no memory difficulties here.

Notwithstanding this, her book says the questions and insinuations keep raining down on her. The police insist that she had left Sollecito’s to meet up with - and again the police name him - Patrick.

“Who did you meet up with? Who are you protecting? Why are you lying? Who’s this person? Who’s Patrick?”

Remember again, according to her trial testimony the police did not mention Patrick’s name and Knox still hasn’t mentioned his name. But wait, she does in the next line -

“I said “Patrick is my boss.””

So now, at any rate, the police have a positive ID from Knox regarding the text message and something to work with. Patrick - boss - Le Chic.

Knox then refers to the differing interpretations as to what “See you later” meant and denies that she had ever met up with Patrick that evening. She recalls the interpreter suggesting that she was traumatized and suffering from amnesia.

The police continue to try to draw an admission from Knox that she had met up with Patrick that evening - which again she repeatedly denies. And why shouldn’t she? After all, she denies that she’s suffering from amnesia, or that there is a problem with her memory. The only problem is that Sollecito had said she had gone out but that does not mean she had met with Patrick.

Knox then writes, oddly, as it is completely out of sequence considering the above -

“They pushed my cell phone, with the message to Patrick, in my face and screamed,

“You’re lying. You sent a message to Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

That’s when Ficarra slapped me on my head.”

A couple of blows (more like cuffs) to the head (denied by the police) is mentioned in her trial testimony but more likely, if this incident ever happened, it would have been earlier when she was struggling to remember the text and to whom it had been sent. Indeed that’s clear from the context of the above quotes.

And this, from her trial testimony -

Remember, remember, remember, and then there was this person behind me who—it’s not that she actually really physically hurt me, but she frightened me.”

In the CNN TV interview with Chris Cuomo, Knox was asked if there was anything she regretted.

Knox replied that she regretted the way this interrogation had gone, that she wished she had been aware of her rights and had stood up to the police questioning better.

Well actually, according to the account in her book, she appears to have stood up to the police questioning with a marked degree of resilience and self- certainty, and with no amnesia. There is little of her trademark “being confused”. 

So why the sudden collapse? And it was a sudden collapse.

Given the trial and book accounts Knox would have us think that she was frightened, that it was due to exhaustion and the persistent and bullying tone of the questioning, mixed with threats that she would spend time in prison for failing to co-operate. She also states that -

(a) she was having a bad period and was not being allowed to attend to this, and

(b) the police told her that they had “hard evidence” that she was involved in the murder.

Knox has given us a number of accounts as to what was actually happening when this occurred.

In a letter she wrote on the 9th November she says that suddenly all the police officers left the room but one, who told her she was in serious trouble and that she should name the murderer. At this point Knox says that she asked to see the texted message again and then an image of Patrick came to mind. All she could think about was Patrick and so she named him (as the murderer).

During a recorded meeting with her mother in Capanne Prison on the 10th November she relates essentially the same story.

In her book there is sort of the same story but significantly without mention of the other officers having left the room nor mention of her having asked to see the texted message again.

If the first two accounts are correct then at least the sense of oppression from the room being crowded and questions being fired at her had lifted.

Then this is from her book -

In that instant, I snapped. I truly thought I remembered having met somebody. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I didn’t understand that I was about to implicate the wrong person. I didn’t understand what was at stake. I didn’t think I was making it up. My mind put together incoherent images. The image that came to me was Patrick’s face.  I gasped. I said his name. “Patrick—it’s Patrick.

It’s her account, of course, but this “Patrick - It’s Patrick” makes no sense at this stage of it unless it’s an admission not just that she had met up with Patrick but that he was at the cottage and involved in Meredith’s death.

And this is from her trial testimony -

GCM : Now what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?

AK : Well, first I started to cry. And all the policemen, together, started saying to me, you have to tell us why, what happened? They wanted all these details that I couldn’t tell them, because in the end, what happened was this: when I said the name of Patrick I suddenly started imagining a kind of scene, but always using this idea: images that didn’t agree, that maybe could give some kind of explanation of the situation.

There is a clear difference between these two quotes.

The one from her book suggests that she was trying hard but that the police had virtually brought her to the verge of a mental breakdown.

Her trial testimony says something else; that a scene and an idea was forming in her mind brought on by her naming of Patrick.

In her book she states that a statement, typed up in Italian, was shoved under her nose and she was told to sign it. The statement was timed at 1.45 am. The statement was not long but would probably have taken about twenty minutes to prepare and type.

The statement according to Knox -

... I met Patrick immediately at the basketball court in Piazza Grimana and we went to the house together. I do not remember if Meredith was there or came shortly afterward. I have a hard time remembering those moments but Patrick had sex with Meredith, with whom he was infatuated, but I cannot remember clearly whether he threatened Meredith first. I remember confusedly that he killed her.

The fact that the statement was in Italian is not important. Knox could read Italian perfectly well. However she does insinuate in the book that the details in the statement were suggested to her and that she didn’t bother to read the statement before signing.

Apart from what has been mentioned above, there are some other points and inferences to be drawn from the above analysis.

    1.  Knox’s account destroys one of Sollecito’s main tenets in his book Honour Bound. Sollecito maintains that he did nothing to damage Knox’s alibi until he signed a statement, forced on him at 3:30 am and containing the damaging admission that Knox had gone out. But Knox makes it clear that she had heard from the Head of the Murder Squad that he had made that damaging admission, at or shortly after 12.30 am. Or is Knox is accusing Napoleoni of a bare-faced lie?

    2.  It is valid to ask why Knox would not want to remember to whom the text had been sent. Who can see into her mind? Perhaps Knox realized that discussion of it would confirm that if she had indeed gone out then it was not to Le Chic, where she was not required. However even if she thought that could put her in the frame it’s not what an innocent person would be too worried about. Perhaps she did just have difficulty remembering?

    3.  If there was no fuss and she did remember and tell the police that the text was to Patrick, and the questioning then moved on to whether she met up with Patrick later that evening, what was the problem with that? She knew the fact that she hadn’t met up with him could be verified by Patrick. She could have said that and stuck to it. The next move for the police would have been to question Patrick. They would not have had grounds to arrest him.

    4.  Knox stated in her memorial, and re-iterates it in her book, that during her interrogation the police told her that they had hard evidence that she was involved in Meredith’s murder. She does not expand on what this evidence is, perhaps because the police did not actually tell her. However, wasn’t she the least bit curious, particularly if she was innocent? What was she thinking it might be?

    5.  I can sympathise with any interviewee suffering a bad period, if that’s true. However the really testy period of the interview/interrogation starts with the arrival of the interpreter, notification of Sollecito’s withdrawal of her alibi and the questioning with regard to the text to Patrick, all occurring at around 12.30 am.  There has to be some critical point when she concedes, whether to the police or in her own mind,  that she’d met “Patrick”, after which there was the questioning as to what had happened next. Say that additional questioning took 20 minutes. Then there would be a break whilst the statement is prepared and typed up. So the difficult period for Knox, from about 12.30 am to that critical point, looks more like about 35 to, at the outside, 50 minutes.

    6.  Even if, for that period, it is true that she was subjected to repeated and bullying questions, and threats, then she held up remarkably well as I have noted from her own account. It does not explain any form of mental breakdown, let alone implicating Patrick in murder. In particular, if Knox’s letter of the 9th and the recording of her meeting with her mother on the 10th are to believed, that alleged barrage of questions had stopped when she implicated Patrick.  An explanation, for what it’s worth, might be that she had simply ceased to care any longer despite the consequences. But why?

    7.  A better and more credible explanation is that an idea had indeed formed suddenly in her mind. She would use the revelation about the text to Patrick and the consequent police line of questioning to bring the questioning to an end and divert suspicion from her true involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher. She envisaged that she would be seen by the police as a helpless witness/victim, not a suspect in a murder investigation. As indeed was the case initially.  She expected, I am sure, to be released, so that she could get Sollecito’s story straight once again. If that had happened there would of course remain the problem of her having involved Patrick, but I dare say she thought that she could simply smooth that over - that it would not be a big deal once he had confirmed that there had been no meeting and that he had not been at the cottage, as the evidence was bound to confirm.

At the beginning I said that we also have a transcript now of the evidence of the interpreter, Anna Donnino. I will summarise the main points from her evidence but it will be apparent immediately that she contradicts much of what Knox and her supporters claim to have happened.

Donnino told the court that she had 22 years experience working as a translator for the police in Perugia. She was at home when she received a call from the police that her services were required and she arrived at the police station at just before 12.30 am, just as Knox said. She found Knox with Inspector Ficarra. There was also another police officer there whose first name was Ivano. At some stage Ficarra left the room and then returned and there was also another officer by the name of Zugarina who came in. Donnino remained with Knox at all times

The following points emerge from her testimony :-

    1. Three police officers do not amount to the “lots of people” referred to in Knox’s trial testimony, let alone the dozens and the “tag teams” of which her supporters speak.

    2. She makes no mention of Napoleoni and denied that anyone had entered the room to state that Sollecito had broken Knox’s alibi. (This is not to exclude that this may have happened before Donnino arrived)

    3. She states that Knox was perfectly calm but there came a point when Knox was being asked how come she had not gone to work that she was shown her own text message (to Patrick). Knox had an emotional   shock, put her hands to her ears and started rolling her head and saying “It’s him! It’s him! It’s him!”

    4. She denied that Knox had been maltreated or that she had been hit at all or called a liar.

    5. She stated that the officer called Ivano had been particularly comforting to Knox, holding her hand occasionally.

    6. She stated that prior to the 1.45 am statement being presented to Knox she was asked if she wanted a lawyer but Knox said no.

    7. She stated that she had read the statement over to Knox in english and Knox herself had checked the italian original having asked for clarification of specific wording.

    7. She confirmed that that she had told Knox about an accident which she’d had (a leg fracture) and that she had suffered amnesia about the accident itself. She had thought Knox was suffering something similar. She had also spoken to Knox about her own daughters because she thought it was necessary to establish a rapport and trust between the two of them.

The account in Knox’s book is in some ways quite compelling but only if it is not compared against her trial testimony, let alone the Interpreter’s testimony:  that is, up to the point when she implicates Patrick in murder. At that point no amount of whitewash works. The Italian Supreme Court also thought so, upholding Knox’s calunnia conviction, with the addition of aggravating circumstances.

Posted on 11/30/13 at 09:50 AM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesMeredith-case hoaxesKnox interrog hoaxFamily/defense hoaxersKnox-Mellas teamLies in Knox bookAmanda Knox
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Differences Between Micheli, Massei, Hellmann and Nencini Courts Pointing To Almost Certain Outcome

Posted by Peter Quennell

What are the biggest differences? In fact the Supreme Court already pointed them out: science, scope, and balance.

Judge Micheli, Judge Massei and Judge Nencini all have a very extensive criminal-case background. All three have handled many cases of murder, many cases against the mafia, and many cases involving criminal science. All three have remarkable success records and have hardly ever been overturned on appeal. 

Judge Hellmann and his court are the extreme outliers. Until forced into early retirement by the Council of Magistrates, he had been a (quite good) business judge. His one major criminal case, years ago, had led to a farcical outcome, and he was ridiculed for this at the time.

Cassation made it very clear that he simply did not reflect a knowledge of the precise Italian law on scope and balance at the appeal level, and that he mishandled the science. In fact, as he actually said, the reason he appointed two independent DNA consultants was that he was at sea on the science.

That left Judge Hellmann’s panel of judges like a rudderless ship, bereft of the kind of good guidance from the lead judge on science, scope, and balance that comes only from many years of experience.

Which, given a level playing field, the pathbreaking Italian system enforces competently like almost no other.

Above all as the Hellmann Report makes extraordinarily plain, his court came to be swayed by the CSI Effect, with the help of two tainted consultants and probably the irresponsible Greg Hampikian in Idaho.

The CSI Effect is a phenomenon very, very unlikely to happen in Judge Nencini’s court.  First, take a look at this good explanation of what the CSI Effect is in the Fox Kansas City video.

Many crime shows such as the BBC mysteries and the Law & Order series and spinoffs show investigators solving their crimes in the old-fashioned way. Lots of witness interviews and alibi and database checking, and walking around and loose ends and lying awake at night puzzling. And often there’s a big stroke of luck. 

But if you watch the very popular CSI Las Vegas series and its spinoffs in Miami and New York, and the various clones on other networks, you will see something very different indeed.

When those shows first began airing worldwide in the late nineties, the producers explained that audiences increasingly appreciate learning something new when watching a show, and it is true, one sure can load up on the trivia.

But you will also see the US equivalent of Dr Stefanoni and her forensic team in those shows, roaming far beyond the narrow crime scene, interrogating witnesses and checking alibis and finding a lot of non-forensic evidence, and even at times drawing guns.

Most unreal is that, time and again, the forensic evidence testing is clearcut and takes just a few minutes and instantly clinches the case.

  • There are several articles like this one and this one on whether the Casey Anthony jury was affected by a shortfall in the starkness of the forensics when the behavioral evidence seemed so strong.
  • There are several articles like this one and this one on whether the appeal verdict outcome in Perugia might be affected in the same way.
  • There are many articles like this one and this one and this one and especially this one saying there is a tough added burden on investigators and juries without a commensurate improved outcome.

With conviction rates declining in the US and Europe, professionals are taking a scientific look at whether the CSI Effect is one big cause of that decline.

At the macro level in the US this writer doubted that the CSI Effect is fatally unbalancing takes on the wider evidence. The same conclusion was reached in this first major study at the micro level.

But the belief in the CSI Effect continues. Articles like this one on an Australian site talk of a backlash against too many acquittals. Some articles like this one argue that maybe lay juries are out of their depths.

And judges and prosecutions are taking countermeasures.

In Ohio and many other states prosecutors and judges are acting against a possible CSI Effect in their selection and briefing of juries. And an NPR report came up with these findings.

Some states now allow lawyers to strike potential jurors based on their TV habits. Judges are issuing instructions that warn juries about expecting too much scientific evidence based on what they see on TV.

In the field, Shelton says death investigators sometimes run useless tests, just to show they went the extra CSI mile.

“They will perform scientific tests and present evidence of that to the jury. Even if the results don’t show guilt or innocence either way, just to show the jury that they did it.”

This is coming at a time when death investigators in America have no resources to spare. An investigation by NPR, PBS Frontline and ProPublica shows some states have already opted not to do autopsies on suicides, others don’t autopsy people who die in traffic accidents, and many don’t autopsy people who die over the age of 60.

But Murphy, the Clark County coroner, expects things to get worse.

“You know, we’re in budget cuts right now. Everybody’s in budget cuts. Las Vegas is no different than anybody else. We’re hurting. We’re going to feel that same crunch as everybody else,” he says.

One of Zuiker’s great disappointments is that, for all its popularity, his fictional Las Vegas crime lab didn’t generate more political support to fund death investigation.

“I’ve done my job. You know, we’ve launched three shows that cater to 73.8 million people a week and is a global phenomenon and the largest television franchise in history. We hoped that the show would raise awareness and get more funding into crime labs so people felt safe in their communities. And we’re still hoping that the government will catch up.”

None of the science in Meredith’s case has ever been discredited in court. Even in Judge Hellmann’s court the agenda-driven independent consultants Conti and Vecchiotti failed - and under cross-examination admitted it.

Also remember that the Hellmann court did not get to see two very key closed-court scientific presentations (the stark recreation of the attack on Meredith, in a day of testimony, and later in a 15 minute video) which had a very big balancing effect on the Massei court. 

Right now the reputation of not one defense-campaign stooge who has attacked the science remains intact.

Greg Hampikian has headed for cover. He had widely proclaimed that he clinched the Hellmann court’s outcome, in an act which may well have been illegal. Unsurprisingly, he is now trying very hard to hide his own claimed “proof ” of shortfalls in the science, as Andrea Vogt has been showing in her Boise State University investigation, and as we will soon post more on. 

Saul Kassin is another defense-campaign stooge who falsely claimed that he clinched the Hellmann court outcome by “proving” a false confession by Knox - in an interrogation that never even took place.

Despite all of this, maybe as straw-snatching, we can again see an organized attempt to confuse American opinion on the science of the case.

Whether she did this intentionally or not, that is what the PR tool Colleen Barry of the Associated Press was doing when she omitted that the trace of Meredith on the knife is undisputed hard evidence.

Judge Micheli and Judge Massei handled the science, scope, and balance with some brilliance. In all three dimensions Judge Hellmann fell short abysmally.

What is your own bet on the outcome under the exceptionally experienced Judge Nencini?

Parts of this post were first posted in 2011 after the disputed and much examined outcome of the Casey Anthony murder trial..

Friday, October 25, 2013

Questions For Sollecito: Do You Stand By Your Smear Of Reasonable Doubt In Italian Law?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

The Italian Supreme Court is seen here at rear-right with the Vatican in the foreground]

How the tough questions for you only grow, and grow… We have 12 posts already in our questions for Knox series and 11 posts already in our questions for Sollecito series.

We also have increasing confirmation that this thrust is paying off and is helping to meet a widespread felt need in the media. Ask Katie Couric, and Diane Sawyer, and the CNN legal talking heads, and the BBC, and an increasing number of others in the media.

Today’s post returns, certainly not for the last time, to your wildly inaccurate book.

1. What You Wrote in Honor Bound On Reasonable Doubt:

Amond the absurd legal babble in your absurdly titled book Honor Bound this legal babble especially stands out.

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. 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.

2. How Lawyer James Raper With Yummi Disagreed

From their post last January before Cassation uttered its final word, which also takes to task Hellmann’s and Zanetti’s interpretation. 

What he is implying (in a manner gratuitously insulting to the intelligence of his compatriots) is that were the above statement not true then he, and Amanda, would have been acquitted in the first instance.

Oh, really?

It seems that we are also being asked to believe that Sollecito and his ghostwriter, Gumbel, are historians of Italian jurisprudence. So, let’s quickly examine what substance there is to the claim.

It will be seen that the concept of “reasonable doubt” is understood well enough in the courts of Italy, though unfortunately less well understood by the former Umbria Appeal Court judges Hellmann and Zanetti.

Not only that but those two judges made pointed remarks at the outset of the appeal also garbling the concept, which were very disturbing. I shall look into that in a moment.

Sollecito‘s remark does have some context but it is wildly inaccurate and unfair. 

We know that the Italian legal system is based on the inquisitorial system common to continental Europe, whereas the anglo-saxons amongst us are used to the adversarial system. It is also true that the specific expression “beyond reasonable doubt” was not introduced into the Italian criminal procedure code until 2006.

It is Article 533 of the Criminal Procedure Code: “The judge pronounces sentence of conviction if the accused is guilty of the offence charged beyond all reasonable doubt.”

Now let me defer to our Italian poster Yummi who can explain the historical context. He writes -

The current Italian system is the result of a procedure code reform introduced in 1989. This reform introduced several features of the adversarial system into a new criminal procedure code. One of the features of the new code was the abolition of the “not proven” verdict. This factually had been working very effectively as the version of “reasonable doubt” in the Italian system.

In an inquisitorial system the court is a council headed by professional judges and it’s task is not just to deliver a verdict, but to deliver a written rationale or dossier aimed to provide “a judicial truth”.  Typically “reasonable doubt” is a formulation coming from systems where juries do not issue a written rationale while systems that have motivation reports on verdicts usually don’t have it: it was commonly agreed that the absence of doubt should be understood from the rationale. Absence of doubt is not a quality that is inherent in the internal conviction of a juror, but instead is understood to be a feature of the logical proof provided by the written rationale. It was believed that the absence of doubt in the judge’s mind should be shown by the fact that a motivation report is logical.

No Italian scholar would ever maintain that the “reasonable doubt” standard is a recent introduction in the Italian system.  Only the acknowledgement of it’s wording is relatively recent.  In the Italian system the formulation “reasonable doubt” was starting to be used explicitly in Supreme Court jurisprudence in the early nineties; a change of wording in honour of the adversarial reforms, but in fact a continuation of the long jurisprudence tradition of the “not proven” standard.”

In fact in the adversarial system “beyond reasonable doubt” is really an instruction to the jurors that they must arrive at a certain evidentiary standard if they are to convict. Any system that would produce a “not proven” verdict would mean that the standard has not been met.

In the adversarial system no written rationale for a verdict is required to accompany the verdict. That the Italian system retains this requirement is very much a safeguard for the accused as well as for the State both being thereby protected from perverse or capricious convictions or acquittals.

Second here is Judge Zanetti at first appeal:

The only certain and undisputed fact is the death of Meredith Kercher.

So said Judge Zanetti on the opening day of the appeal. It was a statement that brought gasps of astonishment from those in court, particularly from the reporters present who deemed it to be an admission that reasonable doubt existed.

In fact, of course, there were a lot of certain and undisputed facts. No one denied that there was evidence, most of it undisputed. What was disputed was the interpretation of that evidence.

That, being so, why did not Zanetti say that? Clearly the remark was injudicious, and cogent only in its intended impact.

What of the Massei Motivations Report one might ask? is it toast?

That remark not only helped to set the tone for the entire appeal - what was said soon after by his senior colleague was even worse. 

Compliance with article 533 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Judgement of conviction only if the defendant is guilty of the offence complained of beyond a reasonable doubt) does not allow (us) to share fully the decision of the Court of Assize of First Instance.

(In Italian: il rispetto dell’articolo 533 del Codice di procedura penale (pronuncia di condanna soltanto se l’imputato risulta colpevole del reato contestatogli al di la ogni ragionevole dubbio) non consente di condividere totalmente la decisione della Corta d’Assize di primo grado”)

That was said by Judge Hellmann on the third day of the appeal before even the evidentiary and discussion stage had opened. And thanks again to Yummi for the above quote.

It seems that the presiding judge had felt compelled to expand upon his colleague’s stark opening remark but in doing so he had opened a can of worms. He had just made things even worse. Unfortunately the prosecution decided not to challenge the remark and the appeal proceeded. They should have done so.

Article 533 relates to verdict. The verdict (to be) is not to be hinted at or discussed at the opening of any trial or appeal and certainly not as pointedly as this. So serious is this faux pas that I have it on good authority that the prosecution considered impeaching the presiding judge for incompatibility and incompetence. It seems that they did not because of the furore this might have caused and perhaps also because they were confident of the strength of the case in any event. In retrospect a grave mistake.

What in fact was Hellmann saying? Let us consider.

“Compliance with article 533.…..…does not allow us to share fully the decision of the Court of Assize of First Instance.” 

I believe that what we see here is the first indication of the judges’ manifest misunderstanding of what should have been the correct approach to an evaluation of the evidence in the case and the application of the “reasonable doubt” standard.

I do not intend to deal with that in any detail. It is set out cogently in the Galati appeal.

Suffice to say that the “reasonable doubt” standard applies only to the culpability of the accused for the offence with which he/she is charged. Article 533 makes this abundantly clear and this is no different from how our own adversarial system deals with it. It is not a standard to be parcelled out to each item of evidence or inference drawn. That the appeal judges thought they could do (and did) precisely that is implicit in Hellmann’s remark.

How can one not “share fully the decision of the lower court”?

Hellmann could have said that he did not fully share the decisions of the lower court as regards each element of evidence rather than “the decision“, which can only be a reference to the actual verdict. But “the decision” is what he says, linking it specifically to article 533 where only the singular use of the noun would have any meaning. So on the face of it this can only be about the verdict of the lower court. And yet, how can one not fully share a verdict? A verdict cannot be parcelled out. One either agrees or disagrees with it.

Despite it’s manifest inappropriateness, no doubt the remark was meant to acknowledge that there was some doubt about the validity of the verdict in their minds. Well at least that’s honest but in that case, was it not incumbent on them to specify what it was that concerned them? I would have expected that. True, it was already clear that the DNA on the knife and bra clasp, and Curatolo’s credibility, were specific issues, as they had allowed these to be examined, but beyond that there was no disclosure as to what other doubts on the evidence they had in mind. We know now from the Motivations that there were others and what these were ( Quintavalle and the staged break-in, just for example) - and I think it would be pretty disingenuous of them to pretend that they did not exist at the time.

Already one sees elements of confusion, incompetence, mis-procedure, misleading the prosecution and coded messages (for the media and politicians?) to the effect that the appeal judges had already rationalized an acquittal in the appeal.

And if, with their doubts, they had in fact done so then what, pray, was the point of :-

1. Ordering a review of the DNA evidence on the knife and the bra clasp

2. Re-hearing Curatolo

3. Hearing from Aviello and Alessi

……other than that they were seeking that elusive “reasonable” element of doubt.

It is almost as if the entire appeal was tailored to suit and a sham. It certainly looks that way in retrospect, particularly as the element of reasonable doubt still remains elusive on close examination.

Yet it may just be that the appeal judges were just incompetent and that their incompetence (with the incompetent assistance of Conti & Vechiotti) infected the entire proceedings.

We shall see what Cassation thinks of the garbling of this fundamental concept when the prosecution appeal is entertained on 25 March.

3. How The Cassation Motivation Report Also Disagrees

The Supreme Court doesnt buy your smear of Italian law either, though we doubt your book was a hot item there. The concept of “reasonable doubt” was fully respected in the Massei trial where your guilt was firmly established - and the concept was trashed by the unlamented Hellmann & Zanetti.

This is from the Cassation report on the decision to annul the Hellmann appeal.

2.2.3 ‐ Manifest lack of logic and inconsistency in the reasoning in reference to the use of the principle of reasonable doubt in sustaining the order of 18.12.2010. [According to the lawyers for the Civil Parties], the verdict of conviction beyond a reasonable doubt could have been reached even after the outcome of the expert report arranged for in the second instance trial, inasmuch as the examination of the circumstantial evidence ought to have been global and consistent, the hypothetical defect of any one of these being acceptable, provided that the remaining elements were – as they ought to have been deemed – sufficient to reach the required level of certainty, [29] since what is asked of isolated elements of proof being evaluated is that they display the credentials of correspondence with real events, at least with predominant probability. Proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt can rest on items of circumstantial evidence that are not all equally certain, that is, not all established with the same level of probability.

So, Raffaele Sollecito, you jobless failure in all walks of life: would you care to correct all these fine lawyers?

Posted on 10/25/13 at 02:29 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Questions for AK & RSItalian justice v othersThe former defendantsRaff SollecitoOfficially involvedFamily/defense hoaxersSollecito team
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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Testing Of The DNA Sample Starts Today Though Possibly No Results Announced Before 6 November

Posted by Peter Quennell

1. ViaDellaPergola’s video

That video from 2010 illustrates how the existing positive tests described in the Massei Report were crystal-clear; subsequently Hellmann, Zanetti, Conti and Vecchiotti (all now being investigated) so muddied the water.

2. From our short-form Massei Report

This is from Part Three of the four-part abbreviation of the Massei Report done by Skeptical Bystander and a PMF team in mid-2011.

Exhibit 36: The double DNA Knife

Exhibit 36 is a 31 cm long knife with a 17 cm blade and a dark handle.  It was seized from the kitchen cutlery drawer at Raffaele Sollecito’s home, located at 110 Corso Garibaldi in Perugia, on 6 November, 2007 when Chief Inspector Armando Finzi was ordered to perform a search of Sollecito’s residence.  This exhibit is important because “Sample 36b” taken from a scratch on the knife blade yielded Meredith Kercher’s biological profile.

After putting on gloves and shoe coverings, Finzi and his team entered the home.  They noted a strong smell of bleach.  Opening the cutlery drawer, they saw a big, “extremely clean” knife.  In Sollecito’s bedroom they found a second knife.  The knives were bagged and sealed.[106]

Exhibit 36 was carried back to the police station, where it was placed in a box for shipping to the Polizia Scientifica in Rome.  Dr. Stefanoni was the recipient of the box containing the knife in Rome.  All parties testified that standard procedures were followed to avoid the risk of contamination.

On 4 November, 2007, Meredith’s roommates Filomena Romanelli, Laura Mezzetti, and Amanda Knox had been taken by the police to look at the knives in their kitchen at the apartment in Via della Pergola.  Personnel from the Questura reported Amanda’s “severe and intense emotional crisis, unlike [the reaction of] the other two girls”.[292]  This behavior was contrasted to Amanda’s behavior at Police headquarters two days earlier:

“This circumstance appears significant both in its own right and also when one considers that Amanda had never previously shown signs of any particular distress and emotional involvement (in the Police headquarters, on the afternoon of November 2, Meredith’s English girlfriends, Robyn Carmel and Amy Frost in particular, according to their declarations, had been surprised by the behaviour of Amanda, who did not show emotions).”[292]

Investigators’ attention was alerted to the Exhibit 36 knife because of Amanda’s inconsistent behavior.  Later, police overheard a jail conversation between Knox and her parents on 17 November, when Knox said, “I am very, I am very worried about this thing with the knife ... because there is a knife of Raffaele’s ...”.[292]

Exhibit 36 thus became a central piece of trial evidence.  The debate would subsequently be focused on two issues: The compatibility of the knife with the large stab wound in Meredith’s neck; and the reliability of the DNA analysis.

Considering the first of these points, although the knife blade is 17 cm long, the depth of the larger wound is just 8 cm .  This “discrepancy” was the basis of defense efforts to discredit the knife as a murder weapon. The compatibility of the Exhibit 36 knife and the larger of Kercher’s wounds is addressed by Professor Bacci (see p. 121 of the Massei report).    Professor Norelli maintains that “it is not said that a blade is always embedded (plunged into) the target right up to the handle; the blade may also go (in) only to a certain portion of its length, and not right up to its end”.[126] 

It is noted that the movements of the victim may have played a part in determining the depth of the cuts.  “If I insert a centimeter of the blade into the victim and the victim suddenly moves towards me, how much of the blade will be driven inside the body surface area is absolutely unpredictable and depends on the action of both”.[129]  Alternatively, the blade of the knife might have met an obstacle. The cutting action is described on p. 146 and again starting on p. 152.

Defense witness Dr. Patumi disputed the compatibility of the wounds with said knife, arguing that a blade of 17 cm length could not have caused a cut 8 cm deep; see p. 156-157.  However, the Court rejected “the thesis of the incompatibility of the most serious wound and the knife Exhibit 36”, holding this thesis to be “unacceptable” .[172]

Regarding the second point – that of the DNA analysis – Dr. Stefanoni was the responsible expert at the crime lab in Rome. Although no biological traces were visible to the naked eye on the face of knife blade, Dr. Stefanoni perceived scratches - “anomalies in the metal’ - on the blade when rotating the blade under strong lighting.  The streaks were:

“… visible under good lighting by changing the angle at which the light hit the blade, since obviously the blade reflects light and thus creates shadows, making imperfections visible.”[196]

Sample 36b was taken from one of these points on the blade.  The genetic profile of Meredith Kercher was identified from this sample. Stefanoni presented charts to the court, showing the DNA profile: she noted “that the peaks were a bit low, but that without doubt were still within the range that is considered useful for testing a specimen (page 108). Although of a much lower quantity of DNA, the profiles were nonetheless very present and, by making a comparison with Meredith’s profile, Dr. Torricelli reported that ‚we find all the alleles, and we find them to be equal to those obtained from the swab taken, from the sample taken from the wound. Therefore in this case too, without doubt‛ -she continued- ‚although we are confronted with a sample that contains very little DNA, it nonetheless contains the DNA of only one person and is therefore comparable to Meredith’s; with regard to this knife, I would say I have no doubt in interpreting it: specimen A with Amanda’s profile and specimen B with the profile, compatible with that of Meredith.”[231-32] However, the amount of DNA was small and it was all used up in order to run a single test.

The defense objected that it was impossible to evaluate whether the actual nature of Sample 36b specimen: 

“.. when we have a small amount of DNA we talk about low copy number DNA, and that when this type of DNA is present, we are indeed able to carry out our amplification and obtain a profile, but we must remember that we may have lost one of the alleles, we may have an allelic imbalance ... it becomes very difficult to distinguish from a real allele, so that when working on ...  small quantities of genetic material, it is necessary to be very cautious in interpreting the results.”[237]

To this point, Dr. Stefanoni argued that it is preferable “to know to whom a biological specimen is attributable, rather than ascertaining the nature of that specimen, without attributing it to anyone.”[288]

Furthermore, it was argued by the defense that the quantity of DNA was too low to be able to perform the tests and consider the results reliable.  Given a low amount of DNA, the risk of contamination is high - particularly given the very numerous number of samples being analyzed.
The court rejected the possibility of contamination because no anomalies were ever identified in the Polizia Scientifica’s analytical process. The Prosecutor pointed out that all tests had been carried out in the presence of a lawyer/consultant for the defense - who had raised no objections during the testing.  The possibility of contamination during the collection of evidence was rejected based on a detailed consideration of the collection process.

Thus, the DNA from Meredith which was found on that knife cannot be traced back to any contamination occurring in the house in which it was found, or to the method of acquisition of the knife on the part of Finzi, or even to the collection and dispatch methods used by Gubbiotti. In addition, as has been said, that such contamination could have been carried out by the laboratory is also ruled out.[266]

In addition, Dr. Stefanoni testified that she did have the biological profile of the defendants, but did not employ them while interpreting the electrophoresis diagrams. Nevertheless, the Massei report judges that:

“... the main criticisms advanced by the defense concerned precisely this very small DNA quantity, and it raised the question of the reliability of the result obtained.”[288]

To this central point, Dr. Stefanoni:

“Regarding the too low quantity of DNA, Dr. Stefanoni declared, as has been seen, that even in the case of a particularly scanty amount of material, the analysis and evaluation should be performed, and she added that, if the data that emerges is absolutely readable and interpretable and the correct laboratory practice was followed, the result is reliable and there is no reason to repeat the test.

“It does not follow ... that the data is unusable and unreliable as a consequence of a lack of repetition due to a lack of further quantities of DNA. It is necessary, instead, to take account of the data that emerges from such a specimen and to check for the – possible – presence of other elements, both circumstantial and inherent to the data itself that, despite the lack of repetition of the analysis, could allow an evaluation of the reliability of the analysis and of its outcome.”[289]

The court concluded that the biological profile that resulted from the 36B DNA analysis ...

“… gave a biological profile attributable to the person who was mortally wounded with that very knife: a result, therefore, that was entirely reasonable and consistent with the event; [it was] certainly not explainable as a mere coincidence, and it must be ruled out –according to what has already been observed in this regard - that it could have originated from contamination or from the use of a suspect-centric method.”,[290] and that

“…. it should therefore be affirmed that the analysis of trace 36B, which detected the presence DNA attributable to Meredith, appears to be completely reliable.”[293]

3. TJMK posts on the latest DNA science

1. Poster Fy By Night:  The Hellmann-Zanetti Appeal Court’s DNA Consultancy Looks Even Worse In Face Of The Latest Science

2. The Machine A New DNA Analysis Strongly Implicating Sollecito Seems to Have The Defense Forces Extremely Rattled

4. Sollecito tries to wind back the “pricked” claim

Our lawyer SomeAlibi recently explained how.

5. Andrea Vogt posts possible scenarios.

Scroll down to UPDATE OCT. 9, 2013 An excellent weighting of the possibilities.

The DNA could be Meredith’s, which would dramatically hurt thr defenses. It could be Rudy Guede’s, which would dramatically hurt thr defenses. Or it could be neither (or untestable) which would nt neccessarily affect the outcome. .

Posted on 10/10/13 at 02:00 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedPolice and CSIPublic evidenceDNA and luminolThe two knivesAppeals 2009-2015Florence appeal
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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Tomorrow Could See The Beginning Of The End Of The Rampaging “Public Relations” Campaign

Posted by Peter Quennell

Tomorrow the court probably wont touch directly on issues of Sollecito’s and Knox’s innocence or guilt.

Instead the court under a Supreme Court requirement will get into the myriad dirty tricks of the defenses, why such campaigns had to be run if the accused perps had no blame, how the mafia is infiltrating its way in, and maybe some hard evidence of real crimes.

The three shown above are of course defense lawyer Giulia Bongiorno, Judge Hellmann, and Francesco, Sollecito’s dad.

Bongiorno may have offered bribes for false testimony, tame judge Hellmann may have attempted to cover up evidence of crimes (those bribes), and Papa Doc may have been over-eager to get his son out of prison by any means fair or foul.

Except for Luciano Aviello’s photo, which has never yet appeared on the web, as he had that protection as a jailhouse snitch, we have had a pretty comprehensive series of posts about him starting back in June 2010. These seven are perhaps the most key.

Note that NOBODY knows exactly what the prosecution has up its sleeves. The FOA wannabees still don’t realize what a huge jump the prosecution has on them. It plays its cards very close to the chest.

Going back a very long time the prosecution appear to have set a number of traps. Back in 2010 it knew Hellmann’s presence at the appeal had been quietly organized by the defense. It knew that the Supreme Court understood that Guede could not have killed Meredith on his own.

And it knew that Aviello was a walking time-bomb and knew how to set him off.  And all of the three above seem to have unwittingly walked into that trap.

Of course there is no way that the court closes the book on Aviello tomorrow, because his own trial in Florence under the same prosecutor’s office is still going on. There is immense pressure on Aviello to come clean and not end up inside yet again.

All three above could be called to give testimony at his trial. And he could pave the way to all three facing trials of their own.

Posted on 10/03/13 at 10:17 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesAppeals 2009-2015Florence appealMeredith-case hoaxesThe Aviello hoaxFamily/defense hoaxersKnox-Mellas teamSollecito team
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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Appeal Session #1: Detailed Report On Enquiries The Court Has Okayed

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Above the two co-judges with lead judge Allessandro Nencini reading the case history]

Translation From The Umbria24 website

Meredith, war of requests in the first hearing of the 2nd Appeal

The court has order a new test on the I trace and on the hearing of the witness Luciano Aviello. Rejected all other requests

By Francesca Marruco

After a little over 2 hours in its counsel chambers the Florence Court of Appeals has decided to ordered a new test on the (I) trace evidence of the knife seized in Raffaele Solecitto’s apartment, the weapon presumed to have been used in the murder.

The Court has also decided to hear the witness Luciano Aviello and rejected all the other requests of renewal of investigations presented by the defense. The Court returns on Friday with Aviello and the provision of the task of the new genetic analysis to the Carabinieri del Ris of Rome.

[The appeal] started this morning in the maxi courtroom no. 32 of the Florence Justice Courthouse, the new trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher, after the annulment of the acquittal by the Supreme court. Present in the courtroom was only Patrick Lumumba.

Absent, as expected, were the two accused Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. 

- 9:00 Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele,  says he is tranquil about the outcome of the new trial. Responding to the journalists, he specified “The statement of the Supreme Court is compromised by errors committed because the judges did not have full assess to all of the proceedings, as they themselves specified,”

- 9:45 The defense of Knox and Sollecito have asked for the exclusion of the Patrick Lumumba (civil) part because the conviction of Amanda for calunnia has already been passed into final sentence.

This request was opposed by the General Prosecutor Alessandro Crini, and the lawyer of Lumumba. For them the plaintiff’s civil right is legitimate, as the Supreme Court, has asked to re valuate the penalty, in order to obtain the impunity.

The Court retired in counsel chambers to decide and announced it wanted to decide today on the reopening of the investigation.

- 10:15 The court rejects the request of the defense of Knox and Sollecitto to exclude the civil part of Patrick Lumumba, because the Court specifies that, among other things, the offense was not assessed in the totality by the first court.

- 10.50 The President of Court of Appeals, Allessandro Nencini, is initiating the introductory report. Starting from the day of Meredith’s homicide. The judge traveled trough the most important passages of the three Courts. Speaking of the (I) trace, isolated by the consultants of the second Court on the knife (considered the weapon of the crime by the first Court) President Nencini said:” It necessary to underline that the independent consultants had found another trace but it was not analyzed”.

- 11:15 The President of the Court Nencini, at the end of the introductory report, said: “ This is a trial for matters of undeniable seriousness, beyond the spectacularization, there is the willingness of the Court to give all of the possible space for debate to all of the parties, because in origin there was a important verdict and the actions for which we proceed are of undeniable seriousness”

- 11.25 Raffaele Sollecito defense lawyer Giulia Buongiorno was the first to take the floor.

“Sollecito’s defense does not ignore the motivations of the Cassazione, and we are in favor of any kind of verification that the Court will order, with the following caveats. This proceeding has always been based on two types of evidences, the testimonial and technical.  We request that during this proceeding, we hope to be the last one, that the Court during the next hearings will concentrate only on the truly reliable evidences, putting aside the ones that are not nullified by the fact that it is a media proceeding.

Many witness have said things because they have read them or heard to them. So the proceeding was reopened,but not to collect this type of guesswork. We do not want to inflate this proceeding with new conjectures. We request to examine in depth the crime seen, as pointed out by the Cassazione.  In the crime scene room there are copious traces of two of the four presumably present persons, Rudy Guede that admitted to have been there, and none of the two indicted, except on the hook of the victim’s bra.

When the Prosecutor asserts that there are no traces because Amanda and Raffaele cleaned them, we think that it is impossible. For this reason we request to have a evaluation done in order to verify if it is possible to clean selectively”. “The Cassazione mistake has been that it didn’t noticed the entry in the crime scene room before the bra hook was found , so we request the acquisition of two reports. 

We want to understand if in a sealed place it is possible to get evidence even after the admission by the police of other searches .  We do not request to get the hook and to say that it is contaminated, I want to know if in that environment it was possible to collect some genuine evidences, because on the crime scene there were not ten traces of Raffaele but only that one”. 

A subordinate request by Giulia Buongiorno requests that experts , new ones or the ones of the second trial, will read the electropherograms.  Buongiorno requests even the analysis of both of Meredith Kercher cell phones that she consider the “black box” of the crime and that “ was never analyzed deep enough except from the Corte d’Assise di Perugia” The defense requests also the analysis of the presumed sperm trace on Meredith’s pillowcase.

- 12.15   Amanda Knox defense lawyer Carlo Della Vedova takes the floor and lifts up right away an exception to the Constitution.  “Are we today able to judge on matters that happened six years ago? Can a person be under proceeding for life? Are we sure that Amanda Knox is an accused as all the others. It is right for an indefinite postponement of this proceeding? For all of this I insist that the Court evaluate the constitutionality”

- 13.00 Kercher family’s lawyer produced a letter written by the family members of Meredith that read ”We are confident that the evidences will be reexamined and all the requests of more evidences will be granted, in a way that all the unanswered questions well be clarified and that the Court can decide on future way of action in this tragic case. The past six years have been the most difficult of our lifes and we want find an end and remember Meredith as the girl that she really was rather than remember the horror associated with her”.

-14.00 The General Prosecutor Alessandro Crini says he is against the request of the defense to hear anew from some witnesses, including Rudy Hermann Guede. The same judgment Crini used for the major part of the requests of the opening introductory presented by the defense. In conclusion, he asked for the the addition of the evaluation of the “I” trace, isolated by the independent experts, but never analyzed because it was believed to be a Low Copy Number. Furthermore the prosecutor asks that the witness Aviello be reheard.

-15:00 The lawyers of the civil part that represent the Kercher family adheres to the request of the General Prosecutor Crini, opposing the requests of the defense.  “ I – said the lawyer Francesco Maresca believe that one attempts to dress, with a new dress, evidence that are strong, resistant, and robust from the sentence of the first court and that where minimized by the second court. For example, the witness Capezzali.

Also there are newly dressed certain requests that are obsolete, that have already been done. Like the one of selective cleaning. In the bathroom next to the room of the crime, there were many mixed traces of DNA of Amanda and blood of Meredith. And if the genetic profile of Sollecito, besides the bra hook,  is present only mixed with that of, Amanda on a cigarette butt,  that was found; then how did it migrate, only that one,  from the cigarette butt to the bra hook”?

- 15:10 The defense of Raffaele Sollecito adheres to the request to analyze the “I” trace, but opposes that hearing the witness Luciano Aviello. Buongiorno also pointed out that it is not true that the independent experts of the second court decided automatically to not analyze certain traces, but did so in the presence of the defense experts Stefanoni and Novelli and those of the defense.  Carlo Dalla Vedova, for Knox defense said that Avelio will be heard only to demonstrate that the Police uses two different weights. Like when Avelio said he knew where the crime weapon was.

- 15.30 The Court retires in council chamber and announced that will not come out before 17.30

Thereafter the court convened again and the decisions were as outlined in the post below this one. Almost all of what the defense had argued - each of them a stretch if you know the full circumstances - was denied. 

And the two main requests from the prosecution - that Aviello be put back on the stand and the large knife be retested - were accepted. Ourcomes of these may or may not add to the strength of the prosecution’s case, but seem to offer no prospects of joy for the defenses.

Posted on 10/02/13 at 11:44 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe prosecutorsThe defensesThe judiciaryPublic evidenceDNA and luminolThe two knivesAppeals 2009-2015Florence appealMeredith-case hoaxesThe Aviello hoax
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Friday, September 13, 2013

Lead Judge Is Now Confirmed And Court Dates Announced For The Florence Appeal

Posted by Peter Quennell

Above: the formidable senior appeal judge Dr Alessandro Nencini who will preside over the appeal.]

September 30; October 4, 23, 24; and November 6, 7, 25, and 26.

These are the dates the Florence appeal court will meet. Corriere and other Italian media sites are confirming these as the dates.

It is confirmed that Judge Alessandro Nencini will preside over the appeal in the Palace of Justice’s Courtroom 32. He is a very senior judge. As the ANSA News Service mentions, Judge Nencini is the President of the Second Chamber of Appeal of the Florence Court.

The new Prosecutor General of Tuscany (Florence’s region) Dr Tindari Baglione, the chief prosecutor of Tuscany’s appeal court, is selecting the prosecutors for the appeal. He arrived in Florence in May of this year. He is said to be formidably unbending. He recently imposed tough sentences on 27 people for the environmental damage caused by illegal work in Mugello on the high speed rail link between Florence and Bologna.

Already appointed as the lead prosecutor is Dr Alessandro Crini. He was among the Florence prosecutors who handled the investigation into the murders by the Monster of Florence and also the mafia massacres of 1993.  In the Monster of Florence case he was a deputy to the leading prosecutor Dr Paolo Canessa, the main prosecutor of the last and final MoF trials.

There are at least seven pieces of bad news for the hotheaded among the Knox-Sollecito faction coming down the pike, some already mentioned in this recent post here..

    1) Prosecutors Paolo Canessa and Alessandro Crimi carried out their MoF investigations in cooperation with Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini of Perugia. We believe it was they who first involved Dr Mignini in the MoF case by explaining the possible MoF connection with the Narducci murder Dr Mignini was investigating. Dr Mignini has no role in this appeal, but they had obvious confidence in him..

    2) Giulia Bongiorno may be leaving the Sollecito team. Sollecito himself has done an immense amount to embarrass her with his defamatory book and narcissistic TV claims. The new lawyer Dr Mastro is said to be a relative of the Sollecito family and has been harshly critical of the Bongiorno defense line of joining Sollecito to Knox at the hip. He would presumably separate Sollecito from Knox, and may throw Knox to the wolves if it helps.

    3) The trial of Luciano Aviello will be running in Florence during the same time as the appeal. Each could explosively impact the other.  We explained the extraordinary implications of this trial for the Knox and Sollecito entourages in this past post also linked to just above.

    4) The trial of Frank Sforza for criminal defamation will start in Florence on 6 November. A prosecutor will bring this case, it is not a simple calunnia case brought by those Sforza abused. We have a new post pending which will explain the many nasty implications for the FOA. Its testimony could also spill over into the Knox-Sollecito appeal.

    5) The appeal outcome is expected to be arrived at by the latest in December. Knox and Sollecito wont have to wait long to hear the probable outcome: guilty as charged. Whether either will appear in the court seems doubtful, but a no-show will do them no good. A coward’s move.

    6) The chief prosecutor in Florence is expected to announce any time now what charges will be brought against Raffaelle Sollecito and his publishers for the many false accusation of crimes and malicious mis-statements of evidence he foolishly included in his book. At least one could incur a substantial prison sentence: Sollecito’s false accusation that the prosecution sought a deal whereby he would turn on Amanda Knox in exchange for lesser charges.

    7) The chief prosecutor in Bergamo north of Milan is expected to announce any time now what charges will be brought against Amanda Knox and her publishers and Oggi for the many false accusation of crimes and malicious mis-statements of evidence she foolishly included in her book. At least one all by itself could incur a prison sentence: Knox’s false accusation that the prosecution forced her in an illegal interrogation into framing Patrick Lumumba.

Those who appear to us realistic about the minefield they face include the defense lawyers (who are rumored to be very despondent) and those who have detached themselves from the pro-Knox forces and quite possibly Curt Knox himself who of late has been quiet for sure.

Those who still maintain a crazed and abusive hard line appear to be only Bruce Fischer and the Mellas family including Chris, Edda, and close relatives. Fischer seems to us unlikely to grow a brain before he is dragged to court, but it is possible that the Mellas family might.  They have taken down all traces of one of the many defaming websites Chris Mellas is known to have put up, the final Perugia Shock.

Also when he overstayed his welcome at their house they threw Frank Sforza out.

[Central Florence at night with Palace Of Justice faintly visible behind at left-center; click to enlarge]

Posted on 09/13/13 at 06:00 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe prosecutorsThe judiciaryPublic evidenceAppeals 2009-2015Florence appealFamily/defense hoaxersSollecito teamThe Aviello hoax
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Monday, September 09, 2013

In English The Vital Supreme Court Rationale For the Hellmann Annulment And Florence Repeat Appeal

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

On 23 June in his summary for English speakers our main poster Yummi started off as follows:

On June 18. 2013 the Supreme Court of Cassazione issued the official rationale for the sentence of annulment of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict.

That verdict acquitted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito on the charge of murder and sexual violence, while finding Knox guilty of the crime of calunnia (obstruction of justice by maliciously placing false accusation against a person you knew was innocent)....

The 74-page motivation report states clearly that they ‘accept the points of the recourse’ from both the Prosecution and the Kercher parties, while they reject the Knox defense recourse.

While you will realize it yourself in reading it, I can say in advance that what the Supreme Court points out in the appeal verdict is a pattern of manifest violation of an unprecedented gravity. All those I know in the law professions have never seen, throughout their professional lives, a Cassazione bashing portraying such a concentration of flaws in one verdict. 

Mostly written by Judge M. S Caprioglio (possibly including parts by Judge Severo Chieffi) the document features a sophisticated Italian language and a formal style.

This report has now been put into English by the same team on PMF that has already done so much to level the playing field which the defense forces have tried so hard to tilt by way of the fact that Italy speaks a different language. 

The translators are the PMF posters and Italian speakers Catnip, Clander, Earthling, Jools, Popper, Skeptical Bystander, The 411, Thoughtful, Tiziano, TomM, and Yummi,

Clander has posted the download link and covering notes here on PMF. Well done. A vital read.

Below at front: some of the judges of the Supreme Court’s elite First Section with Dr Caprioglio at right]


Posted on 09/09/13 at 01:08 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Italian justice v othersOfficially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation appeal 1Meredith-case hoaxesItalian justice hoaxNo-evidence hoax
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Desperate Ghirga Urges Amanda Knox To Show At Florence Appeal, But She’s Created More Problems

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Above: Knox’s legal team with mom back when; even then it looked like they could use some sleep]


Meeting in Seattle, Amanda Knox’S lawyer urges her to be at the Florence appeal, but his suggestion falls on deaf ears.

Here is a brief report from Italy.  Clearly her lead defense lawyer Ghirga (who normally handles only small-time crime) thinks the presence of Knox and her entourage coould humanize her and allow her to speak out and to guide him.

But Knox has really been burning her bridges to Italy big-time. Let us list some of the ways in which they are now foolishly dug in so deep.

Further Law-Breaking

Since the end of trial in 2009 Amanda Knox’s entourage and she herself appear to have broken law after law after law, issuing new smears, harassing the victim’s family, having her book taken to court in Bergamo.

In Florence, how does she talk about that?

Evidence Could Strengthen

The evidence in the case as presented at trial in 2009 remains rock solid to this day (the Massei outcome is the state of play) and if the large knife is retested, it could actually get way worse. Hundreds of open questions remain which Knox has strenuously avoided answering, either on the stand or in her book or on TV. 

In Florence, how does she talk about that?

Calunnias Of Justice Officials

Every instance where Amanda Knox and any of her entourage alleged without hard proof that Italian police and prosecutors have committed crimes (and there have been literally hundreds of such accusations by Preston, Fischer, on and on, now all captured and preserved) could see any or all of them hauled into court with zero heads-up (ask Sforza).

In Florence, how does she talk about that?

Framing Of Dr Mignini

In 2011 Knox was sentenced to three years (served) for the crime of framing Patrick Lumumba. So what does this slow learner do? Turn right around and commit the SAME crime in her nasty book, only this time she makes it worse. This time, she frames the chief prosecutor, in describing in detail a highly illegal interrogation that never took place.

In Florence, how does she talk about that?

Threat Of Conspiracists

There are perhaps 40 felony allegations against police and prosecution in Sollecito’s blood-money book and maybe another 20 in Knox’s own. Each of them will be put on trial separately for those claims and either one of them or both in desperation could take down all the writers, all the agents, all the publishers, all the wild-eyed conspiracists who helped write the books, and all those who made the illegal multi-million dollar deals, including their own two dads.

In Florence, how does she talk about that?

Threat Of Frank Sforza On Trial

The contempt of court trial of Frank Sforza is about to start. He is desperate to stay out of jail, and all of his alleged felonies since 2008 in contempt of the court could put him there for up to ten years. Consider the list of precisely who in Italy and the US Frank Sforza might take down, to try to give himself something of a break. This list is nothing if not long (see next post).

In Florence, how does she talk about that?

Threat Of Hellmann And Aviello

Witness Luciano Aviello is now on trial and as this post explained Aviello could take down all of the defense lawyers (for illegal dealing over the “right” judge), all of the Sollecitos, if they offered bribes, and both of the judges, Hellmann and Zanetti, who presided over the annulled appeal.

In Florence, how does she talk about that?


Nobody with any sense flouts the Supreme Court, or the extremely important, powerful court in Florence, which has sent down some of the toughest perps in the land.

Both courts and both prosecution teams are well-know in Italy for being cold and relentless in their search for the truth. None of the four lead lawyers for Sollecito and Knox has ever won even one case either in Florence or before the Supreme Court.

This might well be a trial balloon, to see how the Florence prosecutors and courts react. An arrest warrant, maybe? As we have seen lately, they act fast, and suddenly at any time.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Expected Calunnia And Diffamazione Trials Could Reverse Another Attempt To Take Justice Down A Peg

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[Above: Florence’s Chief Prosecutor Dr Quattrocchi now prosecuting defense witness Aviello]

Stance of the Supreme Court

Criminal enterprise?! Don’t take our word for it. That is what the Italian Supreme Court considers it may be, and is prompting strong measures normally held in reserve for mafia-type assaults on the justice system.

The Italian Supreme Court is nothing if not remorseless in its mandated pursuit of justice and the truth. We saw this the other day when a prison sentence was allowed to stand against the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who had long thumbed his nose at the courts.

We also saw it in the convictions allowed to stand against the many CIA operatives and their Italian counterparts who kidnapped Abu Omar and flew him for torture to Egypt.  Though most of their sentences were permitted to be reduced, most are still left with a felony record for life - and the lead CIA operative is now a world-wide fugitive.

We can now see this same strong reaction against contempt of the courts in the Meredith Kercher case and the Monster of Florence case and the hairbrained “defense” campaigns nominally run for the perps in those two parallel cases.

Italian officials have various reasons to believe not only that Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox are surely guilty, just as Judge Massei described, but also that they and their American supporters are foolish pawns in some much bigger and even nastier games, and deeply in over their heads.

In its annullment of the Hellmann/Zanetti appeal and its instructions to the Florence Palace of Justice, Cassation reveals its own suspicion that some very unsavory elements may be attempting to take the Italian justice system down a peg and it wants fast decisive action to stop this. A high-stakes new trial described at bottom here is a first huge warning shot. 

The “usual suspects” with anti-justice interests

As we explained three months ago in this post the “usual suspects” pretty openly working to take Italian prosecutors and police down a peg or two can be bunched into these seven groups. 

  • The three regional mafias;
  • A few defense lawyers and well-funded defendants;
  • Politicians shielding corruption;
  • In some instances the freemasons.
  • Those wanting investigations like MOF/Narducci to drop dead;
  • Muckraking magazines like Oggi;
  • Some anti-Italy foreigners.

If we look closely - a lot closer than all the UK and US media and most of the Italian media - we can spot attempts to further the interests of all seven of these groups in the campaigns against justice for Meredith and especially against justice for the Monster of Florence victims.

  • The three mafias have their toe in the door in various ways including but not only the mafioso witness Luciano Aviello (on which more below), and the Narducci 22 including Spezi, and the editors of newspapers like Oggi who have long done their handiwork for them.

  • The defense forces and the well-funded, sneering, money-grubbing defendants Knox and Sollecito are very well-known to us here; their myriad dirty tricks go as far back as early 2008 and the list has not yet stopped growing.

  • The Berlusconi loyalist and fervid Knoxaholic Rocco Girlanda wrote to the President, asking that he order that the Perugia prosecutors be investigated; Girlanda also tried to cut the national police budget before he was voted out of office..

  • Both the judges in the annuled appeal were freemasons and our main poster Yummi described the furtive freemason fingers in the pie (some freemasons feud strongly with catholics, which Perugia police and prosecutors are) in his well-researched posts here and here.

  • Those who wanted the MOF/Narducci investigations to drop dead used the ever-willing “useful idiot” Doug Preston to ridicule the investigations in a strident book and numerous media appearances; also they tried hard to take down Dr Mignini, their most recent nemesis though the Supreme Court has totally reversed that for reasons explained here.

  • The notorious editor of Oggi has a long history of sneering and essentially fact-free reporting, aimed at undermining the courts and the police; playing to his advantage, there is a smallish but terminally paranoid readership for such conspiracy myths in Italy.

  • And as for anti-Italy foreigners with their fingers in the pie, well, where to begin? Doug Preston? Nina Burleigh? Candace Dempsey? Greg Hampikian? Paul Ciolino? Judy Bachrach? Bruce Fischer? David Anderson? Joel Simon? Donald Trump?

All seven groups were happily on a roll up to around the end of 2011, when Knox and Sollecito were released, and many (including Curt Knox’s PR guru David Marriott, Hampikian, and Fischer) prematurely declared that they had won total victory.

But it is astounding how much matters have reversed in the past year and a half. Take a look at the state of play for them as it is now.

Their reversals in Meredith’s case:

Knox has served three years, will be labeled a felon for life, faces an enormously tough new appeal against an excellent prosecutor, and has her name on a book which commits against Italian officials THE EXACT SAME CRIME she served three years for: false accusations of crimes. She is expected to be charged soon by Bergamo prosectors.

Sollecito in his own book committed some of the same crimes as Knox did in hers (did we mention criminal enterprise?!) plus another one (accusing the prosecution of wanting him to roll over on Amanda) which his own father has renounced on national TV. He is expected to be charged soon by Florence prosecutors.

Everybody involved in the writing and publishing of the two criminally defamatory and very self-serving blood-money books (illegal in Italy) could soon be about to take a fall, both in the Italian criminal courts and in the US civil courts. The foolish publishers and deal-makers included, of which Curt Knox himself is one.

If neither RS nor AK turn up for the new appeal in Florence later in September, they risk warrants being issued for their re-arrest. If they DO turn up they could well turn on one another, and their books will help the prosecution and hamper the defenses no-end - with those mad claims, how can they possibly take the witness stand?

Criminal defamation charges are still pending against Amanda Knox and against both of her two biological parents. Corruption charges are pending against Francesco Sollecito and Raffaele’s sister Vanessa for attempting to use political means to up-end the Perugia prosecutors.

Judge Hellmann has been eased out ignominiously, and Judge Zanetti demoted. Conceivably both may face charges, along with Conti & Vecchiotti and maybe Hampikian. And all the defense lawyers are in a ton of trouble for helping AK and RS to write their books, Giulia Bongiorno especially. The former MP Rocco Girlanda is of course long gone. 

Many of the Knox defense forces have exited or ended up as being of no consequence: Frank Sforza (on the run from the law in the US and Italy); Halkidis and Hampikian (see Machine’‘s posts below), the hapless two Moores, the proven phoney Bruce Fischer, and so on and on. 

And US officialdom, not least the State Department and the US Embassy in Rome, still show not the slightest interest in intervening. Any judge is expected to approve extradition of Knox if her refusal to face trial and prison is sustained in face of a final guilty verdict. 

Their reversals in the Monster of Florence case.

Yummi mentioned some in the post linked to above, including the trouble rained down on the heads of the prosecutor and judge who put on trial Giuttari and Mignin, whose convictions were scathingly reversed by a very angry Supreme Court. 

The Narducci case was put back on track by the Supreme Court and a prison sentence seems a sure thing for Mario Spezi and up to 2 dozen others. A prison sentence might be incurred by the delusional weakling and serial defamer Doug Preston.

The “theory” of the MOF case Dr Mignini has good reason to hold is that the murders were not those of one single serial killer. This perception of a shadowy self-protecting group is absolutely mainstream in Italy, and is reflected in the excellent Guittari book on the case (Il Mostro) which could soon with good reason (it tells the truth) push the silly Preston MOF book off the US and UK bookshelves.

That theory is espoused by all the current prosecutors in Florence.

The one media outlet which never fails to take an anti-prosecution stance, Oggi, Is being investigated and could be put on trial for publishing Knox’s false charges against the Perugia and national police and prosecutors and may have problems hanging in there.

Dr Mignini looks set to be promoted to becoming the next attorney general of Umbria, the region of which Perugia is the capital. And the hold of the freemasons and the mafias over Italian justice is not getting any stronger, just as most Italians prefer.

And the stick of dynamite now in a Florence court

Former Sollecito witness Luciano Aviello could be the direct cause of a lot of people ending up in jail.

His trial for perjury and contempt of court is happening now in Florence. His trial has been fast-forwarded as a direct result of the Supreme Court declaring that getting to the bottom of his erratic day in court in 2011 with too-familiar mafia-type allegations must be a top priority.  His forthcoming defense is expected to be explosive.

We have posted extensively on Aviello since he first surfaced. A mafioso since his teens in Naples, now aged about 40, he has spent most of his adult years in prison. (He is back there again right now - for killing a dog and extortion.)

As police and prosecutors all know, Aviello has a very long record of making things up to try to give himself some breaks and to keep in with the mafia. He has been repeatedly convicted for perjury.

He was the witness summoned by a hapless Giulia Bongiorno to try to arrive at an explanation that fits with the prevailing conclusion of the Supreme Court that THREE people had attacked Meredith on the night.

What Aviello came up with on the stand was that his own missing brother and one other habitual criminal had unintentionally committed the murder. They were trying to steal some artworks, but they got the address of the house wrong.

Raffaele Sollecito was so thrilled at this (palpably false) testimony by Aviello that he says in his book that he sent Aviello an embroidered handkerchief, perhaps because Aviello has urges toward a sex change operation.

On the witness stand in mid 2011 Aviello really roasted the police and prosecution in mafia-type terms for failing to come down on his side and follow up on his allegations (actually they had already followed up, but found nothing).

Then two fellow inmates at his prison near Genoa testified for the prosecution that he had told them that the Sollecitos had offered or paid large bribes for any false testimony helpful to their boy getting sprung.

Extraordinarily, Judge Hellmann brushed all of this under the rug, and hurried on to other matters less embarrassing to the Sollecitos and Bongiorno.  This REALLY caught Cassation’s attention as there have been strong suspicions in Perugia and Rome that Hellmann and/or Zanetti were in the pocket of one of the families.

Why did the unqualified Judge Hellmann replace the excellent Judge Chiari, suddenly and inexplicably decided upon by Chief Judge Di Nunzio? Why are seemingly all of the lead players bending things to the Knox-Sollecito side freemasons?

Were Hellmann and Zanetti and Aviello and Aviello’s fellow inmates among those who received some sort of inducement to bend RS’s way? What was Giulia Bongiorno’s precise role in all this?

Directly, Aviello could be in a position to bring down both families, both defense teams, and both appeal judges. He could even make a guilty verdict for RS and AK a sure thing.

Criminal enterprise indeed. We will continue reporting. Oh and make sure to watch your back, Luciano. 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Questions For Sollecito: Did Your Father & Lawyers Pre-Approve This Rant?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[Francesco Sollecito previously on Italian national TV trying to explain the weirdness of his son]

This is in response to your open letter to Italy’s TGCom website.

You are starting to sound eerily like the serial killer Ted Bundy in jubilant “catch me if you can” mode. Ted Bundy also thought he was the brightest guy on the block and the cops, prosecutors and judges were all a few bricks short of a wall.

Ted Bundy was of course caught, by smart cops, and put on trial, by smart prosecutors in front of a smart judge and jury. He made a terrible hash of his defence, he was unanimously found guilty, by a jury of smart peers, and he was made to pay his dues to society and the victims’ families - with his life.

You posted this to an audience in Italy which for the most part thoroughly dislikes you, when you are already in line for sentences that could cost you 30 years ranging up to life.

So. Did your father Francesco and your lawyers Bongiorno and Maori (and all of Knox’s people) give you the go-ahead for this seriously bizarre rant, or not?

Once upon a time, there was Amanda and Raffaele, she was an American student, studying languages and he studying Computer Science. They met at a classical concert and fell in love…  no wait like that it is too boring….Lets make it more intriguing, lets see…..I know!

The prosecution found a crazy drunk, and cocaine dealer, Kokomani, after a year the story becomes: Amanda and Raffaele met in August, no one knows how or when, and one day at a bar, where Kokomani would get drunk, Amanda’s uncle came from America, no one knows why or when, and introduces the fiancees ( about to get married, I would say at this point) to the ignorant (unknown) Kokmani (who maybe thought he was going to be the best man) it’s clear. UNDERLINING that he is Amanda’s uncle and the two young people are Amanda and Raffaele (famous at the time, after all)

Mmmm…...come on it’s not the best, but at least it is more interesting, it doesn’t matter that there is no confirmation to none of this, anyway it’s a movie, OK.  let’ s continue…..

Raffaele rents a house on Corso Garibaldi,  a five minute walk from Via della Pergola, where Amanda lives with three roommates, Meredith, Filomena and Laura. The two pass many days together, they cuddle, have fun, they have outings to towns close to Perugia, and a couple of times they have lunch at Amanda’s house with the other flatmates. They live enthusiastic days, smiling every time they look in each others eyes….. Halloween Day, Oct. 31 2007, Amanda goes to work at Patrick Lumumba’s pub, so Raffaele works on his thesis and late that night they meet up….. to be together as always, taking care of each other.

Uff! What a pain in the ass! Give this movie a bit of adrenaline, what the hell! O.K. O.K…...one day along comes a heroin addicted serial super witness brought by the prosecution who says that he saw Amanda and Raffaele in Piazza Grimana, by a small villa a few feet from via della Pergola, discussing vividly, no one knows what and no one knows what day, but it happened at 9:00p.m. to 11:00p.m. circa. It doesn’t matter that the night between the end of Oct. and beginning of Nov. was freezing cold, it doesn’t matter that Raffaele has a house where he can do what the hell he wants, but according to the heroin addicted serial super witness, the two were under the rain for three hours (if we are talking about Nov. 1, 2007) and the cold discussing who knows what, furthermore, the heroin addicted serial super witness of murders (who’s name is Curatolo) says that when he went back to Piazza Grimana the two contentious fiancees were no longer there and he saw the buses that go to the discos boarding the kids…..it doesn’t matter that the 1st of Nov. there is not a bus in this world because the night at the disco was on the night of Halloween, Oct.31, 2007…...for the Pubblico Ministero Giuliano Mignini, Curatolo was a credible witness. Even because heroin does not produce hallucinations while cannabis does.

In reality the two fiancees passed the evening and the night at Raffaeles’s house since it was free and they had an intensive week of commitments. The 1st of Nov. in particularly Amanda had to work at Patrick’s pub, but as the evening was not busy he did not need Amanda, and after a friend of Raffaele’s passed by to cancel an appointment to go to the bus station, suddenly the two fiancees had the night free and they passed the time watching the movie “il favoloso mondo di Ameliè”, then eating fish Amanda read Harry Potter in German to Raffaele and they made love all night…...

Il Giudice di Primo Grado, Giancarlo Massei took in full the version of the heroin addicted serial super witness tramp….. Come on Giancarlo we are still not satisfied! Come on! These two fiancees are cramming our balls!! You are all of us….

According to the reconstruction of Judge Giancarlo Massei, that sentenced Amanda and Raffaele to 25 and 26 years in prison, things went this way: Amanda and Raffaele after being 3 hours in the cold under the rain, the night of the 1st of November 2007, head toward Amanda’s house in Pergola street and go right away into Amanda’s room (a room that was smaller than Raffaele’s cell when he was in prison) and start making love to bother Meredith who was reading a book in the other room…doesn’t matter that more than 5 people had car trouble and were waiting for a tow-truck, in front of the house during that time, and they give testimony that nobody passed by

Sorry, but why didn’t Amanda and Raffaele go to Raffaele’s house that was free and nobody would have been bothered?.. .  Come-on! Why do you have to take into consideration this useless details, show us some firecrackers! Go Giancarlo!

Judge Massei continues: sometime during the evening, while the two were having sex in Amanda’s room, suddenly somebody knocked at the door… Amanda and gets up and gets dressed goes to the door and who does she see? ...Rudy Guede, a colored guy that didn’t know anybody except the guys of the lower floor and had met Amanda and Meredith one time but never in his life had he met Raffaele,. that urgently needed to take a shit.

But what?! What kind of plot is this? Where in the hell do you see that people go around knocking on doors because they need to take a shit?... Come on Giancarlo do not disappoint us! But judge Massei does not disappoint us…. Meanwhile Amanda opens the door to the poor black, victim of bewitched charm for Amanda, and goes inside to go to take a shit…. and Amanda as if nothing happen, goes back in the room and gets undressed again…

But why couldn’t Meredith go open the door while she was reading a book?..Oh, right! Otherwise Amanda loose the part of the main actress, sorry, you are right!

Practically , according to Judge Giancarlo Massei’s reconstruction the story goes on like this : while Amanda and Raffaele went back to have sex, Rudy Guede comes out of the bathroom, after listening to some songs on his ipod, he is overwhelmed by the SEXUAL VIBRATIONS that Amanda and Raffaele were relishing in the house hallway and the house room….

WTF Giancarlo, this is tough shit! Not even Dario Argento could come up with something like that…. “SEXUAL VIBRATIONS”....WTF you are a genius!! Give me five!...but the good part has still to come: when Guedé smells the SEXUAL VIBRATIONS, all of a sudden he is possessed and decides by all means that he has to have sexual intercourse with Meredith.. and ventures in her room and, being rejected, because poor soul he is ugly, Raffaele and Amanda get into the action and at that point dont help Meredith who is their friend, but, to the contrary and unexpectedly, they help Rudy Guede to rape Meredith and than finish her up cutting her throat…

All three had knives: Rudy has a past as thief, he used to burglarize offices and apartments with the same “modus operandi” that he used to get in in via della Pergola, moreover he has been captured while sleeping in a kindergarten in Milano with a knife in his bag.  Raffaele had always a little collector knife in his pocket: never mind that he never used it to hurt anybody in his life, there are no traces of anybody else on his little knife ….Amanda… and Amanda?  Judge Massei says that she used an enormous kitchen knife got from the “looser” Raffaele’s house and put it in her purse…. why?? because…YOU NEVER KNOW (a 15 cm knife can be always useful …).. Massei says.

But the poor Meredith was a small build girl, her wounds are not that big and that knife would have gone through the neck because of how big it is… there isn’t blood on that knife nor Meredith’s DNA because the analysis of the scientific police are completely unreliable , not having being compelled to observe the international protocols.  There are no bleach traces. What the police says are hypothesis never proved .

Come on, details! But there are no traces of Amanda and Raffaele on the crime scene, there are only Guede’s, everywhere.  How it is possible that they were cleaned, were are the traces of the cleaning??! Come on do not break our nuts! This is just details, let me see this movie!

What about that little bra hook? There are 5 different profiles…all on the iron part of the hook, nothing on the tissue: it has been found 46 days after the “polizia scientifica” swept the crime scene, and meanwhile even the police swept the scene with no anti-contamination precautions and put upside down the all apartment. There isn’t Raffaele profile on that hook: if that mix of traces is properly read you can find anybody’s DNA

Do you want to stop with these bothersome things?!! Lets finish to see this movie!! Massei concludes: we don’t know why Amanda and Raffaele choose to kill Meredith, but we have to accept their choice. THE EVIL CHOICE. Probably under the influence, because they didn’t despise her, taking into account that they said that they smoked a joint… unfortunately nobody tested to check if Amanda and Raffaele used heavy drugs or were in the habit of binge drinking. WTF! Great job! You weld The Exorcist and Lethal Weapon!! Giancarlo you are my idol!!!!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Updating Our Scenarios And Timelines #2: An Integrated Comparison Of The Timing of the Phone-Events

Posted by Cardiol MD

[Above and below: what Meredith missed, outside dining in Perugia at night]

1. Point of our series

TMJK’s core focus has long been upon “What happened at 7 Via della Pergola, in Perugia, on the night of November 1-2, 2007?”

Over the last 4+ years, more than 20 TJMK posts, with more than 400 comments, have addressed the subject of possible scenarios and timelines for those events. They represent a lot of thought and many are worth reading if you haven’t come across them before.

This post is the scond in a series that will reappraise the more probable speculations, using the current state of our information. The first post was four weeks ago.

Reader comments in response to Part 1 amply reflect readers’ interest in exploring the various ‘open Questions’ referred-to, and how efforts to make Knox and Sollecito confront the true answers are obfuscated by their falsehoods.

The Truth of the actions of Knox and Sollecito on November 1st & 2nd, 2007, is so precious to them that they attend that Truth with a ‘Bodyguard of Lies’, to borrow Winston Churchill’s famous WW11 dictum. They even further obfuscate the answers to our questions by selectively employing a Bodyguard of Actual Truths.

The aim of their broken drain-pipe under the sink story (see previous post) was to persuade investigators, and everyone else:

1.    That there was a broken drain-pipe under the sink (Massei Translation p.67), and

2.    That the alleged water-leak occurred BEFORE the murder.

Their obfuscations include:

1.    The omission of references to incriminating truths, e.g. omission of references to the hammer-toe on RS’s right-foot, one of his most incriminating physical attributes (see representative image of a right-foot hammer-toe below), and

2.    The inclusion of “Half” truths, and

3.    The inclusion of references to non-incriminating truths.

2. Integrated timing of phone events

This post is an integrated comparison of the timing of the phone-events byy coordinated universal time, merging Massei’s sections on Amanda Knox [AKP], and Meredith Kercher [MKP], as well as that of Rafaelle Sollecito [RSP].

[For the day of 31.10.07 it was shown that Meredith’s mobile phone with service provider Vodafone 348-4673711 sent an SMS at 18:27:50 hours using the cell at Piazza Lupattelli sector 7. (this signal is received in Via della Pergola 7.)

The same number received an SMS at 18:29:05 hours (this exchange of messages took place with the number 388-8921724) connecting to the same cell.

[RSP]: − on 31.10.07 Raffaele received *a call+ from the father’s fixed line (No. 080-3958602) at 22:14 for 44 seconds.

With respect to Sollecito’s mobile phone 340-3574303, attention was paid to the entire day of 1.11.07 with the following results]

Which help establish a less-suspicious baseline for comparison with later, more-suspicious results.

[RSP]− 00:00:39 an outgoing call, just after midnight

The phone traffic with regard to the day of 1.11.07 was reconstructed in the following terms (cfr. statement of Assistant Stefano Sisani at the hearing of 20.3.09).

AKP− 00:41:49 hours: outgoing phone call of 20 seconds, to a number whose holder was not identified

RSP− on 1.11.07 *he+ called the father’s house at 00:02:41 for 262 seconds

AKP− 00:57:20: Amanda’s mobile phone sent an SMS, using the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 (which does not provide coverage to Sollecito’s house, since it pertains to Via Ulisse Rocchi, Piazza Cavallotti, etc. and therefore at the heart of Perugia’s historic center). This consisted of the SMS which the young woman exchanged with Raffaele at the end of the Halloween evening to arrange meeting up with her boyfriend and be accompanied home

RSP− 00:57 an incoming SMS 319

AKP− 1:04:58: Amanda’s mobile phone received *a call+ for 53 seconds from the number 075/9660789, located in Piazza Danti 26

RSP− 14:25 an incoming call which lasted 58 seconds

RSP− 16:50 an incoming call, coming from the mobile phone of the father, lasting 214 sec.

RSP− 16:56 another call from the father (64 sec.)

AKP− 20:18:12: Amanda receives 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. At the time of reception the phone connected to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, whose signal does not reach Raffaele Sollecito’s house. The young woman 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

AKP− 20.35.48 Amanda sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723; the message was sent when the young woman’s 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, since 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 humiliating-enough to Knox for Knox to decide that the time to cut Meredith down-to-size was now.

[RSP− 20:42:56 call from the father (221 seconds: this is the conversation which Dr. F. Sollecito referred to, made at the end of the film he had just seen in the cinema, which the father recommended to the son, at which point [it is said that] Raffaele informed his father of a problem with a broken drain-pipe under the sink in the kitchen”. ]

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. Mrs. Lana and her husband were nonetheless asked to go to the Postal Police the next day to report said telephone call.”

MKP – 20:56 hours on 1 November 07, attempted call to Meredith’s mother’s home in England.

MKP – 21:58 hours on 1 November 07, attempted call to mobile phone’s answering service, voicemail ‘901’.

MKP – 22:00 hours on 1 November 07, dial to Meredith’s London bank ‘ABBEY’.

MKP – 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.]

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.

Question: Was Meredith’s Phone still in the cottage at Via della Pergola at 22:13:29 hours on 1 November 07? Yes.

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.

[RSP- 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.

With regard to the day of 2.11.07:

[for 2.11.07 the first record is that of MKP - [0]0:10: 31, “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.”]

Question: 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 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 obfuscated this time-span on page 14 of his report, implying it to be more than 10 hours after midnight rather than about 10 ½ minutes after midnight.)

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.

Having abruptly fled the crime-scene their 2nd imperative was not-to-be-caught-in-possession-of-Meredith’s-telephones.

Avoid Police!

Just seeing police could panic the killers into instant dumping of the telephones, without even needing to know why the police were where the police were (There is no need to invoke any awareness by the phone-dumper[s] of the reason the Police were near Mrs. Lana’s place - the hoax-call.). So if the killers saw flashing police-lights, or any other sign of police near Mrs. Lana’s place, that sign could be enough to explain panic phone-dumping - then and there (not considering whether the phones were switched-on or switched-off).

In “Darkness Descending” page 13, it states:

Mrs. Lana’s backyard overlooks a steep slope that falls sharply into the valley below. It 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….

In “Death in Perugia” Follain states (Book page 62; Kindle Locations 343-6), apparently as his opinion re Lana’s daughter finding Meredith’s English phone: “It was hidden in some bushes, and she would never have found it if it hadn’t started ringing.”,

Having accomplished this 2nd imperative, Meredith’s killers paused to attend to their 3rd imperative: 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

1.    Meredith’s killers seized her mobile telephones, and that

2.    Her killers did not switch-off these mobile telephones, and that.

3.    Her killers threw the telephones into an apparent ravine, landing in Mrs.Lana’s garden, and that

4.    This phone-dump was accomplished before 00:10: 31, 2.11.07, and that

5.    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.

A plausible alternative opinion is that Knox’s calls to the obviously already dead Meredith were an obfuscatory stab to simulate what Knox imagined an innocent person would do.

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.

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:

[MKS – 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”.

MKS− 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.

AKP− 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)

RSP− 06:02:59 Raffaele Sollecito received the SMS from his father 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:

[RSP− 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 byLuminol.

RSP− 09:29 another call was received lasting 38 seconds

RSP− 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 were probably spent dotting ‘i’s, crossing ‘t’s, and exchanging options, such as enlisting sister Vanessa’s skills and contacts.

Another 2+ Hours later:

[AKP− 12:07:12 (duration of 16 seconds) Amanda calls the English phone number 00447841131571 belonging 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)

AKP− 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 eventuallyarrives-back at the cottage.

AK/RS have accepted that they have to ‘stand-pat’ with their efforts so-far to accomplish their 3rd imperative.

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.

AKP− 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)

MKS: 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:

− 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.

AKP− 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)

AKP− 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)

AKP− 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)

AKP− 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)

RSP− 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)

RSP− 12:38: Vodafone sent a message of confirmation of phone [credit] recharge (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, good for Via della Pergola 7)

RSP− 12:40: incoming call from the father’s mobile phone (lasting 67 seconds; connection through Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell, compatible with the Sollecito’s presence near the little house)]

Do RS and father exchange caveats?

[AKP− 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.

[AKP− 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.

[RSP− 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

RSP− 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)

RSP− 12:54: a second call by Raffaele to ‚112‛ (57 sec.; connection to Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)

MKS− 13:17:10 (lasting 1 second): the cell used was located in the same place, sector 7

AKP− 13:27:32 (duration of 26 seconds): Amanda calls the American number 0012069319350, still using the cell at Piazza Lupattelli sector 7.

AKP− 13:29:00 (duration of 296 seconds) Amanda receives [a call] from No. 075/54247561 (Piazza Lupattelli sector 7 cell)

RSP− 13:40:12: incoming call from the father (94 sec.; Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 1 cell)]

AKP− ?13:48:33 (1 second): this is an attempted call to her mother’s number

– see below at 13:58:33

AKP− 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.

[RSP− 14:33: the father called for 21 seconds (as above)]

Do RS and father exchange more caveats?

[AKP− 14:46:14 (102 seconds) Amanda receives a call from the German number 494154794034, most likely belonging to her aunt Doroty Craft

MKS− 15:13:43 (5 seconds) cell not indicated.

AKP− 15:31:51 (1 second): Amanda 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

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.

[RSP− 17:01: the father called for 164 seconds; cell used is that of Via Cappucinelli 5/A sector 2, corresponding to the location of the Perugia Police Station

RSP− 17:42: the father called 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 finishes the merged listings of the Massei sections on AKP, MKP, and RSP, using the UPC telephone traffic, reappraising the more probable scenarios surrounding what happened at 7 Via della Pergola, in Perugia on the night of November 1-2, 2007.

Readers are invited to make their own suggestions on probable scenarios, here below or in email.

Posted on 06/28/13 at 11:53 AM by Cardiol MD. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedPolice and CSIPublic evidenceCellphone activityTrials 2008 & 2009The Massei ReportFamily/defense hoaxersSollecito teamLies Sollecito bookRaff Sollecito
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

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

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)

[Above and below: justice-themed artwork in Cassazione; motifs are used all over the world]

1. Introduction

On June 18. 2013 the Supreme Court of Cassazione issued the official rationale for the sentence of annulment of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict.

That verdict acquitted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito on the charge of murder and sexual violence, while finding Knox guilty of the crime of calunnia (obstruction of justice by maliciously placing false accusation against a person you know is innocent).

Previously I posted here a summary of the recourse to the Cassazione by the Umbria Prosecutor-General Dr. Galati and Prosecutor Dr. Costagliola which demanded an annulment of the appeal verdict. I also posted here a first summary report, from the March 25-26 Supreme Court hearing, when the Hellmann verdict was annulled and thus prosecution recourse was won.

The 74-page motivation report states clearly that Cassazione ‘accept the points of the recourse’ from both the Prosecution and the Kercher parties, while they reject the Knox defense recourse. 

While you will realize it yourself in reading it, I can say in advance that what the Supreme Court points out in the appeal verdict is a pattern of manifest violation of an unprecedented gravity. All those I know in the law professions have never seen, throughout their professional lives, a Cassazione bashing portraying such a concentration of flaws in one verdict.   

Mostly written by Judge M. S Caprioglio (possibly including parts by Judge Severo Chieffi) the document features a sophisticated Italian language and a formal style.

The first half of the report is a summary of judicial events and arguments made by the parties through the previous instances.  The second part basically dismantles all the points of reasoning of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict, without spending too many words for each one of them. 

2. A premise about the concept of legitimacy judgment

The second part is introduced by an explanation about what a ‘legitimacy judgment’ is, about its scope and boundaries. The Court is called to assess 1) whether the judges of merit indicated reasons for their decisions, and 2) if reasons are logically argued and legally founded.

The meaning of “logically argued” is that the Court shall verify that the lower judge actually did take into consideration the evidence included in the trial file (“principle of completeness”), and if reasoning is consistent with them, and with the law. The Court – being a ‘court of legitimacy’ [decides on legitimacy of the process that lead to conclusions, not on the merit] – does not assess directly the existence or the quality of the pieces of evidence, but may well assess the quality of reasoning about it and its actual consistence with the evidence in the file.

So the legitimacy judges within their boundaries are not prevented from assessing whether the lower court followed logical criteria, meaning assessing if arguments used by the lower courts are plausible, as well as if their reasoning is ‘complete’ and truthful with respect to the evidence file.  The Supreme Court is also allowed to access the evidence trial documents for the parts that may conflict with the verdict conclusions.   

The Court states that the present case is obviously based on circumstantial evidence, but points out how circumstantial evidence is not less powerful or logically less valuable than direct evidence.

While remaining within the boundaries of the legitimacy judgment, the Court notes anyway that at first sight in the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict there is an obvious “parceling out” of the pieces of circumstantial evidence.  This means a lack of assessment also of each piece of circumstantial evidence, since the judge failed to check whether the possible flaws and lacks in the logical value of each single piece of evidence could be filled by crossing them and taking in account the whole set of them. 

The Court also notes however that the judges’ conclusions also openly contradicted some of the pieces of evidence: they neglected or ‘overlooked’ them in some cases, or dismissed some pieces on which the previous reasoning was based without offering adequate reasons. Moreover the pieces of evidence were also not “adequately elaborated”, and the pieces of reasoning about them were “not coordinated”.

3. The Amanda Knox calunnia

Reversing the order of topics from the Galati-Costagliola recourse, the Court deals first with the charge of calunnia for which Knox was convicted twice [obstructing justice by accusing a person who you know is innocent] (p. 41-44), since on this topic there is a converging of all recourses and unanimity by all judges. The appeal court had dismissed a possible link between the calunnia and the murder charges, but the explanation provided for that appears obviously illogical.

The Hellmann-Zanetti scenario - by which, they say, Knox may have voluntarily accused an innocent man just because she was pressed by investigators, thus for a purpose totally independent from the intent of obstructing the investigation on the charge of murder – is argued in a way that conflicts with and neglects the actual evidence documents.
While Hellmann-Zanetti argue solely based on a police interrogation scenario as if the false accusation was an event confined within it, the Cassazione does not see Knox’s calunnia as a single event nor as a behavior limited to the situation of the interrogation, but rather as a prolonged behavior extending over a time of many hours and days (perduranza in atteggiamento delittuoso).  Basically Knox goes on implicating Lumumba repeatedly, and she repeatedly provides false evidence, such as through her hand-written note – where she stands by what she declared – and by her subsequent behavior.

The Court also observes the evidence file contains evidence that was overlooked by Hellmann-Zanetti indicating Knox was aware that Lumumba was innocent, such as the recording of prison dialogues with her mother, where she says she feels guilty for having accused Patrick – a feeling of guilt implies an assumption that he was innocent. 

So the appeal court made mistakes because they lacked inference from pieces of evidence, mainly neglecting to argue elements like the discussion with her mother,  her written memoir including the repetition of pieces of false testimony and her court admissions that she wrote her memoir voluntarily. 

It points out (p.42) that Knox albeit young was a “mature” person – meaning she had an adequate cultural level and education and would be able to regain control of herself afterward even if she had suffered a coercion or a moment of emotional breakdown.  Knox would be basically able to understand the gravity of her declaration over a period of time.

If only one single event, such a false accusation caused by pressure, breakdown and stress could have been argued – in the abstract – in the way Hellmann-Zanetti did, considering the calunnia as a choice resulting from an episode of emotional breakdown, but the Hellmann-Zanetti reasoning neglects the actual documents and is not fit to explain the persisting and repeated false testimony. 

The Supreme Court reminds that ‘information about commission of a crime’ can be derived also from the interrogation of a police suspect, even from information released by a suspect who had not be read their rights under Art. 64, even from statements that are not usable for lack of defensive rights, and even that in the event the interrogation is to be nullified.

In all these cases the suspect commits a calunnia whenever he/she voluntarily and falsely accuses someone to defend himself/herself (so there can’t be any consequential link between the legal status of the interrogation, and the charge of calunnia or the collecting of information about a crime).

The Cassazione also points out that the Hellmann Zanetti rationale is illogical when it states that “the easiest way out” for one guilty “would have been to accuse the real author of the crime”. The inference obviously does not consider that she may be herself among the real authors of the crime (especially since she lived there and had access to the scene of crime). 

The Court also points out the failure to properly address the importance of the details contained in the Knox false testimony (the detailing of this is in subsequent chapter). 

4. The crime scene staging

The Cassazione accepts the Prosecution General point of recourse complaining about the failure to consider the evidence of staging a burglary, and says the recourse is “founded”. The pieces of physical evidence suggesting a staging are not satisfactorily argued or refuted by Hellmann-Zanetti.
The Hellmann-Zanetti appeal court also argued in favor of the “lone perpetrator scenario” by introducing some assertions which are unacceptable since they openly “collide” with the trial documents or are unfounded. Basically their reasoning was hinging on elements such as speculations about Guede’s personality, they introduced allegations like a purported habitual burglar profile, not backed by any evidence.

On the other hand they bring in arguments – like that about a glass shard in Meredith’s room – which have zero implications in their scenario (because they are equally good to argue in favor of a staging).

They should have argued – in favor or against – about evidence of burglary/staging based on the assessment of the pieces of physical evidence found on the scene, like argue against Massei’s reasoning about the ones mentioned in the first trial, say why it was not good. On the other hand the break-in scenario, as described by Hellmann-Zanetti, is affected by “multiple logical ruptures”, details are not explained consistently.

Moreover – the Court says – a scenario involving the issue of burglary/staging should be argued based on the overall evidence about Rudy Guede, meaning a scenario involving the whole of what he had done, like explain all the traces that show his movements, for example the trail of bloody shoe prints showing that he left the murder room straight away.

There are aspects of the reasoning that are ‘tautological’ (circular and begging the question).

The Hellmann-Zanetti reasoning on the same point is also neglectful of part of the file sources (is based on a ‘partial access to information’), for example it overlook testimonies concerning wounds on Guede’s hands, dismissal of glass on top of items. To sum up, the rationale employs inadequate inferential principles and incorrect information. 

5. Man in the park Curatolo’s testimony

Hellmann-Zanetti had dismissed the testimony of Antonio Curatolo.

Their statement about the reliability of Curatolo is totally ‘censurable’, since it is ‘apodictic’ [assumed as a premise ‘true in advance’ without explanation], and not based on thorough analysis of the data. In particular when they state that he tends to confuse days dates: such assertions are both unfounded and illogical since conflicting with the testimonies of himself and of others witnesses. The Court does not assess the reliability of Curatolo as a witness, but notes that the reasons brought by Hellmann-Zanetti are unacceptable.
The possibility to explain elements of the testimony by mistake of date by the witness, so placing his testimony possibly on Oct 31. is conflicting with the other evidence, namely the testimonies showing the defendants were elsewhere on the 31st. Moreover the elements used for the argument are logically weak compared to the strength of the elements showing Curatolo correctly “anchoring” his testimony to real events.

Then the lower court introduced – as further basis of reasoning – assertions in order to ‘jump’ across the whole of Curatolo’s testimony: they based their conclusion on the asserted “decaying intellectual faculties”, on his use of heroin, and on his modus vivendi.

However they do not offer any element of evidence about the alleged mental decay, they fail to show this through analysis of his testimony, and in fact they completely fail to analyze the actual content and consistence of his testimony (lack of “completeness”).  The use of heroin and his modus vivendi (as a “bum”) is also not acceptable as a reason for dismissing reliability of a witness, this would be an arbitrary judgment that violates the principles of witness assessment. 

Since the witness was very assertive, consistent and felt certain about his testimony, the court would need a logically strong argument – based on some other finding or certainty – in order to dismiss his reliability (dislikes about his lifestyle or disproven speculations about date mistakes are not).

6. Shopkeeper Quintavalle’s testimony

The Court pretty quickly dismisses the Hellmann-Zanetti conclusions about Quintavalle, on grounds that they are based on a ‘cherry picking’ and twisting of information from the documents, basically they misinterpret and neglect to consider the actual content of the Quintavalle’s testimony. 

In fact the summary description of Quintavalle’s testimony that was offered by Hellmann-Zanetti is basically a misrepresentation based on incomplete parts of the testimony and overlooking of others, and flatly contradicts the content of actual testimony (it is not what Quintavalle and witnesses actually said).

It is not true that Quintavalle remembered about recognizing Knox one year later, documents show that he was sure about her identity from the early investigation – the Cassazione quotes some of Quintavalle’s statements where he remarks her circumstances and features. 

Hellmann-Zanetti reported some bits of information in a fragmentary fashion without taking into account the explanations of Quintavalle and the answers he actually had given through the investigation.

The appeal court should have analyzed the whole of what the witness actually said, and crossed the statements with the existing information, instead of selecting cherry- picked bits and pinned on them a meaning out of context. 

The Cassazione is not interested in assessing the reliability of the witness Quintavalle, but they find “intolerable” that Hellmann-Zanetti give a false picture of the testimony, in a way disjointed from the true content of the trial documentation.

7. The failure to consider implications of Knox’s memoir

The Prosecutor General was right in blaming the Hellmann-Zanetti court for neglecting to evaluate the hand written note written by Amanda Knox as a piece of circumstantial evidence. The appeal court dismissed the memoir as useless on the sole basis that it does not have a substantial meaning (actually: that it did not represent the truth). 

But this argument is insufficient (and circular); it is also ‘structurally’ inconsistent because the same Hellmann-Zanetti court used the very same note as a piece of evidence in the calunnia charge, and cannot be logically linked to pressure because she wrote it alone on her own initiative and not during an interrogation.

The Court details the content of the note pointing out that in the hand written memoir there is a repetition of some of the details from her previous ‘spontaneous statements’, which are now only set in an oneiric [dream-like, surreal] frame (they ‘seem unreal’) but yet they are the same peculiar details from the false accusation.

The Court also highlights the new ‘sibylline’ [ambiguous and threatening] accusation by Knox against Sollecito (remembering blood on his hands, but probably from fish).

The next appeal court will need to build some actual arguments to explain these features, taking in account that – as for Hellmann-Zanetti – she wrote that while she was fully capable to understand and without any pressure from authorities.

The contradictory nature of the appeal court reasons on this point is ‘obvious’.           

8. Failure to consider judicial files from Guede’s definitive sentencing

The Court spends a bit more than one page to explain why the prosecution recourse is correct in their complaint on this point as well.  In fact Hellmann-Zanetti did accept the Guede verdict as a piece of circumstantial evidence, but argued that that piece was ‘particularly weak’.

However, the problem is that in reality they did not assess it at all in order to come to that conclusion, but they rather just completely ignored the whole content of the Guede verdict reports.

The court is not authorized to dismiss a piece of evidence which they formally entered without assessing it, just on ‘in limine’ reasons. Therefore the decision openly ‘violates the law’ (p. 55).

The Rudi Guede verdict motivations theoretically might be found ‘particularly weak’ as a piece of circumstantial evidence, but it can’t be ruled ‘particularly weak’ on the reasons declared by Hellmann-Zanetti. 

The appeal court did not try to argue the logical passages of the Guede verdict in order to assess it and explain why conclusions were weak, instead they decided to ignore it, not based on the analysis of its content but instead based on the legal nature of the document.  This is a patent violation of the law, and a conflict with the trial documents.

Thereafter the Hellmann-Zanetti court steered the discourse onto the alleged ‘habitual criminal’ profile of Guede (an interpretation based on speculation) without explaining the reasons for building a scenario about Guede so far-fetched compared to the findings in the trial’s files about Guede.
Moreover the appeal court adds a further, false and illogical argument when they state that, even if Guede was proven to be guilty of concurring with others, this does not have implications for Knox and Sollecito at all because those accomplices could have been other people.  The alleged lack of implication is false under logic, because determining that Guede acted together with others would additional information on the crime, which could be crossed with other information (such as about who had access to the apartment etc.).

The Court also remarks that the trials had found and explicitly declared Guede innocent of the crime of burglary, and the appeal court also fails to deal with this in their alternative scenario.

The appeal court also failed to consider other information from the findings of the Guede trial, and explicitly contradicted it without justification, for example they neglected to consider how the courts had determined through multiple witnesses that Guede actually did not have any injury on his hands on the night after the murder [Guede had cuts on his hand, but many days later, not the night after the murder]. 

9. Declarations of Rudy Guede at the Knox-Sollecito appeal

There is an open violation of the law in the Hellmann-Zanetti motivations, in the particular statement where they assert that Guede’s declarations in the courtroom were unreliable for the reason that he refused to undergo a questioning.
The reason brought by Hellmann-Zanetti to rule unreliability is illegitimate when referring to the specific declarations of Rudy Guede in the Knox-Sollecito appeal, and legally not true.

First, the Cassazione notes that the decision to refuse a questioning pertaining to a crime is within the rights of a witness who is implicated in the same crime. If the witness decided to invoke this right, the courts and the parties are bond to enforce it and limit their questions within topics unrelated to the crime,  and under the law, no conclusion about reliability/unreliability can be drawn solely from the witness’s decision to refuse to answer about a topic in which he was implicated as a defendant.

No court could conclude that a witness is unreliable on the sole ground that he enforces his rights.

Moreover, preventing an interrogation of the witness on such topics is just a duty of the Prosecution and the Court, not a ruling ‘in favor’ of the witness (and co-defendant).

The Prosecutor General had summoned Guede to testify only about the topic of things he said during conversation with inmates and letters he wrote from prison, and since the witness invoked his right as an ex co-defendant the Prosecutor General had the duty to enforce the limitations on his questioning.

It was the Sollecito-Knox defence attorneys who attempted to place questions directly on the topic of the events of Nov. 2, 2007, and they asked Guede to confirm the content of his letter directly pertaining the Kercher murder.  The defence asked him to confirm if one particular statement of the letter he wrote was true, and the statement of Rudy Guede confirming his Knox and Sollecito implication and accusing them of murder was only in response to this, stemming from the defence question.
The declaration of Rudy Guede might be considered irrelevant as a piece of circumstantial evidence; and the witness might be assessed as unreliable by a court, but this cannot be done based on the illegitimate grounds brought by Hellmann-Zanetti. You cannot have, as an argument for unreliability, the fact that Rudy Guede chose the legal option of not undergoing a questioning about the murder. 

The Cassazione also notes how the Hellmann-Zanetti report details some of Guede’s declarations in order to argue for his unreliability. However the cited statements from the Skype conversation with Giacomo Benedetti are used by Hellmann-Zanetti just to build an illogical argument: they say Rudy should have logically indicated the true culprits in that call, the fact that he does not accuse them is an indication that they were not there.

This argument is flawed (besides contradicting the very same claim about Guede’s unreliability). The Cassazione sees the weakness of reasoning about the Skype call as ‘symptomatic’ of the lack of logical consistence of the appeal court on the topic of Rudy reliability, and it also reveals that the criteria they are following are not compatible with logic.
The appeal reasoning is also contradictory on further points, as Hellmann-Zanetti consider some declarations of Guede ‘reliable’ without logical reason - like about the timing of death, where the appeal court considers Rudy’s statement reliable without considering that he had an obvious logical interest and an attitude of misleading the accusations by providing details that were conflicting with evidence. 

Paradoxically, had the Hellmann-Zanetti court followed the same criteria on other declarations, they should have considered Guede’s declarations ‘reliable’ when he says “Amanda is not implicated”, as well as when he says - talking about Sollecito -  “I don’t know, I think it’s him” . The appeal court did not follow the principle of completeness and they did not consider these. 

The Hellmann-Zanetti report also fails to consider that Guede was assessed as ‘totally unreliable’ by his trial judges (they could have used such finding in documents to argue unreliability of his statements instead; if they had only read the Guede verdict). In other words they worked inconsistent arguments out of on an incomplete set of data. 

10. The refusal to listen to the whole testimony of witness Luciano Aviello

The appeal trial was procedurally flawed also by the refused to call Luciano Aviello before the court again, as he was supposed to complete what was left out of his testimony. 

Luciano Aviello was called as a witness by the court in accepting a defence request; after his hearing, during the course of the trial, new elements emerged – new witness declarations – that created a necessity to put some further questions to the witness. 

The Hellmann-Zanetti court refuse to call back the witness to complete the questioning, despite that he had already been accepted as a witness by the same court. So the witness was basically prevented from completing his testimony.

The Cassazione does not argue about the reliability of Aviello as a witness (nor about the relevance of his testimony) but points the finger against the inconsistency of Hellmann-Zanetti’s ruling, which causes their decision to be illegitimate.

The refusal to call back the witness to complete his testimony at a second hearing was manifestly inconsistent, since that violates the principle of completeness (once you call a witness, you need to be ready to listen to all that he has to say).

The court’s decision was “unacceptable” (p. 58) also because it was based on arbitrary criteria – as Hellmann-Zanetti said “another hearing of the witness is not indispensable” on the ground that minutes of his interrogation were entered in the file: the decision violates the principles of usability of documents and the rules of witness hearing.

The appeal court completely ignored the reasons for and the new content of the topics Aviello was to be questioned about, and did not assess them. Instead, they violated articles 511, 511bis and 512 of the procedure code by ‘replacing’ it with non-usable minutes of his interrogation. 

The judgement of ‘non-indispensable’ was also unfounded, manifestly so compared to the importance of the topic which referred to the explanation and completeness of Aviello’s testimony. A plot concerning a secret agreement in order to offer false declarations in court is obviously a topic with some relevance.

There is also a violation of the principle of confrontation, because Aviello was a defence witness and the Prosecutor General had the duty of carrying on an assessment of the witness within the appeal trial by cross examination (Hellmann-Zanetti’s decision allowed only the piece of testimony that could be favorable to the defence, and they cut off the part that could be unfavorable).

The motivation is also incomplete as Aviello is ruled ‘unreliable’ a priori because of his retraction (which Hellmann-Zanetti apparently considered reliable) and irrelevant as a piece of evidence without actually listening to the content of his testimony, to what he had to say.

The testimony of Aviello could not be ‘cut off’ that way and could not be considered unreliable a priori without listening to it.

11. The re-framing of the time of death

The Court devotes four pages to explaining how Hellmann-Zanetti’s reasoning about re-location of the time of death is illogical. 

The appeal court refused to anchor the timing (and further features, noises etc.) of the screaming, to the time frame offered by two witnesses, Nara Capezzali and Antonella Monacchia. They also dismissed the testimony of Mrs. Dramis. Instead they accepted the defence idea of determining the time of death based on the statements by the ‘unreliable’ Rudy Guede. They put the time of death in relation to the phone calls, around 9pm.

As for the Cassazione, such an argumentation path is woven through with ‘conjecture and illusions’ (p. 61). The bases chosen for inference are devoid of any factual validity, as opposed to the elements of evidence which were discharged, which are instead extremely relevant.

The Hellmann-Zanetti report refutes the elements (testimonies of Capezzali, Damis, Monacchia) with arguments which are riddled with obvious, multiple inconsistencies [like the claim that a half-an-hour error would make the testimony unreliable, or that Nara’s looking unsure between the dates of Nov. 1. or 2. makes the scream attributable to something else, as if she was used to hearing blood-curdling screams every other day and as if the Monacchia confirmation testimony didn’t exist]. 

So the Hellmann-Zanetti rationale dismisses as ‘unreliable’ or ‘useless’ some very relevant and consistent testimonies (from witnesses they declare ‘credible’), while on the other hand, it accepts as ‘reliable’ a dictum by Rudi Guede and builds a theory of the time of death on it - despite the defence itself having pointed out how Guede was totally unreliable and was also very able at changing and twisting every detail of his story, all the time and on any occasion, from the earliest stages of the investigation. 

The Cassazione states - without any possibility of question – that it is manifestly obvious that things Guede consciously stated on the Skype conversation could never be used as the main credible source to build an inference about the time of death.

Moreover the Court points out that in fact the appeal court cherry picked just one statement by Guede, regarding the time of death, and considered it ‘credible’, while neglecting to note how within the same Skype conversation Guede also made a number of assertions about Knox

These included statements that place evidence against Knox and Sollecito. While in the same conversation Guede says “Amanda was not implicated”, he also states that Amanda was in the house; he states remembering that in Romanelli’s room the window appeared intact, and denied having broken it, he inferred that Knox and Sollecito must have done it; he also assumed that they must have altered the scene of the crime and the victim’s body; he also said he thought the man he saw was probably Sollecito.

The Hellmann-Zanetti court simply neglects to consider and deal with the whole information from the Skype call, which they instead elect to reliably source solely regarding Guede’s declaration about the time; so – besides illogicality in the unfounded dismissal of other testimonies – their method of processing information violates completeness and consistency.   

The appeal court is also extremely weak where they try to fill the logical gap by drawing further inference from Meredith’s phone records. The attempt to link a mistaken phone call with the time of death is simply inherently implausible, a wrong call is a trivial event and there is no reason to make such link; also the delay by Meredith who did not call her mother again within the next half an hour is a trivial element which doesn’t have a specific implication upon the time of death.
The worst Hellmann-Zanetti did on this topic is the downplaying and underestimation of the testimonies of the three witnesses – Capezzali, Monacchia and Dramis.

In fact Capezzali described the scream in detail, picturing it with a number of features - “harrowing“, “unusual”, “long”, “isolated” – and stressed its uniqueness and added additional information about noises (gravel path etc.) unequivocally linked to the cottage, she made clear that she never heard something similar before.

Monacchia was even more precise about the timing, since she went to sleep at 10.00 pm and slept for a while; Dramis came home back from the cinema at 10:30 pm. Their timings converge in placing the timing of an isolated scream later than 10:30 pm.

On the basis of Nara Capezzali’s testimony, it is absolutely unreasonable for the appeal court to assume that Nara could confuse the scream with the usual other “noises” of “junkies”. 

Dramis as well referred to having been awaken by some noise of a kind she never heard before. Hellmann-Zanetti ruled out the time frame offered by the testimonies of Monacchia and Dramis for no reason except that they gave their testimony one year later; this is a totally insufficient and illogical reason.

As for considering Rudy as a reliable source, instead it is acknowledged that Guede was obviously lying and following a pattern of behavior/strategy of providing a flow of false details to muddle investigation.
The Court adds that neglecting the importance of information about the scream seems even more stunning when you consider the fact that the scream coincides with a detail that was mentioned in an early testimony of Knox [and even in declarations of Guede]. 

12. The court appointing of new experts and their management

This point may be the most interesting because it is the only topic on which the Supreme Court doesn’t agree entirely with the Prosecution General.

The Prosecution’s complaint was ‘partly’ correct about objecting to the legitimacy of the appeal court appointing new experts.

The point of recourse is founded insofar as the appointing was insufficiently motivated in the rationale: the reason expressed –  basically addressing just the judge’s lack of scientific knowledge –  is inconsistent, and also inadmissible because it violates the principle of non-delegation of judgment. 

However, the judge’s decision of appointing experts itself should supposedly always be based on assessments of the merits of the evidence. The Cassazione cannot decide on the merits, so the decision about whether more expertise is necessary or not, which was supposedly taken based on the evidence available, is an exclusive competence of the judge of merit and the High Court can’t discuss it. 

The absence of consistent motivations for the appointing reveals an insecurity of the appeal court about the evidence, which they (rightly or wrongly) attributed to incomplete information.  However, the peculiar way the appeal court subsequently managed the experts is censurable.

The experts decided to not test the new DNA sample, despite the fact that the amount was 120 picograms [so much more than ‘5 picograms’ as declared by Vecchiotti in court, ed.], on an arbitrary decision by only one of the experts, on the ground that it was a ‘Low Copy Number’. Such a decision – itself unlawful – was subsequently subscribed to by the appeal court.

When the Prosecution General and consultant Prof. Novelli requested to go on testing the sample, since it was perfectly possible to do so, the court denied, arguing on the false assumption obtained by misquoting Novelli as saying the required techniques were “in the experimental phase”.

This was a misquote, a misinterpretation of a statement by Novelli, and the Court finds it to be false in the documentation: Hellmann-Zanetti incurred a gross misrepresentation of reality as they called the new technology “experimental”  and “unreliable”.

Beside this false claim, it was on principle unacceptable that the expert Carla Vecchiotti refused to carry out a test, and that the judge accepted such a decision.

The expert’s decision violated the judge’s previous ordnance, because the written order said that they must require the court’s opinion before taking any decision, not after; the judge’s change also violated their own ordnance, because it withdrew from the previous tasking. 

The modus operandi of the court therefore was to let an expert make decisions about their own mandate, based on their own judgment about the subsequent value of their finding in court.

But the experts had no authority to reduce or re-frame their own mandate, it is not up to them to preemptively decide whether their finding is reliable or not and anyway they cannot refuse to accomplish an order or to bring a finding into court; no matter if their finding is unreliable as a piece of evidence, they have to bring it anyway to court discussion, and its value will be determined through court discussion.

Hellmann-Zanetti were incomplete on documenting Novelli’s positions which were expressed during the experts’ testing and are in conflict with the Vecchioti-Conti decisions. They could have chosen Vecchiotti’s positions, but only after having dealt with the arguments expressed by the other side too.

The decisions by which Hellmann-Zanetti managed the experts’ work is also in violation of the principle of equality and the right of all parties to bring evidence, since they ordered a perizia [experts investigation] but then they prevented it from being fully accomplished: they only allowed the research activity by which the defence was seeking evidence, while they prohibited those activities requested by the accusation parties.   

Once they ordered new scientific tests, the order should have been completed without any a priori unjustified preclusion. Their unbalanced modus operandi was an alteration of the evidence information set, and a violation of the law (p.66), and cause their motivations to be manifestly illogical.

13. The DNA evidence

The appeal court passively accepted the new experts’ conclusions, while ignoring the opinions of the witnesses Novelli and Torricelli. Their arguments had a comparable degree of importance, and the witnesses had at least the same degree of expertise and authority than the judge appointed experts.

As the judges chose to believe the conclusions of some experts in disagreement with others, they are not obligated to demonstrate themselves that such conclusions are true, but nonetheless they are required to report the arguments made by the other side and they need to deal with them in a reasoning. 

This is especially necessary if the expert witnesses have a great expertise and credibility, at least comparable to that of the judge-appointed experts. 

Hellmann-Zanetti accepted the C&V report entirely and passively, without confronting it with the opposite arguments and objections. Such procedure is illegitimate, since objections and arguments were not even mentioned.

The Casssazione recalls, among the not-mentioned and not-dealt-with arguments, that Prof. Novelli had calculated a probability of misinterpretation of the alleles on the bra-clasp; and Dr. Torricelli analyzed the Y-haplotype on 17 loci and found no match except Sollecito. 

Novelli also testified that recommendations and protocols do exist, but the operator’s competence and common sense in scientific assessment is more important. He also said that the researcher should be always allowed to depart from standard procedures when single situations suggest so.

The judge-appointed experts themselves ruled out laboratory contamination. Novelli analyzed the series of samples from all 255 items processed and found not a single instance of contamination, and ruled out as implausible that a contaminating agent could have been present just on one single result. 

Also Dr. Stefanoni testified that the knife was tested 6 days after an alleged contaminating and Vecchiotti confirmed that the time interval would lead to rule out laboratory contamination.

Hellmann-Zanetti also ignored or twisted information regarding the crime; it ignored the finding that no instance of Sollecito’s DNA was found on the scene as a possible contamination source despite may environmental samples; the High Court labels as false – going by the evidence file - Hellmann Zanetti’s statement saying that “everybody had walked around into the house”. 

Also Cassazione notes that deterioration of an evidence scene due to time would normally cause a loss of DNA information, not an appearing of new information not found elsewhere.

So Hellmann-Zanetti did not take in account nor cite a huge part of the credited opinions and information; the total failure to mention such a major chunk of information by Hellmann-Zanetti makes their judgment about the topic illegitimate, and shows their ‘unacceptable’ modus operandi. 

However the most surprising point of Hellmann-Zanetti – in the Cassazione’s view – is their uncritical accepting of the theory that contamination is “possible”, without linking the scenario of likeliness of contamination to any factual finding or datum. They actually built an axiom on a straining, a cherry picking and a falsifying of information.

The Court also reminds how Novelli testified that, in order to have a plausible scenario of contamination, you need to prove the existence of a source, of a vehicle of it. 

They note from the documentation that negative control did exist, and that Vecchiotti & Conti were ‘superficial’ in assuming they did not exist just because they were not included in the technical report.

The Supreme Court then points out that: 

(1) the collection of items was performed correctly contrarily to Hellmann’s suggestions, all activities of collection and laboratory tests were done before the eyes of defence experts, the environments were not contaminated, and the defence experts that were assisting did not raise any objection, they complained about things only much later;

(2) the arguments and explanations dr. Stefanoni subsequently gave were not adequately refuted;

(3) the picture of correctness in procedure causes the burden of proof in order to claim likeliness of contamination to rest squarely on the shoulders of those who claim it.

The law does not admit to set out the reasoning from a sheer “falsification” paradigm (meaning: it is wrong to assume that the prosecution has any burden to demonstrate the absence of contamination). Such an assumption would make it impossible to collect any piece of circumstantial evidence or do any scientific test at all.

The argument that the evidence should be dismissed as unreliable because contamination is ‘possible’ is totally illogical. You can’t dismiss pieces of evidence on the ground of a mere ‘possibility’ (or we should dismiss all pieces of evidence collected on all cases).

An alleged contamination event needs not to be only ‘possible’ (everything is possible), it needs to be ‘credible’. In order to consider if contamination was likely on a specific instance, some factual evidence of the specific causal circumstance is needed. 

To bring a claim about ‘contamination’, while you don’t need to actually prove that the event of contamination occurred, you do need to prove a factual and scientific datum that would cause that specific contamination event to be ‘credible’ (probable).

In order to claim a contamination likely occurred, pointing at issues about professionalism of forensics is not enough. The factual existence of a specific ‘vehicle’ of contamination needs to be proven [like presence of a source, evidence of contamination in other results, explanation of the dynamic etc.]. 

To refute the scientific finding you need something much logically stronger than a complaint referring to ideal practice and protocols and the absolute generic concept of ‘possible’.  The claim about a fact such as a specific instance of contamination requires ‘factual’ circumstances and data, ‘specific’ and ‘real’.

14. Analysis of prints and other traces

The objections by the Prosecution General on this topic are correct.  The appeal court motivations manifestly lacks logical rigor in multiple instances.

The Court cannot object about the attribution of the bathmat print since the topic is strictly in the merit. But the implied scenario where Guede’s left shoe comes off after he walked on the pillow is implausible: it doesn’t explain why an Adidas shoe would come off, and it doesn’t reconcile with the evidence documentation.

Guede using the small bathroom to wash himself, and then locking Meredith’s door, is in conflict with the trail of shoeprints only showing him walking straight out. It makes no sense to assume that he lost a shoe just because there are blood prints of the right shoe alone. 

About the luminol foot prints, it is implausible to assume that those prints were left on some other occasion, since – in the Court’s view - luminol basically indicates blood (and in no other circumstance could someone produce such a set of prints in blood). The Cassazione notes that the Massei scenario to explain the footprints was far more plausible, and Hellmann-Zanetti bring no reason to refute it.

The scenario described by the first instance trial court was also more complete, since it was able to connect the dots on several other details, including the ‘mixed traces’ of blood in the small bathroom, on the light switch, etc.

The only argument brought by Hellmann-Zanetti was the absence of Sollecito’s DNA from the blood/luminol stains. For the rest it was an “apodictic” assumption, so that they did not deal with the logical points that were made on the first instance.     

15. The declarations of Ms. Knox

The Hellmann-Zanetti verdict was ‘critically’ flawed, as claimed by the Prosecution General, also on this point. This topic area falls into the big picture of parceling out of the pieces of evidence which was done by the appeal court.

The Supreme Court notes that Hellmann-Zanetti just assumed that there was no circumstantial evidence in Knox’s declarations, but they falsely implied that it was about behavioral and emotional evidence. Instead it was about Knox’s revealing a knowledge of details from the crime scene. 

The Court mentions some of Knox’s statements conflicting with evidence and testimonies: she told Meredith’s friend of having found the body, she said it was before ‘a closet’, that it was covered, that Meredith had her throat cut and that she suffered a great blood loss. The first degree court reports Knox saying she didn’t see into the room, that she was far away in the corridor when it was opened.   

Hellmann-Zanetti fail to mention this set of elements or clues, and they also neglect to consider the issue of Amanda’s phone call to her mother in the middle of the night and subsequent calls.

The Cassazione observes that Knox was unable to ‘remember’ the 12:47 phone call and did not explain its content; but Hellmann-Zanetti mistakenly considered such a phone call as occurring ‘at the same time’ of Sollecito’s calls to her sister and to the Carabinieri. In fact – the Court notes – Knox called her mother three minutes before Sollecito called his sister, she was first person to make any phone calls.

So Knox’s ‘downplaying’ of her phone call – her suggesting a total vague content, a sense of confusion and nothing important – and the early time of it, are not considered details worth of mention by the Hellmann-Zanetti court, and they are not put in relation to Knox’s inside knowledge about details of the crime (if she didn’t know anything at all, why does she call her mother to express vague confusion, worried about something she doesn’t know?).
What the Court finds objectionable is that Hellmann-Zanetti simply made assertions and steered on, talking about the subjective emotional reactions, without confronting any logical argumentation made by the lower court, and they failed to do anything to demolish the first instance reasoning. 

16. Final indications

The Hellmann-Zanetti verdicts are annulled. The new appeal court will have to fix all the critical legitimacy flaws pointed out following the Cassazione indications.

The new appeal Judges will have to assess the pieces of circumstantial evidence in a global an unitary way, to assess whether the relative ambiguity of each piece of evidence can be overcome by the overall system between them.

The result of such an assessment will have to lead to a decision not only about the presence of Knox and Sollecito on the murder scene, but also about their possible roles in the crime, and to decide among an array of possible scenarios: from a premeditated intent to kill to possible scenarios that may involve a non-premeditated decision to murder as a departure from an original plan to have a non-consensual sex game, or involve a forced sex game that run out of control, or a similar situation.

The recourse submitted by Knox on the point of her conviction for calunnia is rejected. All points of recourse 1-10 by the Prosecution General are accepted, the appeal trial is annulled on grounds of manifest illogicality, inconsistence and violation of law for all conclusions of acquittal; instead, the conviction for the charge of calunnia stands, but the denial of aggravation in finding it not-linked to the murder is annulled.

Knox is condemned to pay the legal expenses sustained by the State and by Lumumba. If found guilty, Knox and Sollecito will have to pay also the expenses sustained by the Kerchers. 

17. Considerations arising from the report

My final thoughts. Since the appeal verdicts were annulled, the legal situation is that Knox and Sollecito stand currently convicted in first degree and awaiting the appeal, which they had launched against their convictions. 

They had already got a fair trial, before a court presided over by Massei; now they are appealing the verdict in a Florentine court. An appeal – under the Italian criminal procedure – can take the shape of a new trial – usually, partly – and so open again sessions where witnesses are heard and evidence are entered. 

However, in many cases this doesn’t happen, and the appeal doesn’t look like a full trial. Anyway, even if the trial phase is re-opened,  what may look like a trial de novo is in fact only an extension of the previous one; meaning: the trial de novo in fact doesn’t start from scratch, but starts from the documentation already existing and incorporates the previous proceedings. 

The main piece of documentation now incorporated is the 2013 Supreme Court verdict.

Whatever appeal court deals with the Knox-Sollecito proceedings,  they will have to set it within the guidelines, limitations and indications established by the Cassazione.

The Cassazione has dismantled and declared illegitimate all the procedural points by which Hellmann-Zanetti had come to verdicts of acquittals on the charge of murder. This shows how the appeal judgment was obtained only thanks to a dreadful series of procedure errors. 
Unfortunately, actually not all errors in the Hellmann-Zanetti rationale could fall under the radar of the supreme court.  The appeal court didn’t make only legitimacy errors, they also committed obvious mistakes in the merit of evidence assessment (and, not even all legitimacy issues were actually brought to the attention of the Supreme Court of Cassazione). 

Examples of mistakes in the merits by Hellmann-Zanetti:  they attributed the bathmat footprint on two unproven assumptions:

(1) The first was that the person who left it must have got his foot wet with blood by walking on a hard, flat surface smeared with blood; an obviously unfounded assumption, actually proven false since there was no hard flat surface covered in blood where anyone had walked (blood got on the murderers feet from soaked towels).

(2) The second – idiotic – ‘reason’ was the observation that Sollecito’s toe in the sample print looked more triangular (!) than the bathmat print’s (it is actually obvious that any object would leave a print with slightly more rounded shape on the bathmat compared to the sample paper, since the bathmat is a soft surface). 

Another one was the claim that the pattern of footprints in luminol could be found in any apartment and be produced in any innocent situation (in a non-blood substance) but somehow they ‘forgot’ to mention what kind of likely substance that could be, and what plausible dynamic - except shuffling on rags or mat – could have produced them. 

Flaws in the rationale and procedure are surreal, like maintaining that Knox’s written memoir is not evidence that she lied because its content is false. Or appointing experts to test DNA samples, then refusing to test the sample despite it’s being more than 120 picograms.

Even kids could spot the obvious logical errors on evidence assessment in the Hellmann-Zanetti rationale. 

The refrain of factual errors and legitimacy/procedure violations is so serious that I can hardly believe any Magistrate of the Republic can make such errors in good faith. 

Despite the sophisticated and formal language,  as you may have understood from this summary, the Cassazione arguments are actually very simple. In fact the errors were very clear and obvious from the beginning - to quote PMF poster Popper “even a child would notice them immediately”  - that in fact the Supreme Court looks like pointing the finger at a naked emperor.
The present Cassazione ruling does not leave any realistic hope for Knox and Sollecito to be acquitted on appeal. They have a right to appeal under Italian law. Though their appeal, when carried on within the rules and principles of law, looks – like most appeals – basically desperate.

Their actual chances of being acquitted by a Florentine court look essentially zero, because the court won’t be allowed to employ the key arguments and the path of reasoning followed by Hellmann-Zanetti to come to an acquittal verdict; all these logical tools are illegitimate, and hardly any judge could fix them,  nor come to a ‘not guilty’ verdict by following other logical ways. 
The only positive legal outcome in realistic terms for Knox and Sollecito now consists in seeking leniency or lesser charges based on claiming minor roles, maybe even by attempting to accuse each other.

Either that or testifying to the truth, seeking mitigating factors like psychological state and age, or showing remorse.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Contrary To Reported Claim By Amanda Knox There Is Zero “Wave Of Defamation Suits”

Posted by Peter Quennell

No defamation suits have begun. But actually it is WORSE. And Knox would be suicidal to leave her story unchanged.

Bob Barnett and Ted Simon and anyone else presumably trying to give Knox good advice might like to take note. Canada’s National Post is reporting this:

Her book, which earned her an advance of almost $4-million, also risks inflaming Italian public opinion, offending the nation’s judges and triggering a wave of new defamation actions by the police and prosecutors she accuses of framing her.

“People asked me if I would change the book and I said absolutely not … I am not going to change my story just because someone is threatening to sue me but I mean … it sucks. It sucks and it sucks.”

Defamation, slander and libel refer to private, personal, civil suits against other persons who tell a malicious untruth. Knox and Sollecito are not (or not yet) facing anything like that.

Each through their unwise books and interviews has sparked a single investigation by a Chief Prosecutor (in Florence, Verona and Bergamo) into whether they are in contempt of court.

Those who would seek to undermine the due process of the Italian justice system and the proper functioning of the courts (very, very rare now) in this or the associated Monster of Florence case seem to include all of the following:

  • The three regional mafias;
  • A few defense lawyers and well-funded defendants;
  • Politicians shielding corruption;
  • In some instances the freemasons.
  • Those wanting investigations like MOF/Narducci to drop dead;
  • Muckraking magazines like Oggi;
  • Some anti-Italy foreigners.

None of them are simply pro-Amanda. All of them have hidden agendas, and all are already under the eye of law enforcement. Fighting institutions that make the public safe can make for strange bedfellows.

It has also especially in Italy led to powerful if usually latent ways to push back. 

If officers of the Italian courts are publicly accused of crimes in the media while a legal process is playing out, and the claims are malicious and untrue, this is not a civil matter (defamation, slander or libel).

It is a criminal matter (in the UK and US too) for which sentences can include long prison terms.

If the officers of the Italian court who are attacked are very senior and have an antimafia role they are REQUIRED BY LAW to request a criminal investigation by a chief prosecutor to take place.

They esentially have no further role themselves except to provide true testimony in court.

A range of measures is then available to investigating chief prosecutors, up to and including invoking the powers of the Council of Magistrates and even the President of the Italian republic. 

Knox and Sollecito both seem to have point-blank accused a number of officers of the court of crimes. In Deputy Prosecutor General Mignini’s case, he has been accused by both of them. The most serious:

  • By Sollecito of offering an illegal deal to make him sell out on Knox. Both Mignini and Sollecito’s father categorically stated that this was a criminal lie.

  • By Knox of illegally interrogating her about Patrick with no defense lawyer present. But the trial record shows Mignini was not even in the room.

These seem to be about as open-and-shut as contempt of court cases can ever get. “Sollecito and Knox, did you make these false claims or not? Yes or no?”

If the answer is yes, they’ll lose any criminal case in the blink of an eye. Thereafter many private or civil defamation suits can be expected.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

(2) The Oggi Article Which Conveys To Italy Knox’s Claims Of Crimes: Our Claim By Claim Rebuttals

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[Umberto Brindani, editor of Oggi, a Mario Spezi ally, being sued for publishing Knox’s claims in Italy]

The decision of Amanda Knox and her lawyers and publishers to flaunt her dishonest claims in Italy seems seriously ill advised.

Pouring gasoline on the fames, it has opened up a fast-track way for those many who she nastily attacks to put the real truths in front of the world. Nobody who foolishly parrots her will be immune from being required to testify by the courts, her own lawyers included. 

Here are our own short rebuttals of the Knox claims Oggi specifically flaunts to Italy in its unresearched review.

  • Knox was NOT interrogated for days and nights. She was put under no pressure in her brief witness interviews except possibly by Sollecito who had just called their latest alibi “a pack of lies”.

  • Knox WAS officially investigated in depth, after she surprisingly “confessed” and placed herself and Patrick at the scene. Prior to that she’d been interviewed less than various others, who each had one consistent alibi.

  • Knox herself pushed to make all three statements without a lawyer on the night of 5-6 November 2007 in which she claimed she went out from Sollecito’s house, met Patrick, and witnessed him killing Meredith.

  • Far from Knox being denied a lawyer, discussions were stopped before the first statement and not resumed, in the later hearing she was formally warned she needed one; she signed a confirmation of this in front of witnesses.

  • Prosecutor Mignini who Knox accuses of telling her a lawyer would hurt her prospects when she claims she asked for one was not even in the police station at that interview; he was at home.

  • She was not prohibited from going to the bathroom. At trial, she testified she was treated well and was frequently offered refreshments. Her lawyers confirmed this was so.

  • She was not given smacks by anyone. Over a dozen witnesses testified that she was treated well, broke into a conniption spontaneously, and thereafter was hard to stop talking.

  • There is no evidence whatsoever that Knox was subject to “something similar to torture” and as mentioned above only Sollecito applied any pressure, not any of the police.

  • There is nothing “suicidal” about returning to Italy to defend herself at the new appeal. Sollecito did. She risks an international arrest warrant and extradition if she doesn’t.

  • There is no proof except for her own claims of sexual molestations in prison; she is a known serial liar; and she stands out for an extreme willingness to talk and write about sex.

  • Many people have testified she was treated well in prison: her own lawyers, a member of parliament, and visitors from the US Embassy were among them; she herself wrote that it was okay.

  • She may have based her account on her diaries and “prodigious memory” but the obviously false accusation against the prosecutor suggests that much of the book was made up.

  • The investigators had a great deal of evidence against Knox in hand, not nothing, and they were not ever faulted for any action; they helped to put on a formidable case at trial in 2009.

  • “Police and Italian justice work with such incompetence, ferocity, and disdain for the truth” is contradicted by a very complete record prior to trial which was praised by the Supreme Court.

  • Mr Mignini has NO bizarre past at all. He is widely known to be careful and fair. He would not have been just promoted to first Deputy Prosecutor General of Umbria otherwise.

  • He was put on trial by a rogue prosecutor desperate to protect his own back from Mignini’s investigations; the Supreme Court has killed the trumped up case dead.

  • There was nothing “mysterious” about Knox being taken to the crime scene to see if any knives were gone, but her wailing panic when she saw the knives was really “mysterious”.

  • Knox never thought she was in prison for her own protection; she had signed an agreement at the 5:00 am interview confirming she did know why she was being held.

  • Monica Napoleoni did not “bluff” that Sollecito had just trashed their joint alibi; he actually did so, because his phone records incriminated him; he agreed to that in writing.

  • There was no crescendo of “yelling and intimidations that lasts from 11 at night until 5.45”. There were two relatively brief sessions. Knox did most of the talking, named seven possible perps, and drew maps.

  • There was zero legal requirement to record the recap/summary interview, no recording has “gone missing” and many officers present testified to a single “truth” about what happened.

(1) The Oggi Article Which Conveys To Italy Knox’s Claims Of Crimes Oggi Is Now Charged For

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

The popular Italian magazine Oggi was sent a review copy of Knox’s book by somebody in the United States. 

Oggi has been a frequent vehicle for the Knox entourage version of events, and it has carried a number of lurid pro-Knox splashes. The magazine has a long history of nasty jabs at prosecution and police who as career civil servants under unusually strong rules have no easy ways of explaining their side.

Like all of Oggi’s articles on the case, this shrill and foolish piece is totally one-sided and absolutely unresearched.

  • Oggi is ignorant of the fact that many days of testimony by police officers at trial in 2009 contradict Knox’s book, highly convincing testimony, to which Knox on the stand had only the most feeble and unconvincing of responses.

  • Oggi is ignorant of the fact that Judge Massei and Judge Hellmann both totally disbelieved her, and (in extensive reasoning) the Supreme Court (make sure to read parts 3, 7 and 15 there).

  • Oggi is ignorant of the fact that Knox was sentenced to three years in prison for the criminal framing of Patrick, and that sentence was confirmed both by Judge Hellmann and the Supreme Court - in effect, unless new FACTS come to light, the truth is known and the case is closed.

The book is already (see next post) the subject of a lawsuit which was filed Friday in Bergamo, where Oggi has its headquarters. Knox is also expected to be investigated for contempt of court. Her book carries at least one no-contest false accusation of a crime: Knox claims the much respected Prosecutor Mignini illegally interrogated her without a lawyer and attempted to make her definitively accuse Patrick Lumumba. This is repeated below.  In fact Mr Mignini was not even there.

This translation below of the Oggi piece is by our main poster Catnip. Passages we know to be inaccurate (and Oggi would have known with a mere 3-4 hours of research) are shown in bold.

See our own rebuttals in this next post.

Amanda Knox: The American girl’s sensational story

Chilling. No other adjectives come to mind after having read Waiting to be Heard, finally released in the United States. An extremely detailed and very serious charge against the police and magistrates who conducted the investigation into the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Immediately after the crime, Amanda recounts, and for entire days and nights, they had interrogated the American girl and placed her under pressure to make her confess to a non-existent truth, without officially investigating her, denying her the assistance of a lawyer, telling her lies, even prohibiting her from going to the bathroom and giving her smacks so as to make her sign a confession clearly extorted with something similar to torture.

And now the situation is very simple. There are only two choices: either Amanda is writing lies, and as a consequence the police officers and magistrates are going to have to sue her for defamation; or else she is telling the truth, and so they are going to have to go, not without being sanctioned by the CSM [the magistrates’ governing body] and the top brass of the Police. The third possibility, which is to pretend that nothing has happened, would be shameful for the credibility of our judicial system.

Amanda Knox has written her Waiting to be Heard memoir with the sense of revulsion and of relief of someone who has escaped by a hair’s breadth from a legal disaster, but has got her sums wrong. Cassation has decided that the [appeal] proceedings have to be redone and the hearings should be (re)commencing in October before the Florence Court of Appeal.

In a USA Today interview, Ms Knox has not excluded the possibility of “returning to Italy to face this battle too”, but it would be a suicidal decision: it’s likely that the appeal will result in a conviction, and the Seattle girl will end up in the black hole from which she has already spent 1,427 days.

In this way Waiting to be Heard risks being the “film” on which Amanda’s last words are recorded about the Mystery of Perugia, her definitive version.

We have read a review copy. And we were dumbfounded. Waiting to be Heard is a diary that has the frenetic pace of a thriller, written in a dry prose (behind the scenes is the hand of Linda Kulman, a journalist at the Huffington Post), even “promoted” by Michiko Kakutani, long-time literary critic at the New York Times.

The most interesting part does not concern the Raffaele Sollecito love story (which Amanda reduces it to puppy love: “With the feeling, in hindsight, I knew that he… that we were still immature, more in love with love than with each other”), and whoever goes looking for salacious details about the three Italian boys Amanda had casual sex with, one night stands, will be frustrated (Ms Knox describes those enounters with the nonchalance of an entomologist disappointed with his experiments: “We undressed, we had sex, I got dressed again with a sense of emptiness”).

There are no scoops about the night of the murder and even the many vicissitudes endured during the 34,248 hours spent in Capanne prison – the [claimed] sexual molestations suffered under two guards, the unexpected kiss planted by a bisexual cellmate, the threats made by another two prisoners – remain on the backdrop, like colourful notations.

Because what is striking and upsetting, in the book, is the minute descriptions, based on her own diaries, on the case documents and on a prodigious memory, of how Ms Knox had been incriminated (or “nailed”).

COME IN KAFKA. A Kafkian account in which the extraordinary naivety of Amanda (the word naïve, ingénue, is the one which recurs most often in the 457 pages of the book) mixes with the strepitous wickedness of the investigators decided on “following a cold and irrational trail because they had nothing better in hand”.

Devour the first 14 chapters and ask yourself: is it possible that the Police and Italian justice work with such incompetence, ferocity, and disdain for the truth? You place yourself in her situation and you scare yourself: If it happened to me? You’re in two minds: is it a likely accusation, or a squalid calumny, the version of Amanda?

Because in reading it you discover that in the four days following the discovery of Meredith Kercher’s body (on 2 November 2007), Amanda was interrogated continuously, and without the least of procedural guarantees [=due process].

She changes status from witness to suspect without being aware of it.” No one had told me my rights, no one had told me that I could remain silent”, she writes. When she asked if she had the right to a lawyer, the Public Prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, had responded like this: “No, no, that will only worsen things: it would mean that you don’t want to help us”. Thus, the Public Prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini.

For a long period of time, Ms Knox, who at the time spoke and understood hardly any Italian at all, mistook him for the Mayor of Perugia, come to the police station to help her.

Then, with the passage of time and of the pages, the assessment changes: Mignini is a prosecutor “with a bizarre past”, investigated for abuse of office (he was convicted at first instance, but Cassation annulled the verdict on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction: the case will be held in Torino – ndr) and with the hunger to fabricate “strange stories to solve his cases”.

Mignini “is a madman who considers his career more important than my liberty or the truth about the killing of Meredith”. On the phone, the Perugian prosecutor reacts with aplomb: “First I will read the book and then I will consider it. Certainly, if it really calls me ‘mad’ or worse, I think I will file suit”.

BEING IN PRISON IS LIKE CAMPING Amanda goes looking. When the officers mysteriously bring her along to the crime scene inspection of the apartment below the one in which she and Meredith were living in, Ms Knox put on the shoe protectors and the white forensics gloves and called out Ta-dah! spreading her arms “as if I was at the start of a musical: I wanted to appear helpful”.

When they dragged her in handcuffs into Capanne Prison, she believed what the Police would have told her, and that was they would hide her for a couple of days to protect her (from the true killer, one presumes) and for unspecified bureaucratic reasons. “In my head I was camping: ‘This won’t last more than a week in the mountains’, I told myself,” writes Amanda.

They take her money off her, and her credit cards, licence and passport, and she draws strength from repeating to herself that “surely they’re not going to give me a uniform, seeing that I’m a special case and that I’ll be here for only a little while”.

But it’s the account of the notorious interrogation that takes the breath away. Around ten in the evening on her last day of freedom, Ms Knox accompanies Raffaele to the police station (he was called in, also without a lawyer, by the Police) and is thrown into a nightmare which she populates with many faces: there is Officer Rita Ficcara, who gives her two cuffs on the head (“To help you remember,” she would say); there’s another officer who advises her: “If you don’t help us, you’ll end up in prison for 30 years”; Mignini arrives and advises her not to call a lawyer; super-policewoman Monica Napoleoni dives in and bluffs: “Sollecito has dropped your alibi: he says that on the night of the murder you had left his apartment and that you had told him to lie to ‘cover you’”.

And a crescendo of yelling and intimidations that lasts from 11 at night until 5.45 in the morning. Seven hours “produce” two confessions that, exactly because they are made without a defence lawyer, cannot be used in the proceedings, but forever after “stain” the image of the accused Knox: Amanda places herself at the scene of the crime and accuses Patrick Lumumba.

RAFFAELE CONFIRMS THE ACCUSATIONS An account of the horror is confirmed by Sollecito in his memoir, Honor Bound, Raffaele writes of having heard “the police yelling at Amanda and then the cries and sobs of my girl, who was yelling ‘Help!’ in Italian in the other room”, and of having being threatened in his turn (“If you try to get up and go, I’ll punch you till you’ll bleed and I’ll kill you. I’ll leave you in a pool of blood”, another officer had whispered to him).

Published lines which have passed right under the radar of the Perugian investigators: “No legal action [against the interrogators] has been notified to us,” Franco Sollecito, Raffaele’s dad, tell us. For having recounted the sourness of her interrogation in court, Amanda was investigated for calunnia: the trial will take place in Florence. This one, too, will be a circumstantial case: it’s the word of two young people against that of the public prosecutor and the police.

The recording of the interrogation would have unveiled which side the truth stands on. But it has gone missing.

See our own rebuttals in this next post.

Below: images of the foolish 4-page Oggi spread. Click for larger versions to read.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

For Multiple False Accusations Against ItaliaOfficials Knox Book Is Expected To Be Ordered Withdrawn

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[From the Dec 2008 NBC Dateline in which all interviewed concluded the two had cooked themselves]

A judicial order is understood to be imminent to require HarperCollins to withdraw the Knox book from all markets in Europe.

The exceptions are the UK or Italy because the publishers wisely tried to stay below the radar there. As for the US? The American arm of the publishers (wholly owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corps, both based in New York), would be left with little reason to fight. The First Amendment provides no automatic right to defame. 

The Knox book is not selling very well in the US, despite a media blitz, and sales are unlikely to perk up from now on. Revenues are probably far below costs. And Knox is increasingly unable to parrot what her ghost writer put in the book - Raffaele Sollecito ran into the exact same problem.

In the post below this one, one of the most serious of the false accusations is described. Lawyers are shaking their heads at the unbelievable stupidity of that inclusion. Did Robert Barnett and Ted Simon and the defense lawyers and publishers’ lawyers have any real clue about events?

Let us review where things stand.

BAD PR takes a position 180 degrees opposite to the truth and almost invariably fails to apply any lipstick to the pig.  GOOD PR takes a position 5 degrees from the truth and often eventually succeeds.

RS’s and AK’s books both took the 180 degree approach, the “dont believe your lying eyes” approach, the Wizard of Oz approach, the nuclear war approach.

This now looks like really, really bad PR and no legal common sense at all.

This may have worked in temporary small ways in the US, though the movement has still not captured any big politician or big lawyer willing to head the parade. The Departments of State and Justice, very well informed on the case prior to the book,  are noticeably cold.

It only gets worse.

  • In each case some money was made, but now all of that is at risk, in compensation to the victim’s family and in fines by the Italian state.

  • In each case it will be a legal and public opinion disaster for the two and their support teams at the pending new appeal in Florence.

  • In each case, their books had the stink of blood money; that is widely despised both in Italy and in the United States and has rarely turned out to be a good thing (ask OJ).

  • In each case, the very existence of the book as an attempt to rain public hostility on the court during an ongoing legal process is a contempt of the court.

  • In each case, the book contained myriad small mistakes and smears as we have been showing with Sollecitos book and have now begun with Knox’s. (See the links in left column.)

  • In each case, the book contained one huge defamatory lie which might end up costing each of them years in prison.

In Sollecito’s book it was that the prosecution tried to force on him a deal to roll over on Knox, claiming there was no “real” evidence on him - but stacks of evidence in Knox’s case (gee thanks Sollecito).

In Knox’s case it was this absurd lie described below that Prosecutor Mignini illegally tried to talk Knox into firmly framing Patrick Lumumba.

In Sollecito’s case the book was almost instantly ripped apart on Italian national TV in the #1 crime talk show Porta a Porta with Sollecito’s dad seen squirming throughout the show.

Subsequently Sollecito’s own lawyer Maori had to come out publicly and renounce RS’s claim to the media - it was either that, or Bongiorno and Maori would have been dead certs for prosecution themselves. They were credited with helping to write the book.

Expect the same from Knox’s lawyers. In many places Knox drops them in it, and she describes Dalla Vedova in particular as performing various unethical and possibly illegal actions.

Thereafter in Sollecito’s case there was a drip-drip-drip phase in the Italian media. Yummi captured it really well in this in-depth post and it is worth reading again because for Knox we will likely see it repeated for the same reasons:

Then in RS’s case we had the two developments described here: (1) the complaints against him briefly going public and being widely reported, and (2) then being yanked behind the scenes by the Florence chief prosecutor, where they will be investigated for the next 3-4 months.

Even in the remote chance that the Florence appeal court declares Sollecito not guilty of Meredith’s murder (and he has now stacked more evidence against him, as has Knox), for falsely accusing court officials who handle mafia cases and have special protections he could still face up to ten years.

Sollecito’s lawyers and family and he himself are now all seriously off their game, and seemingly doing no more talking. Sollecito seems to be attempting to set up an escape route through Switzerland. Good luck with that.

Knox’s book now places her in the same position. In fact maybe worse. Two countries have been set at loggerheads by the private practice of foreign policy here. The complaint can therefore be pushed up further, to the powerful Council of Magistrates or even the President of the Republic.

And at that point, the complaint could be shared with the US Departments of State and Justice and the FBI. If that happens no official in the US, such as a judge deciding on an extradition request, would go to bat for Knox.

Knox seems cooked. By her own hands. Or those of the exploitative bunch around her.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Amanda Knox Trainwreck: Knox Invents An Illegal Interrogation By Mignini That Never Took Place

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[The Perugia Central Police Station where Knox’s imaginary interrogation “took place”]

It is hard to imagine a more extreme form of contempt of court than Knox falsely accusing a respected prosecutor of interrogating her without her lawyer being present, and pressing her to incriminate others. 

For this alone, Knox will certainly be investigated and charged. No wonder she is “scared” of returning to Italy. Apart from fears of getting up on the stand, she has lied about and falsely accused way too many people there. 

1. What actually happened at Knox’s witness and suspect interviews:

Here is the true account, which has many witnesses, and then her account in the book, which has none.

Before 3:00 AM on 6 November 2007 the respected senior prosecutor Giuliano Mignini had barely set eyes on Amanda Knox.

At that point in time, she had just passed through a purely voluntary witness questioning with the police, who were actually much further ahead in questioning Sollecito and Knox’s flatmates and Meredith’s English friends.

Dr Mignini was at home asleep, but on call if the central police station needed him that night, which is how quite by chance he came face to face with Knox not long before dawn.

Knox’s latest alibi had just been collapsed in another witness interview room. Sollecito had collapsed their joint alibi almost instantly when shown phone records that proved he had just lied. He then declared their current alibi to be a pack of lies.

Told of this, Knox then floundered for a new explanation, turning finally to fingering her employer Patrick Lumumba who the police did not even know to exist until her phone record showed he did.

Police took down that statement, Knox signed it, and this at 3:00 am was the state of play.

Knox was in a waiting room and not under arrest. Mignini was required to warn Knox of her rights as a new suspect, and to warn her to do no further talking to him or anyone else around without a lawyer present.

This was especially so as Knox was inclining to babble on and on and officers were trying to calm her down. As the police had just found (and as her own lawyers later found) she can prove very difficult to stop.

This relatively brief meeting (in which Mignini made quite clear who he was, witnesses confirm) was extended to allow Knox to fine-tune her accusation of Patrick. Prior to this, Knox to Mignini was simply one of a whole lot of people who might be of interest, nothing more.

2. Knox’s invented version of the witness interview which never happened

This interrogation quoted from Knox’s book below is already attracting serious attention in Italy. Why? Because its just not her babbley tone, and because it never even took place.

Amanda Knox, Waiting To Be Heard, HarperCollins, Pages 90-92

[Description is of the end of Knox’s voluntary witness interview with police which Mignini did not attend; the most damaging claims are in bold]

Eventually they told me the pubblico ministero would be coming in.

I didn’t know this translated as prosecutor, or that this was the magistrate that Rita Ficarra had been referring to a few days earlier when she said they’d have to wait to see what he said, to see if I could go to Germany.

I thought the “public minister” was the mayor or someone in a similarly high “public” position in the town and that somehow he would help me.

They said, “You need to talk to the pubblico ministero about what you remember.”

I told them, “I don’t feel like this is remembering. I’m really confused right now.” I even told them, “I don’t remember this. I can imagine this happening, and I’m not sure if it’s a memory or if I’m making this up, but this is what’s coming to mind and I don’t know. I just don’t know.”

They said, “Your memories will come back. It’s the truth. Just wait and your memories will come back.”

The pubblico ministero came in.

Before he started questioning me, I said, “Look, I’m really confused, and I don’t know what I’m remembering, and it doesn’t seem right.”

One of the other police officers said, “We’ll work through it.”

Despite the emotional sieve I’d just been squeezed through, it occurred to me that I was a witness and this was official testimony, that maybe I should have a lawyer. “Do I need a lawyer?” I asked.

He said, “No, no, that will only make it worse. It will make it seem like you don’t want to help us.”

It was a much more solemn, official affair than my earlier questioning had been, though the pubblico ministero was asking me the same questions as before: “What happened? What did you see?”

    I said, “I didn’t see anything.”

    “What do you mean you didn’t see anything? When did you meet him?”

    “I don’t know,” I said.

    “Where did you meet him?”

    “I think by the basketball court.” I had imagined the basketball court in Piazza Grimana, just across the street from the University for Foreigners.

    “I have an image of the basketball court in Piazza Grimana near my house.”

    “What was he wearing?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Was he wearing a jacket?”

    “I think so.”

    “What color was it?”

    “I think it was brown.”

    “What did he do?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “What do you mean you don’t know?”

    “I’m confused!”

    “Are you scared of him?”

    “I guess.”

I felt as if I were almost in a trance. The pubblico ministero led me through the scenario, and I meekly agreed to his suggestions.

    “This is what happened, right? You met him?”

    “I guess so.”

    “Where did you meet?”

    “I don’t know. I guess at the basketball court.”

    “You went to the house?”

    “I guess so.”

    “Was Meredith in the house?”

    “I don’t remember.”

    “Did Patrick go in there?”

    “I don’t know, I guess so.”

    “Where were you?”

    “I don’t know. I guess in the kitchen.”

    “Did you hear Meredith screaming?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “How could you not hear Meredith screaming?”

    “I don’t know. Maybe I covered my ears. I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m just imagining this. I’m trying to remember, and you’re telling me I need to remember, but I don’t know. This doesn’t feel right.”

    He said, “No, remember. Remember what happened.”

    “I don’t know.”

At that moment, with the pubblico ministero raining questions down on me, I covered my ears so I could drown him out.

    He said, “Did you hear her scream?”

    I said, “I think so.”

My account was written up in Italian and he said, “This is what we wrote down. Sign it.”

To repeat, Mignini was not even present at the midnight interrogation of Knox by the police, and he certainly never edged her into fingering Lumumba as is being claimed here. Knox herself did that all by herself in the presence of the police.

And she did it again and again. Emphatically.

[Dalla Vedova and Ghirga: did they illegally allow Knox to commit serious felonies in the book?]

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Amanda Knox Book: Could Her Book Legally Entangle These Four?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[Image above: Curt Knox, Ted Simon, Robert Barnett, and David Marriott]

It seems probably that in every legal system on Earth, enabling or encouraging or inciting a crime may itself be a crime.

Could Amanda Knox’s forthcoming book be considered a crime, or more precisely a series of crimes? We wait to see what it says, but for starters its mere existence flouts Italian law. From our 22 April post:

Italy’s justice system so favors DEFENDANTS that it is perhaps the most pro-defendant system in the world. In fact many Italians feel its leniency has gone way too far. That is why there are these automatic appeals and why Knox could talk freely in court and have no cross-examination of her claims.

At the same time, officers of the Italian justice system are sheltered by huge powers hardly even needing to be invoked. The reason the law is so strong in this dimension is in part because a favored mafia tactic is to do what Sollecito and Preston and Burleigh have done in their books: slime the officers of the court.

Get that? Knox can talk her head off in court (as she did for two full days and many “spontaneous” interventions at the trial and annulled appeal) but because of a torrid history of false allegations against Italian courts, especially by the mafia and accused politicians, Italian law forbids her to do so outside in ways that misrepresent the evidence and impugn any officers of the legal system, prosecutors and prison staff counted in.

Sollecito’s book published six months ago made four kinds of mistake: (1) publishing for blood money while still accused; (2) including many false claims which contradict his own case at trial and will almost certainly contradict claims Knox makes; (3) defaming numerous officers of the court in freely accusing them of crimes - falsely, as his own dad admits; and (4) maligning the entire Italian justice system, the most popular and trusted institution in Italy with heavy protections at its disposal when it wants.

The criminal investigation into Sollecito’s book is under the wing of the same chief prosecutor in Florence who will oversee the re-run of the murder appeal. His investigation target is expected to be broad, and will certainly include the shadow writer and publisher and Sollecito’s own legal help. At the max, because Sollecito has impugned anti-mafia prosecutors and judges, he might face close to ten years.

PLUS the mitigating circumstances Massei allowed which brought his sentence down by five years will likely be disallowed by the Florence appeal court, adding five more years if the new appeal concludes guilt.

It seems an open secret in Perugia that Knox’s lawyers there have long shrugged off the US campaign and acted locally as if it really isnt there. They may or may not have attempted to forestall the book, though by now they certainly know it will make things far worse for Knox.

Sollecito’s lawyers have even more reason to know this as they are already under the gun, and they are probably sitting back and watching the trainwreck with ever-growing glee. 

Going forward, the prosecution is in a very sound and dominating position.

The evidence is very, very strong.  The Massei Trial Report is still unscathed. The Galati Appeal and the late-March Supreme Court decision absolutely destroyed the Hellmann appeal, and heavily implied that it had been bent. And the prosecutor who has been so unfairly maligned in the US has zero legal problems of his own, after Cassation nailed a rogue prosecutor for pursuing him and put his Narducci investigation back on track, and he was promoted and is set to be the Region of Umbria’s number one prosecutor very soon.

In contrast even without the albatross of the book Knox’s position was very weak.

She has already served three years for criminally lying to protect herself, and that sentence is subject to no further appeal. (Talk of taking it to the European Court is a joke.) Nobody in Italy will trust her word after that. As the post below this one shows, dozens of witnesses will speak up against any false claims. Who will testify on her behalf?

Also Knox seems intent on skipping the appeal, which is itself a contempt of court. And Sollecito, who has said he will be present, showed strong tendencies in his book to sell her short. If her book and her ABC interview are not roundly chastized on Italian TV as Sollecito’s was late last year, it will be a surprise. And complaints are already on their way to Florence - a prison guard she impugns in the book who earlier she herself had said meant no harm is moving forward. 

Curt Knox, Ted Simon, Robert Barnett, and David Marriott may end up in the crosshairs of the anticipated investigation for enabling or encouraging or inciting the book. And if Knox is handed extra years because of their zero due diligence, she may have a malpractice case against Simon and Barnett.

We hope their fingers are crossed.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Barbie Nadeau Interviews Meredith’s Mother On Her Continuing Hope For The Full Truth

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

From Barbie Nadeau’s interview with Arline by phone in the Daily Beast.

“It is always distressing to hear and read about the murder,” Arline told me by phone from England, where she lives. “We have to brace ourselves for another round of this nightmare.”

And yet, while at some level she is dreading the revival of the spectacle surrounding the case, she is also glad the pursuit of the truth is continuing. “We want justice for Meredith,” she told me. “We don’t want anyone who is innocent to go to jail, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions that seem to have been ignored in the last trial.”

Arline is invariably stoic, patient, and nice. But the outcome of the annulled appeal in 2011 which we now know was bent was a tremendous shock.

[After the 2009 trial Arline] Kercher went back to London to begin that painful journey. But that process was disrupted when Knox and Sollecito’s convictions were overturned on October 3, 2011. Kercher was back in the courtroom again that night. When the not-guilty verdicts were read, tears streamed down her face.

Now Kercher will have to wait once more. There will be at least two more verdicts before the nightmare is over—one by a new appellate court, which will reconsider the case, and another by Italy’s high court, which must sign off on the appellate court decision, or send it back to trial once again. As the next chapter of the case unfolds, she will have to relive the media show that tends to focus on Knox as the main character and her daughter as a bit player. She will again hear the gruesome details of her daughter’s horrible death. She doesn’t know how she will handle another cycle of trials, or if she will attend the next one.

The unfeeling Judge Hellmann spread the anulled appeal over a full year in 2011 with sessions only about every second Saturday to suit defense lawyer Giulia Bongiorno and her baby.

He did not give a second thought to the immense travel and cost difficulties of the Kerchers.  The new appeal could and should fit in a space of two weeks. Chief decider once Cassation sets the ground rules (due in writing any time in the next few weeks) will be Fabio Massimo Drago.

Dr Drago (at center below) is Tuscany’s chief judge.

Posted on 04/15/13 at 12:28 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer familyOfficially involvedVictims family
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Monday, April 08, 2013

Tips For The Media: There’s Far More Evidence Than UK/US Need For Guilt - See This Footprint

Posted by SomeAlibi

The false claim “there is no evidence”

Some amateur supporters of Knox and Sollecito have committed thousands of hours online to try and blur and obfuscate the facts of the case in front of the general public.

Their goal is simple: to create an overwhelming meme that there is “no evidence” against the accused, and thereby try to create a groundswell of support. Curt Knox and Edda Mellas and Ted Simon have all made this “no evidence” claim many times.

At least some some of the media have eagerly swallowed it.

The amateur PR flunkies make up myriad alternate versions of what created single points of evidence, often xenophobic scare stories designed to trigger emotional reactions, which they hope will be repeated often enough to become accepted as “the truth”.

And where things get really tricky, another time honored tactic is to go on at great length about irrelevant details, essentially to filibuster, in the hope that general observers will lose patience with trying to work it all out.

But time and again we have shown there is actually a great deal of evidence.

Evidence is the raw stuff of criminal cases. Let me speak here as a lawyer. Do you know how many evidence points are required to prove Guilt? One evidence point if it is definitive.

A definitive evidence point

If you’re new to this case or undecided, what is an easy example of ONE definitive evidence item that might stand alone? Might quickly, simply, and overwhelmingly convince you to invest more time into understanding the real evidence, not that distorted by the PR campaign?

In fact we have quite a choice. See the footprint which was second on that list.

Now see the table above. I recommend the use of this table of measurement to avoid the lengthy back and forward of narrative argument which so lends itself to obscuring the truth. I would like to present you with this single table of measurements to give you pause to question whether this line that there is “no evidence” is really true or whether it might be a crafted deception.

I present here a summarized view of critical evidence which suggests with devastating clarity that Raffaele Sollecito was present the night of the murder of Meredith Kercher. No lengthy text, no alternate versions, just measurements.

This FIRMLY places Sollecito in the very room where Meredith was attacked and killed.

In the small bathroom right next to Meredith’s bedroom was a bathmat. On it was found a bloody naked right footprint of someone walking straight towards the shower in the bathroom. The blood is that of Meredith.

The footprint is not Amanda Knox’s - it is too big - but we can compare it to the prints taken of Rudy Guede and Raffaele Sollecito.

In Judge Massei’s report the multiple measurements were detailed in the narrative over many sentences and, in that form, their immediate cumulative impact is less obvious. It is only by tabulating them, that we are forcefully hit by not one but two clear impressions:

The measurements are extremely highly correlated to the right foot of Raffaele Sollecito in twelve separate individual measurements. In themselves they would be enough for a verdict of guilt in all but a few court cases.

But they also show a manifest LACK of correlation to the right foot of Rudy Guede, the only other male in that cottage on the night. Have a look for yourself.

If you were the prosecution, or indeed the jury, and you saw these measurements of Raffaele’s foot versus the print, what would you think? Answer the question for yourself based on the evidence admitted to court.

Then, if you compare further, exactly how plausible do you find it that the measurements of the bloody imprint are Rudy Guede’s instead?

Not only are some of the individual measurements of Rudy’s imprint as much as 30% too small, but the relative proportions of length and breadth measurements are entirely wrong as well, both undershooting and overshooting by a large margin (70% to 150%).

Conclusions that must follow

Presented with those numbers, would you consider those measurements of Rudy Guede’s right foot to show any credible correlation to those of the footprint on the mat?

Supporters of the two have tried frantically to create smoke screen around this - the wrong technique was used they say (ruled not so by the court) / they are the wrong measurements (all 32 of them? that Raffaele’s are matching exactly or within a millimetre but Rudy’s are out by as much as -30% to +50%...?).

The severity of the impact on the defence is such that there was even a distorted photoshopped version circulated by online supporters of Raffaele and Amanda until they were caught out early on in coverage. But it is hopeless, because these are pure measurement taken against a scale that was presented in court and the data sits before you.

Have a look at the measurements and understand this was evidence presented in court. Whose foot do you think was in that bathroom that night? Rudy Guede? Or was it Raffaele Sollecito on twelve counts of measurement?

And if you find for the latter, you must consider very seriously what that tells you both about the idea there is “no evidence” in this case and who was in the cottage that night…

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Tips For The Media: In Fact Knox Extradition Is Likely To Be Readily Granted

Posted by James Raper

[[Above: a plane landing at Florence airport; most under arrest arrive via Rome airport]

This is the latest in our many posts nailing the myths perpetrated by the pro-Knox campaign,

We can already see that there is an attempt to generate a new myth in the media and on the internet.  This is that it is unlikely that Amanda Knox would be extradited to Italy. Talking heads appear by the dozen on US TV channel networks to say so. A plethora of internet articles add up to the same. They are all wrong, take it from me.

However the fact that the subject is even under discussion is an indication that the implications of the Italian Supreme Court’s annulment of the Appeal verdict are sinking in, in some quarters at any rate. I am sure that what Ted Simon says for public consumption is very different from the advice which (assuming he has been asked) is rendered privately to Amanda and her family. If not then the family is being seriously misled as to Amanda’s prospects of avoiding extradition.

There is, of course, an extradition treaty between the United States and Italy and it seems that the main issue as to whether extradition could take place would be Double Jeopardy.

Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Professor of Law, has written a good piece.  Sensible articles like this have been a long time in coming but even he gets some of it wrong and cannot resist creating a little air of uncertainty.

“Ms Knox would likely challenge any extradition request on the ground that she was already acquitted by the lower appellate court, so any subsequent conviction would constitute double jeopardy.

That is when the real legal complexities would kick in, because Italian and American law are quite different and both will be applicable in this trans-national case involving a citizen of one country charged with killing a citizen of another country, in yet a third country.

America’s extradition treaty with Italy prohibits the US from extraditing someone who has been “acquitted“, which under American law generally means acquitted by a jury at trial. But Ms Knox was acquitted by an appeals court after having been found guilty at trial.  So would her circumstances constitute double jeopardy under American law?

That is uncertain because appellate courts in the US don’t re-try cases and render acquittals (they judge whether lower courts made mistakes of law, not fact). Ms Knox’s own Italian lawyer has acknowledged that her appellate “acquittal” wouldn’t constitute double jeopardy under Italian law since it wasn’t a final judgement - it was subject to further appeal, which has resulted in a reversal of the acquittal.

This argument will probably carry considerable weight with US authorities, likely yielding the conclusion that her extradition wouldn’t violate the treaty. Still, a sympathetic US State Department or judge might find that her appellate acquittal was final enough to preclude her extradition on the ground of double jeopardy.”

“Final enough”?….hmmmmm. That doesn’t seem very legal language to me. And given the Italian three tier system how does one determine when an acquittal is final enough, other than at the end of it? Of course, if in doubt, the State Department or judge could read all the published court judgements in the case. That would help.

On the other hand, perhaps Dershowitz should read the 1984 Extradition Treaty between the USA and Italy more carefully.

Article VI states -

Extradition shall not be granted when the person sought has been convicted, acquitted or pardoned, or has served the sentence imposed, by the Requested Party for the same acts for which extradition is requested.

The Requested Party, in the case of a request for extradition from Italy, will of course be the United Sates.  Clearly this is no bar to extradition in the case of Amanda Knox as there has been no judicial process against her in the USA regarding the murder of Meredith Kercher .

And for the avoidance of doubt jeopardy Article I states - “The Contracting Parties agree to extradite to each other, pursuant to the provisions of this Treaty, persons whom the authorities of the Requesting Party have charged with or found guilty of an extraditable offense.” So an offense shall be an extraditable offense only if it is punishable under the laws of both Contracting Parties by deprivation of liberty for a period of more than one year.

(There are other circumstances under the treaty when extradition will not be granted, but these do not apply to Knox. They concern political and military offences.)

Furthermore the 1984 Extradition Treaty recognizes (as do all such treaties) the validity and fairness of the contracting parties’ respective judicial systems. Such treaties would not be possible otherwise. The USA has already extradited its citizens (when it had to) to countries where, as here, an appeal acquittal has been overturned on further appeal, the original conviction has been re-instated, and the process then continues to another appeal. This is in recognition of the fact that in some systems the State has a right of appeal as well as the accused. What’s wrong with that?

Is all of this likely to change on account of Amanda Knox?

Imagine, for a moment, that Knox fights the request for extradition through the US courts and secures a landmark decision from the Supreme Court that the request is a violation of double jeopardy. At a stroke the US government will be forced to negotiate a raft of new unequal treaty rights and obligations with a number of foreign states that will feel insulted, nonplussed and humiliated by the slight to the reputation of their judicial systems. Some may refuse to do so, and this will more likely disadvantage the USA than the other way around. It would create an enormous mess in US relations with such states.

I don’t think the Supreme Court would be that daft. It’s just not, given the circumstances, a runner.

Neither would the State Department, for the same reasons, be that daft. It is under a treaty obligation, the extradition papers being in order, to (a) grant the request or (b) if the request is challenged in the courts, to hand the matter over to the Justice Department for it to be pursued there on behalf of the Requesting Party.

The reality is that if Knox’s fresh appeal were to fail and the conviction were to be upheld finally by the Italian Supreme Court, then her opposing an extradition request from Italy through the US courts would be an exercise in futility, and an extravagant waste of legal costs that would cut deep into the alleged $4 million for her book.

There would be nothing left for her after that, and after paying off Marriott and numerous other creditors waiting in the wings.

Posted on 04/07/13 at 09:18 AM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Italian justice v othersOfficially involvedAppeals 2009-2015Knox extraditionMeredith-case hoaxesNo-extradition hoaxFamily/defense hoaxersKnox-Mellas teamAmanda Knox
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Saturday, April 06, 2013

Giuliano Mignini Promotion Places Him First In Line For Prosecutor General of The Region Of Umbria

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Above: Giuliano Mignini at left at Lake Trasimeno where Dr Narducci’s body believed bound was recovered]

Umbria of course is the Region for which Perugia is the capital and the current Prosecutor General is Dr Galati who will soon retire.

The post that the popular Dr Mignini was promoted into on his high-scoring merit this past week is one of three deputy prosecutor general posts. The promotion was delayed because of the rogue prosecution against him which Cassation annulled, but he is the most senior and most high-scoring of the three so he should succeed Dr Galati.

We will post the full story (it is a long and impressive one) after our series of posts on the Cassation outcome is done. The story includes an almost unprecedented THREE Cassation wins in just the past several months.

  • One obviously was Dr Mignini’s role in the overturn of the Knox-Sollecito appeal and confirmation of Knox’s felony conviction. His main role was to have presented an error-free case at trial in 2009 resulting in the solid grounding of the Massei Report just praised by the Supreme Court.

  • One was the final termination of the spurious prosecution against Dr Mignini and Dr Michele Giuttari in Florence by a rogue prosecutor who was desperate to cover his tail after he was (legally) caught on tape incriminating himself.

  • One was the Cassation decision to permit the reopening of the MOF-related Narducci case and to confirm that investigations and prosecutions against nearly two dozen who had been seemingly obstructing justice may proceed.

Congratulations to a fearless and effective prosecutor. We will update his full story here soon.

Posted on 04/06/13 at 11:17 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe prosecutorsThe wider contextsItalian context
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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Real Catastrophe For The Defenses That Was The Supreme Court Ruling Last Week

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)

On Tuesday March 26, the Supreme Court of Cassation quashed the previous acquittals of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

The Supreme Court annulled almost the entirety of the 2011 Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdicts, declaring the appeal outcome completely invalid on five of the six charges. The Court only upheld the sixth charge which made definitive Knox’s conviction for calunnia for which she had been sentenced to three years.

Calunnia is the crime of maliciously placing false evidence or testimony against an innocent person, something the Italian Criminal Code considers not as criminal defamation but as a form of obstruction of justice, a more serious offence. 

Worse for Knox, the Court annulled a part of the appeal verdict which had dropped the aggravation known as continuance, the aggravation that acknowledges a logical link between the obstruction of justice and the murder charge.   

Once the dust has settled, the defendants and pro-Knox and pro-Sollecito supporters and defences may finally realize how severe a defeat has been dealt to their side. 

Most American journalists were completely unprepared for and very surprised at the outcome. But most Italian commenters and a very few others elsewhere considered the outcome quite predictable (the criminologist Roberta Bruzzone for example hinted so in written articles, so did Judge Simonetta Matone, as well as John Kercher in his book, and many others too).

This really is a catastrophe for the defences. A complete annulment of an acquittal verdict is just not frequent at all. They do occasionally occur, though, and this one appeared easily predictable because of the extremely low quality of the appeal verdict report. 

For myself I could hardly imagine a survival of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti outcome as being realistic.

I previously posted at length on the Galati-Costagliola recourse (that is an important read if you want to understand all angles of the annulment). I argued there that a Supreme Court acceptance of the verdict would have so jeopardized the Italian jurisprudence precedents on circumstantial evidence that it would have become impossible to convict anyone in Italy at all. 

The previous appeal trial obviously violated the Judicial Code as it was based on illegitimate moves such the appointing of new DNA experts for unacceptable reasons.  It contained patent violations of jurisprudence such as the unjustified dismissal of Rudy Guede’s verdict on a subset of the circumstantial evidence. Hellmann-Zanetti even “interpreted” the Constitution instead of quoting Constitutional Court jurisprudence.

They omitted a number of pieces of evidence, literally “forgetting” them or dismissing them without providing an argument (they should have, being an appellate trial based on the previous findings and arguments of the lower court). The appeal trial had obvious illogical contradictions on a macro level, such as the contradictory putting together of the conviction for calunnia and the acquittal on the murder charge (ignoring a logical link required by statute without introducing any reason at all). 

The Hellmann-Zanetti verdict was also based on an illogical processing of all pieces of evidence (such as the dismissal of Nara Capezzali’s evidence without logical reason, even after calling her “credible,” and that of Quintavalle; and attributing the bloody footprint to Rudy Guede on the basis of some ludicrous reasoning).

The appeal verdict basically ignored the concept of “a contrario” evidence, like concluding that the luminol footprints are probably not in blood but in some other substance and not related to the murder (despite failure to indicate any alternative substance nor any reasonable scenario).

The verdict was also biased with open prejudice in favor of two of the suspects in assuming they would be unlikely to even socialize or hang out together with the third, based on social or racial discrimination (two whites from good-looking families are called “good fellows” while the third is “different”). 

Beyond the glaring, major faux pas in procedure, the verdict’s low quality, unlawfulnesses, and hypocrisy in its reasoning tended to be pervasive and obvious through all its paragraphs, and possibly this also could have caused an aura of distrust toward the work of the Hellmann-Zanetti court. 

One could assess the strikingly low quality of the appeal verdict especially by comparing it to a sophisticated recourse such as the 100-page Galati-Costagliola Supreme Court appeal. While nobody could anticipate with total certainty the Supreme Court decision between the Galati-Costagliola appeal and the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdict, to good legal eyes the outcome would be as uncertain as the result of an England versus San Marino football game!

EACH of the eleven single mistakes, plus EACH of the six “method” mistakes pointed out in the Galati-Costagliola recourse could by itself have been a sufficient cause for the annulment of the acquittals.

The redundancy of reasons and remarks by Cassation sheds light on the judgment shortcomings from many different angles, and all the reasons presented for the recourse were certainly assessed by the Supreme Court. 

But on the practical side, most probably the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict did not even survive beyond the first mistake. The appeal verdict most likely crumbled completely from the very beginning on reason #1, the illegitimate appointing of new experts by Hellmann-Zanetti to re-examine the DNA.   

But even given that the defences’ defeat could be foreseen, I never expected the defeat to pervade to this extent.

I thought the appeal verdict might be quashed entirely and a new appeal would start from scratch. But the Supreme Court went further and decided to “save” only the parts of the verdict that were unfavorable to Knox, and declared her conviction for calunnia definitive.

Meanwhile, the Court accepted the Calati-Costagliola reason #10, and quashed the part that denied a logical link between calunnia and murder.
The Supreme Court thus sends Raffaele Solecito and Amanda Knox back to appeal trial, but this time Amanda Knox will enter the trial as a felony convict with a definitive criminal record, which – the Supreme Court hints – is to be considered logically linked with the charge of murder. 

Moreover, judges in the appeal that will come next in Florence will have to follow the decisions set by the Supreme Court. Since the Supreme Court’s motivations report has not been issued yet, we still don’t know what points exactly Cassazione will make. But we can expect that several arguments used by Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti that were “needed” to acquit Knox and Sollecito will be now declared illegitimate. 

This might mean that we will not see for a second time such faulty reasoning as “Knox’s statement can’t be used as evidence of lying because it is not true.” It may not be possible to dismiss the verdict that found Guede guilty of concurring in murder “with others” from the set of evidence just because it was “weak.” It may not be possible to deduce the time of death based only on declarations of Rudy Guede. 

We also may not have a chance to again see an expert declaring that contamination is “likely” on the sole basis that “everything is possible.” We also may not have another judge attributing footprints without talking about any measurements.

The Supreme Court session began on March 25, and it is only a rare event that a Cassazione session extends over into two days.

The first criminal division of the Supreme Court – scheduled to decide on this case – was a five-judge panel presided over by Dr Severo Chieffi. His name never did sound like a particularly favorable omen for Knox and Sollecito. Dr Chieffi is a 70-year-old judge, known for being the author of a famous 2008 verdict which definitively closed a notorious criminal case (“the first time a Cassazione hearing attracted massive live media attention”), a verdict among the most quoted in jurisprudence which is known as that “on reasonable doubt.” 

Dr Chieffi and his nine-judge panel explained reasonable doubt as to be intended as an “a contrario” concept, the concept used to formulate a logical reasonable alternative. That verdict pointed out the concept of “reasonable” and also stressed that the nature of evidence is “logical” – reasonable depends only on the plausibility of alternatives, not on how conclusive or reliable single pieces of circumstantial evidence are, and a piece of evidence does not require any specific “physical” element or conclusive quality.   

The rapporteur judge was Dr Piera Maria Severina Caprioglio. The rapporteur judge goes through the papers of the whole trial and summarizes their content to the other panel judges; the rapporteur and the president are the two who physically write the report (it may sound like irony that both judges have the adjective “severe” in their name). I was told Dr Caprioglio was a rather stiff judge, known for her scrupulosity in procedure matters, and she is also a specialist – and hard liner – about sexual crime (maybe that’s why she was chosen by Dr Chieffi as the one to do the research on this case). 

At the Supreme Court there is also an office known as the Office of Procurator General, which has more than 50 magistrates. The Procurator General appoints a magistrate (normally called the “PG”) to study cases and to make arguments on all cases dealt with in Supreme Court sessions. The PG is considered “neutral” in the sense that their office represents no party only the “precedents” of the court. While the rapporteur makes a description of the case, the procurator makes arguments about the recourses submitted by the parties. 

At 10:30 am on Monday, Judge Caprioglio begun her 90-minute speech summarizing the case. She detailed legal events that led to the first Massei-Cristiani verdict, and then the appeal trial led by Hellmann-Zanetti and their verdict. 

She sounded rather neutral; hers was a sheer summary with no comment attached. Nevertheless, it sounded most ominous for the defences: right from Dr Caprioglio’s speech, in fact, Knox and Sollecito’s attorneys understood that they were going to lose. 

This is because Dr Caprioglio devoted half of her rapporteur time or more to detailing Massei’s first degree trial and verdict, explaining the arguments and evidence used by the Massei court. Such attention was itself ominous to the defences. 

A main basis of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti verdict is in fact a series of denials about the work of the lower court, in which plenty of evidence was simply ignored or dismissed without dealing with the first degree conclusions; while the strategy of Giulia Bongiorno was to entirely “replace” the details of the evidence set with a self-made narrative, quite unattached to actual trial events, which somewhat “worked” as rhetoric and in the media.

Yet Dr Caprioglio was not yet the biggest problem facing Knox and Sollecito. The defence was about to face a pincer front, because the Procurator General’s offices did not appreciate the appeal verdict at all.

A bomb went off with the speech of Procurator Riello which followed next. 

Dr Riello recalled the points of recourse submitted by Galati-Costagliola, which may sound technical or subtle to those unaccustomed to them. Dr Riello endorsed the radical censures made by Galati-Costagliola and made clear his own view in an overview of the whole verdict. His arguments had the subtlety of an anvil. 

To summarize, he basically maintained the appeal judges had conducted an appeal trial as if they were idiots, and followed the paths of logic, procedure and law like sailors without a compass.
Seen from the point of view of the Procurator General, their way of conducting the appeal trial itself was like a journey through a dreadful series of unlawful steps, decisions informally taken without deliberation, and arbitrary and unjustified ordinances. The court simply “lost their way.”

In the body of their findings, it seems they understood almost nothing about the evidence – in particular about how circumstantial evidence works. They did not deal with the findings and arguments of the first instance court as they should have, as if they didn’t exist, and they trivialized the previous legal material. 

In fact Dr Riello sounded almost sarcastic; outraged by the incredibly amateurish work of this appeal court, he tended to detail the merit of questions and was interrupted by the president asking him to stick to the discussion on the table. 

At the close of his speech, he called the appeal verdict “a rare concentration of law violation, a monument to illogicality.” He said “the judge of merit lost their way in this trial.” Dr Riello noted “they fragmented, they parceled out the pieces of circumstantial evidence.”

He implied not only incompetence but a kind of disingenuous attitude: “The Court employed a fair dose of snobbism for trivializing the first degree verdict, reducing it to four elements. A very imprecise and superficial synthesis.”

He went beyond the criticism expressed in the Galati-Costagliola appeal when he described an obvious bias of the appeal court “not in just a few passages of the second instance verdict – it’s as if the defendants should benefit from a kind of anthropological and cultural immunity, in relation to the events.”

He criticized Pratillo Hellmann’s dismissal of Amanda Knox’s handwritten memoir, and recommended that a new appeal trial must in part be based on that statement as “it is a usable document”; and he stressed that in his opinion “the scream heard by Amanda is a significant datum, of great importance.” The behavior claimed by Knox on the morning of November 2, 2007 in his view was “chilling” and her taking a shower in a cold bathroom is a “chilling detail.” 

Dr Riello concludes by saying: “These are all conditions for not letting the curtains close on an upsetting and extremely serious crime for which the only culprit found up to the present day is Rudy Hermann Guede, who has been addressed through a Lombroso-style assessment, either calling him a thief, a criminal or a drifter. He didn’t confess and he was not convicted by another court for concurring in a crime together with others, maybe with ‘ectoplasms.’” (A reference to Cassation’s previous decision that he did commit the crime with others, but Hellmann-Zanetti identified no other people; hence ‘ectoplasms.’)

The Prosecutor General also dealt with the DNA experts’ report which defined the previous results as “unreliable.” He implied that the report and its language were used as a pretext by the defences “as a tombstone, while in fact it is not.” It was used as a tool to focus the trial on the DNA and steer it away from the whole evidence set, to “bury the set of pieces of circumstantial evidence which all have their vital value.”

The rhetoric of the defences aimed to “blame everything on those involved in the scientific police who are almost depicted as bunglers; however they are not brigadiers playing with toy chemical sets, they are in fact a highly qualified department and they do employ cutting-edge technologies.” 

A severe legal bashing like the Riello speech is not at all common at the Cassazione. As I heard the news on the radio, law experts commented that the event was unusually serious, and they hinted that its consequences may lead to the setting of a historic jurisprudence precedent.

Francesco Maresca – who brought his mentor Vieri Fabiani with him – endorsed the recourse points and made points similar to Dr Riello’s. He pointed out that a major flaw of the appeal trial was to focus on two DNA instances as if the case was based on them. The court appointed experts to review items with no legitimate basis, they provided an inconsistent explanation for their steps, and then they refused to analyze and introduce further evidence, totally contradicting themselves and also violating the code.

Their criteria for choosing which piece of evidence to discuss or review were totally contradictory, and their series of steps egregiously violated a series of procedural conditions that any court is supposed to follow.

The analyzing of the knife DNA sample and bra clasp sample as pieces in isolation is a sort of device that serves a defence made-up narrative; the focus on “disputed” items and the re-make of a narrative about legal events is simply a defence strategy which is aimed at the media rather than official court proceedings. For the Kercher family, the evidence points to the guilt of Knox and Sollecito beyond reasonable doubt. 

The evidence, explained Maresca, consisted of numerous pieces of evidence and reasoning, that were simply not dealt with by the appeal court. The whole process was “non-transparent” and the result is also contradictory given that Knox is indicted by her own words on the crime of calunnia.

Maresca explained that the appeal verdict is riddled with many flaws and errors in the merit of the facts which cannot be assessed by the Cassazione court, but there are also patent violations of law which are “strong and obvious” and of the most serious kind.

Then it was the defence attorneys’ turn. Giulia Bongiorno knew she would need to apply the full power of her best rhetorical skills: she pointed out a factual error in the recalling of Prosecutor Riello and threw herself head-first into the merit of the evidence. 

She even made FOA-style overstatements on the number of Guede’s DNA instances: “So many genetic traces of Rudy Guede were found in the bedroom of the murder, Amanda and Raffaele’s DNA would have been found too if they had been there.” (Her claim is false: in fact, only four samples yielding Guede’s DNA were found in the bedroom, and some were very scant.)
Bongiorno focused on investigation mistakes and complained that Raffaele Sollecito “was put in jail because of a shoe print found beyond the duvet which covered the body, a print that was attributed to Guede.” She also commented on Knox’s handwritten memoir and again put forward the claim – already rejected by all the judges of all instances – that the statement should be “not usable” because there was a “blackout” of defendant guarantees. Apparently, Bongiorno did understand that the most dangerous threat, and the actual battleground, would be about the danger of having Knox now definitively convicted for calunnia. 

Bongiorno said “we do not want to put the scientific police on trial” but then said the point defence demonstrated was that they made “an infinite series of errors.” In fact, Bongiorno’s speech largely consisted of the well-known defense stance of pointing the finger at a list of supposed wrong-doings by the police.

Bongiorno’s argument of pointing out supposed “police mistakes” would probably ring true to Knox’s Amarican supporters, who may find these arguments convincing and effective. 

In fact, it was obvious that Bongiorno’s position was extremely weak, and that her arguments were not going to have any effect. The weakness of Bongiorno’s arguments was obvious from the start because she backed into arguing the case only on the merit of investigation techniques. 

Her arguments would maybe resonate effectively with uninformed spectators, but they had already failed in those courts that were legitimate, and they have no consequence from a legal standpoint. Talking about supposed mistakes during the investigation and supposed bad behavior of police are good to build a narrative for journalists, but they would have zero effect on expert judges. 

I think she knew she was going to lose, but besides being a lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno is also a smart public person, and she plays in the public arena as well as in a court of law at the same time. Her technical stances are all wrong, but she knows she will be remembered well for her good-looking performance. 

The president did not interrupt her, showing due politeness toward the defence attorneys. But no attorney would convince the Supreme Court by simply saying “we demonstrated that the investigators made mistakes.”

In order to seek to obtain some positive effect, she should have argued in favor of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdict on points of law, and put forward arguments for their legitimacy; for example, an argument in response to point #1 of Galati’s recourse claiming that the appointing of DNA experts was unmotivated.

Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova had to take care of their own recourse against the conviction for calunnia on the false accusation of Patrick Lumumba. Their line of defence on this point was the same – and could be nothing else – than what they maintained though all the previous instances. Dalla Vedova deals with the handwritten note where he understands “Amanda says she is confused, she does not care about what she said.”

They reintroduced the myth that “she had been interrogated by the investigators for 54 hours.” They explain – almost a paradoxical argument – that the document was “a defensive paper” while then becoming one of the elements on which the charge of calunnia was built. They stressed that “she wanted to cooperate” with the investigation and that “she was a friend of Meredith.” 

A failure of their arguments was easily predictable because their recourse was built on points that had already failed at lower instances. Some time ago before this appeal, I posted this criticism of the Ghirga-Dalla Vedova recourse on Knox’s calunnia conviction to the Supreme Court:

Pages 3-11: The first argument is about the non-usability of the evidence for the crime of calunnia.

Such an argument is basically the re-proposal of the same argument that had been already dismissed by the Supreme Court in 2008, and subsequently by Massei-Cristiani in 2009 and also by Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti. Therefore, it is an especially weak argument. Ghirga-Dalla Vedova do attempt to use it again at the Supreme Court because it is what they have.

Just like Giulia Bongiorno will likely recall it too, just like she attempted to request of nullification of Stefanoni’s testimony on procedure grounds before Massei, which was rejected again by Hellmann-Zanetti (the Knox supporters have such a spun perception of the proceedings, they apparently don’t see how some basic defensive claims were rejected by all judges).

Pages 11-14 complete the first argument, addressing the further requirements of the crime of calunnia (maliciousness and voluntarity). 

Basically, this point contends that the false accusation was not voluntary or not malicious. The only usable point in my opinion in this reasoning consists of one line, which recalls that Hellmann-Zanetti did not acknowledge the aggravation of continuance for the crime of calunnia. But this point has no consequence because it is a weak point in Hellmann’s verdict itself which violates jurisprudence and logic itself.

The other claims at this point are basically useless; they attack the Hellmann verdict in a way peculiar to the prosecution appeal with an opposite stance. But in fact “not knowing” that someone is factually innocent obviously cannot be extended to an absolute meaning; Hellmann is illogical on that, because he dismisses the logical link with the murder without explanation. 

Pages 14-18 speak about the alleged “extreme exhaustion” of Knox in order to exculpate her of her confusion and falsehood.

This argument tends to be a stronger attempt to use some of the contradiction in Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti, using as a starting point the fact that H-Z did state that Knox was allegedly under excessive pressure. They convicted her for calunnia nonetheless. I think this argument won’t go too far, for two reasons.

First, because it’s basically on the merits; it quotes the whole writing of Knox and requests the SC to directly re-assess the sincerity of her words, something which the SC are unlikely to do.

Second, because while on the one hand there is a contradiction in H-Z as they accuse her of calunnia but do not use her writings as an evidence of lying on the other crime, and they reject the continuance despite the obvious link between the calunnia and the murder, on the other hand the contradiction addressed by Ghirga is weaker. There was in fact no factual finding about “excessive pressure,” neither in the H-Z appeal trial nor in previous Massei testimonies.

As for jurisprudence, pressure and “psychological alteration” itself is not enough to cause a loss of mental faculties to understand and will. Basically, most crimes are committed in a state of psychological stress or alteration, and people are responsible for themselves notwithstanding. The faculty to understand and will is not a psychological condition; it is something that affects the cognitive and decisional functioning of the brain on more basic functions, and requires a medical assessment.

So there is no way the argument of Ghirga-Dalla Vedova can overturn a conviction for calunnia based on an argument of psychological conditions: they have no basis; and there is no consistent ground to assert “excessive pressure” either. 

Pages 19-20 is a very short argument about two articles of the code that Ghirga puts in in relation to a case of defensive rights. 

This is an argument I am unable to assess clearly. This point basically claims Knox is somehow protected by the law because of an extension of her rights of defence. I have the feeling this point is wrong, because the boundaries of the right to defend oneself are already fixed and limited by a SC ruling of 2008, and because Article 51 only applies to what she declared as a defendant, but not to what she declared as a witness.

Pages 20-22 is only about the sentencing and not about innocence; it claims that, anyway, even if Amanda is guilty of calunnia, the punishment was too stiff and this severity was not logically motivated by Hellmann. This point is the only that could stand, in my opinion.

After the hearing of March 25 – which was the ninth case the Supreme Court panel dealt with that day – the panel deliberated for six hours, then adjourned the hearing and scheduled the final decision for the following morning.

The question whether to annul the verdict entirely, or to confirm the calunnia conviction, might have been the cause of some of the extra time needed. 

When the Supreme Court has to deal with scheduled cases the relator puts a mark – between 1 and 8 – indicating the difficulty of the case: 1 is the easiest and 8 is very complex. 

Almost all recourses are below 3, while a case like the one on the Narducci investigation a week earlier, involving Mignini, could have been closer to 8. The difficulty of this case is unknown. But because of some sensitive jurisprudence involved and because of the articulation of the recourses, this could have been around 6 or higher.

After retirement of the court, and adjournment to the subsequent day, at 10 am on March 26, the court’s dispositivo was the following:


Thus, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are sent back to appeal trial in Florence on all charges related to the rape and murder of Meredith Kercher (a, b, c, d, e). And Knox is definitively declared guilty of the obstruction of justice charge known as calunnia, while the argument denying any logical link between the calunnia and the murder is quashed.

Resources used

The article above draws in part upon a translation into English of news information published by various Italian press sources, which our readers may like to look at directly. A good coverage of the case – including Riello’s speech – was broadcast by RaiNews 24 and they also have a lot of information on the website. Online updates were provided by Televideo. Commentaries and discussions were hosted on Radio1 - GR Rai. Dr Riello’s comments were reported by Il Fatto Quotidiano and Style.it. There were reports on Libero Italy.it. Also details and chronicles were reported at the end of the day by Il Giornale dell’Umbria. Coverage and the quotes for March 25 were provided by AGI. The dispositivo official document was obtained and published by Andrea Vogt.

A Growing Number Of Commentators Are Objecting To Overexposure Of The Two Still Accused

Posted by Peter Quennell

We have a series of posts coming up that will describe in detail and analyze the outcome of the Supreme Court.

At least one post will be a roundup of the media. Noticeable this time was less of a tendency to lionize Knox and Sollecito. Some articles and TV reports flipped for Knox, but none did for Sollecito.

And some editors and reporters have weighed in strongly for better balance. David Barrett of the Daily Telegraph wrote this one.

The impending retrial for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher fills many court-watchers with dread, myself included.

Details of the crime are horrific enough. But during the lengthy court processes which we have already witnessed, my discomfort was intensified by the obsession with Amanda Knox.

The photogenic young American, now 25, was convicted and then acquitted of the 2007 murder. She received more sympathy than most suspects who have ever stood in the dock on such a serious charge.

The media pack which followed the Italian trial would often comment on Knox’s apparent frailty; the “stress” she was suffering or whether she looked “pale”. It made me gag.

It’s a difficulty with which any professional and humane court reporter is familiar: how do you keep the victim, who is absent, visible in the very human drama that is a murder trial?

Is it appropriate to pay more attention to the suspect than to the issue at hand; namely, securing justice on behalf of a person whose life has been taken from them? I say it is not, although I can understand why it happens….

When the Italian prosecutors again attempt to secure a conviction for that tragic murder in Perugia we will have to get used to seeing Knox’s face on a daily basis once more. But let’s ensure that Meredith remains at forefront of all our minds.


Posted on 04/02/13 at 03:55 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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Monday, April 01, 2013

Alarm Bells Ignored: Overconfident PR And Lawyers May Have Led To That Shock At Cassation Outcome

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Amanda Knox has seemed to us more stunned than confident since she got out of Capanne. Her father mentioned that she was not given the whole picture there.

But we have been surprised in recent weeks at how the defense lawyers and spokesmen and especially Raffaele Sollecito and Giulia Bongoirno and Carlo Dalla Vedova and the PR flunkies were seemingly seeing the Supreme Court appeal as a forgone conclusion in their favor, a blip requiring no change in the end game.

Here are 20 warning bells that we think they might have missed or heard wrongly which contributed to a shocked and ill-prepared reaction to the Cassation ruling, and each of which a team of hard-nosed lawyers not befuddled by PR might have heard and responded to quite differently. 

    1. The Italian media in 2007-2008 in fact did not blow the case and Knox herself out of all proportion. Most of the lurid headlines appeared in the UK press where they had zero effect on the 2009 jury. There really was a hard case to answer.

    2. The British and American media mostly came to be manipulated on the lines Barbie Nadeau’s book described, which meant a big contrast opened up between hard Italian reporting and fantastical UK and US reporting.

    3. The Knox and Sollecito teams shrugged off a short-form trial in October 2008 at which point they might have pleaded that Meredith’s murder was not intended and drugs and mental quirks had resulted in a terrible but unintended outcome, perhaps providing relief both for themselves and Meredith’s family. 

    4. The prosecution part of the trial in 2009 was in fact, contrary to frequent illusory claims, fast and comprehensive and decisive, and it may have been at the end of that phase that the jury was already ready to vote guilty. 

    5. The defense part of the trial was far less successful with Amanda Knox on the stand suggesting to Italians that she was cold-blooded and uncaring, and from then on the defenses were desultory and dispirited with no strong points ever landed. Several days one or other of them failed to show.

    6. The prosecution summation at end of trial was extremely powerful and included in it was a very convincing 15-minute crime-scene recreation video (never released to the public) which accounted for all the marks and stains in Meredith’s room and on her body by an attack group of three.

    7. The Massei report, again contrary to frequent illusory claims later, was considered by those familiar with such reports a model of good logic and reasonable assumptions. It laid out and connected hundreds of evidence points which in a normal appeal process would have been unassailable.

    8. The 2011 appeal did not happen because Massei was riddled with legal errors and wrong assumptions, which would have been the criteria for any British or American judge to agree to such an appeal. It happened solely because, unique to Italy, such appeals are automatic if demanded, resulting in a huge number of appeals on weak grounds. 

    9. Italy does not have a terrible record of trial reversals as some claim. It has a record of fine-tuning and adjustments of thousands of appeals by appeal juries seemingly wishing to prove that they are being diligent. Cassation is aware of this quirky systemic effect, and it often bounces back appeal outcomes to dead center. 

    10. It had appeared that the PR effort was joined by a lot of influential “heavies” including MP Girlanda, Judge Heavey, Senator Cantwell, Joel Simon of CPJ, and the billionaire Donald Trump. Most had limited positive effect in the US and less in Italy, and have been quiet since the Cassation ruling.

    11. Judge Hellmann was a surprise replacement for Judge Chiari, then the able and experienced head of the criminal division. (He resigned over this.) Judge Hellmann, a good civil judge, had very limited criminal-case experience. Chief Judge De Nunzio has not explained why he replaced Chiari .

    12. The scope of appeals is carefully laid out in the Italian judicial code, and they are not to be repeat trials with overall reconsideration of all evidence and al witnesses only absent the careful presentation process and cross-examination at trial. In the US or UK the defense grounds for appeal might simply have been rejected. 

    13. Prosecutor Mignini was provisionally convicted in March 2011 of abuse of office, but careful examination would have revealed that the grounds were spurious and he had no need of a conviction in this case. Cassation in the past month has killed his own case terminally and chastized those who brought it. 

    14. Incriminating DNA was found in Meredith’s room and also outside it in many locations, and also on a knife in Sollecito’s apartment. DNA consultants were “illegally” appointed who muddied the waters but decisively disproved none of it. 

    15. The Supreme Court is on record as deciding that three perpetrators attacked Meredith. The defenses never set out to prove Guede was a lone wolf attacker, for a long list of reasons, and they failed to prove that jailhouse witnesses Alessi and Aviello had pointed out credible alternatives.

    16. The Hellmann-Zanetti report surprised a majority of Italian lawyers who read it for its passion and broad scope and tendentious logic, and for misunderstanding certain key legal concepts. Some instantly saw it as having feet of clay, and a pretty sure candidate for reversal.

    17. The significance of Chief Prosecutor Dr Galati in the process seemed seriously discounted.  UK and US media mostly ignored his appointment and where he came from, which was in fact Cassation in Rome where he was a highly effective Deputy Chief Prosecutor.

    18. The Galati appeal itself was extremely competent and hard line and targeted the Hellmann appeal outcome in several levels or layers in a total of ten points. It is one of the toughest and most sweeping appeals ever filed in Italy, and in the US or UK alarm bells really would have gone off at this one. 

    19.  Sollecito’s book was seemingly okayed by his lawyers, although it causes them major complications in three respects: it introduces new “facts” which contradict his own defense; it derides Italian officials and accuses them of crimes; and it looks like a seedy attempt to make money out of a crime for which the writer is still on trial.

    20. While Sollecito had been acting happily oblivious and super-confident in recent months, he has added to Amanda Knox’s own problems by semi selling her out in his book, and by waking the new 800 pound gorilla of contempt of court prosecutions for not respecting the judicial process.

It may not surprise you to learn that Giulia Bongiorno has not had a very winning record at Cassation, and as far as we know the other lawyers have no experience of winning there at all.

Monday, March 25, 2013

After Bizarre Hellmann Outcome Hard Questions That Meredith’s Family Now Face

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Above: Stepahnie Kercher at end of first appeal in late 2011 with Meredith’s second brother Lyle]

Judge Massei came out with a clear scenario for Meredith’s death after trial in 2009.

Judge Hellmann attempted to pick it apart but left no sensible scenario in its place. That is the toughest and legally most crucial argument of today’s prosecution appeal: that the 2011 appeal judges attempted to run a whole new trial - but essentially only listened to the defense.

In this context as Tom Kington reports the Kercher family lawyer in Perugia Dr Francesco Maresca has made this series of comments:

Francesco Maresca, a lawyer representing the Kerchers, claimed the acquittals of Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito were “defective” and “lacked transparency”, adding he was pushing for a retrial.

The appeal court rejected key evidence against Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito after ordering new expert analysis of traces of DNA found on a knife belonging to Mr Sollecito, and on Miss Kercher’s bra strap.

“There are many parts of the judge’s ruling that are defective,” said Mr Maresca. “For example, why did they only review those two bits of evidence? What about the blood in Miss Kercher’s bathroom and traces in the rest of the house?”

Mr Maresca also suggested the appeal court judge had buckled under pressure from supporters of Miss Knox in the US.

“There was a lot of external pressure and the judge showed a will from the start to acquit,” he said.

Dr Maresca also passes on a statement from Meredith’s sister Stephanie:

“We all still miss Meredith terribly… Unfortunately nothing will bring her back.”  Miss Kercher said her family continued to receive support from around the world and had set up a Meredith Kercher Fund to help pay their legal fees, adding the fund could be turned into a charity foundation when the case concludes in Italy.

“A beautiful young girl, my little sister, was taken from us far too soon in such a brutal way with too many unexplained factors,” she said.

Posted on 03/25/13 at 06:49 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Concerning MeredithHer familyOfficially involvedVictims familyCrime hypothesesVarious scenariosAppeals 2009-2015Hellmann outcomeMeredith-case hoaxesDNA contam hoax
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hard Line Against Seeming Self-Serving Meddling By Preston & Spezi Likely To Get Cassation Nod

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Another crazy provocation from Preston & Spezi The Angel With The Eyes Of Ice due in Germany soon]

Breaking news.  Cassation is deciding right now on a formidably worded appeal by the Umbria Prosecutor General to sustain the MOF/Narducci investigation.

The mood generally in Italy is pro the Giuttari and Mignini Monster of Florence supposition, for which there is some firm proof, and not in favor of the hairbrained Spezi and Preston supposition, for which there is none at all. Giuttiari’s book Il Mostro sells very well, while Spezi’s and Preston’s MOF hardly sells at all.

Continued investigation had been stymied by the self-serving actions of certain Florence prosecutors in trying and convicting Giuttari and Mignini for supposed harm to themselves. That conviction was reversed a year ago by an appeal judge in Florence for lack of jurisdiction, and several week ago Cassation scathingly ruled that the case must come to a total end..

The judge who found Giuttari and Mignini guilty (Francesco Maradei) is now up to his ears in his own trouble for bending court outcomes, seemingly due to pressures and bribes. Meanwhile the way has been opened for Mignini to move up to the level of Prosecutor General for Umbria (there are four prosecutor posts at that level) in the next few weeks.

Giuttari spoke out strongly about the trumped up case, and in yet another unexpected development the police chief he blamed for blocking strong pursuit of the case, Antonio Manganelli, has just died.

This post by Yummi of 21 January (especially the second half) is a vital read.

One thing you can say for the fictionalist Doug Preston: he never knows how to quit when he’s behind! 

Read our many, many posts especially by Kermit exposing Preston as a serial liar here.  This new book [image at top] by Preston and Spezi in German on Meredith’s case is promised for release next month, and included in the publisher’s blurb is this claim:

In Perugia, Italy, the British student Meredith Kercher is brutally murdered in her apartment. Prime suspect is her American flatmate Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. With sparse circumstantial evidence both are convicted to extremely long prison sentences. Two years later, an appeals process frees both. Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi roll out the spectacular case of Amanda Knox from scratch. Previously unpublished details, interviews with lawyers involved and the exposure of the dubious machinations of the Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini guarantee a breathtaking reading that can compete with any thriller.

Yeah, well, good luck with that one.

As we have reported in depth the Chief Prosecutor in Florence is already considering contempt-of-court charges for Raffaele Sollecito based on a large number of complaints about his book. If Amanda Knox’s book which is promised for next month impugns even one Italian official, she can be assured of the same..

Presumably so can Preston if this book, the latest of his many hairbrained ventures, comes forth.  More reporting right here when Cassation decides on the Prosecutor General’s appeal.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Like Amanda Knox, Jodi Arias Forgets, Sings, Jokes, And Does Headstands In Interrogation Context

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted on 03/18/13 at 09:00 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedOther legal processesOthers elsewhereAmanda Knox
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