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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Endemic Hints By RS That He WAS One Of The Real Killers Pretty Blatant In Italy #2

Posted by Guermantes



Popular TV and newsprint presence Selvaggia Lucarelli one of more prominent anti-RS

The humorless and un-self-aware RS and AK really play into skeptical Italian commentators’ hands.

Almost everything Sollecito says and does now is put under the microscope. He seems to sort of get that he becomes the butt of a lot of often-subtle jokes. His ticked-off reactions only make things worse.

This is my translation of a second column by Selvaggia Lucarelli the popular TV and newsprint presence. This was our first.

April 5, 2016

Raffaele Sollecito becomes crime commentator on TV with TgCom24. Next stop – knife sharpener?

By Selvaggia Lucarelli

A year ago, the Court of Cassation definitively acquitted Raffaele Sollecito (and Amanda Knox). Evidentiary framework that would confirm their guilt beyond reasonable doubt was lacking. Now Raffaele Sollecito is a free man and has an inviolable right to do what he wants. He could be a singer, an insurance agent, a tailor, a blacksmith, a web designer, or a pizza maker.

And yet, all of his amazing attempts to kick off a second life are clues and evidence (which is rather damning) not to be guilty of murder “beyond reasonable doubt”, but to be guilty of bad taste, inelegance, missed opportunities and unintelligence beyond reasonable doubt. Beyond any doubt or hesitation at all. Beyond any uncertainty.

On this matter, the evidence is rather overwhelming and reliable. And no, I’m not part of that forcaioli (pitchfork, gallows) lobby Sollecito often likes to quote. I am part of that large group of people who witness his awkward and incoherent attempts at liberation / redemption and wonder if there is no one sensible next to him to suggest that he chooses a career a few fields away from the dead people / murder victims.

Because there would be other things to do if he wished so, yet the dear Raffaele, for now, of all the brilliant ideas about his future career has given birth to two: the first was that of an app (funded by the Puglia region with 66,000 Euro) to arrange funerals, share photos of the dead with others and, as is written in the introduction to his website, “to eliminate, through the services of the app, the distance between you and the person you want to commemorate.”

I mean, if really, thanks to Sollecito, there exists a way to keep in touch with the dead, we hope that Meredith’s mother downloads the app as soon as possible and chats with her daughter to ask who had murdered her, together with Rudi Guedè, seeing as he was convicted of murder in complicity with someone, but that someone has never been identified.

However, the Sollecito app, for which he won a grant (the Puglia region realized that the idea of funerals 2.0 was likely to slide into second place in the ranking of the top apps in the world after Whatsapp), must not have had the desired effect because Raffaele has decided to take a second road.

The news is just a few days old: Sollecito is now a TV crime expert in the Mediaset’s program “This Week’s Mystery” where he discusses amiably the most famous murder victims.

Of course, it should be recognized that in a world of improvised TV experts, it could not be said that the young man did not chew on his arguments, so all in all we appreciate his choice of Mediaset to work towards competence. It is the issue of good taste that continues to leave us vaguely incredulous, so much so that TgCom24 announced Sollecito’s debut on April 1, and virtually no one paid attention to the news believing that it was yet another surreal April Fools’ joke.

After three days and the airing of the program everyone had to believe the unbelievable and the news yesterday was revived by all. The moral of the story: Sollecito, commentator on TV in a broadcast on murder victims, in the history of all the April Fools’ jokes from the Cretaceous to the present, is not, alas, a false story mistaken for true, but the first real news mistaken for false.

I wonder now what will be his next steps in the world of work: maybe it would be a nice idea to open a guest house for students. Or become a sharpener of knives. Or open a real estate agency in Perugia. What is certain is that in the wake of this macabre narcissism anything is possible.

And yes, of course, that is the basic premise. The certainty that Raffaele Sollecito can do whatever the hell he wants. It is also true, however, a healthy person judged innocent by a court while half of Italy is still convinced he’s guilty would instead seek media oblivion.

And if not oblivion, at least a career a few fields away from the smell of death, the suspicion that death carries with it, the face of a little girl named Meredith who was killed like a dog. Not Raffaele, he does not intend to sever that bond (with the dead) but, on the contrary, seems to want to ride on with uncanny persistence.

Too bad. It took eight years to prove his innocence, it would take five minutes to prove his intelligence. Maybe opening a kiosk outside the stadium or an architectural bureau in Barletta, instead of going on TV to argue with Bruzzone who knows most about killings, would be a better idea. Meredith’s parents would appreciate this, I’m sure.

Posted on 04/12/16 at 11:08 AM by Guermantes. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedRaff SollecitoHoaxes SollecitoSollec not-present hoaxSollecito's alibisSollec persona hoax
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Friday, February 26, 2016

Surprising Similarities Between Sammy The Bull Gravano And The Ex-Perps In Meredith’s Case

Posted by Chimera


Overview

This piece is about Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, an admitted serial killer.

He had a career in the mafia, and was the underboss and hitman for the notorious mob boss John Gotti.  Although his is a case about organized crime, there are many similarities between Gotti v Gravano, and Knox v Sollecito v Guede.

Some Gotti/Gravano history

John Gotti was a captain in the Gambino crime family (named after Carlo Gambino), based in New York, NY.  A serious problem emerged for him when several members of his ‘‘crew’’ were indicted for drug dealing.

These indictments included his younger brother, Gene Gotti, and Angelo Ruggiero, a childhood friend.  The policy within the crime family for many years had been ‘‘deal-and-die’‘.

The upper leadership of the mob had figured that drug dealing was too high profile a crime, and that the extra police attention was not worth it.  True, this was extremely hypocritical, as the bosses collected their cut of all income, knowing that a large portion of those proceeds came directly from drugs.

The drug indictments suddenly meant that John Gotti was in danger.

Though not personally implicated, he thought he might also be killed on the assumption that he approved of the alleged dealing.  He decided to strike first, to save his own neck by having then boss Paul Castellano ‘‘rubbed out’‘.  Gotti solicited the help of Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, who was known as a prolific killer.

Paul Castellano had inducted Gravano into the mob in 1978.  However, Gravano had no qualms about killing his ‘‘friend’’ since Gotti offered him even more: a promotion to ‘‘capo’’ or to ‘‘captain’‘.

Gravano helped Gotti set up the hit for December 16, 1985.  With Castellano (and driver Tommy Billoti who was at the time underboss) dead, the family was temporarily leaderless.  Gotti got himself voted in, and took over the Gambino family.

Castellano wasn’t the only ‘‘friend’’ that Gravano murdered, or would later murder.  Gravano murdered Robert di Bernardo—a business partner, Louie Molito—a childhood friend, and others.  He then took over any assets that they had.  Some ‘‘friend’‘.

For the next several years, Gotti deliberately put himself into the spotlight.  He managed to win 3 criminal trials, and seemed untouchable.  However, in 1990, his mouth got him into trouble, and the FBI recorded Gotti implicating himself and other Gambino associates on murder and other crimes.

Gotti also made many nasty insults towards Gravano, now his underboss.

Gotti, Gravano, and Frank LeCasio (then the 3rd in command) were arrested December 11, 1990.  All were held without bail.  When Gravano finally heard the tapes of what Gotti had been saying about him, he turned and became a ‘‘mob rat’‘.  Gotti and LeCasio were convicted of murder, racketeering and other crimes, and received life without parole. 

Gravano, however got a deal that would put Karla Homolka to shame: 5 years for 19 murders.  True, he could have served 20 for racketeering, but the judge cut it far below that.

For the complete interview, please see the YouTube video at the top here. This was shot in the 1990’s and converted to digital, so the quality is not that great.  Here are a few more for background.  The third one, the movie ‘‘Gotti’’ is fairly accurate, though off on some points.


Gambino family highlights

(1) Albert Anastasia (underboss to Vincent Magino) made his ‘‘friend’’ disappear.  Anastasia then took over.

(2) Carlo Gambino (underboss to Albert Anastasia) had his ‘‘friend’’ shot in a barbershop.  Gambino then took over.

(3) Carlo Gambino made sure the ‘‘best qualified person’’ took over when he had a heart attack.  He hand picked his brother-in-law Paul Castellano to succeed him.

(4) Paul Castellano’s underboss, Neil Delacroce, died of cancer.  Castellano hand picked his buddy, Tommy Bilotti, to become new underboss.

(5) John Gotti and Salvatore (Sammy) Gravano, had their ‘‘friend’’ Paul Castellano shot dead in public.  Gotti took over.

(6) While in prison, John Gotti made sure the best qualified person succeeded him as boss.  He hand picked his son, John Jr.

So…. murder and nepotism seem to be how the top spots get filled in the mafia.

Excerpts From the Video

2:55 (Gravano)  You can relate me to a soldier in Vietnam who killed hundreds of people.  I was a soldier of Cosa Nostra.  I am a hitman.

No. You are just a slimeball who kills for money.

3:25 (Gravano)  Here I am

3:30 (Sawyer)  They have said that you are the single most important witness ever to testify against the mob.

3:36 (Gravano)  I think I am.

3:39 (Sawyer)  So there’s a word you use, for people who turn ...

3:42 (Gravano)  Who cooperate.  You trying to goat me into the word?  Rat?  Is that the word?

3:51 (Sawyer)  That’s the word.  So are you a rat?

3:53 Gravano)  I look at it as ‘‘I was betrayed.  I betrayed him.’‘

3:59 (Sawyer)  Double crosser?

4:01 (Gravano) Loud sigh ... master double-crosser.  John’s a double-crosser.  I’m a master double-crosser.  We played chess, and he lost.

Gravano had in the past sneered at the idea of people testifying.  However, when it is his turn, he dismisses it as a game.

4:30 (Gravano)  Power has a way, where you can believe for a while that you can walk on water.  And I think this is what happened to him.

And people who can walk away from 19 murders?  What are they thinking?

5:25 (Sawyer)  Were you Gotti’s friend?

5:30 (Gravano)  His pit bull.  And his friend.

5:42 (Sawyer)  What was the reason, the real reason you cooperated?  Or was it just to save your skin?

5:48 (Gravano)  I was just tired of the mob, and tired of fighting.  It was a door out of the mob.  You know I watched the David Karresch incident, and I would say to myself: ‘‘how could these people get so brainwashed?  Are they crazy?  Are they nuts?’’ And then I look at myself in the mirror and I say ‘‘brainwashed?’’  Here I am on orders, killing people left and right.  And I’m calling them brainwashed.

6:18 (Sawyer)  There was a book written about you that you said you had a characteristic of committing murder with the non-chalence of someone pulling open the tab on a can of beer.  That was about all that it phased you, or about all it took.

6:30 (Gravano)  As far as being a hitman goes, I was actually good at it.

6:36 (Sawyer)  Because you were fast, and lethal?

6:39 (Gravano)  And loyal.  If I was on your case, I dropped everything.

6:45 (Sawyer)  Look at this list.  There are ... how many?

6:49 (Gravano) 19

6:51 (Sawyer)  Serial killers don’t have 19.

6:53 (Gravano)  We’re worse than they are.

Okay, which is it?  You turned on Gotti because it was a chess game?  Or you did it because you were tired of the mob and the games?  It can’t be both.

7:00 (Gravano)  We only kill ourselves.  What are you worried about?  The public seems to like what we do.  Look at John Gotti.  If I have 19, forget about what he has.  When he wanted a hit, he wanted it done yesterday.  He would sent me to supervise it, or to control it, make sure the job got done.  And I obviously did.  When you’re the boss, and you’re giving orders, you’re credited with all of it, even if you’re not on the street.

Gravano is pulling the ‘‘John was even worse’’ card here.  And he seems somewhat proud of what he has done.  Sicko.

17:55 (Gravano)  I remember something that surprised me is that I had no remorse at all.  None.  I didn’t feel sorry for him in the least.  I felt power.  I felt like my adrenaline in my body was completely out of control.

18:09 (Sawyer)  You were excited?

18:13 (Gravano)  I guess it’s like an animal going after its prey.

18:35 (Gravano)  Everything changed.  .... At a club, oh, no Sammy, you don’t have to wait in line.  You can come right in.

18:40 (Sawyer)  You were a player?

18:45 (Gravano)  I was out of the minor leagues.  I was in the major leagues.

No comment needed.

Other parallels with our pair

  • Gravano is of Italian-American descent.
  • Knox is American.
  • Sollecito is Italian.


  • Gravano was paid $1.5 million for ‘‘his’’ book called Underboss.
  • Knox was paid $3.8 million for ‘‘her’’ book called Waiting to be Heard.
  • Sollecito was paid $950,000 for ‘‘his’’ book, called Honor Bound


  • Gravano tried to ‘‘cash in’’ on his murders by admitting what he had done.
  • Knox/Sollecito tried to ‘‘cash in’’ on Meredith’s murder


  • ’‘Gravano’s’’ book was really written by Peter Maas.
  • ’‘Knox’s’’ book was really written by Linda Kuhlman.
  • ’‘Sollecito’s’’ book was really written by Andrew Gumbel.


  • The families of Gravano’s victims are outraged he is cashing in on the notoriety of his crimes.
  • The Kercher family is outraged AK/RS are cashing in on the notoriety of their crimes.


  • Gravano got an interview from Diane Sawyer.
  • Knox’s first (of many) interviews was with Diane Sawyer.
  • Sollecito’s first (of several) interviews was with Katie Couric.


  • Gambino boss John Gotti was referred to as ‘‘John Gotti’‘.
  • Sammy Gravano was referred to as ‘‘John Gotti’s Hitman’‘.
  • Amanda Knox is referred to as ‘‘Amanda Knox’‘
  • Raffaele Sollecito is referred to as ‘‘Amanda Knox’s Italian Ex-Boyfriend’‘


  • Gravano has no problems airing personal details about his ‘‘friend’’ John.
  • Knox has no problems airing personal details about her ‘‘friend’’ Meredith.


  • Gravano criticizes Gotti’s public lifestyle, then after his deal becomes a media whore.
  • Knox claims she wants to live in peace, but becomes a media whore to sway public opinion, and sell ‘‘her’’ book.
  • Sollecito claims he was just dragged into Knox’s case, but becomes a media whore for the same reasons as Knox.


  • Gravano blames Gotti for destroying the Gambino family, even though he was the one who testified at trial.
  • Knox seems to blame Meredith for her own death, even though she stuck the knife in (well, she had it coming).


  • Gravano (at least he claims) to have rigged Gotti’s racketeering trial to ensure an acquittal (or at worst a hung jury)
  • Knox’s and Sollecito’s case was rigged by Hellmann/Zanetti and Marsca/Bruno to ensure an acquittal.


  • Gravano was psychologically evaluated before leaving prison, and the results were disturbing.
  • Knox and Sollecito were psychologically evaluated in prison, and the results were disturbing.


  • Gravano smeared other mob associates for getting involved with drug trafficking.
  • Knox smeared others (especially in her book) for drug use.


  • Gravano’s drug smears were hypocritical as he was later brought to justice for drug trafficking.
  • Knox’s drug smears were hypocritical, as she was into drugs, and slept with a dealer (Federico Martini) for drugs.


  • Gravano’s most depraved act (outside of murder), was marrying a woman whose brother he had killed (Nick Scibetta).
  • Knox’s most depraved act (outside of murder), was continuing her sex-for-drugs deal even after Meredith’s death.
  • Sollecito’s most depraved act (outside of murder), was his various bride shopping efforts to avoid extradition.


  • Warning signs?  Gravano murdered his business ‘‘friends’‘, so betraying Gotti was no real surprise.
  • Warning signs?  Knox staged a break in, wrote rape stories, and threw rocks at cars, so violence in her home was no real surprise.
  • Warning signs?  Sollecito had supposedly attacked a classmate with scissors, so stabbing someone was no real surprise.


  • Collateral damage?  Gravano was prepared to kill innocent bystanders during the December 16, 1985 hit on boss Paul Castellano.
  • Collateral damage?  Knox framed an innocent person (Lumumba), and tried to pin it all on accomplice Rudy Guede.
  • Collateral damage?  Sollecito helped to pin it all on Guede, and cost his sister Vanessa her career with the Carabinieri.


A Final Thought:

Knox liked the Beatles.  Here is ‘‘Working Class Hero’’ by John Lennon.

.... There’s room at the top
They’re telling you still
.... But first you must learn how to
Smile as you kill
.... If you want to be like all
The folks on the ‘Hill

Posted on 02/26/16 at 09:17 PM by Chimera. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychologyThose who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoOther legal processesOthers elsewhereThe wider contextsN America context
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sollecito v Italy & Guede: Damning Incriminations He Will Probably Be Faced With #1

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Sollecito in one of numerous interviews, usually falling short of convincing everyone

Series Overview

We will be running series summarizing the damning and still-standing facts against Amanda Knox and Rudy Guede.

With this post we start into the damning and still-standing facts against Sollecito. He and his father and legal team have already filed a damages lawsuit in Florence against the Republic of Italy.

His intention seems also to be to sue Rudy Guede for defamation. In the RAI interview Guede did pretty solidly place him at the scene of the crime.

These posts will suggest what Sollecito could see thrown back at him. We’ve already pointed out that previous legal threats and court filings went nowhere. We may of course see that happen here also.

Exhibit One

This first post consists of a pre-emptive rebuttal by the pro-bono team working for Rudy Guede at Viterbo Prison. (He also has a pro-bono legal team in Rome now.) They are responding to an attempt by Sollecito to put his case to bed in the weekly Oggi.

As with Guede’s interview this includes claims that are very self-serving. But it does also highlight the kinds of problems Sollecito faces.  It is kindly translated and submitted by Guermantes, one of our friends at PMF dot Net.. Guermantes used Catnip’s new translation of the Micheli Report.

***

February 5, 2016

The Centre for Criminological Studies of Viterbo responds - on behalf of Rudy Guede - to Sollecito’s assertions made in the Oggi article of January 26, 2016:

Raffaele Sollecito responds to Rudy Guede: “How many lies in the interview with Leosini”

Raffaele Sollecito “challenges” Rudy Guede on stories told by the Ivorian on TV

OGGI, analyzing word for word the interview with the Ivorian, imprisoned for the murder of Meredith Kercher, has identified at least eight omissions and blatant lies aired without being corrected. Among these, the appointment with the girl, the denial of having performed thefts, the use of hard drugs, the content of the judgment of the Supreme Court regarding the placement of Sollecito and Knox in the murder house.

The story of Rudy Guede still stands up though. Here is why …

Viterbo - Received and published – We learned of Raffaele Sollecito’s indignation, who, in an article published by a well-known weekly (Oggi, ed), complains about the inappropriateness of the broadcast of the ‘Cursed Stories’ program, in addition to the way it was recorded and run without contradiction[uncontested].

On this point, it is hardly necessary to recall that Raffaele Sollecito had been the guest on a large number of programs such as Porta a Porta, La vita in diretta, Domenica In, Piazza Italia (Rai programs, public television), Quarto Grado, Pomeriggio 5, Matrix (Mediaset), Otto e Mezzo (La7). All this - before, during and after the trials / verdicts that concerned him.

In the article just published, he notes, however, that comments and observations about current events should be offered before the verdicts and not after. Otherwise we would be “in the presence of a surreal fourth degree of judgment.”

We respect this opinion but we would also like to add that another school of thought argues that trials should be conducted in courtrooms and not on the pages of newspapers or in television studios. And Rudy Guede has waited eight years until the end of all sets of proceedings (including those relating to Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox) before expressing his opinion.

Among other things, during a single television broadcast and not on the talk show circuit of national broadcasters. A choice, of Rudy, which should be respected. Because it is broadly related to the principles and values that characterize the Italian legal system.

Then, shifting the focus to the set-up of the program “without contradiction” [counter-arguments], it is necessary to point out at the outset that, in all those years of “Cursed Stories” programming, no one has ever complained about this mode. Moreover, Raffaele Sollecito himself was also the only guest “without contradiction.” Beginning with Porta a Porta of Bruno Vespa and ending with Otto e Mezzo of Lilly Gruber.

The [Oggi} article summarizes in eight points the alleged lies by Rudy quoting in some cases (not all) excerpts from transcripts or judgments about the case of Perugia. We try to respond to each of them, expressing the views of Rudy.

Point #1)

Rudy had no appointment with Meredith? It may be! But speaking of appointments, the Court of first instance expressed itself by saying that “it is normal for twenty-somethings in a university town to meet up in the usual places without having to first set up a notary’s deed. “ [Par. 206.50] (page 93, Sentence of the First Degree Rudy Guede). This statement may also be taken into account even in the case of objection to Rudy’s words as having no value?

Still on point 1, credence is given to a few statements by Mr. Barrow, without saying, however, that the same had not only debunked at the hearing all his previous claims, but had also been in conflict with Rudy as regards girls. Moreover, the testimony of Mr. Barrow was interrupted by “the emergence of criminal behavior regarding monetary negotiations with a television news organization” (p.52). So much so that the witness was deemed unreliable.

Source: The Micheli Report

[194] Mr BARROW, already interviewed by the Public Prosecutor on the 11th of December 2007, which is to say a few days after Mr GEUDE’s return from Germany, had declared to knowing Mr GUEDE for some years, having often played basketball. On that occasion, though, he specified not moving in the same circles as him, due to RUDY being a habitual liar, drinking and using drugs, not to mention annoying the girls by molesting them in public and trying to kiss them.

[195] As for Ms KERCHER, who he described as shy and reserved, Mr BARROW had said he knew her from their shared visiting of the night clubs in the town centre, and in fact he had seen her on Halloween at the Domus, where – he says – RUDY definitely wasn’t; nor did it appear to him that the accused knew MEREDITH, and according to him it was not in fact true that he had spoken to her or had met her.

[196] In court, Mr BARROW restructured his grounds, saying for example that Mr GUEDE used to drink but a bit like how all the other young men were doing it, even if he had often seen him drunk; he instead denied being certain about any drug use on the part of RUDY, about whom he had mentioned it only for having heard gossip.

And also as regards the molestations, he corrected the gist of what he’d said in remembering only once when the detainee had struck up a conversation with a girl, without knowing that she was actually Mr BARROW’s girlfriend, and a squabble arose: on other occasions, he had seen him pull a girl towards himself while they were talking, although describing it as a gesture common to many others of the same age.

[197] On RUDY’s lies, the witness limited himself to saying that one time Mr GUEDE had been accused of having robbed something in a discotheque from a girl’s purse [translator’s note: handbag in BrE], the accused had immediately denied it, but then it had come out on the grapevine that it certainly had been him; on the presumed certainty that Mr GUEDE had not been at the “Domus” on the evening of the 31st of October, finally saying (and in effect he could not have said otherwise, ab initio) that he had not seen him, without being able to rule out that he really was there.

[198] The testimony, which in practice had not led to anything of significance being acquired, was then interrupted by the emergence of the outlines of an offence by Mr BARROW, concerning negotiations of a monetary nature with a leading television journalist, in whose regard he had presented a claim of trespass (when in reality he had invited those reporters in asking them for money for an interview), and it turned out he had then put forth a further request for money to settle things back to normal.

Point # 2)

Rudy is a serial thief? The article in question contains two sentences that actually relate to the same incident five days before the tragedy, namely his entering an asylum in Milan. A reprehensible episode. So much so that Rudy has earned a related conviction for it (i.e. for possession of stolen goods.). However, beyond this, there is not a single record of another conviction, nor the presence of a complaint concerning other items mentioned in the article. Not only that, but the same Sentence of First Instance refers on page 101 to the absence of a “previous criminal record”, Rudy not having been tried yet for the Milan incident.

[Par. 44]”…on 27 October 2007 (ergo, just five days before the murder) he had been identified in the Milan jurisdiction and had been charged without arrest [a piede libero] for theft, receipt of stolen goods, holding and carrying arms.

Point # 3)

Rudy had left genetic traces in Meredith’s purse? In the trial papers we have not read even one time that Rudy’s genetic material was found inside her purse; if anything, only on the outside. And the difference is not trivial. In fact, finding his trace on the outside of the purse would allow to assume / hypothesize a simple movement of the object in question, while claim to have isolated Rudy’s DNA inside it would mean that the boy might have really went through it, the latter circumstance, which did not result in any conviction, was not confirmed because not supported by any element.

It is therefore in itself horrible and defamatory, the expression used in the [Oggi] article: “While Meredith was bleeding to death” Rudy “rummaged” [in her purse,] Also cell phones and anything else missing from Meredith’s bag were found elsewhere, without any fingerprints or traces of Rudy.

As far as first aid provided by Rudy to Meredith, his efforts were described even by judges who – still on p.101 of the Sentence of First Instance – conclude: “not being able to explain otherwise the presence near the body of three towels.”

Point # 4)

flight into disco. As unspeakable as this behavior is, it is hardly necessary to mention that as regards Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, the Court of Appeal judges commented that there were “numerous and varied ways of how human beings react,  faced with tragic situations” (taken from the Supreme Court with reference on page 17). Why should the same not apply to Rudy?

Point # 5)

Rudy is a liar and he used cocaine? It is true that during the indictments are read expressions like the ones shown in quotation marks in the [Oggi] article, but in many circumstances the same assertions are revisited and subsequently confirmed by the judgments. Moreover, even as regards Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, it states that “the two have given versions not supported by objective evidence and not credible”.

Among other things, it is certainly not the case of measuring the credibility of all the defendants relying on the seriousness of the lies told; otherwise it would be appropriate to recall that Amanda Knox put at the scene of the crime an innocent, namely Lumumba, who only through an iron-clad alibi managed to get out of it.

[Par. 260.77] “It must finally be taken into account, still on the level of serious indicia of guilt and however arguing a contrario, that the two accused have given implausible versions [of alibis] or not substantiated by objective corroboration.

[Par. 260.78] “The circumstance of the missing memory or of the state of confusion, perhaps invoked with (convenient) reference to suggestive pressures on the one hand, or cloudiness of mind through use of stupefactants on the other hand, does not have concrete merit.

Point # 6)

On this point Rudy says nothing special, so we do not understand just where the challenge is to what he said during the TV program.

Point # 7)

The presence of Amanda and Raffaele at the crime scene. It turns out that during transmission Rudy have never claimed to have recognized the person he encountered that evening in via della Pergola. So we don’t understand the complaints about the alleged presence in that house.

It should be noted that in the Supreme Court ruling that absolves Sollecito and Knox is stated (p. 44) that “the hypothesized presence of the current appellants cannot in itself be considered as a demonstrative element of guilt.”

Why cannot the same reflection be taken into account for Rudy? Because the latter would leave traces “everywhere”? Rudy was there and admitted to having been there.

It should however be pointed out that this alleged abundance of traces must be scaled down seeing that on page 97 of the Sentence of First Instance it states that “the quantity of biological material referable to the accused could have been categorized, in effect, as minimal” [Par. 201], “ultimately nothing suggests that there was Rudy’s biological material in great abundance.”

[Par. 201] ”… with the conclusion that the biological material of Ms KERCHER was abundant, and Mr GUEDE’s, in proportion, was quite small.”

[Par. 9.3 on p.41 of the English translation (“pre-final”) of the Bruno/Marasca Report]:  “…the supposed presence in the house of the current appellants cannot, in itself be considered as a demonstrative element of guilt.”

Point # 8)

In the last point it is reported that the substantial reasons for the denial of permission to obtain benefits requested by Rudy is to be attributed to the “lack of critical review of what has happened. He has not showed any remorse or repentance”.

First, if you intend to bring back quotation marks, it would be appropriate to bring it [the quote] back as it was actually written. And that is: “…found that the applicant has committed serious crimes in respect of which he does not recognize his responsibilities.”

Why would he recognize [his responsibilities] if he claims to be innocent to the point of wanting to request a review of the process? Is it not his right? Or the rights that characterize the Italian legal system do not apply to Rudy?

If he really is a liar, he takes the consequences and responsibilities. But ultimately, in this dramatic story, it seems that it is widely assumed. Maybe - and we stress, maybe - far beyond his faults.

Posted on 02/17/16 at 04:37 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Those who were chargedRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeHoaxes SollecitoSollec not-present hoaxSollecito's alibisSollecito book hoaxesSollec persona hoax
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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Endemic Hints By RS That He WAS One Of The Real Killers Pretty Blatant In Italy #1

Posted by Peter Quennell



TV commentator Selvaggia Lucarelli voices what numerous Italians think


“Social Network For Dead People Launched In Italy By Amanda Knox’s Ex-Boyfriend”

We didnt make that headline up. Really. Sollecito’s gruesome venture is described here.

Called Memories, the business will provide a wide range of “graveyard” services, including lightning candles for the deceased, laying wreaths and flowers at graves, and even tombstone cleaning. Once a service is completed, the client’s profile will be updated with a high-resolution photo showing the work done. The prices start at €45 (50 dollars).

The project received a €66,000 grant (nearly $74,000) from Apulia’s regional authorities. Some extra expenses were covered by Sollecito and his family, The Local reported.

According to Sollecite, the idea came to him after his mother died in 2005. The grieving young man thought it would be a convenient way to look after her grave. “I wanted a way to make remembering her easier,” he explained.

Selvaggia Lucarelli is an influential blogger and a sharp and often very funny guest commentator on many TV shows in Italy.  Like many in Italy, she doesnt just want to hold her nose and give the death-fixated fruitcake a free pass.

This time Sollecito ends up in the clutches of a journalist known for her controversy and sharp tone.

It seems that Lucarelli did not welcome the new start-up by the engineer from Puglia.

“See, Raffaele Sollecito, this thing to create a portal for funerals may seem clever but but is really macabre and in addition paints you for who you are (disrespectful and unintelligent) and casts an even more disturbing shadow over you - a healthy person judged innocent by a court while half of Italy is still convinced he’s guilty would instead seek media oblivion.

And if not oblivion, at least a career a few fields away from the smell of death, the suspicion that death carries with it, the face of a little girl named Meredith who was killed like a dog.

But there is obviously a sadistic pleasure in you wanting to see yourself still, with your hair slicked back and a funereal expression, on the front pages of newspapers associated with the word “death” and social networks associated with predictable jokes on the name Meredith.

Meredith needs to be remembered and respected in the silence of your home, not on a portal through which you try to make your wallet fat - you know that wont happen - and boost your macabre popularity.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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

Posted by Peter Quennell




Legal Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Storms In The Past

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sollecito Lawyers Threaten To Sue If Guede Tells Any Lies; Dont Hold Your Breath…

Posted by Peter Quennell

Bongiorno goes overboard at end of Nencini appeal; Italy laughs


Way to ensure high ratings? Now Bongiorno threatens to sue RAI if the interview propagates any “lies”.

Sources here and here. Good luck! If she DOES sue (dont put any money on that regardless of what Guede says) the Fifth Chambers report will not be her friend and she surely knows.

She hasnt commented publicly on that report though Sollecito has been very sulky of late. She still talks as if the March verdict is the only one that stands.

At other times there have been such threats to sue. None ever happened there. Examples:

  • Bongiorno didnt sue Aviello for saying she had been offering bribes to his cellmates in exchange for their testimony to help RS despite a threat.

  • Bongiorno didnt sue Lifetime TV as threatened for the movie about Knox - the RS character barely appears, maybe that was her beef - despite a threat.

    And Mignini’s case against Maori will really put Bongiorno and Maori in a bind, if Guede doesnt do damage enough.

    Posted on 01/20/16 at 07:03 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015Guede good guy hoax
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    Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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

    Posted by James Raper



    Image is of busy Rome at night

    The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

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

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

    The Critique Part 5

    So, let’s do a brief recap now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    ———————————————————————


    Remember this?  -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    ————————————————————————


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Abstract hypothesizing on contamination is another.

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

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


    ————————————————————————————


    Article 530, Section 2 and Conclusions


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

    There is no formula as such.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    ————————————————————-


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

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

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

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

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

    Posted on 11/17/15 at 05:59 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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    Friday, November 13, 2015

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

    Posted by James Raper



    Image is of busy Rome at night

    The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

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

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

    The Critique Part 4

    The Simulated Break In

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

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

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

    Marasca-Bruno are not interested in Guede.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Is Knox a ventriloquist and Sollecito her dummy?

    Curatolo & Quintavalle

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

    Here Marasca-Bruno effectively reprise the reasoning of Hellmann.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Raffaele Sollecito At House

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

    And More On Other Matters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Their evidence was disputed by a defence expert witness.

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

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

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

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

    Another unjustified and dogmatic assertion. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What In Part Marasca-Bruno Left Out

    Finally Marasca and Bruno declare that -

    “The panorama of the declared evidence is complete.”

    Except that this is not true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ***

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

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

    Posted by James Raper



    Image is of busy Rome at night

    The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

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

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

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

    A selection of quotes from the Report -

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

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

    Selective cleaning - “an hypothesis that is patently illogical”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    They then criticise Nencini -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Selective Search for Other Logical Inconsistencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A Few General Remarks

    Get a load of this -

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

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

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

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

    That’s right. Remember that.

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

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

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

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

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

    This is the precursor for what comes a bit later.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Presence of Amanda Knox

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

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

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

    Also:

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

    I will comment on this later.

    As regards the false accusation against Patrick Lumumba - 

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

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

    ***

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    Posted on 11/10/15 at 06:21 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesJames R critique
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    Saturday, November 07, 2015

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

    Posted by James Raper



    Image is of busy Rome at night

    The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

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

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

    Time of Death

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

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

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

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

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

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

    On The Scientific Evidence

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

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

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

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

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

    and

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

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

    Then, to disguise that selection, we have this -

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

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

    They continue -

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Why the insistence on repeatability despite Article 360?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    adding that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Eh ?!

    They refer to Article 192, section 2 -

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

    They opine -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Where is the common sense of the 5th Chambers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The knife and the bra clasp -

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ***

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    Posted on 11/07/15 at 05:00 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Thursday, November 05, 2015

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

    Posted by James Raper



    Image is of busy Rome at night

    The Fifth Chambers Motivation Report

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

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

    Key Decisions Of The Court

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      7.  No selective cleaning.

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

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

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

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

    My Own Overall Reaction To The Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    My Critique Of The Decisions Part #1

    On The Nencini Appeal

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

    The Report claims that the Nencini appeal was -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    All these assertions require to be demonstrated. Are they?

    On The Claimed Media Impact

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    On Multiple Attackers

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

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

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

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

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

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

    On The Trial Process

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

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

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

    They then proceed to set these out.

    1. The Issue Of Motive

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

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

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

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

    Marasca-Bruno continue -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ***

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    Posted on 11/05/15 at 05:39 PM by James Raper. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
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    Saturday, October 31, 2015

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

    Posted by catnip



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

    Overview

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

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

    Dissections

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


    COMMENT: True, as a principle.

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

    Observations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



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

    Overview Of The Post and the Series

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

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

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

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

    Why DNA Evidence Is All Rejected

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

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

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

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

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

    The attribution cannot be shared.

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

    This enunciation of principle needs a further clarification.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted on 10/30/15 at 05:56 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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    Wednesday, October 28, 2015

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

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Painting by Paride Pascucci of Siena on the theme of justice

    Overview Of The Post and the Series

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

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

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

    On Further Appeal Grounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Posted on 10/28/15 at 06:25 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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    Saturday, October 17, 2015

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

    Posted by catnip



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    COMMENT: A leitmotiv.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Overall impression so far…

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

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

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

    Good question.

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

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

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

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

    Posted on 10/17/15 at 03:20 PM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesCatnip critique
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    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



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

    Overview Of The Post and the Series

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

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

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

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

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

    On Further Appeal Grounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted on 10/13/15 at 09:01 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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    Friday, October 09, 2015

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

    Posted by catnip



    The Bruno demon in the cage…

    Initial impressions of the legal reasoning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    Overview Of The Post and the Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CONSIDERED THAT

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

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

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

    2. All the requests are clearly unfounded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The pursue of that ultimate purpose (seeking of the material truth) – particularly in trials of particular delicacy like the one examined here, of such difficulty in carrying out of procedural activities, and technical investigations of particular complexity – has therefore to be related to the necessity of a judicial reply of a length as short as possible, for the obvious necessity of respect for the value of the subjects involved and of the ineluctible claim for justice both of the victims and the community.

    2.2. The request of Amanda Knox’s defense aimed at the postponing of the present trial to wait for the decision of the European Court of Justice [sic] has no merit, due to the definitive status of the guilty verdict for the crime of calunnia, now protected as a partial final status, against a denouncement of arbitrary and coercive treatments allegedly carried out by the investigators against the accused to the point of coercing her will and damaging her moral freedom in violation of article 188 of penal procedure code. [21]

    And also, a possible decision of the European Court in favor of Ms. Knox, in the sense of a desired recognition of non-orthodox treatment of her by investigators, could not in any way affect the final verdict, not even in the event of a possible review of the verdict, considering the slanderous accusations that the accused produced against Lumumba consequent to the asserted coercions, and confirmed by her before the Public Prosecutor during the subsequent session, in a context which, institutionally, is immune from anomalous psychological pressures; and also confirmed in her memoriale, at a moment when the same accuser was alone with herself and her conscience in conditions of objective peacefulness, sheltered from environmental influence; and were even restated, after some time, during the validation of the arrest of Lumumba, before the investigating judge in charge.

    2.3. Finally, denied also is the request from Sollecito’s defense seeking to obtain referral to the United Sections of this Court of matters related to the evidential value of scientific results acquired in violation of international protocols which contain specific prescriptions meant to assure the genuineness of the sampling and the analysis; also related to the standards of evaluation of expert testimony during the trial process under strong media exposure; also related to the usability of accusative declarations reported in the verdict that had been acquired according to article 238–bis of the procedure code.

    These are, clearly, matters of particular weight, of some agreed relevance for purposes of defining the present judgment, but of dubious capacity to generate potential jurisprudential contrasts. Anyway, interpretative tangles are checked out here which this Court could not ignore, with the pertinent conclusion having binding effectiveness within the purpose of defining the present proceeding.

    3. Having thus stated, the main topic of the present proceeding can now be approached, the leitmotiv of the claims of the contestants, revolving around a prejudicial claim of inobservance, on the part of the [Florence] appeal judge, of the dictum of the [2013] annulment ruling by this Court and the principle of law established within it.

    The investigation requested to this Court is only apparently simple, considered that the ratio decidendi of the annulment ruling is founded on the finding of a manifest illogicality of the rationale supporting the appealed judgement; a finding which consists – and specifies itself – in the observation of a violation of the principles of completeness and of non-contradiction.

    It is an established jurisprudential rule that, in presence of such reasoning for an annulment, derived from a deficit in the reasoning, the new appeal judge [giudice di rinvio] is tasked with the comprehension of the whole body of evidence, which he is expected to revisit [22] in full freedom of conviction, without any bound, being only supposed to produce, as a result, a reasoning deprived of those flaws of manifest illogicality or manifest contradiction which caused the annulment of the first appeal verdict. In the case law of this Court of Cassation there is, in fact, the recurrent statement “following an annulment for incorrect reasoning, the new appeal judge is prohibited from basing the new decision on the same arguments considered illogic or inconsistent by the Court of Cassation, but he is however free to reach, on the basis of different argumentations from the ones claimed in the Supreme Court therefore integrating and completing the ones already issued, the same judicial result of the annulled ruling. This because it is an exclusive task of the courts of merit to reconstruct the resulting facts from the trial findings, and to assess the signification and value of the relative sources of evidence”. (among others, Sect 4, n. 30422 of 21 June 2005, Poggi, Rv. 232019; Section 4, n. 48352 of 29 April 2009, Savoretti, Rv 245775).

    A problem – suggested with appreciable discretion within the new reasons [of appeal] in favor of Knox – appears when, as in this case, the Court of Cassation has entered in the merits, going beyond the institutional limits assigned to it, such as when for example it offers a range of causal alternatives for the murder and assigns to the judge the task of picking, within that predetermined numerous clausus, the one most appropriate to the case at bar. There’s no doubt, in the opinion of this panel, that in such peculiar event the new appellate court cannot consider itself either bound or influenced, because of the aforementioned clear problem of this institutional kind, that, for what was stated before, exists between cognizance of legitimacy and cognizance of the fact, the latter being the exclusive prerogative of the judge of merit. In this regard the Supreme Court has already given its contribution, stating that the new appellate judge cannot be influenced “by evaluations possibly over-stated by the Court of Cassation in its argumentations, since the spheres within which the respective evaluation are carried out are different, and it is not the task of the Court of Cassation to put its conviction before the judge of merits in regards to those matters. After all, in those cases where the Supreme Court possibly focus its attention over some specific aspects from which the lack or the contradiction of reasoning emerges, this doesn’t mean that the new appellate judge would be tasked with a new judgment only on the specified points, because the judge retains the same powers which originally belonged to him as a judge of merits in relation to the identification and evaluation of the trial data, regarding the point of the verdict affected by annulment” (Section 4 n.30422/2005 cit.). In the same sense it was stated that “… possible factual elements and assessments contained in the annulment ruling are not binding for the new appellate judge, but are considered exclusively as a reference point in order to position the complained-about error or errors, [23] and therefore not as data imposed for the decision requested of him; moreover, there’s no doubt that, after the ruling of annulment for incorrect reasoning through the indication of specific points of deficiency or contradiction, the powers of the new appellate judge cannot be restrained to the examination of the single specified points, as if they were isolated from the rest of the evidential material, but he must also carry out other acts of evidence-finding on which results his decision has to be based, providing the reason for this within the judgment report” (Section 4, n. 44644 of 18 October 2011, defendant F., Rv. 251660; Section 5, n. 41085 of 3 July 2009, defendant L., Rv. 245389; Section 1, n. 1397 of 10 December 1997 dep. 1998, Pace, Rv. 209692).

    All of this is the background to a reiterated doctrine of this Court of Cassation, consolidated to the point of constituting a ius receptum, according to which “the powers of the new appeals judge are different depending on if the annulment has been ruled for violation or erroneous application of the criminal code, or for absence of manifested illogicality of reasoning, since, while, in the first hypothesis, the judge is bound to the law principle expressed by the Court, without changing the evaluation of the facts as they were found by the appealed verdict, in the second hypothesis, a new examination of the evidential compendium can be carried out, without repeating the same incorrect reasoning of the annulled order. (among the others, Section 3, n. 7882 of 10 January 2012, Montali, Rv. 252333).

    3.1. As we will see, the appeals judge [Nencini] was influenced on many points by the suppositions of factual aspects emerging within the annulment judgment, as if the convincing and analytic evaluations of the Supreme Court were unavoidably converging in the direction of affirmation of guilt of the two defendants. Being misled by this error, the same judge encounters clear logic inconsistencies and obvious errors in iudicando, which need to be challenged here.

    4. Meanwhile, it can’t be ignored, on a first summary overview, that the history of these proceedings is characterized by a troubled and intrinsically contradictory path, with the only fact of irrefutable certainty being the guilt of Amanda Knox regarding the slanderous accusations against Patrick Lumumba. On the concern of the murder of Kercher, the declaration of guilt of Knox and Sollecito, in first instance, was followed by a ruling of acquittal from the appeal Court of Assizes of Perugia, consequent to an articulated evidential integration [the Conti-Vecchiotti report, ed.]; the annulment by this Supreme Court, First Criminal Section; and finally the judgment, on appeal, of the Court of assizes of Florence, today considered under a new Cassation appeal.

    An objectively wavering process, the oscillations of which are the result of glaring failures or investigative “amnesias” and of culpable omissions in [24] investigating activities, which, had they been carried out, would have, probably, allowed from the start the outline a framework, if not of certainty, at least of reassuring reliability, in direction of either the guilt or the non-involvement of the current appellants. Such scenario, intrinsically contradictory, constitutes a first, eloquent, representation of an evidential set of anything but “beyond reasonable doubt”.

    4.1. Surely, an unusual media fuss about the crime, caused not just by the dramatic modalities of the death of a 22-year old woman, so absurd and incomprehensible in its genesis, but also by the nationality of the persons involved (a USA citizen, Knox, accused of participating in the murder of her housemate who was sharing a foreign study experience with her; an English citizen, Meredith Kercher, killed in mysterious circumstances in the place where she likely used to feel most safe, her home, and additionally the international implications of the case itself, prompted the investigation to suffer from a sudden acceleration, which, in the spasmodic search for one or more culprits to be delivered to international public opinion,  surely didn’t help the search for substantial truth, which, in complex murder cases like the one examined here, has an ineluctible requirement both for accurate timing, and also the completeness and accuracy of the investigation activity. Not only that, but also, when – as in this case – the result of the search is greatly based on the results of scientific examinations, the antiseptic sampling of all the elements useful to the investigation – in an environment provided of the appropriate sterilization, so to shield it from possible contaminations – constitutes, normally, the first cautionary strategy, itself the vital prelude to a correct analysis and “reading” of the retrieved samples. And if the key part of the activity of technical-scientific research consists in specific genetic investigations, whose contribution in the investigative activity emerges as more and more relevant, the reliable parameter of correctness can only be the respect of standards imposed by the international protocols which outline the fundamental rules of procedure of the scientific community, on the basis of statistic and epistemological observation.

    The rigorous respect for such methodological standards provides a reliability, conventionally acceptable, in the assembled results, firstly related to their repeatability – that is the possibility that those findings, and those alone, would be reproduced by an identical investigative procedure 0in identical conditions, according to the fundamental laws of the empiric method and, more generally, of experimental science, that since Galileo has been based on the application of a “scientific method” (typical procedure meant to obtain knowledge of “objective” reality, reliable, verifiable and sharable; by common knowledge this consists, on one hand, in the collection of empiric data in relation to the hypothesis and theories to be confirmed; on the other hand, in the mathematical and rigorous analysis of such data, that is associating – as stated for the first time by aforementioned Galileo – “sensible experiences” with “necessary demonstrations” that is the experimentation with mathematics.

    4.2. As we will see, all of this is basically missing in the current judgment.

    Not only that but, the media attention, besides not helping the search for the truth, has produced further prejudicial feedback in terms of “procedural diseconomy”, generating undue “noise” (in the IT meaning) , not so much from the delay of the availability of witness testimony from certain persons (considering that from this point of view it is anyway just a matter of verifying the reliability of the corresponding declarative contributions), but because of the introduction into the trial of extemporary declarations by certain detained subjects, of solid criminal caliber [defense witnesses Alessi and Aviello], surely intent on self-serving mythomania and judicial attention-seeking behavior capable of assuring them a media stage, including on TV, so breaking at least for one day the grayness of their prison regime. And by the way this was a common instance of claims from “fetchers” of truths collecting within the prison environment unworthy confidences between co-inmates during the routine yard time. Clearly not commendable situations, which, also, had had the outcome of assuring – for the first time during the appeal – the active participation in this case of Rudy Guede (when he was summoned during the first instance judgment, he invoked his right to not respond; p. 3): [he’s] a key element in this case, even if unshakably reticent (and has never confessed), a bringer of half-truths differing from time to time.

    Rudy Guede is the Ivorian citizen who was also himself involved in the Kercher case. Tried separately with a separate judgment, as a co-participant to the murder, he was sentenced, at the end of an abbreviated trial, to the penalty of thirty years imprisonment, reduced on appeal to sixteen years.

    Our mention of him is to make it worth introducing the second, irrefutable, certainty of this trial (after the one concerning the responsibility of Knox for the crime of calunnia), that is the guilt now under irrevocable ruling, of the Ivorian as the author – participating with others – of the murder of the young English woman.

    The finding of guilt of the aforementioned was reached on the basis of genetic traces, definitely attributable to him, collected in the house in via della Pergola, on the victim’s body and inside the room where the murder was committed.

    4.3. The same reference [to Guede] also raises two relevant points of law, highlighted by the defense: one concerning the usability and the value of the aforementioned irrevocable verdict in this proceeding; the other related to the usability of the declarations - in terms less than coherent and constant – produced by Guede within his own trial, which may involve the current appellants in some way.

    Posted on 10/06/15 at 02:36 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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    Friday, October 02, 2015

    The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #1 The Strange “Dogmatic Assertions” Approach

    Posted by catnip



    General Garofano founded Carabinieri labs, has long argued DNA evidence in this case very strong

    1. Overview Of This Post

    These analyses will be interspersed with the final posts of the Marasca/Bruno report. 

    A person holding themselves out to be a ‘creation scientist’ may easily make a statement (in the form of a short sentence in an article or of a soundbite on TV).

    At which point, it may take a whole book of effort, to examine the background and field(s) of scientific learning and expertise that are involved and to follow the lines of reasoning used (if any), in order to come to a satisfactory assessment of the accuracy and reliability of that statement.

    Likewise with the Fifth Criminal Chamber Cassation judgment penned by Bruno. It seems to be full of assertions. And that’s it.

    Take, as one example, the international standards that the forensics personnel are supposed to have breached.

    2. Example: ‘International standards’

    Much has been made of what have been called ‘international forensic standards’, and whether they have been met and what significance the evidence would have had if they hadn’t.

    There is also a subtext of what forensic procedure the Italian Scientific Police were actually following and why a breach of those guidelines did not ground a submission by the defence that there had been contamination and therefore that the evidence was unusable.

    (Plus also, disposable gloves are called ‘monouso’, that is “single use”, in Italian, and that name seems to have sown some confusion in the minds of the defence lawyers about how such gloves are to be used in actual cases.)

    In Italian, there’s a recent textbook, with international contributors:

    Donatella Curtotti and Luigi Saravo (eds), Manuale delle investigazioni sulla scena del crimine: Norme, techniche, scienze, (2013) [Giappichelli, 2013] (Crime Scene Investigation Manual: Guidelines, techniques, science)

    ISBN 9788834829004

    A perusal of the contents shows that its coverage is extensive in terms of subject matter, and not superficial, at over a thousand pages:

    Introduction

    D Curtotti, BAJ Fisher, MM Houck and G Spangher, “Diritto e sceinza: Un rapporto in continua evoluzione”,  pp 1-36 (Law and Science: A relationship in continuous evolution)

    The legal picture

    D Curtotti, “I rilievi e gli accertamenti sul locus commissi delicti nelle evoluzioni del codice di procedura penale”,  pp 37-118 (Collection and tests at the scene of the crime in the developments of the Criminal Procedure Code)

    D Curtotti, “L’inadeguatezza delle norme al cospetto della nuova realta’ investigativa e le soluzioni giuridiche percorribili”,  pp 119-146 (Legal inadequacy in the face of the new investigative reality and feasible judicial solutions)

    F Giunchedi, “Le consulenze techniche tra accertamenti irripetibili e incidente probatorio”,  pp 147-176 (Technical consultants between unrepeatable tests and preliminary hearing)

    A Procaccino, “Le selezione del consulenti technici e la tracciabilita’ dell’expertise: Profili interni e comparatistici”,  pp 177-218 (The selection of technical consultants and the audit trail of expertise: Internal and comparative profiles)

    D Curtotti, “Il sopralluogo della difesa”,  pp 219-234 (The defence crime scene search)

    D Curtotti and L Saravo, “L’errore technico-scientifico sulla scena del crimine”,  pp 235-253 (Technical and scientific error at the scene of the crime)

    E Cataldi, M Vaira and A Iasillo, “La scena del crimine vist dai protagonisti del processo”,  pp 255-300 (The scene of the crime as seen by the protagonists in the trial)

    The technical-scientific picture: the new investigative paradigm

    L Saravo, “Il nuovo paradigma investigativo sulla scena del crimine”,  pp 301-312 (The new investigative paradigm at the crime scene)

    L Rockwell and L Saravo, “L’analisi logica della tracce”,  pp 313-342 (The logical analysis of traces)

    L Garofano and L Saravo, “Il primo intervento”,  pp 343-364 (First intervention)

    L Saravo, “CSI: Il metodo di ricerca e valutazione delle tracce”,  pp 365-414 (CSI: Trace search and evaluation method)

    The technical-scientific picture: technique, technology and science on the traces of crime

    R Gennari and L Saravo, “Le tracce”,  pp 415-466 (Traces)

    A Galassi, D Gaudio, P Martini, L Saravo, M Sgrenaroli and G Vassena, “La rappresentazione della scena del crimine: Dalla descrizione narrative ai rilievi tridimenionali”,  pp 467-558 (Representation of the crime scene: From narrative to 3D)

    R Gennari and L Saravo, “Rilievi edaccertamenti sulle tracce: Dalle impronte al DNA”,  pp 559-644 (Collection and tests on traces: From prints to DNA)

    G Arcudi and GL Marella, “Il cadavere e la scena del crimine: Un binomio inscindibile”,  pp 645-671 (The body and the crime scene: An inseparable pairing)

    The technical-scientific picture: new techniques

    TP Sutton, “L’analisi della macchie di sangue (BPA)”,  pp 672-706 (Blood pattern analysis)

    M Mattiucci, “Le indagini sui repertiinvisibili: High Tech Crime”,  pp 707-718 (Analysis of invisible evidence: High Tech Crime)

    P Magni and E Di Luise, “Gli insetti nelle scienze forensi”,  pp 719-742 (Insects in the forensic sciences)

    P Magni and E Di Luise, “Le tracce orfane: Botanica, micologia, zoologia, microbiologica, e geoscience nel mondo forense”,  pp 743-791 (Orphan traces: Botany, mycology, zoology, microbiology and geoscience in the world of forensics)

    B F Carillo, U Fornari, G L Giovanni and L P Luini, “La scena del crimine vista con gli occhi della criminologia”,  pp 791-872 (Looking at the crime scene through the eyes of the criminologist)

    The technical-scientific picture: complex investigations

    D Gaudio, D Salsarola, P Poppa, A Galassi, R Sala, D Gibelli and C Cattaneo, “L’archeologia forense: Il corretti recupero dei resti umani”,  pp 873-896 (Forensic archaeology: The correct recovery of human remains)

    S Scolaro, P Magni and E Di Luise, “La scena criminis in ambiente acquatico”,  pp 897-926 (The crime scene in aquatic environments)

    B Cristini and F Notaro, “Lo scenario incendiario”,  pp 927-982 (The incendiary scenario)

    A Boncio, Ecataldi, R Mugavero, G Peluso and L Saravo, “Lo scenario terroristico”,  pp 983-1062 (The terrorist scenario)

    D O’Loughlin and L Saravo, “I disastri di massa”,  pp 1063-1086 (Mass disasters)

    In all the above, the name of Garofano can be seen (a well-known and highly regarded forensics expert), and the Australian contribution (the last chapter) relates to learnings from the Black Saturday bushfires.

    “fictional events can gain currency in the real world”  —  Jim Fraser, Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction, (2010) [Oxford University Press, 2010], p 25 (talking about movie scenes showing the effect of an injection of adrenalin into a person’s heart).  [ISBN 9780199558056]

    The defence aim was to reduce the significance of Raffaele’s DNA being found on the torn-off or cut-off clasp of Meredith’s bra, which clasp was collected on a second, later, occasion from a different location in Meredith’s room a pace or so distant from that in which it had been found originally (beneath a pillow under her body).

    The video of the scene showed the clasp being handled by various gloved personnel before being bagged.

    One strand of the defence attacked the gloves, arguing that they should have been changed.

    What are the actual recommendations on gloves?

    Disposable gloves should be ‘changed frequently’:

    “The evidence collector must handle all body fluids and biologically stained materials with a minimum amount of personal contact. All body fluids must be assumed to be infectious; hence, wearing disposable latex gloves while handling the evidence is required. Latex gloves also significantly reduce the possibility that the evidence collector will contaminate the evidence. These gloves should be changed frequently during the evidence-collection phase of the investigation. Safety considerations and avoidance of contamination also call for the wearing of face masks, shoe covers, and possibly coveralls.”  —  Richard Saferstein, Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, 10th edition, (2011) [Pearson, 2011], p 286, Collection of biological evidence. ISBN 9780132545792

    Gloves should be changed for each new item of evidence:

    “One key concern during the collection of a DNA-containing specimen is contamination. Contamination can occur by introducing foreign DNA through coughing or sneezing onto a stain during the collection process, or there can be a transfer of DNA when items of evidence are incorrectly placed in contact with each other during packaging. Fortunately, an examination of DNA band patterns in the laboratory readily reveals the presence of contamination. … Crime-scene investigators can take some relatively simple steps to minimize contamination of biological evidence: 1. Change gloves before handling each new piece of evidence. 2. … 3. … 4. …”  —  Richard Saferstein, p 288.

    Myths about contamination

    “There are many myths and misunderstandings about contamination… The first is that all scenes are examined using the highest standard of anti-contamination precautions (suits, overshoes, mob caps, gloves, etc.), which is not the case. … Secondly, the belief that contamination can be completely prevented by wearing the kinds of protection described above and by controlling a scene is unfounded. If you accept Locard’s principle, then you have to accept that any examination of a scene is likely to disturb it and to ‘contaminate’ it in some way. Finally, the assumption that because someone has failed (for whatever reason) to follow recommended operating procedures with regard to contamination does not mean that contamination will necessarily result and have an impact.”  —  Jim Fraser, Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction, (2010) [Oxford University Press, 2010], pp 19-20.

    ISBN 9780199558056

    What does the Italian crime scene manual say?

    Personal protective gear and single-use equipment mitigates the risk of contamination.  —  R Gennari and L Saravo, “Rilievi edaccertamenti sulle tracce: Dalle impronte al DNA”,  pp 559-644 (Collection and tests on traces: From prints to DNA), p 626.

    The main references to contamination are in R Gennari and L Saravo, “Le tracce”,  pp 415-466 (Traces), where they say:

    “In the strictest sense, the term ‘contamination’ refers to the introduction into the scene (and even onto an item of evidence originating there) of spurious information corrupting its original nature or state.”  (p 449).

    “It must be noted, though, that the contaminated item of evidence is not necessarily unusable [emphasis in original]. It is only an item of evidence which has lost its original state: its own characteristics have undergone modification and it has been enriched with other, indeterminate, information. It is necessary to know how to evaluate the impact that this could have had in the question posed or on the information that will be needed to be revealed to reconstruct the crime.”  (p 450).

    “It is not enough just to wear the personal protection gear to reduce the risk of contamination; it is necessary that this gear be employed in the correct manner [emphasis in the original].

    Not changing gloves before touching a new surface is, for example, a source of contamination: DNA, once touched a first time, transfers itself to all the various surfaces touched successively by the same gloves.”  (p 451).

    And, not to forget, protective gear is worn for the protection of forensic personnel against infection and chemicals (p 452).

    So, in summary:

    Gloves reduce and minimise the risk of contamination - they do not remove it altogether; contamination cannot be completely prevented. Searching a scene changes it from its original state.

    Changing gloves “frequently”, or “each time” a new piece of evidence, or a new surface, is touched.

    After putting on the gloves, what counts as a new piece of evidence or new surface in this list?:

    bedcover, victim, pillow, bra-clasp, carpet/floor

    Coughing or sneezing on the evidence: means the forensic officer’s DNA contaminates the item, not the accused’s DNA.

    Following the procedure does not guarantee that the evidence is uncontaminated; following procedure just reduces the potential risk of contamination.

    Likewise, not following procedure does not mean the evidence is automatically contaminated.

    And even if the item were contaminated, that does not make it unusable.

    In Raffaele’s case, if his DNA were transferred via the latex forensic gloves, how did his DNA get there on the glove when it was found definitively nowhere else in the room? Did he spit on his hand and then shake hands with the forensic officer? Now, that would indeed be a breach of protocols, anywhere in the world.

    To say that, because it’s the accused’s DNA, therefore it’s contamination, is circular reasoning.

    All of the above should have been (and was) examined at trial, and double-checked on appeal (eventually).

    So why is Bruno taking up the invitation to rehash it all again?

    3. Further Reading On DNA

    See our previous 50 or so previous posts on DNA.

    Posted on 10/02/15 at 03:06 AM by catnip. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2015 critiquesCatnip critique
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    Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #2 Of 7: Summaries Five And Six

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    “Justice and Peace” by Corrado Giaquinto 1762. Click here to go straight to Comments.

    Overview Of The Post and the Series

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

    With this post we are 2/5 of the way through the judgment and summaries of the appeal grounds still continue. These are new grounds by Knox’s and Sollecito’s teams.

    As previously, Sollecito’s team throw in everything but the kitchen sink. Knox’s new grounds are about 1/4 of that length, and mainly request that Knox’s appeal to ECHR Strasbourg be awaited before this verdict comes down.

    Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.  Our own critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts.

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

    1. Further Knox Appeal Grounds

    4.1. In favor of Knox, two further reasons were submitted.

    In the first one, objected to is the violation of article 606 lett. a), b) e) of the code of criminal procedure, criticizing the entire reasoning process of the appealed verdict, which exceeded the fixed standard of the - already exorbitant - annulment ruling , with violation of articles 627 par. 3, and 623 of the code of procedure. Criticized, particularly, is the anomalous examination of the merits within the annulment ruling.

    In the second reason, objected to is the contradiction and manifest illogicality in the rationale according to article 533 of the code of criminal procedure.

    And at the end, a delay of the judgment is proposed while waiting for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, following the presentation to the international judicial body on the appeal of 11.22.2013, for alleged violation of the right to an equal trial, according to the article 6 par. 3 lett. a/c ECHR; for alleged violation of defense rights, according to the article 48 par. 2 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; and for the violation of the prohibition on torturing, according to the articles 3 ECHR and 4 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

    2. Further Sollecito Appeal Grounds

    4.2 Also Sollecito’s defense proposed new reasons, listed as follows.

    The first new reason challenges the incorrect reasoning on the time of Kercher’s death. As defense has stated a careful examination of objective elements would have allowed the setting the time of death in a period of time between 9-9:29 and 10:13 PM.

    The exact determination of the time of death [exitus] was fundamental to proving the actual presence of the accused at the crime scene, at the time of the aggression.

    In particularl the examination carried out on the victim’s cell phone revealed subsequent contacts between 9 and 9:13 PM, as reported in the Pellero report on the SMS and the aforementioned cellular phone. This would have allowed acquiring – if not the certainty of the young English woman being alive until 10:13 PM, considering the possibility of accidental phone connections – at least useful information in this regard.

    More precisely, the following contacts took place during the considered period of time:

    1) a first call, at 8:56, to her home number, in England, remained unanswered and not followed by a new call, strange considered the habits of the girl, who was used to calling her family every day;

    2) another contact, maybe accidental, at 9:50 PM, on a voice mail, lasted a few seconds, without waiting for an answer;

    3) a contact, at 10PM, with the English bank Abbey, which failed obviously because it was not preceded by the international prefix;

    4) at 10:13, an SMS was received by the cellular phone, in the place where it was abandoned, in via Sperandio.

    On the other hand, the examination carried out on Sollecito’s computer registered an interaction at 9:20 PM and a subsequent one at 9:26 PM, not found by the postal police, but discovered by the defense expert D’Ambrosio by means of a different operative system application (MAC), for the watching of an animated cartoon (Naruto) of the length of 20 minutes, demonstrating that Sollecito was at home until 9:46.

    This helps to demonstrates the non-involvement of the accused, also evident from the Skype contact occurred between Guede and his friend Benedetti.

    To be sure, a new IT analysis by judge-appointed experts would have been necessary, as requested in vain by the defense.

    The previous [a quo] judge, then, also committed an obvious misrepresentation in the evaluation of Curatolo’s testimony, not realizing that the declarations of the witness were, actually, in favor of the accused, especially in the part where he states to have seen the couple in piazza Grimana at 21:30 PM until 12:00 AM. Therefore, there was an internal contradiction of the judging: it wasn’t true what was stated at p. 50 concerning the supposed absence of extrinsic elements confirming that the two accused, from 9:30 PM to 12:30 PM of the next day,  would have been in a different place than the one where the homicide took place.

    Within the reconstruction of the crime, then, it was not taken in account that witnesses Capezzalie and Monachia located the harrowing scream that they heard at a time around 11 – 11.30 PM. However, Ms. Capezzali was contradicted by other witnesses, residents of the area, who declared they didn’t hear anything.

    Furthermore, not examined was the video clip captured by the camera placed near the parking lot which had filmed the passing by of a person similar, in features and clothes, to Guede. The time of filming was 7:41 PM, though 7:39 PM effectively because of a clock error of 12 or 13 minutes.

    Also the autopsy, in observing the gastric situation, allowed the fixation of the hour of death between 9:30 and 10 PM. Furthermore, during the cross-examination hearing, the forensic pathologist Dr. Lalli rectified an error contained in his technical report, pointing out that the time of death would have had to be set not at “not less than 2-3 hours from the last meal (that took place around 6 PM, with the English friends)” but at “not more than 2-3 hours from the last meal”.

    Considered this uncertain conclusion, a new analysis by judge-appointed experts [perizia] was requested in vain, in the new reasons for appeal, dated 29 July 2013.[17]

    So, in the light of the trial data, as stated by the defense, the time of death of the young English woman would have had to be approximately set between 9 and 10:13 PM.

    The second new reason challenges the failure to order a judge appointed experts review [perizia] in order to verify or otherwise the possibility of a selective cleaning of the crime scene which would have removed only the traces referable to the two accused, leaving only Guede’s ones. In fact, in Kercher’s room multiple traces of Guede were found but none of Sollecito.

    Incorrect reasoning is also suggested on the supposed alteration of the crime scene by the accused. It was not, however, considered that Sollecito had no interest in polluting [the scene].

    The third reason challenges a flaw in rationale regarding the plantar imprints presumed as female footprints (size 37 EU) demonstrating a participation of more than one person in the crime.

    With reference to the imprints, there was an obvious error in the judgment, also present in the judgment of annullment of Cassation (p. 21), considering that the only imprint retrieved in Kercher’s room belonged to Guede.

    The fourth reason again claims violation of the law, with reference to the article 606 lett. c) and e) regarding the evidence on the participation to the crime and the violation of the articles 111 Const, 238, 513 and 526 of the code of penal procedure on the usability of the interrogation of Guede and the observance of the evaluation standards on a charge of complicity.

    The fifth reason claims misrepresentation of the evidence and manifest illogicality, related to the results of the genetic investigation on the knife (item 36) and also on the supposed “non-incompatibility” of the instrument with the most serious wound observed on the victim’s neck. Claimed further is the violation of the evaluation standards of evidence according to article 192 of the code of criminal procedure.

    The sixth reason claims lack of rationale, because there was no consideration of the violation of the international recommendations on the sampling and examination of traces of small entity and the interpretation of the results. Also claimed is misrepresentation of the evidence and manifest illogicality of reasoning on the results of the genetic examinations carried out on the kitchen knife and also violation of the proof evaluation standards, according to the article 192 of the code of procedure.

    The seventh reason claims incorrect reasoning with reference to the violation of the international recommendations on the sampling and analysis related to the genetic examinations carried out on the brassiere hook (item 165 B) and the objected-to contamination of the item, after the inspections carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department.

    The eighth reason challenges the violation of articles 192 and 533 of the code of criminal procedure on the interpretation of the genetic examination on the item 165 B and lack of rationale on the objected violation of the international recommendations in matter of interpretation of mixed DNA.[18]

    The ninth reason challenges a violation of article 192 of the code of criminal procedure and manifest illogicality of evidence for misrepresentation of the scientific investigation, considering the failure of the DNA proof in this case.

    The tenth reason challenges a manifest illogicality in the motivation in the luminol evidence related to the supposed presence of blood imprints in areas of the house of via della Pergola and also on the bathmat, and manifest illogicality of rationale related to the mixed traces of Knox and Kercher and the evaluation of the circumstantial evidence in relation to the participation of more than one person to the crime.

    The eleventh reason challenges a manifest illogicality or contradictory nature in the motivations related to the evaluation of the motive of the murder.

    The twelfth reason argues the same incorrect reasoning and misrepresentation of the evidence related to the time of the 112 call.

    The thirteenth reason argues the same incorrect reasoning in relation with the alibi and the supposed tentative of Sollecito to cover for the supposed co-perpetrator Amanda Knox.

    The fourteenth reason challenges the violation of the law principles stated by Cassation and the violation of the judicial standards of “beyond reasonable doubt” according to article 533 of the code of criminal procedure.

    Posted on 09/29/15 at 03:44 AM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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    Saturday, September 26, 2015

    TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #1 Of 7: The Four Opening Summaries

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    More judicial artwork in the Supreme Court. Click to go straight to Comments.

    1. Overview Of The Post And Series

    This is about one-quarter of the report. These sections summarize the crime against Meredith, the legal process, and the appeals Knox and Sollecito filed with Cassation in 2014.

    This is our second translation post after this one which showed that Knox and Sollecito were NOT found innocent, far from it.

    They were in fact confirmed as being at the scene of the crime, as were Guede and a presumed two others, and lying about it, though for supposed reasons not even the defenses had ever argued.

    Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report. Resisted was any attempt to employ more fluent English because the Italian itself is far from fluent or coherent.

    We’ll post critiques separately in Comments and other posts except for this one.

    Notable for its absence is any attempt to explain why the Fifth Chambers pushed aside the First Chambers to handle this murder case, and why in that process at least two laws (bedrock articles of the judicial code) seem to have been broken.

    They seem to have been tasked only to assess whether the appeal should be handled by a joint arrangement of all Supreme Court Chambers because of claims by defenses that the unusual amount of publicity and supposed legal complexity required that.

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

    2. The Four Opening Summaries

    1. Summary Of The Crimes Against Meredith

    This is the original language of Marasca and Bruno. It is their take on the prosecution.

    1. Raffaele Sollecito and the United States citizen Amanda Marie Knox were called to account, before the Perugia Court of assize, for the following crimes:

    A) within the meaning of Articles 110, 575, 576, first clause , number 5, in relation to the crime sub C) and 577, first clause number 4, in relation to article 61 n. 1 and 5 of the penal code, to have, in conjunction between them and with Guede Rudi Hermann, killed Kercher Meredith, by means of choking and subsequent breaking of the hyoid bone and profound lesion on the left anterolateral and right lateral neck region, caused by a piercing and cutting weapon mentioned in section B), and meta-hemorrhagic shock with observable asphyxical subsequent to the bleeding (caused by the puncture and cutting wounds present on the left anterolateral and right lateral region of the neck and the contextual aspiration of hematic material), and taking advantage of the nocturnal hour and the isolated location of the apartment inhabited by Kercher and the same Knox, as well by two other Italian girls (Romanelli Filomena and Mezzetti Laura), an apartment located in Perugia, in via della Pergola number 7, committing the act for futile reasons, while Guede, with the conjunction of the others, committed the crime of sexual violence;

    B) within the meaning of Article 110 of the penal code and 4 law number 110/1975 to have, in conjunction between themselves, brought out of the house of Sollecito, without a justified reason, a big puncture and cutting knife with a total length of 31 cm (seized from Sollecito the 6th of November 2007, exhibit 36);

    C) within the meaning of Article 110, 609 bis and ter no. 2 of the penal code to have, in conjunction between themselves and with Guede Rudi Hermann (Guede as material executioner, in conjunction with the co-accused) forced Kercher Meredith to endure sexual acts, with manual and/or genital penetration, by means of violence and threast, resulting in constraining maneuvers which produced lesions, particularly on the upper and lower limbs and on the vulvar region (ecchymotic suffusions on the fore side of the left thigh, lesions on the vestibular-vulvar area and ecchymotic areas on the fore side of the medial third of the right leg) as well as the use of the knife described in point B; 

    D) within the meaning of Article 110, 624 of the penal code, acting together, acquiring an unjust profit, in the circumstances of time and place described in point A) and C), took possession of the sum of approximately € 300.00, two credit cards, of Abbey Bank and Nationwide, both from United Kingdom, and two cellular phones owned by Kercher Meredith, stolen from the aforementioned; fact to be qualified within the meaning of article 624 bis of the penal code,  the place of execution of the crime cited in point A) referred to here.;

    E) within the meaning of article 110, 367 and 61 n. 2 of the penal code to have, acting together, simulated the attempted burglary and entering of the room of the apartment in via della Pergola, inhabited by Romanelli Filomena, breaking the window glass with a stone found in the vicinity of the house and subsequently dropped in the room, near the window, all of this to obtain impunity from the crimes of homicide and sexual violence, trying to ascribe them to unknown persons who broke in, for this purpose, into the apartment;

    All this took place in Perugia, during the night between the 1st and 2nd of November 2007.

    Knox only, furthermore, regarding the crime mentioned in point F), within the meaning of article 81 cpv, 368, clause 2, and 61 n. 2 of the penal code, because, with multiple actions within the same criminal plan, knowing that he was innocent, with statements filed during declaration to the Flying Squad and the Police of Perugia on the 6th of November 2007, she falsely blamed Diya Lumumba called “Patrick” for the murder of the young Meredith Kercher, all of this to obtain impunity for everyone and particularly for Guede Rudi Hermann, colored as is Lumumba; in Perugia, during the night between the 5th and the 6th of November 2007.

    2. Summary of The Legal Process 2009-2014

    This is the original language of Marasca and Bruno. It is their take on the 2009 trial, the 2011 Hellmann appeal, the 2013 Supreme Court appeal, and the 2013 Nencini appeal.

    By judgment of 4-5 December 2009, the Court of assize declared Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty for the crimes mentioned in point A) – this including the crime mentioned in point C) – also in B) and D), regarding the cellular phones, and E) and, for what concerns Knox, also the crime mentioned in F); crimes which fulfill the prerequisite of continuity and, excluding the aggravating factor mentioned in article 577 and 61 n.5 of the penal code, conceded to both extenuating circumstances equivalent to the remaining aggravation circumstances, condemned them to the sentence of twenty-six years of prison for Knox and twenty-five years of prison for Sollecito, plus other consequential terms;

    condemned, also, the same accused, jointly, to pay compensation for damages to the civil parties John Leslie Kercher, Arline Carol Lara Kercher, Lyle Kercher, John Ashley Kercher and Stephanie Arline Lara Kercher, damages to be compensated at a separate session, with the immediate payment of the amount of 1,000,000.00 € each in favor of John Leslie Kercher and Arline Carol Lara Kercher and 800,000.00 € each in favor of Lyle Kercher John, Ashley Kercher and Stephanie Arline Lara Kercher;

    condemned, also, Amanda Marie Knox to pay compensation for damages to the civil party Patrik Lumumba, to be compensated at a separate session, with the immediate payment of the amount of 10,000.00 €, plus other consequential terms.

    condemned, finally, the aforementioned Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to pay compensation for damages to the civil party Aldalia Tattanelli (owner of the apartment in via della Pergola), to be compensated at a separate session, and for Lyle Kercher, John Ashley Kercher and Stepanie Arline Lara Kercher, with immediate payment.

    Regarding the appeals proposed by the accused, the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, by judgment of 3 October 2011, declared Knox Amanda Marie guilty for the crimes referenced in point F), excluding the aggravating factor mentioned in article 61 n.2 of the penal code and excluded the general extenuating circumstances equivalent to the aggravating factors within the means of article 368 of the penal code – condemned her to the sentence of three years of prison; confirming strictly for this sentence the civil damages.

    absolved the accused from the crimes previously accredited to them on point A), B) and D), to have not committed the act, and from the crime described in point E) because there is no case to answer, rejecting the damages proposed against them by the civil party Aldalia Tattanelli.

    regarding the appeals proposed by the Perugia prosecutor-general, by the accused Amanda Marie Knox and the civil parties, this Court of Cassation,  First Criminal Division, with sentence of 25 March 2013, cancelled the disputed sentence referring to the crimes mentioned in point A) – incorporated in point C) – B), D) and E) and the aggravating factor within article 61 n.2 of the penal code concerning point F) and referred the appeals to the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Florence for new examination.; denying Knox’s appeal, with subsequent circumstances.

    During the review the Court of Assizes of Florence, with the trial sentence indicated above, confirming the exisistence of the aggravating factor within the meaning of article 61 n.2 of the penal code, with reference to the crime within the meaning of article 368, second paragraph of the penal code, point F), revises the sentence against Amanda Marie Knox to be twenty-eight years and six months of prison; confirming the trial sentence, with the consequential damages in favor of the constituted civil parties.

    Against the aforementioned ruling, the accused’s defendants had proposed different Court of Cassation appeals, each one subject to the following critical reasons.

    3. Summary of Amanda Knox appeal

    This is Marasca and Bruno summarising the submission of Knox lawyers Dalla Vedova and Ghirga.

    The appeal in favor of Amanda Marie Knox, before the presentation of the multiple reasons of which it was constituted, was preceded by a long premise which, on the one hand, anticipated the direction of the entire appeal and, on the other hand, proposed once again the same set of problems already discussed in the original grounds for appeal, such as the constitutional legitimacy issue of the conjunction of articles 627 chapter 3 and 628 chapter 2, regarding the application of a possible “indefinite repetitiveness” of an order of remand by the Cassation and corresponding options of indefinitely appealing a rescission order.

    In first arguments the basis for contesting of the entire appeal was presented, represented by the pretentious avoidance of the dictum of the rescission order of this legitimacy Court and the divergent interpretation of the same probative material by two different courts of assizes, Perugia and Firenze, the last, however , based on mere paperwork exam.

    Then, it continued into the analytical analysis of the procedural factual circumstances or evidences, which wouldn’t have been validly examined or, illegitimately, perceived in a partitioned way and not from a global and unitary perspective.

    Taking into account this, various reasons for the appeal were deduced and reasons summarily presented, according to the terms of article 173, chapter 1, disp. att. code of penal procedure, that is in the terms strictly necessary to the decision.

    The first reason challenged the violation and inobservance of the criminal law, according to article 606 lett. b) and c) of the code of criminal procedure and also the incorrect reasoning, according to the same article let. e), about the decisive matter of the asserted reason, of Knox for the commitment of the crime, in violation of article 110 of the penal code.

    Contested, in this regard, was what previously assumed in the judgments as to the merits, regarding some claimed disagreements between the aforementioned Knox and Kercher, despite the occurred absolution, with definitive decision, of the finding for theft of the sum of three hundred euros and the collected depositions, including the one provided by Marco Zaroli, regarding the “idyllic” relationship between the two girls. From the records of proceedings there had not emerged any reason that could have induced Knox to mindfully concur in the murder act and, contrarily to the assumption of the judge, the verification of motive during the evidentiary process was absolutely necessary. In this regard, no indications have been offered by the [First Chambers] review judge, despite the specific indication of the rescission order, which had notified a triple possibility: 1) genetic acknowledgement on the death option; 2) changing of an initial program which only included the involvement of the English girl in a not shared sexual game; 3) mere forcing of an erotic group game.

    Also, in a scenario of absolute uncertainty the review judges had elaborated an abnormal type of collusion in a crime, the fruit of a singular mixture of different impulses and reasons of the participants: Mr. Guede driven by a sexual motive; Ms. Knox by resentment towards the English woman; Mr. Sollecito by unknown intent.

    The second reason highlights a problem of great relevance in the circumstance of the present judgment, that is the right interpretation of the scientific examination results from a perspective of respect of the evaluation standards according to article 192 of the criminal procedural code and the relevance of the genetic evaluation in the absence of repeatable amplification, as a consequence of the minimal amount of the sample and, more generally, the reliability coefficient of investigations carried out without following the regulations dictated by the international protocols, both during the collecting phase and the analysis.

    Particularly, anomalies were challenged in the retrieval of the knife (item 36) and the victim’s brassiere hook, which do not exclude the possibility of contamination, as correctly outlined in the Conti-Vecchiotti report, ordered by the Perugian Court of assizes, which also notified the unreliability of the scientific data, precisely because it was not subject to a further examination.

    It was also denied that the retrieved knife would have been the crime weapon.

    The third reason challenged the law violation and incorrect reasoning, according to article 606 lett. b) and e), regarding the teleological nexus between the crime of calunnia and the homicide. In this regard, the psychological conditions of the accused during the issue of the calumnious declarations dated 11.06.2007 are outlined, her declarations were considered unusable by this Court (with ruling number 990/80); also challenged was a violation of article 188 of the code of criminal procedure, for infringement of the declarer’s moral freedom during the assumption of evidence.

    The fourth reason challenged incorrect reasoning regarding the relevant circumstances of the happening, with reference to, firstly, the asserted simulation of theft in Romanelli’s room, without considering that Guede, at the moment of his arrest, presented wounds on his right hand compatible with the hypothesis of a previous breaking of the window’s glass and subsequent climb in order to enter the room, with shards of glass on the windowsill, also in the same way not considered was the criminal record of Guede, who wasn’t new to stealing in apartments, with identical modalities. Moreover, not considered was that not a single genetic imprint of the accused had being retrieved in the room of the murder, while fourteen imprints referable to Guede were retrieved in the same room.

    The argument was totally illogical of a purported selective cleaning of the environment carried out by the accused, being almost impossible to remove specific genetic traces, leaving others intact.

    The fifth reason denounces the incorrect reasoning in the evaluation of the Curatolo’s and Quintavalle’s declarations, non-adequately interpreted during the examination of the evidence. Also the illogical relevance given to the SMS received by Patrik Lumumba, due to uncertain of the site of the reception, and considering the well-known unreliability of localizations based on the triangulation of telephone cells.

    The sixth reason challenged the law violation, in relation to the use of statements considered unusable by this Court, with particular reference to the declarations of the accused contra se at 5:45 AM of 11.6.2007.

    Also, it was not considered that the defense report submitted by Knox suffered from the unstable psychological conditions in which she found herself, also from the stress consequent to the violation of her defense rights.

    The seventh reason denounces the violation of articles 111 Cost., chapter 2 and 238 of the criminal procedure code, with reference to the irrevocable sentence issued against Guede and the inappropriate interpretation of the declarations produced by the aforementioned, via Skype, to his friend Giacomo Benedetti.

    The eighth reason denounces the lack of assumption of decisive evidence, according to article 606 lett. d) of the criminal procedure code and in relation to articles 111 chapter 2 and 238 bis of the criminal procedure code, for failure to re-open court hearing evidentiary phase, denied with order of 09.30.2013, in order to examine Guede, after his accusations against the indicted woman.

    The ninth reason signals inconsistency and contradictory nature of motivation and also great inaccuracy, such as the declaration at page 321 about the presence of genetic traces of Sollecito and Kercher on the retrieved knife.

    It is argued, also, that the place where the cellular phones of the victim had been retrieved was compatible with Guede’s itinerary towards his house, situated in via del Canerino n. 26.

    Inadequate, moreover, was the evaluation of the results of the report provided by Massimo Bernaschi about the computer damage, by suspected electric shock.

    The tenth reason denounces the inobservance or erroneous application of articles 627 and 603 of the criminal procedure code referring to the preliminary order of 09.30.13 and 04.17.14.

    Requested, also, is the correction of the material error presented in the order dated 04.17.13, referring to the erroneous indication of the place of birth of the accused, who was born in Seattle and not in Washington.

    The eleventh reason denounces the violation and inobservance of article 606 lett b), in relation to the quantification of the punishment in point of aggravating circumstance according to article 61 n.2 of the penal code for the crime of calunnia placed on the accused assuming a teleological nexus.

    The remand judge [Nencini] had considered the generic mitigating circumstances of minor value, previously considered equivalent, despite the final status of judgment [giudicato] on the point.

    4. Summary of Raffaele Sollecito appeal

    This is Marasca and Bruno summarising the submission of Sollecito lawyers Bongiorno and Maori.

    3. The appeal on behalf of Raffaele Sollecito is explained in terms of twenty-two reasons, which will be also systematically summarised according to the requirements of article 173, chapter 1, of the code of penal procedure.

    To this summary explanation has to be added the reference to the introductory part, containing specific requests.

    The first concerns the ruling for referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel [Sezioni Unite] on matters asserted of being of maximum relevance and, potentially, capable of generating interpretative contrast:

    a) Probative or evidential value of the results of the scientific evidence in case of violation of scientific community international protocols regarding the collection and reading of the data;

    b) Usability of declarations produced by Guede during the appeal process. In relation to this, it is inappropriate to relate the review of this appealed sentence to what he has stated during interrogation, reported in the appealed sentence according to article 238 bis; if those declarations were usable, it would be a consent to include in the trial, in violation of the same procedural disposition, declarations produced in absence of cross-examination.

    c) Range of explanation of the principle of beyond reasonable doubt, which, from what is stated by the current defense, would be violated in this specific case by the erroneous statement by the remand judge, according to which the lack of procedural collaboration of the accused has exempted the judge from analyzing the alternative hypothesis emerged from the trial papers or the defense perspectives.

    d) Reliability limits in witnesses’ declarations (such as the ones from Dramis, Monacchia, Quintavalle and Curatolo), produced some time after the facts, after being solicited by journalists. The question is about the verification of the reliability of witnesses during the procedures who created strong media impact, with particular reference to Gioffredi and Kokomani claims and to the declaration of the former offender Luciano Aviello, who did not hesitate to produce slanderous declarations towards the prosecutor, the defence attorney, and Raffaele Sollecito’s father.

    The intervention of the supreme jurisdictional assembly was necessary in order to fix the evaluation standards of oral evidence during trials with strong media exposure, aiming to preserve the credibility of the trial, protecting it from mythomaniac or judicial attention-seeking behavior.

    In the introductive part also thoroughly examined is the position of Amanda Knox regarding the erroneous evaluation of the evidence against her, which had reflected negative effects also on the position of Sollecito, with the distorted conviction that the two substantial positions would be linked by an indissoluble bond, almost like a unique communication vessels system or an abnormal “mutual” extension of responsibility.  All of this in order to denounce the erroneous methodological position consisting in the lack of an “identifying” evaluation of the appellant’s role in the tragic happening subject to judgment. And the aforementioned assumption gave headway to a further denouncement of legitimacy, consisting in the remand judge avoiding the dictum of the cancellation judgment, which gave to the remand judge the task of “highlight the subjective position of Guede’s contestants in the light of all the supposable circumstances”, all specifically enunciated.

    It is also pointed out that Ms. Knox had never placed, even in her noon report (erroneously considered of confessional nature), Sollecito at the crime scene. On the contrary, from the aforementioned report, it was possible to deduce that the foretold was not present in the house of via della Pergola.

    In fact, no trace of Sollecito was found in the room of the murder. The only element of proof against him was represented by the DNA trace retrieved on the brassiere hook of the victim; trace of which relation with the indicted was actually denied by the Vecchiotti-Conti report, which, in this regard, had accepted the observations of the defense advisor Professor Tagliabracci, world-renowned geneticist.

    Once this is considered, it is possible to proceed with a brief listing of the reasons for the appeal.

    1) The first articulated reason challenged the violation of articles 627, chapter 3 and 628 of the code of criminal procedure for the nonobservance of the principles enounced in those articles, particularly referring to the necessity: a) to ascertain the presence of the suspects on the crime scene; 2) to outline the subjective positions of the Rudy Guede’s assumed co-attackers; 3) to establish the motive of Raffaele Sollecito in relation to the one asserted for Guede.

    In strict connection with the aforementioned appeal, also, further reasons of complaint are advanced, specifically contexted within the logic of incorrect reasoning, with regard to the meaning of article 606 lett e) of the code of criminal procedure, connected with the challenged avoidance.

    • The first concerns the appealed denial of the evidentiary phase re-opening, also expressed in the order dated on 30th September 2013, also appealed. The request procedurally proposed by the defense (based on the new reasons of the 29th June 2013 and the minutes of the hearing dated 30th September 2013) was aimed to acknowledge the actual presence of the accused on the crime scene and the role carried out by each one of them on the occasion. It is advanced also:

    • the omitted evaluation of decisive elements regarding Sollecito’s alibi, with particular reference to the results of the integrative report submitted by the technical expert for one of the parties, D’Ambrosio, which demonstrates the interaction of the indicted with his computer;

    • manifest illogicality of the reason in relation to what is expressed by article 522 of the code of criminal procedure; in the absence of motivations capable to exceed the limit of beyond reasonable doubt with regards to supposed participation of Sollecito to the criminal act of murder and to the role he carried out in the crime;

    • lack of reasoning in the motivations report, in relation with articles 192 and 238 bis, with regards to the content of the irrevocable sentence against Guede in order to identify a reason for the murder.

    The requested re-opening of the evidentiary phase, aimed to demonstrate the absence of the indicted on the crime scene and the inexistence of any reason,  was illogically denied, especially since the appealed sentence had already asserted an autonomous reason, of sexual nature, against Guede.

    Furthermore, the denial of the re-opening of evidentiary phase also includes a law violation in regard to article 627, second paragraph, in accordance to which “if the appeal sentence is annulled and the parties issue a request, the judge orders the re-activation of the evidentiary phase in relation to the assumption of evidence found relevant for the decision”

    Even if is not intended to follow the case law orientation in line with the renewing of the appealed preliminary hearing, as for the right to evidence, the appeal judge was, however, obliged to give reason for the denial of the request of re-opening of evidentiary discussion in a rational manner and consistent with the evidentiary framework.

    It was, among other things, requested a genetic perizia [examination/investigation by judge-appointed experts] in relation to the stain (apparently of spermatic nature) present on the victim’s pillowcase, in order to verify its nature and possible attribution to an unknown third party; a perizia aimed to acknowledge the effective possibility to carry out a selective cleaning in order to remove only the traces connectable with the current appellants, inside the victim’s room, without removing the ones retrieved and correctly attributed to Mr. Guede; the carrying out of exams on the item 165 B, with previous acquisition from the criminal laboratory department, of the residual DNA sample extracted from the brassiere hook and further genetic exams on the same item, ordering for such purpose a supplementary investigation in order to cancel every reason of doubt on the matter; [11] exams on the stone retrieved inside Ms. Romanelli’s room, in order to identify the presence of DNA on the stone surface; audiometric test [perizia] aimed to acknowledge the possibility of hearing the supposed heart-rending scream coming from the house in via della Pergola and the footsteps with the windows closed, of the witness Capezzali; IT investigation [perizia] on Sollecito’s computer, in order to verify the existence of human interactions during the night between the 1st and 2nd November 2007; anthropometric perizia in relation to the build, height, gait and somatic features of the subject filmed by the parking facility camera, to be compared with the physical features of Guede and his clothes at the moment of the arrest; examination according to the ex-article 197 bis of Guede in regards to the facts happened the night of the murder.

    The rejection of the aforementioned evidentiary discussion requests has been motivated by the appeal judge by illogical and off-topic reasoning.

    2) Violation of article 606 lett. e), with reference to the wrong reading and interpretation of the content of Knox’s report.

    3) Another incorrect reasoning has been deduced with reference to the considered irrelevance of the exact determination of the hour of death of Meredith Kercher (which according to the defense should have been placed between 9 and 10 PM, 10:15 PM at most), with special reference to the exam carried out on Ms. Kercher’s phone records.

    4) The same flaw has been challenged regarding the supposed incompatibility of Mr. Curatolo’s declarations with the time of the scream, and the asserted irrelevance of [scientific] exams on the precise hour of death of the young English woman.

    5) Also distorted was the interpretation of Capezzali’s declarations, of which has been attached the relative transcription.

    6) In regards to flawed reasoning, interpreted according to the new wording of article 606 lett. e) of the code of criminal proceeding, the erroneous interpretation of Mr. Curatolo’s witness declarations is challenged.

    7) The same for Mr. Quintavalle’s testimony and the omitted examination of the evidential contribution of inspector Volturno, who submitted the service note according to which the aforementioned Quintavalle had told of having seen Mr. Sollecito and Amanda always together.

    8) With reference to the combined provisions of articles 606 lett. e) and 192 of the procedure code it is, then, challenged the erroneous evaluation of the proof in relation to the supposed participation of persons in the crime, with particular reference to the contested examination of the footprints and traces highlighted by luminol.[12]

    9) Also challenged is the misrepresentation of the evidence related to the time of the 112 call, also based on the supposed error of the timer of the camera situated near the parking lot.

    10) Identical violation is challenged with reference to the supposed alteration of the crime scene carried out by the two suspects.

    11) Other case of motivational deficit, a sub-type of evidence misrepresentation, and also contradiction or manifest motivational illogicality, is challenged, according to article 192 of the code of criminal procedure, regarding the supposed falsehood of the provided alibi and the related violation of the principle nemo tenetur se detegere.

    Moreover, it should have been considered as a “failed” alibi, not “false”, and as such not suitable to sustain an “evidential conclusion”, otherwise it would be subject to inadmissible inversion of the burden of proof.

    12) Also erroneous was the interpretation of the results of the genetic evidence on item 36) and on the supposed compatibility of the seized weapon with the most serious wound observed on the victim’s neck. With regards to this, it was clear the misrepresentation in which the judge was involved, given that on the knife’s blade was not observed any mixed Kercher-Sollecito DNA. On the same instrument had been retrieved traces of starch, proof that it was not true that it had been properly washed in order to remove incriminating traces. Furthermore, the starch, found in plants, has a well-known absorbing capability, so it should have absorbed the blood in case it was used for the commitment of the crime.

    Hence, the motivated request to refer the trial papers to a United Sections of Cassation panel.

    Furthermore the assumption that the most serious wound on the left side of the victim’s neck would have been inflicted with a single strike was denied by unambiguous emerging proofs, such as the results of the examination submitted by pathologist Cingolani, and also the conclusions of the party’s expert Introna.

    13) The motivation of the appealed sentenced was objectionable also in relation to the asserted availability of the kitchen knife for Amanda Knox at the time of the aggression. In this regard, it was illogical to state that the kitchen knife, used for the homicide, wouldn’t have been hidden, considering that the furniture and instruments of the apartment rented by Sollecito were listed in inventory, so that the lack of the knife would have generated suspecion, and according to this it was replaced in its place subsequent to cleaning.

    Also clearly illogical was the motivation related to the carrying of the knife on the part of Ms. Knox, with asserted use of the capacious purse in her possession, for supposed reasons of personal defense, for this purpose induced by Sollecito who was familiar with knives. It was not considered that to be true this explanation would exclude the hypothesis of joint concurrence, since it would admit that the suspect woman was alone [13] and not able to take advantage of, in case of aggression by strangers, the supposed defense by her boyfriend.

    However, there was no evidence on the supposed concurrence of the appellant in [a charge of] unjustified carrying of thee knife.

    14) Obvious also was the flawed reasoning on the results of the genetic investigations on the bra hook, for which a referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel is requested.

    With regard to the possible contamination of the item, the appeal judges overlooked the photographic material placed before the court, which clearly demonstrated the possible contamination, regarding the way the hook was treated, with a “hand to hand” passage carried out by persons who wore dirty latex gloves.

    Furthermore, a second amplification was not carried out on the hook despite the fact that half of the sample was still available, and remained unused.

    Also, the hook, though observed during the first inspection carried out by the scientific police,  was left on the ground, on the floor, and there it remained for some time. It wasn’t true, also, that between the first access and the one during which the hook was finally collected, only two inspections by the investigators took place, in reality there were more and in such occasions everything was put in disarray.

    With regard to this, the objections by the defense and the contrary conclusions of the defense adviser professor Tagliabracci, were not considered.

    15) A misrepresentation of the evidence also took place in relation to the actual delivery of the progress reports [SAL] on the examinations carried out by Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, of the scientific police.

    16) Another reason for complaint with regard to the judge’s motivations context is related to the supposed theft simulation in Romanelli’s room and the absence of motivation in the new reasoning presented in the report of 29th July 2013.

    In this regard, it is argued that it was Sollecito who notified the postal police, their having arrived in via della Pergola for other reasons (the retrieval of Kercher’s cellular phones, one of them with the sim card in the name of Romanelli), about the strangeness of the fact that from the room of the housemate of Kercher and Knox, the computer and valuable items were not missing; that the testimony declaration of lawyer Paolo Brocchi and of Matteo Palazzoli, presented in the new submiessions, regarding acts of thievery carried out by Guede with modalities similar to the ones that were supposed to be used for the breaking-into the apartment in via della Pergola, were not considered; nor were properly considered the defense reports about the wounds on the palm of the hand palm of Guede at time of his arrest in Germany; nor that the evidence had been misrepresented with reference to the collocation of the glass shards, given that from the collected testimony declarations [14] it resulted that the shards of glass were placed both under and over the objects present in Romanelli’s room; that, also, a glass fragment was retrieved in Meredith’s room, indicating that whoever unlawfully entered the room had brought that fragment with him. Therefore, it was clear that the sentence under appeal was based on mere speculations, totally detached from the trial’s reality.

    17) Challenged also is the violation of article 238 bis of code of criminal procedure, on the fact that through the acquisition [in the trial against Knox and Sollecito] of the irrevocable sentences issued against Guede, it was intended to make use of declarations released contra alios in a different procedural context, although those declarations were issued in absence of the blamed persons. Beyond this point, for which a referral to United Sections of Cassation was solicited,  Guede’s declarations were erroneously evaluated, in violation of the standards dictated by article 192 of the code of criminal procedure and the indications of this Court (p. 57). It was true that those declarations were adopted as a mere confirmation element, but they were still unusable declarations. The sentences about him, after all, also the Supreme Court ones, demonstrated the absolute unreliability of Mr. Guede.

    18) Another violation of the article 238 bis of the code of criminal procedure was challenged with reference to the supposed binding effectiveness of external final verdicts [giudicato esterno].

    19) Also related to the declarations of Guede, their use constituted a violation of articles 111 Const., 526 chapter 1 bis of the code of criminal procedure, and 6 of the European Convention. And also on this matter, referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel was requested.’

    20) In the event that such legal approach is not shared [by the Supreme Court], a question of constitutional illegitimacy was advanced of those laws which allowed bypassing the regulatory prohibitions in regards to the usability of declarations incriminating third parties in the absence of the accused persons, by means of the mere acquisition of irrevocable judgments against the declarant and containing the relative propagations contra alios.

    21) Incorrect reasoning was also challenged in relation to the supposed possibility of contamination of the evidence during the appeal, independently from the doubting of sufficient quantity expressed on the point.

    22) There was also a lack of rationale also related to the aggravating circumstance of sexual violence.

    23) The same also applies with regard to the supposed theft of the victim’s cellular phones. 

    24) Clear also is the violation of the principle of the beyond reasonable doubt, because of the omission of the examination of alternative solutions.

    Finally, a rationale was omitted on a possible downgrading of the charge from voluntary murder to the less serious charges of aiding a crime or manslaughter, and also the application of mitigating circumstances.

    Posted on 09/26/15 at 03:33 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThose officially involvedSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Report translation
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    Wednesday, September 23, 2015

    Supreme Court Confirms All Three Were There And Lied, RS & AK Apologists Desperate To Downplay That

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Botticelli painting (actually it is “Calunnia”) dated 1494 among the artwork of the Supreme Court

    1. Overview Of Several Coming Series

    The language, logic and law of the Marasca/Bruno Report are about as odd as Rome courtwatchers have ever seen.

    We will soon sign off on a translation which tries hard to preserve these oddities intact, so that impartial minds can arrive at a correct assessment of what it is worth. 

    The Fifth Chambers normally handles appeals of verdicts for fraud, defamation, and other fairly mundane non-violent personal injuries. Their reports are almost invariably 1-3 pages long.

    If this appeal by Knox and Sollecito against the Nencini court findings and guilty sentences had been handled without chicanery, it is the First Chambers which deals with murder cases and which annulled most of the Hellmann appeal outcome in 2013 which would have got this appeal.

    Almost certainly those judges would have simply rejected the appeal and sent Knox and Sollecito back to jail. Despite the PR this was by any standards a very strong case.

    But if the bizarre Marasca/Bruno report was intended as a whitewash, it should get very poor marks. Knox’s and Sollecito’s legal teams seem to realise that. Hence the lack of noise.

    The report does nothing to help Knox and Sollecito to get beyond their calunnia, villiipendio and diffamazione trials, it makes a win against either or both in a wrongful-death suit more or less an assured thing, and it whacks the frivolous and dishonest ECHR appeal by Amanda Knox on the head.

    2. Passages Noting Knox And Sollecito Were There

    The report also makes Rome lawyers question why Knox and Sollecito were not at minimum found guilty of being accessories after the fact.

    In chapters 4, 9 and 10 the report makes very clear that Knox and Sollecito were BOTH at the house on the night. The proof of that stands up. Key excerpts from our final translation below.   

    Among many others, passages shown in bold have been deliberately garbled in an amateur translation done for Knox. See some of the corrections by Machiavelli underneath.

    From Chapter 4

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



    [Above: wrong Knox version]

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

    Such double verification, in the current case, has an abundantly positive outcome. In fact it is manifestly evident that such fact, which was ascertained elsewhere [aliunde], relates to the object of cognition of the current judgement. The [court’s] assessment of it, in accord with other trial findings which are valuable to confirm its reliability, is equally correct. We refer to the multiple elements, linked to the overall reconstruction of events, which rule out that Guede could have acted alone. Firstly, testifying in this direction are the two main wounds (actually three) observed on the victim’s neck, on each side, with a diversified path and features, attributable most likely (even if the data is contested by the defense) to two different cutting weapons. And also, the lack of signs of resistance by the young woman, since no traces of the assailant were found under her nails, and there is no evidence elsewhere [aliunde] of any desperate attempt to oppose the aggressor; the bruises on her upper limbs and those on mandibular area and lips (likely the result of forcible hand action of constraint meant to keep the victim’s mouth shut) found during the cadaver examination, and above all, the appalling modalities of the murder, which were not adequately pointed out in the appealed ruling.

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

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

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

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

    From Chapter 9

             

    9.4.1 Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it. About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time [46] a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.  We make reference in particular to those declarations that the current appellant [Knox] produced on 11. 6. 2007 (p.96) inside the State Police headquarters. On the other hand, in the slanderous declarations against Lumumba, which earned her a conviction, the status of which is now protected as final judgement [giudicato], [they] had themselves exactly that premise in the narrative, that is: the presence of the young American woman inside the house in via della Pergola, a circumstance which nobody at that time – except obviously the other people present inside the house – could have known (quote p. 96).



    [Correct Italian version]



    [Above: wrong Knox version]



    [Above: wrong Knox version]

    According to the slanderous statements of Ms. Knox, she had returned home in the company of Lumumba, who she had met by chance in Piazza Grimana, and when Ms. Kercher arrived in the house, Knox’s companion directed sexual attentions toward the young English woman, then he went together with her in her room, from which the harrowing scream came. So, it was Lumumba who killed Meredith and she could affirm this since she was on the scene of crime herself, albeit in another room.

    Another element against her is the mixed DNA traces, her and the victim’s one, in the “small bathroom”, an eloquent proof that anyway she had come into contact with the blood of the latter, which she tried to wash away from herself (it was, it seems, diluted blood, while the biological traces belonging to her would be the consequence of epithelial rubbing).

    The fact is very suspicious, but it’s not decisive, besides the known considerations about the sure nature and attribution of the traces in question. 

    Nonetheless, even if we deem the attribution certain, the trial element would not be unequivocal, since it may show also a posthumous touching of that blood, during the probable attempt of removing the most visible traces of what had happened, maybe to help cover up for someone or to steer away suspicion from herself, but not contributing to full certainty about her direct involvement in the murderous action. Any further and more pertaining interpretation in fact would be anyway resisted by the circumstance – this is decisive indeed – that no trace linkable to her was found on the scene of crime or on the victim’s body, so it follows – if we concede everything – that her contact with the victim’s blood happened in a subsequent moment and in another room of the house.

    Another element against her is certainly constituted by the false accusations [calunnia] against Mr. Lumumba, afore-mentioned above.

    It is not understandable, in fact, what reason could have driven the young woman to produce such serious accusations. The theory that she did so in order to escape psychological pressure from detectives seems extremely fragile, given that the woman [47] could not fail to realize that such accusations directed against her boss would turn out to be false very soon, given that, as she knew very well, Mr. Lumumba had no relationship with Ms. Kercher nor with the Via della Pergola house. Furthermore, the ability to present an ironclad alibi would have allowed Lumumba to obtain release and subsequently the dropping of charges.

    However, the said calunnia is another circumstantial element against the current appellant, insofar as it can be considered a strategy in order to cover up for Mr. Guede, whom she had an interest to protect because of fear of retaliatory accusations against her. This is confirmed by the fact that Mr. Lumumba, like Mr. Guede, is a man of colour, hence the indication of the first one would be safe in the event that the latter could have been seen by someone while entering or exiting the apartment. 

    And moreover, the staging of a theft in Romanelli’s room, which she is accused of,  is also a relevant point within an incriminating picture, considering the elements of strong suspicion (location of glass shards – apparently resulting from the breaking of a glass window pane caused by the throwing of a rock from the outside – on top of, but also under clothes and furniture), a staging, which can be linked to someone who – as an author of the murder and a flatmate [titolare] with a formal [“qualified”] connection to the dwelling – had an interest to steer suspicion away from himself/herself, while a third murderer in contrast would be motivated by a very different urge after the killing, that is to leave the apartment as quickly as possible. But also this element is substantially ambiguous, especially if we consider the fact that when the postal police arrived – they arrived in Via della Pergola for another reason: to search for Ms. Romanelli, the owner of the telephone SIM card found inside one of the phones retrieved in via Sperandio – the current appellants themselves, Sollecito specifically, were the ones who pointed out the anomalous situation to the officers, as nothing appeared to be stolen from Ms. Romanelli’s room. 

    Elements of strong suspicion are also in the inconsistencies and lies which the suspect woman committed over the statements she released on various occasions, especially in the places where her narrative was contradicted by the telephone records showing different incoming SMS messages; by the testimonies of Antonio Curatolo about the presence of [the same] Amanda Knox in piazza Grimana in the company of Sollecito, and of Mario Quintavalle about her presence inside the supermarket the morning of the day after the murder, maybe to buy detergents. Despite this, the features of intrinsic inconsistency and poor reliability of the witnesses, which were objected to many times during the trial, do not allow to attribute unconditional trust to their versions, in order to prove with reassuring certainty the failure, and so the falsehood, of the alibi presented by the suspect woman, who claimed to have been at her boyfriend’s home since the late afternoon of November 1st until the morning of the following day. Mr. Curatolo (an enigmatic character: a clochard, drug addicted and dealer) [48] besides the fact that his declarations were late and the fact that he was not foreign to judiciary showing-off in judicial cases with a strong media impact, he was also contradicted about his reference to young people waiting for public buses to leave in the direction of disco clubs in the area, since it was asserted that the night of the murder the bus service was not operational; and also the reference to masks and jokes, which he says he witnessed that evening, would lead to believe that it was on Halloween night, on October 31., and not on Nov. 1. instead. The latter point apparently balances – still within a context of uncertainty and ambiguousness – the witness’ reference to (regarding the context where he reportedly noticed the two suspects together) the day before the one when he noticed (at an afternoon hour) an unusual movement of Police and Carabinieri, and in particular people wearing white suites and head covers (as if they were extra-terrestrials) entering the house in Via della Pergola (obviously on November 2., after the discovery of the body).

    Mr. Quintavalle – apart from the lateness of his statements, initially reticent and generic – did not offer any contribute of certainty, not even about the goods bought by the young woman noticed on the morning subsequent to the murder, when he opened his store, while his recognizing Knox in the courtroom is not relevant, since her image had appeared on all newspapers and tv news.

    Regarding the biological traces, signed with letters A and I (the latter analysed by the RIS) sampled from the knife seized in Sollecito’s house and yielding Knox’s genetic profile, they constitute a neutral element, given that the same suspect lived together with Mr. Sollecito in the same home in via Garibaldi, although she alternated with the via della Pergola home, and – as for what was said – the same instrument did not have blood traces from Ms. Kercher, a negative circumstance that contrasted the accusation hypotheses that it was the murder weapon.

    On that point, it must be pointed out that – again following a disputable strategic choice by the scientific police genetic experts – it was decided that the investigation aimed at identifying the genetic profile should be privileged, rather than finding its biological nature, given that the quantity of the samples did not allow a double test: the quality test would in fact would have “used up” the sample or made it unusable for further tests. A very disputable option, since the detecting of blood traces, referable to Ms. Kercher, would have provided the trial with a datum of a formidable probative relevance, incontrovertibly certifying the use of the weapon for the committing of the crime. The verified presence of the same weapon inside Sollecito’s house, where Ms. Knox was living together with him, would have allowed then any possible deduction in this respect. Instead, the verified identification of the traces with genetic profiles of Ms. Knox resolves itself in a not unequivocal and rather indifferent datum, given that the young American woman was living together with Mr. Sollecito, sharing time between his dwelling and [49] the Via della Pergola one. Not only that, but even if it was possible to attribute with certainty trace B to the genetic profile of Ms. Kercher, the trial datum would have been not decisive (since it’s not a blood trace), given the promiscuity or commonality of inter-personal relations typical of out-of-town students, which make it plausible that a kitchen knife or any other tool could be transported from one house to the other and thus, the seized knife could have been brought by Ms. Knox in Via della Pergola for domestic use, in occasion of convivial meetings or other events, and therefore be used by Ms. Kercher.

    What is certain is, that on the knife no blood traces were found, a lack which cannot be referred to an accurate cleaning. As was accurately pointed out by the defence attorneys, the knife had traces of starch, a sign of ordinary home use and of a washing anything but accurate. Not only, but starch is, notoriously, a substance with remarkable absorbing property, thus it is very likely that in the event of a stabbing, blood elements would be retained by it.

    It is completely implausible the accusative assumption on the point, that the young woman would be used to carrying the bulky item with her for a self-defence purpose, using – it is said – the large bag she had for that purpose.  It wouldn’t be actually understandable why the woman, if warned by her boyfriend to pay attention during her night time movements, was not in possession of one of the small pocket knives surely owned by Sollecito, who apparently had the hobby of that kind of weapon and was a collector of a number of them.

    Finally, the matching with the current appellant woman of the footprints found in the place location of the murder is far from being certain.             

    9.4.2 Also the evidential picture about Mr. Sollecito, emerging from the impugned verdict, appears marked by intrinsic and irreducible contradictions.

    His presence on the murder scene, and specifically inside the room where the murder was committed, is linked to only the biological trace found on the bra fastener hook (item 165/b), the attribution of which, however, cannot have any certainty, since such trace is insusceptible of a second amplification, given its scarce amount, for that it is – as we said – an element lacking of circumstantial evidentiary value.

    It remains anyway strong the suspicion that he was actually in the Via della Pergola house the night of the murder, in a moment that, however, it was impossible to determine.     

    On the other hand, since the presence of Ms. Knox inside the house is sure, it is hardly credible that he was not with her. 

    And even following one of the versions released by the woman, that is the one in accord to which, returning home in the morning of November 2. after a night spent at her boyfriend’s place, she reports of having immediately noticed that something strange had happened (open door, blood traces everywhere); or even the other one, that she reports in her memorial, in accord to which she was present in the house at the time of the murder, but in a different room, not the one in which the violent aggression on Ms. Kercher was being committed, it is very strange that she did not call her boyfriend, since there is no record about a phone call from her, based on the phone records within the file. Even more if we consider that having being in Italy for a short time, she would be presumably uninformed about what to do in such emergency cases, therefore the first and maybe only person whom she could ask for help would have been her boyfriend himself, who lived only a few hundred meters away from her house. Not doing this signifies Sollecito was with her, unaffected, obviously, the procedural relevance of his mere presence in that house, in the absence of certain proof of his causal contribution to the murderous action. 

    The defensive argument extending the computer interaction up to the visualization of a cartoon, downloaded from the internet, in a time that they claim compatible with the time of death of Ms. Kercher, is certainly not sufficient to dispel such strong suspicions. In fact, even following the reconstruction claimed by the defence and even if we assume as certain that the interaction was by Mr. Sollecito himself and that he watched the whole clip, still the time of ending of his computer activity wouldn’t be incompatible with his subsequent presence in Ms. Kercher’s house, given the short distance between the two houses, walkable in about ten [sic] minutes.

    An element of strong suspicion, also, derives from his confirmation, during spontaneous declarations, the alibi presented by Ms. Knox about the presence of both inside the house of the current appellant the night of the murder,  a theory that is denied by the statements of Curatolo, who declared of having witnessed the two together from 21:30 until 24:00 in piazza Grimana; and by Quintavalle on the presence of a young woman, later identified as Ms. Knox, when he opened his store in the morning of November 2. But as it was previously noted, such witness statements appeared to have strong margins of ambiguity and approximation, so that could not reasonably constitute the foundation of any certainty, besides the problematic judgement of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge.

    An umpteenth element of suspicion is the basic failure of the alibi linked to other, claimed human interactions in the computer of his belongings, albeit if we can’t talk about false alibi, since it’s more appropriate to speak about unsuccessful alibi. 

    Finally, no certainty could be reached [was acquired] about the attribution to Mr. Sollecito of the footprints found in the via della Pergola house, about which the technical reports carried out have not gone beyond a judgement of “probable identity”, and not of certainty (p. 260/1).

    9.4.3. It is just the case to observe, that the declaration of the lacking of a probative framework, coherent and sufficient to support the accusatory hypothesis regarding the more serious case of the homicide, reverberates on the residual, accessory charges referred in point d) (theft of the phones) and e) (simulation of crime).

    From Chapter 10

    10. The intrinsic contradiction of probative elements emerging from the text of the appealed sentence, undermines in nuce the connecting tissue of the same sentence, causing the annulment of it.

    And in fact, when facing a picture marked by such contradiction, the appeal judge was not supposed to issue a conviction but rather – as we observed above – they were compelled to issue a ruling of acquittal with reference to art. 530 paragraph 2 of penal procedure code. 

    At this point the last question remains, about the annulment formula – that is, whether it should be annulled with remand or without remand. The solving of such question is obviously related to the objective possibility of further tests, which could resolve the aspects of uncertainty, maybe through new technical investigations. 

    The answer is certainly negative, because the biological traces on the items relevant to the investigation are of scarce entity, as such they can’t undergo amplification, and thus they won’t render answers of absolute reliability, neither in terms of identity nor in terms of compatibility.

    The computers belonging to Amanda Knox and to Ms. Kercher, which maybe could have provided information useful to the investigation, were, incredibly, burned by hazardous operations by investigators, which caused electric shock following a probable error of power source; and they can’t render any further information anymore, since it’s an irreversible damage. 

    The set of court testimonies is exhaustive, given the accuracy and completeness of the evidentiary trial phase, which had re-openings both times in the instances of appeal [rinvio; sic].

    Mr. Guede, who was sure a co-participant to the murder, has always refused to cooperate, and for the already stated reasons he can’t be compelled to testify.

    The technical tests requested by the defence cannot grant any contribution of clarity, not only because a long time has passed, but also because they regard aspects of problematic examination (such as the possibility of selective cleaning) or of manifest irrelevance (technical analysis on Sollecito’s computer) given that is was possible, as said, for him to go to Kercher’s house whatever the length of his interaction with the computer (even if one concedes that such interaction exists), or they are manifestly unnecessary, given that some unexceptionable technical analysis carried out are exhaustive (such are for example the cadaver inspection and the following medico-legal examinations).   

    Following the considerations above, it is obvious that a remand [rinvio] would be useless, hence the declaration of annulment without remand, based on art. 620 L) of the procedure code, thus we apply an acquittal [proscioglimento *] formula [see note just below] which a further judge on remand would be anyway compelled to apply, to abide to the principles of law established in this current sentence.

    [Translator’s note:  The Italian word for “acquittal” is actually “assoluzione”; while the term “proscioglimento” instead, by the Italian Procedure Code, actually refers only to non-definitive preliminary judgements during investigation phase, and it could be translated as “dropping of charges”. Note: as for investigation phase “proscioglimento” is normally meant as a not-binding decision, not subjected to double jeopardy, since it is not considered a judgement nor a court’s decision.]

    The annulment of the verdict of conviction of Ms. Knox as for the crime written at letter A), implies the ruling out of the aggravation of teleological nexus as for the art. 61 par. 2 Penal Code. The ruling out of such aggravating circumstance makes it necessary to re-determine the penalty, which is to be quantified in the same length established by the Court of Appeals of Perugia, about the adequacy of which large and sufficient justification was given, based on determination parameters which are to be subscribed to entirely.

    It is just worth to note that the outcome of the judgement allows to deem as absorbed, or implicitly ruled out, any other objection, deduction or request by the defences, while any other argumentative aspect among those not examined, should be deemed manifestly inadmissible since it obviously belongs to the merit.


    Thursday, April 02, 2015

    The Psychology Of The Human Race Puts Us On A Rising Curve Toward True Justice For All

    Posted by SeekingUnderstanding



    Above and below: more and more people worldwide are on the march to make justice for victims work

    1. The “Just-World” Is Built

    When we were children, we listened to fairy tales. Most cultures have a library of myths.

    They frequently had ‘happy ever after’ endings, where everything worked out well, after many scares, struggles and deep sorrows. Rarely did the ‘bad people’ win, in the very end, although there were often sacrifices along the way required by those who were true to themselves, and cared for others and the world. The ruthless, selfish, greedy people often appeared in disguise - their ugly and scheming natures only revealed by chance at The End.

    We often asked our fathers to read us these stories, before we were tucked up safely in bed. Usually we went to sleep reassured. This is because such tales reinforce a concept known as ‘the just-world’. In this just world, good thoughts and deeds are rewarded, eventually, and the bad and cruel actions will reap the punishment they deserve, even if patience is required until this comes about.

    Our belief in this concept helps us, as we begin to go out in the world and face its stresses and dangers. It gives us hope and courage, in our tiny childhood bodies.

    Our parents are our caretakers, there to guide us and protect us from harm. Good parents, who are teachers too, show us right from wrong, good from bad. We grow, and begin to form a sense of Self, a core self that finds meaning and values, experiences beauty and ugliness, joy and pain.

    At least one of our caretakers will empathize with us, and give us what is known as validation. Gradually, we learn to be self-reliant and do this for ourselves, although we will always still turn towards the caretaker for this reassurance at certain times.

    2. When Our Just-World is Broken

    And then, suddenly, one day, something else happens. (Hopefully, this day doesn’t come when we are so very young - if it does, it is frequently disastrous).

    Our belief in the Just World is fractured. It cracks, and comes crumbling down around us, terrifying us as it does. Life goes into slow motion, and we remember the colours, shapes, smells, words, for the rest of our lives. Someone who has done wrong is praised and rewarded, and the little person who is ‘me’, who was being as good as we knew how to be, is scolded, teased, taunted, hurt (perhaps physically), neglected, ignored, humiliated, punished. We suffer when we do not deserve to, sometimes when we least deserve to.

    Most of all, our ‘caretaker’, whose function it is to protect us, now reprimands us, withdraws their love or approval and, worst of all, refuses to believe us. We are telling it as it is, telling the truth as we have been taught to do, and the very person we have entrusted with truth, rejects us, and believes the one who is lying. We feel despair,and we feel isolated. We panic inside, and experience fear as we have not known it.

    Our adrenalin and other endocrine reactions are set in motion. Our heart thumps. We don’t know what to do, we feel numb, confused, it is hard to concentrate. We are unlikely to be able to say, at that point, - but what we are feeling is betrayal. All our inner security has temporarily dissolved.

    Not only has the person insulted and harmed us with their wrong-doing, but they compounded this by sanctimoniously pretending that they were ‘put upon’, a victim no less, while simultaneously the true victim is blamed and derogated. It is outrageous, and moreover it is disempowering (at first).

    It is our first experience of injustice.

    3. The Experience of Acute Distress

    If our psyche is healthy, we will recover, both physically and emotionally within a short period. Human beings have innate coping mechanisms, and we learn gradually to activate these. Different personalities develop different ways.

    But the period of stress and distress does need to be of a short duration. This is important. If it is not, we now know that very real damage occurs. This is not something vague, but is actual, biological, involving the Hippocampus and other specific areas in the brain.

    When we talk about ‘healing’, this is not just a fancy word for getting into a better mood : real healing and correction need to occur in the cell tissues. Stress really does damage your health, and if we need to take time out to recover from it, - this is a real need. The greater and more prolonged the distress, the longer the time needed to rebuild, to adapt and adjust. Music, and being in nature, often have an important role to play here. People find their own ways, in their own time.

    The other thing of prime importance is contact and talking, sharing, with others to whom we feel bonded. It may seem like saying the obvious - but it has been shown that victims of trauma heal very much more quickly when their contact with their loved ones in the aftermath had been immediate.

    What is needed is the opposite of isolation, which would simply increase the undermining of the sense of self and our own identity, which has been hurt, or sometimes splintered.

    People are isolated in cases of torture - the perpetrators of it know this isolating alone is punishing, fragmenting, weakening and eroding to the self.

    We need the validation of our true friends. Perhaps this is the origin of the saying, ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’.

    To recap slightly : our first experience of having our illusion of a totally Just World challenged probably first occurs as we are growing up, perhaps at school or similarly.

    I will not, here, address the very serious cases where child abuse happens in the home, where the damage may never be repairable (although a certain amount can be done, miraculously, with professional and skilled help). Neither is this the place to describe terrible trauma caused by murder and terrorism. Extreme experience of injustice, especially continuous, leads to severe trauma, which at the extreme end leads to PTSD.

    Needless to say, those who survive need the utmost sensitivity and skill to help them deal with the sheer inhumanity of their situations.

    4. The Caretaker in the Wider World

    As we go out into the world, ‘the family’ and with it, the head of the family or the main caretaker extends onto a more macro scale. The head of an institution becomes the caretaker. The headmaster or headmistress has a duty of care and protection : they are ‘in loco parentis’.

    And so on upwards - the head of a large company where we may work has to duty of care that his employees are kept safe; we have local heads of government, police commissioners etc., whose responsibility includes the safety and protection of the citizens - this is achieved through law and order. And so we finally go to the top, and have the governments of countries, and their judiciary and courts, and the Head of State.

    Governments carry the ‘caretaker’ role for the people, the citizens. They are entrusted with our ultimate safety, security and defence - against violence, against terror, unreason, and the break-down of law and order into chaos and tyranny. We entrust them to save us from barbarism.

    It is because they have this extension of the caretaker role (a leader will sometimes be called ‘The Father of the Nation’), that when something goes badly wrong, we can feel betrayed. Our own personal memories of betrayal, which may exist in layers of many chapters, can suddenly be triggered. It matters not that physically, personally, we may not be anything like in proximity or involved in what has just happened.

    A feeling of insecurity, of being totally let down, indeed of being betrayed, is experienced in the collective, the caretaker of which is the top of government and judiciary.
    The shockwaves in the collective trigger our personal memories of our own past trauma. Just as happens when someone we know is bereaved, and we then suddenly recall our own bereavements, as clear as day. Our own memories are re-experienced within the present, integrated into the collective event.

    When a member of the Royal Family (in Britain) for whom there is much affection, dies, one can see an outpouring of collective sentiment. Some may disparage it (as in, ‘well, how could they possibly have known her!’ etc), but the phenonomen of collective sentiment is very real, and contains more than the sum of its parts. As all collective moods, it will operate as a wave - a wave that may sweep reason aside.





    5. Injustice Is So Like Bereavement

    Injustice affects us as bereavement does. When we are bereaved, and perhaps especially when we lose a parent (our original ‘caretaker’), we are affected physiologically as well as emotionally.

    Our fear responses are heightened, (sometimes called heightened arousal), our heart rate changes, our concentration and memory are affected, as too our ability to regulate our emotions (be overwhelmed by them); our perception itself is affected, including our perception of who we are ourselves, our very core identity.

    It is very common to feel we have lost a part of ourself with the loss of the one we loved, or, importantly, who loved us. Their love for us was part of what made us feel valid. How many feel, when bereaved, lost themselves, - rudderless, as it were? We have to re-learn, and validate ourselves.

    Why, you may wonder, are we discussing bereavement here? Because the responses that we go through (and it happens involuntarily) are the same as when experiencing the distress of injustice, or injustice trauma where it is extreme.

    The same shattering of world-view is involved, and the same loss of security, which affects us fundamentally.

    We need ‘safe-holding’ - first our parents provide this, then gradually other people and other structures out in society provide this keeping of us safe and secure. Being able to dependably rely on the administrators of just law to do exactly that is a very important part of our security. We trust them. We trust our government to use their powers judiciously, to look after our best interests, or at least to try.

    If suddenly justice itself appears from every logical perspective to be in fact injustice, it is a great threat to our psychological security, for reasons I’ve tried to explain.

    If the collective has been subject to such stress, then the process of repair or healing is required to happen in the collective, exactly as it is when the injustice stress or trauma has occurred on a personal level. It is just as essential. As one of our commentators said, ‘Silence is not an option’.

    But fortunately, humanity is resourceful. We can all think of ways and times when people of every diversity have come together in adversity, and pulled together, in generosity, kindness and strength. There is the dual instinct in most people (who are not dysfunctional, damaged or disturbed) which is for both justice and compassion - civilized, just action - .. and when we recover from the adrenalin state, where one feels temporarily stunned in disbelief, we slowly regain our ability to creatively engage in the present.

    6. How The Healing Process Works

    Many people come and seek out counselling when they are recovering from extended periods of stress and distress, caused by a wide variety of reasons, and within a wide spectrum of severity. There are a number of effective techniques to aid the self-therapy.

    These include understanding one’s own fear responses and calming these; recognizing personal triggers, and having a method to deal with flashbacks when they occur; working on acceptance, and being ‘grounded’ or anchored; and learning to create a feeling of safety and security for yourself in the present, and recalling the stressful time but placing it carefully in the past.

    7. Narrative Therapy For RS And AK

    Sollecito admitted to lies, Knox served three years for lies, and both are still on trial in Florence for many more. Even their best friends know that.

    In order to make progress in recovery, with counselling, some sort of ‘narrative therapy’ is needed, where what has been so distressing can be processed and talked about from the perspective of the present, looking back and making sense -  but not talking as if one is still there in the experience.

    To be able to arrive at this narrative is an important healing step. But if instead, the story is made of fragmented flashbacks, and the talk slips back into the present tense, as if the person is there again at the scene…really this is not good news. (cf AK was doing this in one of her last interviews last year - the one where she talked about ‘the corpse’).

    There is avoidance, where the person can’t bear to think about the stress, and there are intense flashbacks, re-lived, - which can re-traumatise.

    The narrative that we seek, and that helps bring calm and the ability to move forward, is neither of these. But to reach the good narrative the person will have to go through the detail of the traumatic event, and face the pain it causes them. They will have to be truthful. The therapist helps them do this incrementally, within a very safe environment. It does work, but it takes time - the greater the trauma, the greater the time.

    This knowledge is useful to anyone recovering from a major stressful life event, but the reason I mention it here is in thinking about our two ex-defendants. Stepping aside for the moment from the flip-flopping judgement delivered, - what concerns me is whether and how healing is possible - for everyone.

    There are so very many deeply disturbing aspects to this dreadfully drawn-out case, - most have been noted. But one that disturbs me most is that the ex-defendants have wound themselves up to delivering false narratives to the media circuses - to the point where they can’t now recant them without getting their respective knickers in a complete twist, knots that can’t be unravelled, nor make any sense.

    As it is, it seems we have two ghosts who held down Meredith, where Guede was the third man.

    My serious point here being that, for their own sakes if no-one else’s, the ex-defendants will need to tell a truthful narrative, in order to find any kind of reasonable and balanced functioning in their lives.

    Quite simply, healing will not be possible unless they arrive at telling a truthful narrative in the way I touched on above - even if this is in confidentiality, to a therapist, - it will need to be done. It cannot be done in fiction.

    If they do not go through the necessary steps in the process as outlined - instability, gross insecurity, and states of fear and anxiety will persist, and the trauma can and will always re-emerge unpredictably, and haunt and shadow their lives with flashbacks.

    This process is well-known, and well-documented.

    This site is primarily to support the Kercher family, who are the genuine, innocent victims of the most appalling trauma - one that has been selfishly drawn out by ruthless external forces, thus putting their own recovery in jeopardy, and causing great suffering.

    They should always have been put first, but now, at this point in time, it is more vital than ever.

    They will need, as all victims in recovery, to be able to make their ‘good narrative’. But they cannot fully do so without the truth - even if it has to remain just a sketch of the truth. I wish with all my heart they can find the whole narrative that they need - I do not know how at this point, with so much obfuscation abounding.

    But I do not give up hope : healing can always arrive, for those with good will, and good hearts…so however long it takes, I have faith that it can, and it will.

    Posted on 04/02/15 at 01:51 PM by SeekingUnderstanding. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychologyPondering motiveThose who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoKnox persona hoax
    Permalink for this postTell-a-FriendCase WikiPMF Org ForumPMF Net ForumComments here (37)

    Friday, March 27, 2015

    Supreme Court Appeal By RS And AK Against Florence Court Rejection Of Their First Appeal #2

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    This was in 2009, Meredith’s family, not in court, may hear things came full circle today

    Tweets from the court

    New tweets from the court if any (we may have to wait for breaks) are being added under the various author’s names below. Numbering flows from Wednesday’s post.

    Any breaking news

    22. Reason for delay in the announcement is paperwork we believe, there were dozens of reasons for an overturn in the two written appeals, and they would have to be responded to one by one if appeal is denied. The Telegraph seems to be planning a live website feed though it may be from outside. .

    21. Here is where Sollecito is headed if he makes it before any guilty verdict and the 2 police cars in his rear mirrors him stop him and take him in:  41°14’37.80"N 16°29’2.50"E Put that into Google Earth search and then descend to street view. Thats the gate for the compound, chez Sollecito is a couple of houses down on the left. Francesco Sollecito has addressed crowds of reporters there. 

    20. Video here of RS and his sister Vanessa leaving by side entrance, possibly for Bari. As Florence prosecutors are in court, this may be his way of ensuring he is not photographed being frogmarched out of there.

    19. Knox undercut her own defence by stiffing Florence court. Could in new Florence trial face more years for criminal defamation. Moore & Burleigh & Fischer & other PR shills may face citations too, as their excesses outnumber those of Gumbel and Sforza already in court. Tweeting stalkers too. Communication Police looking now.

    18. Italian ANSA report is calling RS lawyer Giulia Bongiorno’s address to the court “Bye Bye Amanda” as she says only questionable DNA relates RS to scene of crime. [Oh? Several footprints? Opposing knife wounds? Multi alibis? Computer? Cellphone?]

    17. Media, please get it right: Amanda Knox was not “tried in absentia” at Florence “trial”. IT WAS HER OWN APPEAL and Italian lawyers argued with her for a week that she really needed to be there. Having abused so many in Italy, and put drug dealer in jail, was her no-show really such a surprise?

    16. Strong-arming unethical Gogerty-Marriott PR firm closes down in Seattle with a final dishonest thump of the chest. Said to be freaked by potential legal liability. Maybe Knox herself should sue as they made her plight much worse.

    15. So NYC Sollecito advisor John Q Kelly shows his face again. He was wildly wrong on the hard facts late 2009 and promptly disappeared.

    Tweets from journalist Andrea Vogt

    17. Heavy media & police presence at Italy’s high court this a.m. for final hearing in #amandaknox case. Sollecito’s defense at 9.

    18. Raffaele Sollecito’s Italian and American lawyers Giulia Bongiorno & John Q Kelly just greeted in hall outside Aula Magna

    19. Giulia Bongiorno on the lack of DNA from #amandaknox and sollecito in murder room: only a dragonfly leaves no trace.

    20. Bongiorno casting doubt on forensic police dna interpretation. “Maybe, in science, does not exist. Either it is Raffaele ‘s dna or not.”

    21. High court judges in #amandaknox case are going into deliberations now. They will alert all one hour before they announce decision.

    22. Court can: 1) call appeal [outcome] inadmissable 2) accept it 3) reject it 4) annul convictions & back to appellate 5) annul convictions.

    23. Members of Florence prosecutor’s office are at Rome court today for decision on #amandaknox / Sollecito appeal of their convictions.

    24. #amandaknox convictions have been completely overturned. She is a free woman.

    25. Both raffaelle Sollecito and #amandaknox convictions have been fully overturned. Cries of joy in courtroom from sollecito’s family

    Tweets from main poster Kristeva

    15. Follow @andreavogt as she has better phone reception than me. I apologize

    16. Much larger crowd today attending the final hearing for #amandaknox & #RaffaeleSollecito

    17. The general feeling among reporters is that #RaffeleSollecito might get a second appeal. no chance 4 #amandaknox

    18. Several reporters interested in http://Themurderofmeredithkercher.com and will call me to have more info in the next days

    19. I was asked how the #MeredithKercher support website started and I gave the whole history

    20. Spoke to Maresca to thank him and in return he thanked our volunteer work for http://themurderofmeredithkercher.com 

    21. Reporters were also interested in PR machine for #AmandaKnox and I referred them to http://TrueJustice.org

    22. After Bongiorno, Maori will give his arguments and Judges with enter chambers to deliberate verdict

    23. Timing of verdict for #amandaknox and #RaffeleSollecito unpredictable. May justice 4 #MeredithKercher prevail. My prayers for family

    24. [6.15 am US east coast time] Maori finished. Judges have entered chambers to deliberate verdict.

    25. No more appeals. Case over #amandaknox #RaffaeleSollecito acquitted for murder of #MeredithKercher #SHAME

    26. I am shocked

    Tweets from main poster Machiavelli

    17. [no tweets yet]

    Tweets from journalist Barbie Nadeau

    4.  High court now deliberating fate of #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito in #MeredithKercher murder case.


    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Supreme Court Appeal By RS And AK Against Florence Court Rejection Of Their First Appeal

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Above: stock image on another day of the Supreme Court’s Great Hall

    Tweets from the court

    New tweets from the court are all being added under the various author’s names below. This will continue Friday for sure.

    Any breaking news

    13. Court is over for the day and will resume on Friday.

    12. La Nazione reports: “The judgment of the Supreme Court on the murder of Meredith Kercher will not arrive before Friday 27, the day when the judges will meet in closed session. This was announced by the President of the Fifth Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, Gennaro Marasca, during today’s hearing.”

    11. We dont know the local telephone network capacity there. But many cellphone transponders can handle only 24 calls at a time. Demand for “outside lines” could number in the hundreds from the entire court. Maybe there’s an open WAN but we doubt.

    10. Regardless of outcome Knox legal problems could go on for years. Since 2009 she has faced calunnia charges for lying on the stand. Possible sentence six years. Now Florence court has added calunnia charges for lying in her book, in Oggi, on her website, and on American TV. Perception going back to Ricciarelli is she is dangerous and hurts people, even if final murder verdict is not in.

    9. Popper says of Dr Pinelli: “In his late 50s (a young man ref Cassazione average), a career both in Abruzzo region (Avezzano where he was born in 1957) and L’ Aquila, and then Naples in the Procura Generale; then promoted to Cassazione. Very much acquainted with murders and organised crime.”

    8. Popper says of Dr Marasca: “Section President of Cassation [one of the few] and member of Consiglio Direttivo, a sort of Executive Board of the Supreme Court ... one of the most experienced magistrates in Italy, born in 1944. Since 1970 a magistrate.”

    7. News service ANSA: “The head judge is Gennaro Marasca. The lead prosecutor is Mario Pinelli. After the prosecutor has spoken it will be the turn of Maresca (for the Kerchers). Then they’ll hear from Bongiorno and Maori, Ghirga and Dalla Vedova”.

    6. New report with today’s date from Barbie Nadeau on the CNN Website. Seems CNN like most US media no longer solidly in Knox camp.

    5. The Court has placed a ban on live tweeting from inside the courtroom, where mobile phone reception is poor anyway. Reports will come during the breaks.

    4. Best guess at timing of decision is late PM US East Coast time. In 2013 it came the next day.

    3. As with previous court outcomes, expect long-form analyses of outcome by Machiavelli etc within the next few days.

    2. New York Times’s Elisabetta Povoledo provides a good overview of today’s context.

    1. See our own scenario for today and coming weeks in the event the Florence verdict and sentences is confirmed.

    Tweets from journalist Andrea Vogt

    1. Raffaele Sollecito is here in court, speaking with his lawyer Giulia Bongiorno. #amandaknox lawyers and Patrick Lumumba also present.

    2. Cannot tell how the court is leaning. Reviewer made hurtful and helpful comments to both sides. Still could go either way. #amandaknox

    3. Court pres Gennaro Marasca calls break until 2:30. PG Mauro Pinelli has another hour of arguments. Arguments & ruling could be Friday

    [break for lunch]

    4. There is a sense among some observers that the Court is differentiating between positions of amanda knox and raffaelle Sollecito.

    5. Maresca: I am representing the Kercher family in court for the 8th time. I hope this will be the last arguments I give on their behalf.

    6. Maresca: It is time for the Kercher family to finally be able to remove this poor victim from the law courts.

    7. Ghirga: “its not that we want to blame the poor black guy, its that you cannot rule out a single aggressor.”

    8. Lawyer Luciano Ghirga: The scientific evidence favors #amandaknox (no trace of her in the murder room).

    9. Carlo dalla Vedova has launched a blistering attack on the state of Italian justice system and the problem of “the neverending trial.”

    10. Dalla Vedova for #amandaknox: How can we tolerate in Italy that trials can go on forever?

    11. Hearing over for the day. Raffaelle Sollecito’s defense will continue Friday, march 27.

    12. Ghirga: “its not that we want to blame the poor black guy, its that you cannot rule out a single aggressor.”

    13. Lawyer Luciano Ghirga: The scientific evidence favors #amandaknox (no trace of her in the murder room).

    14. Carlo dalla Vedova has launched a blistering attack on the state of Italian justice system and the problem of “the neverending trial.”

    15. Dalla Vedova for #amandaknox: How can we tolerate in Italy that trials can go on forever?

    16. Hearing over for the day. Raffaelle Sollecito’s defense will continue Friday, march 27.

    Tweets from main poster Kristeva

    1. I have arrived outside Section V. Sollecito, father and Greta. Poor [cellphone] reception.

    2. Spoke to Avv. Maori & asked him who general prosecutor is and he doesn’t know yet. there are 2.

    3. Andrea Vogt has just arrived and speaking to Avv. Ghirga

    4. American British Journalists are all talking to Avv Dalla Vedova now.

    [court session starts]

    5. Relator Judge P. A. Bruno laughs once and while getting names wrong such as Hallowo instead of Halloween.

    6. Prosecutor finds Rudy’s climbing up wall 4 numerous times “crazy”

    7. Paolo Antonio Bruno knows the case extremely well without ever looking at his notes.

    [court breaks for lunch]

    8. Prosecutor has ended. He asked without remand 28.3 yrs #amandaknox and 24.9 for #raffaelesollecito

    9. Bongiorno has asked to speak on Friday so most likely verdict will be then.

    10. Pacelli now on civil case for Patrick Lumumba

    11. Maresca has now concluded. Confirms all points made by Nencini, the general prosecutor and Galati

    12. Maresca was brief and concise and said that after 8 years he hopes this is the last time he has to make same arguments

    13. Maresca says that everything asked by #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito has already been asked at Perugia and Florence trial.

    14. Maresca makes a big point about pages re Conti & Vecchiotti and calls them on their lie.

    Tweets from main poster Machiavelli

    1. Reporting Judge at SC for the Meredith case is Antonio Paolo Bruno.

    2. The Prosecutor General is Mario Pinelli. President Judge is Gennaro Marasca.

    3. PG said the Florence sentence “respects the indications set by the Cassazione”

    4. PG: says courts, based on findings “correctly established that the theft was staged”.

    5. PG: court “pointed out correctly” that there was a staging “in order to side-track investigation”

    6. PG: “3 people attacked the victim” and “there was no fight” unless you mean “attempts to defend herself by restrained victim”

    7. PG: Florence decision not to repeat computer analysis on Sollecito’s laptop is “not censurable”

    8. Sollecito reported nervous when PG observes computer data defence objections are irrelevant to alibi.

    9. PG: Florence refusal to order anthropometric investigation on CCTV images is “adequately motivated”

    10. Pinelli: phones removed because by “ringing in the home” may have caused early discovery of the crime.

    11. Judge Bruno (like Zanetti) had said the trials had “not many certainties” beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.

    12. PG Pinelli said some minor charges have expired, thus Florence should re-assess penalties with slight reduction due time limitation laws.

    13. Antonio Paolo Bruno is the Supreme Judge who was accused of conspiracy with Mafia by prosecutor DeMagistris in 2006.

    14. Pinelli asked 3 months cut from both penalties (weapon carrying). But this cut may technically require intervention by Florence court.

    15. Maresca says that everything asked by #amandaknox and #RaffaeleSollecito has already been asked at Perugia and Florence trial. Enough.

    16. Maresca makes a big point about pages re Conti & Vecchiotti and calls them on their lie.

    Tweets from journalist Barbie Nadeau

    1. Judge confirms verdict will be Friday in #MeredithKercher case.

    2. Prosecutor in #AmandaKnox case asks to trim 3 months off Knox’s 28 year 6 month sentence.

    3. Reason for shaving 3 months off sentence in #AmandaKnox case is statute of limitations in theft charge.



    Monday, March 16, 2015

    Probable Final Cassation Ruling In 10 Days: Likely Scenario For The Immediate Future

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi


    We reported previously that Prime Minister Renzi, the former mayor of Florence, has great trust in the court system there.

    Cassation is expected to rule on Knox’s and Sollecito’s separate appeals against the Florence outcome (in which they yet again not-too-subtly edge one another between themselves and the flames) on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

    We have something of a consensus here upon what happens then and thereafter, with main inputs here from Italian watchers Popper and Yummi.

    1. Cassazione will probably merely announce that the affirmation of conviction by the Nencini appeal court is legitimate from the point of view of Italian law and there will be nothing significant said on the merits of the case.

    2. In final appeals Supreme Court justices simply confirm a sentence or not based exclusively on law points. The Cassazione motivation reports due within three months are not too important as they cannot be appealed anyway. A report may not be needed for extradition, the Massei + Nencini sentencing reports could be explanatory and legally correct enough in this case.

    3. The execution of this decision would then be over to the Florence courts. If the Nencini confirmation of verdict and sentence is affirmed it will probably then be over to Prosecutor Crini and Judge Nencini, and an arrest warrant for Sollecito would be immediate.

    4. There is a slight chance, perhaps 5% to 10%, that Sollecito might try to escape, as he seemed set on doing when he made it to the border on the same day as Judge Nencini’s 2014 ruling. On Italian TV he has been sounding very aggrieved with Amanda while not really winding back the strong case against himself. He lacks his passport and probably the secret stash of money to stay on the run indefinitely.

    5. An arrest warrant for Knox, the other defendant, would normally be issued as soon as possible. If she is still located in the US she could be rapidly arrested and put in a holding cell. Based on other examples it is possible that her physical return to Italy could take as long as nine months, though the treaty promotes a fast-track meaning not upward of three months.

    6. There is normally 45 days for the extradition papers/request from Dr Andrea Orlando, the Italian Minister of Justice, to be handed over by the Italian Embassy in Washington DC to the State Department, though there is allowance for that request time to be extended.

    7. The evidence of course really is overwhelming and no single proof of foul play has ever been proven. Italian justice officials have relevant information they could share privately, such as the corruption of the Hellmann appeal alleged by Judge Chiari, Prosecutor Comodi and others, and such as Knox’s unsavory drug record which is normally a big no-no for the State Department. 

    8. Comments made by the host and a magistrate on Italy’s Porta a Porta show last week suggests vagueness on the part of the Italian media and public about the Italy/United States extradition treaty. This treaty, which has always been faithfully observed previously by both countries, with no exceptions, is stark and minimalist and focuses on the paperwork and whether the national law was followed, as explained by lawyers James Raper and TomM. 

    9. Assuming their final conviction, Sollecito’s arrest and return to prison will drive Italian public opinion, dormant for years but stirring as the Porta a Porta show suggested, to demand a quick extradition of Knox, who was the flatmate of Meredith the victim and without whom no murder would have taken place.

    10. Probably very unlikely, but if there is sustained political resistance despite American media finally getting the facts right, the powers demanding extradition will build up immense pressure, and it will be world-wide pressure from the point of view of the US, not just Italy. All countries will be watching to see how the US behaves, and if their treaties are reliable or not.

    The US relies heavily on the Italian government, which is currently a very strong one, on many other matters, and it has other extradition cases worldwide in motion or anticipated (think Snowden in Moscow) so it will be almost certainly be faithful to legality and precedent.

    Knox smeared prison authorities in her book and directly caused the imprisonment of a drug-dealer which might be reasons she fears going back. Conceivably a negotiated outcome could result in Knox serving the rest of her time in an American prison to get round this. American prison? This would be nice for her family, but probably a lot less nice for Knox herself.

    Knox has long been the pawn of an ugly family and bunch of parasites. Dont totally rule out her simply hopping on a plane to pay her dues and get away from them.


    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    Rapidly Expanding Wiki Now Includes Precise Reasons For RS And Knox Arrest 6 Nov 2007

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    From the east. Foreground, Perugia’s main courts, background judges & prosecutors’ offices

    1. The Events Prior To The Arrests

    The ever-expanding Wiki can of course be found here.

    The arrest statement in Part 2 below was signed by Dr Mignini at 8:40 am. It’s worth rehearsing all that had happened in the wee hours before this.

    Knox had turned up at the central police station unannounced, apparently to keep tabs on RS. After a delay in finding something for her to do, and in getting the interpreter by her side, she sat with Rita Ficarra building a list of possible perps with phone numbers and residences on maps.

    Having been told in a rather low-key way that Sollecito had just said she was not with him on the fateful night for several hours, and she had made him lie (see the post just below), there was a tension-filled pregnant pause while Knox apparently racked her brains for a Plan B.

    By 1.45 AM, having explosively fingered Patrick when a message to him fortuitously showed up on her mobile phone, and after considerable spontaneous chatter, she had insisted on writing and signing this statement.

    Three hours later Dr Mignini had arrived and discussed this development with others. Then he advised Knox of her rights, including the right to have her lawyer there.

    Heedless of that advice, after more spontaneous chatter (actually referred to in the arrest warrant below), Knox insisted on writing and signing this statement while all the court officers sat idly by.

    2. The Warrant For Three Arrests

    This warrant was drafted and signed by Dr Mignini in the prosecutors’ offices in Perugia’s central courthouse (image at top) at 8:40 am. As already mentioned, it includes reference to Knox’s spontaneous chatter and her knowledge of the dynamics of the crime.

    PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE, COURT OF PERUGIA

    N. 19738/07 R.G. Mod. 44

    DETENTION ORDER ISSUED BY THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

    (artt. 384, comma 1 c.p.p)

    TO THE JUDGE OF PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION OF THE COURT OF PERUGIA

    The public prosecutor Dr. Giuliano Mignini

    Based on the records of the above-mentioned proceeding;

    Having found that there are serious indications of the crimes of complicity in aggravated murder Article 576 n.5 c.p.e. and sexual assault for which we are proceeding, against DIYA Lumumba, born in Kindu (Zaire) on 5.05.1969, KNOX Amanda Marie and SOLLECITO Raffaele, already identified, for the following reasons:

    Regarding KNOX and DIYA, the first made glaringly contradictory and not credible statements during the investigation. In particular KNOX claimed to have spent the night between November 1st and 2nd in the company of SOLLECITO Raffaele whom she met a few days before the event while he, after initially confirming the statements made by KNOX, confessed to have lied instructed by KNOX and made clear that he separated from KNOX at 21.30 of November 1st 2007, remaining at his house where he received a phone call from his father on the land line at 23:30.

    Furthermore from the data relating to the phone traffic of the number 3484673590 in use by KNOX there emerges a lack of phone traffic from 20:35 of November 1st to 12:00 November 2nd. Same lack of phone traffic from 20:42 of November 1st to 06:02 of November 2nd is found in the phone traffic of 3403574303 in use by SOLLECITO Raffaele.

    At 20:35 of November 1st it was found an outgoing text message from the number 3484673509 belonging to KNOX sent to 3387195723 belonging to the co-defendant PATRICK to whom she communicates “see you later” which confirms that in the following hours KNOX was together with DIYA in the apartment where the victim was.

    KNOX, in the statement made today has, in the end, confessed the dynamics of the committed crimes against KERCHER: the accused, in fact, first claimed to have met with DIYA, as communicated to him with the text message found in the phone memory of her cell phone by the operating Postal Police, text message sent at 20:35 in reply to a text message from DIYA sent at 20:18, detected thanks to the analysis of the phone traffic related to KNOX.

    This last text message is not present in the cell phone memory.

    KNOX in her witness statement from today has then confessed that, meeting DIYA in the basketball court of Piazza Grimana, she went together with DIYA to Meredith’s house, where DIYA, after having sex with the victim, killed her.

    The sexual intercourse must be deemed violent in nature considering the particularly threatening context in which it took place and in which KNOX has surely aided DIYA.

    In addition to this it should be pointed out that KNOX, in her spontaneous declarations from today, has consistently confirmed to have contacted DIYA, to have met with him on the night between November 1st and 2nd and to have gone with him to the apartment where the victim lived. She then said that she stayed outside of Meredith’s room while DIYA set apart with her and also added that she heard the girl’s screams.

    KNOX reported details that confirm her own and Sollecito Raffaele’s involvement in the events, like the fact that after the events she woke up in the bed of the latter.

    As far as the essential facts against SOLLECITO there are numerous verifiable inconsistencies in his first declarations, in respect to the last ones and the fact that, from a first inspection, the print of the shoe found on SOLLECITO appears to be compatible in its shape with the one found on the crime scene.

    Moreover, there is the fact that KNOX claimed to not remember what happened between the victim’s screams up until she woke up in the morning in SOLLECITO’s bed, who was also found in possession of a flick knife that could abstractly be compatible for dimension and type (general length of 18cm, of which 8,5 blade), with the object that must have produced the most serious injury to the victim’s neck.

    Having considered all the elements described and all converging findings of the intense and detailed investigations conducted after the discovery of Kercher’s body and culminating with the confession and indicated complicity of DIYA, also known as “Patrick” by KNOX, there is substantial serious evidence of the crimes for which we are proceeding to allow the detention, given the limits of the sentence.

    Likewise there must be considered a founded and valid danger of flight especially for DIYA since he is a non-EU citizen and in consideration of the specific seriousness and brutality of the crimes, especially that of sexual violence and the possibility of the infliction of a particularly heavy sentence.

    In regards to KNOX she has shown a particular ruthlessness in lying repeatedly to the investigators and in involving in such a serious event the young SOLLECITO.

    Having regard to Art.384 comma 1 c.p.p.

    ORDERS

    The detention of DIYA Lumumba, KNOX Amanda Marie and SOLLECITO Raffaele, already identified, and to be taken to the local District Prison.

    We proceed to request validation of the detention in the separate document.

    Forward to the Secretary area of authority with regard to recognition of Diya Lumumba and Amanda Marie Knox, born in Washington (USA) on 07/09/1987, based in Perugia, Via della Pergola 7, and Raffaele Sollecito, also already identified.

    Perugia, November 6th 2007, h.8,40

    PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

    (DR. GIULIANO MIGNINI)


    Monday, March 09, 2015

    The Meredith Case Wiki Now Has The Key Sollecito Statement 6 Nov 2007 In Full

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Perugia’s central police station where Sollecito made the statement posted here


    The ever-expanding Wiki can of course be found here.

    A post follows soon with guidance to the numerous new documents it contains. This was an extremely well documented case with discussions carefully recorded and decisions explained every step of the way.

    We have frequently noted for example that RS and AK were provided with an extraordinary total of SIX opportunities in 2007 and 2008 to head off a trial and to be released.

    Each opportunity is very well documented (Matteini hearings, Ricciarelli hearings, Mignini hearings, Supreme Court rulings, and the two Micheli rulings) and the transcripts and reports make very clear why RS and AK failed each time.

    Not one of those transcripts or rulings has been “explained” or rebutted by the RS and AK apologists. It is very clear now that their falsifying efforts are being left way back there in the dust.

    Document after document after document proving the case is going live in English for which they have been able to create no response.  For example, the “brutal” Knox “interrogation” on 6 November is absolutely vital to their body of claims.

    But document after document has shown that to be simply a huge hoax.  Dumb silence is the only response.

    This new translation of Sollecito’s statement of 6 November 2007 in the central police station, complete for the first time, has just gone live on the Wiki here. As always, we sure appreciate the translation help.

    It is also now a part of our Interrogation Hoax series.

    Posted on 03/09/15 at 02:45 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedRaff SollecitoThose officially involvedPolice and CSIPublic evidenceKnox persona hoaxSollecito's alibisSollecito book hoaxes
    Permalink for this postTell-a-FriendCase WikiPMF Org ForumPMF Net ForumComments here (20)

    Friday, March 06, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #8: Passages For Which Gumbel & Sollecito Are Charged

    Posted by Peter Quennell




    1. Outcome Of Thursday Session In Court

    That image above is of Sollecito arriving from his cell in Capanne Prison back in 2008.

    The next session of the trial of Sollecito and Gumbel will be in open court for the first time. All Italy will finally KNOW some of what the pair claimed. Finally they will be able to judge the heated claims - seemingly intended to illegally inflame American public opinion to lean on the Italian court.

    And as the next court session will fall after Cassation rules finally on his appeal against his lost Florence appeal for the murder of Meredith, we could see Sollecito once again arrive in court from behind bars.

    This slight delay in the book trial beyond the Supreme Court ruling due late March (25th or thereafter) was the only real outcome from the final closed session yesterday of the Florence court.

    Sollecito’s lawyer Alfredo Brizioli and Gumbel’s lawyer Francesca Bacecci, in creating a pretty meaningless fuss over the translation of passages where the malicious intent to inflame American public opinion is almost impossible to miss, even with Google Translate, simply bought Sollecito time beyond Cassation’s cold gaze on 25th March. The new translation is due on 10 April, and 30 April will be the pair’s next day in court. 

    2. Selection Of Passages The State Disputes

    Picking passages in the book against which to lodge diffamazione and villipendio charges is like shooting fish in a barrel, as we showed in this post in April last year. That was twenty inflammatory charges in a mere half a dozen pages.

    Targeted for the moment are the seven passages quoted in Part 3 below. They might be the first of several waves of passages against which diffamazione and villipendio charges are brought, as only one complainant (Dr Mignini) has so far asked the court to act, as he was required to do.

    Many other people are talked about highly disparagingly in the Sollecito and Gumbel book too. See these examples, out of dozens, which are not yet the subject of a charge:

    Our interrogators resorted to time-honored pressure techniques practiced by less-than-scrupulous law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world. They brought us in at night, presented us with threats and promises, scared us half senseless, then offered us a way out with a few quick strokes of a pen.

    Napoleoni was in the room for this part of the conversation. Without warning, she turned on me with venom in her voice. “What did you do?” she demanded. “You need to tell us. You don’t know what that cow, that whore, got up to!”

    “Don’t I have the right to a lawyer?” I asked.  They said no. “Can’t I at least call my father?” “You can’t call anyone.” They ordered me to put my cell phone on the desk.

    At one point, I found myself alone with just one of the policemen. He leaned into me and hissed, “If you try to get up and leave, I’ll beat you into a pulp and kill you. I’ll leave you in a pool of blood.”

    The rounds of questioning began all over again: “Tell us what happened! Did Amanda go out on the night of the murder? Why are you holding out on us? You’ve lost your head per una vacca—for a cow!”

    As Amanda’s questioning continued, Prosecutor Mignini himself decided to take charge. He arrived at the Questura in the dead of night, apparently after being informed that Amanda had “broken,” and pressed her for a full confession. Again, Amanda was in floods of tears. Again, she was gesticulating with her hands and bringing them to her head—a detail that seemed particularly fascinating to Mignini, perhaps because hitting oneself in the head is sometimes associated with Masonic initiation rites.

    Regarding that last claim Dr Mignini was not even there.

    3 The Current Targets Of The Florence Court

    Phrases of Sollecito and Gumbel (probably all or mostly of Gumbel) that look especially inflammatory and dishonest and very unlikely to be true are highlighted here.

    Passage 1: Page 75

    The main evidence Mignini had to take into the preliminary hearing was my Nikes, and he did everything he could to make them as incriminating as possible. Hours after my interrogators ordered me to take the shoes off, they were examined by a forensic team from Foligno. But the Foligno police were relatively cautious: in the official report they produced that same day, they said they could make no more than a partial comparison with the clearest of the prints left in blood in Meredith’s room and could comment only on the rough size and shape of the shoe, nothing more. Still, they concluded that my shoes “could have” created the footprints found at the crime scene.

    Mignini was not satisfied, no doubt because the finding was couched in all sorts of caveats; the Foligno police stressed that the match was a theoretical possibility only. So the next day Mignini went to the Polizia Scientifica in Rome for a second opinion. They had even less information to go on than the Foligno team because they had only photographs of my shoes, not the shoes themselves. Somehow, though, they came to the much more definitive conclusion that my Nikes were the same make, model, and shoe size as the print on Meredith’s floor. No question about it.

    Dr Mignini had no vested interest in the outcome of the shoe. There was a ton of other evidence which was accepted by the Matteini and Ricciarelli courts and Cassation to keep Sollecito locked up.

    Passage 2: Pages 101-102

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

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

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

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

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

    It was in fact Knox’s idea to write the list of partners, and her own team’s idea to do the malicious leak. Police and prosecution had zero role.

    Passage 3. Page 146-147

    When my defense team examined the official paperwork, they noticed that the analysis of the footprints - including extensive inquiry into the length and shape of the foot likely to have produced them - had been conducted by two members of the Polizia Scientifica in Rome, working not in their official capacity but as private consultants charging thousands of euros to Mignini’s office. One of the analysts, Lorenzo Rinaldi, was a physicist, not a specialist in anatomy, and the other, Pietro Boemia, was a fingerprint technician with no further scientific credentials. That begged the question: if Mignini’s office felt it needed to contract the job out to private consultants, why wouldn’t it go to people with more pertinent qualifications? The whole thing stank.

    We were stunned, too, to discover that some of the most important parts of the evidence were not handed over at all. We were given a document detailing the Polizia Scientifica’s conclusions about the DNA evidence on the knife and the bra clasp, but we had none of the raw data, nothing that would enable us to make our own independent evaluation. We put in a request for the data and, when it was rejected, filed another. The DNA evidence was now the bedrock of the case against me. What possible motivation could there be to withhold it?

    The defenses had witnesses present at every single test. They made no complaints. And the Hellmann court record showed that all DNA data was in fact handed over, as the consultants C&V had to conceed.

    Passage 4: Page 176-177

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

    To Mignini, the case smacked of professional jealousy because the prosecutors in Florence resented his intrusion on a murder mystery they had struggled for so long to resolve. But Mignini’s behavior had already attracted international condemnation, never more so than when he threw the journalist most indefatigably devoted to following the Monster case, Mario Spezi, into jail for three weeks. Spezi had ridiculed Mignini’s theories about Francesco Narducci, the Perugian doctor whom Mignini suspected of being part of a satanic cult connected to the killings.

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

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

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

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

    Dr Mignini was facing mild charges for what in fact judges had okayed and for which prison or a career fall were never in the cards. Over a year before the book was written, Dr Mignini’s total rebound and promotion after Cassation sharply repudiated a rogue prosecutor and judge in Florence had been widely reported upon. It is also widely known now that Spetzi and Preston were mounting a malicious self-serving hoax.

    Passage 5: Page 185

    One other strange thing: Amanda and I were on trial for sexual assault, yet Stefanoni confirmed that a stain on Meredith’s pillowcase that looked a lot like semen was never tested in her lab. She made all sorts of excuses about how testing it might compromise the lab’s ability to use the pillowcase for other things. The semen might well be old, she added, the result of Meredith’s consensual sexual relations with Giacomo Silenzi.

    This seemed extraordinary to my defense team, so much so that we asked for - and obtained - permission to inspect the pillowcase ourselves and soon discovered signs of semen on one of Guede’s shoe prints. How could the prosecution have missed this? If the semen was fresh when Guede stepped on it, that meant it must have been produced on the night of the murder. We thought long and hard about demanding a full analysis, but we did not trust the Polizia Scientifica as far as we could spit and were deathly afraid they might choose to construe that the semen was mine. So we held back.

    The is hardly what the Scientific Police - a much-trusted collaborator of the FBI - are known for. All tests are done with defense witnesses there.

    Passage 6: Page 216-217

    As it turned out, Massei may not have been entirely correct to say there was no evidence that DNA results were used to fit a predetermined story line. Giuliano Mignini, of all people, had given a television interview a couple of months earlier in which he stated quite openly that he was looking for a certain result from the kitchen-knife analysis.

    Mignini was asked by a special correspondent for the show L’altra metà  del crimine (The Other Half of the Crime) how he could be so sure my knife was the murder weapon when the DNA readings had come back “too low” and did not appear to conform to international standards. Mignini stuttered and danced around the question before replying in gloriously convoluted Italian, “Ho ottenuto di farlo risultare.” I managed to get it to come out right.

    Never happened. As Cassation noted these so-called “international standards” which the consultants C&V misled the court about are simply a myth. The C&V laboratory and methods were disparaged by the Carabinieri lab in 2013.

    Passage 7: Page 219-222

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sollecito himself had for years kept Knox at extreme arms length, mirroring his family, implying Knox was more guilty than he, though irrevocable evidence ties him to the scene of the crime too.  He was never ever seen to stand up for her like this. Mignini and Comodi had NOT ONE CONVERSATION on these lines.  Apart from the case against Sollecto being strong, no prosecutor in Italy has any power to “do a deal” or allow a perp to “cop a plea”. To prosecutors’ own great relief, for protection these powers reside ONLY in the hands of a judge.

    Posted on 03/06/15 at 07:54 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedRaff SollecitoOther legal processesSollecito diffamazioneSollecito teamSollecito book hoaxes
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    Monday, March 02, 2015

    Laments: Short Scripts With Inspiration From The Usual Suspects

    Posted by Grahame Rhodes




    1. Lament At A Dimly Lit Table

    Amanda: ”Iʼm worried Michael, just because I have sex with Frederico Martini they can use it to convictorize me and then I will be transported back.”.

    Michael slightly drunk…..”No worries Amanda. You donʼt know the law and I do (hic) Did you bring the money by the way plus another bottle of wine? and anyway, what do you mean by convictorize?”

    Amanda: .....”Well I donʼt know. Bruce said I would be exterior-ronerated or something but Iʼve never heard of that position. I wonder if that includes being tied up? He also said when he phoned me in the middle of the night that I would have to be evacuated. That does sound exciting too, Iʼve never done that one either. Of course this was after he apologized for knocking me up so late.”

    Michael: .....”Listen Amanda, the law in any case is made up of facts. Iʼm a judge and Iʼm in control of all the facts hand me the bottle….........(he takes a long swig)

    Amanda: .... But they will send me to jail….... Here give the bottle back.

    Michael: .... “Of course you will be extradited, but consider what this will mean Amanda. You will be famous and your family will be very wealthy including the Moores and the Fischers not to mention all the TV promotions and the commercials that tell what kind of soap you use in Capanne. Do you still wash by the way?........Here! (He takes another long swig) Did you bring another bottle?”

    Amanda: .....”But Iʼll be in jail!!”

    Michael:.... Ah yes but think of how wonderful your life will be in Capanne and how much money you will make for everyone including me. There will be books written about you. There will even be a reality TV series. Have you ever heard of ʻJoan of Ark?ʼ

    Amanda: ..... Oh yes sheʼs a hooker that lives two floors below me.

    Michael:.... Now that would be the crowning glory to your life. The hooker with the heart of gold. HEY!!! Put down that knife.”

    2. Lament Of The Invisible Security Guard

    Steve sat behind his desk watching his phone in the hope it would ring. It was cramped in his office which was a converted broom closet and he always had to climb over the two packing cases that passed for his desk

    He covered his ears in a vain attempt to block out the screaming. Yes! His wife was trying to sing again. Finally the noise stopped and so he poured himself a water glass full of gin and took another pill.

    He looked at all the photos on the wall of which he was very proud, after all they had taken a lot of his time and effort to produce. There was the one with his arms around Dick Chaney and George W, or the other photo of him and Marilyn Monroe which he had signed “To Steve with all my love Marilyn”

    The photo over the door though was his pride and joy which was the picture of him being awarded the star of bravery by Queen Elizabeth. Ah thank God for photoshop. He stared at the phone again willing it to ring, willing it to be Amanda so he could save her from the evil Mignini and his Chinese Pirates. He was obsessed with crime and with Amanda as well.

    Also he had told anybody who would listen that he knew the real identity of Jack the Ripper. It was that rancid milk deliveryman who called on his wife every day whenever he was out.

    That thought reminded him to get rid of all the frozen yogurt and multitude diary products the deliveryman always left behind. It had puzzled him as well because his wife was on a lactose free diet.

    The phone still did not ring so he looked at his prize possession which was a photoshopped picture of himself on the rear deck of the presidential limo consoling Jackie Kennedy after the assassination.

    Next to it the photo of him shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. Ah so much history. He took another pill and washed it down with gin. Suddenly the thought striking him, he picked up the phone and started dialing the British Secret Service because of his true identity, that of James Bond Moore secret agent, only he couldnʼt remember the number so he put the phone back and waited again for Amanda to contact him but she never did.

    Worst of all his wife had started screaming again. Not only that but he was out of pills. Douglas?

    3. Lament Of A The Invisible Ex-Judge

    The retired Judge’s mind was in a turmoil encased in a quandary which had was been once owned by Ringo Star.

    Could it be?

    He was faced with a dilemma made out of brown paper and string.

    Was it possible that he had been wrong?

    The ugly prospect of Amanda’s guilt stared him in the face.

    He stared back trying to decide if a coat of paint would improve it but to no avail since the avail had dandruff. His mind was tossed on the horns of a dilemma that had been given to him by the famous KKK Grand Dragon David Duke.

    Could he have been wrong he asked himself for the upseenth time?

    He wished that he was still a judge on the bench in Camp Courageous.

    People were scared of him then because he ruled his court with an iron fist, then with a wooden foot, then with a piece of string. Bailiffs were scared of his tongue lashings which he kept in a box in his desk.

    He had even written a white paper on it and submitted it the judges weekly news but it had been rejected. Undeterred he had resubmitted it as a brown paper then finally an all leather one with an index made of string part three.

    He emitted a long sigh, actually it was several short ones but the space between them was so short you couldnʼt tell the difference. He shook his head releasing a large colony of dust mites. Screaming they fell to the ground.

    There was no avoiding it. He decided, since he had surrounded himself with questions made out of modeling clay, questions which had only one answer. It was obvious that Knox was guilty as charged.

    He shook his head once more and asked a passing stranger if he had any money for a cup of coffee. With nothing else to do he sat there in the ʻslough of despondʼ and the rain wondering what the nemesis Mignini who had never heard of him was doing.

    4. Lament Of An Invisible Store Salesman

    Bruce Fischer was obsessed with Amanda Knox and considered her to be a fur—-fatale. He was furious for being unable to fur—-millierize himself with her fur—-brile ways and her fur—-natic need to fur—-mulate her actions.

    He coughed up another fur—-ball and fur—-rowed his brow thinking about the fur—ar that Knox had caused. He thought about his fur—fathers and fur—bished himself with another drink.

    How could she have been so fur—-brained as to fur—-nicate with all those fur—eners in particular the drug dealer Fur—-nando Martini when he himself “International fur—-rier to the Stars.” was available.

    For this he was fur—-ious at her having wasted her fur—tiellity when he could have done it for her. But if she comes around, he thought, then I will fur—-give her.

    So…....... In a fur—-y and with a fur—lourish he unfur—-led the flag while looking fur—tive . The flag which fur—-ther fur—-nished the message which had caused the fur to fly.

    Guilty as charged.

    5. Lament Of A Daddy Wishing there Were More

    Curt felt a twinge of conscious just below his left knee but ignored it and poured himself a glass of single malt Scotch and lit a cigar.

    He lamented only that the gravy train was puffing slower these days.

    Still, he had been very clever having separated so much money from his daughter Amandaʼs fortune, or in this case misfortune. He livened up..

    It had been such a busy time and once more, he was amazed at how easy it had been to put all the liberated money in his secret Cayman Island account.

    Thank God for the stupidity of others such as the unsuspecting Chris who unwittingly had become the equivalent of his stooge. Gabby Hayes to his Roy Rodgers or Costello to Abbot or Stan Laurel to his Oliver Hardy.

    He was amazed too that Edda had been fooled so easily considering his lifelong track record of never paying for anything without a fight.

    He thought about the future and did an impression of Monty Burns on the Simpsons by saying, “Excellent. “ It was indeed wonderful since he knew Amanda would be extradited thereby guaranteeing all the extra money he would make from TV interviews, commercials or even a reality show.

    As for his daughter, he could care less since for so many years she had been a drain on his finances plus an embarrassment.

    Now of course she was a gold mine and with any luck he could keep this going for years. Ah yes! The future looked bright indeed. Now, if only I could find some more idiots such as Bruce and Steve who, thankfully, always did what his lunatic ex-wife told him to do.

    He smiled once more. A smile that was just the same as his convicted daughters. A smile identical to those who have a dark secret. He laughed out loud and poured himself another drink and relit his cigar.

    Posted on 03/02/15 at 07:27 AM by Grahame Rhodes. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeThe wider contextsN America contextKnox-Mellas teamSollecito teamMichael Heavey
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    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #6: Examining Gumbel’s Role In Biasing The Book

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Andrew Gumbel seen in a shrill 2014 CNN report, perhaps the least balanced so far 

    1. Bringing The News Up To Date

    On 5 March the Florence court will replace the prosecution’s translation of the target claims in the book with its own translation.

    And Sollecito and Gumbel will probably be ordered to stand public trial then.

    Both the prosecution and the guiding magistrate have as usual in Italy played immensely fair in this case. Each gave Sollecito and Gumbel numerous opportunities over more than a year to try to explain and justify certain target passages in a way that gets them off the hook. In further fairness the hearings have all been closed.

    What leaked out after the last hearing in Florence a couple of weeks ago suggested that Sollecito has yet to come up with any justification at all. He was said to look dazed and depressed.

    Gumbel was not in court. But his lawyer apparently claimed that Gumbel was merely a sort of well-meaning sheep: Sollecito’s ghost writer, nothing more, who faithfully took down only what he heard from his client.

    This has apparently not gone down at all well in the Sollecito camp.

    The Sollecito family and legal team has long hinted rather publicly that Gumbel did a number on them, an end-run. Francesco Sollecito and the family and Sollecito’s lawyers Giula Bongiorno and Luca Maori had all claimed within several weeks of the book coming out that numerous passages in the book were malicious and untrue. Sollecito himself denied that he put them in.

    The Sollecito family and legal team have also hinted ever since that Gumbel and some American Knox cronies with self-serving agendas (suggested on pro-Knox websites to have been Steve and Michele Moore, Frank Sforza, Bruce Fischer, maybe some more) had recklessly put dangerous unfounded claims in the final draft of the book.

    Those claims (now the main subjects of the Florence trial) were seemingly never put into Italian and run carefully by them. No proper due diligence was done, and as a result they have been left holding the can. And all this under the cold eyes of the Supreme Court, which must rule in six weeks whether Sollecito makes things up. 

    2. Smart Rules For Ghost Writers To Avoid Trouble

    This is hardly the first time a ghost writer and their client have fallen out. It is a touchy trouble-prone profession not governed by formalised training or an established code of ethics, where getting sued or not getting paid is quite a frequent thing.

    Some of those who do it full-time and have had their share of trouble and want no more of it and want to alert others have posted their own suggested groundrules online.

    For example, both client and ghost writer are well served by spending a few days checking out each other. Then they make a contract where literally everything needs to be spelled out.

    Ghost writers need to take extreme care with clients in legal trouble who might drag them in or who they might drag in further. They need to be clear whether they are to research on their own, and to whom they are permitted to talk.

    They need to know whether their name will be on the cover or anywhere inside the book. They need to know whether they have a licence from the client to do related TV and print articles, especially if those pay a separate fee, and what they are allowed to say.

    They need to try to capture honestly the client’s voice and not turn them into someone they are not. They need to know what facts to put in and to be clear what facts are consciously left out. They need to do due diligence on the drafts with the agent and publisher and lawyers, and if allowed check out dynamite claims with “the other side”.

    And if any accusations of crimes are to be made they REALLY need to check those legal hot potatoes with the client and the lawyers and the publishers, line by line. 

    Gumbel seems to have ignored pretty well all of these groundrules, and dug Sollecito in much deeper.

    Knox’s ghost writer Linda Kulman (more experienced than Gumbel at this and with no axe to grind) seems to have followed some but not all of these guidelines. Her name is only in the Knox book once, in a short thankyou note by Knox at the back, and she remained low-key and made no separate statements.

    Nevertheless, Linda Kulman had the Sollecito book as a (then) largely unchallenged model. She included in the book a number of false accusation of crimes and malicious ridicules of others, none of them properly checked out, which will have Knox in court for sure before too long. (Oggi is already in court for repeating some of her claims.)

    Linda Kulman also included an entire chapter about Knox’s “interrogation” where every detail is made up. She included a lengthy claim that Mignini did an illegal interrogation of Knox, when in fact he wasn’t even there. And she left out numerous key facts, such as that Knox was having sex with a major drug dealer almost to the day of her arrest, and most of the evidence.

    Linda Kulman certainly dd not capture Knox’s real voice or mode of behavior, which are notoriously brash and possibly the root cause of Meredith’s murder.

    3. Flashing Warning Lights In Italy In 2012

    If the Sollecito family and team did not know all of the above, it would seem to be Sharlene Martin’s fiduciary duty as book agent for Sollecito to make sure both they and any ghost writer they hired did know.

    For their part, the Sollecito team should have done their own due diligence in Italy, and perhaps looked around for an experienced ghost writer in Italy who could converse with all of them and show them in Italian what would be in the book. And in particular known about and been respectful of this which was in our first post.

    On 3 October 2011 Judge Hellmann told RS and AK they were free to go, despite the fact that no legal process for murder and some other crimes is considered final in Italy until no party pursues any further appeals or the Supreme Court signs off. Most still accused of serious crimes (as in the UK and US) remain locked up. Hellmann, pathetically trying to justify this fiasco ever since, was firmly edged out and still the target of a possible charge.

    Other flashing warnings should have made Sollecito’s family and legal team and book writers very wary. They included the immediate strong warning of a tough prosecution appeal to the Supreme Court. They also included the pending calunnia trials of Knox and her parents, the pending trial of the Sollecitos for attempting to use politics to subvert justice, the pending trials of Spezi, Aviello, and Sforza, and so on. 

    A major flashing warning was right there in Italian law. Trials are meant to be conducted in the courtroom and attempts to poison public opinion are illegal. They can be illegal in the US and UK too but, for historical reasons to do with the mafias and crooked politicians, Italian laws in this area are among the world’s toughest. So mid-process, normally no books are ever published


    4. Warning Lights About A Hasty Gumbel Contract

    Many of the problems in the book are associated with a strident anti-Italy tone.  Well over half the false claims taken apart in this May 2014 post are FACTUALLY wrong in areas where Sollecito has no known knowledge or point of view.

    For example, it was claimed that the Italian justice institutions are both very unpopular and corrupt. Neither is true, and almost no Italians believe that.

    Sharlene Martin was first mentioned as Sollecito’s agent in the NY Times on 5 December 2011 when Sollecito had been swanning around the US west coast in an apparent attempt to, well, get her back in the sack. He was in a weak mode.

    On 10 January 2012 Francesco Sollecito was reported in the Journal of Umbria as saying this about the purpose of the book 

    “I have not done the math [the lawyers etc costs]. For good luck. I will do it after the ruling of the Supreme Court. It will be painful because the figure of one million euro of which one speaks is not far from reality.” This was stated to the weekly Today, on newsstands tomorrow, by Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele.
    According to [Francesco] Sollecito, in case of confirmation of absolution, then there will be 250-300,000 euro compensation provided for the unjust detention of his son, this money will be enough only to pay the fees of the 12 consultants “that we had to appoint to succeed to refute the allegations.”

    In the interview with the weekly, Francesco Sollecito denies that Raffaele has a girlfriend, as reported after the publishing of photos while kissing a girl: “Annie, the girl who appears with him in photos on Facebook is just a friend, in fact a sorta of cousin… “The priorities of my son right now are otherise.” What? “Raffaele has signed a contract with the American literary manager Sharlene Martin for a book, it is a definite undertaking “.

    Apparently at this point Sharlene Martin had not been to Italy or spoken face-to-face with Francesco or the legal team. Whether she had briefed herself on the warning lights described above so that she could properly warn the US team of writer, editors, publishers and publicists is not known. 

    5. Gumbel’s Shrill Record Of Sliming Italy

    On 12 February 2012 Andrew Gumbel is reported in the NY Times as having got the co-writer job. During that period due diligence (if any) on his background would have been done, seemingly mainly by Sharlene Martin (if any) as a complaint of Sollecito’s team is that they could not look him over before he came on board.

    Andrew Gumbel is not a lawyer, and in fact our own lawyers have repeatedly found silly his pretentious and inaccurate legal claims. Nor as far as we know does he have a track record as a ghost writer. His main claim to the job seems to have been based on his having been based in Italy with the UK Independent for nearly five years in the 1990s.

    The 1990s were a pretty good time in Italy.

    There was okay growth and jobs availability, record tourism, relative political calm before Berlusconi grabbed political and media power, many successful farms and firms, and a really push against the mafias - for which many brave judges and prosecutors had died.  The Italian food and wine were great, the cars and luxury goods were great, and Italy was home to about half of the finest medieval art in the world.

    We checked it out: foreign reporters in Italy at the time did a fair and balanced job reflecting all of this. With seemingly only one notorious exception: the British reporter Andrew Gumbel for the UK Independent.

    Apparently Gumbel could find almost nothing to like about Italy. In 5 years almost nothing to write a positive report on.

    Brits relying only on his shrill reporting in the Independent may have thought Italy to be a very corrupt, lawless, politically and economically dysfunctional place, with nothing about it to like and no reason to visit. If they were bigoted, this could have made them more-so. Nasty stuff, and for foreign reporters in any country anywhere very unusual.

    Below are the headers for most or all of Andrew Gumbel’s shrill reports from Italy.

    Fair and balanced? The right guy for a delicate project with his client in a delicate legal bind? You decide.  We have highlighted in yellow all the reports with a negative bias, maybe true, maybe not. Of the total of 62 reports only 4 seem to us neutral or nice. Were the Sollecitos or their Italian lawyers or HarperCollins made aware by Gumbel or Sharlene Martin of Gumbel’s emotional negative bias?

      1. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Government + History (25)
    • A sick economy shakes out the fake invalids. (growing economic problems in Italy make corruption less acceptable)
    • Bickering while Venice sinks.
    • Can Italy survive Dini’s fall? (prime minister Lamberto Dini)
    • Chirac consigns Italy to Europe’s second division. (French president Jacques Chirac)
    • Corruption on an Olympian scale.(Rome, Italy, seeks to host Olympic Games)
    • Facing up to Italy’s crisis. (Italy’s economic problems)
    • Glitz takes a back seat on road to Rome. (Romano Prodi begins electoral campaign in Italy) (Interview)
    • How the kidnap and rape of Dario Fo’s wife was ordered by Italy’s right-wing rulers.
    • Illegal migrants reach EU havens via Italy.
    • Italy waits for the gravy train to be derailed. (problems facing Italian railway system)
    • Italy ready for mission impossible: intervention in Albania could bring instability to Rome.
    • Italy heads back into a political void.
    • Italy struggles to shake off the legacy of Mussolini.
    • Italy’s Olive Tree fails to bear fruit.
    • Italy’s rich city prays for fall of nation state. (citizens of Bologna, Italy, strongly in favour of European Union)
    • New wave of state corruption stuns the Italians.
    • Past demons threaten Italy’s bid for change. (Italy fails to move towards a SEcond Republic)
    • Prodi’s dilemma: let the left win or surrender Italy’s drive towards Emu. (Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi)
    • Rome’s magic circle. (deterioration of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy)
    • Scholars in a spin over Churchill link to the death of Mussolini. (claims that Mussolini was shot by British secret services)
    • Shouting could drown out Italian democracy. (serious political clashes damage reputation of Italian parliament)
    • So, were there offers he should have refused? (trial of Giulio Andreotti)
    • The Nazi and the protection racket. (controversy over trial of former Nazi Erich Priebke in Italy)
    • Venice’s grand opera descends to farce. (dispute hampers rebuilding of La Fenice opera house)
    • Why Italy cannot bring war criminals to justice.
    • 2. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Scenery, Art, Music, Fashion, Culture (2)
    • Il Papa brings on Dylan for a taste of the devil’s rhythms. (Bob Dylan to perform for Pope)
    • Inside the Assisi basilica, a sight to make saints weep. (challenges involved in restoration of art treasures from Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, Italy)
    • 3. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Economy + Business (8)
    • A nation that brings its style to the track. (many changes to Italian rail network)
    • All is not bene among the united colours. (problems facing Benetton)
    • Berlusconi consolidates his rule over the Italian air waves. (former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi)
    • Ciao Gianni, but now what? (Gianni Agnelli resigns as chairman of Fiat)
    • Climax of Italy’s TV war. (referendum on whether Silvio Berlusconi should sell his television channels)
    • Italy’s new crop stifled in the shadow of a paradise lost.(problems affecting the Italian motion picture industry)
    • Murdoch pursues Italian television. (News Corp seeks stake in Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire).
    • The dark world behind Versace’s life of glamour. (murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace)
    • 4. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Justice, Crime, Corruption,  Mafias (24)
    • Accidental death of an anarchist comes back to scandalise Italy. (three men convicted of murder of police commissioner Luigi Calabresi in 1972)
    • A fashion label that really is to die for .... (murder of fashion designer Maurizio Gucci may have been instigated by his former wife)(Column)
    • After the suicide, a wall of silence. (new type of Mafia activity in Sicily)
    • Amnesty offers Italy chance to forget its years of terror. (Italian government pardons six people involved in Red Brigades terrorist group in 1970s)
    • Andreotti to face trial on Mob links. (former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti to stand trial for consorting with the Mafia)
    • Another black mark against Italy’s judges. (Italy’s anti-corruption magistrates lose their credibility)
    • Arrest us, but we’ll be back next week. (three Italians with Aids use legal loophole to rob banks)
    • Backlash threatens to silence informers. (controversy in Italy over Mafia informers)
    • Bloody end of a fashionable affair. (murder of Maurizio Gucci)
    • Fake invalids at heart of Italy’s postal scandal. (postal service employs many invalids, but some are fakes)
    • Fear and loathing in the Alto Adige. (serial killer murders six people in Merano, Italy)
    • Godfather’ village baffled by murders. (Sicilian town of Corleone)
    • God’s Banker: ‘He was given Mafia money and he made poor use of it.’ (investigation into death of Italian banker Roberto Calvi in 1982 may soon be concluded)
    • Gucci: hell for leather. (Patrizia Gucci convicted for contract killing of former husband Maurizio Gucci)
    • How Cosa Nostra’s cunning outfoxed the Italian state. (Mafia’s criminal network still operating in Italy)
    • How Italy failed to trap its Monster. (failure to bring serial killer in Florence, Italy, to justice)
    • Italy’s men of violence throw off the state’s chains. (revival of the Mafia in Italy)(includes details of murder of magistrate Giovanni Falcone)
    • Mafia trawls Venice’s dark lagoon. (organised crime in Venice, Italy)
    • Mysteries unravel as mafiosi spill secrets. (Italian gangsters make confessions)
    • One woman’s dangerous and lonely battle to break the Cosa Nostra. (challenges facing Maria Maniscalco, mayor of San Giuseppe Jato, Italy)
    • Rome turns a blind eye to Mafia’s killing spree.
    • Secret of why the Mafia has never shot a soul. (code of silence about Mafia in Sicily)
    • Street wars in Italy’s wild south. (high crime levels in Naples, Italy)
    • Who killed Pasolini? (new film about the murder of Pier Paolo Pasolini)
    • 5. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Physical Disasters (3)
    • After the deluge (eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy will create chaos)
    • Assisi in mourning as quake shatters Basilica of St Francis.
    • Umbria shows the civilised way to cope with calamity. (effects of series of earthquakes in Italy)


    6. Conclusion And Next Posts

    This list was checked out with half a dozen posters resident in Italy at the time. All of their reactions were to the effect that, in lying by omission, Gumbel did not play fair with Italy back then. A trivial mind. One which should have been fought off with a stick.

    The next posts seek to identify what Gumbel and the Knox misrepresenters (said to be primarily the Moores, Sforza and Fischer) were responsible for putting in the Sollecito book, and to describe Andrew Gumbel’s vigorous public media campaign. Whether authorized or not authorized, he made around 20 shrill damaging interventions.


    Thursday, January 22, 2015

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

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Above: “Neutral ghostwriter” Andrew Gumbel tweets…

    1, Today In The Florence Court

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

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

    2. Signs Gumbel Really Is A Shill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    3. How Gumbel Got It Wrong

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

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

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

    To the Guardian:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

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

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



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

    1. Overview Of This Series And Post

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

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

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

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

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

    2. Examination By Chimera Of Sollecito Book

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

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

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

    1. Examination Of RS’s Truthfulness

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This only makes sense if and only if:

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

    A failure on those parameters points to an inside job.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    [page 27 contains the following lines:]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So, what does Sollecito list in just this paragraph?

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

    Can’t see why this would attract police attention…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “The night of November first.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This section is almost 100% true

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

    Also true, and great police work.

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

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

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

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

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

    At Raffaele’s first hearing:

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

    Why would Judge Matteini have reason to doubt his story?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sounds very likely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Most rational people would come to the same conclusions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    There are 3 possibilities here, all bad.

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

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

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

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

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

    [page 125] ‘’... As my time alone stretched out into weeks and then months, I had to let go of everything that was happening and hold on to other, more permanent, more consoling thoughts: my family and friends, the memory of my mother, the simple pleasures I’d enjoyed with Amanda, the peace that came from knowing that neither of us had done anything wrong.

    If they want to kill me this way, I remember thinking, let them go ahead. I’m happy to have lived life as I did, and to have made the choices I made.’‘

    Hmm… so he finds peace being locked away for things he did not do?

    More likely, Raffaele is coming to terms with the inevitable consequences of life in prison.

    [page 129] ‘’... The one victory we eked out was a finding that we should have been told we were under criminal investigation before our long night of interrogations in the Questura. The statements we produced would not be admissible at trial.’‘

    Do I really need to explain this one?

    [page 150] ‘’... I talked about Amanda with Filippo, my cellmate, and he listened, just as I had listened to his problems. One day, though, he told me he was bisexual, and his eyes started to brighten visibly when he looked at me. Then he burst into tears and tried to caress my face.’‘

    Given the overlap between Waiting to be Heard and Honor Bound, did the ‘authors’ collaborate?

    [page 151] ‘’... My father hired a telecommunications expert to help resolve a few other mysteries from the night of the murder. The prosecution had given no adequate explanation for a series of calls registered on Meredith’s English cell phone after she’d returned from her friends’ house around 9:00 p.m., and many of them seemed baffling, assuming they were made—as the prosecution argued—by Meredith herself. We believed Meredith was dead by the time of the last two calls, and our expert Bruno Pellero intended to help us prove that.’‘

    This sounds disturbingly like another attempt to subvert justice.

    [page 154] ‘’... She also acknowledged that a contaminated or improperly analyzed DNA sample could, in theory, lead to an incorrect identification.’‘

    Wait, weren’t those same people involved in the finding the evidence against Guede? Right, that evidence is clean.

    [page 156] ‘’... Judge Micheli issued his ruling at the end of October. On the plus side, he found Guede guilty of murder and sentenced him to thirty years behind bars in an accelerated trial requested by Guede himself. Judge Micheli also accepted our evidence that it wouldn’t have been that difficult to throw a rock through Filomena’s window and climb the wall.

    But, Spider-Man or no Spider-Man, he still didn’t believe Guede got into the house that way. He argued that Filomena’s window was too exposed and that any intruder would have run too great a risk of discovery by climbing through it. Therefore, he concluded, Amanda and I must have let him in. There seemed to be no shaking the authorities out of their conviction that the break-in was staged.’‘

    So, Judge Micheli is a fine judge who saw Rudy Guede for who he is and convicted him, yet he is so poor a judge he ruled that Amanda and I had to be involved?

    Didn’t Knox say very similar things in her December 2013 email to Appeal Court Judge Nencini?

    [page 160] ‘’... Still, the prosecution jumped all over [Quintavalle] and later put him on the stand to bolster the argument that Amanda and I had spent that morning wiping the murder scene clean of our traces—but not, curiously, Guede’s. It was one of their more dishonest, not to mention absurd, arguments, because any forensics expert could have told them such a thing was physically impossible. Still, it was all they had, and they single-mindedly stuck to it.’‘

    Depending on how you view this, it could be an ad hoc admission that yes, selectively cleaning up wasn’t really possible, as the evidence was all intermingled.

    [page 167] ‘’... I was pushing for another sort of change, a single trial team to defend Amanda and me together. I was told right away that this was out of the question, but I don’t think my logic was wrong. The only way either of us would get out of this situation, I reasoned, was if we stuck together. If the prosecution drove a wedge between us, we would more than likely both be doomed.’‘

    This seems to justify Guede’s suspicions that his co-defendants would team up on him.

    [page 169] ‘’... Stefanoni and Mignini were holding out on that information, and we needed to pry it from them quickly before more damage was done. The shots would ultimately be called by the judge, and we hadn’t had a lot of luck with judges so far.’‘

    Why would you need ‘luck’ from a judge?

    [page 173] ‘’... No matter how much we demanded to be heard, no matter how much we sought to refute the grotesque cartoon images of ourselves and give calm, reasoned presentations of the truth, we never escaped the feeling that our words were tolerated rather than listened to; that the court was fundamentally uninterested in what we had to say.’‘

    That is probably true. No one cares why Amanda’s vibrator is on full display.

    And yes, you did demand to be heard. Perhaps, if you had agreed to full cross examination, you would know what the judges and prosecutors would be interested in hearing.

    [page 173] ‘’... A week later, Meredith’s English friends took the stand and testified with such uniform consistency it was hard to think of them as distinct individuals. Robyn Butterworth, Amy Frost, and Sophie Purton all said that Meredith had been unhappy with Amanda’s standards of hygiene, particularly her forgetfulness about flushing the toilet. It sounded almost as if they were reading from a prepared script. Meredith, they agreed, had found Amanda a little too forward for keeping her condoms and what looked like a vibrator in their shared bathroom. And, they said, Amanda had acted weirdly in the Questura.

    That was it. They mentioned nothing positive about the relationship. No word on Meredith and Amanda’s socializing together, or attending Perugia’s annual chocolate festival, or going to the concert on the night Amanda and I met.’‘

    Yes, the prosecution case does seem stronger when their witnesses are consistent. Absolutely right.

    Strangely, Meredith’s English friends also did not talk about how compassionate Amanda was at the memorial. Wait a minute….

    [page 174] ‘’... Amanda arrived in court wearing a T-shirt with the words ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE emblazoned in huge pink letters, to mark Valentine’s Day. It seemed she wanted to find a way to defuse the English girls’ ill will toward her, but it didn’t work.’‘

    No kidding.

    [page 186] ‘’... Meanwhile, we had to worry about Amanda taking the stand. Her lawyers decided that the best way to refute the stories about her wayward personality was to have the court take a good, hard look at her up close. But my lawyers were deeply concerned she would put her foot in her mouth, in ways that might prove enduringly harmful to both of us. If she deviated even one iota from the version of events we now broadly agreed on, it could mean a life sentence for both of us.’‘

    Amanda puts her foot in her mouth? Yup.

    “The truth we agreed on”?? Come on, you actually put this in the book?

    [page 193] ‘’... My father was all over the place. He knew exactly how bad the news was, but he wanted to shield me as best he could. “Whatever happens, don’t worry,” he told me. “There’s always the appeal. The work we’ve done won’t go to waste.”

    And indeed, the first (now annulled) appeal did ‘save’ them.

    [page 195] ‘’... Mignini had to scrabble around to explain how Amanda, Guede, and I could have formulated a murder plan together without any obvious indication that we knew each other. Guede, he postulated, could have offered himself as our drug pusher.’‘

    “I can explain that. Amanda and I are admitted drug users. We smeared Guede as a drug dealer. Reasonable people might believe that there is some connection to drugs.”

    [page 204] ‘’... The next piece of bad news came down within three weeks of our being found guilty. Rudy Guede’s sentence, we learned, had been cut down on appeal from thirty years to sixteen. The thinking of the appeals court was that if Amanda and I were guilty, then Guede couldn’t serve a sentence greater than ours. If I had supplied the knife and Amanda had wielded it, as Mignini and Comodi postulated and Judge Massei and his colleagues apparently accepted, we needed to receive the stiffer punishment.’‘

    Yes, the thinking of the courts, and those pesky short-form trial sentence deductions that are mandatory.

    ‘’[page 204] ...I didn’t think I could feel any worse, but this was an extra slap in the face and it knocked me flat. Not only were Amanda and I the victims of a grotesque miscarriage of justice, but Meredith’s real killer, the person everybody should have been afraid of, was inching closer to freedom. It wasn’t just outrageous; it was a menace to public safety.’‘

    Yes, it was a miscarriage in that Amanda and I didn’t get the life sentences Mignini called for, and that Meredith’s real killer, Amanda, would soon get her freedom via Hellmann.

    [page 219] ‘’... My family was not beating up on Amanda entirely without cause. What I did not know at the time, because they preferred not to fill me in, was that they were exploring what it would take for the prosecution to soften or drop the case against me. The advice they received was almost unanimous:’‘

    Although the deal itself is illegal, I have no doubt that the Sollecito family at least explored the option.

    [page 258] ‘’... Judge Hellmann’s sentencing report was magnificent: 143 pages of close argument that knocked down every piece of evidence against us and sided with our experts on just about every technical issue.’‘

    That is true, with one huge omission: the defense only cherry picked a few small pieces of evidence. Yes, it ‘knocked down every piece of evidence we chose to contest.’

    2. Synopsis Of “Honor Bound”

    (20) The robbery that night was perfect, assuming the perp had the inside info.

    (22) My cellphone was turned off.

    (22) If my father called the land line I would have an alibi.

    (24) I cannot make sense of showering in a bloody bathroom.

    (26) Despite the break in, nothing had been taken.

    (27) Someone did not flush the toilet, and I won’t either.

    (27) The following dialogue:

    ‘’ ....Don’t do anything stupid.’‘

    ‘’ ....Now what do we do?’‘

    ‘’ ....My sister is in the Carabinieri.’‘

    (29) I should have been more careful about my choice of words when I said

    ‘’ .... Nothing has been taken.’‘

    (35) The police were shocked/disbelieving Amanda just took a shower.

    (39) Things would be okay if my Carabinieri sister had helped.

    (40) I defended Amanda, beyond the point of looking after my own interests.

    (40) Amanda could kill for something minimal, even a pizza.

    (40) Amanda and Meredith were not friends, despite living together.

    (41) Amanda and I share embarrassing sexual information about the victim.

    (42) We weren’t misbehaving in the lingerie shop, but if we were, it was taken out of context.

    (43) Amanda whined, and we fooled around in the police station. Maybe not a good idea.

    (44) Amanda does not shut up about her sex life.

    (46) Vanessa made inquiries on my behalf.

    (47) Prior to our arrest, the authorities were clueless.

    (48) We behaved oddly, had no real alibi, and said things without thinking.

    (49) We are not guilty only because there is no physical evidence.

    (50) I like to carry knives.

    (51) I had trouble remembering the date Meredith was killed.

    (56) My sister works for the carabinieri. Why am I even here?

    (56) My shoes are similar to ones found at the crime scene

    (59/60) Amanda gave the false statement regarding Patrik.

    (61) The police got Amanda and I to say things against each other.

    (62) Amanda and I spun a web of contradictions.

    (63) This is going to mess up my graduation.

    (64) The smell wasn’t bleach, it was lysoform

    (77) I never met Patrik, my co-accused (or did I)? 

    The shoes might have dragged blood, or might have been stolen.

    (78) I collect a lot of knives, and don’t remember if Amanda left.

    (83) Amanda made admissions she tried to retract.

    (86) Amanda and I engage in alarming behaviour, such as writing rape stories, and taking photos with weapons

    (87) I had access to bleach, receipts or not.

    (88) My lawyer thinks the evidence is strong, and wants me away from Amanda.

    (90) I hope there is evidence on my computer that clears me.

    (91) I imagined that the DNA on the knife came from a cooking accident.

    (93) Amanda and I carried a mop back and forth for some reason.

    (94) Amanda, in a jail recorded call, places herself at the scene.

    (94) Amanda writes that I may have planted her fingerprints on the knife.

    (97) Rudy Guede is caught, but I fear I may get named in other things.

    (98) Lumumba is released, angry at Amanda for false accusation.

    (107) Dad tried to cherrypick experts who would get me out.

    (110) The courts saw us as unstable and potential flight risks.

    (112) I decline to answer.

    (112) I don’t want the prosecutor checking my story

    (113) I creepily tried to reach out to the Kerchers, despite being accused, just like Amanda.

    (115) Rudy should have kept his shoes in order to exonerate Amanda and I.

    (117) I still refused to talk.  Amanda did, with lawyers.

    (121) Amanda has been wearing Meredith’s underwear and without washing it.

    (122) A witness heard Meredith scream, just as Amanda described.

    (125) I am at peace with everything.

    (129) The courts threw out our statements at the police station.

    (150) I had a memorable encounter with a bisexual inmate (same as Amanda)

    (151) My dad tried to find an alternate explanation for the phone evidence.

    (154) The evidence against Rudy Guede is rock solid. The evidence against me is contaminated.

    (156) Micheli is a great judge. He convicted Guede.

    (156) Micheli is an idiot judge.  He believes Amanda and I were involved.

    (160) It was foolish to think we could selectively clean the crime scene.

    (167) In order to save ourselves, Amanda and I teamed up against Rudy.

    (169) We weren’t getting the judges we wanted.

    (173) We did not shut up, but had nothing helpful to say.

    (173) Meredith’s English friends gave consistent testimony that did not help us.

    (174) the ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE t-shirt was a bad idea.

    (186) I worried about Amanda testifying, saying dumb things, and deviating from our ‘version’

    (193) We knew the trial was doomed, but there was the appeal. (Hellmann)?

    (195) For all the ‘drug dealer’ and ‘drug user’ name calling, prosecutors seemed to think this might be about drugs.

    (204) Guede’s sentence was cut from 30 years to 16.  What an injustice for us… I mean Meredith.

    (219) Legally speaking, it would be better to split from Amanda.

    (258) Hellmann’s report knocked down the evidence we chose to present.

    3. Premeditation And Why RS Goes No Further

    The real reason Sollecito goes no further could be in as in the title ‘‘Honor Bound’‘.  Many altruistic people may interpret this as behaving, or conducting themselves honourably. 

    But take a more shallow and selfish view.  It could just refer to being SEEN as honourable.  I think everyone here would agree that RS and AK are quite narcissistic and arrogrant.  And how manly to be protecting the women in your life.

    The truth does set you free - except only when the truth is much worse than what the assumptions are. I repeat, the truth sets you free, except when it is actually worse.

    What could be worse? Premeditation. Far beyond what has been suggested.

    1) Raffaele himself suggests that doing a robbery at the house at that time would be ideal.

    This makes sense if:

    (a) Rudy knew that Filomena had all the money (that she took charge of it)
    (b) That rent would be paid in cash, not a cheque or bank automatic withdrawl.

    So, by this reasoning, there would be over 1000 Euros in cash at that time. Of course, the average household does not carry that much, and normally, there would be no reason to think so. The date had to be planned. It also lends credence to the theory that this really was about money, and he had help.

    2) The fact that Laura and Filomena were gone, as were the men downstairs. Really, how often does it happen, and how would an outsider know?

    3) The trip to Gubbio. Does anyone know if either AK or RS were heavily into travel, or was this a one time thing? My point being that it could have been to establish an alibi, they just didn’t expect to still be there when the police showed up.

    4) The fact that Rudy Guede was brought in, when he had no legitimate reason to be upstairs. RS could explain away DNA or prints, but not RG. Even if it really was just about stealing money, would there not be some trace of him left when the theft was reported.

    And if murder was the plan all along, there would still be some trace of him.

    5) Purchasing bleach. Everyone had assumed that it was done after the fact to clean up, but there is another thought. What if there already was bleach available in the home, and this purchase was merely a replacement as an afterthought?

    6) The knife in Raffaele’s home. What if Amanda chose to bring a knife that Raffaele would not be able to ditch, simply so that should suspicion fall on them, there would be a knife to implicate Raffy? Remember, Amanda already made statements that point to him. Maybe those weren’t her first attempts.

    Of course, I did make the suggestion that they were keeping the knives for trophies.

    7) The ‘alibi’ email home. Sure, it could have been written on the spot. However, it seems too long and detailed for that. Yes, some details would need to be added (like the poop), but who is to say she didn’t start working on it BEFORE the murder?

    8) Keeping the text to Patrik to say ‘see you later’. Amanda says she doesn’t keep messages on her phone, but she had this one, and several days after the murder. Could this have been saved as a ‘backup plan’ in case naming Rudy does not work for some reason. Besides, don’t all black guys look the same? (sarcasm).

    9) Yes, there was a bloody shoeprint (believed to be AK), but I don’t recall anyone saying her shoes were missing, or any other clothes she had. And she supposedly did not have many clothes. So, did she have ‘extras’ for that night?

    10) Wiping down the home (even if it was botched), would take time, and ‘supplies’. A chronic slob just happens to have all these cleaning supplies on hand, or were they acquired before?

    So, I suspect the real refusal to talk is that the full truth is a lot worse than any game or drugged up prank. The time and location is chosen, no clothes are ‘noticed’ missing, and Amanda has at least 3 potential patzies: Rudy, Raffaele, and Patrik. Remember, Guede and Lumumba are on ‘the list’ Knox ended up writing for Rita Ficarra. And AK and RS are scheduled to go on a trip that would take them away with a plausible alibi. Cleaning supplies may already be there.

    Call me cynical: but I see all the signs of staging, and premeditation. Yes, the act itself was messy, but there are very obvious marks of forethought.

    So. What will the judges of Cassation be seeing?


    Monday, January 19, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #3: Targeted Claims On Which Sollecito & Gumbel May Fold

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Dr Giuliano Bartolomei of the chief prosecutor’s office of the Florence court brings the case

    1. The Court Contenders

    Judge Dolores Limongi will preside over Sollecito’s new trial in Florence this thursday and Dr Giuliano Bartolomei will prosecute.

    No word about whether the hapless bungler Andrew Gumbel will attend, but Sollecito has said he will be there.  Sollecito’s defense team seems rather weak. After Sollecito’s own lawyers for his murder trial publicly renounced the most damaging claims in his book (see below) his family turned to Alfredo Brizioli for help.

    Brizioli is a Perugia lawyer who was accused of being one of those trying to disguise the murdered Narducci’s involvement in the Monster of Florence killings. That shadowy group has just taken another hit in Italian eyes - a Milan court has ruled that Narducci, the probable murderer in the Monster of Florence crimes, was indeed himself murdered and there exists powerful evidence for this.

    2. The Specific Charges

    Charges against Sollecito are of two kinds: criminal defamation of both the justice system itself and of some of those who work within it. In US and UK terms criminal contempt of court comes close.

    Criminal contempt charges become separate charges from the underlying case. Unlike civil contempt sanctions, criminal contempt charges may live on after resolution of the underlying case.

    One charged with criminal contempt generally gets the constitutional rights guaranteed to criminal defendants, including the right to counsel, right to put on a defense, and the right to a jury trial in certain cases. Charges of criminal contempt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    However, incarceration for contempt may begin immediately, before the contempt charge is adjudicated and the sentence decided. Depending on the jurisdiction and the case, the same judge who decided to charge a person with contempt may end up presiding over the contempt proceedings.

    Criminal contempt can bring punishment including jail time and/or a fine.

     

    In this case a guilty verdict can open the tidal gates to criminal prosecutions and civil suits against Sharlene Martin and the Simon & Schuster team and all those many who repeated ANY of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims as gospel in their own books and online in the US and UK.

    3. Nature Of The Claims

    Typically the modus operandi of Knox and Sollecito and their factions in their US campaign (this falls flat in Italy) is to make some very damaging core claims, while leaving hundreds of pesky truths ignored.

    Pesky truths helpfully ignored by most of the US and UK media too who apart from freelance Andrea Vogt have still done almost zero translation of their own. The previous post below shows a good example of this. Sollecito makes 20 false claims in a few pages. Dozens of facts that would belie those claims are simply left out.

    The false claims continue (with considerable duplication for emphasis) throughout the 250-plus pages of the book.

    Sollecito’s claims were published only in English. That was in the apparent hope that things would be reversed by political pressure from the US. Perhaps the US would let Sollecito come and live and stiff the Italian courts.

    The Italian flagship crime show Porta a Porta wrecked that unusual and in-itself damaging strategy only 10 days out - with Francesco Sollecito’s and Luca Maori’s help.

    The three worst-case examples quoted here and some others became public when Andrea Vogt and Italian reporters pointed to them after an October hearing. Page numbers are for the hard-cover book. 



    Raffaele Sollecito retained Alfredo Brizioli after he burned his trial lawyers in his book

    4. Example Claim One

    Our brief response to this for now is that this felony attempt to frame the prosecutor for a serious crime was entirely made up. His own father and both his trial lawyers publicly said so. There was never a police or prosecution bias against Knox or toward Sollecito. As was very obvious at trial in 2009 the case against both was equally strong (an example of a key fact left out). Knox herself would seem to have a reason to get mad with Sollecito for this shafting - and in fact she did.

    [ Page 219-222] My family was not beating up on Amanda entirely without cause. What I did not know at the time, because they preferred not to fill me in, was that they were exploring what it would take for the prosecution to soften or drop the case against me. The advice they received was almost unanimous: the more I distanced myself from Amanda, the better. The legal community in Perugia was full of holes and leaks, and my family learned all sorts of things about the opinions being bandied about behind the scenes, including discussions within the prosecutor’s office. The bottom line: Mignini, they were told, was not all that interested in me except as a gateway to Amanda. He might indeed be willing to acknowledge I was innocent, but only if I gave him something in exchange, either by incriminating Amanda directly or by no longer vouching for her.

    I’m glad my family did not include me in these discussions because I would have lost it completely. First, my uncle Giuseppe approached a lawyer in private practice in Perugia - with half an idea in his head that this new attorney could replace Maori - and asked what I could do to mitigate my dauntingly long sentence. The lawyer said I should accept a plea deal and confess to some of the lesser charges. I could, for instance, agree that I had helped clean up the murder scene but otherwise played no part in it. “He’d get a sentence of six to twelve years,” the lawyer said, “but because he has no priors the sentence would be suspended and he’d serve no more jail time.”

    To their credit, my family knew I would never go for this. It made even them uncomfortable to contemplate me pleading guilty to something I had not done. It was, as my sister, Vanessa, put it, “not morally possible.”

    The next line of inquiry was through a different lawyer, who was on close terms with Mignini and was even invited to the baptism of Mignini’s youngest child that summer. (Among the other guests at the baptism was Francesco Maresca, the Kerchers’ lawyer, who had long since aligned himself with Mignini in court.) This lawyer said he believed I was innocent, but he was also convinced that Amanda was guilty. He gave my family the strong impression that Mignini felt the same way. If true - and there was no way to confirm that - it was a clamorous revelation. How could a prosecutor believe in the innocence of a defendant and at the same time ask the courts to sentence him to life imprisonment? The lawyer offered to intercede with Mignini, but made no firm promises. He wasn’t willing to plead my cause, he said, but he would listen to anything the prosecutor had to offer.

    Over the late spring and summer of 2010, my father used this lawyer as a back channel and maneuvered negotiations to a point where they believed Mignini and Comodi would be willing to meet with Giulia Bongiorno and hear what she had to say. When Papà  presented this to Bongiorno, however, she was horrified and said she might have to drop the case altogether because the back channel was a serious violation of the rules of procedure. A private lawyer has no business talking to a prosecutor about a case, she explained, unless he is acting with the express permission of the defendant. It would be bad enough if the lawyer doing this was on my defense team; for an outside party to undertake such discussions not only risked landing me in deeper legal trouble, it also warranted disciplinary action from the Ordine degli Avvocati, the Italian equivalent of the Bar Association.

    My father was mortified. He had no idea how dangerous a game he had been playing and wrote a letter to Bongiorno begging her to forgive him and stay on the case. He was at fault, he said, and it would be wrong to punish her client by withdrawing her services when I didn’t even know about the back channel, much less approve it. To his relief, Bongiorno relented.

    My family, though, did not. Whenever they came to visit they would suggest some form of compromise with the truth. Mostly they asked why I couldn’t say I was asleep on the night of the murder and had no idea what Amanda got up to.


    5. Example Claim 2

    Our brief response to this for now is that the case against Sollecito was being driven by Judge Matteini and Judge Ricciarelli and Judge Micheli, not Dr Mignini (an example of a key fact left out) and they got their information directly from the police. More than a year prior to Sollecito’s book coming out, a Florence appeal court had totally annulled a vengeance conviction against Dr Mignini [“there is no evidence”] and the Supreme Court had endorsed the result (an example of a key fact left out).

    [2. Page 176-177] One of the reasons our hearings were so spread out was that Mignini was fighting his own, separate legal battle to fend off criminal charges of prosecutorial misconduct. He and a police inspector working on the Monster of Florence case stood accused of intimidating public officials and journalists by opening legal proceedings against them and tapping their phones without proper justification.

    To Mignini, the case smacked of professional jealousy because the prosecutors in Florence resented his intrusion on a murder mystery they had struggled for so long to resolve. But Mignini’s behavior had already attracted international condemnation, never more so than when he threw the journalist most indefatigably devoted to following the Monster case, Mario Spezi, into jail for three weeks.

    Spezi had ridiculed Mignini’s theories about Francesco Narducci, the Perugian doctor whom Mignini suspected of being part of a satanic cult connected to the killings. In response, Mignini accused Spezi himself of involvement in Narducci’s murder - even though the death had been ruled a suicide. It was a staggering power play, and the international Committee to Protect Journalists was soon on the case. Spezi was not initially told why he was being arrested and, like me, was denied access to a lawyer for days. Even Mignini, though, could not press murder charges without proving first that a murder had taken place, and Spezi was eventually let out.

    I firmly believe that our trial was, among other things, a grand diversion intended to keep media attention away from Mignini’s legal battle in Florence and to provide him with the high-profile court victory he desperately needed to restore his reputation. Already in the pretrial hearing, Mignini had shown signs of hypersensitivity about his critics, in particular the handful of English-speaking investigators and reporters who had questioned his case against us early on. He issued an explicit warning that anyone hoping he would back off the Meredith Kercher case or resign should think again. “Nobody has left their post, and nobody will,” he said. “Let that be clear, in Perugia and beyond.”

    Just as he had in the Monster of Florence case, Mignini used every tool at his disposal against his critics and adversaries. He spied on my family and tapped their phones. He went after Amanda not just for murder, but also for defaming Patrick Lumumba - whom she had implicated under duress and at the police’s suggestion. He opened or threatened about a dozen other legal cases against his critics in Italy and beyond. He charged Amanda’s parents with criminal defamation for repeating the accusation that she had been hit in the head while in custody. And he sued or threatened to sue an assortment of reporters, writers, and newspapers, either because they said negative things about him or the police directly or because they quoted others saying such things.

    Mignini’s volley of lawsuits had an unmistakable chilling effect, especially on the Italian press, and played a clear role in tipping public opinion against us. We weren’t the only ones mounting the fight of our lives in court, and it was difficult not to interpret this legal onslaught as part of Mignini’s campaign to beat back the abuse-of-office charges. His approach seemed singularly vindictive. Not only did we have to sit in prison while the murder trial dragged on; it seemed he wanted to throw our friends and supporters - anyone who voiced a sympathetic opinion in public - into prison right alongside us.


    6. Example Claim 3

    Our brief response to this for now is that this was long ago revealed to be a hoax (an example of a key fact left out). Neither the police nor the prosecution were in any way involved. A fake positive for HIV turned up, Knox was warned not to be concerned, and she was soon told that a new test showed her fine. Her list of recent sex partners was her idea, and its leaking to the media was demonstrably a family and defense-team thing (an example of a key fact left out).

    [Page 101-102] The prosecution’s tactics grew nastier, never more so than when Amanda was taken to the prison infirmary the day after Patrick’s release and told she had tested positive for HIV.

    She was devastated. She wrote in her diary, “I don’t want to die. I want to get married and have children. I want to create something good. I want to get old. I want my time. I want my life. Why why why? I can’t believe this.”

    For a week she was tormented with the idea that she would contract AIDS in prison, serving time for a crime she did not commit. But the whole thing was a ruse, designed to frighten her into admitting how many men she had slept with. When asked, she provided a list of her sexual partners, and the contraceptive method she had used with each. Only then was she told the test was a false positive

    To the prosecution, the information must have been a disappointment: seven partners in all, of whom four were boyfriends she had never made a secret of, and three she qualified as one-night stands. Rudy Guede was not on the list, and neither was anyone else who might prove useful in the case. She hadn’t been handing herself around like candy at Le Chic, as Patrick now alleged. She’d fooled around with two guys soon after arriving in Italy, neither of them at Patrick’s bar, and then she had been with me. Okay, so she was no Mother Teresa. But neither was she the whore of Babylon.

    To compound the nastiness, the list was eventually leaked to the media, with the erroneous twist that the seven partners on the list were just the men she’d had since arriving in Perugia. Whatever one thought of Amanda and her free-spirited American attitude toward sex, this callous disregard for her privacy and her feelings was the behavior of savages.


    7. Looking Forward

    More posts to come.  We are going to open the floodgates on our own analysis of the book if the court on thursday takes a significant step forward.

    Note that Sollecito has to contend with negative Italian public opinion as his claims bitterly disparaging to Italy itself (see the post below) are finally repeated in translation by the media and so become better known - at a disastrous time for him and Knox, two months before Cassation decides on their failed appeal.

    In late 2012 after the book came out the TV crime show Porta a Porta gave Dr Sollecito quite a roasting on the first claim here and anger continued for some days more. He and Sollecito’s sister may be in court but no surprises if they are not. Knox could also react - the second and third claims above also appear in her book. 


    Friday, January 16, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #2: False Accusations From The First Few Pages

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Suggested cover for a followup book due to multiple attempted malicious framings in first books

    Examples: 20 False Claims In Seven Pages

    We count several hundred malicious claims throughout that can easily be proved wrong. These twenty examples all appear in the book’s preface, which is only seven pages long.

    Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate. Many sharp eyes here set about identifying them and are credited in the TJMK Liewatch page for Sollecito which will be switched on again when the secrecy requirement described in Part #12 below is relaxed by the court next week. 

    1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

    This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

    No advantage was taken of them. The two stood themselves out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

    They were questioned quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

    A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

    2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

    On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

    Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

    All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

    Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

    3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

    In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

    In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

    The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

    4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

    By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the bent and annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

    “We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the bent and annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed.

    The list of lies by omission is extremely long. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from, both in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

    On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

    5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

    Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

    An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets.

    What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she slept with a drug wholesaler up to the day of her arrest and cost him a stint in prison? That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

    Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

    6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

    We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do—and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed—was murder Meredith Kercher.

    Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

    Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle of Knox pretty straight.

    Remember, Meredith had enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks, nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

    Seemingly unable to reverse herself, Knox was headed to being among the least popular of students (or part-time students) in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

    7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

    Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

    There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

    And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night around 8:00 pm. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first and entered hours later.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

    So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

    8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

    But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she—not Meredith—might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us—Amanda especially—as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

    There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

    How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

    9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

    This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

    This is laughable. The room itself could not be checked for DNA as the choice was to fingerprint-check it instead. Sollecito’s footprint on the bathroom mat is a smoking gun all by itself. Crack national investigators demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was endorsed by the Supreme Court.

    Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had extremely credibly again and again on 5-6 Nov fingered Patrick.

    There is no proof Guede intruded anywhere. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

    The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

    10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

    Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

    Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

    The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

    Four more untrue claims. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element, and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

    Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was proven falsified, no item at all.

    Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was in reality taking a year off.

    11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

    Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

    Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.  Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

    But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

    12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

    It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution—“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”—it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

    Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury seeks to zero in on a viable scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. Hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

    Gumbel and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes of those. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does, less than 1/6 of the US rate.

    13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

    It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm—the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita—could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

    This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

    Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system has become seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

    14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

    The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

    WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and perhaps some in the media, and none have the slightest gain to make from convictions arrived at through a hoax.

    15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

    The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

    Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is citizens not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison system size is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

    The legal process would have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

    And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

    The Constitution and the judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports, and for all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

    This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even one Italian lawyer. They would all know it is wrong.

    16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

    For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

    So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

    There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

      1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

      2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

    Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

    What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

    Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

    17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

    Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

    Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

    The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

    All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

    18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

    Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts—tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays—are the most reviled institution in the country.


    As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

    And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

    Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

    For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

    In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

    Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

    However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

    The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

    Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

    19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

    Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

    Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

    There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

    Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

    And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

    Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

    Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

    There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

    And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

    Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

    20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

    Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

    Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

    Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

    You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

    Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

    Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.


    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #1: History Of How This Ill-Fated Saga Began

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    The “supertanker” the PR forces worked hard to turn has become a Titanic for them now

    1. The Latest Legal Developments

    A new phase of the Florence trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Andrew Gumbel is scheduled to start on Thursday of next week.

    Why is this the iceberg in the Titanic’s path? Because Sollecito and later Knox made numerous demonstrably false and damaging claims that so many others then made, most usually worse.

    See Sollecito go down here, or withdraw his claims, for lack of any proof, and the legal liabilities of all those others stretch to the horizon and beyond.

    This trial puts Knox herself and her parents with her wild book and their wild claims at more risk. 

    For reasons explained below, the investigation of the myriad claims by an Italian, beamed only at Americans, of official crimes and alternative “facts” couched in a jeering, sneering anti-Italy tone was taken behind the scenes by the Florence prosecution early in 2013.

    The charges and target defamatory passages selected out of numerous passages falsely describing facts of the case and falsely accusing officials of crimes have not been formally reported even in Italy yet, except for a website update last October by the indefatigable journalist Andrea Vogt.

    2. Chronology 2009-2011: The Trial And Appeal

    In 2011 what is widely known in Italy to have been a bent Hellmann appeal court ran a cartoonish and illegal retrial of Sollecito and AK.

    This illegal retrial, mostly annulled by the Supreme Court in March 2013, was lacking a few things. Such as most evidence, most witnesses, and all of the 2009 prosecution case and the compelling prosecution summations at the end. An illegal DNA consultancy which should never have occurred at appeal is also believed to have been bent.

    3. Various Flashing Warning Lights

    On 3 October 2011 Judge Hellmann told RS and AK they were free to go, despite the fact that no legal process for murder and some other crimes is considered final in Italy until no party pursues any further appeals or the Supreme Court signs off. Most still accused of serious crimes (as in the UK and US) remain locked up. Hellmann, pathetically trying to justify this fiasco ever since, was firmly edged out and still the target of a possible charge.

    Other flashing warnings should have made Sollecito’s family and legal team and book writers very wary. They included the immediate strong warning of a tough prosecution appeal to the Supreme Court. They also included the pending calunnia trials of Knox and her parents, the pending trial of the Sollecitos for attempting to use politics to subvert justice, the pending trials of Spezi, Aviello, and Sforza, and so on. 

    A major flashing warning was right there in Italian law. Trials are meant to be conducted in the courtroom and attempts to poison public opinion are illegal. They can be illegal in the US and UK too but, for historical reasons to do with the mafias and crooked politicians, Italian laws in this area are among the world’s toughest. So mid-process, normally no books are ever published

    4. Chronology 2012-2013 The United States Track

    Knox quickly headed back to the US West Coast and Sollecito soon came after her there.

    After three-plus years of Sollecito and his camp being very iffy about Knox he suddenly - to his father’s open frustration - could not get enough of her.

    Very quickly Sollecito found a book agent, Sharlene Martin,  who lives just a couple of miles from the Mellases and Knoxes, and she lined up a shadow writer, Andrew Gumbel, who lives in LA and had been based in Italy in the 1990s.

    Both Sharlene Martin and Andrew Gumbel soon revealed that their “knowledge” of the case was paper-thin and dangerously biased.

    Sollecito’s Italian lawyers seemingly did not have a clue what was going on on this book front - lately an angry Giulia Bongiorno made that plain enough.

    Sollecito’s father and sister did have growing concerns (among much fallout in Italy of their own such as Vanessa losing a plum Carabinieri job) and in March they hopped on a flight to Seattle to try to ditch Knox and presumably the book and drag Sollecito home.

    Even Knox at times seemed to want the clingy nuisance gone, and she produced a claimed new love-interest to help to keep him at bay.

    Throughout 2012 the hubris of the Knox camp within which Sollecito had embedded himself was immense. David Marriott and Bruce Fischer both posted that it was their efforts that had got the two released, making no mention of a court the defenses had bent.

    On 18 September Honor Bound hit the shelves. If Sharlene Martin or Andrew Gumbel or Simon & Schuster had done any due diligence on the book, such as reading court documents, or even run it in final draft in Italian past Sollecito’s lawyers in Italy, that due diligence sure did not show. (A legal case for the Sollecito family to pursue?)

    Seemingly irresponsible or incompetent and not caring who in Italy they hurt, Sharlene Martin and Andrew Gumbel then assisted Sollecito in a triumphalist but mostly unconvincing sweep of the US crime shows.

    The flagship interview was with Katie Couric on ABC right before the book came out. It really hurt. She had an advance copy and had done her homework. See our suggested questions and report and posts and Kermit’s great spoof here , here , here , here , and here.  The book promotion tour ended in Seattle thus..

    Late April 2013 Knox’s book came out. Strong differences with Sollecito emerged both in the books and publicly in the media as described here and here.

    Sharlene Martin later set up a panel of the useful idiots Michael Heavey and John Douglas and Steve Moore in a Congressional room for hire, an odd role for an agent of a book, which nobody of importance attended. Just as well. Truth was scarce.

    Sollecito repeatedly visited the United States (and the Caribbean) though he was provisionally a convicted felon, not least in a desperate, cynical and hurtful attempt, after the sharp rebuff by Amanda Knox, to find an American wife.

    You can read the rest of Sollecito’s US saga in the top posts here. His last visit to the United States was in late 2013.

    5. Chronology 2012-2013 The Italy Track

    The book was written and published only in English; Francesco Sollecito said no Italian publisher would touch it (surprise, surprise).

    In Italy, from our post of 27 September 2012, this media explosion is what happened next.

    In Italy Sollecito’s wildly inaccurate and hyper-aggressive book has already set himself up for two kinds of trouble

    The Gumbel and Sollecito book was released in English on 18 September 2012 and within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.

    Sollecito’s own father and own lawyer Maori have already been forced to admit the book contains serious lies. Prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges

    Sollecito’s own father Francesco was made to concede by the host and all other guests on the popular Porta a Porta TV show last week that Sollecito lied in claiming that the prosecution had sought a deal under which Sollecito would frame Amanda.

    Such a deal would be illegal so Sollecito was falsely accusing prosecutors of a very serious crime. Francesco Sollecito backed down even more in some interviews later. One of Sollecito’s own lawyers, Luca Maori, also had to deny in frustration that the offer of any deal either way ever happened.

    Now the prosecution has announced that they are weighing whether there should be new charges lodged against Sollecito.

    Sollecito has suddenly claimed in the book, nearly five years after he said it happened, in face of vast evidence including his own writings to the contrary, that police interrogated him over 10 hours, and abused and threatened him.

    But he was demonstrably not ever interrogated over 10 hours, and he folded fast when they showed him his phone records, which contradicted his earlier alibis, and so he promptly laid the blame on Amanda.

    Prosecutors and police have all already stated that he simply lied here too, and again prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges

    Thereafter we posted a number of times about false claims others and we ourselves identified in the book -  one of three (with Preston’s and Knox’s) probably the most defamatory ever written about any justice system or justice officials anywhere. Our next posts will pick up that thread.

    5. Italy Officially Reacts

    Finally for now, we posted on 18 February 2013 on a formal move against the book by the Florence Courts, with a Breaking News addendum that (very unusually) the prosecution and supervising magistrate had taken the investigation behind closed doors.

    That secrecy order to counter the toxic PR still persists, right up to now, and it will only be next Thursday that the results of the investigation and the charges against Sollecito and Gumbel become widely know.

    Next post: selected examples of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims.


    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    The Scale Of Evil By Forensic Psychologist Professor Michael Stone Of Columbia University NYC

    Posted by Mark


    1. Who Is Dr Stone

    Dr Stone is increasingly on American TV and in American courts as demands for better answers to heinous crimes grow.

    He has published a lot and is a partner in a research clinic in New York. These are Dr Stone’s professional credentials as posted on Psychology Today.

    Dr. Michael Stone is a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia. His specialty is personality disorders - most especially “borderline personality disorder.” But in recent years he has concentrated as well on the extremes of personality, as shown by persons who show antisocial, psychopathic, and sadistic traits. This led to an interest in the kinds of people committing murder - spanning the spectrum from jealousy murders to serial killers and torturers. Recently he served as the host of the Discovery Channel show, “Most Evil,” for which he was sent around the country interviewing serial killers and murderers of other types.

    This experience, plus his research over the past twenty years, led to his writing The Anatomy of Evil (appearing in July of 2009). The book explores the “why” factor: what are the inborn and environmental factors that cause certain people to commit murder and, at the extreme end, to behave with uncommon cruelty toward their fellow man. Modeled after Dante’s Inferno, the book progresses from the least to the most “evil” crimes, and contains a chapter devoted to recent contributions from neuroscience toward understanding the mind of the psychopath.


    2. Interviews On Radio And TV

    In the video above, how Dr Stone explained his scale of evil on a Canadian interview show, and below how he explained it on American National Public Radio.

    Perhaps no surprises for Americans in the names of the killers in the examples. How they divide up confirms some postings we have had here before. For one thing, most don’t fit in the full-blown psychopathic group (Group 4). 

    Introduction

    Columbia University professor Michael Stone knows evil. He’s a forensic psychologist — the type of expert that provides testimony on the mental state of accused murderers when a declaration of insanity can mean the difference between life and death row.

    Inspired by the structure of Dante’s circles of hell, Stone has created his own 22-point “Gradations of Evil” scale, made up of murderers in the 20th century. “I thought it would be an interesting thing to do,” he says.

    His scale is loosely divided into three tiers. First are impulsive evil-doers: driven to a single act of murder in a moment of rage or jealousy. Next are people who lack extreme psychopathic features, but may be psychotic — that is, clinically delusional or out of touch with reality. Last are the profoundly psychopathic, or “those who possess superficial charm, glib speech, grandiosity, but most importantly cunning and manipulativeness,” Stone says. “They have no remorse for what they’ve done to other people.”

    Stone hopes the scale could someday be used in prosecutions. “The people at the very end of the scale have certain things about their childhood backgrounds that are different,” he says, from those who appear earlier in the scale. And because the scale follows a continuum of likelihood a killer will kill again, courts may be able to better categorize the risks posed by releasing a psychopath.

    Conspicuously absent from Stone’s scale are wartime evil-doers. “My scale is a scale for evil in peacetime,” he says. That’s because assessing wartime evil from a criminal-psychological standpoint is more complicated because of factors like culture, history and religion.”

    And in war, there are often two sides. Take Hitler, Stone says. “He thought we were evil, we thought he was evil.” But, he adds, “in that particular case, we were right.”

    The Scale Of Evil

    1. NOT EVIL

    1. Justified Homicide

    The least malevolent: Those who have killed in self-defense and do not show psychopathic features.

    Cheryl Pierson

    Long Island native Cheryl Pierson had been repeatedly molested by her father after her mother died. He was a domineering man with rigid and bizarre rules — for example, he insisted she eat three items on her dinner plate incrementally in a clockwise rotation; if she didn’t he would become violent. In desperation at age 17, she paid a classmate $400 to kill her father. She was sentenced to six months in jail for what was, in Stone’s words, “in effect a self-defense killing.”

    2. IMPULSIVE MURDERERS

    People who are not really psychopaths, not subject to routine unspeakable acts without remorse. “Ordinary people that get caught in some terrible situation,” Stone says.

    2. Jealous Lovers, Non-Psychopathic

    Though egocentric or immature, evildoers in this category committed their crimes in the heat of passion.

    Jean Harris

    School director Jean Harris led an exemplary life before she became romantically involved with “Scarsdale Diet” doctor Herman Tarnower. But when she found another woman’s panties in his dresser, she snapped. Harris shot her lover to death in a crime of passion — and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

    3. Willing Companions Of Killers

    Still far from psychopathic, some have antisocial traits and an aberrant personality. They’re often driven by impulse.

    Cindy Campbell

    Jack Olsen’s 1987 book Cold Kill describes Cindy Campbell as a manipulative, chaotic woman. She claimed she was the victim of incest and was accused of enlisting her lover, David West, to kill her parents in their sleep. Both she and West were convicted of murder.
    Susan Cummings. Larry Morris/AFP/Getty Images i

    4. Provocative “Self-Defense”

    These people kill in self-defense, but they aren’t entirely innocent themselves; they may have been “extremely provocative” toward their victim.

    Susan Cummings

    A shy, tomboyish daughter of a billionaire arms trader, Susan Cummings fell in love with an Argentine polo player, Roberto Villegas. But after two years together, they fought: She was stingy and began to refuse sex; he would get angry and verbally abusive. Finally she shot him to death in her kitchen in 1997. Originally charged with first-degree murder, she was ultimately convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 60 days in jail.

    5. Desperate Measures

    These are traumatized, desperate killers of abusive relatives or others — but they lack “significant psychopathic traits” and are genuinely remorseful.

    Susan Wyche

    Susan Wyche was a topless dancer who married and had a child with Jeff Wright, a successful carpet salesman from Houston. He used cocaine, had affairs, gave Susan herpes and was physically abusive. In 2003, she reached a breaking point, and in a fit of rage stabbed him 193 times. Portrayed as a battered wife by the defense and a vicious seductress by the prosecution, she was given a relatively light sentence: 25 years. A new punishment hearing is set for October.

    6. Hot Heads

    Killers who act in an impetuous moment, yet without marked psychopathic features.

    Issei Sagawa

    Born in Japan, Issei Sagawa was pampered by his mother, but became highly irritable and prone to tantrums. In high school, he developed cannibalistic fantasies, and in 1981 he was accused of carrying one out in Paris. His victim: a Dutch student named Renee Hartevelt. He lured her to his apartment, shot her to death, sexually assaulted the body and then began eating her muscle tissue. He was declared legally insane in France and sent back to Japan, where he was released from a mental institution in 1986. He’s now a minor celebrity and has written books and magazine articles about his experience.

    7. Narcissists

    Highly narcissistic killers who are often possessive, not distinctly psychopathic, but “with a psychopathic core.” They typically kill loved ones or family members out of jealousy.

    Prosenjit Poddar

    In 1968, college student Prosenjit Poddar met Tatiana Tarasoff at a dance class in California. They dated briefly but she rejected him. Poddar then told his therapist about wanting to kill her. His therapist wanted to commit him to hospital, but Poddar convinced campus police he was not dangerous. In the summer of 1969, after she returned from a vacation, Poddar stabbed Tarasoff to death with a kitchen knife. Poddar was convicted and deported back to India after his conviction was overturned. Her parents sued the campus police for failing to warn that their daughter was in danger. This led to the famous Tarasoff decision, which ruled physicians now must warn potential victims of a psychiatric patient.

    8. Fit of Rage

    Non-psychopathic people, who live with an underlying, smoldering rage, then kill when that rage is ignited.

    Charles Whitman

    In 1966, ex-Marine Charles Whitman gunned down his wife and his mother, then ascended a tower at the University of Texas and began shooting people with a rifle. He killed 14 people and wounded 32, before being shot and killed by police. His early life was plagued by physical abuse by his father. A UT psychologist who met with Whitman before the murders described him as “oozing with hostility.” An autopsy revealed that he had a brain tumor, which may have contributed to his rage.

    3. SEMI-PSYCHOPATHS

    Those who show a “fair number” of psychopathic traits — grandiosity, superficial charm, or general lack of remorse.

    9. Jealous Lovers, Psychopathic

    The scale’s first foray into psychopathic territory, these killers are jealous lovers but with marked psychopathic features.

    Paul Snider

    Paul Snider “discovered” Dorothy Stratten when she was working at a Dairy Queen at age 17. He became her manager and steered her to Playboy magazine, where she became Playmate of the Year in 1980. They married, but their relationship soon deteriorated, and she became involved with film director Peter Bogdanovich. In a jealous rage, Snider lured her to his apartment and shot her to death with a rifle before killing himself. Bob Fosse made a film about her tragic life, Star 80.

    10. “In The Way” Killers, Not Fully Psychopathic

    Killers of witnesses or people who are simply “in the way.” These evildoers are egocentric, but not totally psychopathic.

    John List

    Born in 1925, John List was described as rigid, joyless, angry and a neighborhood crank. A failed accountant with poor executive ability, he kept losing jobs, yet bought a big house for his wife and three children — which he couldn’t afford. Caught between his indebtedness and his monstrous pride, he decided to kill his family. In 1971, he shot and killed his mother, wife and children, and fled to Colorado under an assumed name. He was at large for 18 years, until an image constructed by a forensic anthropologist was broadcast on America’s Most Wanted. He died in prison in 2008 at age 82.

    11. “In The Way” Psychopaths

    Psychopathic killers of people “in the way.” Premeditation is not usually a major factor in their killings.

    Jeffrey MacDonald

    An Army Green Beret doctor named Jeffrey MacDonald began showing signs of violence and hatred of women in his adolescence. In 1970, was accused of killing his wife and daughters, and then staging the scene to look like a cult slaying in the mold of Charles Manson. MacDonald was convicted of murder, but his case — the subject of the book Fatal Vision — has dragged on for four decades. In August 2010, his lawyers filed a brief in federal court asking for a new trial and claiming that DNA evidence could prove MacDonald’s innocence.

    12. Power-Hungry And Cornered

    Power-hungry psychopaths who kill when “cornered,” or placed in a situation they wouldn’t be able to escape with their power intact.

    Jim Jones

    Born in 1931, Jim Jones was attracted early on to a Pentecostal religious group that practiced “speaking in tongues.” He later became a charismatic leader of the Peoples Temple. Grandiose and fanatic, as well as psychopathic and paranoid, he gathered a large group of followers and moved with them to Guyana. In 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan and his entourage went to Guyana to investigate; he and four others were shot and killed. Cornered, Jones told his followers to commit group suicide. In all, 914 people died, 276 of them children. He also took his own life.

    13. Inadequate And Rageful

    Murderers with shortcomings that follow them throughout life, who also express psychopathic impulses and are prone to rage.

    Karla Faye Tucker

    Karla Faye Tucker was born the illegitimate daughter of prostitute and abused drugs since she was 9. She married at 16 — by which time she had already had a hysterectomy for pelvic inflammatory disease. She divorced at 20. In 1983, she and boyfriend Daniel Garrett invaded the apartment of Jerry Lynn Dean while the two were high on methadone, valium, heroin and alcohol. Tucker and Garrett killed Dean and the woman he was with, using a hammer and pickaxe. After 14 years on death row, she was executed in 1998. She was the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War.

    14. Schemers

    Ruthlessly self-centered and psychopathic, schemers stop at nothing to deceive, con and steal.

    Sante Kimes

    Sante Kimes was born in 1934 and soon became a self-trained con artist. Briefly married to Lee Powers, she had a son, Kenny. Many more thefts followed, along with use of numerous aliases. She made her son into a kind of slave; the two became “grifters” — accomplished at stealing. In 1998 she and her son conned their way into the good graces of Irene Silverman, a wealthy Fifth Avenue widow in New York City. They got her to sign over her property and then killed her, disposing of her body. Kimes is a classic psychopath, and is considered responsible for other murders besides that of Silverman. She and her son are serving life sentences.

    15. Cold-Blooded Spree

    Murderers who kill multiple people calmly and with a psychopathic motive. Often pathological in their denial of guilt or inability to confront reality.

    Charles Manson

    Charles Manson was born in 1934 to a troubled family. At a young age, he began stealing, ending up in reformatories then jail and prisons. In his 30s he began to attract a following of waif-like women who were in his thrall. Then in 1969 he had his group invade the home of pregnant actress Sharon Tate, killing her, her unborn baby and four friends. Later they killed Rosemary LaBianca, scrawling “Death to Pigs” in her blood around the house. He received the death penalty, later commuted to a life term in Corcoran Prison in California.

    4. PSYCHOPATHS

    Fully psychopathic by every modern definition.

    16. Vicious Psychopaths

    Those who commit multiple vicious acts that may also include murder, rape or mutilation.

    Miyazaki Tsutomu

    Born in 1962 into a wealthy Japanese family, Miyazaki Tsutomu had a congenital hand defect, such that he was unable to hold his hands palm-up. He was ostracized as a child and began to lurk around young girls, stalking them. In 1989, he kidnapped and murdered four young girls, mutilated their bodies and drank the blood of one victim. When his crimes were discovered, his father committed suicide out of shame. Miyazaki coldly regarded that as “just punishment” for not raising him correctly. He was executed in Tokyo in 2008.

    17. The Sexually Perverse

    Serial killers with some element of sexual perversion in their crimes. In males, rape is usually the primary motive and killing follows to hide the evidence. Torture is not a primary motive.

    Ted Bundy

    Ted Bundy was born in 1946, performed well in school and was acutely shy. His sexual homicides began in earnest in 1974, near his alma mater, the University of Washington. He worked his way down to Florida, luring, raping and killing at least 28 girls en route. He escaped from a Colorado prison in 1977, and continued killing until identified and apprehended (thanks to bite marks that matched his teeth) in 1978. He was executed in Florida in 1989.

    18. Torturing Murderers

    Though psychotic, they do not typically prolong their torture. Murder, not torture, is their primary motivation.

    Gary Ridgeway

    Gary Ridgeway, a.k.a the “Green River Killer,” grew up in Washington state. He was troubled by his sexual attraction to his mother and of his feelings of lust and humiliation. He’s one of the serial killers showing the famous childhood “triad” of bed-wetting, fire-setting, and animal torture. He began serial killing of prostitutes in earnest after a third divorce in 1982. Some investigators believe he may have killed as many as 90 women, subjecting some to bondage or necrophilia. He’s now serving 48 life sentences plus 480 years.

    19. Non-Homicidal Psychopaths

    Psychopaths who fall short of murder, yet engage in terrorism, subjugation, intimidation or rape.

    Gary Steven Krist

    Gary Steven Krist had served prison time for robbery and fraud in three different states before he was 18. Out of prison in 1968 at age 23, he planned a ransom kidnapping. His victim was Barbara Mackle. Krist buried her underground, allowing her to breathe using a tube, while he awaited a $500,000 ransom from her father. She was rescued after 83 hours buried alive. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was paroled and later convicted of importing cocaine into the United States. He’s in a federal prison in Florida, with a planned release in November 2010.

    20. Murdering Torturers

    Psychotic (legally insane) and primarily motivated by their desire to torture.

    Joseph Kallinger

    From a young age, Joseph Kallinger’s foster family abused him so severely that at age 6 he suffered a hernia inflicted by his foster father. He was psychotic and schizophrenic, and when he married and had children, he was equally brutal. In 1972 he was held on charges of child abuse but was later released. In 1974, he and his 13-year-old son Michael began to break into houses in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Jersey, where they terrorized and tortured four families, and then sexually assaulted and killed a 21-year-old nurse. Finally arrested, he was sentenced to life, and then sent to a mental hospital where he died in 1996 at age 59.

    21. Pure Torturers

    Not all torturers murder. These psychopaths (evaluated to be in touch with reality) are preoccupied with torture “in the extreme,” but never convicted of murder.

    Cameron Hooker

    Cameron Hooker was born in 1953. As he grew older he read pornography, particularly that which portrayed women being tortured. He married his wife, Janice, in 1975. He fantasized about having his own sex slave and allegedly reached an agreement with his wife that she could have a baby if he could have a sex slave. After the birth of their child, Hooker kidnapped 20-year-old Colleen Stan in 1977 and kept her captive for seven years. She was whipped, strangled, burned, electrically shocked and raped. For much of that time, she was locked inside a box for 23 hours a day. She and Hooker’s wife fled together in 1984. He was convicted and sentenced to 104 years in prison.

    22. Psychopathic Torture-Murderers

    Defined by a primary motivation to inflict prolonged, diabolical torture. Most in this category are male serial killers.

    Jeffrey Dahmer

    Born in 1960 in Milwaukee, Jeffrey Dahmer was sexually molested by a neighbor when he was 8. At 10, he was decapitating animals and mounting their heads on stakes in the backyard. At 17 he committed his first murder, a male hitchhiker whom he bludgeoned, strangled, dismembered and buried. After a failed stint in the Army, his serial killing began in earnest in the late 80s, ending up with at least 17 victims — all males, some homosexual, like Dahmer. Finally arrested in 1991, he was convicted the next year of 15 murders and sentenced to 936 years in prison. In 1994, another inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin bludgeoned Dahmer to death with a bar from a weight machine.

    Posted on 01/13/15 at 06:56 AM by Mark. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Crime hypothesesThe psychologyThose who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoKnox persona hoax
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    Saturday, November 15, 2014

    The Status Of The Various Computers In The Case #2 New Developments

    Posted by Sallyoo





    Please first see my previous post and my several updates in the Comments thread.

    There has been a new flurry of interest in Raffaele’s computers following the publication, on iip, of a report prepared by Prof. Alfredo Milani. It is available in both in Italian and English, (translation prepared by iip.)

    The report isn’t dated, but it was prepared after the Massei report had been published, and it was taken into evidence at the Hellmann appeal. Milani credits another defence computer expert, D’Ambrosio, with a lot of the content.

    There have been (to my knowledge) three ‘defence computer expert reports’ prepared. The first, signed by Angelucci in March 2008, is concerned primarily with the damaged hard disks of the Asus of Sollecito, and the computers of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. This report was commissioned by Dalla Vedova and has not (as far as I can determine) ever been taken into evidence, or even mentioned in court.

    The salient point in this document is that the data was recovered from the disks of Sollecito’s Asus and Meredith Kercher’s computer.

    Then we have D’Ambrosio testifying at Massei (available), accompanied by a report written by D’Ambrosio and Gigli taken into evidence (not available).

    At Hellmann we have the Milani report. Raffaele mentions Alfredo Milani in his book as one of his professors.

    There isn’t a lot of (strictly computer) information in it which goes beyond D’Ambrosio’s testimony, although the tone is very different. While D’Ambrosio was relatively generous to the police computer analysts, appreciating the procedural retrictions which they worked under, Milani gets close to being offensively insulting to those tehnicians. (Compare with the Conti/Vecchiotti tactics…)

    Milani attempts to make us believe that two ‘grave methodological errors’ committed by the postal police have concealed data which would provide an alibi.

    Firstly he spends much time outlining the MacOS, in every release, and tells us that because the postal police used an ‘analogous but not identical’ MacBook a tiny difference in the release number of the operating system renders their analysis unreliable. This is impossible to acept for two reasons - firstly that the OS employed resided on the cloned disk from Sollecito’s own MacBook, but more importantly the precise OS release would not affect in any way the reading of the log files.

    Secondly, he unwisely reminds us of inodes (log files). These files are regularly archived, in compressed form, and this archive is not overwritten. The archive isn’t very simple for an ordinary user to search, but such a search is certainly within the capabilities of an ‘expert computer consultant’. If Milani had discovered anything - such as a use of the Samba utility via the Asus which would have been recorded - he would have told us about it.

    He also includes some gratuitous comments - which are rather fun - so we can move onto those now!

    Milani has trawled up a keyboard interaction (on Sollecito’s Mac), at 22.04 on November 5, when he assures us that Sollecito was in the questura. Well, every other piece of evidence has Sollecito not arriving at the questura that evening until at least 22.30 - but Raffaele has always claimed to have been eating with a friend when he received the phone call at 21.30 asking him to attend the questura. Was Sollecito at Riccardo’s? Did he nip home (why) before going to the questura? We shall never know, but Milani has given us reason to speculate.

    He also offers us the playlist of the music tracks both listened to and skipped between 05.40 and 06.20 (approx) on the morning of Nov 2 - which for some reason he erroneously asserts that the postal police failed to identify as an interaction. You can form your own opinion on the musical taste of the listeners, Nirvana and Bon Jovi feature.

    Additionally we learn that one of the films ‘recently viewed’ was Suicide Club, a Japanese cult movie, which can charitably be described as Extreme Fantasy. We also discover that in the CD drive was music from Blind Guardian - a German heavy metal band who used fiction/fantasy themes in their lyrics. (I am left with the impression that Sollecito and Knox were determined not to live in the real world during this period).

    A further couple of snippets, the first from an intercepted conversation in prison between Raffaele, his father and his stepmother, Marisa Papigni:

    FS:....have nothing to do with [rude in italian] ... and they understood ... now this morning or Monday there will be also the checking of your computer ... they have already cloned the hard disk .. ”

    RS: “… my concern of the computer is basically that if I came ...”

    Marisa Papagni: “Hey ... there is a monster on your computer ... there is a monster ... ”

    RS: “Forget it ... the fact about the computer is if I have spent much time with Amanda ... there is not all this time I have spent with the computer ...”

    FS: “If Amanda was home ... if she was out, wtf were you doing? ... were you at the computer?” .....

    And from Honor Bound:

    Papà told him about the data from my computer….but still Maori was skeptical. “Why don’t you let me see it?” he asked.

    My father didn’t have the data with him, but he said his brother, Giuseppe, could fax it over.



    Below: Professor Milani; Perugia University School of Mathematics & Computers


    Wednesday, November 05, 2014

    Denial Of Parole For Rudy Guede Could Be Yet More Bad News For Knox And Sollecito

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    Above and below: Mammagialla prison at Virterbo north of Rome where Guede is


    Rudy Guede has been in prison at Viterbo for seven years less only several weeks now.

    Despite his claims via closed-circuit TV that he has had an exemplary record and has nearly finished a college degree, the Italian parole oversight board in Rome has just declined his work release application.

    Rudy Guede has been treated fairly, and does seem to have behaved himself, and there is zero evidence he was on a crime wave or dealt drugs or acted as a snitch for the Perugia police.

    Despite that, he has never been given any breaks in the past seven years except as described here by the current system. 

    That post in fact reflects the view of a number of pro-victim Italian judges and prosecutors who personally incline toward the UK and US practice of plea bargaining under which the accused puts realistic evidence on the table and rolls over on accomplices and shows real remorse, in return for which lesser charges are arrived at.

    The grounds for refusing work-release parole were not published, but if this is a way of pressuring Guede into further pressuring Knox and Sollecito? Go for it.






    Posted on 11/05/14 at 08:51 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoRudy GuedeKnox-Mellas teamSollecito teamNina BurleighMichael HeaveySteve MooreBruce FischerGuede good guy hoax
    Permalink for this postTell-a-FriendCase WikiPMF Org ForumPMF Net ForumComments here (13)

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    Why They Also Damn: The Hundreds Of DNA Samples Taken And Analyses Done, Shown In Table Form

    Posted by Olleosnep




    1. Even Excluding DNA, There’s Massive Evidence

    Contrary to foolish claims elsewhere, there’s a great deal of evidence implicating not only Guede but also Knox and Sollecito in the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher. 

    The bulk of the evidence is circumstantial, and encompasses different categories of evidence, such as: wounds sustained by Ms. Kercher;  ear and eye witnesses;  footprints; shoeprints; fingerprints and lack thereof; blood patterns; evidence that Ms. Kercher was moved after she died; misplaced items in her room and in the cottage; evidence of partial clean-up; cellphone records; computer evidence; evidence of staged break-in; lack of evidence of actual break-in; statements by all three defendants; lack of alibis; lies by Knox and Sollecito; etc.

    A lot of the most critical evidence has been repeatedly reviewed by many different judges involved in the case, from Judge Micheli to Judge Nencini, and led to the unanimous verdict at trial now confirmed by Appeal Judge Nencini. 

    2. The Massive DNA Evidence Is Equally Conclusive

    We have carried nearly five dozen DNA posts previously on the Scientific Labs work in 2007-09, the discredited judges’ consultants work in 2011, and the Carabinieri Labs work in 2013.

    They go to prove that some of the most damning evidence comes from the DNA traces found on hundreds of samples tested by the Forensic Genetics department of the Italian Scientific Police squadron in Rome. The department was presided over by the biologist Dr. Stefanoni at the time [seen above left with Prosecutor Comodi] who acted as the department’s principal technical director.

    The results of Dr. Stefanoni’s work were collected in several reports issued by her lab during the 2008-2009 investigation and trial phases. Of these reports, two reports in particular comprise a ‘survey’ of the work performed by her lab at the time: the “Genetic Tests” report (GT), and the “Stato Avanzamento Laboratorio” report (SAL). Both reports are available on the Meredith Kercher Wiki.

    These two reports are notable for highlighting the large quantity of testing done and the significant number of objects and items sampled. In addition, the reports not only look at items with blood traces, but also traces of skin cells, feces, semen, and above all, hair traces, an aspect of the evidence that has been largely glossed over in the testimony and in the motivation reports.

    3. For The First Time A Complete DNA Roadmap

    The DNA Spreadsheet will open using Microsoft Excel or alternatives such as the free OpenOffice. Please note the table is very wide.

    In order to better understand the extent of the work and types of the tests performed, I have taken the data that can be gleaned from these two reports and placed them into a single spreadsheet, in order to create a kind of ‘database’ of the testing and analyses done.

    This spreadsheet uses the GT report as a basis, followed by additional information obtainable from the SAL report.

    The spreadsheet is basically a list of each sample, object and/or test done by Dr. Stefanoni’s team. These include tests done for DNA analysis, testing done for Y haplotype analysis and hair sample analysis. In the SAL report, it is shown that a few samples were tested multiple times. The list also includes some objects which were not analyzed at all, or were only analyzed up to a point.

    It should be noted that there are a few difficulties with the reports. The GT report references an associated photographic report that has not been made available. The GT report is also missing a couple of pages and the descriptions of the results are at times inconsistent. Other times it can be tricky to follow exactly what tests were done. Because the report is a black and white scan of an original likely printed in color, some of the information in the tables is difficult or impossible to read. And some traces are missing result tables altogether.

    The SAL report is also incomplete. The luminol samples at the cottage and all the samples taken at Guede’s apartment are missing, as are other samples. The scanned pages in the PDF are out of order, making cross-checking with the GT report tedious. The SAL report does not have all the test data indicated in the GT report. For instance, the human antibody tests noted in the GT report are not indicated in the SAL report. The data in the SAL report is often not as complete as one might think. As an example, all hair samples were logged and assigned a sample number. But those hairs that had no DNA extracted, do not have a date of when they were analyzed. Presumably they were all analyzed as a set for each item, given that the sample number is frequently numerically sequential (i.e. 47084, 47085, 47086, etc.). But it’s not possible to say with certainty when the hairs were reviewed from the report.

    Nevertheless the GT and SAL reports do have significant information that is of interest to the case. Hence the spreadsheet.

    4. Some Guidance For The Use Of The Spreadsheet

    Spreadsheets can be useful for presenting various pieces of data together ‘at a glance’. But the real power of spreadsheets for this type of data is that rows can be sorted in order to group similar pieces of data together, allowing one to get a overview of subsets of data.

    So, for instance, if one wanted to order all the rows by ‘sample number’ to see the sequence of how they were processed in the lab, one need only highlight all the rows (done by clicking on row number 5, holding down the ‘Shift key’ and paging down to the bottommost row), then go to menu option ‘Data’ and then ‘Sort’ and select the column or columns to sort by- ‘AF’ in the case.

    Or perhaps one wants to sort by ‘DNA yielded’ and ‘building’ to see where someone’s DNA was found. Simply select all the rows again, select the menu option ‘Data’ and then ‘Sort’, and select the first column as ‘DNA yielded’ (or column AD), then select as the second column as ‘building (or column F).

    To return to the original order, select all rows again and sort on column A.

    Note that the first four rows in the spreadsheet are ‘locked’, in order to allow the column headers to be always visible.  If one wants to unlock these rows, select the whole spreadsheet by clicking on the upper left corner of the window where the column header labels and row numbers meet. Once the whole spreadsheet is selected, go to ‘View’ option and select ‘Unfreeze panes’. For Excel version 2007 and higher, click on the little arrow to the right of ‘freeze panes’ button on the menu bar, and there will be the option to unfreeze panes.

    If one is handy with Access, or any other database program, it should be possible to import the spreadsheet into that database program, allowing one to perform more powerful ‘queries’.



    The Rome headquarters of the Scientific Police which work closely with the FBI

    5. Explanations Of Some Of The DNA Data

    The data in each column was obtained directly or indirectly obtainable from the two reports by Dr. Stefanoni’s team.

    1) Column ‘A’ allows one to resort rows to their original order, which is based on the order of the ‘item number’ noted in the GT report.

    2) ‘Item number’ refers to the actual piece of evidence, whether an object sampled onsite or an object that was bagged and taken to the lab, as noted in the GT report.

    3) ‘Original item label’ is data provided in the first pages of the GT report, as a way to tie the evidence item back to evidence markers used at the crime scene, and visible in some of the crime scene photos.

    4) ‘Page in attached photo report’ indicates that there is an adjunct ‘photo report’ Dr. Stefanoni provided that has not yet been released, and likely has photos of the evidence items ‘in situ’. This information is also noted in the beginning item lists in the GT report.

    5) ‘Sample date’ is based on the dates noted in the beginning list in the GT report, indicating when the evidence item was sampled or taken from the crime scene. This is sometimes difficult to read, due to the fact that the report was apparently printed in color and the black and white scan hides or obscures some text and graphics.

    6) Columns F-K are location and object data, obtainable from the descriptions in the GT report, especially the first pages that provide a list of where evidence samples were obtained. I broke this data down into various categories to allow different possibilities of grouping the data.

    7) ‘Sample obtained’ indicates the type of biological substance that was assumed to contain DNA. This was first obtained from the GT report, and later corrected with the data from the SAL report, which has a more consistent description of what the sample was assumed to be.

    8) Columns M through AC list data either directly reported in the GT and SAL reports, or interpretable from them. Column M notes if an item was analyzed or not. In the GT report, unanalyzed items are noted in the beginning list as ‘not analyzed’ though not consistently. In the SAL report, they are noted as having 0 samples.

    9) ‘Trace number’ was obtained from GT report, though on a few occasions, the actual number is not clear. Note that the number ‘starts over’ for each evidence item. Sometimes the trace number is sequential, independent of whether it is blood or hair or skin cells. Items having the most traces are those that were ‘heavily’ sampled, including Sollecito’s sneakers, the duvet, Ms. Kercher’s sweat jacket, her jeans, the kitchen knife, the kitchen sponge, etc.

    10) ‘Additional trace info’ is additional information noted from both reports about a specific sample.

    11) Column P ‘revealed in luminol?’ indicates with a ‘yes’ those samples obtained during luminol analysis. What often gets overlooked is that luminol analysis was performed not only at the cottage, but in Sollecito’s car, Sollecito’s apartment and Guede’s apartment. Notable here is that 14 different samples were obtained from luminol analysis at Sollecito’s apartment. While the DNA data yielded was meager, what is important is not the actual data yielded, but the number and location of samples investigated, including samples from door handles, and different locations like the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. There was certainly a suspicious amount of blood, bleach or turnip juice at Sollecito’s place!

    12) ‘Date of extraction’ comes from the SAL report, though, as mentioned above, it is not consistently reported for every trace or sample analyzed. This indicates when DNA processing occurred on a sample. This column is important to look at when discussing the issue of lab contamination. If one performs a sort on this column and on the ‘sample number’ column, one can clearly see that samples were processed in batches, often a week or two weeks apart. So for instance, claims that the sample 36B happened due to contamination at the lab is really not possible, given that Ms. Kercher’s DNA was analyzed one week earlier (11/5/07 and 11/6/07) and sample 36B is the only sample to contain Ms. Kercher’s DNA from all the samples analyzed on 11/13/07. Similarly, Sollecito’s DNA and Guede’s DNA are only found once each of all the items analyzed on 12/29/07, yet the last time Sollecito’s DNA had been analyzed was on 12/17/07, 12 days earlier. So the likelihood of lab contamination seems extraordinarily small, just from the dates of when samples were analyzed.

    13) ‘TMB test positive’ was originally obtained from the GT report. Again because that report is likely in color, a number of tables have either missing graphics or are missing tables altogether. Fortunately the SAL report has duplicated this data consistently.

    14) ‘Human antibody test positive?’ is obtained from other tables in the GT report, almost always paired with the TMB table. In some cases where the table data is illegible, I’ve placed a “?” in front of an assumed result. Curiously, this test is not shown in the SAL report.

    15) ‘Cat antibody positive?’ is from the GT report, shows that the basement apartment blood samples were all made a by cat, which Dr. Stefanoni comments on in her Massei testimony.

    16) Apparently they also ran ‘dog antibody’ testing as well, as is noted in the GT report.

    17) ‘DNA extraction done?’ indicates if a decision was made to extract DNA. This was inferred from the GT report. Notable here is that even with samples having cat antibodies, Dr. Stefanoni does the DNA extraction anyway to make sure no human DNA is in the sample.

    18) ‘Quantity extracted’ comes from the SAL report. This refers not to the amount of DNA extracted, but specifically to the amount of liquid (50, 100 or 150 microliters) filtered through the Qiagen Bio Robot EZ1 machine. This machine actually filters or purifies the sample, removing all other biological materials like cells, bacteria, etc. leaving only actual DNA molecules which can then be processed. This extraction process is also the quantification process, where from a 50 microliter sample a certain amount of DNA is found and quantified.

    19) ‘Human DNA found during quantification’ was inferred from the GT report. It should be noted that for Dr. Stefanoni’s team, DNA analysis involved finding DNA useful for comparison. This means that Dr. Stefanoni was not looking for a sample of any human DNA, but a sample sufficiently ‘complete’ to be able to compare it with others samples. So it was likely often the case that a trace might have snippets and pieces of DNA, but these pieces were either too small or too fragmented to be useful for any profile comparisons. So ‘No’ in this column means not so much that no DNA was found at all, but that no DNA was found that could be useful for comparison.

    20) ‘Decision to amplify and analyze’ was obtained from the GT report. Sometimes it is explicitly mentioned in the description of the results in the GT report. Other times, it can be inferred from the lack of tables.

    21) ‘Concentrate sample with Speed VAC 110’ means that where “no human DNA was found” (i.e. when no DNA was found sufficiently complete or in sufficient amounts useful for comparison), Dr. Stefanoni decided to process the sample further in an effort to ‘bring out’ whatever DNA there might be. This was done using a ‘concentrator’, which dries the samples and vacuums them, thereby reducing sample fluid to make any DNA present more easily found by the subsequent DNA processing equipment.

    22) ‘STR amplification’ is the DNA copying process whereby any DNA found is copied millions of times to obtain samples that can be adequately rendered by capillary electrophoresis. The process Dr. Stefanoni used is described specifically in the GT report for evidence items 12 and 13.

    23) In some cases ‘Y chromosome amplification’ is also done. While this may be done at the same time by the same machine, I took any Y chromosome amplification to be a separate test, since per the GT report, it sometimes yielded different results. In a few cases, it is not clear from the GT report if Y chromosome amplification was done on only one sample, or on all the samples of an evidence item. In those cases, I assumed all the samples.

    24) ‘Capillary electrophoresis’ is where DNA is rendered through a chemical/electrical process that tags DNA particles with fluorescence. These fluoresced particles are then read by the software of the machine and mapped onto a graph that shows DNA particles as ‘peaks’, which are an indicator of quantity of DNA found. The software of the machine then produced graphs of the peaks obtained and it is these graphs that Dr. Stefanoni and her team used for profile comparison.

    25) ‘DNA yielded’ is what is indicated in the GT report and is based on Dr. Stefanoni’s comparison of the DNA profile(s) shown by capillary electrophoresis to index DNA samples she had of Sollecito, Lumumba, Guede, Knox and Ms. Kercher.

    26) ‘Egram number’ is taken from the GT report.

    27) The ‘sample number’ was taken from the GT and further completed by the SAL report, which has the sample numbers for all samples, whether they were analyzed for DNA or not. The sample numbers are useful for indicating what was happening at the Dr. Stefanoni’s lab. As an example, if one does a sort on column Q (Date of extraction) and column AF (sample number) one can see that between 11/5/07 and 11/6/07, there is gap of 129 samples that were likely performed for another case. The last sample analyzed on 11/5/07 was 47082, and on 11/6/07, the next sample number is 47211. So presumably her lab ran 129 additional DNA tests on samples related to other cases between these two runs. Generally the sample numbers increase sequentially by date, but there are a few exceptions. One in particular is sample 47821, which appears as the last sample on 11/23/07, though samples starting on 11/26/07, three days later, start with sample number 47711. This implies that samples were probably numbered in batches (by sticking numbered labels on tubes or bags) and not necessarily right before extraction or other machine processing was done.

    28) ‘Compatibility notes’ are extra comments noted by Dr. Stefanoni in the GT report.

    29) ‘Likely substance containing DNA’ is interpretable from the GT and SAL report and the results of the testing done.

    30) Finally there are columns related to hair analysis. ‘Type of hair’ comes from the SAL report, and it is sometimes, but not consistently or legibly, noted in the GT report.

    31) ‘Hair color’ provides a description of the hair color. Notable is that the hair description is quite consistent, with black, blonde, chestnut, light chestnut, red chestnut being the more significant categories. This is available in both the GT and SAL report and both reports match.

    32) ‘Hair length;’ is obviously the length of hair analyzed. I’m not sure how this was done since the machinery used is not indicated in either report. Again, this is in both reports, and again the data matches in both reports.

    33) ‘Hair width’ is the diameter of the hair in micrometers, and is available in both reports.

    34) ‘Hair marrow’ is found only in the SAL report, and presumably describes the condition of the very core of the hair.

    35) ‘Hair end condition’ indicates whether the end of the hair is ‘cut’, a ‘point’, frayed or otherwise.  This is found in both reports.

    36) ‘Bulb phase’ relates to the particular phase of hair growth, with DNA apparently present in the hair bulb only during the initial growth phases of the hair. This too is found in both reports.

    37) ‘Hair remarks’ are any comments related to hair samples.

    38) Lastly, the ‘remarks’ column contains my notes on a particular sample or test, indicating discrepancies or explanations of what I was able to understand.

    As noted above, the SAL report does not contain data for all the samples. Per Dr. Gino’s testimony in the Massei trial on 9/26/09, additional SAL sheets were apparently released that indicate that TMB tests were done on the luminol samples at the cottage and that these tests were negative. However it should be noted that TMB is less sensitive than luminol, so it is possible that a luminol sample could be in blood, which however is too diluted to be registered by a TMB test.




    6. More Commentary On the DNA Extracted From Blood

    1) DNA is only found in white blood cells, not red blood cells

    2) The luminol reacts with the iron in red blood cells, not white blood cells

    3) Red blood cells outnumber white blood cells by roughly 600 to 1

    4) Even if DNA is found it may be not usable for comparison

    So just because there is a positive luminol or TMB result does not mean that DNA can be found.

    7. More Commentary On The Resulting Statistics

    At the bottom of the spreadsheet are some interesting statistics, which I won’t reiterate here, except to note a few things.

    a) 227 different objects or site objects were sampled/ obtained for analysis. 30 of these were not analyzed at all. From the remaining 197 objects and site objects sampled, 484 separate tests were set up for analysis, with 93 of these consisting of hair analysis. Of these 484 tests, 193 of them yield DNA data useful for comparison (40%).

    b) Of the 193 tests that were ‘successful’, 100 tests yielded DNA compatible only with Ms. Kercher’s DNA (over 50%- again keep in mind their may have been other DNA but it may have been too small or too fragmented to be useful for comparison). Nine additional tests (comprising seven samples) yielded DNA compatible with Ms. Kercher’s DNA mixed with either Knox’s, Guede’s or Sollecito’s DNA. 27 tests had DNA compatible with Guede’s DNA; 18 tests had DNA compatible with Knox’s DNA; 11 more tests had DNA compatible with Sollecito’s DNA. Nine other tests yielded DNA compatible with a mixture of Knox’s and Sollecito’s DNA. 17 tests yielded DNA of unknown men and women (i.e. unmatchable by Dr. Stefanoni), and two tests were of samples obtained from Lumumba.

    c) Of the nine tests yielding Ms. Kercher’s DNA mixed with others, five of these yielded DNA compatible with a mixture of Kercher’s and Knox’s DNA. They were all samples found in blood or potential blood- notably: three in the bathroom, one on the corridor floor in a luminol revealed bloody footprint, one in a luminol revealed blood stain in Romanelli’s room.

    d) Returning to the discussions about contamination, it is notable that, whether the contamination occurred during site collection or in the lab, one might expect to find bits of contamination occurring here and there over 193 tests. Yet nearly all the arguments involve contamination about two samples, out of 193 tests. Over 50% of the tests that had useful DNA yielded Ms. Kercher’s DNA. If site collection, transport and/or lab procedures were so poor, one would expect to find Ms. Kercher’s DNA in other places as well. Yet very few samples have her DNA mixed with others, and conversely, very few other samples have other mixed DNA. Only nine samples have mixes of Sollecito and Knox’s DNA, eight of which were all obtained at Sollecito’s apartment or from Sollecito’s things (including a pocket knife), and one was obtained from a cigarette butt at the cottage. If contamination was so rampant, why does it occur on only two samples out of 193, (and curiously only on the two most damning samples)?

    e) Continuing along the same lines, 118 samples were obtained from Sollecito’s apartment. Of these, 49 were not analyzed, (many were hairs not having bulbs in the right phase). Of the remaining 66 samples that were analyzed, only one, the one the blade of the kitchen knife, had Ms. Kercher’s DNA. And 41 yielded no usable DNA. So if there was contamination, or worse, direct framing of evidence by the lab, certainly there would be more of Ms. Kercher’s DNA amongst those 66 samples, in order to achieve an ironclad case. Yet there is only one sample out of 66 that had Ms. Kercher’s DNA.

    f) Similarly, 224 tests were done on objects taken from the upper apartment. Of these 56 were not analyzed for DNA and an additional 61 that were analyzed, did not yield anything useful. Of the remaining 107 tests, only 3 had Sollecito’s DNA (a trace on the cigarette butt, and a trace on the bra clasp having Sollecito’s DNA as well as his Y chromosome.) Surely if there was rampant contamination or worse, direct framing of evidence, one would expect to find more of Sollecito’s DNA in Ms. Kercher’s room. Yet only one sample had his DNA and Y chromosome- the bra clasp.

    g) Conversely, it is rather odd that Sollecito’s car was sampled in 16 locations (actually 19 samples were taken but only 16 analyzed), and none of those samples revealed his DNA. Did he ever drive his car?

    8. And Finally More Commentary About The Hairs

    Guede had black hair. From photos of Nov 2, 2007, Knox had blonde hair and Sollecito had chestnut to light chestnut hair. Meredith Kercher had chestnut to reddish chestnut hair.

    93 hairs were found and analyzed. Seven of these were either animal hair or fibers. The remaining 86 hairs were, per the SAL report, all human. Seven of these hairs were black in color. Of the seven, six were short (4 cm or less) and one was long. Of the six short black hairs, four were found on the duvet covering Ms. Kercher, one was found on her mattress cover, and one was found on a sponge (containing fourteen other hairs) at Sollecito’s apartment. It is very likely these short black hairs were Guede’s, and if so, how it one of his hairs get on a sponge at Sollecito’s apartment.

    Similarly, 21 blonde hairs were found, ranging from 4 cm to 20 cm. Of these, fifteen were found at Sollecito’s apartment, either on a sponge in the kitchen, or on a sweater. The other six were found at the cottage, with three being found on the duvet, one found inside the small bathroom sink, one found on a mop, one found on Ms. Kercher’s purse and one found on Ms. Kercher’s mattress cover.

    Assuming the blonde hairs were Knox’s hair, it is difficult to imagine how they might wind up on Ms. Kercher’s purse and mattress cover.

    There were four light chestnut hairs found. One, measuring 9 cm, was found on the kitchen sponge at Sollecito’s apartment. The other three light chestnut hairs were found on Ms. Kercher’s bra (2 cm), sweat jacket (7.5 cm) and the towel found under Ms. Kercher’s body (20 cm).

    35 chestnut colored hairs were found, ranging from 1.5 to 30 cm in length. The vast majority were in Ms. Kercher’s bedroom. Two chestnut colored hairs (5 cm and 8 cm) were on the kitchen sponge at Sollecito’s house. It should be noted that three chestnut colored hairs yielded Ms. Kercher’s DNA, measuring 15, 18 and 23 cms.

    So even from the hair evidence, it seems that hair having Knox and Sollecito’s color were on Ms. Kercher’s more intimate objects, while Guede’s and Ms. Kercher’s hair apparently were on a sponge in the kitchen at Sollecito’s apartment. In other words, an object used in a clean-up, and in a room that also had five luminol revealed samples.

    Even the hair evidence points to Guede, Sollecito and Knox having acted together in the murder of Ms. Kercher.


    Monday, October 06, 2014

    The Knox Interrogation Hoax #14: The Third Opportunity Knox Flunked: The Mignini Interview

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Prominent Rome criminal lawyer Dr Giancarlo Costa who walked off the Knox team soon after this

    1. Where This Series Stands

    Dozens of people have very aggressively gone to bat for Knox over her “interrogation” and still do.

    They trust that one or other of her versions of the 5-6 November 2007 police-station session is right.

    We have been demonstrating the rock-solid evidence that Knox and her supporters have lied and lied and there will be more evidence of this to come.

    We’ve shown in this series that Knox insisted on being there; she was merely helping to build a list; she was treated kindly and taken for refreshments; she was the only one overheard by anyone to raise her voice, when she screamed about Lumumba “He did it!”; it was Sollecito not the police saying that she had been lying and had made him lie; and there is documentary evidence that the police investigators who sat with Knox told the truth.

    Coming soon, we are going to post hundreds of very nasty claims by Knox shills, all sparked by and never reigned in by Knox.

    2. The Pre-Trial Hurdles Knox Failed

    Do you know how many major opportunities before her 2009 trial started Knox was given to get the murder charges dropped? This is not something Knox supporters trumpet about, if they even know.

    In fact there were six, and Knox dismally failed them all.

    In 2007 there were (1) the Matteini hearing and (2) the Ricciarelli hearing in November and (3) the Mignini interview in December.  And in 2008 there were (4) the separate Knox appeal and Sollecito appeal to the Supreme Court in April, and (5) the first Micheli hearings in September, and (6) the second Micheli hearings in October, which dispatched Knox and Sollecito for trial.

    In all six instances Knox’s team also had the opportunity to get the charges against Knox for calunnia against Lumumba dropped.

    As you will have seen in previous posts, Knox’s team pussyfooted about without conviction in the few brief instances when the 5-6 November session was discussed. In the Mignini hearing of 17 December 2007 they eventually advised her it would be in her best interests to shut up.

    3. The Four-Post Translation Of Knox’s Interview By Dr Mignini

    The translation of this interview by Dr Mignini at Capanne Prison was done by Catnip, Yummi and Kristeva. It is carried in full in these posts.

    Knox, Tied In Knots By Her Own Tongue: Translation Of The 17 Dec 2007 Interview With Dr Mignini #1

    Knox, Tied In Knots By Her Own Tongue: Translation Of The 17 Dec 2007 Interview With Dr Mignini #2

    Knox, Tied In Knots By Her Own Tongue: Translation Of The 17 Dec 2007 Interview With Dr Mignini #3

    Knox, Tied In Knots By Her Own Tongue: Translation Of The 17 Dec 2007 Interview With Dr Mignini #4

    This interview was sought-after by Knox, possibly seeing this as her last best chance to get herself off the hook and to avoid remaining locked up.  This lasted about three hours, until Knox’s lawyers interrupted to got her to clam up.

    Despite the many false claims about “interrogations” to the contrary, this was Knox’s first-ever in-depth interview. It was also the first-ever interview of Knox by Dr Mignini as prosecutor appointed to the case - as we have shown he asked Knox no questions on 5-6 Nov.

    All of the trial judges and appeal judges and lay judges had clearly studied this document hard. Also prosecutors and the Knox and Sollecito defense counsel periodically refer to it.


    Sunday, September 14, 2014

    Now Raffaele Sollecito As Well As Amanda Knox Is Using A PayPal Link To Encourage Donations

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    Sollecito And Knox Paypal Accounts

    Please check out the images at bottom here. As of today Knox’s PayPal account still exists.

    At the same time Sollecito has created a new one as GoFundMe dropped his solicitation page. PayPal and their own Italian lawyers are likely to regard these two accounts as hot potatoes when the following implications are shared with them.

    Imperiled Bank Accounts

    Each PayPal account will point behind the PayPal scenes to a bank account, which as this example among many others describes can be seized by American and Italian authorities.

    The Government wants the seized properties to be handed over to the authorities, and claims it’s permitted under U.S. law. This includes the bank account that was used by Megaupload for PayPal payouts. The account, described as “DSB 0320,” had a balance of roughly $4.7 million (36 million Hong Kong Dollars) at the time of the seizure, but processed more than $160 million over the years.

    “Records indicate that from August 2007 through January 2012 there were 1,403 deposits into the DBS 0320 account totaling HKD 1,260,508,432.01 from a PayPal account. These funds represent proceeds of crime and property involved in money laundering as more fully set out herein,” the complaint reads.

    PayPal refused to channel payments to the hacker organization Wikileaks and 14 members of the hacker group Anonymous who attempted denials of service attacks (DOS) against PayPal were charged and pleaded guilty.

    Strong evidence that law enforcement will work hard to help prevent the use of PayPal for activities it considers illegal. 

    How It Gets Worse For Them

    Knox is already a convicted felon for life for calunnia with no further appeal possible. Under PayPal’s terms of service that by itself seems sufficient grounds to bounce her. From Paypal’s rules for Donate buttons:

    Note: This button is intended for fundraising. If you are not raising money for a cause, please choose another option. Nonprofits must verify their status to withdraw donations they receive. Users that are not verified nonprofits must demonstrate how their donations will be used, once they raise more than $10,000.

    Neither have publicly specified in even the least detail who will get what and why out of the funds raised by this Donate button intended for good causes (think charities).

    How It Gets Worser For Them

    The pitches on the Knox and Sollecito websites are essentially the same as in their two books which are both riddled with demonstrably false accusations, for which Sollecito has already been charged and for which Knox will also in due course be charged.

    The charges against Sollecito are a mixture of calunnia and diffamazione, which are explained at the bottom here, and the charges against Knox are expected to be the same.

    In effect then this is seemingly not only Knox and Sollecito attempting to profit from crimes, but attempting to profit from crimes based on highly fraudulent accounts of those crimes for one component of which (as pointed out above) Knox has already served three years in prison.

    How It Gets Even Worser For Them

    “Defense Fund” implies the money being raised is all going to their Italian lawyers. If the lawyers accept such payments as fees that could become a problem for them.

    The same thing applies if any of the money raised goes to David Marriott, Ted Simon and Robert Barnett. It is now radioactive. They will presumably know this - know that they cannot profit from proceeds which are illegal under Son of Sam laws and obtained on fraudulent pretenses.

    And In Fact Even Worser For Them

    If Cassation dismisses the final appeal of Knox and Sollecito (for which the grounds seem very flimsy) they will each be liable for the millions in damages which Judge Massei imposed as modified by Judge Nencini.

    Donations legally labeled bloodmoney cannot under any circumstances be used to pay damages. Knox and Sollecito would have to generate new funds to pay the damages awards by legal earnings or by voluntary or forced selling off of any assets.

    The Bottom-Line Liabilities Here

    The financial liabilities Knox and Sollecito are presently incurring for themselves include (1) payment of all fees for legal and PR help in the US and Italy; (2) the clawing back of all bloodmoney profits from their crimes; (3) the payments of millions in damages as assessed by Judges Massei and Nencini; and (4) further fines and damages that are expected to result from their two books.

    Under the post below Popper posted this partial calculation for Knox; the forfeit of bloodmoney and possible future damage awards are additional.

    Massei gave (and Nencini confirmed) provisional damage to father and mother of Meredith of Euro 1 million each, to brothers and sister Euro 800,000 each, to PL Euro 50,000 and to the owner of the flat Euro 10,000.

    To this it must be added more for the legal costs in Appeal and Cassazione, so a total a bit short of Euro 5 million, about 6 million dollars.

    VAT and CPA must be paid on all the above sums, so more than that, we probably go over USD 6 million

    Together with the forfeit of bloodmoney and possible future damages imposed, this adds up to around the $10 million estimated in this post. Sollecito’s burden would be less, somewhat more than half of that. 

    Explanation Of Calunnia And Diffamazione

    The charge of calunnia (art. 368) has been commonly translated as “slander” in the English/US media. This translation is incorrect, however, as calunnia is a crime with no direct equivalent in the respective legal systems.

    The equivalent of “criminal slander” is diffamazione, which is an attack on someone’s reputation. Calunnia is the crime of making false criminal accusations against someone whom the accuser knows to be innocent, or to simulate/fabricate false evidence, independently of the credibility/admissibility of the accusation or evidence.

    The charges of calunnia and diffamazione are subject to very different jurisprudence. Diffamazione is public and explicit, and is a more minor offence, usually resulting in a fine and only prosecuted if the victim files a complaint, while calunnia can be secret or known only to the authorities. It may consist only of the simulation of clues, and is automatically prosecuted by the judiciary.

    The crimes of calunnia and diffamazione are located in different sections of the criminal code: while diffamazione is in the chapter entitled “crimes against honour” in the section of the Code protecting personal liberties, calunnia is discussed in the chapter entitled “crimes against the administration of justice”, in a section that protects public powers.


    Click for larger image





    Posted on 09/14/14 at 03:20 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those who were chargedRaff SollecitoThe wider contextsN America contextSollecito teamSollecito book hoaxesItalian justice hoaxNo-evidence hoax
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    Friday, July 18, 2014

    Seeds Of Betrayal: Multiple Examples Of How RS And AK Have Tried To Apply More Blame To The Other

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    This report of 18 July 2014 will be updated soon. There were myriad instances in their two books and several new instances in the media since, the latest being Sollecito on Porta a Porta on 6 February 2015. Knox’s silence and the spiraling nastiness of her gang suggest stark reality is setting in. Stalking of the Kerchers is reaching a dangerous pitch. Whatever happened to “nice girl Knox”?


    How Sollecito and Knox So Threaten One Another

    The other day, a claim was posted that claimed sources had said Knox would soon accuse Sollecito.

    This inspired quite an outcry, and the claim’s heavy-handed suppression. Can you believe: by legal means? That claim really rattled a few cages.

    Why was the claim so dangerous? Because for nearly seven years Sollecito and Knox have repeatedly cycled between occasional chummy hugs and numerous aggrieved potshots. And for the most part the more-aggrieved Sollecito has come out ahead.

    • In 2007 (see below) Sollecito really dropped Knox in the drink and both fired off a lot of potshots.

    • From 2008 right through 2011, desperate for confirmation of an alibi, an anxious Knox beamed pleas at a sullen Sollecito, for example in the form of love letters she wrote, and a public request to have a private chat.

    • From 2012 upon provisional release it was Knox being sullen and hard to get and Sollecito in puppy-dog mode. He might have been driven by a genuine desire for a renewed relationship, but a bid to set himself up safely in the United States might have made Knox wonder if this was true love.

    • And from mid 2013 public potshots have been fast and furious, many now on Twitter, and Italy in particular is closely watching the show and waits agog as the justice system applies more and more pressure.

    Our main posts tracking this dont (for now) include the numerous veiled potshots in the RS and AK books, the reason being that we are waiting for the Florence and Bergamo prosecutors’ new charges for what they identify as the defamatory claims in each book to be made public. As usual we are tracking them closely, rather than jumping the gun, to avoid confusion.

    Some of the potshots were active-aggressive (as in: they actually complain about one another) and some are passive-aggressive (as in: they try to help themselves but conspicuously ignore the other.)

    You can sample both flavors below. 

    1. The year 2007

    Our emerging Interrogation Hoax series quotes multiple witnesses testifying how quickly and decisively Knox and Sollecito got off to a fast start in dropping the other in the drink. Too many posts of relevance to include all here, but see this.

    From 6 November 2007 Knox and Sollecito were kept separated, and were not allowed to talk. (That continued to late 2011.) Sollecito was pretty easy to read: he had little interest in talk. A sulky silence was his norm.

    1. On 6 November Sollecito’s statement to Inspectors Moscatelli and Napoleoni included this about Knox :

    I know Amanda for two weeks. From the evening I first met her she started sleeping at my house.

    The first of November I woke up about 11.00, I had breakfast with Amanda, then she went out and I went back to bed. I then met up with her at her house around 13.00-14.00. In there was Meredith who left in a hurry about 16.00 without saying where she was going.

    Amanda and I went to the [town] centre about 18.00 but I don’t remember what we did. We remained in the centre till 20.30 or 21.00.

    I went to my house alone at 21.00, while Amanda said that she was going to the pub Le Chic because she wanted to meet with her friends.

    At this point we said goodbye. I went home, I made a joint. Had dinner, but I don’t remember what I ate. About 23.00 my father called me on my house phone line.

    I recall Amanda was not back yet.

    I web surfed on the computer for two more hours after my father’s phone call and I only stopped when Amanda came back in, presumably about 01.00…

    In my previous statement I told a load of rubbish because Amanda had convinced me of her version of the facts and I didn’t think about the inconsistencies.

    2. Yikes. Knox finds her best alibi yanked.  Not so long after, possibly knowing about this, Knox comes out with a statement which points at Sollecito in turn.

    I don’t know for sure if Raffaele was there that night [during the attack on Meredith] but I do remember very well waking up at my boyfriend’s house, in his bed, and I went back to my house in the morning where I found the door open.

    3. Then on 8 November 2007 Sollecito submitted a statement to Judge Matteini which began “I never want to see Amanda again. Above all, it is her fault we are here.”

    4. There were multiple further instances throughout the rest of 2007, quotes of which will be included soon in the Knox Interrogation Hoax series.

    2. The Year 2008

    5. Knox and Sollecito each appealed Judge Matteini’s ruling to the Supreme Court. Neither helped the other at all. Both appeals failed in April and they were each kept locked up.

    6. Click here for Sollecito Turns On Knox? This Is Extraordinary…

    In October toward the end of Guede’s trial and RS’s and AK’s remand for trial Sollecito’s DNA expert testifies to Judge Micheli that he found Knox’s DNA on Meredith’s bra and bra-clasp.

    7. Click here for Sollecito Family Trial: On The Component About Their Alleged Attempt At Political Interference

    Francesco Sollecito phone conversation in March 2008 with Vanessa captured by the Carabinieri in which he shows his extreme distrust and dislike of Knox who he blames for RS’s plight.

    3. The Year 2009

    8. Click here for The Letters Between The Women’s And Men’s Wings In Capanne

    Letters sent from Knox to Sollecito in February are published, showing an eagerness to get together, suggesting she really needs Sollecito to speak up and confirm her latest alibi.

    9. Click here for Trial: Defendant Noticeably Bubblier Than Meredith’s Sad Friends

    This kind of callous, flippant behavior by Knox had the entire court backed off, not least the Sollecito team which had no desire to be chained to this seeming dangerous nut.

    10. Click here for Sollecito Not To Be Trumped By Knox Antics In The Female Wing Of Capanne

    While RS and AK didnt have access to one another they sure had access to the media and in the Italian media a competitive Sollecito posted a steady stream of stories

    11. Click here for Trial: Knox Claimed Not To Have Been At The House On The Night

    Knox suddenly claims this, despite contrary 2007 claims by both Knox & Sollecito, which messes with Sollecito’s alibi that he was at home alone on the computer.

    12. Click here for Seems Sollecito Is Feeling Really Sorry - For Himself (So What’s New?)

    Sollecito tries to give himself an edge over AK by being extra-whiny about how awful he finds prison, and the distasteful little people he was being made to mix with.

    4. The Year 2010

    13 Click here for How Each of The Three Subtly But Surely Pushed The Other Two Closer to The Fire

    The Knox team avoided this popular Porta a Porta TV series, maybe too scared of hard questions, while the Sollecito lawyers and family used it to promote suspicion of AK and Guede.

    14. Click here for Newsweek Report From Italy On Damage Shrill Campaign Is Doing To Knox’s Interests & America’s Image

    The shrill Knox campaign was irritating Italians and so hurting Sollecito’s image and prospects and it was not shoring up his own story. Bongiorno especially disliked the campaign. 

    15. Click here for Rocco Girlanda’s Strutting Manic Grinning Intrusion Seems A Major Danger To Sollecito/Knox Harmony

    The strange kinky Member of Parliament (now voted out) paid numerous visits to Knox (“monitoring conditions”) and tried some nasty (though ineffective) political tricks - but not for Sollecito.

    16. Click here for The Knox Movie: Sollecito Reported Angry - Real Risk That His Defense Could Break Away From Knox’s

    The Sollecito camp had a strong belief that the Knox camp was behind this TV movie and so they fought it, though it turned out quite even-handed and the RS role was minor.

    5. The Year 2011

    17. Click here for Sollecito Defense Team Breaking From Knox Defense Team On Legal Measures To Stop Lifetime Movie

    Further differences reported here between the two camps on the Lifetime movie which until it was aired was believed to favor Knox and build a case for her innocence.

    18. Click here for Tenth Appeal Court Session: Might Today’s Testimony Give Sollecito More Of An Advantage Than Knox?

    After his team’s (attempted) discounting of the main evidence at Meredith’s house against Sollecito, Knox’s position looks way worse, as she has motives both for killing and cover-up.

    19. Click here for Is The Raffaele Sollecito Defense Team About To Separate Him From A Radioactive Amanda Knox?

    Final days. Sollecito has at least five advantages over Knox. Better lead lawyer, better family in Italian eyes with smarter campaign, not much physical evidence at the house, no obvious motive unlike Knox, and a weak and washy personality Bongiorno plays up.

    6. The Year 2012

    20. Click here for In Desperation A Council Of War? All Of The Sollecito Family Suddenly Hop On Flights To Seattle

    Sollecito is the one now in puppy-dog mode, though his father has said publicly that the relationship with Knox is at an end; here the RS family sets out for Seattle to try to make it so. 

    21. Click here for Sollecito’s Book Honor Bound Hits Italy And Already Scathing Reactions And Legal Trouble

    Sollecito’s book, which subtly promotes Knox’s guilt, runs into legal trouble for false claims, which could also impact Knox’s claims and legal future. His seeming sticking with Knox damages Bongiorno’s defense strategy.

    22. Click here for Will Sollecito Drop Amanda Knox In It Further In A Public Seattle Interview At 7:00 PM Tonight?

    Sollecito’s American book promotion tour often went badly and he seemed unaware of what was in his own book; though once again he was making out Knox was guiltier. His defense team despise the book.

    7. The Year 2013

    23. Click here for Knox & Sollecito Meet - To Attempt To Bury The Hatchet Other Than In Each Other?

    The second public Sollecito attempt to end up with Knox, who already had chips on her shoulders about him but went through this charade. Soon, they were back to whacking one another.

    24. Click here for Seeds Of Betrayal: Sollecito Twice More Implies Evidence Against Knox Much Stronger Than Against Him

    Sollecito sustains this steady drum-beat of putting Knox down, highlighting the evidence against her, repeatedly saying he stuck with her despite no evidence against him (no deal helping RS was ever offered).

    25. Click here for Seeds Of Betrayal: In Interview Knox Reveals To Italy Her Considerable Irritation With Sollecito

    Knox does an extended interview with Oggi (for which she and Oggi are being charged) lying about officials and the evidence, but also uttering her angriest blast yet against Sollecito.

    8. The Year 2014

    26. Click here for Rejected Yet Again By Knox, Sollecito Seems Frantic To Avoid What Might Be A Final Return To Italy

    Sollecito (like Sforza) was desperately looking for someone to marry him, to keep him in the US. Kelsey Kay was briefly interested, but he dumped her; he had told her Knox had recently turned him down.

    27. Click here for What We Might Read Into Sollecito Lawyer Giulia Bongiornos Final Arguments To The Appeal Judges

    Bongiorno shows contempt for Knox; she effectively conveys the sense of the RS family that a crazed Knox dragged RS into this. She see the RS book as a pro-Knox con job by her team.

    28. Click here for As Knox & Sollecito Try To Separate Themselves, Each Is Digging The Other In Deeper

    Sollecito is clearly trying to distance himself from Knox now, claiming that there is far more evidence against her than against him. Knox’s irritation with him is growing.

    29. Click here forSollecito Suddenly Remembers He Wasnt There But Cannot Speak For Knox Who (As She Said) Went Out

    Members of Sollecito’s family are believed to be taking their anger at Knox to Twitter and making numerous taunts while emphasizing how they believe Sollecito was dropped in it by Knox and is less to blame.

    30. Click here for Spitting In the Wind: Sollecito News Conference Backfires On Him AND Knox - What The Media Missed

    Really irritated at the US-written RS book, Bongiorno goes a long way to separating the two perps in the minds of Italians; however RS hedges a little though, after having said the evidence points only to Knox.

    Knox As Present Big Loser; Where Next For Her?

    These are not all of our posts which include talk of this pushing and pulling, and it happened so frequently that often we simply passed on posting for fear of monotony.

    The war by other means continues on Twitter and briefly it hit the crazy-for-Knox Ground Report website. Much damage to Knox is already done, and Italians adamantly want her in prison.

    Even in the US the media have cooled on Knox, and as her dwindling supporters become wilder and wilder they too do harm to her paid-for nice-girl image.

    A brighter family and paid team would now be saying “It is time for a Plan B and doing something to warm up Italy”. 



    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    Crazed Overkill Of Knox PR Causes Not Only A Sollecito-Camp Reaction But Hurt To Knox Herself

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    Seattle, generally such a huge plus in the world, embarrased by the river of slime

    Act 1. Hubris Of The Knox Public Relations Described

    A long report on Marriott’s PR appeared late in 2011 after Knox was provisionally released.

    David Marriott never visited Amanda Knox during her four years in an Italian prison.  He met her this month, when she stepped off a plane in Seattle.

    Yet for Knox and her family, Marriott was as important a player in her ordeal as anyone in the courtroom. As Knox’s publicist, beginning three days after her arrest, Marriott worked to convince the international public that she did not murder her British roommate while studying in Perugia.

    “Hiring him was one of the smartest things we ever did,” said Curt Knox, Amanda’s father.

    The article goes on to describe how family and friends were pushed into the limelight and specific big TV networks targeted.  It talks about great financial opportunities for Knox.

    Marriott himself demonstrates no understanding of the case - in fact. he sounds proud of his ignorance and his reflexively anti-Italy stance. To a smarter Curt Knox those might have been red flags.

    Act 2: Brutal Overkill Of A Flailing Campaign Described

    In October 2013 our main poster Media Watcher laid the blame for the slow-moving Knox media cooling at David Marriott’s door.

    Now The Examiner is only one of many preparing to take another retaliatory whack.

    Public relations is perfectly understandable for celebrities, politicians, or executives, but murder suspects too? At first this aggressive proliferation of pro-Knox articles, tweets and commentary were justified as a defense against the European media’s negative portrayal of her. However, as time wore on, the overpowering presence of Knox’s media campaign has reached outlandish proportions.

    Nowadays no blogger is safe to write a factual article about the Meredith Kercher Murder Case without contemptuous comments filling up their Disqus community. Patient webmasters at CNN.com must brace themselves for the onslaught of tens of thousands of interjections cluttering up each and every news article concerning the Meredith Kercher cum Amanda Knox murder case. Mob mentality seems to have taken over Knox’s PR initiative. Knox’s advocates have gone so far as to aim their crosshairs on the victim’s family.

    The article, very well researched so far as it goes (it omits the third act below) goes on to describe how Sollecito’s camp has had to open a PR front to unchain Sollecito from Knox. 

    Act 3: How Knox Herself Is Losing Big Described

    Know your enemy. Dont go about attacking the king unless you can kill him dead. Italy’s Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote about it in The Prince:

    If one is striking out at an opponent, one should make sure that the fatal blow is struck, successfully ending the confrontation. Machiavelli wrote that “the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.”

    Wise words for Marriott and Curt Knox. They have remained steadfastly ignorant of the enemy. The attack has clearly failed. Wall-to-wall Italy now has the upper hand. And the PR is a millstone around Knox’s neck.

    Here are seven of the ways the Knox-Marriott campaign has fallen short and has actually done real harm.

      1) The real case for conviction remains rock-solid with many times the number of evidence points that a US or UK court would require for guilt.

      2) No paper trail helpful to Knox exists between the American Embassy and the State Department, and the extradition agreement is precise and firm. 

      3)  Knox’s bedrock claim, that she was pressured into a false accusation, not only cost her three years for calunnia but will cost her a defamation trial.

      4) The defamatory Knox book that was the windfall David Marriott so jubilantly talks about is turning into an albatross around Knox’s neck.

      5) The bloodmoney windfall will not remain Knox’s to keep, under Italian and American laws, and even Marriott’s fees could be at risk.

      6) The PR is being unresponsive to ANY damaging claims, such as Knox’s attempted framing of Mignini, and its output is increasingly surreal junk.

      7) The PR is making the Sollecito camp hostile, Italian media too; at the same time, since the failed appeal, the US media have chilled.

    And so we see the slow death of a campaign built on xenophobia, racism, personal abuse, zero understanding of the details of the case, and zero understanding of the real Italy and its law.

    Italy is actually rather a sucker for confession and penitence. Against a famously impervious justice system, the hard line was a terrible, terrible mistake.

    Coming soon? “Firing him was one of the smartest things we ever did” says Curt Knox.


    Below: From the Examiner, David Marriott and Seattle TV reporter Linda Byron

    Posted on 07/16/14 at 02:32 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those officially involvedPublic evidenceThe wider contextsItalian contextAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoKnox-Mellas teamSollecito teamKnox alibis hoaxSollecito's alibis
    Permalink for this postTell-a-FriendCase WikiPMF Org ForumPMF Net ForumComments here (19)

    Sunday, July 06, 2014

    Spitting In the Wind: Sollecito News Conference Backfires On Him AND Knox - What The Media Missed

    Posted by SomeAlibi



    Raffaele looks for divine inspiration? Precious little showing at press conference on Tuesday

    What on earth were they thinking?

    At Tuesday morning’s press conference Raffaele Sollecito’s team did at least two completely inexplicable things.

    Firstly, they scored a spectacular own-goal on the facts surrounding the murder of Meredith Kercher, which has been missed by the press.

    Secondly, they did it all for no legal benefit.

    In the run up to the press conference it was widely trailed that Sollecito would throw Amanda under the bus by removing her alibi - that she spent the whole of the night of the 1st of November with him at his apartment. After the press conference, it was widely reported he’d done that very thing.

    Wrong. Very wrong. In fact, Team Sollecito did the opposite and put a position forward entirely consistent with how the prosecution says Knox, Sollecito and Guede all come together.

    Speaking in tongues

    There are only a few grains of sand left in the hourglass before Cassation and confirmation of the sentence, which will see Sollecito return to jail until he is well into his forties. You would have thought that it would be “absurd” for him to do anything other than speak clearly and unequivocally.

    But that is precisely what didn’t happen…

    Sollecito and lead counsel Giulia Bongiorno performed a bizarre tip-toe dance, avoiding saying anything clear or direct. Instead, they made points by reference and allusion, with an unhealthy assortment of metaphorical nods, winks, heavy coughs and adjustments of the lapels at key points.

    Did Raffaele say that Amanda left his apartment in the early evening? No. As Bongiorno tortuously phrased it: “Raffaele takes note of the fact the court of appeal found there was something of a lie over Amanda’s whereabouts… of the fact the court [says] she was not with him in the early evening”.

    Takes note? What on earth was that all about? Well, the sentence mangling was because at the final Cassation hearing next year, no fresh facts can be heard. The only arguments that can be heard are on failure of due process or failure of logic and reasoning as pmf.org Italian legal expert Popper explains extremely clearly here:

    I think we should clarify a number of points after discussions of past few days:

    1) Corte di Cassazione does not hear evidence and can only discuss the possible invalidation of a sentence or part of it ref the points appealed, not other points. Corte di Cassazione does not hear defendants or private parties. In public hearings only a specific category of lawyers (Cassazionisti) can speak before them

    2) Corte di Cassazione therefore cannot take into account evidence now given spontaneously by the defendant RS directed against AK (eg open door of Filomena) as in Court he has never accepted cross-interrogation of AK’s lawyers, except if on some points RS’ lawyers appealed in writing for manifest illogicality of reasoning but what he says now cannot be used. Keep in mind Cassazione cannot discuss the merit of the judgement of Nencini and Massei, only invalidate it if this judgement and reasoning were based on clearly illogical arguments or neglected key evidence

    3) Only if Cassazione invalidated Nencini and remanded to a further appeal a possible renovation of “istruttoria” (evidence discussion) may take place. Otherwise all RS has to say now, even if he confesses she did it and he only helped clean [unlikely IMHO], cannot be taken into account by Corte di Cassazione and would have to be the possible argument for a “revisione del giudicato” (a case in which, after a final judgement, a convicted person claims there is a clear error and brings solid evidence to prove it, it is quite rare only in case of obvious errors. Procedure can be easily denied and IMHO will be denied if he said he just helped clean as Courts have already considered that scenario and rejected it)

    4) any discussion on cocaine was not taken into account to convict (even if true, no evidence they sniffed that night) and will not be taken into account by Corte di Cassazione, in theory will not be taken into account for extradition hearing in US Court as this only verifies there is a conviction and treaty respected. PR is another matter, but I think it is not correct to say that would be added to extradition request and may change legal course. Same goes for garage video.

    5) The press conference of RS was useless, the panel of Corte di Cassazione judges has not even been appointed and, while not illegal, it is completely unusual for a defendant to hold a PC talking about an appeal (RS is not a public figure or administrator). What counts is the appeal document that we have read. The “great” point that AK does not talk about RS in memoriale is too stupid for me to discuss it here. We must conclude this was only publicity for Bongiorno, she knows she is likely to lose and wishes to make it seem it is a close call. She has minimal chances, approximating 0%.

    6) RS has very low chances to succeed, and LG for AK even less, as Corte di Cassazione explained well what they wanted and Nencini gave it to them. Court presided by AN explained who the people concurring with RG in the murder are and gave clear logical explanation for such conclusion. Also, Nencini confirmed first instance, a trial that was perfectly valid for Cassazione after first appeal was invalidated.

    There have been cases of a double iteration at Cassazione eg in very complex terrorism trials, evidence was scarce mostly based on witnesses who wanted to sidetrack other investigations. Here, as Alan Dershowitz said [he does not know much about case but this and a few other points he got absolutely right] all pieces of evidence point exactly in the same direction creating a good case [AD does not know it is overwhelming; maybe he did not read all docs].

    One other thing AD said, most FOA and JREF and IIP tend to forget: Court is the judge, not them, Court has the responsibility to evaluate all evidence and issue a judgement that, as long as explained logically and legally in writing [something a US jury would not be required to do] using all available elements, will stand and be final after Cassazione.


    So, Team Sollecito needed to phrase all of their “points” as things already said by the Appeal Court, which are now facts in law unless overturned due to failure of logic etc.

    From there they must then try and make insinuations about these ‘facts’, all the while dressing it up as if it were procedurally in accordance with the pre-Cassation phase. Even though … and here one should be allowed a Pepto Bismol given all the twisting and turning… as Popper explains, it will have no effect on the outcome whatsoever.

    In the real world, it was quite clear that what Sollecito was actually saying was, “Yes, she did go out in the early part of the evening, even though I’m not personally saying it, those are the Court’s words.”

    He left a massive hanging dot dot dot in place of: ‘Hey everyone - Amanda went off and performed the murder with Guede, not me! No, I haven’t stated the time of her return, because it’s not me talking, it’s the court, but she was out, so figure it out for yourselves…’




    Not with him in the early evening, which is not the night, we are told, that begins around 11:00 pm

    The light at the end of the tunnel has steam billowing underneath it

    Here, Team Sollecito run into a horrendous brick-wall of facts which lays Raffaele and Knox out cold. It’s not hard to work it through, but the world’s weary press are too fatigued by this case to even do some simple “if-then” calculations and draw the appropriate conclusion.

    So, let’s do it for them here…

    • Team Sollecito are saying Knox went out before she sent her SMS reply to boss Patrick Lumumba at 8.35pm. This is in accordance with the case for the prosecution from day dot. They now agree, as the prosecution have always said, that Knox is out of Sollecito’s flat sometime before 8.35pm. (In fact, we know it’s by at least 8.17pm because this is when she received Lumumba’s text to say that she didn’t need to go into work).

    • Team Sollecito then pause and wink to let you do the math(s). If the murder occurred circa 9.30pm by their estimate (which it didn’t, but let’s go with this for a second) and you don’t know when she returned to Sollecito’s for the night, then he couldn’t have done it, because he was at home, but she could.

    Here, the Press stop and report Amanda is under the bus. Thank heavens for that, not a stain on Raffaele’s Warren Beatty white suit and can we all go home now?

    Wrong. In fact, it’s a horrendous own-goal, which ricochets in hard off the testimony of both independent witness Jovana Popovic and Raffaele’s own father Francesco.

    • At 8.40pm, Popovic arrives at the front door of Raffaele’s apartment and testifies that Amanda Knox opens the front door. It has been suggested that Popovic’s self-estimated timing of 8.40pm is wrong, but this rings very hollow indeed. Popovic had done the walk from her late class ending at 8.20pm many times, and knew it took 20 minutes because she lived on the same road – Corso Garibaldi – as Raffaele himself.  Both Massei and Nencini agreed with this too. Ouch.

    • So Knox, who was out previously, is already back, at least 50 minutes before even the putative time of murder put by the defence and a couple of hours plus before the real time.

    • In fact, Raffaele’s father Francesco testified to the Massei court that he was certain that Amanda was with his son when he spoke to him at 8.52pm that night. And this was not contested by the defence. Double ouch.

    So, even if Knox went out in the early evening, she is objectively shown to have been back at the apartment well before 9pm. And, if that is the case, both Knox and Sollecito are 100% back in the frame. And this is even before they are also seen by a third person who corroborates that they were together that night – Antonio Curatolo. Triple ouch.

    Confirming how three became company

    Worse yet, Knox has argued for 7 years that she never left the apartment. If Sollecito now “says” she did, but we know objectively that she is back at least by 8.40pm, it supports the prosecution case.

    This was that Knox left for work and walked to near the cottage, in the area of the basketball court at Piazza Grimana, around where she received the text from Patrick saying not to come to work.

    This is the exact time that Rudy Guede was having a kebab, only a couple of hundred yards away. This provides the opportunity for Knox and Guede to have seen each other. Knox, suddenly at a loose end, makes a plan, which involves asking for Guede’s help.

    What might that help be? Well, the resurfacing story of Knox’s link with a cocaine dealer chimes nicely with the idea that Knox asked Rudy either to supply her or help her get some sort of drugs and that they arranged to meet back up once he had secured them.

    Knox then returns to Raffaele’s to fetch him, is seen by Popovic and her presence acknowledged at 8.52pm by Papa Sollecito and son, before they both head out to connect with Guede back at Piazza Grimana. (Remember, this is where Knox “saw” Patrick Lumumba, when she tried to frame him).

    Guede, as was his wont, managed to get himself invited back to the cottage, perhaps for a shared line. This is consistent with Knox’s prison piece “The Story of Marie Pace”, where there are at least two++ men present in a kitchen in a “party” type atmosphere taking drugs which ends up with a hospitalised victim.

    It’s only one theory and there are others. However, what Team Sollecito managed to do this week was to confirm that Knox left the flat. Objective facts and witness testimony tell us the time by which she had returned.

    And, in that round trip lies the entire timing, location and mechanism for how Guede became involved, which otherwise makes little sense. Now all confirmed by Team Sollecito…




    One of Raffaele Sollecito’s telling grimaces when Amanda Knox’s name is mentioned

    What silence gets you

    So what was the point? Face-saving for Raffaele? Hoping to key up populist support? Fat chance in Italy, where the case has been properly reported.

    An opportunity to allude to a “truth” (the best one he can think of for now – other truths are available) and say that he and his family believe Knox is innocent? Pull the other one Raffaele!

    It is quite clear that several members of the Sollecito clan think that Knox absolutely is guilty and their Raffaele is still too “honourable” to tell the truth. He merely aided the clean-up perhaps. Well in that case, why hasn’t he said exactly when she came back? Was it 11pm? 1am? Was it at 5am when the music starts playing. Why won’t he or you say?

    Or… was it face-saving for Bongiorno, as she faces defeat and seeks to protect her valued public persona?  Well, as much as I’ve tried, I have no idea what they thought they were doing.

    And to be honest with you, I honestly don’t think they were entirely sure, nor did they think through the consequences of the brick wall objectivity of Popovic + Papa Sollecito.

    In the meantime, a family sits in Surrey listening and watching the weasel words and once again is insulted by this “honourable” all-in-white character who knows what “Amanda Marie Knox” did that night, but simply will not say.

    Which of course he could choose to do at any moment, court proceedings or not, the way us normal human beings do it: not making allusion, not tipping a wink, but speaking the truth.

    But he hasn’t and I suspect he won’t, even though it actually would now be the only thing that could mitigate the length of his inevitable prison term.

    And for his acts and that silence he still won’t break - and at least here it is possible to finally speak with certainty - I believe he deserves every one of those 25 years.


    Friday, July 04, 2014

    The Status Of The Various Computers In The Case And Whether Anything Nefarious Happened To Them

    Posted by Sallyoo



    Trial court 2009 on one of several days computer and internet activity was testified to

    1. Computer use as high-stakes evidence

    There have been many arguments about computers during the case.

    They began at the very beginning, and there is even now, in the final appeal by Sollecito to the Court of Cassazione, one remaining somewhat fantastical theory.

    The facts surrounding the computer evidence collected by the prosecution have been obfuscated and contradicted by the defence using exactly the same techniques as have been used about the DNA and other forensic evidence in the case.

    Blind the court (and the public) with hypotheses which very few people can follow, and use this ignorance to spread confusion and doubt.

    Let’s try to shed some light.

    2. Five key computers, plus

    We know that Sollecito is pretty familiar with computers, he had two at the time, a MacBook and an Asus [1],  both portables.[2]  His apartment had a decent broadband connection, supplied, (using the Telecom Italia infrastructure) by Fastweb.

    We know that both of these computers were sequestered from his apartment on the morning of Nov 6 2007, when Sollecito accompanied a squad of policemen despatched to search his apartment.

    We know that the police removed, (on Nov 7), from the house in Via Della Pergola (where there was no telephone nor broadband service) a MacBook belonging to Meredith, a Toshiba belonging to Knox, and a portable computer belonging to Laura Mezzetti.

    The police also took an HP portable from Lumumba’s apartment.

    There is even another computer which the police already had possession of, and that is a Sony portable belonging to Filomena Romanelli. This computer Filomena herself had taken away from her bedroom shortly after the discovery of the murder, and which the questura, in the evening of Nov 2, required her to hand over to them because it formed part of the ‘crime scene’.

    3. The police HD analysis begins

    On Nov 13 a postal police technician (Marco Trotta) received a box containing five computers (two from Sollecito, Knox, Meredith and Lumumba).

    On Nov 15, in the presence of Formenti, (a consultant nominated by the defence) Trotta took them apart (removed the hard disks) and attempted to make copies of the data recorded on them.

    This is the point at which it is alleged the destruction of three hard disks occurred.

    It is difficult to believe that this is the case. Not only because the equipment used had never before (or since) managed to trash a hard disk (and it had no problems with Lumumba’s disk) but also because of the state of Filomena’s computer, which never got anywhere near Trotta.

    All of the computers had of course been in the hands of the squadra mobile for some days before being consigned to Trotta, allowing for the possibility of some earlier interference by some malfeasant policeman.

    This isn’t likely, not only because Trotta insists that the computers were complete and superficially undamaged, and the hard disks factory sealed when he dismantled the computers, but also because of Filomena’s computer.

    4. Filomena’s Sony machine

    It is now time to go a little deeper into the history of Filomena’s Sony.

    This was a fairly new machine, which she kept in a substantial computer carrying case. It was working perfectly on Oct 30 when she last used it. She had left it in her bedroom, the case standing upright beside her bed, when she went off to spend the brief holiday with her boyfriend.

    She found it, still in the carrying case, lying flat in a pile of stuff under the broken window of her disturbed bedroom. [3]

    The defence commissioned a Computer Expert Report, entered during the Massei trial, which talked about the reason for the data being irrecoverable on the three computers’ disks.

    Their conclusion was that the electronic circuitry controlling the hard disks had, in all three cases, suffered damage, most probably due to an electrical overtension. The circuitry had been ‘fried’.

    They were unable to be certain how or when this might have occurred, or to opine on whether it was deliberate.

    Filomena, in the presence of Gregori, (another communications police officer), at the Questura on the evening of Nov 2 attempted to turn on her Sony. It wouldn’t work. The hard disk would not respond properly.

    When she got it back on Dec 18 and gave it to a private computer technician, he said the control circuitry on the hard disk is ‘fried’. Exactly the same fault as had occurred on the other three, which we are expected by th defense to believe was either a deliberate piece of police sabotage, or proof of police incompetence.

    5. The Sollecito computers

    The important computers, of course, are those owned by Sollecito because he is, even now, still trying to force an alibi out of them.

    The MacBook has been accurately interrogated to death, most particularly by a defence expert named Antonio d’Ambrosio who gave very clear testimony at Massei on 26 Sept 2009.

    He was even generous enough to acknowledge that the investigations carried out by the postal police were correct, and well interpreted, and that he was able to uncover a little more information simply because he wasn’t limited by forensic protocols (and could therefore reveal information not visible to the Encase software used by the police) when he examined a copy of the cloned disk from the Mac.

    Basically the only ‘news’ in this interesting testimony was an interaction with the Apple website at 00.58 on Nov 2, which he did consider a human interaction with the computer. 

    6. Activity on the Internet

    Sollecito maintains he spent the whole evening and night in his flat. At first his story was that he was sending e-mails and surfing the web. This was quickly demolished by reference to the IP log supplied by Fastweb, the broadband supplier.

    It’s necessary to get slightly technical here.

    Most of what we call The Internet, and certainly everything which is called The Worldwide Web, including e-mail clients, subscribe to a protocol which (in shorthand) means everything is a Port 80 request.

    The individual computer, via its router, contacts the ISP (Fastweb, in this case) and identifies itself by means of a unique IP address. The ISP then directs the communication to the IP of the website requested.

    This is all recorded on the Fastweb network. It is certain that no Port 80 requests were made from Sollecito’s apartment (whichever computer he may have been using) between 18.00 on Nov 1 and 00.58 on Nov 2. 

    There are parts of the international communications network which don’t use Port 80 protocols. The most ‘innocent’ of these are Peer to Peer (P2P) networks – in widespread use for distributing and downloading music and video files.

    Sollecito certainly availed himself of these services, using a program called Amule on his Mac. He had a folder containing downloaded files, which was accessible to the program, and thus also accessible to anyone in the world who wanted a copy of something which Sollecito had in this shareable folder on his computer.

    If he wished to save the file for posterity, he would move or copy it from this accessible folder into his own archive.

    Video files are large, and they take a long time to download. Clearly, to download a file, or to make your publicly accessible folder available, the computer has to be turned on and connected to a router.

    If you use these file sharing services extensively, it implies that you keep your computer turned on and connected all the time. It seems likely that this was Sollecito’s habit.

    Clearly, you need to automate this sort of transfer – often a large file will be accessed in part from one remote computer, and another part will be located on another remote computer – so you simply instruct Amule to get you a film, or a list of films, and you can walk away from the computer.

    Even D’Ambrosio is unable to be certain that a human interaction occurred at 21.26 on Nov 1, or whether a pre-requested download of Naruto commenced.

    However, no IP addresses are exchanged when connecting to a P2P network, and so it is impossible (from ISP records) to trace any traffic.

    It is possible though, from the hard disk, to discover what has been downloaded and saved to a computer on a P2P network, and exactly when – but to distinguish an automated process from a user instigated one is not possible.

    7. Computers and Hellmann appeal

    Now we move onto the Hellmann appeal, where a report from this same consultant D’Ambrosio was accepted into the case files. I haven’t been able to find this report, and Judge Hellman doesn’t even refer to it in his sentencing report.

    However, the gist of this D’Ambrosio report is included in the current ricorso (appeal) from Sollecito to the Court of Cassazione.

    8. Computers and Cassation appeal

    We hear a bit about screensaver behaviour, and quite a lot about post Nov 1 interactions overwriting earlier actions.

    The major ‘fresh’  theory now depends on asserting (more than four times in the ricorso) that the postal police destroyed Sollecito’s Asus, and that this action has meant that Sollecito’s alibi cannot be proved.

    The lack of any signs of interaction on the Mac can be explained (so we are informed) by the Mac and the Asus being networked together, using a file sharing utility named Samba, and if the (broken) Asus could have been accessed it might have shown that it had been controlling the Mac.

    So the Mac would have been doing things at the command of its owner, but because the owner was interacting with the keyboard of the Asus rather than that of the Mac, these actions are undetectable on the Mac.

    This is what we are now being asked to believe.

    9. Conclusion and way forward

    I think this is an accurate summary of the relevant parts of ‘computer evidence’ discussed, or deposited, during the hearings and in the ricorso.  I look forward to any comments, clarifications, corrections, but above all, to any new theories about how and when the four hard disks got trashed.

    From other sources there are an additional two hints at possible new or ignored evidence:

    The BBC reported, on 14.03.2009, the following sentence. “A second computer belonging to Mr Sollecito also showed no activity but the suspect had himself admitted it had been broken before the crime was committed.”  [4]

    And then we have Sollecito, in his prison diary of 11.11.2007, being rather more than aware that his computer is not going to be useful to him as an alibi.

    I have been very anxious and nervous in the last few days, but to see my father who tells me “do not worry, we will get you out” makes me feel better. My real concerns are now two: the first one derives from the fact that, if that night Amanda remained with me all night long, we could have (and this is a very remote possibility) made love all evening and night only stopping to eat… it would be a real problem [casino] because there would be no connections from my computer to servers in those hours…

    No connections in those hours? Hmmm.

    10. My references

    [1] This computer is sometimes referenced as an Acer. In Trotta’s testimony (he is reading from notes) it is listed as an Asus, so I have used this name. There is only one computer whether it’s an Asus or an Acer.

    [2]  There is a reference to a non portable computer in Sollecito’s apartment (in the testimony of Popovic). This is the only mention of any non-portable (i.e. desktop or tower cased machine with separate monitor).  Given the position from which Popovic saw the screen (on a desk, with Knox sitting in front of it) it seems likely that she was mistaken.

    [3]  Amanda Knox frequently refers to seeing Filomena’s computer on her desk after the ‘break in’. At one point in her testimony she changes her mind and corrects herself to change the computer to camera.

    [4]  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7943828.stm I have not found another source for this comment.

    Posted on 07/04/14 at 06:48 PM by Sallyoo. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those officially involvedPublic evidenceThe computersTrials 2008 & 2009The Massei ReportRaff SollecitoKnox alibis hoaxSollecito's alibisSollecito book hoaxes
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    Wednesday, July 02, 2014

    A Mistake Or Lie By Bongiorno On The Location Where Knox Texted Doesnt Let RS Off The Hook

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    1. Bongiorno’s Claim About Knox’s Location

    Giulia Bongiorno claimed yesterday that Amanda Knox texted Patrick while she was away from Sollecito’s house.

    Untrue.

    Mobile-phone-tower records show that Knox’s phone received Patrick’s incoming text telling her not to come to work when she was already somewhere on the route to his bar in Via Alessi.

    Knox apparently then turned around and went back to Sollecito’s house, because mobile-phone-tower records show Knox texted back, responding to Patrick, from Sollecito’s house in Corso Garibaldi at 8:35.

    They both claim this in their books - Sollecito himself claims it too.  Those books are pretty suspect throughout, but for once they both tell the same truth.

    Some five minutes later, Knox and Ms Popovic met at Sollecito’s house so Knox was still there then. That is still three to four hours away from the best estimate of Meredith’s death.

    So the time-period prior to 8:35 pm when Knox texted from Sollecito’s flat was the only time-period when there is hard proof that Knox and Sollecito were ever apart that night. In her unforced statements on 5-6 November Knox did claim she went out alone to see Patrick, but we have only her word she was alone.

    It seems Bongiorno made a serious mistake or lied - and Sollecito sat beside her happily nodding his okay.

    2. The Narrative From Judge Massei’s Report

    − 20:18:12: Amanda receives the SMS sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, which let her off from having to go to work at the ‚Le Chic‛ pub on the evening of 1 November. At the time of reception the phone connected to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, whose signal does not reach Raffaele Sollecito’s house. The young woman was therefore far [i.e. absent] from Corso Garibaldi 30 when the SMS reached her, as she was walking in an area which was shown to be served by the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell. This point of her route could correspond to Via U. Rocchi, to Piazza Cavallotti, to Piazza IV Novembre, bearing in mind that Lumumba’s pub is located in Via Alessi, and that Amanda Knox would have had to travel along the above-mentioned roads and the piazza in order to reach the pub

    − 20.35.48 Amanda sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723; the message was sent when the young woman’s mobile phone was in Corso Garibaldi 30 or in the immediate neighbourhood. The cell used, in fact, was that of Via Berardi sector 7.


    3. The Narrative From Judge Nencini’s Report

    At 20.18 and 12 seconds, Amanda Marie Knox received a text message sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, in which he informed her that it would not be necessary for her to go to the bar to carry out her usual work. At the time of receipt, Amanda Marie Knox’s handset connected via the sector 3 mast at Torre dell’Acquedotto, 5 dell’Aquila, as shown by phone records entered in evidence. This mast cannot be reached from the vicinity of 130 Via Garibaldi, the home of Raffaele Sollecito. According to the findings of the judicial police entered in evidence, this mast could be reached by anyone in Via Rocchi, piazza Cavallotti or piazza 4 Novembre, all locations in Perugia which are intermediate between 130 Via Garibaldi, the home of Raffaele Sollecito, and Via Alessi, where the “Le Chic” bar is located.

    From this set of facts established in the case, Amanda Marie Knox’s claim, according to which she received Patrick Lumumba’s text message while she was at 130 Via Garibaldi, appears false. Given the mast connected to and the time, it is reasonable to assume that, when Amanda received the message, she had already left Raffaele Sollecito’s home and was on her way to the “Le Chic” bar. Presumably, she then turned around and went back.

    Here, then, is the first crack in the account of the young woman who, in her narrative, claims never to have left the house at 130 Via Garibaldi from the moment of her entrance into the house in the afternoon of 1 November 2007, together with Raffaele Sollecito. There is oral evidence (the deposition of Popovic) and evidence obtained through phone records that, at around 18:00 on 1 November 2007, Amanda and Raffaele were at the home of the latter. Later, at precisely 20:35 and 48 seconds, when Amanda Marie Knox sent a text message to Patrick Lumumba, connecting to a mast serving 130 Via Garibaldi, both were once again [118]together at Raffaele Sollecito’s home. This fact is confirmed by Popovic, who went there to cancel that evening’s appointment with Raffaele. In fact, the witness reported that she had visited Raffaele’s home at around 20:40 in the evening.

    In essence, it can be established with certainty that Amanda and Raffaele were apart, albeit for a limited period of time, on the evening of 1 November 2007, contrary to what is stated repeatedly in multiple statements made by Amanda Marie Knox.

    Posted on 07/02/14 at 12:30 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those officially involvedThe defensesAppeals 2009-2015Cassation 2013The wider contextsItalian contextAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoSollecito team
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    Amanda Knox Left Sollecito’s House By Herself? Both Claimed It But Neither Of Their Books Back It Up

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    1. Current Contexts Of Sollecito’s And Knox’s Books

    Neither book is exactly riddled with truths.

    The claims throughout Sollecito’s book are soon to be the subject of a trial in Florence and the claims throughout Knox’s book are soon to be the subject of a trial in Bergamo. So both will need to endorse or reject what they wrote.

    Plus Knox will need to endorse or reject this, from the first unforced statement she insisted on making without a lawyer on 6 November 2007. This is what Sollecito is gleefully using against her now.

    Last Thursday, November 1, a day on which I normally work, while I was at the house of my boyfriend Raffaele, at around 8:30 pm, I received a message on my cellular phone from Patrik, who told me that the premises would remain closed that evening, because there were no customers, and thus I would not need to go to work.

    I responded to the message by telling him that we would see each other at once; I then left the house, telling my boyfriend that I had to go to work. In view of the fact that during the afternoon I had smoked a joint, I felt confused, since I do not frequently make use of mind-altering substances, nor of heavier substances.

    I met Patrik immediately afterward, at the basketball court on Piazza Grimana, and together we went [to my] home.


    2. From Sollecito’s Honor Bound (Simon & Schuster 2012)

    Amanda and I smoked a joint before leaving the house on Via della Pergola, wandered into town for some shopping before remembering we had enough for dinner already, and headed back to my place. Shortly before six, a Serbian friend of mine named Jovana Popovic rang the doorbell and asked if I’d mind driving her to the bus station at midnight to pick up a suitcase her mother was sending. I said that would be fine. When she left, Amanda and I sat down at the computer to watch a favorite movie, Amélie.

    We had to stop the film a few times as the evening wore on. First, Amanda got a text from Patrick telling her it was a slow night because of the holiday and he didn’t need her to come in after all. It was like getting an unexpected snow day—we were thrilled. Amanda texted back: Certo ci vediamo più tardi buona serata! Sure. See you later. Have a good evening.

    Then my father called. He and Mara had just seen the Will Smith movie The Pursuit of Happyness, and he told me how beautifully it portrayed the relationship between a father and his son. My father was always making phone calls like this. It was sweet that he wanted to share his experiences, but he also made everything he said sound vaguely like an order, as if laying out the parameters of how I should react to things before I’d had a chance to form my own opinion. But he never stayed on the line for long—he is too nervy and impatient—so I listened calmly and the call was over in less than four minutes.

    In the meantime, Jovana dropped by again and told Amanda that I didn’t need to drive her to the bus station after all. Now we didn’t have to leave the apartment. The evening was ours, and we couldn’t have been happier. We switched off our cell phones, finished watching Amélie, and discussed what to make for dinner…

    When Amélie ended, I went into the kitchen to take care of some dishes left over from breakfast before we started making dinner. I soon realized that water was leaking out of the pipe under the sink, and I cursed under my breath. I’d had a plumber come and fix the sink just a week earlier, and he had made me buy all sorts of replacement parts that clearly were not put together properly. I suspected he had left them loose on purpose to force me to pay for another visit. As Amanda and I threw kitchen towels onto the puddle on the tile floor, I decided I was going to let my landlady deal with it from now on.

    “Don’t you have a mop?” Amanda asked. I did not. She offered to pick one up from Via della Pergola the next morning and bring it round.

    We cooked a fish dinner, did our best to wash the dishes again, and tumbled gratefully into bed in each other’s arms. Only later, when I lay in the dark, unable to sleep, did it dawn on me that Papà had broken his usual habit of calling to wish me good night.

    It turned out he did so out of consideration. He had been about to pick up the phone when my stepmother talked him out of it. “Stop bothering him,” Mara said, as they got ready for bed around eleven o’clock. “He’s with Amanda, and they want to be alone. Why don’t you send a text instead?”

    My father took her advice, but because my cell phone was turned off, I didn’t receive the message until six the next morning.

    It was a desperately unlucky combination of circumstances. If my father had tried my cell and then called me on the home line—which he would have done, because he’s persistent that way—I would have had incontrovertible proof from the phone records that I was home that night. And the nightmare that was about to engulf me might never have begun.

    My father called my landline a little before nine thirty the next morning to make sure we would be ready for our day trip to Gubbio. I was too groggy to talk. I’d been up several times in the night—listening to music, answering e-mail, making love—and wanted only to go back to sleep. Amanda got out of bed and said she was going home to shower and change her clothes, so I walked her to the front door, gave her a kiss, and crawled back under the covers.


    3. From Knox’s Waiting To Be Heard (HarperCollins 2013)

    Raffaele and I were good at being low-key together. We chilled out in the common room and smoked a joint while I played Beatles songs on the guitar for an hour or so. Sometime between 4 P.M. and 5 P.M., we left to go to his place. We wanted a quiet, cozy night in. As we walked along, I was telling Raffaele that Amélie was my all-time favorite movie.

    “Really?” he asked. “I’ve never seen it.”

    “Oh my God,” I said, unbelieving. “You have to see it right this second! You’ll love it!”

    Not long after we got back to Raffaele’s, his doorbell rang. It was a friend of his whom I’d never met—a pretty, put-together medical student named Jovanna Popovic, who spoke Italian so quickly I couldn’t understand her. She’d come to ask Raffaele for a favor. Her mother was putting a suitcase on a bus for her and she wondered if he could drive her to the station at midnight to pick it up.

    “Sure,” Raffaele said.

    As soon as she left, we downloaded the movie on his computer and sat on his bed to watch it. Around 8:30 P.M. I suddenly remembered that it was Thursday, one of my regular workdays. Quickly checking my phone, I saw that Patrick had sent me a text telling me I didn’t have to come in. Since it was a holiday, he thought it would be a slow night.

    “Okay,” I texted back. “Ci vediamo più tardi buona serata!”—“See you later. Have a good evening!” Then I turned off my phone, just in case he changed his mind and wanted me to come in after all. I was so excited to have the night off that I jumped on top of Raffaele, cheering, “Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!”

    Our good mood was only elevated when the doorbell rang again at 8:45 P.M: Jovanna had come back, this time to say that the suitcase hadn’t made the bus and that she didn’t need a ride after all. With no more obligations, we had the whole rest of the night just to be with each other and chill out.

    After the movie ended, around 9:15 P.M., we sautéed a piece of fish and made a simple salad. We were washing the dishes when we realized that the kitchen sink was leaking. Raffaele, who’d already had a plumber come once, was frustrated and frantically tried to mop up a lot of water with a little rag. He ended up leaving a puddle.

    “I’ll bring the mop over from our house tomorrow. No big deal,” I said.

    Raffaele sat down at his desk and rolled a joint, and I climbed into his lap to read aloud to him from another Harry Potter book, this one in German. I translated the parts he didn’t understand, as best I could, into Italian or English while we smoked and giggled.

    Later, when we were in bed, our conversation wound its way to his mother. His dad had divorced her years before, but she’d never gotten over the break. In 2005 she had died suddenly. “Some ¬people suspect she killed herself, but I’m positive she didn’t,” Raffaele said. “She would never do that. She had a bad heart, and it just gave out. It was horrible for me—¬we were really close—¬and I miss her all the time.”

    I felt terrible for him, but it was hard for me to relate. The only person I knew who had died was my grandfather, when I was sixteen. I felt sad when my mom told me, but my grandfather had been old and sick, and we had expected his death for a few weeks.

    I’m sure Mom and Oma must have cried, but my strongest memory is sitting around the dining room table telling funny stories about Opa. My grandmother’s message—that grieving was something you did in private; that you didn’t make public displays and you kept on moving forward—had remained with me.

    Hearing the pain in Raffaele’s voice, I hurt for him. Nestling my head on his chest, I tried to be comforting.

    As we started kissing, Raffaele gave me a hickey on my neck. We undressed the rest of the way, had sex, and fell asleep.

    We’d known each other for exactly one week and had settled so quickly into an easy routine that one night seemed to melt happily and indistinguishably into the one that came after.

    We planned to break our routine the next day, All Souls’ Day, by taking a long drive into the countryside, to the neighboring town of Gubbio. The November 2 holiday wasn’t usually observed with as much fanfare as All Saints’ Day, but since it fell on a Friday in 2007, a lot of people, including us, were turning it into a four-day weekend. I thought, Italians having a good time again. And I couldn’t wait.

     


    Monday, June 30, 2014

    Apart From Cassation’s Unyielding Mandate, More Problems With The Belated Sollecito/Bongiorno U-Turn

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    1. The Appeal’s Grounds For Separation

    That bizarre infatuation of Bongiorno’s with Knox as Jessica Rabbit is clearly long-gone.

    Now the poor boy was home alone and the absent Miss Rabbit had reason and opportunity. Tiziano posted these ten translated points from the new Sollecito appeal to Cassation, which seems to have the highly nervous Knox camp’s tongues tied.

    Among the numerous flaws the proceedings appealed against present, the one linked to the claimed impossibility of differentiating between the two accused stands out.

    On this point the Appeal Court denied any in-depth analysis at all of the individual roles - an investigation urged by the defence - avoiding taking any position about alternative constructive hypotheses.

    10 points are enumerated by the defence in this regard:

    - AK’s memorial referring to events at via della Pergola was in the singular

    - AK reported receiving SMS not to go to work from Lumumba, but went out just the same

    - AK admitted having lied to RS

    - RS did not calumny anyone: the accusation against PL was never confirmed by RS

    - AK in her memorial positioned only herself at the crime scene at the time of the scream

    - only AK’s blood was on the knife blade

    - no mixed traces RS/MK were found and highlighted by luminol in the house

    - Quintavalle claimed to have seen AK the morning of November 2nd, not RS

    - RS did not know RG and had no reason for wanting MK’s death

    - the alleged bad relations and the question of disappearance of money regarded only MK and AK


    2, Popper Explains Why They Will Go Nowhere

    Popper the highly informed Italian commenter on TJMK and PMF has explained on a previous post why this will fall on deaf ears in Cassation.

    if RS said something he has not said before it would make no difference now. No more evidence can be admitted at the trial.

    Fase istruttoria is over as judgement of merit.  Cassazione can only respond on points appealed and they must be points of law otherwise they are not admissible. Defendants do not talk in hearing.

    Once they are convicted, for example, if he had new information on the case and new evidence that proved (in a convincing way) he is not guilty, he could ask for revisione, basically a review of the trial.

    He clearly has nothing to say though ... if he said she went out, judges knew that already. If he said that night he was in Milan and could prove it conclusively, that could trigger a review of a final sentence.

    We are clearly talking in theory, no such thing will happen.


    3. Could The 10 Points Have Worked Previously?

    If Judge Nencini was still in the saddle could the ten points have had merit?

    Our continuing Interrogation Hoax series has been hammering on the fact that on 5-6 November 2007 quite unpressured Knox herself did state that she went out alone without Sollecito on the night Meredith was murdered. 

    But these ten cherrypicked points above and a claim that RS was not even at Meredith’s house that night are self-destroying over-reach. They would not have caused a win or partial win for Sollecito. Not one of them stands up as a get-out-of-jail-free card upon close readings of the reports of Judge Massei and Judge Nencini.

    The lower courts did NOT deny analysis of the individual roles - the two themselves opted to be tried together, while Rudy Guede, fearing two snakes, chose to be tried separately.

    WHEN did the defense urge investigation of their differing roles? What did the Massei trial court miss? It had many months of the sight of Sollecito - sitting there sulky, saying little, not taking the stand. Yes, not assisting Jessica Rabbit with an alibi, but that was not so obvious.

    The wounds on Meredith and the evidence points in Meredith’s room point overwhelmingly to three attackers. They prove the use of two knives from opposite sides. It was Sollecito’s knife that was used for the fatal blow; that remains unshaken - actually, more confirmed by the Carabinieri.

    See Ergon on the implacable knife evidence. Sollecito was the knife fetishist, and the one who was already into the cocaine or crystal meth that Knox was probably on judging by her telling smell the next day, her bizarre behaviors through the week following, and her odd money trail.

    See the implacable evidence against him on the bathmat by SomeAlibi and Yummi.  That footprint had to have been imprinted within a few minutes of the end of the attack on Meredith.

    After the hijacked Hellmann appeal in 2011 Sollecito was deeply craven to Knox and her family and entourage on the US west coast. Craven to the extent that his own family (which despises the Knox-Mellases and blames Knox for his predicament and their lost name and enormous expenses) once hurriedly hopped on an aircraft to Seattle to enforce their separation.

    Sollecito’s hapless book-agent Sharlene Martin and shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel both live on the West Coast and Knox’s radioactive FOA obviously provided most of the malicious fantasy that constitutes his defamatory book.

    Playing chicken with the Italian justice system is notoriously suicidal. The crazy aggression of the Prestons, Fischers and Moores did not help Sollecito at all at the Nencini appeal (though it helped Knox even less - she got handed the longer sentence.)

    The gods-in-their-own-minds in the FOA got Sollecito no US job and no US viza. The email to Judge Nencini and the appeal to ECHR and the promised fight against extradition for Knox are to him merely insults, and attempts to separate Knox off.

    So, back in Italy, he is confused, let-down, disgruntled, and loaded for bear. Knox was the loose canon in 2007, Sollecito is the loose canon now.

    Here is a key exchange between our main posters SeekingUnderstanding and Hopeful from previous threads.

    4. Take On RS Now By SeekingUnderstanding

    [t does seem so very sad and frustrating that Raphaele did not open the window of opportunity, as Judge Nencini tried to nudge him to do, just before Christmas.

    He is less easy to read than Ms. Knox , for a number of reasons - more introverted, less articulate (certainly in English; but he also doesn’t seem expressive in his own language), and because of the psychology itself.

    You may remember I suggested AK finds it unbearable to acknowledge her darker side, to own her projections; unbearable to be thought of as ‘a monster’, to be unlovable, or indeed hated by people. This may be a strong component in her lying.

    I believe Raphaele also finds things unbearable, but whereas Amanda appears to turn this unbearable feeling into lashing out to others, - I think in Raphaele, he finds himself and ‘what has happened to him’ (passive aggression) unbearable. His judgement has not only been poor, but catastrophically poor, - and he must know this. One wonders why the self-destruct.

    He knows his life is ruined, and he knows his appalling judgement was instrumental. He truly doesn’t have confidence in himself, but bluffs anyway. His ‘ex’, by contrast,has too much. If only she could have self-doubt, and feel shame.

    He is not unintelligent, by no means, yet his choices and decisions at times have seemed near idiotically stupid. So there must be something else going on, something deep in his psyche that causes such confusion in his mental and emotional universe.

    He seems unable to organize his emotions. He appears to want or expect or need a woman to ‘sort them out’ (sort him out). His relationship with his mother would probably reveal the source of this. How did she manage her emotions? Or did they rule her? . These are the sort of questions I might be asking. He seems overwhelmed, swallowed up by the juggernaut that AK set in motion.

    Was his mother easily overwhelmed by life’s problems? Something has gone wrong (drastically) with a healthy model for his ‘anima’.

    Where Amanda is the arch manipulator, he is highly manipulable. He seems to copy. Like her, his self-identity is weak, but for different reasons. Drug use, I would suggest, has been both crucial and disastrous for his mind. From this point of view, prison will be a constructive environment for him, (as AK too). Perhaps without the distorting and illusory aspects of drugs he might begin, over many years, to experience true spiritual (and therefore moral) issues.

    I always think drugs give a delusion of spiritual experience (‘the highs’),  - wanting them can be (for an introvert) indicative of longing for something more spiritual, but using them will actually prevent such an experience, emphatically.

    So then there is bitterness and emptiness, as well as despair and, still, confusion. Thus the addiction which starts as a cycle in the mind.

    I knew a psychologist who worked with highly motivated and successful people in the Arts - people who would have burn out, creativity, and performance issues. He was extremely clever. But he was adamant that there had to be a hierarchy for dealing with problems.

    That is to say, if someone was using drugs and/or alcohol to the point of misuse (extremely common in the performing arts), - this problem had to be mastered and dealt with FIRST, before anything else could even be addressed. This may seem irrelevant (as Sollecito hasn’t shown he is creative), - but I would
    say the signs are that his past (and current?) drug use needs to be sorted before anything else can possibly be.

    Such a destructive shame that this has all dragged on for 7years.

    I don’t think he has any idea as to how to give a ‘press conference’ - even supposing , by a miracle, he was going to tell the unadulterated truth. He is way out of his depth. I doubt he has sufficient communication skills in his own language, let alone In English for the American media.


    5. And The Take Of Hopeful On RS Now

    As he is back in the spotlight for the July 1 press conference, your observations about him are timely. He does seem more introverted than Knox, and less articulate. Correct me if I misinterpret what you said about him, that rather than lash out at others aggressively like Knox does to disperse and blame others for her awful feelings about her dark side, Sollecito does the opposite and feels the weight of shame but turns the unbearable feelings inward. He is poster child for passive-aggressive.

    I also believe he does have a sense of deep loyalty and faithfulness to his family, since his father has never abandoned him nor did his mother. He has misplaced loyalties at times, and combines a stubborn streak with false sense of need to persevere after he has made wrong steps.

    This comment is mainly a review of what you conclude about Raf, but bears repeating. He is ashamed of his “catastrophically bad judgment.” I agree, his pride is wounded, his vanity more than his love for Knox.

    I believe Raffaele sincerely regrets what he realizes he has done to his own family, but still can’t quite confess it. Maybe part of him is sorry but part of him is secretly glad he is controlling his father’s destiny, in punitive action for divorcing his mother. He also sent his sister’s career down the cliff. His sister is really to blame for that so with true passive-aggressive deceptiveness he can hide his responsibility for it while causing it.

    His wanky emotions have made a trainwreck of his intelligence and caused him to do “idiotically stupid” things and self-destruct.

    His drug use to relieve inner confusion caused by lack of self-identity is a coping method that does more harm than good. His patience is more of a drug stupor that makes him slow to act, than real gritted teeth patience, which may be why we’ve waited this long (6 years) for him to reveal the truth about Knox.

    He stayed in a cloud of marijuana until she came along. She liked the drugs, too. He allowed her to set the course of his life because he needed or wanted a woman to sort out his emotions. Maybe he was competing with dad with a new hot blondie, too. He didn’t fathom that Knox would become so extreme and so terrifying.

    He underestimated Knox, and she saw she could manipulate and destroy him with one hand tied behind her back. She reveled in the besotted weakling, and she felt superiority over Guede too, and soon despised them both. She wouldn’t fall into some darkened room or quiet void of depression like Raffaele’s mom had done giving up on life. The insulated quiet Italian boy raised scrupulously did not see that with Knox he would be “swallowed up in the juggernaut AK set in motion”. He wanted her power and excited vision, but he couldn’t understand her mental illness that went with it. Love is blind.

    As long as he could blame her and not himself maybe he was OK with it, especially with drugs to dull the pain, until he felt the full impact of her punishment and years later her treachery. Finally he grew a brain and saw it was Knox who betrayed him, not vice versa. Maybe the press conference is to set that straight.

    His drug use got him through much of his first year of prison when he lost all sense of time and space. He was a basketcase. He probably used meds his last 3 years behind bars as well. Perhaps Dr. Sollecito saw that his son got legal prescriptions for him, maybe even purchasing prison favors that way, who knows?

    Maybe Knox scoffed at Raf’s crutch, and she continued to compete with him behind bars. She scoffed at her mom for taking antidepressants. Knox had no room to talk as she herself was reportedly a massive drug user at UW and in Italy found a job where liquor flowed.

    Has Raf continued the drug use? Does Greta his new girlfriend use drugs? Or has he sworn them off motivated by anger and determination to clear his head for his legal fight?

    The concept of “anima” is unknown to me, although the term is familiar. I will research it online, thank you. Your insights are always valuable, thank you for sharing them. Thanks for educating us in the short comment format which can’t do justice to your full knowledge of the subject, but does shed a lot of light and points the way.


    Raffaele’s mother and her sad demise seem to be at the root of her son’s depression. Raf has lack of confidence and the need to bluff where he feels no real power. He and Knox are still learning tricks from each other.

    I think Knox may have been a father-figure to him in a twisted way, because Amanda is energetic and adventurous and for a short while in Perugia seemed to have it all together and be a hard worker like his dad. Raf met Knox at the peak of her exhileration with her new life in Italy. Like a drug high, it might not have lasted. He was completely deceived.

    He may have felt he could never compete with his older sister who might have seemed to him like Amanda and his dad: energetic, capable, feet on ground. This is probably what Raf needs in his life.

    Raf commented on Knox living life as if in a dream, there was no reality in her mind, she lived only for pleasure. Maybe he did not like this side of her. This was his wakeup call and he spoke about it openly because it was something he didn’t like, having thought at first glance she was a strong American. He didn’t know whether to attribute her odd mental impracticality to her nationality, her genetics, her femaleness, or her unknown religious upbringing. He had no clue, and maybe it even made him feel stronger and more grounded by comparison since he had formerly thought of himself as a tetherless dreamer but he didn’t want another spaced out confused dreamer like himself for a partner and was having second thoughts. He preferred her rough kick-butt side. She was the brother he never had, a wild West type, a cowboy to climb trees with and roam the range, the key to a new country after his launch to Munich didn’t work out.

    In early childhood Raf maybe got labeled or saw himself as “slow” or “dumb” and began to live a self-fulfilling prophecy. He might have felt misunderstood knowing that he did have a lot of intelligence, but that he did not have the same personality as his dad or sis, and not wanting to be equated with his pushed aside mom. He must have felt very alone.

    He also may be carrying a lot of shame about his MPD Psycho habit and his secret fantasy life of violence.

    Raffaele may have been turned off yet partly tantalized by his father’s profession. A doctor sees a lot of blood and gruesome things with the body.

    Raffaele may hero worship a father who can face such grotesque things without wincing, and a sister who had power with the police and saw crime victims.

    You mention the Arts and a psychologist who treated performers with burnout and creative types who needed help or a life coach. Maybe Raffaele does see himself as more that artsy type of person, someone wanting to create computer games, sci-fi fantasy, or be an “Experience Teller”. He did write a book, so maybe he does fall into the category of artistic temperament, which often needs a guide or an infusion of stiffened backbone to face the realities of life in a business sense.

    Knox seems to be struggling with math, yet her mom is a math teacher and her dad an accountant.

    Posted on 06/30/14 at 03:39 PM by The TJMK Main Posters. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those officially involvedThe defensesAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoSollecito teamFlorence MOF hoax
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    Sunday, June 29, 2014

    Sneak Preview Of Giulia Bongiorno Making Silk Purse Out Of Sow’s Ear At RS Media Nonevent This Week

    Posted by Peter Quennell


    What is the Sollecito lawyer and politician Giulia Bongiorno most famous in Italy for?

    Well it sure aint her grasp of the finer points of Italian law. Or her ability to win in court without over-the-top PR and peculiar tricks. Or her accuracy on those pesky facts of the case. Or her foolish tongue before a very key judge.

    Most of all, what Bongiorno IS known in Italy for is being shrill, bullying, and high-key - most especially when yet another of her hapless clients is going down, or when she is on the political stump.

    Watch this spot-on satirical impersonation by the terrific Italian impersonator Dario Ballantini which was aired nationally on Italian TV and made a lot of Italians laugh. You can hear the audience there.

    It doesnt need a grasp of the Italian language to amuse long-suffering Bongiorno skeptics seeing her taken down a peg. Meredith, the name of the victim here: does Bongiorno even know that? If the victim’s suffering family was Italian and regularly on Italian TV would Italy tolerate her callous, cruel act?

    Here is an Italian woman one really can admire.

    Posted on 06/29/14 at 06:48 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Those officially involvedThe defensesThe wider contextsItalian contextRaff Sollecito
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