Collection: The prosecutors

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Netflixhoax 4: Omitted - Producer Stephen Robert Morse Has Been Originating Defamations For Years

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.

Pretty funny, that last tweet above. Almost nobody has painted a larger legal target on his own back over many years than the blustering Netflix producer Stephen Robert Morse himself.

The first two tweets are of course both defamatory lies. See the two posts below for an honest take on Dr Mignini, not the mafia’s one which Morse parrots. .

As he was lying about an officer of the Italian court in the first two tweets, he could in theory be charged with contempt of court on the same basis as Frank Sforza and Andrew Gumbel have already been charged.

He could certainly be made to sweat pounds off in a British or Italian civil court. Hot potato in waiting for Netflix there.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Netflixhoax 3: Omitted - The Deliberate Demonization Of Dr Mignini To The Satisfaction Of The Mafias

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Giuliano Mignini at left at Lake Trasimeno where Dr Narducci’s body believed bound was recovered]

The Cynical Demonizing Of Dr Mignini

This was was in fact a deliberate PR ploy, with some collusion from the mafias.

Remember that huge PR campaign, probably the largest and most abusive ever run for someone charged with a crime? Which the Netflix producers somehow managed to forget totally?

More on that later. This corrects wrong impressions about a main target.

Our posts here and here and especially here blow the gaff on the “power-mad prosecutor” claims.

The demonization originally began as a ploy to stop Amanda Knox talking. It was because she was so exceptionally naive.

The Supreme Court noted how Curt Knox shut her down angrily when her parents first visited Knox at Capanne Prison. Family knew she could very well spill the beans, and she maybe came very close to that at various times.

From late 2007 she seemed to rather like Dr Mignini, and to want to keep explaining to him over and over again. Dr Mignini thought she came really close at the interrogation on 17 December 2007 when her lawyers stepped in to stop her.

So they started to demonize Dr Mignini in her eyes.

In her book she says she wanted to keep talking, especially to him, and she quotes things that they told her to try to frighten her - pretty far from the truth. The lawyers once said quite publicly that they wish she’d simply shut up.

The demonization was deliberately jumped to a higher plane by Curt Knox, Paul Ciolino and David Marriott, still with no basis in fact unless you consider Doug Preston’s and Mario Spezi’s MOF book fact (they left out that they were caught trying to frame an innocent man) in a meeting in West Seattle in January 2009.

The month the trial began, after 14 months already of Knox still dropping herself in it. 

Watch this amazing Powerpoint in which Kermit brilliantly takes the big lie apart.

Here we correct two of the main hoaxes which are yet again pushed out, this time by the Netflix team.

False Charges And A False Verdict Against Dr Mignini Were ANNULLED

Annulled means “wiped off the books” as the Supreme Court’s First Chambers wiped off the books most of Hellmann’s appeal verdict in 2013.

Read the whole arc of this case from 2010 to 2013 here and here and here.

The year 2013 was the year BEFORE Morse’s dishonest tweet. Both the rogue prosecutor and rogue judge took considerable hits.

By then it was extremely well known why and how Dr Mignini was set up, and why the Florence Appeal Court and Supreme Court not merely arrived at a not-guilty verdict but annulled the verdict of the rogue Florence Court.

Dr Mignini Has Never Consulted A Psychic, Never Claims Satanic Plots

Take a look at what Dr Mignini himself wrote to Corriere on this in 2013. This was translated and posted here three years ago.

To the editor of Florence Corriere

Dear Director,

I am Giuliano Mignini, the magistrate who performed the investigation and trials of first instance and appeal in Perugia against the people accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher, as well as the investigation into the death of Francesco Narducci linked to the one performed by the Florence Prosecution Office in relation to the masterminds of the “Monster of Florence” murders.

I saw reported the interview that the journalist Mario Spezi – a person accused in the Narducci case – did with Amanda Knox, a main defendant in the appeal trial that will start today – published in the Corriere Fiorentino on Sep. 29.
 
In two recent cases the Court of Cassation has annulled verdicts, which acquitted Knox and Sollecito, and which decided [by Judge Micheli] a dropping of charge against Spezi (the parts regarding ‘lack of certainty about malice’ were annulled too).

Therefore I don’t need to add anything further on that point.  Instead, I need to point out the falsehood of an assertion which Mr. Spezi makes at the beginning of his article, as he tries to explain the reason for a link which, in his opinion, allegedly exists between the two cases, the one related to the Monster murders and Narducci’s death, and the one about the Kercher murder.

Mr. Spezi’s text says: “… a strangely similar background, for two different cases, behind which the magistrate thought he could see satanic orgies on the occasion of Halloween for Amanda, and ritual blood sacrifices as a worship to the Devil in the Monster of Florence case…”.

This is an assertion that Mr. Spezi and crime-fiction author Douglas Preston have been repeating for years, but does not find the smallest confirmation in the documentation of the two trials, nor in the scenario put forward by the prosecution in which the Meredith murder (which didn’t happen on Halloween but on the subsequent night) was the consequence of a sex hazing to which Meredith herself did not intend to take part, and, above all, it was the consequence of a climate of hostility which built up progressively between the Coulsdon girl and Amanda because of their different habits, and because of Meredith’s suspicion about alleged money thefts by Knox.

Furthermore the object of the proceedings in the Narducci case is the scenario about the murder of the same Narducci and the attempt, by the doctor’s father and brother, to conceal the cause of his violent death, and this included the background within which the event – which was a homicide in my opinion and in the opinion of my technical consultant, coroner Prof. Giovanni Pierucci of the University of Pavia – had developed and taken place.

I had already denied several time assertions of such kind, but Mr. Spezi and Mr. Preston, and some people connected to them, go on repeating a lie, apparently hoping that it will become true by repeating it.

Another astonishing fact is that, despite that I was the prosecutor in the Kercher trial together with my colleague Manuela Comodi and then subsequently with my colleague Giancarlo Costagliola [at annulled apeal], and despite that I limited myself to formulating judicial requests which were all agreed to by a multitude of judges and confirmed by the Supreme Court, I am still considered as the only one responsible for an accusation against Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito, by twisting its content in various ways.

In the Narducci case, in the same way, I simply limited myself to performing the investigation and requesting the remands to trial, and the trial will have to start again now because the Supreme Court has annulled the dropping of charges [by Judge Micheli] and sent back the trial to another preliminary judge in Perugia.

The purpose – quite overt – of such endlessly repeated lies, is to defame the investigator, picturing him as a magistrate who is following alleged personal obsessions rather than sticking at facts, as instead he is.

The hope that such conscious misrepresentation of reality could bring advantage to the defences (foremost that of Spezi himself) is consistent with a bad habit which has all along flourished in Italy but is now also copied abroad.

Therefore I ask you to please publish my rectification against false and seriously defamatory information.

Kind regards

Giuliano Mignini

Do you know who is most often on TV in Italy DENOUNCING the notion that satanic plots are widespread?  Dr Mignini, in fact. Satanic plots do occur (the MOF crimes are accepted in Italy as one) but they are extremely rare.

Dr Mignini in fact locked up the psychic for false testimony to the police. And as he says, and as a vast volume of documents and media reports and court testimony attests, he never ever claimed anything satanic in Meredith’s case.

Dr Mignini Is Doing Just Fine

Dr Mignini is a huge hero in Italy for getting both the Knox-Sollecito-Guede case right (even Judge Hellmann and the Fifth Chambers did not fully let the perps off the hook) and the Monster of Florence case right.

Meanwhile, the crackpot Stephen Robert Morse who rages incessantly at Dr Mignini looks terrible. Much more to come.


Special credit to Machiavelli, Ergon, the Machine, Kermit, and the PMF Dot-Net crowd, for the guts of this post.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Netflixhoax 2: Omitted - Any Accurate Representation Of Dr Mignini’s Fine Track Record

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.


1. The Wider Context

Longtime Italy-berater Judy Bachrach is one of the first to view the Netflix movie Amanda Knox. Predictably, she raves about it.

At bottom here Dr Mignini explains the actual final judgment on Knox and Sollecito, and shoots huge holes in Bachrach’s claims.

Judy Bachrach resembles one of those wind-up parrots. She repeats about a dozen of the Knox-PR talking points like mantras again and again.

There are literally hundreds of evidence points on this and other sites that overwhelmingly point to Knox and Sollecito guilt. There is no other way to account for them all. That is why the 2009 trial was so decisive.

Try running those past Bahrach and she is quite certain to come up short of any other explanation. Even simply our two posts directly below this, providing a flavor of that, would leave her seriously stumped. 

She published her first very simplistic take on the case in 2008, months before trial when much evidence was not public and the myth-making Knox and Sollecito PR was ramping up. Then another simplistic take every several years since. She has also repeatedly found her way onto TV and perhaps a dozen simplistic YouTubes are one result.

At Guede, she really rants. Clearly in her eyes the nasty black guy did it, and did it all alone even though not one court, ever, ruled that.

She makes it routine to mischaracterize Dr Mignini, who she seems to think really had it in for the girl (she always forgets Sollecito) because of something to do with sex. And in her mind all of Italy has been fooled.

Our main poster Machine posted an analysis of nine of Bachrach’ wild claims way back in April 2010. They are highly worth reading, here. Machine’s overall conclusion on Bachrach was this.

We have been analyzing Judy Bachrach’s many, many articles and TV commentaries about the case, and they all seem to point to the following conclusions. 

  • That she hasn’t ever read the Micheli report and doesn’t seem to have actually ever mentioned it.

  • That she hasn’t had full access to the prosecution’s 10,000-plus pages file of evidence, and maybe she has had no access at all.

  • That she didn’t attend the key court sessions in which highly incriminating forensic and circumstantial evidence was presented.

  • That she hasn’t absorbed the numerous factual newspaper and magazine reports about the key forensic and circumstantial evidence.

  • That she seems to rely either a lot or totally on sources with vested interests who feed her wrong theories and false information.

  • And that she comes across to us as the reporter most often showing on US media outlets the most complete ignorance of the case.

Quite a track record. We wonder if she is really very proud of it. She seems to sound so.


2. Judy Bachrach’s Latest Crackpot Claims

Judy Bachrach was fast to start beating the drum about the Netflix flick. Almost the first reporter there. You can read her article here. She clearly loves the Netflix report.

That it leaves out about 95% of the key facts seems to be over her head.

In the article, she quotes her recollection of an interview Dr Mignini gave her years ago.  This was clearly a gotcha moment for her - suddenly it was crystal clear why Amanda Knox is being tried for the crimes. Sex! It seems over her head that officially there really were sex crimes; all three were charged with them.

It pays to understand four things.

(1) Not only did the Netflix flick get things wrong and leave myriad things out (how many, we shall soon know) but it appears to accept that innocence was proved and that Knox and Sollecito had zero role. That was not what the Supreme Court said. See Dr Mignini’s final damning paras below.

(2) Italian lawyers think the Fifth Chambers ruling may have been illegal as well as bent. The reasoning can be read here. That is headed to court soon.

(3) Judy Bachrach’s crackpot inventions are not backed up by even one document, transcript or report. She really does parrot the Knox PR and uses inventions to fill in any gaps.

(4) There is a mafia angle, of which Bachrach could be part. Humiliating the forces of justice is what they like to do. We cannot go public until this officially starts to come out. Sollecito first drew attention to it, and law enforcement are on top of it.

3. Dr Mignini Corrects The Record At Length

We offered Dr Mignini this opportunity. He kindly came through. It is made pretty obvious that Bachrach was maliciously putting words in his mouth.  Dr Mignini spoke in Italian, and we translated, and he approved.

Dr Mignini speaks

I will share just some of my thoughts after reading the article in that magazine, which I would really prefer not to speak about. I mainly want to say that those statements which are put between quotation marks as attributed to me contained in that article? I never pronounced them.

I have never said – and anyone who knows me would understand (though this journalist Judy Bachrach doesn’t know me, doesn’t know me at all and I myself didn’t have the misfortune to know her) that I would never say, I’d never talk about, and I’d never mention, the morality or the immorality of a person as an argument within the explanation for a crime. Absolutely no way.

A crime is a violation of a law, an action that may be reprehensible or whatever you like, but it is an action regulated as provided by the penal code, subjected to penalty by the code, that needs to be ascertained, period. And that’s all. It needs to be ascertained following totally objective criteria. A crime is an objective action, a codified action. It has nothing to do with moral qualities, or allegations of moral qualities, or lack thereof, of an individuals.

The discussion in the article of Bachrach about those allegedly quoted statements about “morality” attributed to me, they are FALSE, I have simply never said them. And one cannot even say that they were a little changed, because I’ve never said anything even remotely like them. Those are statements of a kind that I would NEVER make.

Such is one statement reported in the article where I allegedly said “Amanda killed because motivated by a wish to be liked at any cost” – by the way, statements like those do not make any sense: the person who makes up such statements doesn’t realize she is saying things void of any meaning. 

The Italian Penal Procedure code (art. 220) prohibits that any research into the personality of a suspect could be used in court as evidence, such as the finding of a propensity of a suspect to commit crimes or similar argumentations. A proper research into the personality of a suspect is permitted only when there is a need to establish mental capabilities. On the other hand, some features of a suspect personality might be considered during investigations but only to understand the context of a crime.

When I happened to point at some features apparent in the personality of the suspects, I actually cited observations made by criminal psychiatrist Dr. Mastronardi who had given his opinion on the case. Aspects of personalities traits, showing features such as manipulative behaviours or a passive and dependent attitude – to mention some findings involving the suspects – were rather noted, highlighted or detailed not by the prosecution, but by the judges on various instances of the investigation and pre-trial hearings (Investigation Judge C. Matteini, Re-Examination Judge M. Ricciarelli, and Preliminary Judge P. Micheli).

[Editors note. These are the judges who really guided the case. Go to this post and scroll down and click through to posts #13 to #16. That includes the findings of the Supreme Court, which backed up the findings of Dr Matteini and Dr Ricciarelli’s panel. It also includes Dr Mignini’s interrogation of Knox, in which she in effect froze up; this was done at her own request though her lawyers were none too thrilled - they feared she would bomb out, and she did.]

As for the “motive” on this case. It should be pointed out that in a case like the murder of Meredith Kercher – the murder of a young student girl who was uninvolved in dangerous circles and had no enemies – independently from the identity of the perpetrators, we are talking about a crime that cannot have have a “motive” with a rational or consistent logical structure, nor could it be ascribed to a particular conscious and organized intention.

We may talk about causes that could have contributed to leading to a situation that ended in committing the crime. Among the factors we know that unbalanced personalities, life or emotional disorganization of perpetrators, behavioral excesses, inabilities to handle relations, psychological fragilities, are elements that always contribute to this kind of crimes, and we had reasons to believe that drugs also played a role.

The task of the judiciaries is not really to set out the motives of the individuals from a subjective point of view. We know that unfortunately a record of cases exists, in which apparent “ordinary” looking young people – including students – have committed very violent murders, in contexts where no “motive” could be explained in a way that appears rational or serious from an objective point of view, since futile crimes - including group murders - may emerge from the building up of situations involving individuals not able to handle issues of adult life.

Thus, all statements within quotation marks as reported in the article by Bachrach are false, I’d say absolutely false: they are the product of a making-up or a spin (I reserve for myself any necessary action in the event there is also a defamatory report) or reported without their context or with their context changed (like falsely reporting the dates, such as when I mentioned the time when some Perugian citizens used to compliment me).

I was stunned by one statement by the end of the article, that says – in which I am reported to have said – that “if they were innocent, they should forget”. That is a statement which I said on request of one of the two interviewers, who asked “what would you say to those young persons in the event that they were actually innocent?”. So what could I say, what should I answer to a question framed and spun in such a way? I might say: “it’s an experience that unfortunately happened to you, something that may happen, try to forget, seek all legal ways” – but I was saying that in the abstract, purely in the abstract – “that you think you can follow if you deem that you suffered an injustice” – albeit the Cassazione ruling is in the dubitative formula (Art. 530 § 2. cpp).

But then the Vanityfair journalist does not report my *second* statement, that is, the other one I said just following: “And what about if they are guilty? If they were guilty I’d suggest them to remind that our human life ends as trial that has an irreversible sentence, that will last forever”. My answer was made of two statements, not of one. Both were rhetorical and hypothetical. The last statement was the one I thought would have unleashed criticism, but curiously it’s the one missing in the article, there is no comment about it.

Another thing: it is true that people in Perugia happened to come to shake my hand and compliment me, but that happened much later, around 2013 and later, and those people basically complimented me about the Narducci case. It was somehow satisfying because it came after many years of difficulties and attacks. The Perugian people expressed their support to me because of the Narducci case, and secondarily they also expressed their support because of my independency in facing the international media campaign that was mounted against me after the Kercher case.

I don’t know if Vanityfair was the one which made up or spun my answers, falsely reporting them from the Netflix documentary, or if it was Netflix itself who made them up by editing the interview and disseminating content from a video prior to the premiere. I had a positive experience working with the documentary directors at the time. Not knowing what the journalist watched or made up, I will anyway reserve my decision as a consequence. I have to say, I am quite disconcerted about the way a certain American environment appears to think and keeps going on in a raving manner about this case.

One stunning aspect of this, is that the narrative they put forward, such as in the article we talk about, seems to be based on a focus on me, as if I were to become a kind of key character functional to their fictional story. I found this particularly strange since in reality the Kercher case investigation was actually based on the work of a number of judiciaries, all of them making decisions with a power that was equal, or greater than mine. So is how the Italian system works on these type of serious crimes.

The fact that even a second Public Minister was appointed almost from the beginning may suggest that we didn’t have personal investment: I asked Manuela Comodi – who has my equal rank, is not my deputy – to share the investigation and deal with the technical parts, such as the expert witnesses, since she is very good in this area. The other, multiple judiciaries involved beside us, all had greater powers, each of them could have stopped the investigation or changed its orientation and settings.

Therefore, a personalization of the case – as if I had some kind of special power – or a “polarization” of it – like a narrative that is woven between me and one of the suspects as main characters – that appears unrealistic to any person with a minimum of understanding of the system. Indeed if there are reporters who like to make up a story where a person with my name plays the role of a picturesque fictional character, motivated by “moral” or religious obsessions or else, all of this only shows an agenda pursued by those journalists that tells much more about them and about the type of campaign they are part of, than about the case. 

There is anyway one important element which, unfortunately, I know was left out from the documentary – partly because it was produced earlier than the publication of the Cassazione ruling – I know that something the documentary omits to mention, is the actual content of the latest ruling by the Fifth Panel of Cassazion. If we leave aside, for a moment, the several issues of consistency and law inherent in the ruling itself (those that may be spotted by those who read it with some knowledge of the topics), there is anyway the fact that the ruling confirms certain findings.

Some facts recognized as certain by the Cassazione, not reported in the documentary, are that it is anyway a “proven fact” that Amanda Knox was present at the scene of crime when crime was committed. The same ruling also points out how it is proven beyond doubt that Meredith Kercher was murdered by more than one person, and Rudy Guede certainly acted together with others. The fact that Amanda Knox was certainly there is emphasized by the Court to the point of noting their agreement with the lower Court on the fact that Ms. Knox heard Meredith’s harrowing scream, and even noted that she had the victim’s blood on her hands, that she washed them in order to clean them from Meredith’s blood.   

The High Court only raises a reasonable doubt about the active participation of Amanda Knox in the action of killing. The Court – in agreement with other definitive findings – also reminds that Ms. Knox voluntarily lied as she falsely accused an innocent, and notes that no way could this finding ever be overturned. All these things are missing in the documentary. I’d like all American friends to bear in mind these last bits of information as well, whenever they decide to seek information about the Kercher case.


Thursday, September 01, 2016

How Bob Woffinden, Aggrandizing Investigative Journalist, Attempts To Perpetrate Innocence Fraud

Posted by The Machine



Said to be Bob Woffinden - as a pop music reporter, some years ago

1. Woffinden and innocence fraud

These days innocence fraud is a very real thing.

A stern warning was issued to crime laboratory administrators that some post-conviction exonerations may have been secured by innocence activists using malicious tactics, or ‘innocence fraud’, creating potential public safety threats as convicted felons are released from prison.

In this post, I will analyse another example of innocence fraud, this time by British journalist Bob Woffinden on Meredith’s case. Woffinden has done this on other cases before.

He specialises in alleged miscarriages of justice, and has written articles for The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The New Statesman and authored a number a books about high-profile murder cases: Miscarriages of Justice; Hanratty: The Final Verdict and The Murder of Billy-Jo.

Woffinden’s default position when it comes to controversial murder cases seems to be to assume a miscarriage of justice, and to claim someone has been convicted of a crime they didn’t commit.

He’s claimed that James Hanratty, Jeremy Bamber, Barry George, Sion Jenkins and Jonathan King are all innocent. Reflexively anti-police, Woffinden as I described in the post linked to above on the James Hanratty case has a history of putting victims’ families through considerable pain.

2. Woffinden On Meredith’s case

Here he tries to prove that Rudy Guede is innocent of murder, and falsely claims he was convicted because he was black. He also tries to cast doubt on the hard fact that Meredith was sexually assaulted - or that the police got anything right.

Anyone who has read the official court documents and court testimonies with regard to the Meredith Kercher case will be able to assess Bob Woffinden’s professionalism and credibility and ethics as an investigative journalist article by reading his contorted take.

To those who really do know the case, it is immediately apparent that he’s pretty ignorant of the main facts, and that he hasn’t bothered to read the official court documents or the court testimonies available in English here.

He mindlessly repeats various endemic Friends of Amanda PR myths. For example, he erroneously claims the prosecutors concocted the scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong.

“The second mistake then ensued from the first. Needing to explain the presence of their three suspects in connection with the supposed sexual assault – and knowing there was absolutely no evidence to link Guede with Knox and Sollecito – they [the prosecutors] concocted the absurd scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong.”

Dr Mignini didn’t ever say anything about there being a sex orgy that went wrong when he presented his scenario to the court at the trial in 2009 and the numerous hearings (which Woffinden seems totally unaware of) in the 15 months before.

Instead he gave the court a detailed chronological account briefly summarized below of a vicious physical and sexual assault on Meredith, which culminated in her dying some time after the killers left and locked her in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why is Woffinden unable to substantiate his claim that the prosecutors concocted the scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong with a verbatim quote from Mignini or Comodi?

Because they never claimed this at all. A competent and ethical professional journalist should be able to support every claim they make.

Woffinden regurgitates another popular PR myth by claiming that Rudy Guede pleaded guilty late in 2008.

“Even as he [Rudy Guede] pleaded guilty, he vehemently asserted his innocence, saying, ‘I can’t talk about things I haven’t seen and that didn’t happen to me’.”

Rudy Guede has never pleaded guilty or confessed to Meredith’s murder. He has always denied killing Meredith. He opted for a fast-track trial in mid 2008 because he could escape a blatant attempt to frame him as sole perpetrator by the Knox and Sollecito defense.

It meant he would automatically received a third off his prison sentence but at the time he had no idea what that would look like.

Bob Woffinden gets yet another fact wrong when he claims the Hellmann appeal court sanctioned a full review of the scientific evidence.

“…the Italian court sanctioned a full review of the scientific evidence on which they had been convicted.”

It did nothing of the kind. Hellmann merely asked Carla Vechiotti and Stefano Conti to review two pieces of DNA evidence - the knife and bra clasp evidence.

They didn’t review the bloody footprint on the bathmat, the bare bloody footprints which had been revealed by Luminol, or the five samples of Knox’s DNA or the blood mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage.

Yet another wrong “fact”. Bob Woffinden claims that a police officer flushed away Rudy Guede’s faeces and thus destroyed evidence.

“His recollection that he had leapt up from the toilet seat the instant he heard the scream was bizarrely corroborated by the fact that there were faeces still in the pan when the police arrived. Needless to say, one officer activated the toilet, thereby flushing away important evidence.”

Needless to say? In fact this claim is complete and utter nonsense. The faeces in the toilet wasn’t flushed away. It was carefully collected as evidence and tested. However, it didn’t yield any results.

“The faeces present in the toilet of that bathroom did not, however, yield any results, and Dr Stefanoni, the biologist of the Scientific Police, explained that the presence of numerous bacteria easily destroys what DNA might be found in faeces.” (The Massei report, page 43).

Why would Woffinden make these and other demonstrably untrue claims? It seems obvious that he wants to portray the Italian National Scientific Police (much respected by the FBI) as the Keystone Cops, in order to ridicule the forensic investigation, seemingly his purpose here.

Woffinden makes yet another false claim by stating that Guede made only one inconsistent statement.

“Guede’s solitary inconsistency was this. He did comment at the outset of the investigation that ‘Amanda doesn’t have anything to do with it’. But, at that stage, perhaps he couldn’t believe that she did have.”

Judge Micheli, who found Rudy Guede guilty of sexual assault and murder in October 2008, pointed out in his sentencing report of January 2009 that Guede’s accounts were unreliable and varied a lot.

“Analyzing the narratives of the accused…he is not credible, as I will explain, because his version is (1) unreliable, and (2) continuously varying, whether on basic points or in minor details and outline.”

Bob Woffinden also seems to be pushing the wrong notion that Rudy Guede didn’t implicate Amanda Knox until much later - which is another FOA PR myth.

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

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

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

Bob Woffinden makes the erroneous and offensive claim that there’s no evidence that Meredith was sexually assaulted,

“In their investigation, prosecutors made a series of blunders. The first serious mistake was their assumption that Meredith was sexually assaulted. If one takes cognisance of Guede’s account, there is no evidence of this. The second mistake then ensued from the first. Needing to explain the presence of their three suspects in connection with the supposed sexual assault – and knowing there was absolutely no evidence to link Guede with Knox and Sollecito – they concocted the absurd scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong.”

Had Bob Woffinden actually bothered to read the key Massei trial report, he would have known that several medical experts - Dr Lalli, Professor Marchionni, Professor Bacci and Professor Gianaristide Norelli - testified that there were indications of sexual violence on Meredith.

Such conclusions were further explained [by Dr Lalli] at the hearing of April 3, 2009, in which it was highlighted that signs were present of sexual activity with characteristics of non cooperation by the young woman, which can be derived from the lesion pattern at the vulvo vaginal level (page 40 of transcripts).

[111] These signs were present in the purple ecchymotic type spots detected on the inner surface of the labia minora, the area where they are usually produced. It is the first point of contact for the sex organ or object including fingers penetrating the vagina and therefore the point at which an action ... performed without the full cooperation of both actors would produce purplish spots of this kind. (The Massei report, page 116).

He [Professor Marchionni] noted in this regard that, even without lubrication injuries of this nature are not the result of consensual sexual intercourse, and he argued that the cause of these lesions had originated from a “forcing” that could have been done by the penis or by hands (page 21, hearing on April 4, 2009). (The Massei report, page 117.)

With regard to sexual violence, he [Professor Bacci] referred to the inspection of the genital area conducted by Dr. Lalli at the morgue operating room. On the internal surface of the labia minora, attention was focused on areas of discolouration, which can be interpreted as small bruises, small abrasions associated with small haemorrhages indicative of “small lesions” (page 16, transcripts) consistent with a violent action of friction, pressure an typical of sexual violence and, while affirming the absence glaring signs of typical sexual violence (page 16, transcripts) he concluded compatibility with non-consensual sexual intercourse’ (page 16, hearing, hearing on April 18, 2009). (The Massei report, page 121.)

He [Gianaristide Norelli] further underlined the presence of a slight bilateral suffusion in the area of the iliac spines, i.e. in the areas corresponding to the anterior lateral part of the flank, which represent the end/terminal parts of the wings of the [pelvic] basin and the fact that “lesions in this area are fairly characteristic of seizure [grasping] and immobilisation”; [it is] an area which is ‘highly suggestive’ in the context of the investigation of sexual assault. (The Massei report, page 124).

It should be stressed that the the doctor who actually performed the autopsy - Dr Lalli - believed Meredith had been sexually assaulted.

“The prosecution focused on Lalli’s statements that he believed there had been non-consensual sex.” (Andrea Vogt, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2 April 2009).

You need just an ounce of common sense to know that murder victims who were also raped or sexually assaulted didn’t consent. The Kerchers’ lawyer Dr Maresca made this very point:

“Sex that ends with someone dead is not consensual.”

Dr Maresca also highlighted the fact several medical experts said there were signs of sexual violence in court. Dr Maresca told the court that the expert witnesses

“sustained the prior results and valuations of the coroner who performed the autopsy and the forensic evidence specialists who already testified”. He added: “And for the first time today, we also heard that the bruises on the victim’s hips were consistent with a sexually violent approach.”

Unbelievably, Bob Woffinden regards Rudy Guede as a reliable and credible witness.

I’m surprised anyone would believe Guede’s ever-changing versions of events when they are so blatantly untrue. Guede gave two different accounts of arranging a date with Meredith and they’re both demonstrably false.

Meredith didn’t go to the Halloween party at the Spanish students’ house on 31 October 2007.

Guede then changed his story and claimed that he had met her at Domus, but Meredith was with her friends continuously and none of them saw her with him. None of Guede’s friends saw him with her either.

“He [Rudy Guede] stated that he met the girl on Oct. 31 in the house of some Spanish students and did not meet her later in the “Domus” pub, that the next day, shortly before going to the date with Meredith…

In the third interrogation, by the P.M. [public prosecutor] on March 26, 2008, he changed the place of his meeting with Kercher on Oct. 31 from the Spanish students’ house to the Domus pub” (Judge Giordano’s Supreme Court report, page 17).

“…and also because none of Meredith’s friends (Amy Frost, Robyn Butterworth and [10] Sophie Purton, with whom she had gone out on the evening of Halloween, Oct. 31, 2007) nor any of Guede’s friends (among others AC and PM) had ever seen them talk to each other.” (Judge Giordano’s sentencing report, page 10).

Meredith had NOT arranged a date with Guede at the cottage on Via della Pergola on 1 November 2007. She and Sophie Purton left their friends early that evening because they mistakenly believed they had lectures the next day.

“They [Meredith Kercher and Sophie Purton] were to meet on the morning of the second at around 10:00 am for a lecture at the university…:” (The Massei report, page 35).

“Meredith was tired from the day before when she had come home about five in the morning; the next day she supposed that she had a lesson at the University at 10 am and she needed to prepare for this and she had to also think about resting” (The Massei report, page 58).

Judge Massei explained at length in his report why Rudy Guede’s claims he had a date with Meredith were not credible.

“Speaking of Meredith, there has already been occasion to make mention of her personality (serious, not superficial, with a strong character), of her romantic situation [i.e. her love life] (she had not long beforehand begun a relationship with Giacomo Silenzi), of the plans she had for that evening (studying, preparing for the following day believing that there would be classes at the University, finishing a piece of homework, as her mother recalled during the hearing of 6 June 2009, and resting).

None of the people she frequented and in whom she confided (her relatives and her English girlfriends) testified that Meredith had made any mention to them at all of Rudy, for whom, therefore, she must not have felt any interest. With regard to the totality of these circumstances, it must be considered that Meredith could only have made an outright refusal to Rudy’s advances” (The Massei report, pages 365-366).

In rejecting Guede’s final appeal Judge Giordano succinctly summarised the reasons why he was found guilty of sexual assault and murder in his Supreme Court report. It had nothing to do with the colour of his skin.

“The judgement rationale thus proceeds through rigorous logical steps, quite consistently, with no possibility of misinterpreting evidence, distorting significant data, or disruption of the overall probative reasoning. Meredith Kercher, before being slaughtered with the deadly blow at her throat, was the victim of a series of wounds, of forced restraining of her limbs, especially the left hand and arm - and on the cuff of the left sleeve of the sweatshirt she wore clear traces of DNA of the defendant are found – aimed at overcoming her resistance to sexual violence, of which the traces of DNA of Guede of the vaginal swabs are evidence, which then led to the violent behaviour of the deadly slaughtering.

The version of the accused is totally unrealistic because, even apart from the obvious omissions and contradictions detectable in his many statements, his previous acquaintance of Meredith, shaped in his story by a meeting on the night before the murder at the Domus pub, by a kiss between the two and by a date for the evening of the following day, is clearly disproved by a whole articulated testimonial structure, [19] coming from several people and indicating that: the two did not meet at the Domus (indicated by the testimonies of all the friends who were accompanying Meredith), even less did they converse, even briefly, at the Shamrock pub during the match between England and South Africa broadcasted the day before (indicated by the testimonies of AC, PM and F), and Kercher never confided anything, as would have been natural, to her friends about a date with Guede, not even on the afternoon of Nov. 1, as she had done in other occasions about details of her personal and love life (indicated by the testimonies of Robin Carmel Butterworth, Sophie Purton).

This is consistent with the portrait of Meredith’s character; she avoided sexual relations with other men apart from Giacomo Silenzi with whom she had begun a relationship that she absolutely did not mean to betray, as stated by her friends, especially not for unimportant adventures.” (Judge Giordano’s Supreme Court report, pages 17-18).

Some conclusions

Bob Woffinden has made a name for himself by publicly championing the causes of convicted killers and sex offenders. Mainstream media organisations such as The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The New Statesman have given him a certain degree of credibilty and respectabilty by publishing his articles. Many people will trust him and assume that he’s a reliable and trustworthy journalist.

However, their trust is misplaced. His lack of due diligence with regard to his article about Rudy Guede and the Meredith Kercher case is disturbing and unacceptable. He doesn’t get the basics of journalism right - which is astonishing for someone who has worked as a journalist for decades. He gets basic facts wrong and he has made numerous demonstrably false claims.

A professional journalist should be able to substantiate every claim they make. Bob Woffinden is unable to do this because he has relied on some of the numerous factually inaccurate articles and the massive defense and PR spin about the case instead of the official court documents and court testimonies.

It defies belief that he accepts Rudy Guede’s fairy tale version of events. You don’t expect such childlike naivety from an adult let alone an investigative journalist. He’s obviously blissfully ignorant of the fact that Guede gave contradictory and confllcting accounts.

It seems he has a deep-rooted psychological need to believe in innocence and police malfeasance, which completely clouds his judgement to the point where he blindly supports and campaigns on behalf of people who are blatantly guilty of sexual assault and murder like James Hanratty and Rudy Guede.

If there’s a more sloppy and self-serving journalist in the world, I haven’t come across them yet.


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Court Filing Suggesting 5th Chambers Encroached Illegally On 1st Chambers & Florence Court Powers

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





This opinion was drafted by several of Italy’s most experienced lawyers and it was filed with the Florence court several months ago.

These passages quoted below raise issues of what the Fifth Chambers under the Penal Code legally can and can not do, with respect to prior rulings of (1) the Supreme Court (the First Chambers which mostly overturned Hellmann in 2013) and (2) the Florence appeal court.

According to this opinion, the Fifth Chambers has significantly overstepped its legal boundaries in brushing aside previous rulings and trying to fulfill the role of an appeal court, or a first-level trial court (the same stretch the First Chambers considered the Hellmann appeal court to have been indulging in). 

This is uncharted territory. Judges of the First Chambers and Florence court and the Council of Magistrates all seem likely to side with this seemingly watertight opinion, and so reactions could ripple on for years.

The Fifth Chambers judges might find themselves increasingly beleaguered. And their rulings on evidence items and the investigators and prosecutors and foreign media would all seem to be moot, if the perception grows that the Fifth Chambers should not even have gone there.

the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same…

the Court of Cassation cannot, therefore, ever adopt decisions on the merits and issue orders of acquittal under Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

...two chambers of the same Court of Cassation, the First (the one competent for proceedings in homicide matters, whose decision of annulment is definitive and who had identified and decided questions of law in a definitive and un-retractable manner) and the Fifth (who would have had to decide the appeals presented only on grounds of legitimacy of the defendants’, constrained by what had already been definitively decided by the First) have handed down two absolutely divergent decisions and the second had annulled the Florentine decision, positively excluding any remitting to another court and acquitting the defendants pursuant to Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same…

the Court of Cassation cannot, therefore, ever adopt decisions on the merits and issue orders of acquittal under Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

...two chambers of the same Court of Cassation, the First (the one competent for proceedings in homicide matters, whose decision of annulment is definitive and who had identified and decided questions of law in a definitive and un-retractable manner) and the Fifth (who would have had to decide the appeals presented only on grounds of legitimacy of the defendants’, constrained by what had already been definitively decided by the First) have handed down two absolutely divergent decisions and the second had annulled the Florentine decision, positively excluding any remitting to another court and acquitting the defendants pursuant to Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

from these starting points in fact and in law which are absolutely undeniable, it emerges that the course of proceedings in this case have been absolutely linear and respectful of the substance of the procedural rules up to and including the Florentine decision.

the Court of Cassation, on the appeal of the Prosecutor-General of [the Perugia] district Court, had in a radical and definitive manner annulled the acquitting pronouncement and had remitted it to the Florentine district court because the same would adopt the consequent decisions of merit in the line of reasoning of the principles of law laid down by the First Chamber of the Supreme Court and of the points decided by it.

These principles of law are by now unmodifiable and unarguable: the [Fifth Chambers] , called on to decide the matter, as a “second opinion”, concerning the appeal of the defendants from the [Florence] judgment below, would have had to hand down a judgment fully within the “railway tracks” of the law, as fixed by the First Chamber, like the Florentine district court did, principles from among which we may cite:

[Umodifiable principle] the principle, in fact the unfailing legal prerequisite of a Supreme Court decision, namely the fact that the Court is precluded from “trespassing into a re-evaluation of the compendium of evidence” (see the judgment of the First Chamber at page 40);

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle of law of the total and holistic evaluation of the probative material, as opposed to the “parcelled-up and atomistic evaluation of the pieces of circumstantial evidence, taking them into consideration one at a time and discarded in terms of their demonstrative potentiality”, which characterised instead, in the negative, the decision of the Court presided by Pratillo Hellmann (see the decision of the same First Chamber at pp. 40 and 41… ). The ancient brocard “Quae singula non probant, simul unita probant” [‘Those which alone do not prove, together do prove’], quoted on p 41 of the First Chamber’s judgment, consecrates in a definitive and unmodifiable manner this requirement of a global and holistic approach in which each individual piece of the jigsaw puzzle of reconstruction of the facts is considered together with all the others in their demonstrative synergy;

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle by which the [Hellmann] court had run afoul of grave shortcomings and contradictory lines of reasoning and in glaring misrepresentations of the outcome, even in the attempted decoupling of the calunnia, by now definitively attributed to Ms Knox, with the result of masking from view the responsibility of the same in the homicide;

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the testimony of the homeless person Mr Curatolo ought to have been evaluated on the basis of corroboration between his statements and the objective and unarguable circumstances emerging from the trial (such as the fact that the witness had with absolute decisiveness anchored the fact of having seen the two accused in the precincts of the basketball courts of Piazza Grimana, nowadays Piazza Fortebraccio, the evening before the arrival, the following day, at the Via della Pergola house of the men from Forensics in their white coveralls), rather than on the basis of Mr Curatolo’s social conditions and lifestyle (see the cited judgment of the First Chamber at page 50);

[Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the definitive conviction of accomplice Rudy Hermann Guede ought to have been taken into account (no. 7195/11, published on 16.12.2010, it also from the First Criminal Chamber of Cassation), Guede having been held to have been extraneous to the simulation of burglary of a house. [A] habitation that, on the night of the murder, was solely at the availability of the victim and of Amanda Knox and from the statements made by the same Rudy before the Perugian district court, according to which Meredith was killed by the two co-accused (see the judgment at pages 55 and 56).

[Unmodifiable principle] The principle by which contamination of the evidence is to be proved by the party invoking it and which, on the facts of the case, no evidence in support had been offered and which the [Hellmann} Court had seriously confused the abstract possibility of the fact with the averment of the fact (see the judgment at page 69).Umodifiable principle] The principle according to which it was a matter of a homicide committed by multiple persons, in concourse amongst themselves (see page 73 of the cited judgment).

Here is a translation of Article 530:

Article 530:

1. If the act does not subsist [541 2, 542], if the defendant has not commited it [541 2, 542], if the act is not an offence or it is not envisaged by law as an offence, that is, if the offence has been committed by a non-indictable person [c.p. 85] or by a not punishable person for other reasons, the judge issues a judgement of acquittal, stating the reason. 

2.The judge issues a judgement of acquittal also when there is lack of evidence or it is not sufficient, or there is contradictory evidence that the act subsists, that the defendant has comitted it, that the act constitutes an offence or that the offence has been committed by an indictable person.(1).

3. If there is evidence that the act has been committed in circumstances of a legal excuse or exemption from criminal liability, that is, there is doubt about them, the judge issues a judgement of acquittal pursuant to clause 1.

4. In the event of an acquittal the judge applies security measures, in the cases provided for by law.

And here is a translation of Article 628:

Impugnability of a ruling issued by a judge after remand

1. A verdict that had been issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand, may be impugned through a recourse at Supreme Court of Cassation if the ruling was issued on an appeal instance, and through the mean provided by law if was issued on a first instance level.

2. In any case a verdict issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand may be appealed only on the reasons that do not concern those that had already been decided by Cassation on the order of remand, or for not abiding to disposition of art. 627 paragraph 2.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Big Shot Across Bows Of Fifth Chambers: Charge Claims Several Illegalities By Marasca & Bruno

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



President Sergio Mattarella, right, might have the power to overturn Judge Marasca’s verdict

1. The Unexplained Delay Of The Sentencing Report

Judge Marasca and President Mattarella, a former judge, have similar reputations: they have both fought mightily to prevent bent outcomes. 

It has been put about in Italian legal circles that Judge Marasca is not exactly in love with his panel’s verdict. We reported talk in Rome that he held out for several hours on 25 March against a majority faction led by Judge Bruno.

Perhaps he remains a captive of the majority in what might be a tainted court - if it is, it would not be the first tainted court in this case. The Hellmann court is considered as such, as quotes below indicate.

Almost with no exceptions, Cassation routinely reports its appeal verdicts both fast and briefly. Often the reports are presented within several weeks. and most of them come in at under 50 pages. 

In Meredith’s case all of the previous Cassation reports came in well before their deadlines. The one that took the longest was the 74-page report of the First Chambers in 2013, annulling most of the Hellmann verdict.

That took 85 days. We are already 10 days beyond that. It will not be very long before the delay in the report really raises red flags. 

2. Judge Marasca’s Post-Verdict Interview

Judge Marasca is well known for not giving interviews and for letting his court statements speak for themselves.

Seemingly aware that his court statement on 27 March was already being questioned, and by some ridiculed, he did give this interview to the reporter Fiorenza Sarzanini for Corriere. Key quotes from it.

A further process could not ascertain the truth about the murder of Meredith Kercher. The “proof used was so contradictory “it is impossible to overcome the doubts and inconsistencies…

The judges of the fifth section of the Court of Cassation were all agreed on canceling the sentence to 28 years and six months for Amanda Knox and Raffaele 25 years “without referral” [back down to the Florence court].

The panel chaired by Dr Marasca also considered “non-binding” the earlier ruling of the Supreme Court that in March two years ago ordered a new appeal trial [in Florence and annulled the Hellmann verdict]

These claims are contended in this new criminal complaint (see the Italian original here) and are rebutted most forcefully in the quotes from it below.

3. The Complaint In The Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Hands

On 28 May the criminal complaint was filed by the Perugia prosecutor Dr Mignini and two lead investigators against one of Sollecito’s lawyers, Luca Maori, together with a reporter and an editor of the Perugia weekly Settegiorni Umbria.

The interview and editorial comments sliming the prosecution and the investigators were published back in January, two months before the Fifth Chambers ruled. They might be seen as one of many attempts to poison public opinion and to lean on the courts - in this case, the Fifth Chambers, which had the appeal.

The narrative describes some nasty lies of commission and omission by Maori and the magazine staff. We wont repeat them here. Impactful on a much wider plane is how the complaint characterizes the investigation and the prosecution of the case, and the various attempts to bend courts and so bend outcomes of the case.

It is highly significant that this complaint was filed by a Florence lawyer and with the Florence court. The chief prosecutor for Florence and its region Tuscany has been quoted as scathing of the Fifth Chambers verdict, presumably seeing it as a slap in the face to his own team which contended the Knox-Sollecito appeal, and perhaps an attempt to take the powerful Florence court down a peg.

The Florence court had made a large number of documents available to the Fifth Chambers. As this narrative is highly relevant, the law would have required the Florence Chief prosecutor to forward it. We can presume then that all the Fifth Chambers judges have the document available and, as it sets up a polarity, quite possibly the First Chambers judges as well.

4. The Significance Of The Complaint’s Various Phrasings

If we notionally divide the document into five parts, part (1) explains the people named in the rest of the document and their respective roles, parts (2) and (3) describe the main elements of the very complex legal process and mistakes that were made by the Hellmann court and the Fifth Chambers; and parts (4) and (5) go into detail about the case against Maori and his interviewer and editor.

The excerpts below are from parts (2) and (3). Anyone involved in the legal process would see rather rapidly that parts (2) and (3) could constitute a blueprint for legal action against the Fifth Chambers (such legal action is now allowed) and could also constitute a petition to President Sergio Mattarella, the head of the Italian justice system, who has the power to overrule a Cassation outcome.

[1] it appears necessary to highlight the circumstances, in fact and in law, left in the shadows by the interview and which render even more serious, frankly incomprehensible and above all without any justification on the basis of the complex course of proceedings, the defamatory statements contained in the article and the very grave and intolerable accusations launched with so much superficiality against the investigators and the 34 magistrates who had upheld the prosecution’s case against the 11 who had doubted it.

Noted above are the many lies of omission (some are listed below; we have a long list pending) that tend to be typical when the defenses and those who were in the dock and their supporters describe the case. Also noted are the 34 magistrates who handled elements of the case and did not abort the process. See the examples here and here.

[2] The two accused Knox and Sollecito had been arrested on the morning of 6 November 2007, under an arrest warrant issued by Dr Mignini, as the Public Prosecutor in charge, a decree promptly validated by the GIP Dr Claudia Matteini who had issued a precautionary custody order for imprisonment. The appeals of the suspects against this latter, as issued by the GIP on the request of the same Dr Mignini, had then been timely rejected by the Re-examination Court for Perugia and by the First Chamber of the Court of Cassation.

Noted above is one area subjected to numerous lies of omission. In fact many magistrates were guiding the process and the prosecution had no opportunity for independent initiative prior to trial. Dr Mignini did not have to do that interview with Knox, he did it at Knox’s own request, to give her another fair shot at clearing herself - which she failed miserably.

[3] As a consequence, the two remained in a state of preventative imprisonment until the decision of the Court of Assizes Appeal Court presided over by Dr Pratillo Hellmann, that is for almost four years and there had never been, by their defence, any application of revocation or substitution of the orders against the accused, Knox and Sollecito…

A legal omission by the defenses which might be considered an incompetent blunder, which contrasts strongly with Maori’s claim that the two were in effect being railroaded. The lawyers did not go the extra mile. 

[4] the Court of Assizes at first instance, presided over by Dr Giancarlo Massei, with Dr Beatrice Cristiani as Recorder, at the end of a very long and thorough trial phase, had sentenced Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox for murder and the connected offences and Ms Knox, in addition, for calunnia against Patrick Diya Lumumba.

The trial was indeed long and thorough. Some of the most compelling evidence was behind closed doors - another area for lies of omission. Knox did herself great harm on the stand, sounding flippant and callous and not at all consistent or convincing, which ultimately cost her three years for calunnia. During the defense phase the lawyers had little to present and sessions were shortened or cancelled. There was much railing against Rudy Guede, who was not in court to answer back to it.

[5] At appeal level, the Court of Assizes Appeal Court - inexplicably composed of the President of the Social Security [Welfare] Chamber [Hellmann] and of an advisor specialised in the Civil Chamber [Zanetti]—despite it being that the President of the Criminal Chamber, Dr Sergio Matteini Chiari, was presiding over a bench; in any case there not being present a magistrate from the competent criminal chamber —had acquitted the two but had upheld the conviction of Ms Knox for calunnia, setting the penalty as a good three years of imprisonment.

This is still being investigated - did the defenses request of Chief Judge De Nunzio that the president of the criminal chamber Judge Chiari be replaced by the wrongly qualified Judge Hellmann? Judge Chiari (who resigned over this) has himself claimed so. And why was the wrongly qualified Judge Zanetti there?

[6] In the course of the proceedings there had been two experts nominated [by the Court] who, amongst other things, had submitted their report ignoring the documents attesting to the negative result of controls on the presumed contamination of the knife and of the bra-clasp, documents adduced instead by the Public Prosecutor. This should have entailed the sweeping away of [=the complete rejection of] the same expert report but the Court, presided by Pratillo Hellmann, with Advisor-Recorder Dr Massimo Zanetti, had ignored the grave error committed by the experts, an error which had been severely censured by the [Chieffi] Court of Cassation, First Criminal Chamber, in the decision handed down on 26 March 2013…

Investigation of Conti and Vecchiotti is also proceeding. They seem to have been bent and to have lied to the court - either that or remarkably incompetent. There is another quote strongly suggesting they were bent below.

[7] [Judge Chieffi] accepted almost all the grounds of appeals put forward by the Prosecutor-General and had annulled completely and definitively the acquittal decision, with remission (evidently upholding the grounds of appeal) to the Court of Assizes Court of Appeal of Florence which, in its turn, had fully confirmed the convictions of the Court of Assizes of Perugia.

There are many lies of omission about the annulment - one can find numerous quotes from the Hellmann court embedded in comments, articles and books - the Knox book goes on about how wonderful that appeal was without saying that none of it is of legal relevance now. 

[8] the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same,—the latter constraint, as constituted by the jurisdiction of sole legitimacy, being understood—, for defect pursuant to Article 606 Criminal Procedure Code and limited to the grounds proposed by the appellants (Article 609 Criminal Procedure Code).

Here is a translation of Article 628 of the Penal Code:

Impugnability of a ruling issued by a judge after remand

1. A verdict that had been issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand, may be impugned through a recourse at Supreme Court of Cassation if the ruling was issued on an appeal instance, and through the mean provided by law if was issued on a first instance level.

2. In any case a verdict issued by a court following a Cassation order of remand may be appealed only on the reasons that do not concern those that had already been decided by Cassation on the order of remand, or for not abiding to disposition of art. 627 paragraph 2.

The second paragraph of Article 628 clearly indicates the Fifth Chambers of Cassazione should absolutely not have accepted requests of appeal from AK and RS against the Florence verdict on those points that had been already decided by the First Chambers (the Chieffi court).  Those points decided by the Chieffi court, as per Article 628, cannot be appealed. Questions about them should be inadmissible.

[9] the judgment of the [Florence] court remitted to would have been impugnable only for reasons not regarding the points already decided by the Court of Cassation, according to the very clear disposition of Article 628, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code. From this it follows that the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, called on to decide the merits of the appeals brought by the accused against the decision of the court remitted to, would have had to consider as inadmissible the appeals presented in violation of the second paragraph of Article 628 Criminal Procedure Code and, in any case, would have had to rigorously conform with the points already decided by the First Chamber and with all the questions of law decided by the same…

the Court of Cassation cannot, therefore, ever adopt decisions on the merits and issue orders of acquittal under Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

...two chambers of the same Court of Cassation, the First (the one competent for proceedings in homicide matters, whose decision of annulment is definitive and who had identified and decided questions of law in a definitive and un-retractable manner) and the Fifth (who would have had to decide the appeals presented only on grounds of legitimacy of the defendants’, constrained by what had already been definitively decided by the First) have handed down two absolutely divergent decisions and the second had annulled the Florentine decision, positively excluding any remitting to another court and acquitting the defendants pursuant to Article 530, second paragraph, Criminal Procedure Code.

The Fifth Chambers seems to have clearly broken the law governing its allowed scope. It had no business getting into the evidence. If there was a perceived problem that should have been referred back down to Florence.

[10] from these starting points in fact and in law which are absolutely undeniable, it emerges that the course of proceedings in this case have been absolutely linear and respectful of the substance of the procedural rules up to and including the Florentine decision.

Well proven by the narrative. As we have frequently noted Knox was given six opportunities to liberate herself even before the 2009 trial began (try finding an equivalent of that in any other system) and failed all of them.

[11] the Court of Cassation, on the appeal of the Prosecutor-General of [the Perugia] district Court, had in a radical and definitive manner annulled the acquitting pronouncement and had remitted it to the Florentine district court because the same would adopt the consequent decisions of merit in the line of reasoning of the principles of law laid down by the First Chamber of the Supreme Court and of the points decided by it.

What the First Chambers said must stand. Surely all of the judges of the panel knew this very basic principle of Cassation. Be assured the First Chambers judges will be rubbing it in that this more junior panel has no right to reverse them.

[12] These principles of law are by now unmodifiable and unarguable: the [Fifth Chambers] , called on to decide the matter, as a “second opinion”, concerning the appeal of the defendants from the [Florence] judgment below, would have had to hand down a judgment fully within the “railway tracks” of the law, as fixed by the First Chamber, like the Florentine district court did, principles from among which we may cite:

Once again the emphasis is on how the First Chambers knew both the law and the case thoroughly, and the Fifth Chambers was seemingly adrift at sea.

[13] [Umodifiable principle]  the principle, in fact the unfailing legal prerequisite of a Supreme Court decision, namely the fact that the Court is precluded from “trespassing into a re-evaluation of the compendium of evidence” (see the judgment of the First Chamber at page 40);

[14] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle of law of the total and holistic evaluation of the probative material, as opposed to the “parcelled-up and atomistic evaluation of the pieces of circumstantial evidence, taking them into consideration one at a time and discarded in terms of their demonstrative potentiality”, which characterised instead, in the negative, the decision of the Court presided by Pratillo Hellmann (see the decision of the same First Chamber at pp. 40 and 41… ). The ancient brocard “Quae singula non probant, simul unita probant” [‘Those which alone do not prove, together do prove’], quoted on p 41 of the First Chamber’s judgment, consecrates in a definitive and unmodifiable manner this requirement of a global and holistic approach in which each individual piece of the jigsaw puzzle of reconstruction of the facts is considered together with all the others in their demonstrative synergy;

[15] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle by which the [Hellmann] court had run afoul of grave shortcomings and contradictory lines of reasoning and in glaring misrepresentations of the outcome, even in the attempted decoupling of the calunnia, by now definitively attributed to Ms Knox, with the result of masking from view the responsibility of the same in the homicide;

[16] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the testimony of the homeless person Mr Curatolo ought to have been evaluated on the basis of corroboration between his statements and the objective and unarguable circumstances emerging from the trial (such as the fact that the witness had with absolute decisiveness anchored the fact of having seen the two accused in the precincts of the basketball courts of Piazza Grimana, nowadays Piazza Fortebraccio, the evening before the arrival, the following day, at the Via della Pergola house of the men from Forensics in their white coveralls), rather than on the basis of Mr Curatolo’s social conditions and lifestyle (see the cited judgment of the First Chamber at page 50);

[17] [Unmodifiable principle] the principle according to which the definitive conviction of accomplice Rudy Hermann Guede ought to have been taken into account (no. 7195/11, published on 16.12.2010, it also from the First Criminal Chamber of Cassation), Guede having been held to have been extraneous to the simulation of burglary of a house. [A] habitation that, on the night of the murder, was solely at the availability of the victim and of Amanda Knox and from the statements made by the same Rudy before the Perugian district court, according to which Meredith was killed by the two co-accused (see the judgment at pages 55 and 56).

[18] [Unmodifiable principle] The principle by which contamination of the evidence is to be proved by the party invoking it and which, on the facts of the case, no evidence in support had been offered and which the [Hellmann} Court had seriously confused the abstract possibility of the fact with the averment of the fact (see the judgment at page 69).Umodifiable principle] The principle according to which it was a matter of a homicide committed by multiple persons, in concourse amongst themselves (see page 73 of the cited judgment).

Some brilliant legal arguing. This seems to really make it impossible for the Fifth Chambers to override these firm ruling of the First Chambers .

[19] [Only by ignoring all of the above, in reading the misleading Maori interview, one could be] induced into thinking that errors upon errors had been committed by the officers and agents of the police taskforce and by magistrates convinced of the prosecution case against Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito, then in fact of a “conversion” of the error into a knowing arbitrary act… One would have been led to think of investigators who, incurable in terms of these continual “denials”, falling prey to a kind of accusatory delirium which was by now running unchecked, would have continued to “persecute by prosecuting” two poor youngsters, contrary to any probative evidence, for the sole purpose of not seeing their initial reconstruction denied.

But see how Lumumba was checked out and released by the same team. Plus the same team worked on other cases which drew no accusations at all. It is significant to note that the Bongiorno & Maori team and Sollecito himself again and again dropped Knox in it, even in remarks made after the Fifth Chambers ruling on 27 March.

[20] for the readers it would have been difficult to be able to learn the details of the Kercher proceedings, [Maori and Lagana] launched themselves into making unbelievable, irresponsible statements, defamatory beyond any limit, statements which express an inexplicable rancour and bitterness towards the investigators in the Kercher case, from which, for the rest, especially Advocate Maori had given proof of from the start itself of his defence of Raffaele Sollecito

Maori falsely ascribed the “satanism as motive claim” to Mignini and seems to have been a party to other dirty tricks and loaded statements. At this point of the complaint the Curatolo testimony and knife evidence is re-emphasized as valid for their purposes and never undermined by the innuendo of the defenses. 

[21] Maori adds, repeating a singular idea repeated many times in the course of the proceedings and put to the Prosecution as the most significant expression of the error committed by the investigators: the guilty party, Rudy Hermann Guede, had already been secured by justice. Why continue to investigate the other contenders, when it had been found that it was Rudy who, no one knows why, would have been the sole killer and whose presence would have been incompatible with any accomplices?

As mentioned above, Guede was not at the trial in 2009 and so the defenses could freely rant on about him. Although some witnesses were devoted to trying to prove him a bad guy who must have acted alone, it went nowhere. The jury visit to the cottage showed them how ludicrous it was to argue that anyone would choose THAT window to break in. 

[22] Laganà knows nothing about the proceedings and plainly ignores: the calunnia by Ms Knox against Lumumba, the mise-en-scene of the burglary (which could have been realised only by someone who would have been afraid of becoming involved in the investigations), the genetic material of Ms Knox found a little bit below the handle of the knife and that of the victim in proximity to the point of the blade, the genetic profile of Mr Sollecito found on the clasp of Meredith’s bra, the systematic lies of the two, the traces of mixed blood of Knox – Meredith and the print of Sollecito’s foot stained with blood on the small mat in the bathroom next to the room where the murder happened, the traces revealed with Luminol, of the bare feet of Amanda and Sollecito, the witness who sees the two between 21.30 and 23.30 in Piazza Grimana, a couple of dozen metres from the murder scene, and Rudy’s accusations, just to mention a few examples.

Once again we see the theme common throughout the narrative of noting copious lies of omission - vital things simply left out which dont suit Lagana’s apparent purpose.

[23] [Maori] launches accusations against the press [although] the accused were able to benefit from a systematic information process in their favour and without any contradiction. One can see the case of, for example, the programme “Porta a Porta” which, in the months immediately preceding the Fifth Chamber judgment, had interviewed only Sollecito or his family and consultants, blatantly ignoring any requirement of an even balance, which instead had occurred previously, and all this in a programme on the public network..

This describes how even some arms of the Italian media became tainted and partisan and how the court officers were forbidden by the code of conduct from offering the kind of contradiction and rebuttal very common on American TV.

[24] Unfortunately, this procedural matter has been marked by pressures (often accompanied by menaces) and defamations which the investigators, themselves as well, have suffered in the media, by a very serious activity of disinformation and from serious attacks on the personal and professional reputation of the investigators by numerous organs of information especially in the United States (like in fact CNN), [and] by the extremely challengeable behaviour of experts who, beyond having “forgottten” the existence of negative controls, had been seen by Dr Mignini (and, according to what has been said to him, also by the biologist at Scientific Police headquarters Dr Patrizia Stefanoni), to be having a long conversation and in a “private” manner, with the defence lawyers of the accused, in particular with Advocate Maori, before the hearing in which the experts were to be examined and cross-examined had started. This had happened in particular on two occasions, both in Piazza Matteotti, in front of the law courts building, one time in front of the main entrance and a second time, further back, in the direction of Via Oberdan, while [on a third occasion] Dr Stefanoni and Dr Comodi had seen them together, amongst the various defence lawyers for the accused, in a bar.. 

This illegal mingling of supposedly impartial court-appointed consultants with the defense teams, described in public writing here for the first time, should have been enough to see Conti and Vechiotti dismissed as consultants from the case, and further down the road facing charges.

[25] there are letters addressed to Dr Mignini, the first on paper with letterhead from the Supreme Court [sic] of the State of Washington (in which place is found Ms Knox’s city of residence, that is Seattle), on the part of judge Michael Heavey (now in retirement after having undergone a disciplinary proceeding for having used Washington State Supreme Court letterhead in a “private” letter addressed to his Italian counterparts) which turns out to have been written also to other magistrates involved, under various roles, in the proceedings and which claimed, with absolutely inconsistent reasoning, the innocence of Ms Knox, asking his Italian colleagues in a pressuring way to “acquit her”; or the highly contentious and clumsily inexpert comments of satisfaction concerning the judgment of the Court presided by Dr Pratillo Hellmann, by authority of the Government of the United States, as, to cite a couple of examples, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and, above all, with repeated interventions in the proceedings under way, Senator Maria Cantwell, of the State of Washington

Failures in fact checking shows up the very one-sided nature of American politics and media coverage. Judge Heavey even wrote to the Presidents of the US and Italy and copied those letters to Congress. Italian court officials are highly restrained from response to protect themselves. Even now many Italians officials dont even know what was being said in English about them and what they were being accused of.

[26] All this evidences the very particular climate in which the proceedings unfolded, especially that of the first appeal, introduced by a summary by the Recorder Dr Massimo Zanetti in which the latter was not at all worried about affirming that in the proceeding that was then being opened the only certain thing was the death of Meredith Kercher, a phrase matching the one that the Recorder of the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court, Dr Paolo Antonio Bruno, pronounced according to what was referred to Dr Mignini by an advocate for the civil party.

What a remarkable coincidence. In the case of both statements this is not in accordance with the Italian appeals code. Frequent examples were quoted above of how the Fifth Chambers must accept the First Chambers rulings as givens, and the First Chambers in 2013 in effect ruled in annulling Hellmann that no appeal should be a whole new trial lacking the rather key prosecution part. Note that in March 2015 the Fifth Chambers heard at length from defense lawyers who had been seven years on the case - but no prosecutor from Perugia or Florence was even invited to be there.

5. And In Conclusion

This was a VERY solid case. As is said there, all the lists of evidence in the quotes above could have been longer. Here is a much longer list. Cardiol’s great four-part series on Certainties contains a long list. We have posted various other such lists of evidence, a list of hoaxes, and numerous lists of false claims, and many Powerpoints, and many questions for Sollecito and Knox. Plus even more lists via our right column here.

So it looks like the verdict could become unglued. Italian courts work to some extent on precedent and a tainted verdict could be a very bad precedent. Other prosecutors and judges will be getting similar messages to the judges, not least the judges of the First Chambers which normally handles the murder appeals.

Please read the posts on the fight for legitimacy here and here for more context to all of this.

Posted on 06/30/15 at 02:57 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here to view all my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedThe prosecutorsThe defensesSupreme CourtAppeals 2009-2015Nencini ReportCassation 2015
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Updates: Sollecito’s Trial For Vilipendio And Diffamazione, Knox’s Trial For Calunnia #2

Posted by Peter Quennell





Knox and Sollecito have each been indicted in Florence BY PROSECUTORS on charges that bear no resemblance to UK or US slander or libel cases.

They are each essentially charged for lying to poison public opinion against officials, and Sollecito against the system, to try to win themselves illegal breaks at their murder trial and appeals. Knox in court in 2009, and Sollecito in his book in 2012.

The weekly magazine Oggi is also on trial for jubilantly publishing some of Knox’s numerous lies. 

Yesterday in a Florence court a new court translation of the passages from Sollecito’s book fully quoted here were accepted by the presiding judge. They differed little if at all from what the prosecutor filed last year and brought the defenses no joy. Right now both the defenses seem stuck.

And on June 9th the calunnia trial against Knox will start in a Florence court. It would be smart for her to be there, as Sollecito usually is. As mentioned above, Knox is already indicted.

It is not clear who her lawyers will be. Sollecito had to field a new team. Ghirga and Dalla Vedova both helped Knox with her defamatory book and with her defamatory email to Judge Nencini in December 2013 in which Knox ludicrously claimed she had been tortured (for the mundane truth read here) and like Bongiorno and Maori they could feel they have conflicts here.

On June 16 Dr Mignini will testify in the Oggi trial in Bergamo north-east of Milan where Oggi is based against the editor Umberto Brindani and the reporter Giangavino Sulas for publishing illegal claims made in Knox’s 2013 book.

At that hearing Knox’s book may finally become the subject of charges on the same lines as Sollecito’s book. Italian legal opinion is not supportive of the pair or the sleazy moves that led to Cassation giving them a break

That break looks increasingly temporary now. Sollecito could face big fines and Knox could face up to six years. Brighter bulbs would have realized it is best not to confront Italian courts.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #18: The Final Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Image of Judge Micheli who presided over the hearings that remanded Knox to trial.

1. Overview Of The Interrogation Hoax Series

In Post #1 there’s a long summary of what various courts concluded in sentencing Knox for calunnia to three years. 

All 17 posts prior to this one are linked-to there. The first twelve posts cover the key parts of the trial testimony and evidence from investigators for the events at Perugia’s central police station on 5-6 November 2007.

The next six including this show how Knox failed to convince numerous magistrates at many hearings that she was ever interrogated or abused or made to lie. For the most part in fact she did not even try. 

2. The Six Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked

The previous five posts and this one cover the six hearings from late 2007 to late 2008, any one of which was a big opportunity for Knox. She could have been released if the evidence was weaker and the arguments of herself and her legal team stronger.

Knox blew all six opportunities. The judges were Claudia Matteini, Massimo Ricciarelli and two others, Torquato Gemelli and four others, and Paolo Micheli (this post). A total of 10 judges, and Dr Mignini. After the first two, one of Knox’s lawyers walked off the job.

Those ignorant of the reports of these hearings (all but one newly translated for this series with the Micheli to come) often demonize the prosecutor, Dr Mignini, as somehow taking a harder line than all those judges.

Really?

Read all of the reports and in fact every one of those judges took a harder line than Dr Mignini who worked very hard to be fair. His early version of the attack on Meredith was of an almost accidental death with sexual humiliation in the course of a hazing.

This went out the window, and all of the judges without exception adopted a harder position - that Knox’s anger had spiraled over Meredith’s difficulties with her, and a barbaric 15-minute torture-attack resulted in Meredith’s death which may have been premeditated in a timespan between minutes and days.

Judge Matteini, Judge Ricciarelli, and Judge Micheli (see below) all flat-out warned that they considered RS and AK to be dangerous to others and that they needed to be kept locked up pending trial.  Judge Gemmelli and other Supreme Court judges endorsed this.

Typically Knox was constrained by her lawyers to say little or nothing.

They were already wrestling to try to wind back the three problematic statements she demanded to make on 5-6 November - mainly by changing the subject and aggressively attacking Guede. 

She was allowed to be questioned by Judge Ricciarelli and she herself volunteered to be questioned by Dr Mignini three times, but her performances were shaky and erratic and once she seemed to break down in tears.

There was little or no hint of the inflammatory claims which cost her three years which Knox came up with when she had to take the stand mid-2009 to try to defend her framing of Lumumba.

3. Micheli Hearings September and October 2008

This Sky News report describes how prior to the Micheli hearings Knox’s lawyers seemed pretty desperate to change the subject.

Valter Biscotti and Nicodemo Gentile said they wanted Guede’s trial to be separate from that of Knox and Sollecito because they feared a pact against their client. Mr Biscotti added: “We feel the urgent need to have our trial heard independently of the other two suspects.

In recent weeks a lot of poison has been spread by the defence teams and we feel the necessity to find some form of serenity in a separate hearing.  That’s why we have asked for a fast-track hearing just for our client and we want that hearing as quickly as possible.  At this hearing we will prove that our client has absolutely nothing to do with the tragic death of Meredith Kercher.”

On 16 Sept 2008 Judge Micheli accepted the Guede team’s request for a fast-track trial and as the rules require moved all of the hearings behind closed doors.

A fast-track proceeding is closed to the public, unlike a full trial. It will be held before the same judge, who is expected to issue the verdict at the time he decides whether to indict Knox and Sollecito. The rulings are expected next month.

Judge Micheli had mountains of investigative reports and physical evidence to plow through. He heard witnesses in four hearings (with Meredith’s family present at several) on the DNA collection, on the character of Rudy Guede, and also on the three defendants acting menacing outside their house, which he heavily discounted.

Late on 28 October Judge Micheli issued a 17-page ruling which includes almost no mention of Knox implicating Patrick. He convicted Guede of murder and sexual assault, and sentenced him to 30 years. He also ordered Knox and Sollecito to stand trial on charges of murder and sexual assault.

As the UK Guardian and many other media reported, Judge Micheli assessed Knox and Sollecito as being dangerous. 

The suspected killers of Meredith Kercher were refused transfer from jail to house arrest last night while awaiting trial for her murder, because of the danger that they might flee and kill again.

After 12 hours’ deliberation in Perugia, the judge, Paolo Micheli, said there was a “concrete possibility” that Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito would run off if freed from prison.

In a written ruling to lawyers, he said he believed the murder of the British student was not premeditated, but the likely “absolute disregard” shown by Knox and Sollecito for the victim’s life meant they would be capable of murdering again….

Turning down their request for house arrest yesterday, Micheli agreed with prosecutors that more than one person took part in the sexual assault and murder, dismissing claims that the 47 bruises and knife wounds on Kercher’s body could have been made by a single attacker.

He upheld the testimony of a neighbour who heard more than one person fleeing Kercher’s house, adding that while footprints there might not definitely belong to Knox and Sollecito, they did indicate more than one attacker.

He stood by forensic evidence indicating Kercher’s and Knox’s DNA on a knife found at Sollecito’s house which investigators suspect is the murder weapon, and ruled Sollecito’s DNA on Kercher’s bra strap as reliable evidence.

On 30 October Judge Micheli was interviewed. No sign in this that any claim of unfairness to Knox was on his radar.

4. Apparent False Claim Of A Statement By Knox

Bearing in mind that these hearings were all behind closed doors, none of the Italian and English-language media reports including those of the New York Times make any mention at all of Knox testifying or answering questions. Nor do the books of Sollecito or John Follain.  We are still checking with Italy to make sure.

To jump the gun on the series a bit, a probable non-statement by Knox morphed in Knox’s 2013 book into this heated claim below, which we have already been told, based on court transcripts and Judge Micheli’s immediate 17 page report, was definitely not what was said, if anything, in court.

On October 28, the final day, I got to speak for myself. Since the judge understood English, I stood up without my interpreter and tried to explain what had happened during my interrogation. I told the judge that I hadn’t meant to name Patrick or to cause confusion but that the interrogation had been the most brutish, terrifying experience of my life. I’d been exhausted to begin with, and I had gotten so scared and confused that it was as though I went out of my mind. My interrogators told me that they had evidence I’d been at the villa, that Raffaele was no longer vouching for my whereabouts that night, that I had been through such a horrible trauma, I had amnesia. “I believed them! I’m innocent!” I cried.

Posts #1 to #12 have shown that Knox experienced no “brutish, terrifying experience”. Trauma was inflicted only by Sollecito and then by Knox on herself. With high confidence, we can conclude that as so often in her book Knox was simply making this up. So much for Linda Kulman’s fact checking.

5. The Micheli Sentencing Report Of January 2009

Finally three months later Judge Micheli issued a sentencing report of about 100 pages. While it has still not been fully translated we did summarise it in four posts here.

In the Italian original (which is equally firm to harsh on all three defendants) it is quite graphic about what the physical evidence says of the callous role of Knox and Sollecito in the torture-attack.

Judge Micheli does note how often Knox and Sollecito help to destroy one another’s stories which numerous witnesses confirmed helped to spark Knox’s conniption and framing of Patrick.

There is no mention at all of Knox taking exception to her “interrogation”.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rapidly Expanding Wiki Now Includes Precise Reasons For RS And Knox Arrest 6 Nov 2007

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



From the east. Foreground, Perugia’s main courts, background judges & prosecutors’ offices

1. The Events Prior To The Arrests

The ever-expanding Wiki can of course be found here.

The arrest statement in Part 2 below was signed by Dr Mignini at 8:40 am. It’s worth rehearsing all that had happened in the wee hours before this.

Knox had turned up at the central police station unannounced, apparently to keep tabs on RS. After a delay in finding something for her to do, and in getting the interpreter by her side, she sat with Rita Ficarra building a list of possible perps with phone numbers and residences on maps.

Having been told in a rather low-key way that Sollecito had just said she was not with him on the fateful night for several hours, and she had made him lie (see the post just below), there was a tension-filled pregnant pause while Knox apparently racked her brains for a Plan B.

By 1.45 AM, having explosively fingered Patrick when a message to him fortuitously showed up on her mobile phone, and after considerable spontaneous chatter, she had insisted on writing and signing this statement.

Three hours later Dr Mignini had arrived and discussed this development with others. Then he advised Knox of her rights, including the right to have her lawyer there.

Heedless of that advice, after more spontaneous chatter (actually referred to in the arrest warrant below), Knox insisted on writing and signing this statement while all the court officers sat idly by.

2. The Warrant For Three Arrests

This warrant was drafted and signed by Dr Mignini in the prosecutors’ offices in Perugia’s central courthouse (image at top) at 8:40 am. As already mentioned, it includes reference to Knox’s spontaneous chatter and her knowledge of the dynamics of the crime.

PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE, COURT OF PERUGIA

N. 19738/07 R.G. Mod. 44

DETENTION ORDER ISSUED BY THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

(artt. 384, comma 1 c.p.p)

TO THE JUDGE OF PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION OF THE COURT OF PERUGIA

The public prosecutor Dr. Giuliano Mignini

Based on the records of the above-mentioned proceeding;

Having found that there are serious indications of the crimes of complicity in aggravated murder Article 576 n.5 c.p.e. and sexual assault for which we are proceeding, against DIYA Lumumba, born in Kindu (Zaire) on 5.05.1969, KNOX Amanda Marie and SOLLECITO Raffaele, already identified, for the following reasons:

Regarding KNOX and DIYA, the first made glaringly contradictory and not credible statements during the investigation. In particular KNOX claimed to have spent the night between November 1st and 2nd in the company of SOLLECITO Raffaele whom she met a few days before the event while he, after initially confirming the statements made by KNOX, confessed to have lied instructed by KNOX and made clear that he separated from KNOX at 21.30 of November 1st 2007, remaining at his house where he received a phone call from his father on the land line at 23:30.

Furthermore from the data relating to the phone traffic of the number 3484673590 in use by KNOX there emerges a lack of phone traffic from 20:35 of November 1st to 12:00 November 2nd. Same lack of phone traffic from 20:42 of November 1st to 06:02 of November 2nd is found in the phone traffic of 3403574303 in use by SOLLECITO Raffaele.

At 20:35 of November 1st it was found an outgoing text message from the number 3484673509 belonging to KNOX sent to 3387195723 belonging to the co-defendant PATRICK to whom she communicates “see you later” which confirms that in the following hours KNOX was together with DIYA in the apartment where the victim was.

KNOX, in the statement made today has, in the end, confessed the dynamics of the committed crimes against KERCHER: the accused, in fact, first claimed to have met with DIYA, as communicated to him with the text message found in the phone memory of her cell phone by the operating Postal Police, text message sent at 20:35 in reply to a text message from DIYA sent at 20:18, detected thanks to the analysis of the phone traffic related to KNOX.

This last text message is not present in the cell phone memory.

KNOX in her witness statement from today has then confessed that, meeting DIYA in the basketball court of Piazza Grimana, she went together with DIYA to Meredith’s house, where DIYA, after having sex with the victim, killed her.

The sexual intercourse must be deemed violent in nature considering the particularly threatening context in which it took place and in which KNOX has surely aided DIYA.

In addition to this it should be pointed out that KNOX, in her spontaneous declarations from today, has consistently confirmed to have contacted DIYA, to have met with him on the night between November 1st and 2nd and to have gone with him to the apartment where the victim lived. She then said that she stayed outside of Meredith’s room while DIYA set apart with her and also added that she heard the girl’s screams.

KNOX reported details that confirm her own and Sollecito Raffaele’s involvement in the events, like the fact that after the events she woke up in the bed of the latter.

As far as the essential facts against SOLLECITO there are numerous verifiable inconsistencies in his first declarations, in respect to the last ones and the fact that, from a first inspection, the print of the shoe found on SOLLECITO appears to be compatible in its shape with the one found on the crime scene.

Moreover, there is the fact that KNOX claimed to not remember what happened between the victim’s screams up until she woke up in the morning in SOLLECITO’s bed, who was also found in possession of a flick knife that could abstractly be compatible for dimension and type (general length of 18cm, of which 8,5 blade), with the object that must have produced the most serious injury to the victim’s neck.

Having considered all the elements described and all converging findings of the intense and detailed investigations conducted after the discovery of Kercher’s body and culminating with the confession and indicated complicity of DIYA, also known as “Patrick” by KNOX, there is substantial serious evidence of the crimes for which we are proceeding to allow the detention, given the limits of the sentence.

Likewise there must be considered a founded and valid danger of flight especially for DIYA since he is a non-EU citizen and in consideration of the specific seriousness and brutality of the crimes, especially that of sexual violence and the possibility of the infliction of a particularly heavy sentence.

In regards to KNOX she has shown a particular ruthlessness in lying repeatedly to the investigators and in involving in such a serious event the young SOLLECITO.

Having regard to Art.384 comma 1 c.p.p.

ORDERS

The detention of DIYA Lumumba, KNOX Amanda Marie and SOLLECITO Raffaele, already identified, and to be taken to the local District Prison.

We proceed to request validation of the detention in the separate document.

Forward to the Secretary area of authority with regard to recognition of Diya Lumumba and Amanda Marie Knox, born in Washington (USA) on 07/09/1987, based in Perugia, Via della Pergola 7, and Raffaele Sollecito, also already identified.

Perugia, November 6th 2007, h.8,40

PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

(DR. GIULIANO MIGNINI)


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #6: Examining Gumbel’s Role In Biasing The Book

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Andrew Gumbel seen in a shrill 2014 CNN report, perhaps the least balanced so far 

1. Bringing The News Up To Date

On 5 March the Florence court will replace the prosecution’s translation of the target claims in the book with its own translation.

And Sollecito and Gumbel will probably be ordered to stand public trial then.

Both the prosecution and the guiding magistrate have as usual in Italy played immensely fair in this case. Each gave Sollecito and Gumbel numerous opportunities over more than a year to try to explain and justify certain target passages in a way that gets them off the hook. In further fairness the hearings have all been closed.

What leaked out after the last hearing in Florence a couple of weeks ago suggested that Sollecito has yet to come up with any justification at all. He was said to look dazed and depressed.

Gumbel was not in court. But his lawyer apparently claimed that Gumbel was merely a sort of well-meaning sheep: Sollecito’s ghost writer, nothing more, who faithfully took down only what he heard from his client.

This has apparently not gone down at all well in the Sollecito camp.

The Sollecito family and legal team has long hinted rather publicly that Gumbel did a number on them, an end-run. Francesco Sollecito and the family and Sollecito’s lawyers Giula Bongiorno and Luca Maori had all claimed within several weeks of the book coming out that numerous passages in the book were malicious and untrue. Sollecito himself denied that he put them in.

The Sollecito family and legal team have also hinted ever since that Gumbel and some American Knox cronies with self-serving agendas (suggested on pro-Knox websites to have been Steve and Michele Moore, Frank Sforza, Bruce Fischer, maybe some more) had recklessly put dangerous unfounded claims in the final draft of the book.

Those claims (now the main subjects of the Florence trial) were seemingly never put into Italian and run carefully by them. No proper due diligence was done, and as a result they have been left holding the can. And all this under the cold eyes of the Supreme Court, which must rule in six weeks whether Sollecito makes things up. 

2. Smart Rules For Ghost Writers To Avoid Trouble

This is hardly the first time a ghost writer and their client have fallen out. It is a touchy trouble-prone profession not governed by formalised training or an established code of ethics, where getting sued or not getting paid is quite a frequent thing.

Some of those who do it full-time and have had their share of trouble and want no more of it and want to alert others have posted their own suggested groundrules online.

For example, both client and ghost writer are well served by spending a few days checking out each other. Then they make a contract where literally everything needs to be spelled out.

Ghost writers need to take extreme care with clients in legal trouble who might drag them in or who they might drag in further. They need to be clear whether they are to research on their own, and to whom they are permitted to talk.

They need to know whether their name will be on the cover or anywhere inside the book. They need to know whether they have a licence from the client to do related TV and print articles, especially if those pay a separate fee, and what they are allowed to say.

They need to try to capture honestly the client’s voice and not turn them into someone they are not. They need to know what facts to put in and to be clear what facts are consciously left out. They need to do due diligence on the drafts with the agent and publisher and lawyers, and if allowed check out dynamite claims with “the other side”.

And if any accusations of crimes are to be made they REALLY need to check those legal hot potatoes with the client and the lawyers and the publishers, line by line. 

Gumbel seems to have ignored pretty well all of these groundrules, and dug Sollecito in much deeper.

Knox’s ghost writer Linda Kulman (more experienced than Gumbel at this and with no axe to grind) seems to have followed some but not all of these guidelines. Her name is only in the Knox book once, in a short thankyou note by Knox at the back, and she remained low-key and made no separate statements.

Nevertheless, Linda Kulman had the Sollecito book as a (then) largely unchallenged model. She included in the book a number of false accusation of crimes and malicious ridicules of others, none of them properly checked out, which will have Knox in court for sure before too long. (Oggi is already in court for repeating some of her claims.)

Linda Kulman also included an entire chapter about Knox’s “interrogation” where every detail is made up. She included a lengthy claim that Mignini did an illegal interrogation of Knox, when in fact he wasn’t even there. And she left out numerous key facts, such as that Knox was having sex with a major drug dealer almost to the day of her arrest, and most of the evidence.

Linda Kulman certainly dd not capture Knox’s real voice or mode of behavior, which are notoriously brash and possibly the root cause of Meredith’s murder.

3. Flashing Warning Lights In Italy In 2012

If the Sollecito family and team did not know all of the above, it would seem to be Sharlene Martin’s fiduciary duty as book agent for Sollecito to make sure both they and any ghost writer they hired did know.

For their part, the Sollecito team should have done their own due diligence in Italy, and perhaps looked around for an experienced ghost writer in Italy who could converse with all of them and show them in Italian what would be in the book. And in particular known about and been respectful of this which was in our first post.

On 3 October 2011 Judge Hellmann told RS and AK they were free to go, despite the fact that no legal process for murder and some other crimes is considered final in Italy until no party pursues any further appeals or the Supreme Court signs off. Most still accused of serious crimes (as in the UK and US) remain locked up. Hellmann, pathetically trying to justify this fiasco ever since, was firmly edged out and still the target of a possible charge.

Other flashing warnings should have made Sollecito’s family and legal team and book writers very wary. They included the immediate strong warning of a tough prosecution appeal to the Supreme Court. They also included the pending calunnia trials of Knox and her parents, the pending trial of the Sollecitos for attempting to use politics to subvert justice, the pending trials of Spezi, Aviello, and Sforza, and so on. 

A major flashing warning was right there in Italian law. Trials are meant to be conducted in the courtroom and attempts to poison public opinion are illegal. They can be illegal in the US and UK too but, for historical reasons to do with the mafias and crooked politicians, Italian laws in this area are among the world’s toughest. So mid-process, normally no books are ever published


4. Warning Lights About A Hasty Gumbel Contract

Many of the problems in the book are associated with a strident anti-Italy tone.  Well over half the false claims taken apart in this May 2014 post are FACTUALLY wrong in areas where Sollecito has no known knowledge or point of view.

For example, it was claimed that the Italian justice institutions are both very unpopular and corrupt. Neither is true, and almost no Italians believe that.

Sharlene Martin was first mentioned as Sollecito’s agent in the NY Times on 5 December 2011 when Sollecito had been swanning around the US west coast in an apparent attempt to, well, get her back in the sack. He was in a weak mode.

On 10 January 2012 Francesco Sollecito was reported in the Journal of Umbria as saying this about the purpose of the book 

“I have not done the math [the lawyers etc costs]. For good luck. I will do it after the ruling of the Supreme Court. It will be painful because the figure of one million euro of which one speaks is not far from reality.” This was stated to the weekly Today, on newsstands tomorrow, by Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele.
According to [Francesco] Sollecito, in case of confirmation of absolution, then there will be 250-300,000 euro compensation provided for the unjust detention of his son, this money will be enough only to pay the fees of the 12 consultants “that we had to appoint to succeed to refute the allegations.”

In the interview with the weekly, Francesco Sollecito denies that Raffaele has a girlfriend, as reported after the publishing of photos while kissing a girl: “Annie, the girl who appears with him in photos on Facebook is just a friend, in fact a sorta of cousin… “The priorities of my son right now are otherise.” What? “Raffaele has signed a contract with the American literary manager Sharlene Martin for a book, it is a definite undertaking “.

Apparently at this point Sharlene Martin had not been to Italy or spoken face-to-face with Francesco or the legal team. Whether she had briefed herself on the warning lights described above so that she could properly warn the US team of writer, editors, publishers and publicists is not known. 

5. Gumbel’s Shrill Record Of Sliming Italy

On 12 February 2012 Andrew Gumbel is reported in the NY Times as having got the co-writer job. During that period due diligence (if any) on his background would have been done, seemingly mainly by Sharlene Martin (if any) as a complaint of Sollecito’s team is that they could not look him over before he came on board.

Andrew Gumbel is not a lawyer, and in fact our own lawyers have repeatedly found silly his pretentious and inaccurate legal claims. Nor as far as we know does he have a track record as a ghost writer. His main claim to the job seems to have been based on his having been based in Italy with the UK Independent for nearly five years in the 1990s.

The 1990s were a pretty good time in Italy.

There was okay growth and jobs availability, record tourism, relative political calm before Berlusconi grabbed political and media power, many successful farms and firms, and a really push against the mafias - for which many brave judges and prosecutors had died.  The Italian food and wine were great, the cars and luxury goods were great, and Italy was home to about half of the finest medieval art in the world.

We checked it out: foreign reporters in Italy at the time did a fair and balanced job reflecting all of this. With seemingly only one notorious exception: the British reporter Andrew Gumbel for the UK Independent.

Apparently Gumbel could find almost nothing to like about Italy. In 5 years almost nothing to write a positive report on.

Brits relying only on his shrill reporting in the Independent may have thought Italy to be a very corrupt, lawless, politically and economically dysfunctional place, with nothing about it to like and no reason to visit. If they were bigoted, this could have made them more-so. Nasty stuff, and for foreign reporters in any country anywhere very unusual.

Below are the headers for most or all of Andrew Gumbel’s shrill reports from Italy.

Fair and balanced? The right guy for a delicate project with his client in a delicate legal bind? You decide.  We have highlighted in yellow all the reports with a negative bias, maybe true, maybe not. Of the total of 62 reports only 4 seem to us neutral or nice. Were the Sollecitos or their Italian lawyers or HarperCollins made aware by Gumbel or Sharlene Martin of Gumbel’s emotional negative bias?

    1. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Government + History (25)
  • A sick economy shakes out the fake invalids. (growing economic problems in Italy make corruption less acceptable)
  • Bickering while Venice sinks.
  • Can Italy survive Dini’s fall? (prime minister Lamberto Dini)
  • Chirac consigns Italy to Europe’s second division. (French president Jacques Chirac)
  • Corruption on an Olympian scale.(Rome, Italy, seeks to host Olympic Games)
  • Facing up to Italy’s crisis. (Italy’s economic problems)
  • Glitz takes a back seat on road to Rome. (Romano Prodi begins electoral campaign in Italy) (Interview)
  • How the kidnap and rape of Dario Fo’s wife was ordered by Italy’s right-wing rulers.
  • Illegal migrants reach EU havens via Italy.
  • Italy waits for the gravy train to be derailed. (problems facing Italian railway system)
  • Italy ready for mission impossible: intervention in Albania could bring instability to Rome.
  • Italy heads back into a political void.
  • Italy struggles to shake off the legacy of Mussolini.
  • Italy’s Olive Tree fails to bear fruit.
  • Italy’s rich city prays for fall of nation state. (citizens of Bologna, Italy, strongly in favour of European Union)
  • New wave of state corruption stuns the Italians.
  • Past demons threaten Italy’s bid for change. (Italy fails to move towards a SEcond Republic)
  • Prodi’s dilemma: let the left win or surrender Italy’s drive towards Emu. (Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi)
  • Rome’s magic circle. (deterioration of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy)
  • Scholars in a spin over Churchill link to the death of Mussolini. (claims that Mussolini was shot by British secret services)
  • Shouting could drown out Italian democracy. (serious political clashes damage reputation of Italian parliament)
  • So, were there offers he should have refused? (trial of Giulio Andreotti)
  • The Nazi and the protection racket. (controversy over trial of former Nazi Erich Priebke in Italy)
  • Venice’s grand opera descends to farce. (dispute hampers rebuilding of La Fenice opera house)
  • Why Italy cannot bring war criminals to justice.
  • 2. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Scenery, Art, Music, Fashion, Culture (2)
  • Il Papa brings on Dylan for a taste of the devil’s rhythms. (Bob Dylan to perform for Pope)
  • Inside the Assisi basilica, a sight to make saints weep. (challenges involved in restoration of art treasures from Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, Italy)
  • 3. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Economy + Business (8)
  • A nation that brings its style to the track. (many changes to Italian rail network)
  • All is not bene among the united colours. (problems facing Benetton)
  • Berlusconi consolidates his rule over the Italian air waves. (former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi)
  • Ciao Gianni, but now what? (Gianni Agnelli resigns as chairman of Fiat)
  • Climax of Italy’s TV war. (referendum on whether Silvio Berlusconi should sell his television channels)
  • Italy’s new crop stifled in the shadow of a paradise lost.(problems affecting the Italian motion picture industry)
  • Murdoch pursues Italian television. (News Corp seeks stake in Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire).
  • The dark world behind Versace’s life of glamour. (murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace)
  • 4. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Justice, Crime, Corruption,  Mafias (24)
  • Accidental death of an anarchist comes back to scandalise Italy. (three men convicted of murder of police commissioner Luigi Calabresi in 1972)
  • A fashion label that really is to die for .... (murder of fashion designer Maurizio Gucci may have been instigated by his former wife)(Column)
  • After the suicide, a wall of silence. (new type of Mafia activity in Sicily)
  • Amnesty offers Italy chance to forget its years of terror. (Italian government pardons six people involved in Red Brigades terrorist group in 1970s)
  • Andreotti to face trial on Mob links. (former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti to stand trial for consorting with the Mafia)
  • Another black mark against Italy’s judges. (Italy’s anti-corruption magistrates lose their credibility)
  • Arrest us, but we’ll be back next week. (three Italians with Aids use legal loophole to rob banks)
  • Backlash threatens to silence informers. (controversy in Italy over Mafia informers)
  • Bloody end of a fashionable affair. (murder of Maurizio Gucci)
  • Fake invalids at heart of Italy’s postal scandal. (postal service employs many invalids, but some are fakes)
  • Fear and loathing in the Alto Adige. (serial killer murders six people in Merano, Italy)
  • Godfather’ village baffled by murders. (Sicilian town of Corleone)
  • God’s Banker: ‘He was given Mafia money and he made poor use of it.’ (investigation into death of Italian banker Roberto Calvi in 1982 may soon be concluded)
  • Gucci: hell for leather. (Patrizia Gucci convicted for contract killing of former husband Maurizio Gucci)
  • How Cosa Nostra’s cunning outfoxed the Italian state. (Mafia’s criminal network still operating in Italy)
  • How Italy failed to trap its Monster. (failure to bring serial killer in Florence, Italy, to justice)
  • Italy’s men of violence throw off the state’s chains. (revival of the Mafia in Italy)(includes details of murder of magistrate Giovanni Falcone)
  • Mafia trawls Venice’s dark lagoon. (organised crime in Venice, Italy)
  • Mysteries unravel as mafiosi spill secrets. (Italian gangsters make confessions)
  • One woman’s dangerous and lonely battle to break the Cosa Nostra. (challenges facing Maria Maniscalco, mayor of San Giuseppe Jato, Italy)
  • Rome turns a blind eye to Mafia’s killing spree.
  • Secret of why the Mafia has never shot a soul. (code of silence about Mafia in Sicily)
  • Street wars in Italy’s wild south. (high crime levels in Naples, Italy)
  • Who killed Pasolini? (new film about the murder of Pier Paolo Pasolini)
  • 5. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Physical Disasters (3)
  • After the deluge (eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy will create chaos)
  • Assisi in mourning as quake shatters Basilica of St Francis.
  • Umbria shows the civilised way to cope with calamity. (effects of series of earthquakes in Italy)


6. Conclusion And Next Posts

This list was checked out with half a dozen posters resident in Italy at the time. All of their reactions were to the effect that, in lying by omission, Gumbel did not play fair with Italy back then. A trivial mind. One which should have been fought off with a stick.

The next posts seek to identify what Gumbel and the Knox misrepresenters (said to be primarily the Moores, Sforza and Fischer) were responsible for putting in the Sollecito book, and to describe Andrew Gumbel’s vigorous public media campaign. Whether authorized or not authorized, he made around 20 shrill damaging interventions.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #5: Gumbel Really A Cowardly Defamatory Shill?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Above: “Neutral ghostwriter” Andrew Gumbel tweets…

1, Today In The Florence Court

Lately many of the chest-thumping PR shills have whined a lot more about themselves as victims than done anything to boost Sollecito and Knox.

Think of Preston, Burleigh, Dempsey, Sforza, Fisher, Moore, and a whole lot of other serial complainers. Now chest-thumper Andrew Gumbel seems to want to join their ranks. That is if the claim that he was ONLY a ghostwriter was made by his lawyer with his consent to the Florence judge.

2. Signs Gumbel Really Is A Shill

Note that Sollecito gave many signs during his US book promotion tour late in 2012 that he really didn’t know much about what was in his own book.

So did Gumbel really only hang on Sollecito’s every word? Or did he talk to a lot more people than that, and get very invested in nasty, dishonest propaganda to deny justice for Meredith via the courts?

Here’s Andrew Gumbel on 1 May 2014, providing the first media opinion in the UK on Judge Nencini’s appeal report. The nasty false claims highlighted suggest Gumbel has a very strong investment in Sollecito and Knox and not a little contempt for the Italian courts.

One truth in Gumbel’s article which he must really regret? That sentence in the thitrd paragraph: “Disclosure: I am the co-author with Sollecito on his memoir about the case.”

The longer the Italian courts consider the Meredith Kercher case – and we have now had three trials, six presiding judges, two hearings before the Italian high court and a third on the way – the more the country’s institutions of justice have covered themselves in shame.

Judge after judge has twisted the available evidence into extraordinary contortions of logic to assert, at different times, that Kercher – a British exchange student stabbed to death in her room in Perugia in 2007 – was the victim of a premeditated attack; that her murder happened spontaneously; that the motive was sexual; that the motive was a dispute over housework with Amanda Knox, the star defendant; that the trigger for the murder was the unseemly appetite Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, had for sex and drugs; that the trigger for the murder was Rudy Guede, the Ivorian-born drifter everyone agrees was involved, knocking on the door to use the toilet.

By now, Knox and Sollecito have been convicted, acquitted and convicted again, and the underlying forensic evidence has been both exposed as a sham and, mystifyingly, reinstated. (Disclosure: I am the co-author, with Sollecito, on his memoir about the case.)

Still, the latest judicial document in the ongoing battle, a 337-page justification of the most recent convictions made public on Tuesday, marks a new low. Not only has Alessandro Nencini, the presiding judge of the Florence appeals court, apparently resorted to the same tortured logic as his predecessors; he has also stated things as fact that are manifestly and provably wrong.

That may be more than even the Italian justice system can stomach; judges, after all, aren’t supposed to do things like that. And it may provide Knox and Sollecito with unexpected – if still slim – grounds for hope at the very moment when Kercher’s death had seemed settled, at last, according to the law.

To read the new conviction report in detail is to enter a kind of alternate reality, where concrete facts appear ignored and alternate facts are seemingly plucked from the air. Kercher’s murder is reduced to a parlor game and all roads lead to the inevitable, if not also foregone, conclusion that Knox and Sollecito are guilty. For instance:

  • On page 63, Judge Nencini claims that a partial shoeprint found at the murder scene comes from a size 37 women’s shoe and must therefore belong to Amanda Knox. But this is not based on the available evidence. In the early days of the case, the prosecution sought to show that the shoeprint was from Sollecito’s Nikes; the pattern of concentric circles on the sole was later proven to come from a different pair of Nikes belonging to Guede.

  • On page 81, Nencini grapples with the question of how Knox and Sollecito could have participated in the murder but left no more than a single, hotly disputed trace of themselves at the scene. Extraordinarily, Nencini argues that Knox and Sollecito must have wiped the place clean of their DNA (but left an abundance of Guede’s) because no traces of Knox’s DNA were found anywhere in the apartment that she shared with the victim. But multiple samples of Knox’s DNA were found and presented at trial; they just weren’t found in the room where the murder took place.

  • Then, on page 321, Nencini writes that the blade of the purported murder weapon – a large kitchen knife found in Sollecito’s apartment – bore traces of both Kercher’s and Sollecito’s DNA. Again, this is at variance with the evidence. The most the prosecution ever asserted was that Kercher’s DNA was on the tip of the blade. Sollecito’s DNA has never been found.

The defense teams have reacted with consternation: Knox issued a formal statement decrying the lack of “credible evidence or logic” in this latest document, which arrived just ahead of the three-month deadline following her latest conviction; Sollecito’s lead lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, denounced what she said were “at least ten clamorous mistakes per page”. (A Kercher family lawyer called the document “a version that we have always in some ways sustained”.)

This being Italy, however, the judicial errors are not necessarily a bad thing for Knox and Sollecito, because they give the Italian high court an opening – should the justices choose to take it – to overturn the latest conviction, and either dismiss the case, send it back to get the mistakes fixed, or order yet another trial in another court.

The high court justices will be aware, of course, that the longer the case drags on, the more suspect the process will look in the eyes of world opinion. Another trial would test the patience of even the most ardent believers in Knox and Sollecito’s guilt, and certainly of the Kercher family. But the process is starting to curdle – even without the spectacle of lawyers arguing, yet again, over the same controversies before a barrage of international TV cameras. That leaves the high court, which always has one eye on the integrity of the system, with a genuine dilemma.

Much has been written about Italian justice’s desire to save face in this much written-about case. To admit a miscarriage of justice, the argument runs, has become too difficult, because it would expose the mistakes of too many people, from the primary investigators to the Rome forensic lab to the prosecutors and judges.

However, as the case trudges toward the seven-year mark, one has to wonder how much appetite the institutions of justice still have to stand by what they have done. Will the high court really want to endorse Nencini’s report with all these evident flaws? Or will this finally be the moment when the justice system calls a halt to a travesty committed in its name and exonerates Knox and Sollecito, as it should have done years ago?


3. How Gumbel Got It Wrong

We responded by rebutting 20 of Gumbel’s malicious claims in just the first 7 pages of Honor Bound. And Pataz1, a TJMK main poster who also runs his own blog posted this rebuttal of Gumbel below

This letter was sent to the Guardian’s Reader Editor on 4 May 2014, and again on 3 June, 2014. The Reader’s Editor did not respond to either of the email submissions.

Gumbel’s May 1st, 2014 article in the Guardian is a thinly veiled advocacy piece for Sollecito and Knox. He left out a significant phrase from a Nencini passage he cites; this phrase he omitted undermines one of his main claims.

To the Guardian:

I’m writing to you about Andrew Gumbel’s “comment” on developments in the murder of Meredith Kercher case. Gumbel writes about the recently released Nencini court motivations document, which outlines the court’s reasoning for affirming Knox and Sollecito’s conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Gumbel waits until the end of the third paragraph in his article to provide his disclaimer: that he is a co-author of the book by one of the defendants. Its hard to understand why Gumbel waited so long to disclose his vested financial interest in the innocence of one of the defendants on trial. By this time, Gumbel has already levied allegations of impropriety upon the Italian courts and judges. For example, he alleges “the country’s institutions of justice have covered themselves in shame.” He continues specific allegations that “judge after judge has twisted the available evidence […]”.  If Gumbel had provided his disclaimer appropriately at the beginning of his letter, readers would have had a more appropriate understanding of Gumbel’s perspective and motivations for writing his letter.

Despite being a co-author of a book by one of the two still on trial for Meredith’s murder, Gumbel’s statements on the court process are wrong. Gumbel pushes the perspective that Knox’s reps have pushed in the US; that Knox and Sollecito have been “convicted again” after an acquittal. Gumbel leaves out any mention of the Italian Supreme Court ruling that overturned Knox and Sollecito’s acquittal and sent the case back to the appellate level. After the acquittal was annulled, the original 2009 conviction remained in place. Gumbel is no doubt aware that the Florence court is an appellate court.  (Curiously, Sollecito’s co-defendant Knox also wrongly claims on her website that the Italian Supreme Court “annulled all previous verdicts”; ref: http://www.amandaknox.com/about-contact/?).

Gumbel’s omission of the Italian Supreme Court ruling is odd, because the entire point of his article is the integrity of the judicial decisions. Gumbel left out that the Italian Supreme Court has already made one ruling regarding the integrity of a judicial decision in this case. The Supreme Court’s ruling wasn’t in favor of Gumbel’s co-author and defendant Raffaele Sollecito;  perhaps this is the reason that Gumbel failed to mention the actual outcome of the acquittal.

Or perhaps Gumbel left out this information so he could present the evidence the way it is framed by supporters of Knox and Sollecito. Later in the the same paragraph, Gumbel expresses confusion about why evidence remains in the case. He states “the underlying forensic evidence has been both exposed as a sham and, mystifyingly, reinstated.” As the co-author of the book with Sollecito, Gumbel is again no doubt aware that after the appellate-level acquittal was thrown out, the original conviction (with all of the evidence) remained as a part of the case. Any decision made by Hellmann on the evidence was also thrown out of the case, including Hellmann’s conclusions on the knife DNA evidence and the Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp. Further, if Gumbel had indeed read the Nencini decision, he would have read the passage where Nencini takes to task the “independent experts” in the Hellmann trial (detailed here:http://thefreelancedesk.com/amanda-knox-trials-meredith-kercher-case/). Gumbel should be well aware after his reading of Nencini why the evidence still contributed to the Florence court upholding his co-author’s conviction.

In his second point on the Nencini decision, Gumbel leaves out a key phrase that completely undermines his claim. By this time in his article, one is forced to wonder if this omission is deliberate. Gumbel’s claim is that Nencini contradicted himself by writing that Knox and Sollecito only left a “single, hotly disputed trace of themselves” despite the other evidence that Nencini also talks about. But the start of the passage Gumbel cites is:

“Una peculiarità è, ad esempio, il rilievo che all’interno della villetta di via della Pergola quasi non sono state rinvenute tracce di Amanda Marie Knox – se non quelle di cui si dirà e riferibili all’omicidio – né di Raffaele Sollecito.”

The phrase Gumbel deliberately left out is this: “se non quelle di cui si dirà e riferibili all’omicidio”, which, roughly translated, is “except those which will be discussed and related to the murder.”  The Nencini Motivations document explicitly contains a clause that accommodates the other traces related to the murder. Gumbel’s point is provably false. As someone who arguably puts himself forth as an expert on the case, this omission is highly concerning.

In Gumbel’s third point he highlights what is a minor error in the Nencini report. Calling out one word in a longer passage, Gumbel points out the report states that Sollecito’s DNA was found on the knife that is alleged as a murder weapon. If Gumbel truly read the report, as he claimed in a twitter exchange with me, he would be aware that the rest of the section that is contained in makes it clear that the finding is Knox’s DNA on the knife, not Sollecito’s. This minor error is hardly cause to overturn the full conviction.

I could continue, but the rest of Gumbel’s article is largely a diatribe against the length of the trial and the Italian justice system. Gumbel cites an article written by Douglas Preston, another author who has financially benefited by being openly critical of the prosecutor in Knox’s case. Knox and Sollecito’s case has gone through three levels of the Italian court system, and back to appeals. Cases in the US that follow a similar path have not happened any faster than the one in Italy. For example, in the Scott Peterson case in the US his defense still filed appeals eight years after his first-level conviction.

That the Guardian has allowed itself to be used as a platform to push the defense’s perspective is not only a disservice to the family of the murder victim who lives in the UK, but is also a disservice to the victim of a violent, brutal murder.


Sunday, January 04, 2015

That Supposed Tsunami Of Leaks That Supposedly Hurt The Alleged Perps: Who REALLY Leaked?

Posted by Peter Quennell



Curt Knox spins the day in court; prosecutors are forbidden to correct him or explain “their side”

1. How The Supposed Leaks Began

On 6 November 2007 investigators into Meredith’s death thought they had caught a big break.

That was when Knox herself snapped and claimed to be an eyewitness to Meredith’s killing on the night. From 1:30 am to about noon on 6 November Knox repeated that claim and staged her huge fright of Patrick Lumumba again and again. She proved hard to shut up though police did gently try.

Three times in those ten or so hours Knox herself insisted on writing her claims down, including a claim that she did go out alone. She was repeatedly warned she should have a lawyer present first but pressed on.

False claims to have witnessed a murder are rare, but not entirely unknown - there can be fame and big bucks in it, played right.

But in Knox’s case this did not seem to apply - she snapped explosively under no pressure except that just placed upon her by Sollecito who had claimed she made him lie and she had gone out alone from Sollecito’s on the night Meredith died.

And she had to some extent implicated herself - she said she saw a crime she did not report.

On 8 November supervising magistrate Claudia Matteini reviewed police and psychology reports and what Knox and Sollecito had claimed (including Sollecito’s writing that he never wanted to see Knox again).

Judge Matteini declared them both to be bad news. She ordered them to remain locked up. Judge Ricciarelli confirmed that that was all correct.

In coming months Knox was given repeated opportunities to clear herself, to put the evil genie back in the bottle, but she failed every time. In April 2008 Cassation ruled there was plenty of prima facie evidence, and that Judge Matteini had done the right thing.

Knox herself inspired these events of 6 to 8 November. They are what caused the voracious UK media and relatively mild Italian media to get their paid snoops to Perugia fast.

All of them were lobbying to get an edge. Investigators had some difficulty performing their tasks because they were getting so many calls and being crowded in the streets.

2. Did The Police Or Prosecution Ever Leak?

The Italian rules are quite clear. Unlike the US, cases for and against the accused must be fought only in court, and when the prosecutor or judge speaks, it will mostly be in a document that has been cleared.

How many proven examples do you think there are of police and prosecutors slipping reporters leaks and tips and inside tracks to advance their case?

In fact NONE. Not one.

Among the frustrations we picked up from the excellent Italian-speaking reporters who were actually there was how under Italian rules there was so little that police and prosecutors were allowed to share.

In the UK it is also a bit like this. But in contrast in the US there would typically be daily press conferences and prosecutors (85% of them are elected in the US) appearing on the cable-news crime shows like that of Nancy Grace.

And Dr Mignini himself famously never leaks. The few things he ever says are on the record and they always prove accurate, low-key, and very fair. From 2007 right up to today he continues to maintain that Knox had no advance intention to kill. A softer line than some of the judges settled upon.

3. Did The Defenses And Families Leak?

Sure. This case must have broken all records for defense-biased leaks. Finding themselves in a vacuum of police and prosecution information and pushback, the Knox PR grew to an angry and often abusive and dishonest roar.

The sharp-elbowed Knox-Mellas presence was constantly “available” in Perugia and Burleigh and Dempsey among others got totally taken in. Ann Bremner and Judge Heavey and Paul Ciolino became more and more shrill. Heavey wrote to the president of the Italian Republic on his official letterhead. Senator Cantwell issued many unfounded claims. 

And through 2008 and 2009 one can spot increasing leaks from each defense team, often to try to advantage their client against the other two. We were offered some of those leaks, among others “the truth” about the autopsy and “the knife”.

The Perugia Shock blog by PR shill Francesco Sfarzo (now on trial in Florence for making things up, and wanted by police in the US) came to be a main conduit for defense lies and misleading information, possibly some from a disgruntled cop. 

Here is one easily proven leak from the Knox defense that was intended to hurt the police and prosecution in the case.

But putting police so overtly on the spot was a dangerous game. More often each perp and their defense team took whacks at the other two as a Rome lawyer showed here and we showed here.  In the past few posts we have been showing how many things about Rudy Guede were made up (more to come).

4. Making Things Up For Profit And Fame

In 2007 and 2008 various unsavory characters surfaced in Perugia, to try to win fame and make a buck. This quote is from our post directly below.

Christian Tramontano, who had claimed someone threatened him in his house in the dark with a knife who looked like a shot of Guede in the papers two months later, was not even called, perhaps because at a hearing in October 2008 Judge Micheli denounced him as having made things up.

Tramontano is right now a jobless bouncer, as the mafia was found to have some involvement in his club. Judge Micheli scathingly repudiated his tale as his story did not ring true - he made no police report about it at the time.

But worse, he looked like one of quite a few around Perugia (and later in the US) who were seeking global fame and big bucks from the media for “inside knowledge” and claimed close connections to one or other of the alleged perps.

Despite this Tremontano’s self-serving claims are repeated as gospel by the PR shills all over the place. Those claims appear as gospel in every one of their books.

This is from Tom Kington of the Guardian in a report posted 27 September 2008:

The trial in Italy of Rudy Guede, one of the three suspects accused of sexually assaulting and murdering British student Meredith Kercher, was thrown into disarray yesterday when a judge stopped proceedings after learning that one of the main character witnesses had allegedly tried to sell his story to Italian television.

Abuker Barro, known as Momi, a Somalian acquaintance of Guede, was due in court in Perugia yesterday to repeat claims made to investigators that he had seen Guede rifling through women’s handbags in clubs in Perugia and making aggressive advances to women when drunk.

But the judge, Paolo Micheli, blocked him from completing his testimony after lawyers for Guede showed a video of Barro meeting journalists to allegedly negotiate payment of €2,000 (£1,588) for revealing his testimony on Italian television. Micheli will ask magistrates to decide whether Barro should be prosecuted for abusing his role as a witness, which could exclude his testimony.

The incident, described by Guede’s lawyer, Walter Biscotti, as ‘an assault by the media’, follows a series of leaks to the press of evidence and even jail diaries by suspects during the investigation into the brutal slaying of Kercher, 21… [bold added]

Few real reporters were unethical or incompetent enough to accept and report biased and unconfirmed claims like Tramontano’s or Barro’s. But you can find those false claims hyped pervasively throughout the pro-Knox books as if they were gospel.

Among others Dempsey’s, Burleigh’s, Moore’s, Preston’s, Hendry’s, Waterbury’s, and Fischer’s books come to mind.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #17: Sollecito April 2008 Before Supreme Court Again Coldsholdered Knox

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Media outside the Cassation back entrance waiting for news of the ruling

1. Where This Series Stands

Dozens of people have very aggressively gone to bat for Knox over her “interrogation” and still do.

They trust that one or other of her versions of the 5-6 November 2007 police-station session is right.

We have been demonstrating the rock-solid evidence that Knox and her supporters have lied and lied and there will be more evidence of this to come.

We’ve shown in this series that Knox insisted on being there; she was merely helping to build a list; she was treated kindly and taken for refreshments; she was the only one overheard by anyone to raise her voice, when she screamed about Lumumba “He did it!”; it was Sollecito not the police saying that she had been lying and had made him lie; and there is documentary evidence that the police investigators who sat with Knox told the truth.

Coming soon, we are going to post hundreds of very nasty claims by Knox shills, all sparked by and never reigned in by Knox.

2. The Pre-Trial Hurdles Knox Failed

Do you know how many major opportunities before her 2009 trial started Knox was given to get the murder charges dropped? This is not something Knox supporters trumpet about, if they even know.

In fact there were six, and Knox dismally failed them all.

In 2007 there were (1) the Matteini hearing and (2) the Ricciarelli hearing in November and (3) the Mignini interview in December.  And in 2008 there were (4) the separate Knox appeal and Sollecito appeal to the Supreme Court in April, and (5) the first Micheli hearings in September, and (6) the second Micheli hearings in October, which dispatched Knox and Sollecito for trial.

In all six instances Knox’s team also had the opportunity to get the charges against Knox for calunnia against Lumumba dropped.

3. Sollecito’s appeal to the Supreme Court

In Knox Interrogation Hoax #16 we described the fourth pre-trial hurdle Knox failed to make. That was her appeal to the Supreme Court against the Matteini and Ricciarelli rulings that much evidence pointed to her and for the safety of others she needed to be kept locked up.

Knox hadnt really lifted a finger to deflect suspicion away from Sollecito and the same thing applied in reverse from 2007 right through to 2014 with the one bizarre exception of Sollecito’s book.

Catnip kindly provided this translation below of Cassation’s ruling on Sollecito’s appeal in April 2008 that much evidence pointed to him too and for the safety of others he also needed to be kept locked up.

If Sollecito had not fingered Knox at his own interrogation on 5-6 November 2007 which set her fireworks off, here was his second chance after his memo to Judge Matteini to set things straight and get her off the hook. 

So did he? No. He again left Knox dangling in the wind. 

Summary: Held: the decision to continue pre-trial prison detention for the suspect was reasonable.

THE REPUBLIC OF ITALY
IN THE NAME OF THE ITALIAN PEOPLE
THE SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION
SECTION 1 CRIMINAL DIVISION

Comprised of the most Honourable Justices:
Dr Torquato GEMELLI - President -
Dr Emilio Giovanni GIRONI - Member -
Dr Maria Cristina SIOTTO - Member -
Dr Umberto ZAMPETTI - Member -
Dr Margherita CASSANO - Member -

have pronounced the following

JUDGMENT

on the appeal lodged by:

(1) RS, born on X, against Order of 30/11/2007 Liberty Court of Perugia;

having heard the relation made by Member Emilio Giovanni Gironi;

having heard the conclusions of the Prosecutor-General Dr Consolo for its rejection;

having heard the defence advocates G and T (substituting for advocate M).

REASONS FOR THE DECISION

The order referred to in opening confirmed, at the Re-examination stage, the one by which the GIP [the Preliminary Investigation Magistrate] had applied pre-trial prison detention of RS for participation in the murder of MSCK, the which occurring in Perugia on the evening of the 1st of November 2007 by means of a cutting weapon, in an alleged context of sexual assault by a group, in which there would have taken part, in addition to S, his girlfriend AK and a RHG, who had left behind a palm print on the bloodied pillow on which the victim’s body was resting and whose DNA was found on the vaginal swab taken from the body of the same and on faecal traces found in a bathroom of the house that the victim was sharing with Ms AK and two Italian students.

The picture of circumstantial evidence specifically concerning S consists of the identification of a print left in haematic material present at the scene of the crime of a sports shoe held to be compatible, because its dimensions and configuration of the sole, with the type of footwear, “N” brand size 42.5, used by the suspect; of the recovery – in the kitchen of his house – of a kitchen knife bearing traces of Ms AK’s DNA on the handle and on the blade traces of Ms MK’s DNA; and of the collapse of the alibi put up by the young man (having been disproven by technical investigations carried out), in which, as asserted by him, he had interacted with his computer during the hours in which, according to the forensic pathologist’s reconstruction, the criminal fact would have occurred, that is between 22:00 and 23:00 of the 1st November 2007; from the investigations carried out up until now it would appear, in fact, that the last interaction with the machine on 1 November occurred at 21:10 and that the subsequent one took place at 5:32 the day after, when S also reactivated his mobile phone, acts witnessing thereby an agitated and sleepless night. Equally disproven was that the young man had received a phone call from his father at 23:00 on the night of the murder, it resulting, instead, that said call had happened at 20:40.

Against S, caught at the time of arrest with a switchblade initially considered compatible with the wounds found on the neck of the victim, would line up, in addition, the mutability of the stories given to the investigators by the same and by his girlfriend, having initially maintained they had remained the whole evening and night in the young man’s house, later to state, instead, that at a certain point Ms AK would have left to meet the Ivorian [sic] citizen PDL, manager of a pub in which Ms AK was undertaking casual employment, she making a returning to her boyfriend’s house only around one in the morning.

It must, finally, be added that the same Ms AK had, amongst other things, initially referred (not confirming, in any case, the thesis in confused and contradictory subsequent versions) to having taken herself to her own house with L, where this latter (he also was struck with a custody order, later revoked after the previously mentioned identification of G’s DNA) had had sexual relations with Ms MK, and to having, while she herself was in the kitchen, heard her friend scream, without, further, remembering anything else of the subsequent events, up until the occurrences of the day after, marked by the discovery of traces of blood in the small bathroom next to Ms MK’s room and culminating in the discovery of the body, after the intervention of the forces of law and order (the police appear, in particular, to have intervened prior to the call to 112 effected by S); in particular, the young woman was specifically pointing out not being able to remember whether S were also present in the victim’s house on the occasion of the events just described.

The Re-examination Court concluded recognizing, for the purposes of maintaining pre-trial detention, the persistence of all the types of pre-trial exigencies mentioned by Article 274 Criminal Procedure Code.

The S defence has indicated an appeal, on the grounds of, with new reasons as well:

– reference to Ms AK alone of the circumstantial evidence constituted by the presence of biological traces from her and from the victim on the knife found at S’s house;

– absence, at the scene of the crime, of biological traces attributable to the suspect [ndr: note, this was before the bra-clasp tests had been done];

– arbitrary transference onto S of the weighty circumstantial evidence against Ms AK, on the unfounded assumption that the pair could not have been anything but together at the moment of the homicidal fact;

– inexistent evidential value of the phases relative to the discovery of the body;

– absence of blood traces from the soles of the “N” shoes worn by the suspect even at the moment of his arrest;

– absence of any evidential value of merit, alleged failure of the alibi, constituting the use of his computer, of which the falsity has not in any case been ascertained, of the lack of interaction by the subject with the machine after the last operation at 21:10 not permitting the inference that the computer was not, however, engaged in downloading files (being, to be specific, films);

– irrelevancy of the mistake revealed between the indicated time of the phone call to the father furnished by S and the actual time of the call, given the uncertainty of the time of death of the victim, depending on the time, otherwise uncertain, of the consumption of the dinner (according to various witness statements coinciding with 18:00), it being well able, therefore, for the time indicated by the forensic pathologist (23:00) to be revised backwards to 21:00, a little before which time the witness P had referred to having made a visit to S, finding him at home and not on the verge of going out;

– interpretability of the so-called unlikelihood of the versions supplied by the suspect as attempts to cover for (aid and abet) another subject;

– attribution of the victim’s biological traces found on the knife seized at S’s house to chance contamination not related to the homicidal fact;

– insufficiency of the pre-trial exigencies, having diminished in a probative sense after the return to Italy of G; those relating to risk of flight lacking in specificity and concreteness; and with reference to the conventional content of blogs posted on the internet by the suspect, those relating to danger to society illogically reasoned;

– missing appearance of the young man’s walk, via security cameras installed along the route that the aforesaid would have had to traverse to go from his house to that of the victim’s.

THE APPEAL IS UNFOUNDED

As regards what this Court is permitted to appreciate, not being able here to proceed with a re-reading of the investigative results nor with an alternative interpretation of the factual data referred to in the custody order, the appellant defence substantially contests the recognition, as against S, of the necessary requisite of grave indicia of culpability. The question thus posed and submitted for scrutiny by this bench of the well-known limits of the competence of the court of merit, it must be held that the finding expressed by the Re-examination judges concerning the gravity of the frame of circumstantial evidence is not susceptible to censure.

Not upheld, in the first place, is the defence submission according to which the knife bearing the genetic prints of Ms AK and of Ms MK found in S’s house would constitute a piece of evidence relevant solely as against the young woman, even if privy of traces attributable to the suspect, the utensil has as always been found in the young man’s house, and the testimony acquired up until now has led to the exclusion that it formed part of the inventory of the house inhabited by the victim, and which, at the time, and until proved to the contrary, must be held to be the same available for use by the suspect and which had been used in MK’s house, there being contested no access by her to S’s house.

Given the multitude of group contributive possibilities, the fact is not significative, then, in itself being a neutral element, that on the scene of the crime there are no biological traces attributable to S, to which, in any case, is attributable the “N” brand shoe print considered compatible, by dimensions and sole configuration, with the footwear worn by the suspect at the time of arrest. Although having the same impugned order excluded, at the time, the certainty of the identification constitutes as, in any case, a certain datum that the print in question had been made in haematic material found in Ms MK’s room by a shoe of the kind and of the dimensions of those possessed by the appellant, while it remains to be excluded that this could have originated from G’s shoe, who wore a size 45 and, therefore, dimensions notably larger. The revealed coincidence, notwithstanding the residual uncertainty on the identification, assumes particular valency in relation to the restricted circle of subjects gravitating to the scene of the homicide, with not even Ms AK, who made admissions about her presence on site at the same time as the execution of the offence, excluding the presence of her boyfriend in the victim’s house in the same circumstance; nor can it be held that the print could have been left by S the following morning, he never having claimed to have entered into the room wherein the body was lying.

It does not answer, therefore, to verity that, as against the young man, there had been recognized, by a phenomenon of transference, items of circumstantial evidence in reality pointing solely to Ms AK.

The last finding held unfavourable to S is constituted by the failed proof of the alibi constituted by the argument of the suspect as having remained at home on the computer until late at night; it being a matter of, properly speaking, an alibi failing up till now and not of a false alibi and the defence, correctly, does not refute the technico-judicial valency of the circumstantial evidence, but it remains, in any case, acquired into the case file that the accused had not been able to prove his absence from the locus of the crime at the same time. An item up until now assumed as certain is, instead, the fact that S had interacted with his computer at 5:32 the morning following the murder, at around the same time reactivating his own mobile phone, a contradiction of the assumption of a waking up only at 10:00 and a symptomatic tell-tale of a more or less sleepless night; likewise as symptomatic was held to be the nearly simultaneous cessation of telephonic traffic as much by Ms AK, in his company the evening of 1 November 2007.

The proof of a permanent stay in his house by the suspect can, all told, be considered as acquired up until 20:40 – coincident with P’s visit – who confirmed his presence, or up until 21:10, the last interaction time on the computer, but this does not cover the time of the homicide, located between 22:00 and 23:00.

As for the proposed argument that S’s conduct were interpreted as aiding and abetting, this does not result, in the event, as being supported by anything emerging from the investigations and its plausibility cannot be verified by the judges of merit.

In conclusion, the Re-examination Court’s evaluation as to the gravity of the circumstantial evidence picture are removed from the audit of this court.

There remains, finally, the finding that for what concerns the pre-trial exigencies, those of a probative nature are not able to be considered as ceasing from the sole fact of G’s re-entry into Italy (amongst other things significantly never invoked in the statements by the suspect and by his girlfriend, who instead co-involved L in the proceedings), given the existence of an investigative picture in continual evolution, in which the positions of the various protagonists so far remain unclear, the changing versions of which are marked by reticence and mendaciousness (the same suspect had, in truth, admitted to having, at least initially, told ‘a load of balls’); but the permanence of pre-trial exigencies had been held reasonablely even under the aspect of flight risk, in relation to the gravity of the charges and of the potential sanctions, not to mention danger to society, given the revealed fragility of character and the specific personal traits of the subject, – which would narrowly evaluate as innocuous youthful stereotypes –, in a context the more connoted by the noted habitual use of drugs.

FOR THESE REASONS

Rejects the appeal and sentences the appellant to payment of costs of the proceedings. Article 94 para 1 ter, and activating provisions, Criminal Procedure Code, applies.
Rome, 1.4.2008.

DEPOSITED IN THE REGISTRY ON 21 APRIL 2008


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #16: The Fourth Opportunity Knox Flunked: The Supreme Court

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Media outside the Cassation back entrance waiting for news of the ruling

1. Where This Series Stands

Dozens of people have very aggressively gone to bat for Knox over her “interrogation” and still do.

They trust that one or other of her versions of the 5-6 November 2007 police-station session is right.

We have been demonstrating the rock-solid evidence that Knox and her supporters have lied and lied and there will be more evidence of this to come.

We’ve shown in this series that Knox insisted on being there; she was merely helping to build a list; she was treated kindly and taken for refreshments; she was the only one overheard by anyone to raise her voice, when she screamed about Lumumba “He did it!”; it was Sollecito not the police saying that she had been lying and had made him lie; and there is documentary evidence that the police investigators who sat with Knox told the truth.

Coming soon, we are going to post hundreds of false claims made by Knox shills, all sparked by and never reigned in by Knox.

2. The Pre-Trial Hurdles Knox Failed

Do you know how many major opportunities before her 2009 trial started Knox was given to get the murder charges dropped? This is not something Knox supporters trumpet about, if they even know.

In fact there were six, and Knox dismally failed them all.

In 2007 there were (1) the Matteini hearing and (2) the Ricciarelli hearing in November and (3) the Mignini interview in December.  And in 2008 there were (4) the separate Knox appeal and Sollecito appeal to the Supreme Court in April, and (5) the first Micheli hearings in September, and (6) the second Micheli hearings in October, which dispatched Knox and Sollecito for trial.

In all six instances Knox’s team also had the opportunity to get the charges against Knox for calunnia against Lumumba dropped.

As you will have seen in previous posts, Knox’s team pussyfooted about without conviction in the few brief instances when the 5-6 November session was discussed. In the Mignini hearing of 17 December 2007 they eventually advised her it would be in her best interests to shut up.

This post covers the third hurdle, specifically why in April 2008 the First Criminal Section of the Supreme Court ruled that for reasons of evidence and psychology Knox and Sollecito should remain locked up and the judicial process against them should go forward.

Please consider this meticulous (and for the pair, damning) statement, which denied their release, in light of a couple of explanations which follow in Part 4 below.

3. Catnip Translation: Gemelli Report On Knox

The Judgment

REPUBLIC OF ITALY
IN THE NAME OF THE ITALIAN PEOPLE
THE SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION
FIRST CRIMINAL DIVISION

Comprised of the Most Honorable Justices
Dr Torquato GEMELLI – President
Dr Emilio Giovanni GIRONI – Member
Dr Maria Cristina SIOTTO – Member
Dr Umberto Zampetti – Member
Dr Margherita CASSANO – Member

has pronounced the following

JUDGMENT

on the appeal lodged by AMK born on X

against the Order of 30/11/2007 Liberty Tribunal of Perugia

having heard the relation [legal analysis] made by the Counsellor [Judge] Margherita Cassano

having heard the conclusions of the Prosecutor-General Dr S Consolo who has prayed the rejection of the appeal

HAVING FOUND IN FACT

1. With the order of 30 November 2007 the Perugia Court, as constituted under Article 309 Criminal Procedure Code, rejected the submission to review lodged by AMK and, as a consequence, confirmed the precautionary prison custody measures disposed in her matter on the 9th November 2007 by the GIP of the same Court in relation to the offences of aggravated wilful homicide in company and in sexual assault by a group, committed on the day of 1 November 2007 against MSCK.

2. According to the reconstruction put forward by the judges of merit, on the 2nd November 2007, around 12:35, the State Police, to whom had been signalled the discovery in the garden of a house of two mobile phones, both resulting to be in the service of the American [sic] citizen MSCK, intervened at an apartment in Via della Pergola in use by Ms K and AMK and two Italian women. At the place were found AMK and her boyfriend RS, the which declared they were expecting the arrival of the Carabinieri, called by them after having discovered that the window of one of the rooms of the habitation presented with broken glass.

The crime scene inspection immediately carried out inside the apartment led to the discovery in the bedroom occupied by Ms K, locked under key, of the body of the woman, which, at the level of the head, was immersed in a lake of blood, was dressed only in two tops pulled above the breast and was covered with a blanket. Beneath this latter was found the print of a shoe in haematic material, collected, besides in the room of the offence, also in a small bathroom adjacent to the same. In a second bathroom, used by the two Italian lessees of the apartment, were found faeces and other natural biological residues. The autopsy immediately carried out permitted the establishment of the cause of death, collocatable around 22 hours of the day of 1st November 2007, to have been due to a haemorrhagic shock from vascular lesions to the neck from an edged blade and that the instrument used to restrain her was constituted of a pointed instrument capable of penetration and with a sharpened profile capable of cutting tissue.

The victim’s body did not present unequivocal signs of sexual assault even though there were found things of some medico-legal interest, in the sense of the observed anal dilation of two-three centimetres, the discovery of minute ecchimoses on the posterior part of the anal ring (otherwise compatible with situations of constipation) and, above all, mauvish marks on the inner face of the labia minore, suggestive of a sexual rapport carried out with haste and occurring a little before the death.

3. The Court had found that grave indicia of guilt as against the suspect were constituted by the following elements:

(a) the autopsy results and the medico-legal report;

(b) the discovery of a knife with dimensions of 14cm for the handle and of about 17 for the blade, seized from inside a drawer of cutlery located in the kitchen of the home of S, carrying, on the handle, traces of DNA referable to Ms K and, on the blade, traces of DNA ascribable to the victim;

(c) statements made by persons informed of the facts, FR and LM, housemates of the victim, who without contradiction excluded that the seized knife were part of the their apartment’s endowment and made mention that Ms K, on the day of the fact, was wearing a top, which has not yet been found;

(d) outcome of the technical tests carried out on a pair of shoes, N brand, size 42.5, property of S, evidencing a perfect correspondence between the aforesaid footwear and the print found at the location of the homicide, as well as on the door of the Via della P apartment which did not present signs of forced entry;

(e) results of technical tests carried out on the palm print found on the pillow on which the victim had been placed and resulting as belonging to RHG, a citizen of the Ivory Coast, nicknamed ‘the Baron’, known to AMK;

(f) presence of RHG’s DNA on the vaginal swab taken from the cadaver during the autopsy and on the fragment of toilet paper taken from inside the larger bathroom of the apartment, where faeces had been found, resulting as being from G;

(g) outcome of biological tests carried out on the blood found in the apartment’s small bathroom, in use by the victim and Ms K, which permitted the establishment that to the victim were attributable the bloodstains present on the mat, to Ms K those found on the washbasin, and to both of the women the blood traces found on the bidet;

(h) statements made by the American [sic] citizen RCB, the which, having returned home to her country a few days after the fact, referred to the Authorities that Ms K, while waiting to be interviewed by the Police on the morning of the 2nd November 2007, had told her of having seen M’s body on a wardrobe (or reflected on a wardrobe) with a blanket on top of her and of having seen her friend’s foot after a police officer had opened the door, circumstances conflicting with the modality of intervention at the apartment;

(i) statements made by the friends of MSCK, the which without contradiction said that the woman had spent the afternoon of the 1st November 2007 in their company and had left their house in the company of SP, who, reaching her own domicile in Via del L around 20:55, had parted from the victim, whose apartment in Via della P was less than 10 minutes’ distance from Via del L;

(l) statements made by FR and PG, contacted by A after ascertaining that the front door of their house was open, that there were blood stains and that the window of MSCK’s room presented with broken glass

(m) statements made by S on the 2nd, 5th and 6th November regarding his movements both alone and with AMK between the day of 1 November 2007 and the following 2 November, in regards to what was found inside the Via della P apartment, to the call for help to law enforcement, not to mention the reference to the search for strong emotion contained in various of his writings posted on his blog;

(n) statements made on 6 November 2007 at 1:45 by Ms K which indicated L, entranced by M, as the author of the murder after a sexual relation with the victim;

(o) spontaneous statements made by Ms K on 6 November 2007 at 5:45 from which it emerged that L and M had gone to her room, that, at a certain point, M had started to scream, such that A, so as not to hear, had put her hands on her ears, that maybe S was also present in the house;

(p) contents of the account written by Ms K which repeated having heard M scream, to having removed herself into the kitchen and of having blocked her ears with her hands so as not to hear her friend’s scream and of having seen blood on S’s hand during the dinner that had taken place around 23:00 hours on the day of 1 November 2007 in S’s apartment;

(q) contents of a recorded conversation in prison on 17 November 2007 relating to a discussion between Ms K and her parents in the course of which the woman, amongst other things, said “It’s stupid, because I can’t say anything different, I was there and I can’t lie about this, there is no reason to do it”;

(r) tests carried out on the computer and on the mobile phone used by S, from which it emerged that, contrary to the defensive stance of the suspect, his computer had not been used during the night and had been activated only at 5:32 on 2 November 2007 and that, likewise, his mobile phone also had been off during the night and had been first used at dawn on 2 November 2007.

The Re-examination judges concluded recognizing, for continuing the precautionary custody measure, the continuance of all the typologies of precautionary requirements mentioned under Article 274 Criminal Procedure Code.

4. Against the cited order there has been submitted an appeal to Cassation, through her lawyers, by AMK, the which, also by means of a defence memorandum, alleges:

(a) violation of Article 309 paragraph five Criminal Procedure Code with reference to the omitted transmission to the Re-examination Court of the statements made by the suspect RHG arrested in Germany in the execution of a European Arrest Warrant, constituting, contrary to what was adopted by the Re-examination Court, an element favourable to the suspect, relevant for the indication of the author of the offence, identified as an individual of the male gender and, contrary to what as held by the Court, fully usable, given the basis of their acquisition into evidence under Articles 22 and 28 of the law on international judicial representation in criminal matters of 23 December 1982;

(b) Violation of Article 250 paragraph seven, and 357 paragraph two, Criminal Procedure Code, being placed at the foundation of the custody order and of the subsequent provisioning by the Re-examination Court, which indicative elements, the statements made by Ms K on 6 November at 1:45, without defence safeguards, the “spontaneous statements” made at the time of 5:45 hours, are not classifiable as such, given the procedural status invested on her in the meantime, all acts fully non-usable inasmuch acquired in patent violation of Article 63 Criminal Procedure Code;

(c) Violation of law, deficiency and manifest lack of logic in the reasoning with reference to the picture of circumstantial gravity, having regard: (a) to the personality of the suspect, a young foreigner with unblemished record, with a perception of reality altered by cannabis use, a substance which also may have been influencing her excessive and dreamlike behaviours; (b) to the seriously lacunose character of the translation of passages of the suspect’s hand-written account, analysed in a partial manner; (c) to the not unambiguous reading of the contents of the recorded conversation of 17 November 2007 between the suspect and her parents in prison; (d) to the non-probative nature of the DNA traces found on the seized knife, of the suspect’s blood stains on the mat and basin in the small bathroom of the apartment occupied by, amongst others, the victim and Ms K;

(d) Lack and manifest illogicality in the reasoning with reference to the considered circumstantial value, as against the suspect, of the results of tests carried out on the vaginal swab and on the knife in custody, with an un-reasoned devaluation of the considerations put forward by the defence;

(e) lack and manifest illogicality of the reasoning, distortion of the fact with reference to the considered presence of the suspect on the location of the fact and to her contribution purportedly made to the consummation of the offence;

(f) violation of law, deficiency and illogicality of reasoning as to the configurability of the precautionary requirements, given: (1) the absence of a specific danger in evidentiary acquisition even in the light of investigative developments which have evidenced Ms K’s extraneity to the commission of the offence and have allowed the acquisition of statements by fellow-suspect G; (2) the lack of an objective risk of flight in the light of international cooperation between Italy and the USA which would permit, once the suspect’s responsibility has been definitively ascertained, full judicial cooperation; (3) the lack of danger of repetition of the offences.

Observes as of law.
The Appeal Is Unfounded.

1. With reference to the deduced violation of Article 308 paragraph five for omitted transmission to the Re-examination Court of elements appearing favourable to the person placed under investigation (in the type of statements made by G to the German Judicial Authority in the ambit of European Arrest Warrant procedure), this Bench observes as follows.

For “elements in favour of the person placed under investigation” must be understood to mean those objective results, of probative value, suitable for being of positive influence in the evaluative complex of the custody picture (Cass., Sez. IV, 22 giugno 2005, rv. 231749) and in the concrete usable for exculpating the suspect (Cass., Sez. I, 26 settembre 2000, Corrente, rv. 217611) and not information that resolves itself into mere reformulations of the prosecutorial hypothesis or in the advancing of alternative hypotheses (Cass., Sez. Un. 26 settembre 2000, Mennuni).

In line with this interpretative stage there are to be excluded from the enumerated elements appearing favourable and as a consequence obligated to be transmitted to the Re-examination Court, under Article 309 paragraph five Criminal Procedure Code, statements made, as in the case under examination, in the ambit of an extradition procedure against the fellow-suspect who limits himself to giving his own defensive version and to affirm his own extraneity to the facts, without however releasing the other accused subjects from the same crime. It is, therefore, under this profile that the defence petition does not merit granting, it is rejected, rather, by the Re-examination Court on the basis of the erroneous assumption that RHG’s statements were unusable through omission with respect to due process, in reality assured by the German Judicial Authority, which – in conformity with the principles contained in the decision-framework of the Council of Ministers of the Union of 13 June 2002, relating to European arrest warrants and the handover procedure between member States (2002/584/GAI) – have, amongst other things, pre-emptively made the suspect informed: (1) of the European arrest warrant and its contents, even to the ends of allowing him to consent, if necessary, to the handover; (2) of the right to legal and interpretive assistance during the procedure.

2. With reference to the second appeal ground by the defence, the Court observes that circumstantial statements are characterized by a different usability regime under a subjective aspect. In the case in which these originate from a person against whom there already is sustained circumstantial evidence as regards the same crime, that is to a crime connected with or tied to the one attributed to a third party, the same cannot be used not only against themselves, but neither in relation to co-accused in the same crime (or of those accused of connected or related crimes).

The regime of absolute unusability under Article 63 paragraph two Criminal Procedure Code is, instead, to be excluded in the case in which the declarant, whether called to respond, in the same or another matter, for a crime or for crimes attributed to others, which have no procedural ties with the one for which they are being proceeded against, with respect to which the person assumes the character of witness.

In fact, in the first case, due to the close connection and interdependence between the fact itself and the other one, there arises the necessity to also safeguard the declarant’s right to silence; in the second case, the declarant’s extraneity and indifference with respect to the facts in cause renders them immune to possible sanctions carried out by the investigative bodies (Cass., Sez. Un. 13 febbraio 1997, Carpanelli).

On a par with these principles, the statements made by AMK at 1:45 on 6 November 2007, – at the end of which the interview was suspended and the woman was placed at the disposition of the relevant judicial Authority, revealing circumstantial evidence against herself –, are usable only contra alios, while the “spontaneous statements” from 5:45 are not usable, neither against the suspect nor against other subjects accused of participation in the same crime, inasmuch as they were made without due process safeguards by a person who had formally assumed the status of suspect.

On the contrary, the account written in English by Ms K and translated into Italian is fully usable, under Article 237 Criminal Procedure Code, since it is a document originating from the suspect, who had been its spontaneous material author for a defence purpose. The disposition under examination allows attribution of probative relevance to the document not only as regards it and its representative contents, but also in the strength of its particular ties, which tie it to the suspect (or accused), thereby illuminating the review of admissibility which the judge had held to be in operation.

3. The fourth, fifth and sixth grounds of the petition also lack merit. The circumstantial evidence picture specifically concerning AMK is based, in the first place, on the autopsy results, evidencing multiple contusions and ecchimotic areas on various parts of the body (nose, lip, oral cavity, cheek, mandibular and sub-mandibular region, upper and lower limbs, inner face of labia minore, abdomen, dextral latero-cervical region), an ample dilation, in the order of two to three centimetres, of the anal ring with the presence of small ecchimoses, a large wound, disposed obliquely, in the caudal-lateral sense, fully diastased, with sections of underlying tissue right to the cartiliginous layer in the left latero-cervical region, the complete sectioning of the upper right thyroidal artery, the fracture of the hyoid bone in proximity of the left median. The medico-legal tests, carried out after the necroscopic examination of the body of the victim, permitted the confirmation that the cause of death, around 22:00 hours on 1 November 2007, is ascribable to meta-haemorrhagic shock from the vascular lesion on the neck from an edged blade, occasioned by a pointed implement, capable of penetration, and with a sharpened edge able to cut tissues. The anal dilation, the observation of minute ecchimoses on the posterior part of the anal ring and, above all, the mauvish marks on the inner face of the labia minore, are suggestive of a sexual rapport carried out hastily, before the victim had had time to produce adequate lubrication, occurring in a time period proximate to that of the observation, but in any case before death, by reason of the ecchimotic lesions and their colour.

The impugned provision highlights that the complex of these medico-legal conclusions assumes a particular evidential value, in the event that place in correlation with other elements: (a) the statements made by the friends of MSCK, who without contradiction stated that the woman had spent the evening of [1] November 2007 in their company, had started to dine with them from 18:00 hours onwards and had left the house in company with SP, who, reaching her home in Via del L around 20:55, had parted from the victim, whose apartment in Via della P was less than ten minutes’ walk from Via del L; (b) the outcome of the search effected at the house of RS, romantically linked to AMK, which permitted the discovery and seizure in the apartment’s kitchen, from the cutlery drawer, of a knife, having an approx. 14cm long blade and 17cm handle. The knife, not forming part of the inventory of the house occupied by AMK, MSCK and two Italian women (cf on the matter, the statements made, as persons informed of the facts, by FR and LM), presented traces of DNA on the handle attributable to AMK and on the blade traces of DNA ascribable to the victim.

Weighing against the suspect, in the opinion of the judges, there are, in addition, even in their mutability, statements by RS, who, after firstly having claimed to have remained home all evening and night with his girlfriend, stated, afterwards (cf. Interviews of 5 and 6 November 2007) that, at a certain time, Ms K had left and had come back to his house at only around one in the morning.

The judges of merit have underlined the strict correlation found between the interviews given by S on 5 and 6 November 2007, and the following further elements: (a) statements made by citizen RCB, who, returning to her country of origin, referred to the relevant Authorities the confidence received on 2 November 2007 from AMK regarding the position of the victim’s body and its condition, circumstances that, contrary to the stance of the suspect, she could not have been able to perceive on the occasion of the intervention by the police at the apartment, an intervention that unfolded in a way irreconcilable with the version furnished by Ms K to the friend; (b) statements made by persons informed of the facts FR and LM, who said that Ms K, the day of the fact, was wearing a top, which has not been found since.

The impugned provision, with logically reasoned argumentation, observes that the content of these declarative acts appears even more significant when evaluated also in the light of the written account produced by the suspect, containing relevant references to M’s scream on the night of the fact, to her reactions, consisting of huddling in the kitchen with her hands over her ears, to the presence of a man, to traces of blood noted by her on RS’s hand during the dinner that took placed at 23:00 on 1 November 2007.

Under the same lens appearing imbued with unequivocal circumstantial value is the contents of the recording, effected on 17 November 2007 inside the prison where Ms K found herself restricted to and between the woman and her parents, in the course of which there was pronounced by the accused the following words: “It’s stupid, because I cannot say anything else, I was there and I cannot lie about this, there is no reason to do so”;

These elements must, in their turn, be inserted into a larger circumstantial evidence context, cross-correlated by the identification of a print left in haematic matter present on the scene of the crime from a sports shoe, held to be compatible, by its dimensions and configuration of the sole, with the type of footwear brand “N” used by the suspect and by the failure of the alibi put forward by the young man, being demolished by the technical investigations that were carried out, by which, as he asserted, he had interacted with his computer in the hours in which, according the medico-legal reconstruction, the criminal fact would have occurred, just as also remained demolished that the young man had received a phone call from his father at 23:00, it resulting, instead, said call had occurred at 20:40.

From the same perspective, light has been shone, with precise and logical reasoning, on the circumstance that in the course of the evening of 1 November 2007, almost at the same time, telephonic traffic for AMK and RS ceased, after the latter had received a call on his mobile phone from his father at 20:40, of which reference has been made earlier and, in addition, that S, contrary to what was by him stated, did not spend the night of 1 and 2 November 2007 sleeping, it having been ascertained that the computer and mobile phone at his disposal were reactivated at dawn on 2 November 2007.

The judgment reasons, further, on the concourse aspect of the consummation of the homicide and sexual assault, on the basis: (1) of the outcome of the technical tests carried out on the palm print found on the pillow on which the victim had been placed, and it results as belonging to RHG, known to AMK; (b) of the presence of RHG’s DNA on the vaginal swab taken from the cadaver during the autopsy and on the fragment of toilet paper collected from inside the larger bathroom in the apartment, where there had been found faeces, resulting to have been G’s; (c) of the outcome of biological tests carried out on the blood found in the smaller bathroom of the apartment in use by the victim and by Ms K, which permitted the finding that the blood stains on the mat were referable to the victim, those found on the basin to Ms K, and to both the women the blood traces found in the bidet.

The Court, with thorough and logical reasoning, has illustrated, with full reference to the factual circumstances – inasmuch such are unreviewable in this seat of legitimacy – the reasons for the attribution of pregnant circumstantial value to the elements above recalled, proving the presence on the scene of the consummation of the homicide and sexual assault of AMK, RS, RHG (these last two both known to Ms K), has explained, with articulate and logically correct reasoning, the reasons for which they cannot find agreement with the defence deductions in terms of erroneous interpretation and reading of the recorded conversation of 17 November 2007, of the account written by Ms K on 6 November 2007, of the results of biological and medico-legal tests, of the unreliability of the technical investigations carried out on the computer and mobile phone belonging to S, and has at length examined, including in the light of aspects formulated by the defence, the entire case file, explaining the reasons of its unequivocal value.

So, the argumentative development of the judgment reasoning is founded on a coherent critical analysis of the circumstantial evidence and on its cohesion in an organic interpretative framework, in the light of which the attribution to said elements of the requisite of gravity appears supplied with adequate logical and judicial plausibility, in the sense that they have been considered drivers, with a high level of probability, with respect to the theme of investigations concerning the responsibility, amongst others, of AMK, as to the crimes put against her.

From which, given the evaluation carried out the Re-examination Court on the level of inference of the circumstantial evidence and, therefore, on the more or less demonstrative character of the same in terms of probabilistic qualification of guilt even if not of certainty, it has to be highlighted that the impugned order exceeds the threshold of legitimacy demanded by this Court, whose bench cannot hold itself back from a checking of the respect of rules of logic and of conformity with legal canons which govern the appreciation of grave indicia of guilt, as prescribed by Article 273 Criminal Procedure Code for the ordering of provisions restricting personal liberty, without being able to draw on the intrinsic consistency of the evaluations reserved to the judges of merit.

4. Unfounded, finally, are the censures formulated by AMK’s defence, on the matter of custody requirements, the Re-examination Court having correctly evaluated them, with reference to the parameters to which letters (a), (b), (c) of Article 274 Criminal Procedure Code apply the extreme gravity of the crimes carried out, having had regard to their nature and their method of consummation, the negative personality of the suspect, which emerges from the outcomes of the investigations and from the served case conduct, the specific and binding requirements relevant to the investigations in relation to the clear and present danger for [evidence] acquisition and probative genuineness, considering the necessity for completing the testing and of proceeding with the gathering of other means of declarative proof, the outcome of the handover to Italian authorities, of RHG, as well as allowing corroborations to be made, also permeates the current contrast between the different versions so far furnished of what happened, the clear danger of flight, taking into account the foreign citizenship aspect of the suspect and of the penalty of more than two years’ imprisonment, impacting on the outcome of the recognition of her criminal responsibility.

5. Refusal of the appeal leads in law to the appellant ordered to pay procedural costs.

The Registry will provide for its carrying out as prescribed by Article 94 paragraph 1-ter, and actuating provisions Criminal Procedure Code.

FOR THESE REASONS

Rejects the appeal and orders the appellant to pay procedural costs. Disposes transmission via the Registry a copy of the provision to the Director of the penitentiary institution per Article 94 paragraph 1-ter, and actuating provisions Criminal Procedure Code.

So decided in Rome, in Chambers, 1 April 2008.

DEPOSITED IN THE REGISTRY 21 APRIL 2008


4. Catnip Translation: Gemelli Report On Sollecito

Summary

Held: the decision to continue pre-trial prison detention for the suspect was reasonable.


THE REPUBLIC OF ITALY

IN THE NAME OF THE ITALIAN PEOPLE

THE SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION

SECTION 1 CRIMINAL DIVISION


Comprised of the most Honourable Justices:

Dr Torquato GEMELLI - President -

Dr Emilio Giovanni GIRONI - Member -

Dr Maria Cristina SIOTTO - Member -

Dr Umberto ZAMPETTI - Member -

Dr Margherita CASSANO - Member -

have pronounced the following


JUDGMENT

on the appeal lodged by:

(1) RS, born on X, against Order of 30/11/2007 Liberty Court of Perugia;

having heard the relation made by Member Emilio Giovanni Gironi;

having heard the conclusions of the Prosecutor-General Dr Consolo for its rejection;

having heard the defence advocates G and T (substituting for advocate M).


REASONS FOR THE DECISION


The order referred to in opening confirmed, at the Re-examination stage, the one by which the GIP [the Preliminary Investigation Magistrate] had applied pre-trial prison detention of RS for participation in the murder of MSCK, the which occurring in Perugia on the evening of the 1st of November 2007 by means of a cutting weapon, in an alleged context of sexual assault by a group, in which there would have taken part, in addition to S, his girlfriend AK and a RHG, who had left behind a palm print on the bloodied pillow on which the victim’s body was resting and whose DNA was found on the vaginal swab taken from the body of the same and on faecal traces found in a bathroom of the house that the victim was sharing with Ms AK and two Italian students.

The picture of circumstantial evidence specifically concerning S consists of the identification of a print left in haematic material present at the scene of the crime of a sports shoe held to be compatible, because its dimensions and configuration of the sole, with the type of footwear, “N” brand size 42.5, used by the suspect; of the recovery – in the kitchen of his house – of a kitchen knife bearing traces of Ms AK’s DNA on the handle and on the blade traces of Ms MK’s DNA; and of the collapse of the alibi put up by the young man (having been disproven by technical investigations carried out), in which, as asserted by him, he had interacted with his computer during the hours in which, according to the forensic pathologist’s reconstruction, the criminal fact would have occurred, that is between 22:00 and 23:00 of the 1st November 2007; from the investigations carried out up until now it would appear, in fact, that the last interaction with the machine on 1 November occurred at 21:10 and that the subsequent one took place at 5:32 the day after, when S also reactivated his mobile phone, acts witnessing thereby an agitated and sleepless night. Equally disproven was that the young man had received a phone call from his father at 23:00 on the night of the murder, it resulting, instead, that said call had happened at 20:40.

Against S, caught at the time of arrest with a switchblade initially considered compatible with the wounds found on the neck of the victim, would line up, in addition, the mutability of the stories given to the investigators by the same and by his girlfriend, having initially maintained they had remained the whole evening and night in the young man’s house, later to state, instead, that at a certain point Ms AK would have left to meet the Ivorian [sic] citizen PDL, manager of a pub in which Ms AK was undertaking casual employment, she making a returning to her boyfriend’s house only around one in the morning.

It must, finally, be added that the same Ms AK had, amongst other things, initially referred (not confirming, in any case, the thesis in confused and contradictory subsequent versions) to having taken herself to her own house with L, where this latter (he also was struck with a custody order, later revoked after the previously mentioned identification of G’s DNA) had had sexual relations with Ms MK, and to having, while she herself was in the kitchen, heard her friend scream, without, further, remembering anything else of the subsequent events, up until the occurrences of the day after, marked by the discovery of traces of blood in the small bathroom next to Ms MK’s room and culminating in the discovery of the body, after the intervention of the forces of law and order (the police appear, in particular, to have intervened prior to the call to 112 effected by S); in particular, the young woman was specifically pointing out not being able to remember whether S were also present in the victim’s house on the occasion of the events just described.

The Re-examination Court concluded recognizing, for the purposes of maintaining pre-trial detention, the persistence of all the types of pre-trial exigencies mentioned by Article 274 Criminal Procedure Code.

The S defence has indicated an appeal, on the grounds of, with new reasons as well:

  reference to Ms AK alone of the circumstantial evidence constituted by the presence of biological traces from her and from the victim on the knife found at S’s house;

  absence, at the scene of the crime, of biological traces attributable to the suspect [ndr: note, this was before the bra-clasp tests had been done];

  arbitrary transference onto S of the weighty circumstantial evidence against Ms AK, on the unfounded assumption that the pair could not have been anything but together at the moment of the homicidal fact;

  inexistent evidential value of the phases relative to the discovery of the body;

  absence of blood traces from the soles of the “N” shoes worn by the suspect even at the moment of his arrest;

  absence of any evidential value of merit, alleged failure of the alibi, constituting the use of his computer, of which the falsity has not in any case been ascertained, of the lack of interaction by the subject with the machine after the last operation at 21:10 not permitting the inference that the computer was not, however, engaged in downloading files (being, to be specific, films);

  irrelevancy of the mistake revealed between the indicated time of the phone call to the father furnished by S and the actual time of the call, given the uncertainty of the time of death of the victim, depending on the time, otherwise uncertain, of the consumption of the dinner (according to various witness statements coinciding with 18:00), it being well able, therefore, for the time indicated by the forensic pathologist (23:00) to be revised backwards to 21:00, a little before which time the witness P had referred to having made a visit to S, finding him at home and not on the verge of going out;

  interpretability of the so-called unlikelihood of the versions supplied by the suspect as attempts to cover for (aid and abet) another subject;

  attribution of the victim’s biological traces found on the knife seized at S’s house to chance contamination not related to the homicidal fact;

  insufficiency of the pre-trial exigencies, having diminished in a probative sense after the return to Italy of G; those relating to risk of flight lacking in specificity and concreteness; and with reference to the conventional content of blogs posted on the internet by the suspect, those relating to danger to society illogically reasoned;

  missing appearance of the young man’s walk, via security cameras installed along the route that the aforesaid would have had to traverse to go from his house to that of the victim’s.

The appeal is unfounded.

As regards what this Court is permitted to appreciate, not being able here to proceed with a re-reading of the investigative results nor with an alternative interpretation of the factual data referred to in the custody order, the appellant defence substantially contests the recognition, as against S, of the necessary requisite of grave indicia of culpability. The question thus posed and submitted for scrutiny by this bench of the well-known limits of the competence of the court of merit, it must be held that the finding expressed by the Re-examination judges concerning the gravity of the frame of circumstantial evidence is not susceptible to censure.

Not upheld, in the first place, is the defence submission according to which the knife bearing the genetic prints of Ms AK and of Ms MK found in S’s house would constitute a piece of evidence relevant solely as against the young woman, even if privy of traces attributable to the suspect, the utensil has as always been found in the young man’s house, and the testimony acquired up until now has led to the exclusion that it formed part of the inventory of the house inhabited by the victim, and which, at the time, and until proved to the contrary, must be held to be the same available for use by the suspect and which had been used in MK’s house, there being contested no access by her to S’s house.

Given the multitude of group contributive possibilities, the fact is not significative, then, in itself being a neutral element, that on the scene of the crime there are no biological traces attributable to S, to which, in any case, is attributable the “N” brand shoe print considered compatible, by dimensions and sole configuration, with the footwear worn by the suspect at the time of arrest. Although having the same impugned order excluded, at the time, the certainty of the identification constitutes as, in any case, a certain datum that the print in question had been made in haematic material found in Ms MK’s room by a shoe of the kind and of the dimensions of those possessed by the appellant, while it remains to be excluded that this could have originated from G’s shoe, who wore a size 45 and, therefore, dimensions notably larger. The revealed coincidence, notwithstanding the residual uncertainty on the identification, assumes particular valency in relation to the restricted circle of subjects gravitating to the scene of the homicide, with not even Ms AK, who made admissions about her presence on site at the same time as the execution of the offence, excluding the presence of her boyfriend in the victim’s house in the same circumstance; nor can it be held that the print could have been left by S the following morning, he never having claimed to have entered into the room wherein the body was lying.

It does not answer, therefore, to verity that, as against the young man, there had been recognized, by a phenomenon of transference, items of circumstantial evidence in reality pointing solely to Ms AK.

The last finding held unfavourable to S is constituted by the failed proof of the alibi constituted by the argument of the suspect as having remained at home on the computer until late at night; it being a matter of, properly speaking, an alibi failing up till now and not of a false alibi and the defence, correctly, does not refute the technico-judicial valency of the circumstantial evidence, but it remains, in any case, acquired into the case file that the accused had not been able to prove his absence from the locus of the crime at the same time. An item up until now assumed as certain is, instead, the fact that S had interacted with his computer at 5:32 the morning following the murder, at around the same time reactivating his own mobile phone, a contradiction of the assumption of a waking up only at 10:00 and a symptomatic tell-tale of a more or less sleepless night; likewise as symptomatic was held to be the nearly simultaneous cessation of telephonic traffic as much by Ms AK, in his company the evening of 1 November 2007.

The proof of a permanent stay in his house by the suspect can, all told, be considered as acquired up until 20:40 – coincident with P’s visit – who confirmed his presence, or up until 21:10, the last interaction time on the computer, but this does not cover the time of the homicide, located between 22:00 and 23:00.

As for the proposed argument that S’s conduct were interpreted as aiding and abetting, this does not result, in the event, as being supported by anything emerging from the investigations and its plausibility cannot be verified by the judges of merit.

In conclusion, the Re-examination Court’s evaluation as to the gravity of the circumstantial evidence picture are removed from the audit of this court.

There remains, finally, the finding that for what concerns the pre-trial exigencies, those of a probative nature are not able to be considered as ceasing from the sole fact of G’s re-entry into Italy (amongst other things significantly never invoked in the statements by the suspect and by his girlfriend, who instead co-involved L in the proceedings), given the existence of an investigative picture in continual evolution, in which the positions of the various protagonists so far remain unclear, the changing versions of which are marked by reticence and mendaciousness (the same suspect had, in truth, admitted to having, at least initially, told ‘a load of balls’); but the permanence of pre-trial exigencies had been held reasonablely even under the aspect of flight risk, in relation to the gravity of the charges and of the potential sanctions, not to mention danger to society, given the revealed fragility of character and the specific personal traits of the subject, – which would narrowly evaluate as innocuous youthful stereotypes –, in a context the more connoted by the noted habitual use of drugs.

FOR THESE REASONS

Rejects the appeal and sentences the appellant to payment of costs of the proceedings. Article 94 para 1 ter, and activating provisions, Criminal Procedure Code, applies.

Rome, 1.4.2008.

DEPOSITED IN THE REGISTRY ON 21 APRIL 2008

5. Highlighting Of Relevant Hoax Points

Shown in bold in the statement on Knox are:

(1) the defense appeal against the use of Knox’s 5-6 November statements framing Lumumba (reason given was ONLY no lawyer being present - a need which Knox herself had shrugged off when she herself insisted on writing out the 1:45 am and 5:45 am and noon statements) and there is zero mention of abuse;

(2) Cassation’s reasoning why the first 2 Knox statements (the 1:45 and 5:45) can indeed be used, in the “sub-trial” addressing the calunnia against Patrick, and the third (scribbled around noon) can be used in the main trial.

In neither statement is there any ruling of “illegal” regarding any actions by any interrogators. The Knox shills often falsely claim there was.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Status Of The Various Computers In The Case #2 New Developments

Posted by Sallyoo





Please first see my previous post and my several updates in the Comments thread.

There has been a new flurry of interest in Raffaele’s computers following the publication, on iip, of a report prepared by Prof. Alfredo Milani. It is available in both in Italian and English, (translation prepared by iip.)

The report isn’t dated, but it was prepared after the Massei report had been published, and it was taken into evidence at the Hellmann appeal. Milani credits another defence computer expert, D’Ambrosio, with a lot of the content.

There have been (to my knowledge) three ‘defence computer expert reports’ prepared. The first, signed by Angelucci in March 2008, is concerned primarily with the damaged hard disks of the Asus of Sollecito, and the computers of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. This report was commissioned by Dalla Vedova and has not (as far as I can determine) ever been taken into evidence, or even mentioned in court.

The salient point in this document is that the data was recovered from the disks of Sollecito’s Asus and Meredith Kercher’s computer.

Then we have D’Ambrosio testifying at Massei (available), accompanied by a report written by D’Ambrosio and Gigli taken into evidence (not available).

At Hellmann we have the Milani report. Raffaele mentions Alfredo Milani in his book as one of his professors.

There isn’t a lot of (strictly computer) information in it which goes beyond D’Ambrosio’s testimony, although the tone is very different. While D’Ambrosio was relatively generous to the police computer analysts, appreciating the procedural retrictions which they worked under, Milani gets close to being offensively insulting to those tehnicians. (Compare with the Conti/Vecchiotti tactics…)

Milani attempts to make us believe that two ‘grave methodological errors’ committed by the postal police have concealed data which would provide an alibi.

Firstly he spends much time outlining the MacOS, in every release, and tells us that because the postal police used an ‘analogous but not identical’ MacBook a tiny difference in the release number of the operating system renders their analysis unreliable. This is impossible to acept for two reasons - firstly that the OS employed resided on the cloned disk from Sollecito’s own MacBook, but more importantly the precise OS release would not affect in any way the reading of the log files.

Secondly, he unwisely reminds us of inodes (log files). These files are regularly archived, in compressed form, and this archive is not overwritten. The archive isn’t very simple for an ordinary user to search, but such a search is certainly within the capabilities of an ‘expert computer consultant’. If Milani had discovered anything - such as a use of the Samba utility via the Asus which would have been recorded - he would have told us about it.

He also includes some gratuitous comments - which are rather fun - so we can move onto those now!

Milani has trawled up a keyboard interaction (on Sollecito’s Mac), at 22.04 on November 5, when he assures us that Sollecito was in the questura. Well, every other piece of evidence has Sollecito not arriving at the questura that evening until at least 22.30 - but Raffaele has always claimed to have been eating with a friend when he received the phone call at 21.30 asking him to attend the questura. Was Sollecito at Riccardo’s? Did he nip home (why) before going to the questura? We shall never know, but Milani has given us reason to speculate.

He also offers us the playlist of the music tracks both listened to and skipped between 05.40 and 06.20 (approx) on the morning of Nov 2 - which for some reason he erroneously asserts that the postal police failed to identify as an interaction. You can form your own opinion on the musical taste of the listeners, Nirvana and Bon Jovi feature.

Additionally we learn that one of the films ‘recently viewed’ was Suicide Club, a Japanese cult movie, which can charitably be described as Extreme Fantasy. We also discover that in the CD drive was music from Blind Guardian - a German heavy metal band who used fiction/fantasy themes in their lyrics. (I am left with the impression that Sollecito and Knox were determined not to live in the real world during this period).

A further couple of snippets, the first from an intercepted conversation in prison between Raffaele, his father and his stepmother, Marisa Papigni:

FS:....have nothing to do with [rude in italian] ... and they understood ... now this morning or Monday there will be also the checking of your computer ... they have already cloned the hard disk .. ”

RS: “… my concern of the computer is basically that if I came ...”

Marisa Papagni: “Hey ... there is a monster on your computer ... there is a monster ... ”

RS: “Forget it ... the fact about the computer is if I have spent much time with Amanda ... there is not all this time I have spent with the computer ...”

FS: “If Amanda was home ... if she was out, wtf were you doing? ... were you at the computer?” .....

And from Honor Bound:

Papà told him about the data from my computer….but still Maori was skeptical. “Why don’t you let me see it?” he asked.

My father didn’t have the data with him, but he said his brother, Giuseppe, could fax it over.



Below: Professor Milani; Perugia University School of Mathematics & Computers


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Knox Interrogation Hoax #15: Dr Mignini’s Account Of Formal Warning Session Ending 5:45 AM

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Dr Mignini examines Knox July 2009 on the “interrogation” at her own initiative

1. Overview Of This Post

Post #1 includes an overview of the entire series and links to all posts up to this one.

Knox has repeatedly claimed that Dr Mignini was present at the informal summary/recap session led by Inspector Rita Ficarra, the actual purpose of which was merely for Knox to suggest a few possible leads the police might interview.

He wasn’t there, though. And he has repeatedly explained that at the second session ending with a second insisted-upon statement by Knox at 5:45 AM, his entire role was to read Knox her rights, and to advise her to say no more until she had appointed lawyers. (Regardless, she then insisted on dictating that second statement.)

Dr Mignini more than anyone else at the central police station that night developed a complete overview of how the two sessions had proceeded.

THREE TIMES Knox willingly put herself under his questioning (December 2007, January 2008, July 2009) to attempt to shake this. While his questioning was formal, polite and quite mild, Knox’s recollection of 5-6 November was scrambled or devious (some think she and RS were both high on hard drugs).

So by the end of those sessions Knox seems to have made a complete disbeliever of Dr Mignini, swayed few if any in Italy, and certainly did not sway the judges of the trial court or any appeal court.

But few English-language reporters other than Andrea Vogt, John Follain and Barbie Nadeau have interviewed and reported Dr Mignini in depth fairly, and there are a number of English-language reporters to whom he kindly gave time who mangled what he lucidly and fairly explained to them.

In July 2009 Dr Mignini wrote an acerbic email to Linda Byron of Seattle TV to attempt to straighten out her own understanding, and although she seemingly tried to hide it, we captured it and translated and posted in full his explanation.

Highly worth reading.

In mid 2011 a similar thing happened. Drew Griffen of CNN was given a three-hour on-camera interview - and sarcastically broadcast cherrypicked and mangled responses from Dr Mignini. Again we obtained Dr Mignini’s full statement, and Skeptical Bystander posted the whole thing in three long parts, with translation by Clander, Yummi, Jools, Thoughtful, TomM and Catnip.

Again, highly worth reading.

In the first 20 minutes of the second hour of the interview, Drew Griffen tried to give Dr Mignini a hard time over the so-called Knox interrogation. Drew Griffen was abysmally informed of the testimony at trial we have been posting and had no idea of the substance of Knox’s one interview on 5-6 November or the fact that this was merely a recap/summary session not ever requiring recording.

Dr Mignini had not himself testified at trial, and he led the testimony of others present on 5-6 November very fairly and without defense protests about any bias. And Dr Mignini is not under oath here. However this 20-minute segment is important, for it reinforces that Knox was treated extremely fairly and she had no genuine reason for complaint about it.

2. From Mid-2011 Interview By CNN With Dr Mignini

0’40’’ English question [Translator’s note: These words are in English in the Italian transcript of which this document is a translation.]

0’48’’ CNN: You didn’t interrogate Amanda?

0’50’’ Mignini: Oh, the police interrogated her. I was told about it. I wanted to explain this. I remember that I had gone to sleep and the director of the flying squad, Dr. Profazio, called me, because he tells me: “There are developments; Raffaele in fact has denied what he had said before”. So I went down and the head of the flying squad told me what had happened. At some point they tell us that Amanda has made this statement.

And thus her interrogation as a person informed of the facts was suspended by the police in compliance with Article 63 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure [c.p.p. - Codice di Procedura Penale], because if evidence appears that incriminates the person, the person being questioned as a person informed of the facts can no longer be heard, and we must stop. “Everyone stop! There must be a defense attorney [present]”. And thus the police stopped and informed Amanda, who had placed herself on the scene of the crime and who said that she had accompanied Lumumba and let him in and that then Lumumba, in the other room, allegedly committed a sexual act and killed Meredith. This is what she said.

2’11’’ Then I was called, I was informed about this, I went to Amanda who, I remember how she was, what she looked like, I remember her very well, she remained imprinted in my memory, I still remember then two things about Amanda that struck me at the time: first, she looked like she was relieved of a burden and second, she was like, and this is another detail that was impressive, it seemed as if she was terrified of Lumumba.

20’48’’ Then I, as I had in some way to, let’s say… this police interrogation had been suspended. At that point I remember that… they made me notice that Amanda, because she wanted to go on talking, I remember she had, like a need to. So I told her: “you can make statements to me; I will not ask questions, since if you make a spontaneous statement and I collect it, I will collect your statement as if I were in fact a notary”. She then repeated [her story] to the interpreter, who was Mrs. Donnino, I remember there was a police woman officer who wrote the statement down [verbalizzava], I did not ask questions. She basically repeated what she had told the police and she signed the statement. Basically I didn’t ask Amanda questions. Not before, since the police asked them and I was not there, and not after, since she made spontaneous statements. Had I been asking her questions, a defense attorney should have been there. This is the procedure.

05’24 CNN: She had an interpreter during the whole time?

05’26’’ Mignini: Yes.

05’29’’ CNN: She says no.

05’32’’ Mignini: Look the interpreter was there, when I heard her there was the interpreter. The interpreter Anna Donnino, who is an interpreter for the police; she was hired by the police.

Just like I believe that there was [before], I do not have the minutes now, but yet now this is a fact, it is undisputed that there was an interpreter.

06’02’’ CNN: Amanda Knox says she was interrogated for 14 hours…

06’11’’ Mignini: No, look, absolutely not. At 1 a.m., the minutes of Nov 6th has started at 1 a.m. and I arrived, 14 hours that cannot be, we are really… that’s absolutely impossible. So the minutes were done at one o’clock, then the minutes of the spontaneous declaration was taken at 5.45, it maybe lasted half an hour because no questions were asked. She made her statements; they were translated; then at around 8 a.m., I think, at approximately 8, I drew up the detention order. Thus it is… well, she had been heard earlier, so she had been questioned as a person informed of the facts at around one forty-five a.m. She had previously been heard by a female police officer, but [that’s] because she had gone voluntarily to the police and she reported that, she said things quite relevant to the investigation of Raffaele and was heard by the inspector [Rita] Ficarra. However this [event] ... I was not there, I do not know [about it]. But remember, there are the minutes. Then the minutes in which she was questioned as a person informed of the facts starts at 1:45 of November 6, and cannot have lasted 14 hours ... in no way whatsoever. Then she was arrested at around 8 a.m. or at about 9 a.m. or so.

08’16’’ Mignini: Look, I remember what I saw when I saw her personally, because she said, I told her: “you can make, if you deem it [necessary], a spontaneous statement, because Italian law provides for this. If a person is aware that he/she is suspected [under investigation], may request to speak before a magistrate, it happened many times, they came also to me, and they say “I want to make a statement”. Very well, I listen. If I listen, I wanted this to be highlighted…. to be clear, I listen and that’s all, and I ask no questions, the defense attorney may be not present. But if I ask questions and I object to the facts [of your answers], it is like an interrogation and thus we would need a defense attorney.

09’10’’ CNN: was [Amanda Knox] scared?

09’11’’ Mignini: Well, I recall this feeling that I had in that moment which, [as] I am explaining to you, in the spirit in which I am doing this interview, to explain to you the acceptance [adozione] of our requests [provvedimenti], what was, why the trial went in a certain way. [Translator’s note: The Italian in the CNN transcript is nearly incomprehensible. We have provided the foregoing on a best effort basis.]

09’36’’ She was, she seemed to me like she was uplifted, freed of a weight, and terrified of Lumumba. That’s an impression that has stayed with me, yet I don’t understand. I remember that there was a policeman who was called, from the SCO [Servizio Centrale Operativo] in Rome, who made an impression on me because he was very fatherly. She was crying as though freed of a great weight, and he was trying to console her. I remember there was also a policewoman who, well, she…[missing word?] and I’m sure that.. [missing word?] .. well, all that picture how it was described later… at that moment it wasn’t like that. Right then, there was a situation in which I was trying to console her, to encourage her, because actually we believed that she had told the truth.

11’03’’ CNN: No one hit her?

11’06’’ Mignini: No, look, absolutely not. I can state this in the most positive way, and then, let’s say… I wasn’t there when she was being questioned by police, the rooms are quite far away… you don’t know but I was… it’s quite far, there’s a corridor, and I was with the director, Dr. Porfazio, and she was being questioned in a different place. I also remember that passing through, I also saw Sollecito who was alone in a different room; he was also being questioned, as I recall. I don’t exclude…well…it’s clear that I wasn’t there, but I don’t believe that anything whatsoever happened, and in my presence absolutely not.

11’55’’ On the contrary, there was an attitude of… I mean they gave her [some] ... [missing word?] then she was like, you know, like someone crying from a sense of liberation, as though she had been freed. That was the attitude.

12’51’’ CNN: Why wasn’t there any video or transcript of those hours?

13’00’’ Mignini: Look, that’s, I was at the police station, and all the…let’s say…when I made investigations in my own office, I taped them. I taped them, we have an apparatus for that, and I transcribed them. For example, there’s the interrogation of the English girls, Meredith’s friends, it was all taped. The interrogations of Amanda in prison were taped, and then transcribed, and we have the transcripts of… But in a police station, at the very moment of the investigation it isn’t done, not with respect to Amanda or anyone else. Also because, I can tell you, today, even then, but today in particular, we have budget problems, budget problems that are not insignificant, which do not allow us to transcribe. Video is very important…I completely agree with you that videotaping is extremely important, we should be able to have a video recording of every statement [verbale di assunzione di informazioni] made Because what is said is very important, but it’s maybe even more important how it is said, the non-verbal language. Because from the non-verbal language you can [missing words].

15’14’’ Mignini: It isn’t only Amanda, it’s always like that. But I wanted to say that I agree with him that it’s fundamental, only there’s a problem, especially when the witnesses are so numerous, and in fact just recording, I mean recording the sound, isn’t enough according to me.

15’38’’ CNN: It doesn’t cost much, he says.

15’40’’ Mignini: Well we have significant budget problems, that’s what it is.

15’38’’ CNN: So in the end, you did get a confession. But then, everything that was written in the confession became a lie?

16’16’’ Mignini: But then, there was the fact that she placed herself at the scene of the crime, and Lumumba wasn’t there, together with the three of them, the two of them, but Rudy was there, according to the facts that emerged later. But the fact of having accused…and she’s even accused of calumny in regard to Lumumba, was an element that was very important from the point of view of her legal position at the trial. Why accuse someone of participating in a crime, placing yourself at the scene of a crime? Because with those declarations, she placed herself at the scene, at the place of the crime. And she placed someone there who was a complete stranger to it. Why did she do that? There is one detail that’s particularly significant. Above all when Lumumba was arrested and no one – if it hadn’t been for the Public Prosecutor’s Office that conducted the investigation, and that is mandated to seek elements in favor of the accused, Lumumba would have stayed in prison. But we investigated, and we saw that Lumumba wasn’t involved, that he was the object of calumny and so he was freed and the case against him was archived.

18’15’’ CNN: Was she asked to imagine what might have happened?

18’24’’ Mignini: No, absolutely not. Either you saw a person or you didn’t. I can’t ask someone what they imagine because it would be a question that doesn’t mean anything, that I even don’t understand.

This really does finish our posting of the case for the prosecution on this “interrogation” issue, though at least half a dozen other investigators provided supportive testimony which we have not yet quoted.

Next, how all of the Italian courts up to Cassation concluded that Knox’s claims were unsupported, contradictory, and damaging, and how her three-year prison sentence served was well justified.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Knox, Tied In Knots By Her Own Tongue: Translation Of The 17 Dec 2007 Interview With Dr Mignini #4

Posted by Yummi, Catnip and Kristeva



Inmate-chefs at Capanne Prison, from which Knox was making a bid for release

1. Getting Up To Speed On This Fourth Post

How much serious questioning was Knox subjected to prior to this voluntary interview six weeks after her arrest?

In fact, none. In the early days of November, after Meredith was found dead, she had several less-formal “recap/summary” sessions with investigators on possible leads (as did many others), which the defenses conceded without argument at trial were simply that and no more.

So these were the first serious questions put to Knox - politely, and Knox is essentially not argumentative throughout

The transcript was in the evidence pile and all judges except Hellmann seem to have studied it hard. This was also the first-ever interview of Knox by Dr Mignini, as prosecutor appointed to the case. He had seen her twice at the house and heard her at her strong insistence early on 6 November.

But they had never before really talked.

Prior to this, Knox had already emanated over a dozen differing versions of what she wanted to claim took place and the police and prosecutors and Supervising Magistrate Claudia Matteini had tried to make sense of those. 

2. Our Translation Of Approximately The Fourth 40 Minutes

This is the fourth 40 minutes of the voluntary interview which lasted in total about three hours. For a full understanding it would really be best to read (1) our first post and comment thread and (2) our second post and comment thread. and (3) third post and comment thread.

Transcript of Interview 17 December 2007: Statement of Interview Of Ms Amanda Knox (cont)

PM Mignini: After having talked, after you were heard at the Questura, did you go away or did you wait?

Knox: The first day I was questioned I was there for hours… maybe 14…

Interpreter: The first time it seems to her that she had been there a very long time, 14 hours

PM Mignini: But questioned

Knox: No, maybe they questioned me for 6 hours but I stayed at the Questura a very long time…

Interpreter: It must have been more or less 6 hours that Amanda was questioned but staying in the Questura must have been about…

PM Mignini: But was there… were you in the waiting room?

Knox: Yes the whole time together with everyone else we were there in the waiting room…

Interpreter Yes, yes together with the other ones

PM Mignini: And who were the other people?

[82]

Knox: The housemates, and later others arrived… After quite a long time our neighbors arrived, after a while some people Meredith knew arrived, her friends

Interpreter: Her housemates and then other people who arrived later, the neighbors after a while… and after, Meredith’s friends arrived, the people Meredith knew…

PM Mignini: But did you speak to them? Did you exchange any confidences?

Knox: Yes we were all there and I said “it appears that Meredith’s body was found in a closet”

PM Mignini: Who said that?

Knox: I remember talking to her friends and I remember telling them that it appeared the body had been found inside a closet…

Interpreter: She remembers having said it to Meredith’s friends

PM Mignini: But friends, who? You must tell us the name… a name even just the name…

Knox: I remember having talked to Sophie… But I don’t know the name of the other friends

PM Mignini: A certain Natalie? From London

Knox: The name sounds familiar but I don’t think I could recognize her face

Interpreter: She can’t tie the name to her face but…

PM Mignini: And what were you saying? What kind of comments were you making?

[83]

Knox: I told them what I knew, I told them that I had arrived home and found the door open, and told them what I knew…

Interpreter: She told what she knew that she had arrived home and found the door open

PM Mignini: Did you ever see, did you see in those moments the wound on Meredith’s neck?

Interpreter: Up to the moment?

PM Mignini: In that moment.

Knox: I never saw Meredith dead, I never saw her dead body…

Interpreter: No, she never saw her dead

PM Mignini: Ok, but was there anyone that night who said, anyone who said that she had died quickly? Did someone else say that she must have suffered for a long time… was there anyone who said this?

Knox: Nobody of the people I talked to knew what had happened…

Interpreter: No, none of the people she talked to said something… knew what had happened

PM Mignini: Did you come to know, did you ever come to know, and if yes, when, in what moment, Meredith had died… that is, if Meredith’s death was immediate or if it was prolonged, if there was a death agony… if yes, when did you find that out?

Knox: The only time when I heard of this was when Luciano [Ghirga] was describing the wound and how deep it was… What kind of wound it was and he said “maybe she died slowly because no big vein had been struck”

Interpreter: So, the first time you had heard talking about the wound and how she died… when was it with Luciano?

Lawyer: The morning of the 8th

[84]

PM Mignini: So, after the 6th…

Lawyer: The morning of the 8th

PM Mignini: The morning of November 8th

Lawyer: After the arrest validation [hearing]

Interpreter: And there she found out that no vital vein was directly struck and therefore…

PM Mignini: You say that she came to know on the 8th from the lawyer.

Lawyer: From the lawyers.

PM Mignini: From the lawyers, sorry.

Lawyer: We always came all together

PM Mignini: Either one or the other [of you] could have told her… so… [talking to Knox] I formally notify [for the record, a contradiction] that an Erasmus student and a colleague of this student, they said, on this past December 10th that on the night of the second in the Questura, while having… a girl called Natalie, I won’t tell you her last name but she… she was a friend of Meredith, she had noticed that you were talking at length with Sollecito, and at a certain point, in response to a comment made by one of these girls that they hoped Meredith had died without suffering, you instead said “ with those kind of wounds the death would not have come fast and that therefore Meredith must have died after a certain period of time”. I’ll reread it to you if you’d like, ok?

Knox: The police told me that her throat was cut, and what I know about that topic, I mean when they cut your throat, it is terrible and I heard that it’s a horrible way to die…

Interpreter: Yes the police had told her that Meredith’s throat was cut and what Amanda knew is that it’s an agonizing way to die…

[85]

PM Mignini: But this is something we found out after, we too found it out only later… not right away…

Knox: The police told me that her throat had been cut.

Interpreter: The police had told her that her throat had been cut.

PM Mignini: Who from the police? Excuse me I’d like to know… cutting the neck, it can happen in many ways, vital veins can be struck and might also not be struck, therefore one thing is about cutting the throat, and another is about the way how to cut it and therefore make it so that the death occurs instantaneously, or cause a death with agony. On the evening of the second, if it’s true, according to these results, on the evening of the second you knew that, with those kind of wounds, she must have suffered an agony… and the police didn’t know that…

Knox: I thought that a death by cutting the throat was always slow and terrible…

PM Mignini: The autopsy was made on the fourth, two days later

Interpreter: What she thought was that cutting the throat was always a slow death in general

PM Mignini: It’s not like that…not necessarily… anyway, who from the police told you about the neck wound? Tell us.

Knox: It was probably the interpreter…the first interpreter was the person I talked to the most… all information I had came more or less from him…

Interpreter: Probably the translator/interpreter

PM Mignini: Therefore, therefore he told you while you were being heard…

Lawyer: She was in there 12 hours

[86]

Knox: When I was in there I was talking to the police and they told me that her throat was cut… the whole conversation was between me and the interpreter. It was him who must have told me, a long time has passed but I think it was like that…

Interpreter: Directly from the interpreter, indirectly from the police

PM Mignini: So [it was] when you were questioned. Not before.

Interpreter: No, before she was questioned she didn’t know how she was…

Knox: No, when I was home the way she died…

PM Mignini: Before being questioned… you were questioned until 15:30, until what time have you been heard? You were being heard since 15:30, until what time were you being heard?

Knox: I don’t know it was a long questioning…

Lawyer: She had been heard in the presence of an interpreter, maybe the interpreter…

PM Mignini: It was D’Astolto… Fabio D’Astolto

Lawyer: The interpreter was present from the beginning or only from the questioning onwards?

PM Mignini: Yes, well he was a policeman acting as an interpreter, translating. Fabio D’Astolto. Assistant D’Astolto. When and how, in what terms did D’Astolto express himself, this translator what did he tell you?

Lawyer: When?

PM Mignini: When and what did he tell you

Knox: I don’t remember when but I asked him how she died

Interpreter: She doesn’t remember when but she asked him how she was killed…

PM Mignini: And he pointed out to you the wound on the neck. The wound on the neck and that’s all. Fine. This translator.

[87]

Lawyer: [to the Prosecutor] You referred to an Erasmus student who had said that on December 10th.  Ms. Natalie would have said this.

PM Mignini: Yes

Lawyer: And is the Erasmus student indicated [in the records]?

PM Mignini: It is indicated

Lawyer: Do we have a name?

PM Mignini: Capruzzi, Filippo and the other one is a certain, a colleague of his, Chiara, Maioli.

Lawyer: So it was two Erasmus students

PM Mignini: Two Erasmus students who confirmed this confidentiality from this English girl. Some… this is the December 10th hearing report… ok

Lawyer G. She clarified if she had talked with the interpreter, with someone before…

Lawyer C. We have clarified that the interpreter was not an interpreter but was a police officer who speaks English and that apparently was present from the beginning and therefore at this point…

PM Mignini: Wait.. one moment… did you, did you… did you see this person who was translating at the house?

Knox: No

Interpreter: No

PM Mignini: Perfect

Lawyer: She was approximately 12 hours in the Questura and at some time she heard the first… let’s call it questioning but it was a long time, and before the questioning she heard of this wound on the neck, is that right?

[88]

PM Mignini: During the questioning, you said before, during the questioning so much as this policeman translator was present, therefore… no I’m very sorry, who did you hear this from? The translator? The policeman

Interpreter: About the wound? The first time?

PM Mignini: The wound

Knox: I think so

Knox: The first time?

PM Mignini: Yeah

Interpreter: I think the interpreter the first time

PM Mignini: And it would be this D’Astolto… so this D’Astolto told you, please excuse me you told me this “it was D’Astolto” now… therefore this D’Astolto told you this during the course of the questioning?

Knox: I think so…

Interpreter: Yes, she thinks so

PM Mignini: Ok, one more thing, so the… you did, the morning of the… actually no, the night between the fifth and the sixth of November, you did, let’s say partially modify your previous declarations, so then you modified your previous declarations and you made a specific accusation against Patrick Dia Lumumba known as Patrick. You said that you were supposed to meet with Patrick, that you met with Patrick at the basketball court of Piazza Grimana, that you went to Meredith’s house, to your house, and then he had sex with Meredith, then you heard a scream and you accused him even if in terms you say “confusedly” of killing Meredith. Isn’t that so? Why did you make this accusation? … Now remember, I was hearing you, I was present, you were crying, you were

[89]

profoundly upset, and you were as if relieved when you made this statement.

Lawyer: Maybe she was stressed?

PM Mignini: Well, stressed or not, in any case she was very   she made these declarations

Lawyer: You asked her a question “Why did you make these declarations”?

PM Mignini: Well I also have to…

Lawyer: Eh these are opinions

PM Mignini: I am saying that you made a declaration not in a detached way, in other words in a very involved manner, why did you make these statements?

Knox: I was scared, I was confused, it had been hours that the police that I thought were protecting me, and instead they were putting me under pressure and were threatening me.

Interpreter: She was scared, she was confused, it had been hours that the police were threatening and pressuring her.

PM Mignini: Yes, tell me, go on

Knox: The reason why I thought of Patrick was because the police were yelling at me about Patrick… they kept saying about this message, that I had sent a message to Patrick…

Interpreter: The reason why she thought of Patrick was because the police was asking her who was this Patrick to whom she sent, with whom there was this exchange of messages, they were asking her insistently.

Knox: That was the worse experience of my life

Interpreter: The worse experience of her life

[90]

Knox: I had never been more confused than then

Interpreter: She had been so confused or scared

PM Mignini: But in the following memoriale [spontaneous statement around noon 6 November] that you wrote before going to prison, basically you don’t retract this accusation. Even if in terms, still in terms let’s say of uncertainty, between dream and reality, in other words in such a way … still you didn’t … I believe that in this memoriale you say “I still see this image in front of me” and then you see yourself while hearing it, you say that in that first memoriale you wrote “you hear Meredith’s screams and you put your hands over your ears”. Why do you have this image? Your ears… the scream… it’s not like it’s changing much after all isn’t that so?

Lawyer: No, but she says she was very confused… she was under a lot of stress

PM Mignini: Yes, but why does it basically remain the same, this one…

Knox: Yes, I imagined these things…

Interpreter: Imagined this scene

Knox: I was so scared and confused

Interpreter: I was so scared and confused

Knox: that I tried to imagine what could have happened. The police told me that I was probably not remembering well. So I thought of what could be another answer and therefore I imagined it…

Interpreter: She tried to think of what could have happened since the police was saying that probably she didn’t remember well. And therefore she imagined this scene, trying to think how it could have happened

PM Mignini: Well, you, I just tell you, I tell you only that this Dia Lumumba, this Patrick, only comes up in your statements, he wasn’t, he has never been indicated previously in the slightest, I mean why did you, why did you almost feel…

[91]

...forced to, so you say, to give this name? While this name had never been, you had never mentioned him previously… in the statements of the 2nd, the 3rd…. Why only at a certain point di this Patrick pop up? I’m telling you, do you realize… excuse me, eh? … excuse me….

Knox: They were telling me “why did you send this message to Patrick, this message to Patrick!”

Interpreter: Because they were always insisting about this message to Patrick and because…

PM Mignini: Well because there’s the message so [it’s] the message but it’s just that, it’s not that there was an attitude, I mean it’s not like there was any reference to a message according to what emerges from the statements. In fact there was a message that you… since there had been an exchange of messages right before the time of the murder between you and this person it’s normal that the police would want to know why, what this message meant, this… therefore it’s not something… why did you threw yourself in this kind of… ? While you had, you had the possibility to…?

Knox: Because I thought that it could have been true

Interpreter: Because she thought it could have been true…

PM Mignini: It could have been true?

Lawyer: Why?

Knox: When I was there, I was confused…

PM Mignini: [to the lawyers, ed.] No, no, excuse me, at this point no, I’m sorry. Not the lawyers. The defense can intervene against me but against the person investigated…?

Lawyer Ghirga: But there was no question… Prosecutor there was no question

PM Mignini: It could be true. What does it mean?

[92]

Lawyer Ghirga: There was no question

PM Mignini: What? I am asking the question.

Lawyer Ghirga: Then ask it.

PM Mignini: What does it mean, how ‘could it be true’? What?

Lawyer Ghirga: What could be true?

PM Mignini: Excuse me, lawyer

Lawyer Ghirga: It’s like the phone call with her parents

PM Mignini: What could be true

Lawyer Ghirga: It’s like the phone call with her parents

PM Mignini: …Lawyer Ghirga… what…?

Lawyer Ghirga: [seems to Knox] What do you want to say then? Let’s ask her…

PM Mignini: Excuse me, I am asking the questions, I am asking them now

Lawyer Ghirga Yes of course

PM Mignini: Then after you can… I am asking her…

Lawyer Ghirga: Yes of course, we will ask them too…

PM Mignini: Lawyer… she is saying “it could have been true”…

Lawyer: What?

PM Mignini: “it could have been true”. She was telling me why did she accuse Lumumba of this fact? “It could have been true” is what she answered. Gentlemen, here…

Knox: I said it because I imagined it and I thought that it could have been true…

Interpreter: She said because she had imagined it and therefore she thought it could have been true.

[93]

PM Mignini: Look, listen… listen, why did you imagine it?

Knox Why?... Because I was stressed

PM Mignini: Why didn’t you imagine…

Lawyer: No she was answering

PM Mignini: Yes; what did you want to say?

Interpreter: Because she was under stress…

Knox: Knox: Why? I was stressed, I was scared, it was after long hours in the middle of the night, I was innocent and they were telling me that I was guilty

Interpreter: Because they were saying that she was guilty

PM Mignini: Who was saying it? Guilty who’….

Interpreter: After hours…

Lawyer: Excuse me, prosecutor, if we can correctly compile this translation, these words that were said in English at the right moment

PM Mignini: She is crying, we acknowledge, I’m sorry, we acknowledge that the… investigated is crying.

Interpreter: Because she was stressed, scared under pressure after many hours, she was… in the middle of the night, they had reached the middle of the night and because they were saying that Amanda was guilty.

PM Mignini: Who was saying that she was guilty?

Interpreter: The police

Lawyer: The police was accusing her

Interpreter: The police was accusing Amanda

[94]

PM Mignini: Why… why did you accuse Lumumba and not others? How many people did you know who could…

Knox: Because they were yelling Patrick’s name…

Interpreter: She accused Patrick and not others because they were always talking about Patrick, suggesting…

PM Mignini: The police, the police couldn’t suggest…

Interpreter: Yelling Patrick’s name

PM Mignini: Excuse me, what was the police saying?

Interpreter: What did the police tell you?

Knox: The police were telling me that ‘we know that you were at the house, we know that you left the house’, and the moment before I said Patrick’s name they put.. someone was showing me the message that I had sent on the phone

Interpreter: The police said that they knew that Amanda was inside the house, and when she went in, when she went out, that she was inside the house, and while they were asking her this someone showed her Patrick’s message on the phone.

PM Mignini: But this is… But this is normal. You… there was this message… I’m sorry, I’m very sorry. There’s a murder here. There’s a girl whose throat is slit, there was a phone number, there was a call that had been made, you were being heard. There was a call that had been made to you on the night of the murder from this person, you replied to this call in a way that could have been interpreted, according to the meaning in Italian “will see you”. Eh, so what is more normal than to insist? The police are doing their job. They insist to know, what did that mean, what was the, what relationship was there between you and Lumumba. This is normal.

[95]

Knox: I didn’t understand why they were insisting that I was lying… they kept telling me that I was lying…

Interpreter: She didn’t understand why they were insisting that she was lying.

PM Mignini: Why are you…?

Interpreter: The police was insisting that she was lying.

PM Mignini: But why did you accuse, then if it was like this….  Again you are, you are crying again, for a long while since you started, I put in the record, I put in the record that… it’s been ten minutes that you have been crying. Why did you accuse a person that, today, you’re telling us he is innocent, but earlier you just told us “it could be true” what does “it could be true” mean? You have told me “it could be true”.

Lawyer: The subject is missing

PM Mignini: No the subject is there, because I asked the question. Why did you accuse Lumumba?

Lawyer: Can we suspend a moment please?

PM Mignini: What reason?

Knox: It means that in the moment when I told Patrick’s name, I thought that it could have been true.

Interpreter: In the moment in which she said Patrick’s name, in that moment, she thought it could have been true.

Lawyer Ghirga: We ask for a suspension… she is calm, you say she is crying, and we think she’s not.

PM Mignini: I put that in the record it because I could see the tears, she was crying and I could hear her too.

[96]

Lawyer: It was not ten minutes long

PM Mignini: Well, even more, maybe

Lawyer: maybe, no less

PM Mignini: Let’s interrupt, break off.

Lawyer: You asked her six times…

PM Mignini: For Heaven’s sake, let’s interrupt, break off.

(interruption)

[from this point on Amanda declares her right to remain silent]

PM Mignini: So, at 15:12 lawyer Luciano Ghirga resumes the interrogation

Lawyer Ghirga: In the name of the defensive collegium we submit a reason to confer personally, privately, we mean alone together with our client, for a time not longer than ten minutes.

PM Mignini: So, the Public Prosecutor is pointing out that the interrogation had already been suspended and it’s 15: 13 now, pointing out that the interrogation was suspended several times, and the last time for, how long? Ten minutes on request of the defence, and the defence will be allowed to fully have counsel with the person under investigation at the end of the interrogation. [The Public Prosecutor] orders to proceed, orders to go forward with the investigation procedure. So now I would like…

Lawyer Ghirga: If you may, ask to the suspect, to the person under investigation, whether she intends to go on or to invoke her right not to answer…?

PM Mignini: This is a… it’s a… it’s a… she decided to answer questions at the beginning. Now if she decides to make a statement where she says “I don’t want to answer any more” she’ll be the one who says it, and it’s not that I must ask now, that question was done at the beginning of the interrogation. If now she wants to say…

Knox: I prefer not to answer any more…

[97]

Lawyer Ghirga: What did she say?

Interpreter: She doesn’t want to answer anymore.

PM Mignini: So, at this point, at 15: 15, on a question asked by the defence lawyers, about whether the person under investigation intends to go on answering or not…

Lawyer Ghirga: To your questions

PM Mignini: To a question by lawyer Ghirga… yes, well, Lawyer Ghirga asked her that

Lawyer: He didn’t first ask the question

Lawyer Ghirga: But what question did I ask?

Lawyer: We told you to ask her…

PM Mignini: Yes, you asked me, and I did follow the request. But…

Lawyer Ghirga: She made a declaration, and we took note, unfortunately, about forbidden suggestions… but on what request…?

PM Mignini: Now at this point, at 15: 15 the defence lawyers… Let’s put like this, the defence lawyers ask this Prosecutor about whether he intends to ask the person under investigation if she intends to go on answering questions, but then, after my decision, Lawyer Ghirga said…

Lawyer Ghirga: Who said? You said

PM Mignini: You asked her, I put in the record what happened, it’s recorded anyway, this is what I perceived you asked her, and she answered “I do not intend to answer”, she said, and then the interpreter…

Lawyer Ghirga: I asked whether she intended to make a statement, and she made a statement

PM Mignini: You indicated that to her, it changes nothing, doesn’t change… I must only put in the record what happened. The public prosecutor points out that…

[98]

...the warning about the right not to answer was explained to the person under investigation at the beginning of the interrogation, as provided by the Code, and that same [person under investigation] declared she wanted to answer. It is not possible now to invoke the duty to inform the suspect about her right, because such requirement has been already fulfilled. Anyway the person under investigation can, if she decides to, declare that she doesn’t want to answer any more. Such option has been shown to the person under investigation by lawyer Ghirga.

Lawyer: ...by the defence lawyers

PM Mignini: By the defence lawyers, to the person under investigation. What do you want to do?

Lawyer: What do you mean by “It was shown?”

PM Mignini: It was shown, because you said… I need to put in the record what happened. The lawyer… Facing my warrant which I described, the notice was provided at the beginning of the interrogation as the code requires. She said “I want to answer, I do not intend to invoke my right not to answer”. That answer had been given already, I informed her, and she answered. Now to this, at this point, however, I said nothing prevents her from wanting, from declaring “at this point I do not intend to answer any more”. I put it in the record and I don’t ask why, at that point, at that point.

Lawyer: You should not put in the record “the defence lawyers have shown…”

PM Mignini: “at that point”

Lawyer: We did not show anything, we asked to be allowed to, well… and you said no.

PM Mignini: So… lawyer, lawyer?

Lawyer: And you said no, and we didn’t have the possibility to show her…

[99]

PM Mignini: Lawyer Ghirga… Lawyer Ghirga…

Lawyer: that she might invoke her right to not answer. It’s not that it’s we who’ve shown this possibility this is what I want to explain…

PM Mignini: Lawyer Ghirga told her something, so…?

Lawyer Ghirga: No, no, I only said, if you could give us a ten minutes suspension

PM Mignini: You told her something, now come on… I need to put that on record

Lawyer Ghirga: what did I say…

PM Mignini: You have shown, I don’t know if the other lawyer did too, you told, Lawyer Ghirga, you told the person under investigation about… You said, if you can, if I remember correctly,  we’ll hear her again…

Lawyer Costa: It was me who told her, Mr. Prosecutor

PM Mignini: So I understood Lawyer Ghirga… Lawyer Giancarlo Costa declares he explained that, I didn’t say anything else

Lawyer Costa: ... To Ms. Amanda Knox to use her right to invoke her right not to answer

PM Mignini: ... And she herself declares so, she is supposed to declare what she wants

Lawyer: She has already said that

PM Mignini: Let’s repeat it since with this superimposition of voices… the interpreter will translate faithfully word-by-word what you say.

Knox: At this point I don’t want to answer any more

Interpreter: At this point she doesn’t want to answer any more

PM Mignini: So “at this point I don’t want to answer any more”. We put on record that the current transcript was recorded entirely.

[100]

Lawyer Costa: Mr Public Prosecutor, we lawyers may renounce to our own time terms of deposit if Your Honour would give us a copy

PM Mignini: Yes, no problem… at 15: 22. The parties demand a transcription, I mean the defence lawyers request the transcription of the recording.


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Questions For Knox & Team: Why Does Book Need To Smear Italian Officials So Blatantly?

Posted by Peter Quennell



HarperCollin’s Jonathan Burnham and Claire Wachtell who edited and published Knox’s book

1. Reminder For Knox Book Team

Presumably your team remembers this jubilant (and to Italy pretty insulting) book announcement.

It was made on the day when you agreed to pay Amanda Knox a rumored $4 million, for a “full and unflinching”  account” of “her struggle to cope with a nightmarish ordeal” and you set out your hopes and intentions.

NEW YORK (AP)—Amanda Knox has a book deal.

The young exchange student whose conviction in Italy and eventual acquittal on murder charges made headlines worldwide has an agreement with HarperCollins to tell her story. The 24-year-old Seattle resident, imprisoned for four years in Perugia, Italy, has not publicly discussed her ordeal beyond a brief expression of gratitude upon her release last October.

Knox will give a full and unflinching account of the events that led to her arrest in Perugia and her struggles with the complexities of the Italian judicial system,” HarperCollins said in a statement Thursday.

“Aided by journals she kept during her imprisonment, Knox will talk about her harrowing experience at the hands of the Italian police and later prison guards and inmates. She will reveal never before-told details surrounding her case, and describe how she used her inner strength and strong family ties to cope with the most challenging time of her young life.”

The book, currently untitled, is tentatively scheduled for early 2013.

“Many accounts have been written of the Amanda Knox case, and countless writers and reporters have speculated on what role, if any, was played by Knox in that tragic and terrifying sequence of events,” HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham said in a statement.

“No one has yet heard Amanda Knox’s own account of what happened, and this book will give Knox an opportunity to tell the story in full detail, for the first time. It will be the story of a crime and a trial, but also a moving account of a young woman’s struggle to cope with a nightmarish ordeal that placed her at the center of a media storm, and led to her imprisonment.


2. So Why Multiple False Accusations Like This One?

May we ask? Was truth too was in the contract, as Knox had just served three years for lying? Was due diligence on Knox’s claims done before the book deal was done and the book shadow-written? What was expurgated at the last moment and why were UK and Italian editions halted?

Did your shadow-writer Linda Kulman and your editor Claire Wachtell got in touch with at least some of the mentioned people in Perugia?  And where there were multiple accusations of crimes against Italian officials, did you give all the targets, or at least some of them, any chance at all to explain their side?

The Knox book has been out for nearly 18 months now. You have paperback and Kindle and audio editions. This very serious accusation of Dr Mignini in the box below has gone globally viral.

It is unique in the ferocity of an accusation that could wreck a prosecutor’s career, even send him to prison. And it could cost Knox serious additional prison time if proved wrong - as it already has been. See below the quote for the truth. Not only was Knox not interrogated at all - Dr Mignini was not even there.

[This is from pages 90 to 92 on the voluntary recap/summary session.

Eventually they told me the pubblico ministero would be coming in.

I didn’t know this translated as prosecutor, or that this was the magistrate that Rita Ficarra had been referring to a few days earlier when she said they’d have to wait to see what he said, to see if I could go to Germany.

I thought the “public minister” was the mayor or someone in a similarly high “public” position in the town and that somehow he would help me.

They said, “You need to talk to the pubblico ministero about what you remember.”

I told them, “I don’t feel like this is remembering. I’m really confused right now.” I even told them, “I don’t remember this. I can imagine this happening, and I’m not sure if it’s a memory or if I’m making this up, but this is what’s coming to mind and I don’t know. I just don’t know.”

They said, “Your memories will come back. It’s the truth. Just wait and your memories will come back.”

The pubblico ministero came in.

Before he started questioning me, I said, “Look, I’m really confused, and I don’t know what I’m remembering, and it doesn’t seem right.”

One of the other police officers said, “We’ll work through it.”

Despite the emotional sieve I’d just been squeezed through, it occurred to me that I was a witness and this was official testimony, that maybe I should have a lawyer. “Do I need a lawyer?” I asked.

He said, “No, no, that will only make it worse. It will make it seem like you don’t want to help us.”

It was a much more solemn, official affair than my earlier questioning had been, though the pubblico ministero was asking me the same questions as before: “What happened? What did you see?”

I said, “I didn’t see anything.”

“What do you mean you didn’t see anything? When did you meet him?”

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Where did you meet him?”

“I think by the basketball court.” I had imagined the basketball court in Piazza Grimana, just across the street from the University for Foreigners.

“I have an image of the basketball court in Piazza Grimana near my house.”

“What was he wearing?”

“I don’t know.”

“Was he wearing a jacket?”

“I think so.”

“What color was it?”

“I think it was brown.”

“What did he do?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“I’m confused!”

“Are you scared of him?”

“I guess.”

I felt as if I were almost in a trance. The pubblico ministero led me through the scenario, and I meekly agreed to his suggestions.

“This is what happened, right? You met him?”

“I guess so.”

“Where did you meet?”

“I don’t know. I guess at the basketball court.”

“You went to the house?”

“I guess so.”

“Was Meredith in the house?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Did Patrick go in there?”

“I don’t know, I guess so.”

“Where were you?”

“I don’t know. I guess in the kitchen.”

“Did you hear Meredith screaming?”

“I don’t know.”

“How could you not hear Meredith screaming?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I covered my ears. I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m just imagining this. I’m trying to remember, and you’re telling me I need to remember, but I don’t know. This doesn’t feel right.”

He said, “No, remember. Remember what happened.”

“I don’t know.”

At that moment, with the pubblico ministero raining questions down on me, I covered my ears so I could drown him out.

He said, “Did you hear her scream?”

I said, “I think so.”

My account was written up in Italian and he said, “This is what we wrote down. Sign it.”


This False Accusation In Knox’s Book, Challenged

In multiple pages of testimony at trial four years prior to the book it was made crystal-clear that Dr Mignini was not even there then at the central police station.

See the hard facts summarised below. He was only called in later, after Knox insisted in writing her first false accusation, and his only roles were to warn Knox she needed a lawyer and to observe while she insisted on writing a second accusation.

    (1) Amanda Knox turned up at the Perugia central police station late at night, unwanted and grumpy, and was advised to go home and get some sleep.

    (2) Inspector Ficarra later said if she really wanted, she could help, she could build a list of possible perps, in a recap/summary session (not an interrogation).

    (3) For maybe 45 minutes, starting at 12:30 am (when the interpreter arrived), Knox quite calmly listed seven names along with maps drawn.

    (4) Knox had a wailing conniption, which really startled the four others present, when Knox saw an outgoing text to her boss she had just said wasnt there.

    (5) Police did what they could to calm her down, and she insisted on writing out three statements in supposed elaboration in less than 12 hours.

    (6) She was warned she should have a lawyer each time, the second warning by Dr Mignini, but each time she shrugged off this advice and pressed on.

    (7) Cassation ruled the first two statements could not be used to indict Knox at the murder trial, but all three could be used to argue her framing of Patrick.

Who believes this? The defense teams! Do read the numerous court transcripts of testimony describing events on that night. Not one defense lawyer challenged even one word of the above.

Legal Prospects For HarperCollins Of The False Accusations

Have you ever had any book out, ever, which slimes an American prosecutor? Which contains malicious lies long pointed out? Which you still heedlessly propagate?

Your prospects and Knox’s are not pretty. This is what some of our own lawyers are suggesting.  Italian obstruction-of-justice laws could be applied to HarperCollins and those party to it - note the legal fate of Andrew Gumbel the equivalent of Linda Kulman for Raffaele Sollecito.

So could the federal and state American Son of Sam laws requiring the forfeiting of all of that world-record $4 million in bloodmoney plus any fees paid to helpers like Linda Kulman and profits for HarperCollins.

Also there could be the invoking of Italian and American laws against the harassment of victims’ families, a horrific ongoing crime against the Kerchers perpetrated by many (Knox included) which the misleading book certainly helps to stir up.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How Claims By Perpetrators & Their PR That THEY Are Victims Get Equal Pushback

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei will soon confront many false claims ]


To the considerable pain of victims and their loved ones, Italy’s has become one of the most pro-defendant justice and penal systems in the world.

That doesn’t mean that it has become a complete pussycat. Push it, and it usually pushes back harder in its search for the truth. And the quality Italian media goes along. 

Time and again the ill-conceived short-term PR and legal tactics for Knox and Sollecito based on a hurricane of lies have left them in terms of the ultimate end-game worse off than they were before.

Judge Matteini and Judge Micheli (the judges in 2008) both took firm lines with the copious evidence and the psychological tests of AK and RS in front of them.

Both judges took a line as firm as the prosecution (as firm as the “evil Mignini”) in concluding that there was a drug-fueled hazing escalating to murder with sexual aspects (however short the timescale of the intent).

[Ed note: See comment by Yummi below which explains the above a little differently. PQ.]

Though his panel of judges voted unanimously for guilt, Judge Massei in 2009 did take a somewhat less firm line in the sentences, after observing one daffy defendant and one very nervous defendant sitting in front of him for nearly a year. Judge Massei for no especially convincing reason

(1) pinned the initiating of the attack on Rudy Guede (really?!) and

(2) handed Knox and Sollecito (and thus Guede) quite a break with his supposed “mitigating circumstances” (the duvet over Meredith’s body) resulting in 20 years lopped off their combined sentences.

Both the defenses and the PR were weak and largely futile in that year. But come 2010 the dirty tricks moved into overdrive.

Cassation reverted to the firmer line in January 2011 when it ruled on Guede’s final appeal: Guede was a party to the murder, but copious evidence proved he did not act alone. 

The Hellmann appeal court and DNA consultancy and verdict of 2011 were corrupted (counter-measures are still quietly playing out) which fully explains its startling soft line.

Thereafter the Italian courts observed the illegal blood-money binge with the essentially fictional books of Sollecito and Knox, and two years of them each claiming to ill-prepared interviewers “we’re the real victims” on TV.

Cassation observed all of this, annulled the corrupted Hellmann court verdict, and issued instructions in June 2013 to the Florence appeal court to ensure that the firm line should be maintained. Unsurprisingly, we have seen a firm line from the chief prosecutor (Crini) and a seeming firm line from the lead judge (Nencini) in recent weeks.

In the rest of this year Italy will see at minimum these events where the court’s firm line will go on and the babbling and unhelpful legal and PR tactics may finally dry up.

    1) RS and AK continuing to babble for a while on TV as they each dig the other one deeper. Sollecito has just said that his saliva or sneezing may explain why his DNA was on the clasp of the bra.

    2) The sentencing report of Judge Nencini is due at the latest on 30 April and he seems likely to give space to rebuttals of any bizarre new claims made by Knox and Sollecito before 30 April like the one just above. 

    3)  The obstruction of justice trials of witness Luciano Aviello and incessant meddlers Mario Spezi and Frank Sforza will continue, probably though into 2015. Each of those trials could result in others (like Spezi ally Doug Preston and Sforza allies Bruce Fischer and Steve Moore) being declared at minimum persons of interest if not actually charged.

    4) Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei Firenze (image above) may soon be announcing which passages in Sollecito’s book Honor Bound criminally defame Italian officials or deliberately miscontrue hard facts in evidence in an illegal attempt to to poison public opinion against the court.

    5) Similarly soon after on Amanda Knox’s book with the surreal title Waiting To Be Heard (and on Knox articles and interviews in Oggi) by the chief prosecutor in Bergamo. 

    6) Cassation’s First Chambers should be the one to handle Knox’s and Sollecito’s final appeal. They handle murder cases and they issued the guidance to Florence in 2010.

    7) If so, they should take note of such revelations by way of Judge Nencini’s and Prosecutor Crini’s reports; and this next autumn or winter may finally declare a firm “confirmed guilty” final-appeal outcome and invite Knox to come back.

And when prosecutor Giambartolomei Firenze announces which claims are radiocative, hopefully a major hush will come over Heavey, Fischer, Bremner and Moore. 


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

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

Posted by Peter Quennell



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

1. On The Pro-Justice Side…

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

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

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

The mafias are now mostly backed into small pockets..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

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

More evidence of this popularity.  And even more.

2. On the Anti-Justice Side

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So What We May Expect

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

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


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Appeal Session #5: Prosecutor Alessandro Crini Proposes 30 Years For Knox And 26 For Sollecito

Posted by Peter Quennell




Assessment by main poster SeekingUnderstanding

The case put forward by the prosecution and reported to us by Yummi is almost startling in its lucid and concise approach.

It couldn’t be more in contrast to the equivocations and disingenuousness, as well as irrelevant sentimentality that we have unfortunately become used to witnessing. The cutting use of logic was therefore refreshing, and gives grounds for optimism, albeit it tempered by unknowns.

All the issues seemed to be addressed from the base line, as if from primary considerations. And many points were simply politely dismissed as being unimportant to the true case in hand -which is the establishment of the guilt (or not) of the accused. For example, it was great to hear that the reason why the knife had been brought to the cottage need not be examined - it was enough that it was there.

It seemed that where the defence had challenged the evidence, for example suggesting contamination of DNA, it was here that Crini spared no detail, and took time in bottoming out the logic, and dispensing with their points. His arguments certainly carried conviction to me.

I was glad to see motive and behavioural dynamics looked at, as indeed Cassation had requested. It seemed good too that Crini ruled out premeditation, and reduced the dynamics to something highly plausible and believable as well as simple. There are just two points I might observe :

First, it would seem within character for Meredith to have been both open and direct in confronting issues of hygiene, drug use, infringement of privacy and noise etc., (or even theft of rent money, another possibility). I am not convinced that she would necessarily have been aggressively confrontational. Someone who is relaxed within themselves, accepting of their self, is well able to be assertive in a non-provocative manner. That is quite British too - especially old-fashioned English.

Secondly, bearing in mind the possible or probable profiles of the defendants, it would not have taken more than one small trigger of reasonable confrontation to release the consequent temper-tantrum or drug fuelled rage. I do not think we are dealing with something proportionate - and this is also why it escalated in the terrifying way it did. I don’t think it is essential to hypothesize as to what in particular Meredith raised an objection to (e.g. Rudy’s bathroom event). It is probable that Meredith’s concerns were reasonable, and then the overly defensive and angry reaction to any criticism whatsoever was unreasonable. I personally think this is enough.

I liked the way Crini said that even though a source is unreliable or not credible in some ways, that does not mean they do not (inadvertently as it were) give out information that is also true and useful. Possibly other statements from Guede might be taken into account in this way?

As a psychologist, it would seem dialogue with Rudy might yet be fruitful, but, with things the way they remain with the other two, it does not seem the time now for further words. Something else needs to happen.

Assessment by main poster James Raper

Crini spent about 10 hours in total addressing the court and was certainly very thorough. Maresca was so impressed that there was no need for him to add anything further.

Crini came to the prosecution case without the baggage of having presented any previous scenario or of having had his reputation sullied and slandered by the Knox PR machine. He reviewed the evidence dispassionately and found it compelling.

Clearly he also found the previous machinations of C&V and the Hellmann court objectionable and went in hard here, even discussing previous cases where Vecchiotti and Conti had goofed up. Hellmann had tried so hard to avoid that coming out during his appeal.

He was not, however, averse to taking a different tack where he thought this was appropriate. A sign of his intellectual honesty which may have impressed the court.

For instance, he thought that there was no need to nail TOD down to 11.30pm as Mignini had sought to do. He allowed for an earlier TOD.

He was of the opinion that coming up with an exact time line for a period in which there is no alibi, and when there is already evidence of involvement in murder, is of only marginal interest.

He spent well over an hour discussing the knife. He did not think it necessary to mull over how it came to be at the cottage. That is speculation that need not detain anyone if the knife is accepted as the murder weapon, and he thinks that on all the evidence it is.

He ruled out premeditation, even as to a hazing, and presented a very simple scenario as to motive and the dynamics behind and during the attack on poor Meredith. Keeping it simple makes it understandable to everyone. Elaborate further and you risk alienating someone who disagrees with the elaboration and thinks they have a better theory.

My only objection is that it is a tad ridiculous to believe that Meredith objected to poop being left in the toilet, the toilet she didn’t use. But yes, the objectionable behaviour of a trio of drunken/drugged up louts invading her space would most likely have triggered argument, unpleasantness and then a fight.

There is plenty of character evidence to support that scenario and with a little imagination, and some recollection of one’s student days, one can easily see how this might have gone. In a way, and Crini admitted to this possibility, Meredith’s own behaviour, or misreading of the situation, may also have been a trigger. Whether one agrees with this or not, it is at least a believable and honest suggestion.

So he set out base camp for the court (bearing in mind that Cassation had suggested that behavioural dynamics be given serious consideration by the appeals court) and whether the judges elaborate further (perhaps by conjecturing a possible range of equally valid motives and dynamics) is up to them.

Assessment by main poster Hopeful

Crini is magnificent! He’s absolutely crushing the defense. He nails Knox as having left her bloody shoeprint on the pillow under Meredith.

He accepts Novelli who found Meredith’s trace on the knife. He believes Knox left DNA on the knife. He quotes from Gill and Balding and says Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp stands.

He describes a small, very sharp knife that he believes was used to cut off the bra in several places. He says the knifeprint on the sheet was from the big kitchen knife.

Crini contends that the strong bruise marks around Meredith’s mouth were from restraining her and blocking the scream.

He believes this fight was caused by Meredith angrily reacting to Knox’s constant dirty ways in the cottage and Guede’s nasty toilet habit along with his and Sollecito’s unwanted presence in the cottage that night.

Crini argues a crime of rage when Knox was confronted by Meredith, citing Laura Mezetti’s remarks about the cleaning conflicts. Crini says that Meredith’s scream is what caused the fatal knife blow to silence her.

Not premeditated, the murder was the final result of the perps’ terror that they had gone too far during the raging fight. He’s asking for 30 years for Knox and asks to increase sentence for calunnia to 4 years, inclusive in the 30.

He almost laughs at Knox’s weak excuse over the drops of her blood found in the bathroom, saying she would surely have known if she bled.

He confirms the storekeeper did see Knox early in the morning after the crime. He finds no proof of Sollecito being firmly at his computer sending emails during the crime. He blasts the Knox and Sollecito alibis as being a tissue of lies.

Crini has another ex-Supreme Court justice standing with him in the Florence courtroom! (Baglione).  Crini has worked extremely hard. He has conquered this convoluted pack of lies and distortions and his diligence shows. He upturned the applecart of Conti-Vecchioti nonsense and thoroughly redeemed Stefanoni’s findings.

He has completely severed the heads of this Medusa Gorgon mess, Crini is the bomb!

Tweets from main poster Yummi

114. This means a total request of 30 years for Knox and 26 years for Sollecito

113. [Propose] 26 years for both for the murder

112. The murder is contextual, their was no premeditation, and no futile motive

111. Because of their staging and denials, they should not be given generic mitigation for murder.

110. Requests to increase the penalty for [Knox] calunnia to 4 years

109. But experience tells statements of unreliable perps do contain revelations about the truth. The ‘argument’ between girls, why such context?

108. Rudy Guede has no credibility, even if the Supreme Court is right that this cannot depend on his refusal to answer.

107. Crini cites Laura Mezzetti about the ‘annoyance’ caused by Knox on house cleaning issues.

106. Meredith was the one triggering an argument because of the ‘impolite’ invasion and behavior. She accused Knox .

105. Rudy was not sober, quite high, a bit annoying, and was acting the same disgusting way he behaved downstairs days before.

104. Meredith Kercher was sober, fully awake. The others were at least ‘smoked’, a bit high, Rudy was there in the house.

103. The motive is not futile, the motive is terror, it is the consequence of the prior aggressive action in which they were involved.

102. Nothing points to an agreed plan among the three that run out of control; the first cause was an aggression, a clash, impetus of rage

101. Crini: there is a prosecution duty to conjecture a motive.

100. The blood drop on the tap: a point is Knox does not explain, guesses, while she must be aware that she bled in the bathroom.

99. Crini believes the shoe prints on the pillowcase are from a female’s shoe as suggested by police

98. Knox’s DNA between the blade and the handle (36-i)is very significant. It’s not from sweat or contact.

97. The print on the bed sheet is compatible with the kitchen knife.

96. Crini: we don’t need to figure a reason for a kitchen knife to be carried from one apartment to the other..

95. The bra straps are cut in multiple points, not with a kitchen knife.

94. Sollecito cut her bra with a knife in multiple parts. hold bra to cut it - no Guede’s DNA in that point - used a small very sharp-edge knife

93. Rudy did not stab her, because he wad used both his hands, which were unarmed

92. Wounds indicate she was immobilized by multiple people, they killed her because failing to do so completely, were terrified by her scream.

91. Criticizes Torre’s theory that the large wound could be caused by a small knife: improbable, the wound has clear margins.

90. There were two knifes, one was small, not much fit to kill.

89. Ridiculous to think that Rudy Guede - which she knew - could intimidate Meredith totally to that point. She would react.

88. Specific indicator: no defence wounds; means bruises are not from fight but restraint.

87. Description of bruises and lesions around her mouth, indicates extreme force to prevent from screaming. Rest of body was also immobilized.

86. She was still wearing a blue sweater which was removed subsequently.

85. Analysis of blood drop pattern and position of victim when stabbed; body moved in a different position.

84. Location of crime - space between the bed and the wardrobe - is peculiar, analysed by UACV

83. Crini says will sketch a dynamic of events of the crime.

82. Crini says - implying Vecchiotti, Pascali - some experts should be “hold where they belong”

81. Crini recall Pascali working on the Olgiata and the Claps case (2008, 2010);

80. There is no instance of transfer of Sollecito’s DNA anywhere on the scene

79. Crini cites the Olgiata case.

78. Contamination must be deduced from context of finding and collection. You must think a practical way for Sollecito’s DNA to be transferred

77. Tagliabracci defends Vecchiotti saying the RIS statistical techniques were not used at the time; Crini cites Gill and Balding

76. Guede’s Y haplotype in victim’s vagina alone was used to identify him.

75. Sollecito’s DNA is certainly on the clasp for the police; Vecchiotti doubts but considers X separately from Y haplotype

74. The bra clasp: the first objection was the interpretation of the mixed/complex trace

73. Crini says he learned a bit of genetics working on cold cases

72. Vecchiotti and Tagliabracci have a reliability problem in relation to the case, for different reasons

71. Vecchiotti said she obtained all cooperation she required. Raw data could be accessed by accessing the machine itself as Stefanoni offered.

70. Crini says he found out the negative controls were deposited, the court will find the document of deposit etc.

69. Vecchiotti omitted to note the censures/observations written by the other consultants, this procedure is incorrect

68. Vecchiotti’s approach to the I-trace (refusal to test it ) was ‘ideological’, ‘weak’, ‘insufficient’

67. Interpretation of profile is for complex result. For non-complex profiles there is actually no ‘interpretation’.

66. Crini recalls answers by the RIS, defence tried to elicit approval of CV, but RIS said multiple test only if possible, compromise for result

65. Novelli cited saying the profile of Meredith is certain.

64. Meredith’s profile came out clean on a single amplification, means the trace is clear.

63. The meaning of test repetition is its necessity when you have a ‘dirty’, uncertain sequence like Knox’s profile on the knife

62. Novelli knows very well about double and triple amplification protocols, and Stefanoni knows well too

61. Guidelines are an indication that guide your driver, but then you have to drive

60. Someone who keeps a refrigerator like the one Vecchiotti has, should be less critical about laboratory practice

59. Crini: should we toss any result in the garbage, no matter how important and clear, whenever the test is not repeated?

58. Speaks about the single amplification by Stefanoni versus guidelines.

57. The presence of human DNA in a scratch on the blade of a knife itself is not usual

56. Crini: another introduction specific on DNA; notes btw that the new RIS finding is ‘important’ because adds information

55. Crini makes an introduction about circumstantial evidence

54. Discussion on DNA and remaining evidence will start in 1h.

53. Francesco Sollecito [in interview] was shocked, said he never expected so aggressive arguments from PG [the Tuscany Prosecutor General]

52. Yesterday, Crini spent the first hour to argue about logical ‘method’: how assess evidence altogether, examples, quotes of SC sentences


Monday, November 25, 2013

Appeal Session #4: Today Lead Prosecutor Alessandro Crini Summarises The Prosecution’s Case

Posted by Peter Quennell




Good reporting on the court today

Andrea Vogt has posted an objective report here and Barbie Nadeau an objective report here.  We will post excerpts from both and other sources after the appeal session on Tuesday is done.

Warning about AP’s Colleen Barry

The Associated Press’s Colleen Barry is once again filing highly biased reports from the court. This is an appeal by Knox and Sollecito AGAINST a guilty verdict (by Judge Massei) and not an appeal by the prosecution to “reinstate” a guilty verdict. Get a grip.

Final post from the court today

It is 5:30 pm in Italy. Judge Nencini has declared today’s session at an end and he has allowed the prosecution to resume its presentation tomorrow. Prosecutor Crini has about 1/3 of his presentation on the evidence still to come.

Tweets from main poster Yummi

Yummi has warned us that the wireless internet bandwidth inside and just outside the courtroom gets overloaded late in the day as the reporters get busy on their reports.  Yummi does have a way around this but it involves leaving the courtroom when key arguments might be made and walking some distance away. So there might be some slight delays.

[More pending; Dr Crini has alerted that his presentation will be in 16 chapters]

51. [Judge] Nencini suggests to interrupt and go on tomorrow with following prosecution’s points. New schedule.

50. Chapter 11. is DNA. Crini says we may have evidence enough by now anyway

49. Crini censures Hellmann-Zanetti’s reasoning about calunnia (why not indicate the real culprit?). Says H-Z committed ‘physical violence’ on trial file

48. Knox’s calunnia is a strategy protracted over time says Crini

47. Dreamlike component in Knox’s statement, fish blood, are devices needed to surround a calunnia strategy

46. Knox needed to put some additional content into the ‘calunnia’, says Crini, or wouldn’t be believed, so she puts in pieces of truth

45. Knox spoke about a scream an a sexual violence before anyone knew. Sollecito said nothing was stolen before they knew.

44. Points out Sollecito says Romanelli’s door was wide open; Knox doesn’t notice theft. Crini highlights the ‘combination’ of inconsistencies

43. Knox thinks locked door is normal; does not flush toilet when finds feces; does not notice blood before having a shower; thinks blood is ok

42. Notes Knox’s statements are inconsistent and ommisive before her interrogation.

41. Crini speaks about Knox’s declarations. Interested in the timings. Says too much was repeated to be coerced.

40. Crini speaks about chapter 9, the statements of Sollecito. His call to her sister. His alert was late but even so preceded the postals arrive

39. Bathmat print and luminol prints were chapter 7. of Crini’s argument; 8. is the staging of theft.

38. The most significant stain may be the one in Romanelli’s room, says Crini.

37. Speaking of a female’s print left in luminol, Crini sounds outraged, saying other substances is vague unsubstantiated conjecture [eg it was blood not bleach]

36. Guede’s sentencing was not well calibrated says Crini. But a Guede alone scenario is not tenable

35. Does it make sense for Guede to leave there the evidence of (putative) theft, and clean footprints?

34. The unitary sense made by elements like the bloody print, is a cleanup. Considers the lone-perp scenario: inconsistent

33. Crini: starts talking about the isolated bloody print; calls it a ‘talking element’. Why is that print alone?

32. Suspects are only ones with a ‘logistic’ capability and an interest to ‘clean’ the murder scene. They aimed at ‘diminishing’ the evidence mass

31. Knox’s lamp was the only light in her room.

30. Crini: the perp(s) organized a rather complex plan to clean up and ‘sidetrack’ at the murder scene.

29. Still to be determined if calunnia was “occasional” due to pressure, or “aggravated” [sidetracking]; Crini saya a ‘depistaggio reale’ (sidetracking) occurred

28. Crini: suspects’ statements are extremely interesting: RS’s statements; AK’s e-mail, internet statements, [Knox’s] memoriale

27. Crini: a most fertile chapter of analysis is the ‘post-factum’ actions and behaviors of defendants

26. Crini has unfolded five chapters. Says he has a total of sixteen

25. Quintavalle, details of his testimony and woman’s description are exceptional indicators of accuracy.

34. Crini: it is unlikely that Quintavalle got it wrong. Because of contextual elements.

23. It is incorrect to dismiss a witness a priori because late. But for reasons totally different. Sometimes late is symptom of reliability.

22. Wants to deal with the issue of the fact that he came forward late, urged by an acquaintance

21. Crini: fifth argument is Quintavalle. He says he is sure about his testimony. Is a different kind of witness

20. Crini accepts both alternatives on time of death, after 23.15 or before 22.30 (but seems to prefer the earlier one)

19. Crini: Do not overestimate importance of timings that are not anchored accurately or cannot be proven

18. Crini: timeline is marginal to the case. All unproven timings to be taken cautiously.

17. Crini starts fourth theme: timings. Says they are very vague, except the tow truck

16. Crini: Curatolo is no ‘super-witness’, but can contribute to helping the court to draw their scenario

15. Curatolo saw a couple discussing and this memory is very specific, peculiar

14. Curatolo did not confuse night with Halloween, because it was big party in piazza the previous night, and because it did not rain

13. Crini: the court saw Aviello, shows what top [level] of unreliability is; the SC suspected so unreliable that calunnia elements had to be assessed

12. Crini: many trials could not exist if drug addicted testimonies were dismissed

11. Crini: the H-Z court assessed Curatolo a priori based on him as a person, stemming from questions of the court itself

10. Crini about Curatolo, describes Piazza Grimana; he was an habitual presence of the piazza, proven reliable in other cases

9. Crini: computer records and alibi point to Sollecito being not at home but on murder scene

8. Crini cites the log files of Fastweb: no internet activity, only automatic connections.

7. Crini: failure of computer alibi is evidence against, not just lack of confirmation.

6. Nencini notes prosecution did not ask to interrogate Sollecito. Crini cites D’Ambrosio’s computer expert report. No interaction before 5am

5. Sollecito gave computer alibi days later, and words his statement in the singular form.

4. Crini: first theme he deals with is presence of crime scene; alibi, if it’s false it is evidence no matter why false (cite from Guede trial)

3. Crini attacks the method of logic reasoning of annulled appeal: parceling out evidence, parrots aspects of civil procedure

2. Crini: Supreme Court censure was against the foundations of appeal , all parts not just some errors; appeal was ‘razed to ground’.

1. Crini: this appeal is unusual, not because of the case but for the course followed. Usually appeals are narrow, this SC annulment is not.

Tweets by Andrea Vogt

3. At Crini’s side in amandaknox appeal today is veteran Florentine prosecutor Tindari Baglione. Before this, he was in Cassazione.

2. Prosecutor Crini in Florence: don’t repeat error of Perugia appeal. Consider evidence wholly, including Curatolo.

1. Will prosecutors ask life sentences in amandaknox appeal today? Will Sollecito’s presence in court benefit him? Verdict January 10.

First post

This is the prosecution’s day. Sollecito is reported as being in court but low-key.

Various reporting notes the significant presence of Dr Tindari Baglione, formerly with the Supreme Court, about whom we posted on in September as follows:

The new Prosecutor General of Tuscany (Florence’s region) Dr Tindari Baglione, the chief prosecutor of Tuscany’s appeal court, is selecting the prosecutors for the appeal. He arrived in Florence in May of this year. He is said to be formidably unbending. He recently imposed tough sentences on 27 people for the environmental damage caused by illegal work in Mugello on the high speed rail link between Florence and Bologna.


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Appeal Session #1: Detailed Report On Enquiries The Court Has Okayed

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above the two co-judges with lead judge Allessandro Nencini reading the case history]

Translation From The Umbria24 website

Meredith, war of requests in the first hearing of the 2nd Appeal

The court has order a new test on the I trace and on the hearing of the witness Luciano Aviello. Rejected all other requests

By Francesca Marruco

After a little over 2 hours in its counsel chambers the Florence Court of Appeals has decided to ordered a new test on the (I) trace evidence of the knife seized in Raffaele Solecitto’s apartment, the weapon presumed to have been used in the murder.

The Court has also decided to hear the witness Luciano Aviello and rejected all the other requests of renewal of investigations presented by the defense. The Court returns on Friday with Aviello and the provision of the task of the new genetic analysis to the Carabinieri del Ris of Rome.

[The appeal] started this morning in the maxi courtroom no. 32 of the Florence Justice Courthouse, the new trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher, after the annulment of the acquittal by the Supreme court. Present in the courtroom was only Patrick Lumumba.

Absent, as expected, were the two accused Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. 

- 9:00 Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele,  says he is tranquil about the outcome of the new trial. Responding to the journalists, he specified “The statement of the Supreme Court is compromised by errors committed because the judges did not have full assess to all of the proceedings, as they themselves specified,”

- 9:45 The defense of Knox and Sollecito have asked for the exclusion of the Patrick Lumumba (civil) part because the conviction of Amanda for calunnia has already been passed into final sentence.

This request was opposed by the General Prosecutor Alessandro Crini, and the lawyer of Lumumba. For them the plaintiff’s civil right is legitimate, as the Supreme Court, has asked to re valuate the penalty, in order to obtain the impunity.

The Court retired in counsel chambers to decide and announced it wanted to decide today on the reopening of the investigation.

- 10:15 The court rejects the request of the defense of Knox and Sollecitto to exclude the civil part of Patrick Lumumba, because the Court specifies that, among other things, the offense was not assessed in the totality by the first court.

- 10.50 The President of Court of Appeals, Allessandro Nencini, is initiating the introductory report. Starting from the day of Meredith’s homicide. The judge traveled trough the most important passages of the three Courts. Speaking of the (I) trace, isolated by the consultants of the second Court on the knife (considered the weapon of the crime by the first Court) President Nencini said:” It necessary to underline that the independent consultants had found another trace but it was not analyzed”.

- 11:15 The President of the Court Nencini, at the end of the introductory report, said: “ This is a trial for matters of undeniable seriousness, beyond the spectacularization, there is the willingness of the Court to give all of the possible space for debate to all of the parties, because in origin there was a important verdict and the actions for which we proceed are of undeniable seriousness”

- 11.25 Raffaele Sollecito defense lawyer Giulia Buongiorno was the first to take the floor.

“Sollecito’s defense does not ignore the motivations of the Cassazione, and we are in favor of any kind of verification that the Court will order, with the following caveats. This proceeding has always been based on two types of evidences, the testimonial and technical.  We request that during this proceeding, we hope to be the last one, that the Court during the next hearings will concentrate only on the truly reliable evidences, putting aside the ones that are not nullified by the fact that it is a media proceeding.

Many witness have said things because they have read them or heard to them. So the proceeding was reopened,but not to collect this type of guesswork. We do not want to inflate this proceeding with new conjectures. We request to examine in depth the crime seen, as pointed out by the Cassazione.  In the crime scene room there are copious traces of two of the four presumably present persons, Rudy Guede that admitted to have been there, and none of the two indicted, except on the hook of the victim’s bra.

When the Prosecutor asserts that there are no traces because Amanda and Raffaele cleaned them, we think that it is impossible. For this reason we request to have a evaluation done in order to verify if it is possible to clean selectively”. “The Cassazione mistake has been that it didn’t noticed the entry in the crime scene room before the bra hook was found , so we request the acquisition of two reports. 

We want to understand if in a sealed place it is possible to get evidence even after the admission by the police of other searches .  We do not request to get the hook and to say that it is contaminated, I want to know if in that environment it was possible to collect some genuine evidences, because on the crime scene there were not ten traces of Raffaele but only that one”. 

A subordinate request by Giulia Buongiorno requests that experts , new ones or the ones of the second trial, will read the electropherograms.  Buongiorno requests even the analysis of both of Meredith Kercher cell phones that she consider the “black box” of the crime and that “ was never analyzed deep enough except from the Corte d’Assise di Perugia” The defense requests also the analysis of the presumed sperm trace on Meredith’s pillowcase.

- 12.15   Amanda Knox defense lawyer Carlo Della Vedova takes the floor and lifts up right away an exception to the Constitution.  “Are we today able to judge on matters that happened six years ago? Can a person be under proceeding for life? Are we sure that Amanda Knox is an accused as all the others. It is right for an indefinite postponement of this proceeding? For all of this I insist that the Court evaluate the constitutionality”

- 13.00 Kercher family’s lawyer produced a letter written by the family members of Meredith that read ”We are confident that the evidences will be reexamined and all the requests of more evidences will be granted, in a way that all the unanswered questions well be clarified and that the Court can decide on future way of action in this tragic case. The past six years have been the most difficult of our lifes and we want find an end and remember Meredith as the girl that she really was rather than remember the horror associated with her”.

-14.00 The General Prosecutor Alessandro Crini says he is against the request of the defense to hear anew from some witnesses, including Rudy Hermann Guede. The same judgment Crini used for the major part of the requests of the opening introductory presented by the defense. In conclusion, he asked for the the addition of the evaluation of the “I” trace, isolated by the independent experts, but never analyzed because it was believed to be a Low Copy Number. Furthermore the prosecutor asks that the witness Aviello be reheard.

-15:00 The lawyers of the civil part that represent the Kercher family adheres to the request of the General Prosecutor Crini, opposing the requests of the defense.  “ I – said the lawyer Francesco Maresca believe that one attempts to dress, with a new dress, evidence that are strong, resistant, and robust from the sentence of the first court and that where minimized by the second court. For example, the witness Capezzali.

Also there are newly dressed certain requests that are obsolete, that have already been done. Like the one of selective cleaning. In the bathroom next to the room of the crime, there were many mixed traces of DNA of Amanda and blood of Meredith. And if the genetic profile of Sollecito, besides the bra hook,  is present only mixed with that of, Amanda on a cigarette butt,  that was found; then how did it migrate, only that one,  from the cigarette butt to the bra hook”?

- 15:10 The defense of Raffaele Sollecito adheres to the request to analyze the “I” trace, but opposes that hearing the witness Luciano Aviello. Buongiorno also pointed out that it is not true that the independent experts of the second court decided automatically to not analyze certain traces, but did so in the presence of the defense experts Stefanoni and Novelli and those of the defense.  Carlo Dalla Vedova, for Knox defense said that Avelio will be heard only to demonstrate that the Police uses two different weights. Like when Avelio said he knew where the crime weapon was.

- 15.30 The Court retires in council chamber and announced that will not come out before 17.30

Thereafter the court convened again and the decisions were as outlined in the post below this one. Almost all of what the defense had argued - each of them a stretch if you know the full circumstances - was denied. 

And the two main requests from the prosecution - that Aviello be put back on the stand and the large knife be retested - were accepted. Ourcomes of these may or may not add to the strength of the prosecution’s case, but seem to offer no prospects of joy for the defenses.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Lead Judge Is Now Confirmed And Court Dates Announced For The Florence Appeal

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above: the formidable senior appeal judge Dr Alessandro Nencini who will preside over the appeal.]


September 30; October 4, 23, 24; and November 6, 7, 25, and 26.

These are the dates the Florence appeal court will meet. Corriere and other Italian media sites are confirming these as the dates.

It is confirmed that Judge Alessandro Nencini will preside over the appeal in the Palace of Justice’s Courtroom 32. He is a very senior judge. As the ANSA News Service mentions, Judge Nencini is the President of the Second Chamber of Appeal of the Florence Court.

The new Prosecutor General of Tuscany (Florence’s region) Dr Tindari Baglione, the chief prosecutor of Tuscany’s appeal court, is selecting the prosecutors for the appeal. He arrived in Florence in May of this year. He is said to be formidably unbending. He recently imposed tough sentences on 27 people for the environmental damage caused by illegal work in Mugello on the high speed rail link between Florence and Bologna.

Already appointed as the lead prosecutor is Dr Alessandro Crini. He was among the Florence prosecutors who handled the investigation into the murders by the Monster of Florence and also the mafia massacres of 1993.  In the Monster of Florence case he was a deputy to the leading prosecutor Dr Paolo Canessa, the main prosecutor of the last and final MoF trials.

There are at least seven pieces of bad news for the hotheaded among the Knox-Sollecito faction coming down the pike, some already mentioned in this recent post here..

    1) Prosecutors Paolo Canessa and Alessandro Crimi carried out their MoF investigations in cooperation with Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini of Perugia. We believe it was they who first involved Dr Mignini in the MoF case by explaining the possible MoF connection with the Narducci murder Dr Mignini was investigating. Dr Mignini has no role in this appeal, but they had obvious confidence in him..

    2) Giulia Bongiorno may be leaving the Sollecito team. Sollecito himself has done an immense amount to embarrass her with his defamatory book and narcissistic TV claims. The new lawyer Dr Mastro is said to be a relative of the Sollecito family and has been harshly critical of the Bongiorno defense line of joining Sollecito to Knox at the hip. He would presumably separate Sollecito from Knox, and may throw Knox to the wolves if it helps.

    3) The trial of Luciano Aviello will be running in Florence during the same time as the appeal. Each could explosively impact the other.  We explained the extraordinary implications of this trial for the Knox and Sollecito entourages in this past post also linked to just above.

    4) The trial of Frank Sforza for criminal defamation will start in Florence on 6 November. A prosecutor will bring this case, it is not a simple calunnia case brought by those Sforza abused. We have a new post pending which will explain the many nasty implications for the FOA. Its testimony could also spill over into the Knox-Sollecito appeal.

    5) The appeal outcome is expected to be arrived at by the latest in December. Knox and Sollecito wont have to wait long to hear the probable outcome: guilty as charged. Whether either will appear in the court seems doubtful, but a no-show will do them no good. A coward’s move.

    6) The chief prosecutor in Florence is expected to announce any time now what charges will be brought against Raffaelle Sollecito and his publishers for the many false accusation of crimes and malicious mis-statements of evidence he foolishly included in his book. At least one could incur a substantial prison sentence: Sollecito’s false accusation that the prosecution sought a deal whereby he would turn on Amanda Knox in exchange for lesser charges.

    7) The chief prosecutor in Bergamo north of Milan is expected to announce any time now what charges will be brought against Amanda Knox and her publishers and Oggi for the many false accusation of crimes and malicious mis-statements of evidence she foolishly included in her book. At least one all by itself could incur a prison sentence: Knox’s false accusation that the prosecution forced her in an illegal interrogation into framing Patrick Lumumba.

Those who appear to us realistic about the minefield they face include the defense lawyers (who are rumored to be very despondent) and those who have detached themselves from the pro-Knox forces and quite possibly Curt Knox himself who of late has been quiet for sure.

Those who still maintain a crazed and abusive hard line appear to be only Bruce Fischer and the Mellas family including Chris, Edda, and close relatives. Fischer seems to us unlikely to grow a brain before he is dragged to court, but it is possible that the Mellas family might.  They have taken down all traces of one of the many defaming websites Chris Mellas is known to have put up, the final Perugia Shock.

Also when he overstayed his welcome at their house they threw Frank Sforza out.


[Central Florence at night with Palace Of Justice faintly visible behind at left-center; click to enlarge]

Posted on 09/13/13 at 05:00 PM by Peter QuennellClick here to view all my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedThe prosecutorsThe judiciaryEvidence & witnessesAppeals 2009-2015Florence 2014+Sollecito teamThe Aviello hoax
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Appeal Starts 30 Sept: Why This Man Could Stop Defense Dirty Tricks In Their Tracks

Posted by Peter Quennell





Deputy Chief Prosecutor Armando Spataro.in Milan is one of the toughest prosecutors in Italy.

In September Florence’s current chief prosecutor Giuseppe Quattrocchi will retire - and Dr Spataro is considered to be the frontrunner to take his place.

The Florence prosecution team is being made even more formidably tough these days because it has some very high-profile cases involving national politicians and corruption on its hands.

Read Yummi’s detailed post of 21 January which explains much of this context - and why Florence will be very averse to the dirty tricks the Knox-Sollecito defenses and their allies were able to pull in Perugia.

Florence was the jurisdiction where a rogue prosecutor and a rogue judge sentenced Dr Mignini for what Cassation scathingly declared were fully legal actions, when it recently killed a trumped-up case against him and Dr Michele Giuttari stone dead - and opened the way to Dr Mignini being the next chief prosecutor in Perugia.

Dr Spataro will be especially formidable against Knox and Sollecito and their army of shoot-themselves-in-the-foot defamers because he has stood up to strong Italian government and American government pressures before. Our September 2009 post explained:

Italy’s a tough country with, albeit dwindling now, a legacy of violent crime, and many brave prosecutors over the years have been assassinated.

And the Italian legal system is not particularly weighted in their direction, with a large number of hurdles they have to climb over before a case ever gets to trial.

And the Italian prison system is relatively lenient, heavily pro-prisoner-remediation and early release, and proportionally only 1/10 the size of the US’s.

So the endemic attempts to undermine Prosecutor Mignini have invariably won only MORE popular support for him and his case in Perugia and Italy in general.

And the only “criminal charge” against him (it isn’t) seems to flow from his guessing right in the Monster of Florence case - and apparently no charge of this kind has ever won a “conviction”.

Above is Milan Deputy Chief Prosecutor Armando Spataro.  He is in the news now because he has demanded prison sentences for TWENTY-SIX Americans.

Between them they seem to have colluded in grabbing Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, an Egyptian in Italy, back in President Bush’s day, and taking him off to be tortured.

Not to the United States where torture is not legal, but to Egypt where it more-or-less is.

Human rights advocates charge that renditions were the CIA’s way to outsource the torture of prisoners to countries where it was practiced.

The CIA has declined to comment on the Italian case, and all the Americans are being tried in absentia and are considered fugitives.

As we remarked in [another] post it is pretty hard for a foreign government and especially now the American government to throw sand in the Italian wheels of justice.
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The American government is really just sitting this one out. And it may be covertly delighted when Amanda Knox and her clan fade to silence.

Dr Spataro went on to win that case against the 26. Although their extradition is not yet being pushed,-for, the State Department sided with Italy and gave them no immunity.

State was even sued over that, but good Italy-America relations were deemed important enough to come first.

Posted on 07/10/13 at 12:03 PM by Peter QuennellClick here to view all my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedThe prosecutorsAppeals 2009-2015Florence 2014+
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