Breaking news: Damning implications of translated Nencini Report have been incisively commented upon by Selene Nelson and Chelsea Hoffman with many others in US and UK media now absorbing. Interest will peak late March when Italian Supreme Court rules on the RS/AK appeal against the Florence appeal court findings
All our posts on Raff Sollecito
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 PostersClick here to go straight to Comments
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
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Sollecito's book, The twelve hoaxes, Other legal cases, Associated trials, The wider contexts, American context
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Friday, July 18, 2014
Knox Camp Illusions: Multiple Examples Of How RS And AK Have Tried To Apply More Blame To The Other
Posted by The TJMK Main PostersClick here to go straight to Comments
Not a very accurate report (“drifter”?) but it IS CNN and the main point comes across
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
1. 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.
2. 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
1. 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.
2. 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
3. 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.
4. 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
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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
1. 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.
2. 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.
6. The Year 2012
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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
1. 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.
2. 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).
3. 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
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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”.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Crime hypotheses, On psychology, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Crazed Overkill Of Knox PR Causes Not Only A Sollecito-Camp Reaction But Hurt To Knox Herself
Posted by Peter QuennellClick here to go straight to Comments
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.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, The wider contexts, Italian context
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Sunday, July 06, 2014
Spitting In the Wind: Sollecito News Conference Backfires On Him AND Knox - What The Media Missed
Posted by SomeAlibiClick here to go straight to Comments
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.
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, Public evidence, Sollecito's alibis, Appeals 2009-2014, Cassation appeal 1, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Reporting on the case, Media news, The wider contexts, Italian context
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Friday, July 04, 2014
The Status Of The Various Computers In The Case And Whether Anything Nefarious Happened To Them
Posted by SallyooClick here to go straight to Comments
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 , both portables. 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. 
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.” 
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
 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.
 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.
 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.
 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7943828.stm I have not found another source for this comment.
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, The computers, Trials 2008 & 2009, The Massei Report, Diversion efforts by, Sollecito's book, The twelve 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 PostersClick here to go straight to Comments
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.
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.
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 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.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, The defenses, Appeals 2009-2014, Cassation appeal 1, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, The wider contexts, Italian context
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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 PostersClick here to go straight to Comments
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.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Knox's book, The Sollecitos, Sollecito's book, The twelve hoaxes
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Monday, June 30, 2014
Apart From Cassation’s Unyielding Mandate, More Problems With The Belated Sollecito/Bongiorno U-Turn
Posted by The TJMK Main PostersClick here to go straight to Comments
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.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos
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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 QuennellClick here to go straight to Comments
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.
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, The defenses, The wider contexts, Italian context
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Saturday, June 28, 2014
Sollecito Suddenly Remembers He Wasnt There But Cannot Speak For Knox Who (As She Said) Went Out
Posted by Peter QuennellClick here to go straight to Comments
1. Today’s Development
Sollecito is said to be standing on Knox’s shoulders there… Sollecito is becoming intent on digging himself out (really). Bu there are problems.
Let us start by considering the last two public performances by Raffaele Sollecito’s defense, both in Florence. They consisted of:
- 1. Giulia Bongiorno in her summation back in January, in Florence, at the tail-end of RS’s and AK’s appeal, ranting on foolishly about Perugia and Rome justice officials, in an apparent attempt to outdo even the nastiness of Amanda Knox’s earlier email which also ranted on foolishly to Judge Nencini.
2. Giulia Bongiorno fooishly taking strong offense to Judge Nencini wondering why Sollecito remained so bound to Knox and so little forthcoming, and then Bongiorno foolishly having her political allies advance a complaint to the Supreme Council of Magistrates, dropped after a brief investigation.
Now guess what?
An apparent u-turn, or at least a blink and slight deviation, in the suicidal game of chicken the Knox and Sollecito camps have long thought to be so smart.
Bongiorno or others very close to Sollecito, probably including his father and an aunt, seem to be shooting for a teeny bit of separation.
This loosening of bonds with Amanda Knox is hinted-at in his appeal to Cassation (which frankly we find boring, repetitive and childish) over the Nencini finding.
Today it is made slightly more explicit by Sollecito in a magazine interview. And next Tuesday the Sollecito team will stage a press conference.
2. Fraught With Problems
The Sollecitos would be wise to bump up their plea to Cassation about 100-fold. If this new bid is to go anywhere it MUST be referred back down to Judge Nencini.
Yes that is the same Judge Nencini who already reacted firmly to abrasive pressure from the Knox camp. And the same Judge Nencini who early this year felt the abrasive pressure described above from the Sollecito team.
Substantial evidence that Sollecito was at the house still looms like an 80,000 pound gorilla - see a listing of it in one of our next posts.
And one key thing about the Italian system: it has immense capacity to hit back very hard in response to out-of-court pressure and attempts to poison public opinion.
As we have explained previously, these strong powers originate in the endless fight against the mafias, which have long used defamation of justice officials as a way of seeking some relief for their guys.
The reason why Knox is sentenced to 28 and a half years on top of her three years served for calunnia doesnt yet seem to have sunk into the slow minds of Knox or her family or her vigilantes..
But Sollecito is increasingly alive to the ability of Italian justice to hit back very hard when the justice system and its officials are impugned.
Yesterday Sollecito and his lawyer Alfredo Brizioli were being interviewed for the multiple false charges of crimes in Honor Bound The book is pretty horrific and new charges seem certain.
The foolish shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel has surfaced, and appointed a lawyer, and is expected to join him.
Our guess? Sollecito will need to tell all, and make a major plea for forgiveness from the Kerchers, if any grownups are to listen to him.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos
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Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Sollecito Takes On A New Lawyer To Help Him Work His Way Past The Minefield That Is His Book
Posted by Peter QuennellClick here to go straight to Comments
The serious charges Sollecito and Knox will probably face for those books are of three kinds: (1) the contempt-of-court misrepresentation of the Italian justice system itself; (2) the obstruction-of-justice twisting of the evidence in the case; and (3) the claims of crimes committed by numerous career police and prosecution officials.
If false, in effect a gigantic frame-up that leaves Knox’s framing of Patrick in the dust.
At the eighth session of the Florence appeal court back in January, Giulia Bongiorno engaged in a day-long summation which was peculiar, to say the least.
Like Sollecito and Knox in their books, Giulia Bongiorno seemed to be attempting to put the justice system and investigation and prosecution in the dock.
If false, another gigantic frame-up that leaves Knox’s framing of Patrick in the dust.
Bongiorno’s rant didnt seem to help Sollecito in undermining any of the hard evidence in the case, and it left the judges visibly unmoved. But it was notable how closely it resembled the rants on the justice system and its officials by Sollecito himself in his book. See the examples in the post below.
There are some complex later passages in Sollecito’s book and some recurring themes that we will analyse which would seem impossible for Sollecito to write about in such detail without the extensive help of a lawyer who was in the court.
Who precisely was that?
Reports from Italy now state that Alfredo Brizioli, not Giulia Bongiorno, will be the lawyer the Sollecitos choose to respond to the investigating prosecutor’s report on the book. Perhaps Mr Brizioli (who right now is himself on trial for obstruction of justice in another case) can try to negotiate a way for his client to spread the blame before the charges are set in stone.
The Sollecitos seem weak. Alfredo Brizioli seems weak. Giulia Bongiorno seems weak. And Knox also seems weak - if Sollecito is ever going to back away from Knox (perhaps to try to claim the final murderous stab of Meredith was solely Knox’s crazed idea) there is just this one last chance.
We in no way favor Sollecito getting off lightly without recanting. We do want to point to the potential fireworks a smart prosecution has engineered that might help achieve this.
Although there was a sort of bidding war for both books, not every publisher, having seen what was to be in them, was eager to join in. Some did sit on the sidelines.
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Sollecito's book, Reporting on the case, Other legal cases, Associated trials
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Monday, April 07, 2014
Italy Pushes Back On Dirty Tricks And Frame-Ups: Examples Of What Sollecito Must Defend In Court
Posted by The TJMK Main PostersClick here to go straight to Comments
Many posters contributed to this analysis and to what is to come. Special thanks to James Raper and Sara, and also to Vivianna, Yummi and Kermit.
Sollecito’s blood-money book gets published
Sollecito’s hapless book Honor Bound was released in English on 18 September 2012.
Within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.
Bruno Vespa, the persistent host of Porta a Porta, Italy’s most popular crime show (for the equivalent of which American TV cries out) forced Sollecito’s father in national prime-time to admit that at the core of the book was a huge lie.
Other claims about the case and the officials were shown to be wrong too.
Smarter people than Sollecito’s help in the US (Andrew Gumbel and Sharlene Martin, later John Q Kelly, and Simon & Schuster) might have put the brakes on until they got the truth straight and a revised version out.
But no, a media blitz was all ready to roar. The blood-money couldn’t wait.
Huge numbers of professional book reviews and Amazon reader reviews swallowed Sollecito’s claims in the book whole. The nastiness toward Italy and its justice system and officials was ratcheted onto a whole new plane.
Needless to say, official Italy did take note
For the legal reasons explained in this key post an investigation by the Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Office was mandated to begin.
In that same post it was warned that for the period the investigation would require, it would be taken below the radar, so that the Sollecito defense team would have no way to respond through dishonest PR or legal dirty tricks.
A not-unsurprising result of that stealth move was that in the meantime, in the last year, very full of themselves and feeling no constraint, Sollecito and his team went hog-wild in adding more crazy claims. And still more.
Now the investigation is complete
Now Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has issued his announcement of the conclusion of his investigation. The content of the notice is at present confidential except to the defenses.
As Yummi reports, from this point on, the defense has 20 days to say something, such as to request that Sollecito be interrogated or allowed to declare or explain something.
Then the prosecution will file charges against Sollecito and Gumbel, and possibly Sharlene Martin and Simon & Schuster, their careless publishers in New York.
Which precise false claims Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has made the target of his report we do not know. But this is a target-rich environment, that is for sure:
Consider for starters these 20 false claims which, believe it or not, all appear in the first seven pages of the book.
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 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 interrogated 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. 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 and refused his 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 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 annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperience and pliable judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from 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 bright or funny or pretty? 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 pretty straight.
Remember, Meredith 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, she was headed to being among the least popular of 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. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first. 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. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted 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. Also 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 rather credibly fingered Patrick.
There is no proof Guede was an intruder. 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 remarks. 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 falsified.
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 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 has to arrive at a 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. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.
Gumble 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. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.
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.
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 none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.
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 not lining up to pay taxes. Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate 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 could 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 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 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 in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.
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.
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.
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.
On our further postings
Akk of this above analyzes only the first seven pages, out of a book which has several hundred pages. We will post one or two times more during April. Later in the book, there is a lot of venomous sneering addressed at Dr Mignini, although his performance at trial was excellent - and he is now for Perugia’s region (Umbria) the Deputy Prosecutor General.
In Italy Dr Mignini is now and then on national TV along with Michele Giuttari, who pursued the main Monster of Florence theory - not the crackpot theory Preston and Spezi attempted to use to frame someone. At impugning him, Sollecito and Gumbel have failed miserably, and for that are now in the crosshairs of the system.
Many posters contributed to this analysis and to what is to come. Special thanks to James Raper and Sara, and also to Vivianna and Kermit.
[Kermit’s take on Katie Couric, one of several smart TV hosts who suspected a giant con]
Archived in Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Sollecito's book, Reporting on the case, Other legal cases, Associated trials, Raff Sollecito
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Friday, April 04, 2014
The Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Office Announces That Sollecito Will Face More Court Action
Posted by The TJMK Main PostersClick here to go straight to Comments
Breaking news from Main Poster Yummi
Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has issued a notice about the conclusion of his investigation. The content of the notice is confidential for the defenses.
From this point the defense has 20 days to say something, like to request that the defendant (Sollecito) is interrogated or has anything to declare, or to submit any documents if they want to.
Then, once the 20 days are expired, the prosecution will file charges.
Since the charges will include almost certainly, beyond aggravated defamation, also contempt of the Judicial organs, the prosecution may send a notice to the Ministry of Justice too.
Since they are victims of contempt they may appoint a plaintiff.
The senior Florence prosecutor Dr Giuliano Giambartolomei was assigned to investigate the claims in Sollecito’s “Honor Bound”.
Today he announces that his findings indicate that many claims are spurious and justify new charges being brought against Sollecito. Shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel, who recently published this self-incriminatory rant has also been named.
When the charges are filed several or some others who have been assiduously “helping” Sollecito (mostly for big bucks) such as book-agent Sharlene Martin might find themselves named also
So Sollecito for sure and Knox most probably will be confronting the often-contradictory claims in their books, and saying whether they accept or reject each of them, which should put other book-writers who made false claims on the spot and maybe wind the whole FOA effort down.
We will be making our separate page on Sollecito’s various false claims live again. Main posters have posted a large number of corrections to Sollcito’s claims in the book. We have been putting them in correct page-order.
Miriam has kindly contributed this translation of today’s report in Il Messagero. Dr Giambartolomei only hints to the reporter what will be in his report which will quote all the passages in full for which Sollecito will have to account.
Raffaele Sollecito Insults The PM And A New Trial Starts
As always everything [possible] is presumed and as always, in the case of the murder of Meredith Kercher, everything [possible] can be overturned at every verdict.
Even in the associated trials, such as the one for defamation (against PM Mignini) and contempt (against the police) for which Raffaele Sollecito, found guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher along with his ex-girlfriend Amanda Knox, is being investigated along with the British journalist-author (now in absentia) Andrew Paul Gumbel.
Defamation, because many parts of the book “Honor Bound”, of which both are authors, contains for the prosecution various ignominious remarks.
More than simple phrases, entire chapters (allegedly) of the book are written in what is technically called “conclusione delle indagini” and requires the matter to be brought to justice, and therefore to trial.
[The book] starts by summarizing the main evidence (that was then proved to be wrong by the facts) against Sollecito.
The two being investigated write: ” the main proof that Mignini had to bring to the preliminary hearing were my Nikes… and he did everything possible to render them more incriminating…”
Then again “the police had only the pictures of my shoes (not those of the print) and in some way they came to the conclusion that my Nikes were the same brand, model and size as the shoeprints on the floor of Meredith’s apartment. There was no doubt about this”
Then the facts demonstrated that the shoe prints where of Rudy Guede, the third person condemned for the murder of the British student, and could not be those of Sollecito, because of the size.
Therefore this touches on the management of the trial on the part of Mignini. Sollecito-Gumbel write: “one of the reasons that our hearings were so distant one from the other was that Mignini was fighting his own separate legal battle for abuse of investigated activity.”
This connection goes to the case of the death of the Perugian Doctor Franceco Narducci, connected to the Monster of Florence case which Mignini had investigated.
Sollectito sustains: (defended in this case by Alfredo Brizioli) “I think our case, among other things, was a big diversion to keep the media’s attention away from the legal battle Mignini was having in Florence, and to give him the victory in a high profile case he so desperately needed to restore his reputation.”
The young Pugliese continues: “…..just as he did in the Monster of Florence case, Mignini used every instrument at his disposal against his critics and adversaries. The avalanches of legal action by part of Mignini had an inevitable icy effect , especially on the Italian press and this played a clear role in turning the public opinion against us.”
The charges against Sollecito and Gumbel are those of having sustained that it was Mignini’s idea to seek to obstruct the investigation as is from the beginning, it was a studied act to bend the investigation and turn the trial to his side.”
This is a clear accusation in the eyes of the prosecutor Giuliano Giambartolomei: “His approach (Mignini’s), Sollecito is saying, was particularly vindictive…. This is enough for Sollecito to face charges of defamation.”
Important to note that Dr Giambartolomei does NOT explain here precisely what will be in his report. That will have to quote all the passages in full for which Sollecito may have to account. Then he or whatever prosecutor charges Sollecito will go to another depth.
With our analysis of the book and knowledge of Italian law we can probably pick many or most of the false claims made which impugn officals or the Italian system.
More posts coming. Stay tuned.
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Thursday, February 27, 2014
What We Might Read Into Sollecito Lawyer Giulia Bongiornos Final Arguments To The Appeal Judges
Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)Click here to go straight to Comments
Under the table & over the top
The picture of a serene-looking Giulia Bongiorno waving a couple of knives in court on 9 January may be visual inspiration to this reflection about what we can understand from the structure and content of her closing arguments.
A very peculiar feature of her arguments was the desperate opening, suggesting to put the investigation – and the whole justice proceedings – on trial.
The introductive topic of her speech is a quote from a book by Alessandro Satta, a narrative description of the riotous irruption of the mob inside the Revolutionary Tribunal hearing room on Sep. 2. 1792, the defendants are the some of the King’s Swiss guards.
The passage by Satta describes the “horrendous” vision of a hord of sanculots slowly gathering outside the court, Bongiorno compares that to the angry mob in Perugia after the first appeal verdict.
But if you read the same text by Satta a little further, a few lines beyond the snippet Bongiorno was reading, the narration goes on describing how sanculots manage to enter the courtroom, in a force of hundreds ready to lynch the defendants, but they are suddenly halted by an authoritative order of the Judge, and they unexpectedly obey.
Just after that, Satta drops in an explanatory quote from the book Le Tribunal révolutionnaire (by historian Lenotre) saying: “the people understood that these highly educated individuals in black robes would have gone on with the action started by the hords, and they would accomplish it more perfectly”.
It seems like Bongiorno opened her speech with an implicit depiction of the judges and magistrates of Perugia as kind of Jacobin extremists whose task is to “legitimize” the vindictive fury of a pitchforks mob.
The quote she read did not include Satta’s conclusive lines, so that the consequent thought about the judges’ role remained unexpressed and in the background.
(Photo by Machiavelli_Aki)
A side note about Bongiorno’s arguments: in fact I had the feeling that allusion to implicit subtexts was something that belonged to her speech as a method or a style, it marked the whole of her arguments. You may recall Wittgenstein’s dictum “This work consists of two part, what is written in it, and what is not written in it. The latter is the most important part.”
Such a motto might be apt to address the major feature of Bongiorno’s defensive argument, insofar as she conveyed that something that “couldn’t be talked about openly” was there and that was probably a main argument.
(photo by Ansa)
At first, as I said, she went through a brief emotional recollection of her moments while in Perugia surrounded by a raging mob, and then she unfolded the rest of her introductive section.
The purpose of this bit of revolutionary narrative first juxtaposing the Perugian citizens to Sanculots and the judges to Jacobins, and then, immediately following, a series of accessory arguments all encompassed by an introductive function, all this was clearly intended to set a framework thesis meant to work as a basis for the structure of the whole defensive arguments.
It is in fact a peculiar structure, apparently entirely resting upon one, single elaborate premise.
The thesis she places at the foundation of the entire defensive argumentation is the following: the trial as a whole, as much as its outcome, had been somehow determined and “tainted” from the beginning by events which occurred within a very short framework of time, in the very early days of the investigation, the weeks around the time of the suspects’ arrests.
Bongiorno suggested that only this “short period” – the early days of November 2007 - is what matters and the only topic worth of a defence analysis; since this was the time frame within which - according to Bongiorno - everything was decided, this was the time when some “errors” in the investigation occurred, before the point when a veil of prejudice and hatred fell upon people’s hearts and minds like kind of black curtain, preventing from that moment on any fair or rational judgement.
After the quoting of Satta’s speech, she develops her introduction for a while, branching out into some political-sociological speculations (such as that authorities chose the crime scenario that was most reassuring for the population) as well as some political-anthropological consideration (like the theory that free spirited women are seen as suspicious as a consequence of women empowerment movements).
(Palace of Justice of Florence – photo by FrederickStudio)
A speech opening as did Bongiorno’s, that is, relying on a set of over-the-top considerations, and apparently so much depending upon one extreme premise, unavoidably conveys a perception of weakness, which is at risk to be transferred to the rest of the argumentation.
Thus, it would be a logical question to ask ourselves: why did Bongiorno chose such a setting and introduction, with several risky, over-shooting arguments?
A perception that the argument was unconvincing was palpable among the public as she was unfolding her theories about Perugian police opting for “political” scenarios and about sexy and free women seen as suspicious because of the women’s political movement.
Scepticism emerged even more openly when she described a scene with Amanda Knox releasing her false accusations while speaking under the hypnotic influence of interpreter Anna Donnino - whom she called “psychic” – which triggered some stifled laughs among the public.
Then her long introduction dealt with the unfolding of a rhetorical structure set around the concept of “half”.
I use the word “ rhetoric” in a most technical, non-derogatory sense, to mean the setting of a clear order and concepts designed to be easily remembered, anchored to multiple implicit suggestions, so as to remain impressed in the mind of listeners what is distinctive of the style of Giulia Bongiorno.
Introducing to ‘Halves’
In the previous trial instances she didn’t miss the opportunity to borrow characters such as Jessica Rabbit, Amelie and the Venus in a Fur. I thought she would mention at least a few characters of Disney or the Harry Potter saga this time too, and I was not disappointed as she met expectations on this matter (she did mention Harry Potter, the Eskimo kiss ‘Unca-Nunca’, the Bunga Bunga, the Aladdin Lamp and 9½ Weeks).
She entered the topical part of the introductive section saying ‘basta’ to always focusing on Amanda’s personality alone, while considering Raffaele just Knox’s other “half”, he is not half a character, he should not be seen as reflexion of Knox.
The curse of being “half” chases him also, meaning there are only “half pieces of evidence” against him. And this is the rhetoric structure envigorating the arguments after the introduction, the concept of “half” .
Only half pieces of evidence, almost a half admission, or the clear suggestion that there is maybe one “other half” of something (of culprits?) somewhere else, something not to be said, something that is not here.
The concept of “half” recurs and somehow pervades her defence, we should say something more about later on because she picked it up also in the subsequent hours of speech.
Some videos from the Florence trial available may still be available at the Sky site.
Only after recollecting all these things in the ‘aggressive digressions’ over the introductive part, she goes on with a ponderous section which is the main part of her argumentation.
It’s a topic directly stemming from the introductive themes and premises, in the sense that this main part focuses on and blows up events of the first four days of investigation. It zeroes on few small details of the investigation history, the previous introductive part functionally working to justify the choice and to limit the argumentation to these topics.
Something the listener would notice from this first and main part of the arguments, as everyone well understands, is that these arguments are arranged in a peculiar type of architecture. A choice that makes crystal clear the actual state of the defence’s options.
The defence strategy is to focus attention on the supposed flaws in evidence collection at the beginning of the investigation, and not on the evidence set itself.
Bongiorno’s arguments do not map out the evidence set array. They do not devolve an effort of analysis in proportion to the actual weight of the of pieces of evidence.
The bulk of her speech in fact can be summarized as a criticism of some historical happenings – what she sees as such – which allegedly occurred within a very small time frame. She devoted hours to attacking the beginning of the investigation, early errors such as that the shoe print that had been wrongly attributed to Sollecito on a first assessment.
It appears this attack against the early procedures of the investigation was really considered to be the most effective weapon the defence had left.
The ‘topics’ Bongiorno addressed in this attack as ‘main points’ of evidence against Sollecito, are only three: the wrongly attribute shoeprint, Sollecito’s side-tracking the investigation, and ‘the knife’ (a topic which gets picked up again later, with a long discussion focused on the blade length).
In the same ‘knife’ topic she included DNA discussion, in a connected digression she dealt with the bra claps, called all the scientific evidence collection ‘the mother of mistakes’ and offered again the known criticism of Stefanoni’s alleged “suspect-centred”.
Later in her speech, she dealt with the other evidence topics, parroted the ‘principles’ expressed in the Conti & Vecchiotti report, offered the known arguments about the bathmat print, etc.
But the bulk of her defence hinged around those ‘mistakes’ in the early investigation phase, this was the actual core of her argumentation, while the other pieces of evidence were dealt with summarily, I had the impression they were almost treated as accessories.
It was clear above all that the defence was not battling the structure of the evidence actually existing today, they were battling a minuscule part of it, or better they were battling something else, something which is not directly the evidence, but rather some historical foundations of the accusation building.
Basically what Bongiorno conveyed is, the fighting terrain was the ‘investigators’ errors’, their ‘excesses’. That is, they were not actively contending Raffaele’s innocence any more.
The implicit content was rather obvious to the listener: a direct claim of Sollecito’s innocence had been already abandoned, that territory was left beyond the lines and the defensive front had been drawn back.
The topic now was not innocence, but rather how the accusation had been unfair and excessive.
At her opening, the quote of Satta was a device to draw attention to the events at the “origin”, so as to prepare listeners for the fact that defence arguments will be focused on what happened during the moments before the “black curtain” came down.
Hence the a long introduction starting from an image of the fury of a mob of sanculots, a narrative on this theme: people were willing to convict the defendants immediately and judges were legitimizing people’s violence.
She oriented the discussion towards the topic of early prejudice and excesses, so to justify the fact that she will talk about the early phases rather than the evidence set, and then she introduced the leit-motiv of the “half”.
This means, rather than disputing the pieces of evidence, Bongiorno wanted to set a “trial of the investigation”, she zeroed on just a few details actually not having much relevance in the actual evidence set.
She talked at length about elements that are kind of fossils – like when she went on discussing about the number of circles in the sole of Guede’s shoeprint – putting the alleged “errors” in the course of the investigation on trial, and her speech at times sounded as if it was a lecture about dinosaurs, recalling curious things now extinct.
The explicit function of her introduction was to justify her setting aside the evidence set, downplaying it by framing it into a historical moment, maintaining that it was collected and interpreted when investigators were already beyond the “black curtain” of bias, therefore tainted by prejudice, while judges were like sycophants before an angry mob.
The purpose behind the Black Curtain
The implicit, most important function of the introduction was accomplished via the concept of “half” and all the subliminal suggestions attached.
We should ask ourselves: is it reasonable to believe Bongiorno was so naïve to expect that the court may accept a theory about a dismissal of evidence in limine?
The answer is no. Bongiorno knew perfectly well that her preliminary criticism of the investigation would not lead to a dismissal of the evidence.
Bongiorno also knew that the series of preliminary arguments she would offer would be considered ineffective by judges. Such as that the knife DNA should be seen as unreliable preliminarily, that Stefanoni’s work lacked “transparency”, that Vecchiotti and Conti’s “method” should be taken at face value (Bongiorno knows C&V’s intellectual honesty was called manifestly questionable by the Supreme Court ), that this and that allele in the bra clasp DNA should not be considered because, etc.
She also knows that this court will not allow pieces of evidence to be considered separately from each other in a parcelled out way, and that imperfection of single pieces themselves do not work as a logical argument. Even less could she dismiss the evidence based on political and anthropological theories.
From the fact that she was setting afoot on a trial of the investigation instead of battling the evidence, the rational listener infers that she is well aware of the weakness of her position, since it implies that the evidence set as the battleground would be indefensible. She needs to search for another terrain of attack, a different structure, as the only possible move.
But there is also another implication. She does need to engage and draw attention to areas where she could “win” something, but this also means that her intent was to “soften” the accusation, to work it out at the flanks rather than face it frontally; to reduce the size of some fundamentals, the “excess” of the accusation.
In other words, to shorten the sentence. And if possible, to separate Sollecito’s position from that of Amanda Knox, albeit within the boundaries of her client’s plea.
Her strategy of attack had a reason, that was to try to soften the accusatory attitude against Sollecito. Besides being risky (may sound extremely unconvincing) the strategy was also loaded with implicit meanings.
What was most stunning to me – as it was a recurrent topic through her whole speech – was the concept of “half”. She picked up this introductive theme several times, such as while speaking about the medical findings explaining that only “half” the length of the blade would be used, if a knife so large as Sollecito’s kitchen knife was used, saying that, in this event, this would mean the perpetrator did not intend to kill and killing was the effect of “mistake”, an involuntary movement.
The importance of the length of the big blade and its “half” was emphasized by a waving of knifes, in a quite impressive theatrical performance: “Either the big wound was made by a smaller knife” that was held by “someone else” or the knife was “plunged only by half” showing there was no intent to kill.
All this is to be coupled with the fact that, as said above, she devoted a main portion of her 6-hour speech to discussing things that are fossils, elements not existing any more.
She dealt later with other pieces of evidence too, though in a way that seemed somehow marginal, and she did not deal with some of them at all - the inconsistencies in Knox’s account, for example, were left completely out.
She was not that kind with Knox’s written memorials either, calling them “farneticanti” (waffling, raving).
I noted her complaining about Raffaele being “halved”, as his character is portrayed as depending on Amanda’s and thus seen as equally guilty insofar he was Amanda’s half – and this effect is somehow transferred to pieces of evidence.
Bongiorno’s rhetoric emphasizes that Sollecito was accused on “half” pieces of evidence (you perceive that the metaphorical repeating of “half” implies that evidence actually exists, “by half”, and at the same time this complaint about being seen as “half” of something is a subliminal suggestion that the defendants should be considered separately, and their charges as well, thus maybe their responsibilities if considered separately may be different; and when it comes to discussing how the murderer used only half of the blade, the subliminal suggestion is bring down the charge by half, involuntary event/manslaughter versus voluntary murder).
The Mark of Infamy
Giulia Bongiorno picked on the investigators and acted as if she was putting the investigation on trial not because she thought that this would lkead to the defendants being found innocent, but exactly for the opposite reason, because she expected them to be found guilty.
Insults against Prosecutor General Crini, against witnesses and and gratuitous accusations are a risky path but they are also an overt attempt to “soften” the investigation scenario, rather than fight it frontally.
She had no hope to make her client look innocent, her only hope was to soften the strength of the accusation, to make him look less guilty, not so bad as the investigators saw him.
She pursued this in two ways, by suggesting that he should not be seen as the “half” of another perp but rather his responsibility should be considered separately, only that evidence which proves directly against him (Bongiorno repeatedly pointed out that Knox did not utter his name in her interrogation and statement), his actual responsibility might be much lesser than the charge for which he is accused.
The other arm of the defence’s pincer move, the second way to try diminish the accusation, was to portray the investigators in bad light. The ‘excess’ of accusation was to lay blame on investigators for their bias and errors.
Bongiorno’s attack against the investigation might be intended to achieve a psychological effect due to comparative process.
If you consider how the police are responsible for ‘excesses’ and disputable behaviours, you may think the investigators have been prone to gross mistakes that lead to exaggerating Sollecito’s implication, thus the accusation should be not be taken at face value and should be corrected. Maybe the correct assessment of evidence proves he not as much implicated as they had thought.
This seemed to be Sollecito’s own defence strategy, albeit implicit, since Bongiorno must restrain her action within the boundaries of her client’s plea.
In order to follow her strategy, however, Giulia Bongiorno decided to take a few steps which must be pointed out as particularly reprehensible and infamous.
I was surprised and stunned by those action because they qualify the character of Giulia Bongiorno as far worse than I thought, I really did not expect her to stoop so low.
The infamous part of Bongiorno’s speech is her gratuitous name calling and defamatory attack against Anna Donnino, her attempt to smear her professional reputation and the rude insult in calling her a ‘psychic’.
In real life Anna Donnino is a very respected professional, she has been working for the Questura on tasks of interpreter and language mediator (not as a ‘translator’).
She is also an intelligent person, she is precise and expresses herself with the utmost clarity as her lucid testimony shows.
She is known not only for having unquestionable professional ethics, but also she has an excellent reputation as a person; she is honest and humane and known by everybody for her extremely reassuring, protective temperament, and for her expertise and excellent performance of working with people.
She would help immigrants in difficulty to express themselves and understand their rights and was priceless helping the police to obtain precise information in their investigations.
As an expert in chuchotage and linguistic mediation from two foreign languages, the professional quality of her work is excellent. Her training and work is of interpreter and language mediator although sometimes shee is given translating tasks such as the translation of recordings and wiretappings.
The Questura of Perugia used to hire ‘language mediators’ at the time. You don’t know what a language mediator is? See a university course for a degree in Language Mediation.
The Questuras of some bigger cities also have ‘cultural mediators’ in addition. They are mother-tongue trained to deal with African or Chinese immigrants (one of the many young people having their internship as cultural mediator in a Questura is shown here.)
To me, this defamatory attack against Donnino was most disturbing. By doing this Bongiorno came across as surprisingly mean, I’d say what she did was really infamous.
Indeed this was not the only virulent attack, it came after insults to the city of Perugia as she was comparing its citizens to a mob of blood-thirsty fanatics.
This attack too is also particularly vicious, since it exploits, inflames and is subtly synergic with the tones of lies and prejudices disseminated by a perfidious propaganda strategy.
But at a certain point, Bongiorno focused the defamation against one person. As she unfolded a narrative about Anna Donnino acting as a ‘psychic’ who managed to hypnotize, to gaslight Knox to the point of inducing a state of trance in which she mistook a dream for reality, some people couldn’t help laughing in the courtroom.
But even if we consider the surreal and comical rather than the convincing effect, the defamatory intent stands out as reprehensible and humanly vicious.
This is because, as I said above, these particular insults were directed against a person distinguishable for her being a most decent, honest and trustworthy character, and also – a further reason – because of the recent events for which this person experienced personal suffering: Anna Donnino, a mother of teenagers, has been struck with cancer, and has undergone surgery.
She is under treatment but still currently remains in very bad health.
The attack against Anna Donnino is an action that rebounds as an ugly stain on the reputation of those who launched it. A young man from Perugia created a Facebook group to express a the citizens’ “hate” for those who lead a defamatory campaign of lies against the city. He collected over two thousand likes within three days.
Some of the comments were about Bongiorno’s insults against the city and against respected citizens, pointing out her outrageous hypocrisy since Giulia Bongiorno poses as a campaigner for the respect and dignity of women.
(a StripBit comment by a poster on a Facebook group)
Criticism of Giulia Bongriorno pointing out her hypocrisy is actually not a novelty, it has appeared long since in the press and on the internet.
But it’s hard to understand how someone like her, promoting an image of herself as an advocate for women and for correctness and respect in language and culture, could take such a an egregiously visible false step, come out with such stupid stereotypical rants, only for what looks like an awkward and useless cause.
A note for the record: we may recall Bongiorno has also attacked the Perugian police officers, citing the recording of some of their phone conversations in which they say bad words about the Sollecito family.
We can understand her outrage (at least we could, if only she were not the hypocrite she is) but at the same time we can’t fail to notice that she “forgot” to mention another half of the phone call recordings.
Specifically those where the members of the Sollecito family were speaking about the police officers; and the kind of language they were using, while attempting to plot ‘under the table’ help from some politician.
Expressing their intent to ‘scorch’ officers and ‘destroy’ magistrates, and one person even suggested that if he met Monica Napoleoni on the road, he would kill her by ‘running over her with the car’ then flee without telling anything, pretending that nothing happened.
After these last sparkles and the knife waving Bongiorno’s performance was over. In the following day’s hearing it was Maori’s turn. As a really last resort, he was taking on the task of disputing evidence in a more “traditional” way, objecting to points of evidence.
Possibly this revealed even more the extreme weakness of the defensive argument (a commenter called it ‘pathetic’). I did not listen to his argument myself, I only notice that he did not get much space neither in the press nor in the pro-Knox commenting sites; this might be a clue of how unconvincing he might have been.
One thing that however I could learn about it, is about the feeling, the perception that Maori pointed out even more the separation between the two positions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.
A hint about this comes in the words of a journalist who was questioning Alessandro Nencini in the lounge immediately after the verdict: the journalist pointed out how Sollecito defence “tried to split the positions of the two accused”.
This mild attempt of a separation was the last act by the defence. As for Raffaele Sollecito himself, we were left with his rather different claim, his book where he described himself as sticking to a ‘honour bound’.
He reportedly bragged about this also with his ex-girlfriend Kelsey Kay, who described him as feeling very entitled because of his loyalty to Amanda Knox and believing she owes him a vital a favour; but Knox won’t even respond to his messages.
Then, we had his final admission in an interview that his friendship with Amanda Knox has ‘deteriorated’, because apparently Knox in practice no longer supports him as before.
If his defence advisors understood that they needed to somehow ‘separate’ his position from Knox’s at any cost, despite his plea, to suggest he may be implicated but just ‘less’ guilty, we may only agree with them on this. It would also be convenient for him to confess even if he shared the same degree of guilt of Knox.
Sadly, instead he still felt compelled to offer further lies and changing stories such as‘I noticed no blood on the bathmat’ when questioned by Kate Couric; he offered again a story of pricking Meredith’s hand while cooking together at the cottage.
Other murderers, who committed even more heinous crimes, have recovered and rehabilitated themselves after time spent in prison; even some of those deemed among the worst serial killers managed to do this by expressing remorse – for example the rather psychopathic ‘Ludwig’ (Furlan & Abel) killers.
Sure after the years he will spend in jail for the gang-like crime he is found guilty of, there would be a possibility for a ‘casual murderer’ such as he is to be perceived as rehabilitated. But to see him as ‘less guilty’ or as ‘rehabilitated’ would be impossible as long as he remains silent or denies.
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, The defenses, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos
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Monday, February 24, 2014
Power Shift In Italy Very Unfavorable To Anyone So Stupid As To Thumb Their Noses At Italian Justice
Posted by Peter QuennellClick here to go straight to Comments
Meet 39-year-old Matteo Renzi
Mr Renzi was sworn in by the President of the Italian Republic on Saturday as the new Prime Minister of Italy. As a top German newssite remarks, he is looking like a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Mr Renzi is colorful and dynamic and very popular, and may become one of the most effective leaders in recent Italian history and a major player on the world stage. Mr Renzi comes from FLORENCE where he was the popular and effective mayor.
Unlike the Berlusconi faction in parliament (which once included Giulia Bongiorno) Mr Renzi is a big friend of law and order, police, and justice. In the image at bottom you can see him opening the huge Palace of Justice in Florence with all the top officers of the court who just organized the appeal.
This is very bad news for Sollecito and Knox and their foolish gangs, as Mr Renzi will be very unlikely to look kindly on that same Florence court - and any court in Italy including, especially, Cassation - being flouted by convicted perps and made to look weak.
If the new Minister of Justice sends an extradition request to his desk, you can bet that he’ll send it on to the United States. And the US, very keen to stay on good terms with Italy as one of its 2-3 most reliable allies, will exhibit little if any resistance to the extradition of Knox.
More bad news for Sollecito and Knox
The sardonic Italian media is paying very close attention to the ongoing game of each of them pushing the other closer to the flames, and the almost-certain prospect of the two of them and Rudy Guede explosively flying apart.
The Italian media is picking up on signs that Sollecito has become highly resentful at his on-again off-again rejection by Knox, especially as many or most in Italy believe it was Knox who wielded the big knife that killed Meredith to which the other two had maybe not signed on in advance.
There are additional pressures headed down the pike. First, Rudy Guede will be given brief study leaves soon, and under Italy’s new “clear the over-crowded prisons (somewhat)” law Guede could even soon see himself released and free to talk.
Plus the investigators examining the criminal defamation of the justice system and officers of the court by Knox and Sollecito in their exceptionally foolish books are believed very close to announcing that a case against them has been made.
Sollecito’s father on national TV has already admitted that Raffaele lied about a deal to get him off, and this on Knox seems an open & shut case. Knox and Sollecito might face additional sentences of 3 to 7 years if they keep provoking a hard line.
Here are two articles translated by Miriam which summarise (not perfectly in our terms but good enough) the signs of the growing divide and the evidence that will see Knox and Sollecito back in prison.
Amanda Knox Will Return to Italy and Go to Jail, as Will Raffaele Sollecito, While Rudy Guede Will Be Freed
This scenario is not only plausible, but seems to be the natural outcome of the last sentencing of the Mez case. Few believe that the Corte di Cassazione could overturn, again, the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence.
So Amanda Knox will return to Italy and go to jail. For Amanda Knox, “her extradition is quite possible” Christopher Blakesely say without equivocation. He is one of the main experts on such penal proceeding in the United States.
The day after the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence, Giovanna Botteri, the RAI correspondent in the USA, reported something similar, underlining that Amanda rushed to CNN to cry all her tears didnt help.
Knox uses even the social networks to scream again her innocence, but the law says something different.
Even Italian popular opinion seems not in Amanda’s favor : Perugia, through the social networks, has literally screamed its disagreement and displeasure against Amanda (read: L’Urlo di Perugia: a Facebook page against Knox: from the people of Perugia)....
Rudy is at the moment the only one sentenced in jail…. How does Rudy reconstruct that night? Rudy swears to having consensual sex with Mez.
After the intimate relation Guede went to the bathroom and from there he heard her scream, rushing to her room he found her in a pool of blood, and tried to help her. Realizing that Meredith was dead, in shock he ran away.
On the plausibility of this reconstruction, the judges had numerous doubts, to the point of finding Guede guilty and sentencing him.
This reconstruction, according to his lawyers, explains not only the biological traces of Rudy all over the crime scene but also his flight.
How does Amanda reconstruct that night?
Amanda continues to sustain that she did not wield the knife that killed Mez, that she heard her scream while she was in the kitchen and that she covered her ears like a scared child.
The “whys” are many and heavy. Why did Amanda accused Patrick Lumumba, incarcerated for 14 days while innocent, due to her ignominious accusations? Why on the knife used for the murder are there traces of Mez and Amanda?
Knox DNA was on the handle of the knife that killed Meredith: only because she used it to cut potatoes? The alibi of the potato has always been used by Knox and her lawyers, but it is plausible?
And Raffaele Sollecito?
One of the most decisive evidence against Sollecito in the first trial was the bloody foot print on the bathroom math. In the appeal process that footprint was challenged, it was said that it could be not Sollecito’s and was ascribed to Guede with benefit of doubt .
Now it seems certain that Rudy was wearing shoes ,as is demonstrated by other prints at the scene of the crime, thus the bloody footprint goes back to being ascribed to Sollecito.
Why is Rudy Guede in jail while Amanda and Raffaele are on the loose?
After the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence the appeal to the Cassazione, was announced, while waiting for the Cassazione, the guilty Raffaele Sollecito had to hand over his passport in order to make it impossible for him to leave Italy.
Right after the sentence Sollecito was stopped in Udine about 60km from the Italy/Austrian border and about 40km from the Slovenian border.
Before the verdict of Corte D’Assise d’Appello of Florence Sollecito was a free man, and therefore legally in possession of a passport and the right to cross the border.
Sollecito, instead of waiting for the verdict in the court room, around 12 o’clock that day left with his new girlfriend and arrived in Udine [in north-east Ital]..
Around night time during a snow storm the two of them took refuge in an hotel , and the owner recognizing Sollecito by name, alerted the police that promptly arrived in order to confiscate Sollecito’s passport as decided by the Court.
Sollecito told the media that he had no intention of fleeing the Country.
One can ask what Sollecito was doing in Udine then, a few hours after his guilty verdict. To excuse Sollecito one can perhaps say that the young man was overpowered by anguish and fear, in fact up to today
Sollecito had never seemed to want to evade justice, instead he was usually in the Courtroom.
Amanda in contrast was not sanctioned with any precautionary measures. She arrived in America as a free citizen after the not guilty verdict.
Now, if and when the Cassazione confirms the verdict of the last proceeding, America needs to extradite Amanda and remit her in the hands of the Italian Justice…
America is tied to Italy by sanction accords by name of international laws, thus if the Cassazione upholds the guilty verdict, Amanda must return to Italy. Nothing makes one think that America could oppose an extradition.
Rudy Guede is the only guilty one in jail at the moment. His detention was confirmed after a fast track trial, decided by his layers, and his detention was 16 years in jail. (with time off for the fast track trial)
Not many know that while the doors of the prison may soon open for Amanda and Raffaele,, for Rudy instead “freedom” may be close by.
Thanks to the new decree passed last December by the Parliament, Rudy could leave the prison where he is detained. Guede is one of 3 thousand detainees who could benefit from the “empty the prisons” decree.
Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox are close to a break up after the sentencing..
Raffaele wrote Amanda a letter saying: “Amanda I am tired. I don’t want to be punished, neither do I want to continue to give justifications for matters that concern you and not me”.
Amanda says “I understand him but: I want to say that Raffaele is not my slave and I am not his oppressor. Raffaele has many reasons to be resentful, but not with me.”
The bond between the two, accused of the homicide of Meredith Kercher, is cracking. A bond that lasted from that horrible night of November1st 2007, when in a house in Perugia, via della Pergola, their English friend was savagely killed.
Looking at a concrete possibility that the Judges of the Cassazione will confirm the sentencing which condemned Amanda and Raffaele to 28 years of jail for her and 26 for him, the two ex-lovers are starting to distance themselves from each other.
Amanda took a picture of herself holding a sign that read “we are innocent” so as to underline a common faith, from which Raffaele can’t dissociate. Not anymore.
Raffaele after six years may be starting to understand that being Amanda’s “fiancé” did not help him at all. He said this to Giulio, in an interview a few months ago, and now in an interview to CNN:
In the Judges head I must be guilty because I was Amanda’s boy-friend. It does not make any sense for me. According to the Judges because in some way I supported Amanda, I must be implicated. According to me this is aberrant. My standing has not been just ignored, but completely forgotten. In all the proceedings I was not part of them unless for the scientific investigations.
For many, many hearings the topic was my DNA, but nobody said nothing of the reason why I was accused of the homicide except the fact that I was Amanda’s boy-friend and because I was with her very often and spent many nights with her, I had to be in some way connected with the homicide.
Is Raffaele’s defense thinking of ditching the girl? Is Raffaele ready to tell the truth of what happened that night? Now Raffaele is in Bari, and is thinking over what happened to him. He reveals:
I discussed with my friends and family the possibility of going abroad a year ago, but I cannot accept the fact of leaving all the people who are dear to me for a theory. I had no motive to hurt Meredith Kercher.
Now I have no light in my future. They took away my passport and I.D. card, and I do not know if I can realize my dreams, or anything I want to do. I do not accept that my future is destroyed.
Too often, though, Amanda and Raffaele forget to mention that Meredith’s life really was destroyed.
Against Amanda and Raffaele there are scientific evidence, bloody footprints on the floor, DNA on the bra clasp and knife, and the many contradictions in their alibis.
From the beginning their behavior caused the carabinieri to be suspicious of them.
Without forgetting the spontaneous confession of Amanda of being in the house while her friend was being murdered. “I have a vision of being in the kitchen, covering my ears while they kill her.” She even gave the name of the killer Patrick Lumumba, her boss, who was then discovered to be innocent.
The attempt to divert the investigation, pointing the finger against an innocent man, is evidence of the quilt of Amanda.
Even Raffaele changed versions more than once. In one of the interrogations he said Amanda was not with him that night and arrived at his apartment in the early hours of the morning. He then said he smoked too much marijuana and could not recall what happened that night.
In the meantime Rudy Guede, 27 years old, condemned to 16 years for the murder of Meredith Kercher, with others, writes:
Now that my verdict is definite, for too long the judicial reasoning have been subjected to a continuous and willful manipulation and alteration of the data of the proceedings… I would like to point out that I do not accept being labeled as a homeless man, drifter, and a thief; when instead I had a splendid family and precious and clean friendships in Perugia.
Amanda Knox’s defense team wants to pass him off as a habitual thief. Rudy adds: “ “Meredith’s house was turned upside down, someone simulated a break in. I was not condemned for this simulated break-in.”
If it was not Rudy, then who?
Archived in Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Sollecito's book, Reporting on the case, The wider contexts, Italian context, Raff Sollecito
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
In Italy The Faux Self Pity Of Knox And Sollecito Is Increasingly Becoming A National Joke
Posted by Peter QuennellClick here to go straight to Comments
Meet Amanda Knox the Perugian Chipmunk version.
Knox’s Facebook page is also being satirised and ridiculed (one message there reads “Perugia Hates You”.) Some may actually believe the rumor that Knox is shopping herself around for salacious movies.
Sollecito being nabbed at the Austrian border because of a quick tip to the police also inspired sarcastic humor in Italy, and several journalists have come up with questions to challenge Sollecito when he gets on the stand, as he so desperately wants or says he does.
We expect some more Italian satire (and maybe not only Italian) and will report on that as well, as this long-needed and much-deserved hit-back against dishonest pandering to media audiences could prove an important trend.
If satire proves the way to stop RS and AK babbling lies daily about the case and Italian justice via every craven media outlet, then well done Italy!! Nothing else seems to work to shut the two up, although their false claims and smears could constitute obstruction of justice.
If Knox and Sollecito want to avoid being spoofed, they have two very easy ways to do so: (1) shut up and avoid the media, or (2) stick to telling the truth.
Archived in Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Knox's book, The Sollecitos, Sollecito's book, Reporting on the case, The wider contexts, Italian context, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito
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Friday, January 31, 2014
Appeal Session #10 Images: The Two Judges And Six Lay Judges Deliver The Guilty Verdict
Posted by Peter QuennellClick here to go straight to Comments
The sentences are 25 years in priosn for Raffaele Sollecito and 28.6 years in rpison for Amanda Knox including the 3.8 years for the calunnia already served. Each must also incur financial penalties.
Both may be locked in the sex offenders wings as both were confirmed convicted with a sex-crime component. Both may face further charges for false accusations of crimes in their books and in the media, as may some of their more strident “supporters”.
Few in the US and UK seem to realize, but the evidence presented at trial in the first half of 2009 was in fact overwhelming. In the US and UK it is probable no appeal would even have been allowed, as the appeal grounds were so flimsy.
Nothing was undermined at the Florence appeal. In fact the evidence became STRONGER as another trace of Knox was found on the big knife. Innuendo about DNA contamination was sharply rejected in face of zero evidence or even scenario.
Please read our case overview here which links to some vital posts and touches on several of the defense’s illegal tricks.
That includes the corrupting of the 2011 appeal, which is well understood in Italy but not registering with most US and UK media - Sndrea Vogt has begun reporting on part of it, the illegal meddling with the Hellmann DNA consultancy
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, The judiciary, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Reporting on the case, Media news
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