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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 Session

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 refuses.

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

As the defenses acknowledge during their cross-examinations of key investigators present on the night, this was merely a recap/summary, a simple checking of facts with someone who might be helpful which could have been done on a street corner. It was not a witness or suspect interrogation.

Knox eagerly agrees. So they begin on the list.

This goes slowly because of language problems, until an interpreter, Anna Donnino, arrives. In total Knox and four others (three of them women) are present. Knox builds a list of seven people and adds maps and phone numbers (in evidence) in a calm proceeding. These were the names: Peter Svizzero,
Patrick, Ardak, Juve, Spiros, Shaki and “a South African [Guede]” who played basketball near the house.

At several points in the evening Knox is provided with refreshments. No voices are ever raised, no bathroom breaks are refused. A number of efforts are made to help Knox to keep calm.

Inspector Napoleoni and a couple of colleagues are seeking facts from Sollecito in a separate wing. Shown conflicts between what he has said and what his phone records show, Sollecito backtracks and declares that Knox made him lie. Knox is gently asked about this, and nobody reports any reaction. Knox defense lawyers in cross examination do not go there at all.

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

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

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

A second session ending at 5:45 is intended as merely a reading of Knox’s legal rights, with Dr Mignini presiding. No questions are asked.

Having just been warned she should not do so without a lawyer present, Knox insists on a second recorded statement which also says she went out to meet Patrick that night and also accuses Patrick of killing Meredith. 

Just before noon, now under arrest and about to be taken to Capanne Prison, a third statement this time in English, and seemingly gleefully hands it to Rita Ficcara. She yet again accuses Patrick but also ponts some suspicion toward Sollecito.

Knox’s lawyers never substantially challenge this version, leave standing that she insisted on all three statements, and they dont pursue any claims that she was pressed. 

In July Knox herself tried to challenge the scenario but was disbelieved and for the calunnia framing of Patrick Lumumba Judge Massei sentenced her to a year more than Sollecito, later amended by Judge Hellmann to three years served.

2. The Knox-Promoted Alternative Version

This will be the subject of the posts from #11 onward. Though her precise claims vary and often contradict, 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 All The Posts Kept In Update

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for The Knox Interrogation Hoax #6: This The Wedge That Breaks AK And RS Apart? Plus Zugarini On Stand

Click here for The Knox Interrogation Hoax #7: Further Testimony Of Key Witness Zugarini To Knox Conniption 5-6 Nov

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

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

Click here for The Knox Interrogation Hoax #10: The Guiding Magistrate’s Reasoning Three Days After 5-6 November

Click here for The Knox Interrogation Hoax #11: ChallengeTo Readers: Spot The Two Landmines For Lawyers & Knox?

Click here for The Knox Interrogation Hoax #12: Why Prosecution And Defenses Never Believed Knox’s Version

Click here for The Knox Interrogation Hoax #13: Proof Released That In 5-6 Nov Session Knox Worked On Names List


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 Officially involvedDiversion efforts byThe Knox-MellasesThe "profilers"The many hoaxesKnox interrog. hoaxAmanda Knox
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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.



Posted on 04/09/14 at 09:34 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesDiversion efforts byThe SollecitosSollecito's bookReporting on the caseOther legal casesAssociated trialsRaff Sollecito
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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 2009-2014Florence appealDiversion efforts byThe Sollecitos
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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. 

Conclusion

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 2009-2014Florence appealDiversion efforts byThe SollecitosRaff 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.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why Italians Are Under Zero Illusions That Knox & Sollecito Are Prone To Telling The Truth

Posted by Peter Quennell


[Above: Giuseppe Castellini of Giornale dell Umbria has long exposed the Knox/Sollecito lies]


The fast-growing satires of Knox and Sollecito in Italy described in our previous post are not just emerging in a vacuum. 

The many tough crime-show comperes and crime reporters in Italy have rarely let Knox or Sollecito get away with any of their lies. One example was when Bruno Vespa, the host of Porta a Porta, Italy’s most popular crime show, forced Francesco Sollecito to admit to Italy that his son lied extensively in Honor Bound. Another example is when Oggi published some of Knox’s lies and they were rapidly exposed. For seemingly endorsing Knox’s lies Oggi will face trial for obstruction of justice. 

There are countless other examples where Sollecito and Knox have been exposed as liars. The super-sharp editor of the Giornale dell Umbria, Giuseppe Castellini, has just published this challenge to Sollecito who had absurdly had claimed that nobody ever wanted to ask him any questions in court.

The translation is by Miriam. 

Murder of Meredith:  a few questions for Raffaele Sollecito

Raffaele Sollecito, found guilty and condemned to 25 years by the Appeals Court of Florence, for the murder of the English student Meredith Kercher (for the same crime Amanda Knox was also found guilty and Rudy Guede is already serving a definite sentence of 16 years) has stated that he was never questioned in court, because no one ever asked him.

For the record and in order to have a complete picture at, it should be remembered that during the investigation, Sollecito twice took advantage of his right to not respond to the questions of the PM Mignini.

So if it’s true that the prosecutors, in all the trials never asked to question him in court, neither did he ask to be, limiting himself to giving several times making spontaneous statements, without being cross examined.

However, this is not the real point. The fact is that Raffaele could not or did not want to respond to the questions of the investigators.

His version was always brought forth in detail by his lawyers, obviously, but that is not the same thing.

Important questions remain to which Raffaele did not answer directly during cross examination by the Prosecutors.  Let’s try to summarize some crucial unanswered ones. Who knows if Raffaele will ever decide to respond in detail right here on these pages even though – at the moment – it seems improbable. We address him directly, sure that he reads these pages.

1. The first time that you were questioned in Questura you said that the first of November 2007 (Meredith was murdered the night between the first and the second of November) after a walk through downtown Perugia (before that you and Amanda have been in the house in via della Pergola). You came home around 08.00pm while Amanda come back much later around 01.00am, you then changed your version saying that you had always been together.  Your first statement seem like a distancing from Amanda, in those hours nobody knows what she did, while the second one has a complete different flavor.  Why did you radically changed your version?

2. It’s proved by the findings (even if your lawyers contested it) that the computer in your house was activated for about half an hour from 05.32am till little after 06.00am of the second of November.  For the experts of the Police it was certainly a human interaction.  You, instead declare that you and Amanda were sleeping.  So who was it then that was using your PC at that hour? 

3. Your and Amanda’s cell phones were turned off at the same time around 08.40pm of the first of November and they were turned on, practically at the same time, a little after 06.00am of the second of November (at that time you received the “good night” sms sent from your father the night before).  How do you explain all this? 

4. You stated that you were not in the house in via della Pergola.  How it is possible that your DNA is on the bra clasp (17 loci that shows your genetic profile, and for the father of Italian genetics, Prof. Vescovi, that with the current processes are not only enough, but more than enough to match your DNA).  And why did luminol revealed a bare right foot print compatible with yours, in addition to the one on the bathmat in the small bathroom? (the size of the big toe, just to point out one thing, is just like yours, while Rudy’s is a lot smaller).

5. Why, if Rudy was the only assassin, in the corridor would he cancel only the bare foot prints, leaving in plain sight always his, but left with the shoe print of his left foot?  Doesn’t it come to mind that whoever cleaned up the prints thought to cancel theirs (specifically the ones ascribed to you and Amanda) leaving behind those recognizable as Rudy’s?

6. You and Amanda were seen by the homeless Antonio Curatolo late the night of the murder and Amanda was seen by the shopkeeper – that knew you well and already saw you with Amanda – enter in the shop at about 07.45am to buy something and go back toward piazza Grimana.  You and Amanda say that at that hour you were sleeping in your house. Is there something that can demonstrate this, that up to now has slipped away and that would give you the missing alibi?

We have advanced plenty of questions for the evasive Sollecito of our own. Here are seven examples.


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 2009-2014Florence appealDiversion efforts byThe Sollecitos
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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 2009-2014Florence appealThe many 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 2009-2014Florence 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 2009-2014Florence 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 2009-2014Florence appealThe many 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.
Archived in Officially involvedThe defensesPublic evidenceThe timelinesKnox's alibisSollecito's alibisDNA and luminolThe two knivesThe computersAppeals 2009-2014Florence appeal
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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 defensesDiversion efforts byThe Knox-MellasesOther legal casesOthers elsewhereAmanda 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 psychologyDiversion efforts byThe SollecitosSollecito's bookRaff Sollecito
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